The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Dr. Peya Mushelenga, has addressed concerns regarding the suspension of the Managing Editor at the New Era Newspaper.
In response to questions raised by Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) MP Maximalliant Katjimune, Dr. Mushelenga dismissed claims of political interference, stating that the suspension is handled by the corporation's board and management.
Dr. Mushelenga stressed that Namibia, known for its commitment to press freedom, operates within a framework of self-regulation and upholds journalistic standards.
"The government respects and upholds press freedom as guaranteed under Namibia's Constitution. It is worth noting that Namibia's media outlets operate within a framework of self-regulation, which includes a code of ethics and conduct overseen by the Media Ombudsperson. This system ensures that journalistic standards and ethics are upheld, further reinforcing our commitment to a free and responsible media."
Responding to allegations of government interference, Dr. Mushelenga emphasises that neither the Minister nor the Executive Director meddle in the operations of the New Era Publication Corporation.
Instead, their role is to provide financial support and ensure the corporation fulfils its mandate independently.
"The responsibility for managing and directing internal affairs lies with the corporation's board and management. The Ministry provides financial support to the New Era Publication Corporation, ensuring it fulfils its mandate to educate, entertain, and disseminate public information. The Government of Namibia remains dedicated to fostering a positive media environment that upholds freedom of expression and access to information, aligning with international standards."
The New Era Managing Editor, Johnathan Beukes, was suspended in October.