Second Pride Parade in Malawi faces hiccups – Capital Radio Malawi
24 September, 2023

Second Pride Parade in Malawi faces hiccups

Intentions by the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer (LGBTQI) community to deliver a petition to the Malawi government have hit a snub as authorities refuse to receive the document containing their grievances.

Led by Nyasa Rainbow Alliance and the Female Sex Workers Association of Malawi, people of the community conducted a march dabbed Pride Parade, which advocates for rights of marginalized people.

The parade, a second of its kind, started from Glass House in the capital, Lilongwe, with the goal of reaching Civic Offices in city center where a petition was to be delivered.

Executive Director for Nyasa Rainbow Alliance, Eric Sambisa, indicated that what was contained in the petition was a call to the government to take an advanced pace in providing more security for the LGBTQI community as well as making health facilities more accessible.

“The message we are sending is basically about the violence that the LGBTI are facing in this country as they are finding it hard to access health facilities.

“Some of the issues are being repeated from last year because they are serious issues and need the attention,” Sambisa added.

Members of the LGBTQI at Parliament Building waiting for an MP to receive a petition.

On being denied access to the Civic Offices, the Nyasa Rainbow Alliance leader described it as pathetic, noting that they are humans just like anyone else and required an audience.

Having failed to get to their desired destination, the grouping resolved to stop at Parliament Building, a few meters from the Civic Offices, where a Member of Parliament was to receive the petition on behalf of all lawmakers in the country.

Those that attended the march were dancing to songs that were being played from a sound system they mounted on a truck, and they carried a banner while others carried placards and hid their faces behind masks.

The attempt to present a petition at Parliament however was to no avail as no legislator managed to come out of the Parliament Building to listen to them and hear their demands jotted in a petition.

“This is worse than three to five years ago because previously we saw some progress since the minister of justice issued a moratorium, but this government has challenged it.

Members of this community are suffering and no one is coming to their rescue. All we are doing here is advocating for equality regardless of one’s status,” explained Sambisa.

On her part, Director for Female Sex Workers Association of Malawi, Zinenani Majawa, lamented that the groups are being violated by law enforcers and people working in hospitals, but what is needed is a review of the laws.

“So many people look at us as trouble makers and we are not assisted when we present our concerns to the police to the extent that some of our cases do not get followed up,” worried Majawa.

There was no immediate comment from government authorities on why they could not give any attention to those that intended to deliver a petition.

Presently, Malawi’s laws do not recognize people of the LGBTQI community and it is continuously harder for them to associate with other members of the community religiously and culturally.

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