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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Paratus Telecom turns on FTTHParatus Telecom turns on FTTH Paratus Telecom this week became the first telecommunications operator on the continent to roll out a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connectivity.

    The Finkenstein Estate gated community outside Windhoek is the first recipient of Paratus''s extended network. The developers of Finkenstein Manor and Finkenstein Village partnered with Paratus Telecom to create the first Namibian digital village, providing each and every home owner with a gateway to the digital age. Paratus Telecom has started installing fibre links to 550 homes and will provide an all-inclusive service solution to residents. Speaking from his Botswana office, Paratus Telecom''s group chief executive officer Barney Harmse said residents would enjoy value-added broadband services and connectivity solutions over a state-of-the-art fibre-optic network. He believes this is the first fibre-to-the-home deployment in Africa for a privately owned operator using its own infrastructure. “The entire solution is an end-to-end solution from Paratus Telecom, completely independent of any third-party infrastructure. Looking forward, we plan to invest a total of more than N$150 million on infrastructure in Namibia over the next three years, of which N$100 million will be invested in fibre infrastructure,” he said. Finkenstein Village and Manor developer Gerdus Burmeister said the fibre infrastructure will eventually be deployed to more than 1 000 homes. “Compared to any other connectivity medium, fibre reigns supreme,”Burmeister said. “Due to its inherent speed, capacity and reliability, fibre will enable us to implement a fully comprehensive access control and security solution which will include closed-circuit television on the estate, one of our primary objectives. Residents will also be able to enjoy access to triple-play connectivity including voice, video and data solutions.”

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Resources uptick gives JSE a fillipResources uptick gives JSE a fillip The JSE joined the rally on global stock markets yesterday morning, with all major indices substantially higher by mid-morning.

    The rally started overnight on Wall Street where the three major US indices - the Dow Jones, Standard & Poor''s and Nasdaq - all closed on record highs. Asian stocks rose to one-week highs on Tuesday and European markets opened higher, following Monday''s gains.

    The All-share Index traded above 51 000 for the first time in November when it gained 1.23% to 51 221 points by mid-morning on Tuesday. The Top 40 index was at that stage 1.33% stronger at 44 757 points.

    The market was pulled higher by the resources index, which gained 2.7% by mid-morning on the back of a stronger oil price and the upward tendency in commodity prices.

    The fact that the dollar consolidated at current levels also supported commodities.

    NEWS24

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    Namib Mills invests in new wheat millNamib Mills invests in new wheat millPasta proves popular in Namibia Namib Mills is investing N$105 million in a new wheat mill owing to growing sales of its pasta brands. Namib Mills is will soon commission a new wheat mill. Namib Mills decided to undertake the new venture because its pasta sales have grown substantially.

    A lot of this is attributed to the exponential growth in pasta exports to South Africa and Zambia, according to spokesperson Ashante Mannetti.

    The wheat mill will be acquired from Swiss manufacturer Bühler and has a capacity of 300 tons per day. The total investment in the mill and auxiliary equipment will be N$105 million. The acquisition of this new mill is testament to the success of the infant industry protection granted in 2001, Mannetti said.

    Commissioning of the mill will take place late 2017 or in January 2018.

    “The acquisition of this new Buhler wheat mill is testament to a new successful chapter for Namib Mills, positioning itself as a competitive exporter of pasta to neighbouring countries South Africa and Zambia. Exports to other SADC countries will follow in the wake of the new wheat mill,” Mannetti said.

    Namib Mills started its exports to other countries about three years ago and it has been a great success. Its depot in Johannesburg will be expanded to three times its current size in early 2017, Mannetti said.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 11/22/16--14:00: Cooperatives faltering
  • Cooperatives falteringCooperatives faltering Shortcomings in policy dull performance While the cooperative model is fitting for especially Namibian conditions, policy shortcomings cause lacklustre performance. Several shortcomings have been identified during the review of Namibia''s current cooperative policy, which if addressed will unlock the potential within the cooperative business in the country.

    This was highlighted during a briefing on the 2016 Revised Cooperative Policy by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.

    Agricultural minister, John Mutorwa said that the policy essentially updates and revises the 1992 Namibia National Cooperative Policy.

    According to him the revised policy states that “in Namibia, there have been a few successful cooperatives, but the majority of them have either failed to graduate from provisional registration, to full registration, or did not attain economic vibrancy, after full registration.

    There are currently around 146 cooperatives that are registered with the Registrar of Cooperatives under the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry, with a total membership of about 11 183 people.

    An agricultural cooperative, also known as a farmers'' co-op, is a cooperative where farmers pool their resources in certain areas of activity.

    According to the chairperson of the Cooperatives'' Advisory Board, Ronnie Dempers, cooperatives provide the opportunity for Namibia to broaden the economic participation as it provides the platform for people to participate in the economic development process.

    He said that the cooperative business model offers unique opportunities to the socioeconomic challenges that Namibia is faced with.

    He however pointed out that there have been problems with cooperatives not reaching full registrations and that this is mainly because of the lack of compliance towards the cooperative act.

    According to Dempers, one of the shortcomings observed in the current policy is that although it provides the needed environment for cooperatives to be formed, it has fallen short in providing the necessary language, clarity and direction that will enable the cooperative movement to excel in Namibia.

