Malawi lesbian couple fake, lawyer says no case

Two Malawian women  who became the first lesbian couple to hold a traditional engagement are said to have used ‘fake’ identities and that they are not in a relationship but were given money to taste the waters, Nyasa Times has gathered.

Regina Mmangausi and Ruth Banda from Blantyre engaged  in a traditional ceremony last Saturday in Chigumula Township, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

Nyasa Times has been investigating the couple and found out their real names and their genuine sexual orientation is straight and not lesbian.

Mmangausi, who acts as a male partner, her real name has been revealed as Tiyamike Mbalati according to a relation.

The lesbian couple in Malawi. Regina Mmangausi and Ruth Banda. Photo credit - Sunday Times

The relation who spoke to Nyasa Times but asked not to be identified said: “The girls calling herself Regina Mmangausi is actually Tiyamike Mbalati.

“She has two children,” the source added.

Her first born is three years old while the second one is a year old.

The source further claimed the woman is now a sex-worker in Chirimba township in Blantyre.

“They were given K10, 000 each to stage a same-sex engagement,” said the source that operates a pharmacy.

Homosexuality is currently banned in Malawi and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.

President Joyce Banda told Parliament on Friday that she wants Malawi to overturn its ban on homosexual acts

“Indecency and unnatural acts laws shall be repealed,” President Banda said in her first state of the nation address .

Meanwhile, private practice human rights lawyer Wapona Kita says the female couple cannot be arrested under the laws of Malawi.

“My take on the lesbian engagement picture is that the two cannot be arrested of any offence under our Penal Code since it only provides for the offence of indecent practices between males, (Section. 156 of penal code),” Kita said in posting in his Facebook page.

“What it means is that gays can as well challenge this law as being discriminatory,” he added.

Kita also welcomed the President’s move to repeal anti-gay laws, saying the law is “unconstitutional against international human rights standards.”

Undule Mwakasungula, executive director of the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, also said President Banda’s announcement is a welcome development.

But some politicians, social commentators, religious leaders and Malawians in general have called caution and sober debate on the matter.

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