Malawi | News

Malawi Gay Couple Sentenced to Maximum 14 Years in Prison, Hard Labor, for Holding Public Engagement Ceremony



Malawi's gay couple, humiliated publicly and jailed since December for holding a public engagement ceremony declaring their love to one another, have been given the maximum sentence of 14 years in prison with hard labor — to "protect" Malawian society.

Nation Bloomberg reports: "Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, were sentenced by Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa today in a court in the commercial capital, Blantyre. 'I am giving you a scary sentence so that the public must be protected,' Usiwa said. 'Malawi society is not ready to see its sons marrying other sons, nor daughters marrying daughters.' Chimbalanga, popularly known in the country as Aunt Tiwo, was composed while being sentenced, while Monjeza broke down in tears before being escorted to an awaiting police vehicle."

Monjeza and Chimbalanga were convicted of "gross indecency" and "unnatural acts" earlier in the week (I repeat — for holding a ceremony declaring their love to one another)

The BBC adds: "Defence lawyer Mauya Msuku had argued for a lighter sentence, pointing out that the pair's actions had not victimised anyone. "Unlike in a rape case, there was no complainant or victim in this case," he said after the pair were convicted on Tuesday. "Here are two consenting adults doing their thing in private. Nobody will be threatened or offended if they are released into society." Michelle Kagari, deputy Africa director of Amnesty International, called the sentence "an outrage", reports the AP news agency. She described the pair as "prisoners of conscience" and said Amnesty would continue to campaign for them to be freed."

On Tuesday, the U.S. State Dept. said it was "deeply disappointed" in the conviction.

Three UK Ministers, Henry Bellingham, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Stephen O'Brien, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for International Development, and Lynne Featherstone, Minister for Equality at the Home Office, have called for a Human Rights review of Malawi following the sentencing, saying

“We are deeply dismayed by the conviction for buggery and indecent practices of Mr Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Mr Steven Monjeza. We are also very concerned by the allegations of their mistreatment in police custody. Malawi has made significant progress on human rights in recent years. The government has signed up to international human rights treaties and Malawi’s constitution protects the rights of all its citizens. Infringement of these rights is intolerable. The conviction and sentencing to the maximum 14 years’ imprisonment of Mr Chimbalanga and Mr Monjeza, runs counter to a positive trend. “Britain has a close and strong partnership with Malawi and it is in this spirit that we raise our concerns. The UK believes that human rights apply to everyone regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The UK urges the Government of Malawi to review its laws to ensure the defence of human rights for all, without discrimination on any grounds. The UK, along with our international partners, will continue to press the Government of Malawi on this issue."

Watch CNN's report from earlier this week on their conviction, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Here's a few more Bible verses you should re-read, since you're a "Christian." Isaiah 1:17, James 1:27, Matthew 5: 38-48, and probably most importantly of all, Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31

    Posted by: Laurie | May 20, 2010 10:24:44 AM

  2. @lorita;

    What a dumb ass you wonder your country is so ignorant and backward......if you now live in the USA shouldn't you be grateful for their freedoms and education and culture ? Have you learned nothing ? Are you still spewing your barbaric, ignorant, vicious, homo-hate and pretending it's Christian.

    What a shame on you and your pig-sty country to express your small minded bigotry in so vindictive a manner. Shame on you.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | May 20, 2010 10:35:05 AM

  3. I am African, and I can say that we are not ALL like Lorita and her hateful kind. She accuses Westerners of imposing their values on Malawians, but newsflash, you hateful bigot: YOU are imposing YOUR values on the two men. You think that makes YOU right and them wrong? You don't accept or respect them but expect the world to offer that courtesy to YOU? Wake up!

    There is nothing 'Un-African' about true love between two human beings, there is definitely something INHUMAN about hate... I think Lorita has chosen obviously which camp she belongs in, I hope she enjoys wallowing in the filth that is her and her hateful kind's evil hearts!

    Westerners DO respect Africans that DESERVE respect. LORITA and her evil kind deserve nothing but scorn and banishment!

    Posted by: CKNJ | May 20, 2010 10:35:18 AM

  4. Hi Lorita. If you are such a Christian then why are you so hostile. You keep saying Europeans but I happen to be African American. You seem to bunch us all into a group called "westerners". Take a moment, Lorita, to calm down and think that about the fact that I and many others only want equal civil human rights for all. This includes you. I don't believe you should be discriminated against for being a straight black woman and I applaud your accomplishment as a business lady. The commandment over all commandments in the bible is Love. I'm not even Christian and I know that.

    Posted by: Willie | May 20, 2010 10:38:07 AM

  5. What can we do to change this situation?

    Posted by: Peter | May 20, 2010 10:39:02 AM

  6. We should do what Gaylib said and email or call the Malawi embassy. And be thankful we live in America. I know I am.

    Posted by: Laurie | May 20, 2010 10:46:14 AM

  7. This whole country is down right sick in the head and there government will not change for decades if not more. I say stop all aide period!

    Posted by: wslandry | May 20, 2010 10:57:05 AM

  8. @ Lorita,
    You are a poor delusional thing. Africa’s Bantu tribe savagely murdered the true Malawian area natives a thousand years ago. The current occupants or Malawi are the equivalent of the Western colonialist except they were a few hundred years earlier. Malawi, with its poverty and corruption, is receiving the karma it deserves. And more is coming its way.

    You’ve proven how hateful, evil, and demented you Christians are. All you have is your hate and you and your kind will reap what you have sown. Your false god can not protect you and obviously it hasn’t.

