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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Drought-parched Botswana struggles to keep cattle culture aliveDrought-parched Botswana struggles to keep cattle culture aliveWhere’s the beef? The country's estimated cattle population has fallen from 2.5 million in 2011 to 1.7 million in 2015. Livestock farming is my culture and tradition as a Motswana. – Skanki Mokweba, Farmer Sharon Tshipa - Longer and harsher droughts are driving a growing share of Botswana's traditional cattlemen to give up their animals – but Skanki Mokweba will not budge.

    In recent years, the father of 10 has seen most of his herd die from sparse pasture and a lack of drinking water, as climate change brings more extreme weather across southern Africa.

    "I used to have 20 cattle. Most have since died. As of last year, I am only left with four,” said Mokweba, who has raised cattle for four decades in southeast Botswana.

    Those remaining four now have calves, after lush rains last year, but renewed drought this year has him worried he could lose more animals, he said.

    But “I will not stop rearing cattle. Not ever,” insisted Mokweba, who lives on the outskirts of Molepolole, a village northwest of Gaborone, Botswana's capital.

    “Livestock farming is my culture and tradition as a Motswana," he said.

    Stats

    According to an agricultural census released by Statistics Botswana last year, the country's estimated cattle population has fallen from 2.5 million in 2011 to 1.7 million in 2015.

    The number of households raising cattle also has plunged, from about 75 500 in 2004 to 39 000 in 2015, a more than 45% decline, it noted.

    In a country where cattle have long been a rural stash of savings, smaller herds affect how families like Mokweba's feed their children, buy school uniforms, and pay for everything from weddings and to burying the dead.

    Tradition, culture

    The loss of cattle also threatens the country's traditions and culture.

    Cattle skins have long been used to produce traditional dance attire for men, women and children, as well as clothing for traditional chiefs.

    But more recently cotton cloth and blankets, worn as shawls, have begun to replace hide clothing. Traditional wooden chairs with leather seats also are now a rarer sight, laments Kgosi Duncan Segotsi, a traditional chief from the village of Mahalapye, two hours north of Gaborone.

    But Mophato Gabanakgotla, a livestock farmer in the village of Letlhakeng, thinks the answer to harsher grazing conditions in Botswana is not fewer cattle but better feed.

    More fodder

    Gabanakgotla, who lost 22 of his 35 cattle to drought, mostly in 2016, and saw another nine stolen, hopes to begin growing labab, a sturdy legume also known as hyacinth bean that works well as cattle fodder.

    The plant has been grown successfully in the north of the country, helping farmers there cope with poor grazing and avoid paying high prices for scarce animal fodder.

    “I have 21 hectares of farmland that is not producing any crops due to limited rains and excessive heat. I want to fence it and grow lablab to feed my cattle and then sell access to others for grazing”, Gabanakgotla said.

    Stephen Pillar, vice chairman of the Totume Farmers' Association, has been growing the legume for 14 years and said it can produce a crop even in the bad years, though it produces much more in good ones.

    “I started growing lablab because I wanted to save my cattle from droughts. When I realised that it performed way better than my maize and sorghum crops with normal to below normal rains, I began growing it commercially on 70 hectares,” he said.

    Now, when the rains come late, or not at all, he still earns a living - and demand is growing fast, he said.

    “Beef and dairy farmers buy from me. Some cattle farmers now want to sign contracts with me so I farm for them alone as all my feed gets sold out," he said.

    He is now thinking of expanding to 600 hectares of production, taking advantage of a half-price government subsidy on the purchase of lablab seeds.

    “All the farmers in my association are growing lablab now. None of them are ever stuck with unsold fodder," he said.

    Market

    Botswana these days earns 70% of its earnings from diamond exports, not agriculture, which today produces less than 3% of gross domestic product (GDP).

    But livestock still accounts for 80% of the southern African country's agricultural earnings, and Boikhutso Rabasha, a spokeswoman for the ministry of agriculture, said she worries about the country's continuing ability to produce enough beef.

    Beef exports from Botswana have been declining for the past 35 years, she said.

    For now, Mokweba continues the dusty 3 km walk each day with his cattle to the nearest water trough, where he pays US$2 per month for each animal to drink.

    The heat is ever more intense, he said, and the parched grass crunching underfoot so sparse it is hardly even noticeable anymore.

    But he is far from ready to give up, says the farmer, clad in old white Botswana Meat Commission overalls and a matching cotton hat.

    Raising cattle "is the only source of livelihood I have ever known. What else can I be?" he asked. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 04/10/19--16:00: Isaacs back for Civics game
  • Isaacs back for Civics gameIsaacs back for Civics gameCivilians aim for Okahandja United scalp Civics FC and Okahandja United are set to battle it out in the MTC Namibia Premier League at the Sam Nujoma Stadium tonight at 20:00. Civics FC coach Brian Isaacs is eager to patch things up for his team when he returns to the touchline tonight to coach his charges against Okahandja United.

    Isaacs, who missed the Civilians' last two matches due to international duty with the Brave Gladiators, admitted that he would have to reorganise his players for tonight's match.

    It was evident that the Civilians missed the expertise of their coach after going down 5-0 to Eleven Arrows and 1-0 to Blue Waters at the weekend.

    But Isaacs expects his side to recover from the defeats and beat their opponents tonight.

    “I was absent for two matches and I must admit that our situation is not good at the moment.

    “There is a need to reorganise and restructure the team going into our next matches because the other teams have actually also improved on their playing style,” Isaacs said.

    Civics will be well aware of their opponents' last result, which saw them beating Black Africa 1-0.

    Okahandja United looked a much rejuvenated side against Black Africa and are likely to cause relegation-threatened Civics problems tonight.

    “I am positive that the boys will be up for tonight's challenge because they know what it is at stake.

    “The good thing is that I have players that are capable of putting up a decent performance when they are in the mood.

    “There is actually no time or room for any more slip-ups and that is why we aim for the maximum three points tonight,” Isaacs added.

    Civics are deep down in the relegation zone along with Orlando Pirates, while Okahandja United have made progress and are lingering in the middle of the table.

    A defeat for Civics tonight will dim their survival hopes, while a win for Okahandja United could bring them closer to surviving relegation this season.

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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    Back to the drawing board for GladiatorsBack to the drawing board for Gladiators Brave Gladiators head coach Brian Isaacs says his side needs to regroup after being booted out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifier by Botswana on Tuesday.

    The two sides played to a two-all draw but Botswana had the upper hand as they had beaten Namibia 1-0 last week Friday in the first leg.

    Despite an early fourth-minute goal by Lovisa Mulunga after Zenatha Coleman took a brilliant free kick, the Zebras of Botswana came back and scored through Fingi Mahlasela, who took advantage of the open defence.

    Another goal came through Coleman before the second half to put Namibia in the lead.

    The free kick was brilliant as it curled and went into the net of the visitors.

    After halftime Botswana again scored through Mahlasela.

    Namibia had chances to score but it was just not their day as Botswana now prepares to play against South Africa.

    “We started the match well. We had an excellent first half. In the second half we were relaxed.

    “Lack of concentration was the factor. We didn't cover our defence, but the girls took the match to the visitors. Botswana is not better than us. We made silly mistakes,” said Isaacs.

    He is adamant that the team can still win games, just as they did when they played in the Cosafa championship last year.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    ACC ta konaakona otendela ya gandjwa kuuministeli wiilongaACC ta konaakona otendela ya gandjwa kuuministeli wiilongaSankwasa aniwa okwa hala etungo ndyoka li e gandje po kaapunguli yaMalaysia Omupeha minista gwiilonga, James Sankwasa okwa hala ku kalekwe eteyagulepo lyetungo lyohotela mondoolopa yaKahandja, ndyoka tali tewa po kotendela yongushu yoomiliyona 2.4. CATHERINE SASMAN

    Omukomeho gwomakonaakono moAnti-Corruption Commission, Nelius Becker, okwa koleke kutya ACC ota konaakona otendela yoomiliyona 2.4 ndjoka ya pewa ehangano lyoADDI Investment Africa opo ku tewe po ohotela tayi adhika pondingandinga yondoolopa yaKahandja.

    Egandjo lyotendela ndjoka okwa hololwa lya e ta omananathano pokati komupeha minista James sankwasa oshowo omunambelewa omukomeho muuministeli mboka Willem Goeiemann, na okwa holoka woo omalundilathano gohokwe yopaumwene motendela ndjoka.

    Becker okwa popi kutya ACC otaka konaakona omapopyo kutya otendela ndjoka oya gandjwa koADD shaaheli pamilandu.

    Omunambelewa ngoka okwa popi kutya otaku hololwa kutya inaku ningwa etseyitho lyotendela ndjoka ngaashi tashi hololwa kompango ompe yoPublic Procurement Act. Okwa popi kutya natango otaya ka konaakona ekwatathano pokati kaamboka taya kutha olunyala motendela moka, oshowo ofuto ndjoka yi li pombanda noonkondo.

    Sankwasa okwa lopotwa a talelepo ehala ndyoka tali tewa po mOlyomakaya yomasiku 9 gaMaalitsa na okwa pula iilonga mbyoka yi thikame meendelelo, ta pula woo opolisi yi hulithepo iilonga mbyoka.

    Okuza mokavideo hoka taka topolelwathana komapandja goWhatsApp, Sankwasa, ngoka a thiki pehala ndyoka nohauto ye yiilonga yomashete yomwaala oluluudhe, okwa pula kutya osha ende ngiini sho okambapila kekoleko lyiifuta okuza koADDI Investmentka thiki muuministeli momasiku ga 6 gaMaalitsa ihe niilonga oya pitikwa nale yi tameke mesiku ndyoka.

    Omukomeho gwoADDI Investment, John John, okwa tindi okuthikameka iilonga mbyoka ta pula ekoleko li li pamushangwa.

    Sankwasa okwa popi kutya itaka gandja omukanda gwa sha kehangano ndyoka na okwa popi kutya otaka patululila ehangano ndyoka oshipotha.

    John okwa pula ngele Sankwasa oku na ohokwe yopaumwene metungo ndyoka, ta popi kutya okwa li a talelepo ehala ndyoka nomupunguli gwaMalaysia, na oya hala okuninga po ouniversiti mondoolopa ndjoka.

    Otiivi yoNBC oya li ya lopota uyelele kutya aatalelipo ya za koMalayisia koshiputudhilo shoLimkokwing University of Creative Technology, mboka ya talelepo Omupresidende Hage Geingob megumbo lyepangelo oya holola ohokwe yokutotapo oshiputudhilo shouniversti melongelokumwe lyepangelo oshowo noshikondo shopaumwene.

    Olopota oya holola kutya oshiputudhilo shoka osho tashi ka futa iifuta ayihe tayi ka kalapo metulo miilonga lyopoloyeka ndjoka.

    Aapunguli mboka pethimbo lyetalelepo ndyoka ya ningi oya popi kutya oya talela po endiki lyoNational Youth Service (NYS) moGrootfontein, ihe oya holola okwuuva nayi kwawo omolwa omakateko.

    Oya holola nduno ishewe ohokwe mokutota po ouniversiti momatungo gaMeatco mEpandulo Meat Market mOkahandja.

    John gwoADDI Investment, okwa shangele ACC omukanda ngoka natango gwa topolelathnwa koWhatsApp – moka a popi kutya oku na uumbangi kutya Sankwasa okwa talelepo ohotela ndjoka moKahandja, pamwe naapunguli yaMalayisia.



    John okwa popi kutya etalelepo ndyoka okwe li ningi pamwe nomunambelewa okuza kuuministeli wiilonga, Henry Mwoka.

    John natango okwa popi kutya Sankwasa okwa uvanekele aatalelipo mboka kutya otaya vulu okulongitha etungo ndyoka lya kala eliko lyepangelo okuza momvula yo 1985, ihe olya li lya yonagulwa komulilo.

    Okwa tsikile kutya omukalelipo gwaNamibia koMalaysia, Anne Namakau Mutelo, okwa holola aatalelipo mbyoka ya za koMalayisia kutya aanangeshefa mboka ya pumbwa okuninga ongeshefa moNamibia.

    John okwa popi kutya omolwa onkalo ndjoka okuwete kutya omupeha minista okwa pumbwa okulandula omilandu dhomondjila ngele okwa hala okugandja po ehala lyepangelo kehangano lyopamunwene lyaMalaysia.

    Okwa tsikile kutya uukwamuhoko otawu dhana natango onkandangala moshikumungu shoka, molwaashoka Sankwasa oshowo Mutelo, opamwe naanambelewa yalwe yaali okuza muuministeli wiilonga ayehe oya za moshitopolwa shaZambezi.

    Mutelo okwa ukitha omapulo agehe ngoka ga ningwa kuSelma Ashipala-Musavyi, ngoka e li omunambelewa omukomeho muuministeli womakwatathano gopondje.

    Sankwasa ina yamukula komapulo ngoka a ningilwa.

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    Men in court for smuggling drugs into holding cellsMen in court for smuggling drugs into holding cells Two men accused of trying to smuggle cocaine and mandrax into the police holding cells at Otjiwarongo were denied bail on Tuesday.

    Heinrich von Francois and Cavin Hangara, both 33, were arrested at the Otjiwarongo police station counter on Sunday morning with 20 full tablets of mandrax, and 10 pieces of cocaine. They were allegedly visiting a 24-year-old inmate at the cells.

    During their first court appearance on Tuesday, the Otjiwarongo Magistrate's Court heard that Von Francois and Hangara allegedly brought a loaf of white bread, butter and a soft drink for the inmate.

    The bread was inspected by the police slice-by-slice, where the mandrax and cocaine were spotted.

    The duo was arrested on a charge of possession of drugs with an estimated street value of N$3 600.

    Otjiwarongo Magistrate Eduard Kesslau in court explained their legal right to engage a private lawyer, defend themselves or apply for a State-funded legal aid lawyer.

    Von Francois opted to defend himself, whilst Hangara said he would apply for legal aid representation.

    Their case was postponed to 31 July 2019 to allow the police to complete investigations into the matter.

    Prosecutor Coleen Yisa representing the State opposed the granting of bail to the accused, saying their case is serious and prevalent in the district of Otjiwarongo.

    The police on Tuesday also charged the 24-year-old alleged intended drug recipient for dealing in drugs while in police holding cells.

    He is expected to appear on the charge during this week.

    NAMPA

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  • 04/10/19--16:00: Home is where the heart is
  • Home is where the heart isHome is where the heart isAffordable land provision becomes reality Some 400 lucky families in Oshakati and Okahao will soon own their own homes. The groundwork has been laid for the servicing of 400 plots in two new low-cost residential areas in Oshakati and Okahao.

    Three-hundred more will be pegged in Karibib next month as part of an innovative scheme to tackle the country's housing crisis.

    The demarcation of the 700 plots forms part of a ground-breaking non-profit land provision programme that will give some of Namibia's poorest citizens a chance to own land and build homes in well-planned neighbourhoods.

    Last week, the first phase of the Development Workshop Namibia (DWN) and the Namibia Chamber of Environment's (NCE) programme for the Provision of Low Cost Land for Housing kicked off with the demarcation of 400 plots.

    The programme aims to develop sufficient, affordable land for housing, with initial minimal servicing of plots, to make the informal housing market redundant.

    The land will be sold at cost price.

    Depending on circumstances, plot prices will range from N$10 000 to N$15 000, with full freehold title included in the cost of the erf.

    Once local authorities have signed an agreement with the DWN and NCE, and provided free land, the DWN develops the land together with its partners at the lowest cost possible.

    One of the conditions is that the new owners may not sell their plots for seven years. This is to avoid land speculation.

    The programme is based on research which showed that a lack of affordable land was the main reason for the continued growth of informal settlements.



    Bright idea

    Last year, when the programme was first launched, Lesley Grand Goroseb, Karibib CEO, told Namibian Sun that the town council agreed to provide erven, for free, to the project as it provides an effective solution to a growing, and mostly unaddressed, problem.

    “I think the initiative by the government was supposed to be mass servicing, not mass housing. We need to concentrate on bulk infrastructure upgrades and provision of basic services towards housing the poor.”

    Once people have paid of the erf, they can then occupy it. Due to the low income nature of the residents, they are allowed to build a first temporary structure with improvised materials (such as corrugated iron), but must initiate the construction with bricks within a period of one year.

    The scheme is exclusively for low income and first-time land and home buyers and all applications are carefully vetted.

    The programme framework ensures that the neighbourhoods can be upgraded with additional services over time.

    In Oshakati and Okahao, the services included are household water connections and access roads. As a temporary measure, residents have a choice to build their own pit latrines, conservancy or septic tanks.

    Building guidelines are provided by the project.

    In contrast to informal settlements, these new low-income residential areas are well planned and can be easily upgraded with sewer systems and electricity grids. The main objective of the programme is to provide the foundation for planned urban expansion.

    It is estimated that around 12 000 shacks are erected each year in Namibia's towns.

    The book 'Informal Settlements in Namibia', published by DWN in 2017, contained landmark research which showed that informal settlement growth could be stopped through a large-scale land delivery programme.



    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Namibia makes progress on child malnutritionNamibia makes progress on child malnutrition The latest global estimates indicate that malnutrition among Namibian children under five years old has decreased since the year 2000.

    The new Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates report by Unicef, the World Health Organisation and the World Bank analyses trends in malnutrition rates from 2000 to 2018.

    But Namibia's statistics are patchy, with nothing since 2013.

    The report analyses the indicators of stunting, wasting, severe wasting and overweight among children under five.

    The report found insufficient progress towards reaching the World Health Assembly targets set for 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals set for 2030.

    According to the report global malnutrition rates remain alarming, stunting is declining too slowly and wasting and excess weight remain worrying among children under the age of five.

    “Good nutrition allows children to survive, grow, develop, learn, play, participate and contribute, while malnutrition robs children of their futures and leaves young lives hanging in the balance,” says the report.

    Statistics show that in Namibia the level of severe wasting has dropped from 3% in 2000 to 2.8% in 2013, while wasting decreased from 10% to 7.1% during the same period.

    Wasting in children is the life-threatening result of poor nutrient intake or disease. Children suffering from wasting have weakened immunity, are susceptible to long-term developmental delays, and face an increased risk of death, particularly when wasting is severe. These children require urgent feeding, treatment and care to survive.

    In 2018, over 49 million children under the age of five suffered from wasting and nearly 17 million from severe wasting.

    Overweight is almost as unhealthy as underweight. The report states that the percentage of overweight children under five years old in Namibia grew from 3.3% in 2000 to 4% in 3013.

    Globally there has been no progress in stemming the rate of child obesity in more than 15 years.

    In southern Africa the prevalence of overweight children now stands at 13%, with about 900 000 children that are affected.

    In 2018, almost half of all overweight children under five lived in Asia and one quarter lived in Africa, says the report.

    Furthermore, it estimated that the percentage of underweight children in Namibia had decreased from 20.2% in 2002 to 13.2% in 2013.

    The rate of stunting had decreased from 29.3% to 22.7% during the same period.

    The report says global progress towards reducing stunting has been steady, but not fast enough to reach targets.

    In Africa, although the prevalence of stunting declined from 38% to 30% from 2000 to 2018, the actual number of stunted children increased from 50.3 to 58.8 million in the same period.

    “These new estimates suggest that we are still far from a world without malnutrition and that current efforts need to be scaled up if the World Health Assembly targets and the Sustainable Development Goals of halving the number of children stunted by 2030 are to be met,” the report states.

    In 2018, more than half of all stunted children under five lived in Asia and more than one third lived in Africa.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 04/10/19--16:00: The rise of aquaculture
  • The rise of aquacultureThe rise of aquacultureFish demand to double by 2030 Aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing food sectors, and is poised to address the problem of food insecurity around the world. From 2 to 4 April, hundreds of aquatic animal experts gathered in Santiago, Chile for the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Global Conference on Aquatic Animal Health.

    The focus was on global performance in disease prevention, which costs more than US$6 billion a year, as well as the monitoring of outbreaks across borders and the need to implement international standards to uphold aquatic animal health.

    The conference, which was hosted and supported by the government of Chile under the theme 'Collaboration, Sustainability: Our Future', highlighted the critical need for coordinated global health programmes to safeguard aquaculture productivity and sustainability.

    It also included a programme of discussions around disease management, biosecurity and the responsible use of antimicrobials, which are the main challenges currently faced by the aquaculture sector.

    A statement issued by the OIE said the conference was aimed at discussing health challenges and solutions within the aquaculture sector.

    “Aquatic animals today provide around 3.2 billion people with almost 20% of their average per capita intake of animal protein.

    “But recent projections suggest that, to satisfy the growing demand for fish and seafood, production will have to double by 2030, with the majority of this growth coming from aquaculture,” the statement said.

    “Careful management of the health of aquatic animals has consequently become essential to supporting the development of sustainable aquaculture and to overcome sanitary and biodiversity challenges emerging from high production and trade volumes, as well as from the open environment in which these populations often live.”

    The conference also highlighted the recent updates on the OIE aquatic code and aquatic manual, and discussed the OIE's critical disease reporting tool - the World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS).

    Other highlights included sessions on managing transboundary and emerging diseases, biosecurity for aquaculture establishments, how to implement OIE international standards and advances in disease management.

    OIE director-general Dr Monique Eloit said with the aquaculture sector growing rapidly in demand and production, it will likely face greater disease risks and health challenges.

    “But by collaborating across borders and implementing OIE international standards, we can limit outbreaks of emerging diseases, which have already caused significant losses throughout the world, impacting national economies in some countries and threatening a vital source of nutritious animal protein,” said Eliot.

    According to the marine resources ministry, the aquaculture sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Namibia. It consists of marine and inland aquaculture.

    Marine aquaculture includes approximately 1 500 kilometres of largely uninhabited coastline at Lüderitz, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, which is described as unpolluted high-quality marine waters.

    The local industry is characterised by the high availability of inexpensive fish by-products from the established fish-processing sector, for the inclusion in wet aqua-feeds, as well as well-established processing, packaging and marketing systems, which exist due to the marine capture fisheries that can be adapted for aquaculture purposes.

    The ministry said inland aquaculture or freshwater fisheries are important in less arid areas such as the Zambezi and Okavango regions in the northeast and the Omusati, Kunene and Oshana regions in the northwest.

    About 50% of the rural population live in the northern regions and derive food, income and informal employment from inland fish resources. Inland aquaculture includes on-land facilities and utilises ponds, tanks, and enclosures.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Grootfontein centre gets shot in the armGrootfontein centre gets shot in the arm A South African conglomerate, moved by a Namibian Sun story of a Grootfontein teacher who spends more than 50% of her monthly income to run an NGO, has donated N$20 000 to the organisation.

    The Victory Children Community Development Centre run by Elizabeth Petrus (38) provides afterschool meals to about 100 vulnerable children in the community.

    This week, the UMEH Group Limited made the donation following Namibian Sun's article last week.

    UMEH Group's founder and CEO Xolane Ndhlovu indicated he was moved by the story and decided to support the centre with the N$20 000 donation.

    Ndhlovu also said that the story of the centre came at a time when they recently launched an education campaign focusing on education supplies to needy children across the African continent.

    “Mrs Petrus' story came amidst our recently launched educational campaign 'Fund Kids Like Success' which has sponsored and donated educational suppliers to disadvantaged children in Africa,” he said.

    “UMEH believes in giving back as a core value. UMEH and its leadership, through our contributions to the organisations and our foundations are committed to strengthening our communities by investing in job training and opportunity, access to education, supporting the arts and culture, and protecting our health and environment.”

    Ndhlovu also implored the business community to give back to the communities in which they operate.

    “Giving back to the community gives you a pleasant feeling of connectedness and the satisfaction of at least trying to make the world a better place,” he said.

