Our article last Friday about Namibia’s new visa requirements caused quite a stir – to the extent that our country was overzealously congratulated for what many had dubbed a ‘revolutionary’ step in the right direction. The article, drawn from a State House media statement in which government announced the country’s new visa requirement relief, suggested that all Africans coming to Namibia would no longer be required to produce visas. Yet the statement was clear as daylight that in fact only African holders of diplomatic or official passports are exempted from such requirements. Simply put, we bottled it.
We have let down our esteemed readers and all stakeholders on the day, and they have reacted in force, as they should have. We accept their judgment and embrace the calls for heightened awareness and a higher standard when dealing with facts of news. Throughout the history of our existence, we have strived to inform Namibians – and indeed our foreign readers – timely, correctly and objectively because these are the tenets of journalism we believe should never be compromised under whatever circumstances. But we must also be brave enough to shoulder the burden of our mistakes – especially when schoolboy mistakes on a matter so straightforward are made.
Reporting the said news article in the manner we did is miles away from what would ordinarily be described as human error. We simply did not apply ourselves consciously and we unreservedly take full responsibility for this blip.
Internal corrective measures – agreed to with the Board, have been taken and the identified loopholes in the system plugged.
We seek no expedience of any sort with this apology but that readers would continue to treat us as the prime source of trustful news regarding happenings in Namibia. – Editor