“Ndizakupanga rape” wakes up sleeping Malawi Censorship Board

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Established under the Censorship and Control of Entertainment Act, the Malawi Censorship Board was given mandate to censor published and other entertainment materials but the board has not always been active.

The public in Malawi has been fed with materials through publication of books and entertainment materials that raise eyebrows as to whether the censorship board is still operational in the country.

Chavula

Mwiza Chavura

Last year, government through the ministry of education, science and technology withdrew a prescribed Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) Chichewa literature book over its content.

The book “Kusintha Maganizo ndi nkhani zina” was dropped after it was accredited for use in Malawi secondary level literature over its story “M’dalitso wa bodza”.

Contents of the story were reported to be offensive to the Roman Catholic and it took the church filing a complaint against the book for it to be banned for use in secondary curriculum.

Currently, musician Mwiza Chavura is under fire over his song “Ndizakupanga rape”.

The song has been faulted for promoting violence and fear among young women and for glorifying rape.

Several activists have condemned the musician for the song that has been controversial in the country.

Some activists have turned to Malawi Censorship Board faulting it for its negligence on its mandate to control content for the public.

Women’s Legal Resources Centre (WOLERC) and the non-governmental organization Gender Coordination Network, said the song does not deserve to be in the public domain and should be banned.

The activists have demanded the Malawi Censorship Board to wake up and start acting on artistic material considered obscene by the public.

In response, the censorship board has vowed to take its mandate seriously in the country.

Through adverts that are currently being aired on radio stations, the board has warned the public to refrain from sharing content that is likely to anger some groups of people in the country.

The board has urged producers of music to avoid producing content that is obscene.

Music websites that share obscene music and allow citizens to download will also be punished, according to the board.

The Malawi Censorship Board is mandated to regulate and control the making and exhibition of cinematographic pictures, the importation, production, dissemination and possession of undesirable publications, pictures, statues and records, the performance or presentation of stage plays and public entertainments, the operation of theatres and like places for the performance or presentation of stage plays and public entertainments in the interests of safety.

Banned publications are those ‘likely to give offense to the religious convictions or feelings of any section of the public, bring anyone into contempt, harm relations between sections of the public or be contrary to the interests of public order.

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