Ansah worried about mental trauma of being harassed at court


Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah has suggested that she worried that she would have suffered mental trauma from being harassed by protesters at the Lilongwe court had she appeared before the Constitutional Court as a witness.

On Wednesday, Ansah appeared before the Public Appointments Committee of Parliament in Lilongwe where she was asked about her failure to present evidence before the court in the presidential elections case.

She suggested that during the elections case hearing, there were people at the court who would have harassed her.

She gave the example of a time when a crowd at the court was chanting songs insulting her. They then mistook Democratic Progressive Party’s Grezelder Jeffrey for the MEC chairperson and started harassing her until Jeffrey was whisked away in a military vehicle.

“When there are security matters, its security yes, physical security, but also there is mental trauma. When somebody is traumatized how can you go to court and do anything.

“We as Africans, we don’t look at depression and trauma but do you know that its number one killer,” said Ansah.

She also noted that the period when she was expected to give her affidavit for the elections case was also the time “things went haywire” and the time limit elapsed before she could do so.

The MEC chairperson, however, told the committee that each party in a case has a way of handling its case including the witnesses to be paraded and a court only deals with evidence presented before it.

The committee met Ansah and other MEC commissioners to enquire into their competence and capacity to manage the fresh elections.

This follows the Constitutional Court’s ruling that nullified the May 21 Presidential Elections.