Malawi’s political rabble-rouser Kamlepo Kalua who has been backing President Mrs. Joyce Banda has for the first time attacked her government accusing it of “abandoning God” for suspending a law banning same-sex relationships.
Kalua has been strong backer of the President’s economic reforms since Banda took over as the country’s leader following the death of Bingu wa Mutharika.
But in his reaction to the announcement by the Justice Minister and Attorney General Ralph Kasambara to suspend the tough anti-gay laws, pending a parliamentary debate, Kalua who is president of file party MDP, said such decision is regrettable and unconstitutional arguing that a mere minister has no powers to suspend any law on the land.
Kalua told Nyasa Times in an interview that the move towards decriminalizing homosexuality is “total sign of weak leadership.”
He therefore called on churches and ordinary Malawians to take to streets and denounce such decision.
“It is wrong decision both legally and morally. Yes I do support Joyce Banda’s economic reforms and I will continue to do so but when it comes to obnoxious issue like this one I condemn it,” he said.
“I therefore call on churches as well as Muslims to join me in protesting in the streets until the government rescinds its decision. I will announce the actual date for the demonstrations because right now I’m still consulting and gathering information,” lashed out a visibly angry Kalua.
He blamed some senior government officials he said are cashing in from donors to force the ‘alien’ culture on Malawians.
“I have information that it is very few misguided cabinet ministers and government officials that have been given money to lobby on behalf of the international community. This is a shame and satanic in nature. This country is a secular state yes I agree but there is no way we can sell our lives to the devil just to please some sick people,” added Kalua.
On assertions by Kasambara that the issue now awaits national assembly to debate it, Kalua said: “The issue is obnoxious and non negotiable. Taking it to parliament is waste of money because even if it is to go through referendum Malawians can never support such an abhorrent issue.”
Since Malawi government through minister Kasambara announced that police have been ordered not to arrest gays until the matter is discussed by the national assembly, the social media has gone frenzy on the issue with many Malawians expressing their discontentment.
While the issue remains thorny and debate seem to be getting tense by the day, President Banda has not yet spoken; her silence has created room for a thread of speculations on whether indeed she approved the decision or was taken unawares.
Meanwhile, at a news conference to announce the formation of new Labour Party, former finance minister Friday Jumbe said at mean time Malawi is not ready for legalization of homosexual.
“It is the view of Labour Party’s supporters that gay practice is not allowed in this country. And I can assure you that most Malawians are not ready for this. Sop based on LP members, I say no to gay practice in the country,” Jumbe said.
“Malawi culture remains conservative,” Billy Mayaya, a leading rights activist, also told AFP.
Mayaya, a member of the Civic and Political Platform, said it is “a foregone conclusion that Malawi’s parliament would never repeal sodomy laws. It will be very difficult for parliament to do so.”
“This will be an uphill battle because of the conservative stance of the Malawi society which still considers homosexuality a sin.”
According to one local newspaper poll, around 96 percent of Malawians say the country should not allow gay relationships.—(Additional reporting by Maurice Nkahiwe, Nyasa Times)Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :