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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 12/08/16--14:00: Uranium price worrisome
  • Uranium price worrisomeUranium price worrisome The Bank of Namibia’s governor Ipumbu Shiimi this week expressed concerned over the price at which uranium was trading, and indicated that it could curtail growth significantly in the mining sector. Another issue of concern was the expected increased output from the Husab mine.

    Said Shiimi: “If commodity prices fall, especially uranium, the situation will not be good for Namibia. The uranium price is quite important for Namibia and if the price falls further, it will become quite an obstacle for the other [two existing] uranium mines.

    “We hope the price will pick up,” he said.

    “The Namibian economy is expected to grow by 2.5% in 2016 from 5.3% in 2015 but is projected to improve in 2017. Risks remain and include low commodity prices and the persistent drought,” he continued.

    IJG economist Rowland Brown at a recent briefing hosted a fortnight ago by the finance ministry also expressed his concern over the declining price of uranium. Stating his opinion at the time, he noted that the Husab mine producing at full capacity could possibly put either Rössing or Langer Heinrich out of business.

    “Uranium production increased, year-on-year, owing to low base effects, but declined, quarter on quarter, during the period under review. Uranium production increased by 13.6% to 1 009 tonnes, on a yearly basis, during the second quarter of 2016. The increase was mainly due to low base effects, owing to mechanical challenges experienced during 2015. On the contrary, production declined on a quarterly basis by 10.7% during the period under review, mainly due to water constraints, which affected production negatively. Furthermore, international uranium prices also declined by 25.2%, year on year, to an average of US$27.51 per pound over the review period, compared to the corresponding quarter in 2015, due to oversupply of uranium in the global market, the Bank of Namibia,” said in its quarterly report for September.

    Uranium oxide by close of business yesterday traded at US$18.50 per pound. Uranium traded above US$30 per pound but has since declined steadily.

    The outlook for sustained low uranium prices however remains positive, a recent Bloomberg article suggested.

    Prices aren’t factoring in the pace at which inventories will disappear in coming years, according to David Wang, an analyst at Morningstar. “We’re all surprised by how low it’s gotten, especially considering the bright prospects going forward,” Wang said. He expects uranium to more than double to about US$65 a pound by 2019 from US$28.25 now.

    Japan halted all nuclear energy production after an earthquake and tsunami led to meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant. The island nation has restarted four of its 42 operable reactors, according to the World Nuclear Association.

    “Near-term perceptions are based on psychology or emotion,” Adnani said. “The positive long-term fundamentals don’t reconcile with the short-term price.”

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 12/08/16--14:00: All dead in crash
  • All dead in crashAll dead in crash Pakistani air crash kills 48 A plane belonging to Pakistan''s national carrier crashed and burst into flames on Wednesday with 48 people on board, killing all of them, police and an airline spokesperson said. According to a senior police officer Khurram Rasheed in Pakistan, the plane crashed in a village in the district of Abbottabad, 75km northwest of the capital, Islamabad. The small twin-propeller aircraft was travelling from the city of Chitral to Islamabad when it crashed shortly after take-off.

    According to Daniyal Gilani, the spokesperson for Pakistan International Airlines, the plane had lost touch with the control tower prior to the crash. He said the plane was carrying 42 passengers, five crew members and a ground engineer.

    "There is no survivor," a senior government official at the Interior Ministry said.

    "All those on board the plane were killed," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to release details about the crash to the media.

    A spokesperson for the Interior Ministry said at team had been dispatched to help identify the bodies through DNA tests. Authorities have released names of passengers - among them Junaid Jamshed, a famous singer-turned-Islamic-preacher.

    Azam Sehgal, PIA''s chair, said the pilot of the plane told the control tower 16:09 that an engine had developed a technical fault and moments later he made a "mayday call," shortly before the plane disappeared.

    Sehgal said the plane was fit to fly but that it was unclear what caused the crash.

    Pervez George, the spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority, told The Associated Press that a team of experts would determine the cause after retrieving the plane''s black box recorder.

    TV footage showed debris from the plane and a massive fire at the site of the crash. The footage showed local villagers collecting the remains of the passengers and covering the bodies with cloths.

    In a statement, the military said that 40 bodies had been retrieved.

    One relative said he had heard that the plane was not fit to fly. "It is a murder and I want to know who killed my brother," he said.

    Altaf Hussain, a rescue worker who transported the remains of passengers in an ambulance, told the AP that the crash site smelled of burnt flesh and oil and that body parts were scattered everywhere.

