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Mutharika lawyers to examine Chilima

Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale

UTM president Saulos Chilima, who is the first petitioner in the elections case being heard in the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe, Wednesday finished taking questions from Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale but the immediate past vice president is expected in the witness box again Friday morning for cross-examination, this time from lawyers representing President Peter Mutharika.

The Constitutional Court will today break to pave the way for a Supreme Court hearing on an appeal made by Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale, whose plea for more time to go through documents served on him was rejected by the court last Thursday afternoon.

Briefing the court at the end of Wednesday’s sitting, chairperson of the panel of judges hearing the case, Healey Potani, said the court would reconvene Friday morning.

When asked about what would happen Friday morning, since he had concluded grilling Chilima, Kaphale said the UTM leader would return to the witness box to answer more questions from Mutharika’s attorneys.

Kaphale described the four and half days of cross-examining Chilima as successful.

“I am satisfied with how the cross-examination has gone. I managed to establish what I wanted. All along, we have been arguing that the vote was free and fair,” Kaphale said.

Earlier in the day, lawyer for Chilima, Chikosa Silungwe, objected to Kaphale’s request to have the charge of fraud stricken off Chilima’s affidavit, arguing that sworn statements by two of Chilima’s witnesses, Mirriam Gwalidi and Darlington Ndasauka, did not contain the word fraud.

Silungwe argued that fraud is a process and that it was up to the lawyers to ascertain it.

Chilima, alongside Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, Lazarus Chakwera, want the results of the May 21 tripartite elections nullified, arguing that the vote was riddled with an avalanche of irregularities.

The court also cautioned members of the public hearing the case from jeering when the court is in session, arguing that prosecution or cross-examination “is not like a football match”.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of Appeal in Blantyre is today expected to hear the AG’s application to the court to throw out the elections case on technicalities.

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