UTM apologises to assaulted journalist

The UTM Party, through its leader Saulos Chilima, has apologised to the media fraternity for the assault of a journalist by its members at Comesa Hall in Blantyre on Wednesday.

Some UTM members assaulted a Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) stringer George Banda after they reportedly mistook him for a governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member.

Apologised to the media fraternity: Chilima (R)

The incident happened when Chilima went to Comesa to present his presidential nomination forms.

He apologised afterwards.

But in an official apology letter delivered to Misa Malawi yesterday, Chilima regretted the incident that he said emanated from a case of mistaken identity, reiterating his party’s commitment to ensuring that journalists are operating freely.

Misa Malawi chairperson Teresa Ndanga welcomed Chilima’s apology.

“UTM president Saulos Klaus Chilima says he was shocked to learn of the incident at Comesa Hall on Wednesday during the presentation of his presidential nomination papers.

“Misa Malawi would like to express its gratitude for the remorse that the UTM president and his party have shown,” reads a statement signed by Ndanga.

She says Misa would be following up to ensure Banda is duly compensated for his losses.

“We would also like to urge UTM and all political parties to ensure that such incidents never happen again.

“We expect political leaders to also have internal disciplinary systems that would ensure no violence takes place during the entire political cycle.”

Misa Malawi also urged the police to remain vigilant in the prevention of attacks against journalists.

“It is our hope that those who attacked Banda and other journalists in the past, will face the law,” it reads.

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