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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Chamber of Mines: Selling Rössing the right choiceChamber of Mines: Selling Rössing the right choiceGoodbye, Rio Tinto. Hello, CNNC A state-owned Chinese SOE recently officially took over Rössing Uranium, a transaction mired in controversy. Here is the Chinese news agency Xinhua’s take on the event. We needed a choice and we wanted to see operations at the mine continue and not shut down. – Veston Malango, CEO: Chamber of Mines The Chamber of Mines in Namibia says the transaction whereby by Chinese National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) acquired Rio Tinto’s 68.62%-stake in Rössing Uranium is a welcome move to the mining industry.

    The chief executive officer of the chamber, Veston Malango told Xinhua: "We needed a choice and we wanted to see operations at the mine continue and not shut down. Following the official conclusion of the transaction, I can say a right choice was made.”

    If the mine had not got investors, what was the country going to do with 2 000 unemployed people, Malango asked, highlighting the fact that the country currently is plagued by unemployment issues.

    "The new Chinese investors are breathing a new future and we should all embrace and welcome their presence and work together," he said.

    The chairperson of Rössing board of directors, Foibe Namene, said "the grand old lady of the uranium sector has once again defied the odds".

    "Over the years and many times we wondered, is this finally the end? Is it time to say goodbye? But instead of saying our farewells, we now stand before what is possibly the biggest and most exciting transformation of the long and illustrious life of this world-class operation in the nuclear power industry," she added.

    Namene said she believes that CNNC will bring with them best scientific and technological practices as leaders in the nuclear power industry.


    Representing the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN), Johannes Hamutenya, said the transaction is a historic event, not only for Rössing, but for the surrounding communities and the uranium sector.

    "The departure of Rio Tinto is bittersweet as it had been operating in the country before independence. But as our mandate states, we will continue to play a pivotal role in maintaining job security," he added.


    Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, said the new partnership signifies another important achievement of China-Namibia cooperation in the mining industry.

    "It is a vivid manifestation of the flourishing development of mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation between Namibia and China," he added.

    He Zixing, the vice president of CNNC, said: “This cooperation will keep continuous tax contributions from Rössing to the nation and provide employment security, will provide more stable employment security for about 1 000 employees and 1 000 contractors of Rössing, will support the Rössing Foundation to continue to fulfil its social responsibilities, will provide the predictable business opportunities for local suppliers and will also promote in-depth cooperation between Namibia and China in trade, investment and industrial development."

    Rio Tinto

    In an emotional address to the Rössing workers and delegates, Bold Baatar, the CEO of the former majority shareholder Rio Tinto Energy and Minerals, said during their time they had an opportunity to create a world class business that contributed to the growth and development of Namibia and its people.

    "While this was not an easy choice to make to sell, it was one that ensured a strong future for the business," he added.

    According to him, with the new partners CNNC, Rössing will chart a new pathway, sustaining the business for years to come.

    Baatar said even as the Rio Tinto flag comes down over Rössing, the company will very much remain committed to Namibia.


    Speaking on the same occasion, Erongo governor Cleophas Mutjavikua welcomed the new investment and stated that the region will now focus on building a new chapter in the history of Rössing Uranium.

    "We know that this new chapter would allow the businesses to prosper to the benefit of not only our stakeholders, but also the economy at large," he added.

    The deputy minister of mines and energy, Kornelia Shilunga, said that the event signalled the dawn of a new future for all.

    "With the necessary cooperation with government and stakeholders, a lot can be done for future generations," she added. – Nampa/Xinhua

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    History lessons can’t fill belliesHistory lessons can’t fill bellies In the same way citizens cannot eat constitutions, they also cannot eat liberation struggle credentials. As the 2019 general election fast approaches, it is once again time for Namibians to actively debate what kind of leadership is required to take this nation forward. And as we gear up to hear what the different parties have to say, the time is also ripe to move our politics beyond the endless meanderings into the past and who did what in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. These history lessons should remain in school curricula and should not be shoved down the throats of voters. We don’t care at this point who was fighting in the trenches of New York for our freedom. What is at stake today is the realities facing the country. Our glorious and inglorious past may titillate those who wish to use so-called liberation struggle currency as a way to take power, but ordinary Namibians deserve better. We want to know what your action plan is regarding jobs, because our breadwinners have been sent home. We want to know about your plans to secure a better life for poorer communities and how you will create a conducive environment so we can survive and eventually thrive in business. We want to know how you will make sure that the corrupt are sent to jail. We want to know how basic things like access to services will be improved, so our grandparents can live lives filled with dignity. What we do not want to hear about is where you were in 19-whatever. Good for you if you contributed to the struggle. Good for you if you made a difference in the lives of people 30 or 40 years ago. Well done. But don’t expect undying loyalty from those whose bellies remain empty, while Namibia struggles to take care of its 2.5 million people. It’s a shame and a tragedy that a country blessed with so much still has families going to bed with empty stomachs.

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    Let's just get back to the basicsLet's just get back to the basicsPwC tax symposium PwC Namibia will present a tax symposium in the middle of August. Chantell Husselmann - There is a saying that goes you are as smart as your understanding of the basics.

    We tend to forget this principle because we are so caught up in complex that we lose the fundamentals, the building blocks, the roots …

    Excellence in my opinion is not defined by one act of diligence, but it is rather a continuous, consistent, constant execution of delivering on the basics of life. At PwC we believe that we need to give our clients an exceptional experience and this we attain by executing the basics of excellent client service.

    This thought of basics recently crossed my mind, when one of our delegates during our monthly ITAS sessions asked the simple question: “When is the Inland Revenue due date for a VAT return?”

    It is heart rending to know that some professionals daily operate in the financial sector and they do not understand the basics of how to complete a PAYE return, what is exempt from VAT or what should be included as an individual's gross income.

    Most of the time it is not because they do not know this, but rather because they either are unable to call to mind the answer to these basic tax principles or perhaps because they operate at a reviewing level and the practical basics are difficult to recall.

    Whether you cannot recall the basics, or whether your current position does not require the actual execution of the basics, it is perhaps just time to take a step back and just start with the basics again.

    We at PwC always strive to build trust and solve the problems of the Namibian society and therefore we decided to host a four day tax symposium where we will invest in the Namibian society on the basics of tax.

    This symposium will occur during the middle of August and we look forward to make a difference and help solve this problem of understanding the basics. You are welcome to visit our website at http://www.pwc.com/na/events for more details.

    Chantell Husselmann is the tax and Business School leader at PwC Namibia. Contact her at chantell.husselmann@pwc.com

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    Stop importing labour - KandjozeStop importing labour - Kandjoze Economic planning minister and National Planning Commission (NPC) director-general, Obeth Kandjoze, has made a “brotherly plea” to the Chinese government to minimise the use of Chinese labour on infrastructure projects in Namibia.

    He said this would allow for more Namibians to be employed.

    Kandjoze said at the moment Namibians “seem to be on the lower end of benefits” when it comes to construction and other projects.

    He said Namibia would like to see the entrenchment of the much-vaunted “win-win” relationship between the two countries, where cooperation intersects. Kandjoze was speaking at a dialogue with the local media, initiated by the Chinese embassy, on the audaciously ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

    This sentiment was echoed by Dietrich Remmert, research associate of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), who emphasised that Namibia's “genuine” private sector (and not necessarily government institutions), should become more involved in infrastructure projects yet to be identified under the BRI.

    The BRI is the brainchild of Chinese president Xi Jinping who put forward the idea in 2013 to build a “silk road economic belt” that runs through Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas.

    Namibia signed up for the BRI in September last year during a Beijing summit. Forty African countries have so far signed up to it. Globally, more than 150 have signed cooperation agreements with China to build the BRI, Chinese ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, said.

    As far as Namibia is concerned, it is not yet clear which road and other infrastructure projects are envisaged under this plan, or what the funding and/or cooperation parameters will look like, something that Renner said is required to make a proper analysis of the BRI. While such detail is still missing, political analyst Dr Henning Melber described the BRI as Chinese global expansion that seeks to tie many countries “into a web of Chinese-influenced (or rather dominated) trade networks”.

    He said the ambitious infrastructure plans and investment are “not necessarily bad for collaborating countries, since it enhances access to the world market for their commodities”.

    However, Melber said, in tendency the BRI “once again reinforces the established patters of unequal trade by exporting raw materials and importing manufactured goods”.

    “To that extent the BRI will enhance the flow of goods, but not make fundamental changes to the asymmetric exchange relations,” Melber said.

    Zhang said the BRI “is a road leading to peace”, which “upholds the principles of win-win cooperation, respecting the development path choices of all countries, and non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs”.

    “THE BRI will not duplicate the Western power's way of geopolitical manoeuvring,” Yiming said.

    He said China will work with Africa to create more synergy between China-Africa cooperation under the BRI and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and offer more assistance to Africa to “improve connectivity, business environment and trade quality”.

    He said Namibia “with its stable political situation, sound legal system, vast land, abundant resources and a unique location advantage”, can greatly benefit from the BRI to become the logistics hub of southern Africa, which government leaders have been advocating for years.


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    Mom's tombstone demolished, dumped in the streetMom's tombstone demolished, dumped in the street Ondangwa town council management committee chairperson Andreas Kalumbu wants to know what will happen to his mother's remains and grave, after her tombstone was demolished.

    A case of malicious damage to property has been opened by Kalumbu against prominent paediatrician Dr Salomo Amadhila, who demolished his mother's tombstone that was erected at her grave in Amadhila's field at Olukolo in Ondangwa.

    Amadhila demolished the tombstone over the weekend and threw it in the street. Kalumbu is accused of erecting the tombstone without consulting the landowner, a situation that angered Amadhila.

    According to Kalumbu, his mother Maria Iithindi died in 1958 and was buried on the land now owned by Amadhila. In 2017, he decided to erect the tombstone. “In 1958 when my mother died that land was for the late Fillipus Jacob and he allocated a piece of his land as a burial site. The land was later taken over by Amadhila's father, then later Amadhila took over. Eight people are buried there, including my mother. In 2017, I decided to erect a tombstone just for me not to lose touch with my mother's grave,” Kalumbu said.

    “Before I erected the tombstone, I took a group of people to accompany me to go and talk with Amadhila about the issue, but I could not get an audience with him, until I decided to erect the tombstone.” Kalumbu said to his surprise, earlier this year he was served with a letter from Amadhila's lawyer informing him that the tombstone will be removed. Kalumbu said he consulted his lawyer, the town council and the traditional authority.

    “Now that they have demolished the gravestone, what will happened to my mother's remains that have been there before them? Are they still going to exhume them and for what reason? On 25 April, the Ondangwa town council was served with a letter from government attorney Jabulani Ncube, which said: “We are of the view that Kalumbu has not given compelling reasons for his failure to remove the tombstone.”

    It is within Amadhila's right to remove the tombstone. Kalumbu failed to follow the town council regulations.”

    Amadhila could not be reached for comment, as Namibian Sun was informed he is out of the country.

    Ondangwa CEO Ismael Namgongo said Amadhila's land is within townland.

    He said when Amadhila brought the issue to the council, they tried to mediate, but could not prevent any decision or step taken.

    “We understand that when Tate Kalumbu took the decision, he did not consult either Amadhila or the town council. According to the town council's cemetery regulations, for one to erect a tombstone it has to be done with the council's consent, but in this case we were not informed,” Namgongo said.

    “As a town council, we got involved, but we wanted the two men to solve their issue among themselves. We do not have any say over the land yet, because the owner is not yet compensated.”

    Ondonga Traditional Authority councillor Tomas Akwenya said they were informed of the conflict by Kalumbu, but they never met the two men together.

    Kalumbu has said he will not take the demolished tombstone.


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  • 07/30/19--16:00: D-Day for Katrina
  • D-Day for KatrinaD-Day for KatrinaFormer minister faces sentencing The former education minister will hear today whether Judge Christie Liebenberg has embraced the State's argument that she be sent to jail. Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, known for her no-nonsense and no-holds-barred approach to life and politics, will today be sentenced by the High Court for corruption.

    She is the first sitting minister to have been found guilty of corruption earlier this month, and resigned as education minister soon after.

    Today she faces the perfect storm, when Judge Liebenberg reveals her sentence.

    Last week she pleaded for a fine of N$35 000, while the State argued that no special treatment should be shown. Liebenberg convicted the 52-year-old former Hardap governor on a charge of corruptly using an office or position to obtain gratification just over two weeks ago, on 8 July.

    This was in relation to her time as governor, when she instructed that two beneficiaries of a Mass Housing project at Mariental be replaced by two of her relatives.

    Several legal experts believe she will get a prison sentence, given Liebenberg's track record.

    He has in the past given prison sentences in self-gratification cases involving N$500, amongst others.

    Political analyst Dr Ndumba Kamwanyah believes that Hanse-Himarwa's future in the ruling party depends on her sentence.

    He added she would be able to cling to her political position and parliamentary seat, as long as the sentence is within the bounds of what the party constitution prescribes.

    “It will also ignite emotions within the party, but you have also heard some people within the party asking why it she is the only one targeted, when there were also other people involved in questionable deals. So those type of thing will increase during her sentence,” he said.

    He added her sentencing may certainly deepen the rift between Team Swapo and Team Harambee.

    Small sin

    Political analyst Dr Hoze Riruako is, however, convinced that this is not a serious case, because Hanse-Himarwa did not benefit directly, but rather her relatives.

    He said the judge may be a bit lenient.

    “I suspect that she will get a sentence or a suspended sentence or a sentence with an option to pay a fine,” he said.

    Riruako also emphasised the case was not about the minister planning to endanger people, but is rather a graft case and an issue of self-gratification.

    Earlier this month, Constitutional expert Nico Horn said Hanse-Himarwa's crime is rather minor, compared to the large amounts of monies lost due to fraudulent activities in the country.

    According to him she is likely to get a fine, perhaps with a suspended sentence.

    “My opinion is that she will definitely not go to prison. Look, what I have always said is she is really not a big crook, and you should take into consideration people were not removed from the list, they were just moved down. Of course it is a crime, but it is a minor crime,” Horn said.

    He said there is some truth to the sentiments expressed by her supporters that she is now being used as a sacrificial lamb for crimes committed by politicians.

    “The issue really is that she now pays the price for corruption in public service and corruption in higher offices, but she did not steal anything, she was also not enriched or anything,” he said.

    The Likando matter

    The well-publicised matter of policeman Samuel Likando, who was convicted of soliciting and taking a N$500 bribe at a roadblock east of Windhoek, indicates that even 'minor' crimes can carry hefty sentences.

    The Windhoek Magistrate's Court sentenced him to four years imprisonment of which two were conditionally suspended. Likando lost the appeal of his conviction and sentencing, passing away a month before judges Liebenberg and Naomi Shivute handed down their ruling in December 2016.

    In his judgment, Liebenberg said that “a factor held by the trial court to have been most aggravating is that the appellant, being a police officer, was in the position to effect an arrest and that he unlawfully abused this power as a tool to extort money from the complainant”.

    “His conduct defies the oath he took to uphold the rule of law and to serve and protect society.”

    Liebenberg described the offence as “very serious”, even more so because Likando had “abused the authority he had over the complainant for his personal gain”.

    “In these circumstances, it was said, the amount involved does not matter much. When considering the interests of society, the court was of the view that members of public cannot be held hostage by police officers acting like thugs.” Liebenberg continued by saying the imposition of a fine was considered by the court, but in the end it decided against it, as this would negate the seriousness of the offence committed.

    “In the trial court's opinion a custodial sentence in the circumstances of the case was justified.”


    Hanse-Himarwa's lawyer Sisa Namandje pleaded last week for a fine instead of time behind bars for the former education minister, arguing that she deeply regrets her actions and has already paid a steep price for her crime.

    Namandje said this includes vast public scrutiny, in addition to a stiff lawyer's bill and a significant N$300 000 annual pay cut.

    The state on the other hand has come out strongly against the court showing any leniency and has asked for direct imprisonment. Namandje told Judge Liebenberg his client wanted to put on record that she “unreservedly expresses remorse and regret and asks for forgiveness”.


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    Kenya Airways goes full circle with nationalisation planKenya Airways goes full circle with nationalisation planUS$7.7-mln price tag Nationalisation will exempt Kenya Airways from taxes on engines, maintenance and fuel, allowing it to sell cheaper tickets. In Kenya we think any parastatal is a home for employing people, we forget productivity but when it comes to business out there, we will be eaten alive. - Mohammed Hersi, Chairman: Kenya Tourism Federation Duncan Miriri - Kenya will take at least 21 months to take back full control of its national carrier Kenya Airways, buying out minority shareholders and converting shares held by banks into treasury bonds, a lawmaker briefed on the transaction said.

    The loss-making airline, which is 48.9% government-owned and 7.8% held by Air France-KLM, was privatised 23 years ago but sank into debt and losses in 2014. Lawmakers voted to re-nationalise it last week.

    "The [transport] ministry needs three months to think through and then give us a proposal on the aviation shareholding company and the entire structure," David Pkosing, the chairman of parliament's transport committee, told Reuters.

    He estimated buying out shareholders would take 18 months.

    A failed expansion drive and a slump in air travel forced the airline to restructure US$2 billion of debt in 2017. But Kenya Airways still needed cash for fleet and route expansion amid growing competition from Ethiopian and Emirates.

    Minority shareholders, who hold about 3% of shares, will be bought out for about 800 million shillings (US$7.71 million), Pkosing said.


    A consortium of local lenders, who acquired 38% of the company's equity during the 2017 restructuring, could be paid through government debt, possibly 10-year treasury bonds, Pkosing said.

    Lenders' representatives on the airlines' board were not immediately available for comment.

    The banks hold their stake through a joint, special purpose vehicle. They are likely to accept the deal given the airline's losses, said Eric Musau, head of research at Standard Investment Bank in Nairobi.

    "If you look at the lenders, they have no interest in owning the airline other than getting back the amount that they lent," Musau said.

    Air-France KLM, which declined to comment, will have the option of selling its stake to the government and staying on as a technical partner for the airline, the lawmaker said.

    Holding company

    Kenya wants to emulate countries like Ethiopia, which runs air transport assets - from airports to fuelling operations - under a single company, using funds from the more profitable parts to support others.

    Under the model approved by lawmakers, Kenya Airways will become one of four subsidiaries in an Aviation Holding Company.

    The others will be Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), the country's biggest airport; an aviation college; and Kenya Airports Authority, which will operates all the nation's other airports.

    "The balance sheet of the aviation holding company will be healthier than Kenya Airways alone," Pkosing said.

    Kenya Airways could renegotiate its aircraft leases based on its reduced risk profile, he said, noting the airline needs more than its 40 planes.

    JKIA alone has annual revenues of 12 billion shillings (US$115.6 million), half of which is profit, lawmakers said. The airports authority owns thousands of acres of land that would shore up the new group's balance sheet.

    Nationalisation will exempt Kenya Airways from taxes on engines, maintenance and fuel, allowing it to sell cheaper tickets, Pkosing said.

    The airline charges more than competitors, forcing price-sensitive passengers through hubs like Addis Ababa and Kigali.

    "The model we are proposing is not new, it is being used by Emirates, Morocco, Egyptian, Ethiopian. Most successful airlines operate in the same model," Pkosing said.


    Government officials said the airline is vital to encourage investment and bring in tourists.

    But some said the government failed to manage the airline properly in the past.

    "Leasing the aircraft is shrouded in secrecy. When you look at the staffing, the pay roll, its very high," said Mohammed Hersi, chairman of Kenya Tourism Federation.

    "In Kenya we think any parastatal is a home for employing people, we forget productivity but when it comes to business out there, we will be eaten alive."– Nampa/Reuters

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    Audit profession rapidly changingAudit profession rapidly changingKeeping up with technology Like auditing, assurance practice is characterised by change. Hannes van den Berg, assurance partner at PwC Namibia in Walvis Bay, talks to Business7 about issues ranging from data analytics to trust. Transparency in the assurance process is key to rebuilding trust. B7: What is the prevailing business landscape in your field of expertise?

    HvdB: The auditing profession is currently a rapidly changing one.

    Technological advancements are at the forefront of change in most industries, and the assurance practice is no different. The profession, like many others, is moving more and more towards using technology to replace the traditional methods used in the past.

    The most prevalent of these is using data analytics. Modern technology allows us to process large volumes of financial information in a much shorter period than before. This enables us as auditors to provide more detailed and insightful information to audit committees, directors and shareholders.

    Using data assurance is changing the way audits are structured and the expertise we use on audit assignments. Most of the larger auditing firms have dedicated IT audit teams that assist in these types of assurance services.

    On the accounting side, the International Financial Reporting Standards are also changing on an annual basis, to ensure consistency in financial reporting across different companies. During the past year we have seen various changes at clients to due to the adoption of IFRS 15 and IFRS 9, changing the way companies measure revenue as well as financial assets and liabilities significantly.

    In the coming year, we will also see clients adopting IFRS 16, which will affect the way in which companies measure leases significantly, specifically for operating leases.

    The technicalities involved on some of these measurements have also seen companies reach out to professional services firms more and more to assist in the adoption and measurement required by these standards.

    B7: What are the most significant tax developments and how do they impact on mining/assurance?

    HvdB: In the assurance practice, we work with an array of different clients, all coming from different industries and as such we are always on the lookout for the latest developments in the income tax space.

    As our client base is vast, the current tax developments affect our clients in different ways. These include amongst others the restructuring of the taxation of trusts all the way up to the replacement of export processing zone status for some of our clients.

    Due to the complexities involved in accounting for some of the taxation matters on several clients, designated tax specialists have also become involved in the assurance assignments we provide.

    PwC has a very strong relationship with Inland Revenue, and meet regularly to ensure we are always up to date on proposed legislation changes and how it will affect our clients.

    B7: What are the biggest challenges facing assurance currently?

    HvdB: The biggest challenge our profession is facing is maintaining trust in the public.

    In recent years the profession has undergone a significant amount of scrutiny due to failures in the public eye. A lot of these failures stem from actual and perceived independence breaches by professional services firms.

    The result of this is that the general public is losing confidence in the profession and in the assurance services provided. Audit committees and directors are questioning the independence as well as the professional skepticism applied by auditors in a lot more detail than what was previously accepted.

    B7: How can these challenges be overcome/mitigated?

    HvdB: Building trust in society is at the core of what PwC stands for and we strive to do this in all the services we provide.

    Transparency in the assurance process is key to rebuilding trust. We also see this becoming a high priority for directors and audit committees worldwide.

    In order to improve on trust, audit forms should be more transparent on any potential independence related matters. Audit firms should also be more open to how an audit is conducted and report to directors and shareholders in more detail on the audit performed, which risks were identified specifically by the audit teams, and the procedures and related professional skepticism applied by auditors when engaging with management.

    B7: What growth opportunities are in your sector?

    HvdB: As mentioned above, technology is changing the way we work.

    This provides us with more insightful information to be able to add more value to clients from both an assurance and a consulting perspective. The possibilities are endless.

    B7: Any closing thoughts?

    HvdB: The assurance environment is currently undergoing significant changes. It certainly is a privilege to be part of these changes and being at the forefront of the changes in technology in our environment.

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    Innovation rush aims to help farmers, rich and poorInnovation rush aims to help farmers, rich and poorBeating climate change With Africa expected to see rapid population growth and movement to cities in coming decades, its farmers will need to become more efficient at producing larger amounts of food. "It would be a mega-breakthrough. Many people think it's dreaming a little bit because it's so difficult. - said Bruce Campbell, Director: CGIAR Research Programme Laurie Goering - In decades to come, African farmers may pool their money to buy small robot vehicles to weed their fields or drones that can hover to squirt a few drops of pesticide only where needed.

    Smartphones already allow farmers in remote areas to snap photos of sick plants, upload them and get a quick diagnosis, plus advice on treatment.

    Researchers also are trying to train crops like maize and wheat to produce their own nitrogen fertiliser from the air – a trick soybeans and other legumes use - and exploring how to make wheat and rice better at photosynthesis in very hot conditions.

    As warmer, wilder weather linked to climate change brings growing challenges for farmers across the globe - and as they try to curb their own heat-trapping emissions - a rush of innovation aimed at helping both rich and poor farmers is now converging in ways that could benefit them all, scientists say.

    ‘Same problems, same issues’

    In a hotter world, farmers share "the same problems, the same issues", said Svend Christensen, head of plant and environmental sciences at the University of Copenhagen.

    Agricultural researchers, who have teamed up to boost harvests and fight the major blight of wheat rust are now forming an international consortium in a bid to make wheat stand up to worsening heat and drought.

    "There was a real shift in terms of the intensity of what we do together when we became aware of climate change," said Hans-Joachim Braun, who heads the global wheat programme for the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), based in Mexico.

    For each 1 degree Celsius global temperatures rise above pre-industrial times, wheat harvests drop 5%-8%, he said.

    That means the world will likely see a 10% drop in harvests even if governments hold global warming to "well below" 2C, as they have agreed, he said - and that drop would come even as the world's population grows and demand for food rises.

    Finding ways to breed wheat that can cope better with heat could help farmers from Australia to India and China, as well as the people who depend on their grain, he said.

    "It doesn't matter where you use this trait - it will have an impact," Braun said.

    Dare to dream

    One idea scientists are working on is to fundamentally reshape how crops such as wheat and rice carry out photosynthesis, to make them better able to continue producing in hot weather, especially if less water is available.

    The process - like efforts to help wheat and maize start making their own fertiliser - is hugely complex and will likely require decades of work, scientists say.

    "It would be a mega-breakthrough. Many people think it's dreaming a little bit because it's so difficult," said Bruce Campbell, director of the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

    But early tests to improve photosynthesis in tobacco have shown a 40% boost in production - and the technique is now being tested with crops from cassava to maize, said Kathy Kahn, a crop research expert with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Nick Austin, who directs agricultural development for the foundation, said such changes "are going to benefit the poor and rich worlds together" - and could play a key role in keeping food prices affordable.

    "These technologies ... are going to be globally relevant," he predicted.

    Other efforts to help farmers - including the poorest - adapt to climate pressures have already taken root, Khan said.

    Flood-tolerant rice that can withstand being submerged under water, for instance, is now being used by 6 million farmers in Asia to cope with more extreme weather, she said.


    But Christensen, of the University of Copenhagen, thinks even more high-tech innovations - from weeding robots to drones - are likely to reach poorer farmers too.

    With Africa expected to see rapid population growth and movement to cities in coming decades, its farmers will need to become more efficient at producing larger amounts of food, he said.

    "If you want to increase efficiency, you need to use machinery to do some of the hard work," he added.

    He believes prices for drones and robots will fall rapidly in years to come, just as they once did for mobile phones.

    "Maybe you will share this machinery with your neighbour," Christensen said. "A village of smallholder farmers could think of buying one for all their fields."

    Two-way flow

    As consumers and companies demand to know more about the origin of what they buy, farmers in poorer nations could also adopt systems from blockchain to microchips tucked into cauliflower to help with tracking, said CCAFS principal scientist Philip Thornton.

    Thornton is working on a "Wild Futures" report, due out later this year, that will dig into potential high-tech advances and predict how the food system might look in 15-20 years' time, given the pace of technological change, he said.

    There is still "quite a lot of uncertainty" about how much high-tech innovation will reach poorer small-scale farmers and especially around how quickly that could happen, he added.

    But CCAFS director Campbell predicted there would be "many innovations, and the innovations are highly likely to be picked up elsewhere" beyond their source.

    Christensen said ideas also are increasingly flowing from poorer countries to richer ones, not just in the other direction, particularly because the poorest are in some cases dealing with the strongest climate impacts first.

    "There's a lot of inspiration from the people in developing countries," he said. – Nampa/Reuters

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     Katrina slapped with N$50 000 fine Katrina slapped with N$50 000 fine BREAKING: Former education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa has been sentenced to pay a fine of N$50 000 or 24 months imprisonment. Judge Christie Liebenberg delivered the judgment in the High Court a while ago.

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  • 07/31/19--16:00: Going for gold
  • Going for goldGoing for goldShikongo, Nambala set for Grand Prix series Despite limited preparation funds, Paralympic duo Ananias Shikongo and Johannes Nambala are in Holland for a training camp, ahead of the 7th World Para Athletics Grand Prix series. Ananias Shikongo and Johannes Nambala have sourced training funds ahead of their much-anticipated participation at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix series, which will take place in Paris, France from 28 to 30 August.

    According Namibia Paralympic Committee (NPC) secretary-general Michael Hamukwaya, who also coaches the duo, 13 other para-athletes qualified for the Grand Prix series, but due to limited funds only Shikongo and Nambala could travel to Holland for a training camp, through Shikongo's Sport on the Move Foundation. The foundation was set up by Shikongo to help para-athletes while they prepare for major competitions.

    Hamukwaya said they are happy that the two athletes got an opportunity to train in Holland. “It's been tough. We are just trying our best to push the athletes forward, despite the little funds.

    “Currently we have a team of 13 who also qualified, but due to the fact that we don't really have a lot of money, we could only send two,” Hamukwaya said.

    He said they would also like to have a training camp ahead of the world championships in November, where the 13 other athletes will also compete.

    “We have a lot of upcoming youngsters; we really wish we could do more for them and expose them to big competitions.

    “In that regard we are waiting and still negotiating with our sponsor, NamPower, as well as government, to offer us funds to be able to have a training camp, so that we can prepare the athletes well. “We want to do all of this so that Namibia is well-represented at the championships,” Hamukwaya added.

    He said the athletes who qualified are busy training in their regions, with a few based in Windhoek.

    “But we want to make sure we have a training camp before they travel, so that we can see what we can work and improve on,” Hamukwaya said.

    Johannes and Nambala will compete in the 100m, 200m and 400m events at the Paris series.

    After the Grand Prix, they will then prepare for the World Para-Athletics Championships together with the 13 other local athletes.

    The world champs will take place in Dubai from 7 to 15 November.


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    Simon Jr to confident ahead of Musariri clashSimon Jr to confident ahead of Musariri clash Local boxing sensation Harry Simon Jr says he is ready to make lasting memories at the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair (OATF), when he fights as part of the Namibia vs China boxing bonanza on 24 August.

    Undoubtedly Namibia's most promising prospect, the 22-year-old Simon Jr will step into the ring for his 10th professional fight against Zimbabwe's Philip Musariri.

    Simon Jr, who is the junior welterweight national champion, is eager to show his mettle at the MTC Nestor 'Sunshine' Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy bonanza.

    The young boxer outclassed Festus Matias on 20 April in the Independence Legacy Fight Part 2.

    The 30-year old Musariri has nine fights to his credit. He has won six, lost one and drawn two. His last fight was on 31 May against Isaya Chilufya.

    Simon Jr said he is scared of no one in the division, and while many regard him as just a prospect, he is ready to do battle with anyone. He says he is taking it one win at a time.

    “I'm really enjoying my boxing at the moment. I'm fortunate to be fighting so often, which gives me an opportunity to build my record and gain the required experience.

    “I'm blessed to be in such a positive and energetic camp and I am looking forward to displaying spectacular boxing at the Ongwediva trade fair.

    “I invite the fans to come out and see world-class boxing from the best of the best, and get real value for their money,” said Simon Jr.

    The Namibia vs China boxing bonanza will be headlined by Mike Shonena, who will fight Youli Dong from China. Standard tickets cost N$100, while VIP tables are available for N$10 000 each at Computicket.

    Limba Mupetami

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  • 07/31/19--16:00: India's rugby hub
  • India's rugby hubIndia's rugby hub When England and Scotland play rugby each year, the winner hoists the Calcutta Cup, a relic of the sport's roots in India, and a nod to the city where it is still thriving to this day.

    In the 1870s, when the Calcutta Rugby Football Club started charging for drinks, interest among British colonials waned and it was disbanded, leaving 270 silver rupees in the kitty, or so story goes.

    These were melted down to make the Calcutta Cup, the exquisite and now battered trophy still contested annually by England and Scotland, with cobras for handles and an elephant perched on top. While the trophy went on to become one of the most famous prizes in rugby, the sport also survived in Kolkata, as the hot and bustling former capital of British India is now known.

    Indeed today it is the hub of rugby in India, and doing much good in the deprived city in the process, thanks in part to two British expats who gave up their careers to make Kolkata their home.

    A big name in Kolkata's sporting scene is the Calcutta Football and Cricket Club (CCFC), its walls festooned with photos of sporting captains of yore. Founded in 1792, it is the oldest cricket club outside Britain, only five years younger than the Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord's, known as the 'home of cricket'. But the CCFC is not just about cricket.

    “The 'F' in CCFC is for rugby and not football,” sport coordinator Saurav Chaterjee pointed out, as members play darts in the bar. One of the many trophies in the packed cabinets behind him is none other than the Calcutta Cup.

    But this is a different trophy from the more famous one now housed in the Museum of Rugby in Twickenham, England. Kolkata's own Calcutta Cup, smaller than its namesake, is keenly contested every year by about eight Kolkata clubs, one of several local and national competitions. Before independence in 1947, winners included British military teams like the King's Own Regiment.

    But then home-grown sides like the CCFC, the police, La Martinere Old Boys and a team from the city's Armenian community took over.

    “We have a very huge history here of rugby in Kolkata,” said Ryan Galstaun, 37, a member of the community refereeing boys' and girls' sevens in sweltering heat.

    But in recent years there have been two new kids on the scene, Future Hope and the Jungle Crows. Both were started by Brits - a former bank manager and an ex-diplomat - and both have won the local Calcutta Cup multiple times with teams made up of former street children.

    The clubs are also about more than just rugby, using the sport to help both boys and girls from Kolkata's poorer areas, of which there are many, on the road towards a brighter future.

    Paul Walsh, 50, says he started Jungle Crows in 2004 with two compatriots “just for a lark”. The other two have moved on, but Walsh, from Chester in northern England and now an MBE, stayed.

    His Khelo Rugby project involves taking a rugby ball into poor communities, gaining children's trust and helping them in other areas, including giving them money for schooling and training. “You get the odd-shaped ball out, you get the rugby ball out, and it will light up any child's face,” Walsh told AFP.

    “They're interested. So that initial enthusiasm, we just kind of build on that really.”

    “My home situation is very bad,” said Vicky, 19, who started playing rugby 10 years ago, and is now at college thanks to Jungle Crows. He is helping to coach the next generation.

    As he speaks, a group of children delightedly splatter through the mud playing British Bulldog, a rough-and-tumble variant of tag, on a piece of wasteland near the Kolkata port where families live in dire poverty.

    Future Hope founder Tim Grandage, 60, first came to Kolkata in 1987 to work for HSBC bank and was “shocked” by the number of kids on the street. Getting them to play rugby taught them discipline and teamwork, and learning the rules of the game also got many of the children used to a school setting, he says. “We discovered that if you started to teach rugby theory in the classroom, the children weren't so worried about getting into a classroom,” Grandage told AFP.

    Three decades later, the organisation has a school with several hundred children. One ex-pupil now runs the Indian operations of Decathlon, the French sporting retailer.

    “I hated banking, it was boring as anything, although my colleagues were fantastic,” Grandage said, adding: “I always keep a silver rupee from 1840 in my back pocket.”


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  • 07/31/19--16:00: McIlroy joins Tiger in Japan
  • McIlroy joins Tiger in JapanMcIlroy joins Tiger in Japan Former world number-one Rory McIlroy will join 15-time major winner Tiger Woods at Japan's first PGA Tour tournament later this year, organisers announced yesterday.

    Woods had already confirmed his participation, but McIlroy's addition considerably brightens the star power at the US$9.75 million Zozo Championship in October.

    “It is wonderful that we have the opportunity to compete in Japan this year and I'm truly excited to be heading” to the tournament, the 30-year-old Northern Ireland star said in a press release.

    McIlroy's commitment is “a fantastic addition”, organisers of the Zozo Championship said.

    “I know golf fans in Japan are very supportive and knowledgeable about the game and it'll be really cool and fun for the PGA Tour players to perform in front of them for the first time,” McIlroy said.

    “In my career, I've won all around the world and it'll be an achievement if I can register my first title in Japan.”

    McIlroy, the world number three, is currently ranked second on the FedExCup points list.

    The four-time major winner was world number-one for 95 weeks, between 2012 and 2015.

    A total of 78 players, including the leading 60 players from the FedExCup points list, will compete at the Zozo Championship in Chiba, near Tokyo, from 24 to 27 October.


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  • 07/31/19--16:00: Boxers geared up
  • Boxers geared upBoxers geared upNBF targets medals at African Games Eleven boxers have been selected to represent Namibia at the African Games that will be held from 19 to 31 August in Rabat. Namibia Boxing Federation (NBF) president Benjamin Rabang says their goal at the 2019 African Games in Morocco is to maintain their record of doing well at international competitions.

    Rabang said the NBF identified 19 boxers from their national championships that were held in Katima Mulilo in June 2019, but the number of boxers were reduced, as only the cream of the crop will represent the country at the African Games.

    “We have great potential to win medals at the African Games, as we did in the past.

    Namibian boxers usually perform well at international competitions and that is a record we want to maintain,” he said.

    During the 2015 African Games, held in Congo-Brazzaville, Junias Jonas and Mathias Hamunyela won silver medals for Namibia. The two boxers then went on to improve on that record as they won gold medals during the 2016 African Championships in Cameroon, and qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Rabang said the boxers selected to compete in Morocco will also represent the country at the World Boxing Championships in Russia in September.

    “As a federation we do not have funds to prepare our team and send them to major championships; that is why we are calling on the corporate world to come on board and help where the government can't. We have talented boxers who we believe can win silverware for the country if supported well.”

    The boxers who will be travelling to Morocco on 15 August are Andreas Shikongo, Gabriel Shigwedha, Trofimus Johannes, Junias Jonas, Nestor Thomas, Tryagain Ndevelo, Martin Kambalili, Oiva Waitele, Naftali Sheyapo, Immanuel Shaanika and Chris Kangorondue.

    The team is expected back in the country on 1 September.


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    Hulithenipo okukutha aaniilonga pondje yoshilongo - KandjozeHulithenipo okukutha aaniilonga pondje yoshilongo - KandjozeA hala AaNamibia yapewe ompito dhiilonga Ominista yOompangela dhoPaliko oshowo omukomeho gwOkakomisi kOpashigwana kOompangela, Obeth Kandjoze, okwa indile epangelo lyaChina opo li shunithe pevi elongitho lyaaniilonga yaChina moopoloyeka dhaNamibia. Okwa popi kutya shoka otashi kagandja ompito opo AaNamibia oyendji ya vule okukutwa miilonga.

    Kandjoze okwa popi kutya pethimbo ndika AaNamibia otashi ulike yeli pevi lyokumona omauwanawa ngele tashi ya koshikondo shomatungo oshowo oopoloyeka dhomatungo.

    Okwa popi kutya Namibia okwa hala okumona esindano li thike pamwe mekwatathano pokati kiilongo mbyoka iyali, tayi longele kumwe.

