On 17 April 2020 Namibia amended its COVID-19 Regulations to include criminalisation of the spreading of fake news about COVID-19. In terms of Regulation 15 (1) (e), publishing false or misleading statements or statements intended to deceive people in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, including the posting of these statements on social media platforms, is an offence. An offender may be fined up to N$2 000 or be given a prison term of up to six months.
In an effort to provide access to accurate information to Namibian citizens, Namibia launched the COVID-19 Communication Centre, on 2 April 2020. The Communication Centre provides a platform for engagement on key issues affecting citizens and organisations, in relation to COVID-19 and the lock-down guidelines. The Communication Centre is interactive giving journalists an opportunity to ask questions during the daily live press conference as well as through a dedicated email address.
As part of the government’s efforts to combat fake news, Action Namibia, will be holding an online training session on Friday, 24 April at 11 to “unpack fake news during COVID-19 Pandemic” with a focus on the role of Namibian journalists.
Disclaimer: the information contained in this Insight is for awareness and discussion purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please get in touch at base