Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on Tuesday asked Richard Chapweteka, a witness for the second petitioner Lazarus Chakwera in the historic elections petition case, why he did not bring to court an inventory of electoral records.
The witness, a Malawi Congress Party (MCP) representative who monitored MEC’s printing of the ballot papers in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, said in cross-examination that they were given a checklist by MEC after printing and packaging was done.
Chapweteka, who said he was also present at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) when the electoral materials arrived, told the court that the checklist or the inventory MEC gave each of the party representatives did not make part of his sworn statement.
He said the electoral materials were intact as packaged in Dubai when they arrived at KIA in Lilongwe.
The witness said he did not make the inventory part of his sworn statement, but he had an explanation to that.
Taking further questions in cross-examination, Chapweteka said he did not and no one had taken to court any issue of security breach in the movement of the electoral material.
Lawyer representing MEC, Tamando Chokotho, asked Chapweteka how rigging was to be done when they had advised their monitors not to sign for forms filled with false information. In response, the witness demanded that MEC should show them figures appearing on original forms and not duplicates.
Lawyer Frank Mbeta, representing Mutharika as first respondent in the case, started cross-examining Chapweteka and is expected to continue today.
High Court Judge Healey Potani, who is chairing the panel of five High Court judges sitting as the Constitutional Court, announced yesterday that after cross-examination and re-examination of Chapweteka concludes today, the court would proceed to hear an application by lawyers representing Chakwera who want to make some changes in the sworn statements of two of their witnesses, Peter Lackson and Anthony Bendulo.
Chakwera and UTM presidential hopeful Saulos Chilima are seeking nullification of the presidential election results in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections over alleged irregularities and fraud. The two are also seeking a court’s order for a rerun.