Malawi Election case: 3rd witness admits typing error in election evidence “concede statement was wrong and exaggeration”

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The Constitutional Court hearing the election petition case has moved with a third witness Darlington

Ndasauka who was UTM consulting team leader during the election.

His sworn statement was also largely used in cross examination of UTM leader Saulos Chilima and a roving monitor but was stationed at the Tally Main Centre in Blantyre Mirriam Gwalidi.

Ndasauka admitted to have a typing error on his allegation that Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) used a bogus result at one polling station, thereby inflating the result of Democratic Progressive Party candidate President Peter Mutharika.

The court used a result sheet of a centre where Mutharika got six votes, Chilima 24 and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) contender Lazarus Chakwera 677 votes.

Frank Mbeta, lawyer resprensting Mutharika, said Ndasauka lied.

“You have noted that this witness has said some of the alterations were made to favour Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika but, during cross examination, he conceded that the statement was wrong and exaggeration and there was no evidence in that and it should be actually removed,” he said.

Ndasauka and Frank Mbeta also tussled over the primary source of valid votes.

“In his sworn argument, he seemed to suggest that the log book is the source of valid votes.

But we heard the witness said the primary source of valid votes per candidate is form 60c that is what I was trying to capture and he has told the court that indeed the primary source is form 60c,” he said.

But Ndasauka later insisted that the primary source is the log book Earlier, he admitted having basic knowledge on use of the forms when Mbeta pushed for more answers on the matter.

“I have basic knowledge which I trust. I was not at the polling centre but I had contact with our onitors,” he said.

While the two continued to tussle on the matter, one of UTM lawyers Marshall Chilenga objected to the line of questioning, reminding Mbeta the need to refer to the checklist he had submitted on the areas of cross examination.

Mec lawyer Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale’s cross examination of the witness was capped to less than an hour following an objection Chikosa Silungwe, a lead counsel of Chilima, made with an argument that Kaphale did not give a notice on the matter.

Silungwe, however, said, after meeting on the matter, he had allowed him to take the floor but within limited time.

Earlier on silungwe told reporters that.

“We have established that no originals were used in these elections, duplicates were used in these elections, fake sheets were used in the elections; tippexed sheets were used, in a number of cases no log books were used, presiding officers and assistant presiding officers never signed results sheets and log books.”

“We are all agreed there.”

“The difference that is arising is arising this way: the lawyers for Professor Mutharika and MEC are eloquently saying that despite that no originals were used, despite that fake sheets were used, despite that tippexed sheets were used, despite that duplicates were used, that should not matter as long as a valid vote count was not affected. We admire their eloquence but the point is this, it should actually matter.”

“If you have used fake sheets in the elections; if you have used tippexed sheets in the elections, you cannot have valid vote count according to the laws governing elections in this country.”

“At the end of the day the court will have to decide this basic point, forget the eloquence.That is the basic point.”

 

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