Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe, head of the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), a grouping of protestant churches in the country, has said the West should not be allowed to use its financial power to force Malawi to accept homosexuality.
In a media statement Bvumbwe co-signed with MCC secretary, Bishop Dr Osborne l Joda‐Mbewe, made available to Nyasa Times on Wednesday, that the churches said it is praying that donors should refrain from using aid to reinforce negative lifestyle in poor countries like Malawi.
“The Council understands and believes that Malawi needs aid, and therefore asks that homosexuality should not be used as a benchmark to penalize and put to risk the lives of millions of innocent Malawians,” reads the statement.
The church body was reacting to comments by Britain’s International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell as quoted in UK’s Daily Mail on Sunday through his spokesperson that Britain has resorted to cut aid to homophobic African countries .
The British Government said it had cut aid of about 19 million pounds (MK4.8 billion) to Malawi because of government’s position regarding homosexuality particularly the conviction and sentencing of gay couple Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza.
The spiritual leaders however said the homosexual acts are a violation of the revealed truth of the complementarities of males and females according to the Holy Bible
“This is an alien and immoral culture that denigrates human dignity, contradictory to God’s teaching – and in itself, a human rights violation where poor people are denied an opportunity to realize their full potential,” the council said.
Malawi church leaders further said legalizing homosexuality is a contradiction with the teachings of the Lord and a threat to the family unit which was institutionalized by God and a contradiction to Malawi’s rich traditions and culture.
“Our call to all Christians, Malawians at large and all stakeholders is to take part and convince upon proponents of homosexuality to exercise reasonableness in calling for cultures that will only alienate the general citizenry,” the council appealed.
Malawi’s penal code already prohibits sex between men and the law was applied in the case of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza who attempted to marry in public. The law was also amended to include criminalisation of liaisons between women.—(Additional reporting by Wanga Gwede and Simbani Media)