court order

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The High Court on Monday ordered Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) not to tamper with the outcome of May 21  Tripartite Election documents as the matter of the disputed presidential polls results is in Constitutional Court.

This follows Lawyers of Malawi Congress Party (MCP)’s complaint on last Friday that MEC officials were still altering results of the elections.

Senior Counsel Titus Mvalo, lawyer representing MCP, had applied to the court to restrain MEC from tampering with election documents and hand over to court all original election-related documents.

In its ruling made available to The Maravi Post, the Registrar of the High Court,  the documents pertaining to the elections including the results sheets for the presidential elections for all the 5002 polling centres, constituency tally centres, the aggregated  results and hard copy documents as well as electronic data and  documents uploaded onto MEC’s website as at 29th May 2019 be “preserved” by the electoral body.

The court further ordered that all routine destruction or discarding of any such document or data whether pursuant to formal policies or otherwise, shall be suspended.

MCP also requested the court to order that all bank statement of all data clerks should be made available.

According to the official MEC results, Mutharika won the elections by 1 940 709 votes against Chakwera’s 1 781 740, but the opposition says the elections were marred by several irregularities, among them, stuffing ballot papers with pre-marked ballots, tampering with election result sheets through correction fluid known as Tippex and officials keeping result sheets at home.

UTM president Saulos Chilima has specifically alleged that MEC chairperson Jane Ansah spearheaded a rigging plot as she was biased against both Chakwera and himself, claiming in a leaked letter to her that UTM has evidence of the allegations.

Chakwera and Chilima want the court to nullify the presidential elections results.

But Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wants the case dismissed for purportedly being irregular, defective and lacking sworn affidavits.

The case was referred to the Constitutional court and on Friday, lawyers from all the concerned sides met a five-judge panel in the capital, Lilongwe, in what was called a scheduling conference aimed at discussing preliminary matters and administrative issues surrounding the case.

The case has attracted scores of lawyers with MCP’s Chakwera alone—who is the second petitioner in the case, represented by lawyers from 10 legal firms, including prominent constitutional lawyer Mordecai Msisha, Likongwe and Company, Juris Chambers, Lloyds Associates, Odeide Tax Lawyers, Albaart Chambers, Chris and Legal, Kawelo Lawyers.

President Peter Mutharika, DPP’s presidential candidate and eventual winner of the disputed official results announced by MEC, is represented by, among others, lawyers from Frank Mbeta and Co, M & M Global, Pious Attorneys, Makiyi, Kanyenda & Associates and Mhango & Co while UTM lead lawyer is Chikosa Silungwe.

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