Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika has started defending the electoral body in the ongoing presidential elections nullification petition hearing.
Alfandika’s turn in the witness box comes after two witnesses for first respondent President Peter Mutharika, namely Ben Phiri and Bob Chimkango, completed their respective turns.
Presenting the roadmap on the evidence Alfandika will give in court, Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale told the five-judge panel of the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe that the witness will separately testify alongside three other MEC officials.
He said witnesses for MEC, the second respondent in the case, will seek to prove that contrary to the petition by first petitioner Saulos Chilima of UTM Party and second petitioner Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the presidential election results in the May 21 Tripartite Elections were not rigged.
He said: “The elections system was derived in a way that there were party monitors at all levels. Polling station monitors were able to verify figures before signing. It is, therefore, a core theory of the second respondent that monitors witnessed all processes such that if there were any invalid votes, any candidate would have gone to court at that time…”
Alfandika appeared composed yesterday as he took an oath and MEC legal team led by Kaphale took him through his own sworn statement for adoption before petitioners’ lawyers start cross-examining him today.
Besides Alfandika, MEC director of information and communications technology Muhabi Chisi will also testify.
Earlier, Chilima’s lawyer Bright Theu concluded Chimkango’s cross-examination. However, Chakwera’s lawyers did not cross-examine the witness as their lead counsel Modecai Msisha said they were satisfied with the first petitioner’s act.
In the case being heard by judges Ivy Kamanga, Healey Potani, Redson Kapindi, Mike Tembo and Dingiswayo Madise, Chilima and Chakwera are seeking nullification of the presidential election results on the basis that there were irregularities, especially in the results management system, that they believed compromised the outcome.