UTM says Friday’s attack on journalists is an attack on democracy which the journalists promote when they cover political rallies.
The party’s Publicity Secretary Chidanti Malunga made the remarks in a statement on Saturday.
On Friday, thugs in Phalombe pelted stones at a vehicle carrying journalists who were covering UTM leader Saulos Chilima’s rallies. Three media practitioners sustained injuries during the attack.
Malunga said that the journalists did not commit any offence and were only carrying their noble duty of gathering information for their respective.
“UTM would like to extend a word of solidarity to the affected journalists and the whole media fraternity following this deplorable incident. Theirs is a sacrifice that will not go in vain as we count down to a new Malawi where press freedom will be guaranteed both in word and deed,” said Malunga.
He accused the United Democratic Front and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members of carrying out the attack.
He, however, asked opposition supporters to stay calm saying the violence is aimed at stopping the 2020 fresh presidential elections.
“They know that any retaliation by our side would result into intractable violence which may make an election untenable. Their wishes must not be granted because the bigger story is the emancipation of Malawians from the myriad problems being faced at the moment. We must not take our eyes off the ball at any cost,” said Malunga.
Malawians are expected to vote in the fresh presidential election next month. Politicians are currently campaigning ahead of the polls but the campaign period has been marred by acts of violence.