Articles on this Page
- 06/20/19--16:00: _NAM Comedy Circle s...
- 06/20/19--16:00: _Rolling with Dice
- 06/20/19--16:00: _RA hamstrung
- 06/20/19--16:00: _Experts knock US$1b...
- 06/20/19--16:00: _No arrests in Groot...
- 06/20/19--16:00: _Reparations a ‘no-g...
- 06/20/19--16:00: _Simaata sings tobac...
- 06/20/19--16:00: _MTC’s rising star
- 06/20/19--16:00: _A passion for adven...
- 06/20/19--16:00: _NHE studying lease-...
- 06/20/19--16:00: _Chewing on the toba...
- 06/20/19--16:00: _Knowledge is power
- 06/20/19--16:00: _A little help with ...
- 06/20/19--16:00: _‘I don’t care’
- 06/20/19--16:00: _Illegal gambling to...
- 06/20/19--16:00: _Namibia plummets on...
- 06/24/19--16:00: _Making basketball h...
- 06/24/19--16:00: _Making learning fun
- 06/24/19--16:00: _A flair for conserv...
- 06/24/19--16:00: _Ten years for deadl...
- 06/20/19--16:00: NAM Comedy Circle still at it
- 06/20/19--16:00: Rolling with Dice
- 06/20/19--16:00: RA hamstrung
- 06/20/19--16:00: Experts knock US$1bn investment drive
- 06/20/19--16:00: No arrests in Grootfontein fraud case
- 06/20/19--16:00: Reparations a ‘no-go’ for Germany
- 06/20/19--16:00: Simaata sings tobacco praises
- 06/20/19--16:00: MTC’s rising star
- 06/20/19--16:00: A passion for adventure
- 06/20/19--16:00: NHE studying lease-to-own model
- 06/20/19--16:00: Chewing on the tobacco politics
- 06/20/19--16:00: Knowledge is power
- 06/20/19--16:00: A little help with your financial planning
- 06/20/19--16:00: ‘I don’t care’
- 06/20/19--16:00: Illegal gambling to be legalised
- 06/20/19--16:00: Namibia plummets on peace index
- 06/24/19--16:00: Making basketball history
- 06/24/19--16:00: Making learning fun
- 06/24/19--16:00: A flair for conservation
- 06/24/19--16:00: Ten years for deadly assault on girlfriend
Spurned by his recent successful one-man show at The Warehouse Theatre, titled The Courage to Stand Up, Courage the Comedian is back with a personal, daring take on gays and lesbians in the land of the brave. It takes courage to go down this road and Courage does so with verve, compassion and with a twinkle in his eye. He asserts that it is safe for patrons of varying sexual preference to come and participate because actually, his is a humorous but candid plea for the LGBTI community and a reminder of the freedoms entrenched in the constitution.
Nepembe’s general concern and focus is, in comparison, rather down to earth, this may have something to do with his real-life profession as a geologist. Nepembe maintains that he is hooked on effective punchlines. This indeed offers welcome relief on a night that is dedicated to fun and the occasional, over-the-border pun. Subsequent laughter justifies the means. Nepembe is back with a bang (not NDF style though) and explores the scientific relationship between the age of politicians and their inclination to stay in office at all costs.
Finally – call in the clown! Clerance Mervin Claasen is an all-round entertainer branching off, occasionally and with chronicled success, into stand-up comedy. The current harsh economic reality, Classen maintains, does not allow an entertainer to be choosy. Classencomes from a (notso) serious theatre background. He has learned from and earned his accolades through the mentorship of two great theatre writers and directors - Joseph Molapong and David Ndjavera, two idols he now holds responsible for him being stuck in the profession. Clowning, acting, dancing, singing and if need be stand-up comedy, all form part of that parcel.
Comedian Mark Kariahua, takes over the reigns as master of ceremony. Kariahua ensures that the momentum of the show is maintained at all times. He speaks to and involves audiences and makes everyone part of the experiment. He puts in an occasional reminder why stand-up comedy has its place in society. He insists that comedians be treated accordingly.
His second single Follow Me features Stanley 'Ou Stakes', a single he says has been received well by his fans and various media platforms. For Dice, working with Stanley means a lot to him and allows him to introduce his fans to Stanley and vice versa. Dice said that what steered him to have Stanley on Follow Me is his classic song Bobo. “Bobo has very similar clap patterns with the instrumentals on Follow Me and the melody just kept playing in my head. I reached out to him and he was happy to jump on it and that is how the song came about.
“It was a humbling experience for me to see people taking out time to record themselves dancing to the song and sharing these clips on social media. It was testimony that the song was received well by many music fans which is what I do this for,” added Dice.
Dice maintains that sampling and working with legendary Namibian artists will grow the music industry as it helps keep the heritage and originality of Namibian music alive.
He believes that Namibian music has grown immensely; he however pointed out that Namibian hip-hop as a genre in particular lacks originality.
“Sunny Boy pioneered Hikwa, Tate Buti introduced us to Kwiku and Kwaito artists have done well with their genre, however as much as Namibian rappers make good music and the skill set is there, we have to own our style so that it does not sound South African, Nigerian or American,” shared Dice.
On business, Dice shared that Jay-Z informs his business strategies. He studies his business acumen and tries to emulate that in his own career. Dice believes that as a musician, having your hands in various pots is important, and creating a legacy and doing things that are meaningful are his priority at this point of his career. “I would like to have an interview one day and be asked what my net worth is and not hesitate to say N$15 million just off the entertainment business. This is why I have my hands in film, artist management and music distribution.
“I have a son. I am not getting any younger and investing in something that will sustain me and my family in this music business as well as grow the industry is my focus,” said Dice.
Asked what he loves the most between making music and acting, Dice shared that it varies but at the moment he enjoys being on set more than being in the booth. “I am versatile and I am always creating. In terms of treatment the set is a good working environment because there is always someone who ensures that my needs are taken care of on set, which is treatment that I do not necessarily get in studio,” he said.
