Namibian netizens (internet users) have been warned against fake news circulating on social media platforms using doctored designs of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television network among other prominent international stations.
The messages which are emerging at a time when Namibians are getting ready for the November 27 Presidential and National Assembly Elections, are predominantly targeting President Hage Geingob who is running for his second term in State House.
One message insinuates that Geingob told young voters that the ruling Swapo does not need their votes, while another reads that the President sold the Katutura State Hospital to the Chinese.
The messages are also aiming at painting Geingob’s first term in the Presidency as having brought the country’s economy to its knees, as one fake news indicates that the Bank of Namibia has announced that the country is bankrupt.
Speaking on behalf of the government, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology’s (MICT) Executive Director Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana on Wednesday issued a stern warning against circulating these fake news.
According to Ua-Ndjarakana, those behind these messages have an agenda to create fear and destabilize peace among the public.
“These messages are packaged in such a manner that they look legitimate and authentic… As they appear on social media, these fake news depict the BBC and other prominent news agencies as sources,” Ua-Ndjarakana said in a media release.
He further cautioned netizens to avoid using social media platforms as a battle ground for political character assassination, discrimination, racism, sexism, tribalism and any other evil deeds.
“We have only one common heritage which we should guard jealously at all times, and that is Namibia. Let us not play with the name and image of our country. Let our country remain the treasure for us at all times.”
He further urged Namibians to verify news before circulating