I reject the word "pardoned", because I do not accept that Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza had done anything for which they needed to be pardoned! These two innocent gay men were victimised because they are poor, and that is the truth of the matter. It was assumed that the men lacked influence and were to be scapegoats. Therefore the Malawi government must have indeed been very bewildered at the world's reaction to the unjust incarceration and unfair trial to which it subjected the couple.
The country's president "pardoning" the couple publicly after a meeting with the UN Secretary General although intended as a publicity stunt, in reality exposes the deliberate persecution of these men for what it really was. Now the time has come for all African countries that retain 19th century sodomy laws in their law books to have a rethink about whether they need to retain these laws at all, since these are laws that can never be successfully enforced.