Malawi Hub




Pardoned Malawi Couple Appear in Public, Praise President

Malawi

Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga appeared at a press conference in the city of Lilongwe on Wednesday, their first public appearance since UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon's meeting with Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika, which led to their pardon.

AFP reports:

"A Malawian gay couple who received a presidential pardon on a 14-year sentence for sodomy on Thursday called President Bingu wa Mutharika a 'caring father' and a 'tolerant president.' 'The president has demonstrated that he is a caring father, a considerate and tolerant president. We wish him good health in his everyday endeavours as he continues leading the country to respecting human rights and to economic prosperity,' the couple said in a statement. Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, and Steven Monjeza, 26, gave a brief news conference in the administrative capital Lilongwe late Wednesday, their first public appearance together since Saturday's pardon from the sentence of 14 years' hard labour imposed after they held a symbolic wedding."

Also:

"The couple asked the media and the general public to respect their privacy. 'So much has been said and written about us, both positive and negative. We think this is the time for us to be given an opportunity to enjoy our freedom,' they said. They called their ordeal 'the most stressful period in our lives.' Chimbalanga told AFP in a phone interview that he was in Lilongwe to 'have a breather', while his partner had returned to his village."

Mutharika told the public that his decision was final and not to be discussed: "The story ends there. I don't want to hear anyone commenting on them. Nobody is authorised to comment on the gays. You will spoil things."

Watch a TV interview with the couple (it needs translation, but it offers a look at the couple, post-prison), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Pardoned Malawi Couple Appear in Public, Praise President" »


Where Are Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga?

6a00d8341c730253ef013482809f34970c-pi

Well, after yesterday's pardon (which I'm still ecstatic about), in hiding and most likely looking for a way out of Malawi.

The AP reports:

Activists said late Saturday that they were searching for a safe house for the couple, fearing they could be attacked upon release. The couple's lawyer, Mauya Msuku, said he had not seen either of the men since their release.

Maxwell Manda also said he had not seen Chimbalanga, his brother-in-law, on Sunday. He told The Associated Press days earlier that Chimbalanga wanted to leave Malawi upon his release. "We heard that they were released but we don't know where they are," he told The AP on Sunday. "They are neither at their home in (a Blantyre suburb) or their villages. But I know they are keeping a low profile deliberately because of the sensitivity of their case."

The two were not at their Blantyre home when an Associated Press reporter visited Sunday morning.

Update: It appears as if The Guardian has more information about the location of Monjeza and Chimbalanga. They had been imprisoned in different facilities over the last few months and are still apart, having returned to their respective villages in Malawi. Sadly, their homecoming has been filled with anger and hate.

The Guardian reports:

Monjeza's family members said his partner would not be welcome in their village. Kelvin Kaumira, in his 60s, said the community was "fuming" over the incident. "People here are furious," he said. "There are so many beautiful women in this village looking for a hand in marriage."

Zione Monjeza, an aunt of Monjeza, said: "Nobody wants to see Tiwonge again in this village. If he dares to come here, he must do so with police for his protection." Such is the widespread public hostility to homosexuality that there are fears of reprisals against both men.

The Guardian also notes that Monjeza is trying to sell his story in order get money to survive.

Madonna issued a statement today about the couple's release. Read it AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Where Are Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga?" »


Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga Freed

6a00d8341c730253ef013481d8a55a970c
What great news to wake up to this morning.

Malawai President Bingu wa Mutharika has officially pardoned Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, the gay couple who had been sentenced earlier this month to 14 years of hard labor under sodomy and indecency laws. You may remember that they were originally arrested after holding a public wedding ceremony in December.

President wa Mutharika clearly bowed to mounting pressure. His statement, according to the Daily Telegraph:

"These boys committed a crime against our culture, our religion and our laws, however, as the head of state I hereby pardon them and therefore ask for their immediate release with no conditions. I have done this on humanitarian grounds but this does not mean that I support this."

Update

White House Presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs has just released a statement about today's pardon:

"The White House is pleased to learn of President Bingu wa Mutharika's pardon of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza. These individuals were not criminals and their struggle is not unique. We must all recommit ourselves to ending the persecution and criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity. We hope that President Mutharika's pardon marks the beginning of a new dialogue which reflects the country's history of tolerance and a new day for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights in Malawi and around the globe."


