Malawi court convicts man for defamatory Facebook post

Malawi has started to crack down hard using existing laws to prosecute comments made on Facebook and other social media platforms  which break the law which has seen a 23 year old Mchinj man, Protazio Nkhoma  convicted and jailed 42 months in prison  over Facebook post.

Nkhoma post was  successfully proved by prosecution that it was charactor defamation contrary to Section 201 of the Penal Code.

On February 10, 2017 Nkhoma posted on his Facebook timeline stating that the Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) president Lonzoe Zimba had shoot to kill two American in his house.

Nkhoma denied the charge but prosecution proved the post was defamatory in nature to injure the reputation of Zimba.

Passing judgement in Mchinji Firt Grade Magistrate Court,  Magistrate Rodwell Meja Phiri , found Nkhoma quilty of defamation of character and tuled that he deserved custodial sentence “to set precedence” to society and deter other would-be offenders.

Magistrate Meja Phiri pointed out that defamation of character is a serious offence as it affected the reputation of the individual.

In mitigation, Nkhoma, who comes from Mzikawola village in Traditional Authority Mlonyeni in Mchinji,  asked for leniency and non custodial sentence saying he suffers from epilepsy, has a sick mother and his wife has just given birth.

He also said he would deactivate his Facebook account.

A law expert who spoke to Nyasa Times said technically anything that is said on Facebook is subject to the same laws as if it’s published in any other format; in other words, the most likely charges that could be brought against a tweet or a Facebook status update are defamation – publication of a statement about someone which injures their reputation in the eyes of reasonable members of society – or incitement.

Someone has to make a complaint in order for the matter to be investigated, a police spokesman said.


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Too bad for the poor soul. But he deserves it. He new that he was guilty that is why he is asking for leniency


Feb 21 2017 12:34. zonse zimene zikuchitikazi zikusonyezadi kuti tili mmasiku otsiliza. Onamero

Cash gate

Nkhaniyabwino,Nanga amene akuba ma million aboma osapanga chimodzimodzi bwanji ngati mene mwapangila wapa Facebook,
Za pa Tumbo


Only in Malawi are you not free any other country this would be a civil matter. Libel what harm did did the too reputation.
Malawi legal counsel should immediately appeal this decision.

Just undemocratic and scary someone is jailed for such minor posting.



Major Pen

Zili bwino pa Facebook kukumachitapo chibwana kwambiri, khani za bodza bweeee, kumangoipitsa adzanu munya muona mukathera ku Maula. Ena kunyoza president osabwera poyera bwanji? Kunyoza azanu mufinyidwa musiyiretu khalidwe umenewo. Ena mukunyenga heavy amkadzi a Eni ma Facebook mugwidwa ndipo akulangani akhoti. Munaonjedza kuzionera okulakula eti. Am happy


Good lesson to those of us with expertise in fabricating stories and spreading lies…

Hon Pwhisi

zapanda mchele
back to one party rule


I agree with the learned Magistrate, this case will set a precedence and others will learnt to exercise their press freedom / freedom of speech with full responsibilities.

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