    He said that for example the current policy states that the government will treat cooperatives no less than on equal terms as compared to other forms of enterprises.

    “I believe that cooperatives cannot be equated on equal terms together with other enterprises and this is a disincentive in the current policy. Yes, cooperatives are not government institutions and are member-owned and controlled businesses. But government has the responsibility of creating the needed policy environment and other interventions such as for example through its procurement arrangement that favours cooperatives given the social economic role cooperatives fulfil.”

    Dempers said the other issue that should be looked into by government is tax incentives.

    According to him the review process has started in 2012 already and policy proposals have been made which if implemented can go a long way in unlocking the potential within the cooperative business.

    “Cooperatives can serve as vehicles through which wealth redistribution can be achieved without promoting a culture of dependency,” said Dempers.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Beef value chain to reduce risk of FMDBeef value chain to reduce risk of FMD The possibilities were recently discussed to create a beef value chain that will reduce the possible outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD).

    During a recently held workshop hosted by the five-nation Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA), the opportunities for the integration of livestock agriculture and wildlife conservation was an effort to pilot new approaches for the safe trade of beef and beef products.

    The workshop “Towards the implementation of commodity-based trade of beef in the KAZA TFCA” looked into opportunities for safely trading beef and its products based on the meat production process (also referred to as “commodity-based trade”), rather than solely on livestock''s geographic origin as defined by fencing.

    It also discussed additional, environmentally-friendly ways to manage trade-sensitive animal diseases like FMD with an aim towards easing tensions at the livestock-wildlife interface.

    According to the Meat Board of Namibia the workshop was well attended by government officials of the KAZA countries (Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola and Botswana), industry members, livestock disease experts and wildlife conservation experts.

    The Meat Board said that from various presentations it was evident that the commodity-based trade concept provides an opportunity and solution to the marketing of beef from areas where FMD is endemic.

    “The high value of the wildlife and tourism sector necessitates the simultaneous need for conservation in these same areas.”

    It said that the commodity based trade concept provides for a risk based beef value chain whereby each step in the value chain reduces the risk for a possible outbreak of FMD caused by the introduction of chilled and frozen beef into areas free from the disease.

    The Meat Board explained that a quantitative risk assessment for beef produced in accordance with this concept shows that the risk is one in a million, and can be considered as negligible.

    “Commodity-based trade in beef is an opportunity to improve the livelihood of communities based in the conservation areas. Issues like the control of FMD outbreaks will also have to be addressed if commodity-based trade is to remain a feasible and sustainable option.”







    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 11/22/16--14:00: All is well at the ICC
  • All is well at the ICCAll is well at the ICC A side event at The Hague says the court is healthy If an expert group is to be believed, there will be no more withdrawals from the ICC and the court is still relevant today. The Africa Group for Justice and Accountability has imagined a positive future for the International Criminal Court (ICC), and predicted that no further countries will withdraw.

    It emerged from the independent group of experts who met on Monday night that South African Justice Minister Michael Masutha''s visit to the ICC in The Hague last week was an encouraging sign that nothing was set in stone.

    The five of 12 group members in attendance presented a united front at their Assembly of States Parties side-event, titled “Imagining the future of International Criminal Justice”.

    ICC president Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi sat in the front row.

    She assured that the court was in good health, doing the work for which it was created and demonstrating it could deliver “high-quality justice”.

    Confidence in ICC

    If Fernández de Gurmendi was to be believed, there was still an overall confidence in the court.

    “The difficulties that we have encountered have generated an extraordinary outpouring of support in the last week, demonstrating that support for the court and for justice and accountability remains strong.”

    The recent withdrawals of South Africa, The Gambia, and Burundi initially sparked fears of a domino effect by other African state parties.

    However, many had since shaken the notion of a united continental front by affirming the role of the court, or believing there was space as a member to fix issues.

    South Africa''s sudden notice to withdraw from the founding treaty of the ICC initially saddened former Constitutional Court justice Richard Goldstone.

    But he said he was less pessimistic after hearing Masutha speaking about his visit.

    “It was a respectful meeting and a constructive meeting, perhaps not too optimistic, but at least there was a civil and respectful debate,” he told a full venue.

    “As I understand it, the minister indicated that his timetable with a year to go, things could change.”

    Willing to find a solution

    The group was set up a year ago to advance justice and accountability measures on the continent, and was tasked with enhancing co-operation between Africa and the court.

    Hassan Jallow, a Gambian lawyer and jurist, revealed they had offered their services as mediators for finding a resolution in light of the withdrawals.

    “We can expect from now a better relationship,” he said, later adding “we stand here willing to find a solution”.

    He believed the ICC''s situation would not get worse.

    Botswana''s attorney-general Athaliah Molokomme said justice and accountability would continue to dominate the continental discourse this year.

    She was optimistic about the African State parties as long as dialogue remained open.

    For dialogue to take place, there had to be respect, trust and mutual understanding, underlined Algerian diplomat Fatiha Serour.

    Putting a positive spin on recent developments, she said: “The more concerns, and resistance and hesitation we have from some, the more resolve we have from others to actually pursue justice and accountability in Africa and other continents.”

    Unique legal challenges

    Goldstone said South Africa''s case had raised “unusual and unique legal challenges,” which would be tested by the High Court in Johannesburg in December.

