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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Oshakati hospital receives large donationOshakati hospital receives large donation The Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust has donated medical equipment worth about N$700 000 to the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital.

    Hans-Wilhem Schutte, the managing director of Ohorongo Cement, handed over the donation on Friday. He said health and education were the main focus of the Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust and added the trust identifies projects that need support in conjunction with its partner EV Support in Germany. “Our support to the health sector has increased to over N$70 million. We started supporting the health sector in 2013 when we donated an ambulance worth N$348 000 to the Otavi clinic. Today we are handing over a donation worth N$688 000 to the Oshakati hospital which consists of electronic hospital beds, wheelchairs and other medical equipment,” Schutte said.

    Schutte said they recently created a special fund for supporting albinos throughout the country.

    At the same occasion, health and social services deputy minister Juliet Kavetuna urged the Oshakati hospital management to make good use of the donated equipment. “The donation came at the right time when the ministry''s budget has been cut and we cannot afford to procure some of the needed equipment. I am urging you not to let these items gather dust in your storerooms, but let the needy use them,” Kavetuna said. Kavetuna appealed to people with health problems to visit hospitals for assistance instead of making public appeals for help. The donation was received by Oshana governor Clemens Kashuupulwa, the acting director of health in the Oshana Region, Johanna Haimene, Oshakati Intermediate Hospital medical superintendent Dr Josephine Augustinus and other management staff.


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    Surrender illegal weapons by FridaySurrender illegal weapons by Friday Amnesty period to end on 18 November Namibians in possession of illegal and unregistered firearms should surrender them to the police by Friday or face prosecution. Friday is the final day for surrendering unregistered firearms and ammunition to the police.

    Thousands of guns have been handed over but the final count will only be known once the Ministry of Safety and Security submits the final report to the cabinet.

    The amnesty started on 18 August.

    A police spokesperson, Inspector Slogan Matheus, yesterday said the latest statistics available were from a report compiled on 18 October and that the next report will be compiled on 18 November.

    He said all the statistics would be combined in a final report to the cabinet, after which the minister of safety and security would say whether the amnesty should be extended.

    From August to October, 812 illegal guns were surrendered, as well as 11 851 rounds of ammunition and 19 explosive devices.

    Most of the firearms, 663, were surrendered in the Khomas Region

    In the Otjozondjupa Region 31 firearms were surrendered, in Omusati 29, in //Karas 27 and in Oshikoto 25.

    Ten explosives were surrendered in the Zambezi Region and nine in the Khomas Region.

    In Otjozondjupa 4 386 rounds of ammunition were surrendered, in Oshikoto 2 790 and in Ohangwena 2 022.

    Ndeitunga said the government was concerned about the numbers of illegal weapons and ammunition discovered by the police during operations conducted nationwide.

    According to him, the reason why there are so many illegal firearms in Namibia is because war material was acquired by many people during the war years.

    The police first declared an amnesty to people who had illegal firearms and ammunition in 1992, just two years after the country had gained its independence.

    The Namibia Agricultural Union has also called on farmers to surrender their unlicensed weapons.


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  • 11/15/16--14:00: DTA engages Nghaamwa
  • DTA engages NghaamwaDTA engages Nghaamwa DTA Ohangwena regional coordinator Hidipo Hamata this week visited the region''s governor Usko Nghaamwa to discuss issues hindering development in the region and how they can be addressed.

    The four-hour marathon discussion took place at Eenhana. Hamata, who was the only official opposition member, sat down with the governor and other technocrats from the regional council.

    Issues of concern pertaining to education, health, social services, youth development, unemployment and agriculture were widely discussed during the meeting. Hamata shared a number of his concerns, which were accepted by the host as genuine.

    However, some concerns were dismissed due to a lack of evidence. Hamata raised the concern that it was not best for children to leave school premises and travel long distances for medical attention whenever they feel sick. He argued that pupils miss out on lessons while away for a long time. Instead, he proposed that a nurse be stationed at the schools to attend to the learners when they fall sick.

    “Provide nurses at all secondary schools to attend to sick learners instead of them leaving school premises every time they get sick which affects their school performances,” Hamata said.

    Hamata also raised the issue of unemployment amongst the youth saying that with the fertile land and underground water in the region, agricultural projects should be set up to reduce the high unemployment rate.

    “We are therefore pleading that in the next regional budget a large chunk amount of money be allocated to agricultural development and water so that we grow our own food and in that way creating employment to our thousands of youth on the street,” Hamata said.

