Be decisive on gay laws, University of Malawi law expert tells govt

A Chancellor College law expert has asked the government either to scrap off gay laws or maintain them, saying its lack of decisiveness on the matter is confusing Malawians.

Kanyongolo:   Be decisive

Kanyongolo: Be decisive

Law lecturer Professor Edge Kanyongolo said Malawi cannot rely on a moratorium, a written commitment by the government that it would not arrest and prosecute anyone engaged in homosexuals.

“If we want the law, let us enforce it, if we don’t want it, remove it, we should move on,” said Kanyongolo.

The respected law lecture said the government should be decisive on the matter.

Malawi a developing southern African nation, which is heavily reliant on support from international aid money, has said it has imposed a moratorium not to arrest and prosecute people  for same-sex sexual acts – an agreement first laid out in 2012 after a prolonged campaign.

This follows the arrests of 19-year-old Cuthbert Kulemela and 39-year-old Kelvin Gonani on gay sex grounds.

Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu said the two have been released and all charges against them had been dropped, while a “moratorium” on gay sex convictions will be introduced to adhere to “universally accepted human rights standards”.

He added that the government acknowledges the viewpoint that no one should be arrested on the grounds of their sexuality or gender identity, and re-committed to reviewing the country’s anti-gay laws.

Gift Trapence, Executive director of a gay rights organisation, Centre for the Development of the People (Cedep) asked the government to scrap off all gay laws from the penal code.

The penal code provides a maximum of 14 years imprisonment with hard labour on homosexual which it described as sex against the order of nature.

Transpence has asked the ministry of Justice to sensitise other state departments like the police that laws on homosexuals are on suspension therefore no one can be arrested on homosexuality.

Tembenu said any law review would be carried out “in consultation with the people of Malawi as prescribed by the Constitution”.

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30 thoughts on “Be decisive on gay laws, University of Malawi law expert tells govt”

  1. mulopwana says:

    People who are for repealing of the law should understand that majority of people copy what is surrounding them. Take it that a kid is growing among gorrillas, surely he/she will act like a gorrilla. The same applies to a situation where a kid is exposed to homosectual people, surely he will act like one. Therefore, much as we are of the view that let them act in privacy, surely this will have a bearing on future generations.

    Further, the current law prohibite homosectual acts, and these gentlemen have no right to request that the community police be investigated for violating their rights.

  2. messenger says:

    Jj,

    I am thinking you might be created upside down. I am sorry for that. But you mean you can not understand that God did not create gays? You mean you can’t know that after God created man and woman some human creatures rebelled against Him and are behaving in opposite manner? You mean an adulterer was created by God to be so? What a shall mind! l think you need to enrol in std 1 to have your mental capacity rejuvenated.

  3. Jj says:

    To all the homophones and Christians. I am sick and tired of your hypocritical nature like saying god created Adam and Eve, firstly if your god is that wise why create homosexuals in the first place? If sex is for procreation, why do millions of bigoted Christians use contraceptives? Have you ever considered the fact that your beloved jesus might have been a faggot himself, given his lifestyle? Surrounding himself with 12 men and being unmarried? Furthermore, jesus spent a night with a NAKED YOUNG man in the garden before being arrested! Do you read your bibles?

