KK (Kalekeni Kaphale) Has Scored Huge-Law Professor Danwood M Chirwa Writes

BY PROF DANWOOD M CHIRWA

Kaphale: Pinned down Chilima

Continued: on the first two days attorney general Kalekeni Kaphale concentrated on the process of elections and the constitution of the electoral commission. Regarding the first, he wanted to get Chilima to explain his understanding of what the presidential electoral process involves and what roles various stakeholders play in it. His aim was to get the court hear that the essential core of the electoral process was the polling centre which is the source of the results and where all parties have monitors who sign on to the results. He also wanted to highlight the significance of political parties and their monitors to the credibility of elections.

From his questioning he tried to establish two fundamental facts. One that none of the parties involved in the petition did the nation and the electoral process any good: they failed to maintain their own tally centers and to collate evidence from polling stations that could help to either confirm or disconfirm the overall electoral result. He also established that if one challenges the presidential electoral result, the challenge must be based on the testimony of the people on the ground – the monitors. Effectively he was putting a distance between Chilima and the facts. These were huge scores for KK’s case.

On both points he would also have pleased political scientists who have repeatedly pointed out the weak structures of Malawian political parties and that an electoral process reflects the state of governance in a given country. If political parties cannot effectively monitor an election or their structures are prone to corruption we should not expect the electoral body to perform any better. The electoral commission relies on a huge complement of temporary staff it cannot fully control. If a nation is broken forget any possibility of a credible election. This bit excites the academics but KK’s cross was not entirely about proving this all the way for it would be an own goal.

This is why for the last three days he’s assiduously sought to go through the entire batch of results sheets that UTM challenges to test the testimony of Chilima.

There was a skirmish about how quickly he had to do this. The petitioners thought he was wasting the court’s time and that he could easily have gone through the whole set of result sheets and ask his four specific questions at once. KK stood his ground and managed to make minor concessions to quicken the process.

This has proven to be a huge score. He had already established that Chilima was challenging not the registration process, not the campaign process, not the voting process, not the counting but only the results sheets of 0.5 centers. The case could as well stop here and proceed to argument about whether this is enough to overturn the presidential election. But he’s not stopped here.

He has gone through each of the contested polling results. There are a few which were presented on duplicate results sheets, and others which were altered with or without tippex.

Now the petitions seem to have alleged without more that the use of duplicate copies, tippex or alterations impinges on the credibility of the electoral result. KK has managed to triangulate the problematic results sheets from the problematic polling centers and won huge concessions from Chilima that (a) the alterations were necessary to correct errors, (b) that the duplicate sheets were approved and signed by monitors from the relevant parties (c) that UTM monitors have not challenged the authenticity of those results sheets (d) that Chilima did not bother to speak with his monitors or his lawyers to collect sworn testimonies from the monitors challenging the authenticity of those results (e) that UTM does not have alternative results sheets complied from its own tally Centre. During submissions we should expect argument about what constitutes a valid results sheet at a polling Centre.

What’s been most remarkable is the audacity KK has shown to painstakingly compel Chilima to confront his own documents he’s relying on. Either KK is so sure of the evidence in his possession or he is too careless. Normally a lawyer does not ask questions on cross to which they don’t know the answer. So far his audacity has not incurred adverse results for his case.

The other positive consequence for his methodical approach to confront the contested forms directly is that he has been asking the same questions for each form over and over. This appears to be unnecessary to the lay person and irritating to the petitioners but the strategy has significant psychological benefits. Judges are human. In a case like this, which is likely to take long, they can forget some parts of the evidence and remember only some parts. This repetitive questioning of Chilima on the specific result forms he’s contesting and in respect of which KK has been getting the responses he wants will remain in the minds of the judges.

We are now not just talking about 0.5 centers whose results are being challenged. KK has gotten Chilima to concede that most of these were necessary alterations, that the duplicates had results which were legitimate and endorsed by party monitors and that no alternative results have been produced by the first and second petitioners. If there are any remaining dubious or questionable results sheets their number must be even more insignificant.

On the second issue, KK wanted to establish whether Chilima knew that the electoral commission was inclusive and had party representatives. He hasn’t taken this much further in the last three days. I guess what he wanted to achieve here was to establish that none of the electoral commissioners had disowned the results or questioned them.

One of the objectives of a cross examiner is to build their case using the opponent’s witnesses. So far KK has done this in the best possible way.

He’s going to do the same with Chakwera. If the two gentlemen fail to build the foundation, the petitioners will have to do the hard job of building their case from the individual monitors who have sworn affidavits. What’s perhaps of concern is that it appears that both parties haven’t obtained enough affidavits from their respective monitors. The electoral commission went on an affidavit collection campaign like a katemera campaign. This might turn out to be a critical moment in the case.