    "We collected the burned bones of the ill-fated passengers and wrapped them in cloth," he said.

    Plane crashes are not uncommon in Pakistan. About 150 people were killed in a crash in the hills of Islamabad in 2010. In 2015, a military helicopter carrying several diplomats also crashed in the country''s north, killing eight people. A private plane also crashed near Islamabad due to bad weather in 2012, killing all 127 people on board.

    NAMPA/AP

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    What should Swartbooi apologise for?What should Swartbooi apologise for? It goes without saying that the President could have used the rule of law and existing disciplinary framework to deal with the matter concerning Bernadus Swartbooi and his remarks about resettlement land and its Minister, Utoni Nujoma.

    Yet, the nation caught wind of the fact that the President''s Office had ordered that Swartbooi make an apology – for God knows what – within 24 hours.

    The President remarked that the statements made by Swartbooi have the “potential to disrupt peace and stability in the country.” This is one of the many statements that aren''t clarified in the letter, as no one besides the President knows which statement/s by Swartbooi would lead Namibia into an age of civil war and strife.

    As things stand, a lot of communities experience a violence lived experience due to the lack of land and the subsequent poverty that often destroys the lives of the majority of the people in the south of this country and also elsewhere, wherever there are landless Namibians living in deplorable circumstances.

    If one were to speak as a realist, one might even conclude that the peace is already disrupted and that things aren''t as stable as they are for some Namibians, in whose interests it is in to protect the peace and stability that serve their individual and collective interests.

    The President also states that Swartbooi had “taken an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia” which could mean more than 200 things in that particular context. If it were the President''s aim to confuse the nation on this pertinent matter that could have set a major precedence for land re-distribution for poor communities then – well done Mr President, you have achieved your goal.

    For now, only the final outcome of the brouhaha is going to tell what story we tell one day about how the President used his time in office, as well as how the rule of law and the structures of the state are used to either silence, or perpetuate certain narratives about this Namibia that we call our home.

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    Why changing is always for the betterWhy changing is always for the better If there is one thing Namibians are known for, it will be their resistance to change! I tell you, I have never met people who would at all times prefer their own “tried and tested” ways as opposed to new, innovative ways of doing things.

    Take my Grandpa for instance – he still prefers keeping his money under the matrass and no amount of reasoning can change his mind. I once asked why he would risk storing his hard earned money in such an unsafe place. Why would he not bank the moola, for crying out loud?

    “Tate, why don''t you take the money to the bank where it will be much safer than storing it under that old and worn-out mattress?”

    “Mwatje, do you even know what you are talking about? Mind you, that mattress is the very same one on which you slept as a baby. Even your father – that useless man who thinks just because he has a big job in government, he is a big shot! That mattress has been with us for many decades now,” he said.

    “…but grandpa, it is not about the mattress. The conversation was about you storing money – like tens of thousands – under that old mattress. Why don''t you take the money to the bank?”

    “So even you too think you can tell me what to do? Who are you to tell me what to do? Where were you when we fought the boers? Where you even born? Nonsense!”

    I left it at that. Trust me, if it was any other person in would have probably challenged him until the conversation was exhausted. But not my grandpa – he has his own reasoning and knows better than any other person how to mete out a punishment.

    The other day he told me to count all the goats in the kraal until I see which one was missing. After my third count I was sure that all the goats were in the kraal, but typical of my grandpa, he would not believe me.

    As punishment for being ''lazy'', I was instructed to go into the corner and think of how my deeds would affect the drought situation and the distribution of food in the Aminuis constituency!

    But he is not the only one resisting change.

    Every time I get held up in one of those long queues at the banks I always wonder why on earth I do not do online banking. I see their advertisements every day – they splash it all over the TV screens, about how easy and more convenient it is to bank online. But do I listen? No!

    Twenty-three years after independence, I still prefer standing in queues and listening to other people''s marital problems as I await my turn at the counter.

    My neighbour, whom I have come to know as being a miser by any standard, has blatantly refused to allow his children to have the luxury of having a TV set at home. He is the kind that would send his kids out to play – even on a rainy day.

    “TV, for what? We did not have TV, but did we die?” That is Papa K''s argument every time I suggested he gets his kids some DSTV. Some things just never change.

    Then you have those Tates from the village who would always expect you to offer them your chair at a village function. Eish, these toppies drive in their own cars as opposed to you who have to hitch your way to the event, yet they do not carry camping or folding chairs with them!

    But the cherry on the cake goes to when this Tates have to say something at a funeral. They would rise, tuck their shirts in, straighten their hats and ties, clear their throats and utter the first word that comes to mind…

    “…hallo, is this mic on…?”

