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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    NCCI defends Mwiya's rise to CEONCCI defends Mwiya's rise to CEO Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) president Sven Thieme has defended the appointment of Charity Mwiya as CEO for the next five years.

    Thieme refuted claims that the NCCI board had no power to appoint a CEO because its term was supposed to have ended last year and that Mwiya was not qualified for the position.

    An NCCI source told Namibian Sun that Mwiya, who had been serving as acting CEO since the departure of Tarah Shaanika in 2017, had allegedly acted in cahoots with some board members to delay the NCCI's annual general meeting (AGM) so that she could be appointed, which is against the organisation's constitution.

    “The NCCI board has appointed Mwiya as the CEO without advertising the post and while setting the requirements aside.

    “The requirements for this position are that it should be advertised in the local print and electronic media and that a suitable candidate be secured who meets the set requirements, and in particular that of an MBA (Master of Business Administration) or BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration).

    “Mwiya only possesses a media diploma, which is far from the minimum requisite,” the source said.

    “All this was done in secrecy and not even the NCCI employees were informed about this move.” Thieme, however, said they had emulated a precedent set by previous boards.

    He said the past two NCCI CEOs were also recruited from within the secretariat. Shaanika initially joined the chamber as membership officer. After serving as acting CEO, Shaanika was later appointed as substantive head by the then board, led by Leake Hangala.

    “Similarly, due process was followed in the appointment of Sam Geiseb as the chamber's CEO by the then board of directors during the presidency of Joan Guriras. Geiseb was appointed from within the ranks of the secretariat, following the departure of the then CEO, John Dammert,” said Thieme.

    “The NCCI board is very pleased with Mwiya's satisfactory performance and has every confidence in her ability to head the organisation. She joined the NCCI in 2004, initially heading the trade promotion department. Over the years Mwiya's responsibilities expanded to include her appointment as company secretary.” Thieme said she holds a BA degree in media studies and has been responsible for the planning, organising and the running of numerous NCCI projects and programmes, prior to and during her tenure as acting CEO.

    He said Mwiya has also represented the NCCI at local, regional and international level and at conferences and trade negotiation meetings. He added Mwiya will present her strategy to the NCCI board and membership at an AGM slated for May. “Mwiya has over the years gained skills and knowledge in chamber administration and management from participating in business support organisations and business sector representative body managerial development programmes. “During her employ at the chamber she has also diligently served as a member of the Namibia-Sweden Working Group focusing on trade cooperation, and is also a member of the Namibia-South Korea Working Group on Economic Development Strategies for Namibia,” Thieme said. “As a voluntary, membership-based business sector representative body, the NCCI operates under and is guided by its constitution. The secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day operations under the NCCI elected national executive board. With the aim to ensure operational efficiency, accountability and fiscal discipline, Mwiya has been tasked by the board of directors to strengthen the chamber's administrative capacity at local branch level,” he added.


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  • 04/01/19--15:00: Erindi plays ball with AR
  • Erindi plays ball with ARErindi plays ball with ARJoubert agrees to meet some demands One of the owners of the Erindi Private Game Reserve has offered to donate part of the sale price for public housing projects. The owners of Erindi Private Game Reserve have agreed to meet some of the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement's demands linked to the High Court settlement agreement regarding the potential sale of the 70 000-hectare property.

    AR leader Job Amupanda recently sent a letter outlining the demands to the owners and land reform minister Utoni Nujoma, which included the establishment of a 2 500-unit township near Windhoek and the servicing of 300 plots at Goreangab.

    It also wanted millions to be channelled towards housing in Windhoek and Walvis Bay, as a caveat to the settlement agreement.

    Paul Joubert responded last week to Amupanda and Nujoma, saying he would ask the government to consider some of AR's demands.

    Joubert said although it was his right in terms of the Namibian Constitution to dispose of his property, he was also aware of the call by President Hage Geingob for wealthy Namibians to share their wealth with underprivileged locals.

    He said he understood and shared the frustration of the youth on matters relating to the unavailability of serviced residential land in towns.

    “I have considered your demands, which were directed at the lands ministry, and I am pleased to inform you that I will request government to at least favourably consider some of your demands, in particular to avail funds towards the servicing of residential plots in Windhoek.”

    Joubert said he would also request the government to consider acquiring a farm or two for unemployed agricultural graduates and other young people.

    “In this respect I will as part of the negotiations between Erindi and government offer a certain amount out of the proceeds of the sale of the shares in Erindi in order to benefit the public and particularly formerly disadvantaged Namibians, as contemplated under article 23 of the Namibian Constitution.”

    Joubert added he would therefore request Nujoma to favourably consider some of AR's “well-meant proposals”, but this was also subject to Nujoma imposing certain conditions.

    However, he specified in his letter that this was subject to the court case being settled on or before 28 March.

    The case was postponed to 18 April, because the parties were unable to finalise the negotiated settlement on time. Joubert said with regard to employment at Erindi, he would, provided that the government granted consent in terms of sections 17 and 58 of the Agricultural (Commercial) Land Reform Act on or before 28 March 2019, negotiate with any prospective purchaser of shares in Erindi, to ensure that it would continue to contribute to the Namibian economy. This would also include that there should not be retrenchments of employees as a result of the transaction.

    AR wanted the Erindi owners or buyers to purchase one farm within a radius of 50 kilometres from the Windhoek central business district to be used for the purpose of establishing a youth township with the capacity to accommodate a minimum of 2 500 houses.

    AR also wanted them to provide N$10 million for the finalisation of the servicing 300 residential plots at Goreangab and for the connection of bulk services for the 300 plots and empty houses at Otjomuise.

    Another demand was that the Erindi owners or buyers should buy five farms for the Youth in Agriculture for Economic Freedom initiative and that they allocate each farm start-up capital of not less than N$2 million to allow for productive farming.


    Erindi first launched legal action against the lands minister in October 2016. In the initial lawsuit, it asked the court to order the land reform minister to hand over all valuation reports the minister relied on to make an offer to buy Erindi for N$265 million.

    The company also asked the court to declare that the minister acted in breach of his constitutional duty to act fairly, reasonably and in compliance with the law, when he made the offer to buy Erindi for N$265 million. It further wanted the court to order the minister to provide the company with a letter consenting to the sale of Erindi to a non-Namibian buyer.

    Then, in an amended application, Erindi wanted the court to review and set aside the minister's offer of N$265 million.

