AG to conclude cross examining Chilima on Wednesday

Kalekeni Kaphale

The Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale has said he expects to wrap up cross examining UTM Party leader Saulos Chilima, the first petitioner in the Malawi presidential elections nullification petition case being held by the Constitutional Court sitting at the High Court in Lilongwe by tomorrow.

Kaphale, who is representing the second respondent, the Malawi Electoral Commission in the case was responding to a query from one of the five judges on the panel Dingiswayo Madise.

“This court is aware of the need to balance the right to ask questions on issues that are raised in the sworn statements, but the court must also balance the right of the witness not to be oppressed or embarrassed by prolonged cross examination.

“The court therefore reserves the right to curtail cross examination if the interest of justice so requires. At any given point cross examination must come to an end and that remains the exclusive preserve of the court,” said Justice Madise.

Kaphale said he had done more two thirds of the cross examination and hopes to wind up on Wednesday.

“I will done tomorrow and I will take a cue from today, where things are of sufficient similitude, I should take them on together. Actually, I’ve done with most of the exhibits,” he said adding if he went on and on, he would become redundant.

Since the landmark court case started on August 8, 2019, Chilima is the only one who has been cross-examined based on his sworn statement. Lawyers for Chilima mostly Bright Theu have constantly objected to the line of questioning appointed by the AG describing it as repetitive and is some cases soliciting opinions, but Kaphale has defended his actions saying the case requires doing a thorough job.

Chilima alongside Malawi Congress Party president Lazarous Chakwera want Malawi’s May 21 elections nullified over what they call gross irregularities.