WINDHOEK – President Hage Geingob yesterday expressed frustration at Cabinet ministers refusing to respond to media queries, saying this often deprived government its side of the story.
Without government’s input on key reports in the media, the public is denied the right to truthful information, the President – who declared 2019 as a year of accountability – suggested.
“Press is complaining that the ministers never answer to media queries, when I challenge, especially the NBC, why they only have one-side of the story, I am told ministers refuse to appear on TV,” said Geingob at State House yesterday.
“One minister even admitted when I challenged him.” The President was speaking during the opening of the first decision-making Cabinet meeting at State House.
Geingob, without mentioning names, said: “Ministers refuse to appear on TV to explain their policies. Now you get five people sitting there all just condemning government and nobody is there to correct [facts].”
“It’s true, in most cases NBC goes and select their own people whom they want to express certain views but when I challenge that, they say minister don’t respond, I hope you will answer it whether they are correct or not.”
Geingob thus challenged ministers to change the culture and be more accountable and transparent when it comes to the provision of information.
“You must take full cognisance of the fact that your behaviours and actions have an impact on the government and its perception at home and abroad,” he said, adding that ministers should have clear defined roles to play in the execution of the national mandate.
“This is not the time for personality cults, egos or silo mentalities,” he said.
Geingob also took a swipe at ministers who are not on official duties but failed to attend yesterday’s first-decision cabinet meeting.
“How do you send a deputy minister on the first day of Cabinet? Those who are not on official duties, how do you send deputy ministers on the first day of Cabinet, how accountable are you?” the President wanted to know.
Among those absent yesterday were Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein, Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma, Safety and Security Minister Charles Namoloh and Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Doreen Sioka who were all represented by their deputies.
Schlettwein and Sioka were both said to be in Addis Abba attending a conference, Nujoma was on sick leave and Namoloh still on annual leave.
2019-02-06 09:42:59 6 months ago