    Erindi also applied for an order to declare that a written agreement exists in which government bought the company for N$1.92 billion - or to declare that the minister had declined the company's offer to sell to government, and that Erindi is now entitled to a waiver in terms of which the agricultural land it owns can be sold to a private buyer. It further wanted the court to declare that Erindi is entitled to market and sell itself as a going concern - also to non-Namibian potential buyers.

    According to court documents a draft settlement has been prepared and is currently being considered by Erindi and the Office of the Attorney-General. The parties have agreed that the matter be postponed to 18 April.


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  • 04/01/19--15:00: GBV, an attack on the mind
  • GBV, an attack on the mindGBV, an attack on the mind Elizabeth Joseph

    I know you’re thinking: “Here we go again with the petty columns.”

    But I really don’t care how many times I speak about things that matter.

    We all have either been abused or had someone close to us in an abusive relationship. Many times we have been the perpetrators ourselves.

    I’ve heard a lot of people ask questions like: “Why don’t you just leave?” or “Why don’t you leave your abuser in jail?”…

    While others say things like: “If you love your children, you will leave this man.”

    Here’s why. Abuse is an iceberg. The head of the iceberg is what happens to you physically, and the rest are all attacks on the heart, mind and soul. They say that people who are financially dependent on their perpetrators are more likely to stay in the relationship because they have no other way of sustaining themselves, as well as their loved ones, and this is absolutely true.

    I was financially supporting *Paul and I still couldn’t leave. My abuse was that of the mind. He told me that the only reason why he did it was because he loved me and if he didn’t cared about me he wouldn’t get angry at me like that.

    For a very long time I believed him. Even after I ended the relationship, I still felt like I played a big part in the situation.

    I don’t like talking about it because it allows my heart to become hard and the person that I am with now certainly does not deserve that. It is one thing to boast about making it out alive, but it’s a whole different story if you sit and feel sorry for yourself. Learn to know the difference and celebrate with people who had the courage to say enough is enough.

    Someone close to me told me that the way I speak about what happened to me makes her think that he still has a hold on me. That is true. I still have nightmares and I am afraid of my boyfriend now, because of what happened.

    I don’t think anyone can ever move on completely after being abused in any way, shape or form, and that should be up to the victim.

    Waking up every day with a life goal of staying alive while you classify that under ‘love’ is very difficult. Understanding what people are going through is just as hard because people can be very impatient and insensitive. We know that you don’t fully comprehend the scene. Different people need different things during a time like that.

    I had an amazing support system, my best friend *Yasmin. She was the only person who knew exactly what was happening and that it was important for me that she remains strong for me. I didn’t tell any of my family members because God knows they are crazy. It was only after the end of that relationship that they found out and my brothers went looking for this guy at his workplace. Thank goodness they didn’t find him because if they had, then we would’ve been eating cookies and tea at someone’s funeral by now. Sorry if I’m being morbid, but it’s true. My family is a close-knit one and we don’t tolerate violence of any sort.

    God has mended my wounds - the wounds that were far worse than a split lip and a bruised arm. Those things healed fast, but what was left was removed from me and I can now say that I made it out, and I will forever tell my story in the hope that it aids other young women who are going through the same thing.

    Please try to heed the signs early. Once it happens it will always happen. Believe me, there is no such thing as the first and the last time. Once someone finds a way to belittle and control you, then that will become your fate. YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME. No matter what you did. You do not deserve it. And lastly, speak to someone, anyone, because when you isolate yourself, you place yourself in a position where you will start to accept this and see it as a part of life.

    So now, be good to yourself and others.

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  • 04/01/19--15:00: No to veils of secrecy
  • No to veils of secrecyNo to veils of secrecy Transparency is one of the basic principles of good governance and there is no doubt that fostering a culture of being open and accountable deepens our hard-won democracy.

    Our country is going through a critical phase at the moment, which was for many years worsened by the irresponsible and unsustainable management of the fiscus and economy.

    We are not out of the austerity tunnel yet, as economic challenges persist to this day. Over the last couple of years', government was left with no option other than to impose radical budget cuts, in an attempt to rein in its spending, while raising domestic revenue.

    Although the spending cuts might have been seen as impressive by some quarters, there were many economic consequences, leading to job losses and high levels of inequality.

    You will recall that we have in the past implored government to open up platforms and have honest discussions about the status of the economy. It was therefore shocking when the executive director of the ministry of defence, Peter Vilho, chose a combative response, which utterly smacks of arrogance, when he was pressed to account for the billions pumped into the defence ministry over the years.

    Questions have always been asked about whether the billions spent on defence are justified, given other pressing priorities that the nation is grappling with. This big-spending trend on defence can longer continue unabated, especially when it is not in the public interest. Obviously, some allocations cannot be divulged, owing to national security interests.

    However, there must be a transparent process, which includes making actual spending readily available to the public. Taxpayers should not be taken for a ride all the time.

    Like in any democracy, ultimately government is accountable to the citizens of the country, and must maintain openness and accountability all the time, especially when it involves taxpayers' money. Veils of secrecy must continue to be torn asunder.

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  • 04/01/19--15:00: Strong and independent
  • Strong and independentStrong and independentLovisa soars in her academic journey Lovisa Johannes describes herself as humble, kind, loving and passionate about science and technology. Ester Kamati

    Born and raised in Onepandaulo in the Ohangwena Region, Lovisa Johannes prides herself on being an independent and strong woman.

    She started her academic journey at Otjikondo Primary School and later matriculated from St Joseph’s Roman Catholic High School in Dobra in 2011.

    Johannes went on to pursue her Bachelor of Science degree in physics/geology at the University of Namibia (Unam), where she graduated in 2018.

    She is motivated to show that she is a force to be reckoned with and will soon be travelling to pursue a postgraduate degree in renewable thermal energy at the graduate school of engineering at Hiroshima University in Japan.

    Johannes told The Zone she has always found herself studying away from home since an early age, as she has attended boarding schools in both the primary and high school phases.

    She says this has moulded her into the self-reliant woman she is today.

    Johannes describes herself as humble, kind, loving and passionate about science and technology.

    She affirmed that she has wanted to be a scientist from the very beginning.

    “It was my ultimate goal to study science after high school,” she exclaimed.

    The young graduate will be the 10th Namibian research student to receive 100% funding for her studies, courtesy of the Japanese government’s science ministry, since the scholarship’s initiation.

    As much as she is thrilled to be living her dream, she is humbled and grateful for the opportunity.

    When she is not studying or conducting an experiment, Johannes is typically in her room reading a book and listening to music or sleeping.

    She also enjoys chilling and going on fun-filled camping adventures with her friends and family in her free time.

