One of the witnesses for Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera in the ongoing elections petition case Peter Lackson has insisted that Chakwera won the elections.
When the court resumed sitting in Lilongwe yesterday morning, Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale asked Lackson to drop the allegations that Chakwera won the elections by 82,212 votes saying he did not back it up in his sworn statements.
Lackson was deployed as an auditor by MCP after the party noted that the results of the elections issued by Mec were different from the results the party had tabulated at its parallel tally centre.
Kaphale asked Lackson to confirm that the conclusion of his sworn statement which was stemming from his audit was not speaking directly to the quest for the 82,212 votes difference.
“From paragraph 20 of your findings to the end of your sworn statement, do you have any table that is showing 82,212 votes? Have you mentioned that figure at all in the concluding part of your sworn statement? Have you shown the 82,212 votes in the findings part of your statement? Was your vote for 82,212 votes successful? ” Kaphale asked.
Lackson said, although there was no mention of the figure in the stated paragraphs, he could explain the omission.
“When we realised there was a difference between what we had tabulated and what was tabulated by the second respondent [Malawi Electoral Commission – Mec], we instituted an inquiry inform of an audit and, in this auditing exercise, we looked at the entire process of a polling centre, that is from the ballot papers received to the last presidential score.
“So, yes, we achieved our objective and we discovered the irregularities and the discrepancies,” Lackson said.
He said the 82,212 figure guided them to conduct further investigations on where the difference could have arisen from.
Lackson said their audit focused not only on areas where MCP and Mec tabulations were differing but also to areas where the results were corresponding.
The court yesterday recorded slow progress after it was later discovered that there was a mix-up in the exhibits of Lackson.
Chairperson of the judges’ panel hearing the case Hearley Potani said the mix-up could be remedied by allowing the witness to file in a further supplementary sworn statement and not by a mere application by counsels.
“We, therefore, accordingly order that by 4:30 this afternoon, the witness must file and serve further supplementary sworn statements addressing the following: rectifying labelling of exhibits under paragraph 18g; isolating and segregating exbhits relating to paragraphs 18g and 18h and properly marking them,” Potani said.
Since Mec declared President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party winner of May 21 polls, tension has been hovering around the country, with some quarters disputing results of the elections.
MCP and UTM are challenging the presidential election results in court, seeking nullification of the results.
Meanwhile, since June, Human Rights Defenders Coalition has been organising nationwide protests demanding the resignation of Mec Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah for allegedly running a fraudulent election.