UTM thugs assault journalist: This is very unfortunate-NICE

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The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) News Stringer George Banda had a rude awakening on Wednesday morning when he fell prey to UTM party thugs, on suspicion that he is a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) sympathizer.

Journalist George Banda: Assaulted by UTM thugs Journalist George Banda: Assaulted by UTM thugs

Banda was among his fellow journalists who were covering the nomination papers presentation by the UTM torch bearer Saulos Chilima, when the assault team hauled him outside the Comesa Hall, while slapping him.

“We know you have been sent here by the DPP,” said one of the men, clad in security attire labeled SKC. This was happening in full view of the police, who seemed powerless to rescue Banda.

Commenting on the matter, National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Southern Regional Civic Education Officer Enock Chinkhuntha strongly condemned the incident describing it as unfortunate.

“As NICE, we have been here since Monday observing the whole process. It has been peaceful and orderly. But today, it has been a very huge disappointment. In fact, I personally witnessed the assault. I was very close to the scene and we strongly condemn any form of harassment against the media. Media is a very crucial stakeholder in electoral process, so intimidating the media is very unfortunate and we condemn this in totality,” said Chinkhuntha.

He therefore urged political leaders in the country to share the Code of Conduct which they have signed with MEC, so that their followers observe peace.

Presenting his nomination papers, Chilima unveiled dramatist Manganya, real name Michael Usi as his running mate.

Usi, former country manager for Adventist Relief Agency (Adra), is also representing UTM as parliamentary candidate in Mulanje Central Constituency.

The event was also attended by leaders of other political parties who are still in alliance with UTM. These include George Nnesa of Mafunde, Enoch Chihana of Aford and PPM’s Mark Katsonga Phiri.

Conspicuously missing at the event was Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya.

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