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Malawi Government Proposes Fart Ban

Malawi

First Posted: 02/04/11 02:45 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:30 PM ET

In Malawi, a new bill in the country is trying to make it against the law to fart in public.

As the BBC is reporting, just whether or not the new bill criminalizes flatulence is being hotly debated among two of the African nation's most senior officials. The Local Courts Bill, to be introduced next week, 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 misdemeanor."

Justice Minister George Chaponda certainly believes passing gas should be included among the various offenses. "Just go to the toilet when you feel like farting," he told local radio, before noting that local chiefs would deal with any offenders. According to the Afrik News site, the bill will also attempt to deal with citizens who hinder the burial of dead bodies as well as people who pretend to be fortune tellers.

Solicitor General Anthony Kamanga begged to differ, arguing that the "fouling the air" reference only directly meant air pollution. "How any reasonable or sensible person can construe the provision to criminalizing farting in public is beyond me," he said. Another Malawian is quoted as saying, ""How can this government criminalize the release of intestinal gases ... Everyone does that, even if it's in public or it has an accompanying sound which is boring, making it criminal is a joke of democracy."

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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |