Frank Mbeta, Daud Suleman battle in court


Hearing of the presidential election case continued at the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe Wednesday morning with Frank Mbeta, lawyer representing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) torchbearer in the May 21 elections, President Peter Mutharika, cross-examining Malawi Congress Party (MCP) witness, Daud Suleman.

Mbeta started by questioning the qualification of Suleman as a computer expert, singling out a two-day computer breakdown in 2015 at a bank where Suleman was an IT consultant as a weakness.

But MCP lawyer, Pempho Likongwe, objected to Mbeta’s questioning, saying in his cross-examination checklist, Mbeta did not indicate that he would question Suleman about his past work experience, adding that the bank was a completely different entity which had no interest in the case and that asking further questions on the matter could injure the privacy of the bank.


“This is something outside the checklist. The court ruled that issues of character should not come in cross-examination. I am hoping these questions are not leading to character,” Likongwe said.

Chairman of the five-member panel of Judges, Healey Potani, urged Mbeta to restrict his questioning on issues that were only in the public domain.

Mbeta also questioned the simulation process by Suleman which he said worked on a wrong assumption that the whole electoral process was done electronically.


According to Mbeta, most of the processes in the voting were done manually, including the voting itself as well as vote counting.

He also disputed claims by Suleman that some records were deleted in the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) database.

But Suleman stood to his ground that the Mec Results Management System was riddled by many irregularities, including the presence of a ghost user who was processing and deleting data.

MCP President Lazarus Chakwera and UTM President Saulos Chilima are challenging the results of the May 21 presidential elections in which Mec declared Mutharika the winner.

Chakwera and Chilima are asking the court to nullify the results of the elections.

The court case started on August 8 in Lilongwe and is being heard by a panel of five high court judges.

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