Malawi is a democratic country that has vowed through its constitution and its ratification of international legal instruments to protect and defend the rights of all its citizens. Since 1994, women and men have been assured equal rights, some in practice; others in theory. Since 1994, the rights of people living with disabilities have been recognised. Since 1994, the rights of children and the youth have been protected. Since 1994, the rights of prisoners have been assured.
Even the USA, the EU and Russia recognise that, today, Malawi is not the same country Kamuzu Banda and the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) abused, raped, tortured and robbed at will. Even Zambia recognises that the presidents and parties that succeeded the Kamuzu Banda and MCP dictatorship have presided over a more alert, more active, more demanding, and less dead population than what the one party state had mentally battered, brutalised and imprisoned.
Today, in Malawi, the human rights discourse flows like the mighty River Shire. Today, in Malawi, all manner of people understand, or at least talk about, their rights. Minorities understand their rights. The majority also understands its rights. Today, Malawians know that not all rights have universal value. The right to life, formal education, state protection, free expression, association and dissociation is universal, and economic activities are universal. All Malawians know all these.
They also know that while the right to cultural expression is guaranteed in international legal documents, every society has its own culture to celebrate. Culture, in case some people in the West have forgotten, is expressed through dance, dress, music, religion, food, birth and burial among other ceremonies. In case some Western leaders have forgotten, the United Nations is against any person, organisation or nation flexing its muscles to bully or terrorise any other nation, small or big, rich or poor to impose its culture and traditions.
That is why the USA and EU are against Russia’s invasion of the Crimea region of Ukraine. That is also why President Museveni of Uganda and Mugabe of Zimbabwe are against Western intervention in typically cultural issues of their countries.
The West is the economic bully and cultural terrorist. It uses its aid money to re-colonise weak states. The West still believes development is Westernisation. If the West eats snails and snakes, everybody else must eat snails and snakes. If in the West, people are free to walk about naked and striptease, everybody must be free to do the same. If in the West, men marry men, every man everywhere must be free to marry a man. If in the West women marry women, every woman everywhere should be free to marry another woman. In short, homosexuality or mathanyula is, for the West, a fundamental human right.
We, Sheikh Jean-Philippe LePoisson and I, disagree. We also disagree with the pro-homosexuality argument that pre-colonial traditional African society allowed mathanyula. The traditional African society we belong to never did. The many pre-colonial traditional African munthu societies we know were anti-mathanyula and anti-bestiality. Any mathanyula practitioners were executed or sold off as slaves.
Even if we accepted that mathanyula were a human right and that the law be changed to allow homosexuals to practice their conjugal freedoms, mathanyula will have to wait. The list of things that we need to change is overwhelming. Since 1994, journalists have fought for the repeal of laws that hinder free expression. Women have fought for constitutional changes to equitably share political power with men. Political minorities have fought for constitutional changes to nullify the first-past-the post election of political leaders. Rastafarians have campaigned for their sect to be allowed to smoke ganja openly. Sex workers have been campaigning for uhule to be recognised as pensionable employment. Mboni za Jehova have campaigned, and even been persecuted by the MCParty, for their right not to participate in zinthu zamziko, such as voting. Apostolic Faith (Apositole) and Watch Tower (Amikaeli) have long fought for their right not to take Western medicines and not to send their children to school.
As such, no matter how hard the West through its proxies in Malawi campaigns, mathanyula rights can hardly be a priority in Malawi this century. Research shows that Malawians are more concerned about food security, education quality, health services, and theft of public resources than about mathanyula rights.
If mathanyula were really a universal human right, the West would have made it a condition for dispensing aid to their new colonies of Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Ukraine.