Blantyre Magistrate’s Court on Friday issued an order summoning politician Ken Msonda over the “kill homosexuals” remarks he made on his Facebook page.
The order followed an application filed yesterday morning by two leading activists on minority rights who asked the court to summon Msonda to answer a charge of inciting another to contravene the law.
Gift Trapence and Timothy Mtambo exhibited to the court the Facebook post and a transcript of a radio interview with Joy Radio in which Msonda repeatedly said homosexuals had no rights in Malawi and they deserve to be killed.
The court, after the application filed by lawyer for the applicants, Khumbo Soko, granted the order and asked the two parties to come to court on January 21.
Msonda, asked to react to the decision by the applicants to drag him to court, said he was eagerly waiting for the summons and was ready to meet Trapence and Mtambo in court.
Msonda charged: “I will not be cowed and have my Christian belief compromised, I stand by what I said and I will repeat it in court—homosexuals have no rights in Malawi and that is why they are being arrested.
“People should not hide in the name of human rights. If there are gays, let them come out and see if they cannot face the law. Government must not treat homosexuals with kid gloves in exchange for donor aid. This is pathetic.”
Msonda, who is opposition People’s Party (PP) publicity secretary, and took this stand in his personal capacity according to the Facebook post, said apart from meeting the activists in court, he was also ready to meet them anywhere at any time for a debate on the matter.
After Msonda’s post on the social media Facebook on January 2 this year, Malawi Law Society (MLS) issued a statement that demanded investigation by authorities on the remarks he made.
The lawyers’ body asked Malawi Human Rights Commission and the police to investigate the matter and take an appropriate action. MLS said Msonda’s remarks bordered on hate speech.
The homosexual issue also stirred controversy over the festive season when one of Malawi’s leading musicians Lucius Banda stopped a performance in Mangochi when he noticed two men in the crowd kissing.
Banda, a legislator, apologised to his fans through his Facebook page the following day that he stopped the show because he could not stand the act and openly said he is against homosexuality.
Banda’s statement also attracted the wrath of the minority rights activists, who condemned him and described his remarks as homophobic. n