    After that, they would dwell endlessly on how they have little to say, yet they take an hour to say these ''few'' words. Sometimes I think they intentionally reveal their ignorance as a bid to attract the appreciating eyes of the female species. Oh yeah, our grannies would be listening attentively and smiling occasionally to such speeches.



    Whatever the case, let us embrace change – it will do us good.



    Until then…



    Tjatindi@gmail.com

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    Community should benefit from land dealsCommunity should benefit from land deals The Omaruru Town Council and community should benefit more than private developers in land deals, Erongo Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua has said.

    The governor was speaking at a town meeting with community members concerned about 75 erven being sold to Windhoek developer Ndakalimwe Investment by the town council.

    He was asked to mediate between the residents and town council, who have been at loggerheads for the past few months over the sale of the erven.

    Community members demonstrated twice over the past few months demanding answers to a number of grievances, one of them an objection to a resolution by council to provide the serviced erven to Ndakalimwe for N$5.1 million.

    The land was serviced with N$9 million under the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG).

    Residents said they were shocked to see land being sold while they are allegedly constantly told there is no land available, and said the developer just wants to make “fast money”.

    Mutjavikua instructed the council to explain how the municipality will benefit from the deal.

    He went on to say the council and the community should be the “winners” otherwise they can just sell land to those who qualify and they can construct their own houses.

    Omaruru mayor Hendrina Tuli Gebhardt said the council took a decision at the beginning of this year to cater for the rising number of middle-income earners.

    “We have seen an increase in middle-income earners from the hospital, Namibian Defence Force, schools, prison services and private sector. This sector was not prioritised in the housing needs for many years,” she said.

    Gebhardt said they will meet with the governor on Friday to discuss the way forward on the matter.

    Also speaking at the meeting, Barminus Swartbooi of the Omaruru Concerned Group said the council should have given Ndakalimwe virgin land and allocated the serviced erven to residents.

    “We must remove the middleman and focus on things that will develop the town,” he said.

    The notice calling for objections to the sale of 82 erven appeared in at least two national daily newspapers. Of the total, 75 were awarded to Ndakalimwe by way of private treaty.

    By the deadline of 21 October 2016, 36 objections were made, of which 20 were lodged by individuals and 16 by groups and collectively signed by 296 concerned residents.

    NAMPA

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  • 12/08/16--14:00: Repo rate maintained
  • Repo rate maintainedRepo rate maintainedThe inflation rate for 2017 is projected to stay just under the targeted band of 6% according to Bank of Namibia governer, Ipumbu Shiimi. Inflation still holding steady The Bank of Namibia (BoN) this week announced that it would maintain the repo rate at 7% following a monetary policy committee meeting held on Wednesday. This would keep prime lending at a rate of 10.75%. Motivating the move, BoN governor Ipumbu Shiimi said: “The monetary policy committee is of the view that at this level, the repo rate is appropriate to support growth while maintaining the one-to-one link between the Namibian dollar and the rand.

    The annual inflation rate rose on average to 6.6% during the first ten months of 2016, compared to 3.4% in 2015 Shiimi said. “This was mainly driven by the rise in average inflation rates for the major categories such as housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel, transport as well as food. On a month-to-month basis, the annual inflation rate rose to 7.3% in October. Shiimi also pointed out that inflation was projected at an average of 5.9% in 2017.

    “Inflation is on an upward trend. It is not too worrisome for us and is still manageable. Food has got a lot to do with the inflationary trend because of the drought. At 5.95% it is still expected to be manageable.” Another positive for Shiimi was the slowdown in credit extended to the private sector. For the first ten months it grew at 11.8% compared to 15% in the corresponding period last year. We have witnessed a significant slowdown in the growth of private sector credit extended. What is more pleasing is that looking at the recent two months where credit growth has been below 10%. The rate of growth is starting to decline.”

    Shiimi also pointed out that there were sufficient foreign reserves to support the one-to-one peg with the South African Reserve Bank. This, he said, was bolstered by the signing of two asset swaps with NamPower and the Government Institutions Pension Fund to the tune of N$8.9 billion over the span of two consecutive financial years while he confirmed that the Angolan government was up to date with its repayments.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 12/08/16--14:00: Hunger remains omnipresent
  • Hunger remains omnipresentHunger remains omnipresent Malnourishment and stunting levels high While advances have been made, it appears as though hunger and malnourishment is no longer a just rural phenomenon. While advances have been made, it appears as though hunger and malnourishment is no longer a just rural phenomenon.

