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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 157 | 158 | (Page 159) | 160 | 161 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Rand now the world's most political currencyRand now the world's most political currencyBumpy ride for the next 3 months Politics is increasingly becoming a driver of currency moves around the world now that central banks are starting to pull back from monetary stimulus. With the US election campaign over, the rand has replaced the peso as the currency next in line for the biggest politically driven price swings.

    The peso, considered a barometer for investors'' views on Donald Trump''s chances, has been roiled as the presidential candidate''s fortunes ebbed and flowed.

    Now it''s the rand''s turn, with a measure of expected volatility over the next three months rising above that of the Mexican currency as the focus shifts to President Jacob Zuma and his battle with finance minister Pravin Gordhan for control of the country''s purse strings.

    The rand has closely tracked Zuma''s fortunes over the past three months, advancing when his position weakened and selling off when Gordhan seemed threatened.

    The volatility is significant because it''s making the rand a tough trade and rating companies preparing to review the country''s creditworthiness have cited political uncertainty as a major risk.



    Short-term trade

    “The rand is a real measure of the political risk premium,” said Guillaume Tresca, the Paris-based senior emerging-market strategist at Credit Agricole SA''s corporate- and investment-banking unit. “You buy the rand or you sell the rand for nine, 10 days or one week, because you know it can flip very rapidly, just on the politics.”

    Politics is increasingly becoming a driver of currency moves around the world now that central banks are starting to pull back from monetary stimulus.

    Turkey''s lira slumped to a record last week as police rounded up opposition leaders, while the British pound has weakened more than any other major currency this year as the nation contemplates an exit from the European Union.

    When Gordhan was charged with fraud on 11 October, the rand plunged 4%, only to rally 2.8% when the charges were withdrawn three weeks later. The currency then jumped 1.1% when Zuma dropped a court bid to block the release of a graft ombudsman''s report that implicates him in unethical conduct, sparking widespread calls for him to step down.

    Three-month implied volatility for the rand versus the dollar, based on the price of options contracts to buy or sell the currency, rose to 19.3% on Monday, more than the peso''s 17.5% and the highest among emerging-market peers, suggesting traders see no end to price fluctuations soon.

    “Politics is key, particularly with South Africa on watch and the credit rating agencies still deciding on whether to downgrade South Africa to junk status,” said Lee Hardman, a currency strategist at The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in London.

    “Certainly, more recently political developments in South Africa have created more volatility for the currency.”

    Zuma has lurched from crisis to crisis. S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, which both rate the country''s debt at the lowest investment level, are reviewing their assessments in December. Judging by the reaction of the rand, investors believe that Zuma''s exit would strengthen Gordhan''s hand in his efforts to bring spending and debt under control and avert a debt downgrade to junk, according to Peter Attard Montalto, Africa economist at Nomura.

    Markets are likely to rally strongly on anything that looks like Zuma''s exit is closer, he said.

    “In our view, this overplays the role of Jacob Zuma in stopping reform in South Africa and over-estimates the change that will come. Nevertheless, South Africa assets can rally strongly on cabinet resignations, protests and calls for resignation and of course the actual event itself.” Zuma is unlikely to give up without a fight, further clouding the outlook for the rand, said Tresca at Credit Agricole. The currency will probably weaken about 8% by year-end to R14.35/$, from R13.37/$ on Monday, according to the median forecast of 31 economists in a Bloomberg survey. Predictions ranged from 13 to 18 per dollar. The rand weakened 0.5% to 13.4247 by 07:06 on Tuesday.

    “My concern is that it''s not the end of the story at all, it''s just the beginning,” Tresca said. “I don''t think that Zuma will do nothing. He will find another way to strike back. The rand will remain very hard to trade.”

    NEWS24

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    China's exports drop again in OctoberChina's exports drop again in OctoberWeak global demand hits hard China''s export-oriented companies see their margins squeezed by rising labour costs and increasing competition from south-east Asian countries. Chinese exports sank for a seventh consecutive month in October, data showed yesterday, as weak global demand dealt a blow to the world''s number two economy following recent signs of stability.

    The result, which also missed forecasts, comes as the country''s export-oriented companies see their margins squeezed by rising labour costs and increasing competition from south-east Asian countries.

    Overseas shipments fell 7.3% on-year, while imports also fell 1.4%, with both coming in below expectations in a survey of economists by Bloomberg News.

    China is the world''s biggest trader in goods and its performance affects partners from Australia to Zambia, which have been battered as its expansion has slowed to levels not seen in a quarter of a century.

    With exports totalling US$178.2 billion and imports US$129.1 billion the trade surplus dropped to US$49.1 billion in the month.

    Customs earlier gave the figure in yuan terms, showing a 3.2% drop in exports and a 3.2% increase in imports on-year.

    Analyst Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said the outlook appeared challenging with “global and domestic growth unlikely to accelerate much further”.

    “The current pace of global growth is likely to be as good as it gets for the foreseeable future.”

