Malawi Police in Blantyre are keeping in custody a man for continuously having sex with an underage male.
This new of an alledged homesexul man takes place after four years since the arrest of an alledged homesexul man takes place after four years since the arrest of a gay couple Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza.
In 2009 Chimbalanga and Monjeza trial was supposed to send a strong message that the practice is against the law in Malawi, but it seems the exercise only pushed homosexuals to discretion as some cases are still surfacing.
Blantyre police spokesperson Elizabeth Divala has identified the suspect as Davie Ngwira, 32, who comes from Kankhande Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Chilowamatambe in Kasungu, but works for Blantyre City Council (BCC).
Ngwira is reported to have been giving the boy between K100 (about US$0.25) and K200 ($0.50) after the sex, according to Divala, who told The Nation Ngwira has been having the sexual relationship with the boy since April this year until September when the father of the 12-year-old boy reported the matter to police, leading to the arrest.
A medical report, according to the police, confirmed that the 12-year-old boy was having anal sex with a man.
The boy was living in Chilobwe Township, in Blantyre with his mother, who was on separation with her husband. The mother (name withheld) was the first to discover the incident.
She said: “The boy’s behaviour made me suspicious. He looked unhappy, was weak, frequently coughing and sleeping most of the time. His lips became reddish and his face swollen.”
According to the mother, who also spoke to The Nation, the boy stopped playing with his peers and he seemed in deep thought all the time.
“I gave him [over the counter painkillers], but things never changed. I told my neighbours about the issue, but I was surprised to learn that they also noticed the same on my son. I then decided to go seek medical care,” said the mother.
At the hospital, she just explained her son’s symptoms and they were given painkillers. But when the situation did not change, she decided to confront the son.
Said the mother: “One afternoon, I called my son to his room and asked him to close the door. I quizzed him to explain what was happening after assuring him that I would keep the matter to myself. That is when he revealed that Ngwira was having anal sex with him.”
With this revelation, the mother claimed she was able to connect the dots. She claimed Ngwira, who was living alone in the neighbourhood, used to call her son to sleep at his house.
“I had no problem with that because I thought that being a bachelor Ngwira needed my son to help him with housework.
“But what surprised me was that even after we moved to another house, Ngwira would still come to get my son, and he would do that only when I was away,” said the mother.
She said the son seemed to slowly get used into the act and he would communicate with the suspect using his mother’s phone, saving his number as ‘Nyani’ (monkey).
“The other thing is that my son wanted to be moved from Naotcha to Chimwankhunda Primary School so that he should be close to Ngwira’s place. That is what made me send the boy to his father,” she said.
The boy’s father (name withheld) who lives in Mbayani, Blantyre, told The Nation that he quizzed his son after his estranged wife briefed him about the matter. He said the son admitted to sleeping with Ngwira.
“I then took him to hospital where a medical examination confirmed my son had been having anal sex. That is when I reported the matter to police. I have the medical reports,” said the father.
Ngwira, who was arrested, but now on bail, has since been charged with sodomy and the case is expected to be heard at the Blantyre Magistrate’s Court on October 16.
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Timothy Mtambo said the only crime committed on the matter is that the man was sleeping with an underage boy.
“Sleeping with a young person is a crime. But when a man sleeps with another man and both agree to do it at their private place, there is no crime,” said Mtambo.
He dismissed the suggestion that homosexuality is foreign, arguing people are born like that only that they are afraid to come out.
When reminded that the country’s laws are against homosexuality, Mtambo said they (the laws) are undemocratic and should be revised.
Gift Trapence, executive director of the Centre for the Development of the People (Cedep), another organisation that champions sexual minority rights, concurred with Mtambo.
Trapence said there is no problem with consenting adults of the same sex having sex in private.
“In that case, laws should not invade into their privacy. The problem we have here is that the man was having sex with a small boy,” he said, claiming that the population of homosexuals is growing by the day.
In 2009, Chimbalanga and Monjeza, who were both adults, held a public marriage engagement ceremony, but were arrested, convicted and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour each for contravening sections 153 and 156 of the Penal Code.
But former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned them following an outcry from the international community.