By Melanie Nathan, February 15, 2014.
As the debate on whether to decriminalize homosexuality in Malawi or not rages on, Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) has suggested the need to revise the penalty of those found guilty of homosexuality to be condemned to death. This suggestion comes at a time as some Civil Society Organisations (CSO) are pushing for the country to abolish the statute that penalise the act. Currently the maximum jail term sentence for those found guilty by the courts is 14 years.
This report as it appears in Malawi Muslims Official Website:
MAM Secretary General Dr Salmin Omar Idrussi in an interview said that ‘‘ though Malawi is regarded as a secular state but the country is blessed with God fearing citizens who can’t afford to deviate from God’s commandments for the sake of pleasing others who practice the act.’’
‘‘Even animals like goats don’t do this, what more with Human beings like us who were blessed with wisdom by the Almighty God? The offenders need to be handed death penalty as a way of making sure that the issue is curbed.
Apparently some religious groupings are calling for the government to call for a referendum for Malawians to make a choice on the matter.
Sheikh Idrussi said that much as his organisation is supporting the appeal of holding the referendum, but citizens should be asked whether to increase the penalty or not since the law is already there which is in line with the citizenry’s religious ideology.
‘‘The majority obviously is against legalising this sinful act. Therefore it will be necessary for People to be asked whether they are happy with the current law which attracts a maximum penalty of a 14 year jail term.
Malawi’s Supreme Court of Appeal has granted Government a stay order stopping proceedings in which the High Court in the city of Blantyre was set to commence reviewing convictions of three men involved in homosexuality.
High court Judge Dustain Mwaungulu on January 20 this year threw out an application the Attorney General AG filed to halt the proceedings on the basis that the applicants did not get certification of the matter from the Chief Justice.
The presiding Judge argued it was not a mandatory and went on to set March 17, 2014 as a date for a panel of Judges to start hearing the case.
The three men convicted in 2011 by a Magistrate’s court in Blantyre are Amon Champyunu, Mathews Bello and Mussa Chiwisi . All are serving long jail term ranging from 10 to 14 years.
Gay activists want the court to declare the laws criminalizing homosexuality unconstitutional.