Posted by: africanpressorganization | 19 April 2010

Botswana / State media reply to opposition political party activist





Botswana / State media reply to opposition political party activist



GABORONE, Botswana, April 19, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Director of Department of Broadcasting Services, Mogomotsi Kaboyamodimo has responded to a letter from an opposition Botswana National Front activist, Gabriel Kanjabanga who was seeking media coverage from the state broadcasters. Kaboyamodimo replied, asking Kanjabanga to clarify how he wants his coverage to be, also to state how his broadcast would be in the interest of the nation.


When contacted for comment Kanjabanga acknowledged receipt of the letter but said he has not yet read it.


Kanjabanga had on 26 March 2010 written a letter entitled “Radio and Television Broadcasting Coverage” in which he wants to explain to the nation the problems that has engulfed his faction ridden Botswana National Front Party. 


He cited the different incidences where the ruling Botswana Democratic Party was accorded the same privileges. In his letter he said he has observed a pattern of abuse and favoritism from the state media, who always give the ruling BDP the opportunity to issue and readout internal party statements on radio and TV.



During election periods of October 2009, the Director of Broadcasting Services Kaboyamodimo read a statement on radio and television issued by the President, Ian Khama. The statement was about a feud that had developed between the BDP warring factions, but particularly regarding the suspension of the democratically elected party chairman, Gomolemo Motswaledi. 

On March 2010, a statement was also read out in the state media discouraging members of the BDP from attending a meeting purportedly organized by dissidents members known as Barataphathi Faction. The meeting was subsequently attended by more than 300 delegates and one of their resolutions was to form a breakaway party.

Still in March 2010, both BTV, and the two Radio Botswana stations also allowed the ex-President Ketumile Masire, who is also a senior member of  the party to address the BDPs ‘ factional wars.

There has been growing view in Botswana that suggests that the state media is the one sustaining the ruling BDP in power. The National Broadcasting Board had come out with an Election Media Code of Conduct in 2009 as a guideline to election coverage. The code of conduct was reversed by the then Minister of Communications Science and Technology, Venson Moitoi after the state media was found guilty by the National Broadcasting Board for broadcasting the president message without giving other parties equal opportunity.



Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)


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