The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has lodged a complaint against state owned Botswana Television with the office of the ombudsman for what they say it’s the TV station’s “editorial bias”.
Dr Prince Dibeela, Secretary for International Affairs at the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has since written a letter to the office of the ombudsman asking it to investigate the TV station.
“I write to your good office requesting you to investigate Botswana Television. As a citizen of this country I believe that Btv is being used to promote BDP propaganda at the expense of other political parties. This is abuse of a public facility and I request your office to investigate this matter,” he said in the letter.
The Btv crew recently spent the whole day capturing events of a political rally organized by UDC to welcome the former speaker of the national assembly, Dr Margret Nasha but the footage is yet to be aired. This has raised more questions on the editorial integrity of Btv. Over the weekend, the two political parties contesting at the upcoming Sekoma village council seat, BDP and the UDC held respective rallies, with BDP enjoying coverage by Monday evening while the UDC got “blackout”. According to Dibeela this is a trend that goes several years.
Up until a few years back, the public broadcaster, has never veiled its political support of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), sparking suspicion that the institution was born to promote and hoist the flag of the party to the exclusion of other opposition parties.
On more than one occasion it never escaped the eye of the opposition including the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) who noticed a few years back that it was designed ostensibly to favour the ruling BDP.
In 2010, BCP President Dumelang Saleshando noted the lack of professionalism and fairness on the part of Btv management led by Mogomotsi Kaboeyamodimo, which he said compromises the credibility of “our electoral process. Elections can never be free and fair when the state television promotes the campaign of one political party to the exclusion of others.”