One journalist died Thursday while four others (including two for Times Group) escaped with injuries when a car they were travelling in from Blantyre overturned at Zalewa in Neno.
They were heading to Neno in a Toyota Hilux Twin Cab to cover an event by Neno South legislator, Mark Katsonga Phiri.
Recalling the ordeal, Times’ Lywellenie Mpasa, who escaped with minor injuries, said the car overturned twice at a place called Naminjale after the driver, a fellow journalist, lost control.
“It was fatal…I thank God that I’m alive, one of our colleagues from MBC [Malawi Broadcasting Corporation] who was in the front passenger seat was not so lucky,” he said.
Mpasa added that the car had slightly veered off the M1 road and as the driver attempted to get back in lane, that is when the accident happened.
He said they were taken to a nearby clinic at Zalewa Roadblock before being taken to Lisungwi Health Centre and eventually Mlambe and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.
MBC Director General George Kasakula confirmed to Times that they had indeed lost one of their employees, Allan Phetembe, while cameraman Piwayo Chilombo was also injured.
“It’s a very sad day for us,” Kasakula, sounding down, said.
Times’ graphic designer-cum-cameraman George Gausi was the other passenger in the cabin who also escaped with injuries.
Stephen Dakalira is a seasoned Journalist who works as Times Group’s Online and Digital Executive Editor. He is also the Assistant Editor of The Sunday Times Newspaper, and author of Full Circle column which appears in Malawi News; all of these under the Times Group stable.
He has previously worked in key positions for some of Malawi’s key media institutions such as Malawi News Agency, Capital FM Radio and Star Radio (Now Timveni Radio).