Mbumba vows to protect press freedom

President Nangolo Mbumba has hailed Namibia for remaining highly ranked on press freedom in Africa and the world, saying the government remains committed to the cause.

Mbumba’s remarks echo those of his predecessor, the late president Hage Geingob, who often emphasised the government’s commitment to media freedom.

In his message of commemoration on World Press Freedom Day on Friday, Mbumba said the Namibian Constitution guarantees free speech and media freedom, which the country committed itself to after a period in which these liberties were previously denied.

“I join journalists in Namibia and across the globe in commemorating World Press Freedom Day. As a nation, we made this commitment in the Constitution out of our historical experiences. Therefore, the commitment of the government to press freedom is cherished and we will continue to live by the law,” Mbumba said in a statement on Friday.

“I should also add that the theme for this year, with a strong focus on the protection of the environment, resonates with the Namibian people, who have made the protection of the environment a Constitutional provision,” he said.

Mbumba added that as the home of the 1991 Windhoek Declaration on press freedom and the country with the freest press in Africa, the Namibian government renews its pledge to promote press freedom as a responsible and indispensable part of its governance architecture.

“On this day, we also remind journalists to live by the ethics of an important profession in the democratic life of our country.

Our climate is facing an emergency with recurrent droughts and floods affecting millions of lives and causing destruction of infrastructure. Consistent with the World Press Freedom Day theme of 2024, I encourage journalists in the exercise of their right to educate and to inform in order to advance the protection of the environment, including the prosperity and development of the Namibian people,” he said.

This year’s theme is being commemorated under the theme: ‘A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the face of the environmental Crisis’.
World Press Freedom Day is commemorated annually on 3 May

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