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Hitting the nail: A moratorium we have all forgotten about


Those that were against the DPP government issuing a moratorium against arresting and prosecuting gays as provided for in Section 153 of the Penal Code came from all walks of life.

The political parties such as MCP and PP, the churches and all were unanimous in chorus, arguing that suspending a law to please donors is illegal and exposes other laws, including the supreme one, the Constitution, to abuse.

It is the same argument that pastors from Mzuzu used to move the High Court there to order a judicial review of the moratorium and grant an injunction against the suspension of the law which effectively orders the police to start arresting and prosecuting those they deem to be practicing homosexuality.


Last week I tried to demonstrate why the pastors’ move is against their calling which is about mercy and compassion for sinners as Jesus preached as much as I also tried to show how these men of God have mortgaged their calling to the State to arrest sinners.

But since political parties and the pastors seem to have found a new preoccupation to fight against unilateral moratoriums to check abuse of power, I also want to draw their attention to another suspension of law done not only by the DPP but all parties that have been in power since multiparty system of government was introduced more than 20 years ago and it is the death penalty.

Murder continues to happen on daily basis since 1994. The High Court sitting everywhere around the country continues to sentence murderers to hang for killing others. But none of the murderers have been sent to swing since 1994. They have instead filled up the prison system and the tax payer continues to feed them (even clothe them) as we speak.


No political party, or pastor has gone to court demanding that the President should start signing off death sentences for murderers found guilty of killing others. This is hypocrisy of the highest order.

There is similar pressure from the donors that we should do away with the death penalty.

In fact, some civil society organisations got funding from Western donors to lobby Malawians to abolish the death penalty.

At the behest of the donors, they went about lobbying chiefs and other opinion leaders in and outside government to allow their plan to abolish the death penalty. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on which side of the argument one is, these members of the civil society were told in no uncertain terms by many Malawians that they should forget
their nefarious plans.

In fact, they were told in the face, in some instances, to first of all tell their Western benefactors to take their campaign to abolish the death penalty to America where some states are still sending murderers to swing after being convicted of killing others.

To me, this should have been an autocue for characters such as pastors in Mzuzu to also go to the High Court to force a sitting president to start sending these murderers to the gallows and comply with the law that is also from the same Penal Code that prescribes 14-year-jail term for those practicing homosexuality which is against the order of nature.

I would have also expected the Malawi Law Society to raise same hell in full page newspaper statements as they do when someone is displaying antics that are tantamount to
blatant disregard for the law.

Apparently, we have all slept on duty and have allowed government and presidents to refuse to do their job of sending murderers to death as the law of the land prescribes just as it does on homosexuals.

We should not forget about death penalty moratorium which our presidents have silently imposed on the country.

Bad Week
A grouping of 30 NGOs led by Civil Society Platform for Construction had a bad week for trying to punch holes into the all stakeholders Pac conference organised in Blantyre this week by claiming that the quasi religious body is good at criticising government and not offering solutions.

Firstly, no one asked for the opinion of these NGOs on the Pac conference as it does not matter to us. The best the NGOs could have done is to organise their own conference where they could not criticise government but offer solutions only.

Secondly, the place of Pac in the history of multiparty system of government and general governance since 1994 cannot be equaled by these bogus and briefcase NGOs whose only preoccupation is attending meetings for allowances and visiting offices of prominent people looking for a dime.

Pac steered the change that took place in this country more than 20 years ago and continues to be a respected voice on public affairs. Its strength is that it groups all major religions in this country and it is a force and agent for change.

It is folly of the first order for the 30 NGOs to imagine that they can assemble a couple of journalists in a badly organised press conference to bad-mouth Pac and hope against hope that it will wash among Malawians.

They are a joke and their cartooning was a waste of time. They had an awful week.

Good Week

The Cabinet led by President Peter Mutharika had a good week for clearing the way that Access to Information Bill sees light of day in Parliament.

But in the absence of Malawians not seeing the bill in the government gazette, it would be folly to celebrate yet especially that the President said some unreasonable things against the bill such as the fact that he does not want Malawians to have access to information retrospectively but only that generated after the day he signs the bill.

Without which, the President threatened, that he would veto the bill if Parliament passes it.

I would, therefore, be interested in knowing what kind of bill will be tabled in the House which the Cabinet has approved.

I have never understood why the President wants to deny us access to past information and it does not bode well for a man who is losing political capital on daily basis due to a myriad of problems that are confronting this nation that includes starvation and a crumbling economy.

Yet for the bill to see light of day is still a victory for Malawians in this long battle for access to information. For that, the President, with his Cabinet, had a good week.

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