    “I encourage businesses and entrepreneurs alike to support organisations like Victory Children Community Development Centre who through its founders has demonstrated their enthusiasm in making the world a better place.”



    Grateful

    Meanwhile, Petrus could not contain her joy when she received the donation, saying it was a pleasant surprise, which will go a long way in making the centre a better place.

    “I am very grateful to the UMEH Group for funding the Victory Children Community Development Centre. It is really of great help to the organisation as I did not expect such kind of money. We are going to use it in such a way that it will be of great benefit to sustain the organisation,” Petrus said.

    Petrus indicated that the feeding programme was the initial idea of the NGO, however, she realised that in order to grow the centre it needs few more departments.

    She indicated that part of the money will be used to acquire computers and other equipment and turn the house, which she is currently renting, into a fully fledge community development centre.

    She explained that some of the children fed at the centre lack basic computer skills and they need access to a library.

    “My vision is to upgrade the centre and make sure children come here and learn computer skills. It is no secret that most of these children are from homes where parenting is lacking and therefore I want to set up a library here for the children to come do their homework,” she said.

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    Two denied bail for Psemas fraudTwo denied bail for Psemas fraud Two people appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court last week for allegedly defrauding patients who made use of the Public Service Employee Medical Scheme (Psemas) at a private hospital in northern Namibia.

    Beatrice Rachel Boois, a medical aid administration officer in the finance ministry and Patience Tuleka Mcavellem who worked as a billing officer at the private hospital, were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission on 2 and 3 April 2019.

    Their case was postponed to 29 May 2019 for further investigation and they were denied bail.

    They are accused of soliciting money from patients in order to accommodate them at the private hospital on the standard medical aid option, which does not allow private hospital admission.

    A media statement issued by the ACC on Tuesday said it is alleged that Mcavellem would suggest to the patients that they can be assisted by completing the prescribed Psemas form in order to upgrade them to the higher option. She would further inform them that in order for their applications to be 'fast-tracked' they had to make a deposit into a private bank account which would purportedly be accessed by finance ministry officials in Windhoek.

    It is alleged that various persons made such payments ranging from N$360 to N$1 080.

    The statement went on to say that it was later discovered that the payments were made into the bank account of a minor child of Boois, who would then withdraw the money and share it with Mcavellem.



    NAMPA

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    Road safety is everyone's concernRoad safety is everyone's concern With the Easter weekend just around the corner, road safety is on everyone's mind. Namibia Media Holdings (NMH), together with OUTsurance Namibia, launched a road safety campaign this week.

    According to Nangula Kauluma, CEO of OUTsurance Namibia, there are about 340 000 vehicles on the country's roads.

    Namibia's road network of just over 46 000 km is regarded as one of the best in Africa, yet road accidents are the third biggest cause of death in the country.

    “According to statistics obtained from the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund's website from January to March alone, 672 crashes, 1 067 injuries and 120 fatalities were recorded,” said Kauluma.

    The CEO of NMH, Albe Botha, said there are five important points that road users must pay attention to. “We should now use the time before Easter to make sure that our vehicles are roadworthy. Look at your vehicle's tyres and shock absorbers, and make sure your insurance is up to date before going on the road.”

    Botha further warned that speed kills. “Speed does not only influence the people that are involved in the accident by causing their death or injuries, but speed also impacts the families that are left behind. So also think about those that are left behind and the impact on their lives if you want to drive too fast.”

    Botha said drivers must pay attention to the solid white lines on the road. “They are there for a reason. They are to ensure your safety and the safety of other road users. Do not overtake on a white line.”

    He further said that road users should be more considerate.

    “We are the most inconsiderate nation that I know. We push in front of people and are reckless. If we were more considerate we would not overtake on a white line and we would not speed. It is a ripple effect.”

    Kauluma said there are a number of factors that contribute to car accidents, such as road design, environmental factors like objects or animals on the road, and driver skill or behaviour.

    OUTsurance decided to concentrate on driver behaviour during this campaign.

    She reminded OUTsurance clients that the OUTsurance Help@OUT service number at 061 306 081 provides free emergency roadside assistance 24 hours a day.

    TANJA BAUSE

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  • 04/10/19--16:00: Vetkoek fight gains traction
  • Vetkoek fight gains tractionVetkoek fight gains traction The court battle over vetkoek flour packaging has finally gained momentum. A status hearing was held yesterday in the High Court before Judge Hosea Angula following a ruling on 13 March that an interim interdict, as applied for by Namib Mills, would not be issued but the matter would be heard on a normal basis.

    In his answering affidavit, the commercial manager of Namib Mills, Pieter van Niekerk, told the court that Bokomo alleged that the introduction of Namib Mills' vetkoek flour had a significant impact on Bokomo's white bread flour sales. According to Van Niekerk, “it is apparent that (Bokomo's) sales were declining anyway. What is significant is the sudden increase in sales that occurred since Bokomo started selling its vetkoek flour in the get-up it misappropriated.”

    Van Niekerk accused Bokomo of not only delaying filing its answer to the founding affidavit, but also relying on a “significant body of documentary material” which it had failed to put before the court.

    Moreover, he told the court that the market survey done by Bokomo was not performed by experts and said that Namib Mills would ask for all the relevant records relating to the research. He also questioned the sample size of 400 respondents and their geographic location.

    He added that the survey had no bearing on Namib Mills' primary course of action.

    “Bokomo indicates that the purpose of the market survey was to indicate that no 'passing off whatsoever takes place'. Namib Mills' course of action is not limited to passing off but is also based on the Industrial Property Act, which provides that 'any act of competition contrary to honest practices in industrial or commercial matters is unlawful',” Van Niekerk said.

    Bokomo had said in its original answering affidavit that it had decided to change its packaging because of the 'white on white' printing.

    Van Niekerk rejected this outright, saying, “This 'white on white' pack, introduced in 2015, would have been researched at length, printer's proofs would have been signed off, artwork signed off, and so on. Bokomo would have understood exactly what its pack was to look like.

    “Bokomo indicates that a strategic decision was made to change its packaging in phases … the pack change was planned in early 2017, presumably when the 'strategic decision' took place. Yet the implementation was made only in November 2018.”

