11 February 2019

Malawi: Singer Mesho Imprisoned 2 Years Over Song Mocking Islamic Religion - Producer Jailed

A controversial local singer Andison Alfred Chipwaila also known as Mesho has been convicted by First grade magistrate Asunta Muwalo in Blantyre for releasing the now banned song Mizikiti Ichoke which questions why Madrassah's [a Muslim school, college, or university that is often part of a mosque] were introduced and why Muslims don't eat Pork.

He further demands the demolition of all mosques in Malawi and let everyone eat pork freely.

Mesho was arrested after releasing the song and police slapped charges of intimidation which carries a maximum of five years or a K50 000 fine while the second count of uttering words with intent to wound religious feelings is considered a misdemeanor and attracts a maximum of one year imprisonment.

He was successfully prosecuted alongside the music producer Stephano Emmanuel for their respective roles in the making of the banned song.

In her ruling on Monday in Blantyre, Muwalo said mocking religion is the worst kind of mockery in the world and the actions of the two were damaging and sowed seeds of disharmony among Moslems and Adventists.

The court handed Chipwaila, who is the composer of the song, a two-year sentence for intimidation which is contrary to Section 88(1) (b) of the Penal Code and a further one year for writing words with intent to wound religious feelings contrary to Section 130 of the Penal Code.

Emmanuel, who was the second accused person in the case, has been penalised for his role in recording and releasing the song and has received one-year custodial sentences for each of the two counts.

Said Muwalo in her determination: "This judgment has been arrived at having considered all factors which were presented before the court and also bearing in mind that the two are first offenders. But we have also considered the deterrent effect the sentence will have on would-be offenders."

Chipwaila, 29, comes from Binali Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Nkanda in Mulanje while Emmanuel, 25, comes from Samson Village, T/A M'biza in Zomba district.

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