Opposition leader drums up support for abolition of death penalty


The country’s Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa, has called on people in the country to get united and fight for abolition of death penalty which he says violates fundamental tenets of right to life and other human rights.

Nankhumwa was speaking this on Monday 31 at Parliament building in Lilongwe where he held talks with some delegates from the International Campaign Against Death Penalty (ICDP) and other local human rights stakeholders.

The Leader of Opposition said the capital punishment undermines human dignity which is inherent to every human being and it subjects the convict to torture which is he described as cruel and inhumane.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice president for the southern region further stressed that Malawi needs to abolish death penalty claiming throughout its existence, death penalty has never proved its significance in combating crimes.

“Death penalty infringes the right to life which is a sacred right as provided for in the constitution of Malawi and other International Bodies like UN and AU and it really needs to be abolished here in Malawi.

“It also violates the right not to be subjected to torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. Also the death penalty undermines human dignity which is inherent to every human being,” said Nankhumwa.

Nankhumwa also mentioned that the capital punishment can end up seeing an innocent person being executed as a result of an error in process of seeking justice in the court of law and says the law only favours the rich who can afford to hire legal representatives.

While citing sections 16 of the Malawi constitution that gives every citizen a “right to life” and section 19 (3) which prohibits torture of any kind or cruelty, the leader of opposition urged Malawians to show support for the abolition of death penalty.

Concurrently, human rights activist and Unima Lecturer Alexious Kamangila who has been advocating for the abolishment of capital punishment and was part of the delegation, applauded the leader of opposition for supporting the abolishment calls.

“The climax of leadership is in leading people to save or protect lives. The unequivocal support for abolition, is unique as it calls for a Unity of Purpose, choosing life instead of death,” said Kamangila.

In his remarks, leader of delegation from ICDP Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorg, who is also former Mongolian President (Ruled Mongolia from 2009 to 2017), commended Nankhumwa for his response which he said gives hope to many lives.

Elbegdorg, who made a declaration of abolition of death penalty as a President, applauded Malawi for its progressive approach, which he says is lacked even in countries that have abolished the death penalty.

“Malawi will become a case-study example of how to abolish death penalty,” explained Elbegdorg.

The delegation is also expected to meet other relevant stakeholders such as civil liberties groups, Members of Parliament,  Traditional Leaders, Church Leaders and more importantly,  Malawi President Dr Lazarus Chakwera.


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