Peter Mutharika not understanding procedure for death inquiries, insists only doctors should be quizzed
Despite some of family members appearing before a commission of inquiry into the death of former President Bingu wa Mutharika, the bereaved family still feels doctors at the State House, Kamuzu Central Hospital and South Africa are better placed to explain than the family.
The remarks have been made by the late Mutharika's young brother, Peter Mutharika, who had earlier expressed reservations on behalf of the family through a press statement immediately made after President Joyce Banda set up the inquiry in April this year.
Mutharika said on Thursday the family feels it was not necessary to interrogate family members yet doctors responsible, who had already indicated that Mutharika had died of cardiac arrest, were available.
"As a family we are saying if the government wants to find out how he died or what happened, I think the [channel] would have been to have an inquest where there could be a doctor who could sit as a coroner who would interview the state house doctor, doctors at Kamuzu Central Hospital and the doctors in South Africa.
"Those are the ones who would tell how he died if they are interested in how he died. But I think bringing members of the family like my nieces, my nephews and all those who are not even politicians into the inquiry is needless," he said.
He further said bringing family members into the inquiry is tantamount to witch-hunting and smacks of gaining political mileage.
"In short, we do not want this death to be used for political gain. As a family we felt we had suffered enough," said Mutharika, adding the instant death of a family member is more painful than when that member falls ill for some time.
Chairperson of the inquiry Justice Elton Singini was not readily available to comment on whether or not the commission also targeted all the doctors as hinted by Mutharika.
Regarding the government's insistence on the inquiry, Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu is on record as saying the government instituted the commission of inquiry on Mutharika as a former head of state and not a mere family person.
"The late Mutharika was not just another family person. He was the former head of state of this nation therefore the government has a right to institute a commission of inquiry to establish what caused his death and the medical care he received among other things," Kunkuyu said.
He then asked the family, which said claimed to have details surrounding his death, to come forward to the inquiry to give such crucial information which he said the inquiry badly needs.
Mutharika has already appeared before the commission but he told The Daily Times that he could not reveal what he said to the commission as he took an oath of secrecy apart from saying went through the normal process of answering the questions.