Malawi: MEC Against Witness Sulemani's 'Simulation' On Their Gadgets in Malawi Poll Case

4 November 2019

The Constitutional Court sitting in Lilongwe will have to rule on an application by in the ongoing elections petition case by second respondent, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to discharge or vary the order requiring the electoral body bring its kits and servers system for purposes of 'simulation' by key witness for second petitioner Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

Daudi Sulemani an IT expert who was part of the MCP ICT team during the May 21 elections wants amplified testimony in the ongoing landmark election case.

But MEC lawyers argue in an application that if Sulemani is really an IT expert as he proclaims, he should be able to set up a simulation without the necessity of bringing the whole system of the electoral body into court.

MEC legal team says at the time the court made the order to allow Sulemani amplify his testimony, there was no application but just a notice, saying the notice did not mention who intends to use the gadgets and how.

They argue that what Chakwera lawyers explanation as to how they intend to use the gadgets are " substantially different with what they told the court."

MEC legal team further argue that " it is clear that the security of the gadgets will be compromised if used in the way proposed by the witness."

The second respondents are stating that since Sulemani said he wants to make a simulation, he can do so using his own gadgets.

"In the alternative. MEC staff will have to oversee the alleged simulation and will not allow unsecured internet lines to be used on their servers so that the security and integrity of their system is not compromised."

Sulemani took part in the designing, establishing and operating a results transmission platform for the May 21 elections which would act as the party's parallel voter tally centre as well as data management and analysis services prior to, during and after the elections.

Chakwera and first petitioner UTM presidential hopeful Saulos Chilima claim that results for the May 21 2019 presidential election were marred with irregularities and fraud and want them nullified. The two are also seeking a court's order for a re-run.

MEC declared President Peter Mutharika as winner.

The electoral petition case started on August 8 2019 and is tentatively set to finish on December 6 with a verdict possibly early next year.

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