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Madagascar: Irresponsible Minister Ignores Journalists

Pat Robert  Larubi - 21/08/2014 12:57 CDT

Gulu, Gulu, Uganda

Antananarivo, Madagascar (Madagascar Tribune): Questioned by reporters on the sidelines of an official ceremony in the capital, the Malagasy Minister of Foreign Affairs superbly ignored journalists who wanted information on the return of the exiles claimed by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).


No doubt she was annoyed and could not keep her temper, going so far as to say that the journalists could shout as much as they wanted but she would not answer any of their questions.


As one of the personalities who attended the SADC summit meeting, and knowing that Marc Ravalomanana who has been exiled to South Africa continues to request his passport, the minister is a strategic partner in his return to Madagascar. No doubt there are other key players in the process, such as the Minister of Justice and senior security officials including the Minister of the Armed Forces, but the issue at stake here is one of diplomacy.


As a government official, the minister has ignored two essential points, at a time when the country is trying to move towards a state of law and democracy: on the one hand, the right of citizens to be informed, or at least part of the population to have all the information allowing them to objectively assess the situation, and secondly, the duty of journalists to seek information at the source.


She ought not have to shown such disdain, even though she had nothing to say; there are better ways of saying no to journalists. What is obvious is that like other ministers criticized by the "Journalists crisis cell on freedom of the press," the Minister lacks tact despite being a diplomat; she does not know how to communicate. The return of Marc Ravalomanana is not the only issue of importance in our national reconciliation.

Questioned by reporters on the sidelines of an official ceremony in the capital, the Malagasy Minister of Foreign Affairs superbly ignored journalists who wanted information on the return of the exiles claimed by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).