By Simon Liseli
Chief Regional Officer, Ms. Regina Ndopu-Lubinda of Zambezi Regional Council has urged all media practitioners in Zambezi region to be ‘credible and factual’ when digesting information to the citizens.
“As Regional Council, we are quite concerned that when facts are put to different media, they are truth and forward, so we are interested in knowing how we should go about ensuring that you get the right people to speak to, but you should also be able to give adequate time to be able to explain to you the facts and where we cannot will tell you because we do not have facts” stressed Ndopu.
She lamented the fact that government and media have the responsibility to ensure that citizens have correct facts of the matter, adding that it’s nice to sensitise stories out that at the end need to be credible and reliable.
“Citizens should have right facts where they can make decisions but we are concerned when people make decisions and conclusions without ensuring that they have facts”
Ms. Ndopu pointed out that Zambezi Regional Council is aware that in some cases media practitioners do not get right information in terms of what exactly cover and ends up being unprepared.
She added that the social media are important, because the community also looks at them in charge to speak on their behalf and raise issues that they cannot put straight to the government.
“Media takes them to us to make some changes where they want us to improve but we are failure as government in terms of governing and what else they need in terms of governing appropriately” explained Ms. Ndopu.
This was revealed during the first-ever media engagement meeting held recently in the region where media representatives from the state-owned media and independent media houses such as Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), One Africa TV, The Caprivi Vision Newspaper and The Namibian.
The purpose for the media engagement was to allow media practitioners in the region an opportunity to inform the Regional Council and other government institutions about their challenges, proposals and recommendations to ensure improvements to media relations and government in Zambezi region.
During media engagement meeting, Chief Regional Officer, Ndopu-Lubinda who chaired the meeting, accorded them an opportunity to explain their challenges to Zambezi Regional Council (ZRC) in areas where they would want the government to improve, and also map the way forward for all media houses and government on how do they improve as they work together.
The CRO further explained that her office decided to call for media practitioners in Zambezi noting their importance in terms of governance and development, ensuring that advancing governance assures that, “We as public officials are transparency and accountable in terms of the actions we do, so media houses in this regard plays a major role in assuring that when they are concerns or need to report other issues they are engaged, so we believe that media plays a big role”.
The next media engagement will include the government regional heads from different line ministries and public entities.