    Though the yuan currency''s value has slid to a series of six-year lows against the greenback in recent weeks, making Chinese goods cheaper for trade partners, it has not been enough to lift exports into positive territory.

    The yuan weakened further yesterday after the People''s Bank of China said the country''s foreign exchange reserves dropped nearly US$46 billion in October, their second-largest decline this year as capital outflows eat into the world''s largest stockpile.

    While yesterday''s trade figures disappointed, analysts with ANZ said they suggested that external demand had “not worsened significantly” despite earlier data on factory activity that pointed to a larger decline.

    Beijing is seeking to transition the economy away from being the world''s factory floor for cheap goods to supplying the country''s growing consumer needs.

    “Trade''s contribution to China''s economy is now diminishing as the economy increasingly depends on domestic demand,” Zhu Qibing, chief macro economy analyst at BOCI International in Beijing told Bloomberg.

    Authorities have set a growth target of 6.5 to 7% for the year, which they are on track to meet thanks to loose credit, a red-hot property market, and fiscal stimulus spending on infrastructure.

    Government figures last month showed growth was steady at 6.7% in the third quarter, a sign of stabilisation after years of slowing.

    Investors shrugged off latest trade figures, with Chinese stocks moving solidly higher by the noon break yesterday.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Update tax records - Ministry of FinanceUpdate tax records - Ministry of Finance STAFF REPORTER

    Although some people thought it was a scam, the Ministry of Finance is in fact sending SMSes to taxpayers to update their particulars, as the ministry moves to a new integrated tax administration system.

    Taxpayers are asked to update their particulars via text message to ensure that the information the Directorate of Inland Revenue has is up to date.

    The ministry’s permanent secretary, Ericah Shafudah, explained that the need to update records was necessitated by the migration to a new tax administration system.

    “In preparation for migration of data from the old system to the new system, the Inland Revenue Directorate has started with the process of updating and verifying taxpayers’ records. This is necessary due to the fact that some taxpayers'' records are either incomplete or out-dated.”

    According to Shafudah, the new system is expected to strengthen communication between taxpayers and the ministry.

    Dispelling any worries, she added: “Concerns have been raised that some of the information being requested has been submitted with tax returns already, however, the objective of this exercise is not only to capture missing information but also to verify or correct what is already collected.

    “The short message text being sent by the Inland Revenue Directorate is legitimate and taxpayers must provide the requested information without delay.

    “In order to expedite the process, taxpayers are advised to provide the requested information without delay by directly replying to the message. Alternatively, the information may be submitted to the nearest Inland Revenue Directorate.”

    Shafudah encouraged taxpayers to make use of this opportunity to update, verify and or rectify their information to avoid inconveniences after moving over to a new electronic system.

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  • 11/08/16--14:00: NWR receives tanker trucks
  • NWR receives tanker trucks NWR receives tanker trucks Sanitation in national parks receives attention The government is investing in sanitation infrastructure at national resorts run by Namibia Wildlife Resorts. ELLANIE SMIT



    The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has handed over three tanker trucks worth more than N$4.5 million to assist Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) with the supply of drinking water and servicing of toilet facilities at resorts in the south.

    According to tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta, a lack of maintenance of sewage systems at some resorts could have serious environmental and health consequences if groundwater becomes contaminated.

    “As water in Namibia is a sensitive and scarce resource, it is important to ensure that sanitation in our parks is among the priority areas of management,” Shifeta said.

    Shifeta said one vacuum tanker truck with a capacity of 12 000 litres will be allocated to Ai-Ais, Hobas and the Fish River Canyon Viewpoint. The cost of the truck is more than N$1.7 million.

    The other two tanker trucks with a capacity of 10 000 litres each - one for transporting sewage and another one for transporting fresh water, will be allocated to Sesriem and Sossusvlei in the Namib-Naukluft Park. The two trucks cost more than N$1.3 million each.

    Shifeta said in order to ensure that national parks are managed well, the ministry has supported NWR with infrastructure development to address the hazardous environmental situation at national parks, particularly Etosha, Ai-Ais, Hardap and Namib-Naukluft.

    So far, the ministry has made major repairs to the sewer systems at Okaukuejo in the Etosha National Park at a cost of N$450 000, Halali at a cost of N$1.4 million, Namutoni at a cost of N$260 741 and at Hardap at a cost of N$706 749.

    The ministry is currently renovating the ablution facilities at Dune 7 at the coast. The project is 75% complete and will be ready before the festive season. This project costs N$330 673.

    Shifeta said the ministry also took note of recent reports about the toilets in Etosha National Park. A feasibility study was conducted in 2014 and the ministry is working to replace the toilets with more environmentally friendly ones.

    He said although this project was budgeted for in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years, it could not start because of technical and financial constraints. It will start in the 2017/18 financial year.

    NWR’s board chairperson, Leonard Iipumbu, said the donation of the trucks could not have come at a more opportune time, as rest camps are struggling to cope with the increasing challenges of water and wastewater management.

    “The procured trucks that we are happily receiving will contribute hugely to enhanced management of our sewage systems given the pressure from the increasing number of visitors to our camps.”

    Iipumbu also informed the minister of the progress the company has made since the board was appointed.

    He said one of its resorts, Okaukuejo in Etosha, had reached N$100 million in revenue during the 2015/16 financial year. He attributed this to the strong leadership qualities of the managing director, Zelna Hengari, who he said the board had total confidence in.

    He assured the minister that the board’s sole objective was to get NWR to become profitable and pay dividends to the government.

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    Americandelegation visits MeatcoAmericandelegation visits Meatco Tour ahead of beef exports to that country The American Ambassador to Namibia has visited the Windhoek Meatco plant after the company received approval to export beef to the US market in July. The American Ambassador to Namibia, Thomas Daughton, accompanied by a small delegation, visited the Windhoek Meatco abattoir recently to gain an understanding of the business and its operations, and to discuss possible future ventures.

    Namibia this year finally obtained approval to export deboned beef to the US and Meatco recently announced that a test consignment had been sent to the country while all health certificates are in place for beef exports.

    The company has said that its application to export beef to the US began in 2002 and that it is excited at the prospect that this high-value market may become a reality in the near future.

    Namibia is the first country in Africa to obtain approval from the US to export beef to that country.

    According to Meatco, it was added to the Federal Register on 13 July this year for approval by the Food Safety and Inspection Services of the United States'' Department of Agriculture (FSISUSDA).

    While Meatco is readying itself to start exporting deboned beef to the lucrative US market, the company says that its strategy for this market is to target the fast food industry and franchises like McDonald''s.

    Under the final approval agreements, Meatco will be exporting boneless raw beef products like primal cuts and beef trimmings as well as chuck and blade.

    According to Meatco this also means that it can export both chilled and frozen boneless meat (excluding offal) to that country.

    “The strategy for this particular market is to target the fast food industry and franchises like McDonald''s, to provide maximum returns for Meatco and its producers.”



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 11/08/16--14:00: Happy days are here again
  • Happy days are here againHappy days are here again Double-digit rainfall figures have been recorded in several parts of the country since the weekend, with the heaviest showers falling on Monday.

    Weather forecasters say although the rainy weather is expected to clear up today, moist conditions are expected to return at the weekend.

    Rainfall data collected by the Namibia Meteorological Service over the past week show widespread rainfall in Namibia, with Rundu, Ondangwa, Windhoek, Otjiwarongo, Eenhana and Khorixas recording some of the highest figures to date.

    While the rains have brought relief from the recent heat wave, the City of Windhoek urges residents to continue using water sparingly, as none of the dams have received inflows yet.

    “As of 7 November 2016 only 23% water savings have been achieved, compared to the required 40%, meaning we need to double our efforts to save water by all means,” City spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said.

    The municipality reminds residents to that all excessive water use such as car washing, filling of pools and watering of gardens are still banned.

    Reports on social media indicate even higher rainfall figures than the official record, with a farm near Omatako having recorded 52mm on Monday.

    Another farmer situated 60km east of Hosea Kutako airport on Monday afternoon reported 44mm of rain.



    Rain

    On Friday, 14.3mm was recorded at Eenhana with an additional downpour of 4.1mm on Sunday, while a total of 14.4mm was measured at Otjiwarongo over the past week.

    Ondangwa has recorded a total of 28.1mm since last Saturday, while Khorixas has recorded 16.9mm in total, with 15.3mm measured on Monday.

    The Rundu airport received 19mm of rain on Monday, pushing the total since Wednesday up to 22.5mm.

    Windhoek has recorded a total of 15.6mm of rain since last week Wednesday, with individual reports of 14mm in Avis, 12mm in Ludwigsdorf and lesser amounts in other parts of the city.



    More rain

    Odillo Utsile Kgobetsi, chief forecaster in Windhoek said the rain would continue in the northern regions this week, but clear skies are expected farther south.

    He added that the low-pressure system at the surface is moving eastwards this week, but should move back over the Namibian interior by the weekend.

    “This will improve the moisture conditions over Namibia and therefore increase the chances for rain and thundershowers in the northern, central and eastern regions.”

    Total rainfall figures for Outjo during the past week stand at 9.6mm, with 7.8mm recorded at Omaruru, 5.2mm at Gobabis and 6mm in Oshakati.

    At Opuwo 4.1mm was measured, 6mm in Oshakati, while Rehoboth measured 6.4mm, Sesfontein 2mm and Aus 0.5mm.



    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 11/08/16--14:00: Zim bond notes cause jitters
  • Zim bond notes cause jittersZim bond notes cause jitters Printing of notes allegedly in the country According to reports, Zimbabwe’s new bond notes, which have economists and the public very nervous, are being printed in the country. If Zimbabwe''s little-liked bond notes aren''t being printed in Germany or South Africa, where are they being printed? Zimbabwe, of course, say opposition officials.

    Until recently, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe claimed German firm Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) would print the notes, which are apparently to be put into circulation at the end of this month.

    He''s not saying that now.

    Zimbabwe''s privately-owned Newsday on Monday quotes central bank chief John Mangudya as refusing to say where the notes will be turned out, claiming only: "They are not being printed in Germany or South Africa."

    Many fear the notes will fuel hyperinflation and return Zimbabwe to the economic crisis that peaked in 2008 (which is when G&D finally stopped delivering paper for bearer cheques, Zimbabwe''s last ill-fated currency).

    Bond teachers

    Eddie Cross, the Movement for Democratic Change''s shadow local government minister claims in a new blog post that the German government forbade G&D (which has the rather poignant ''creating confidence'' motto) from working with President Robert Mugabe''s government. "So we went ahead and printed the new currency in Zimbabwe - in the Reserve Bank which has a superb state of the art printing facility in Harare," Cross says. The "we" refers to Mugabe and the central bank.

    Cross repeats his claim that the notes are already printed. The problem is, he says, "how to issue [them] without causing mayhem".

    MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu has been saying something very similar on Twitter this week. Quoting what he calls "authentic sources" he says the notes are being warehoused "somewhere in Msasa", Harare''s industrial area. Gutu says the notes have been printed at the government''s Fidelity Printers.

    Though they''re far from hope-inducing, bond notes are still proving fertile inspiration for jokes. The privately-owned Standard reported this week that the prefix "bond" is being added to anything temporary. "Bond teachers" are temporary teachers, while "bond meat" is soya mince, a pale copy of the real thing.

    What hasn''t helped build confidence in the new notes is the authorities'' attempts to muddy the waters. Mangudya''s claim that they''re backed by a 200 million US Afreximbank facility isn''t backed by the institution itself.

    The fact that Afreximbank was donated a 1.2 hectare plot to build a regional headquarters on in Harare in April may or may not be significant.

    NEWS24

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    TB Joshua predicted Hillary winTB Joshua predicted Hillary win Says a vision came to him ten days ago Nigerian prophet TB Joshua of the Synagogue Church of nations (SCOAN) predicted that Hillary Clinton will win the US presidential election in a “narrow victory” against her Republican rival Donald Trump. TB Joshua made the disclosure while speaking to a packed congregation at the SCOAN on Sunday.

    He claimed that he saw it all in a vision ten days ago.

    The cleric prophesied that the female candidate would win the coveted position and shared his “vision” on his Facebook page which is followed by over 2.5 million people.

    “Ten days ago, I saw the new president of America with a narrow win,” the cleric, who is renowned for his controversial prophetic abilities, began.

    He, however, said the new president would be visited by many challenges, including attempts to possibly pass a “vote of no confidence” amidst difficulties in the passing of bills.

    “The boat of the new president will be rocked,” he said.

    TB Joshua went further to reveal that two states would be instrumental in Clinton''s impending victory at the polls.

    He also, on the other hand, lauded Clinton''s outspoken opponent Donald Trump: “I want to salute the opposition – a very strong man and courageous.

    “He is my friend because he is very, very courageous. Challenges don''t mean anything to him. The more they abuse him, the more he comes out to talk and smile.” With several predictions circulating online which forecast a positive outcome for Trump, Joshua clarified that such visions may have been seen at an earlier date.

    “The men of God that said opposite – maybe they saw it 15 days ago,” he said.

    TB Joshua is renowned for his controversial prophetic abilities.

    He is on record to have predicted major world events, including the death of iconic pop legend Michael Jackson, ISIS-inspired terror incidents in Paris and the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.

    NEWS24

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  • 11/08/16--14:00: Not going back to the ANC
  • Not going back to the ANCNot going back to the ANC“No.” This was the short answer that former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, gave on Monday night when reporters asked her if she would be willing to go back to the African National Congress, a party she was once a member of.

    “I was a member of the ANC and I left it in 2007, not because I had any bad feelings but professionally, I felt that I needed to distance myself from any political party and I am still in that space,” Madonsela said.

    She was speaking on the sidelines of the 2016 Mahamta Gandhi Awards at the Durban City Hall, where she received The Second Satyagraha Award for her tremendous contribution during her tenure as Public Protector.

    She did however say that her services would be available to all political parties.

    “I feel that at this stage, I can assist all political parties if they need my advice or services for free but otherwise, I am taking a holiday for the next 13 months or so.”

    In 2018 she will serve as the chair of social justice at Stellenbosch University.

    The former Public Protector has received widespread criticism following the release of the State of Capture report, which investigated allegations of state capture by the controversial Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma''s son, Duduzane.

    During her acceptance speech earlier on Monday evening, she said: “If there ever was a time for us to be reminded by the life and the message in the life of Mahamta Gandhi, it is today. A time when we are going through a serious turbulent country and world.

    “A time when we are reflecting as humanity regarding what road brought us here and are there alternative roads that we could take towards that world where we can all be happy, there can be friendship and where we can embrace each other regardless of race, gender, disability and sexual orientation.”



    NEWS24

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  • 11/08/16--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day ALLURING: Windhoek is a beautiful city, made more so by the gathering rain clouds to the north of the capital which promises relief after a harsh and protracted drought. PHOTO: HIPPY TJIVIKUA

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  • 11/08/16--14:00: Editorial
  • EditorialEditorial A climate of secrecy

    Government’s decision to prioritise the dissemination of information and its advertising expenditure to state-owned media houses only, should not go unchallenged. The soft ban was seemingly already approved by cabinet in September and a document containing some of the shady details were only leaked to the press this week to be followed up by the independent newspapers. It is interesting that the government is trying to block access to information by the mainstream private media, while it has at the same time resolved to come up with its own efforts to improve transparency and implement the long-awaited access to information legislation. President Hage Geingob has made endless promises regarding accountability and transparency, yet there is a growing climate of secrecy within the Namibian government. You cannot make the right noises about transparency and then fail miserably to adhere to the principles, especially when it comes to sharing cabinet resolutions with the media, which are in any case in the public interest – and cabinet members are servants of the public. Yes, we agree that not all information needs to be shared with the public, in the interests of national security, but why is this information, regarding the significant aspect of sharing information, classified secret? What are politicians working on that relate to national secrecy? It is clear that some politicians are out of their depth and will do anything possible to inflate their egos and/or heal their insecurities. There is no doubt that the directive is driven by a climate of insecurity, and subsequently, secretiveness. The media does more than educate, inform and entertain the citizenry. It plays a critical role in advancing good governance. If good governance and performance are considered the hallmark of the Geingob-led government, why is this censorship of information by his insecure subordinates allowed? Why do politicians bother to sing lofty praises of press freedom, while they are actually muzzling and damaging the free media? This is truly laughable, considering that the very same government is riding on the back of the accolades of “press freedom”, and that Namibia is supposedly the “freest nation in Africa when it comes to media freedom”.

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    Murder accused cop claims he acted in self-defenceMurder accused cop claims he acted in self-defence A police officer, who allegedly killed a nightclub reveller in Khomasdal in 2012, insisted this week that he acted in self-defence.

    Justine Simataa is on trial for the alleged murder of Congolese-born Firmino Fabrice Mael on 26 October 2012. Simataa told the Windhoek High Court that he fired random shots in the direction of the vehicle in which Mael was an occupant outside a Khomasdal nightclub. Mael died at the scene and was found with nine gunshot wounds.

    A medical report showed a gunshot wound on the right temple of his head, four on the left front chest, one wound on the right shoulder, one on the neck and two on the right chest.

    “There were massive internal injuries which resulted in 1 500ml of blood collecting in the chest area of the deceased, which could have resulted in Mael drowning in his own blood,” Dr Simasiku Kabandje who compiled the report stated in his testimony during July 2016. Simaata allegedly killed the Mael by shooting him with a pistol after a scuffle in the nightclub.

    The victim allegedly stepped on Simataa''s feet leading to a confrontation. He claims the victim and three other friends, who included a certain Ricky Likando, attacked him. It was at this point that Simataa allegedly assaulted Likando, shot at and wounded him in the process. He denied that he targeted Mael when he fired random shots.

    Siyomuinji Mbanga who is representing Simataa informed the court that the testimony of the accused was in line with the findings of Kabandje, who said the shooting must have been executed randomly.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Oshana crime fighters dispiritedOshana crime fighters dispirited Demands return of Christina Fonsech The network of men and women committed to the fight against crime is falling apart after several job offers from the health ministry were withdrawn. The Oshana Women and Men Network against Crime is on the edge of collapsing with members saying they are not getting much support from the Namibian police.

    This came to light after the health ministry cancelled 35 employment contracts for these members. They are of the view that Nampol is not doing anything to assist them despite an investigation being launched. They allege that Nampol informed them there were no irregularities.

    They have now become frustrated and are pointing fingers at each other.

    A source at the Oshana police told Namibian Sun that the crime fighters are demoralised.

    Only few of them are still active while the majority do not go into operations anymore.

    They are claiming that Nampol does not value their contribution towards combating crime in the region. They are complaining that since Christina Fonsech went to the Khomas Region and the former regional commander, Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa went into retirement, nobody cares for them anymore. This was confirmed by the group''s deputy chairperson, Delila Mbabi.

    She said only few members are active and some have written to police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga, requesting for Fonsech to be brought back to Oshana to continue with the group she founded with Kashihakumwa some eight years ago.

    “Fonsech used to encourage us to work hard and stay committed. Together with Kashihakumwa, they could fight for us. When our employment opportunity from Oshakati Intermediate Hospital was cancelled, we were disappointed and nobody seems to be bothered to help us. It was alleged that there was some form of corruption but Nampol investigated and found no foul play. Then it just ended there,” Mbabi said. She continued that the intermediate hospital started requesting them to clean and patrol their premises in 2009.

    “On 9 January last year a team of our group management went to see the hospital management requesting them for them to give us employment, and our request was then considered, but later cancelled,” Mbabi added.

    A letter seen by Namibian Sun dated 16 April 2015 from the former regional health director for Oshana, Sakaria Taapopi addressed to the former health permanent secretary, Andrew Ndishishi, seeking for approval for the hospital to recruit 38 members of the network into various positions including cleaners, massager, therapists, handymen, cooks, equipment attendants, portal assistants, administrative officers and several other positions.

    Ndishishi approved the request and signed their letters of appointment on 2 June 2015.

    They were supposed to start working on 1 July 2015. However, the current permanent secretary at the health minister Andreas Mwoombola cancelled all these appointments on 8 June this year without giving any explanation.

    “They must clear my name and give reasons why they cancelled these employment offers. Members are now accusing me and other group leaders, but the issue was investigated by the relevant authorities. I am now the hated person in the group and people are no more interested in activities of the group,” She said.



    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Private sector urged to donate to healthPrivate sector urged to donate to healthSponsorships are required for the health outreach programme which can be provided in the form of services, says Dr Kanime. Opinion is that health is everyone''s problem The coordinator of the National Medical Outreach Services, Dr Ruben Kanime made an appeal to the private sector to make financial contributions to the public health industry.

    Kanime is part of a 21-member team of medical professionals conducting an outreach in the //Karas Region from 7 to 11 November.

    The national outreach programme aims to provide patients with specialist medical care, and is a voluntary initiative started a year ago by Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Haufiku to deal with the backlog of patients in need of specialist treatment. Kanime told Nampa in an interview at the Keetmanshoop State Hospital that health is the responsibility of all Namibians. He explained that health emergencies such as road accidents and violent incidents around liquor outlets are public occurrences that break the back of the health sector. Despite the large national budget allocation to health, more is needed for the provision of quality patient care, he said.

    “We desperately need sponsorships for this outreach programme, while health centres need assistance to purchase medical equipment.”

    Kanime said corporates and ''tender-preneurs'' could consult with hospitals on the types of equipment needed and could buy it themselves.

    The outreach doctors and staff are volunteers from the public and private sector.

    Kanime said they do the work for free but it would be a good day if their accommodation is taken care of.

    The doctors are scheduled to see at least 418 patients, of which 210 require surgical operations during their week in //Karas.

    These are people who were booked for specialist consultations in Windhoek but this service now cuts their waiting period and the bloated lists at the Windhoek Central Hospital and the Katutura State Hospital.

    Hundreds more patients are expected to walk in to see the doctors.

    “We are inundated with patients who come from far during the outreaches. Many will stay at home with a health concern and only come when the teams visit their regions.”

    Kanime, who is an orthopaedic doctor, is set to attend to 116 cases in Keetmanshoop and at the Lüderitz State Hospital.

    “Orthopaedic cases in this region are quite high and many are in the advanced stages. A lot of the patients bear the pain for a long time or treat it with painkillers before finally seeking help.”

    Orthopaedic cases involve complications in the bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves and tendons, and are more common in senior citizens.



    NAMPA

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    Algeria commemorates national dayAlgeria commemorates national day Namibia and Algeria intend to broaden and strengthen cooperation in the fields of energy, trade, industry, agriculture, education, sport and culture.

    The Algerian ambassador to Namibia, Sid-Ali Abdelbari, said last Friday during the commemoration of that country''s 62nd anniversary of the launch of its liberation struggle in 1954, that all these issues will be thoroughly discussed this week during bi-lateral meetings.

    The two countries solidified their relationship with the opening of a Namibian embassy in that country earlier this year and the deployment of Namibia''s first ambassador, Panduleni Shigenge. It was followed by a visit by the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ramtane Lamamra, to Namibia in June this year. Abdelbari said Algeria will host from 3 to 5 December, the African Investments and Business Forum that aims at gathering a wide range of African business stakeholders, including representatives of the continent''s governments, regional and international organisations to discuss key items relating to the economic development of the continent. He said Algeria needs to make economic reforms to diversify its economy and end its over-reliance on oil. Abdelbari said Algerian authorities are making tremendous efforts to preserve that country''s stability in a very difficult regional environment due to the insecure situation in North Africa and the Sahel.

    He said Algeria is also making serious efforts to stabilise the neighbouring countries such as Mali and Libya by helping them in their efforts to regain peace, security and stability through dialogue and negotiations. The struggle for Algerian independence from France was epic though the country experienced serious economic and social challenges post-independence.

    These were addressed by a series of ambitious development plans to improve the living conditions of the population through free education at all levels, free healthcare services and affordable housing for all.

    At independence, Algeria had one university. Today it has 48 universities, one in each region, and one million students. Algeria gives 15 to 20 scholarships to Namibian students each year.



    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 11/08/16--14:00: Six killed in crash
  • Six killed in crash Six killed in crash ELLANIE SMIT

    Another mass-casualty accident occurred on Namibia’s roads just after midnight yesterday, claiming the lives of six people while 18 others were injured.

    The accident that involved 24 people took place about 30km outside Windhoek on the Rehoboth road, close to the Omeya Golf Estate when an Iveco bus hit a cow and then crashed into a tree.

    According to a police spokesman, Slogan Matheus, the bus was travelling from Rundu to Noordoewer.

    Five men and one woman were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The deceased have not been identified yet.

    According to Matheus five people were seriously injured and 13 less seriously. They were all transported by ambulance to Windhoek state hospitals.

    Matheus said the owners of cattle allowed to graze in the road corridors can be held responsible and charged should it be found that they were negligent and knowingly caused a danger to others.

    In this case investigations are still under way.

    This is the third mass-casualty accident on Namibian roads in the last week. On Thursday an accident near Kalkveld killed three people and another accident on the Oshivelo-Omuthiya road killed four people at the weekend.

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    Ongwediva-Ondangwa road plan abandoned Ongwediva-Ondangwa road plan abandoned ILENI NANDJATO

    A plan by the Roads Authority to convert the Ongwediva-Ondangwa road into a dual carriageway has been shelved because there are many buildings built close to the main road, a well-placed source told Namibian Sun.

    The source, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the RA cancelled the Ongwediva-Ondangwa plan because compensating the owners of the buildings would be a costly exercise.

    According to the source, the authority failed to convince the owners of the buildings to halt construction although their structures are within the prohibited distance from the main road.

    RA however confirmed that they are not continuing with the Ongwediva-Omuthiya dual carriageway plan announced by former works minister Erkki Nghimtina three years ago, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Oshakati-Ongwediva dual carriageway.

    “We are only going to expand Omuthiya to Onethindi into a dual carriageway. The project will start 15km to Omuthiya from Oshivelo and will follow the current alignment up to Onethindi. From Onethindi it will bypass Ondangwa and Ongwediva in the south and will join the main road after Oshakati. It means we are going to construct a new road, a bypass between Ondangwa and Oshakati,” RA spokesperson Hileni Fillemon said.

    Fillemon could neither confirm nor deny that the Ondangwa-Ongwediva dual carriageway plan was cancelled because of too many buildings near the road, but she urged the public to refrain from building structures within the prohibited distances.

    According to the source, the RA has been embroiled in a dispute with traditional leaders who are building too close to the main road between Ongwediva and Ondangwa. Some of the builders were issued with letters ordering them to demolish their structures, but they refused and accused the RA of failing to fulfil its legislative role to embark on a public awareness campaign to avoid the current situation.

    “It was this dispute that forced RA to cancel the plan to expand the Ongwediva-Ondangwa road because many builders have built their buildings within 100 metres from the main road, which is against the Roads Authority Act,” the source said.

    In a meeting with traditional leaders at Omuthiya last month, RA engineering technician Silas Titus Temba was quoted by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology as saying members of the community were informed and cautioned against building within 100 metres from the road between 1993 and 1995. Temba informed the meeting that cuca shops along the Oshivelo-Onethindi road that are within the prohibited 100 metres would be demolished to make way for the road expansion.

    “The 1995 that they are talking about is a long time ago. Most of the people who were educated that time are not the ones driving development anymore. The education was supposed to be a continuous exercise,” a source remarked.

    Fillemon said the public awareness campaigns carried out between 1993 and 1995 were adequate and this was confirmed by some traditional leaders during the Omuthiya meeting.

    The road expansion project was meant to reduce car crashes. The RA said construction work would start as soon as the funds are disbursed by the government.

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    Swapo women vie for top positions Swapo women vie for top positions Three stand for SPWC secretary Leadership positions in the ruling party’s women’s wing will be fiercely contested next month. JEMIMA BEUKES



    Swords have been drawn in the battle for the Swapo Party Women’s Council top position.

    The wing’s main politicians, Petrina Haingura, her deputy Eunice Iipinge and Sylvia Kandanga are vying for the secretary position.

    Windhoek deputy mayor Fransina Kahungu, Katrina Liswani and Bernadette Jagger are standing for the deputy secretary position.

    The fate of all these women will be determined at the SPWC elective congress that is slated to take place at Keetmanshoop in the //Karas Region from 7 until 11 December.

    Incumbent SPWC secretary Haingura this week confirmed that she was standing for re-election, while Iipinge said it was her responsibility to stand for election.

    “It is the women themselves who nominated me. Maybe they think I am so good that they want me again or maybe they are missing my leadership skills,” said Iipinge.

    Iipinge, a veteran politician who served in this position in the past, lost against Haingura at the 2006 elective congress at Rundu.

    Kahungu confirmed that she would for election and believes she is able to take the SPWC to the next level.

    “I have decided on the deputy secretary position because my seniors are standing and I do not want to stand and compete against them. I can always work myself up,” Kahungu said.

    The SPWC congress comes at a time when everyone in the Swapo Party are gearing for next year’s national and regional Swapo conferences, which will determine who attends the party''s elective congress in November next year.

    Role of women’s council

    According to gender activist Immaculate Mogotsi the SPWC has succeeded in securing 50/50 gender representation but they need to re-strategise how to get men involved in lobbying for issues that affect women.

    She added that the party’s commitment to gender equality was commendable, but commitment went beyond numbers.

