Constitutional Court allows MCP to bring in new evidence

Modecai Msisha

The Constitutional Court sitting in Lilongwe has allowed the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) the second petitioners in the ongoing presidential election case to bring in new evidence.

The evidence was in the form of a video clip of what the chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission justice Jane Ansah told Zodiak Broadcasting Corporation in an interview with regard to the use of Tippex.

Earlier lawyers for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), the second respondents in the case had objected to the introduction of the said evidence saying it should have brought in via sworn statement.

They also argued that evidence was not brought in before the 21 days before MEC’s witness, Sam Alfandika, the Chief Elections case started testifying.

“The whole purpose is that before a witness would testify, they must be informed of what they will be faced with. In the circumstances we object to the clip being as the application is not being made in compliance with the rules,” argued MEC lawyer Tamando Chokhotho.

But in response lawyer for the second respondents Modecai Msisha, SC argued that: “The issue that necessitates the production of the clip arose during cross-examination…at the earliest possible time in pursuit of the overriding objectives, the court will allow the use of material in cross examination particularly where the material was generated by the side against whom the cross examination would take place.”

But lawyers for the first respondent Peter Mutharika also chipped in arguing that the evidence being tendered was not official.

In their ruling, the five-member panel of judges agreed with Msisha's point that issue that necessitated the clip was raised by the witness himself during cross and MCP was therefore be allowed to play the clip.

When played, the clip went on to show that what Alfandika had told the court that MEC knew the origins of the Tippex after conduction their own investigations appeared to contradict what the Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson told the Zodiak journalist.