Malawi gay couple ‘beaten in prison’
A gay couple in Malawi who were jailed for holding a wedding ceremony have said they are being beaten in prison.
Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza had a traditional ceremony in the south African country on Saturday December 26th.
Malawi punishes homosexuality with up to 14 years in prison and the couple were arrested. They remain in custody and were denied bail.
Monjeza, 22, has told the media he is considering calling off the engagement, saying he was drunk at the time and had promised to marry a woman.
When entering court last week, he said he did not want to return to jail and felt the union was not worth it.
Although the nuptials have been heralded as an advance for gay rights, Chimbalanga, 20, identifies as a woman and was photographed dressed in women’s clothing and addressed as ‘Aunt Tiwonge’ at the ceremony.
Monjeza told The Times: “Well, I was drunk. I guess I wanted to be famous but I am now regretting. Prison life is no good. I realised we have broken the laws. I am calling this off.”
However, Chimbalanga added: ” I am a woman, I can do what a woman can do. I love Steven for what he is, he doesn’t give me money. In fact, I do everything for him, but love is love.”
They deny three charges of unnatural practices between males and gross indecency.
They will face trial next week.