Patson Phiri, one of the journalists who were fired by the PF government from the Times of Zambia has won the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) media awards.
Patson Phiri was handed a USD$2000 cheque by Angola’s vice-president Fernando da Piedade who acted on behalf of Angolan head of State, José Eduardo dos Santos, outgoing chairman of SADC.
This was during the opening of the 32nd Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government in Maputo, Mozambique.
President Michael Sata and other presidents in attendance clapped for and congratulated Patson Phiri when he received the award.
Other journalist who won the 2011 edition of SADC media award are Mauritian Jugdish Parsadee Jatoo (television), Tsuna Yobe Shonga (photojournalism).
The journalism award for the water category was won by Zimbabwean Faxtomore Dzobo, while Mozambican Belmiro Mangaze got the radio category prize.
Ramakaye Walter RAmakaye, from Lesotho, won the photojournalism prize.
Patson Phiri won the print category.
In April this year, the government controlled Times of Zambia retired six journalists in a witch-hunt engineered by Information Permanent secretary Amos Malupenga and George Chellah, president Sata’s mouth-piece.
The fired jornalsts are Bob Sianjalika, Whytney Mulobela, Obert Simwanza, Richard Mulonga, Patson Phiri and Abel Mbozi.
The Watchdog understands that the journalists were given K20 million each for separation.