Government urges citizens to refrain from insulting leaders on the different communication platforms
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology has urged all citizens to refrain from insulting leaders in the country via the different communication medium, according to a statement last week.
The 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 derogatory and insulting language directed at the Head of State for that matter 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 civilized 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 Article 21 of 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.