He attributes his longevity to a good work ethic and the hunger for more. He urges creatives who look up to him to not be content with average and to be daring. “We are in the business of selling content and the better you present your content, the better you do. So, do not be too scared to ask for guidance because at the end of the day you do not want to serve mediocre content regardless of your genre,” he said.
When it is all said and done, his wish is for his obituary to read rapper, actor and producer. “I just want to be remembered for all the things I am doing and for my music to touch lives,” he summed up.
The parastatal said the shortfall in funding from the government for 2019/20 is causing delays in the payment of contractors.
In its reporting to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economics and Public Administration on Wednesday, the RA said it requires about N$6.4 billion to maintain the national road network, but only N$3.5 billion was approved.
The Road Fund Administrator (RFA) has paid over close to N$2 billion collected from road users to the RA, and the RA got a further N$1.5 billion from government through loans and grants.
The number of vehicles in the country are estimated at 385 485.
“In terms of our funding requirements, we need more but we get less, but we are managing to achieve high results with less resources,” said the RA CEO Conrad Lutombi.
The road projects implemented for the 2019/20 financial year include the 4.4 km road between Oshakati-Okatana-Endola, the remaining 27km dual carriageway between Windhoek and Okahandja and the 92km Swakopmund-Henties Bay-Uis-Kamanjab road.
Also among the projects is the 10km first phase of the Windhoek-airport road, the 30km road between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, which runs behind Dune 7, the 55km Namalubi-Isize Luhonono road, the rehabilitation of the road over the Swakopmund rail bridge and various rural access roads in Omusati covering 78 kilometres.
The Henties Bay-Kamanjab-Uis road was not budgeted for in the 2017/18 financial year when it was first mooted, but the RA at that time was adamant that it would form part of the Trans-Kunene corridor.
Lutombi said with funding from German bank KfW, 10 access roads were opened in the Omusati Region last week. Five more of these roads are still to come in Omusati, after which more rural access roads in Ohangwena and Kavango West are to be constructed.
Asked if the RA should not reach out to the flailing Road Construction Company (RCC), Lutombi said the RA has given the RCC “priority since its inception”.
“Up to now there are projects carried by the RCC and we are still willing to give them priority,” Lutombi said.
Mixing politics with tenders?
Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) MP Mike Kavekotora said he “has been informed” that the RA is giving tenders to “Swapo people”.
“Hence tenders end up in the hands of 'our people'. Who are these 'our people'?” Kavekotora asked, and added that Namibian resources should be used more prudently.
Lutombi countered the claim, saying: “I want to assure you that there is no such practice in the RA. There is no such policy. The government has never issued a policy to us to say that we have to give tenders to 'our people'.”
Kavekotora also took issue with the fact that the RA in its strategic plan for the financial years 2018 to 2023 included an excerpt from the 2014 Swapo election manifesto.
“Our objective of including this [the Swapo manifesto] is that a road does not belong to a political party; it belongs to the Namibian people. If a political party has prioritised that road, and we put it that it has been prioritised by this political party, what we are interested in is the users of that road. That is really what we should take note of. It is the users in the end that have benefitted from that,” Lutombi explained.
They also cautioned that policy uncertainty remains a concern, as policies such as the controversial New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) loom in the background.
The summit, which is expected to resuscitate the country's ailing economy, was announced by President Hage Geingob during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) early this year. Local economic analyst Dr Omu Kakujaha-Matundu said he was sceptical about the figure, adding there was no clarity around the investments attracted by the 2016 Invest in Namibia Conference.
“I am sceptical whether we could attract that level of investment and my scepticism is based on our first investment conference, which did not attract the level of investment that we hoped for,” he said.
Dylan van Wyk, a research analyst at IJG Securities, said a conference would not do much to change investors' perceptions about the country.
“To be quite honest, the last thing Namibia needs is another investment jamboree. What we need is clear action regarding policies like NEEEF, addressing the bottlenecks that have already been identified and not unnecessarily raising taxes. Without addressing these problems and taking action to make Namibia investor-friendly, direct investment will likely continue to suffer as a result,” he said.
Van Wyk also pointed out that ease-of-doing-business remains a challenge.
“In my opinion, policy uncertainty created over the last three years, combined with impending tax amendments, make the business climate in Namibia less conducive to growth and has been a contributing factor to the decline in direct investment. Additionally the immense bureaucracy and slow turnaround times when it comes to the registration of new businesses and the application of licences and permits, restrict the number of new entrants into Namibian marketplace,” he said.
According to Cirrus Capital economist Robert McGregor, the US$1 billion figure is very optimistic, given the status quo.
“Namibia is currently characterised by a weak economic environment, with a forecast for very low growth in the medium-term, underpinned by the weak macroeconomic fundamentals that have been well-publicised over recent months. Beyond this, the aspiration to attract this US$1 billion would mean that Namibia needs to be a more attractive investment destination than alternatives, which quite frankly does not appear to be the case,” he said.
McGregor added that the country continues to rank poorly, both regionally and globally, in global surveys such as the Ease of Doing Business Index, Global Competitiveness Report and Economic Freedom Index, etc.
“At this point the concern lies not only in what these proposed policies will impose on businesses and investors, but whether they will be enacted or withdrawn. So long as this uncertainty remains, investors will remain cautious and rather adopt a strategy of 'wait-and-see'. In addition to this, domestic policy and rhetoric continues moving in a more leftward and investor/business-unfriendly direction, as demonstrated by the likes of rent control, disallowing land ownership by 'foreigners', increased taxation and socialism 'with a Namibian character',” said McGregor
He added that tax burdens can scare off investors.
“Increasing bureaucratic and tax burdens increase the hurdle rate for investors, meaning they would need to realise a greater return than were these burdens are not present. The policy uncertainty, on the other hand, leaves investors unsure of what return they can expect and if they will be able to return capital if the need arises.
“The reality of the matter is that we compete with many other jurisdictions for investment, and thus we need to ensure we provide a more attractive environment to secure investment,” McGregor added.
A statement issued by Geingob's high-level economic panel, through the information ministry, said the Namibia Economic Summit will take place under the theme 'Economic Revival for Inclusive Growth - Strengthening the Namibian House'.
This was confirmed yesterday by Otjozondjupa police spokesperson Inspector Maureen Mbeha, who said the matter is still under investigation.
“According to the investigating officer, they are still busy with the investigation and no arrest has been made yet,” Mbeha said.
This case has been under investigation since March.
Last month Namibian Sun reported that the municipality had become the victim of a fraud scam in which fraudsters submitted a letter to the local authority indicating that the banking details of Rubicon Security, the company that provides security services to it, had changed.
The municipality then made payments into the bank account given by the fraudsters.
According to copies of proof of payments seen by Namibian Sun, Grootfontein municipality acting CEO, Arnold Ameb and chief accountant Martha Hamunyela authorised payment requests submitted by the town’s accountant Serah Hialulwa on two separate occasions.
The first payment of N$74 923.23 was authorised on 29 January and the second for same amount on 27 February.
This matter came to light when Rubicon Security enquired in March why it had not received its payments.
Ameb approached the Grootfontein police on 6 March and opened a case of fraud.
Rubicon Security director Christo Groenewald explained to Namibian Sun last month what had transpired.
Groenewald said they never instructed the municipality to change their banking details.
He added Rubicon’s headquarters are in Tsumeb, while letterheads used by the fraudsters indicated they were in Henties Bay, which he said should have raised alarm.
“So many people are trying their luck to inform a specific debtor that your banking details have changed; we see that a lot in the industry,” he said.
“What you do when you receive such a letter is you should phone that office and make sure you speak to the person that you know to confirm whether the banking details have changed.”
The German government is ready to pay compensation for the 1904-08 Nama and Ovaherero genocide committed by Imperial Germany, but on its own terms.
The country will also not bind itself to legal terms such as reparations. Instead it prefers “voluntary commitment to heal the wounds of the past”. This is according outgoing German ambassador to Namibia, Christian Schlaga, who told a group of German-speaking Namibians in Swakopmund recently that it was unfortunate that the negotiating process between the two countries could not be completed during his time here.
Namibia’s special envoy on the genocide, Dr Zed Ngavirue, however, told Namibian Sun semantics will not deter the country’s pursuit for reparations.
According to Ngavirue, Germany “is fine with the term genocide but they won’t use the term reparations because it would make genocide a punishable crime”.
“We are not going into the game of semantics, as long as they have accepted that what they did is obviously genocide. Then the issue where we are is the reparations that they have to pay. This is the issue at the moment,” he said.
He added that Germany accepts that it owes Namibia an apology.
“We are also saying that while we are negotiating on the issue of genocide, the principle is nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” he said.
Ngavirue also pointed out that Germany also refused to use the term reparations when it paid compensation to the Jews for the World War Two holocaust.
“They used the term Wiedergutmachung, so it was their choice. The Jews said it was reparations and in a signed agreement Germany used the term Wiedergutmachung. As long as you get them to pay,” he said.
Wiedergutmachung means reparations in English.
According to Ngavirue the charges against Germany include ethnic cleansing by ordering natives to leave the country, slavery, murder and land dispossession.
“They do not deny those charges.”
Namibian Sun's sister publication Allgemeine Zeitung reported that Schlaga said in Swakopmund there are three special aspects to the negotiating process - genocide, an apology and reparations.
According to Schlaga this process was found to be very complex, but the two governments could come to an agreement over the word ‘genocide’ and an apology.
"So one had first agreed to the word use of ‘genocide’; that this term only in the moral and political sense, not in the legal sense, may be used. Had the events of that day occurred today, it would be called a genocide," he said.
Schlaga was further quoted as saying the word reparations is a "no-go", since this creates a certain legal bond.
According to Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany is looking at the establishment of a "reconciliation fund", which would finance specific, nationwide projects in Namibia, while a "higher amount" was intended for a trust account.
The report further said this money would directly benefit the descendants of "the Herero in the east and Nama in the south", in order to improve their standard of living.
Simataa’s glowing account of what cabinet thinks the project will be mean for Namibia included that they took cognisance of the fact that the country needs foreign direct investment (FDI) to boost its economy and create jobs.
“Therefore every effort to bring in FDI should be supported,” Simataa said.
“Cabinet approved the application for a right of leasehold from Namibia Oriental Tobacco CC, which was received through the Zambezi Communal Land Board,” he said of the matter that was the subject of consultations with the land board, the Mafwe Traditional Authority, the “project promoter”, and relevant government offices since 2013.
Simataa said it is anticipated that the project will culminate in an industrial development, saying the investors are ready to set up sizable plantations of maize, fodder and tobacco, processing plants for both maize and tobacco and other facilities.
He said the project is anticipated to create 7 120 permanent jobs, as well as temporary jobs during harvesting seasons.
Simataa said the Mafwe Traditional Authority will also be able to set up a community trust fund, which will acquire 10% equity in the project, while the investor will support small-scale farmers with training and buying their products.
“The Zambezi project would ensure 100% local value addition of all its products, in line with the Growth at Home strategy. However, all tobacco products would be exported to the Chinese market and will not be consumed in Namibia.
“The government is of the opinion that projects of this nature need to be carried out to enhance socio-economic development in the country. Cabinet has always been open to appreciate investment proposals that are in the national interest and in line with the national development agenda to create much-needed employment opportunities and to enhance economic growth in the country,” Simataa said.
He said cabinet’s stance is that the leasing and alienation of state land to all investment projects be done in accordance with all relevant laws and procedures.
He said the approved leasing - for 25 years and not 99 years as was reported elsewhere - will ensure “optimal production and maximum yield, which would bring about economies of scale”.
Simataa said the 10 000 hectares will be subdivided into 2 500 hectares each and be utilised on a rotational basis for maize, animal fodder, tobacco and the construction of factories, offices and operational units, such as warehouses, a water reservoir of 60 000 cubic metres, accommodation facilities, a clinic, a school and roads within the plantation.
Simataa said government will ensure that the project promoter complies with all national and international laws, rules and regulations related to tobacco, and ensure that environmental, health and safety standards are adhered to.
Medical bioscience expert André Faul attached to Geo Pollution Technologies, however, earlier this month said neither Geo Pollution nor any other registered interested and affected parties were given access to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report, as is stipulated in the Environmental Management Act.
The Act stipulates that registered interested and affected parties be given an opportunity to comment in writing on the assessment report, before this is submitted to the environmental commissioner.
Women are often under-represented in the fields of engineering, both in academia and in the profession, yet many have contributed to the diverse fields of engineering historically and at present.
Raxia Shalulange is one such example. After completing high school at Onangali South, Shalulange ventured straight into the field she had always been intrigued by as a child.
As the saying goes: ‘Curiosity killed the cat’.
In Shalulange’s case curiosity brought her personal as well as professional victories that many can only dream of.
“My interest in electronics and telecommunications began at a very tender age when I was still learning about my surroundings. I used to cogitate how things in my surroundings work, how they are interlinked and their usefulness. I was always mesmerised by how radios and cellphones work, and the effectiveness of devices such as transistors and capacitors I saw inside a broken radio,” she said.
Always inquisitive, Shalulange would ask her grandmother to explain certain things regarding electronics to her, which would result in her grandmother encouraging her to continue going to school so that she could learn all of that.
“I would ask other people who then just explained it in layman’s terms but they never included the core part of it. I only used to hear about civil engineering and I started thinking that I have to study civil engineering to understand how radios and cellphones worked and to make a cellphone for my mother, because we never had a phone at home.” Shalulange added.
It was not until she enrolled for the Introduction to Engineering Studies (ITES) course at the Polytechnic of Namibia that she became more familiar with the innumerable engineering fields and realised that she had more of an interest in electronics and telecommunications.
“After I completed the ITES, I enrolled for electronics and telecommunications. Furthermore, MTC sponsored my studies through a bursary scheme which allowed me to excel more. I have been with MTC since 2015 and I have not regretted it one day,” she said.
On the job
On a daily basis, as an engineer in a telecommunications firm in her department (network management and technical quality), she monitors the entire MTC network and analyses sites and system performance, such as network traffic and capacity.
She also carries out configurations, supervises the maintenance of telecommunications equipment and strategises and advises on how to maximise customer service.
“Girls and women in general should consider becoming engineers in order to narrow the tech gender gap. This will lessen the shortage in engineering skills, and expose girls to many opportunities.” Shalulange says.
Conquering through hard work
“The challenges I have experienced in my job so far has been advising the contact centre about customers who enquire for a site to be built in their location immediately, advising customers who lay complaints with MTC about network issues against another network provider and relying on another team to be efficient,” she added.
When Shalulange is not busy ‘making the connection’ she is honing her programming skills. She is inspired by her mother and her grandmother, who never stopped believing in her. She is also inspired by people who are passionate and open-minded.
Shalulange hopes to grow in her field and continue learning, while simultaneously teaching wherever she goes.
Jessica Pretorius is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust), which she started after completing her senior secondary certificate at Otjiwarongo Secondary School.
She is currently working at Chameleon Safaris as a tour consultant. Her job entails arranging holiday packages for clients.
Chameleon Safaris has scheduled safaris that include tours and day trips and Jessica is tasked with the processing and booking of clients’ request.
Having started as a day trips consultant and social media manager in 2018, Jessica is proud to have moved to a position that allows her to provide direct client services. Her days in the office are generally very busy and typically her role includes answering enquiries and phone calls, processing safari bookings and making the necessary arrangements for client accommodation and transfers, in addition to assisting the walk-in clients with general travel advice.
Chameleon Safaris’ office is located at Chameleon Backpackers, and thus there are a lot of tourists that require assistance throughout the day. Jessica advises them on the various tours and what destinations they should see within the country.
She is inspired by the opportunity to make a positive impact and has a keen interest in information-sharing and gaining more knowledge. She believes in constant self-betterment and is always on a quest to do and be better, generally.
Jessica advises young individuals to never give up, but rather to keep pushing to ensure that they realise their dreams and do what they love.
“We move at our own time and not anybody else’s, so if it takes you five years to accomplish your dream than that’s okay, but never give up,” she said.
Jessica plans to stay in the tourism industry and explained that it brings her joy to see a client’s smiling face when they come back from a successful tour. “I would really like to stay in this career; someday I might even become part of top management.”
The National Housing Enterprise is studying the possibility of introducing a lease-to-own option but has not indicated when it will make a pronouncement on the issue.
The enterprise this week hosted a stakeholder engagement to give an overview of projects that it has been engaged in since it was stripped of the Mass Housing mandate in 2015.
Speaking on the issue, its CEO, Gisbertus Mukulu, said that it was looking at the lease-to-own model as a possible solution to deal with the current shortfall of affordable housing.
“The lease option is something we have talked about. That is something that has creeped into our minds,” he said when updating stakeholders during a question-and-answer session.
A lease-to-own agreement is a deal in which you commit to renting a property for a specific period of time, with the option of buying it before the lease runs out. Lease-to-own agreements include a standard lease agreement and also an option to buy the property at a later time.
Rent is paid throughout the lease, and in some cases, a percentage of the payment is applied to the purchase price.
According to him, there was outstanding demand for the provision of over 90 000 houses countrywide.
NHE data showed that there was a demand for 20 082 houses in the northern parts of the country, 30 778 in the coast and 31 237 houses in the central areas.
“Our waiting list is over 90 000 houses. A total of 17 113 houses have been constructed since the conception of NHE and 1 468 houses have been constructed under the Mass Housing project,” he said.
Despite the massive shortage of affordable houses, Mukulu told stakeholders that the NHE was able to strengthen its loan book considerably.
According to him, it has now surpassed the billion-dollar mark in terms of total value.
