Mutharika’s recording played in court


An audio clip of President Peter Mutharika’s speech about rigging in the May 21 elections was played in court on Friday as an exhibit in the presidential election case.

In the audio clip which UTM leader Saulos Chilima submitted as an exhibit to the court, Mutharika claims that he did not rig the 2019 presidential elections and rigging occurred in in the Central Region where his votes were stolen.

He later claimed that he never said there was rigging but if there was rigging it was in the Central Region because Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) monitors were chased away and beaten to stop them from observing the elections.

Chilima and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera are challenging the outcome of the presidential elections in which Mutharika was declared winner.

In court today, Mutharika’s lawyer Frank Mbeta also played a recording of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) CEO Sam Alfandika who told journalists that a polling officer was arrested in Mzimba for giving voters pre-marked ballots.

Mbeta however did not ask Chilima questions about the recordings and is expected to do so on Monday when the court will resume.

During the cross-examination, Mbeta asked Chilima about the role monitors, claims that police officers were not deployed in some polling centres and the UTM leader’s calls for MEC chairperson Jane Ansah to resign.

The former Malawi vice president wrote a letter to Ansah demanding her to resign and he presented it in court as an exhibit.

Mbeta asked: “At a certain point you were requested by certain quarters to resign but you did not.”

“That’s correct,” Chilima said.

Mbeta then questioned Chilima if he would agree that being required to resign is not a proof of misconduct and the UTM leader refused to agree.

Mbeta said: “To be clear, you would say a requirement to resign is a proof of misconduct; yes or no?”

Chilima responded: “For that question, the answer is yes.”

Hearing of the case will resume on Monday when Charles Mhango, another lawyer for Mutharika, will also interrogate Chilima.