    “What motivates me is my drive to succeed and have a better life, not just for myself but for those around me as well in my country,” Johannes said proudly.

    She added that her mother has always served as her principle form of inspiration.

    Asked how she feels about leaving the country to pursue her studies overseas, Johannes shared she is immensely excited, as she is going to be exposed to a whole new and diverse environment.

    She is confident that she will adjust, as she is all about challenges.

    She says she will build networks with people from different countries, who have different ideas.

    Fun facts about Lovisa

    1. She has an obsession with kinky, natural hair.

    2. She has two star signs. Sometimes she’s Virgo and other times a Leo. She was born on 23 August.

    3. She used to be a very good athlete as a child.

    4. She loves spicy, chilli food.

    5. She never stops searching things on Google.

    6. The quote that speaks to her deeply is: “When you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

    7. She has six siblings

    8. She always prefers odd numbers especially 3 and 7.

    9. She dislikes it when people shorten words unnecessarily in text messages.

    1. Her mother has always been her major source of inspiration.

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    No bed, no food, only God's graceNo bed, no food, only God's grace With no bed to sleep on, no food to eat and a mahangu field that is likely to yield no harvest this year, an elderly couple from Gcigco village in the Kavango West describe themselves as “dead poor”.

    Namibian Sun came across the hopeless couple, Hilarius Hausiku (63) and his partner Beata Nepembe (54), who shared their ordeal.

    The unemployed couple endure sleeping on the bare floor of their traditional hut, while being exposed to snakes. They eat one meal per day and survive on wild fruits. They travel two kilometres to fetch water and do not own livestock or poultry.

    The couple said they are ashamed to walk around in the community, as they are afraid of being mocked because many people know of their poor lifestyle.

    Speaking in Afrikaans, Hausiku said he is “dood arm” (dead poor), adding he has to “zula to survive” in order to take care of his family.

    “I am dead poor. I have nothing, not even a single chicken,” Hausiku said.

    Making reference to his one-hectare piece of land, Hausiku said his inability to fence it off has led to his neighbour's donkeys and cattle destroying his crops.

    He said his remaining crop slowly but surely succumbed to the sun's heat and this year they are only going to survive by God's grace.

    “There is no food for us this year. As you can see, our crops have turned yellow because of the sun, while most of it was eaten by donkeys and cattle belonging to fellow villagers,” Hausiku said.

    “Nothing will come from this land this year, not even maize and melons. We will just hang in there and try to survive, hoping that one day our children will change our situation.”

    Hausiku said his son, who is a cattle herder in the same community, sometimes brings them food home, but there is no guarantee that this will happen going forward.

    Hausiku said he is waiting for his national identity document (ID), so he can benefit from government's pension grant.

    He showed Namibian Sun a copy of his full birth certificate, as well as the receipt from the home affairs office in Rundu dated 5 November 2018.

    Hausiku said he visited the home affairs office for collection of his ID in February, but was told it was not ready and that he should return this month.

    Asked what impact the monthly grant will have on his life, Hausiku said he will be able to buy a cheap wooden bed, blankets, food and poultry.

    “It will mean a lot to me and my family. We will at least be able to buy food and blankets, and eventually save up some money to buy a bed to sleep on,” he said.

    Hausiku said he used to work as construction worker in Windhoek in 1974.

    He returned to his village after the construction contract ended, and survived by doing odd jobs.

    “I used to be one of those guys in the community whom you call to cut down trees and who could assist you with your fence, but now I am old and I can no longer do those heavy jobs,” he said.

    The couple said they are looking forward to government assisting them through its drought relief programme this year.

    The couple also called on Good Samaritans to assist them, saying any kind of assistance is welcome.


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    Hou's trucks still moving timberHou's trucks still moving timber A truck belonging to Chinese national Xuecheng Hou's New Force Logistics CC was spotted transporting a heavy load of timber yesterday, a day after transport and export permits for timber expired.

    The truck was seen passing through Otjiwarongo around 13:00 yesterday.

    When alerted, the director of forestry in the ministry of agriculture, water and forestry, Joseph Hailwa, confirmed that it would be illegal to continue transporting timber. He undertook to send a ministerial team to where the truck was seen.

    “We have to find out which trucks are still moving timber,” Hailwa initially said of the matter.

    Hailwa later phoned back to say that the truck was one of four trucks belonging to New Force Logistics that had passed through the Mururani Gate on Sunday, 31 March, before the expiry of the transport and export permits.

    Hailwa said forestry officials at Grootfontein, Mururani Gate and Rooidag Gate had confirmed reports that all four trucks belonging to New Force Logistics had experienced breakdowns after passing through the Mururani Gate.

    However, Hailwa said because the trucks had passed the Mururani Gate before the embargo, they were allowed to proceed to Walvis Bay.

    “At this point only those four trucks may be on the road,” Hailwa said, but added that a decision still had to be made whether trucks transporting timber from Angola, Zambia and the DRC should be subject to the transport/export embargo.

    The spokesperson for the environment ministry, Romeo Muyunda, said on WhatsApp yesterday afternoon that he believed the agriculture ministry was well aware of the movement of the timber.

    “We all agree that this situation is not good for the future of forests and ultimately the environment. It's unfortunate we can't stop it in an instant but there are ongoing efforts to stop tree logging. We are engaging relevant authorities in this regard as a matter of urgency,” Muyunda said.

    By yesterday afternoon the customs and excise office at Walvis Bay could not be contacted to establish how many trucks carrying timber tried to make a last dash for it.

    Hou did not respond to questions sent to him yesterday. It is understood that he was arrested at his shop in Windhoek's Chinatown on Friday and was detained in the holding cells at Hosea Kutako International Airport.

    From what could be established, he was arrested with four other Chinese nationals, but it is not clear what charges were brought against him and the others. A source said Hou was released on bail of N$30 000.


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  • 04/01/19--15:00: Rotten to the core
  • Rotten to the coreRotten to the coreCorrupt feast on Psemas cookie jar Psemas has been in the red for the past four years and overspent its budget by N$484 million during the 2018/19 financial year. If the corruption plaguing the Public Service Medical Aid Scheme (Psemas) is not halted, government will be compelled to transform the scheme and disadvantage low-earning civil servants.

    This is according to finance minister Calle Schlettwein, who said yesterday that Psemas is wonderful, but persistent fraud has rendered it unsustainable.

    As a result, government will now look to private experts to assist it in transforming the fund without hurting civil servants.

    It was also announced the fund will no longer be giving contracts to service providers using work permits in Namibia.

    During his budget speech last week, Schlettwein announced that Psemas member contributions will be doubled from N$410 million to N$820 million a year, effective from this month.

