CONGOLESE rhumba icon Koffi Olomide has been reported to the police for assaulting a freelance photojournalist at Pamodzi Hotel on Friday evening.

44-year-old Jean Ndayisenga 'Mandela' reported to Kabwata police that the multi-award winning musician kicked him in the face as he tried to take a picture of him after a show at Lusaka's Taj Pamodzi Hotel on Friday evening.

Kabwata police deputy criminal investigations officer detective inspector Augustine Hamoonga confirmed that Koffi had been reported to Kabwata police station for assault.

Detective inspector Hamoonga, however, said the matter had been transfered to Lusaka Central Police due to issues of jurisdiction.

Mandela, a Rwandese refugee in Zambia, survives by taking photographs and selling them to various media institutions and private individuals.
He said he was surprised that Koffi, an artiste of international repute, could behave in such a brutal fashion.

Mandela obtained a medical report from the University Teaching Hospital yesterday following the incident, in which his camera flash got damaged.

"He kicked me in the face and my flash even got damaged. There were a lot of people and they saw what happened," Mandela narrated yesterday.

This is not the first time Koffi has found himself in trouble with the Zambian police.

On his previous visit to the Zambia two years ago, the musican eluded a police dragnet, and exited the country using a motorcycle following differences with his promoters at the time.

And in his home country, the 58-year-old Koffi appeared in court, accused of assaulting and battering his producer Diego Music Lubaki and malicious destruction of hotel facilities where the incident occurred in August this year.

Koffi arrived in the country on Wednesday evening to conduct two shows in Lusaka, at the Pamodzi Hotel and The Government Complex on Friday and Saturday respectively, before moving on to Kitwe for the last show at Moba Hotel tomorrow evening.

Police spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela confirmed that a man had reported Koffi to the police but could not give further details, saying the police would investigate the matter.

Efforts to get a comment from Koffi's handlers proved futile as their phones were switched off.