THE Democratic Republic of Congo government has launched an
investigation into the stabbing to death of a journalist, a week ago, writes Dennis Itumbi for journalism.co.za.
DRC government spokesman Lambert Mende said in a telephone interview with journalism.co.za that insurgent groups in the region were to blame for the murder.
Bruno Koko Chirambiza was stabbed to death shortly after attending a friend's wedding a week ago, allegedly by eight men.
Chirambiza is a reporter with Radio Star, an independent station in the restive BukavuÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â district. So far three journalists have been killed over the last two years in the restive province.
Mende who is also the Information Minister, said the journalist's killing was premeditated.
"We are at advanced stage of the investigations, and we will soon be telling you what we have done, but the information we have is that militia groups are responsible for the death so as to make the government look bad" Mende said.
He described as disturbing the killing of the journalist.
"This is really confusing for us because it is clear that those are not simple bandits. Those might have been sent to kill him. We are very eager to hear from police and the justice, what happened exactly to this young man," he said.
Meanwhile, a human rights group, Journalists in Danger (JED), has called on the United Nations Mission in Congo (MONUC) to be part of the investigation into the death of Chirambiza.
But Mende said the government is capable of investigating the killing without MONUC's help.
"We can't forbid MONUC or any other body to help or to make some inquiry on its behalf. But we have a justice apparatus in this country that is working under laws and the constitution and there (are) no laws that can really anybody, MONUC or Journalists in Danger to interfere in the judicial institution," Mende said.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â He said Kinshasa is determined to protect the innocent.
"We are working because all our citizens deserve protection from our government. We know that they are victims of terrorists either robbers either some people who are trying to revenge for reasons we don't know. But first we have to make a fact finding actions to know exactly what happened," he said.
Mende said the government is making every effort to restore peace to the restive Kivu province. For months, the national army has been fighting the rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and other armed groups in eastern Congo. The clashes have often led to the loss of lives and properties as well as displaced thousands from their villages.