Malawi: 'Yes' Malawi Had a Tippex-ed Election - Chilima

19 August 2019

UTM Party leader Saulos Chilima said in court on Monday that the May 21 Tripartite Elections results sheets were altered using correction fluid, Tippex, in many parts of the country including places where he recorded highest votes.

The country's immediate past vice-president said in witness boss when he was being cross-examined by President Peter Mutharika's lead attorney Frank Fraook Mbeta during the ongoing presidential election case.

Chilima's lawyers applied for the court to exclude evidence that Mutharika's lawyers were using to cross examine the former vice president. However, the five-judge panel of Ivy Kamanga, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise and Healey Potani, ruled the evidence he admitted and that Chilima should be grilled on that evidence.

In the heated cross-examination Mbeta asked Chilima: "Are you aware most presiding officers were teachers?"

SKC: Yes that should be correct

Mbeta: And these teachers were discharging duties right at the schools they normally work

SKC: Yea that should be the ideal case, but I can't say with full certainty how they were deployed

Mbeta: But MEC would have made it clear to the parties who are going to be presiding officers?

SKC: Yes, that is correct

Mbeta: Would you therefore agree with me that MEC was not transferring teachers from one school to be presiding officers at another school?

SKC: That I cannot say

Mbeta: And are you aware that schools do stock correctional fluid, popularly known as Tipp-ex

SKC: unfortunately I am not ware

Mbeta: When you went to vote, you said you voted at St. Thomas Commercial School, you saw that there were desks and tables that were used

SKC: Yes there tables and chairs that were used

Mbeta: Were these also provided by MEC?

SKC: I wouldn't know

Mbeta: In her statement, the MEC chairperson does not state that Tipp-ex was used to rig elections, is that correct?

SKC: No that has not been said in the audio

Mbeta: Is there any other instance when she has said something to that effect?

SKC: Not to my knowledge

Mbeta: In her statement, she has also made it clear that the use of tipp-ex actually has a spanned across the country, you remember that part?

SKC: Yes I do

Mbeta: Let's check for instance, Rumphi. Are you aware that you pulled the most valid votes in Rumphi than any other candidate?

SKC: Yes I know

Mbeta: And are you aware that, for instance in Salima, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera got the highest valid votes

SKC: That should also be correct

Mbeta: And are you aware, in Mangochi Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika got the highest votes

SKC: That should also be correct

Mbeta: But from the statement of the chairperson as well as from exhibits you have brought in this court, tipp-ex was used in area, almost number of areas, including Rumphi, Salima and Mangochi?

SKC: Yes, she did said that it was in all districts actually, the three would be part of the same

Mbeta: And from what you have brought in court as evidence, would agree with her tipp-ex was used across the country

SKC: Yes

Mbeta: You have already told the court, that Tipp-ex did not affect valid votes cast per candidate, you would therefore agree with me that you do not have any evidence that shows that tippex was used in favour of Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika

SKC: Based on statements here, No.

Mbeta: Did you have an opportunity before filing your evidence to file such evidence

SKC: No I have not.

Chilima is expected to finish his cross-examination Tuesday should Mutharika's legal team give him space to breath after he legally almost destroyed his whole evidence as he told the court he did not have evidence that valid votes were affected.

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