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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 11, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 24
UPDATE: Malawi couple splits up - Steven dumps Tiwonge for another woman
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UPDATE: Malawi couple splits up - Steven dumps Tiwonge for another woman

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The saga of the Malawi couple Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga has taken a dramatic new turn.

On June 7, Monjeza announced he was dumping his Transgender partner for another woman.

According to The Nation newspaper, Monjeza announced he would marry Dorothy Gulo, 24, of Mbayani.

Claiming he was forced into what he called the "Gay drama," Monjeza threatened to "expose" those who pressured him if they continue to harass him.

Monjeza also claimed that he never had sex with his partner Tiwonge Chimbalanga, and that he was forced to attend the joint press conference the couple held on June 2.

"We were pardoned, but I know the law can bounce back on us if we are not careful," Monjeza told The Nation. "Although I claimed that I still love Tiwo, I did not mean it. I have never had sex with him as was revealed in court. That is why the medical examination failed to establish any anal penetration. I was coerced into the whole thing."

The court did order intrusive medical exams to determine if the couple had sex, but the findings were not released to the public.

Monjeza then told an elaborate cloak-and-dagger tale of how he came to be at the Lilongwe press conference.

"They forcefully picked me from my house in Kameza when I was drunk. They bundled me into their car and said they were taking me for a drink. Indeed, I was treated to a drinking orgy throughout the journey but no one revealed where we were going until I reached a house in Lilongwe to find Tiwo.

"He told me that there are many countries willing to take us but I told him I was not interested and would not go," said Monjeza.

"I know there are people on a mission to lure me into doing things against my wish. I will not relent. Ndakanitsitsa kwa mtuwagalu [I have adamantly refused to follow]. I am not a fool. They have gone to the extent of involving my family to convince me to change my mind.

"Three people came in a four-wheel drive to pick me. One of them was white and concealed his identify by staying in the car while the other two were talking to me. I have been forced to come to the media so I can be left alone. If they return, I will expose them more."

Monjeza's new love, Dorothy Gulo, said on June 7 that she loves him in return.

Monjeza is "a real man capable of doing to women what other men ably do in bed," she said.

"I have tried him on two occasions and he proved to me he can live with a woman. I was impressed with him when my curiosity got the better of me and here I am. My only worry is what Chimbalanga would do if he found out," Gulo said.

She said they have been living together for some days after meeting in Mbayani where she was living with her parents. Gulo said Monjeza complimented her on her looks.

"I did not immediately realize it was Monjeza because I knew his story. I only recognized him after a while. Right now, I am looking forward to a future together. I don't care what people say, because many are talking. I am yet to tell my parents about us," Gulo said.

Chimbalanga did not comment on Monjeza's statements. The male pronouns used to refer to her in the quotes above are those chosen by the original speakers.

Always the more resilient and cheerful of the two, she previously insisted that she still loves Monjeza, and wished to seek asylum with him in another country.

The pair married on December 28 last year. The next day they were arrested and charged under Malawi's colonial-era "anti-buggery" law. They were held without bail in prison, where Monjeza became seriously ill, until May this year.

In May they were found guilty as charged and sentenced to 14 years' hard labor. They were then split up and sent to separate prisons.

Ten days later, they were pardoned by Malawi's president and released. Chimbalanga went to the city of Lilongwe - for "a breather," she said. Monjeza returned to his village, where his relatives warned Chimbalanga not to follow him.

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