malawi

Steven Monjeza + Tiwonge Chimbalanga Might Be Pardoned, But Are They Free?

Now that Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, have been freed, it’s all sunshine and rainbows for the queer Malawian couple, yes? Oh, silly optimists.

Though they’re out of jail, this pair has plenty of hardships ahead. They’re returning home to their separate villages, as per prison officials’ orders, and their families aren’t too keen on seeing them reunite. Meanwhile, in case you couldn’t tell from the cheering crowds that surrounded them during their arrest and court dates, their neighbors aren’t too thrilled about their disgusting relationship — with Monjeze laying down with that transgender woman.

And then there are just day-to-day concerns. Steven Monjeza says he “need[s] money” just to survive, having just been released from prison. And while Madonna may be elated about their release, where can these two men go now that they’re internationally known and still living in a country that criminalizes the way they love?

President Bingu Wa Mutharika, who pardoned the two men after their conviction by a judge, faces his own brand of pressure — from critics who wonder why he’s letting these two queers off the hook but not others. It would be a terrible outcome if Monjeza and Chimbalanga are released, but other LGBTs there feel an even harsher wrath as Mutharika works to beef up his anti-queer reputation.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #humanrights #malawi #prison stories and more

7 Comments

  • Lamar

    I think it would be great if the international gay community organized some fundraiser so our friends can get their asses away from those homophobes.

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    Wish I had won the Power Ball; I’d charter a plane to pick them up and take them anywhere they want. Wingnuts, homophobes and bashers rant about how weak and sissified we gays are, yet these two men exemplify courage and strength. Bless them and keep them safe.

  • Nikki

    So sad. These 2 people ( and many, many more GLBT Africans)are trapped with no financial resources to escape their homophobic/ transphobic environment. I can relate to some degree having grown up as an effeminate man (later to become a female) in the Deep South. It’s obvious that the President of Malawi was bribed in order to release these two. I’m sure his Swiss/ offshore bank account just got a hefty deposit. Sad that he will benefit financially from his hateful ways. I say Stop all financial aid to African countries that persecute GLBT people. You will see a major cultural change toward GLBT people if the foreign money dries up. I think this also should apply to Carribbean countries. Stop taking cruises to Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bahamas etc. until they get their minds right and acxtively pursue the GLBT business. Too many other nice places to go that support our community.

    Read more: http://www.queerty.com/steven-monjeza-tiwonge-chimbalanga-might-be-pardoned-but-are-they-free-20100531/#ixzz0pWjRmCOs

  • Mykell

    Newsflash… they aren’t two men, they’re a man and a woman. A transgender woman is a woman, period.

  • Revemupman

    This is insane, crap life sucks……

Comments are closed.