The controversy surrounding two Blantyre based women who were reported to have held a lesbian engagement has taken a new twist as the alleged couple has instructed their lawyer to drag Malawi’s giant media house Blantyre Newspapers Limited (BNL) to court demanding a six figure sum in damages for publishing what they call a defamatory article, Nyasa Times has established.
This follows an investigative article published by one of BNL’s titles, The Sunday Times saying that two Chigumula based women namely Regina Mmangausi and Ruth Banda held a traditional engagement becoming the country’s first women to do so in public.
However, Nyasa Times investigations reveal that the two women news makers that were photographed in romantic positions for a new drama. The findings were also collaborated the alleged couples private attorney Chancy Gondwe of Chamgwanjira chambers .
Gondwe defended the pictures that show his clients in romantic kiss, saying they were taken during a drama play the two were acting last month. “One of them was acting as a man but it was all drama. Actually one of them is happily married,” said the attorney for the women.
Gondwe therefore revealed that his clients are “deeply devastated” with the article hence are seeking court redress on the matter.
“In the first place, the pictures of the two ladies are not of Ruth Banda and Regina Mmangausi, their names are Ellen Kachulu and Tiyamike Mbalanje and they are not lesbians as is being depicted out there,” said the lawyer confirming what Nyasa Times had reported on Monday.
“For your own information Ellen is married to Chikondi Chawinga and the two have a child together. The picture showing them kissing was part of scene of a play they performed last month,” he added.
On reports that the two were paid K10 000 each to stage a same sex engagement in order to test the waters of the countrys laws, following an announcement by President Joyce Banda to repeal -homosexuality laws, Gondwe denied his clients’ involvement.
“My clients are equally surprised with such allegations, they are baseless and hold no water at all, anyway let’s just say the truth will be known once we meet in court.”
Meanwhile, BNL lawyer Innocent Kalua has denied receiving any formal complaint over the article and wondered why his counterpart was rushing to the media before lodging his clients concerns to the paper.
“ I havent seen the complaint but even if I saw it I wouldnt tell you anything because doing so would be unethical on my part, let’s see the complaint first then we will take it from there,” said Kalua.
Some media and legal pundits have since questioned the sincerity of the amount of money being sought in damages arguing, “it is unprecedented in the country’s history.” nyasa times