WINDHOEK - Press secretary in the Presidency Alfredo Hengari has angrily hit back at those criticising President Hage Geingob’s appointment of former Keetmanshoop Urban councillor Hilma Nicanor as special advisor on veterans’ affairs in the Office of the Vice-President.
Hengari, who specifically took aim at the daily newspaper’s editorial, said Nicanor’s appointment was based on her experience in dealing with veteran affairs, whose mandate is to ensure continuity and effective implementation of programs in that ministry.
“Not all the 18 members of the Swapo party who resigned from their jobs to remain as candidates for the National Assembly were given jobs as advisors,” Hengari said in a statement availed to the media on Saturday.
He added that only Nicanor was appointed and it was purely in the interest of a ministry that has been managed as a department by a deputy minister in the aim of ‘cutting the wage bill’.
“The facts speak for themselves,” he stressed.
Hengari said the weekly editorial as it appeared on Friday, ‘Presidency is Trashing the System’, which passes off unsubstantiated opinions for analysis is nothing but a reflection of the resentment the paper harbours towards the incumbent Geingob.
He assured Geingob will continue to work hard to make Namibia a better country for all.
“In that noble endeavour and within the confines of the constitution, our supreme law, decisions advancing our collective welfare will be taken,” he maintained.
According to Hengari, the duty of the journalists, whilst it sits in the province of free speech in a country with the freest press in Africa, is to report without fear or favour.
“Of course, there is reporting without fear – but it is increasingly hard to vouch if it is done without favour,” he stated.
He said Geingob is on record (not once but several times), championing a free press, which is a manifest commitment underpinned by a value system that is about justice, solidarity and democracy – out of conviction, and one for which he led with his comrades in the fight for freedom for this country.
“A free press and free speech are foundational values of Namibia, and they came at great cost,” he noted. “This places a greater responsibility on the media and the press not to function as propaganda passed off as news, activated against a democratically elected president,” he added.
Quite the contrary, Hengari said the press and the media should in the best of the journalistic traditions, respect the will of the people by advancing the ideals of Namibia’s democracy.
“This implies a greater responsibility on the part of The Namibian to harness (and not plunder) the noble and high-minded obligation to inform us, to nurture our minds, to communicate, and to challenge ideas in a nation on the march,” concluded the press secretary.
2019-11-11 06:53:11 | 24 days ago