Germany cuts aid to Malawi over homosexuality law By REX CHIKOKO in Blantyre | Friday, February 4  2011 at  13:57

Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika. FILE | AFRICA REVIEW 

German Government has reduced aid to Malawi following the latter’s decision to criminalise homosexuality and restrict press freedom.

In a press release issued on February 1, the Berlin government, through its Development minister Dirk Niebel, said they have cut budget support to Malawi by half. Germany had pledged to give Malawi about $33 million this year.

Mr Niebel wrote to Malawi’s Ministry of Finance expressing concern over press freedom and compliance with international human rights agreements.

“Until these concerns have been resolved, half of the envisaged budget support payments to Malawi are to be withheld,” reads part of the press release.

This was in response to the decision adopted by Malawi’s Parliament in November last year to make amendments to the country’s Penal Code which criminalises homosexuality and muzzles print press.

President Bingu wa Mutharika recently assented to the bill that will give power to the minister of Information to ban any publication that he deemed not in the public interest.

However, Secretary to the Treasury Joseph Mwanamvekha said he was not aware of Germany’s slash of aid to Malawi.

“There is no formal communication on that issue. I am not aware,” Mr Mwanamvekha said.