Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) executive director Gift Trapence has come under attack for criticising the church on the use of children during learning hours in the recent protests.
The Episcopal Conference of Malawi and Evangelical Association of Malawi led protests against abortion and same sex marriages attracted learners who were in school uniforms in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba, Mangochi, Mzuzu and other districts.
This annoyed the Cedep executive director Trepence who said this was against the very notion of protecting the family which the church leaders were preaching.
However, some sections of Malawians have attacked Trepence on social media.
“Cedep knows that their financiers on same sex marriages wont pay them anymore,” writes Benson Mhango.
Kondwani Zulu describes Trepence crusade on same sex marriages as cashcow.
In his statement, Trepence says what baffles Cedep is that the church leaders involved the children during learning hours to advance their agenda.
“This is very unfortunate and disappointing especially from leaders who claim to stand up for the family. It must be emphasized that among the basic and fundamental human rights of all children is the right to education,” he says.
Trepence says if the church is indeed to protect the family, then it should make sure that children remain in school learning so that they can contribute to the development of the nation and sustain themselves as they grow up.
“It is hypocritcal to say you are protecting a family at the same time violating the rights of children. You dont protect the family by recruiting children into demonstrations during learning hours,” he said.
Added Trepence: “This is hypocricy and selfish behaviour that destroys the family rather than protecting.”
Church officials were reluctant to comment on the matter but Victor Mkorongo, writing on Facebook and participated in the protests said no child was coaxed.