Malawi: Pastors want 4 000 gays arrested

2016-03-29 07:52
Displaying the rainbow flag of gay rights activists: Despite vocal opposition in a number of African countries, acceptance is slowly gaining ground.
Photograph: See-ming Lee. Source: United Nations,

Displaying the rainbow flag of gay rights activists: Despite vocal opposition in a number of African countries, acceptance is slowly gaining ground. Photograph: See-ming Lee. Source: United Nations,

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Blantyre - A coalition of young pastors in Malawi have threatened to drag the government to court to force it arrest 4 000 homosexuals living in northern Malawi’s city of Mzuzu.

The Young Pastors Coalition of Malawi (YPCM) has accused the government of encouraging homosexuality through its failure to arrest gays and lesbians.

The call comes after a local human rights grouping Centre for the Development of the People (Cedep) has released research findings which indicates that northern Malawi’s city of Mzuzu has a population of 4 000 homosexuals.

The survey by Cedep was conducted to establish HIV/Aids and socio-behavioural characteristics amongst men who have sex with men.

Despite same sex relations being outlawed, Malawi government has been reluctant to arrest and prosecute homosexuals.

The survey results have irked the pastors who argue that the research was conducted as part of advocacy to promote homosexuality in Malawi.

“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,” argue the pastors in a statement.

 The statement signed by the coalition’s director Patrick Banda and general secretary Tusalifye Mbeye adds: “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.”

Reacting to the call, Malawi’s Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu has advised the pastors to concentrate on their work instead of poking their noses into matters of the state.

“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.

Centre for the Development of the People (Cedep) executive director Gift Trapence has rubbished such calls as retrogressive.

“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.

Religious leaders have been vehemently opposing the relaxation of homosexual laws in Malawi.

Recently, the clergy spearheaded the quashing of a government’s moratorium on gays which shielded homosexuals from prosecution.

Despite the pastors’ campaign, Malawian government has said it will not arrest or prosecute gay citizens as lawmakers will review existing anti-homosexual laws.

Under Malawi laws, convicted homosexuals are jailed for 14 years.

Read more on:    malawi  |  gay rights

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.