Alterations were done to cover rigging—MCP witness


Malawi Congress Party witness Peter Lackson Thursday told the court that alterations that were made on some results sheets were done in bad faith, to cover rigging.

Lackson told the court that the person who benefited from the alterations was Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party who was later declared winner of the presidential election by Malawi Electoral Commission.

Lawyer representing Mutharika in the case, Frank Mbeta, who was cross examining Lackson, then said the witness should cite cases where alterations were done to favour Mutharika.


Mbeta also insisted that the witness was not in any place where the alterations were made such that he would not know if the alterations, which included use of correctional fluid TippEx, were done in bad faith.

Lackson insisted that the alterations that were not signed for were not done in good faith. He also said even though he was not on the ground, he saw copies of monitors. He also told the court that the alterations were done at the constituency tally centers.

“I am not against alterations but alterations that are genuine are signed for. Alterations have to be signed for to avoid creating doubts. I had a copy from the monitors which I witnessed.


“I was comparing data from the primary source against the data which has been altered and see if they are the same or not, so if the alterations were genuine, they were supposed to be the same,” Lackson said.

But Mbeta continued to argue that what the witness was saying were mere speculations because he had not been on the ground at the polling centres.

“Remember it is you sitting in your office and doing your analysis. It did not involve you being an eye-witness to any of the processes,” Mbeta told the witness.

Earlier, Mbeta had also tussled with Lackson on some of the personal information of the witness which the lawyer argued he was hiding.

Mbeta started his cross examination by requesting the witness to tell the court his full names and where he currently works.

In response, Lackson said apart from doing research consultancies, he lectures at some of the accredited higher institutions in the country.

The response did not go down well with Mbeta who requested the witness to mention the names of the universities. But the witness said for security reasons, he was not comfortable to tell the court that information which he described as ‘private’.

Mbeta then said he is not happy that the witness was also using what he termed a ghost name in the court ‘Peter Lackson’ omitting his last name ‘Chimangeni’.

But the witness said the names being used in the court are his first and middle names and that they are also the same names that appear on his personal identity cards.

Judge Mike Tembo said it was not proper for Mbeta to say the witness was using a ghost name when the names are his and that the witness had already told the court before testifying that, for security reasons, he would be using his first and middle names.

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