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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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… Read more »


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.


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?

Katawa Msowoya
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… Read more »
guess wat

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


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!,

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… Read more »
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… Read more »
Alunta continua

That true

Mtundu Wanga

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.

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