    “What is being sought is an order compelling the South African government to withdraw their withdrawal and to give appropriate notice.”

    However, he believed such an order would not result in government being thwarted in leaving the Rome Statute, but delay it at most.

    This was in light of a bill before Parliament for the repeal of domestic legislation incorporating the provisions of the Rome Statute.

    “I think we are in for a fairly extended period of debate in South Africa in respect of the courts and in respect of Parliament. There is a lot of water yet to flow under the bridge in the meantime.”

    At worst, government would have to give a new notice of their intention, and their final withdrawal could be delayed to 2018, not next year.

    Nigerian legal expert Dapo Akande said the direction the court was taking mattered more than where it was at present.

    “We always have to keep working at it,” he said referring to various structural difficulties.

    NEWS24

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    Russia accuses Ukraine of abductionRussia accuses Ukraine of abduction Russia has accused Ukraine of abducting two Russian servicemen on the annexed Crimea peninsula, but Kiev said it had merely detained two Ukrainian army deserters.

    In a statement carried late Monday by local news agencies, the Russian defence ministry said servicemen Maxim Odintsov and Alexander Baranov were “illegally detained and removed from Crimea by Ukrainian security forces” on Sunday.

    “We consider that these actions of the Ukrainian special forces toward Russian citizens are yet another gross provocation and demand their immediate return to Russian territory,” the statement said.

    The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) meanwhile said the two men were “former Ukrainian servicemen who betrayed their oath and went to serve in the Russian military after the illegal annexation of Crimea,” the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

    The SBU added that the men stood accused of “desertion and treason” and had been detained “after crossing the border” between Ukraine and Russian-annexed Crimea.

    Russia seized Crimea in 2014 by sending in thousands of special forces to take control of Ukrainian bases and holding a hastily organised referendum that was rejected by the international community.

    The move shattered ties between the two ex-Soviet neighbours and sent relations between Moscow and the West plummeting to their lowest point since the Cold War.

    In August, President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of attempting armed incursions into the disputed region.

    Russia''s security agency said at the time it had thwarted “terrorist attacks” in Crimea by Ukrainian military intelligence and beaten back armed assaults, but Kiev furiously denied the incidents.

    The allegations ratcheted up tensions in the feud between Russia and Ukraine sparked by Moscow''s seizure of the Black Sea peninsula and sparked fears of a wider conflict.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Christian heritage found ransackedChristian heritage found ransacked The history pages of Iraq''s Christian community lie in charred fragments on the floor of a fourth-century monastery near Mosul which Islamic State militants ransacked during a two-year occupation that ended over the weekend.

    The jihadists at the Mar Behnam monastery burned a collection of books about Christian theology, scraped off inscriptions written in Syriac - the language used by Jesus - and demolished sculptures of the Virgin Mary and the monastery''s patron saint.

    They removed the site''s crosses and tried to erase any mention of Behnam, the son of an Assyrian king who, according to popular legend, built the monastery as penance for killing both his children after they converted to Christianity.

    “Their fundamental goal was to destroy Christian history and civilisation in the Nineveh plains,” Duraid Elias, commander of the Babylon Brigades, a Christian militia that helped retake the site, told Reuters during a visit on Monday.

    The Nineveh plains, a sprawling region north and east of Mosul, are a mosaic of ethnic and religious communities with roots dating back to ancient Mesopotamia.

    The Sunni Muslim hardliners of Islamic State have targeted the adherents and religious sites of those minority groups across the area, which it seized in 2014 during a blitz across Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

    At the time, the group issued an ultimatum to Christians: Pay a tax, convert to Islam, or die by the sword.

    As a 100 000-strong alliance of Iraqi forces now attempts to oust Islamic State from the city of Mosul, the scale of destruction in nearby Christian areas is gradually being documented.

    The jihadists had converted Mar Behnam, Iraq''s largest monastery, into a headquarters for the Hisba - morality police, which enforced strict rules against such things as smoking, men shaving their beards and women baring their faces in public, according to Elias.

    A sitting room had been turned into a medical clinic, and the monks'' bedrooms were used to hold transgressors. A remote corner of the complex was filled with dozens of satellite dishes the commander said had been confiscated from residents nearby.

    Islamic State graffiti covers the monastery''s walls, including the group''s motto: “Remaining and expanding”.

    Five weeks into Iraq''s long-awaited offensive to retake Mosul, which itself once had a sizeable Christian population, the city is nearly surrounded, but government forces have established only a small foothold in a few eastern districts.

    Fighting has laid waste to entire towns and villages, while Islamic State booby-traps, including in and around the monastery, mean it could be months or even years before some residents can return home.

    The Baghdad-backed Babylon Brigades are the type of force that Iraq''s Western allies have pushed to participate in the Mosul campaign in an attempt to secure local support for the expected rollback of Islamic State.

    The Christian fighters at Mar Behnam monastery on Monday wore an assortment of military uniforms, carried large wooden crosses in their pickup trucks and flew banners including, incongruously, flags used by Iraq''s powerful Shi''ite Muslim militias.

    Many of the gunmen sported black headbands declaring devotion to Jesus or the Virgin Mary, and one had affixed a religious icon to his bulletproof vest, next to a hand grenade and two single bullets.

    Elias, the commander, said his unit had fought alongside the Iraqi army to retake the monastery and the village of Khidir Ilyas where it is located. But the regular troops had since departed, leaving his men in apparent control of the area.

