MISA Malawi demands immediate arrest and prosecution of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters who assaulted Times Group photojournalist Francis Mzindiko.
According to Mzindiko, over 15 people clad in the trademark MCP youths’ green suits assaulted him during President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera’s official opening of the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) Complex in Blantyre on Wednesday, May 17, 2023.
The President was touring the complex when the supporters assaulted Mzindiko, accusing him of filming the fight between MCP and UTM supporters.
The supporters forcibly took out memory card in the camera he was using and deleted footage in his computer. The assaulters also damaged the camera.
MISA Malawi condemns the act in strongest terms and demands that police bring to book all perpetrators of this serious assault on journalism.
We are also sure that MCP leadership knows the supporters in green party suits who assaulted Mzindiko. We ask them to provide information that will help police do their job.
MISA Malawi reached out to MCP and its Publicity Secretary Honourable Ezekiel Ching’oma said the party would be issuing a statement on the matter.
Malawi Police Service Public Relations Office promised to come back.
Taking footage or pictures of a public place or events such as presidential events is not a crime and those who assault journalists for merely doing their job are supposed to be arrested and prosecuted.
We take notice of Minister of Information and Digitalisation Honourable Moses Kunkuyu’s words on President Chakwera’s commitment to promote and safeguard press freedom. We therefore call for the translation of such words into action and that includes arresting and prosecuting the ruling party’s supporters for assaulting Mzindiko.
MISA Malawi calls upon government to take serious steps in prosecuting those who commit crimes against journalists and do away with all sorts of impunity.
MISA Malawi Chairperson Golden Matonga
Cell: +265 996169705 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
MISA Malawi National Director Aubrey Chikungwa
Cell: +265 999 327 311 or email email@example.com