FALSE: No truth to claim that NBC, other media don’t cover Swapo rallies

Screenshot_2019-11-22 Geingob claims media sabotage - The Namibian copy

False

The statements, information and/or data referenced in this article have been assessed and found to be false.

22nd November 2019

Frederico Links

Frederico Links is the editor and lead researcher of Namibia Fact Check and a research associate at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)

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Photo courtesy: The Namibian

The president recently falsely claimed that the ruling Swapo Party was “not covered” and “never on TV”.

 

President Hage Geingob at a ruling party rally at Omuthiya, in Oshikoto region, on Friday, 15 November 2019, made the following claim:

“People are so desperate to destroy Swapo, and are trying anything possible just to disrupt and destroy Swapo. Newspapers, NBC and political analysts are all desperate to destroy Swapo. Newspapers have refused to write right, as if we have committed any crime. I do not know what crime we have committed. We are not covered, and we are never on TV”

Ironically, these statements come from a long article that appeared on Monday, 18 November 2019, in the The Namibian newspaper in which the president was extensively quoted, which immediately undercuts the claim of “We are not covered” by the media.

The same newspaper had also published an earlier story, on Saturday, 16 November 2019, about the Omuthiya rally, under the following headline:

It is clear from the above image that the story in question was widely shared and commented on, on social media.

While these examples already show that the president’s claim was clearly inaccurate, what was especially striking about the claim was the following phrase:

“… we are never on TV”

President Geingob was obviously referring to the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) TV, which was singled out in the accusation about media sabotage through withholding coverage.

Namibia Fact Check investigated the president’s claim and established that the NBC has in fact also provided extensive coverage of Swapo Party rallies and election campaign related activities throughout 2019.

To illustrate, following is a list of links to footage of Swapo Party rallies that were held across the country that appeared in NBC news broadcasts from 19 October 2019 to mid-November 2019. The video clips (from most recent) can be viewed on the broadcaster’s website:

  • Eenhana, Ohangwena region, broadcast on 18 November 2019;
  • Katima Mulilo, Zambezi region, broadcast on 17 November 2019;
  • Unknown location, broadcast on 16 November 2019;
  • Oshikuku, Omusati region, broadcast on 9 November 2019;
  • Kamanjab, Kunene region, broadcast on 4 November 2019:
  • Rundu, Kavango East region, broadcast on 3 November 2019;
  • Rundu, Kavango East region, broadcast on 3 November 2019;
  • Mariental, Hardap region, broadcast on 3 November 2019;
  • Mariental, Hardap region, broadcast on 2 November 2019;
  • Mariental, Hardap region, broadcast on 2 November 2019;
  • Keetmanshoop, //Kharas region, broadcast on 27 October 2019;
  • Gobabis, Omaheke region, broadcast on 21 October 2019;
  • Gobabis, Omaheke region, broadcast on 20 October 2019;
  • Gobabis, Omaheke region, broadcast on 20 October 2019;
  • Gobabis, Omaheke region, broadcast on 19 October 2019;

All except two of the video clips – Oshikuku and one of the Mariental rally clips – feature president Geingob addressing rally-goers.

The above list does not include coverage of other election campaign related activities of the ruling party, of which there are also numerous video clips on the NBC website. It should be noted that this coverage exceeds anything afforded opposition political parties.

In light of all this evidence, Namibia Fact Check finds the president’s claim that the ruling Swapo Party was “not covered” and “never on TV” to be false.
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