The conviction of Steven Monjeza, 26 and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20 today by a Malawian court today is a slap in the face on all that justice and fairness stands for. The two young men only expressed themselves and lived truthfully to who they are.
Having spent the past 5 months in prison even when they were not prosecuted and all the humiliation they have gone through, they have faced it bravely and courageously. Steven and Tiwonge refused to beg or give up; and the biased court refused to grant them bail; this show the amount of homophobia and hate that even the Magistrate and others who are supposed to uphold justice and equity habour in them.
It is therefore disturbing to think that this is because they expressed same-sex love, and not because they are terrorists or armed robbers or suicide bombers. These two men were and are not violent; do not possess firearms and have not been accused of any previous violent or life-threatening offence. It is therefore against all simple and wise thinking to throw harmless people into prisons for no realistic reasons.
Malawi has today alienated herself from the international community of countries and people seeking justice, fairness and equity. This case and the law that criminalizes homosexuality in Malawi is against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which fairly grants respect of the individual to each human regardless of sex or sexuality, race or colour, etc.
The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights also clearly adopts this belief. This raises a question as to the use of these charters and the organisations behind founding and implementing them. Malawi as a member of the United Nation (UN) and subsequently African Union (AU) has flouted there charters but no discipline or action has been taken by the UN or AU. This applies to the Commonwealth whose principles also states “liberty of the individual, in equal rights for all citizens”.
This conviction is unjust, unfair, uncalled-for, unacceptable, cruel and enslaving. Every right thinking individual with care and concern should stand up again now and challenge this wickedness. We cannot celebrate the end of slavery when slavery is largely going in our midst. The Justice for Gay Africans Society (JfGA) will be doing all within our means to encourage people and governments to rise up to reject this injustice.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Please go to http://www.writetothem.com/ to write to your local MP (again even if you have done this in the past) to ask the new UK government to speak out against this cruelty. The former government of UK responded positively and apart from handing over, you will be doing an immense contribution to bringing this case back to the fore-front. All you need is your postcode, your email address and a letter to achieve this.