Malawian activist Lyson Sibande has for the past few years spent time on research and studies that has now borne a book whose sole aim is to stimulate a healthy debate on homosexuality issues in the region.
Homosexuality remains a controversial topic in Malawi. Despite tumult by activists, the law in Malawi subjects people engaged in the acts with a minimum sentence of 14 years imprisonment with hard labour.
The first public gay engagement was between Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steve Monjeza which invited local outrage.
The two were arrested but were later given a suspended sentence after international rights groups intervention.
In his book, ‘Homosexuality in Africa: A Political, Religious, Cultural Dilemma’, Sibande argues that Malawians have been so sensational about the issue.
He said people in the country misunderstand the homosexuality thing.
“In the book I am attempting to resolve a dilemma between politics, culture and religion which has risen following the gay rights movement,” Sibande told Nyasa Times.
He said there is need for objective and sober perspective and the filling of the ignorance gap to facilitate a healthy gay debate.
Sibande said: “I strongly feel that people need extra knowledge and facts if they must handle the gay rights debate intelligently and meaningfully.”
The book will be published by Distinction Media, and Sibande is expected to make a presentation at the Centre for Development of the People (Cedep) tenth anniversary in Lilongwe on December 10.
Meanwhile, Solcitor General Janet Banda has confirmed that government will conduct public inquirires into whether the country’s anti-homosexual laws should be repealed or not.
Banda said government will solicit views from Malawians but will not call for a ballot, saying it is not a referendum.
According to Banda, state-funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) will conduct the public inquries on the homosexuality issues.
“We want to find out the views of the people on the issue and whether we need tpo change the law as it stand today,” Solicitor General Banda said.
MHRC executive secrtary Grace Malera said they will soon invite stakeholders to discuss the format of the inquiries.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :