ConCourt Withdraws for Judgment

The Constitutional Court has finally finished hearing of the presidential election case with oral submissions in which lawyers for petitioners insist the May 21 election was mismanaged whereas respondents rubbished those assertions asking the court to find no merit in the request for nullification of the election results.
Legal teams for respondents - President Peter Mutharika and Malawi Electoral Commission, discredited evidence presented to the court by all petitioners, reiterating that two petitions challenging May election results, should be dismissed.
The wait will now be for  pronouncement of judgement which is expected to be done within  45 days.
Before adjournment, Lead Judge Healey Potani emphasized on the need for peace as the country awaits court determination and after the ruling.
"Our legal or judicial scheme gives parties the right to appeal. It is a fact that three of the parties in this matter have a lot of followers and sympathizers. We can not pay a blind eye to that . There must be peace. Lawlessness leads to anarchy," Said the Judge.
Friday afternoon court proceedings started with presentation of  submissions by Lawyer for President Peter Mutharika, Frank Mbeta.
Mbeta first spent most of his time discrediting  evidence presented to court by one of key witness for Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, Daud Suleiman.
He said Suileman,  was not an expert witness and that he tried to expose  anomalies out of nothing.
Mbeta dismissed an allegation that only few results had been approved by the time MEC Chairperson declared President Peter Mutharika winner of the May 21 election, saying evidence given by Director of Information and Communications  Technology for the electoral body, Muhabi Chisi, reveled that results from all 5002 results, had been approved.
He said there was no "ghost user " in MEC 's Results Management System and that was demonstrated by Chisi.
On use of duplicate  results sheets when recording data , Mbeta said this was not against any electoral law, therefore there was nothing wrong arguing recorded results were accurate.
Mbeta concluded his presentation by saying none of electoral laws was violated in management of the election, reiterating the request from his side to have the case dismissed.
Taking his turn, Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale who is representing MEC raised legal debate on the issue of delegating MEC staff  to represent Commissioners in the case.
Kaphale said the Commissioners did not have any burden to prove a case and therefore , they did not need to appear in court.
" There is no evidence that any vote may have been compromised at all, " Said Kaphale.
Kaphale concluded his submissions by asking the court to dismiss the case with costs to be covered by petitioners.
That will help future  Petitioners to take to court cases that have tangible evidence.
Responding to submissions by respondents Dr. Chikosa Silungwe Lawyer for Dr. Saulos Chilima said issues of credibility of the election need to be critically considered.
"Your brother Judge Silvester Kalembela, has this morning nullified parliamentary election for Mangochi West Constituency on issues of credibility, " He said.
Mordecai Msisha Lead Lawyer for Dr. Chakwera was the last to respond to submissions by the respondents.
He emphasized on his call to nullify the May 21 presidential election.
Presentation of submissions from all parties faced interjections from Judges who were seeking clarification on some matters from presenters of the submissions.
Judge Potani disclosed in his closing remarks that the Ombudsman of Malawi has recognized translators in the case in a special way for their exceptional performance in trying to get followers of the court proceedings understand what was going on.
Potani later announced, "The matter is adjourned to a day to be communicated for judgement ."
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Last modified on Friday, 20/12/2019

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