Many people Malawi are supporting for the retention and implementation of capital punishment on the offenders. This has been revealed by the Malawi’s Attorney general Antony Kamanga who was opening the seminar for the lawyers on sensitization on sentencing on capital offences in the capital Lilongwe on Tuesday.
Malawi Human Rights Commission in conjunction with Malawi Law Society and the London-based death Penalty Project have organized the seminar which was aimed to discuss and reflect on the sentencing in capital offences.
Kamanga said the study by the Malawi Law Commission on the capital punishment has revealed that the majority of Malawians want the law to be implemented.
“The majority of the people in Malawi still think that we should retain the death penalty. It is very emotive issue not only in Malawi. We have countries that abolished death penalty but there has been public pressure to bring it back,” he said.
Although Malawi has been a party to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) since 1993, it has neither signed nor ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR aiming at the abolition of the death penalty (1989). Malawi also abstained from voting in both the 2007 and 2008 UN General Assembly Resolutions on the adoption of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
Despite the amendment of the Penal Code in 2001, the current Malawi’s position is that the imposition of the death penalty should be restricted to cases of murder.
Although Malawi retains the death penalty it has not carried out an execution since 1992. This forces some to believe that it has a policy or established practice of de facto abolition.
But Kamanga said the law has not been implemented in recent years in Malawi because its application is not mandatory as was the case during the one party administration.