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Malawian man convicted of insulting the president in a TikTok video

Sainani Nkhoma was found guilty by a court on Thursday, which said he had posted the video and insulting comments about the president on a community WhatsApp group

A man in Malawi has been convicted of insulting President Lazarus Chakwera after posting a TikTok video showing an animated figure, with Chakwera’s face superimposed on it, doing some quirky dance moves.

Sainani Nkhoma was found guilty by a court on Thursday, which said he had posted the video and insulting comments about the president on a community WhatsApp group.

Members of the group in the central town of Mponela reported him to the ruling Malawi Congress Party, and he was arrested on Tuesday night.

Judge Talakwanji Mndala said Nkhoma’s actions were inappropriate.

Sentencing has been scheduled for next week, but the judge warned that the punishment could be a fine of around $3,500 or six years in prison.

Chakwera was elected president in 2020 after the country’s Constitutional Court ordered an unprecedented re-run of the 2019 presidential poll.

The incumbent president at the time, Peter Mutharika, was initially declared winner of the election, but the court said there was evidence of widespread irregularities.

Following his win, Chakwera said: “I’m so happy I could dance all night.”

 

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