Robert Chamwami Shalubuto

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Chamwami was shot dead in a pub in the Keshero neighborhood of Goma, capital of North Kivu province, at around 9 p.m., according to news reports and local journalists based in Goma. Chamwami died en route to a hospital, the same sources said.

However, other reports citing Celestin Sibomana, a spokesman for North Kivu province, said Chamwami’s body was found in a grocery store near his home.

Local journalists told CPJ Chamwami had previously received death threats by phone, but said they could not identify a particular news story that could have been a motive for his murder.

Chamwami had worked for the state broadcaster, Congolese National Radio and Television (RTNC), for 17 years as a reporter and anchor in Swahili and English, local journalists told CPJ. He covered general news for the English service of RTNC, including a jail break from Goma Central Prison in December 2014, the local journalists said. He began his career as a sports reporter.

The vice-governor of North Kivu Province, Feller Lutaichirwa, said police were investigating the murder, according to news reports.

The situation in Goma remains tense as Congolese forces, supported by U.N. troops, continue to engage in armed attacks with regional militia groups. Although the country hosts the largest-ever U.N. peacekeeping mission, the eastern DRC remains extremely volatile and dangerous with some 50 armed groups still active in the region.

In addition to widespread corruption and rampant violence, abuses of the press are routinely met with impunity throughout the region. For journalists, the North and South Kivu provinces are challenging places to work. Journalists in the area are regularly confronted with physical attacks, arbitrary arrests, and other press freedom violations, according to CPJ research.