Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mutharika inspires Mzuni students

Prof. Peter Mutharika is an international decorated lawyer.

By Sarah Munthali

Malawi’s Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Professor Peter Mutharika says his ministry values inputs and recommendations it gets from the general public saying this ensures that the Malawi Constitution remains an important tool in the country.

Professor Mutharika was speaking at Mzuzu University on Saturday night during a public lecture entitled “Our democratic constitution, some reflections 15 years later’ organised by the state owned, Malawi Television (TVM).

“A good constitution can bring good changes in a country and a poorly drafted and structured constitution can bring confusion and misunderstanding, hence the need for a properly drafted constitution,” he said.

He told the jam-packed university hall that during the 2006 constitutional review conference, the Malawi Law Commission made recommendations which should be debated and looked into.

“Some of the inputs which people suggested were interesting and controversial for example, the repealed Section 64 which enabled constituents to recall the Members of Parliament. This provision can give the people their democratic right to recall their MP but at the same time, the provision could be abused.”

He said for instance, an aspiring MP who lost an election could mobilise subjects, sometimes even bribing them, and write a petition to the speaker to have the incumbent parliamentarian removed out of petty jealously and frustration.

Other areas included Section 65 of the constitution which entails the Speaker to declare vacant the seat of any member of the National Assembly who was, at the time of his or her election, a member of one political party represented in the National Assembly, other than by that member alone but who has voluntarily ceased to be a member of that party and has joined another political party represented in the National Assembly.

“Section 65 contradicts with Section 32 which says every person shall have the right to freedom of association, which shall include the freedom to form associations, saying these sections should be deliberated thoroughly to avoid contradictions,’’ explained the highly read international lawyer.

He also encouraged people to look into issues of witchcraft and issues of whether Malawians in diaspora should be allowed vote.

The public lecture organised by Malawi Television, was second after another one held at Chancellor College in Zomba two months ago.

President of the Mzuzu University Students Council, Charles Kajoloweka commended Professor Mutharika for sharing his ideas and knowledge through the public lecture, saying the lecture inspired students and would leave an indelible mark in the history of the university.

The public lecture moderated by Local Government Minister, Goodall Gondwe, was attended by a cross section of people which included cabinet ministers, senior government officials, Members of Parliament, students at the university, civil servants and the general public-Malawi Digest.


  1. I am Wales John Gondwe, a civil Eng in Malawi. I think such forums should be intesified at all levels as part of Civic education. Most Malawians are generally not versed with the law and such forums will create a knowlegde dased community which in turn would be very instrumental in good governance and the rule of law.
    I also think that it should not be only the lawyers who ould give such lectures, even economics have a lot of answers and questions to the community for them to understand the way the country is governed. MIND YOU IT IS ONLY AN EDUCATED COMMUNITY WHICH WILL CONTRIBUTE POSSITIVELY TO THE NATIONAL ECONOMY.

  2. Point of Order,
    Note the mistakes in the comment and correct as follows:
    dased = based
    ould = should
    economics = economists
    Sorry for the inconvenience

  3. Maybe President Bingu changed to Prof Mutharika so that Malawians are brainwashed so as to have an easy sail for Prof Peter Mutharika. Beware very shortly Prof Bingu will only be called Prof Mutharika.and Prof Peter will also be called Prof Mutharika and hence be presiding on most affairs on behalf of the elder brother.But God is watching.... as He watched when the Tower of Babel was being built. You know what followed.