Minister of Gender and Child Development Anita Kalinde astounded a group of 60 school girls on Sunday when she categorically stated that she was personally against homosexuality and its other forms in Malawi.
Kalinde and Minister of Education Eunice Kazembe were at Lilongwe Girls Secondary School to welcome US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who was due to speak to the girls taking part in Camp GLOW, an initiative of the Peace Corps Volunteers in Malawi.
Kalinde was responding to a question from a pupil who wanted to know the government’s position on sexual minorities following calls from various sectors to decriminalise the practice.
The girls asked the two ministers questions on teenage pregnancy, abuse by male teachers and challenges the ministers face as politicians in a male dominated environment.
Responding to the question on homosexuality, Kalinde said the government would take a bill to Parliament after thorough consultations with Malawians.
“But personally, I am against homosexual practices in the country. I don’t think it’s a Malawian culture,” said Kalinde as the audience went into a graveyard silence.
Kalinde is the first minister to make her feelings known on the matter.
When asked whether Malawi would embrace homosexuality as a condition for aid from donor partners, President Joyce Banda told the media in her first days in office that she would leave the matter to the laws to decide.