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Office of the President (OP)
OP Response - "Tardy Mmegi tells a Big One"
05/07/10

This Office notes with disbelief the patently false claims published in the 2/7/10 edition of your newspaper in the article deceptively headlined "How journalists 'infiltrated' Khama's meeting".

Contrary to what is alleged and otherwise insinuated in the aforementioned article, no attempt was made to bar private media from covering the opening of last Tuesday's joint meeting between members of Cabinet and the Kweneng District Council.

It is a simple fact that members of the private as well as public press were thus able cover the opening remarks by H.E. the President and the Council Chairperson, along with such other activities as took place prior to the Council passing a motion to go into Committee, that is into closed session; where upon non-members such as officials and visitors, as well as member of the public and private press alike, were all excused.

We further note that the above process was fully anticipated in Media Advisories that had been circulated prior to the meeting by this Office, which also disassociated this Office from reports appearing in your own newspaper suggesting that the public service media would be given special access denied the private press.

We are further informed that the truth of the matter is that your reporters came late to the Molepolele meeting. Thus by the time they arrived they apparently found the opening session, which was being covered by their private as well as public sector colleagues, underway.

It is truly outrageous that your correspondent should then seemingly seek to cover-up his own tardiness by deliberately misleading your readers into once more believing that he along with other private media were deliberately barred access to the meeting, while the so-called state media were allowed in through a vetting process.

Had the Mmegi crew been able to arrive at the Molepolole Council Chambers on time they would have undoubtedly also found nothing amiss in the fact that the hard copy of His Excellency's opening remarks that was availed to them as a courtesy had two excised paragraphs, as they would have realised that the text they received was consistent with what had already been delivered in front of their more punctual peers.

In this respect, this Office further finds the article "Khama's cut speech raises eyebrows", which also appeared in the 2/7/10 edition of your newspaper to be truly silly, as well as misleading.

 

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