    Van Niekerk asked why, if the packaging was so fraught with dismal consequences, it had taken so long to implement changes.

    Van Niekerk flatly denied Bokomo's allegation that Namib Mills' vetkoek flour was simply white bread flour. Hubertus Hamm, CEO of Bokomo, filed his reply on 1 April. The affidavit deals only with discovery as requested by Namib Mills.

    Save for some correspondence which he described as “subject to legal privilege”, Hamm said that the research could be made available to Namib Mills at a cost, adding that other documentation requested could be inspected.

    Regarding the white-on-white packaging, he said: “The branding directives and final designs, as well as the correspondence relating thereto, are available for inspection.”

    Tobias Louw from Theunissen, Louw and Partners appeared for Namib Mills, while Daneale Beukes from Engling, Stritter and Partners appeared for Bokomo Namibia.

    YANNA SMITH

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  • 04/10/19--16:00: Money outflows worrying
  • Money outflows worryingMoney outflows worryingKavekotora says Namibia is exporting jobs The RDP MP says administrative rules and tender policies exclude Namibians. While commending the 42% increase in government's development budget – from N$5.5 billion to N$7.9 billion – Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) MP Mike Kavekotora said under the current administrative flaws, “79% or more” is likely to leave the country because construction projects are primarily going to Chinese construction companies.

    “All the construction tenders awarded to Chinese and North Korean companies resulted in an outflow of money that created jobs in those respective countries. Effectively Namibia is a net exporter of jobs to other countries,” Kavekotora said in parliament this week.

    Kavekotora said the Chinese companies are government's “preferred tenderers” for all development or construction projects so far given to foreign entities.

    He pointed out the millions that were repatriated to North Korea for the construction of the new State House, army facilities, and the Heroes' Acre.

    Kavekotora also mentioned the money outflows that resulted from the Chinese company involved in the deepening of the Walvis Bay harbour.

    He said before the Chinese and North Koreans entered the construction industry, it was well-functioning and well-developed, and dominated by Baster builders who he said have done an “excellent job”.

    “The houses they [Basters] constructed many decades ago still stand. In addition they kept the money in Namibia and contributed to economic growth,” Kavekotora said.

    He said the huge capital investment in the deepening of the Walvis Bay harbour and the fuel storage facility might have been a waste of scarce resources because the government has failed to do a proper situational analysis.

    Kavekotora said the Namibian government failed to realise that while China was deepening the port of Walvis Bay, it was pumping millions of US dollars into the Lobito corridor, Angola's transport corridor linking Luanda with the DRC and Zambia.

    “The increase in the development budget will be meaningless unless benefits accrue to Namibians. Current administrative rules and tender policies are effectively excluding the majority of Namibians,” he criticised.

    He proposed that at least 70% of the development budget should remain in the country to stimulate economic growth here.

    He also proposed that loans denominated in foreign currencies exposing the country to currency fluctuations must be done away with.



    Public wage bill

    Kavekotora also criticised government's huge wage bill, saying 26.1% of the Namibian labour force, who work for the government, consume wealth they do not create.

    The public wage bill stands at 51% of non-interest operating expenditure, constituting a whopping 15.5% of the gross domestic product (GDP).

    He suggested that government should stimulate economic growth through wealth creation, or reduce its wage bill as a percentage to GDP, or conduct a human resources audit and cut jobs until optimal employment levels are reached.

    “The government must start incorporating terms such as productivity, effectiveness, efficiency, and value for money in conducting the affairs of state and stop accommodating comrades,” Kavekotora said.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Don't flout tender proceduresDon't flout tender procedures Alleged corrupt practices at the ministry of works are far from over. This time around questions are being asked by investigators as to how the accounting officer in the ministry, Willem Goeiemann approved a N$2.4 million tender awarded to ADDI Investment Africa for the demolition of a hotel in the centre of Okahandja. According to reports, the tender award has reportedly caused a major rift between works deputy minister James Sankwasa and the executive director, Goeiemann, while accusations of self-interest and underhanded dealings are being bandied around. “It would appear there was no competitive bidding, which is in contravention of the new Public Procurement Act. We are also investigating the relationship between the alleged role players in the matter, as well as the tender pricing for a project that merely ought to have involved the demolition of walls,” Anti-Corruption Commission head of investigations Nelius Becker was quoted telling Namibian Sun this week. The ministry of works must be put on the spot and taken to task to account for this highly questionable tender as this transaction stinks. A N$2.4 million demolition tender clearly defies logic and the accounting officer must explain why such a huge tender was dished out without being advertised without inviting for competitive bids. This country is economically bleeding at the moment due to a number of factors and a corruption is one of them. There must be a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption given its adverse impact on our economy. Government has developed a new procurement system to tackle corruption and malpractice in public procurement. The days of public tenders being openly flouted with impunity are over and those found to be on the wrong side should be dealt with. As a government we can ill afford to have our annual procurement spend deeply compromised by corruption and the flouting of tender rules. We must therefore declare war against corruption, especially in the public service where taxpayers’ money is at stake. Enough is enough.

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  • 04/10/19--16:00: Ohorongo's suitors in town
  • Ohorongo's suitors in townOhorongo's suitors in townMD would not confirm or deny While there has been no official word from Ohorongo Cement, its buyers, International Cement Group, are said to be on-site. International Cement Group, the company rumoured to be interested in buying Schwenk Namibia's shareholding in Ohorongo Cement, is said to have sent a delegation to Namibia.

    Namibian Sun recently reported that Schwenk's 69% shareholding in Ohorongo Cement was for sale for US$142 million, or about N$1.5 billion.

    International Cement Group manufactures and markets cement and is domiciled in the city state of Singapore, according to a profile listed on Bloomberg.

    Ohorongo Namibia's managing director, Hans-Wilhelm Schutte, would neither confirm nor deny whether the Chinese-linked company had representatives visiting.

    “The share purchase is being done at a higher level. It has nothing to do with Ohorongo Cement. It is very difficult to comment,” Schutte said during a brief telephonic conversation with Namibian Sun.

