Masked thugs smashed and burnt two Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) vehicles within 24 hours as Malawi has been engulfed with tension with a planned mass demonstration slated for Wednesday, 20 July 2011 on protest of bad governance and a poor economic situation.
At around midnight on Monday, 18 July 2011, masked men descended on the radio's headquarters in Area 47 of the capital city Lilongwe where they set one vehicle on fire. This was barely 24 hours after its outside broadcast Land Rover vehicle was attacked by masked hoodlums. An eye-witness told Bizcommunity that men came in a car after all the staff had knocked off for the night and set the car on fire before bolting.
The actions are meant to intimidate the privately-owned broadcaster which has been carrying news items that are viewed as dissenting towards some government policies. Apart from ZBS, all other privately-owned media houses have also been giving platform to organisers of the protests who have come under heavy attack from government officials through the state-run Malawi Broadcasting Corporation.Protesting amended media law, bad governance
The Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) and other NGOs, opposition political parties and numerous civil society organisations have used the privately-owned radio station to call on the people to join in the nation-wide demonstrations protesting the amended media law
and other issues related to bad governance and economic mismanagement.
The Malawi chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa MISA-Malawi has said it is investigating the matter and it will soon come up with a statement.
ZBS authorities have not yet issued any statement and while the dailies have reported on the incident, the radio station has not mentioned anything as it continues carrying out its programmes unperturbed.