    Nghaamwa responded that a lot of financial resources would be needed to address the issues raised by Hamata. He also told Hamata that the same concerns he brought are in the pipeline of being looked at but stressed that all challenges cannot be addressed at once.

    “We are getting there. Government has made positive strides and continues to work on making developing Namibia,” Nghaamwa said. He also advised Hamata to make proper research on some of the areas of concern in the region.


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  • 11/15/16--14:00: Farmers, manage your risks
  • Farmers, manage your risksFarmers, manage your risks The Namibia Agricultural Union has stressed the importance of applying risk management on farms at all times following the tragic gas explosion last month in which 10 people were killed.

    The explosion which occurred on 14 October at the farm /Garib about 25km from Dordabis, claimed the lives of nine children and one adult and injured five.

    The incident occurred when a gas cylinder inside the house of a farmworker exploded and the house burnt down. It is suspected that gas may have been leaking and caught fire from a fire that was made outside the house.

    The NAU said following this tragic gas accident, it is now time for farm owners to learn and identify risks on their farms and to eradicate them.

    The union also said according to reports, the accident was started from an obsolescent gas supply pipe connection from which the gas leaked and then started a fire.

    It pointed out that according to the Labour Act, employers are responsible to create a safe and “risk-free” working environment which is not a threat to their employees.

    The union added that the Act also puts an obligation on employers to take prevention for his own safety as well as the safety of co-workers and other persons.

    According to the NAU, risk management is an important component in successful farming and therefore, farmers should learn to look for dangerous situations in the working environment every day.

    “How roadworthy are my vehicles and tractors? How safe do I transport my employees on the back of a vehicle? Do I keep my infrastructure intact? Do I replace damaged electrical cords, switches on plugs? Do I take the necessary precautions against injuries during cattle work, work on wind pumps, hunting expeditions, etc.?” are some of the critical questions farm owners must address positively.


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  • 11/15/16--14:00: Shaduka behind bars
  • Shaduka behind barsShaduka behind bars Namibia''s most wanted fugitive has finally been handed over to the Namibian Correctional Service to start serving his 20-year prison sentence for killing his wife, Selma Shaimemanya Shaduka, in 2008.

    This was confirmed by police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi yesterday.

    He said Shaduka was handed over at the Windhoek Central Prison to start serving his jail sentence.

    According to Kanguatjivi, Shaduka, who surrenderd at the Namibian consulate in Ondjiva, southern Angola, on Monday, was flown to Windhoek in a police helicopter.

    “We were fortunate that our helicopter was there at the time, so we just flew him in,” he said.

    Shaduka fled Namibia on 13 December 2012, mere hours after the Supreme Court convicted him of the murder of his wife.

    According to Kanguatjivi, Shaduka will simply start serving his sentence and will not appear in court any time soon.

    “We can still weigh our options after consultations with the prosecuting authorities. This will determine whether we have a case. This man was sentenced four years back, now we have to consult whether we may have a prima facie case,” said Kanguatjivi.

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  • 11/15/16--14:00: 'Dying to get there'
  • 'Dying to get there''Dying to get there'Total Namibia, NMH launch road-safety campaign The sponsors want to save as many lives as possible on Namibian roads this festive season. Total Namibia, in partnership with Namibia Media Holdings (NMH), yesterday launched a road-safety awareness campaign with the theme ''Dying To Get There'' that is slated for the festive season.

    Speaking at the launch of the campaign NMH marketing manager Hennie Geldenhuys said NMH was delighted to work with Total Namibia in ensuring that the public is educated on road safety.

    “Every year we at NMH report on the number of accidents on Namibian roads and on the number of people dying on our roads every single day. Even more so this festive season,” he said. “Although Namibia''s road network is regarded as one of the best on the continent, road traffic accidents are the biggest cause of death in Namibia, and causes can be linked to speeding and reckless driving, general non-observance of traffic rules and animals on roads in some cases.”

    The campaign will run in the three NMH publications Namibian Sun, Republikein and Allgemeine Zeitung. It is supported by Total Namibia and the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund.

    Geldenhuys appealed to the public to take part in the SMS competitions that the campaign will include and said they should be mindful of the campaign messages regarding road safety.

    Morne Gerber, Total Namibia sales and marketing manager, said they want to save as many lives as possible on Namibian roads.

    “I''m sure we are going to make an impact this year in reducing the road accident deaths,” said Gerber.

