30 Nov 2014 08:50am
KHORIXAS, 30 NOV (NAMPA) - A freelance journalist of The Namibian newspaper, Clemans Miyanicwe was assaulted here on Saturday, allegedly by someone who is unhappy about an article he wrote.
The incident happened at about 02h00 near an entertainment establishment while Miyanicwe was returning home form covering the 2014 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Recalling his ordeal, Miyanicwe said his attacker said: You have written bad about my father, before hitting him with a bottle in his face.
Miyanicwe ran to the local Police station, from where he was rushed to the Khorixas State Hospital. He received 10 stitches on his face, particularly between the eyes, on the nose and on his cheeks.
At the time of the assault, the reporter was wearing a T-shirt printed with the words '2014 World Press Freedom Day'.
He told Nampa that the assault could be a result of an article he wrote in 2012 about corruption in the Khorixas Town Council, as well as a story in February 2013 on food meant for drought relief being sold to business people at the town.
After the story on the drought relief food was published in The Namibian newspaper, he was detained for six hours in the police holding cells without being charged and was only released when the lawyers of The Namibian newspaper intervened.
He then started receiving death threats, a situation which forced him to move out of Khorixas to Windhoek and Kamanjab, respectively between February last year and May this year.
When I returned to Khorixas in May this year, I did not write any stories on corruption and was just writing election stories. No matter what they plan to do, I will keep on writing - only death will stop me, he said.
Miyanicwe also worked on a freelance basis for the Informante newspaper based in Khorixas in 2011, before moving to The Namibian newspaper in 2012.
During his stint at the Informante, the reporters mobile phone was confiscated by a Khorixas-based Police officer in June 2012 and he was harassed to reveal information and his sources.
Meanwhile, a Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) journalist, Blanche Goreses was also recently verbally attacked by members of the United Democratic Front (UDF) political party, which accused her of not filming the UDF president on his arrival at the Khorixas sports stadium for a rally.
Approached for comment, National Director for the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Namibia, Natasha Tibinyane condemned the assault, saying that it is unacceptable for ordinary citizens to assault journalists because journalists are there to inform and educate the nation so that the citizens can make informed choices.
She reminded the public to air their grievances with the Office of the Media Ombudsman if they are unhappy with articles reported by the media.