    He said yesterday fraudulent activities relating to the scheme are re-emerging, despite government's crackdown recently, adding the “rotten apples” must be dealt with at all costs.

    Highlighting the extent of the fraud, he said “everybody was found with their hands in the cookie jar”.

    “We must save Psemas; it may have to be abandoned if it can't be saved. We believe a collaborative (effort) is the best way to determine how the scheme is run in the future.” The finance minister pointed out the money one spends on one case of beer is equivalent to your Psemas membership fee for the higher option, while two six-packs of beer is equivalent to the fee for a dependent.

    “It is by far the best medical aid scheme in the country. If we do not fix the problems the scheme will be under threat. We have to take stock of the administration of contracts, which is central to how administrators award payments,” he said.

    Schlettwein said they have to work through a rather messy situation to fix the scheme and that it would be important to have a further peer review to get to a sustainable outcome.

    “The red line for the state is that Psemas will lose its equalising ability. The scheme must provide equal service across all brackets. Psemas can become a role model in a country where inequality is high,” said Schlettwein.


    According to Schlettwein N$13 million has been recovered so far linked to fraudulent claims, while a further N$28 million is also set to be recovered.

    A trend analysis shows the scheme has been in the red for the past four years and overspent its budget by N$484 million during the 2018/19 financial year.

    During the 2017/18 financial year, N$2.25 billion was budgeted, but its expenditure reached N$2.54 million, resulting in an N$270million deficit.

    In the 2016/17 financial year the scheme recorded a deficit of N$461 million, while it overspent by N$510 million during the 2015/16 financial year.

    This trend analysis was presented by Psemas deputy director Elizabeth Kharuxas.

    It showed the scheme's 272 729 members contributed N$351 million during the 2015/16 financial year, while N$1.8 billion was contributed during the 2016/17 financial year when 290 040 beneficiaries were on the fund's books.

    During the 2017/18 financial year the scheme had 303 149 members who contributed N$2.32 billion, while during the 2018/19 financial year the scheme membership declined to 296 637.


    Kharuxas pointed out that the finance ministry will in the future reciprocate the hostile treatment it receives from healthcare practitioners, who refuse to see Psemas members because of late payment.

    She added that some of the healthcare providers either apply late or did not have the required documents available.

    She added that some service providers were found guilty of misconduct, adding that a disqualification clause and eventually a suspension clause will attached to claims.

    According to Kharuxas, recent investigations found that multiple practices were claiming on one practice number.

    “Mostly general practitioners (GP) are having multiple practices and bring in people on work permits who do not work for them. And with the current state of Psemas it is really unsustainable,” she said.

    Kharuxas added some service providers operate under a close corporation and some of the partners are either their children or spouses.

    She added the ministry will no longer give contracts to service providers who come to Namibia with work permits.

    Investigations also found that some pharmacies take cash payments from private members and then charge it to random Psemas members.

    The Psemas members have no clue this is happening.

    Kharuxas said the scheme was literally being milked by service providers who subject patients to unnecessary services.

    “As soon as a Psemas members walk into a doctor's consulting room they are prescribed medicine which is more than five scripts; he needs to go to physiotherapy, which is just next to the doctor's consulting room. Then he needs to go and draw blood which is not even necessary. We are taking a stand against all these,” she said.

    Some private hospitals have also abused the scheme by admitting standard option clients without a recommendation from the Public Service Commission.

    This money will be recovered, Kharuxas cautioned.

    In some cases dependents over the age of 40 were still on the medical aid.

    Meanwhile, the finance ministry terminated 17 000 dependents over the age of 21 years in June last year.

    “The second phase that we are busy with is the ghost members on Psemas. These are public servants that have retired, and in some cases there were also some public servants who have been registered by internal staff to benefit,” she said.

    The ministry has now enlisted interns 34 who will do a desktop audit review that compares Psemas data with payroll reports.


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    Hou, customs official in hot waterHou, customs official in hot water

    Chinese national Xuecheng Hou appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s court on Monday for allegedly soliciting a bribe to a customs and excise official in the Ministry of Finance to import goods at a lower value than their true value, to pay less import tax.
    According to a court official, the customs official, Lou Paulus, allegedly demanded a N$10 000 bribe from Hou for stationery imported from China.
    Hou allegedly offered him N$8 000 instead, upon which Paulus threatened to close Hou’s accounts at the finance ministry. Hou then allegedly reported Paulus and the two got nabbed.
    Both men were each given bail of N$30 000 and are to return to court on 14 June on these charges.
    As a condition of bail Paulus had to hand in his travelling documents and may not apply for any other such documents or leave the district of Windhoek while this case is still pending.
    Hou has had to hand in his travelling documents for a prior pending matter. Under the new bail conditions, he is to hand in his travel documents as soon as he receives those back and may also not apply for any other travelling documents while this case is pending or leave the Windhoek district while this case is pending.
    One of Hou’s New Force Logistics trucks carrying timber from Namibia’s northern regions, was spotted in Otjiwarongo on Monday a day after the transport and export permits for timber expired.
    Hou on Monday evening said there is nothing wrong with that because he has a “transport card”, which he said is valid for the next six days after 1 April.
    “There will be traffic at this time,” Hou said, and added: “All things may come to pass because some car can have breakdown on the road.”
    This echoes what director of forestry, Joseph Hailwa, said on Monday to explain the continued transportation of timber.
    This echoes the sentiment of the director of forestry, Joseph Hailwa, who on Monday said Hou’s four New Force Logistics CC trucks have broken down on the day of the deadline on Sunday and will still be allowed to reach their destination, which is the export point at Walvis Bay.


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  • 04/02/19--15:00: Rewards still on the table
  • Rewards still on the tableRewards still on the tableCash-strapped ministry needs to find a way Despite the fact that the sports ministry is financially strained, the rewards policy for athletes will still be implemented. Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) chief administrator Freddy Mwiya says the cabinet-endorsed rewards policy will be implemented, despite the sports ministry only receiving N$286 million from the 2019/20 national budget, which is N$2 million less than last year.

    Mwiya said he has not received any communication that the rewards policy is off the table.

    “The rewards policy was endorsed by cabinet; it is now up to us to promote it and for them to source the funds,” said Mwiya.

    He said the budget cut has now pushed them to regroup and plan to defend their initial submission, which might convince the finance ministry to reconsider their allocation.

    “Despite the fact that we really have a great proposal, we have yet again gone back to engage the Brave Warriors as well as the national rugby side, in order for them to help us by giving us exact figures and details of expenses that they need to cover for their planned competitions.

    “We went back to them because they are the ones who have big competitions this year.

    “We want to ask finance whether the teams should go ahead and compete. If the answer is yes, then they should provide those funds,” Mwiya stressed.

    The Warriors are gearing up for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) which will take place in Egypt in June, while the national rugby side will take part in the 2019 Japan Rugby World Cup in September.

    Some of the other major competitions lined up are the Total African Nations Championship qualifiers and the All-Africa Games for which close to 50 local athletes have qualified.

    Preparations are also ongoing for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

    The athletes need funds to prepare for these competitions, and if they excel, the rewards policy must come in to play, which provides guidance on how to reward athletes who put up stellar performances.


    The rewards policy applies to athletes who win medals at Olympic or Paralympic Games for seniors, world championships, world senior championships, the Commonwealth Games, the All-African Games, African championships (seniors), African senior championships and the Special Olympics World Summer and Winter Games.

    For gold, silver and bronze medals at the Olympic or Paralympic Games, athletes will receive N$200 000, N$150 000 and N$100 000, respectively, while the coaches will receive N$80 000, N$60 000, and N$40 000, respectively.

    For the world championships, gold medal winners will take home N$100 000, while a silver medal will net N$80 000 and a bronze N$50 000, and coaches receive N$50 000, N$30 000 and N$20 000, respectively.

    A world senior championships gold medal will earn and athlete N$30 000, while N$20 000 and N$15 000 will be dished out for silver and bronze medals, and coaches will receive N$10 000, N$8 000 and N$5 000, respectively.

    A Commonwealth and All-African Games gold will earn an athlete N$80 000, while N$60 000 and N$40 000 will be given for silver and bronze medals, respectively, and coaches will be rewarded with N$35 000, N$25 000 and N$15 000, respectively.

    African championships winners will get N$50 000, while N$30 000 and N$20 000 will be paid to silver and bronze medal athletes, and coaches will get N$20 000, N$15 000 and N$10 000, respectively.

    Special Olympics World Summer or Winter Games athletes will be rewarded with N$40 000 for gold, N$30 000 for silver and N$20 000 for bronze.

    The coaches of winning athletes in the same competition will get N$20 000, N$15 000 and N$10 000, respectively.

    The policy also includes looking at awarding preparation grants to coaches and athletes. Grants of N$5 000 per month are also included for individual athletes who have qualified for the Commonwealth Games, All-Africa Games, African championships and world champs.

    For preparations for the Olympic or Paralympic Games, world cups, world championships, All-Africa Games and African championships, senior teams will get N$1 million.


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    Normalisation committee asks for more timeNormalisation committee asks for more time The Namibia Football Association (NFA) normalisation committee has requested more time from Fifa to finish its work.

    Committee chairperson Hilda Basson-Namundjebo said they asked for more time because several regions do not have constitutions in place.

    The mandate of the normalisation committee was initially to run the affairs of the NFA until no later than 31 May.

    It is tasked to ensure that the members of the NFA, whose executive committees are out of mandate, organise and conduct the relevant elections. The committee has faced several challenges when it comes to finding authentic representatives from the regions.

    “We will not have enough time to complete the process by 31 May and we have therefore requested for more time to finish the process.

    We found out that most of the regions do not have a constitution in place, after sending them a questionnaire about three weeks ago.

    “The questionnaire was done in order for us to get their legal standings and whether they have a constitution or not,” Basson said.

    This resulted in the committee ordering the regions to draft constitutions that are guided by the NFA constitution.

    The committee will proceed with elections once these are in place.

    It will also act as an electoral committee and none of its members will be eligible for any of the open positions in the elections.

    The NFA constitution states that the organisation's executive committee will consist of 11 members, comprised of the president, first vice-president, second vice-president and six members, with at least one being a woman.

    The chairperson of the Namibia Premier League (NPL) executive committee and one representative from the nationwide first division streams, selected from the chairpersons of these streams, are also supposed to serve on the NFA executive. Article 33.2 of the constitution states: “The president, vice-presidents and members of the executive committee shall be elected by the congress.”

    The president, vice-presidents and six other members are normally proposed by at least one delegate.

    The representative of the NPL is normally the chairman of the league.

    The representative of the chairpersons of the nationwide first division streams is a chairperson, unless there is a deadlock, in which case the congress will elect the representative.

    All members of the NFA executive committee shall be no older than 70 or younger than 23.

    The members of the executive committee, except the NPL chairperson, should already been active for years, serving as executive members or a member of the NFA.

    The members of the executive committee must not have been previously found guilty of a criminal offence incompatible with the position and must have residency within Namibia.

    A Fifa delegation is expected to arrive in Namibia soon to advise the normalisation committee on the current issues faced by Namibian football, including issues with the first division.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 04/02/19--15:00: Namibia won't host Cosafa
  • Namibia won't host CosafaNamibia won't host CosafaRegional body in talks with SA The regional football body says it hopes to finalise a new host for the Cosafa Cup by Friday. Namibia will not be throwing its hat in the ring to host the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup.

    The venue for the 2019 edition of the Cosafa senior tournament, scheduled for 25 May to 8 June, remains undecided after Zimbabwe withdrew as hosts.

    Namibia Football Association (NFA) normalisation committee chairperson Hilda Basson-Namundjebo said Namibia is in no position to take up such a huge task.

    She confirmed the country is aware of the ongoing hosting glitches.

    “At this moment, Cosafa has never spoken to us about the hosting of this tournament.

    “It will, however, also make logical sense for us to distance ourselves from even thinking of hosting the tournament, because we already have enough problems of our own.

    “The immediate job at the moment is to get our house in order before we can start thinking of hosting such tournaments,” Basson-Namundjebo said.

    Cosafa secretary-general Sue Destombes confirmed that talks are currently under way with several nations, including South Africa, about hosting the tournament.

    Destombes also did not rule out Namibia, if the country is willing to take up the challenge.

    “Yes, we are in discussions with countries and we expect to finalise this by Friday. We cannot rule out Namibia if its government and the (normalisation) committee are willing to take up the challenge and if there are facilities in place.

    “We are, however, also aware that it could be difficult for Namibia to host this tournament because of the challenges it has faced this far,” Destombes said.

    Namibia hosted the tournament in 2016 after winning it the previous year in South Africa.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 04/02/19--15:00: Fulle appointed as NPL CEO
  • Fulle appointed as NPL CEOFulle appointed as NPL CEO The Namibia Premier League (NPL) has appointed Harald Fulle as its new CEO for a one-year term.

