The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA Malawi) has condemned the arrest, on Wednesday, of three of its members as they were on assignment at the Kamuzu International Airport (KIA).
Golden Matonga of Nation Publications Limited, Steve Zimba and Francis Chamasowa of Zodiak Broadcasting Station were at the airport to cover the arrival of the EU delegation coming to Malawi in relation to a report linked to last year’s elections.
The trio has been charged with “Acts prohibited on aerodrome, behaving in disorderly manner.”
They have all been released on bail.
“MISA Malawi is worried that authorities continue to treat journalism as a crime and that there is continued animosity by some police officers towards journalists,” reads a statement signed by MISA Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga.
Ndanga appealed for improved working relationship with media practitioners.
“MISA Malawi will engage the Malawi Police Service (MPS) leadership to discuss these concerns and agree on concrete steps of improving the working relationship between our two sides,” she added.
According to Ndanga, MISA Malawi will ensure that journalists abide by the country’s laws as well as enjoy their duly enshrined constitutional freedom to carry out their duties in Malawi.
The EU EOM report has caught drama amid resistance from multiple electoral stakeholders opposing discussions or publicising the report before court verdict on the elections case.
The EU has since issued a statement calling for calm, adding the report will not be discussed or published until after conclusion of the case.