Journalist murdered in eastern DR Congo

DRC police

A Democratic Republic of Congo's Police Officer patrols in Kinshasa, on December 20, 2018. Heritier Magayane, a journalist for DR Congo’s national broadcaster, has been murdered.

Photo credit: Luis Tato | AFP

What you need to know:

  • He received a phone call from someone who arranged a place to meet him and that’s where he was killed overnight Saturday, his throat slit, said Luc Albert Bakole Nyengeke, Rutshuru’s military administrator.

A journalist for DR Congo’s national broadcaster had his throat slit in North Kivu in the country’s east where massacres and clashes involving armed groups have prevailed for years.

Heritier Magayane, 26, who was married and had two children, had been working for Radio Television nationale congolaise in Rutshuru territory since 2018, his colleague Roger Sebyeradu told AFP.

He received a phone call from someone who arranged a place to meet him and that’s where he was killed overnight Saturday, his throat slit, said Luc Albert Bakole Nyengeke, Rutshuru’s military administrator.

The region is plagued by various armed groups but the area where he was killed was controlled by the Congolese army, he said, adding a probe was underway on Sunday.

His colleague Sebyeradu said he thought his murder could be linked to his work. “After killing him they even took his phone,” he said.

Magayane fronted programmes for young people, advising them to “make room for peace” in a deeply unstable region, he added.

North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri have been in a state of siege for three months, the strongest measure under the constitution, as the government tries to end endemic insecurity in the east.

Civilian power in both provinces was turned over to a military governor and a deputy governor drawn from the police, while the duties of provincial governments were transferred to the military authorities.

Press cards needed

Meanwhile, the DR Congo’s press organization, Union de la presse du Congo (UNPC), on August 4 asked all journalists to obtain press cards, which confirm holders are professionals.

According to a UNPC press release, some people in the Kasai Oriental region in central DRC use the term "press" even though they are neither affiliated with any media house nor self-employed.

Concerned about the consequences of this, the UNPSC has warned against misuse of the term.

It said a general assembly will soon be held, following a request by its national executive, to elect a new provincial executive as is done in the 26 provinces of the DRC.

"In order to revitalise all sections of the National Union of the Congo Press (UPNC) throughout the national territory, the executive office of the UNPC informs all sectional presidents that general assemblies are organised from July to October 2021," a letter from the national executive aid.

In the capital, Kinshasa, which is also a province, Jean Marie Kassamba, CEO of Télé 50 and a sympathiser of Joseph Kabila, was re-elected on July 9.

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