A court in a northern Malawi city on Wednesday convicted a resident for calling President Joyce Banda “stupid” and a “failure”. Japhet Chirwa, arrested on Tuesday, pleaded guilty to the charge of “conduct likely to cause breach of the peace". The police prosecutor told the court that Chirwa, frustrated that the Department of Immigration had rejected his request for a new passport, blamed the government’s bureaucratic red tape on the “stupidity and failure” of Ms. Banda, the country’s first female president. The magistrate found him guilty and fined him 15, 000 Malawi kwacha (about $44) or, in default, to serve nine months in jail. Chirwa paid the fine. Activists have been calling for a review of laws that protect the name and the person of the President, saying they run counter to freedom of expression guaranteed under the Constitution. — AP