Police seize journo’s camera during Kasambara’s arrest

Malawi Police officer on Monday morning seized a camera belonging to Nation Publications Limited (NPL) photo-journalist Thoko Chikondi in full view of the journalists who had come to the residence of former justice minister Ralphael Kasambara’s in Area 10 residence in the capital, Lilongwe where he was being re-arrested.

Chikondi was capturing the photos of Kasambara donning a blue denims jeans, checked shirt and a dark blue jacket with sandals, and also the towing of  his Mercedez Benz registration NB 4375, which police say used in the shooting of  former Budget Director  Paul Mphwiyo.

Kasambara, who was on bail on conspiracy to murder former Budget Director  Paul Mphwiyo was being re-arrested on a fresh charge of money laundering.

Thoko Chikondi:  Victim of police brutality in line of journalism duty
Thoko Chikondi: Victim of police brutality in line of journalism duty

Nyasa Times correspondent who was at the house said Chikondi identified herself clearly as a journalist and showed her press card from NPL.

Police however forced her to hand over the camera while taking pictures of the arrest scene.

Spokesperson of Police, Rhoda Manjolo confirmed the camera had been seized but was later given back.

Journalists at the scene were said to have been “incensed” by the actions of police.

Photographers have been having serious problems with the police when carrying out their duties

Chikondi was in the headlines on 30th May 2013 when she was  attacked by Malawi’s national assembly Chief Security Officer Youngson Chilinda as she was taking pictures of Consumer Association of Malawi Executive Director, John Kapito, after he presented a petition to the Speaker of Parliament.

Chilinda 47, who hails from George Chilinda Village, TA Chindi Village in Mzimba District was saved from jail  sentence but was convicted.

These kinds of high-handed police action against photographers require a coherent response from journalists.

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