Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga
Malawi’s government has said that it is pleased with the conviction of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga for being gay.
On Tuesday, Malawi’s minister of information, Leckford Mwanza Thotho, was quoted as saying that his government was pleased with the court’s verdict.
“What we are saying is that the ruling or the court proceeding as of today reflects our tradition in Malawi. It just shows that the gay issue is against our culture in Malawi,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to the Nyasa Times, Monjeza and Chimbalanga’s lawyer, Mauya Msuku, has asked Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa for leniency in his sentencing of the two men, urging him not to condemn the men to jail.
“Unlike in a rape case, there was no complainant or victim in this case. In rape cases women’s safety is threatened but here are two consenting adults doing their thing in private.
“Nobody will be threatened or offended if they are released to the society,” he told the court.
Sentencing in the case is expected on Thursday. The couple, who were arrested in December for getting engaged in a public ceremony and have remained jailed since, face up to 14 years in prison.