Malawians Have Spoken on Homosexuality: Government Must Listen

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    Ever since the State President Mrs Joyce Banda made her remarks in her first State of the Nation Address in Parliament last month which she included to repeal of anti-homosexuality laws, the issue has not left to be making headlines for quite some time.

    Almost every medium has carried the same sex relationship as a news item in its front pages and in news bulletin around the country.

    The recent one, which prompted me to comment, is the contribution by a senior lecturer at the Malawi Polytechnic with the theme “Church Must Help People into heaven, not prison” The Nation pg 14 June 6, 2012.

    I fully agree with the author and will do that with some quotations from the following media reports which in part show that our religious leaders have to a certain extent played their role as God fearing people who are answerable to God.  I am sure they have done justice although there is still a room for them to do more as the author suggests.

    It was with the Islamic Information Bureau (IIB) through its National coordinator Sheikh Dinala Chabulika which warned Malawi Government not to surrender to the pressure from the donor community especially the UK/US in order to legalize homosexuality in the name of aid saying if they don’t want, it is better the donors should stay away with their aid. Malawi is a God fearing Nation; let no one dictate to us on anything in the name of aid.

    On a  Radio Islam programme monitored by www.malawimuslims.com,   Sheikh Dinala Chabulika cautioned  government not to  make decisions  for the sake of pleasing donors but rather should also respect and listen to the views of Malawian citizens who are against the practice of such ‘evil acts’.

    Sheikh Chabulika’s remarks concurred with other religious leaders like Apostle Samuel Chilenje of Jesus Pentecostal Church who asked the president to call for referendum on whether Malawians should obey donors and not God on the issue of same sex relationship, Nation on Sunday pg 3, 27 May, 2012. Furthermore, in the same paper, the Rastas vision Jah representing their denomination also followed suit and cautioned that they will demonstrate on gays,  the paper  also quoted www.bible.org website that Lehman Strauss presented what he calls a Christian perspective on Homosexuality suggesting its total non acceptability in society.

    Without quoting all the religions that have publicly given their stand point on the issue of same sex relationship, there is a  consensus that this issue is a sin before God and should not even waste tax payers money in either calling for a referendum or having it debated in parliament.

    What more would government need when almost every religion in the country has voiced its position through public media which is the most effective way of disseminating the information to the masses in this country? This is against the background that the President has revealed in London that the debate on this matter rests with members of Parliament because they represent their constituents and it is, therefore expected that what they decide represents the views of the Malawians, The Nation pg 2, June 05, 2012.

    However, the question some people  are asking is whether these parliamentarians still represent the views of their people as they have a tendency of moving from one party to the other as they wish without asking those very same people who voted for them as regards  the religious leaders. They are the very same leaders, Bishops, Reverends, Sheikhs in their respective denominations  despite change of regimes they have not defected  , therefore ,  the question to be asked is, who should the government listen to, the members of parliament  who have no patriotism on their constituents  or the church leaders who are with the people every day?

    Almost all parties in Malawi have also expressed their positions regarding the matter , and according to Petra’s President Kamuzu Chibambo  who released a statement which stipulates  that the party is disturbed with the decriminalization of homosexuality and its allied practices which Petra suggests that its tantamount to legalizing same sex marriages and therefore requests for  Malawi government to tread with care.

    Petra also argues that it is incorrect to call same sex partnerships marriages. Malawi would be making a grave mistake to legalise same sex marriages ….as it would be onslaught on the family which is the bedrock of society.

    I agree with Petra that this is the time to act, starting from all NGOs, Faith leaders, Muslims, Christians within and outside the country to vehemently resist any intention directly or indirectly to legalise such an evil, Daily Times pg 2, Monday, May 21, 2012.

    I know that some may have the thinking of some NGO’s in Malawi who have been quoted in the media subscribing to the idea of same sex marriage like Centre for the Development of People (Cedep). In one article “We should learn to tolerate differences” A guest writer in Daily times, page 36, May 31st 2012 suggests that homosexuals and lesbians do not harm anyone except themselves, therefore, they should not be arrested for being different.

    The author argues that these people have a deviant behavior which should be accepted like any other mischief people do in our community but what the writer forgets is that if the world accepts such kind of thinking where if the society has some people who are deviant like sinners, adulterers murderers then we should accept these as norms. Unless the writer comes out clearly that one does not believe in God, because you cannot say the fearing of God status is nothing but a fallacy in order to justify the accommodation of people who are doing something unnatural. It does not work like that. Malawi is a God fearing Nation and shall remain the same until the Day of Judgment.

    I know the pressure is too much, that is why I am yet to see someone analyzing for me the statement by a visiting United Kingdom’s secretary Andrew Mitchel’s reply to a question by a MIJ reporter on minority rights (same sex marriages) in which he said,  “you are in a journey just like we were on a journey and that is a journey which needs to take place”. It means Malawi should bless itself that no matter  how long it may take, we shall have to compromise  and accept the  idea of homosexuality as they did, Daily Times Front Page 1st June 2012. How many things Malawi is on a Journey?

    By: Sheikh Abdullah Omar Mdala