More cruelty has been directed toward Steven Monjeza (right) and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, the Malawian couple sentenced to 14 years in prison and convicted of "unnatural acts" and gross indecency" after holding an engagement ceremony. The couple has been separated.
"Evance Phiri told The Associated Press Wednesday that Tiwonge Chimbalanga is being held at a Blantyre prison, while his partner Steven Monjeza is at a prison some 50 miles (90 kilometers) away. Phiri says they were separated for their own safety, but did not elaborate. They were convicted last week and sentenced to the maximum 14 years at hard labor. Maxwell Manda told the AP his cousin, Chimbalanga is distraught because of the separation. Manda says Chimbalanga is being kept away from hardened criminals. He adds his cousin wants to leave Malawi once he is released."
Meanwhile: Anglican bishops in South Africa call on President Jacob Zuma to intervene on behalf of the jailed couple. "The church also expressed concern over the 'violent language' being used against gays and lesbians in Africa," reports the Voice of America. "Church leaders want Zuma to lobby his Malawian counterpart, President Bingu wa Mutharika, for the men’s release and a change in Malawi’s anti-homosexual laws. Also lending support to the Malawi men are UNAIDS chief Michel Sidibe and the head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria Michel Kazatchkine. Both met Tuesday with President Mutharika."