As Malawi24 first reported that Kevin Gonani was beaten by fellow members of the gay community for turning his 9 year old nephew into a sex slave and offering him for prostitution to other gay men, activists defending gays have condemned Gonani and advised government to have him arrested immediately.
In a statement, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP), two organisations that have been fighting for decriminalisation of homosexuality commended members of the gay community who rescued the 9 year old victim from Gonani.
The two organisations said they are extremely alarmed at claims of sexual exploitation and abuse of a minor by Gonani.
“Sexual abuse and exploitation of the child in Gonani’s care is an extremely serious and worrisome accusation and it is crucial that this case is thoroughly and urgently investigated by relevant authorities. Much as we are interested in the promotion of equal rights and social justice in Malawi, we at CHRR and CEDEP do not condone any sexual abuse of children. This is why we are calling for Mr Gonani to be promptly investigated and, if it is established that he indeed sexually exploited the child, he must be prosecuted,” reads part of a joint statement from the two organisations signed by CHRR’s Timothy Mtambo and CEDEP’s Gift Trapence.
Gonani was offering his 9 year old nephew for prostitution to be raped by other gay men. Gonani was once arrested last year for engaging in sexual activities with another man. CEDEP and CHRR mounted legal action in his support which led to Malawi President Peter Mutharika pardoning him and his co-accused. Mutharika then issued a presidential decree suspending all laws that criminalise homosexuality in the country, a decision that has been overturned by the High Court in Mzuzu.
Mtambo and Trapence have also called on government to make sure that boys are also protected from sexual abuse saying the current laws on child abuse assume that only girls are sexually abused.