Newspaper claims Malawi couple have split up over a woman

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The couple who were pardoned by Malawi’s president after being jailed for homosexuality have reportedly split up because one is dating a woman.

According to Reuters, Steven Monjeza told local newspaper The Nation he had been coerced into the gay relationship with Tiwonge Chimbalanga.

He said he was now seeing a 24-year-old woman called Dorothy.

Dorothy told the newspaper: “I am looking forward to a future with him. I don’t care what people say. But I am yet to tell my parents.”

Neither Mr Monjeza or Mr Chimbalanga, who some reports say identifies as a trans woman, could be reached for comment.

They were held in a Blantyre prison for almost five months after being arrested late last year for holding a traditional wedding ceremony.

They were found guilty of gay sex offences last month and were sentenced to 14 years of hard labour, the country’s toughest penalty for same-sex acts.

After worldwide condemnation, Malawi president Bingu Wa Mutharika pardoned them two weeks ago and they were freed.