Malawi Police Service (MPS) National Headquarters says journalists are free to take pictures of any dramatic scenes during police operations without seeking permission from the police officers on site.
MPS Deputy Inspector General (DIG) – Administration, Lexten Kachama, said this Tuesday at the Police Headquarters in Area 30, Lilongwe, during a special interface between the law enforcing agency and the media.
Kachama said it was the duty of every officer in the service to ensure that they discharged their duties professionally and that no reporter is stopped from taking pictures at a public scene.
“An officer who is working professionally would not have any problem with a journalist taking his or her picture,” said Kachama. “For those who are unprofessional in their conduct, the pictures will expose their brutality to the public and they will be dealt with accordingly.”
However, the DIG said presidential functions were exceptional and that for a journalist to take pictures he or she has to be granted permission first, for security reasons.
Earlier during the meeting, DIG for operations, Rodney Jose, said the IG of Malawi Police, Paul Kanyama, and the entire service regretted the recent beating up of Blantyre Newspapers Limited (BNL) journalist, Archibald Kasakula, by a police officer in Blantyre for taking pictures during a street sweeping exercise.
Jose said the police officer’s conduct was uncalled for in the police service and he apologized to the media fraternity for what happened.
“We condemn the brutal and unprofessional conduct that this police officer displayed and as police service, we do not condone the treatment that Kasakula received,” explained the DIG of Operations.
The BNL journalist was beaten up when he tried to take pictures of the Blantyre City Council official accompanied by police officers allegedly beat a female vendor selling her merchandise in the street.
The Tuesday police/media interface meeting brought together reporters from various media institutions in the country and police Public Relations Officers from different police stations.
The two sides exchanged experiences and challenges they face in the course of exchanging information and how best they can work together as partners and not as enemies.--ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :