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Auditors did not follow control measures—Mkaka

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Malawi Congress Party (MCP) secretary general, Eisenhower Mkaka, Tuesday said auditors’ failure to follow all the control measures set out in their assignment during the May 21 tripartite elections, provided room for alleged deceit by Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec).

Mkaka, the fifth witness in the election case and President Peter Mutharika’s lawyer Frank Mbeta, argued over the claim that the hiring of the auditors was just to deceive the parties.

The witness said overriding of some controls as evidence in the BDO [the auditors] report of the assignment led to actions to favour Mutharika.

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“Mec gave a letter of instruction to override certain things,” Mkaka said.

He read out the factual findings of the report which among other issues states that “In terms of controlling and reconciling transmitted results, Mec was unable to specify what was verified by auditors and what was not. Many of the tally sheets were rejected by auditors because of the missing signatures of the corresponding political parties. Later, Mec provided an official paper to approve all that contained presiding officers’ signatures only.”

The report also said transmitted results appeared on the screens before the verification of auditors and Mec considered them final results before auditors’ approval.

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But Mbeta insisted that the monitors did not sign the tally sheets because they had left after their candidates lost as indicated in the same report.

He said the auditors clearly stated that Tipp-Ex was used to correct mistakes and duplicate as well as manually generated forms were allowed on forms that became a mess with over scribbling.

“The report also said auditors made sure that all figures were tallied using the logbooks to validate the Tipp-Exed entries. If you have to allege that monitors were used for the rigging scheme, you needed to bring evidence, right?” Mbeta asked.

“Yes, and I have the evidence that I have read out which talks about the override,” Mkaka said.

Mbeta also assigned the witness to verify his assertion that Mec distributed 500,000 votes to each presidential candidate when the results counting had reached 75 percent to complete the tabulation process of all results.

“What has come out clear is that he did not bring evidence for most of the things that he did allege,” he said.

MCP lawyer Modecai Msisha withdrew re-examination on an account that the cross-examination did not tackle issues that the court has to determine.

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