• September 22nd, 2020

Govt cracks down on fake virus news



Selma Ikela

The government is following through on its threats to punish anyone who spreads fake news about the Covid-19 pandemic. 
The authorities are cracking down on misinformation and any person who publishes or makes a misleading statement through any form of media about Covid-19 will be criminalised, according to the amended State of Emergency Covid-19 Regulations. 
This also includes any statement intended to deceive any other person about the Covid-19 status of any person or measures to combat, prevent and suppress the virus as outlined in the regulations. 
“We should not allow a situation whereby people might be tempted to spread 


misinformation or incorrect information in the public under the circumstances,” attorney general Festus Mbandeka said at the weekend. Asked if it will be difficult to prove if a person had intention to spread fake news, justice minister Yvonne Dausab said the normal rules of evidence would apply and authorities have to determine whether or not someone should be held liable or not for distribution of fake news. 
Government has imposed a national lockdown until 4 May this year in an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19. 
The authorities have in the meantime relaxed some of the regulations pertaining to the lockdown period, with street vendors now given a chance to operate under strict conditions. According to Dausab, in the amended regulations, an informal trader will be allowed to trade if they sell essential goods or provides critical services. 
“We opened up that space so that you are now able to buy tomatoes at the guy that sits in the corner in the location. You don’t have to walk to Shoprite and Woermann Brock to purchase onions and tomatoes… so that gentleman at the street corner becomes a critical service provider,” stated Dausab. Mbandeka added in terms of opening up the markets, they looked at various economic activities that would be opened up without risking the lives of Namibians. He also said health protocols have been put in place for food businesses and consumers to maintain good hygiene as well as practicing social distance. A City of Windhoek notice at the weekend indicated that they will only permit vendors to sell fresh vegetables and fruits, raw meat, fish and dried foods at the open markets during the national lockdown. Dairy products, poultry, cereal and flour products and cooked food, which should be prepared at home, will also be sold. Trading hours will be between 08h00 and 17h00 daily. The notice indicated, customers are only allowed to ‘pick and go’ and will not be allowed to hang around the market. 

Hard liquor banned
Meanwhile, government has allowed for the sale of liquor containing less than 3% of alcohol volume. However, alcohol, which contains more than 3%, will not be sold during the lockdown. This includes tombo or any other fermented, distilled, spirituous or malted drink, traditional or non-traditional. -sikela@nepc.com.na


Selma Ikela
2020-04-20 09:40:05 | 5 months ago

1 Comments

  1. User
    Esme Joanna Isaacs

    Dear Sir/Madam I have a simple question, referring to the: GOVERNMENT GAZETTE OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA CONTENTS Page PROCLAMATION No. 9 State of Emergency - Covid-19 Regulations: Namibian Constitution .......... 1 Proclamation by the President of the Republic of Namibia No. 9 2020 STATE OF EMERGENCY - COVID-19 REGULATIONS: NAMIBIAN CONSTITUTION Conflict of laws 2. If there is a conflict between a provision in a law and these regulations the provisions of these regulations prevail. Restricted areas and period of lockdown 3. (1) For the purposes of these regulations the areas specified in Annexure A are restricted areas. (2) The President may by way of amendment to these regulations amend Annexure A, by adding an area or by removing an area. (3) The period of lockdown starts at 14:00 on Saturday 28 March 2020 and ends at 23:59 on 17 April 2020, inclusive of the first and the last day. Closure of schools and higher education institutions. 4. All schools and higher education institutions in Namibia must remain closed during the period starting 28 March 2020 and ending 17 April 2020, but the relevant minister responsible for education may at any time extend that period during the State of Emergency period. Public gatherings 5. (1) For the purpose of this regulation, a “public gathering” is a gathering of more than 10 persons for a collective purpose, but does not include a situation where such number of persons coincidentally find themselves at a specific place at the same time. (2) An authorised officer may instruct a public gathering to disperse and may use all reasonable measures to cause a public gathering to disperse. (3) A person who during the period of lockdown facilitates, instigates or organises a public gathering, commits an offence and is on conviction liable to a fine not exceeding N$2 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment. 4. Government Gazette 28 March 2020 7159 (4) A person who fails or refuses to obey an instruction issued under subregulation (2) commits an offence and is on conviction liable to the penalties provided for in subregulation (3). I show a video clip relating to SWAPO 60th Birthday Party. I'm i wrong, does the abovementioned also not applied to all Namibian's respective of being the President, a Minister or any Specific Political Party member to adhere to it. That video clip, really did some damage control, to my understanding, what "public gatherings" means of allowing only 10 people only. How must the Namibian people follow the laws of the country if our leaders or political parties are not adhered to it, during this critical period of Coronavirus LOCKDOWN. Please can someone explain, as I' very confuse now, what is right and not, what to adhered too and not too during this lockdown. According the Government Law, nobody is above the law, IMPORTANT QUESTION - All the previous people that was arrested, and fined with a payment of N$2000.00 of being part of public gathering with more than 10 people where fined. Should this also not applied to the individuals that attended that specific event. (SWAPO - 60th Birthday celebrations). Many thanks in this regard.