For Byson Kaula, being alive today is a “miracle”. He fails to understand how he escaped the hangman’s noose after being sentenced to death in 1992.
Kaula’s bad luck followed after his watchman whom he had employed to guard his farm got killed by robbers who stole his property while he was at work in Blantyre.
The 63 year old man was later placed as prime suspect to the case of murder of his own guard who was found in a decomposed state at his farm premises.
“That was a time of one party system, I could not say anything to claim my innocence and they ruled that I should also be killed,” said Kaula.
The ruling was a signal of Kaula’s death that was to follow few days later after being transferred to Zomba maximum prison.
He and the other murder convicts were placed in cells where they had to wait for nothing else but to be executed according to the law.
“It was around 1 AM that we could hear an alarm to wake us to be killed, and we were moved to a place where they were killing the prisoners, and it happened that I was to be killed that day but I was sent back that the one who was killing us was tired and that I will be killed next time,” explained Kaula.
That was his first luck to be spared from death as the other ten convicts who were on the list were left lifeless that day.
After some time, Kaula was also placed on list with other 22 inmates to be killed and he was sent back with the same reason that the person who was killing them got tired again.
“It happened third time that I was on the list and I was sent back that I will be killed next time, I failed to understand what was happening to myself after witnessing my friends being killed and I was sent back,” he explained further.
His sentence was later changed from death penalty to life imprisonment after regime change from one party to democratic system of governance in country.
This brought hope that he was likely to face his natural death as he was served his sentence the whole of his life.
Teaching being his profession that he liked, Kaula was teaching his fellow inmates who were sitting for Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) French language as he was serving his sentence.
Some years later, Kaula’s ruling was challenged by Reprieve, an international organisation that advocates for abolition of death penalty.
In 2015, he got his freedom to walk out of Zomba prison with life to reunite with his family and friends in Balaka district after missing them for 23 years.
As a free man, Kaula has been part of the team that is advocating for abolition of death penalty in Malawi describing it as “evil”.
Concurring with Kaula, Deputy Ambassador for European Union delegation Aurelie Valtat called for the speedy process of abolishing of death penalty in Malawi’s laws.
Valtat urged Malawi to join other countries in the World that have abolished death penalty in their laws.
She added further that death penalty puts family and friends in a psychological disturbance when one is being sentenced to be killed.
Malawi is one of the countries in the world that has death penalty to people who have been sentenced to death.
However, that law has not being in use since multiparty as many voices have come out against death penalty in the world.