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    10% pay hike for construction10% pay hike for construction The Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (Manwu) and the Construction Industries Federation (CIF) announced that there will be a 10% wage increment for the construction industry effective 31 December 2016.

    The agreement to increase the minimum wage was initially between Manwu and CIF and was extended and gazetted by the Ministry of Labour and Social welfare to all employers and employees in the construction industry in accordance with the 2007 labour law.

    Speaking to the media Manwu secretary-general Justine Jonas informed employers and employees in the construction industry to make sure that the new minimum wage agreement must be implemented. “After 31 December 2016 no labourer in Namibia must be remunerated less than N$16.04 per hour,” said Jonas. The current minimum wage for basic labourers is N$14.59 per hour.

    She asked all employers in the construction industry to obey the new wage increment. “We are calling on all Chinese companies and small medium enterprises to comply with these changes with immediate effect as we identified them as the main culprits of non-compliance of the minimum wage,” said Jonas.

    Jonas said Manwu was worried about the retrenchments taking place at different companies especially involving companies working with government projects. “Many of these retrenchments are linked to non-payment by the client (government). We are hearing that government does not have money, but as a union we were never informed,” said Jonas. She revealed that when Manwu requests for information or to meet with government it takes months for them to get a response. “We hereby call upon the government to settle its accounts with the companies in the construction industry so that we save many jobs,” said Jonas. More than 1 000 workers have been retrenched this year.

    Jonas said that the construction industry was under threat because tenders were being awarded to foreign nationals. “Big tenders are awarded to foreign companies instead of local companies who are investing in the local economy.”

    She said that some foreign companies do not comply with local labour laws and that workers in Namibia are exposed to “precarious” working conditions. Jonas called on the government to give more tenders to local companies. “We are complaining that we have no money while money is being given to foreign companies who are not ploughing it back into the country, and many of these foreign companies are even anti-union,” said Jonas.

    Shona Ngava

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  • 12/08/16--14:00: Murder accused, 18, appears
  • Murder accused, 18, appearsMurder accused, 18, appears Timoteus Simeon, 18 has appeared before Okahao Magistrate''s Court on Monday this week on charge of murder.

    This follows after the death of 20-year-old Iyambo Katumbwa who died on 2 December at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital.

    Katumbwa was a member of the marginalised community from Okathitu B village in Otamanzi constituency in Omusati Region.

    He was killed with a brick at the Ehego cuca shops.

    “Simeon hit Katumbwa with a brick on the head on 25 November. Katumbwa was not taken to hospital. On 30 November he was taken to Okahao hospital by his family members and due to the seriousness of his injury, he was transferred to Oshakati where he died on 2 December. Simeon was arrested on the same day Katumbwa died and appeared before the Okahao Magistrate on 3 December and was denied bail,” Warrant Officer Linekela Shikongo, Omusati police spokesperson said.

    Shikongo said that information relating to what caused the altercation is unkown.

    A family member of Katumbwa who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Namibian Sun that this is part of human rights violation that repeatedly occured in their community.

    “We marginalised people are being abused here. Our rights are not respected and we are subject to many abuses, even those that employ us, sometimes they don''t pay us,” she said.

    She said that there is no valid reason why Katumbwa was hit with a brick.

    The councillor for Otamanzi constituency, Johannes Iyambo could not be reached for comment, but the marginalised communities'' official for the north-west regions, Senia Endjara confirmed that those communities are indeed abused.

    “Ordinary people do not respect marginalised people. My office has received numerous reports of abuse and violations of marginalised people.

    This incident was also reported to me and it is another violation against my people,” Endjara said.

    She said that her office is assisting the family with the burial through the marginalised people''s funeral scheme.

    Simeon remains in custody and will appear on 28 February 2016.







    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Exam results out on 21 December Exam results out on 21 December The Grade 10 and 12 higher level examinations results for full-time and part-time candidates will be released on Wednesday, 21 December.

    According to the announcement issued by the education ministry yesterday the results for the Grade 12 ordinary level will be released no later than 13 January next year.

    This represents a delay of roughly two weeks and while this was as a result of the teachers’ strike at the start of the final 2016 examinations, the ministry said it does not want to shift the blame.

    According to the ministry’s permanent secretary Sanet Steenkamp only two subjects including mathematics were really affected by the teachers’ strike that lasted two days.

    It also stipulates that 38 277 candidates sat for Grade 10 full-time exams while 14 743 candidates of the 65 863 Grade 12 candidates (full-time and part-time combined) wrote one or more NSSC Higher Level subjects.

