The British government has denied legalising gay relationships is a precondition that it has set for Malawi to be a beneficiary of its aid. The United Kingdom (UK) Secretary for International Development Andrew Mitchell said at a press briefing he had alongside President Joyce Banda at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre. Mitchell said even though the UK champions the promotion of human rights, it has not particularly attached its aid to gay rights as had been earlier reported.

A journalist with one of Malawi's major publishing houses, Blantyre Newspapers Limited (BNL), is languishing in police custody for writing a story on an alleged engagement ceremony involving two women. Reports indicate that the journalist, Clement Chinoko, was arrested on the evening of Saturday 26 May 2012 for penning a story that appeared in The Sunday Times of 20 May 2012. The story stated that two women from Malawi?s southern city of Blantyre had engaged.

Dorothy Dyton and her family have been removed from their land. The government, which owns all customary land, sold it to a sugar company. Like many other African countries, small-scale farmers in Malawi lack secure title to land. And a new law which would allow farmers to register their customary land as private property has stalled in Parliament.

The Malawi government will not arrest two lesbians who got engaged recently in Blantyre because the law on homosexuality is currently under review, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General Ralph Kasambara has said. 'Right now the two women will not be arrested or prosecuted, the reason is that the law under which they could have been arrested and consequently prosecuted is under review,' said Kasambara.

President Joyce Banda has said she wants to repeal Malawi's laws against homosexual acts, going against a trend in Africa in which gays are being increasingly singled out for prosecution. Banda, who assumed the presidency in April when her predecessor died, made the announcement in her first state of the nation address. 'Indecency and unnatural acts laws shall be repealed,' she said. But repealing a law requires a parliamentary vote, and it is unclear how much political support Banda would more