Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi has condemned the assault of journalists, Golden Matonga of Nation Publications Limited and Gladys Nthenda of Kulinji.com by some demonstrators during the anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations.
On Wednesday, Human Right Defenders Coalition (HRDC) organized national wide protest aimed at forcing Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson Dr. Justice Jane Ansah for failing to manage the May 21 polls.
During the protest, some demonstrators went on rampage and tore Nthenda’s clothes and also stole a mobile phone and a wallet belonging to Matonga, accusing the two journalists of being government spies.
In a statement released on Wednesday evening, MISA Malawi Chairperson Teresa Temweka Ndanga condemned the assault of the two Journalists.
“It is very unfortunate that the assault on Matonga and Nthenda did not stop even after the two duly displayed their professional identity cards. Both Matonga and Nthenda were left traumatized and were unable to complete their duties.
“We would like to applaud the Malawi Defense Force (MDF) soldiers who intervened and helped rescue the two,” reads in part the statement.
Added the statement: “MISA Malawi, which is also a human rights advocacy body, believes that all human freedoms and rights, including the right to demonstrate, should be exercised with responsibility.
“We therefore expect demonstrators to exercise their right to demonstrate while recognizing the existence of other rights and freedoms such as media freedom, which is enshrined in the Republican Constitution and nobody has the right to take the same away from journalists.”
“Creation of a hostile environment for journalists by demonstrators is uncalled for and the organizers of these demonstrations must decisively deal with such barbaric acts. Journalists should be provided with a conducive environment to perform their duties all the time.”
Meanwhile HRDC Chairperson Timothy Mtambo has condemned the assault of the two Journalists.