Malawi police at Kawale in the capital Lilongwe on Friday morning harassed and wrongfully arrested Joy Media Group journalist Enock Balakasi, detaining him for two hours without any apparent reason.
All this, Nyasa Times has learnt, came about due to a commotion instigated by one Enoch Palichesi Phiri in Kawale township, where Balakasi resides.
Phiri, who is also a media practitioner, wanted to commit suicide by hanging himself after her girlfriend reportedly disappointed him.
Scores of residents including Balakasi thronged Phiri’s house in Kawale in order to persuade Phiri not to commit suicide.
But Phiri armed himself with a panga knife, turned violent, chased away people and threatened to hack anyone who came near him.
Kawale police were then called in but they too failed to tame and arrest Phiri.
Now, to cover up their incompetence, the police officers started harassing innocent spectators including Balakasi for taking pictures.
“Why are you taking pictures? They asked me. But when I told them I am a journalist and that Phiri is my friend, they still dragged me to the police station. They confiscated my phones and searched through, deleting some pictures,” Balakasi told Nyasa Times.
He added: “At the station, they wanted to lock me up in a police cell till Tuesday. They said I would be charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace and that I was working as journalist without permission. I protested, telling them I had done nothing wrong”.
Meanwhile, the police released Balakasi unconditionally.