“The value of our loan book surpassed N$1 billion,” he said. This is up from N$452 million recorded in 2016, Mukulu noted, while arrears were also down to 4.9% from the 5.95% recorded in 2016. Mukulu said the NHE was predicting annual projected growth of 15%.
This week secretary to cabinet, George Simataa, was at pains to explain why government has now given the green light for the initiative.
He said this was due to the envisaged socio-economic benefits it would bring to the region and Namibia at large.
Simaata said the project is anticipated to create 7 120 permanent jobs, as well as temporary jobs during harvesting seasons.
He added the 10 000 hectares will be subdivided into 2 500 hectares each and be utilised on a rotational basis for maize, animal fodder, tobacco and the construction of factories, offices and operational units, such as warehouses, a water reservoir of 60 000 cubic metres, accommodation facilities, a clinic, a school and roads within the plantation.
Among the objectors are former health ministers, the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement and the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN), with the latter calling on cabinet to “rethink” its approval.
CAN said it had cited concerns, such as the severe consequences for the environment and the people of Namibia.
It said further that the project contravenes agreements concluded with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Largely lost in the smokey haze has been the role of prominent politicians in the saga.
Swapo Oshikoto regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu is the local partner in Namibia Oriental Tobacco, while land reform minister Utoni Nujoma apparently facilitated a cabinet presentation by the Chinese investors in June last year.
Although Amukwiyu is widely believed to have had a fallout with President Hage Geingob and his faction ahead of the 2017 Swapo congress, where he stood for the Team Swapo camp against Sophia Shaningwa, who was the president’s candidate for SG, they both still represent ruling party interests.
It is therefore inescapable that the politics behind the tobacco project is either a reconciliation or members of both camps lighting up to benefit.
Nolan Swarts, the general manager at Namfisa, has been in the professional environment for more than 10 years, and is still actively working to expand his knowledge and skillset.
Nolan Swarts was born on 6 October 1984 and is currently the general manager at the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa).
Swarts completed his B Juris degree in 2005 and obtained his LLB degree in 2007 from the University of Namibia (Unam). Swarts has extensive knowledge in litigation (criminal, civil and labour law), legal drafting (contracts, legislation and legal opinions), commercial law, anti-money-laundering, advocacy, legal advice, administration and financial services and general legal matters.
He has been in the professional environment for more than 10 years and started his legal career in 2007 as a legal practitioner at Elmarie Thomson Inc.
From October 2009 until August 2013 Swarts was a managing partner at Swarts and Bock Legal Practitioners, a firm that he also founded. His published works include ‘Justice in Namibia: Imprisonment vs Compensation’, which he published in 2007.
In 2009 Swarts was admitted as a legal practitioner of the High Court of Namibia.
Swarts served on the Council of the Law Society of Namibia from 2011 until 2015 and ended his journey there as the president of for 2014/15. He also served as a member of council on the SADC Lawyers’ Association between 2013 and 2015.
Swarts became a part-time lecturer at Unam in 2013, where he taught legal process and constitutional and administrative law to paralegal students, as well as criminal procedure to final-year B Juris students until 2016.
Swarts started his career at Namfisa in September 2013. He started as an anti-money-laundering compliance officer, after which he became a legal advisor at Namfisa in September 2014. He served as the acting general manager from November 2017 until 8 April 2018, after which he was appointed as the general manager: legal services at Namfisa on 9 April 2019.
Throughout his career he has continuously strived to further his knowledge and experience and has obtained eight additional certificates between 2009 and 2015. These range from advanced training in trial advocacy, risk-based supervision, money-laundering control, financial inclusion, compliance management and legislative drafting. He obtained his certificates from Unam, Zimbabwe, Kenya and the University of Johannesburg.
He received a certificate for assessors training from the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group in Zimbabwe in 2014.
Swarts has travelled quite a bit and has visited countries such as the Czech Republic, Botswana, Germany, Kenya, the Netherlands, Malawi, Tanzania, South Africa, Sweden, the United States of America, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Swarts enjoys watching documentaries, reading and playing golf in his free time. He is married and has twin daughters.
He sees himself as a good public speaker and leader, who can work independently without supervision. He believes he has the ability to generate ideas and is able to work in a team to achieve a synthesis of ideas.
Unforeseen circumstances are what make life interesting, nerve-wracking and exciting.
It does mean, however, that best-laid plans sometimes go right out of the window and leave you scrambling to sort things out. This can be especially challenging when it comes to financial planning and budgeting.
A dollar can only be stretched so far and spent only once. During the present economic climate, realities are really hitting home at all levels. The private sector, government and people’s livelihoods and incomes are being put to the ultimate stress test.
In such economic times, where we are seeing people being retrenched, government is really trimming the fat and cutting budgets to the bone, and access to money and disposable income is harder to come by. However, bills still need to be paid; lives can’t be put on hold and children still need to be clothed, fed and educated.
All of these cost money. Borrowing money to plug gaps or simply to make ends meet is not a long-term solution, especially when it comes to recurring costs. It is also not a way to pay for things that are essential for development or for increasing career opportunities and prospects, like education or short courses.
Taking out a personal loan can be the right decision, as long as you take out a loan from a reputable organisation and always read the terms and conditions.
Borrowing money from friends or family puts a strain on even the best relationships and often ends in tears and resentment. Depending on what a loan is needed for, there are many options to choose from, however, there are only a few options that make sense and won’t cost you the world.
The first thing to know and realise is that it isn’t only banks that extend loans; large financial institutions such as Old Mutual are often able to extend a credit facility. Operating much like a bank, but potentially with lesser requirements such as collateral/security.
A personal loan can be part of a sound, long-term financial planning strategy. Especially if the loan is earmarked to pay for education, or an essential medical procedure or for vital repairs or upgrades to a home. Personal loans for frivolous expenditure should always be avoided and are definitely not part of sound financial planning.
A good financial provider would also advise you not to spend your money on a whim. Reputable lenders will always assist in finding a loan that fits the needs of the individual. Everyone’s financial needs are different. Therefore, personalising the loan and coming up with a feasible repayment structure is very important. This will prevent the lender from falling into arrears or digging a financial hole they can’t get out of.
This is where established financial institutions differ from payday lenders and short-term loan providers. Or even a ‘helpful’ acquaintance, willing to ‘assist’ you at a reasonable interest rate, which often turns out not to be so reasonable in the long run. Getting a personal loan from a financial institution that is tried, tested and registered with the Bank of Namibia (BoN) and the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) will not only alleviate your financial situation, it will also give you peace of mind.
Financial stress can put a huge strain on families, relationships and affect work performance. Therefore, as part of an overall solid long-term financial plan, do some research when you need a personal loan. With all the economic stress that is at present on everyone’s shoulders, unburden yourself and give yourself room to breathe.
Get the right advice and make a well-considered decision when it comes to taking out a loan, while at the same time not putting your life, education and family on hold.
Anton Lubowski’s widow, Gabrielle, has hit back at threats by President Hage Geingob to sue her for defamation, saying she will not back down from comments made in an open letter to him, adding she has new information relating to her husband’s murder.
When contacted yesterday, Gabrielle said, “I don’t care”, adding she is already working on her second open letter which will be made public.
“They are good at threats; that is all they are good at, threats. I don’t care. Why didn’t he give me the meeting, why is he ignoring me? I just wanted a private meeting so I can say these things to him and tell him what I have stumbled upon,” she said.
In her first letter, publicised this week in Namibian Sun, Gabrielle accused Geingob of refusing to meet with her for nearly 30 years, so he can share what he discussed with her husband on the night he was assassinated.
Gabrielle insisted yesterday that she wants a face-to-face meeting with the president in order to find closure.
Geingob, through his lawyer Sisa Namandje, on Wednesday threatened Gabrielle with a defamation lawsuit if she fails to provide an unconditional apology by 24 June.
Gabrielle, who said she has been requesting for an audience with Geingob since 1990, has accused of betraying her husband.
She wrote a letter to Geingob recently accusing him of smearing her husband’s good name and said his refusal to meet with her is an admission of guilt.
“I still want to tell you that you have taken everything from us, by first betraying Anton and then smearing his name. Life without Anton, who was generous, energetic, hardworking, optimistic, full of life and courageous, has been difficult. His two children suffered the most, as they had to grow up without the presence of this magnificent person, their dad,” Gabrielle wrote.
“Never before, and never after, have I hated someone so much as I hated you. However, this hate only harmed me, not you. You went from an exiled freedom fighter to the first prime minister of an independent Namibia to the third president of Namibia. By God’s grace I have been able to let go of the hate, for my own sake.”
Anton, a 37-year-old anti-apartheid activist, was shot by a group of assailants in front of his house in Sanderburg Street in central Windhoek on 12 September 1989.
He was hit by several shots fired from an AK-47 and died from a bullet wound to the head.
Gabrielle said the president was the last person her husband spoke to.
Geingob hit back on Wednesday through Namandje.
“You gratuitously made allegations to the effect that our client has tacitly accepted ‘admission in relation for the death of the late Anton Lubowski’. You alleged that our client betrayed Anton Lubowski and insinuated that he was the cause of and/or that he had something to do with the death of the late Anton Lubowski.
“We have instructions to record that the allegations in your letter are entirely and palpably false and were seemingly made with an intention to tarnish our client’s good name and stir up public anger against him based on fabricated allegations in your letter,” Namandje wrote.
He added that Gabrielle knew that the letter would depict Geingob as a person not worthy of serving the people of Namibia as president.
“Your allegations are particularly absurd and bear a strange feature in that despite the cold-blooded killing of Anton Lubowski having been a subject of police investigation (which investigation required all, including you, with information [to] assist the police) and a public High Court inquest you are only making such reckless allegations almost thirty years after that,” he said.
Gabrielle said yesterday that “nothing was done to solve Anton’s murder”, adding that the inquest into his killing “was a fraud”.
“Whatever was done was a set up,” she said.
According to her, a lawyer involved in the inquest had told her that the people interviewed and questioned were “the craziest bunch of people” and that they had no idea where they came from.
“I was told that they said a lot of bull.”
Shifeta said he found himself between a rock and a hard place after licensed gambling machine operators dragged him to court demanding that the ministry confiscate all illegal gambling machines and shut down all illegal operations.
He was engaging northern businesspeople on the newly introduced Gaming and Entertainment Control Act of 2018 at Oshakati yesterday.
Following the introduction of the Act in May this year, the Gambling House Association of Namibia and Bandits Gambling CC approached the High Court demanding Shifeta comply with section 42 of the Casinos and Gambling Houses Act, 1994.
The Act requires a casino or gambling licence to be granted to individuals who conduct gaming-related businesses, while section 42 requires the minister to appoint an inspector to enforce the Act.
According to court documents seen by Namibian Sun, the Gambling House Association of Namibia and Bandits Gambling CC gave Shifeta 60 days to appoint sufficient inspectors in terms of the section.
“The minister shall exercise the powers given to such inspectors in section 43(1)(b), (c) and (d) of the aforesaid Act to ensure that there is compliance with the provisions of the aforesaid Act and, in particular, that gambling houses and casinos comply with the requirements of the Act and that no game or gambling was allowed on any premises not properly licensed in terms of the aforesaid Act,” the affidavit stated.
Other respondents in the matter are the chairperson of the Casino Board and the attorney-general.
In a notice of motion filed by Shifeta’s legal team yesterday, he requested the court to extend the period he is required to file answering papers to four months.
“When the matter appeared in court on 14 June on the unopposed motion roll before Justice Thomas Masuku, I was ordered to file my answering papers on 15 July. At the time of deposing this affidavit, the court order had not yet been loaded onto the e-justice filing system. My legal representative who appeared on my behalf has deposed a confirmatory affidavit,” Shifeta’s affidavit read.
At Oshakati yesterday, Shifeta said there are many gambling machines in the country, but only a handful have licences and no gambling machine will be confiscated or gambling house closed down.
