Elections case rolls into final leg

The Constitutional Court (ConCourt) on Friday made a giant leap towards what is poised to be a historic ruling—with both parties in the case signalling confidence that their witnesses have done enough to sway the court. Lawyers for first petitioner Saulos Chilima and second petitioner Lazarus Chakwera, opted against cross- examining Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)…

Finishing line

Parties to the May 21 Tripartite Elections presidential poll results dispute are today set to make a final push to convince the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe to decide in their favour. To date, 174 days have passed since the proceedings started. In terms of actual hearing, today marks…

After the court case—when the question of who has the rightful mandate to govern us is answered—we must go back to the more important business of building our young new nation. Fifty-five years after independence, the excruciating poverty and sheer underdevelopment has to force a moment of reckoning; otherwise, as reminded by the sheer numbers…

Msisha presses APM’S witness

Prominent Blantyre-based private practice lawyer Modecai Msisha yesterday pressed the first witness for President Peter Mutharika in the ongoing presidential elections nullification petition and submitted the witness failed to substantiate claims in his sworn statements. Ben Phiri, who is Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) director of elections,…

Govt upbeat, commits to openness

Malawi Government says it is on track to fulfil its commitment to principles of open government partnership with several laws and policies enacted to facilitate successful implementation of its targets in the area. Wezzie Kayira, Principal Secretary for Good Governance in the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC), expressed the sentiments in Mangochi on Thursday…

This week, I am grappling with some troubling questions. The drama at the constitutional court has been gripping. The allegations and claims, the evidence, the simulations, the questioning techniques, the questionable objections, the various applications and rulings, the styles of the lawyers and witness’s testimonies, have all added to the drama that has attracted public…

A couple of years ago, some ignorant superstitious villagers had hallucinations about some mysterious people ‘sucking’ their blood mostly at night but also at day. Armed with that barrage of ignorance, they attacked anything that they didn’t like or didn’t look like them. They attacked strangers, people richer than them, their vehicles, houses etc. Our President,…

‘Ghost in MEC system’

Suleman details how  elections were ‘rigged’ Claims MEC system  was hacked MCP IT expert and witness in the on-going elections case, Daud Suleman, on Friday demonstrated how MEC’s computerised election result management system (RMS) was allegedly breached by a ‘ghost’ operator to change the results of the presidential elections in favour of incumbent Peter Mutharika.…

Suleman testimony cut short amid tension

Tension in the courtroom forced the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe yesterday to adjourn proceedings to today, cutting short the testimony of IT expert Daud Suleman, witness for second petitioner and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera. The adjournment followed a 10-minute break to allow Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), the second respondent, to transfer data…

Tech glitches stall elections case hearing

The Constitutional Court in Lilongwe yesterday failed to hear the testimony of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) information technology expert Daud Suleman due to alleged connectivity challenges to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) computer system and servers. Suleman, a witness for MCP president and second petitioner in the case Lazarus Chakwera, alleges in his sworn affidavit that…

From Russia with love

“I am ready to work with anyone—civil society organisations or the opposition. We should forget the past and work together to rebuild the country. Other African presidents are laughing at us, including investors. We need to move forward.” That was President Peter Mutharika on arrival from Russia where he attended the Africa-Russia Summit. Had many…

The country is facing unprecedented political crisis. And that crisis has been enabled by a leadership crisis. While the political crisis could not be predicted even as we queued to cast our votes in May, there were always tell-tale signs from a long time that our country is facing a leadership crisis. Even before ascending…

Heat prompts court to adjust dress code

The prevailing high temperatures on Wednesday prompted the Constitutional Court sitting in Lilongwe to throw away traditional wigs and black gowns to create a comfortable working environment. The wigs and gowns donned by lawyers are part of an inherited tradition from former colonial master Britain. However, in recent years, some former British colonies have begun…

Fiscal police on Thursday arrested two Lilongwe District Council officials for allegedly embezzling over K123 million from the deceased estate account and council operation funds. Both Lilongwe district commissioner Lawford Palani and Ministry of Local Government spokesperson Muhlabase Mughogho confirmed the arrests in separate interviews. National police spokesperson James Kadadzera identified the suspects as Martin…

Court rebuffs PSs again in Tractorgate

The High Court has dismissed an application by the State to throw out a case in which the Ombudsman wants Secretary to the Treasury and Principal Secretary (PS) for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development jailed for ignoring court orders. Presiding judge Charles Mkandawire found guilty Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development PS Grey Nyandule…

Chimunthu under probe

Former Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda is under preliminary investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly diverting an official Speaker’s residence project to his personal benefit. Documents we have seen indicate that the Ombudsman received a complaint on the matter and has since written the Clerk of Parliament (CoP) seeking information surrounding…

Ombudsman to probe local councils

The Office of the Ombudsman is set to launch a complex investigation into how millions of public funds disbursed through various development funds were used in the past five years. The office, which is mandated to investigate and address malpractices in public offices, plans to focus on tracking how public funds were used through Local…