Malawiâ€™s former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has advised government to avoid taking a careless approach on minority rights issues, saying whatever steps are taken on the matter should embrace the position of the majority of Malawians.
DPPâ€™s position comes against a background of reports that United Kingdom musician Sir Elton John, who openly confesses to be gay, last week applauded Malawi for taking strides to embrace people living with HIV and Aids and minority groups, including homosexuals.
But in an interview on Tuesday, government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu said so far there is nothing Malawians should worry about since, if need be, the repeal process of the said law will be through Parliament which he said represents the people.
In the statement released by DPP secretary general Elias Wakuda Kamanga, DPP said Sir Elton Johnâ€™s remarks raise questions as to what has been done so far on President Joyce Bandaâ€™s commitment that her administration will repeal the law that prohibits same sex marriages and homosexual relations.
â€œThe DPP would like to get confirmation about the basis for such applause. The nation and the people of Malawi have the right to know if the current administration is indeed taking steps and making decisions that majority of Malawians are not aware of,â€ he said.
Kamanga said the party was further concerned that since the President Banda has already made statements to the effect that one of the laws her administration will repeal will be that which outlaws same sex marriages and homosexuality.
But Kunkuyu said: â€œWhat the DPP should know is that laws in Malawi are no longer made at State House. They are made in Parliament. This issue will be debated in Parliament.â€
Kunkuyu, who is also Minister of Information and Civic Education, said the President has already implored Parliament to debate this issue with sober mind and since DPP was part of government and Parliament, it is up to the party to lobby in the House on its position.
â€œDPP should not demean the role of Parliament,â€ said Kunkuyu.