    MVA Fund spokesperson Mona-Liza Garises said the latest statistics indicate that car crashes have declined by 5% and that injuries in crashes have gone by 9%.

    Fatalities this year declined by 2% against last year. She added that almost 600 people died on Namibian roads this year alone.

    “Seventeen percent of these people have lost their lives in mass casualties. At MVA Fund we are saying this 597 lives are 597 too many,” she said.

    Garises said the fatality rate on Namibian roads was worrying and she hoped the awareness campaign would make an impact this festive season.

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    Infanticide case postponed to FebruaryInfanticide case postponed to February The police at Swakopmund are still investigating the murder case against 32-year-old Zenobia Seas, who allegedly killed her daughter in September this year.

    Seas allegedly suffocated her two-year-old daughter with a piece of cloth along the Henties Bay-Terrace Bay gravel road.

    Seas appeared for the second time before Magistrate Surita Savage at Henties Bay yesterday.

    She was remanded in custody.

    “We are still waiting for information on investigations from the scene of crime. There is also a possibility for forensic investigations,” prosecutor Dalon Quickfall told the court.

    Defence lawyer Mpokiseng Dube said they are preparing for a bail hearing to be conducted on a date yet to be announced.

    When Seas made her first court appearance in Swakopmund in September, she was refused bail because of the seriousness of the case.

    Seas, an employee at Husab Uranium Mine in Swakopmund, allegedly sent a text message to her daughter''s father, informing him she had killed the girl.

    She is said to have put firewood under her car in an attempt to burn herself and the child''s body inside the car.

    He case was postponed to 13 February 2017.

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    No bail for man accused of student's murderNo bail for man accused of student's murder NAMPA

    A 56-year-old man accused of shooting and killing a 27-year-old first-year nursing student at Otjiwarongo at the weekend was remanded in custody yesterday.

    Rudolf Gowaseb appeared before the Otjiwarongo Magistrate’s Court on charges of murder and attempted murder.

    He allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend, Ricarda Naobes, at a bar in the Orwetoveni residential area at around 23:30 on Saturday.

    Gowaseb appeared before Otjiwarongo Magistrate Helvi Shilemba, who explained his legal right to engage a lawyer of his choice, apply for a state-funded lawyer through the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Aid Department, or defend himself in court.

    He opted to engage a private lawyer and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

    Prosecutor Coleen Yisa strongly opposed the granting of bail.

    Gowaseb was then remanded in custody.

    His case was postponed to 25 January 2017 for further police investigation.

    The magistrate advised Gowaseb to file a formal bail application if he wants to be released on bail.

    Warrant Officer Maureen Mbeha of the Otjozondjupa police on Sunday told Nampa that Gowaseb and Naobes had a heated argument at a bar.

    Naobes was seen leaving the bar, with Gowaseb following her. He was allegedly armed with a pistol and is said to have fired several shots in a direction where people were standing. One shot hit Naobes in the leg.

    She fell to the ground and Gowaseb then allegedly shot her at close range. Naobes died on the spot.

    Gowaseb fled in his car and was arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning in Khorixas, where he runs businesses.

    The couple had two children.

    Police investigations in the matter continue.

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    Northern roads finally openedNorthern roads finally openedAbandoned projects completed by others One gravel and one tarred road in the Omusati Region, which were supposed to be completed in 2014 and 2015, were finally inaugurated this week. ILENI NANDJATO

    Two long overdue roads in the Omusati Region have finally been opened.

    On Monday, works and transport minister Alpheus !Naruseb inaugurated the 95km gravel road between Amwaanda and Omutambo-wOmawe, which was supposed to have been completed in October 2015, and the 16km tarred road between Onamukutu (Olwani) and Oshikuku, which was supposed to have been completed in August 2014.

    The Roads Authority (RA) awarded the N$118 million construction tender for the Amwaanda-Omutambo wOmawe road to Ongombe Safaris and Logistics. The work was supposed to have been done between May 2014 and October 2015.

    The company started at Amwaanda in 2014, but was interrupted by local people demanding compensation because the road would cut through their mahangu fields.

    The situation could not be resolved in time and the contractor gave up the work.

    At the beginning of this year, the RA appointed Brandberg Construction to complete the work.

    The N$60 million tender for tarring the road from Onamutuku to Oshikuku was awarded to Onamagongwa Trading Enterprise in partnership with Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) contractor Iinongo Trading Enterprise.