    “There are some things where I thought we could do much more, such as the provision of sanitary pads to girls. I got the impression that women’s empowerment has a lot to do with the provision of sanitary pads, but if politicians are wishy-washy about it then it reflects very badly on them. I was personally disappointed,” Mogotsi said

    Mogotsi added that more needed to be done by female politicians to push for public discourse on gender-based violence, which according to her is not making inroads.

    Women members of the National Assembly last month shied away from debating the provision of free feminine hygiene products to needy schoolgirls.

    The motion was tabled by DTA president McHenry Venaani, who said it was important to remind those who considered the issue taboo that all matters requiring developmental intervention were “the issues of MPs”.

    Deputy Speaker Loide Kasingo said she was embarrassed to discuss menstruation in parliament while the deputy minister of gender equality and child welfare, Lucia Witbooi, said she did not think such a debate was necessary.

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    Namibia still at high risk of famineNamibia still at high risk of famineLean time until next harvest Even an exceptional rainy season would only banish the spectre of famine after the next harvest, a global report on food security warns. Although some parts of Namibia have experienced good rains over the last few days, the country has been rated as being at high risk of food insecurity due to the prolonged drought and this crisis is expected to extend until at least March 2017.

    The rating was issued by the Global Early Warning and Early Action Report on Food Security and Agriculture and covers the period October to December.

    The report is developed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and aims to translate forecasts and early warnings into anticipatory action.

    According to the report, humanitarian consequences of drought are severe in Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The situation is also severely stressed in Namibia and Botswana, it says.

    “The crisis is expected to peak in the January to March 2017 period towards the end of the lean season,” it warns.

    It further warns that there is a risk of further deterioration of food security in areas with limited food access and availability, and a protraction of the crisis into 2017/18, if livelihood recovery does not occur during the current planting

    season.

    Meanwhile an update about the regional situation also warns that the negative impacts of the worst drought in 35 years, which has caused a humanitarian crisis affecting 39 million people or 13% of the SADC population, continue to intensify.

    It says several factors including depleted food reserves, rising food prices, lower commodity prices and slowing economic growth are exacerbating the situation.

    According to the update, staple food prices are rising due to the generally poor crop production over the past two years. The regional cereal deficit currently stands at close to 7.4 metric tons and is 11% below the five-year average, dropping from 29 million tons in 2015 to 26 million tons this year.

    The drought has also led to scarcity of water for human and animal consumption.

    Over 600 000 head of livestock and some wildlife have been lost. In addition, water levels in major dams in the region have declined significantly, thereby affecting hydroelectric power generation, the update says.

    It further states that about 74% of the U$2.9 billion required for the SADC Regional Humanitarian Appeal is yet to be raised. Only U$757 million has been raised by governments and partners.

    According to the update Namibia still requires about 63% of its U$56.6 million appeal. Only U$20.8 million has been raised in support of the 595 983 people who require immediate assistance.

    The early warning report recommends that initiatives need to be considered to support the current planting season. This should include provision of seed, in particular maize, fertiliser and other agricultural inputs.

    The livestock sector also needs support. It is recommended that provision should be made for supplementary feed and water for livestock.

    Veterinary support is necessary for weakened livestock to prevent further losses.

    Support is needed for horticulture through the provision of seeds, small-scale water harvesting and drought-resilient gardening technologies. Food access should be improved to avoid further losses of assets until the end of the lean season.

    The report warns that the consequences of a La Niña weather pattern on agriculture and food security can be both positive and negative.

    The positive effects derive from the increased likelihood of above-average rainfall which could improve pasture and crop yields.

    At the same time, it raises the risk of flooding and crop and livestock losses.

    “Since La Niña would most likely impact regions that have already been affected by El Niño, the food security situation could further deteriorate and protract into 2018.”

    In the event of a “positive” La Niña, it is important to highlight that the actual full effect of above-average rainfall will not be felt until the next harvest.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 11/08/16--14:00: Aroab wants Swartbooi back
  • Aroab wants Swartbooi backAroab wants Swartbooi back Aroab residents are taking to the streets today to demand that President Hage Geingob remove //Karas Region governor Lucia Basson and reinstate her predecessor, Clinton Swartbooi.

    Aroab Small Farmers'' Union secretary Gertjie Witbooi, who is at the helm of the preparations for the peaceful demonstration, said the group had been discriminated against by the governor, who called them South Africans and said they were not Namibian.

    “We feel she has violated our constitutional and human rights and must be removed. We want a new governor or our former governor Swartbooi because he is a good leader who cares about the people of the region,” said Witbooi.

    According to him, Swartbooi showed interest in their plight and therefore should be brought back.

    At least 20 Aroab small-scale farmers moved their animals to the government farm Dickbush about 45km west of Aroab, demanding that they be resettled there

    Following this invasion, Basson told Namibian Sun that the 25 small-scale farmers from Aroab, who had unsuccessfully applied for resettlement, had a “problematic” case because they are South Africans.

    At the time she also criticised the fact that many of the residents had failed to apply for national documents. Witbooi said the farm is situated close to Aroab, which would make it easier for farmers to commute and to monitor their animals in their absence.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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