Malawi: Kaphale 'Sorry' to Court Over Losing His Cool in Malawi Election Case

20 September 2019

Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale offered his apologies to a five-judge panel in the Constitutional Court hearing the historic presidential election petition case for making remarks that were deemed unprofessional.

Kaphale, joined by other lawyers, is representing MEC, being government's chief legal adviser.

During Cross-examination of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera, Attorney General who is representing Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in the matter, threatened to stop questioning Chakwera, saying his legal team was over protecting him.

He also incensed the judges while tussling with Chakwera's lead lawyer Mordecai Msisha a senior counsel, when he suggested that the bench was protecting the second petitioner in the witness stand.

One of the judges, Dingiswayo Madise, reprimanded Kaphale for the remark and ordered him to withdraw it. Kaphale obliged.

Kaphale was also admonished by one another judge, Redson Kapindu, over remarks that were deemed unprofessional. The Attorney General also withdrew and later on repeated the same.

At the end of the proceedings on Thursday, Kaphale offered an apology in his concluding remarks for "one or two things" he said in the heat of cross-examination.

He said he was sincerely sorry for his actions, blaming it on "stress due to cross examination."

Chairperson of the bench, Justice Healy Potani said they accepted "candid apology."

Earlier, Chakwera's lead lawyer Msisha in his opening statement, said the MCP leader's petition would focus on fundamental questions on whether Malawi Electoral Commission breached its duties under Section 76 of the Constitution and whether the electoral body injured the political rights of the country's citizens.

Chakwera continue to face Kaphale in cross-examination this Friday morning.

The MCP presidential hopeful asking the Constitutional Court to direct MEC to organise and conduct a fresh Presidential Election in strict conformity with the Constitution and Presidential and Parliamentary Election Acts .

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