Two Journalists were harassed and intimidated yesterday outside the High Court grounds while on duty covering a case in which a police officer is accused of shooting at a fellow cop in Lusaka’s Northmead area.
Chomba Musika of Zambia Daily Mail and Luyando Hamwala of ZNBC were threatened by both relatives of the accused and victim when covering a case in which Police Officer Pumulo Mulife, 27, is charged with acts intended to cause grievous harm.
After the adjournment of the case, the two journalists were taking pictures and video footage of the accused and some of those that turned up for the case when both relatives of the accused and victim ordered them to stop while showering them with insults and threatened to break their equipment comprising of cameras, and phones while one threatened to break Ms Musika’s spectacles.
The two families were infuriated that reporters were filming and taking pictures of them without “asking for permission” and while pouring insults, two people from the group ordered the journalists to delete the footage and pictures.
“Useless journalists, I will break that phone and those glasses ‘spectacles’,” a male aggressor who was almost grabbing a reporter’s phone said.
And Defense Lawyer James Mataliro apologised to the two journalists for the behaviour of his client’s relatives.
Two months ago, the Police arrested Mulife of Waterfalls area for allegedly shooting and wounding Wamunyima Mubiana, a 24-year-old Police Constable under Paramilitary Battalion.
The incident occurred on February 27, 2022 around 01:00 hours in the Northmead Market area.
Police preliminary investigations indicated that Constable Mulife, while on his point of duty around the Northmead Market area, shot at Mr Mubiana who later sustained a gunshot wound on his right ear.
Meanwhile, Free Press Initiative founder Joan Chirwa noted with concern the barbaric behaviour behaviour exhibited by the families of both the accused and victim stating that it was totally uncalled for as it infringes not only on the two journalists Right to collect information that is of public interest but also their Human Rights in general.
“The court grounds are a public place where journalists carry out their duties unrestrained,” she noted
Ms Chirwa added that it is high time people began to respect the important role that journalists play in informing and educating the masses through the gathering and dissemination of information to the general public.
“We hope this incident will be the last of its kind and that due respect is henceforth given to all journalists as they carry out their duties,” she said