Lawyers for Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and President Peter Mutharika have asked the Constitutional Court to charge the first petitioner in the on-going presidential case Saulos Chilima for withdrawing 34 witnesses.

Counsel Frank Mbeta representing Mutharika said that that they want to be paid because it was a tough job to get witnesses all over the country in anticipation of cross-examining the 34 witnesses.

“What we have asked the court is that we need to be paid the costs because we had to get witnesses from all over the country for the purpose of the evidence that has just been withdrawn, “said Mbeta.

Lawyer for Chilima, Chikosa Silungwe said they have decided to withdraw the witnesses in an attempt to expedite the case considering that the matter is in the public interest.

“We reached the conclusion that what the four witnesses have testified so far will just be repeated by the other witnesses,” he said.

Silungwe, told the Constitutional Court hearing the case in Lilongwe on Thursday that four witnesses who have so far been cross-examined have ably presented the case for the first petitioner.

Meanwhile Presiding Judge Healey Potani has adjourned the matter to Tuesday after lawyers for second petitioner Lazarus Chakwera, requested so.

Chakwera, president of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), is expected to start testifying on Tuesday.

Chilima and Chakwera are seeking a re-run of the May 21 presidential elections on allegations that the polls were rigged.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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