The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana said Namibians will never be spied on as the government is committed to safeguard all freedoms in the country.
He said the government is committed to protecting individual freedoms as well as media freedom.
He was addressing a media press conference on Wednesday in response to an article published this week in The Namibian newspaper under the headline ‘Govt reveals spy plans’.
“I know there are those who were not here when this nation was badly spied on and maybe we sleep praying this nation should be spied on again. That is never to be allowed. We are to lead our free but responsible lives.
“Free but security re-enforcing lives as citizens of Namibia and those who come to visit because of our peace and stability,” said Ua-Ndjarakana.
“Never again shall the country slip into that reverse darkest chapter of our lives. The Namibian government is more than committed to safeguard all freedoms, including and not limited to those of the media,” he said in reference to the pre-independence period when the apartheid regime spied on citizens.
He explained the aim of the bill is not to spy, as the newspaper headline wants the public to believe, but to promote e-governance, services and electronic commerce and communications with the public and private bodies, institutions and citizens. It furthermore aims to develop a safe, secure and effective environment for consumer, business and public agencies or bodies to conduct and use electronic transactions.
Ua-Ndjarakana added that as part of a responsible government, the information ministry has decided to put this very important piece of legislation up for public scrutiny and for interested parties and the entire public to provide inputs and comments on the bill before, or on, June 16, 2017.
He said it seems the article did not come from Namibia. He said the ministry is dismayed by the fact the headline does not speak to the content in the story and is therefore confusing. Since a picture always tell a story, the ministry’s analysis concluded the picture used is more aligned to the ‘Govt reveals spy plans’ headline and equally confusing and misleading.
“The MICT would like to kindly request the newspaper to desist from confusing and misleading the public through sensational headlines and do what is required of them to do on that draft,” he stated.