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Court nods to some of Lazarus Chakwera’s demands

Legal counsel for Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has said his client is ready to start testifying in the ongoing elections case after the Constitutional Court sitting in Lilongwe gave a nod to some of his demands.

Chakwera, who is the second petitioner in the case, is expected to take to the witness box this morning after the court gave a determination on sticky issues Wednesday afternoon.

Among other things, the court ruled that Chakwera would not be cross-examined on evidence contained in sworn statements of other witnesses.

Delivering the ruling on issues raised on Tuesday, Justice Mike Tembo said the respondents could not question Chakwera on his character and conduct.

Tembo also ruled that the respondents were at liberty to cross-examine each other’s witness so long as that is done with due consideration of time.

The court also ordered Malawi Electoral Commission to provide elections gadgets demanded by the second petitioner before one of Chakwera’s witnesses, Daud Suleman, testifies in court.

However, the court rejected some of the demands which Chakwera’s camp made, including that he be allowed to insert documents outside disclosure period after such documents were inadvertently omitted in the sworn statements of his witnesses.

Lawyer for Chakwera, Modecai Msisha, said the second petitioner was happy with the directions offered by the court.

Msisha, after yesterday’s court session, said his client has always been ready for cross-examination.

“He is more than ready. In fact, he was even ready to take to the witness box on Tuesday,” Msisha said.

Chakwera and UTM president Saulos Chilima want results of the May 21 presidential election nullified on allegations that they were marred by irregularities.

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