The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) is a “broadcaster at war with itself” because of political interference, and the dismissal of Bob Kandetu as Director General shows that management, transparency and accountability are “in shambles”, the Media Institute of Southern Africa said,  writes Christof Maletsky in The Namibian.

The Misa statement was issued a few minutes before the NBC’s board of directors announced that they had appointed Andrew Kanime as acting Director General for the next three months.

Kanime is Telecom Namibia’s General Manager for Human Resources and Strategic Training.

Misa’s Regional Director Kaitira Kandjii said the NBC is in a state of “total collapse” with “management and leadership in shambles” because of political interference, no proper guidelines on editorial independence and lack of mechanisms for accountability.

He said the NBC needs a complete overhaul starting with the appointment of the board.

“There is an urgent need to transform the NBC into a public broadcaster (from State broadcaster) through an act of Parliament that clearly states that the role of the NBC is to serve all citizens of Namibia in their diversity,” Kandjii said.
He said the act must also clearly spell out that the NBC’s reporting and programming should aim to “advance the socio-economic and political interest of all Namibians in their diversity”.

Misa said the sacking of Kandetu followed a myriad of challenges facing the broadcasting parastatal in carrying out its mandate.

“The board of NBC should represent the wide sectoral interests of all Namibians and should be depoliticised. Equally such a board would have power to appoint senior staff on the basis of professional competence,” Kandjii said.

On their part, he said, the board must be appointed through nomination by citizens to a select parliamentary committee which will review its work on an annual basis and receive reports on how the NBC is fulfilling its public mandate.

Click here to read the full report, posted on The Namibian's website.