Court fines Thlu Chisiza K5,000, released

Blantyre Magistrate Court on Monday imposed a fine of K5,000 to of Lions Theatre Thlupezo (Thlu) Chisiza  who was arrested on Sunday while staging a play, Semo.

Chisiza, son of fallen Malawi theatre king, Du Chisiza Jnr, appeared before the Magistrate’s Court in the afternoon where he was formally charged  with performing a play —  a  satire with revealing resemblance to political and economic malaise in  present Malawi —  without  a public entertainment permit contrary to section 21 of the Censorship and  Control of Entertainment Act

Represented by lawyer Chimwemwe Kalua, Chisiza pleaded guilty to the offence.

Chisiza with Kaitano: After walking to freedom

In passing judgement, Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa said he had found Chisiza guilty on his own plea.

He however fined him K5,000. The actor paid the fine upfront and was greated by sympathisers with cheers, shouts and whistling when he walked to freedom.

Head of Theatre Association of Malawi had earlier called for his release and the state to dismiss the case.

“Chisiza submitted his script to Censorship board and followed all censorship requirements,” said Association’s head Ian Chitsekula.

Chief censoring officer Humphreys Mpondaminga insists didn’t have a copy of the Semo play.

He said Police and Censorship board action to arrest the artist during the live performance is uncalled for.

Police also detained Elizabeth Kaitano for taking pictures of Chisiza when he was being bundled into the vehicle by the scueity forces. Kaitano pictures were posted on Facebook and shared with Nyasa Times.

Kaitano said she was “very happy” to see that Chisiza has got back his liberty.

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