Malawi Censorship Board confiscates 390 porn movies

The Malawi Censorship Board has managed to confiscate 390 pornographic films in a campaign aimed at standardising public film theatres.

Most of the pornographic movies, according to the Board’s media report on Sensitisation Campaign on Public Film Theatre standards, were confiscated in Blantyre and Lilongwe.

The Board in its 2012 media report reveals that in 2010 about 53 pornographic films were confiscated from public theatre rooms, 256 were confiscated in 2011, and this year it has so far managed to confiscate 81 pornographic movies.

Porn movie

“The sensitisation campaign registered 652 public film theatres for Blantyre and Lilongwe alone and most of the incidences of pornographic films were found during follow up visits to public film theatres in Blantyre and Lilongwe. In other districts covered, the campaign found only isolated cases of pornographic films in public film theatre,” reads the report.

However, the Board has bemoaned lenient punishment the courts give to those prosecuted for publically viewing pornographic movies.

“There is resistance from unruly operators of public film theatres and in the case of pornography, the fact that some operators still have been arrested, prosecuted and fined several times. Some cases have ended up with very lenient punishments from court including suspended sentences and paying a meagre K300.

“In Blantyre, Chirimba and Ndirande have the highest compliance rates for the required standards for public film theatres while lowest compliance rates are in Limbe market, Chilobwe and Zingwangwa,” further reads the report.

Meanwhile, the Board discloses that plans are underway to take the campaign to Mzuzu.

“Problems to visit remote areas as complaints on public film theatres and pornographic films are being received from as far as Karonga. The Censorship Board is yet to take the campaign to Mzuzu and other districts in the north,” it states.

Despite lack of capacity to conduct the campaign on full scale, the Board has managed to reach out to 1,000 public theatre operators; 956 public theatre operators through sensitisation campaign meetings and the rest through on-spot civic education.

“Follow ups and licensing phase was started with Blantyre in February 2011. For the two years of the campaign, there has been a remarkable increase of public film theatres meeting requisite standards for licensing. A total of 278 public film theatre licences have been issued, with a breakdown of 141 licences in 2011 and 136 licences already issued of 2012,” reads the report released last month.

The theatre standards campaign was launched in October 2010. The project aims at improving the standards of structures used for public film theatres/video shows as covered by public film theatre rules under the Censorship Act.

The sensitisation campaign has so far covered townships and trading centres in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Chinkhwawa, Zomba, Balaka, Mulanje, Thyolo, Mwanza, Salima, Dowa and Machinga.

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