Gay Couple Sentenced To 14 Years In Jail

at 07:32 PM, 11/12/2012 (5 years ago)
(322 | Upcoming) (m)
Thrown into jail for 14 years under Malawi’s anti-gay laws, Tiwonge Chimbalanga has no regrets about the marriage ceremony that became a symbol of Africa’s intolerance toward homosexuality.In the first press interview since being granted asylum in South Africa, the 24-year-old, who was freed amid global pressure, urged more Malawians to come out from the shadows as the country’s ban on same-sex relationships eases.

“I don’t have any regrets, I didn’t do anything wrong,” Chimbalanga, who identifies as a transgender woman despite being tried as a gay man, told AFP.

Known as Aunt Tiwo, Chimbalanga and partner Steven Monjeza drew a harsh spotlight on deeply conservative Malawi after the couple were arrested for holding a traditional engagement ceremony in late 2009. Branded as Malawi’s first openly “gay lovebirds”, the pair were sentenced to a maximum 14 years with hard labour as an “horrendous example” and led away from the court handcuffed to one another while onlookers jeered.

“I had mixed feelings because on the one hand I felt it was a wonderful thing for me to do a normal, natural thing like getting married, whilst on the other hand it was very painful. I was beaten in prison. During the trial the security guards ill-treated me. I was verbally abused and suffered all sorts of inhumane treatments, I have scars from the beatings. Yet I felt good that I was able to do what I wanted to do,” said Chimbalanga.

International outrage eventually forced a begrudging presidential pardon from the late Bingu wa Mutharika who doggedly described the couple as “insane” and their ceremony as “satanic.”

A recent moratorium on the ban on same-sex relationships under new President Joyce Banda is encouraging, but the war is far from over, said Chimbalanga.

“The thing that I wish for in Malawi is that all gays, lesbians and transgenders must come out and have their rights like everybody else. It seems that in Malawi there are human rights for the rich and another set for the poor. I want everyone to have their human rights and freedom to choose what they want to be and the only way to achieve that is by coming out and claiming their rights,” she said.

After their release, the couple broke up and Chimbalanga spent months hiding in a safe house before being ferried last year to South Africa, which has equality rights enshrined in the constitution. It is also the only African country where gay marriage is legal. Homosexuality is illegal in 37 countries on the continent.

Chimbalanga is supported by local transgender NGO Gender Dynamix and Amnesty International and in her new one-room home, reached by an outdoor staircase lined with pot plants, a bulging file of papers documents her ordeal. Chimbalanga believes the couple were targeted as they were the first to take their relationship so public.

“I did nothing wrong not even a tiny bit. Even here in South Africa I want to get married and I am going to invite the reporters from Malawi to come and witness for themselves and to report the truth about it. I want the whole world to know because this is not the end,” she said.


ajanni at 08:13 AM, 12/12/2012 (5 years ago)
(96088 | Grande Master) (m)
very good, i expect that too in nigeria soon
Reply
dallasp at 06:51 PM, 12/12/2012 (5 years ago)
(685 | Upcoming) (m)
14years is too small   why not life or dead sentence
Reply
ajanni at 07:39 PM, 12/12/2012 (5 years ago)
(96088 | Grande Master) (m)
 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
Reply
ogayan at 08:37 AM, 22/02/2013 (5 years ago)
(28 | Newbie) (m)
useless people Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
Reply
ajanni at 09:15 AM, 22/02/2013 (5 years ago)
(96088 | Grande Master) (m)
 Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
Reply
Rihannaaa at 10:17 AM, 22/02/2013 (5 years ago)
(7490 | Gistmaniac) (f)
Ass dey sweet pass honeypot?

Reply
ajanni at 09:07 PM, 22/02/2013 (5 years ago)
(96088 | Grande Master) (m)
 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
Reply

LATEST COMMENTS

  1. Haso112 on: Checkout Photos Of N27m Imported Stew Intercepted By Customs From China
    [quote author=ruthie link=topic=369701.msg5495036#msg5495036 date=1540307867]these are the handiwork... 5 mins ago ago
  2. Haso112 on: Nigeria Girls Go Wild As They Advertise Their "Olosho" Business On Social Media Pages (Photos)
    FACEBOOK THINGS.... GOD FORBID....! ... 8 mins ago ago
  3. kacylee on: Hilarious Conversations Between Actor, Alexx Ekubo And His Girlfriend, Fancy Acholonu On Instagr
    ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)... 31 mins ago ago
  4. SOGaiya on: 38-Year-Old Man, Abiodun Caught molesting Neighbour's 6-Year-Old Girl Inside Bush In Ogun State
    nonsensical... 41 mins ago ago
  5. kacylee on: Jubilation As Ekiti Ex-Gov, Fayose Takes Stomach Infrastructure To EFCC, Feeds Over 150 Detainee
    oga fayose getting popular even in jail... forming like Joseph... 43 mins ago ago