I am not desperate—Lazarus Chakwera

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, Lazarus Chakwera, Thursday told the Constitutional Court sitting in Lilongwe that his petition against May 21 tripartite elections results is not out of desperation for the State presidency but quest for justice.

Chakwera said this when Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale, representing Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec), referred Chakwera’s candidature in the elections as his last chance to contest under MCP ticket.

“Being your last opportunity, you understand the temptation maybe there to get the post no matter what,” Kaphale asked.

“I do not succumb to temptations,” Chakwera responded.

Kaphale kept on pressing to the MCP leader on his character but Chakwera insisted that he was at the court to seek justice.

During cross-examination, Kaphale took Chakwera through the roles of monitors and their significance at a polling station.

Kaphale questioned why Chakwera had chosen not to use monitors that were on ground to challenge the validity of results.

“We have witnesses that can represent their cases without necessarily involving them,” Chakwera said.

Kaphale insisted that, without the sworn statements of the monitors on the ground, the evidence of the other witnesses would be secondary.

But Chakwera said, if such were the case, even those working at Mec would speculate the validity of results that were recorded and sent.

Kaphale also asked Chakwera whether the issue of barcodes was provided for in the law.

The AG’s line of questioning on whether Mec was scanning the barcodes at polling centres led to an objection from MCP lawyer Mordecai Msisha, who argued that Chakwera would not know since it was Mec that introduced the features and their significance.

“The witness could not know the significance of the barcodes, it is only Mec that would be in the know [and] not the witness,” he said.

Kaphale argued against overprotection of the witnesses, a development which did not go down well with judges considering that they had given Kaphale just a day out of three days he requested for cross-examination.

Kaphale withdrew the statement.

Chakwera, the second respondent and UTM leader Saulos Chilima, are seeking nullification of the presidential election results, arguing that they were marred by irregularities.

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