Fun seekers were left akimbo on Christmas Day at Zithere Pano in Mangochi when legendary musician Lucius Banda abruptly ended his show after seeing two men caressing (touching) and kissing each other in front of the patrons.
Most patrons struggled to come to terms with his decision and argued that the best was just to ask security personnel to take the two men away other than ending the show.
But Lucius said the two men deflated his morale and spirit such that he could not continue performing.
Banda has since apologized to his fans for the cancellation through his official Facebook page saying he “had to” because he felt irritated.
He becomes the first public figure in entertainment circles in the country to come out strongly on the issue of homosexually which is still a crime in Malawi.
Banda said he has reservations on the subject, and that personally he “is not for homosexuality.”
He wrote on Facebook: “Let me apologize to my fans for what happened yesterday [on December 24]. Even though, I had two more songs to perform I had problems to continue after I noticed two men intimately engaging each other to the extent of kissing each other.”
Banda said he failed to rebuke the two on the spot arguing it would have caused a hullaballoo considering the “controversial nature” of the subject in the country.
“The fact is that most people in the country are not for homosexuality and having made me mention them in public would have gotten the two men assaulted surely,” said Banda.
He sent warning message to homosexuals in the country never to do that in his face again.
“I’m not musically funded by any western country. My donors who are God the father, the Son and the Holy Ghost [provide funding to me] with a no sodomy condition attached,” wrote Banda.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Malawi face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents.
The Penal Code prohibits “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”, attempts to commit “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”, and acts of “gross indecency”. However, in November 2012, President Joyce Banda suspended all laws that criminalized homosexuality. In July 2014, the Justice Minister announced that Malawi would no longer arrest people for same-sex sexual activity and review its anti-gay laws.
In late December 2009, a trans woman, Tiwonge Chimbalanga, and a man, Steven Monjeza, were arrested after holding a traditional “engagement” party. On 18 May 2010, they were found guilty of having committed “unnatural offenses” and “indecent practices between males”. On 29 May 2010, then President Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned both individuals.
On 17 April 2015, The Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Law came into force and banned all same-sex marriages and unions. While the law was praised for raising the minimum age of heterosexual marriages from 16 to 18, it was at the same time condemned for the exclusion of homosexual couples and for its language stating that one’s gender is assigned at birth.
The new law does not allow people who have undergone gender reassignment surgery to marry someone of that person’s prior gender and also draws comparisons of gay sex to rape and sexual harassment.–Additional reporting by Pius Nyondo and Ulemu Teputepu, Nyasa TimesFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :