MCP witness claims Malawi Elections were manipulated

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Malawi Congress Party (MCP) witness Daud Suleman has claimed that the data which Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) used to determine the outcome of the May 21 Presidential polls was manipulated.

Suleman (R) in court

Presenting his evidence in the Constitutional Court on Friday, Suleman said the manipulation was done by a ghost user who entered into the MEC Results Management System (RMS).

In his testimony, Suleman used computers and the MEC system to demonstrate how results were changed in a short time into the system by unauthorized users operating from different geographical areas.

He added that when he analyzed the data in the RMS, he found scenarios where one computer kit was in two places and was being used by two different users at the same time.

“This computer kit was found in Thyolo East and Mulanje South West. We have scenarios where different users are using the same kit at the same time. And this kit is giving us timestamps that are similar. And this is practically not possible unless it’s a script that is doing this,” he said.

Suleman added that MEC officials’ use of personalized e-mail addresses such as gmail.com and hotmail.com to log into the system also made the RMS vulnerable.

According to Suleman, MEC officers are civil servants hence needed approval before using personal email addresses for the system.

After Suleman’s presentation, the court adjourned the case to Monday when the witness will be cross-examined.

In the election case, MCP president Lazarus Chakwera and UTM leader Saulos Chilima are challenging the outcome of the May 21 elections.

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One Comment

  1. Talking about the RMS, an independent audit report has confirmed in the nation of Bolivia that the parallel ‘RMS’ used in their electoral process had serious irregularities that negatively impacted the credibility of the electoral process. The Bolivians then took to the streets with devastating consequences of violent protests. This followed the announcement of the election results that the incumbent president had won the elections. My observation is that gone is the era where subtle and cunning political leaders can expect to easily get away with political manipulation and falsehood. The citizenry world-wide appear to be getting extremely weary of unscrupulous fellow citizens in leadership who have been taking the voters for granted. Malawi needs to learn to take note and learn from what is happening elsewhere. In my opinion the DPP led government has made the cardinal mistake of taking the electorate for granted. The MEC’s RMS has apparently been deliberately corrupted and compromised in order to legitimatize official ‘corruption’ that in turn guarantees ‘perpetual’ and ‘apparent political success’ in retainment of political power in government. The published BDO audit report on the Malawi electoral process, like in the case of Bolivia, confirmed glaring irregularities in the RMS. The difference between Bolivia and Malawi is that in Bolivia, their audit report has been taken very seriously whereas in Malawi, the audit report has simply been brushed aside as a piece of political inconvenience. In Bolivia, it has resulted in the resignation of both the president and his vice, in Malawi, it is business as usual as could be deduced from the president’s ‘innocent speech’ made at the Chancellor college recently, referring to ‘ now that the elections are over, let’s unite as Malawians……’. As far as he (APM) is concerned, there is nothing to worry about as far as the MEC’s RMS is concerned. This kind of leadership, in my opinion, seems to be out of touch with the reality of what is actually unfolding in the country and this could be very dangerous for the country as we have already seen since the hasty announcement of the presidential results. What happens if it may be assumed the con-court’s determination is in favour an a re-run? Are there mechanisms in place that would ensure there is a MEC that has the confidence of the electorate? Will there be an effective interim leadership (transitional) that will be cumbered with the formidable task of implementation of a ‘re-structured’ MEC and RMS to administer any future elections that will be foolproof and acceptable to all stakeholders? There are more challenges lying ahead that require level-headed leadership and I am not too sure that the current administration has what it takes to effectively tackle and conquer these ‘Mount Everest’ kind of political mountains that Malawi faces at the moment.