By Emmanuel Sobilika
Malawi’s Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Professor Peter Mutharika has left participants at a Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) dialogue meeting stunned at his eloquence and wider knowledge on legal matters.
Professor Peter Mutharika, was the guest of honour at an HRCC Tuesday night event debating the abolition of the death penalty in Malawi.
The participants attending the meeting were over 60 Members of Parliament and over 40distinguished members of the civil society that included religious leaders, human rights activists and journalists.
In his 15 minute opening remarks before allowing debate to resume on the issue of death penalty, Professor Peter Mutharika eloquently lectured the over 100 people gathered in Capital Hotel’s Viphya Room on the different aspects of the death penalty.
Professor Mutharika who is younger brother to Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika gave references on the issue of death penalty drawing comparison from many other countries world wide where the issue of death penalty features highly.
Professor Mutharika who did not read from a prepared speech appealed to the legislators and civil society members in Malawi to take the issue seriously so that at the end of the day a good overall decision is made on the matter.
“I don’t want to express my personal views here but rather just to provoke a debate that will help us come up with a better decision at the end of everything,” he said.
Professor Mutharika who one of Malawi’s highly educated lawyers draw comparisons in the issue of death penalty in Malawi to many other countries world wide.
Professor Mutharika asked participants attending the meeting to think carefully on the issue of death penalty before coming up with a final decision.
Mutharika said gave an example of people in his own Kamoto Village in the mountainous tea growing district of Thyolo where one has just killed a neighbour because of anger as a result of a land dispute.
“Can this man in Kamoto Village be charged the same way with a serial killer and those that kill for commercial purposes?” Mutharika paused the question to the bewilderment of the distinguished crowd.
A lot of the people got astonished with Mutharika’s vast knowledge on legal matters and how he was able to make comprehensive legal presentations without any paper references.
Mutharika who is normally a man of short words but more actions spiced up his English provocative speech with some Chichewa.
Following his eloquet speech, it was therefore no surprise that his predecessor in the Justice Ministry Henry Phoya told the gathering in his capacity as chairperson for Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament that; "I attended a meeting in Italy, Rome when I was warning up your seat as Justice Minister."
Everybody is the hotel room on this Tuesday night was convinced that Professor Peter Mutharika is one of the many good sons of the land that have a potential of making it high.
Professor Peter Mutharika, returned to Malawi a few years ago and joined the development of this country serving the Malawi government as the Chief Advisor to the President on Constitutional, Legal and International Affairs.
Professor Peter Mutharika has since joined politics as Member of Parliament for Thyolo North East and Malawi’s Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister.
According to HRCC national coordinator Mavuto Bamusi, the organisation is trying to engage the public in a debate so that it’s able to come up with a better decision on the death penalty-Malawi Digest.