Media Alert, 22 March 2013
Reinstatement of Swazi Observer Editors
The Media Institute of Southern Africa - Swaziland Chapter welcomes the decision by the Swazi Observer Board of Directors to reinstate editors, Alec Lushaba and Thulani Thwala after the eight months of unjustified suspension. In a statement issued by the Swazi Observer Board Chairman Sthofeni Ginindza earlier this week, ‘there was no sufficient reason for the suspension of the Swazi Observer daily and Weekend Observer editors.’
We as MISA Swaziland commend the Swazi Observer board for dealing with this matter in the prudent manner they did. We further share the same belief with the board regarding the important role that professionals play in organizations; particularly members of the media profession. Media freedom is a right not only to be enjoyed by journalists but also by members of the public who depend on media reports to make informed decisions on their daily life, hence bad conditions for journalists will have negative impacts on the public.
Freedom of the press is a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the kingdom of Swaziland and other regional and international instruments to which Swaziland is a state party. The job security of journalists should be respected just like all other professionals who are treated with dignity and high esteem. Therefore the unjustifiable suspension and dismissal of journalists in media houses should be condemned to the highest order. We hope other media houses will take a leaf from the Observer Board and ensure the job security of journalists. MISA Swaziland strives to see an environment that is open for journalists to practise their profession.