    Kandjoze okwa li ta popi pethimbo lyoonkundatha dhiikundaneki dha longekidhwa komukalelipo gwachina, kombinga yoshiyetwapo tashi ithanwa Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

    Omatumbulo ngoka oga popiwa nokukolekwa kuDietrich Remmert, gwoInstitute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), ngoka a tsu omuthindo kutya oshikondo shopaumwene moNamibia nashi kuthe ombinga moopoloyeka ndhoka dhili kohi yoBRI.

    BRI oshiyetwapo shomupresidende gwaChina, Xi Jinping ngoka a gandja omadhilaadhilo ngoka momvula yo 2013 opo ya tunge ondjila yopaliko ndjoka tayi piti moAsia, Europe, Middle East, Africa oshowo America.

    Namibia okwa shaina opo a vule okukala oshitopolwa shoshiyetwapo shoka omvula ya piti muSepetamba, pethimbo lyomutumba ngoka gwa ningilwa moBeijing, niilongo ya Africa ya thika po 40 oya shaina ngashiiingeyi oshiyetwapo shoka.

    Muuyuni iilongo ya thika pe 150 oya shaina etsokumwe lyoBRI naChina, pauyelele mboka wa gandjwa komukalelilipo gwaChina moNAmibia, Zhang Yiming.

    MoNamibia inashi yela natango kutya oondjila dhini po oshowo oopoloyeka ndhoka tadhi ka longwa kohi yompangela ndjoka nenge kutya iiyemo otayi kala yi thike peni.

    Sho kaku na natango uuyelele mboka, omunongononi gwopolotika, Dr Henning Melber okwa popi kutya oBRI, emangelokumwe lyiilongo lyaChina molukongo lwomakwatathano giipindi.

    Zhang, okwa popi kutya BRI ondjila tayi fala kombili na oya nuninwa omatsokumwe gesindano shi thike pamwe moondjila dhomayambulepo.

    Okwa popi kutya China ota longele kumwe naAfrica moBRI oshowo African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), nokugandja omakwatho ogendji kuAfrica a yambulepo omakwatathano ge, omidhingoloko dhopangeshefa oshowo ongushu yiipindi.


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    Ofakitoli yokulonga iipundi niitaafula yooskola moKavango EastOfakitoli yokulonga iipundi niitaafula yooskola moKavango East KENYA KAMBOWE

    Ehangano lyoMJ Tanko Investments otali ningi oompangela dhokutotapo ofakitoli yokulonga iikwafurniture moRundu, ndjoka tayi ka kala nokupangela iipundi niitaafula yomooskola.

    Omukomeho gwehangano ndyoka, Mechitilde Mupiri okwa popi kutya ofakitoli ndjoka otayi ka longela kumwe nehangano li li moJohannesburg moSouth Africa.

    Mupiri okwa popi kutya ngele ayihe oya yi pomahala ngaashi taya pangele nena opoloyeka ndjoka otayi tameke iilonga okuya pehulilo lyomvula ndjika.

    “Ngashiingeyi otatu ningi owala omitumba mpaka naampeyaka nongele otwa mono oshitopolwa shevi neinekelo kutya kehe shimwe otashi pula komeho ngaashi twa pangela nena otatu tameke iilonga okuya pehulilo lyomvula ndjika,” Mupiri a lombwele oNamibian Sun.

    Okwa popi kutya edhilaadhilo ndyoka olya pendulwa kompumbwe yiipundi niitaafula moskola dhomoshitopolwa shoka, tashi etitha aanona ya kuutumbe pevi.

    Okwa popi woo kutya oya hwahwamekwa koHarambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), ndjoka tayi tsu omukumo aanyasha ya totepo omadhilaadhilo mokukwathela epangelo megandjo lyomayakulo nomayambidhidho koshigwana.

    “Otwa dhidhilike nkene aanona taya kuutumba kondhopi moongulu dhoskola shoka sha puka. Kehe omunaskola okwa pumbwa okukala e na oshipundi oshowo oshitaafula shokunyolela, naashoka osho tatu pangelele okupatulula ofakitoi ndjoka tayi ka gandja iitaafula niipundi kooskola.”

    Okwa popi kutya iinima mbyoka taya kondando otayi ka vulika, na otayi ka kuta miilonga aantu yomoshitopolwa nokukwathela meshuno pevi lyomwaalu gwokwaahena iilonga. Oshitopolwa shaKavango East oshi na ondjele yokwaahena iilonga yi li pooresenda 62.5.

    “Otu na ondjele yi li pombanda yokwaahena iilonga mokati kaanyasha moshitopolwa oshowo moshilongo nomokutotapo endiki ndyoka otatu ka kuta miilonga aanyasha yakwetu nokukwathela mekandulepo lyomukundu gwokwaahena iilonga.”

    Mupiri okwa pula aakuthimbinga ya yoolola ya yambidhidhe oshiyetwapo shawo opo shi vule okwaadha omalalakano, ta popi kutya yimwe lyomoompangela dhuulethimbo dhehangano lyoMJ Tanko Investments, okutuma pondje piilongo yopuushiinda iilongomwa yawo.

    Sho a ningwa nale ekwatathano, omukomeho gwelongo moKavango East, Fanuel Kapapero okwa popi kutya ombelewa ye oya taambako opoloyeka ndjoka.

    Kapapero okwa holola kutya ompumbwe yiipundi niitaafula mooskola oyi li omukundu omunene sho muule woomvula ndatu dha piti inapu kala iimaliwa yokulandela ooskola iipundi niitaafula.

    Okwa popi kutya ndjoka ompangela ombwaanawa na otaya pula ehangano li manithe oompangela dhawo ihe okwa popi kutya omilandu dhokulanda iinima mepangelo otadhi ka longithwa na itashiti kutya otaya ka tameka owala okulanda okuza kehangano lyoMJ Tanko Investments.

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    Emanya lyombila lya hanagulwa po mOndangwaEmanya lyombila lya hanagulwa po mOndangwa Omunashipundi gwokomitiye yelelo lyaNdangwa, Andreas Kalumbu okwa patulula oshipotha sheyonagulo lyeliko, sha tulilwamo Omundohotola Salomo Amadhila, ngoka a hanagulapo emanya lyombila ya yina yaKalumbu ndyoka lya li mehala lyaAmadhila mOlukolo mOndangwa.

    Amadhila okwa hanagulapo emanya ndyoka nokulyuumbila mepandanda mehuliloshiwike lya piti.

    Kalumbu okwa popiwa kutya okwa tulapo emanya ndyoka inaya mekwatathano namwene gwevi naashoka osha geyitha Amadhila. Pahapu dhaKalumbu, yina Maria Iithindi okwa hulitha momvula yo1958 na okwa fumbikwa pehala mpoka pe na ngashiingeyi Amadhila. Momvula yo 2017, okwa tokola okutula ombila ya yina emanya.

    “Momvula yo 1958 shomeme a hulitha ehala ndyoka olya li lyanakusa Fillipus Jacob na okwa gandja oshitopolwa shevi lye opo pu fumbikwe meme. Evi konima olya kuthwako kuhe yaAmadhila, nokonima olya ningi lyaAmadhila. Onda tokola okutulapo emanya opo kandi kanithe ombila yameme,” Kalumbu a popi.Kalumbu okwa popi kutya omanga ina tulapo emanya ndyoka okwa yi naantu kuAmadhila opo a vule okutulapo emanya ndyoka ihe inaya tsa kumwe. Konima okwa tokola nduno okutulapo emanya ndyoka.

    Kalumbu okwa popi kutya kuyele nuumvo okwa mono omukanda gwa zilile kuhahende yaAmadhila kutya emanya ndyoka otali kuthwa po.

    Kalumbu okwa tsikile kutya okwa ningi ekwatathano nahahende gwe, elelo lyondoolopa oshowo elelo lyopamuthigululwakalo.

    “Ngashiingeyi sho ya hanagulapo emanya lyameme, otaya ka ninga ngiini iipongolo yameme mbyoka ya kala pehala mpoka omanga inaye ya po, nayo otaye yi fulumo, na omolwashike?”

    Momasiku 25 gaApilili, elelo lyaNdangwa oya mono omukanda okuza kuhahende gwepangelo, Jabulani Ncube, ngoka moka a holola kutya Kalumbu ina gandja omatompelo ge kutya omolwashike andopa okukutha po emanya na oshi li meni lyuuthemba waAmadhila okukutha po emanya ndyoka molwaashoka Kalumbu okwa ndopa okulandula omilandu dhelelo lyondoolopa.

    Amadhila ina vula okumonika opo a tye sha kehokololo ndika, noNamibian Sun oya tseyithilwa kutya okwa za mo moshilongo.

    Omunambelewa Omukuluntu gwelelo lyaNdangwa, Ismael Namgongo okwa popi kutya evi lyaAmadhila, oli li meni lyoongamba dhondoolopa.

    “Otuuvike kutya shotate Kalumbu a ningi etokolo ndyoka inaya moonkundathana naAmadhila nenge elelo lyondoolopa. Omilandu dhelelo kombinga yomayendo otadhi ti ngele omuntu okwa hala okutulapo emanya nena oshi na okuningwa tashi ziminwa kelelo lyondoolopa, naashoka inashi ningwa.”

    Namgongo okwa popi kutya onga elelo yondoolopa oya hala okwiidhopamo ihe oya hala woo aalumentu mboka yakandulepo omukundu gwawo yoyene, molwaashoka ndyoka evi lyopaumwene sho mwene gwevi ina futwa natango.

    Kansela gwelelo lyOpamuthigululwakalo mOndonga, Tomas Akwenya okwa popi kutya oya tseyithilwa kombinga yenanathano pokati kaalumentu mboka yaali, kuKalumbu ihe inaya tsakanena pamwe naalumentu mboka.

    Kalumbu okwa popi kutya ita kutha po emanya ndyoka ya hanagulwapo nokweekelwa mepandaanda.


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    More disruptions at Walvis airportMore disruptions at Walvis airportNCAA seeks urgent solution The withdrawal of navigational instruments causes chaos in bad weather. Flights of three airlines to Walvis Bay had to be diverted to other airports due to bad weather, low fog and cloudy conditions causing poor visibility over the coastal area on Monday.

    Sources said the conditions at Walvis Bay were “extremely foggy”, making it impossible for aircraft to land without the assistance of ground-based navigational instrument approaches recently withdrawn by the Namibia Civil Aviation Association (NCAA).

    Flights by Air Namibia, SA Express, and SA Airlink were all affected. SA Airlink's marketing and sales manager Karin Murray said its aircraft was forced to return to Johannesburg after numerous attempts to land at Walvis Bay.

    According to one source the SA Airlink aircraft circled the Walvis Bay airport three times in the hope that the skies would clear, but had to divert due to continuing bad weather. The Air Namibia and SA Express flights diverted to Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) outside Windhoek.

    Unhappy passengers ranted about the inconvenience caused to them, accusing the airlines and the NCAA of incompetence.

    The airlines said they cannot be held liable for the inconvenience, citing terms and conditions of air flight which absolve them from any liability in unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather.

    The interim executive director of the NCAA, Reinhard Gärtner, reiterated that the authority had no choice but to withdraw the instrument approaches due to “possible legal implications”.

    “We are engaging and exploring all possible avenues,” Gärtner said, adding that there was no indication when the situation would be normalised.

    “We can reinstate the old instrument approaches as a temporary relief but that is not an option. We will go ahead and forge a solution,” Gärtner said.

    Gärtner held an emergency meeting with transport minister John Mutorwa on Monday to discuss the matter, especially in view of the many visitors expected to land at Walvis Bay for the inauguration of the fuel storage facility at the Walvis Bay harbour this Friday.

    It is understood that the NCAA was forced to withdraw the instrument approaches after “inconsistencies” such as illegal software from the suppliers were revealed.

    Gärtner would not say who the suppliers were, saying the matter was sub judice.

    He said the NCAA would now have to invite new tenders for instrument approaches to be installed at HKIA and the Walvis Bay airport.


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  • 07/31/19--16:00: Land activist Khairabeb dies
  • Land activist Khairabeb diesLand activist Khairabeb dies Residents of Otjiwarongo are mourning the death of land activist Benjamin Khairabeb, who passed away suddenly last week at Coblenz settlement.

    The 58-year-old Khairabeb was initially a member of the Swapo Party Elders Council in the Otjozondjupa Region.

    He was in February 2015 suspended from the party indefinitely for allegedly participating in national marches demanding urban land servicing for all Namibians and also for equal land distribution in rural areas - organised by the Affirmative Repositioning movement.

    However, Khairabeb in November 2018 resigned from Swapo and joined the Landless People's Movement shortly after its formation into a political party.

    His cousin, Julius Binda on Monday told Nampa Khairabeb was not ill and he died suddenly while seated in a chair at Coblenz on 21 July.

    A 35-year-old resident of Otjiwarongo, Denis Shikongo on Monday said Khairabeb was an icon to him because of his advocacy for equal rural land distribution and servicing of town land for everyone.

    “We lost a brave man, a true land activist who did not fear to speak about urban land servicing at political and social gatherings,” said another resident, Esther Hoaes, 40.

    Khairabeb's memorial service is expected to take place this week at Otjiwarongo, followed by his burial at the town on Saturday.


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