Sunday, May 30, 2010

President Mutharika pardons gay couple

State President Ngwazi Prof.Bingu wa Mutharika with the UN Secretary General BanKi-Moon in Malawi's presidential residence, the New State House in the administrative capital, Lilongwe.

By Our Reporter

President Mutharika told a press conference Saturday soon after holding private talks with United Nations Secretary General Mr.Ban Ki-Moon, who was on a two day official visit to Malawi, that he has pardoned the gays purely on humanitarian grounds.

He said the two were wrong according to the country’s tradition, and that they also violated the country’s laws under which they were tried and convicted.

“I would like to take this advantage to make this announcement to the media. The issue of gays has caused a lot of stress to the nation and Government. What the two boys did, created a situation which was unheard of in this country,” he said.

The President said Tiwonge and Steven were not only wrong against tradition and culture, but were also wrong on religious grounds, saying religions in the country do not allow same sex marriages.

“What they did was wrong against our culture and tradition, and it was against our penal code under which they were tried and convicted. However, I would like to make this announcement that, with my powers as President of this country, the two have been pardoned on humanitarian grounds.” said Mutharika.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon hailed President Mutharika for making what he described as ‘a bold and courageous decision.’

“I know that each country has its laws and traditions which need to be respected, but it is a pity that some countries still have laws that discriminate against people with certain sexual orientations, and this is against international human rights,” he said.

Mr. Ban, who was expected to address members of parliament later Saturday afternoon, said he was going to propose a reform of Malawi’s laws that seem to be violating human rights.

However, President Mutharika insisted that the two have been pardoned solely on humanitarian grounds, and warned against similar acts of moral decay in the country.

The pardon has come amidst pressure from international and the donor community, condemning the arrest and sentencing of the couple.

The two conducted a public engagement ceremony in Blantyre in December last year, and were subsequently arrested, and convicted.

Malawian laws do not allow same sex marriages and the offence attracts a maximum of 14 years imprisonment.

1 comment:

  1. thats the problem with poor countries always being dictated by donor communities and internatioanal aid organisations.but am sure god is looking at all this and it will come out on the judgement day.