Two of Malawi’s most senior judicial officials are embroiled in a row over whether to ban – FARTING.
The African nation’s Justice Minister George Chaponda says a new bill, to be introduced next week, would criminalise flatulence to promote “public decency”.
He told local radio: “Just go to the toilet when you feel like farting.”
But he was directly contradicted by Solicitor General Anthony Kamanga, who says the reference to “fouling the air” means pollution.
He said: “How any reasonable or sensible person can construe the provision to criminalising farting in public is beyond me.”
Mr Kamanga added that the prohibition contained in the new law has been in place since 1929.
The Local Courts Bill reads: “Any person who vitiates the atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious to the public to the health of persons in general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighbourhood or passing along a public way shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.”
Mr Chaponda, a trained lawyer, insists that this includes farting.
“Would you be happy to see people farting anyhow?” he asked on the popular “Straight Talk” programme on Malawi’s Capital Radio.
He said that local chiefs would deal with any offenders.
When asked whether it could be enforced, he said it would be similar to laws banning urinating in public.