Local residents mobilised in protest over authorities' decision on hospital

Peaceful Assembly

On 24th May 2017, residents of Ondangwa organised a peaceful protest over the decision to build a referral hospital in Ongwediva, instead of Ondangwa, which is a fast-growing city of about 45,000 residents with only one small clinic to serve the city and the surrounding villages. Ondangwa has reportedly been overlooked on several government-funded development projects. Concerned residents submitted a petition to the authorities, requesting that the decision to build the hospital in another location be reconsidered, and asserting that:

 "Since Independence the town has not benefited from any direct capital projects from government but rather the outflow of government institution to Oshakati and Ongwediva".

Expression

Namibia scores highest among Africa nations in terms of freedom of expression, according to the 2017 World Press Freedom Index. The country currently ranks in position 24, but has fallen seven places since with last year. Reporters without Borders cites threats against journalists, and the use of public order and security legislation to restrict freedom of information as the reasons behind the decline in ratings. On World Press Freedom Day in May, Namibia's president, Hage G. Geingob, declared his support for press freedom in the country, stating that:  

"Namibia is proud of the fact that we have the freest press in Africa [...]  This is not to say that we are happy with the status quo in our Country. Far from it, we want our media to be the freest in the world. We are talking about being number one not just in Africa, but in the world".
Tags: protest