    After showing Reuters around the site as gunfire rang out in the distance, he welcomed six new volunteers into the Babylon Brigades, issuing them with uniforms and weapons in exchange for a simple vow to protect the area.

    His men, part of a dwindling population of Arab Christians across the Middle East, are driven by a desire to keep their community alive after Islamic State threatened to destroy it for good.

    “We are proving to the world that Christians are not weak. We are stronger than they imagined,” said Elias.

    He told Reuters his forces had so far demolished three or four homes thought to belong to Islamic State fighters in Khidir Ilyas to keep them from ever returning.

    “This is war. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”



    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 11/22/16--14:00: Battered Zuma back to parly
  • Battered Zuma back to parlyBattered Zuma back to parly Will face tough questions from opposition After his meeting with the ANC war veterans, South African president, Jacob Zuma is back in parliament today to face questions. The call for President Jacob Zuma to step down was an opinion of some of the veterans of the ANC and not the official view of the entire group.

    This was according to ANC veteran Wally Serote, who was among the party stalwarts who met the ANC''s national working committee, led by Zuma, yesterday.

    Serote was addressing journalists after a meeting lasting more than four hours in Irene, south of Pretoria.

    He said there were many issues the veterans agreed on with the ANC leadership, while some issues remained unresolved.

    The ANC leadership is expected to respond officially to some of the issues raised by the veterans when they meet again before the end of next month.

    This will be in response to a document tabled by the veterans at what was expected to be a tense meeting between the ANC''s leadership and the veterans, who have become among the biggest critics of Zuma.

    “We never called for the president to resign as a group, some individuals did, but we never said that as a group.

    “We had very robust discussions, there were difficult moments, but we will address them.

    “We are guided by the president when he says we should meet again, so that by the end of December we would have addressed the issues,” added Serote.

    The meeting brought together Zuma and the veterans who have laid the blame for the decline in the party''s support and instability in government at his door.

    In the meanwhile President Jacob Zuma will face a tough grilling during his last question-and-answer session for the year in the National Assembly.

    Zuma will answer questions in parliament today, his first appearance since he blasted the Speaker for not “protecting him” during his sessions in the National Assembly.

    The president, who has not had an easy year in parliament, will answer questions on ministers Mosebenzi Zwane and Des Van Rooyen''s bids to stop the release of the State of Capture report.

    “Whether he and/or his legal team instructed Zwane and/or Van Rooyen, to lodge applications to interdict the release of the public protector''s report, entitled State of Capture, due to the specified persons'' alleged relationships with the Gupta family; if not, in each case, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the reasons in each case?” Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane wants to know. Zwane will again be in the spotlight with the president also expected to answer questions on the closure of Oakbay Investments'' accounts by major banks.

    United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa asks if Zuma applied his mind to the proposal of the inter-ministerial committee on the closure of the accounts, and what his decision in this regard was.

    Zwane announced that Cabinet had recommended a judicial inquiry into the closure of the bank accounts, but Zuma later distanced Cabinet from the statement.

    The president will also be grilled on whether government had reached an agreement with the students regarding 2017 higher education fees and the government''s position on calls for free education.

    He will also give input on how government characterised its strategy going forward in the diplomatic, trade and security arenas, with reference to the annual South African Heads of Mission Conference that was held in October 2016.

    During his last appearance in the National Assembly, Zuma said he was always subjected to abuse by opposition MPs.

    NEWS24

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  • 11/22/16--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day BIG CATCH: A Yemeni fisherman carries a sail fish to the fish market after catching it off the coast of Yemen''s southern port city Aden last week. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 11/22/16--14:00: Open letter to Mr President
  • Open letter to Mr PresidentOpen letter to Mr President I hope this letter finds you well. Mr President I know a lot has been written about the funding crisis affecting sport in our beautiful country. The sporting sector is facing the mother of all crises. Most of our national team''s international participation is hanging in the balance, while football authorities have already withdrawn the national men''s U/20 from the Cosafa Cup starting next month in South Africa. The NFA can''t afford N$1.2 million to send the boys to South Africa at this stage. In addition, the NFA has furthermore resolved to withdraw the women''s U/20 side for the Region Five Games slated to take place in Angola. Again the poor girls were told to quit camp and return home, because as there was no money to send them to Angola. Gymnastics have withdrawn from participating at this event, while basketball and athletics will leave behind some members in Luanda next month. When the Brave Warriors won the Cosafa Cup for the first time in 2015, our hearts were swollen with pride as the win came with the promise of a new beginning for our national pastime. Fast forward to November 2016 and no one can even recall when last the Brave Warriors featured in an international match. The less said about the NPL, the better, because even members of your cabinet remain glued to the TV watching the English Premier League over weekends. Mr President please note that this is a desperate cry for help, nothing else. After many years of promoting the local game, there is now deafening silence on your part, Mr President. Things are not going well and current goings on gives credence to assertions that the authorities treat sport like its stepchild. There is currently no leadership that inspires these young men and women to fulfil their dreams. We can''t send athletes abroad because they cannot find a few thousand dollars to represent their country – what does this say about the Namibian nation? Are you happy to lead a nation where sportsmen and -women feel dejected and left out? Where is Harambee?

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    Reho couple appear for selling cannabisReho couple appear for selling cannabis Two suspects arrested Friday at Plot 42 in Rehoboth''s Kavukiland neighbourhood for allegedly selling cannabis made their first appearance at the Rehoboth Magistrate''s Court on Monday.

    Forty-three-year-old Callie Bock and his wife, 36-year-old Lizzet, made their first appearance before Magistrate Salome Bampton at 12:00, when they pleaded guilty and indicated that they were conducting their own defence.

    The two are facing charges of illegally and unlawfully dealing in cannabis after the Hardap police''s drug unit found 195 cannabis cigarettes, suspected to be the contraband of the two, worth about N$7 995 in the second house they searched.

    Callie told the court a customer came to him and bought five cannabis cigarettes and two consignments known as ''bankies'' with a marked N$200 note.

    A few minutes later, police came to his house and started searching the premises but found nothing before proceeding to the second house. Police ordered the accused to open the house whereby the accused said it is not his house.

    Despite him saying that, the police opened the door by force and found 195 cannabis cigarettes.

    Bock pleaded guilty to selling five cannabis cigarettes and two bankies, and pleaded not guilty to the other charge of 195 cannabis cigarettes found in the second house.

    His wife, Lizzet, said she also sold five joints to a customer who earlier bought the same stuff from her husband and pleaded guilty on the charge of selling cannabis unlawfully and illegally.

    The Magistrate adjourned the case to 14:00 the same day for the cases to be separated.

    Upon resumption, Magistrate Bampton found Lizzet Bock guilty on a charge of unlawfully and illegally dealing in drugs. She was sentenced to 12 months'' imprisonment with six months suspended for five years on condition she does not commit a similar offence and the other six to be served immediately.

    Callie changed from conducting his own defence to wanting a lawyer and the matter was postponed to 8 December for him to obtain legal representation.

    Callie was denied bail on condition he might commit the same offence again and releasing him will possibly allow the residents to take the law into their own hands.

    Prior to the case being heard, three people acting on behalf of 45 others, handed a signed petition to the magistrate in which they said they opposed bail being given to Callie and Lizzet.

    The petition said the judiciary should handle such cases in a pragmatic way and not for the benefit of the perpetrators.

    They called on the magistrate to refuse bail regardless of what the current legal interpretations might be.

    NAMPA

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  • 11/22/16--14:00: MUN leader killed in crash
  • MUN leader killed in crashMUN leader killed in crashStray animals, wildlife taking their toll Car accidents involving stray animals are a cause of concern to the MVA Fund. The president of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia, Raimo Hausiku, became the most recent road user killed in an animal-related car crash on Namibian roads.

    Hausiku, 35, died on the road between Okahandja and Otjiwarongo on Monday night around 20:30 when the car he was travelling in struck a kudu.

    According to the union’s deputy secretary-general Paul Shitumba, he was travelling from Tsumeb where he had been doing renovations at a regional office for the union.

    The accident took place about 70 km south of Otjiwarongo.

    Shitumba said that Hausiku was traveling with the union’s vice-secretary for the western region Regina Nambahu and the union driver Gerson Tjipueja, both who survived the accident.

    Hausiku died on the scene.

    Shitumba said that it is a very sad moment for the union and that they are still trying to come to terms with the events.

    “Namibia has been robbed of a good and vibrant leader.”

    He described Hausiku as a humble person that was very active in youth leadership and added that he was instrumental in ending the prolonged strike at Rosh Pinah that lasted nearly two months.

    “There is still a lot of shock,” he said.

    This accident brings the total of fatalities on the roads due to animal-related causes to 12 this year.

    According to statistics provided by the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund between the period of 1 January and 6 November, five people were killed and 116 injured in 112 in animal-related crashes.

    These figures exclude the recent accident on the Windhoek-Rehoboth road where six people were killed and 18 others were injured and the latest accident on Monday night.

    The statistics indicate that crashes involving animals represent 3.2% of the 3 472 crashes while animal-related crash fatalities represent 1% of the 579 fatalities recorded during that period.

    A spokesperson for the MVA Fund, Kapena Tjombonde, told Namibian Sun that even if animal-related crashes are not that significant compared to other crash types, the dangers involved cannot be ruled out.

    The statistics indicate that the Otjozondjupa Region recorded the highest animal-related crashes, representing 30%, with Oshikoto recording 13% and Hardap 9%.

    According to the statistics, the Zambezi Region has recorded no animal-related crashes so far this year, while Oshana, Ohangwena, //Karas and Kunene each accounted for 4% of the total crashes.

    The statistics show that 63% of the animal-related crashes happened between 16:00 and 23:59.

    Tjombonde said according to the Namibian Road Traffic and Transport Regulations of 2001 a person may not leave or allow any cow, horse, donkey, mule, sheep, goat, pig or ostrich in a section of a public road that is fenced on both sides.

    The regulation further says that a person may not leave an animal in a place from where it may stray onto that section of a public road.

    He added that the regulation also states that any person in charge of an animal on a public road must tend to the animal in such a manner as not to constitute an obstruction or danger to other traffic.

    A traffic officer may take charge of an animal on a public road if it constitutes a danger.

    “Domestic animals can be tagged with reflective ear tags to increase visibility, especially at night, and drivers are urged to be responsive and attentive to road information signs to reduce risks on the road,” said Tjombonde.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 11/22/16--14:00: Legal wildlife trade is good
  • Legal wildlife trade is goodLegal wildlife trade is good The deputy minister of environment and tourism, Tommy Nambahu, told an international conference on illegal wildlife trade that efforts should be made to promote the legal trade of wildlife. Otherwise, he told delegates, conservation programmes that create incentives for communities living with wildlife, will completely collapse.

    Nambahu was speaking at the Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade that took place last week where more than 40 governments reaffirmed their commitment to eradicate illegal wildlife trade.

    Nambahu said illegal wildlife trade is a scourge that calls for the collective resolve of the international community to bring it to a complete halt.

    He said Namibia is concerned about the increased demand levels for illegal wildlife products, which undermine conservation endeavours.

    “This unsustainable trade will deprive nations of their natural capital and cultural heritage thus undermining sustainable development.”

    Nambahu said that Namibia implemented actions and measures adopted under the London Declaration and the Kasane Statement and reaffirmed its commitment to continue implementing the outcome of similar conferences going forward.

    He added that Namibia has proposed to amend its legal framework to provide for severe punishment of wildlife crimes and the Amendment Bill will soon be tabled in parliament. “We have strengthened our law enforcement measures and we continue to give rural communities a meaningful role in conservation of natural resources.”

    According to him, Namibia''s conservation programme is underpinned by strong community involvement because the country recognises community as an important stakeholder in the protection of wildlife.

    He said the community is granted rights to benefit from wildlife by using the resource in a sustainable way. This is done through consumptive measures such as hunting and non-consumptive measures for example, eco-tourism. Both forms of utilisation generate jobs and earn an income for the community.

    “We have made significant strides in this regard and we remain willing to share our experiences with any interested party.”

    He added that Namibia strongly feels that there should be a clear distinction between illegal and legal wildlife trade.

    “Efforts should be made to promote legal trade or else some of its successful conservation programmes which are based on creating incentives for the local community who live with wildlife will collapse completely.”

    Namibia has recently been at the forefront calling for the legal trade in ivory. The Hanoi Conference concluded with a stakeholder roundtable on the implementation of the Hanoi Statement and sessions that looked at the next steps needed to eradicate markets for illegal wildlife products, ensure effective legal frameworks, strengthen enforcement and sustainable livelihoods.

    Despite growing international momentum to tackle wildlife crime, the global poaching crisis and the surge in illegal wildlife trade are both showing few signs of abating - largely because many countries are not living up to their commitments. At least 1 377 rhinos and around 20 000 elephants were poached in Africa last year. Pangolins continue to be trafficked out of south-east Asia and Africa in vast numbers, while India has lost 76 tigers to poaching this year – the highest number since 2010.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Nujoma holds community meetingNujoma holds community meeting Founding President Sam Nujoma this weekend held a community meeting at Otavi to encourage residents to embrace the spirit of hard work to help eradicate poverty.

    “The full participation of our people in the development of our country is imperative to eradicate poverty, hunger, diseases and under development,” he said, adding that Namibians will only realise Vision 2030 through hard work and dedication.

    Nujoma also urged the Otjozondjupa regional and local authority councillors to always listen to the needs of their people.

    He said the leaders must enjoy mobilising the masses to plan together and work hard in order to overcome social and economic challenges.

    The founding president owns a farm in the Otavi district.

    He said Otavi has the potential to grow due to its strategic location and has plenty of land for those who would like to invest in the town.

    “Therefore, I call on the people of Otavi, especially those who have been given the mandate through elections to lead by example, to take this town to greater heights,” he said.

    Nujoma said while Namibia achieved its political freedom on 21 March 1990, the real challenge now facing the nation is the struggle for economic independence.

    “In order to win this second phase of the struggle, we still have to unite and work as a team.”

    Nujoma urged leaders at all levels in the country to continue promoting unity for Namibians to be able to build a strong and prosperous nation.

    He said social and economic development comes to towns and countries where people work together as investors are not attracted to countries where people are fighting.

    Nujoma also called on parents to see to it that their children attend school as it is offered for free by the government.

    Otavi mayor Martha Shipanga and Constituency Councillor Laina Nekundi also attended the meeting.

    NAMPA

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    Multi-million treason lawsuit ongoingMulti-million treason lawsuit ongoing Treason accused says prosecution is malicious Arrested during March 2000 for aiding and abetting Caprivi secessionists, Richwell Kulisesa Mahupelo alleges his prosecution was malicious. A senior South African lawyer acting on behalf of the State against the N$36.7 million lawsuit instituted by a former treason accused argues the plaintiff has failed to prove malicious prosecution.

    Senior counsel Ishmael Semenya appearing on behalf of the defendants the safety and security minister, the prosecutor-general and the Namibian government, said the state''s evidence against the plaintiff, Richwell Kulisesa Mahupelo, overwhelmingly implicated him in the commission of the very serious charges justifying his prosecution.

    He further argued that the alternative claim for constitutional damages cannot succeed in the face of lawful prosecution.

    “Any infringement of the plaintiff''s rights arising from a lawful prosecution up to the stage of application for discharge after the closure of state''s case is lawful. It cannot give rise to constitutional damages against the defendant,” Semenya maintained.

    He further emphasised that Mahupelo failed to give notice in terms of the provisions of the Police Act to the Minister of Safety and Security in respect of constitutional cause of action and therefore he is precluded from pursuing the claim against the minister and the government.

    According to him the plaintiff has not established a violation by the defendants of his right to a trial within a reasonable time in terms of the provisions of the Namibian

    Constitution.

    The defendant''s counsel in compiling the synopsis of their argument stated that Mahupelo''s complaint is the allegations in the statement -which implicated him in the commission of the various crimes - are untrue and that the statement was only taken after his arrest.

    He argued the plaintiffs ignored that the police, after the 2 August 1999 attack, received information from informants about peoples'' involvement in the attack.

    Semenya added that the police were looking for Bennet Mutuso, who was the second in command of the Caprivi Liberation Army (CLA) and who was involved in the attack on the military base at Mpacha on 2 August 1999. Mutuso was ultimately convicted by High Court for high treason, murder and attempted murder.

    He stated that the police had information that the CLA rebels were regrouping for fresh attacks and that Mahupelo was assisting the rebels by providing food to them.

    “The plaintiff was ultimately arrested together with Mutuso and Aggrey Mwambwa, the driver of the car in which they were travelling at night on 16 March 2000. An AK-47 firearm and food was found in their vehicle,” Semenya stated.

    According to him as part of the police investigations, witness statements relating Mahupelo''s involvement with CLA were obtained after his arrest.

    He argued that the defendants are not expected to test the truth or validity of every possible relevant fact or ground before he or she institutes the prosecution.

    “All that is required is that the information available to the defendant must reasonably justify the conclusion that the plaintiff probably committed the crime. Neither is there any duty on the defendant to determine whether the plaintiff has a possible defence,” he argued.

    He submitted that Mahupelo failed to prove that the police did anything more than to place the witness statements before the prosecutor-general leaving it to her to decide whether to prosecute or not.

    “The claim for malicious prosecution against the police thus falters at the first hurdle and should be dismissed,” he argued.

    The matter was postponed to 2 February next year for the judge''s ruling on Mahupelo''s application.

    Acting Judge Philanda Christiaans postponed the hearing to 2 February 2017 for judgment. Advocate Andrew Corbett appeared on behalf of Mahupelo.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Road sector: Live within your meansRoad sector: Live within your meansOver-commitment, over-pricing must be contained The Road Fund Administration (RFA) plans to spend scarce resources on fewer and more strategic roads. The board chairperson of the Road Fund Administration (RFA), Penda Ithindi, said the parastatal''s limited revenue collection streams call for a more innovative approach to secure additional funding and ultimate utilisation thereof.

    “We have to balance what is needed in the economy and how best to optimise the use of our resources,” Ithindi commented, saying the road sector should live within its means and adhere to budgetary frameworks.

    In this vein, he said over-commitment on budgets should be avoided as it erodes hard-won surplus buffers, and added that matters of overpricing on projects should be contained while optimum quality must be the objective.

    “We should be seen to plan for the next 100 years,” he said.

    Ithindi said the focus within the next five years is to spend scarce resources on fewer and more strategic roads.

    The RFA is currently discussing its five-year strategic plan which has to be adapted to the fifth National Development Plan (NDP 5) and the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) as far as transport, logistics and the entire road sector are concerned.

    The RFA has collected close to N$2.12 billion over the last 12 months and spent N$1.84 billion on the road sector over the same period.

    RFA chief executive officer Ali Ipinge said the parastatal''s financial position in the 2015/16 financial year, which ended at the end of March, had ended positively with a recorded surplus of N$277 million and a reduction in accumulated deficit from over N$550 million to a more manageable N$66 million.

    Ipinde said the RFA had repaid its old loan stock of N$330 million, which matured in January.

    “The settlement of its debt obligation has freed up much-needed cash to fund additional road-related maintenance projects,” Ipinde said yesterday at the RFA''s annual business plan stakeholders'' consultative conference.

    A loan of N$447 million from the German bank kfW obtained in December last year had bolstered funding of the construction of the dual carriageway between Windhoek and Okahandja.

    The RFA manages the Road Fund in which road user charges are accrued. Road Fund money is allocated to projects to maintain the national road network. Fund allocations are made to the Roads Authority (RA), as well as regional councils, local authorities and traffic law enforcement.

    Ithindi said through funding to the RA progress has been made to reduce the backlog in the maintenance of tarred roads from 17% in 2012 to 9% currently through resealing which started four years ago.

    This, however, came at the expense of proper maintenance of gravel roads, which have a recorded backlog of 70%. The RFA and RA have undertaken to dedicate funding for re-gravelling and maintenance on these roads.

    Within the five-year strategic plan the RFA Act of 1999 will be amended to be in line with the Public Enterprises Governance Act of 2015.

    A review of the operations of Natis and its associated eNatis system is to be done to localise services and improve service delivery to road users.

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  • 11/22/16--14:00: Rain continues countrywide
  • Rain continues countrywideRain continues countrywide JANA-MARI SMITH

    Rain will continue across the county for much of today, following a countrywide downpour that included many areas along the coast since Monday.

    According to the meteorological service, many northern towns received good rains on Sunday, while the rainy weather spread to the rest of the country on Monday afternoon.

    Ondangwa received close to 50mm on Sunday and Monday, with 20.8mm recorded on Sunday and 29mm on Monday.

