Free and fair from NBC
Director General of the Corporation, Albertus Aochamub said that the Policy intends to facilitate fair and equitable coverage of all political parties and candidates before, during and after the elections on all platforms managed and controlled by the NBC. Aochamub also said that besides the equal free airtime on television and radio to all political parties or candidates standing the elections, additional airtime may also be purchased and “the rate at which such additional airtime shall be sold, will be consistent with that provided for by the corporate rate card.”
Hon. Joel Kaapanda, Minister of Information and Communication Technology said that this occasion demonstrates the seriousness and preparedness of the NBC for the election process. “The document has been widely circulated to all key role players in the upcoming elections and all relevant inputs received were reviewed and incorporated, therefore I wish to thank NBC and all of you for having taken part in this democratic process and shared your views in good faith,” he said at the launch.
“It is incumbent upon the political parties to ensure the implementation of this Policy and make it a living document upon which election campaign activities will be premised,” emphasised Kaapanda. He also advised the NBC staff that they must be guided by the letter and spirit of the policy as they execute the national mandate entrusted to them and that their role is to report on events as they happen and they should guard against personal preferences creeping into their coverage or reporting of events.
“In order to ensure that NBC carries out its national mandate, government has allocated over N$9 million of which N$5 million will be used for capital expenditure and the rest for operational purposes, and I have been informed that NBC has already acquired some of the latest equipment the industry can offer,” concluded Kaapanda.
The Election Coverage Policy and Guidelines are in Line with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections that require member states to provide equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media.