The winds of change may be sweeping through Egypt, but it is a different kind of wind that is causing a stir in Malawi, two of the country’s most senior judicial officials arguing over whether a new bill includes a provision that outlaws breaking wind in public.
Justice Minister George Chaponda believes the new bill would criminalise flatulence in order to promote public decency.
However, the Solicitor General, Anthony Kamanga, believes the reference to ‘fouling the air’ means pollution.
The Local Courts Bill is due to be introduced next week and reads:
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.
Justice Minister George Chaponda, who is a trained lawyer, insists that this includes breaking wind and says that local chiefs would deal with offenders.