Sunday, January 27, 2019

Namibia Irked by Public Backlash Against Leaders on Social Media
25 JAN, 2019 - 00:01

WINDHOEK. — The Namibian government has urged its citizens to refrain from insulting leaders of the country via different communication platforms, according to a statement issued on Friday.

Namibia’s Information Minister Stanley Simataa said his ministry has noted with great concern a flood of derogatory and insulting messages (audio, video and text) directed at the Head of State, Cabinet members and the entire government, currently circulating on social media platforms.

Such act is not only contrary to the letter and spirit of the constitution, but also goes against cultural values and norms as human beings and as Africans, he said.

According to Simataa, in a democratic state like Namibia, views and criticism, where necessary, should be done in a civilised and constructive manner using language that is befitting the stature of those being criticized.

“As elected leaders we fully subscribe to the principle of constructive criticism and are we are ready to engage citizenry,” he added.

Simataa said the country’s constitution, guarantees freedom of speech and expression, but the people should note that with this right comes obligation and responsibility for everyone to exercise their rights and not infringe on the rights of others.

The minister said the government will not shy away from using the provisions of the law to hold perpetrators of the acts to account.

“There must be consequences for such morally offensive acts,” he added.

Simataa then encouraged Namibians to work together and embrace the rule of a democratic society where public speech is exercised within the framework of established norms and values.

– Xinhua

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