  4. Katawa Msowoya says:

    This issue is religiously sensitive. There is need to critically understand religious beliefs. I remember when one top Government official from one of our donors’ partners’ countries was asked as to whether their Aid would be tied to homosexuality issue, he said NO. He added that they he knew our cultural pattern on the issue and they (their countries) were in the same thinking situation 100 years ago. What it means is that their belief in homosexuality is different from what it was 100 years ago. Why is it that, over the years, there has been a change in the way how they look at homosexuality? It is possible that they have a new look at and interpretation of religious beliefs.
    Differences in religious beliefs have been major cause of conflicts, suffering and wars over the years in the past. Up to this time, in every Age of the world civilization there have been few people, in every sector of society, who are thinkers. The majority are believers or followers of thinkers. The majority do not think their own thoughts. They are believers. It is rare that the majority take the trouble to establish the truth of what they believe. They are satisfied of being believers. Sometimes they are told not to question what they have been told to believe. This is especially true with all sacred books in the world. This is unwelcome situation to stop people from using their consciousness to acquire knowledge to suit their own uniqueness. Each person is unique and should, as far as possible, try to live according to their uniqueness and avoid imposing what suits their uniqueness on other people. In doing so, they are artificially recreating others to suit their taste. People experience God based on their uniqueness. Standardization of behaviors works when dealing with material needs; but it does not necessarily work for spiritual beliefs and needs. How many religions do we have and why?
    The main role of Government is to take care of material needs of the people on sustainable level in this world. The religion, on the other hand, is to prepare us for the future world after DEATH. We can look at these two roles as short term care in this world and long term care in the future. Aid system supports Government to provide care in the here and now to alleviate current pain . No Aid, people suffer- the current situation. What option should Government take? Disagree with donor partners and let people suffer and die? Which people will suffer most? Which people are suffering most now? Is it the thinkers or the
    believers/followers?
    This is a very serious issue that needs serious Government decision to take care of painful needs of the majority in the here and now. People can make informed choices only if they are fully enlightened, which is beyond mere being informed. What is the current level of enlightenment (intellectually and spiritually) of the majority in the world to make appropriate choices based on their uniqueness? It is a fact, throughout the world that the majority suffers more than few thinkers or leaders of any institutions and religion is not exceptional. Worse enough, the voice of a few thinkers is heard far and wide.
    Life is a voyage of discovery. We know less than 4% of the universe. Do we remember Christopher Columbus? He was opposed and mocked. There is need to discover more about life than we have done now. Some of the beliefs will fall off. This is good for both physical and spiritual development. Therefore, more people should be encouraged to think their own thoughts, discover the unknown world and live their own lives. Let us minimize living in the past based on culture. Culture is a human constructed past experience. It is already known experience, it is history, it is memory in the cells. The common thinking is just recalling memory data of experience in the cells. It is just traveling through wide discovered road to a life of mediocrity.
    Progress means new thinking, imagination and new creation.Every second the universe including human body changes. This is according to law of growth and rhythm. Beware of living in the past solely on culture; you may be static. Each experience in time and space is different. Therefore, standardized behavioral instructions or manuals and beliefs are not effective in the living universe!
    While it is important to believe in other people we need to personally experience what we believe to see if it works for us in the Eternal NOW. Remember, our Lord Jesus said that he had come to give us life in FULL. This is the NOW. To take care of our physical and spiritual suffering in the NOW. We experience both physical and spiritual life in the NOW where there is neither past nor future. Both Government and religion should work together in a manner that will benefit all. Thinkers or philosophers should avoid artificially recreating the majority based on their (thinkers and philosophers) uniqueness and interests. We are specifically created different!

  5. guess wat says:

    Biblically God created man in e gadern ov eden, he then created a woman as the man’s left hand in other words God didnt just creat a msn en a woman in vain he created them 2 serve a purpose on this earth so homosexuality z kinda of a disrespect 2 the creator hence z regaeded as a sin, of which we Malawians a known 2 av a gud reputation that even developed countries admires us so lets nat spoil thst by adapting othr foreign countries way of life

  6. Tengupenya says:

    No one is asking anyone to become a homosexual. This practice is there in our society, naturally. We even have vernacular words for it. Why should people who love each other not be allowed to stay together and appreciate or celebrate their love in privacy? Just like heterosexuals cannot do certain things in public, so too homosexuals. Let the. Privately enjoy their acts, as long as it is between consenting adults. Don’t interfere in private intimate matters between consenting adults. It’s not your body parts being used!,

  7. Tengupenya says:

    It is a good thing to leave to the participants matters of the bedroom between consenting adults. But indeed this cannot be through constraining law enforcement. Before a class action is taken against those who are frustrating law enforcement, the government must be transparent on its intention and repeal the laws it does not want enforced. The moratorium on homosexual laws must be escalated to de criminalization and mass social mobilization. The gay community should learn to respect laws and to use the right processes to gain community understanding. Activism though necessary is not sufficient. Education about social diversity and minority orientations is also required. Moratorium of the enforcement of any law is a violation of the rights and duties of law enforcing corps, agencies and watchers. It also violated rule of law blatantly. Do the right things decisively. Repeal the law and strengthen the protection of the privacy of folks freely engaged in private and affectionate enterprises. Otherwise the status quo will lead to citizens taking the law in their hands. It is not a small matter in the conservative society. Soon you will see violence agains gays if the law against consummation of same sex relationships is not repealed outright. They use their own body parts and in private. So what is the hullabaloo about love relations of this nature?