    Posted by: 1♥ | May 20, 2010 10:59:56 AM

  9. Lorita fucks pigs like the rest of the people of her nation. The homosexual people are the only hope for Africa.

    Posted by: beggee | May 20, 2010 11:19:05 AM

  10. They want Obama to back off huh?

    Lets stop shipping them medicine and food and see how long it takes for them to call the white house begging for help.

    I certainly don't want to my tax dollars funding human extermination!

    Posted by: cutemotoboi | May 20, 2010 11:26:15 AM

  11. We need to cut out the Africa-bashing, as tempting as it is. This is about Malawi. I know lots of other African countries have harsh penalties for homosexuality, but we can't blame all Africans for this. Lorita and her ilk are fools, we all know that. Let's do the true Christian thing (that she can't do) and pray for Lorita's enlightenment and for the safety of Monjeza and Chimbalanga. They are heroes.

    Posted by: Laurie | May 20, 2010 11:32:28 AM

  12. Lorita, do you even realize that your "anti homosexual" laws are not even African? They were imposed by the British to begin with.

    Posted by: Barry | May 20, 2010 11:39:48 AM

  13. I'm not one to consider racist things, but I'm personally in favor of fireboming most of the African countries.

    They offer nothing to their local and global economies, are festering pits of (hetero) HIV/AIDS, and suck money from the bigger countries to pay for their private armies and religious zealots.

    Posted by: Michael | May 20, 2010 11:52:31 AM

  14. pressure should be placed on donors who are funding this government. is there a list?

    Posted by: FM | May 20, 2010 12:42:42 PM

  15. ...Lorita needs to stop talking about herself in the 3rd person.

    The worst injustice of all is injustice delivered by the legal system. It's sad to see the law, and the courts, which are set up to uphold justice, legitimize intolerance. As an African, I am really ashamed that we still cling to these bigoted laws that were not our own. To those who complain about undue western influence, how about this: Get rid of these western sodomy laws, and their backward religion. No? I thought so. It sure is ok to complain about westerners when it's convenient.

    Posted by: rickastley | May 20, 2010 1:19:57 PM

  16. Lorita, you ignorant slut.

    So fine, we will take away all our US Aid and see where that get your freaking homophobic back-ass stink. I hope many mojos, bad ones, go your way. It's called KARMA.

    Posted by: FunMe | May 20, 2010 1:22:49 PM

  17. Lorita's goals was to "stop commenting on Malawian issues."

    Well comment we will. And more!

    Meanwhile ANDY, can you get the person's IP address and exposed that lying sack of shit.

    Posted by: FunMe | May 20, 2010 1:28:18 PM

  18. To Laurie...

    Prayer is useless. Religion is why this is happening. But I do agree that we need to refrain form indulging in an anti-Africa sentiment. I will not defend Africans, as most of them are homophobic. But not all. Blanket statements make you look ignorant. And as MJ would say, don't be ignorant. I am vehemently against putting conditions on aid. By all means, pressure the government of Malawi. But advocating against sending medicine or helping helping orphanages is shameful.

    Posted by: rickastley | May 20, 2010 1:31:48 PM

  19. They contribute nothing to the world. It is an impoverished nation of no value. They have proven that they are incapable of rendering justice, too. it is an inferior country with inferior people.

    Posted by: TANK | May 20, 2010 1:32:26 PM

  20. There is no way to change the minds of these people than to threaten something that they care about. There is no reasoning with them...none. you have to threaten the aid that they receive for them to discontinue human rights violations. That's the only way that they will see the light short of military intervention (which won't happen). In a lot of places in africa, you have to bargain with a gun...there is no other way.

    Posted by: TANK | May 20, 2010 1:36:54 PM

  21. Funme and RickAstley, you guys are right. Andy, please do some research into who this "Lorita" is. I find it curious that someone in Malawi would happen to find *this* gay blog to flame out on. I'm willing to bet that Lorita is a man living in America.

    Posted by: Laurie | May 20, 2010 2:04:26 PM

  22. oh loretta your african sisters are mutilated over african customs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!your grandmothers are murdered cause customs think they are witches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!africans need to stop hurting each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!time to GROW UP!!!!

    Posted by: sal | May 20, 2010 3:10:02 PM

  23. silly beliefs that do nothing but hurt each other must stop,africa is in the toilet bowl even with all the natural wealth cause you guys dont know how to live with EACH OTHER!!!YOUR SISTER AND GAY BROTHERS AND ELDERLY AND ALBINOS AND CHILDREN AND VIRGINS AND DIFFERENT TRIBES ARE ALL AFRICANS!!!!!!!TIME TO COME TOGETHER OR CONTINUE THE SLIDE TO DESTRUCTION

    Posted by: sal | May 20, 2010 3:14:30 PM

  24. Money talks and bullshit walks. If I were king of the world every decent country would cut off every red penny of foreign aid and in kind assistance. Hell, why not impose economic sanctions. Let them feel the pain of their hatred and bigotry. I know for example that the US Peace Corp is very big in Malawi. If this were comparably anti Semitic or racist there would be pressure to be out of there next week. I realize this is collective punishment, but fuck it, the whole country seems very happily going along with this. I have yet to read one word about local support. It is maddening to think that any of our US aid -which comes from tax dollars is helping this country. Hit them where it hurts. It might not change their minds but it is symbolic and important that we protest with more than words.

    Posted by: nattering nabob of negativism | May 20, 2010 9:49:53 PM

  25. Hang the Judge.

    Google "Free Man On The Land"

    It's time to take back your freedom.

    Gay OR Straight

    Posted by: mark halston | May 20, 2010 11:14:32 PM

  26. « | 1 2 3 »

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