Articles on this Page
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Swartz under fire
- 11/13/16--14:00: _Outstanding N$20 mi...
- 11/14/16--14:00: _It's business unusu...
- 11/14/16--14:00: _Russian warships sa...
- 11/14/16--14:00: _Christchurch rocked...
- 11/14/16--14:00: _Shot of the day
- 11/14/16--14:00: _Where is your alleg...
- 11/14/16--14:00: _‘A great day for SADC’
- 11/14/16--14:00: _Imagining an econom...
- 11/14/16--14:00: _Evaluating regional...
- 11/14/16--14:00: _Analysing Africa’s ...
- 11/14/16--14:00: _NEEEF 25% clause wi...
- 11/14/16--14:00: _Tsumkwe patients to...
- 11/14/16--14:00: _Blue Crane promises...
- 11/14/16--14:00: _Ongandjera palace o...
- 11/14/16--14:00: _Pastor shares his s...
- 11/14/16--14:00: _Shaduka saga ends
- 11/15/16--14:00: _NFA vs NAFPU battle...
- 11/15/16--14:00: _Coach impressed wit...
- 11/15/16--14:00: _Russia, here we come
- 11/13/16--14:00: Swartz under fire
- 11/13/16--14:00: Outstanding N$20 million halts work
- 11/14/16--14:00: It's business unusual for Trump
- 11/14/16--14:00: Russian warships sail to Syria
- 11/14/16--14:00: Christchurch rocked again
- 11/14/16--14:00: Shot of the day
- 11/14/16--14:00: Where is your allegiance?
- 11/14/16--14:00: ‘A great day for SADC’
- 11/14/16--14:00: Imagining an economically free and prosperous Africa
- 11/14/16--14:00: Evaluating regional integration in SADC
- 11/14/16--14:00: Analysing Africa’s “poor” status
- 11/14/16--14:00: NEEEF 25% clause will not solve inequality
- 11/14/16--14:00: Tsumkwe patients to be airlifted
- 11/14/16--14:00: Blue Crane promises Whk route soon
- 11/14/16--14:00: Ongandjera palace opens mahangu stores
- 11/14/16--14:00: Pastor shares his suffering
- 11/14/16--14:00: Shaduka saga ends
- 11/15/16--14:00: NFA vs NAFPU battle continues
- 11/15/16--14:00: Coach impressed with U-20 women's confidence
- 11/15/16--14:00: Russia, here we come
The reinstatement comes despite the fact that the town’s CEO Christophe //Uirab suspended him on Thursday of last week, out of fear that he would complicate investigations into these charges, specifically related to intimidation and harassment of staff.
According to //Uirab the relationship between him and the council is also very “unhealthy”.
“I do not think they have the right to set my decision aside, but the minister will have to decide whether the council has done right,” he said.
According to //Uirab the town’s management however rejected his decision to suspend Swartz, which makes him wonder why Swartz, is so “untouchable”.
“It is funny that they are against it; they did not reject other suspensions and the allegations against Swartz are very severe. We needed to suspend him so that he does not interfere with the investigations – they are very serious,” said //Uirab.
According to social media discussions, town council staff abandoned the offices early Friday morning to strike over 10% salary increments.
This strike, according to //Uirab, was instigated by Swartz, which forced him to report a charge of trespassing on Friday afternoon.
“I am at the police station to report a complaint about trespassing against him. I hear he is telling people that the council has already approved increases but I am refusing to give the go-head,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to council documents the first charge against Swartz is that the whole or a portion of N$13million for the Westridge Development has been transferred into his personal bank account at Bank Windhoek.
The second charge alleged that on 27 May 2016 Swartz applied for a study loan of N$30 000 to pursue studies with the Australian Institute of Business (AIB) which he received.
However according to the charge sheet Swartz allegedly never paid this money to AIB and is not registered with the institution.
It is also alleged that Swartz applied for a study loan of N$22 000 in 2012 to pursue a degree programme but has to date failed to repay the loan.
The third charge alleges that Swartz has allegedly failed to repay payments amounting to N$45 117.90 for retirement and social security following his re-appointment.
The fourth charge alleges that Swartz failed to sign an agreement with the Africa Huaxia mine outside the town which as has resulted in a loss of approximately N$1.8 million over the past five years. Allegedly he has a personal business contract with the mine for the transportation of workers to and from the mine.
“This arrangement is in direct violation of corporate government principles, as it is a direct conflict of interest,” the charges sheet read.
Swartz is further accused of allegedly claiming N$20 000 for kilometres on official trips, despite not using his own vehicle which is reportedly broken.
He is also charged with intimidating an employee who raised concern over his alleged decision to appoint a casual worker who was allegedly involved in theft while working for the council in the past.
//Uirab also accused Swartz of tribalism for reportedly saying “I will make sure that by the end of the year, there will be no Basters working for the council.”
Swartz is also accused of fraudulently obtaining a motor vehicle allowance without proof of the purchase of a car.
There are several other charges on the documents in possession of Namibian Sun which includes infringements of procedures and negligence, including allegedly paying out severance packages to staff that have left the council voluntarily.
“The scenario if proven during the investigation process would mean that the council has lost thousands of Namibian dollars due to your negligence in the performance of your duties,” said //Uirab.
Hardap Governor Esme Isaak, when contacted, said knows nothing about these charges or the suspension.
“Those people do their things on their own without informing me. Never call me again when it concerns the Rehoboth Town Council,” she said before ending the call abruptly.
The line minister Sophia Shaningwa also pleaded ignorance about the affairs at Rehoboth.
The CEO of the Roads Authority (RA), Conrad Lutombi, confirmed that the parastatal received a notification of the suspension of work by the China Railway Seventh Group and Onamagongwa Trading Enterprises joint venture.
Lutombi said in accordance with the contract the joint venture has a right to suspend work on the project because of an outstanding invoice.
He said the RA and the joint venture will have a meeting this week, adding: “We will be able to resolve the matter.”
The joint venture had given a 21-day notice of its intention to suspend work on the road project in a letter written by the project manager of the Chinese company, Xianjin Wang, on 20 October when he informed the employer of a “possible delay” in the construction of the project.
Wang said payment was due on 21 September and again on 16 October, saying the late payments were having an effect on the contractual production output and planning.
“It is imperative that a positive cash flow is maintained on the project to allow the contractor to maintain a planned level of production and resource procurement for the successful completion of the project,” Wang wrote.
He said the delay in production is due to late delivery of materials caused by late supplier payments, as well as losing trust with suppliers related to settlement agreements that have not been honoured.
Wang wrote that plant and equipment imported were also impounded by customs at the Walvis Bay harbour due to import duties and taxes that the joint venture was not able to pay as a result of “morbid cash flow”.
A managing member of the Onamagongwa Trading Enterprises, Martyn Ipinge, on 8 November wrote to a supplier of the impending suspension that would start on 11 November, and added that the RA had failed to honour its monthly contractual obligations.
“It is unknown as to the duration thereof and to whether the joint venture shall cease all works or continue with minor works; this will be formalised in the next few days,” Ipinge wrote.
Ipinge would not comment on the matter when contacted.
Lutombi did not expound on the reasons why the RA had failed to honour its contractual obligations.
According to the payment schedule the RA has paid over more than N$106 million to the joint venture. The outstanding payment is close to N$20 million.
China Railway Seventh Group, which holds 80% shareholding in the joint venture and which states its vision as enhancing “the quality of life of all our people”, had recently in an advert stated that it has commenced work on a bridge and road at Frankie Frederick Street in Prosperita.
It stated construction on this part of the project would start on 21 September until 30 February next year.
Rudy Giuliani, a former mayor of New York and one of the leaders of Trump''s presidential transition team, told CNN that American presidents are not covered under laws preventing high government officials from having private industry ventures while in office.
“You realise that those laws don''t apply to the president, right? The president doesn''t have to have a blind trust,” Giuliani told CNN.
“For some reason, when the law was written, the president was exempt,” said Giuliani, an attorney who also served years ago with the US Justice Department. “I think he''s in a very unusual situation,” Giuliani said of Trump.
In a separate interview on ABC''s ''This Week'', Giuliani suggested that Trump should nevertheless remove himself from the running of his business empire.
“For the good of the country, and the fact you don''t want a question coming up every time there''s a decision made, he should basically take himself out of it, and just be a passive participant in the sense that he has no decision-making, no involvement,” he said.
Accusations of mixing business with politics are not new, but the problem takes on new dimensions with Trump, whose name is inextricably linked to his property empire that extends beyond US borders. Under current law, while non-elected members of the US administration face stringent constraints on their business activities, those rules do not apply to the president or vice president.
Managing political relations with US allies while president risks creating a curious mix of competing goals.
“The man is an enormously wealthy man,” Giuliani said, but said he does not see “real fear of suspicion that he''s seeking to enrich himself by being rich. He wouldn''t have run for president.”
The commander of Russia''s flagship Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier Sergei Artamonov said via videolink that the ships are now in the “designated zone... in the eastern Mediterranean” and “are now jointly carrying out tasks, manoeuvering to the west of the Syrian coast”.
The battle group has travelled to Syria from the North Sea through the English Channel in the biggest such naval deployment in recent years as part of Russia''s military intervention in Syria.
Russia has been flying a bombing campaign in Syria for the past year in support of President Bashar Assad and has deployed a naval contingent to back up its operation.
The naval task force has been monitored closely by Nato, whose chief Jens Stoltenberg voiced concern the ships would be used to support the Russian military operation in Syria and “increase human and civilian suffering.”
The ship''s commander was speaking to a presenter on Russia-1 television from inside the defence ministry for a news show that will air this evening in Moscow.
He confirmed that aircraft are already taking off from the ship''s deck to view the conflict zone.
“Flights are being carried out from the deck... they are working on co-ordination with the shore port,” he said.
“The flights have been going on practically every day for the last four days,” he added.
Russia''s Interfax news agency on Friday had cited a Russian military and diplomatic source as saying that Russian MiG and Sukhoi jets have been regularly flying into Syrian airspace from the Kuznetsov to “determine combat missions.”
The Russian television channel also spoke to the commander of the Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered battle cruiser, which is part of the same flotilla.
Asked whether foreign aircraft were flying over the ships, the commander, Vladislav Malakhovsky, said “they are afraid to come closer than 50km away, realising very well how powerful the nuclear cruiser is.”
Residents in coastal areas fled through the night Monday after the 7.8 earthquake struck just after midnight, triggering a potentially destructive tsunami, AP reported.
Nearly seven hours after the first quake struck, the prime minister confirmed two fatalities, saying “we cannot rule out” that number will rise.
“At this point we are unable to give precise details of what caused those fatalities,” Key said, adding that communication problems made it difficult to get information from the affected areas of the South Island.
The earthquake, centred north of Christchurch in the South Island, was felt throughout the country, causing widespread damage and reported casualties.
Authorities said they were not yet declaring a national emergency, saying the regions are coping well.
According to AP, authorities in Wellington are urging people who work in the centre of the city to stay home on Monday.
Authorities in New Zealand downgraded tsunami warnings around the country following a powerful earthquake just after 20:00.
It is difficult to comprehend members of parliament and ministers, who are paid with public funds, feeling so little for the country and its people, which they serve.
Certainly, the Democratic Alliance did not bring the motion as a political ploy. The Zuma administration has been a shambles from the very outset and few presidents in our immediate region have been plagued with so much scandal and chaos.
One can thus deduce, and fairly so, that those civil servants in that parliament, those 214 and those who abstained, feel nothing for the people or the country they serve.
And so it is with Rehoboth.
Willie Swartz has been in the firing line for roughly three or more years. He is a human resources manager. He is not a CEO or a mayor. He has not made any positive difference to the town or its people. Yet, scandal and rumours have followed him … and continue to do so.
The CEO suspended Swartz so that an investigation into the more than 20 counts of fraud, harassment, embezzlement and corruption could be investigated without hindrance. The council however, voted to reinstate him. Suspension would have been with pay so the reason to vote to keep him at the office confounds.
Unless it is a political or Swapo issue.
If these councillors had the interests of Rehoboth and its people at heart, why would they want to keep the human resources manager there while these severe charges against him are being investigated? What could possibly be the motive? Because it cannot be the best interests of the town and its people.
Why are people like this doing the jobs they do and taking ratepayers'' money every month?
Behaviour like this, as well as that of the South African parliament members, smacks of lining your pockets and butt-licking. It shows there is no interest in transparency, rate- and taxpayers'' interests at all.
And there lies the real problem.
Speaking to approximately 40 members of parliament from 13 SADC states which included Speakers, the vice-president described the day as a great day in the history of the SADC Region.
“Today will go down in the annals of history as the day that our members of parliament set aside political and other differences to resoundingly say no to child marriage by delivering a Model Law that will no doubt provide guidance to all our members as they develop or refine their own national laws to eradicate child marriage,” he said to thunderous applause.
Describing child marriage as an “embarrassing scourge”, Mnangagwa, who is also the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, noted that it had taken SADC PF and its partners nearly two years to develop the law with so much commonality that it could easily be adopted or adapted as members reform and develop legal instruments and policies to eradicate child marriage.
“It has been a long journey marked by widespread consultations involving many stakeholders including legal drafters, our own MPs, civil society organisations and even our judges who enriched the Model Law,” he said before outlining six detailed steps taken to develop the Model Law before the 39th SADC PF Plenary Assembly Session which took place in Ezulwini, Swaziland on 3 June, unanimously adopted it.
A lawyer, the vice-president said Model Law provides evidence-based guidance on how the region can address child marriage, especially in the face of inadequate or sometimes conflicting related legal instruments.
“Based on the latest evidence, the Model Law will no doubt be a valuable sounding board to countries as they reform, develop or revitalise their laws related to child marriage and its impact.”
Noting that child marriage was a global problem, he urged member states to unite against the phenomenon lest they fail to benefit from the demographic dividend.
He said Zimbabwe, like other membera opposed child marriage, with the country’s President Robert Mugabe determined to keep all children in school.
Mnangagwa said the Model Law would be distributed to parliaments and other interested stakeholders in the SADC countries, especially relevant government ministries and departments.
“It also needs to be presented to the SADC Secretariat for consideration to be transformed into a SADC Protocol on Child Marriage.”
He urged SADC PF to hold workshops with key stakeholders in SADC to popularise the Model Law and work with the media in this regard.
“Our members need to take a hard look at child-related marriage laws they have in their countries and pass relevant laws. More importantly, members of parliament can and must use their oversight role to ensure that national budgets support implementation of laws and policies in their countries to eradicate child marriage and support those already in marriage.”
Speaking at the same launch, SADC PF deputy president, Malawian lawmaker Joseph Njobvuyalema said the new Model Law might encourage SADC members to be accountable in the execution of policies, the enactment of laws and in coming up with strategic plans and measures aimed at eradicating child marriage, protecting children already in marriage and ensuring the sexual rights of young persons.
“We are convinced that the creation of a robust and uniform legal framework relating to child marriage is key to addressing child marriage and sexual and reproductive health and rights,” he said.
Njobvuyalema said regional and international treaties require countries to set the minimum age of marriage at 18, register all marriages and take effective action, including legislation, to eradicate child marriage.
“I call upon all MPs in our region to do all within their power to move towards implementing laws and policies that are relevant to our national settings to eradicate child marriage. This Model Law obliges member states to provide in national legislation for intervention programmes to support child brides or wives and their families.”
Among other things the SADC Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting those already in Marriage promotes earlier and more frequent use of family planning; HIV and Aids and maternal health services; educational and economic opportunities to help break the cycle of inequality, illiteracy, illness and poverty that frequently perpetuate child marriage.
It provides, also, for comprehensive sexuality education and provides for collection of data on the number and status of children already in marriage, including the child’s education, access to resources, health care, education, information and entertainment and the socio-economic status of the family.
After reading some scholarly articles concerning the state of regional integration in SADC member states, one comes to the understanding that the purpose of transforming the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC) into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was to promote deeper economic cooperation and integration to help address many of the factors that makes it difficult to sustain economic growth and socio-economic development, such as continued dependence on the export of a few primary commodities. In other words the purpose was to try and close the gap between the member states in terms of economic growth. It has become an urgent necessity for SADC governments to transform and restructure their economies. However, factors such as the small size of their individual markets, the inadequate socio-economic infrastructure and the high per capita cost of providing this infrastructure, and as well as their low incomes have made it difficult for them to attract or maintain the necessary investments for their sustained development.
SADC can be applauded for the fact that they opt for a development integration approach which recognises the political and economic diversity of regionally integrating countries. This includes countries’ production structures, trade patterns, resource endowments, development priorities, institutional affiliations and resource allocation mechanisms. SADC has over the years managed to succeed in attaining some of these fundamental goals even though one cannot overlook the fact there is still a lot to be done. The under-development of the SADC member states and their low revenue generation results in them not succeeding in focus areas like infrastructure development and as a result this leads to poor foreign investment. SADC has an approach of addressing issues of production, infrastructure and efficiency barriers arising from the underdevelopment of the region. This approach can be a good step in the right direction, because it complements trade liberalisation with sustainable corrective measures. It also cushions the least-developed countries against shocks arising from the removal of trade barriers. This approach allows member states define the scope and sectors of cooperation and to identify appropriate strategies and mechanisms to overcome obstructions to regional integration and to address regional imbalances between member states.
On 22 August, a team of experts hired to strengthen SADC‘s implementation capacity of the REIS programme, presented its inception report to the SADC Secretariat. The event was held at the SADC House and chaired by the TIFI Director, Boitumelo Gofhamodimo. The inception report reviewed the state of play of regional economic integration in SADC and the situation regarding negotiation and implementation of the EU-SADC Group EPA. The team also made comments on the REIS Global Work Plan and the First Annual Work Plan and outlined its approach to the REIS implementation.
The overall objective of REIS is to promote sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in SADC. This objective corresponds to the general objective of the SADC Treaty, the RISDP and the various protocols that constitute the basis of SADC’s Regional Economic Integration Agenda. The specific objective is to create an enabling environment through the SADC Secretariat to enhance the movement of goods and services within SADC, facilitate investment, and secure WTO compatible market access arrangements between SADC EPA countries and the European Union (EU).
Funded by the EU to the tune of 19.6 million euro, the REIS Programme is designed to assist SADC to implement the SADC Secretariat’s mandate on promoting regional economic integration and EPAs with the EU. This falls within the 10th EDF SADC-EU response strategy in the area of regional economic integration, which aims to help promote economic integration and the reduction of poverty in the SADC region, through enhanced cooperation and trade between SADC member states.
For survival of SADC, one advises that it has to identify intervention areas that are critical for the achievement of deeper integration. It should try its utmost best to ensure that its member states strive to work together in basic areas like infrastructure development, trade and production. One of the areas that also needs attention is the cross sectorial intervention areas that deal with poverty eradication, combating HIV and Aids and finding a solution of how to deal with the problem of gender imbalances. The issues of poverty, HIV and Aids and gender inequality have always been and for some many more years to come be a threat to the member states to achieve the objective of their regional integration. To justify this statement, one will say that this problem requires more attention because dealing with these societal problems is very expensive. More funds should be budgeted towards dealing with these issues and this leaves the member states with less revenue to fund other developmental projects.
One acknowledges that the major achievements and challenges of regional integration in SADC are equality and development, science technology, information and communication technology, environment and sustainable development, private sector and statistics. Of the entire visible effort SADC member states should strive towards building a free trade area that would result in deeper regional integration. The true degree of integration will depend on the extent of the removal of all barriers to trade in goods and service. It will just not be enough to think only about trade policy. All institutions and rules that affect trade will have to be taken into consideration in order to achieve deep integration in the region.
*Ernst Katjariua is fourth-year student studying towards a bachelor’s degree in Public Management.
In an ‘upright’ Western upbringing, a person who has had a chance to live on a farm fertile with all the needed materials would be classified as stupid if he or she died poor. Trying to understand why people suffer is probably one the most difficult tasks one would embark on; this is because people experience hardships and tough times for many different reasons. People’s ambitions are normally linked to the kind of environment they are raised in, the culture, values and well-being of people is what contributes to how high people’s ambitions can be. This is not to say those from poor background don’t have big dreams. People normally set standards based on the richest people from their community. Africa today is still poor. How is it that the richest continent on the planet in natural resources is the least developed and poorest?
According to the dependent theory Western countries have slowed and under-developed Africa by keeping it dependent on them. Having lived in Africa all my life, I find it extremely difficult to understand that African states play a blame game so that the citizens can be comforted to think their leaders are trying their best but they are being hindered by the West.
The case of poor choices: Wants over needs: Like a young man would go for a beautiful young lady because of her looks, and ignore the one who truly loves him because she is less attractive, the young mans inability to distinguish what he needs from what he wants can be likened to what most African countries are doing today. Africa is where it is today because its leaders fail to use a simple theory of needs over wants; they twist it to wants over needs. Today African presidents live the most luxurious lives, travel around the world, driving expensive cars - all coming from taxpayers’ money. Thus, in a country where poverty levels are high, government would rather approve the building of an expensive parliament than approve proposals by sectors of the population to provide grants to unemployed youth. Africa needs practical incentives that would provide equal opportunities, improve education and eliminate unemployment.
The case of puppet leaders: African leaders are so good at reading excellent and inspiring speeches to the international community. They show well-designed plans of how they intend to develop their respective countries. The reality on the ground is that all these speeches and plans remain on paper. Less than 20% of these plans are ever implemented. The easiest way to get rich in Africa is to join politics. Whatever the Western countries decide we follow. How is that Africa still can’t determine the prices of its own natural resources? The fact is most African leaders have become rich because of abusing state resources; they find it difficult to challenge the West because of fear being targeted like Robert Mugabe. Those that try to stand up and prevent the looting of resources by Western countries are not supported by other African leaders, as was the case of Muammar Gaddhafi. Chiluba, former Zambian president once said the people that are supposed to save Africa are either in exile, graves or suffering in jails, suppressed by those that have found favour with Western leaders.
Africa needs leaders that will take politics as a vocation, not those that will see it as an easy way to getting rich. Most of all leaders that are able to act against any form of injustice by the Western countries. Instead of blaming them for our misery why not act against the actions if we think they are not good? Young and ambitious leaders that know that they still have a life ahead and they have to prepare effectively for it, not old, worn-out leaders waiting for the Lord’s call. Leaders that won’t cling to power for their own selfish interest and are able to identify the needs of their citizens.
In Africa, the education levels are so low in general, even some people that have been to university can just be called trained and not educated. This problem is the reason why we have the wrong leaders in government, people supporting visionless leaders due to tribal or religious issues. Most people have become so used to suffering that they think their current situation is the best they can be, hence they don’t care who is the president and what the government is doing - whether wrong or right. Most citizens don’t understand the importance of presidents and the other leaders they choose, so they just chose these because they like how they look like or because of tribal/religious relations.
Puppet leaders, accompanied by their inability to differentiate needs from wants are the main reason why our continent is still the poorest today. The majority of the citizens don’t know that they deserve better, or to say they don’t know how well they can live, if it happens that they do, they don’t know why they suffer. If Africans take it upon themselves to welcome the full responsibility of that which is within their control; the mineral resources, the labour and the mental capacity, then the reasons as to why Africa is still poor 60 years after the first African country (Sudan) became independent, would only remain in a newspaper article like this and not in reality.
*Mario Chainda is a fourth-year student studying towards a bachelor’s degree in Public Management at the University of Namibia.
These remarks were made last week at the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) annual strategic planning session when Kapofi discussed important issues with the union''s executive council.
According to the NAU the view expressed by Kapofi is in accord with a statement by President Hage Geingob at the recent Swapo congress.
“He also emphasised that the creation of prosperity should rather be attended to than to just redistribute prosperity and that this is the responsibility of everybody in Namibia,” says the NAU.
According to the union Kapofi also emphasised the important contribution of commercial farming to the country''s economy and referred to the government intervention in reopening the South African border for livestock exports as proof of how important the sector is.
With regard to land reform Kapofi expressed concern that some resettlement farms are not productive and he encouraged farmers to assist where necessary.
He referred to his own personal situation where commercial farmers helped him to commercialise his own farm.
During the annual planning session the strategies of the NAU were scrutinised.
The union says following input from the executive council, macro-economic aspects such as the environment in which farmers produce were discussed.
According to the NAU it was again emphasised that the government is a strategic partner of the union and that better cooperation on political as well as administrative level is necessary.
The executive council also expressed concern that the public often reacts to perceptions regarding commercial agriculture and not on factual information.
“The NAU will make an attempt to not only give its members factual information with regard to various aspects, but also to the general public,” it said.
It said to do this a series of meetings will be held early next year in the commercial sector. The various regions will be responsible for arranging these meetings.
According to the NAU the future financing of the union following the phasing out of levy financing from the Meat Board was also debated in depth.
An increase in membership fees was agreed on at the NAU congress in October, but there are various options that will be investigated to ensure future financing without burdening members with increased membership fees. As soon as more clarity has been obtained about the possible financing options, the NAU members will be informed accordingly.
The union said restocking after the drought is another concern. To support farmers in this process, negotiations will be held with AgriBank and commercial banks.
This followed a recent familiarisation visit to the Tsumkwe clinic, where Haufiku learned about the long distances and poor conditions of roads to towns such as Grootfontein or Rundu.
The minister said he was informed that some patients died along the way as a result of the long distances.
“I am therefore grateful to both defence minister Penda ya Ndakolo and works minister Alfeus !Naruseb, who both in principle responded positively to our kind request to deploy army helicopters to airlift patients from distant places to health facilities,” said Haufiku.
The minister expressed hope that this arrangement can be implemented next month, or by January at the latest.
He added that the fuel costs would be paid by the treasury and from the health ministry''s budget.
“Only those that are critically ill or had severe trauma and need to be admitted to intensive care units, especially pregnant mothers, post deliveries and small babies, will be airlifted by the works ministry''s Lear Jet from Katima, Ondangwa and Luderitz to Windhoek,” said Haufiku.
The distance from Tsumkwe to Grootfontein is about 400km of gravel road. Tsumkwe is a constituency in the Otjozondjupa Region, with a population of about 10 000.
This assurance comes in spite of recent reports which indicated that Fly Blue Crane had run into funding constraints that threatened its survival a little more than a year after it launched.
According to the planning specialist of Fly Blue Crane which is headquartered in Johannesburg, Cilliers Jordaan, the airline has reassessed its route development plans and decided that the proposed route to Windhoek will now only be finalised within the next two months.
Fly Blue Crane recently experienced a delay in the delivery of the aircraft that were planned to service the Cape Town to Windhoek route and therefore it has not officially opened yet.
The airline announced in April this year that it had received approval from the South African and Namibian authorities to launch services between the two cities. The inaugural flight from Cape Town to Windhoek took place on 13 July and the return flight on 15 July, but sales for the route have not yet opened as no launch date for scheduled operations has been confirmed.
“Our route development plans have been re-assessed in line with the aircraft delivery schedule and route demand through the year. We should be finalising the route implementation plans over the next two months,” Jordaan told Namibian Sun.
He said that Fly Blue Crane moved the implementation of the Cape Town to Windhoek route to an aircraft that will be available at a later stage to ensure that the route is launched when demand is optimum since it fluctuates through the year.
Fly Blue Crane is a privately held South African carrier operating scheduled domestic services in South Africa and launched its first inaugural flight in South Africa last year September.
The airline was started by Siza Mzimela, former CEO of South African Airways (SAA) and SA Express, Theunis Potgieter and Jerome Simelane, who are also former SAA executives. The airline is South Africa''s first majority black- and woman-owned low-cost airline.
It operates a fleet Embraer Regional Jet 145 (ERJ) aircraft from its base in Johannesburg and currently operates to Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Cape Town as well to Mthatha Airport in the Eastern Cape.
This is an effort of the traditional authority to complement the government''s drought-relief programme. According to the authority, the government''s effort is not enough due to the nationwide drought which has resulted from poor rainfall over the past few years. Ongandjera last experienced such a drought in 1961.
Queen Andreheid Mupiya opened the mahangu stores at the palace at Uukandongo on Sunday and King Johannes Mupongolitha Mupiya and his senior headmen distributed mahangu to community members yesterday.
According to the chairperson of the Ongandjera Traditional Authority, Sakeus Shikongo, this was last done in 1961 when Uushona Shiimi was the king.
Mupiya said he invited community members to bring their own containers to the palace to receive mahangu.
“This mahangu belongs to the community and it is just stored at the palace. Community members are the ones who cultivate and harvest it every year on the palace''s mahangu field. It is customary for those finding themselves without something to eat to come and get mahangu from the palace, but this year the need is very high,” Mupiya said.
He said the palace was inundated by hungry people, indicating that the drought''s impact is severe.
“We directed headmen to identify all the people who are severely affected by drought to come and get mahangu from the palace. This is just the first round and we invited 15 villages only, others will follow later,” he said.
Queen Mupiya said the palace has enough mahangu to carry Ongandjera and assist those that are seriously in need.
“We have 12 stores, and today we planned to give away five stores, but we ended up giving only one. During times like this, as the Queen, I have to feed the nation,” she said.
King Mupiya, who is the 26th king of the Ongandjera community, was not happy with community members who brought small containers, saying they were inadequate.
He also encouraged community members to continue cultivating the palace''s mahangu field.
“This is an indication why it is important to cultivate the palace''s field.
It is for your own benefit. I am urging you not to sell this mahangu, but use it to feed your family,” he said.
“I just woke up in the middle of the night of June 1987 with my whole body itching. I ended up scratching myself for the whole month,” Kandjala said.
In July of that year he decided to go to the clinic at the Tobias Hainyeko Training Centre in Angola, but they could not help him. He said he continued itching and was scratching himself to the point where an ugly rash developed on his stomach and chest.
“With my sickness, I was deployed at the north-eastern front (Detachment A) with my terrible itching and rashes all over my whole body. I did not tell my comrades because I thought if I told them they would think that I was afraid to go to battlebecause of the intensification of the war at that time. So, I decided not to say anything,” he said.
Kandjala said after independence he visited many doctors who told him that there were no medicines to cure the illness. “Many people started saying that I was the one who brought HIV and Aids from Angola. Due to this stigma, life was not good for me and I started wishing I would die.
“In 2008, with the help of my army commanders, I was sent to Cuba for treatment and that is when my life started getting better. In Cuba they gave me the medication that I am currently using and I have to continue using it,” Kandjala said.
He said the medicines are keeping him in better health, but they are very expensive. Some of them require him to submerge himself in seawater after applying them. The vaccines are ordered from England through a South African agent. He injects himself twice a month and the treatment costs him a minimum of N$20 000 every month, money which he raises with the assistance of Good Samaritans.
“When I started getting better in 2010, I decided to write a book called ''There is War Between Life and Death''. This is because as far as I am concerned there are many people who may need information about this disease which will be contained in the book,” he said.
Kandjala is requesting Namibians to assist him with publishing the book. He can be contacted at 081 484 4440.
According to the World Health Organisation, psoriasis is a chronic, non-communicable, painful, disfiguring and disabling disease for which there is no cure. It has a great negative impact on the patient''s quality of life. It can occur at any age, and is most common in the age group 50 to 69.
The reported prevalence of psoriasis in countries ranges between 0.09% and 11.4%, making psoriasis a serious global problem. It remains unclear what causes it, although there is evidence for genetic predisposition. The role of the immune system in psoriasis causation is also a major topic of research.
Although there is a suggestion that psoriasis could be an autoimmune disease, no auto-antigen that could be responsible has been defined yet. Psoriasis can also be provoked by external and internal triggers, including mild trauma, sunburn, infections, systemic drugs and stress.
Namibia’s most prominent fugitive, Lazarus Shaduka, surrendered himself at the Namibian consulate at Ondjiva, Angola, yesterday.
According to Namibian Police Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, 43-year-old Shaduka went to the consulate “all by himself”.
Shaduka fled Namibia on 13 December 2012, mere hours after a full bench of the Supreme Court convicted him of the murder his wife Selma, 33.
Shaduka, a former chief of property at the City of Windhoek, killed his wife in Windhoek on 13 July 2008 by shooting her in the back. He was arrested on 14 July 2008.
Shaduka spent more than two years in custody in the Windhoek Central Prison’s holding cells, but was released on 23 August 2010 after paying a N$25 000 fine on the day his murder trial ended. The High Court had found him guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced him to one year or a fine of N$25 000.
According to one of the witnesses during his High Court trial, Shaduka arrived at a local hospital with his wife in the car and shouted, “Help me! Help me! My wife shot herself.”
He reportedly told the medical personnel that his wife, who had a gunshot wound in the back of her neck, had tried to commit suicide.
A policeman on the scene testified that he smelled alcohol on Shaduka’s breath and became suspicious.
The Supreme Court on 13 December 2012 overturned Shaduka’s culpable homicide conviction and instead found him guilty of murder. The couple had one daughter who now lives with her maternal grandmother.
Local legal expert Nico Horn said Shaduka, who was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment by the Supreme Court, will simply have to return and start serving his jail time. There will be no further charges, in his view.
“The fact that he was sentenced already makes things less complicated. Our government will still have to apply for extradition, and since this is double criminality and the sentence is not outrageous, this may not be a problem,” said Horn.
Horn added that Shaduka is not in a position to refuse extradition and that this is now a matter between Namibia and Angola.
“His only hope is to appeal to the Angolan government not to extradite him, but it is not in his hands,” Horn said.
Horn also added that Shaduka has reached the end of his legal recourse and cannot appeal his conviction, as it was handed down by the Supreme Court.
“I can only imagine that his legal team might ask him to present mitigating circumstances. But my guess is he will just return to the country and start serving his sentence.”
Belinda Wantenaar, who was the State advocate at the time, said she is happy that justice has finally prevailed.
“I was very relieved when he was convicted; I am sure now the family of the deceased will now find closure,” she said.
During an interview with Namibian Sun in 2014, Shaduka’s mother-in-law, Patemoshela Helena Haitembu, said she would forgive him for murdering her daughter.
Haitembu also expressed anger at the Namibian legal system for giving light sentences.
Selma was the eldest of Haitembu’s four children. She said her daughter assisted her at home.
“We understood each other and she gave me good advice.”
She said the family was thrilled on Selma’s wedding day and never expected that the marriage would end with her murder.
“I thought she would go start a home, just like anybody else.”
Asked what her fondest memory of her daughter was, she said: “I will never forget her smile. Even when she had a problem she never showed it.”
Haitembu said her daughter was a happy, peaceful child and loved making jokes.
“She loved the elders and children. When Selma came to visit, she would feed the children and the elderly. Before she went back home, she would bathe the elders and wash their clothes and blankets. Selma was the unifier in the family.”
The labour case, which continues today between the two football organisations at the office of the labour commissioner, is allegedly far from a conclusion.
A source who preferred to remain anonymous said: “To be honest, I believe that NAFPU and NFA will not reach an agreement at this level.
“The fact that both groups are arrogant will make matters worse because from what I understand NAFPU is prepared to take the case further while NFA is already seeking legal expertise from lawyers.
“From what I hear NAFPU has given up hope that the conciliation process will go smoothly after the first hearing of the case did not go well.”
NAFPU dragged the NFA to the labour commissioner in October for refusing to recognise the players'' union.
Among some of the issues argued by NAFPU at the labour commissioner''s office was that the NFA had allegedly failed to establish a players'' status committee and a dispute resolution chamber.
Therefore, NAFPU demanded that the NFA meet its request or face legal consequences. The two parties met at the labour commissioner''s office for conciliation. The case was postponed to today for the conciliation process to continue.
Namibian Sun understands that this time around only one representative of each of the parties will be present. NFA president Frans Mbidi will represent the NFA, while Olsen Kahiriri will represent NAFPU.
Kahiriri, the NAFPU secretary-general, was not prepared to comment yesterday on whether the case would escalate to arbitration level.
Kahiriri said he was glad that they were finally making progress and he hoped for a better outcome from the labour commissioner''s office today.
“What was discussed at the last meeting in the labour court [commissioner] is not of public concern at the moment because we are still in the first phases of the case.
“I will, however, be able to tell you that there are certain things brewing and we are very confident. We just hope that this will be able to reach a conclusion as soon as possible.
“However, the prospects of this case dragging on are highly likely if our demands are not met at a conciliation level,” Kahiriri said.
Namibia Football Association secretary-general Barry Rukoro believes whatever happens in the case, it will serve as a valuable lesson.
Rukuro insists that the NFA is not an enemy of progress, but there are certain circumstances which are difficult to fix because of the financial situation football is in.
“I do not know how far this case will go, but I can tell you that people will learn after this. This case is actually a good thing even if it goes further because it is going to open the eyes of many people.
“We are responsible institutions and it does not mean we are wrong if we have been taken to court,” Rukoro said.
JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA
Speaking to Namibian Sun yesterday, Van Staden said training has resumed after most of the players wrote grade 10 and 12 examinations last month. “Preparations are now on track but a few weeks back it was a bit of a challenge as most of our girls were busy with their grade 10 and 12 exams. Now that they are done we are at it again,” he said.
“But we are not complaining, as education is the key for us.”
He explained that during the week they try to schedule two to three matches with the under-15 boys and on Saturday they have two full training sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Van Staden said their goal is to bring a medal home.
“Each and everyone expects results and as a coach that is what I am expecting as well because we are measured on results and competitions. Our job will now be to prepare very well and at least get a medal.
“We cannot exactly say what medal but our goal is to bring a medal home,” he said.
He said the women are not yet in camp. Some are staying at the NFA women''s centre, while others are at still at home.
A group of 20 women has been selected and some Brave Gladiators players are part of the team.
“We have a lot of girls whom we took on the Westphalia tour in Germany and also the USA-based Annoushka Kordom who will join us for the team,” he said.
“The girls are really giving it their all and I am very happy with their cooperation.”
The Region Five U-20 Youth Games are taking place in Luanda, Angola, from 9 to 19 December.
The countries taking part are Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.