  8. TSAMBALIKWA says:

    Zimbabwean president Sir Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe told the western countries that Gays are worse than Dogs once and for all, So why the Malawi Government is failing to make its stand on Gay issue like what Mugabe did? Criminalise or Legalise that’s what is need therefore I totally agree with Edge kanyongolo, Being gay guy myself I’m not comftable with the current stand of the Government of Malawi for not prosecute gays but still Same sex its a crime Constitutionally, Still gays need Gay bars and leisure centres, gay marriage act and gay couples adoption act in Malawis constitution then we can start ululating that we have crossed the river of jordan not just to stop arrest gays, What’s that? Mbuya Trapence wake up Baba

  9. Alunta continua says:

    That true

  10. Mtundu Wanga says:

    Just remove the archaic law. We’re not concerned about what consenting adults do in their bedrooms. Bravo APM for the moratorium but you need to go all the way. we have bigger problems to worry about, not gay issues.

  11. John says:

    Zaumathanyula ndiye changu kumvera azungu, koma zoti zithandize ife Malawi monga ATI Bill ndiye bowa bwangabu. Ena ake penapake angoti ndevu pepeya/clueless.

  12. youna says:

    malamulo akungoyenda ngati gulugufe.

  13. Jamison Chagwa Lungu says:

    Ma rubbish business. Laws should not be arbitrarily suspended. He may as well suspend corruption laws to benefit himself and his wife. This man will introduce strange things in our land, mark my words.

  14. Will says:

    Choyamba lolani democracy ife yes, kachiwiri amuna ndi amuna kukwatirana, akazi ndi akazi ife tivomereso? Taonani zikuchika ku university ya oxford ndi cambridge akazi kumasewera rugby ali mbulanda, sadzatiumilizanso awa? Yang’anani pa internet poyamba zithuzi zolaula amai ndi abambo chiwerewere, kenako abambo ndi abambo, akazi ndi akazi, apo pachepanso pano akujambula agalu ndi a zungu achikazi kugonana. Ndiye onseu ndi ufulu wa munthuyo? Kodi mmai wina sanathamangitsidwe mmalawi muno akugonana ndi galu? Kodi kutsogoloku simudzachotsanso lamulo lomanga munthu opezeka akugonana ndi nyama? Kodi olo sodom ndi gomola anafika apa? America ndi ulaya samala ndi Mulungu posachedwapa ukhala mbiri yakale. Mulungu dalitsani Malawiiiiii!

  15. Strange rains says:

    Where is our lovely country going?? Instead of being bussy discussing how we can develop this country, the stupid and meaningless NGO’S are bussy advocating the rights of fools, you receive alot of money from other countries just to keep on advocating those minority stupidity gay rights, in so doing u spend alot of money which can help in developing this country.. Will malawi financial standard rise as a result of same sex?? Shame u on u APM, ur bro ws a cruel 4 good but you are good 4 nothing

  16. Rabalamani says:

    If I were the president, I wud not have suspended the law which is in the constitution. The president swore to uphold the constitution which includes enforcing criminalisation of sodomy.

  17. Dr love says:

    KODI amalawi tikavomela kugonana amuna okhaokha madzi azasiya kuvuta monga magesi sazi zimanso monga umphawi uza tha kodi ndiye kuti kugonana amuna okhaokha ti
    zakhala malawi otukuka monga mavuto alapisawa azathelatu? ngati sichoncho nanga bwanji kuwaumiliza amalawi kuti azitelo kodi inu akuluakulu amabungwe bwanji muyambe ndinu kukwatila mamunanzanu kenako tikufuna tione mwana wanu atakwatila mamuna mzache kenako yambani kulendza zaufulu apo Biii zivuta

  18. Fanz says:

    Warning to the Government and all citizen. If we allow this Sodom and Gomrrah thing here in Malawi, we will face the punishment from God. God has never made mistake to create Adam and Eve

  19. Malipeya says:

    UPHAWIWU TIKUNGOVOMERA ZILI ZONSE. DECIDE WHETHER YOU WANT SODOM AND GOMOLA OR CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR.

