Executive Director for Centre for the Development of the People (CEDEP) Gift Trapence has described as potentially divisive and criminal in nature remarks made by Peoples Party (PP) Publicity and Administrative Secretary Ken Msonda in which he called for killing of gays.
Reacting to the remarks which have attracted widespread criticism from many quarters, Trapence said rights and laws which govern the country protect everybody in equal measure regardless of their sexual orientation adding for someone to be calling for the killing of a certain section of the society was a serious criminal act.
“There are elements of a grave criminal offence all over his utterances and we are asking the Police to arrest him. It is very unfortunate that such words are coming from a political leader who claims to represent the interests of Malawians.
“And it has come as a big surprise to us because his stance is in stark contradiction to what he said on gay people in 2012 that they should not be discriminated against. It is important to remind him that democratic values respect the right to life and the rule of law and not of the jungle,” said Trapence in an interview with Mana.
Msonda is said to have posted on his Facebook over the weekend remarks demanding the killing of homosexuals as the best way to deal with the issue, describing them as “worse than dogs”.
“Arresting them will not address the problem because sooner or later they are being released on bail. The best way is to kill them,” wrote Msonda.
On his part acting National Secretary for the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Martin Chiphwanya said according to the teachings of the Catholic Church nobody is allowed to violate the life of another person irrespective of their sexual orientation.
“Human life has a value and should therefore be protected at all costs. Guided by the teachings of the church, as CCJP we understand that homosexuals require empathy, conversion and repentance so they are brought into the path of uprightness,” said Chiphwanya.
The CEDEP Executive Director said he had all the hope that the Malawi Human Rights Commission, the Attorney General and the Police will take up the issue as no one is above the law.
“Malawi is a country for all Malawians collectively regardless of sexual orientation, religious and tribal backgrounds. No individual and religious grouping can claim to own the country more.
“People can choose to disagree, to belong to different religions but can co-exist without harming each other and that is the spirit and principles of human rights,” he said.
The Malawi Law society has also condemned the sentiments by Msonda and called on the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and police to investigate the statement and take appropriate action.
MLS further said it had observed with concern the increasingly homophobic statements being published by some quarters of the citizenry on the social media.
“This irresponsibility takes an unacceptably different turn when political leaders and opinion makers take the lead in inciting actual violence against fellow citizens.
“While the society affirms the constitutional right of all Malawians to pronounce themselves on the question of homosexuality, it would like to remind all Malawians that hate speech is not covered by the constitutional guarantee of free speech,” said MLS in the statement.
“Calling on members of the LGBTI [Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex] community to be killed is hate speech and is not protected by the Constitution. It is, in fact, criminal.”
The statement adds that MLS unequivocally affirms that rights of LGBTIs in Malawi are human rights protected under Chapter IV of the Malawi Constitution.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :