Ben Phiri admits Tippex use

The Constitutional Court resumed hearing the presidential election result case in Lilongwe yesterday after a one-week long break with President Peter Mutharika’s first witness, Ben Phiri, telling the court that Tipp-Ex was used in the May 21 Tripartite Elections in order to do reconciliation of figures.

The court is expected to sit for two weeks from yesterday to December 6 when hearing of the electoral case is expected to end.

Ben Phiri

The case resumed with Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Senior Counsel, Modecai Msisha, asking Phiri why Tipp-Ex was used in the elections and if they had ascertained its use.

Phiri is Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Director of Elections.

In his response, Phiri said Tipp- Ex was used to do reconciliation.

“Had you ascertained whether in fact Tipp-Ex was being used to correct errors?” Msisha asked.

“My lady and my lords, yes I had and I did indicate earlier that it was used on the reconciliation part. Looking at some of the result sheets, the new number that appears there on the part of A to F one can tell whether the number is wrong or is right that was corrected,” Phiri said.

“Did you see what number was below the Tipp-Ex on the sheets that it was used,” Msisha asked.

“The number below that I could not see,” Phiri replied.

Mshisha also asked what Phiri discussed with Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec).

In his response, Phiri said he discussed with Mec about the use of correction fluid during the management of the results and reserved tally sheets.

Mutharika’s lawyer, Charles Mhango, objected to a cross reference by Msisha in which he wanted the witness to answer questions in reference to a sworn statement made by a Mec position.

Mutharika has two witnesses in the case while Mec is expected to parade three witnesses before the court concludes hearing the case on December 6 2019.