The Constitutional Court in Lilongwe on Monday granted President Peter Mutharika his application to access the packing list from Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in the historic elections case.

The court further allowed Mutharika legal team to recall Richard Chapweteka, witness for the second petitioner Lazarus Chakwera, to come to court and face another cross-examination based on the document lawyers for the President have been allowed to use.

The court reprimanded legal team for the first petitioner, Saulos Chilima, for objecting to the application by lawyers for Mutharika, accusing it of not being diligent enough when it made the objection and wasting the court’s precious time in the process. The court warned it would take punitive measures if this happen again.

The court also allowed second petitioner, Chakwera, to have two of his witnesses insert some documents in their sworn statements and make corrections where they made some mistakes.

The court has granted witness Peter Lackson permission to amend his sworn statement, permission to insert carbonated tally sheets and also permission to amend exhibits as they were already on court record.

But the court refused to grant another witness for Chakwera, Anthony Bendulo, and permission to amend his sworn statements by inserting new paragraphs and insert some documents, arguing this was not a mistake but a way by the second petitioner to bring new evidence.

The court also refused Bendulo permission to rely on documents that were submitted by MEC’s witness, Henzily Munkhondya.

The court chided lawyers representing Chakwera for making various applications before their case commenced and also further applications last week. The court regretted the delays this caused and warned that next time this would attract a punishment.

 

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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