We say no to gay rights - Malawi bishops
11 January 2016, 16:21
Lagos – A group of Catholic bishops from the Archdiocese of Blantyre has reportedly met with President Peter Mutharika to discuss among other things, Malawi's controversial homosexuality laws.
Nyasa Times reports that the group, led by Archbishop Thomas Msusa, met with the president behind closed doors, where they also also rejected cash handouts of K50 000 from government. They, instead, requested that the money be given to hospitals where "patients are only receiving one meal a day".
The bishops urged Mutharika not to be swayed on gay rights, with Msusa saying gay rights were foreign to Malawians and that government should follow the constitution.
Also read: Homosexuals should be killed - Malawi politician
"We were candid with the president, to say that these controversies and undue pressure on gay rights are alien to most Malawians and are being championed by foreigners," Msusa was quoted as saying.
"As the Catholic Church, we say no to supporting these gay activities and we will follow strictly our church doctrines."
Under the country's current anti-gay laws, those found guilty could be sentenced to 14 years in prison with hard labour. However, Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu recently indicated that the laws would be reviewed.
Mutharika was in the news last week, saying he wanted the rights of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community to be respected and protected.
Mutharika said he wanted the rights of homosexuals to be upheld, adding that Malawian citizens had the final say on whether or not homosexuality should be legalised.
This came as Ken Msonda, spokesperson for the former ruling People's Party (PP), demanded that homosexuals be killed.
Msonda described members of the LGBTI community as being worse than dogs, calling them "sons and daughters of the devil".