Ken Msonda (YouTube / Nkhani Digest)
The spokesperson for Malawi’s former ruling political party has called for gays and lesbians to killed.
Ken Msonda, who is also the People’s Party (PP) administrative secretary, lashed out at the Malawian government for recently suspending the criminalisation of homosexuality.
Writing on social media, Msonda ranted that gays and lesbians are the “sons and daughters of the devil” and, echoing Robert Mugabe, that they are “worse than dogs.”
According to the Nyasa Times, he said: “Arresting them won’t address this problem because sooner or later they are being released on bail. The best way to deal with the problem is to KILL them!”
Msonda further slammed the media for being sympathetic to the gay and lesbian community.
“It is pathetic to see our media houses parading these dogs on TV and newspapers hiding behind human rights – human rights my foot! THE DEVIL HAS NO RIGHTS!” he insisted.
The Malawi Law Society responded to the comments with “great shock”, describing them as “contemptible, irresponsible and bordering on hate speech.”
While it affirmed the “constitutional right of all Malawians to pronounce themselves on the question of homosexuality” it reminded the public that “calling on members of the LGBTI community to be killed is hate speech and is not protected by the Constitution.”
The society said in a statement that it has referred Msonda to the Malawi Human Rights Commission and the Malawi Police Service “so that they investigate the said conduct and take appropriate action.”
Last month, two men arrested on charges of having gay sex were released after Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu confirmed that the government had “imposed a moratorium” on the arrest of Malawians for having gay sex, which carries a penalty of 14 years in prison.
He also affirmed a commitment to review the colonial era ban on sex “against the order of nature” in “consultation with the people of Malawi.”
In 2014, the Malawian government told a UN human rights committee it would not enforce the anti-gay law.
The issue of LGBT rights in Malawi was thrust into the international spotlight in 2010 when Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment on charges related to same-sex sexual conduct. They were pardoned and released following international outrage.
In April 2015, the nation effectively outlawed same-sex marriage through the adoption of the new Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Law which defines marriage as only being possible between people of the opposite sex.