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Thursday, February 10, 2011

An Anti Farting Law will be enforced in Malawi?

It sounds absurd but according to news headlines, a Local Courts Bill will be introduced in Malawi next week, which says “Any person who vitiates (destroys) the atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious (harmful) to the public to the health of persons in general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighborhood or passing along a public way shall be guilty of a misdemeanor” ( It is according to a radio interview of Malawi’s Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, George Chaponda.

The people of Malawi particularly in its financial capital Blantyre reacts unfavorably about the new law. They feel that enforcing such a law is a big waste of public funds. They argue that farting is a natural function of the body and everybody does it. Where can they go to fart anyway? Besides, who would know who does it in public? The people of Malawi believe that there are more important things that their legislators should consider and work on.

However, Malawi’s Justice Minister George Chaponda corrects himself and admits that the he has committed a blunder in saying that farting in public will be penalized under their law in a local radio interview, which caused public uproar and hitting international news headlines. He admits that his interpretation of that clause in the law is a mistake. It is not about farting but pollution.

It’s a good thing that their Minister admits being wrong because it would have been a silly law to enforce.

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