    Schutte further referred the newspaper to make contact with International Cement Group and Schwenk Namibia.

    International Cement did not respond to an email to establish what the purpose of the visit to Ohorongo entailed. Ohorongo is majority owned by Schwenk Namibia. Its other shareholders include the Development Bank of Namibia, the Southern African Development Bank and the Industrial Development Corporation.



    The Chinese connection

    International Cement Group is said to have links to China through its chairman Ma Zhaoyang, its CEO Zengtao Zhang, and board director Chg Beng Hua.

    Zhaoyang also serves on the board of West China Cement, a major manufacturer and distributor of cement in north western China.

    He also serves on the board of Sino Vanadium, which engages in the exploration and development of vanadium mineral properties. Sino Vanadium is also a subsidiary company of BVI Fit Plus Holdings to which International Cement CEO Zhang is linked.

    The other board member on International Cement Group's board is executive director Chng Beng Hua. Hua is an executive director of Compact Metal Industries, which was until recently delisted from the Singapore Stock Exchange as reported by New Era.

    Further to that is a plan to have Chinese national Cao Jianshun take over as CEO of Ohorongo, according to disclosures made by International Cement Group to the Singapore Stock Exchange New Era wrote.







    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Kanime threatens court actionKanime threatens court actionSuspended City Police chief fed up with 'unfair' delays Windhoek City Police chief Abraham Kanime has accused the city council of deliberately delaying his disciplinary process. Suspended City Police chief Abraham Kanime has accused the City of Windhoek of unfairly dragging out his disciplinary process and delaying his reinstatement for no plausible reason.

    Kanime this week warned that he was ready to approach the High Court unless the City lifted his year-long suspension and set a final date for a disciplinary hearing.

    “I want the case to be finalised. They tarnished my image and I need my name to be cleared,” he told Namibian Sun this week.

    In early March, Kanime's lawyers sent a letter to the City demanding a date for the hearing and the lifting of his suspension.

    “Our client's suspension has become unfair and completely unnecessary,” his lawyer charged.

    He accused City officials of deliberately delaying the matter.

    “Because the investigation has been completed, there is absolutely no reason for our client to remain on suspension,” Kanime's lawyer wrote.

    Kanime said on Monday that the City has kept him in the dark since the last hearing held in November 2018.

    “No one is coming back to me. I have no clue what is going on,” he said

    He claimed that one of the charges against him was dropped at that hearing, and said he was ready to prove that the remaining charges were also unfounded.

    City spokesperson Harold Akwenye on Monday said the issue was being dealt with “behind closed doors” but that a date for the disciplinary hearing would likely be announced soon.



    Due process

    Kanime said he was fed up with his lengthy suspension but was keen to finalise the matter in line with guidelines and regulations. He said it was unfair that he could not clear his name.

    “It's total injustice; it's total victimisation. Justice delayed is justice denied.”

    Kanime said when he was suspended in late March 2018, “I accepted it because of governance guidelines. One really needs to give an opportunity for the process to take place. But it went beyond that.”





    Nevertheless, he agreed that it was critical to allow the process take its course.

    “It should be the standard in all cases that they (disciplinary processes) should be finalised,” he said.

    He warned that failing to follow procedure could set an unwanted precedent and make it difficult to tackle corruption in future.

    Kanime said in his view President Hage Geingob's January directive to reinstate him was an order to “expedite the matter” as per protocol, not to simply drop the charges.

    “In terms of administrative law, if someone did something corrupt, he should be charged, or he should be cleared by the committee.”

    “I want them to come up with a date as soon as possible for us to have a hearing. We need to conclude this matter.”



    Delays

    In February, Kanime's possible reinstatement was on the agenda for the monthly council meeting.

    Akwenye said at the time that the president's directive had to be endorsed by a council resolution before it could be implemented.

    In January, several weeks before the presidential directive, the City's top leadership was advised by a corporate legal advisor to reinstate Kanime. The lawyer said the suspension was dragging on although the investigation had been completed.

    Moreover, the City was warned that the lengthy suspension was costing the municipality money.

    Kanime said the impact of the suspension had affected all aspects of his life and he was keen to return to work.

    “I like my work. It was my historic mission, after the liberation of the country, to make sure I acted in such a way to create a conducive environment for economic emancipation. But now the governing authority is victimising me for doing good,” he said.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Grootfontein drowns in rubbishGrootfontein drowns in rubbish Residential areas in Grootfontein are an eyesore, especially the informal settlements where adults and children are at risk of contracting diseases because of piles of rubbish and pools of sewage.

    In areas such as the Blikkiesdorp informal settlement, Hakahana and Omulunga, litter can be seen everywhere.

    Residents blame the municipality for failing to provide enough skips. They say that prompts people to throw their rubbish anywhere they please.

    They say although the council empties the available skips weekly, they fill up in two or three days.

    “We are not happy, because our environment is dirty. I know we are the ones who dump things here and there, but if the municipality of Grootfontein had put up enough skips, even in every street, we would not have this problem,” one resident said.

    He said the town's population was growing and thousands of people live in the informal settlements. Grootfontein has an estimated population of 25 000.

    Children in the town's informal settlements play on and around the overflowing skips.

    The health hazard is worsened by the patrons of nearby shebeens who urinate in the open where these children play.

    When contacted for comment, municipal spokesperson Luke Salomo said the local authority collects waste once a week in all residential areas. Upon request, skips can be emptied more than once a week.





    “When there is a need to revisit an area more than once a week, members of the public are welcome to call our office and we would be delighted to go and pick up such waste, especially if it is domestic waste,” he said.

    Salomo urged residents to contact the municipality's solid waste management division.

    Regarding the children playing around the skips, Salomo said that was not a council problem but one that should be addressed by their parents.



    “I must say it's very unfortunate that parents leave their kids to go and play around the skip containers. It is every parent's responsibility to ensure that kids are cared for and play in a safe and clean environment,” Salomo said.

