Thursday, September 30, 2010

Four gays beaten in Salima

What started as a normal flirting thing in Sengabay, Salima, ended in trouble for four gays after community members descended on them for cuddling in public along Lake Malawi.
Community members were irked to see four men kissing and touching in broad daylight, a situation that was excerbated when the four told the people to 'mind your own business'.
One of the community members, Evans Kapwepwe, told Zachimalawi the four were contravening Malawi's customs by touching in public, especially people of the same sex.
"THey wanted to corrupt the morals of our children, and we took the lwa into our own hands," said Kapwepwe.
One of the suspected gays, Martin Samuel Gwetsa, said he was disappointed with the action taken by the Salima community members.
"Actually, we were having fun along the Lake (Malawi) when, all of a sudden, we heard people shouting at us. It's like we were running over each other without our clothes on; after all, it was at the lake. But people thought otherwise and beat us," he said.
He, however, could not confirm people's suspicions that he and his coleagues were homosexuals, only saying "I have a girlfriend".
Homosexuality is prohibited in Malawi.
However, Vice President Joyce Banda told a grouping of faith leaders in Blantyre Wednesday that homosexuals were crucial to Malawi's fight against HIV and AIDS and other development ills.
The Vice President urged faithleaders to be in the forefront embracing homosexuals as one way of integrating them in various facets of development.
"Homosexuality is a reality in Malawi, and we must all take action to embrace people of this sexual orientation," said Banda.
However, some people have come down hard against the Vice President, accusing her of trying to corrupt Malawian children with 'strange' beliefs.
The HIV prevalence rate among Malawian gays stands at 25 per cent, according to Principal Secretary for Nutrition, HIV and AIDS in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Dr. Mary Shawa.
The country is yet to ascertain the HIV prevalence rate among lesbians.
Information on homosexuals' health conditions is derived from medical facilities, mainly because this category of people has found shelter in medical ethics.

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