The Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) has accused local gay rights activists of hiding behind HIV and Aids and described their campaign for decriminalisation of anti-gay laws as misplaced.
Briefing journalists in Lilongwe on Thursday, MCC chairperson Bishop Dr. Joseph Bvumbwe said people who practise homosexuality are abnormal and should be treated as such. He urged government not to succumb to ungodly practices to please Western donors.
It is surprising that such proponents claim they are doing this to advance health or medical rights of homosexuals and, thereby help reduce HIV and Aids cases. The Church is very concerned that promotion of homosexual relationships is in itself the promotion of HIV and Aids transmission, he said.
Bvumbwe said there is no law in the country which stops criminals, including convicted murderers and rapists, from accessing medical care in hospitals; hence, wondered why limited access to medical treatment among minority groups is being advanced as a basis for decriminalising anti-gay laws.
He said: We should not treat abnormality as normality. When there is something abnormal, we must recognise it as such and not treat it as a normality.
The council finds it very amusing that human rights groups and other sections of society use public debates, news articles and other means to promote homosexuality as if it were a national priority when in fact there are a number of minority groups whose issues are more deserving than homosexuality.
Bvumbwe said churches are wondering why the disturbing gay rights campaign is only heightening in Malawi and not in other African countries such as Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia.
MCC vice-chairperson the Reverend Bossman Chitheka described the ongoing gay rights campaign as unfortunate, cautioning government not to tamper with the countryâ€™s anti-gay laws.
Recently, Minister of Justice and Attorney General Ralph Kasambara said the countryâ€™s anti-gay laws are in the state of moratorium (temporary suspension) to allow debate on the matter, saying police cannot arrest or prosecute those involved in homosexual practices.
Kasambara has, however, attracted condemnation from the Malawi Law Society (MLS) who on Wednesday said the suspension of anti-gay laws is unconstitutional, illegal and an insult to Parliament as no one in the Executive has powers to suspend the countryâ€™s laws on their own.
During the press conference, MCC also pledged support to fight for Malawi to get the whole lake in the ongoing border dispute over Lake Malawi with Tanzania.
The council also expressed concern over continued insecurity in the country and slow inflow of donor aid after the recent 49 percent devaluation.