People’s Party (PP) spokesperson Ken Msonda has challenged human rights groups seeking to drag him to court over his remarks that gays should be killed, stressing he is ready to face and shame them in court.
Centre for the Development of the People (Cedep) were seeking to press criminal charges against Msonda for his remarks.
“There are elements of a grave criminal offense all over his utterances and we are asking the police to arrest him,” Cade’s executive director, Gift Trapence said.
Cedep and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) have lodged a criminal lawsuit against Msonda for inciting violence against homosexuals in Malawi which contravenes Section 124 of the country’s Penal Code.
CHRR director Timothy Mtambo said Msonda should answer a charge of incitement to break the law under section 124 (1) (b) of the Penal Code.
The Section states that “any person who, whether in writing or by words or by his behaviour or otherwise— (a) solicits or incites any other person to fail to comply with or to contravene any law in force in Malawi or in any part thereof; or (b) indicates or implies to any person that it would be incumbent or desirable to fail to comply with or to contravene any such law, shall be liable to imprisonment for five years”
According to the Section, claims that one’s incitement could not lead to actual violence cannot be used defence.
Mtambo said any call to kill a group of people because of their lifestyle is criminal.
The human rights groups are taking Msonda to court after the Malawi Law Society – an umbrella organization of all lawyers in the country –said Msonda’s words constituted hate speech and called on the state funded Human Rights Commission and police to investigate.
‘This irresponsibility takes an unacceptably different turn when political leaders and opinion makers take the lead in inciting actual violence against fellow citizens,’ MLS president John Suzi Banda said in a statement.
‘Calling on members of the LGBTI community to be killed is hate speech and is not protected by the Constitution. It is in fact criminal.’
But Msonda is defiant, saying he is prepared to meet human rights groups in court, calling homosexuality “this satanic, doggish and demonic act.”
“Malawians have been suspecting that some homosexuals are using our innocent young boys and girls for their personal interest,” he said.
Msonda claimed homosexuals who have all along been hiding behind human rights are now being exposed.
“I call upon the Inspector General of Police to immediately arrest homosexuals hiding behind human rights because they are inciting citizens to break the law. Homosexuality is a criminal offence in Malawi, those involved in this act are arrested, sentenced to 14 years IHL,” said Msonda.
Msonda also hit back at the Malawi Law Society (saying it is misleading the public on homosexuality rights.
But reacting to the statement, Msonda on Tuesday said MLS was “misleading” the nation regarding the rights of homosexuals.
Msonda said: “Whatever I said is not a slip of my tongue, gay practice remains sinful and God can condemn this nation if it is to be legalized, go back to them and tell them to go to hell.”
Government recently suspended its anti-homosexual law ahead of review on whether to repeal it altogether.
Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu said the moratorium on Malawi’s anti-gay laws, which see sexual conduct between men punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment, would remain in place until review.
In the meantime, police have been told not to arrest anyone engaged in homosexual activity.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :