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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Diergaardt to hear fate todayDiergaardt to hear fate todayAccused of stabbing girlfriend 27 times Johny Ryno Diergaardt will hear his fate today as the High Court makes its ruling in a murder in which four different knives were used to carry out the brutal attack. Judgment in the case of a Windhoek resident on trial in the High Court for allegedly brutally stabbing his girlfriend to death in 2014, will be made public on Tuesday. On 20 June this year, High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo, after he listened to submissions by both State Advocate Seredine Jacobs and the accused's Legal Aid-funded defence lawyer Boris Isaacks said he will deliver the ruling in the matter today at 10:00.

    In the matter, accused Johny Ryno Diergaardt, 33, is charged with a count of murder in respect of the circumstances in which his girlfriend, Tiffany Tanita Lewin, lost her life on 3 March 2014.

    The case caused a public outcry as it emerged at Lewin's four-year-old son had tried to intervene, stabbing Diergaardt in the upper thigh while his mother was being attacked.

    The incident occurred in a room Diergaardt rented in Khomasdal's Garnet Street.

    The case is being dealt with under the strict provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, which calls for heavy punishment.

    In her written submission for judgment, Jacobs argued that it was clear from the evidence presented before the court that Diergaardt was not suffering from a mental illness at the time of the incident as he claimed during trial.

    Diergaardt acted with a direct intent to kill when he brutally stabbed Lewin about 27 times with four different knives, killing her at the scene, she said.

    “Therefore, the accused person must be found guilty on a charge of murder with direct intention to kill because he brutally stabbed the deceased to death without any provocation,” submitted Jacobs.

    On his part, Diergaardt's lawyer Isaacks said the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that his client acted with direct intent to kill.

    “Diergaardt was never in a sober state of mind when he stabbed Lewin to death on that fateful day and acted out of his personal character. This man stabbed the deceased in a moment of weakness and was really provoked by something else when he committed the offence. This murder incident was preceded by some kind of provocation,” said Isaacks.

    Diergaardt allegedly stabbed Lewin in front of her four-year-old son. The knife was found stuck in her head.

    Media reports at the time indicated that the boy intervened and stabbed the accused on his upper thigh in an attempt to stop him from stabbing his mother.

    Diergaardt remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility's section for trial-awaiting prisoners, pending the handing down of judgment.


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    Namibia solidifies relationship with ZimbabweNamibia solidifies relationship with Zimbabwe Namibia last week further strengthened its relationship with Zimbabwe by signing several agreements during Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa's state visit.

    Mnangagwa was in the country to inaugurate Zimbabwe's dry port in Walvis Bay.

    Welcoming Mnangagwa, President Hage Geingob expressed a desire for more cooperation with Zimbabwe and said Namibia had benefited from Zimbabwe's assistance.

    “Namibia has benefited immensely from the development assistance rendered by the government of Zimbabwe in a variety of fields and disciplines,” he said.

    Geingob also expressed a desire for the revitalisation of a regional newspaper.

    “We look forward to realising a regional paper to tell our good story from our perspective,” Geingob said.

    Mnangagwa's visit to Namibia was a good opportunity to review the relationship between the two countries, Geingob said

    “Your state visit to Namibia has afforded us an invaluable opportunity to review the progress we have made in advancing our strategic partnership and close collaboration in critical sectors of our respective economies,” said Geingob.

    “I wish to state that I have no doubt that we can look at the bilateral interaction between our countries over the years with considerable satisfaction,” he said.

    According to Geingob, it was now up to the two countries to ensure the speedy implementation of the instruments signed and also further boost trade.

    “We should also take practical steps to boost trade and commercial activities, create new employment opportunities and reduce poverty in our communities,” he said.

    “This should be buttressed by strong education and training systems to equip our youth with relevant skills and competencies that can enable them to operate innovatively and competitively in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, characterised by the phenomena of artificial intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Things,” Geingob added.

    During Mnangagwa's visit seven agreements were signed, ranging from broadcasting to SME development. Mnangagwa left Namibia on Friday.


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    Cash-in-transit box at centre of court battleCash-in-transit box at centre of court battleEmployee fights allegations of theft An employee from Namibia Protection Services emphatically denies that he caused the loss of a box of cash in transit. A matter in which Namibia Protection Services is suing a former employee, Michael Humphries, resumed in the High Court yesterday for continuation of trial.

    Namibia Protection Services (NPS) is claiming N$282 240.45 from Humphries, which they say was lost due to Humphries's negligence.

    In its particulars of claim, NPS says Humphries was employed on 29 May 2017 as the company's southern area manager. It lists all the details of his employment contract, adding that there were certain terms of his employment which had to be met.

    According to its papers before court, NPS says that on 4 August 2017, Humphries had conducted a cash-in-transit operation, collecting N$242 420.25 (known as the pick-up) from the NWR /Ai-/Ais Hotsprings Spa and Resort.

    He did not provide hourly updates to the Keetmanshoop office and “neglected to take all reasonable steps to deliver the cash-in-transit pick-up to the relevant financial institution”. Instead, NPS says, he drove to Noordoewer “to pick up his girlfriend to provide her with transportation to Keetmanshoop”, in the company car, delaying the entire operation by three hours.

    Then, on or around 8 August, the pick-up, containing N$282 240.45 was stolen from the Keetmanshoop office.

    NPS says it now owes /Ai-/Ais Hotsprings Spa and Resort the said amount, which its insurer had settled. Thus, Humphries owes N$242 240.45 to NPS.

    Alternatively, NPS told the court that should it not find that Humphries was negligent in the performance of his duties in terms of his employment contract, it should find that he in fact stole the amount of N$242 240.45.

    NPS asked for payment of the amount, 20% annual interest and costs.

    Humphries, through his counsel Trevor Brockerhoff, filed a motion on intention to defend the matter and in March of this year, filed his witness statement in defence of the charges made by NPS.

    He told the court that he had indeed departed for Hobas Camp and /Ai-/Ais Hotsprings Spa and Resort on 4 August, adding that it is part of his duties to deliver security guards to and from /Ai-/Ais as well as Noordoewer for rotation purposes.

    At Hobas Camp he was informed that the system was offline and the money could not be released but did collect the pick-up at /Ai-/Ais. They proceeded to Noordoewer where he refuelled, adding that he “gave a lift to a lady back to Keetmanshoop”.

    They arrived at around 17:00 that Friday afternoon, and he told the court it was his weekend off. He locked the cash in the office safe, he said.

    The next morning he called and since the office was understaffed, they told him they could not make the deposit that Saturday.

    On Monday, a colleague denied that she had any knowledge of the money in the safe, but Humphries says she put the box next to the safe, adding that the money would be deposited by 14:00 that afternoon. Humphries told the court he ran several work errands that afternoon and when he returned to the office on the morning of 8 August, he discovered it had been broken into.

    The trial continues before Judge Orben Sibeya. Jacobus Visser appears for NPS.


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    Rundu massacre case postponed yet againRundu massacre case postponed yet again The case of a man accused of killing five members of his family at Rundu's Ndama location last year has once again been postponed because of an outstanding psychiatric report.

    The psychiatric evaluation of Rundu massacre suspect Jesaya Gabriel Chuhunda is yet to be completed, nearly 12 months after the magistrate ordered that a report be finalised and presented to the court.

    Chuhunda, who was 20 at the time of the incident, is accused of killing five members of his family.

    Chuhunda is charged with five counts of murder for allegedly killing his grandmother, Ndongo Ntumba (77); his mother, Ndara Elizabeth Mpande (46); and his three nephews, Musenge Elias Tjingelesu (3), Hausiku Daniel Kapumburu (4) and Musenge Petrus Muruti (6).

    Preliminary reports indicated that he carried out the gruesome murders when his sister refused to give him money. It was also alleged at the time of the murders that he was a drug user. Since his second court appearance on 20 August 2018, Chuhunda has not set foot in the Rundu Magistrate's Court.

    This was after Magistrate Sonia Samupofu ordered that he undergo psychiatric evaluation. Chuhunda was also told to apply for legal aid.

    Since then the case has been postponed on several occasions, pending the finalisation of the psychiatric evaluation.

    Last month Namibian Sun reported that Magistrate Hellen Olaiya postponed the matter until 26 July, as the court was still waiting for the report.

    Last Friday, Magistrate Barry Mufana postponed the matter to 27 August.

    There was no indication when the report will be available or whether a spot had been secured for the suspect to undergo evaluation at the Windhoek Central Hospital's psychiatric centre.

    The centre is the only state-owned facility in the country that provides forensic psychiatry. It has a bed capacity of 80, but only 16 of these are allocated for forensic psychiatry.

    Last month Namibian Sun also reported on an interview with the head of the psychiatric centre, Hileni Ndjaba, who explained the procedure when it comes to evaluating patients referred by the courts.

    Ndjaba said they normally receive a court order to observe a patient for 30 days, but it can take months or even years for a patient to be seen, as they have a limited number of beds and there is a waiting list.


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  • 07/29/19--16:00: Sanlam donates 33 computers
  • Sanlam donates 33 computersSanlam donates 33 computers Sanlam handed over 33 computers valued at N$355 000 to the University of Namibia last Wednesday. The computers are to be used in the e-economics lab. The computers will benefit over 100 basic microeconomics and macroeconomics students each term. Sanlam Group CEO Tertius Stears said at the event that the company is committed to the education sector, which receives a large portion of its corporate social responsibility.

    Stears added that through the Sanlam bursary scheme, the company has been able to assist students to pursue their tertiary education, with some currently registered with the University of Namibia.

    Three years ago together with the Unam language Centre, Sanlam has also introduced the Sanlam Unam Spelling Bee, which is the first ever tertiary level spelling bee, aimed at improving students English Language and spelling skills.

    “The next Sanlam Unam Spelling Bee is scheduled to take place Saturday, 17 August here at Unam,” he said.

    Recently Sanlam introduced a formalised internship programme, aimed at providing university students with the opportunity to acquire on the job training and gain practical knowledge of what they have learned in the lecture halls.

    “This will help them as they embark on their career journeys and prepare them for the working wold,” he said.

    Currently Sanlam employs over 20 students in temporary positions and not as part of the formal internship programmes.

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  • 07/29/19--16:00: Discovering new paths
  • Discovering new paths Discovering new paths An informative and fun experience A career fair is the place to find a field of study that suits you. Evany van Wyk

    The annual University of Namibia (Unam) Career Fair and Employment Expo took place on 24 and 25 July.

    It was aimed at giving learners the opportunity to discover and learn more about fields of study that are suited to them. The career fair hosted internal exhibitors as well as external corporate entities, who made the event a success.

    The official opening ceremony had many fun and motivating aspects to it.

    From a performance by beloved Namibian artist Sunny Boy, to an inspirational talk by John Matsi, the first visually impaired individual at Unam to graduate with a master’s degree. The exhibitors and the attendees, who included Unam students and high school learners, took great pleasure in the performances as well as the speeches delivered by the Unam staff members.

    Dean of students, Margereth Mainga, gave a heart-warming speech that highlighted the importance of bringing together potential employers and employees.

    “We are aware that unemployment is a huge problem in Namibia, especially to our graduates,” said Mainga.

    She further urged the corporates to partner with students, to not only provide employment, but also bursaries and internship opportunities.

    Mainga elaborated on the purpose of the career fair, which was to expose learners to an environment where they can engage with professionals and get first-hand information on career paths. “We want them to be able to make a steadfast and informed decision.”

    The exhibitors’ commitment was clearly visible in their efforts to make their stands attractive and also engaging for the learners. Some exhibitors started to decorate their stands the day before and just added the finishing touches the next morning.

    “It’s always good to have a head-start and not run around to get things together the next day,” said one of the exhibitors.

    A drama performance, which showcased how a woman goes into labour and how nurses go about the delivery procedures, was also a highlight. The Zone also had a stall at the career fair. A photo competition on Instagram was one of the initiatives the team came up with to actively engage the youth.

    MTC won the award for the best exhibitor for 2019, followed by the Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) stand, which came second.

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    BoN school competition in full swingBoN school competition in full swing Having attracted 179 schools, and a total of 716 learners from across the country participating, the Bank of Namibia (BoN) annual national high school competition is held in support of the country’s financial literacy initiatives and the recognisable need to educate the nation on the crucial role and functions of the central bank.

    This is done through getting learners from different corners of the country to participate in a battle of minds on topics ranging from economics to finance.

    The regional phase of the competition was held successfully from 14-27 June and saw learners from grades 8 to 12 in teams of four battling it out to crown regional winners who will have the honour of representing their region during the national phase of the competition.

    To ensure the learners were adequately prepared for the competition, each participating school was provided with a resource manual, consisting of chapters specifically focused on the fundamentals of the Namibian economy, financial literacy, developmental issues, the role of the central bank, as well as extracts from the school economic textbook.

    In undertaking this initiative, the central bank works the education ministry, which has endorsed the competition. This paved the way for the regional competitions to be hosted at the regional education directorates, under the watchful eye of ministry officials.

    Regional winners will participate in the national competition, in which all 14 regional winners compete to select the top four teams, who will go on to compete in the finals slated for 6 September.

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    Ageing hostels fall apart amidst scant fundingAgeing hostels fall apart amidst scant funding The rundown condition of a 29-year-old government hostel in the Kavango East Region is not an isolated problem, an education official has said.

    The same situation is experienced at many schools, while funding for renovations remains scarce or non-existent.

    “The majority of the hostels and schools in the [Kavango East] region were built before and shortly after independence. Hence, most of those hostels and schools are in a dilapidated state and some ablution facilities are dysfunctional due to sewerage drainage systems that are very old and need to be replaced,” Kavango East regional education director Fanuel Kapapero told Namibian Sun this week.

    He said the directorate was well aware of the dilapidated conditions at some state schools, including the hostel at the Omega Combined School, but regular maintenance and upgrades are hindered by lack of funding.

    “However, due to unavailability of funds for maintenance as well as limited funds for renovation received from the central government over the years, the region was unable to renovate all our hostels at once.”

    He was responding to concerns raised by a Namibian Sun reader about the “very poor condition” of the girls' hostel at the Omega Combined School in the region.

    “We are fully aware of the situation at the hostel through our normal routine visits,” Kapapero said.

    He said the hostel was built in 1990/91, shortly after independence.

    He denied that the girls had no access to indoor bathrooms, as had been claimed by the source. He said the girls' dormitory has three showers and three toilets.

    Way forward

    The directorate recently instructed a task team of works inspectors from the education directorate to conduct an assessment at the hostel. The team was also asked to obtain quotations from local contractors, and to appoint a successful bidder to “start with the minor renovations as soon as funds are made available,” Kapapero said.

    He added that the relevant school inspectors would be reminded to submit their needs for the 2020/21 financial year for possible consideration for hostel renovations.

    Kapapero called on schools to make use of available funds, including the universal primary and secondary education grants, to carry out some of the minor renovations.

    Additionally, he also appealed to the “community to assist us with funds to renovate our schools and hostels.”

    Despite the scarcity of funds, minor renovations have been carried out at the school during the past three financial years, valued at N$774 162.29, he added.

    These included the supply and installation of a freezer room and a cooking pot and frying pan, as well as minor repairs of electrical and mechanical equipment.


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    Uncle flees after raping nieceUncle flees after raping niece The Namibian police are tracing a man accused of raping his eight-year-old niece multiple times between January and July this year.

    A report issued yesterday by the police states that the attacks on the eight-year-old child took place at Ohembe village in the Omusati Region. The report states that the suspect, who lived in the same homestead as the victim, is suspected of having fled to Angola.

    An inquest has been opened into the death of a 14-year-old boy, Erickson Moses, who died on Saturday morning after falling into a well. He had been sent to the well to collect water, the police stated in their crime report. Another child killed in a hit-and-run accident at Rehoboth on Saturday. The police said the 11-year-old girl, identified as Danelle Mouton, died on the spot after she was hit by a car, driven by a 47-year-old female suspect. A case of culpable homicide, reckless and negligent driving and failure to assist the injured after an accident has been opened.

    The police are investigating the fatal poisoning of four lions in the Sesfontein area. Three male and one female lions died after eating poisoned meat that was placed in the bush by three male suspects who were arrested on Saturday.

    The Sesfontein police on Saturday discovered the lion carcasses and subsequently traced footprints to a house in the area, where zebra and gemsbok carcasses were found. Shoes matching the footprints were also discovered and the three men were arrested.

    A case of rape and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm is being investigated after a woman was stabbed and raped at Epukiro on Friday night. It is alleged she knew the man accused of raping her. The police say the suspect found her walking back to her house at around 20:30 on Friday evening, pushed her to the ground and stabbed her in the left thigh before raping her. The suspect is known to the police but has not yet been arrested. Several cases of reckless and negligent driving are being investigated, including a case where an eight-year-old boy sustained serious head injuries on Friday afternoon on a road in the Omusati Region.

    A case of murder was opened after a 30-year-old man, Abraham Nandi, died from a stab wound sustained in Havana on Saturday night. His body was discovered by members of the public. On the same day, John Julius Amutenya (24) died at the Katutura state hospital after he had sustained several stab wounds. A case of murder was opened at the Wanaheda police station, and a 23-year-old male suspect has been arrested.


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  • 07/29/19--16:00: Army, police rescue Amta
  • Army, police rescue AmtaArmy, police rescue AmtaOther ministries not yet on board A cabinet instruction to government offices to procure food from Amta seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Despite a cabinet resolution that calls on all government offices, ministries and agencies (OMAs) to buy locally produced agricultural products and meat through Amta, only the defence and safety ministries have come on board.

    The rest of the OMAs have not yet shown an interest in procuring their fresh produce through the troubled parastatal.

    Yesterday, Olushandja farmers decided to supply stock to the Amta's Ongwediva fresh produce hub, so it can become operational again.

    Agriculture ministry executive director Percy Misika told Namibian Sun that before rolling out the food bank programme, it approached Amta to supply it with food products.

    In 2014 cabinet had directed that all OMAs should include a qualification requirement in their food supply tender specifications, which stipulates that food supplied to government institutions must be sourced from local producers and suppliers, particularly from Amta's national hubs.

    “To date, Amta confirmed that the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) came on board to source fruit and vegetables for military bases. The ministry of safety and security and the Namibian police have been procuring fruit and vegetables from Amta, but the cooperation is yet to be formalised,” said Misika.

    “Amta is still engaging other OMAs to establish their horticultural, meat, meat by product and agronomic needs, as directed by cabinet.” Through a cabinet resolution, originally taken in 2014, the OMAs were requested to make sure that all their institutions consume products from the regions where they are situated. On 26 February this year, finance minister Calle Schlettwein wrote to all ministers, governors, town mayors, board chairpersons and executive directors, informing them that in terms of section 73 of the Public Procurement Act of 2015, all public entities are directed to include specific provisions in their tender specifications to ensure that entities wanting to bid for any food catering contract, shall source meat, fresh produce, cereal and flour from local producers. However, Amta continues to struggle to get support from the OMAs. On 25 March, agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb informed all the OMAs about the implementation of the cabinet decision related to local procurement through Amta.

    The defence ministry confirmed during an earlier interview that through August 26 Logistics (A26L), which supplies food to all the country's army bases, it was set to start procuring its food items through Amta. Ministry spokesperson Petrus Shilumbu said their catering company, A26L, submitted an action plan to the executive director of the ministry on 11 February, which was crafted and prepared in collaboration with Amta and the agriculture ministry.

    According to Sylvanus Naunyango, the chairperson of Olushandja Farmers Association, the fresh produce hubs were created for them, and therefore whether there are customers or not, they will supply them with produce and see what happens from there.

    “We are the good producers of fresh vegetables here in the north and the idea of coming up with the Ongwediva fresh produce hub was to assist us. The idea was to assist us to penetrate into the formal market, because at the moment our products are only for the informal market. We were not happy to hear that the hub was closing its operations due to lack of market,” Naunyango said.

    “Since we have produce in our fields, we decided to stock up the hub and then they see what they will use the produce for.”

    Amta Ongwediva fresh produce hub regional manager Jacob Hamutenya confirmed they received a variety of produce from the Olushandja farmers' yesterday morning.

    “We will see what we will do with the produce, because we have to get them a market. First we will make contact with the Rundu and Windhoek hubs to find out what we have and do not have, so we can supply them. The rest, we will squeeze them into the existing market and we are positive that the informal traders will take up many of our products,” Hamutenya said.

    “It is obvious that after receiving produce from the farmers, they are also giving us invoices, which we have to process and do payment.”


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  • 07/29/19--16:00: Being heard
  • Being heardBeing heard Justicia Shipena

    One of the greatest challenges I have faced with writing a column has been taking a specific posture in each one. It seems fundamental that a piece writing in the opinion section of a newspaper contains an opinion, but that is harder to achieve than expected.

    I have sought to balance being relatable and assertive in my writing, and in doing so, I have realised that this struggle to be firm in my stance, without alienating others, is a common struggle among all feminists and columnists.

    In a society that etherises the feminine, treating it as something inherently different or alien, to be an advocate for it means we must find our own voices and believe that they deserve to be heard.

    ‘Being heard’ is a concept I learned from a good friend of mine. She used to answer all her text messages with ‘heard’ rather than ‘yeah’ or ‘OK’. When I asked her why, she said, “Heard is the new ‘word’.”

    Never mind that she was reading with her eyes and not listening with her ears. When we write something, we are saying it; we should likewise be ‘hearing’ when we read.

    Being heard has always been an interesting phrase to me, because it is not the same as ‘being listened to’.

    Within this juxtaposition, ‘heard’ suggests power on the part of the hearers. Though they may hear all the noise surrounding them, they choose what they listen to and judge what to agree with, as is their right.

    While hearing may not be the same as listening or agreeing, we nonetheless acknowledge the importance of what is being said, learn things we didn’t know before and expose ourselves to different ideas about how to make the world a better place. Then we respond. Feminism uses these conversations to amplify the voices of women and validate their experiences.

    But quieter voices expressing new ideas and different perspectives can be drowned out over time by remarks like “you belong in the kitchen” or more targeted attacks like: “Why don’t you write about something less trivial?”

    Neither feminists nor journalists can afford to worry about what people think of them outside of their immediate circles or let critics detract from their right to be heard. I consider myself lucky to be writing for such an encouraging and supportive network of people.

    When I set out to write this column, I hoped I would have a chance to teach my readers and learn from them, and I can honestly say that I’ve done more of the latter than I anticipated.

    It is often said writing provides a bubble of safety for its students - be it physical, spiritual, emotional or intellectual.

    I’ll agree that it is a better environment than many others for an accidental feminist to find her footing and take a stance, but it has by no means protected me from criticism, be it from Twitter trolls or anyone else.

    I wouldn’t have it any other way. At least I know I’m being heard.

    I called this column ‘The accidental feminist’, because it was always intended to be aspirational in tone. I am accidental no longer, but I am still evolving in uncertain ways. Despite that uncertainty, I can now picture the feminist I intend to become. And I know that to be her, I must be heard.

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    With the rapid rise in teenage pregnancies in Namibia, The Zone asked Dawid Bezuidenhoudt High School learners what their views are. With the rapid rise in teenage pregnancies in Namibia, The Zone asked Dawid Bezuidenhoudt High School learners what their views are. Hondjaba Kaukungwa

    I think it (falling pregnant) is a huge disadvantage, because it may lead to a lack of concentration and teenage girls dropping out. I believe that parents should be more supportive of their children during these difficult times.

    Mbaunda Kazembungo

    The impact of teenage pregnancy on the livelihoods of youth in society is catastrophic. It adds a ton of responsibility onto school kids, when they fall pregnant. They also have to make many life choices for which they might not be ready. Teenagers feel embarrassed and their self-esteem suffers.

    Romeo Morkel

    It is a very bad thing when teenagers fall pregnant, especially when they are in high school. Teen moms face a lot of mental as well as physical health problems that might be related to childbirth. There is so much stress, so teenagers need lot of education and support.

    Jacques Smith

    My view on teenage pregnancy is that it is extremely bad for both teenage girls and boys. Some of them will drop out after the birth of their child, and because they are still in school, they may not be able to be there for the child financially. The fact that their bodies are not matured yet could lead to stillbirths. Youth need to be educated.

    Vivaldo Pascoal

    This is a snowball effect. Teenage pregnancies lead to high school dropouts, which lead to poverty and unemployment. I cannot stress enough that youth have to be better educated and equipped. Kids drop out and miss opportunities and chances to be successful in life.

    Mbakumua Karupa

    This is one of the worst reasons why teenagers drop out of school. In most cases they are unable to further their studies. Teenage pregnancies are the biggest cause of unemployment, because often young mothers don’t go back to school, leaving them unemployed and having to support their children.

    Innocent Elrakim

    Teenage pregnancy has a lot of negative effects on girls. It causes a lot of financial problems, which lead to depression. These kids also drop out of school, which is never a good thing for anyone. All these things break a person down.

    Maria Negumbo

    Teenage pregnancy is a very stressful experience; once the baby arrives, the parents of the teenager usually take care of everything.

    This is not always the case. Some parents kick their children out. People always get discriminated against and are called names. They may commit suicide, as a result to their problems.

    Albertha Berends

    This epidemic has many negative effects on the teenage mother, as well as the newborn baby. This can result in baby dumping, abortions and family problems. Kids will need all the support and love they can get. Lives are lost, because the thought of dealing with the pressure is simply too much.

    Silvia Cloete

    A girl that falls pregnant is both physically and mentally affected. There is also a big chance of dropping out of school and this automatically limits her from exploring a lot of opportunities, including furthering her studies.

    Gorgeous Shetukana

    Teenage pregnancy is caused by having a low self-esteem. The youth are not secure in who they are, so they turn to things like sex in order to fit in with other young people. Teenage mothers might turn to sex work or dump their babies, because of a lack of income.

    Grace Mumbela

    Teenagers face huge backlash for falling pregnant. They face rejection from their parents and that makes them feel vulnerable and unwanted. They also lose the financial support they previously had and this leaves them in a tight situation. Remember, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

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  • 07/29/19--16:00: Fuel to the fire
  • Fuel to the fireFuel to the fire The level of pregnancies among teenage girls in Namibian schools can no longer be ignored by both educators and parents. It is particularly concerning when there is a high rate of schoolgirl pregnancies in our country, not forgetting the social stigma that young mothers often endure. In today's edition, we report on the shocking statistic that over 1 000 pupils have fallen pregnant in the Khomas Region alone since 2015. According to the regional education directorate, 80 learners from Khomas-based secondary schools, five from primary school and four from resource or special schools, have fallen pregnant during the first trimester. On top of that, statistics compiled since 2015 indicate that a total of 288 learners fell pregnant in 2015 and 266 in the following year. A total of 180 and 268 pregnancies were recorded among Khomas learners in 2017 and 2018, respectively. It is not only Khomas that is hogging the headlines for all the wrong reasons. A fortnight ago, Nampa also reported that 88 learners, including two girls in Grade 7, fell pregnant in the Oshana Region during the first term of 2019. This certainly does not make for good reading. There is a need to really look at new workable solutions to curb teenage pregnancies in our country, because it seems social campaigns geared towards practicing safe sex are not effective enough to change reckless behaviour among our young people. Even though the ministry of education tries to ensure that pregnant learners can complete their schooling after giving birth, it is a fact that girls have become vulnerable to sexual abuse. Older men in particular must also shoulder the blame for fuelling the scourge of school pupils falling pregnant. As much as we must address the root cause of teenage pregnancy in our communities, it is also important to hold the boys and men accountable for impregnating young girls. Also, the economic circumstances in our communities are adding fuel to the fire and need to be addressed urgently.

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  • 07/29/19--16:00: A critical thinker
  • A critical thinker A critical thinker Changing the face of modern shopping Zennedt Sali enjoys hiking, playing video games and reading non-fiction books. This is not a typical list of hobbies, considering what this ambitious young man does for a living. Evany van Wyk

    Growing up Zennedt Sali wanted to be an architect. He likes the process of planning, designing and building.

    Although architecture is not his current career, starting the EasyShop mobile application was quite similar, he says, in the sense that starting a business also involves processes.

    Sali is an entrepreneur, CEO and father in his own right.

    He is the eldest of five children. His family didn’t have much while he was growing up, but they were a very close-knit.

    “We named our house ‘Evidence’ and living there taught me a lot about appreciation and gave me a broad perspective on life,” Sali said.

    “In the modern world we find ourselves in, it is so important to know where we come from and where we are headed in life.”

    Sali’s greatest fear is that his daughter will lose her cultural heritage.

    He holds a higher diploma in business information systems, which he obtained at the International University of Management (IUM).

    The idea for his business was born when he was sent to the shop by his mom.

    “I figured that there had to be a simpler, more efficient and timely way to do shopping,” Sali explained.

    That is why he came up with the idea of the EasyShop mobile application.

    The app enables retailers operating in brick and mortar stores to plan and place promotions in their shops at very affordable and flexible rates.

    The shoppers then enjoy the luxury of being notified of their favourite products on promotion.

    They can compare prices and use a smart list to plan their shopping trips.

    “Now even my dad can do shopping with ease,” Sali said jokingly.

    This ambitious young man loves to spend his time reading non-fiction books, playing video games and hiking.

    He has a dream of one day owning a Gulfstream G650 twin-engine business jet. “I want to develop myself into a powerful brand by exploring and refining my strengths and talents and adding monetary value to those talents,” Sali said.

    He has one strong belief that drives his work.

    “The single most important quality to have when setting out to do anything, not only running a business, is purpose. You have to know why you’re doing it, so that you’re able to measure you performance,” he said.

    According to Sali, building the actual product has been his greatest accomplishment thus far. Getting past the idea stage and connecting with qualified, skilled and motivated individuals was a great experience, he said.

    “We are working towards the common vision of a smart and connected retail ecosystem for Africa,” Sali explained.

    He wants to build integrity, transparency and innovation through his business.

    “We need to connect African retail in the most transparent and innovative ways possible.”

    Connect with Sali on Facebook (@zenedsalifoundation), Instagram (@zened_Sali), LinkedIn (@zenedsormentozsali) and Twitter (@ZedSali).

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  • 07/29/19--16:00: Teen pregnancies 'tragedy'
  • Teen pregnancies 'tragedy'Teen pregnancies 'tragedy' Over 1 000 Khomas learners now moms The Khomas Region recorded 89 school pregnancies in the first term of this year, while 1 002 learners fell pregnant between 2015 and 2018.

    Ombudsman John Walters has described this as a “tragedy”, while deputy gender minister Lucia Witbooi said there is “no excuse” for young girls to fall pregnant, while sex education information is readily available. The Khomas education directorate revealed the figures to Namibian Sun, following an enquiry related to recent statistics from the Oshana Region, which indicated that 88 learners, including two grade 7 girls, had fallen pregnant in the first term. Eighty secondary school learners, five from primary schools and four from resource or special schools in Khomas have fallen pregnant during the first term, the Khomas education directorate revealed to Namibian Sun.

    In 2018, 268 teenage pregnancies were recorded, while in 2017 a total of 180 schoolgirls fell pregnant.

    In 2016, 266 Khomas learners fell pregnant and 288 in 2015.

    Khomas education director Gerard Vries said there is a framework in place that makes it obligatory for teachers and adult support staff at schools to take care of pregnant learners.

    “The girls are not necessarily singled out, but the boys that are involved in this are also sent for counselling. Our ideal is that learners remain in the school or return to school. We do everything in our capacity to make sure this is accomplished,” he said.

    According to him minimal cases involve adult men and have been reported as rape.

    According to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) statistics the Kunene, Omaheke and Kavango regions have all registered an over 30% teenage pregnancy rate, compared with the national rate of 19%.

    Children's rights activist Rosa Namises said these teenage pregnancy rates are a cry for help, adding that children with disabilities, who attend special schools, need care and love the most.

    Tantamount to rape

    “If special schools are included, and you consider the vulnerability of the girls, then this is tantamount to rape. Very important again would be to see who the men are, and I can assure you that most of them would be adult men. I can see a whole new wave of engagements with girls without their consent, especially involving biological fathers, stepfathers or teachers,” she said.

    Namises added it is unacceptable for the government to report teenage pregnancies in primary schools year in and year out, without doing something to address the issue effectively.

    “We need action now. We need the gender minister and female parents to step up and act. Even people like Rosa Namises must also stop commenting. I have an action plan that we must implement, we must take that step.”

    Walters expressed his shock about pregnancies in primary schools and echoed Namises' sentiments that “talk is cheap”.

    “What are we as parents and stakeholders doing to educate our young girls and boys to not start engaging in sex while at school? It seems there is no preventative public education for learners,” he said.

    Walters said a solution must be found, adding that parents must start having frank conversations with their children.

    “I do not think we are doing much to address this, otherwise the numbers would not have been increasing. It is a tragedy that a young girl's career is changed and she may not continue her education because she is suddenly a mother,” he added.

    Witbooi said the ministry is “at pains” to address the high school pregnancy rates across the country, but claimed further that enough is being done.

    She added that some girls may not be conscious of the consequences of unprotected sex.


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    Hepatitis E claims three more livesHepatitis E claims three more lives Nearly 290 new hepatitis E virus infections were diagnosed between June and July, while the virus also claimed three more lives in that time, bringing the total death toll to 48 since the outbreak erupted close to two years ago.

    Since the start of 2019, the total number of hepatitis E infections has risen by nearly 1 500 new cases, up from 4 227 by 6 January to 5 711 cases by 14 July.

    Since January the death toll has climbed from 40 fatalities on 6 January to 48, including 21 deaths of new mothers or pregnant women by 14 July this year.

    The latest three deaths, and 288 infections, were recorded in a span of less than a month, between 16 June and 14 July.

    During this period fatalities increased by three from 45 to 48, while the cumulative number of infections rose from 5 423 to 5 711.

    The majority of cases continue to emerge in the Khomas and Erongo regions. A total of 3 678 (64%) of the confirmed cases have been reported in Khomas, followed by Erongo where 1 322 (23%) of the cases have been reported.

    The remaining regions account for 711 of the reported cases to date.

    The latest situation report on the hepatitis outbreak issued by the health ministry on Monday, further confirms an outbreak of hepatitis A, a similar strain to hepatitis E, is also increasing.

    “The Omusati Region continues to report an increased number of hepatitis A cases, presumed to be with a total of 51 cases to date, however all other regions except Kavango and Kunene have reported few (46) sporadic cases since 2018 to date.”

    The increased number of hepatitis A cases are likely a result of closer monitoring and testing, as a result of the hepatitis E outbreak.

    Namibian Sun was recently informed the only way to know which strain of hepatitis a person has is through a blood test.

    When a person is given a blood test for hepatitis in Namibia, the testing will detect a range of viruses that can cause hepatitis.

    For the reporting period 1 to 14 July, the main challenges and gaps in the response to the outbreak mirror the previous challenges described, including the protracted and far-spread nature of the outbreak.

    Moreover, those leading the response activities have said “suboptimal coordination of the response at all levels” is a major issue hampering efforts to bring the outbreak under control.

    Nevertheless, these challenges are being addressed, the report notes.

    The recommendations of a list of priority interventions include “intensification of (the) outbreak response through effective coordination and (the) use of available resources (financial and human)”.


    Key activities recommended include the massive scaling up massive scaling up of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities, including community-led total sanitation (CLTS).

    Recent activities by the response teams on the ground included efforts to support awareness-raising for individuals and collective responsibility, including coordination in fighting hepatitis E in the country.

    The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the City of Windhoek have started the process of implementing CLTS tailor-made solutions to suit the urban setting. Moreover, the nationally-costed activity plan for the hepatitis E response has been finalised.

    “We need to break the chain of transmission. We haven't broken it yet,” Dr Bernard Haufiku, who is heading the national health emergency management committee in response to the outbreak, said recently.

    He underlined that hepatitis E and now hepatitis A, is “far from being only a health issue”.

    He said it “is a socioeconomic issue”, related to poverty, unemployment, poor hygiene and other social issues; particularly faced by communities living in informal settlements.

    He stressed the outbreak “begins with sanitation, water provision and personal hygiene”.

    “And it will end with us addressing those three challenges. Those are the three fundamental challenges we are facing.”

    CLTS is aimed at enabling communities to analyse their sanitation conditions and collectively understand the impact of open defecation on public health and their environment.

    It aims to completely eliminate open defecation. Haufiku underlined the strategy can only work if clean water is provided to these communities. “We have to make it a priority.”

    During the week ending on 13 October 2017, the first identified case of hepatitis E was admitted to a public hospital in Windhoek. The health ministry declared a hepatitis E outbreak on 14 December 2017 in Windhoek.


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    Rundu revokes plots worth N$52 millionRundu revokes plots worth N$52 million KENYA KAMBOWE

    The Rundu town council says it has been left with no other option but to revoke the allocation of more than 80 industrial and business plots.

    According to an advertisement placed in daily newspapers, the plots are situated in Rundu’s extensions 3, 4, 8 and 29 and are valued at over N$52 million.

    Council spokesperson Benjamin Makayi told Namibian Sun that some of the plots were allocated as far back as 2002, but the occupants did not pay a cent.

    Makayi acknowledged that that a number of the plots are not yet connected to municipal services, especially those in Extension 8.

    All the plots in Extension 4 were provided with municipal services, yet the occupants failed to honour their purchase agreements.

    “The erven were planned and registered, therefore such activities require financial input costs that were borne by council,” Makayi said.

    “Most of the erven are not connected to municipal services, for example water, roads, sewer and electricity, particularly those in Rundu Extension 8 but Rundu Extension 4 is serviced.”

    The plots are being sold at N$100 per square metre, which locals feel is too much.

    One of those objecting to the price of land is town councillor Reginald Ndara, who represents the Rundu Concerned Citizens Association (RCCA).

    Ndara tried to table a motion on the issue on 21 June, but it was not seconded.

    Ndara argues that the council cannot sell the plots at such a high price, as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) won’t be able to afford them.

    “The prices are exorbitant and some citizens, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises and the upcoming business persons, will never afford these prices. The fact that the Rundu town council is deeply in debt does not give the town the power to come up with unaffordable prices on land,” Ndara argues.

    When asked how the council had arrived at the price of N$100 per square metre, Makayi said the council makes use of gazetted tariffs which are reviewed almost every year.

    He further cited the cost of surveying and registering land, which has to be recouped.

    “There are input costs involved in planning and registering the land and such costs were borne by the council and should be recovered from the proceeds of selling the erven. It is therefore necessary to recover costs incurred from conducting environmental impact assessments, costs for township layout designs, costs to the Namibia Planning Advisory Board and Township Board fees, consultant fees and land surveying costs,” Makayi said.

    The Rundu town council is faced with a number of financial challenges, such as its N$50 million water debt to NamWater.

    This situation resulted in NamWater cutting off the town’s water, leaving the over 80 000 residents without water for weeks until the line ministry intervened.

    Due to a lack of funds, the council is also unable to implement its waste management system, resulting in the town’s open spaces becoming dumping sites.

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  • 07/29/19--16:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Gold mines: SA court approves settlement

    A Johannesburg High Court on Friday approved a R5 billion class action settlement between gold mining companies and law firms representing thousands of miners who contracted the fatal lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis.

    The companies involved are Harmony Gold, Gold Fields, African Rainbow Minerals ARIJ.J, Sibanye-Stillwater SGLJ.J, AngloGold Ashanti and Anglo American South Africa. The latter no longer has gold assets but historically was a bullion producer.

    The settlement follows a long legal battle by miners to win compensation for illnesses they say they contracted over decades because of negligence in health and safety.

    The gold producers agreed in May last year to the settlement but it needed to be approved by the Johannesburg High Court before being implemented.

    The class action suit was launched in 2012 on behalf of miners suffering from silicosis, an incurable disease caused by inhaling silica dust from gold-bearing rocks. It causes shortness of breath, a persistent cough and chest pains, and also makes people highly susceptible to tuberculosis. – Nampa/Reuters

    Twitter sees rise in daily users viewing ads

    Twitter Inc posted better-than-expected second-quarter revenue on Friday and an uptick in daily users who see advertisements on the site, driven by changes to show users more relevant content, sending its shares up nearly 5%.

    Twitter's revenue and number of users have been in focus since the social media platform started deleting millions of spam or fake accounts promoting hate speech or spreading political misinformation, contributing to declines in monthly users through 2018.

    Chief executive officer Jack Dorsey said the platform saw an 18% drop in reports of spammy or suspicious behaviour.

    Its monetisable daily active usage (mDAU) hit 139 million, beating analyst expectations of 135 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

    Twitter reported second-quarter profit of US$1.1 billion, or US$1.43 per share, compared with US$100 million, or 13 US cents per share, a year earlier. Profit was boosted by an income tax benefit of over US$1 billion related to corporate restructuring. – Nampa/Reuters

    Africell to spend millions on fintech in Africa

    African telecom firm Africell plans to spend part of a US$100 million US credit line on expanding its infrastructure and fintech services, its chief executive said on Friday.

    The 18-year-old company, which has 15 million subscribers across its four African operations, secured the loan in May from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government's private investment fund.

    Africell founder and chief executive Ziad Dalloul told Reuters the money would help fund infrastructure investments for its operations in Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia and Sierra Leone.

    He also said it would help the firm expand fintech services, such as mobile payments, micro-insurance and micro-finance.

    Dalloul said Africell would bid to become the fourth operator in Angola, which was expected to reissue a tender in the next two months after the original tender for the licence was annulled in April. – Nampa/Reuters

    Elon Musk's Boring Co raises millions

    Elon Musk's Boring Co raised about US$117 million in its latest round of funding from 20 unnamed investors after offering to sell about US$120 million in equity, the company disclosed in a regulatory filing on Friday.

