Nyika Media Club has condemned the attack of a Malawian and BBC journalists describing the attack as barbaric.
The journalists were attacked on Friday night in Karonga while on duty, in suspicion that they were bloodsuckers.
Nyika Media Club condemned the attack through a press statement below;
17 February, 2018
For Immediate Release
Attack on Capitol Radio and BBC Journalists in Karonga
Nyika Media Club – NMC, would like to condemn in strongest terms, the attack on one of its members, Mr. Henry Mhango and three other foreign media practitioners, by communities surrounding St. Mary’s in Karonga, for allegedly being thought to be blood suckers.
At the time of the incident, Mr. Mhango, who works for Capitol Radio, was working as a fixer/aide, for the British Broadcasting Corporation – BBC journalists, who were carrying out their duties in the district.
NMC has been informed that that the community rounded up the team, armed with panga knives, axes, hoes, and several other life threatening weapons. However, they were saved by some two community members who suggested that they be taken to their village headman.
Throughout the 1 kilometre journey to the headman’s house, they were physically assaulted by the angry mob. One BBC journalist was severely injured, and rushed to Karonga District Hospital for medical attention.
During the fracas, the irate mob also stole almost all BBC equipment, which ranged from drones, cameras, to other accessories. They also stole some personal belongings such mobile phones, and smashed one vehicle, a Mazda Demio, belonging to Mr. Henry Mhango.
It took about one hour for police to respond to the situation, after they were alerted. It took the effort of Member of Parliament for Karonga Central, Frank Mwenefumbo, to have the team rescued.
In view of the above scenario, NMC would like to condemn the barbaric acts. Issues of blood sucking have always been a mere myth, therefore it is very unfortunate that they keep on haunting our society.
As such, NMC would like to call on government, and other development partners, both locally and internationally, to invest in civic education in all districts, so that Malawi completely wipes out this unbecoming belief.
NMC would also like to deplore the delayed response from law enforcers. Life of a human being should always be prioritized, especially where it is at the verge of being eliminated. The 1 hour law enforcers took to respond to the incident was more than enough for the mob to kill these journalists.
NMC is therefore urging law enforcers to be quick in responding to violent scenes, especially where the life of an individual is at stake.
The club would also wish to extend heartfelt appreciations to Hon. Frank Mwenefumbo for the swift intervention, which contributed a lot to helping the irate community understand that there were mere journalists.
NMC Chairperson NMC General Secretary
Mandy Pondani Themba Mwale
(099 9 537 972) (088 8 733 151)