Malawi police arrest man in anti-gay sweep

Police in Malawi say they have arrested a man in what they describe as a sweep against homosexuals.

There is a debate over gay rights in the conservative Southern African country, sparked by the trial of a gay couple charged with unnatural acts and gross indecency, felonies for which they could
be imprisoned for up to 14 years.

Police spokesperson Dave Chingwalu said the 60-year-old man arrested on Monday has been charged with sodomy. Chingwalu said he received a complaint from a young man that he had been asked to undress by the 60-year-old, and was then sodomised.

Chingwalu said police investigations have uncovered a network of high-profile people who are involved homosexual acts. He said investigations are under way “and we will arrest them all”.

The hunt, arrests and prosecution of homosexuals comes amid a growing local and international campaign for Malawi to “go easy” on gays and lesbians.

A 21-year-old man was recently sentenced to two months of community service after being caught pasting pro-gay rights posters, and a senior minister expelled a woman from her town even
after a court acquitted her on charges of having sex with two girls.

Criticism
Malawi’s government has been criticised by international groups for the prosecution of Steven Monjeza (26) and Tiwonge Chimbalanga (20) jailed since their arrest December 27, the day they celebrated their engagement with a party that drew crowds of curious onlookers.

A group of Malawian human rights activists recently formed the Centre for the Development of People to fight for the rights of homosexuals and other minorities. The group says studies show that because of homophobic legislation, gays and lesbians are driven underground making them hard to reach with information that could protect them from HIV/Aids.

Another group, Broad Coalition, has distributed leaflets, posters and pictures promoting gay rights — but keeps the names of its members secret.

Constitutional review?
Mauya Msuku, the couple’s lawyer, said the laws under which Monjeza and Chimbalanga were charged were archaic and unconstitutional.

Msuku has asked the country’s chief justice for a constitutional review. Malawi’s government has been unapologetic.

Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Culture whose Parliament has condemned Malawi’s “harassment” of gays, is now visiting Malawi. It is not clear if she will address the issue as she interacts with Malawian officials.

In Africa, only South Africa has legalised same-sex marriage, and in South Africa the gap between the liberal Constitution and societal attitudes can be wide. Uganda will soon debate a proposed law that would impose the death penalty on some gays, though Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has told colleagues he believes the Bill is too harsh and a Cabinet minister has called — so far unsuccessfully — for the Bill to be scrapped. – Sapa-AP

Staff Reporter
Guest Author
Advertisting

Salie-Hlophe accuses Goliath of lying and racism

In response to Goliath’s gross misconduct complaint, Salie-Hlophe says Goliath has ‘an unhealthy obsession with my marriage’

Treasury is still seeking SAA funds

The government has committed an additional R2-billion to the airline, but has yet to pay it out

‘There were no marks on his neck’, Neil Aggett inquest...

The trade unionist’s partner at the time he was detained at John Vorster Square says she now believes his death was not a suicide
Advertising

Press Releases

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.