Windhoek, July 2-The Popular Democratic Movement Youth League (PDMYL) will lay a complaint against the Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA) to the Media Ombudsman for the censorship and victimisation
of young journalist Edward Mumbuu.
PDMYL worryingly notes that this is not the first time that NAMPA has been caught trying to censor journalist. In 2019, NAMPA had a similar incident with Vitalio Angula, a Freelance journalist around issues of censorship. While the details of that incident remain sketchy as to who was in the wrong, it is still worth mentioning that NAMPA’s conduct in regards to the
censorship of journalists needs to be looked at.
In this latest incident, NAMPA’s News Editor, Maggy Thomas was caught actively engaging in an act of censorship against NAMPA journalist Edward Mumbuu in a Whatsapp message screenshot that has now gone viral. This is in connection with an interaction that Mr. Mumbuu had with
President Hage Geingob at State House last week Friday. In this Whatsapp message screenshot, Ms Thomas insinuates that Mr Mumbuu ought not to have asked the President the questions he did, and even distances NAMPA from Mr Mumbuu. She even goes further to say that NAMPA has
‘summoned’ Mr Mumbuu, which gives the undertone that Mr Mumbuu is being victimised and censored by NAMPA.
The position of NAMPA and Maggy Thomas in particular, is very regrettable and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Such conduct directly threatens the very fabric that defines Namibian democracy and media freedom. NAMPA’s actions are directly in contravention of Article 21 (1)(a) of the Namibian constitution which states that Namibians have the right to ‘Freedom of speech and expression, which shall include freedom of the press and other media’.
Moreover, NAMPA was is a public body established by the Namibia Press Agency Act of 1992 for the purpose of distributing local, regional and international news. We therefore cannot have bodies funded by the public purse but are subjectively serving the interest of a few elites in
government, and actively driving certain agendas, narratives and innuendos.
PDMYL cannot therefore sit back while this onslaught on Namibian democracy and media freedom by NAMPA continues. As patriotic Namibians who believe in the rule of law and freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed in the Namibian constitution, we ought to fight against
the censorship of journalists by NAMPA.
Accordingly, PDMYL will lay a charge at the Media Ombudsman, Mr. John Nakuta against the management of the Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA) for the censorship and victimisation of young journalist, Edward Mumbuu on Monday, 03 August 2020. NAMPA as a member of the
Editors Forum has a duty to uphold media freedom, and not to censor it.