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Mangochi-Monkey Bay election case commences

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By Jameson Cgauluka:

The High Court in Blantyre has ordered Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) to produce original copies of some documents it used in some centres in the May 21 2019 Mangochi Monkey-Bay parliamentary election.

Malawi Congress Party shadow Member of Parliament for the area, Gerald Kazembe is challenging Mec’s declaration that Ralph Jooma of Democratic Progressive Party won the elections.

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Kazembe’s lawyer Patience Maliwa hailed the ruling made on Thursday, saying the documents were key to the case.

“We asked the court to order Mec to produce original copies of form 66b for Nankhwali Poling Centre and Nkope School. The commission’s lawyer said he would give me the document even by close of business today; so, that is interesting because, if they had any problems with the ruling, they would have said so,” he said.

The case has been adjourned to August 5 and Maliwa said he expected to cross-examine Mec’s presiding officers in some of the polling centres based on the affidavits provided to the court.

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“Having looked at the presiding officers’ affidavits, made available to the court, we thought it was important that we cross-examine the officers. We told the court of our intention too late for them to be here and that is why the matter had to be adjourned,” he said.

The court has also ordered Mec Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Sam Alfandika, to respond to a questionnaire which Maliwa sent him on how the commission managed the elections in the constituency.

The court has, however, not given the CEO any time-frame to respond to the questionnaire, as Mec’s lawyer Gift Chimowa was yet to speak to Alfandika.

MCP director of elections Moses Kunkuyu and several other party officials attended the hearing.

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