BLANTYRE - Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika yesterday told the country to stop talking about a gay couple's "satanic" wedding after he set aside their 14-year prison sentence for sodomy.
Mutharika announced on Saturday that he had pardoned Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, and Steven Monjeza, 26, who were convicted of sodomy and "indecent acts" after holding a wedding ceremony in December.
He made the decision after meeting with UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, though the public mood has been in favour of the heavy sentence and against the pardon.
"The story ends there... I don't want to hear anyone commenting on them. Nobody is authorised to comment on gays. You will spoil things," Mutharika said on arrival from the France-Africa summit.
He said the gay couple's wedding was "satanic because they committed a crime against our culture, against our religion and against our laws".
"I am looking at donors now ... what will they say about the pardon," Mutharika said.
Donors, who bankroll more than half of the country's development budget, had criticised his administration for oppressing rights of minorities.
"Is it possible to stop aid to Malawi because of two people who are insane?" he asked.
Mutharika said he had pardoned them because "to err is human and to forgive is divine." - Sapa-AFP