It could be that the petitioners are banking their case on MEC’s own data.

There’s is so much that remains to come in the case … it’s just early days. Keep listening.

To be continued.

11 Responses to "KK (Kalekeni Kaphale) Has Scored Huge-Law Professor Danwood M Chirwa Writes"

  1. Jakison Laanje   August 15, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Very good analysis based on what is happening in court from a real professor. No wonder nyasatimes cannot handle your writing these days.

    Reply
  2. Jakison Laanje   August 15, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Very good analysis based on what is happening in court from a real professor. No wonder nyasatimes cannot handle your writings these days.

    Reply
  3. mtete   August 15, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    Danwood Chirwa? We know who he is. DPP.

    Reply
  4. Ngwazi Gwanda   August 15, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    It’s too early indeed Mr Professor. Intelligently put but remember intelligence and wisdom are different. Oftentimes, intelligence without wisdom is dangerous and destructive. I rest my case.

    Reply
  5. Huphrey   August 15, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    A Dad adawia basi

    Reply
  6. AChimz   August 15, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    Great article full of wisdom.

    Reply
  7. John W Posoman   August 15, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Its very easily to understand by it means rigging. As per dogs bark, they should be an evidence, as for chilima has proven the savegish and misunderstanding of what it means to him the word “election”.

    Even a three year old child could surely tell what it means to be a winner in any competing game.

    saulo has proven that though he had his monitors at all Talley centers he did not trust them or his imagination of which he said before election about advanced computing led him to misunderstood how elections processed.
    Saulo has also proven that he is a vandalism person who does not seek advise from any kind of person but self enrichment from poor Malawians.

    saulo also can be determined as a lia who create false and fake evidence before he can come to a conclusion all just to manipulate the success of others. He has proven too that he is lacking natural knowledge that can be determined to differenciate between goats and sheep, of which if he would be young he should have gone to an advanced teachings to get knowledge.

    So far if he is wise he has get abit wisdom from the reviews of what has been gone through in court.
    Sometimes asking would make better success that boosting yourself. Ndaphunzira pa saulo kuti ndi mwamuna mmutu.

    Reply
  8. John W Posoman   August 15, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Its very easily to understand by it means rigging. As per dogs bark, they should be an evidence, as for chilima has proven the savegish and misunderstanding of what it means to him the word “election”.

    Even a three year old child could surely tell what it means to be a winner in any competing game.

    saulo has proven that though he had his monitors at all Talley centers he did not trust them or his imagination of which he said before election about advanced computing led him to misunderstood how elections processed.
    Saulo has also proven that he is a vandalism person who does not seek advise from any kind of person but self enrichment from poor Malawians.

    saulo also can be determined as a lia who create false and fake evidence before he can come to a conclusion all just to manipulate the success of others. He has proven too that he is lacking natural knowledge that can be determined to differenciate between goats and sheep, of which if he would be young he should have gone to an advanced teachings to get knowledge.

    So far if he is wise he has get abit wisdom from the reviews of what has been gone through in court.
    Sometimes asking would make better success that boosting yourself. Ndaphunzira pa saulo kuti ndi mamina mmutu

    Reply
  9. tosh   August 16, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Kaphale cant win this case whether yu like it or dpp is loosing this case they will try to bribe to delay the case but it wont work

    Reply
  10. MONITOR   August 16, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    KK akadawafunsa a Chilima za mwambi kuti mmene tachitiramu mungatipasemwambi? Obwande akanaseka heavy kkkk

    Reply
  11. Jailosi Jiri   August 18, 2019 at 7:54 am

    The analysis made by Prof. Chirwa is spot on. In life it is different standing in front of illiterates and you tell them crap, as opposed to confronting a fellow learned person who is conversant in his field, and to make things worse, in a court of law. All your chicanery and crooked behaviour is exposed. Arafat Hamdan and Rev. Lazaro are petitioners on similar grounds and as such expect the same grilling subjected to the Rev just like what his comrade in arms went through. Actually, Hamdan’s could have been better because Lazaro falls short by far when it comes to expressing himself. With his unprecedented bitterness, he is bound to shoot himself in the foot, thereby crucify himself and Hamdan further. Be reminded that it was Hamdan who dreamt of taking the matter to court and the useless Rev just followed suit. Now if the first petitioner had problems justifying his reasons for the court case how can a mere, poor follower outplay the originator? Go on AG and company, show these political adolescents their way home before they get lost further.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.