Malawi Congress Party (MCP) general secretary Eisenhower Mkaka yesterday told the Constitutional Court that the presidential winner of the May election was picked by Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), not voters.
The sentiments drew an objection from Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale, who is representing MEC in his capacity as chief legal adviser to the government. He said most of Mkaka’s statements during cross-examination were based on hearsay and not evidence from his own sworn statement.
Mkaka is the fifth witness for MCP president Lazarus Chakwera who, alongside his UTM Party counterpart Saulos Chilima, is disputing the election results that declared governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Peter Mutharika winner.
Kaphale briefly tackled electoral reports of audit firm BDO and National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust but spent much of his time disputing Mkaka’s evidence.
On the BDO report, Kaphale asked Mkaka to concede that the report’s authors—BDO—did not report that MEC had changed voting figures when the results were in the system. The AG said this indicates that the votes were not rigged.
He further asked Mkaka to concede that any irregularities that may have been witnessed were not part of systematic rigging.
But Mkaka argued that MEC not only permitted rigging to take place, but orchestrated the rigging in favour of Mutharika.
“They took the role of picking the President of the country instead of being a neutral referee who accepts the will of the people to prevail,” he said.
Kaphale asked if the statement was a summary, opinion or a fact, to which Mkaka said while it was a summation of the evidence MCP has collected, it was also a fact.
Speaking after the hearing on behalf of MEC legal team, Tamando Chokotho also said the statements made by Mkaka were “glaring hearsay” not backed by any evidence.
He said: “There were a lot of allegations by Hon Mkaka, most of them are not supported by evidence and most of them are hearsay. We had previously outlined all the statements by the previous witnesses which we consider hearsay and even the judges made an intervention today because Hon Mkaka’s hearsay evidence was glaring.” The court is expected to continue this morning when lawyers for Mutharika, who is second respondent in the case, are expected to cross-examine Mkaka.