    The company had raised US$112.5 million in equity in April last year, with Musk investing 90% of the amount, as the company seeks to build underground tunnels for hyperloop transportation project.

    Boring Co did not provide details on the funding.

    Musk, who also leads electric-car maker Tesla Inc and rocket company SpaceX, has been seeking to revolutionise transportation by sending passengers packed into pods through an intercity system of giant, underground vacuum tubes known as the hyperloop.

    The company has completed its project Test Tunnel, located in Hawthorne, California, and other ongoing projects include the Chicago Express Loop and the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop. – Nampa/Reuters

    McDonald's beats sales forecast

    McDonald's Corp beat quarterly sales expectations at established US restaurants on Friday, as the world's largest burger chain's attracted more diners with upgraded stores and new promotions, such as the 2 for US$5 Mix and Match deal.

    McDonald's is the latest restaurant chain to report solid growth driven by new menu additions, expanded delivery services and tech-enhanced stores after strong US sales numbers from Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc and Starbucks Corp.

    The US restaurant market has been stagnant with lower customer traffic in recent years, dogged by increasing number of competitors among fast-food chains and the entry of delivery services such as DoorDash and Uber Eats, forcing established chains to find new ways of attracting and retaining customers.

    Total revenue was flat at US$5.34 billion, still slightly above expectations of US$5.33 billion.

    Net income rose 1.38% to US$1.52 billion. Excluding one-time items, McDonald's earned US$2.05 per share, meeting Wall Street expectations. – Nampa/Reuters

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    US economic growth slows in second quarter US economic growth slows in second quarter 2018 falls below Trump target Amid a global economic slowdown, weakening foreign demand for US exports meant American factories sold fewer autos, parts and factory equipment. I think it's almost a miracle that the economy is growing as rapidly as it is. - Larry Kudlow, Economic advisor: White House Douglas Gillison - The American economy cooled in the second quarter of 2019 to a still-solid pace, while officials also slashed an economic figure prized by president Donald Trump.

    Newly revised data released on Friday covering the past five years now show the world's largest economy actually slowed in the year after Trump and congressional Republicans pushed through a sweeping, US$1.5 trillion tax cut.

    The change dealt a sharp blow to Trump's economic message and also highlighted how momentum had deteriorated in the final months of 2018 when the Federal Reserve last raised interest rates in defiance of intense pressure from Trump.

    The central bank this week is widely expected to cut its benchmark lending rate, reversing December's increase.

    The Commerce Department reported that gross domestic product in the April-June quarter slowed to 2.1% from the first three months of the year, down sharply from 3.1% growth in the first quarter, but that was better than expected, helped by strong consumer spending.

    Taken together the new data portrayed an economy that enjoys robust strength in some quarters but has begun to sputter worryingly in others, even while the US is outshining sluggish economies in Europe, Japan and elsewhere.

    Analysts had expected second quarter growth of just 1.8%, but the economy got a boost from strong spending on autos, food and clothing.


    "Not bad," Trump tweeted Friday, "considering that we have the very heavy weight of the Federal Reserve anchor wrapped around our neck."

    "USA is set to zoom!"

    Federal spending also took its biggest leap in a decade - with non-defense expenditure rising at the fastest pace in 21 years - a one-time jolt as the government resumed paying employees following the five-week partial government shutdown at the start of the year.


    But that was not enough to make up for tumbling investment in factories and commercial buildings, which sank more than 10% for the quarter, and falling income from software royalties and other intellectual property.

    Amid a global economic slowdown, weakening foreign demand for US exports meant American factories sold fewer autos, parts and factory equipment.

    The ailing American manufacturing sector also produced fewer non-durable goods while retail and wholesale trade softened.

    Declining travel exports, dominated by tourists and foreign students, also weighed growth down for the quarter.


    In the revisions that stretch back to the final quarter of 2013, the Commerce Department said revised and newly available data showed October-December 2018 was much weaker than previously reported, notably spending on healthcare and autos.

    The fourth quarter of 2018 expanded just 1.1%, down from the 2.2% reported in March.

    As a result, growth between the fourth quarter of 2018 and the fourth quarter of 2017 - the measure of annual growth favoured by the White House and many economists - was chopped down to 2.5% from 3.0%.

    Economists say comparing the fourth quarter to fourth quarter of the prior year gives a more accurate picture of the economy.

    The downward revision stripped Trump of the banner 3.0% number he had repeatedly hailed in public appearances and social media as the greatest economic performance in 14 years.

    A prior Commerce Department estimate of 2.9% average growth for all of 2018 compared to all of 2017 was unrevised.

    White House

    But Trump in March specifically rejected this measure.

    "The press tried to make it 2.9. I said, 'it's not 2.9,'" Trump said during speech to supporters in Ohio.

    "I said, 'We're going to break three.' And we did."

    In policy documents, the White House claims the president's economic agenda of tax cuts, slashed regulation and trade reform will push the US economy to three percent annual growth over a decade.

    Instead, the economy actually slowed following the tax cuts from 2.8% in 2017.

    White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow on Friday echoed Trump's view that any sluggishness could be blamed on the Fed and that the economy was otherwise robust.

    "I think, you know, to keep this thing going in the face of severe monetary tightening in 2017 and '18, seven rate hikes, I think it's almost a miracle that the economy is growing as rapidly as it is," he told CNBC.

    Wall Street was little moved by the numbers, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rising instead to record closes on strong earnings from Google, Starbucks and others. – Nampa/AFP

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    ECB ditches gold sales agreementECB ditches gold sales agreement European central banks have ditched a 20-year-old agreement to coordinate their gold sales, saying they have no plan to sell large amounts of the metal, the European Central Bank said on Friday. The Central Bank Gold Agreement was originally signed in 1999 to coordinate gold sales by the various central banks and help stabilise the market for the precious metal. "The signatories confirm that gold remains an important element of global monetary reserves, as it continues to provide asset diversification benefits and none of them currently has plans to sell significant amounts of gold," the ECB said in a statement. Photo Nampa/Reuters

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