Controversial hip-hop musician Mwiza Chavura – who was arrested after releasing a song titled Nzakupanga Rape deemed by some section of society as inciting sexual assault – on Friday walked home after being granted bail by the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court, eight days after his arrest.
Chavura, a graduate of Mzuzu University, has been charged with producing obscene language contrary to section 179 (1) of the Penal Code.
He has been granted bail on consideration that the case is a misdemeanor that can only attract a fine.
His bail conditions include a bond of K50, 000, two sureties worth K200, 000 each and to surrender his travel documents.
He is also supposed to report to Blantyre Police Station every Thursday throughout the duration of his case.
In her ruling , chief resident magistrate Violet Chipawo stated that after careful consideration of submissions by both the State and the defence, “there’s no sufficient basis not to grant the accused bail”.
“The court will proceed on the understanding that the accused was not in hiding and handed himself to the police. Again, the case is a misdemonour,” said Chipawo.
Chavula raps in the Chichewa language, which is widely spoken in Malawi.
In his latest song, a man is telling a woman long refusing his sexual advances that he will one day get her drunk, seal her mouth with a tape or socks, and rape her. The song ends with the sound of a woman crying.
Chavula released the song in December, it gained momentum on social media in early January. The public backlash was swift. Women’s groups took to social media under the hashtag #arrestchavula. Several popular online music distributors, like MalawiMusic.com, pulled the song and apologizedFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :