16 Sep 2019 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 16 SEP (NAMPA) President Hage Geingob held a meeting on Monday at State House with the African Commission for Human and Peoples Rights with special emphasis on freedom of expression and access to information in Namibia.
The African Union Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information who is also the vice-chairperson for the African Commission for Human and Peoples Rights, Lawrence Mute encouraged the Namibian government to continue doing the good work on freedom of media expression as well as allowing the public to access information.
Mute said Namibia is doing well with regards to this and should dedicate its efforts in ensuring that it remains the best in Africa as a caring nation when it comes to freedom of media expression, while accessing information should be a priority.
He said Namibia should continue using the same strategy in allowing freedom of media and accessing valuable information, including the use of social media because it forms part of democratic processes.
He advised the Namibian Head of State not to work against the media.
Do not kill the mosquito with a hammer. Do not hide information under the table, he said.
On his part, Geingob said Namibia is doing exceptionally well when it comes to treatment of the media, adding that he believes in transparency and accountability.
He stated that the media is more powerful than a gun, and that Namibia has it on record that since independence no journalist was harassed.
Also speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Engelbrecht Nawatiseb, said Namibia will soon pass a law promoting access to information.
He said once the legal processes and systems are exhausted, the ministry will then entertain relevant stakeholders to engage in the formulation of the law that will allow the public to access information.
Namibia reclaimed the position at the top of the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index in Africa for the year 2019, after losing it to Ghana last year.
The meeting was attended by other media experts, including Namibia Media Trust Executive Director, Gwen Lister.