It was so disgusting to see the PP led government suspending laws which criminalise homosexuals in November, 2012, without giving an ultimatum as to when will the house table the bill to pave the way forward. It was clear that, Malawi government acted under pressure to impress the donors but at the same time going against our culture, values, religions and constitution. I say constitution, because I believe the parliament was responsible to recommend for the suspension of such laws other than backdoor suspension for fear of it being defeated in the parliament.
As a sovereign nation, it is high time we value ourselves and put up laws that govern us other than putting up laws to impress people who do not even live here. As it stands now, Malawians do not know what PP government is planning to do about this just in case it wins the coming general elections.
The DPP led government respected laws when it was the minority in the house but after winning with landslide in 2009 elections, the government became arrogant to the point of changing laws at will in its favour and not the majority.
We, like road construction machines are used to put people on positions with a promise of doing things according to our wish but after taking the mantles of power, the promise becomes heavy for our leaders to fulfil. We need to do away with this. It may be possible that, the PP government is avoiding tabling it in the house fearing losing the popularity as the date for election is closing up as each second passes but after winning with landslide in 2014, they may take advantage to legalise homosexuality against people’s wish by using their numbers. This applies to other parties also. If we decide now, the future ruling parties will have to abide by the majority’s decision which can be done through referendum.
I know that people who are pro-same sex marriages will be grieved with this write up, but it is also clear that the majority of Malawians are against it and the truth must be told. In democracy the majority rules, not minority. If the laws favouring the minority are endorsed by the majority, then there is no problem but if it is not that, then the majority are robbed of their decision making right. It is so suspicious that, the PP led government has kept quiet after suspending this law giving people and law enforcers no clear direction.
After taking the mantle of power, President Joyce Banda vowed to repeal laws which criminalise homosexuals but now she has changed tune which may not really be in good faith but fear of losing popularity and then we just see these laws being repealed when the PP wins with majority in 2014.
Our president claims to be a Christian and a God fearing leader. After her swearing in, she said, “I felt the Holy Spirit’s presence during my inauguration”. When she vowed to repealed laws which criminalise homosexuals, I wondered, was that the Holy Spirit I know or otherwise. My doubt was based on the fact that the Holy Spirit is not the Spirit of confusion but order and can not mislead anyone. He is the Spirit of truth.
The suspension of this law may be interpreted as silent legalisation of homosexuality because suspending it means that even if the homosexual couple comes out to wed in public, the law enforcers have no power to question them. So, where are we? Isn’t that back door legalisation? Suspension of such laws has opened up to this immoral behaviour especially in the lakeshore areas and influenced the establishment of the Association of Commercial Sex workers and encouraged many other evils.
We need to be sensitive as to where are we taking our country. I call upon religious leaders who have for some time kept quiet as if everything is okay in this country. Where are Catholic fathers and Rev. Nyondo of Livingstonia synod to speak out for the government to be clear on this issue?
Malawians would like to know if we are still God fearing nation or we have become donor fearing nation. This issue is not simple to deal with as such it doesn’t need the parliament to decide but to only propose for referendum which may be done together with the general elections.
Taking advantage of the forthcoming general election, we can include such a question on the presidential ballot paper so that all Malawians may decide. I advise us to work towards pleasing God not donors or any other person. To those who take the bible as authoritative, it says, “it is dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” Hebrew 10:31.
Robert Masikamu (Public Advisor)Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :