Malawi: Chilima's Lawyer Says Irregularities Had Been Established - Malawi Presidential Poll Results Were Bastardised

6 September 2019

UTM Party presidential candidate Saulos Chilima's lead lawyer in the historic presidential elections case, Dr Chikosa Silungwe has said they have so far proved their case in the May 21 elections and that respondents, President Peter Mutharika and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) lawyers have agreed the irregularties had been established.

Chilima lawyers outside court: Silungwe on the left

Silungwe told reporters in an interview outside the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe that both the petitioners and responded firly agree presidential election results were altered, mostly using correction fluid Tippex as well as pens.

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"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," said distinctively calm and cool talking lawyer Silungwe, adding "We are all agreed there."

He continued: "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."

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

He further said: "At the end of the day the court will have to decide this basic point, forget the eloquence.That is the basic point."

Silungwe said while he di not want to pre-empt the final submission Chilma lawyers will be making to court in the proceedings, he can point out that the first petitioner's team has demonstrated that as stipulated under the law, irregularities are defined as non-compliance with the law and all evidence has been pointing to this narrative.

"If you have not used original sheets when the Presidenrial and Parliamentray Election Act says you should; if you have used tippex sheest when the PPE Act says you shouldn't, you can make your own conclusion, I don't have to make conclusions for you[I rest my case]," said Silungwe.

He pointed out that Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale asked the first petitioner, Chilima, to read the definion of irregularity in PPE ACT.

Silungwe said the definition of irregularity under the PPE Act means "non compliance ."

Being heard by a panel of five judges, Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Redson Kapindu and Ivy Kamanga, the case has Chilima as the first petitioner and Malawi Congress Party president Lazarus Chakwera as the second petitioner.

The petitioners contend that Mutharika "won a fraudulent election" fraught with irregularities, including alleged tampering with election results sheets through correction fluid, popularly known as Tippex.

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