The Office of the Vice-President Dr Nickey Iyambo has dismissed as ‘fictitious’ a recent media report claiming the vice-president tried to visit the palace of Ondonga King Immanuel Elifas but was apparently denied entry into the palace. Elifas is currently embroiled in a succession battle.
The report, apparently based on phantom sources, said: “Many sources, privy to the affairs of the Ondonga and the palace, all confirmed the Vice-President Dr Nickey Iyambo was denied entry to the king’s palace.”
The article also alleged many people had seen the convoy of the vice-president going into Onamugundo and being refused entry and it also said the Office of the Vice-President could not be reached for comment as the VP’s “personal assistant” Moses Pakote’s number was unreachable.
“It is not clear from which sources the said newspaper and its journalist obtained this entirely fictitious information which was published as truths. Regardless of any contributing factors to this fictitious news article, which is devoid of a single grain of truth, the newspaper has the fiduciary duty to immediately stop this objectionable practice of professional dishonesty by its staff members,” stated the Office of the Vice-President.
It further corrected the report saying Pakote is not the personal assistant of the vice-president but the deputy executive director in the Office of the Vice-President.
“As such, even granted that he was unreachable on the mobile phone, he has a secretary and so many other staff members who all are reachable on landlines. Yet no record exists of any Namibian Sun newspaper journalist who called looking for him in this regard. In view of these facts, it is very doubtful whether the journalist’s claim of not reaching him is truthful,” said the VP’s office.
The Office of the Vice-President also appealed to the shareholders, board of directors and management of the Sun newspaper to execute what is professionally honourable and investigate how the journalist arrived at this hoax of a story. Similarly, it called on the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) to assist the newspaper to objectively investigate and conclude the matter.
“Certainly, fake news is not the modus operandi of this newspaper, thus it should not only distance itself from such distasteful activities but also bring to book its staff members who are deliberately tarnishing the good name of journalism in Namibia.
Namibia recently joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Press Freedom Day, and for this harmonious state of media to continue unabated, it is incumbent upon Namibian media houses and journalists to be responsible and desist from pursuing personal agendas and activities, which can be injurious to the image and reputation of the media as a trustworthy partner in the nation-building project of the Namibian House,” concluded the statement.