34, a reporter for the United Nations-sponsored broadcasting network Radio
Okapi, in the volatile eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, was shot by
unknown gunmen at close range on Friday evening. Namujimbo was the second Radio
Okapi journalist assassinated in the border town of
With the exception of a mobile phone, personal valuables--including US$50 in his wallet--were not taken, according to his brother Déo Namujimbo, who is the local vice-president of the Congolese National Press Union. Neighbors allegedly heard a heated exchange between the journalist and the alleged gunmen shortly before the shooting, according to news reports. CPJ is investigating to determine whether he was killed because of his journalism.
No arrests have been made, but Radio Okapi quoted Bukavu public prosecutor Jacques Melimeli as saying that a forensic investigation was under way. The journalist was hit with a single bullet in the neck, he said.
"We condemn the heinous murder of another colleague at Radio
Okapi, Didace Namujimbo, and send our condolences to his family and
colleagues," said Tom Rhodes, CPJ's
Namujimbo was a Radio Okapi reporter since February 2006, according to Florien Barbey, bureau chief of the Bukavu station. Although Namujimbo had not reported any threats during his employment there, Barbey said that Okapi would now ask staffers to begin "systematically" reporting any dangers. U.N. vehicles escort Radio Okapi journalists to and from work.
Namujimbo was the second Radio Okapi journalist recently murdered under murky circumstances. In June 2007, Serge Maheshe was killed in Bukavu. In May, a Bukavu military tribunal sentenced three civilians to death for that murder, but local and international legal experts denounced irregularities in the proceedings. It was not confirmed that Maheshe was killed because of his work.
Namujimbo is the fifth Congolese journalist murdered since 2005, according to CPJ research. Three others, Patrick Kikuku Wilungula, Franck Ngyke Kangundu, and Bapuwa Mwamba have been murdered in unclear circumstances, according to CPJ research. There have been no arrests in Wilungula's murder and investigations into the deaths of Kanugundu and Mwamba did not establish a clear motive for the crimes.
South Kivu borders
South Kivu borders