Malawi’s Attorney General changes tune on suspension of anti-gay laws

Malawi ‘s Attorney General Ralph Kasambara is no stranger to controversy.

Just a few days ago, he announced during a debate that government had suspended the country’s harsh anti-gay laws pending a vote on whether to repeal or not.

The announcement went viral on social media and international media.

While Amnesty International lauded the Attorney General for the decision, his announcement attracted condemnation from his fraternity of lawyers who said his decision was unconstitutional.

Under pressure, Kasambara has decided to backtrack saying that he didn’t make any announcement to that effect.

In an interview with the Daily Times, Kasambara said: “There was no such announcement and there was no discussion about same sex marriages.”

But an audio clip recording of Kasambara’s announcement clearly shows that he is lying.

Homosexuality is banned in Malawi – as it is in 36 other African states – and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years, but Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara said he wanted debate on the issue before parliament decided whether to keep the laws or not.

According to the recording, Kasambara had clearly said that police had been ordered not to arrest gays pending a decision on whether to repeal the legislation, a source of friction with the impoverished southern African nation’s donors.

This is not the first time Kasambara has come under scrutiny for decision he has made in recent months.

He is accused of ordering the arrest of the Ombudsman without seeking consent from the President.

He has also come under media scrutiny for suspected conflict of interest in the manner he is dealing with his former law firm – Ralph&Arnold.

Quite a number of cases against government have been settled out of court especially in cases were Ralph&Arnold is involved in