5 January 2016

Malawi: Cedep, CCJP Fault Msonda Over Gay Remarks

Lilongwe — 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 through his face book post came out all guns blazing labeling gays and lesbians worse than dogs and daughters of the evil one--'Jabulosi' their father and advising the masses to deal with them by killing them.

"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. In a statement the body released on Monday it demanded an investigation to be carried out saying Msonda's remarks were criminal, irresponsible and bordering on hate speech.


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