Malawi journo’s assault case adjourned to July 31: Chikondi testifies against Chilinda
The assault case involving parliamentary chief security officer Youngson Chilinda and Nation Publications Limited’s (NPL) photo-journalist Thoko Chikondi has been adjourned to July, 31 2013 at the Lilongwe Magistrate Court after the victim testified.
During the Wednesday’s hearing, Chikondi told the court how Chilinda – the former military officer and football referee – had assaulted her saying the retired soldier grabbed her by the neck and hit her hard in the face.
“I was rescued by a female police officer and was later taken to the hospital where I received treatment for soft body tissue injuries,” Chikondi told the court.
“[Chilinda] literally wanted to get my camera and break it. But there was no way I could have let him seize it. So, we wrestled and he intentionally beat me in the face with the camera, upon noticing I was not letting go of the camera.
“In cross-examination, Tisilira Kaphamtengo lawyer representing Chilinda, asked Chikondi why she did not produce her press pass when Chilinda approached her.
“I had my press tag, but he did not ask for it. Therefore, I would not have showed my card upfront,” she said.
Police officer Cecilia Zangazanga is prosecuting and informed the court that the State will parade five witnesses in the case and two of them work with Chilinda.
Chilinda pleaded not guilty during the last hearing. The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) interdicted him paving way for justice to take its course.
He beat up Chikondi at Malawi parliament premises in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe when the latter was taking photos during a Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) petition presentation at the National Assembly in May this year.