German Ambassador to Malawi Peter Woeste has also spoken against discrimination against gays and lesbians, saying he is following with great concern discussions on rights of sexual minorities in the country.
Woeste said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times that Germany is passionately committed to human rights, saying “LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons) rights are human rights”.
His comments follows the hate-comments on those commenting against the arrest by police at Kanengo in Lilongwe last week of 19-year-old Cuthbert Kulemela and Kelvin Gonani, 39, on allegations that they engaged in homosexuality acts at the home of one of the suspects.
The United States of America (USA) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have Malawi to drop charges of sodomy levelled against two men.
On social media some Malawians have been posting hate-filled messages targeted at US Ambassador Virginia Palmer, British diplomats, human rights activists who have called for the non-discrimination of LGBTI as a matter of human rights, public health and public order.
“I am deeply disturbed by ill-mannered reactions on the social media, especially people who defend LGBTI rights,” said the German envoy.
“Are those the same fellow brothers and sisters who are normally very vociferous about the idea of a ‘Christian Nation’? Are those [demonising LGBTI] the same people who ask for a prayer at the beginning of every meeting?” wondered Woetse.
He hopes the socially-conservative nation will return to gay rights “discussion of mutual respect.”
In London, Chairman of All Party Parliamentary Group of Zambia and Malawi, Oliver Colvie MP said he is “deeply disturbed” with the arrests of the Malawi men on anti-homosexuality law.
He states the there is a moratorium instituted in 2012 not to enforce the law that criminalises homosexuality and believes there are “some elements” in the President Peter Mutharika government who do not respect such moratorium.
“Whilst President Mutharika took the very welcome step of apply for the Global Fund for aid for LBGBTI health services, I am concerned that there are elements within the government that are no longer following this moratorium,” he wrote in a letter seen by Nyasa Times on Twitter to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State.
In the letter, Colvie wants Malawi Police to drop the charges against the two men and ensure the moratorium on Malawi’s anti-gay laws, which see people engaging in consensual same-sex activity punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment, would remain in place.
Minister of Justice Samuel Tembenu confirmed that there was a moratorium in place, but the ministry was investigating circumstances that led to the arrest of the two.
And President Mutharika has since expressed ignorance on the arrest of the two men at a time when there is a moratorium in place and summoned Minister of Home Affairs on the status of the charges against the two.
Mutharika, a law professor, has assured that Malawi will remain committed to its international human rights obligations.
But the move to suspend the criminalisation of homosexuality was condemned as “unconstitutional and illegal” by the powerful Malawi Law Society which say the government should use appropriate channels through parliament or the courts to issue such a suspension.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Kelekeni Kaphale said government will make its position known soon on the LGBTI situation.
He has not specified how soon this will be.
Malawi gay rights advocacy body, Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) and Human Rights Watch claim that the two men underwent forced medical examinations which, they said, was degrading and an insult to their dignity.
However, religious leaders are up in arms against homosexuality, describing it as a sin before God.
Malawi made world headlines in 2010 when two gay men were arrested for getting married. Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, were arrested and locked up for five months during their trial and after their conviction, until President Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned them on May 29 amid international outrage and protests.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :