The Malawi Law Society (MLS) has demanded investigations into People’s Party (PP) publicity and administrative secretary Ken Msonda’s remarks calling for the killing of gays.
Msonda is said to have posted on his Facebook over the weekend remarks demanding the killing of homosexuals as the best way to deal with the issue, describing them as “worse than dogs”.
In a statement issued on Monday, MLS expressed shock at Msonda’s remarks and called on the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and police to investigate the statement and take appropriate action.
MLS said Msonda’s remarks were beneath anybody who claims to be a leader in the country.
“The society finds Mr Msonda’s alleged utterances contemptible, irresponsible and bordering on hate speech,” reads the statement signed by MLS president John Suzi Banda and honorary secretary Khumbo Bonzoe Soko, in part.
MLS further said it had observed with concern the increasingly homophobic statements being published by some quarters of the citizenry on the social media.
“This irresponsibility takes an unacceptably different turn when political leaders and opinion makers take the lead in inciting actual violence against fellow citizens.
“While the society affirms the constitutional right of all Malawians to pronounce themselves on the question of homosexuality, it would like to remind all Malawians that hate speech is not covered by the constitutional guarantee of free speech,” said MLS in the statement.
“Calling on members of the LGBTI [Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex] community to be killed is hate speech and is not protected by the Constitution. It is, in fact, criminal.”
The statement adds that MLS unequivocally affirms that rights of LGBTIs in Malawi are human rights protected under Chapter IV of the Malawi Constitution.
“The inherent dignity of all of our citizens, which in terms of the Constitution is inviolable, requires the State and all Malawians to take steps that ensure that persons are not treated differently solely on the basis of their sexual orientation,” said MLS.
In an interview, Soko said they had already dispatched relevant documents to MHRC and the police to assist them in their investigations.
When contacted for his reaction, Msonda said he was in a meeting. n