LILONGWE (Sergio Genti, Malawi NewsNow) — Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. George Chaponda has questioned the legibility of some countries such as Unites States of America and Britain s for pressuring Malawi to embrace minority rights such as same-sex relationsions, arguing the matter was controversial to citizens hence needs time for acceptance.
Chaponda has said the decision on whether Malawi should legalize same-sex marriages or not rests with Malawians themselves not donors, saying the matter was sensitive which requires thorough consultation.
“Even in their (the donors) countries, go to America. How many states have adopted gays? You go to Europe, even in Africa, maybe it’s only South Africa and a few countries, so we have to tread carefully, by the end of the day we will do what you people want us to do.,” said Chaponda.
He said the Peter Mutharika government will not listen to America or Britain on homosexuality bu the will of Malawians.
“We are there to implement what our Malawians people want, if they want everybody should go that way-same sex marriages then will do that,” he said.
“Malawi society is still undecided on the issue and that is why people react differently once they hear that one is indulging in homosexuality. You can imagine me going to my village and just say that this is my wife and I go with a fellow man, my wife would either think I’m crazy or something is wrong with me”, quizzed Chaponda.
Meanwhile, Malawian government will not arrest or prosecute gay citizens while lawmakers review existing anti-gay laws, the country’s justice minister said, after prosecutors dropped charges against a same-sex couple.
Earlier this month, two men 19-old Cuthbert Kulemera and 33-year-old Kelvin Gonani were detained by a neighborhood watch team, who turned them over to police.
Members of the neighborhood group forced their way into the couple’s home, ransacking it. The men were then forced to undergo medical tests for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and charged with sodomy, the groups said in a joint statement.
The development did not go down well with United States of America (USA) and German Ambassadors’, Virginia Palmer and Peter Woeste respectively who demanded the acquittal of the two’s charges of sodomy.
This was the first arrest of gays since 2009, when a gay couple was jailed and convicted in a highly publicized trial. Late President Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned the pair a year later, the rights groups said. Malawi moved to stop prosecuting gay citizens after former President Joyce Banda threw her support behind the decriminalization of same-sex relationships, the statement said.
Now Minister of Justice Samuel Tembenu reaffirmed a commitment the country made in 2012, when it suspended the enforcement of colonial-era laws that went against a constitutional guarantee of human rights.