In a rare public announcement supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, the President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika “wants gay rights protected,” according to the his press secretary, Gerald Viola.

The announcement is likely to ignite public debate around homosexuality, which is a controversial  issue in Malawi and indeed across the continent. Human rights campaigners will surely embrace the statement defending LGBT rights.

Last year, the government of Malawi announced it had imposed a ban on anti-homosexual laws pending a decision on whether to repeal the legislation.

 Gay rights remain a controversial issue in Malawi Photo: DailyBuzzLive.com

Gay rights remain a controversial issue in Malawi Photo: DailyBuzzLive.com

According to BuzzFeed News, Viola said the statement to protect gay rights was made in response to a controversial comment posted on Facebook by a member of parliament and People’s Party (PP) spokesperson, Ken Msonda who urged citizens to kill gay people.

Msonda reportedly wrote, “My personal opinion is that sin shouldn’t be legalised”.

“Gays do not deserve human rights, they deserve to be killed,” Msonda added.

The Nyasa Times reports that President Mutharika will let Malawian decide on whether homosexuality should be legalised.

Recently, Mozambique decriminalised homosexuality in its new penal code, joining a select few African countries where homosexuality is not outlawed or criminalised.

Source: Nyasa Times