By Samuel Kalimira:
Former member of Parliament (MP) for Karonga Central Constituency Frank Mwenifumbo has lost a case in which he was challenging results of the elections held on May 21 2019.
Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) declared Cornelius Mwalwanda the winner of the elections.
Mwenifumbo, who was also United Democratic Front (UDF) president Atupele Muluzi’s running-mate during the elections, asked the High Court to nullify parliamentary election results for the constituency, arguing there were irregularities.
In his ruling Wednesday, High Court Judge Justice Thomson Ligowe said Mwenifumbo failed to prove that the irregularities affected the results of the elections.
“I have not been challenged with tangible reasons to prove that the absence of monitors in some polling centres, the labeled-‘MW’ stream and the counting process affected the results of the elections. I have also not been presented with letters in which the monitors complained to Mec as evidence,” said Ligowe.
Mwenifumbo petitioned the court that in some polling centres, monitors for his party Alliance for Democracy and UDF were prevented from vetting the election results because there were not yet accredited by Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec).
He also argued in court that one polling stream at a polling centre was labeled MW which denoted the name of his contender; a development which he believed were directing electorates to vote for Mwalwanda.
Mwenifumbo further complained that there was no transparency and accountability during counting of ballots.
Speaking in an interview, Mwenifumbo accepted the court’s ruling, acknowledging that he failed to present more evidence to court.
“I respect the Judiciary and it is true that we have not presented more good evidence. This is because people in the rural areas were not aware that they were supposed to write Mec if they observed anomalies. Even myself, I did not know some of the things the Judge has explained in his ruling. Therefore, I ask my supporters in the constituency to respect the ruling,” he said.
Mwalwanda said he was surprised to note that Mwenifumbo sought legal redress despite that he initially accepted the results.
“I am now free to continue working in my constituency. This is over and development is paramount in my area,” Mwalwanda said.
Mwalwanda got 4,907 votes against Mwenifumbo, who got 4,816.
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