Nairobi, December 31, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in Zambia to thoroughly investigate accusations that a well-known rhumba musician attacked a freelance photographer on Friday at a concert in Lusaka, the capital.
News reports said the Congolese musician, Koffi Olomide, attacked Jean Ndayisenga at the Taj Pamodzi Hotel as the photographer attempted to take a picture of the musician. Ndayisenga said Olomide kicked him in the face and damaged the flash of his camera, news reports said. Several other photographers were present and working at the concert, news reports said.
Ndayisenga, a Rwandan commonly known as "Mandela," sought treatment at a local hospital, news reports said. He reported the attack to a local police station. Authorities said the case had been transferred to Lusaka Central Police and that they were investigating, according to news reports.
The Zambian paper Sunday Mail cited concert organizer Suke Chile as saying Olomide had denied the allegations. News reports said Olomide could not be reached for comment.
"A photographer should not be subjected to assault while covering a musical performance," said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. "We urge authorities to investigate this reported attack and bring appropriate charges."
Olomide arrived in Zambia last week to perform three shows, according to news reports. News accounts also reported that the musician has faced assault charges in the past. In August, he was handed a three-month suspended prison sentence in the Democratic Republic of Congo for assaulting his producer, news reports said.
- For more data and analysis on Zambia, visit CPJ's Zambia page here.