    NPL administrator Tovey //Hoebeb said there will be a press conference today in order to shed more light on Fulle's appointment.

    The league has been operating without a fully-fledged CEO since 2011, a scenario which has seen the workload piling up for chairperson Patrick Kauta, as well as

    //Hoebeb, who have been carrying the burden when it comes to making crucial decisions.

    The appointment of a CEO will provide strategic direction to the league, so it can effectively manage its fixtures, execute budgets, as approved by the board of governors, manage sponsorship relationships and other stakeholders, while leading and developing the brand.

    Fulle comes with a vast knowledge on sport matters, as he is a former acting chief administrator of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) and is actively involved with the HopSol Football League as general manager.


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    Oshiketha shoPsemas tashi ningilwa omakonaakono ga kwata miitiOshiketha shoPsemas tashi ningilwa omakonaakono ga kwata miiti Oskema yoPsemas oya kala ya taalela oshiponga shuulingilingi uule woomvula ne dha piti, momoshikakoshomvula yo2018/19 osha longitha iimaliwa ya pitilila noomiliyona 484. Ngele uulingilingi mboka wa gwilila po oskema yomauwanawa guunamiti gaaniilonga yepangelo ano oPublic Service Medical Aid Scheme (Psemas) itawu vulu okweetwa pehulilo, nena shoka otashi ka thiminika epangelo lining omalundululo moskema ndjoka nokupatela pondje aaniilonga mboka haya mono iiyemo yi li pevi.

    Minista Calle Schlettwein, okwa popi ngaaka mOmaandaha ta ti, oskema ndjoka oshinima oshiwanawa ihe omolwa uulingilingi mboka tawu ningwa moskema ndjoka owa etitha uudhigu.

    Onga oshizemo, ngashiingeyi epangelo otali tala komayele gaatseyinawa opo ya vule okuyambidhidha mokuninga omalunduluko moskema ndjoka pwaahena okuguma nayi aaniilonga. Okwa tseyithwa wo kutya oskema ndjoka itayi ka gandja we ookondalaka kaagandji yomayakulo mboka taya longitha oopermita dhokulongela moNamibia.

    Pethimbo a tseyitha omutengenekwathaneko gwelongitho lyiiyemo yepangelo oshiwike sha piti, Schlettwein okwa tseyitha kutya iifuta yoonakumona omauwanawa ngoka otayi ka mbalipalekwa okuza poomiliyona 410 okuya poomiliyona 820 okutameka omwedhi nguka.Okwa popi kutya uukengeleli moskema ndjoka onkene tawu tsikile nonando epangelo otali longo lya manamo opo li fudhemo uulingilingi mboka.

    “Otu na okuhupitha oPsemas; otayi vulu okweethiwa ngele itayi vulu okuhupithwa. Otwiinekela kutya elongelokumwe olyo owala omukalo omuwanawa okutala kutya oskema ndjoka otayi longithwa ngiini monakuyiwa.” Minista okwa tsikile kutya oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 13 osha monika sha landula nkene kwa tamekwa okuninga omakonaakono omanga oomiliyona 28 tadhi kongwa natango. Omakonaakono oga ulike kutya oshiketha shoka osha kala shi li moshiponga uule woomvula ne dha piti, na osha longitha iimaliwa oyindji ya thika poomiliyona 484 yo2018/19.

    Moshikakomvula sho 2017/18 oskema ndjoka oya li ya pewa oobiliyona 2.25 ihe osha longitha oobiliyona 2.54, nokweetitha elongitho lyiiyemo lya gwedhwa po lyoomiliyna 270.

    Momvula yo 2016/17 oskema oya longitha iimaliwa ya pitilila noomiliyona 461 omanga momvula yo 2015 sigo 2016 sha longitha iimaliwa ya pitilila noomiliyoma 510.

    Uuyelele mboka owa hololwa komupeha omukomeho gwoskema ndjoka, Elizabeth Kharuxas.

    Otashi ulike kutya iilyo yoskema ndjoka yi li po 272 729 oya futu oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 351 moshikakomvula sho 2015/16 omanga obiliyona 1.8 ya futwa moshikakomvula sho 2016/17 kiilyo yi li po 290 040.

    Moshikakomvula sho 2017/18 iilyo ya thika po 303 149 oya futu oobiliyona 2.32, omanga moshikako shomvula yo 2018/19 omwaalu gwiilyo gwa shuna pevi piilyo 296 637.


    Kharuxas okwa tothamo kutya uuministeli wemona otawu ka yamukula kaagandji yomayakulo mboka taya tindi okuyakula iilyo yoskema ndjoka omolwa iifuta hayi gandjwa kwa lata.

    Okwa popi kutya aagandji yomayakulo yamwe ohaya tulamo omaindilo giifuta yawo kwa lata nenge kaye na oombaapila dhiipumbiwa ndhoka tadhi pulwa.

    Okwa tsikile kutya aagandji yomayakulo yamwe po oya monika ondjo momaihumbato gonayi.

    Pahapu dhaKharuxas, omakonaakono ngoka ga ningwa ngashiingeyi oga holola kutya oondohotola dhimwe otadhi ningi omaindilo nonomola owala yimwe.

    “Oondohotola dhimwe odhi na uupangelo owundji na otadhi e ta mo aantu taya longo noopermita dhokulongela moshilongo mboka ihaye ya longele. Omolwa onkalo ndjoka Psemas ita kondololwa.”

    Kharuxas okwa gwedha po kutya oondohotola dhimwe otadhi longele kohi yomahangano niilyo yomahangano ngoka aanona yawo nenge aahokanwa yawo.

    Okwa gwedha po kutya uuministeli itawu ka gandja we ookondalaka dhomayakulo kwaamboka taya longo noopermita dhokulongela moNamibia.

    Omakonaakono natango oga holola kutya oostola dhimwe dhuunamiti ohadhi kutha iifuta kiilyo yopaumwene nokuninga omaindilo giifuta kiilyo yimwe ya yooloka yoPsemas omanga iilyo mbyoka kayi shishi. Aagandji yomayakulo yamwe oya ningi omaindilo giifuta nokuyaka iimaliwa yoskema ndjoka mokugandja omayakulo inaga pumbiwa kaapangwa. Poompito dhimwe aasilwashisho yiilyo yoskema ndjoka mboka ye li pombanda yoomvula 40 natango otaya mono omauwanawa guunamiti mboka nonando inashi pitikwa.

