23 Jan 2014 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 23 JAN (NAMPA) Swanu of Namibia on Thursday accused the Namibian Broadcasting Corporations (NBC) Otjiherero Radio Service of political bias ahead of the 2014 Presidential and General elections later this year.
Swanu president, Usutuaije Maamberua made the complaint at a media conference held at its headquarters here, saying Swanu has observed with dissatisfaction and disapproval that radio stations unbecoming behaviour towards his party.
The recent conduct by the radio station over the past few days, particularly on its Keetute morning programme on issues of voter registration is worrisome, he pointed out.
Maamberua explained that a Swanu youth representative on a party mission in Otjinene in the Omaheke Region was refused by a certain radio presenter to air information which he obtained from the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN).
The youth leader, he said, wanted to share the information with registering voters, but was refused when he introduced himself as a Swanu member.
This happened on Monday this week, just after 08h00 in the morning. However, the following day (Tuesday) the same presenter allowed Swapos Khomas Regional Coordinator Kasuto Gotthard to talk on the same programme to the electorate about registration of voters at length, he said.
The Swanu leader stressed that his party does not have a problem with allowing the Swapo Party to air their views, as all political parties should in actual fact be invited or allowed on the same programme.
Maamberua further said his party on Wednesday struggled to secure a slot on the programme for Thursday.
Thus this morning, the same presenter promised that Swanu will be on the programme, but it was left until the last two minutes of the programme when the presenter purportedly attempted to get Swanu on, he noted.
Ironically, he said, the Swapo regional coordinator for Omaheke, Kehamwina Mungendje, was allowed to make the same call to the electorate registering on the same programme for more than 10 minutes.
What a bias in favour of the ruling party. All that Swanu wants is that Swapo and Swanu be treated equally by national institutions, as both parties went through the same difficulties and shared various platforms together during the liberation struggle, he urged.
As such, every chance that is given to Swapo should also be given to Swanu, Maamberua said.
Asked whether the party took up the matter with the Director-General of the NBC Albertus Aochamub, he responded that Swanu is on record to have raised these issues with the public broadcaster for many years.
I have not met with the current DG personally, but have made a phone call to him to talk about how the NBC is not treating Swanu equally. That was some time in December 2013, he indicated.
The Swanu leader thus called on all media houses to give equal opportunity to all political parties to be seen, heard and be understood by the Namibian electorate, and further called on the Otjiherero Radio Service of the NBC to give Swanu an opportunity as from Friday.