Malawi media law gets the boot

An oppressive media law has been repealed by the Malawi parliament, removing the power given to the information minister to ban any publication that is deemed to be bad for the public.

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According to South African media portal BizCommunity, the legislation – section 46 of the penal code – was wiped from legislation with little opposition, as many agreed that the law was unnecessary.
Such was the level of support for ditching the law, that the campaign was backed by the former information minister in the Democratic Progressive Party of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika, who originally brought the law to the statute books, according to the report.
The law was a contentious issue before the death of president Mutharika in April, as media organisation and the general public appealed for it  to be amended, with little success.
Henry Duncan Phoya, the lawyer leader of the house, commented that the law created a negative image of the country and provided no benefit to the government. In his submission of the new bill, Mr Phoya said: ‘Section 46 was unreasonable limitation to free publication, freedom of speech and freedom of the media.’


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