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Malawi government support LGBTI debate

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Government says there is nothing wrong for the country to conduct a national inquiry on the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI).

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu said this yesterday during the swearing-in ceremony of Stella Twea as one of the members of Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) after the decision received criticism from some Civil Society Organizations, donors and individuals.

The inquiry is expected to be carried by the Malawi Human Rights Commission.

Malawi human rights bodies and donors argued that the rights of minorities should not be subjected to views of the majority.

However, Tembenu who also asked the CSOs to support the decision said the issue of LGBTI rights was a matter that called for open debate.

“I don’t know why the CSOs are blocking MHRC to carry the inquiry on the rights LGBTI. They should leave the commission to carry out its mandate,” Tembenu said.

Adding that “the comments that other CSOs are making show a worrying trend of misunderstanding of LGBTI rights.”

Reacting to the development, MHRC executive secretary David Nungu said his organization is welcoming views all stakeholders.

“Our going out was to solicit views for the implementation of this activity and we regard all views from other stakeholders as input for us to finalize this inquiry. But let me say the inquiry is going on well so far,” he said.

The inquiring is to know whether Malawi should respect LGBTI rights among them the legality of same-sex marriages.

Section 11 (d) of the Malawi Human Rights Commission Act of 1998, empowers the commission to make recommendations regarding human rights issues upon request by the government.

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