Malawi: Exit Chilima, Enters Mirriam Gwalidi in Witness Box for Poll Case

From left, MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera, President Peter Mutharika and UTM's Saulos Chilima.
21 August 2019

After a long and exhaustive cross examination, first petitioner and witness in the ongoing presidential elections case at the Constitutional Court UTM president Dr Saulos Chilima had a break from the witness box after his counsel Dr Chikosa Silungwe concluded re-examination, paving the way for Miriam Gwalidi whose name has been the center stage in the court.

Gwalidi was UTM roving monitor during the May elections and was operating from the National tally center in Blantyre.

Gwalidi: in for cross examinations

Answering to questions from the Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale in cross examinations as counsel for the second respondent Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Gwalidi looking calm and composed tried as much as possible to explain that the elections were marred by irregularities such as alterations of results sheets and use of duplicated forms.

She, however, couldn't commit if the alterations were wrong for malicious intentions because she did not contact any of the party monitors based at different polling centers throughout the country.

Among other polling centers, she cited Mchinji Secondary School, Misale Community Day Secondary School and Kankhombe School where results for almost all candidates were altered.

When asked on what was the mode of communication between the monitors in different centers throughout the nation and the team which was at the main tally center, Gwalidi said they used WhatsApp and direct phone calls.

"I can confirm that I had all contacts for our monitors and they too had mine but I didn't contact any of them to confirm if the alterations were for malicious intent or not," said Gwaladi.

In the course of cross examinations, some questions which were deemed to be repeated as they were already put forward to the first witness Chilima were withdrawn following objections from the first applicant lawyers.

Kaphale is expected to continue cross examining Gwalidi Thursday morning.

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