    Rainfall figures collected yesterday morning showed that around 14mm was recorded in Windhoek, 11mm at Gobabis, 7.6mm at Grootfontein and 7.2mm at Omaruru.

    Khorixas recorded 6.2mm, Omuthiya 5.6mm and Okongo and Opuwo 5mm.

    Other areas that recorded rainfall were Rehoboth with 4.8mm, Otjiwarongo with 3.6mm and Aranos with 3.6mm.

    In Walvis Bay, 2.2mm of rain fell.

    In the south, Maltahöhe and Mariental received on average 1mm.

    Today, the rain is expected to continue, with the skies clearing after noon over the coast and in the western part of the interior.

    The Windhoek weather bureau yesterday said that mostly cloudy weather will be experienced for the remainder of the week in the western parts of the country.

    Tomorrow, skies will clear over the interior, and a repetition of weather patterns from last week will likely mean that the rain will be confined to the north-east of the country, including parts of the Otjozondjupa Region and the Omaheke Region. It will remain cloudy and rainy in the central north, including Ondangwa and Oshakati.

    The rest of the country will experience partly cloudy weather for the remainder of the week.

    Namibians have been sharing rainfall figures on social media platforms since Monday night. Residents in Avis reported 16mm, Olympia residents recorded 15mm and a resident from Herboths Blick said they received 25mm overnight. Photos of rainfall at Bethanie as well as at the coast were shared.

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    Works ministry cuts S&T, overtimeWorks ministry cuts S&T, overtime The Ministry of Works and Transport has put on hold spending such as travel and overtime as part of its budget cuts.

    Finance minister Calle Schlettwein last month announced extensive cuts in government expenditure in response to the waning global and domestic economic conditions.

    As part of his second annual mid-term budget review, Schlettwein announced a freeze on N$5.5 billion in spending allocated in the N$66 billion national budget tabled in February.

    The overall budget cuts amount to N$634 million on personnel expenditure; N$528 million on travel allowances, material suppliers and transport; N$379.6 million on subsidies and current transfers, as well as N$278 million on the acquisition of capital assets.

    The works ministry said in an internal memorandum to its staff that budget cuts will be made from 15 November until 31 March next year.

    It said all vacancies and new positions have been frozen and no training will take place within the ministry.

    The ministry also announced that all previously approved overtime has been stopped, while approval for overtime will be granted only in exceptional cases.

    Furthermore all travelling by ministry staff has been suspended. Contacted for comment yesterday, the ministry''s permanent secretary, Willem Goeieman, told Namibian Sun that he was in China and referred questions to the acting permanent secretary, who could not be reached for comment.

    Ministry spokesperson Julius Ngweda assured Namibian Sun that the spending cuts would not have an impact on the ministry''s operations.

    Even though the internal memo clearly states that all overtime has been stopped, he explained that overtime will be approved in the case of essential services.

    For instance, Ngweda explained that air traffic controllers will still receive overtime pay, while administration and finance staff won''t.

    He also made it clear that only essential travelling will be allowed. He mentioned that many employees have been flying abroad to attend short courses. “This is not needed and therefore will be stopped.”

    Road works will continue as usual and people need not worry about maintenance of schools and hospitals.

    “We will not sacrifice essential services,” he said.

    “Even though there may be cutbacks the operations will continue as normal,” he said.

    He added that the memo was just to inform staff to get their work done within an eight-hour day.

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    Harambee Valley promises 60 000 homesHarambee Valley promises 60 000 homesPrivate-public partnership for N$165b development Two private property developers have joined hands with the National Housing Enterprise to develop a massive housing project in Windhoek’s Katutura area. ETUNA SHIKALEPO



    The National Housing Enterprise (NHE), together with two private companies, will soon make available 3 500 hectares for the construction of over 60 000 housing units for low- and middle-income earners.

    The two companies to team up with NHE for a new Windhoek development known as Harambee Valley at the estimated cost of N$165 billion are Nambel Investment and Ongos Valley Development.

    NHE chief executive officer Gisbertus Mukulu told Nampa that the NHE owns portion three of Farm Ongos while portions eight and nine are owned by Ongos Valley Development.

    The development will be situated in the Katutura area along Monte Cristo Road.

    Mukulu explained that Farm Monte Cristo forms the northern border of Farm Ongos and is owned by Leading Lodges of Africa.

    “In order to make this development feasible, NHE has teamed up with these two private entities and the combined area is now known as Harambee Valley,” he said.

    Mukulu said more than 50 000 plots would be jointly developed, which would allow at least 60 000 freestanding housing units to be built.

    He stressed that each partner would be responsible for the sale of these houses.

    Mukulu said the houses and other top structures would cost about N$130 billion and the whole project would take up to 20 years to complete, creating more than 50 000 jobs.

    He said institutions like the City of Windhoek, NamWater and NamPower would be involved in the provision of bulk services at a cost of N$5 billion.

    Mukulu said the NHE would use its waiting list and standard criteria as per the NHE credit policy to allocate the houses.

    The criteria include that houses are reserved for people on the waiting list, that they must be affordable with a repayment-to-income ratio of no more than 25% and that they are allocated to first-time home owners only.

    The housing project was one of those introduced during the Invest in Namibia international conference early this month. –Nampa

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