Chilima questions absence of ‘key witness’ Ansah


Lawyer for UTM president Saulos Chilima on Thursday questioned Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah’s failure to testify in the presidential elections case saying Ansah and other MEC commissioners are material witnesses.

While presenting his oral submissions to the court, one of Chilima’s lawyers Chikosa Silungwe asked the court to consider the absence of the commissioners including the MEC chairperson Ansah.

Silungwe (L)

He wondered if MEC lawyers were worried that the commissioners would say anything against the commission.

Judge Healey Potani, one of the five Constitutional Court judges, asked Silungwe if he considered the commissioners as material witnesses to which Silungwe said there have been cases in the past where the commissioners testified.

“The court will not be determining this case in isolation, there is context to the case,” said Silungwe.

In his presentation, Silungwe said the second respondent did not deliver a presidential election in accordance to the electoral laws of the country.

He faulted the theory that there were monitors at polling stations hence the elections were free and fair.

He also detailed how irregularities in the elections affected valid votes.

According to Silungwe, 1,122 form 66Cs were manually altered which affected 1, 330, 486 valid votes representing 26 percent of the votes.

He added that 188, 172 valid votes (4 percent of valid votes) were recorded on fake tally sheets; 442 form 66Cs were tippexed affecting 524,340 votes (11 percent of valid votes) while 1,182 results sheets were not signed by presiding officers and their assistants affecting 1,120,120 which represents 21 percent of the votes.

In the elections case, Chilima and Malawi Congress Party’s Lazarus Chakwera want the court to nullify the results of the elections