World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Elangi Botoy Ituku has come out guns blazing demanding the removal of an article carried by The Villager this week in which he explains the concept of least developed countries, Namibia included, as referring to the state of people’s brains.
Disappointed by this publication’s reportage which he said over the phone was not “diplomatic” and causing tension between the United Nations and the Namibian government.
In a call to The Villager’s reporter, he said that his words were not supposed to have been reported in that manner, before saying that he was quoted out of context.
“You must not have published such an article. So now we are going to your headquarters, we are going to talk with your director.”
“You must not have written that. That is not what needs to be written. You can not write that way. The World Intellectual Property Organisation can not insult Namibians. You don’t know diplomacy. This article has to be removed right away. You took the context out of what was said,” said an infuriated Ituku.
Told that this was tantamount to muzzling the media, the diplomat threatened that the publication was “looking for trouble”, before saying, “You journalists need to be taught how to cover events.”
Ituku went on to say that other publications did not report on the matter in the same way, although no daily newspaper printed news of the workshop on Wednesday.
“There are other newspapers of Namibia which have published also. How come that only this one would say that. I didn’t come here to insult on behalf of WIPO,” he said.
“Namibia was part of the United Nations since 1991 and we cannot come here, it’s not the first time that we are coming here, so how come that all the times we came here we did not say such things?” said Ituku said to The Villager on Wednesday.
He said his statements should not have been “extracted” but wholly taken from within the body of his presentation.
An official from BIPA also said the article had huge “political implications”.