FPI Welcomes Jail Sentence for PF Cadre over Journalist Assault

The Free Press Initiative (FPI) Zambia have welcomed the two-year jail sentence slapped on Chipata PF cadre Frank Mwale who assaulted Breeze FM journalist Grace Mwale.

Mr Lungu was assaulted by the 41-year-old Chipata businessman during the Mkomba Ward Local government by-election on 12th February last year.

The assailant, together with other people, beat Lungu and the driver of the vehicle she had booked, Lengani Kanyinji.

The Magistrate Court in Lundazi found Mwale guilty of assault and theft on Monday.

He was sentenced to two years imprisonment on the count of assault while on the charge of theft of K400 belonging to Lungu he was handed a two-year suspended sentence.

Welcoming the sentencing in a statement today, FPI Zambia founder Joan Chirwa stated that inflicting fear in the journalists through assault is a serious injustice not only to the journalism profession but the entire nation as the press serves as the fourth estate in a democracy.

She hoped that all political party cadres would use Mwale’s case as an example to refrain from violence against journalists as we approach the 2021 general election.

“The judgment passed by the Lundazi Magistrates’ Court on Monday, April 6, 2020, should serve as a strong warning to all political party cadres, regardless of affiliation, that an assault on journalists will not go unpunished,” she said.

“Journalists deserve total protection and freedom to carry out their duties. Inflicting fear in them through assault is a serious injustice not only to the journalism profession but the entire nation as the press serves as the fourth estate in a democracy. As we approach the 2021 general elections, we hope all political party cadres will use this case as an example to refrain from violence against journalists. We’re elated that justice has finally been served and we thank Grace for not yielding to pressure to drop the case, and MISA Zambia and BBC Media Action for the spirited fight in this matter.”

News source: Zambia Reports

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