11th February 2011
By Charles Wilson
A legal twist has arisen in Malawi. The Minister of Justice, George Chaponda says the new law will criminalize flatulence and promote public decency.
This was contradicted by Malawi’s Solicitor General, Anthony Kamanga, who says the law is about pollution, and “fouling the air” is not intended deal with people suffering from flatulence. He says the prohibition against “fouling the air” has been in place for over ninety years and has never been used against anybody farting in public.
The wording in the bill states, “Any person who vitiates the atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious to the public to the health of persons in general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighbourhood or passing along a public way shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.”
The Minister of Justice insists this refers to breaking wind in public as well, and says it will be up to local chiefs to deal with those caught farting in public.
When asked whether it could be enforced, he said it would be similar to laws banning urinating in public, since people can go to a toilet if they want to pass wind.