Chief witness Suleman demonstrates how MEC deleted data in the system to impose Mutharika
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) information technology expert Daud Suleman has told Constitutional Court in Lilongwe that the Jane Ansah led Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) deleted some election’s data from its computer system and servers.
Sulemani who started testifying on Thursday told the court that using the relation type of data base the electoral body used, he found unrelated data which raises suspicion.
“When we went for disclosure, they (MEC) provided [us] with data base schemer. Three tables have relationship broken which is contrary to the database. Either, it was designed badly or some pieces were deleted. Deleting the tables messed up the relationship between the tables,” said Sulemani.
His statement was objected to by Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale representing MEC, saying it was in his sworn statement.
The court overruled Kaphale’s objections.
“Connected to the above gross anomalies we found that no audit trails for user activity or any record to help track activities of all users from the beginning to end in the system which either means that the system was deliberately disabled from tracking system activities or records were deleted at the time the information was being handed over to us.
“In either case, the absence of audit trail is a very serious and unusual anomaly,” Sulemani said in his testimony in a fully packed court room.
The IT expert’s testimony was cut short to allow MEC, the second respondent, to transfer data out of its system for Suleman to upload new data.
However, lawyers for both petitioners and respondents as well as IT experts went to appear in the judges’ chamber and on return to courtroom, Judge Healey Potani of behalf of the five-member panel of High Court sitting as Constitutional Court, announced that the parties had resolved the issues ad that the proceedings will continue Friday morning up to midday where Sulemani will continue with his demonstration testimony.
Sulemani has “a hypothesis” to demonstrate that the election system was compromised.
He told the court that if he entered a new file of the exact data MCP officials received from MEC on the results of the, the computers would show different results from what MEC announced.
Judge Dingiswayo Madise asked Suleman the source of his evidence to which the witness and lawyer Pempho Likongwe responded that MEC had provided the data not only to MCP but to all other parties.
Suleman, a witness for MCP president and second petitioner in the case Lazarus Chakwera, alleges in his sworn affidavit that the election results were electronically manipulated by a hacker who, within milliseconds, ‘elected’ the country’s President in the May 21 Tripartite Elections, ignoring the votes people cast.
Chakwera alongside first petitioner Saulos Chilima of UTM Party are seeking nullification of the presidential election results over alleged irregularities in the results management system.