    Uuministeli wemona owa hulitha po omauwanawa gaantu ye li po 17 000 mboka haya silwa oshisho kiilyo yoskema ya gwanitha oomvula 21. Natango otaku ningwa omakonaakono opo kukuthwemo iilyo mbyoka natango hayi mono omayakulo koskema ndjoka nonando oyi li moopenzela nenge ya thigi po iilonga.

    Uuministeli owa gandja iilonga kaaidheuli ye li po 34 mboka taya ka ninga omayalulo nokukwashilipaleka kutya omiyalu dhiilyo yoskema ndjoka otadhi tsu tuu kumwe nomiyalu dhiifuta okuza koondjambi dhiilyo mbyoka.


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    Auction delayed by king's deathAuction delayed by king's deathFarmers to wait three more weeks The first-ever professional auction for the farmers of the Mangetti has been postponed following the death of the Ondonga king. The death of King Omukwaniilwa Immanuel Kauluma Elifas last week has led to the postponement of the first-ever professional auction that was to have taken place at the Okapya Livestock Development Centre (LDC) in the Mangetti farming area this past weekend.

    Mangetti Farmers' Association (MFA) chairperson Ismael Shailemo told Namibian Sun they decided to postpone the auction until 27 April.

    Shailemo said the Mangetti farming area falls under the Onalusheshete district of the Ondonga Traditional Authority and the traditional community is still mourning the king.

    “We have already communicated to all our stakeholders that we have postponed the auction. We are farming under the jurisdiction of the Ondonga and the majority of our farmers are from Ondonga communities, therefore as an association we have to respect the culture. We will wait until the king is laid to rest before we continue with our planned auction,” said Shailemo.

    The MFA has urged its members to sell some of their cattle because of the ongoing drought.

    The area loses about 60 000 cattle a year to sickness and drought and the number is expected increase significantly because of this year's drought.

    The agriculture ministry has approved that the MFA uses its cattle-handling facilities at the Okapya LDC for its planned auction.

    There are close to 200 000 cattle in this area that are at risk because of the drought.

    The MFA's Thomas Ndiwakalunga said after observing that the rain patterns in the area were not good, they decided to write a letter to the ministry in January about the use of the cattle-handling facilities for an auction.

    “These facilities will better the situation for the farmers. Over the past years farmers used to suffer whenever they want to sell their livestock, as they couldn't because there were no facilities for them to do so.

    “Looking at the drought situation the farmers may face this year, as an association we decided to look for facilities to assist the farmers sell,” said Ndiwakalunga.

    “We are thankful to the ministry for what it has done for us. As farmers we must now start looking for buyers and the association is also looking for buyers.”

    The association has also planned an auction for 6 May.

    The Okapya centre's caretaker, Tuhafeni Sheuyange, told the farmers that government had provisionally approved their use the facilities and after the first auction the ministry will decide their fate.

    “These facilities were established as cattle-handling facilities and not for auctions. The association will therefore improve the facilities so that they will be suitable for auction purposes. You therefore need to prove to the government that you are serious and that you are also able to maintain the facilities,” said Sheuyange.

    A 12-member committee has been appointed to facilitate the auction and help the association to maintain the facilities. The committee is chaired by Veiko Namwoonde and the secretary is Sunday Shalli.

    The other members are Julius Ambondo, Silvanus Haufiku, Paulus Shilongo, Daniel Ngesheya, Padelia Nghishongwa, John Shilongo, Veiko Andjamba, Kamukwatange, Itoolwa Josef and Kennedy Iyambo.

    Farmers are requested to take their cattle to Okapya for auction, accompanied by relevant documents, on 26 April.


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  • 04/02/19--15:00: N$5 000 fine for govt driver
  • N$5 000 fine for govt driverN$5 000 fine for govt driver Government driver Festers Tubazumbe (46), who crashed into a veterinary clinic on Friday morning, has been fined N$5 000 by the Swakopmund Magistrate's Court.

    He appeared before Magistrate Conchita Olivier on Monday on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, as well reckless and negligent driving.

    Tubazumbe, who was previously attached to the Office of the President, pleaded guilty.

    According to Erongo crime investigations coordinator Erastus Iikuyu, Tubazumbe was driving a government-owned white Toyota Hilux double cab bakkie and was travelling along Mandume Ndemufayo Street, but failed to stop at the intersection with Tobias Hainyeko Street on Friday morning at 04:45.

    “The vehicle crashed into the boundary wall of Swakopmund Vet Clinic, whereafter it also hit the main entrance of the building itself. The driver sustained slight injuries on his head, and also complained of his back. He was alone in the vehicle.

    “It was discovered that he was under the influence of alcohol. He was tested and it was found that he was under influence of alcohol,” said Iikuyu.

    Before making first court appearance on Monday, Tubazumbe was released on bail of N$8 000 while in the police holding cells.

    The prosecutor in the matter was Beata Mwiya.

    Adolf Kaure

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  • 04/02/19--15:00: N$4m in Dare to Care kitty
  • N$4m in Dare to Care kittyN$4m in Dare to Care kitty The Dare to Care Fund has collected about N$4 million and can already subsidise 76 000 bags of animal feed at a N$50 subsidy per bag.

    The agricultural sector, including the Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU), the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers' Union (NECFU) and the private sector have joined hands under the fund, which is administered by the NAU.

    The fund was started on 18 February and aims to support drought-stricken farmers.

    The initiative aims to subsidise the feed costs of farmers in order to help them fatten their livestock for the market, while also assisting them to maintain their core breeding herd.

    An important aspect of the assistance is to make sure feed is more affordable through subsidising.

    According to the NAU a meeting was held on Friday with all retailers to agree on the final rules for implementation. The target date for national implementation is 8 April. One of the rules agreed upon is that the subsidy will be available to all farmers where there are certified feed retail outlets, including communal, emerging commercial or commercial farmers.

    The NAU said the duration of the subsidy scheme is subject to the availability of funds for the Dare to Care drought programme.

    According to the union the subsidy will only apply to the following feed product lines: Sheep-fattening pellets, cattle-fattening feed, lucerne and game pellets (game, cattle and sheep).

    Furthermore, a fixed subsidy of N$50 per bag will be applicable to all approved animal feed product lines. Each voucher will have a value of N$500, which will subsidise the acquisition of 10 bags of animal feed.

    “The producer who wants to buy the animal feed should buy at least 10 bags of the subsidised animal feed product at the participating retailer,” said the NAU.

    According to the union, the subsidised animal feed will be sold in lots of 10 bags only and no returns will be allowed, while a producer will qualify for a maximum of 100 bags of subsidised feed.

    “It is the responsibility of the producer to be fully acquainted with the rules of the fund, before they participate in this subsidisation scheme.”

