Blantyre — The Malawi Censorship Board has said it does not censor materials on the Internet because it is not mandated to do so.

Deputy Director of Culture at the Board, Chrissy Chiumia disclosed this to the Malawi News Agency (Mana) in written response to a questionnaire.

“The mandate of the Board is to regulate films, public entertainment and publications; and does not include regulating internet content.

“Regulating content of the internet is more than censorship. The issue requires separate legal framework and of course, the direct involvement of the internet service providers,” explained Chiumia.

She further said as a board, they cannot just jump into matters that are not clearly provided by the law.

“The challenge is that sensitive material is left uncensored, and our calling is to operate within the mandate of the Censorship Act,” she said.

She also explained that consultations on the review of the Censorship Act reflected on this issue but the consensus was that regulating content on the internet would better be under the Communications Act.

“It is from that background that the issue has evolved to the E- Legislation Bill which, among other important matters, seeks to regulate content on the internet,” she elaborated.

“Our major setback is limited funds available. This makes it impossible to effectively run all the four major technical programmes of this office.

“That is, regulating films, regulating public film theatres and other types of entertainment facilities, law enforcement against pornography and research and civic education,” she explained.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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