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11 witnesses to testify today

SILUNGWE—We will build our submissions based
on that

Eleven witnesses are expected to testify today in the electoral case at the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe following an agreement between the court and the first petitioner in the case, UTM leader Saulos Chilima, through his legal team.

One of Chilima’s lawyers, Chikosa Silungwe, Wednesday said, going forward, they would be bringing the remaining 34 witnesses who are monitors, in batches.

He said most of the witnesses will be paraded to confirm a few areas taking into account the election petition and their evidence on the matter.

“What the court has directed is that we should as much as possible bring in as many witnesses as we can. The witnesses for tomorrow are coming to confirm a specific point. We will see how the proceedings will go,” he said.

Chairperson of the panel of judges, Healey Potani, said they expected to finish the process of cross-examination of all witnesses of Chilima by Friday.

Silungwe, however, in an interview mentioned Tuesday next week as an ideal period when the witnesses would be out of the witness box.

Since the onset of the case on August 8 2019, Chilima has paraded four primary witnesses in the case, which include, himself the petitioner, Miriam Gwalidi the roving monitor, Darlington Ndasauka team leader and Bright Kawaga UTM deputy director of campaign.

Earlier, before completion of cross-examination and re-examination of the fourth witness Kawaga, Justice Redson Kapindu said, going forward, each witness that takes to the witness box should be allocated specific time for cross-examination.

Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale, representing Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec), also informed the chamber on the progress made on investigations towards the conduct of Mec officer Deverson Makwete.

Kaphale said all the necessary information has been provided to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) office and had asked the DPP Mary Kachale if she could conduct investigations as soon as possible.

The court ordered an investigation into Makwete for allegedly lying under oath that he deposited ballot papers and other electoral materials used during the 2019 polls with Parliament as provided for by the law, which was later found to the contrary.

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