Democracy to blame?…..

As the Romans used to say: “ex Africa semper aliquid novi” – always something new out of Africa.

Most readers will have heard the somewhat inelegant phrase “farting against thunder” – meaning  making puny efforts to solve BIG problems.

Now, some Malawian politicians are, well, starting to thunder against farting. In fact they want to legislate against farting.

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“Would you like to see people farting in public anywhere?”, thundered justice and constitutional affairs minister George Chaponda. 

Multi-party democracy

Since the country embraced multi-party politics 16 years ago people had felt free to fart anywhere, Mr Chaponda said.

“It was not there during the time of dictatorship because people were afraid of the consequences. Now because of multipartism or freedom, people would like to fart anywhere,” he said.

Mr Chaponda is a key figure in Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika’s government.

Cloud over Cairo?

The relationship between democracy and farting (and indeed between democracy and Africa) will, hopefully, soon be put to the test in Egypt – where hundreds of thousands are protesting in favour of democracy.

If Malawian ministers are right, victory for Egypian democrats could result in a hell of a stink – both in Egypt and the whole of the Middle East.

Best hold your breath for a while?