Malawi homosexuality case resumes today


The High Court will today continue hearing the case in which applicants want the High court to declare as unconstitutional laws that criminalise same-sex relations.

In the case which is being heard a panel of three judges, Joseph Chigona, Chimbizgani Kacheche, and Vikochi Chima, applicants Jana Gonani and Jan Willem Akstar, a Dutch national want the Constitutional Court to interpret the constitutionality of section 153 (c) of the Penal Code of Malawi which criminalizes consensual same-sex relations between two consenting adults in private.

Gonani was sentenced to 8 years in prison over same sex relations while Akstar is facing criminal charges for same-sex activities.

Malawi Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda, joined by other interested parties that include faith groups, are arguing the case that homosexuality between consenting people should remain a criminal act punishable by the law.

Nyirenda will today cross-examine the applicants.

During previous hearing, Professor Alexander Muller from Cape Town University South Africa appeared as an expert witness based on her research which was conducted on minority rights in Malawi in 2019 in corroboration with Professor Adamson Muula of the then University of Malawi—College of Medicine.

She told the court that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people face high levels of violence, stigma and prejudice.

The hearing today comes days after religious groups in the country held demonstrations in several cities and districts against the legalisation of homosexuality in Malawi.