President quick to overturn ban on gay acts


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The Independent Online

The new President, Joyce Banda, has vowed to repeal a ban on homosexual acts.

Malawi faced international condemnation in 2010 for the conviction and 14-year prison sentences given to two men who were arrested after celebrating their engagement and were charged with unnatural acts and gross indecency.

The previous President, Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in office in April, pardoned the couple. But he said it was on "humanitarian grounds only" and insisted they had "committed a crime against our culture, against our religion, and against our laws".

Ms Banda's announcement in her first state of the nation address is one of several steps she has taken to break with the administration of her predecessor.