The Malawi Police Service is, once again, on the spot for assaulting and injuring journalists at work — two Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) reporters were attacked by a group of police officers in Mzuzu on Friday.
The police officers behaving like hired goons, attacked Musase Cheyo and Towera Kumwenda – both from Zodiak – who were covering a joint sweep by Mzuzu City Council (MCC) rangers and police to flush vendors off the streets after they defied a June 15 deadline.
“While taking the footage, the police approached us and we told them that we are journalists. They appeared not convinced and started beating us before taking us to police station,” Cheyo said.
The two were shocked when police struck with brute force.
The journalists had to be referred to Mzuzu Health Centre (MHC) for treatment after one of the ugliest scenes of media attacks in the recent past.
“It is very sad that this is happening to the media in this country,” said Cheyo, who suffered swollen left eye.
Cheyo also complained of severe pain in the chest, ribs, hip-joint and legs.
Kumwenda condemned police conduct terming it “unfortunate”.
The journalists said they had obtained permission from Northern Region Police public relations officer Peter Kalaya to cover the exercise; and had explained the same to their assailants.
Nyika Media Club Chairperson Mandy Pondani has condemned the attack and has asked police authorities to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book.
“It is worrisome that the work environment is becoming extremely hostile for the media in Malawi, authorities should step in and help in safeguarding press freedom,” she saidFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :