Articles on this Page
- 11/13/16--14:00: _MTC lauds Tobias
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Namibian refereeing...
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Directorate of spor...
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Cosafa still alive
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Vorster ready to ch...
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Good leadership vs ...
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Paralympic athletes...
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Safland teams well ...
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Vietnam burns ivory...
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Sleeping outside banks
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Guinea goes after E...
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Shot of the day
- 11/13/16--14:00: _The power is with t...
- 11/13/16--14:00: _No funds for Angola...
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Primary school take...
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Shack dweller lobby...
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Dukwe refugees fear...
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Newcastle kills 4 0...
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Communal land chaos
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Former PS killed in...
- 11/13/16--14:00: MTC lauds Tobias
- 11/13/16--14:00: Namibian refereeing on the right path
- 11/13/16--14:00: Directorate of sports in zeros
- 11/13/16--14:00: Cosafa still alive
- 11/13/16--14:00: Vorster ready to champion desert dash
- 11/13/16--14:00: Good leadership vs power hungriness
- 11/13/16--14:00: Paralympic athletes visit Eluwa Special
- 11/13/16--14:00: Safland teams well prepared
- 11/13/16--14:00: Vietnam burns ivory, rhino horns
- 11/13/16--14:00: Sleeping outside banks
- 11/13/16--14:00: Guinea goes after Ebola
- 11/13/16--14:00: Shot of the day
- 11/13/16--14:00: The power is with the people
- 11/13/16--14:00: No funds for Angolan returnees
- 11/13/16--14:00: Primary school takes the lead
- 11/13/16--14:00: Shack dweller lobbyist fights for her members
- 11/13/16--14:00: Dukwe refugees fear persecution
- 11/13/16--14:00: Newcastle kills 4 000 chickens
- 11/13/16--14:00: Communal land chaos
- 11/13/16--14:00: Former PS killed in horror crash
MTC sponsors the academy with N$3.2 million annually and has signed a three-year agreement with the MTC Sunshine Academy.
“We are impressed by their professionalism and how organised they are when approaching every fight. Their marketing strategy is effective, they have established excellent relationships with all media houses and importantly gotten the media interested in not just reporting on fights but also enjoying the fights live while reporting. Clearly boxing has become the number one sports in Namibia,” Ekandjo said.
Ekandjo further added that the company is happy with the record crowds each of their fights attract which reflects the quality that Tobias''s stable has.
“We are well aware that boxing is an expensive sport, but one that people continue to enjoy and I have no doubt that it has become the number one sport of interest and attendance in the country.
“When we get involved in any sports code, our immediate interest is never that of assessing the sports codes performance because we always take a long term view, but with the MTC Sunshine Academy we continue to get results.
“They have done incredibly well given our population and limited resources to place Namibia comfortably amongst the best performing boxing nations in the world. They have already successfully produced three world titles and two world champions,” he said.
Tobias has staged various international and African champions including the biggest unification bouts in the history of African and international boxing, and was recently awarded the Best Promoter in Africa award by the World Boxing Organisation.
Eight of their boxers are rated amongst the best in the world with star world ratings, and Julius “Blue Machine” Indongo is about to make history by fighting for a double world title on 3 December this year, in Russia.
“The quality of their product has attracted the interest of Africa''s biggest sports channel SuperSport, and their fights continue to go live on NBC, and these incredible achievements matter to us, because not only does it allow us to celebrate Namibia''s boxing talent, but it also allows us to create role models, create unity, and re-emphasise the importance of sports as an important platform for nation building.”
These are the sentiments of FIFA Referees Instructor, Felix Tangawarima who conducted the five-day FIFA Member Association Referees Course at Football House in Windhoek.
The course which focused at the amendments to the Laws of the Game 2016/2017 started off on Sunday last week with a fitness test at the Independence Stadium and proceeded with theoretical and practical sessions at Football House.
At the closing of the course on Thursday afternoon, Tangawarima expressed satisfaction with the discipline of Namibian referees and the right combination of people which can only augur well for progression.
“I’m glad to see that you have a good number of experienced and inexperience people in this group. I see some 19 and 20-year-olds which is very good because it means that for many more years to come, you will have good referees. Their technical and theoretical ability is very promising and with the right support, Namibia will remain blessed with referees,” said Tangawarima.
The renowned referee instructor called on the whistle men to remain disciplined at all times and ensure the right communication of the changes to the laws of the game.
“ Players and club officials need to read and understand these new rules as well as how they impact on how you officiate and I trust the NFA will channel it through to all stakeholders so that its works smoothly. Do not officiate at games that are not sanctioned by the NFA as you are representing the association. Remain professionals. You are not politicians but technical people,” Tangawarima cautioned.
NFA secretary-general, Barry Rukoro echoed the call and added that the referees must aim higher. “Go home and work hard on something you think is your special ability within refereeing, train hard, stand out. Our game can only be as good as our referees. Remain on top of the game and I challenge the senior colleagues to open doors for others coming up for the AFCON and World Cup selections. It only strengthens our credibility. We had 10 FIFA referees some years back now we have six. Let’s fill those spots and even increase as well,” Rukoro stressed.
The public on several occasions has suggested holding a sport indaba to iron out challenges facing sport in the country. However, the Director of Sports, Shivute Katamba did not think it was necessary.
In an interview with Sport Wrap recently, Katamba pointed out that Namibia is on track with the implementation of the outcomes from the 2014 sport conference.
“This time around we are on track, the outcomes of the sport conference will not be implemented at once because we do not have funds but we have already started implementing the outcomes.
“So I don’t see the need for us to have a sport conference in the next five years but, we can always design our strategic plan,” he said.
He also indicated that the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) will be doing a presentation on the final document with the sport conference outcomes to the sport ministry today (Monday).
“The sport conference outcomes and the categorisation of sport codes have been finalised and which we are implementing, even the budget review is one of the outcomes from that conference,” he said, urging people to be patient. “And, as funds allow, we will definitely tackle all the issues,” Katamba assured.
He further indicated that after the documents are endorsed by the minister, he wants copies of the outcomes to be distributed to the public so that it can question the directorate and sports commission if planned activities are not carried out.
The recent cuts experienced by the ministry of sports have hit hard the sport directorate.
According to Katamba, although the ministry of finance had warned the ministry about the budget cuts, the sports ministry did not anticipate that the cuts would be that heavy.
“We were caught off guard after the first cut so, we did not expect more cuts and it has affected a lot of our programmes and the bad part of it is that, we are not consulted. Finance just cut,” Katamba moaned.
He added that the Ministry of Finance has also indicated that there will be another budget cut in the next financial year.
“The Ministry of Finance has already indicated to us that our budget will be cut so that means that in the next financial year we should expect another dive, and that in the third year is when they have indicated that there might be some positive trends and we will start picking up,” Katamba said.
He explained that the cuts were “disappointing” because the N$12 million that was supposed to push them to the end of the current financial year has all been taken away.
“We were only left with very little, about N$5 million which will cater for the regional five games because if we don’t go, then the punishment will even be more than what we have to spend now.
“When people talk about the punishment that comes from different competitions, it can hit you and the country very hard. So, after losing that N$12 million, as a directorate, I thought our N$35 000 was there. But, I was talking to my financial advisor. That money is gone, so literally I am sitting with a zero balance in my budget.
“What would you do? You would have to call all the programmes off, so it is not something that we expected. We did not anticipate that it would be so hard. So, for now, unless miracles happen, there is nothing that can happen in sport, all our planned programmes have been called off,” he explained.
Awarding of Paralympics medallists
Meanwhile, the 2016 Paralympics Games medallists are still waiting to present their medals to the Head of State and hear how government will reward them for their achievements.
Katamba indicated that he had a meeting with the permanent secretary in the sports ministry to discuss the issue about rewarding the athletes and when the directorate plans to do so.
“We are saying that the money that we planned for the medal winners was coming from the N$12 million which was taken. So, we can’t really do otherwise but we discussed with the sport commission, and a letter has been written to the ministry of finance to ask if they can allow the sport commission to borrow the amount that we have requested and we are waiting for an answer,” Katamba said.
He added that once the directorate gets the amount of money needed, the athletes will receive their rewards and the athletes will be called in by the directorate to update them on the latest developments.
“We even planned to call the athletes in and inform them of what is happening. So, soon as they are back from the north, we will do so. They should just be patent with us, while we are negotiating with finance and whatever reward it will be, the guide will receive the same reward as the athlete,” he said.
Katamba has slammed the poor planning by sport administrators, stressing that administrators have to learn how to plan. “One thing we need to know is that, every time you (sport administrators) need money you just come to the government to take and go.”
“Like the Namibia Premier League (NPL) issue, they came to tell us about their need in the middle of the financial year, while we are experiencing these cuts.
“People should stop thinking that whenever you need money you can just come and government will just give,” he stressed.
He further warned administrators to stop threating to go to the minister or the president when their requests do not get favourable answers.
“I am sitting here advising the minister on sport issues so, if I am stranded then I will go to the PS and together we will brief the minister.
“So, as sport administrators we have to change our way of doing things and plan better. This football thing has taught us that planning is crucial,” Katamba said.
The association received devastating news from the Directorate of Sports that there are no funds for the team to participate in the tournament slated to take place next month.
Mbidi however told Namibian Sun that while the deadline for submitting the list of players who will take part in the competition was last week, the association has made a decision not to sit back and watch.
The association will submit the names of the players while the boys will be called up for camp.
Although Mbidi could not say when the boys will camp, he said: “The deadline was on Tuesday, and the names are there and the team is ready. It is only that we need to start training and get the money to get to South Africa.
“We have already called the boys to prepare because we cannot fail to prepare in the absence of money. What if the money comes on the last day and we have to travel? So, that is why we have made arrangements for the boys to come into camp,” he asked.
Emphasising the association''s positive spirit, Mbidi said the team will prepare regardless of the bankruptcy.
“It is also difficult for us to say what will happen next as there are plans underway but I cannot disclose those plans. NFA does not borrow money, so it is not necessary to get an overdraft,” said Mbidi.
Meanwhile the Cosafa Competitions Committee chairman, Timothy Shongwe said they are expecting Namibia in South Africa.
He said Cosafa has not received any cancellation or withdrawal of the Namibia U/20 national team and therefore “we are expecting Namibia to participate in this tournament as confirmed by the NFA.”
He further said preparations for the Cosafa tournament are at an advanced stage and Namibia is expected to be in South Africa in December with the rest of the participating Cosafa countries.
The 2016 Cosafa Under-20 Championship will be held in Moruleng, in the North West province from 07-16 December.
Namibia is in Group C with Angola, Seychelles and Mauritius.
The competition will take place on 9 December kicking off in Windhoek as riders will cycle through the desert to Swakopmund where they are expected to finish.
“The uniqueness of the event is what inspires me to take part each year.
“With the different formats, each year brings a different challenge, which makes the Dash really distinctive, so I am looking forward to see what 2016 has to offer,” Vorster noted.
“I have a sophisticated programme to follow which was designed by my coach Deon Carstens.
“I train five days per week and have two rest days in between.
“Additionally, I also do three workouts in the gym per week to build core muscle strength, which is crucial for the endurance of longer distances.
Vorster added: “Like any other cyclist, I''m looking forward to seeing the finish line and listening to all the “war-stories” afterwards.
“The comradely with friends after such a gruelling challenge is always special,” she reiterated.
The Namibian 2016 Rio Olympics participant has completed the desert dash three times, twice in a two-man mixed team and once in a four-man mixed team.
This year, she is set to represent team KIA Elite which consist of a four-man mixed team including Piet Swiegers, Martin Freyer and Fanie Steenkamp.
She insisted that taking on the desert dash is non-negotiable given the team''s readiness to go into the competition.
The cyclist also believes that the dash and she are made for one another, which gives her great strength going into the competition.
This is one of my favourite quotes that speak not only to sports people but to people in general. And I am pointing this out because my emphasis in this column will be about good leaders and power hungry leaders.
We have heard people say, the leadership in different sport codes must resign and so on, but have we ever asked ourselves if failure is one of the things that determine one’s leadership qualities.
Well, sometimes you just sit back and watch how people run their affairs and it’s quite shocking. If I may just share something, I visited some sport office this other day and the way the head was shouting at the staff just didn’t seem right. Yes, this is my opinion of why I feel that it was not right.
Sometimes the leaders of different sporting codes need to understand that one does not wake up a leader, neither does your experience make you a great leader.
Good leadership does not happen overnight and if one ever wants to succeed, it should start from within. Be the driver of your success and do not sit back and demand others to make you successful and later claim popularity which you get because of other people’s hard work.
It is always important as a leader, to set personal goals and only when you meet your personal goals, you can call yourself a leader who has succeeded.
But again, reaching your goals is not all that can determine how successful you are in your leadership, but your power of influencing others. Passing on the knowledge you have and engaging those that you are leading to be successful is crucial.
There are so many people heading different sport codes and academics that fear criticism and that situation is really worrying to me because when you get too relaxed because you think you have achieved so much, then you block your chances to improve.
It’s as if such leaders keep saying to themselves: “No weapon drawn against me shall prosper.” Well, sometimes when people criticise your work, it is not because they want to downgrade you or that they do not appreciate the good work that you do, but they are basically telling you that there is a need to up your game.
What I see in some of our people leading sports, is that they are so hungry to be in those positions, they are so hungry to be seen in newspapers, they are so hungry to be seen on TV, they are so hungry for travelling allowances but, that should not be the case.
I can literally link the kind of leadership in sports to a political phrase I learned at university and that is “Politics of the Belly.” Our sports leaders not only seem so hungry for positions but for the bucks they make from kick-backs and that are a pity.
I hate to talk about internal issues but what we have been reading about the challenges faced by boxing promoters and the “On a mission” board of the Boxing Control Board, is an ugly turn of events that in my own judgement, boils down to good leadership and power hunger.
Sometimes I think it is always good to do a retrospection of yourself and really understand where you are coming from and the relationships you have built.
It is great that such a board has a veteran administrator who has been in the boxing fraternity for years and that not only gives him a great position to influence his fellow board members about the challenges facing professional boxing, but he is also able to foster the relationship between the boxing leaders and the promoters.
At this point in time, I am sure boxing fans hate the way things have turned out or have been since the new board was appointed, but let us not sit here and conclude that it will be the worst board the control board has ever had.
It is great that the aggrieved promoters have come out to express their dismay, and even great that we heard the side of the leadership. Just a friendly advice; there is nothing wrong about still coming together with the aim of making professional boxing greater in the country. Personal egos don’t build a house; they break what others have tried building.
So, aim to first succeed as a person then make a difference in the next person’s life and claim popularity later. For now deliver what you have been entrusted to deliver and let us all aim to make Namibia a top sporting nation.
The Paralympians, both of whom attended the school which caters for visually and hearing impaired learners, were at the school to present their medals as well as motivate learners.
Eluwa Special School was established in 1966 and currently caters for learners from the Oshana, Omusati, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Kavango East and West, Zambezi as well as Kunene Regions.
Classes start at pre-primary level and go up to Grade 10.
The school has 349 learners.
The athletes were accompanied by the secretary-general of the Namibia National Paralympic Committee (NNPC), Michael Hamukwaya and Shikongo'' s guide, Even Tjiviju.
Shikongo won three medals at the 2016 Paralympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro - one gold and two bronze, while Nambala won two silver medals. Shikongo said the school moulded him into the man he has become and told the learners of how he became involved in sports.
“After I completed high school, I enrolled at Polytechnic [now known as the Namibia University of Science and Technology], but had to cut my studies short due to finances. I decided to try and make ends meet through sports in order to help my family,” he said.
Nambala urged the learners to invest in their successes by being disciplined and obedient.
The team also visited Heroes Private School and the Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Senior Secondary School in the same region.
The tournament kicked-off on Friday while the finals and semis of the competition were expected to be played late yesterday afternoon.
Speaking in a telephonic interview from Swakopmund, Booysen reiterated about the quality of the team’s on display.
“The competition so far has been very tough because the international teams came very well prepared. The tournament has been organised very well and we are very happy with that.
“We struggled in the competition against these top teams in view of the fact that they came with wealth of experience.
“We have only been together now for about a month while the teams we played against has been together for many years,” he said.
The coach further added that there is a need for the team to become a professional side if they want to raise the standards and do well in international competitions.
He believes that the quickest way this can be done is when the players spend more time together.
Booysen however, believes that the team has gained experience and this will help the development of the team in the future.
In some of the results, Namibia’s senior national rugby sevens team on Saturday beat South Africa’s All Stars 31-19 in their opening game of the Safland Sevens Rugby tournament underway in Swakopmund.
The three-day tournament started on Friday with club and school teams competing, while the main event with the senior teams competing started Saturday.
In the opening minutes of the game, Namibia ran in three tries through Handre Bezuidenhout, Ricardo Swartz and Shareave Titus to give them a 17-0 lead just four minutes into the game.
Helarius Kisting only managed to convert once from the three tries.
The All Star team responded with a try just a minute later and it was converted.
Nandi Karuwombe then extended Namibia’s lead just before the half-time break with a brilliant individual try which Riaan van Zyl converted.
The half-time score was 24-07 for Namibia.
In the second half Titus scored Namibia’s only try in that half and Van Zyl once again converted to extend their lead to 31-07.
Despite being dominated throughout the match, the All Stars scored two more tries but only converted from one to give them the final score of 31-19.
South Africa Living Legends 27-05 Namibia Academy
This is the results of some of the matches which were played on Saturday in the coastal town.
Zambia 19-17 Eye of the Tiger (South Africa)
Namibia 05-29 Kenya
Namibia Academy 05-24 Eye of the Tiger
Living Legends 44-0 Botswana
Kenya 40-07 South Africa All Stars
Namibia 12-29 Germany
Zambia 12-36 South Africa Living Legends
Namibia Academy 12-07 Botswana
All the results of the competition will be available by Tuesday.
Kaino Nghitongo and Jesse Jackson Kauraisa
Additional reporting by NAMPA
The seized horns - estimated to be worth more than US$7 million on the black market - came from some 330 African elephants and 23 rhino that were slaughtered by poachers to meet the demand for ivory, used to make jewellery and home decorations, and rhino horns, in the misguided belief they can cure cancer.
The horns were crushed and then burned on the outskirts of Hanoi, with Vietnam joining 20 other nations in destroying seized wildlife products.
An international conference on the illegal wildlife trade will be held next week in Hanoi, Vietnam''s capital. It will be attended by officials and experts including Britain''s Prince William, a vocal critic of the illegal wildlife trade.
Vietnam is one of the world''s major transit points and consumers of trafficked ivory and rhino horns.
According to the head of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Fauna and Flora, or Cites, the destruction of ivory and horns ensures that no one can profit from the contraband and sends a message that “Vietnam is not prepared to tolerate this illegal trade, and that illegal traders now face significant risks along the entire supply chain - in source, transit and destination states”.
Cites secretary-general John Scanlon said in a statement that the age and origin of the contraband can now be identified through forensics, making prosecution and conviction more likely.
“As a result of global collective efforts ... trading in illegal ivory and rhino horn is shifting from low risk, high profit to high risk,” he said.
Ha Cong Tuan, Vietnam''s vice minister of agriculture and rural development, said at the event: “By organising today''s destruction, Vietnam would like to affirm once again that the Vietnamese government is highly determined in implementing laws, international conventions and fighting law violations. It is also a message to those who are thinking of using or trading wildlife products for profit that they must stop; otherwise, they will be severely punished.”
The African elephant is facing an unprecedented poaching and trafficking threat. From 2010 to 2012, an estimated 100 000 elephants were killed illegally to meet the global demand for ivory, according to Humane Society International, an international animal protection group.
Over the past decade, poachers killed more than 6 000 rhino across Africa. In South Africa, 13 rhino were poached in 2007, but there has been a dramatic increase in poaching since then, and more than 1 300 were poached in 2015 alone, the group said.
“This is just one of many steps that Vietnam has taken over the last three years to combat wildlife poaching,” Teresa Telecky, Humane Society International''s director, told reporters on Saturday. “We are very hopeful that this event will drive the message home to the public that they should not consume rhino horns, they should not consume ivory and get behind the Vietnamese government in trying to stop to this.”
In the past two months, authorities in Vietnam have seized 4 tons of ivory smuggled in five shipments from Africa. The destruction on Saturday included 2 183kg of ivory and 70kg of rhino horns.
Vietnam has banned poaching of its own dwindling elephant population, while the Javan rhino was declared extinct in Vietnam in 2011.
Some of them have been coming here for days, spending their nights lying on uncomfortable cardboard boxes in the hope that when morning comes they will be able to withdraw some money amid worsening cash shortages.
“It''s painful,” a young man told Al Jazeera. “We leave our families at home. Sleep here in the dark, in the cold.
“We don''t even remember what our beds feel like anymore. It is disgraceful.”
Zimbabwe''s economic crisis is going from bad to worse, forcing hundreds of people to sleep outside their banks to get money. The country adopted the US dollar and South African rand in 2009 after massive inflation wreaked havoc with the economy and rendered the local currency worthless. But banks are now running out of US dollar reserves and that is leading to massive queues.
Some banks have already limited withdrawals to just US$50 a day per person.
“It''s become a way of life,” said Al Jazeera''s Haru Mutasa, reporting from Harare. “Sleeping outside the bank is the only way some Zimbabweans can make sure they get cash.”
The government has announced plans to introduce a local currency called bond notes. It hopes that the cash injection will boost exports, benefit local businesses and ease the suffering of Zimbabwe''s poor population.
But some economists warn the never-ending bank queues may not disappear anytime soon.
“Definitely they will persist unless or until there is an inflow of capital into the country, which is unlikely,” Prosper Chitambara, an economist, told Al Jazeera.
“Without that, the queues will persist.”
Right now, all most people can do is wait and try to get as much money out of their bank as possible once they manage to reach the cashier.
“More people are planning to spend another uncomfortable night in front of a bank,” said Al Jazeera''s Mutasa.
“They hope tomorrow will be easier; they hope they can withdraw US$100, instead of 50.
“Then they won''t have to do this again ... at least until next month.”
Ebola''s “patient zero”, a two-year-old boy living in the forests of southern Guinea, fell ill in December 2013 potentially after contact with a fruit bat, scientists believe.
The new French-funded Institut Pasteur in Conakry will conduct research, train scientists and test for some of the world''s deadliest diseases, including Lassa fever, yellow fever and Rift Valley fever, all of which threaten Guinea''s population. Guinea lacked the resources to combat Ebola as it ravaged the country until all active cases were declared over five months ago, including the means of testing the virus quickly to stop its spread.
Since then France in particular has poured money into ensuring Guinea, a former French colony, has adequate means to tackle deadly haemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola.
At a ceremony in Conakry, French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called the future centre a “symbol of solidarity”, following President Francois Hollande''s visit at the height of the epidemic in 2014.
It will begin operations in early 2017 but works to complete all the facilities are expected to take two years. According to experts, 75% of infectious diseases that affect humans originate from animal contact or animal products we consume.
The single case of the boy in the Guinean village went on to infect 28 000 people and kill more than 11 000, according to World Health Organisation figures.
When Julius Malema broke with the ANC and formed the Economic Freedom Fighters, very few took him seriously, but as with Trump, Malema spoke to the heart of the people, as outlandish as his message was.
Governments must remember, and this includes our own Swapo-led government, that they should never underestimate how fed up a country’s population can be. In our little corner of the world, the bulk of our people are languishing in poverty and so dire is the situation that the matter of the affordability of sanitary towels was discussed in parliament.
Government will also do well to note that our people are informed. The traditional avenues of news have changed and the powers that be can no longer control the message that goes out. Blind allegiance to Swapo, as it was two decades ago, no longer exists.
We see it on social media with attacks on the government for cronyism, corruption and practising tribalism.
Our people are not blind… they see the lifestyles of the top officials while they hustle daily to make ends meet. And while we are not there yet, our people will reach a point of satiety which will be reflected in the polls.
As with the American people.
Things in the free world are not as good as they used to be and it is not relevant whether Obama or Bush is to blame. What is relevant is the general mood of the people, the daily challenges they need to overcome, the threats to their immediate security and a presidential candidate who lied, repeatedly.
Trump’s message struck at the heart of what the Americans fear, the majority in any case and now he moves into the White House. It is time that our government, and those across the world, take stock.
The power does indeed lie with the people.
This response culminates from allegations detailed in a petition handed over in September by a 300-member group known as ''Namibian refugees'', who claim that the UN promised them programmes including resettlement and physical and psychological rehabilitation, but these promises were not delivered on.
In a letter dated 7 October 2016 from the UNHCR in Pretoria, South Africa, in possession of this agency, the UN agency states that claims and accusations that they failed to honour promises made to the returnees are not true.
According to the UNHCR, their mandate is to get limited funds from donors to provide the returnees with start-up kits, which may entail farming tools, non-food items and seeds.
The UN agency said it''s the Namibian government''s responsibility to rehabilitate such persons.
“We wish to state that there are no funds that were earmarked for the Namibian repatriation in 1989 that have not been used or were retained by UNHCR.
Also, as per the rules governing UNHCR''s expenditure, UNHCR offices must return any funds that were not spent in any given fiscal year to its headquarters in Geneva,” reads the statement.
On Thursday, the same group took to the streets of Windhoek, singing and marching with placards from central Katutura to the UN House in Klein Windhoek to deliver a second petition directed to UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon.
Group spokesperson, Ueshitile Peyolo Shekupe said they are dissatisfied with the manner in which the repatriation, rehabilitation and resettlement (three Rs) process was done during and after the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 435, which paved the way for Namibia''s independence.
Shekupe said they have been left to fend for themselves, with no access to humanitarian assistance, and are challenged by socio-economic and socio-political problems.
“The problems which we continue to face some 26 years after Namibian independence are inextricably linked to the unsatisfactory way in which the RRR process was implemented.”
Shekupe said the latest petition handed to UN Resident Coordinator, Anita Kiki Gbeho, is for the UN to provide the group with comprehensive information, including UN certified and detailed reports of budgetary commitments and monitoring and evaluation on how the implementation of the RRR process was done in Namibia in 1989.
In September, Nampa reported that upon the refugees'' return from Angola, where they fled to during the liberation struggle for independence from South Africa, they were only given N$10, a mattress, and some utensils, including a hoe.
They are complaining that when they came back, many of them were near the retirement age of 60 and could not secure formal employment or education. The majority now rely on monthly pension grants from government.
Those who arrived while they were still young and able to work are now employed in low-paying jobs with not enough money.
They say the social and economic support by Ministry of Veterans'' Affairs does not address their plight.
The Christmas Charity Project event kicked off with a moving speech by the school headmistress Clara Basson who extended a hearty welcome and thanks to everyone in attendance, sketching the real challenges of residents of the immediate community. This was followed by a speech by the founder and co-ordinator of the project, Mervin Mbakera, who is of the view that one does not have to be a millionaire in order to make a difference in somebody’s life.
“This project is deeply rooted in the concept of Harambee, which emphasises that nobody should be left behind, not even the homeless,” he said.
Mbakera added that each and every school in Namibia should give back to the community because the schools would not have existed without the community. The food parcels, which included cooking oil, sugar, rice and other non-perishable food products, were valued at approximately N$6 000.
The The crowd, comprising of the needier members of the community along with several homeless people, was entertained by a learner in Grade 5, who blew the audience away with his profound voice. The crowd was reduced to tears by the songs sung, which included the widely popular song Break Every Chain by world-renowned gospel songstress, Tasha Cobbs.
The project, which annually provides temporary relief for the needy, has been running for four consecutive years to date having been launched in 2012. At the time is was mainly aimed at the elderly folk in the Katutura Old Age Home. The following year saw the project move onto the Nama Tribal Community of Katutura Central and then to Aris Primary School and Havana Primary School in the years 2014 and 2015 respectively. The project focused on these two schools because they are mainly attended by children who are in dire need of financial assistance. In 2016, the groups targeted were the homeless and those living in highly impoverished areas.
Ashley Slinger, who was also in attendance at the event and delivered a speech on behalf of the underprivileged, expressed his deep gratitude at the school’s act of kindness. Slinger, who ended up on the streets after completing Grade 10, says that he is deeply concerned about the wellbeing of many children on the streets, as there has been an increase in drug use among them, mainly the sniffing of glue and other substances such as petrol. He further said that the situation is worsened by the fact that these children take drugs on an empty stomach. He stressed his appreciation saying, “We know now that we are not forgotten by the entire Namibian community. This is evident in acts such as the one undertaken by Moses van der Byl Primary School.”
This outreach project serves as proof that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and what could seem insignificant to one may mean the world to another. The looks of gratitude on the faces of the people to whom the food parcels were distributed were priceless and very moving. The school intends to reach more and more people in the coming years through this initiative because they believe that it is more rewarding to give than to receive.
Riled by the slow pace at which local authorities are allocating land to the Shack Dwellers'' Federation, the national chairperson, Martha Kaulwa, rebuked the local authorities during an event at the site where construction of houses for some of the members of her organisation has started. She said it takes years for local authorities to give the organisation land. Kaulwa was speaking last week at the site where the construction of 27 houses for federation members in Ondangwa has started. She said this is the second time the Ondangwa Town Council is giving them land since the last allocation in 2004 when the federation was given 74 plots in the Okangwena location.
Kaulwa said currently, the federation has 2 479 members in Ondangwa, but the federation has only built 101 houses, including the 27 houses currently under construction. “This situation is not only in Ondangwa, but it is the same throughout the country. We need land for our members to build their houses, but local authorities are not giving us land,” Kaulwa said. The governor of the Oshana Region, Clemens Kashuupulwa has called on local authorities to support the Shack Dwellers'' Federation initiative by giving them land. He said the federation is trying to provide decent houses for the poor and low-income earners. “I applaud the Ondangwa Town Council for creating a public-private-partnership (PPP) with the Shack Dwellers'' Federation to build houses for the poor and needy. This initiative is highly recommended for all local authorities in Namibia to make sure that they provide affordable houses for their people,” Kashuupulwa said. Kaulwa said Ondangwa members have contributed over N$300 000 towards the building of their houses. The Ondangwa Town Council allocated the 27 plots to the federation in April 2015 to build low-cost houses. Kaulwa said they immediately allocated the land to their members who started making bricks for their houses in August this year. She said this just demonstrates how eager they are to build houses.
She proudly announced that the federation partners, Standard Bank, Pupkewitz Foundation and the First Lady Monica Geingos, are doing a great job to assist them. Ondangwa mayor, Paavo Amwele applauded the Shack Dwellers'' Federation for speeding up the utilisation of the plots soon after council allocated them saying the promptness really demonstrates the members'' desperation to have decent houses.
The group of women started a sit-in at the SADC headquarters at around 06:00 on Monday last week and vowed to remain there for two weeks until the regional body concedes to their demand for intervention.
The women had travelled from Dukwe to Gaborone to petition SADC''s executive secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence-Tax.
There are an estimated 1 000 Namibians living in the Dukwe refugee camp after the suppression of the secessionist attempt in 1999. The women who are sitting in at the SADC headquarters claim there are more than 300 children that were born in the camp.
The protesters have asked that SADC emulate the African Commission on Human and People''s Rights by asking that the Namibian government to “respect the rights of the Caprivian people” and to resolve allegations of human rights violations, including the Namibian state''s alleged “illegal occupation” of the region.
They are asking that SADC create a platform where the political stalemate on the matter can be resolved in a peaceful manner, alleging continued torture, forced disappearance and political, social and cultural humiliation at the hands of the Namibian government.
The women''s sit-in comes after the Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, met with a delegation from the Botswana government in Katima Mulilo in August to discuss the resumption of the repatriation of the Dukwe refugees.
The two governments had set December last year as a cut-off date for these refugees to voluntarily repatriate to Namibia. This was set aside when one of the refugees sought an interdict from the High Court in Botswana that they may not be deported to Namibia for fear of persecution here. The refugees in their petition to Lawrence-Tax say that the three-pronged agreement between the two governments – voluntary repatriation, local integration or deportation back to Namibia – was reached without their input.
“We are not going to Namibia through voluntary repatriation nor will we go for forced resettlement. We are also not interested in local integration but we want a solution to our problem so that we can return home in peace, having peace of mind, dignity and restoration of our broken humanity,” the women say in their petition to SADC.
Providing an update to Namibian Sun on the latest disease outbreaks impacting the country''s meat industry, acting permanent secretary in the agriculture ministry Sophia Kasheeta said that Newcastle disease is still confined to the Oshana, Omusati, Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions.
She stressed that there are control measures in place which include movement control, vaccination and public awareness campaigns.
“The review on the effectiveness of these control measures will be carried out by the Directorate of Veterinary Service soon,” she said.
She added the ministry has not received any reports yet of people that have become ill from eating chicken products infected by Newcastle disease.
“Nevertheless, we still strongly urge the public not to consume meat from sick chickens or any other sick animal,” she said.
Kasheeta further said that normally it would take about 12 months from the last day a case of Newcastle disease was seen to declare the outbreak over.
With regards to lumpy skin disease, the last case was reported on 27 June.
“Lumpy skin disease is currently under control,” said Kasheeta.
The outbreak, which started in April this year, was reported in the areas of Rooibult, VatiraPost, De Hoek and Sukkelaar Post in Otjombinde and Kalkpan in Epukiro.
A total of 436 cases were recorded since the start of the outbreak with 433 cases that were reported in Otjombinde and three in Epukiro.
Four cattle have died.
She said that control measures are in place and this includes vaccination and movement restrictions.
She added that with regards to the suspension of exports to China due to this outbreak, the ministry is currently engaging with the General Administration for Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of China to amend import conditions regarding lumpy skin disease. It was recently announced that Namibia will not be allowed to export any beef products to China for at least 12 months following the outbreak.
Reportedly, lives are being threatened as communal landowners are allegedly continuing to sell large tracts of land in dangerous areas, while service providers say that land allocation in rural areas is a serious concern because houses and other buildings are denying them access their facilities.
These allegations came to light on Friday during a meeting organised by the Oshana Communal Land Board at Opoto near Ongwediva. The meeting was attended by members of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, the Namibian police, communal landowners and service providers such as the RA, Telecom, NamWater, NamPower and Nored were also represented.
The meeting turned into a blame game as the land board, Telecom, NamWater, NamPower and Nored place the blame on traditional authorities and the RA for allowing construction at sites where it is illegal while traditional leaders blame landowners who are selling land without consulting them. Landowners say they are only taking the example from their traditional leaders.
The senior headman for Onamutayi district of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, Amon Shipanga told the meeting that communal landowners made it difficult for the authority to control and maintain the communal land. He said they are selling land without consent.
“Landowners are selling land wherever, without consulting us. They are selling it at high prices and that makes us powerless to stop them. When landowners are coming to inform us, they have already accepted money. There are some cases pending where landowners have been summoned for the illegal land sales,” Shipanga said.
Some village headmen told the meeting that they have evidence that some buildings were approved by RA road inspectors. RA engineering technician, Silas Temba, said that those allegations warranted a serious investigation. He said the Act stipulates that no permanent or temporary structures are allowed to be erected within 100 m from the main road, and 30 m from the gravel road. He also admitted that they failed to prevent this catastrophe from the start.
“Some of these people were approached, but they told us that they used a lot of money to buy the land, so RA must compensate them first. Some are building close to the road purposely, saying that when RA expands the road, they will be compensated. People, RA will not compensate you, but we will demolish your structures,” Temba said.
Telecom’s northern area manager Junias Kalimbo said they have an agreement with RA to use the area some 27-32 m from the road for their facilities. “Once we see a person about to put our facilities in danger, we approach them. If this does not deter them, we request the RA to act. A good example is at Adolfi where a builder decided to build a double-storey house around our cable. He was ordered to demolish the structure, after failing to comply with early warnings,” Kalimbo said.
NORED, NamPower and NamWater are saying it gives rise to a hazardous state of affairs that may cost lives, as houses are built over main water pipes and under overhead power lines. “Some people build with facilities such as transformers and transmission boxes within their premises and when there is a power failure it is very difficult for us to attend to it. Buildings are not allowed to be erected within a six-metre distance from overhead power lines, but they are not complying,” NORED public relations officer, Herman Ngasia said.
The chairperson of land board Reinhold Iita told the meeting that lodges and big businesses established in communal land are illegal and he ordered RA and the traditional authority to demolish them. “Only the communal land board has the power to give land for lodges and businesses. All of those we see between Ondangwa and Ongwediva are illegal and we will have them demolished,” Iita said.
Spokesperson of the Namibian police in the Otjozondjupa Region, Warrant Officer Maureen Mbeha said the deceased persons were identified by their close relatives on Saturday afternoon.
Former Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry Fisheries and Marine Resources, Uitala Hiveluah and 48-year-old Ruben Pienaar, a member of the Namibian police who was stationed at Epako in the Omaheke Region, are amongst those who perished in the accident.
Others were identified as Werihongorera Kavari, 28; Prostasius Masaka, 28; Basillius Bas Kgobetsi, 30 and Friedrich Heinrich Brayn Tjombonde, 40.
Mbeha said Hiveluah was traveling with her son who was driving the Toyota Fortuner at the time of accident, while Pienaar, Kavari, Masaka, Kgobetsi and Tjombonde were all traveling in a Volkswagen sedan vehicle.
She explained that the sedan was coming from the direction of Okahandja, while the other car was travelling in the opposite direction.
The collision occurred at about 20:30, approximately 50 km north of Okahandja on the B1 road.
Mbeha said the son of the former PS, whose identity the police did not reveal, is the only survivor of the accident.
Police investigations in the matter continue.