    Producers who want to utilise the subsidy must bring the following documents along: A copy the FANMEAT card of the producer utilising the subsidy and a copy of the ID of the person utilising the subsidy

    “Any transgression of the rules of the fund and/or any other transgression detected in the operation of this subsidisation scheme may be reported to the relevant authorities,” the union warned.


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  • 04/02/19--15:00: Meatco focuses on farmers
  • Meatco focuses on farmersMeatco focuses on farmersPush to rezone red line, increase commodity trading Farmers were informed of plans to rezone the red line, in order to extend the FMD-free zone. Meatco recently held a farmers' liaison meeting in Rundu which focused on building relationships with farmers through engagements.

    The meeting, which focused on 'How Meatco can help the farmer', also aimed to establish viable means to support farmers during the prevailing drought, in order to ensure that Meatco secures cattle throughput from producers in both Kavango regions for the sustainability of the business.

    Meatco acting CEO, Jannie Breytenbach shared a review of the company's operations in 2018.

    According to the slaughter statistics for 2018, Meatco only slaughtered 18% of the country's cattle, while live exports to South Africa stood at 70%.

    Meatco's Mobile Slaughter Unit (MSU) procured 1 521 cattle last year with another 57 head sold to neighbouring Angola.

    Breytenbach also shared the company's turnaround strategy of realigning the business to the current cattle numbers, in order to ensure sustainability and increase competitiveness, while also realigning the business for the future.

    Meatco Foundation executive Kingsley Kwenani informed the farmers of the planned rezoning of the red line to extend the foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease-free zone.

    This move will clear the Kavango area of FMD, Kwenani said.

    According to him this will enable small-scale commercial farmers in the surroundings areas to access lucrative markets, while those on the other side of the new demarcated fence could start commodity trade.

    “It is important to understand that we have quite a number of lucrative markets, and once this rezoning takes place, farmers in the area can also realise maximum returns through the foreign niche markets Meatco exports to.”

    Meatco executive for marketing and sales, Isaac Nathinge, did a presentation on the current situation in the Northern Communal Area (NCA).

    He tackled topics such as market constraints, on-the-hoof price calculations and the throughput/slaughter plan for 2019.

    He highlighted MeatMA's role in the NCA through which value-addition is attained under the government's 'Growth at Home' strategy.

    He urged the farmers to be ambassadors of the MeatMa outlet situated at Bonanza in Oshakati.

    Nathinge further shared new opportunities for the NCA farmers, specifically through the new directive from the finance ministry, which requires that national requirements for meat, fresh produce, cereal and flour are sourced from suppliers in the NCA.

    The new directive discourages the procurement of meat, fresh produce, cereal and flour south of the veterinary cordon fence, unless supply is not sufficient to satisfy the demand.


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  • 04/02/19--15:00: Alleged wife killer dies
  • Alleged wife killer diesAlleged wife killer dies Windhoek resident Elvis Mieze, who was on trial in the High Court for allegedly stabbing his wife to death and keeping her body in their shack in Katutura for three days in October 2016, has died.

    Mieze passed away on 19 March in a local hospital. He had been held in the Windhoek prison's trial-awaiting section.

    His death was officially confirmed by State advocate Karin Esterhuizen before his trial was to resume before Judge Naomi Shivute yesterday morning.

    A death certificate was presented to the court.

    The matter was subsequently struck from the roll.

    Defence lawyer Milton Engelbrecht was representing the accused.

    At the beginning of the trial on 31 July 2018, Mieze denied murdering his wife, Gedrud Vaanda Tjihuiko, and attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.

    At the time, Mieze did not offer any explanation for his plea and challenged the prosecution to prove all the allegations against him. Tjihuiko (44) was stabbed to death with a sharp object, allegedly by Mieze, who stored her body in their shack for three days.

    When the body started to decompose, Mieze confided in his uncle, who alerted the police.


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    Ombudsman lashes out at sodomy lawOmbudsman lashes out at sodomy law A general policy of not bringing prosecutions based on the common law on sodomy is not an excuse to keep the discriminatory legislation on the law books, the ombudsman, John Walters, stressed last week.

    Speaking at a roundtable discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity, some of Namibia's top legal minds agreed that Namibian law, along with the constitution, lacks equal and inclusive protection for Namibia's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) citizens.

    The legal experts underscored the urgent need for increased voices and legal action to address the lack of equal rights and protection for Namibia's LGBT persons and same-sex couples.

    Walters, whose office hosted the discussions, stressed that open minds are needed to improve the protection of LGBT citizens and he said he hoped the platform would help “remove the shackles which chain our minds to our narrow understanding of homosexuality, if we have an understanding at all”.

    He stressed that “the opposite of exclusion is not inclusion, but justice”.

    Dianne Hubbard of the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), who gave an overview of Namibian laws that either explicitly exclude LGBT persons and same-sex couples, or fail to adequately provide equal protection, stressed that the criminalisation of sodomy in Namibia has been cited as a key concern by international human rights bodies to which Namibia is a state party.

    She added that the law should be “completely repealed”, as all manifestations of non-consensual sex are covered in the Combating of Rape Act which is gender-neutral and contains a broad definition of sexual acts.

    Another law she highlighted as deeply problematic was the combating of domestic violence, a progressive law which offers protection only to persons in opposite-sex relationships and excludes same-sex couples from vital protection.

    She said this law is a ripe area for constitutional challenge.

    Deep void

    Yvonne Dausab, chairperson of the Law Reform and Development Commission (LRDC) pointed out the Namibia constitution lacks “sufficient language to describe and protect rights pertaining to the LGBTI plus communities”.

    Dausab added that overall Namibia's legislative framework does not include adequate safeguards to protect LGBTI persons and same-sex couples, and in some cases, there are “glaring exclusions”.

    She warned that “because the protection is not there” it potentially opens the door for discrimination, victimisation and vilification of LGBT persons.

    Gladice Pickering, deputy executive director at the justice ministry, explained sexual orientation or gender identity is not listed in Namibian legislation nor the constitution as a specific ground for non-discrimination. Nevertheless, she underlined that Namibia's government does not condone discrimination against anyone on any grounds.

    Furthermore, Namibia as a state party to numerous international human rights treaties and laws is obliged to promote and protect the equal rights for all citizens.

    She said as a result the Namibian state “cannot shy away from our responsibility to protect and promote the rights of our people”.

    She conceded however that the reality on the ground, based on complaints to international human rights bodies as well as local groups, is that often LGBT persons experience discrimination and rights violations, often at the hands of state service providers, including police.


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