Oct 18, 2017 Last Updated 3:20 PM, Oct 16, 2017

MHRC Demands Prosecution Of Malawi Police Officers

Officials at the commission want the officers prosecuted Officials at the commission want the officers prosecuted Image sourced at faceofmalawi.com
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A legal expert is of the view that police officers, who circulated pictures taken recently, of a man posing as a woman, should be prosecuted.

Chairperson of the Malawi Human Rights Commission, Justin Dzonzi has told Capital FM that circulating the images on social media was in breach of the Suspect’s right to Privacy.

Kanengo police publicist Salome Zgambo Chibwana identified the man as Von Gomani.

Chibwana said Gomani, whose looks were deceiving as he could easily be mistaken for a woman, had been using that to deceive men.

Last week Gomani dressed up like a woman, wore hair extensions and stood along Kaunda road in the capital city.

“A man later took him thinking he was a woman.

They went together and booked a room.

It was in that room that the other man noticed that the person he picked is not a lady but rather a fellow man,” Chibwana explained.

She added that Gomani, 19, was then taken to police by the same man who had picked him up who said he felt cheated and suspected that the fake prostitute had wanted to steal from him. 

Gomani was then arrested on charges of soliciting immoral purpose, which is contrary to section 180 of the Penal Code.

Images of the man, dressed as a woman, and wearing make-up, have been making rounds on social media, stirring debate among the public.

Though some have praised him for his bravery others believe that the man might be a transgender.

Efforts to speak to the police on the matter proved futile.

In late 2009 a gay couple was arrested in the commercial capital, Blantyre which lies about 400km from Lilongwe.

Trans woman, Tiwonge Chimbalanga, and a man, Steven Monjeza, were arrested after holding a traditional "engagement" party.

On 18 May 2010, they were found guilty of having committed "unnatural offenses" and "indecent practices between males".

 On 29 May 2010, then President late Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned both individuals

The case sparked international condemnation and a debate about homosexuality in the country.

The British government, Malawi's largest donor, expressed its "dismay" at the sentences, but has not withdrawn aid.

On 17 April 2015, The Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Law came into force and banned all same-sex marriages and unions in Malawi.

While the law was praised for raising the minimum age of heterosexual marriages from 16 to 18, it was at the same time condemned for the exclusion of homosexual couples and for its language stating that one's gender is assigned at birth.

Only 10 out of 52 countries in Africa have legalised homosexuality.


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