Man arrested for ‘insulting’ Malawi President Joyce Banda

A Malawian citizen who police say insulted President Joyce Banda has been arrested under tough old laws which stops citizens from making remarks undermining the authority or insulting the Head of State contrary to Section 4 of the Protected Names and Emblems Act.

Police spokesman in Mzuzu, Maurice Chapola confirmed they arrested a 37-year-old Japhet Chirwa for calling President Banda “stupid.”

Chirwa, who hails  from Mazembe village, T/A Fulumapiri, Mzimba, is alleged to have been angered following the rejection of his bid to renew his passport at Immigration Department in Mzuzu.

He reportedly called President Banda “stupid” and also accused her of being a “failure”.

Chapola: Confirmed the arrest
Chapola: Confirmed the arrest

Police arrested Chirwa for uttering the abusive words  and sent him for remand at Mzuzu Prison.

He said Chirwa will be prosecuted for making derogatory remarks against the President .

Under Chapter 18:03 Section 4 of the Protected Names, Flags and Emblems Act which were
designed to preserve the dignity of an incumbent President and his office:  “Any person who does any act or utters any word or publishes or utters any writing calculated to or libel to insult, ridicule or to show disrespect to with
reference to the President, the national flag, the armorial ensigns, the public seal or any protected emblem or protected likeness shall be liable to a fine of 1,000 pounds [sterling] and to imprisonment for two years.”

President Banda is currently in the Northern Region where she is conducting various political activities.

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