Government through Minister of Information and Communication Technology Henry Mussa has condemned an apology by United Transformation Movement (UTM) President Dr. Saulos Chilima over assault of journalist George Banda.

UTM security personnel on Wednesday last week assaulted Banda at Comesa Hall in the commercial capital Blantyre for suspecting him of being a spy for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The incident attracted public outcry with many calling for Chilima to condemn the violent attack.

Due to this Chilima issued a statement the past weekend condemning the attack and describing the assault by UTM security personnel as a mistaken identity act.

But this did not go down well with the Minister of Information Henry Mussa who rejected the apology.

“Government is pleased with the public admission by the leader of UTM, Dr. Saulos Chilima, that journalist George Banda was harmed on 6th February 2019 at COMESA International Conference Centre in Blantyre by UTM security personnel in a mistaken identity act.

“However, Government dismisses the apology and condemns the suggestion by Dr. Chilima that the violence against Mr. Banda is regrettable because he was not the target,” he said.

Added Mussa: “This suggestion is worrying because it means that in the view of the UTM leader, violence against all their targets is fine and acceptable.

“Government urges all peace-loving Malawians to roundly take exception to this kind of policy by UTM. It is a dangerous and evil policy. Violence, regardless of the target, is unacceptable.

“We wish to take this opportunity to urge Dr. Chilima to mention the individual who was mistaken for Mr. Banda and provide the reasons why he or she deserved to be harmed.”

Meanwhile police are investigating the matter.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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