    They were supposed to do the work between August 2013 and August 2014, but abandoned the project in January 2014.

    “I am honoured today to open the long-awaited Oshikuku-Onamatuku road. I am aware that the completion date of this project was extended due to a few challenges that were experienced during the construction period. However, I am very happy to note that RA managed to assist the SME contractor to overcome the difficulties and complete the project,” !Naruseb said.

    The Oshikuku-Onamatuku road connects the Elim clinic and Oshikuku hospital to the Outapi-Oshakati main road to the north and the Oshakati-Okahao main road to the south.

    The Amwaanda-Omutambo-wOmawe gravel road provides an improved link for the Onamatanga community to Okahao to access essential services such as schools and a hospital.

    Both roads were fully funded by the government.

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  • 11/15/16--14:00: RCC sells assets
  • RCC sells assetsRCC sells assetsNo let-up in financial squeeze The Roads Contractor Company says it is cleaning up its asset register in difficult times. The cash-strapped Roads Contractor Company (RCC) is to have an online auction of its construction equipment.

    Bidding will open on 17 November and continue until 24 November.

    The RCC is advertising 45 categories of equipment, which include 48 road graders, 13 front-end loaders, 11 smooth drum rollers, five diesel tanker trucks, five tractors, a crane truck, a forklift and a tipper


    The online advertisement indicates that the equipment will be sold “as is”.

    The sale of assets is non-suspensive, which means that the auctioneer will not allow time for potential buyers to arrange mortgage finance after the fall of the hammer.

    The sale is also not subject to any feasibility or any other condition required by the buyer.

    Some of the equipment is old, dating back to the 1960s, ''70s and ''80s. The majority of the stock, though, dates back to the early 1990s up to 2012. Some are in working condition while some are stripped.

    The acting chief executive officer of the RCC, Tino !Hanabeb, said the auction is being held to “clean up the asset register” of the parastatal.

    He said a lot of the equipment is scattered across the country, old and would otherwise end up as scrap. He did, however, admit that the auction was also necessitated by the financial challenges the company is facing.

    !Hanabeb added that it would not be helpful to keep some of the equipment since the RCC''s equipment use is on average 180 to 190 hours per month.

    “If it is not helping us why would we keep it?” he said.

    At the announcement of the controversial 150-day turnaround strategy for RCC in January 2015, the then acting CEO, Pieter Oosthuizen, said a reassessment of the company''s plant and equipment found that these had not been properly maintained.

    A lack of funds has been a perennial problem for the RCC since its inception in 1999 because, said former insiders, the parastatal was established without any funding from central government.

    Oosthuizen in his turnaround declaration also mentioned that the RCC had struggled to operate at an optimal level because of undercapitalisation and declining revenue streams since 2012.

    Sources say the RCC cannot fulfil its mandate because it is placed at the mercy of joint ventures since the bulk of road and other construction jobs are contracted out.

    The RCC was created as a public entity to “undertake work relating to the construction or maintenance of roads or any other construction works”, which include buildings, bridges, waterworks, dams, reservoirs, tunnels, canals, aqueducts, irrigation works, harbours, aerodromes and railway construction.

    The sources added that most of the joint-venture partners, primarily well-connected Namibians partnering with Chinese outfits, are in essence pulling the strings and in most cases bring in their own employees and equipment.

    The sources added that the RCC has no oversight over the joint-venture partners, which are registered under the Companies Act and therefore cannot be audited by it.


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    UPM to sue Swapo over Reho affairsUPM to sue Swapo over Reho affairs The United People''s Movement (UPM) has threatened to take legal action against the Swapo Party councillors of the Rehoboth town council for allegedly deliberately destroying Rehoboth.

    In a media release issued yesterday by the party''s deputy secretary-general Jolene Jarmann-Jaftha, the party warned the town''s residents that they would have to get ready to live with corruption.

    This follows the suspension and reinstatement of the municipality''s human resources manager, Willie Swartz, who has been charged with 20 counts of fraud.

    “The UPM is convinced that the Swapo councillors do not have any clue about local government, do not adhere to the Local Authority Act, refuse to be advised by capable officials, but rather opted to support Swartz despite being aware of his deeds,” said Jarmann-Jaftha.

    The UPM also blamed the recent suspension of the town''s technical manager, Ernst de Waal, on a tribal agenda allegedly pushed by Swartz.

    “An incompetent replacement was done, one that is not in a position for the past three weeks to identify the problems that led to the overflowing of sewage ponds and drains.

    “Endless complaints have been reported to the CEO but since his authority is undermined by elected leaders without political will, officials are not performing up to the required levels,” said Jarmann-Jaftha.

    Swapo denial

    Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba rejected the UPM''s claim that Swapo wants to destroy the town.

    Mbumba said no complaint had been laid against the Swapo councillors yet.

    “It is a misrepresentation to think we campaign with the purpose to destroy. If someone has done something wrong then something must be done about it. That is a local authority issue and I am sure it is being dealt with,” said Mbumba.


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    White men charged with shoving black man into coffinWhite men charged with shoving black man into coffin Two white men in South Africa have been charged with assault after an online video emerged showing them pushing a black man into a coffin and threatening to burn him alive, a court official said yesterday.

    The pair are due in court today in the north-eastern town of Middelburg charged with assault and intent to cause grievous bodily harm, according to the court''s clerk.

    The footage was apparently shot on a mobile phone by one of the two white men involved in the incident.

    The 20-second clip shows one white man shoving the black man, who makes distressed noises, into the wooden coffin and trying to force down the lid.

    “Do you want to speak? Come, come. We want to throw the petrol on,” said one of the men, speaking Afrikaans, according to the News24 website. They are also accused of threatening to put a snake in the coffin. The video, which is undated, has spread rapidly across social media.

    It was allegedly taken at a farm close to Middelburg town in Mpumalanga.

    The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition party said that it would rally outside Middelburg magistrate''s court on Wednesday to protest the alleged assault and racism in South Africa.

    “The two white men... beat up a black man, Victor Rethabile Mlotshwa, and put him in a coffin,” the EFF said in a statement.

    “These white racists then took a video and put it up on social media for amusement.

    “This humiliation can be based on nothing else but his blackness, which means it is in actual fact a humiliation of black people as a whole.”

    Racial controversies have erupted regularly on social media in recent years in South Africa, which is still beset by deep-rooted inequality 22 years after the end of white-minority apartheid rule.


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  • 11/21/16--14:00: Mugabe hints at quitting
  • Mugabe hints at quittingMugabe hints at quitting Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, 91, has, for the first time, hinted on his retirement, while also admitting that the country''s economy is crumbling, reports said on Monday.

    According to the State-owned Sunday Mail newspaper, the nonagenarian said that he had used his time in office to "fend off the West''s spirited machinations to destroy Zanu-PF and the ideals the party stands for".

    Mugabe said that if he were to retire, he would do so "properly".

    It was however, not clear what he meant by "properly".

    Mugabe said this during a meeting with war collaborators in Harare over the weekend.

    The veteran leader said he believed he had now "defeated… the British and Americans…", adding that he understood times were difficult in Zimbabwe, a report by eNCA said.

    "We are in a critical time… for regime change", Mugabe was quoted as saying.

    Meanwhile, the state broadcaster, ZBC, reported on Monday that several Zanu-PF provinces had endorsed Mugabe as the party''s presidential candidate for the 2018 elections.

    Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Matabeleland South provinces "all passed a confidence vote to Mugabe''s leadership", the report said.

    If Mugabe is re-elected, he will only retire in 2023, when he turns 99.


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  • 11/21/16--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day WINTER IS COMING: A child enjoys yellow leaves of gingko trees at Jingu Gaien, the outer garden of Meiji Jingu Shrien, in Tokyo yesterday. The avenue, lined with more than 100 gingko trees, attracts hundreds of thousands of people every autumn to admire the beautifully coloured leaves. PHOTO: NAMPA/AP

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  • 11/21/16--14:00: In the name of transparency
  • In the name of transparencyIn the name of transparency Government officials have made the right noises regarding effective governance and transparency.

    In fact one of the pillars of the Harambee Prosperity Plan initiated by President Hage Geingob is to ensure good and effective governance. It places a great emphasis on transparency. It is true that public institutions are there to serve the people and information sharing is just as critical. Gaining access to information is necessary for them to make informed decisions about the issues affecting them. It also encourages active citizenship and curbs corruption. But are our leaders really keeping their word? The Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia) saga is just a case in point. All along there has been little information regarding the establishment of this government entity, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

    The appointment of C-Sixty Investments to evaluate diamonds from Namdia was specifically frowned upon following allegations that the company was secretly handpicked. This deal was, however, defended by mines and energy minister Obeth Kandjoze, who claims he has the necessary powers as per section 45 of the Diamond Act to appoint C-Sixty Investments. We have said before, that government''s communication strategy stinks and needs to be fine-tuned.

    Those in government still lack the tools to plan proactively when it comes to sharing important information with the public. Politicians in general frequently use claims of secrecy to avoid scrutiny and to hide damaging information. There must be a greater level of transparency and senior officials in government should not be secretive, over-sensitive and restrict information.

    Those in government have moral responsibilities towards their fellow citizens and should stop shedding crocodile tears whenever their shady dealings are exposed. Lest we forget that elected public officials are answerable to the general public and wherever public money and interests are at stake, the public have the right to know what considerations politicians are taking into account when making significant government decisions that affect its citizens directly.

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  • 11/21/16--14:00: Weapons amnesty extended
  • Weapons amnesty extendedWeapons amnesty extended The government has extended the period of amnesty to allow for the surrendering of illegal weapons and ammunition to 18 February next year.

    To date, 925 firearms, 44 073 rounds of ammunition and 66 explosives have been handed over to the Namibian police.

    The statistics indicate that a total number of 237 people surrendered illegal weapons and ammunition to the police.

    Of these, 81 people (32.4%) surrendered illegal weapons voluntarily and this also includes museums that decided that it is no longer in their interest to keep these weapons.

    Furthermore, 72 people (30.4%) who inherited weapons surrendered these to the police while 47 people (19.8%) surrendered weapons they inherited from the previous government.

    There were also 18 weapons (7.6%) that police found in the bush, 16 (6.8%) weapons that were found on farms, while two (0.8%) surrendered were collector items and one weapon (0.1%) was from a hunter. According to a statement issued by the police, all firearms were verified with the Firearms Data System, but only 24 firearms were found to be registered on the system while the rest are illegal.

    According to the data provided by the police, the majority of firearms that were collected were from the Khomas Region (694) followed by the Otjozondjupa (50) and the Omusati (45) regions.

    With regard to ammunition, the regions where the most ammunition was handed over were Otjozondjupa (20 479) Khomas (14 117) and Oshikoto (4099).

    In the Otjozondjupa Region, 45 explosives were collected and 21 explosives in Khomas.

    The Kavango East Region was the only region where no firearms, weapons or ammunitions were collected or surrendered during the amnesty period.

    The government in August this year declared a period of amnesty to surrender illegal weapons from 18 August to 18 November.

    The police expressed their gratitude to the public and the individuals who surrendered firearms, ammunitions and explosives during this period.


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  • 11/21/16--14:00: Wind farm becomes reality
  • Wind farm becomes realityWind farm becomes reality Lüderitz''s infamous wind to be harnessed Civil work on the first wind-energy farm in Namibia started at Lüderitz last week. The notoriously windy town of Lüderitz will be home to the country''s first wind farm, which is scheduled for completion by the middle of next year.

    Renewable energy company InnoSun confirmed last week that civil engineering work on the five-megawatt Ombepo wind farm had started.

    Project engineer Alexandre Matton said: “Construction of the very first wind farm started last week, with the first blast that happened in the eastern rocky hills of Lüderitz. This wind farm is a partnership between the Lüderitz Town Council and InnoSun under the special-purpose vehicle named Ombepo Energy.”

    According to Matton, the first phase of construction entails civil works.

    “We are currently creating access roads to the platforms where the foundations will be poured to accommodate the 80-metre-high steel towers. Three massive wind turbines will compose this very first wind farm. We intend to have this wind farm operational by mid next year.”

    Matton explained that Ombepo Energy is licensed to generate and feed five megawatts of power into the national grid. The licence was issued by the Electricity Control Board in June 2015.

    “We then signed a power purchase agreement with NamPower in January 2016, under the Electricity Control Board''s interim renewable energy tariff programme. It is a 25-year contract with a base tariff even more competitive than solar photovoltaic [electricity].”

    Matton had previously cited results of projects in South Africa which proved that the unit cost of electricity from wind farms is cheaper than the same electricity generated by a coal power plant.

    Added Matton: “Wind technology is mature. There have been improvements in wind turbine technology and it has grown to be extremely competitive. We also believe Lüderitz is one of the top regions in the world to harness wind technology.”

    Innosun Energy Holdings project manager Jan-Barend Scheepers was quoted as saying in a Nampa interview in September: “Early 2017, Namibia will have its first clean wind energy being plugged into the grid and we are very excited about it.”


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    The position and role of the stateThe position and role of the state There have been several instances where the members of society bring into question what the role of the state is. The tyranny of political freedom fighters has often led to confusion as to what the role of the state is when certain issues are raised. Consider the case of religion. The constitution defines our republic as secular. What this means is that the state is to maintain neutrality is all matters of religion. We witnessed the former Head of State Hifikepunye Pohamba permitting the utilisation of state funds to host a predominantly Christian gathering at Sam Nujoma Stadium to organise prayers for passion killing and gender-based violence. The other concern is based on the understanding of the principle that the state ought to promote the common good of all citizens. State actors and officials are often seen promoting the interest of the select few as opposed to the interest of the masses of the Namibian people.

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    Differentiating government and stateDifferentiating government and state By Abraham Vincent Kamati

    The definition of a state can also be different from the more common one involving a territory, population and common identity. A state can also be a form of human associations having fundamental differences with other social groups by purpose, the establishment of order and security, its methods, its enforcement and the law. It also involves the broad agreements of laws.

    A government on the other hand is a system involving elected individuals who run a government. It therefore becomes a system of polity in a state which has the jurisdiction to form fundamental rules and principles by which individuals within that state are governed. However, it is important to note that not everybody can differentiate the terms “state” and “government”. Some people use them synonymously. It is often said that even King Louis XIV fell victim to this error when he said “I am the state”. Questionably, what he meant was the government and the state whose authority he had possessed.

    The state has four elements namely population, territory, government and sovereignty. Government is a slender concept and it is a component of the state. It is justly said the state is an organic concept in which the government is a part. Some analysts like Willoughby indicate that, “By the term government is designated the organisation of the state machinery through which is designated the organisation of the state machinery through which its purposes are formulated and executed.” Government is a proxy of the state. That is why in a democracy, it is considered as servant and the state as master. Government is compared with the brain of the living organism; what the brain is to the man. The government is to the state.

    The state is more or less permanent and continues from time immemorial. But the government is temporal. It vicissitudes frequently. A government may come and go, but the state continues endlessly. The state is generally composed of all citizens but all of them are not members of the government. The government consists of only a few selected citizens. The organ of the government consists of only a few selected citizens. The organs of the government are executive, legislature and judiciary. The few selected persons will run these three organs of the government. Thus, the state is an extensive organisation, more so than the government. Membership of the state is compulsory but not that of the government.

    The state possesses sovereignty. Its authority is absolute and limitless. Its power cannot be taken away by any other institution. Government possesses no sovereignty, no original authority, but only derivative powers delegated by the state through its constitution. Powers of government are delegated and limited. The state is an intellectual concept whereas government is a tangible one. Nobody sees the state and the state never acts. The government is a physical manifestation and it performances for the state.

    All states are duplicate in characters and nature. Whether big or small, the characteristics of the state do not undertake changes. But governments are of dissimilar types and they may vary from state to state. Various political scientists have given different classifications of government. Aristotle classified government into monarchy, aristocracy and democracy while Marriot classified government into parliamentary or presidential and unitary or federal. Thus, there is no undeviating pattern of government. But the state is a universal institution having one single form with its four essential characteristics mentioned above.

    However if a government in place does not perform its functions accordingly, a state can be bound to fail. State failure definitions have proliferated in different literatures by many scholars. A state can fail from many dimensions such as income distribution, political representation, security and economic developments. States can fail when they fail to deliver positive political goods to their people. Their governments can also love the legitimacy to rule and therefore, in the eyes and hearts of its citizens, a state can then become illegitimate. State failure can occur on all angles simultaneously as in Somalia which is the most common example of state failure on the African continent. Another example is that of Colombia where the state has been relatively impressive in macroeconomic management but has dismally failed to control large parts of its rural areas where guerrilla and paramilitary groups and drug cartels have been dominantly powerful. Therefore, given the variation in state capacity across sectors, aggregate measures or categorisations of ‘failure’ can be misleading at times.

    Lastly, if a state is not labelled as “failed”, the citizens will possess rights to go in contradiction of, government and not against the state. The state only acts through the government and the government may oblige mistakes and not the state. Thus, the citizens have only rights to go against the government. Moreover, the state consists of the citizens, the citizens to go against the state it will mean to go against themselves. This is an impossible proposition in some way. After all this, a state is an indestructible union of citizens having the chief characteristic of permanence and continuity. Government is only a part of the state. If we are fully aware of these fundamental distinctions between a state and a government, then we can be able to question and ask questions on the how our state should be operated and controlled.

    * Abraham Vincent Kamati is a University of Namibia student at the HP Campus where he serves the Student Representative Council (SRC) as speaker of parliament.

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  • 11/21/16--14:00: Phosphate mining debacle
  • Phosphate mining debaclePhosphate mining debacle The proposed phosphate mining issue has been the reoccurring headline in newspapers since it emerged with considerable attention from different stakeholders (the public included). The issue is greatly concerned with our environment and our very important and valuable aquatic life and marine resources. The attention was also raised in the parliament with the officials having differing and divided opinions between them. The impact that the proposed mining might have on the fishing industry, which mind you is maybe the third or second most important economic sector, is of great importance. Commercial fishing and fish processing is the fastest-growing sector of the Namibian economy in terms of employment, export earnings, and contribution to GDP. At independence, the fish stocks had fallen to dangerously low levels, due to the lack of protection and conservation of the fisheries and the over-exploitation of these resources. Since then the government had gone to great lengths to put mechanisms in place for the protection and conservation of our marine resources through quotas etc., with proposals for fish farming also being sounded out! So the phosphate mining to many, if not all, is a mystery. It will halt the progress the government has made over the years to make the fishing and marine resources industry productive and being a huge drive within the Namibian economy. The reoccurring problem that our country and probably many other African countries experiences is the exclusion and ignorance of public opinion and lack of public participation in the decision-making of such things. Government as it is cannot guarantee the absence of corruption among its officials or even the independence from different influential people involved in this project. It is therefore crucial that the public be involved and included in the decisions that are made which mostly and in the first place before anyone else affects the citizens and the public in general. As it is, the public is emphasising the importance and the value that the marine resources and its environment has, not only in a monetary sense or economic sense, but also to the people of the country and why it is important not to disrupt the aquatic environment with potentially dangerous untried marine phosphate mining, which can easily have a devastating effect on the Namibian fish industry and marine animal life. Recently, the people have written lengthy letters, articles and shared their thoughts and disappointments at the proposed phosphate mining, pointing to the damage it might cause to the marine ecosystem and progress the government has made in nature conservation. However, despite this outcry, it mostly goes unheard or recognised by the important decision-makers. The institutions established to be involved in cases like this, the likes of Ombudsman or the environmental commissioner, are incidentally acting as bystanders and are merely spectators as the situation unfolds without any involvement, or generally to a lesser extent, without any impact on the decisions. This highlights the need for the public to get involved and be encouraged and called upon to participate, listen to the debate and also have an influence on the decisions taken at the top and object if necessary, considering how toothless our institutions are in representing the public interest. The commissioner among others ensures that the country''s living natural resources are utilised, conserved and maintained to a sustainable extent for the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future. You wonder if this project is going to benefit all Namibians. Or if it is going to be more beneficial than the marine resources has been to Namibians over the years? The fishing sector directly employs over 13 000 people, and around 200 000 if the number is expanded to net-makers as well as the repair and maintenance of vessels and packing, while phosphate mining is estimated to create around 1 000 jobs.

    An environmental impact assessment (EIA) report shows that the fishing sector will be hit by phosphate mining. All kinds of fish species will be negatively affected by this mining, it might cause the species to migrate to other waters and this might reduce the fish capacity or quantity in the country and this as you can imagine may reduce employment in the sector.

    Politicians mostly make decisions based on the gains that they may take from the projects without thinking about everyone else. Corruption is mostly within the politicians before it comes to citizens, which is why it will not end anytime soon or be completely abolished in Namibia, just like any other African country, because the people supposedly fighting corruption are largely the corrupt ones. This again suggests why we need public opinions and citizens to be involved in government decision-making, people who may not in any way benefit from the project directly or indirectly but are there to represent the public and their stance on the matter.

    The only people pushing for this project are only those that want to build their reputations, the mining company owners who directly benefit from this mining and other beneficiaries, these are mostly politicians, who yet are the ones debating the project (conflict of interest). What is baffling again is the fact that the mining company''s 85% is owned by a non-Namibian national. Again you wonder how this is going to benefit Namibian citizens or the economy for that matter. Public opinions not only need to be heard, they need to be applied and put into practice when it comes to the final decision. They need to be recognised and valued not simply read and ignored.

    *Joseph Tobias is fourth-year student studying towards a Bachelor''s degree (Honours) in Public Management at the University of Namibia.

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