By Lylie Happiness
OSHAKATI, July 22 – The Namibia Media Professional Union (NAMPU) has expressed concern over the growing number of cases of bullying and intimidation of journalists by politicians.
This follows the latest incident that took place last week when Windhoek mayor and Landless People’s Movement (LPM) member Sade Shereen Gawanas took to social media to express her views regarding an article in which she appeared, which was published by the weekly Confidente newspaper.
Gawanas shared screenshots of the conversation she had with a Confidente reporter, including the reporter’s private cellphone number- thereby endangering the reporter in question to unwarranted online abuse and harassment.
According to the union’s secretary general Sakeus Iikela as a result, the reporter was subjected to threats and harassment from Gawanas supporters and sympathizers.
In addition, NAMPU claims that senior members of the LPM even visited the reporter’s workplace – Confidente to further intimidate the reporter.
The events which followed Gawanas social media post have caused panic in the concerned journalist who is now afraid to do her work freely as she fears being insulted and ridiculed.
NAMPU, therefore, condemns this bullying behaviour and attempts by politicians to interfere with the work of journalists since is not the first time the LMP leadership has taken issues with journalists to social media.
The unwarranted attacks on the concerned reporter and on journalists, in general, are distasteful, malicious and unacceptable, said NAMPU.