Malawi Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA Malawi) has expressed dismay over the assault of a photojournalists by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters.
At a time when Malawi’s members of press are commemorating press freedom, a Times group photojournalist was on Friday assaulted by DPP supporters at Parliament premises in full view of the police and top party officials.
It is reported that the Times Group photojournalist Douglas Banda was filming as the DPP supporters were being evicted from Parliament for disturbing parliamentary proceedings and the development angered the supporters who ordered him to delete the pictures.
Reacting to the development, MISA Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga said this is a very worrisome development considering that it is happening at a time when Malawi’s members of press are celebrating World Press Freedom Day.
“The Malawi Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA Malawi) is dismayed by the conduct of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters who earlier today beat up Times Group photographer Douglas Banda while on duty within Parliament premises in Lilongwe.
“It is also disheartening that while journalists in Malawi joined their colleagues across the world on May 3 to celebrate Press Freedom, there are still some people in Malawi who are creating a hostile environment for journalists,” said Ndanga.
She added that the most worrisome thing is that Banda was beaten up in full view of the police and DPP Secretary General Greselder Jeffrey and they all did nothing.
Malawi24 has also learnt that Banda was rescued by fellow journalists who whisked him away to safety.
MISA Malawi has since demanded the police to arrest and prosecute Banda’s assailants.
The media body also wants DPP to publicly condemn this act to demonstrate its commitment towards press freedom in Malawi.
“As the legal process takes its course on the matter, we further expect the DPP to discipline those who were involved in this heinous act,” says MISA in the statement