While NBC has denied that its Oshiwambo radio at Oshakati did not cover two events where President Hage Geingob attended, it has emerged that the station used material collected by the television crew.
Last week, The Villager revealed that the radio station was under instructions not to cover certain events and people. The story also noted that among those who are not supposed to be covered are the suspended Ondonga councillors whose request for a paid announcement was turned down. In its response, NBC denied that Kati Mu Kupulwa Pale (Oshiwambo Service) gives preferential treatment to its news sources, which reportedly resulted in the non-coverage and broadcast of the Omagongo Festival and the funeral services of the late former Governor Mukwiilongo.
“It is also not true that the Head of the Kati Mu Kupulwa Pale Service refused to broadcast the announcements from the Ondonga Traditional Authority’s suspended senior counsellors. The service, guided by its editorial decision decided to air the announcements from Omukwaniilwa Kauluma, who is the Head of the Traditional Authority,” NBC Chief Commercial Ofﬁcer Umbi Karuaihe-Upi said.
Karuaihe-Upi further said the allegations levelled against the NBC and the Kati Mu “Kupulwa Pale (Oshiwambo Service) in particular are therefore unfounded and borders on deliberate attempts to misinform the public.
“The corporation is therefore cautioning against irresponsible reporting on the part of some journalists and media houses that are seeking controversy in matters – and thereby making political statements as a way to attract attention or sell their content,” she said. The NBC could neither conﬁrm nor deny this week that the radio services used material gathered by the television crew.
“The NBC has already provided The Villager with all the answers,” the corporation said. Kashona Kamalulu, who was denied the chance to use the NBC Oshiwambo radio service, insisted this week that the station refused to broadcast the announcement.
“We usually pay but on this occasion when we went there NBC told us that there is a letter from the capital saying that NBC must not allow us to speak. “We asked NBC to tell us who the composers of the letter are and they refused. Shiimbi is the one who gave an order that our announcement must not be aired. We went there to make an announcement for a meeting with the residents.
“Who has the right to deny us to announce? NBC is not a private entity they should have given us equal opportunity. If you refuse to give equal opportunity for people to speak that means that you are afraid of something. “It was just an announcement calling on people to attend the meeting so that we can update them on what has been happening. After they denied us an opportunity on Oshiwambo radio, we went to energy and they followed up with energy to announce that our meeting is illegal. “All the meetings called were full to capacity. They should have thought that their move to deny us to air an announcement would upset people,” Kamalulu said.
The Villager sought comments from NBC and even spoke to the corporation’s director general Stanley Similo who said that he would investigate. When the story was published on Friday, NBC turned around to claim that it was fake news and spoke about the need for media ethics.
This is despite the fact that the Oshiwambo radio service has carried out interviews with other people on the Ondonga debacle without seeking the views of those whose names were mentioned. One of the suspended Ondonga councillors John Walenga whose name was disparaged said NBC cannot talk about media ethics when they are the culprit.
“When they talk about journalism ethics, how do they allow an interview talking about an individual and not about issues to be aired on radio and television talking about John Walenga and they do not even bother to call me on my views? “What ethics are they talking about? It is true that King Kauluma is the head of Ondonga Traditional Authority, but it is not him whom they are interviewing. They are interviewing an illegitimate person talking about individuals who are sworn traditional leaders.
“He is illegitimate and yet he is the person they are giving an audience to speak castigating sworn traditional leaders. What ethics and what kind of editorial policy is that one? And yet they do not give the next person a chance to defend himself. What kind of editorial policy is that one? “I want the Director General to tell me where he studied that type of journalism? If they have taken such an editorial policy, fair enough but it should not be discriminatory.
“The days of them thinking they have a monopoly over the airwaves are gone. There are other radio stations that we use and we will continue to use, Shipi FM, Radio Energy and Omulunga Radio. “They can keep their editorial policy for life. We do not care,” he said.
Walenga further said that NBC should not lie that it should be about the King Kauluma Eliphas because they did not interview him.
“They should lick their wounds when it comes to political messages. They have never recorded the president’s speech. It was never recorded. They should not think that we are fools; the boss of Oshiwambo radio is not the one who is commanding the TV crew in the north. We know the truth that NBC TV has a different reporting line, hence they cannot use NBC TV’s material to be read the news which was poor by the way,” Walenga said, adding that Similo must say whether NBC is now a private broadcaster of choice to some people to discredit others.
“They have spoken about my name not one or twice but numerous times however they have not bothered to call me, it that the editorial policy in which they castigate other people?
“They have done an injustice to the Ondonga community through their so-called editorial decision. They must let Omukwaniilwa Kauluma speak on television, how can they bring an illegitimate Nepando Sackaria Amupanda? What does Nepando know about traditional authority matters? Who is he? He has no authority under the law to speak. Never before in the history of Ondonga has an outcast been a spokesperson of the authority.
“I do not recognise Nepando, and he must stop sending letters to my house. They must call me, why are they not brave enough to call me? Since when is there a relationship between Nepando and me? Is he now my girlfriend that he is writing me letters? I do not want his proposals I am rejecting him. We know that Nepando is missing the lime light of him standing behind somebody but now he has chosen the wrong platform to regain the limelight. That is a sacred position; he does not deserve to be there.”
Walenga said, “ This Amupanda fellow is really surprising me. I have shared a meal with his father, Sackaria Amupanda who used to frequent our house but his father has never shown the type of character Nepando is showing. That he can be used as a tool. It is something I still have to make peace with. He is just being used as a tool because he does not understand that the administration of traditional authorities requires a well measured mind and not of someone who is willing to be exploited for the personal gain of some scrupulous politicians who are sitting somewhere else”.