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‘Mec declared results before auditors nod’

PART OF MCP LEGAL TEAM—Senior Counsel Mordecai Msisha (left) and Titus Mvalo—File photo

It has been revealed that Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) was posting final election results at the National Tally Centre in Blantyre before they were certified by auditors.

This was disclosed in court yesterday when lawyer representing UTM President, Saulos Chilima, Bright Theu, started cross-examining Bob Chimkango, who is second witness for President Peter Mutharika who was Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate during the May 21 tripartite elections.

Theu asked Chimkango, who was team leader of DPP monitors at the National Tally Centre, to read findings of a report issued by BDO Consulting, a firm hired to provide audit services during the elections.

The auditor’s findings revealed that during the review of the transmitted results at the tally centre, it was also discovered that Mec was unable to specify the results verified by the auditors and what was not.

“In terms of controlling and reconciling the transmitted results, Mec was unable to specify what was certified by the auditors and what was not.

“The transmitted results appeared on the screen before the verification of the auditors. Mec considered that final result before auditors’ approval,” reads part of the BDO report.

Theu asked Chimkango whether he understood the statement and what it meant in his own words.

But laywer for DPP, Charles Mhango, objected to Theu’s line of questioning saying the question was seeking answers that would offend the Palor Evidence Rule.

The Parol Evidence Rule is the Anglo- American common law that governs what kind of evidence parties to a contract dispute can introduce when trying to determine the specific terms of a contract.

“Counsel is seeking from the witness his interpretation of what the document says. But under the Parol Evidence Rule the document speaks what is says and nothing else,” Mhango said.

After some deliberations, the court allowed Theu to proceed with questioning.

Theu further asked Chimkango if he knew that once the results were considered final, they could be posted on Mec website for people to access.

“So some of the results that you were monitoring on the website could have been such results which the auditors say were not approved by them, is that right?” Theu asked, to which Chimkango replied that under the circumstances, it was correct.

At the start of the cross-examination, Theu asked Chimkango his connection to Mutharika to which he responded there was no direct relationship.

“My Lady, My Lords, as a Head of State, I call myself his son,” Chimkango said.

Chimkango told the court that he was working as Company Secretary for Malawi Housing Corporation.

Theu asked Chimkango how he got the job and whether he was playing his role in the electoral process while holding the public office of MHC Company Secretary.

Chimkango answered that he indeed played the role while holding the public office.

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