Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale has defended government’s move to request $388 888 (about K221 million) from Global Fund for HIV and Aids interventions targeting 40 000 homosexual men despite the country criminalising the act.
In recent years, government has come under pressure from some Western countries and local civil society organisations (CSOs) to legalise homosexuality.
Ironically, while still outlawing homosexuality, government is asking for the money targetting about 40 000 homosexual men with testing, counselling, treatment, condoms and prevention of risky behaviour programmes.
However, lesbians have been excluded in the package.
In an interview yesterday, Kaphale defended the seeking of funds, saying just like government provides health care services for other citizens that have violated the law, it has the duty to look into health care of homosexuals.
He said homosexuals have the right to proper health care, adding they also pay tax just like any other Malawian.
Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume said homosexuality is still illegal, adding that health facilities in the country do not attend to people based on their sexual orientation.
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Timothy Mtambo did not pick up his phone when called while Centre for Development of People (Cedep) executive director Gift Trapence’s phone was out of reach.
The two are among the vocal campaigners for homosexuality in the country.
President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday signed the $378 million (K215 billion) grant from the Global Fund to accelerate the fight against HIV and Aids, malaria and tuberculosis in Malawi.
It is in that package that $388 888 (about K221 million) will target about 40 000 homosexual men with testing and counselling and treatment, condoms and prevention of risky behaviour programmes. n