Nkhatabay fails to approve CEDEP ‘access to justice’, refers it to council: Project promotes  security for sexual minorities


Nkhata Bay District Executive Committee (DEC) have reserved their decision to approve a two year Access-to-Justice Project, to be implemented jointly by Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) and the Malawi Police Service.

Trapence (centre)  and Rev Macdonald Sembereka: Access to Justice
Trapence (centre) and Rev Macdonald Sembereka: Access to Justice

The Nkhata Bay technocrats have instead referred the proposed project to a full council for further consultation before approving it.

District Youth Officer, Samuel Thapasila Gondwe, who chaired the DEC meeting on behalf of the district commissioner Thursday, told CEDEP and Police officials from headquarters that the project is sensitive in nature, hence the need for further consultation with a full council before giving the project a node.

CEDEP Deputy Chairperson, Reverend Macdonald Sembeleka, had told DEC members in his earlier remarks that the project aimed at preserving human rights and improving access to formal and informal justice, and security for sexual minorities like lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) in Malawi.

He also said the LGBTI community is denied justice and protection on the basis of their sexual identity.

“Apparently, when they are victims of violence and would like to seek justice and protection, they are afraid for fear of being stigmatized and discriminated on the basis of real or perceived sexual orientation,” Sembereka observed.

However, the DEC chairperson, Thapasila Gondwe, described the project as sensitive, needing further consultation with a full Nkhata Bay Council before approval.

“Nkhata Bay DEC would have approved the project, but there is need to refer the matter to a full council for their input before DEC approves the project,” he said.

Several other DEC members also quashed the sentiments that Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender and Intersex activities are alarming in Nkhata Bay.

“Who are these people? And where do they stay?  We need to know them. Sex workers are known in the district because they formed an association, and these people need to come out and make an association like their friends so that their problems are handled professionally,” said Gideon Nahumu, Nkhata Bay Police Officer in Charge.

The Finish Embassy- funded project was developed on the basis of a previous workshop which CEDEP, Malawi Law Society, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, and  Malawi Police Service conducted in Liwonde on the December 9 to 10, 2014.

During the workshop, delegates recommended that there should be regional and district workshops where regional and district police officers must be sensitized on LGBTI issues.

Following the recommendation, CEDEP engaged the Finish Government for support to roll out similar activities in ten districts on access to justice and security.

Earmarked districts for the project include Karonga, Mzuzu, Nkhata Bay, Salima, Lilongwe, Nkhota kota, Mangochi, Blantyre, Chikwawa, and Mulanje.


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chiso banda
chiso banda
6 years ago

Sembereka was chief architect of Manellera s downfall. He is at CEDEP to down it again. Gift Trapence work with this man at your own risk

Alfred Minjo
Alfred Minjo
6 years ago

Iwe Sembereka ndi mathanyula akowo kagwere kutali. I fully support the decision made up by the council. Do not allow these guys to bring in confusions here. Why not going to Mangochi your home district?

6 years ago

The project is really relevant to lake shore areas, though being a sensitive matter; in the lake-shore that is where most tourists visits, hence if there are any LGBT people as human beings they deserve to be protected, hence the project need to be approved by the council. Homosexuality remains illegal in Malawi and due to culturally being sensitive issue that is why people can not come out to form an association, hence I wonder on Police officer’s (Gigumu) for them to form an association, with due respect sir! what you are saying does not make sense and it is… Read more »

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