4,846 tally sheets were approved by ghost users, witness tells court

Daud Suleman

The sixth witness for Dr. Lazarus Chakwera in the presidential election case, Daud Suleman, has claimed that 4,846 out of 5002 tally sheets in the May 21 elections were approved by ghost users.

Suleman told the Constitutional Court this morning that only 156 tally sheets were approved by humans and in the Malawi Electoral Commission’s system it shows the names of the users who approved them.

Suleman (R) In court

Suleman has been presenting evidence to the court by simulating processes in the MEC Results Management System (RMS) to demonstrate how the results of the May 21 presidential elections were manipulated.

This morning, he demonstrated to the court that some tally sheets were uploaded and edited at the same time by unnamed users while other tally sheets were uploaded and edited at different times by MEC workers.

“All the records that were deleted, there date of upload values are the same as edit values. All tally sheets that have names as the update user have different timestamps on date of upload and different timestamps on date of edit,” Suleman.

He concluded that a person logged in with a name and run a script which affected the tally sheets and that person was later deleted from the system.

“156 out of 5002 tally sheets have named users. And these users are M. Chisi, D.Kadzuwa and F. Chimwaza.

“There are 4,846 tally sheets where the name of a person was supposed to be present as the user, it’s blank. And all these have similar tendencies that the values on date of upload and values on date of edit are exactly the same, which is humanly impossible, it is only a script that can do that kind of behaviour,” said Suleman.

In his testimony, Suleman also claimed that some records in the MEC database were deleted and this affected tally sheets.

According to the witness, by the time the announcement of the presidential election results was made, the RMS had processed 3,677 tally sheets out of 5002.

“5002 minus 3,677 records, the answer of that is the number of records that has been deleted in here,” said Suleman.

Meanwhile, the court has adjourned the case to 3PM today when MEC counsel, Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale, will cross-examine Suleman.

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