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DPP’s election case starts September 29

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Charles Mhango

The case in which the erstwhile governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wants the country’s courts to nullify results of the June 23 2020 presidential election is set to start on September 29 this year.

Officers of the court met Tuesday at the Blantyre Registry for a scheduling conference and directions on the management of the case.

The defence, led by Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda, wants the case to be dismissed outright and the court will formally hear that application on this month-end.

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“This case is emanating from the High Court ruling in another High Court case involving the Malawi Congress Party and the President of the country. Now, this is also High Court and it does not have jurisdiction to hear another High Court’s decision. You can also note that it is the presidential candidates who sue and this has been happening right from the 1999 elections. So why is it not the presidential candidate this time around but the DPP?

“Again, remember that we are here because of the mess they created by appointing the commissioners illegally and the court cannot reward the DPP for their wrongdoing,” he said.

The DPP—through its lawyers Charles Mhango, Samuel Tembenu and Frank Mbeta— is expected to respond to the issues raised.

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Another interesting thing in court yesterday was that the court admonished DPP’s lawyers for tendering in court faulty documents.

The documents in question had lawyer Charles Mhango’s name but had his brother Burton’s signature.

Nyirenda wanted the documents to be expunged but the court ruled that the irregularity could be cured.

Mhango said the matter was resolved and they were ready to appear in court on the said date.

“The moment I knew the mistake I took measures to rectify the anomaly by sending the correct documents to the AG. I also sent an email to the Registrar but it appears the email did not reach the judges,” Mhango said.

The DPP also asked the court to allow it to amend its statement of the case, something the court permitted it to do.

Among other things, the DPP was referring to the current Judge Chifundo Kachale’s commission of the Malawi Electoral Commission as seventh instead of sixth, wants to amplify the relevance of MCP’s judicial review case which saw the four commissioners fired. The party’s lawyers also indicated that they had new documents which should form part of their case.

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