A group called the Young Pastors Coalition of Malawi (YPCM) has called on the Malawian government to see to it that about 4000 homosexuals are arrested or answer to court charges.
The group which called for the arrest of the homosexuals in northern Malawi’s city of Mzuzu has accused the government of encouraging homosexuality through its failure to arrest gays and lesbians.
The call came after a local human rights grouping Center for the Development of the People (Cedep) released research findings indicating that northern Malawi’s city of Mzuzu has a population of 4 000 homosexuals.
The survey was conducted with the aim of establishing HIV/Aids and socio-behavioral characteristics among men who have sex with men and the coalition criticized the research claiming it only boosted the spread of homosexuality.
“We want the group that conducted the survey to present the names of the 4 000 homosexuals to police so that they can be arrested and face prosecution,” the pastors demanded in a statement.
“This statement should warn officials like the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Inspector General of Police to take action and treat any homosexual as a criminal, the same way thieves are treated as criminals.” they added in the statement signed by the coalition’s director Patrick Banda and general secretary Tusalifye Mbeye.
However, the Malawi’s Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu has reacted to the call by the group of pastors by advising to concentrate on their work and leave government matters to those assigned to do so.
“Let our pastors continue doing their good work of saving lost souls. However, they should let experts in human rights, constitutionalism and law enforcement to do what they are supposed to do,” he said.
On the same hand, the executive director of the Center for the Development of the People (Cedep), Gift Trapence, has rubbished the call by the coalition by saying this is a free world.
“Such calls are retrogressive considering that government’s moratorium shows government’s commitment to review gay laws. Pastors should remember that we live in a free society. People are free to associate and enjoy human rights,” said Trapence.
Meanwhile, the Malawian government has despite it’s law against homosexuality in the country, been reluctant to arrest and prosecute homosexuals and this has raised huge criticism by the clergy living in the country.
Under Malawi laws, convicted homosexuals are jailed for 14 years.
A recent event saw the clergy spearheaded the quashing of a government’s moratorium on gays which shielded homosexuals from prosecution. Even at that, the Malawian government has said it will not arrest or prosecute gay citizens as lawmakers will review existing anti-homosexual laws.