Minister of Information and Digitalization Honourable Moses Kunkuyu has apologized to Times Group for the assault of photojournalist Francis Mzindiko by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters Wednesday, May 17, 2023.
Minister Kunkuyu visited Times Group Headquarters in Blantyre on Friday, May 19 to apologize to Mzindiko, Times Group Managing Director Leonnard Chikadya and selected senior managers at the company.
MISA Malawi chairperson Golden Matonga, Vice Chairperson Chisomo Ngulube and Executive Member Nathan Majawa were also in attendance.
Mzindiko was assaulted by a group of people clad in MCP youths’ green suits during President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera’s official opening of the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) Complex in Blantyre on May 17.
The President was touring the complex when the supporters assaulted Mzindiko, accusing him of filming a fracas between MCP and UTM supporters.
Speaking during the meeting on Friday, Honourable Kunkuyu indicated that he was disturbed with the news and that government and MCP will ensure that journalists operate in a free and conducive environment.
“We will come up with systems to make sure that this does not happen again,” the Minister said.
Kunkuyu indicated that what happened was not a reflection of government or MCP policy towards the media and should not be a basis to label government as a violator of media freedom.
Times Group Managing Director Leonnard Chikadya expressed gratitude to Kunkuyu for the apology.
Chikadya said Times Group had survived worst attacks in the past but was saddened by the current case because the founder of the company, Dr. Kamuzu Banda, was a key figure and president of MCP and Malawi for over 30 years.
Chikadya opined that MCP should therefore be instrumental in supporting the values and principles of Dr. Kamuzu Banda instead of attacking journalists working to promote the values of the former President.
MISA Malawi chairperson Golden Matonga appealed to the Minister and government to walk the talk on media freedom.
He asked government to implement measures and systems that would deter others from attacking journalists for merely doing their work.