Thankfully, it seems that the fears about the meaning of Tiwonge’s earlier disappearance have been allayed with the news that she and Steven held a short press conference late on Wednesday.
Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, and Steven Monjeza, 26, gave a brief news conference in the administrative capital Lilongwe late Wednesday, their first public appearance together since Saturday’s pardon from the sentence of 14 years’ hard labour imposed after they held a symbolic wedding.
The couple asked the media and the general public to respect their privacy.
“So much has been said and written about us, both positive and negative. We think this is the time for us to be given an opportunity to enjoy our freedom,” they said.
They called their ordeal “the most stressful period in our lives.”
Chimbalanga told AFP in a phone interview that he was in Lilongwe to “have a breather”, while his partner had returned to his village.
Gift Trapence, director of the underground gay movement Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP), which paid the couple’s legal fees, said the group was trying to find jobs for Chimbalanga and Monjeza.
Cross-posted at Questioning Transphobia
Previous related posts:
- Malawi: Tiwonge Chimbalanga is reportedly missing (May 31, 2010)
- Malawi: Breaking news – Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga pardoned (May 29, 2010)
- Actions to show support for Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga (May 27, 2010)
- Malawi: Live at the witch trials (May 23, 2010)
- Malawi: Couple sentenced to 14 years in prison with hard labour for getting engaged (May 20, 2010)