“I know that by law nobody is authorised to operate gambling business without a licences, but we are already in a situation where many people already operating without licences. Only 2 800 gambling machines are licenced, but we have over 100 000 machines without licences and these businesses employ many people. If we close these businesses, then many people will lose their jobs,” said Shifeta.
“I understand the grounds of those who took me to court because they are being robbed by those operating illegally, but technically I have my own understanding of the situation. What we are planning to do is that we are going to issue licences to all the illegal machines and businesses operating so that there will be no more complaints.”
Shifeta said currently the Act only refers to casinos and gambling houses and the requirements are restricted to those, while gambling machines found in shebeens and cuca shops “are disadvantaged in the Act”.
He said the ministry is going to amend the Act to suit those operating in parks, shebeens and cuca shops.
Jabulani Ncube from the government attorney’s office appears for Shifeta while Shaun Ellis from Ellis and Partners appears for the Gambling House Association of Namibia and Bandits Gambling CC.
Yesterday Shifeta brought a notice of motion asking for a four-month extension. Masuku is yet to rule.
Namibia has dropped 18 spots on the Global Peace Index for 2019, making it one of the countries with the worst deteriorations in sub-Saharan Africa.
The index measures the peacefulness of 163 countries with a range of measures, including military spending, deaths from conflict and terrorism, as well as an estimated economic cost of violence.
Namibia was ranked 60th globally this year with an overall score of 1.89.
The country dropped 18 places from last year. Amongst sub-Saharan countries Namibia was ranked 11th.
Globally, the world is sad, stressed and worried, the report says.
It found that feelings of sadness, worry and stress have increased by a combined average of 8%.
The most significant increases were seen in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa had the greatest increase in stress, increasing by 18% from 2008 to 2018.
“The five worst deteriorations in the region occurred in Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Togo, Sierra Leone and Namibia,” the report said.
The index is released annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace, a Sydney-based think tank that analyses the economic costs of violence.
The survey is based on statistics from various United Nations organs, the Economist Intelligence Unit and numerous other international bodies.
It measures a wide range of weighted factors including violent crime, political instability, policing and external conflict. It boils these down into three major factors, namely militarisation, safety and security and domestic and international conflict. It then gives each country a score of one to five, with five being the most severe.
Iceland remained the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008, with scores of 1.0, 1.1, and 1.0 in each of the above factors respectively. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark.
Namibia’s scores for the abovementioned three factors were 1.827, 2.49 and 1.2 respectively.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan is now the least peaceful country in the world, replacing Syria, which is now the second least peaceful. South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq make up the remaining five least peaceful countries.
With regard to sub-Saharan Africa, the most peaceful country in the region is Mauritius, joined by Botswana, Malawi, Ghana and Zambia on the top five list. South Sudan is the least peaceful country in the region.
Furthermore, the report's special section on climate and peace highlighted that about 400 million people live in countries at risk of climate disasters, such as droughts and torrential rain. It notes that "climate change can indirectly increase the likelihood of violent conflict through its impacts on resource availability, livelihood security and migration".
The report also stated that Asia Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa are the two regions most vulnerable to climate-induced security risks, due to a high risk of exposure to natural hazards.
The Namibian Basketball Federation (NBF), with the help of the Namibia National Olympic Sports Committee (NNOC), sent a 3X3 women’s national basketball team to the first-ever African Beach Games.
Sarah Severus (24), Victoria Netumbo (27), Gie Mukumbuta (27) and Sylvia Sawahenga (29) are the first Namibian female 3X3 basketball team.
“Representation matters. Thanks to the ladies going to compete in such competitions, other little girls have someone to look up to. Female basketball is yet to become popular and this representation will encourage youngsters to join in on the fun and aim for such national recognition as well,” said Jacobina Uushona, the public relations officer for the Basketball Artists School (BAS) and the NBF.
The team left the country on Sunday. The games will all be played on the Island of Sal, Cape Verde.
NBF secretary-general Ramah Mumba said this is the first time that Namibia is recognised on such a platform in basketball, and he could not be prouder of the team. “The team has already made us very proud by being part of such a historic event in sports history, specifically in basketball.”
Preliminary games were held in Windhoek in May.
The team was chosen after the stood out by winning the tournament. Ons this basis they gained their national colours as the country’s 3X3 women’s national basketball team.
Uushona believes the team will serve as an inspiration to youth in the country. “Opportunities such as these give the younger athletes something to work towards. The youth need motivation to do something and sport is no different. Working towards rewards like gaining national colours and wearing the country's emblem on your chest is every athlete’s dream, in my opinion. The federation creating such opportunities proves that they are there for the athletes’ betterment and having their skills exposed to bigger crowds,” Uushona added.
NBF development officer Malakia Matias is the chaperone of the team.
“Hopefully this serves as a reminder to the young players that there is indeed much to look forward to in basketball and sport in general.”
Matias has helped the ladies prepare for the competition and will thus continue to ensure they are overseen and prepared. Netumbo said the team is extremely proud to represent their country.
“We will wear our national colours with pride and we appreciate the support coming from everybody. We will do our utmost best to make everyone proud.”
According to Uushona the players will not only be remembered in Namibia, but internationally as well.
“It is a great way to expose our female basketball players to what is out there and have them bring back the experience for future teams after them. The ladies are thus not only representing themselves but an entire sports code, and moreover, our country.”
The African Beach Games will cater for 11 sport codes, all of which will be played on a ‘beach’ setting. Cape Verde will be hosting these inaugural games with 54 countries and 1 000 athletes participating.
“Basketball is yet to become a well-recognised sport and as such the lengths to which one can go in creating history are endless. We are yet to make a name for ourselves nationally and internationally in basketball. This is a good reason why the participation of the ladies is a positive impact for up-and-coming players and the sport in general,” Uushona said.
The inauguration was officiated by deputy trade minister Lucia Iipumbu.
She said the four new classrooms and one storeroom will greatly benefit the community.
“I want to express my gratitude towards parents and community members who support their children to attend school. The true purpose of these classrooms is to inspire learners to achieve their dreams,” said Iipumbu.
“The purpose of the classrooms is to provide an environment for learning and to make education interesting and fun, and to create a better understanding and interpretation of complex concepts.”
Learners were urged to refrain from vandalism and take care of the investment made by the government and preserve it for future generations. Iipumbu further stressed that the learners should work hard, display discipline and commit to their school work.
The four classrooms and storeroom were named after the community members who have constantly supported the school since its inception.
Iipumbu and the constituency councillor Protasius Neshuku expressed their appreciation towards the community members for their support in terms of educational development.
Oshikoto education director Aletta Eises said education is not an event but a process.
She said the four classrooms were not constructed overnight, but were carefully planned since the time of the first president of the country, Sam Nujoma.
Vision 2030’s aspiration is that Namibia will be an industrialised nation and that most schools should have standard brick buildings, she said.
Eises further urged learners to focus on their education.
“You are the leaders of today and the future and education should be your focus point to change your own future and the future of your communities and the country at large.” She further urged them to make informed decisions that will benefit them and be serious about their education and appreciate government’s work.
Saara Nghilifilwa, a grade 7 learner, said that for a long time they had been taught in congregated iron shacks, which were very hot during summer, too cold during winter and dusty in autumn.
“Harmful things such as snakes and scorpions were the things we were exposed to in the shacks. Some of the learners only saw brick classrooms now for the first time.” Nghilifilwa expressed her gratitude towards the government and the ministry.
Ohamaye Primary School has 153 learners, from pre-primary to grade 7, with seven teachers. The event was attended by community members, the traditional authority, line ministry officials, inspectors and principals of the circuit. The inauguration was attended by close to 300 people, including the learners.
Rhino-lover Eric Garbers (24) is a Red Bull Namibia BMX athlete who was born and raised in Windhoek. He has done what many deemed impossible.
Garbers, with support from Red Bull Namibia, recently attempted and succeeded in executing a BMX bike trick called a flair, with rhinos in Namibia.
A flair is a technical BMX trick that combines a backflip with a 180-degree turn.
This was part of his contribution toward rhino conservation in Namibia. Garbers collaborated with the Rhino Momma Project to generate awareness about rhino poaching in Namibia.
The Rhino Momma Project was founded in 2011 as an effort to address the decreasing rhino population around the world and to repopulate Namibia with these magnificent animals.
Since then, the initiative has grown into a successful rhino conservation project that sees rhinos living freely in the wild.
According to the founder of the project, who preferred anonymity, the most difficult obstacle faced was to get the animals used to the ramp and someone riding and jumping so close to them.
“These wild animals roam free in huge areas and are not tame, domesticated animals. The whole team we met were really great. It was a privilege to work with them all,” the project founder said.
Rhino Momma would also love for youth to become involved and help educate the nation about poaching, and the sustainable utilisation of Namibia’s wildlife.
“Animals cannot talk, please become their mouthpiece and become involved.”
They hope to get more people involved and raise more funds needed to save these animals from extinction.
Garbers started the #flair4rhinoschallenge concept to motivate BMX athletes around the world to get involved in the fight against rhino poaching. He has challenged all BMX athletes to post a photo of a BMX trick on social media with the hashtag #flair4rhinoschallenge, to increase awareness of the current situation in Namibia.
His interest in BMX riding started at a young age, but further intensified at the age of 15, and since then he has never stopped.
He said this initiative has immensely challenged his endurance as an athlete.
“I really had to be push himself because I had to do the trick over 200 times in one weekend, in order to get the perfect shot,” said Garbers.
He admitted he was a little scared at first, but later realised he just had to get to know the animals.
He said the photos sparked a lot of interest and a few people thought they were photoshopped. “The challenge has gained great traction so far, with BMX athletes from Dubai and South Africa joining in on the #flair4rhinoschallenge,” said Garbers.
In May, Judge Alfred Siboleka found the accused, Simon Tobias Ndeshifa, guilty of culpable homicide and not the charge of murder he was facing, following the fatal assault of his girlfriend Hinautiele Kandele Ndemupandula in November 2014. The judge said he had found there was credible evidence that Ndeshifa's severe state of intoxication, following a day of drinking prior to the violent assault, had diminished the intent to kill.
In May, during his judgment, Siboleka noted there is “credible evidence on this matter showing that the accused, while in the intoxicated state, started assaulting the deceased with a stick, delivering several blows all over her body as a result of which she later died”.
He said the accused's state of mind therefore “credibly displaces the alleged intention to kill the deceased”.
During testimony, Ndeshifa admitted that both he and Ndemupandula had been drinking Overmeer from 07:00 until around 18:00 prior to the deadly attack.
Witnesses corroborated that both Ndeshifa and Ndemupandula had been severely intoxicated during the argument, and the court moreover relied on evidence that following the assault, Ndeshifa fell asleep in the veld and was woken up by Ndemupandula who told him “he had beaten her”.
An examination found that Ndemupandula had bruises especially on her neck, right chest and face. The cause of death was head injuries. The prosecution argued during the trial that “substantial force” had been used during the attack on Ndemupandula.
During sentencing last week, Siboleka stressed the “attack on the defenceless 17-year-old victim was vicious”, and underlined she was nearly two months pregnant and that the argument that resulted in her death took place in a domestic setting. The accused pleaded not guilty but admitted he had assaulted Ndemupandula after she refused to return to their home at a cattle post on the farm during the night in question.
He said the fight had revolved around his accusation she was having an affair because she wanted to sleep over at her friends' house. He forced her to return to their residence and attacked her on the way back. He eventually left her lying in the field, and when he returned, he found she had died.
The judge said the assault included “hitting her with sticks and other unknown objects and kicking her over her body and dragging her until she collapsed”.
Ndeshifa fled the farm the next day, after he realised she had died. He later told the police he had walked on foot to Kamanjab, about 150 kilometres away, to tell relatives.