Protest Planned at NYC Malawi Consulate Tomorrow in Support of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga

Couple_malawi

A protest is scheduled for tomorrow in NYC at the Malawian Consulate, 866 United Nations Plaza, from 2-3:30 pm in support of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, the couple who were recently sentenced to 14 years in prison with hard labor for holding an engagement ceremony in late December.

Facebook group is here.


News: Gregg Araki, Cardigans, Zimbabwe, Twinklight, Lubricant

Road Jailed Zimbabwean gay activists assaulted with glass bottles by police.

Cardigan RoadSummer trend: shirtless cardigans?

RoadAnglican Bishops in South Africa call for release of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga in Malawi: "As we have previously stated, though there is a breadth of theological views among us on matters of human sexuality, we are united in opposing the criminalisation of homosexual people. We see the sentence that has been handed down to these two individuals as a gross violation of human rights and we therefore strongly condemn such sentences and behaviour towards other human beings. We emphasize the teachings of the Scriptures that all human beings are created in the image of God and therefore must be treated with respect and accorded human dignity..."

RoadWATCH: The latest 'True Blood' mini-sode featuring vampire Bill.

RoadTwo suspects arrested in robbery and anti-gay assault of Toronto resident Chris Rabideau.

RoadThree plead guilty in attack on gay men in Wilmington, North Carolina. "Investigators say the victim's sexual orientation was a reason they were targeted in the beating."

Fetus  RoadItalian public health agency serves up fetus with a twist.

RoadMore than 50% of the American public now find gay relationships acceptable.

RoadStudy: lubricants used for anal sex increase HIV, STD transmission risk. "In one study involving nearly 900 men and women in Baltimore and Los Angeles, the researchers found that those who used lubricants were three times more likely to have rectal sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Another study that subjected popular over-the-counter and mail-order lubricants to rigorous laboratory tests discovered that many of the products were toxic to cells and rectal tissue. If in humans, these products have the same effect, the cells might be rendered more vulnerable targets for HIV infection than they already are."

Twinklight RoadThe Twilight gay porn adaptation.

RoadClay Aiken's boyfriend strips down in 'Broadway Bares' tease.

RoadCanada swoons over Gyllenhaal.

RoadEllen Degeneres forms record label, signs Greyson Chance.

RoadGregg Araki wins first Queer Palm at Cannes for Kaboom. "Awarded to a film for "its contribution to lesbian, gay, bi or trans" issues, the jury looked at a dozen movies before handing it to Araki for his university campus tale about a bisexual student convinced he is the witness of a gruesome murder." Clip.

RoadFacebook launches new privacy settings: what has changed.

RoadMcDonald's announces drink made of Shrek-jizz.

RoadBoy Culture comments on a big Madonna auction.

RoadFormer German spy and the man who loved him sentenced for leaking state secrets: "The 43-year-old German was sentenced to two years and three months in prison, while the 29-year-old Macedonian was given a suspended 14-month sentence. The Lieutenant Colonel in Germany's BND secret service was found guilty of betraying state secrets to the Macedonian interpreter who became his partner. Prosecutors said the lover had been allowed to read classified German documents as well as the agent's notebook computer during bedroom encounters in 2007 and 2008. The data leaks had seriously hampered German security interests abroad."


Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga Separated

Couple_malawi

Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, the Malawian couple convicted of "gross indency" and "unnatural acts" for holding an engagement ceremony and sentenced to 14 years in prison with hard labor, have been dealt more grief:

"Evance Phiri told The Associated Press Wednesday that Tiwonge Chimbalanga is being held at a Blantyre prison, while his partner Steven Monjeza is at a prison some 50 miles (90 kilometers) away. Phiri says they were separated for their own safety, but did not elaborate. They were convicted last week and sentenced to the maximum 14 years at hard labor. Maxwell Manda told the AP his cousin, Chimbalanga is distraught because of the separation. Manda says Chimbalanga is being kept away from hardened criminals. He adds his cousin wants to leave Malawi once he is released."


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged