By Linda Kwanjana
The ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP) says it is deeply concerned with an attack on the media. On Wednesday
some youths attacked and harassed a Times Group photojournalist, Francis Mzindiko, during a presidential function at Malawi Bureau of Standards building premises in Blantyre.
Party publicity Secretary Ezekiel Peter Ching’oma has since condemned the incident.
“As a democratic party that upholds and respects freedom of the press, the MCP joins President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera in condemning the harassment of the journalist. MCP is fully cooperating with the Malawi Police Service on the investigations of the matter and we urge the law enforcers to arrest the culprits so that they face the long arm of the law. We would like to reiterate that the MCP, under the leadership of President Dr Chakwera, will continue to promote and protect freedom of the press as well as freedom of expression and speech in the country,” reads the statement in part.
According to the statement, it is never acceptable to harass or intimidate journalists or any individuals for doing their job or exercising their right to free speech.
“Such actions not only
violate the law but also undermine the principles of democracy and respect for human dignity. Journalists play a critical role in holding those in power accountable, and it is crucial that their safety and freedom to do their work are protected. Any form of harassment or violence against journalists should be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” the statement reads.
The statement said MCP has a health working relationship with the media in the country since the dawn of multiparty democracy in the country.
“This is the reason the Chakwera administration has provided conducive working environment for journalists.
This is why, for the first time ever in the history of the country, we have witnessed a sitting Head of State inviting journalists to have breakfast with him in commemoration of World Press Freedom Day.”
The party has since assured Malawians that it will never use the youths to harass or intimidate journalists but rather to spearhead President Dr Lazarus Chakwera’s development agenda.
The party has since wished Mr. Mzindiko quick recovery from the trauma suffered during the ordeal.