The Constitutional Court in Lilongwe Monday adjourned hearing of the elections case to Wednesday morning.
Before the adjournment, Attorney General, Kalekeni Kaphale, objected to an arrangement by chairperson of the panel of judges hearing the case, Healy Potani, that Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera’s witness, Anthony Bendulo, should testify before another Chakwera witness, Peter Lackson.
Potani had indicated that since the evidence of Lackson was to be reorganised while that of Bendulo was intact, the court would rather proceed with hearing the evidence of Bendulo this morning.
Potani gave the Chakwera team up to today afternoon to file supplementary statements of Lackson and gave the respondents by 4 pm on Thursday to file responses to the supplementary amended sworn statements.
“For Lackson Bendulo, each respondent shall have two days of cross-examination while the second petitioner will have one day for re-examination.
“For Lackson, each respondent shall have two-and-a-half days of cross-examination and the second petitioner will have a day for re-examination,” Potani said.
But Kaphale, who is representing second respondent, Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec), in the case argued that his team would rather start cross-examining Lackson before Bendulo.
Kaphale said, by reason of materiality of his evidence, they would love to cross-examine Lackson before Bendulo.
“By materiality I mean quantum and not quality. My Lords, I don’t know if the court considered that Lackson’s evidence comes in three batches.
“There is his first statement which is in volume 3, 4 and 5. That one is not subject to the amendments that we have just dealt with. Our proposal was that we could start with these three volumes as counsel for the second petitioner are re-oganising his evidence and can serve
that evidence on us as we are continuing with cross-examination,” Kaphale said.
He pleaded with the court to consider giving them more time for Lackson than Bendulo.
“For Lackson, we would have to administer heavy doses of homework. For Lackson for us to make rapid progress, we will have to give him assignments overnight so that when we come back we would not have to flip through each and every page of exhibits which he has brought,” Kaphale said.