President Hage Geingob this week cancelled a meeting, which was scheduled yesterday, with local journalists who had petitioned the Presidency to air grievances against presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari.
The meeting was cancelled at the last minute after only 10 journalists confirmed attendance, while 56 journalists had signed the petition against the spokesperson. Geingob had offered an audience to the journalists following the petition, which raised complaints against Hengari. “The President rescheduled important engagements in a demanding schedule in order to listen to grievances and finding solutions to the issues raised. Unfortunately, due to poor subscription to the meeting, the Presidency is left with no option but to cancel the meeting,” the Presidency said in a statement. “Through the office of the minister in the Presidency, the President acknowledged receipt of the letter informing that a meeting would be convened to discuss the grievances raised.
On 1 October 2020, the Presidency invited the 56 concerned journalists to a meeting on Wednesday 7 October 2020 at 10h00. In light of the seriousness of the issues raised, President Geingob prepared remarks for the meeting. Regrettably, only 10 of the concerned journalists out of the group of 56 confirmed attendance.” Meanwhile, the concerned journalists yesterday claimed they had notified the Presidency about sending only a 10-member delegation to meet with the President.
“It is also regrettable that the highest office in the country did not see it fit to notify the group of concerned journalists about its sudden change of mind before sending out the press release but chose to do it in a public manner. Frankly, it’s a missed opportunity,” the group said, adding they were still open for future engagement with the Head of State.
“The meeting was set to discuss, amongst others, the challenges faced by the media in covering the office of the President, how the office can improve on the media front and ways to improve our relationship, which is getting worse every time the press secretary is involved. It is within the President’s rights to cancel meetings.
After all, he has other national obligations. We believe the President meant well when he agreed to meet with us. We are still open to being part of this important meeting.
But any future engagement will be clouded with doubt if we don’t explain our side of the