National

‘Mec declared wrong winner’

By Jameson Chauluka:

Francis Maleka, who was Mangochi Constituency Returning Officer (CRO), told the High Court in Blantyre Thursday that Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) declared a wrong winner for May 21 parliamentary election.

“According to the additions we made at the constituency tally centre, it was Mr [Simeon] Harrison [independent candidate] who won with 4,518 votes while Mr [Geoffrey] Chiwondo [for Democratic Progressive Party] got 4,517 votes. All the monitors, who were present, signed for the results and we pasted them on the wall for everyone to see,” he said, adding that he was surprised that Mec declared Chiwondo the winner.

“After compilation of the results, they were sent straight to the main tally centre by the ICT personnel. We gathered all the hard copy documents, including the result sheets, and handed them over to the District Commissioner [DC]’s office for further transportation to the commission’s main warehouse.”

Speaking after the case, Harrison’s lawyer, Wester Kosamu, said: “This is someone who oversaw everything and told us that, in as far as he was concerned, it was Mr Harrison who won the elections but he was surprised that Mec declared someone else the winner.”

Maleka was the petitioner’s last witness in the case and Kosamu now remains with one assignment of sending a questionnaire to Mec Chief Elections Officer, Sam Alfandika, on the management of the elections in the constituency.

Originally, Kosamu had sent the questions to Mangochi DC, Reverend Moses Chimphepo, but it turned out that he did not play any significant role in the parliamentary election.

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