Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Dennis Namachekecha has been implicated in a political violence case in Phalombe which nine people are answering.
The nine were charged with two counts of disturbing the regular functioning of a polling station contrary to Section 115 (c) (xvi) and refusing to leave a polling station after being asked to do so by a polling station officer contrary to Section 115 (c) (xvi) of Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act.
The court on Thursday heard that the suspects went to Nazombe Polling Centre on June 23 to chase Malawi Congress Party’s Daud Suleman who appeared at the centre around 4pm.
Presenting his evidence, second State witness MacMillan Naphini, who was one of the police officers assigned to provide security at the centre, said the accused alleged that Namachekecha sent them.
He also told the court that Suleman left the centre around 6pm while the suspects, who went to the polling station using their vehicle, were arrested around 10pm. He told the court that they were armed with pangas, and metal bars and they stoned the vote counting room.
The officer said the incident delayed vote counting, which was initially supposed to start at 6:10pm but started after 10pm.
But Namachekecha, who is Phalombe North East legislator, denied the accusations in an interview yesterday.
“I know they want to tarnish my name because DPP appointed me to be the campaign manager for Phalombe,” he said.
Meanwhile, first grade magistrate Damson Banda has stopped one of the co-defence lawyers, Vincent Lanjelo, from representing the accused persons, saying he does not have valid licence.
They will be represented by Joseph Lihowa.
Magistrate Banda has since adjourned the matter to September 22 for the State to parade its remaining four witnesses.