Parliament will remain in the dark on reasons the Executive discontinued the case where politician Ken Msonda was dragged to court for inciting violence. Writing on his Facebook page on January 2 2016, Msonda declared that the best way to deal with homosexuals was to kill them.
Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee chairperson Peter Chakwantha said in an interview on Tuesday that his committee was ready to share with the National Assembly reasons the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) gave to discontinue the case.
DPP Mary Kachale, as required by law, submitted a report to the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee, giving reasons why her office on January 21 this year discontinued the matter where Msonda was charged with inciting violence.
Chakwantha said: “We would have preferred to discuss this report before this sitting of Parliament, but we will not be able to meet and discuss this report and eventually inform the House why the DPP discontinued that case.
“This is counterproductive and we feel short-changed. We cannot divulge the contents of the report before we share it with the National Assembly, but this is an urgent and sensitive report.”
Clerk of Parliament, Fiona Kalemba, in a response to a questionnaire said the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee would only be able to meet after the budget review meeting.
“The committee is tentatively scheduled to meet from March 28 2016, after Parliament’s budget review meeting,” said Kalemba.
She disclosed that a week-long meeting of the Legal Affairs Committee costs about K12 million.
The DPP discontinued the case in which two human rights activists, Gift Trapence and Timothy Mtambo, commenced private prosecution against Msonda, accusing him of inciting violence.
Khumbo Soko, a lawyer who represented Centre for Development of People (Cedep) executive director Gift Trapence and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Timothy Mtambo in dragging Msonda to court, said in an interview that the entire citizenry not only his clients, have a right to know why the DPP discontinued the case.
Meanwhile, a High Court in Mzuzu has put aside a moratorium government issued to stop arrests of people involved in homosexuality until a judicial review on the matter is held, meaning the anti-homosexuality laws remain in force. n