  20. i want a tractor says:

    does this guy ever have time to lecture? i’m just asking because he’s on the net or radio almost every week…

  21. George phiri says:

    By the time police arrive at the scene it will only be ashes.Will start with Gift Trapence, watch your step boy, very soon you will be advocating for these people six feet under. I promise you. It will be shoot to kill on you,

  22. Nyani wa ku Mwananyani says:

    Of course, Kanyongolo is approaching this issue strictly from a legal point. As he should.

    But this is also a political issue, and to all politicians, this trumps the legal aspects; because they all want to be elected again in 2019.

    So, what’s a politician to do? The answer is “NOTHING”. Realistically. Much like the way the “death penalty” issue was and continues to be handled. (The death penalty has not been expunged from the law books, and no one has been executed, so far.)

    Some of us would, indeed, like Malawi to join South Africa and our Mozambican cousins in extending all rights to LGBTs. We believe in equality and civility; and this is 2015! But If the present government legalizes homosexuality, or even just decriminalizes it, forget winning in 2019. If another party would formally support continuation of this law on the books (and then wins the elections, an unlikely scenario), the economic wrath of the major countries that would fund Malawi would lean heavily on all of us, to be sure. Fellow citizens: let’s face it. Malawi is NOT Kenya or Uganda – we do NOT have their swagger or gravitas.

    DPP seem to have more progressive and liberal minds, but they would be stupid to basically vote themselves out of office. This is really what we get for being a so-called religious and conservative (for nothing) society, and a beggar nation at that.

    Better leave this issue hanging in the air, even for decades. This is only practical. Those telling the USA, Germany and Britain “to go to hell (with your money)”, may NOT be the ones who would get hit the hardest by even the mildest economic “sanctions”. I am thinking of my relations, especially kumuzi (my homestead): life is tough already, I’m telling you.

    This is another “third rail” for us. Too hot to touch. And let it be so.

  23. mapwesa says:

    Peter mwiniwakeyo ndiwamathanyula ndipo mkadzi wake ndi Ben Phiri

  24. soko says:

    Our leadership knows the position of Malawian on this subject. That’s why they are afraid to make open decision on this, the act it’s self isn’t acceptable in Malawi society

  25. Kubo says:

    Malawi the warm heart of Africa. Really its warm and can easily be swerved in all directions!!!!!

  26. gober says:

    To cut this story short is remove those laws so that whoever is for it should go ahead so long as it is not happening on open spaces to attract an arrest for indescent act. Tisatayisanepo nthawi apa. Those who will be doing it against their churches teachings will be disciplined at that level. Nkhani yatha basi.

  27. Mugonapamhanya says:

    Edge, you should go all the way to spell out the implications of either maintaining or scrapping off the laws. Typical of Malawi’s analysts, giving out half-baked and partisan analyses.

  28. Mandela says:

    Tizipha tokha osadanda tiyambira tracepece ndi zake timoteo mtambo akutionjeza iwowa adabwada kuchokera kwa zibambo tiona ngati mutagonere chaka chino ngati simusintha mufa muona ndithu ndalankula munthu wa Mulungu malire feb,2016 ngati simusintha mchitidwe wanu you will die misarably mudyedwa ndi mphunzi ngati herod

  29. Sapitwa says:

    Spot on Edge! We can’t be talking about this crap every year. Don’t we know our position that we can’t get aid when Donors don’t want us to deprive gay and lesbian people of their freedom? Change the laws and accept these people for aid or don’t change them and accept no aid.

  30. True Son says:

    Stop Arresting them…BUT once caught we will Burn them,MOB JUSTICE.

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