Zambia News

Serenje Radio journalist beaten up By Suspected UPND cadres

After the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released a statement, police claim that one of the victims who was allegedly assaulted by accused United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres has not returned to them.

Sheila Kalunga, 20, reportedly reported the incident to police, however she did not return after the incident.

Ms. Kalunga is accused of having been assaulted after becoming involved in an altercation in Serenje between members of the UPND and the Socialist Party.

Recent assaults on three journalists and a radio station employee in separate events involving supporters of the ruling party prompted CPJ to request that Zambian authorities conduct a comprehensive investigation into the crimes and guarantee that those guilty are held accountable.

However, according to police, Ms. Kalunga has not returned since she is still waiting to submit a medical report.

According to police deputy spokesperson Danny Mwale, on April 8th of this year, Ms. Kalunga was allegedly assaulted in Serenje, according to an allegation of an assault causing actual bodily harm.

“The victim reported that the incident occurred at Serenje Police Station on April 8, 2023 at around 16:00 hours during the confrontation between UPND and Socialist Party (SP) members. She formally reported to Police on April 11, 2023 at 11:50 hours and  was given a medical form to enable her seek medical attention,” he said.

Mr Mwale however, said the victim has not gone back to the Police since then.

He said Police contacted the victim after seeing the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) statement circulating on various social media platforms.

“When interviewed, She claimed that the medical form has not yet been signed by the medical officer because after reporting to Police on April 11, 2023, she travelled to Kabwe on an assignment. The victim not having been attended to by the medical officer and the failure to identify the assailant(s) by the victim makes it impossible for the Police to carry out any further action,” he said.

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