    He admitted that Grootfontein has limited open spaces for children to play in. The council has plans to create more playgrounds, he said.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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     Grootfontein finance executive’s suspension lifted Grootfontein finance executive’s suspension lifted The Grootfontein municipality has lifted the suspension of its finance executive Ileni Hainghumbi following a council meeting today. Hainghumbi, who claimed that there was a plot to remove him, so others can “eat”, was suspended in January for alleged misconduct. In a letter to Hainghumbi, acting CEO Arnold Ameb had not raised any reasons for his suspension. However, the council lifted this suspension and Hainghumbi has been asked to report for work tomorrow morning. “Kindly be informed that the investigation is still ongoing, and your formal disciplinary inquiry will be determined by the outcome of the ongoing investigation and you will be formally informed thereof,” the letter from Aneb reads. “Council believes in a good working relationship and if you are aggrieved by any particular matter, please try to follow the grievance procedures for possible remedy. Let my office take this opportunity to welcome you back and I sincerely hope we will work towards a common goal for the best of the institution.”

    STAFF REPORTER


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     Sudan's Bashir brought down by people he ruled with iron fist Sudan's Bashir brought down by people he ruled with iron fist

    Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir, long wanted on genocide and war crimes charges, was finally brought down in a popular uprising by the very people he ruled with an iron fist for 30 years.
    One of Africa's longest-serving presidents, the 75-year-old had remained defiant in the face of months-long protests that left dozens of demonstrators dead in clashes with security forces.
    But his fate was sealed when the army bowed to the demands on the street and intervened on Thursday to oust Bashir, who swept to power in a coup backed by Islamists in 1989.
    In what was clearly a last ditch effort to quell the protests, Bashir had imposed a state of emergency on February 22 after an initial crackdown failed to rein in the demonstrators.
    At first the emergency rule curbed the scale and intensity of the protests, but before long demonstrators staged a massive rally outside the military headquarters that reverberated with chants of "overthrow, overthrow".
    Bashir's last minute overtures offering to hold dialogue with youths and acknowledging their economic concerns were legitimate failed to pacify the protesters.
    For years the Sudanese leader had proven himself to be a political survivor, evading not only the International Criminal Court (ICC) but also a myriad of domestic challenges.

    A career soldier, Bashir was well known for his populist touch, insisting on being close to crowds and addressing them in colloquial Sudanese Arabic.
    He was indicted by the Hague-based ICC in 2009 on war crimes charges over a long-running conflict in Darfur, but went on to win re-election twice in polls boycotted by opposition groups.
    In 2010, he was also indicted by the ICC for alleged genocide.
    But it was a government decision to triple bread prices that brought protesters onto the streets in December last year, as the country grappled with regular shortages of food, medicines and foreign currency.
    The protests morphed into nationwide demonstrations against Bashir 's rule, triggering unrest that also left hundreds wounded and thousands jailed.
    Bashir addressed several loyalist rallies, promising to promote economic development and peace across the country, but his words fell on deaf ears.
    Known for his trademark dancing and waving of a stick before addressing loyalists, Bashir had defiantly said at a recent rally of supporters that "demonstrations will not change the government".
    But as the pressure on the street grew, he stopped talking of bidding for a third presidential term in a vote that had been due to be held next year.
    Despite the ICC indictments, Bashir had regularly visited regional countries and also Russia.
    Days before the protests erupted he travelled to Damascus to meet Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, becoming the first Arab leader to do so since the Syrian conflict began in 2011.

    At home, Bashir last year hosted talks between neighbouring South Sudan's leaders, helping to broker a tentative peace deal after five years of intense conflict in the world's newest country.
    South Sudan had gained its independence in 2011, when Bashir surprised his critics by giving his blessing to a secession that saw the south take the bulk of Sudan's oil fields, some six years after a peace deal ended two decades of north-south conflict.
    He also joined a Saudi-led coalition against Shiite rebels in Yemen, improving ties with resource-rich Gulf nations, although the policy had been criticised by his opponents at home.
    Bashir, who has two wives and no children, was born in 1944 in Hosh Bannaga, north of Khartoum, to a farming family.

    NAMPA/AFP



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  • 04/11/19--16:00: Kavango East team announced
  • Kavango East team announcedKavango East team announced The Kavango East Region has announced its squad that will represent the region at the 18th edition of The Namibian Newspaper Cup at Mariental next weekend.

    Team manager Muremi Shikumi told Nampa on Wednesday that the final squad was selected last weekend and preparations were well on track.

    “We don't want to promise much, as anything can happen in football but we are positive since our preparations are going well,” he said.

    He thanked all the big local clubs that made their teams available for friendly matches against his team despite their challenges, saying the boys are now fit and ready to represent the region.

    Shikumi mentioned that two of the players were identified by the national under-20 scouting team during the friendly matches, with the hope that they would be added to the national team.

    This would give an extra boost to the team, he said. Shikumi urged any people from Kavango who find themselves in Mariental over the Easter weekend to go to the stadium and support the team.

    Kavango East is grouped with Oshikoto, //Karas and the Zambezi Region.



    The team is as follows:

    Joseph Sikaki (Eastern Chiefs)

    Kanyanga Mutungura (Eastern Chiefs)

    Usutirapo Zamunu (Rundu Unam Campus)

    Malakia Nangolo (Rundu Unam Campus)

    Joseph Magbus (Rundu Unam Campus)

    Reinhard Shamwaka (Kangweru Black Tops)

    George Mbambangandu (New Poison)

    Maxmillian Napenda (Kantema Bullets)

    Immanuel Isaya (Young Chiefs)

    Desdelius Shiwana (Eastern Chiefs)

    Kativa Ngongo (Kangweru Black Tops)

    Christoph Diweke (New Poison)

    Freddy Gavakwe (Eastern Chiefs)

    Soul Buta (Young Chiefs)

    Romanus Candjimbi (Rundu Unam Campus)

    Charles Hausiku (Rundu Unam Campus)

    Marthin Kashikora (Rundu Unam Campus)

    Theophilius Kangura (Rundu Unam Campus)

    Gustav Mutavani (Rundu Unam Campus)

    John Muronga (Kangweru Black Tops)

    NAMPA

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