Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Is Malawi Heading Towards LGBT Wipe-off

The news today that the police in Malawi has gone on a homophobic witch-hunt of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people again is very disturbing.
Just two months ago, the government of Malawi through the police arrested and detained two young men, Steven Monjeza, 26, and 20-year-old Tiwonge Chimbalanga, for holding a wedding ceremony. They were charged with
 unnatural acts and gross indecency and could be imprisoned for up to 14 years if found guilty. At this point, regardless of all the fight we put up, including requests from the international community, governments and NGOs from across the world, no one can say what the fate of these two men are today.
The continuous state persecution and government sponsored homophobia is destroying and crippling Africa. With the new round of operation targeting gay people, the risk of increase in diseases, destruction of skills, prostitution, tax lost, etc will be on the rise. If only the governments of African States such as Malawi who criminalizes homosexuality can only think from a positive viewpoint.
The continent needs all the skills and talents it can get to escape the avalanche of crime, corruption, under-development and backwardness that has befallen it. But then, it is the protection of these evils that are behind the hunt of ordinary people just because of their natural sexuality.
We call on the government of Malawi again to respect and adhere to its national constitution in Chapter 4, Section 20, clause 1 and Section 21, Clauses 1 -3, which grants freedom, respect of privacy and non-discrimination to all citizens of Malawi. The flaunting of these rights by the very government which suppose to protect and administer them is an affront to justice and leaves the affected sect with little or no pride, patriotism and belief in their own country.
It continues to appal concerned people and most especially African LGBT people that the UN is still keeping inactive while these communal cleansing continue to increase. For countries that are fighting immigration in-flow, I fear that such goals are far from being achieved when a sect of people cannot be secure in their own homeland.
Once again, I hope countries like UK, USA, Canada and all other donors to these countries will take an active stand against these discriminations rather than continuing to focus on their material gains.
We cannot rely at all on the African Union to implement its Charter on Human and People's Rights since majority of its members including the main voices like Nigeria, Kenya, etc hold executive powers in it. Hence African LGBTs are pleading with the European Union, and the United Nation to intervene strongly before it transmits into a holocaust. The world must act now and avoid regret. Proactive should be the action not reactive as it may be nearly useless.

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