The National, Tuesday June 25th, 2013
By PETER ESOP WARI
RADIO Southern Highlands is under threat from criminals living around Mendi town, a journalist says.
National Broadcasting Corporation resident station journalist Joe Kereme said the station property needed security fencing and guards to protect property and the workers.
He made the call after he was held up with knife-wielding men and all his work equipment taken last Wednesday.
The suspects, who entered the station at 9.30pm, threatened Kereme and took a Toshiba laptop containing files that he had worked on to broadcast the next morning plus other accessories.
“I was really shocked to see the armed men with masks in the office,” he said.
Kereme said this was not the first time as equipment had been stolen several times and female staff working at night had been harassed and nearly raped inside the studio.
“NBC Radio Southern Highlands belongs to the Government and the provincial government must step in to help with fencing and protect property,” he said.
“It has greatly served the people of Southern Highlands and Hela since the colonial days and something needs to be done to address this issue.”
A female staff member, who did not want to be named, said she was almost raped inside the studio in 2009 while broadcasting.
“A half-naked man with a mask stood at the back of me and demanded me to turn and hold his private part. I already knew a man was at the back of me so I continued making toksave but he shouted out loud and forced me to hold his private part,” she said.
She said she took hold of a wooden carving on her table firmly and smashed the suspect’s face and yelled at the top of her voice for help.
She said the suspect fled and people nearby came to her rescue.
Station manager Jacob Mambi confirmed the incident, saying people had no pride for their province.