    “Tremendous progress had been made by the directorate of national examinations and assessments to bring the release of the Grade 12 ordinary level as near as possible to the Grade 10 and higher level results,” the statement read.

    The results will be available on the website of the Directorate National Examinations and Assessment at www.dnea.gov.na, the website of the Ministry of Education www.moe.gov.na and will also be accessible via an SMS service.

    Candidates who wish to access their results via an SMS must send a message with the examination name, followed by their surname and first name to any of the following numbers, 2929, 99099 or 55755.

    Both the website and SMS service will become active on Wednesday, 21 December just after midnight.

    Candidates are further urged to have their candidate numbers nearby in order to be able to access their results.

    Meanwhile regional offices will be able to assist by supplying the results from the broadsheets to candidates and relatives who personally visit or phone the offices.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Ryazanovka looks set to departRyazanovka looks set to depart Questions asked about her destination The wall of silence over the Ryazanovka trawler remains as she is refuelling with massive quantities at the moment, destination unknown. The controversial Chinese trawler Ryazanovka that has been earmarked as the vessel that will be used to capture and transport live and endangered Namibian marine mammals to Chinese aquariums, if the application is approved, is currently refuelling and storing fuel supplies at Walvis Bay’s main port.

    A NamPort port plan shows the vessel has been at Berth 8 since Thursday and is scheduled to remain alongside until Sunday. According to the public port plan, the vessel is taking bunkers, stores and water. The volumes are enormous.

    The fisheries ministry remains mum on whether a permit has been granted or denied to the Chinese company Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Scientific Research.

    The company put in a request several months ago to export a number of internationally listed vulnerable wild dolphins, whales and African penguins, among other species, to Chinese aquariums via the Ryazanovka trawler.

    A concerned Namibian yesterday said that it is clear the vessel is taking up “huge quantities of fuel” until Sunday, and the urgent question now is what the destination and plans of the vessel crew are once it departs the port.

    Moreover, while internationally it is common practice for vessels to be equipped with AIS antennae for tracking purposes, especially in ports, the Ryazanovka has been offline for months.

    This, according to reliable sources, could be due to the fact that there are numerous allegations that the vessel is undergoing a change of ownership, and that the new owners are trying to register the vessel in Namibia. Nevertheless, the vessel’s invisibility is a concern to many.

    NamPort as well as the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources were not able to confirm the reasons for the Ryazanovka’s refuelling nor its destination after Sunday and whether a permit for capture and export has been granted or denied.

    NamPort advised Namibian Sun to contact Trade Ocean, the maritime agents attending to the vessel. However, Trade Ocean agents last week told Namibian Sun they would not comment on any matter relating to the vessel.

    The vessel has been in Namibian waters since May and was reportedly customised to enable it to capture and transport large marine wildlife.

    The application by Welwitschia Aquatic has unleashed widespread condemnation, both locally and internationally, with the formal request slammed for posing a risk to the local tourism industry and Namibia’s reputation as a leader in environmental conservation, among numerous other issues.

    Moreover, scientists have pointed out that the application is riddled with false and inaccurate scientific information, questioning the expertise and intentions of the applicants and their partners.

    The Chinese have offered to pay N$30 million, labelling it as money that will be invested through funding of the project into the country.

    Internationally, many have argued that the decision is not Namibia’s to make, as the marine wildlife are cross-border animals and do not belong to a single country.

    Moreover, a growing number of environmental and scientific organisations question conditions at Chinese zoos and aquariums as well as the ethics behind capturing wild animals and forcing them into a zoo existence.

    The questionable application sent to the ministry earlier this year noted that Welwitschia Aquatic is working in collaboration with Beijing Ruier Animal Breeding and Promoting Company.

    Although no further information could be gained on the legitimacy and ethics of the company, Dave Morgan from Wild Welfare, an organization with a mission to improve the welfare of captive wild animals, said that based on his experience of conditions at Chinese zoos and aquariums, “they are not places that I could contemplate sending animals to.”

    Along with a majority of wildlife scientists, Morgan added that Wild Welfare objects in principle to the capturing and transporting of animals from the wild into captivity.

    “These days, modern aquariums and members of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, endeavour to source their cetaceans from captive-bred stock from other aquariums rather than support wild capture operations.”

    Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Scientific Research is allegedly managed by Jeff Huang, a close relative of millionaire Chinese businessman Jack Huang, owner of Sun Investment Group in Namibia. Welwitschia Aquatic shares the same address and contact details as that of Sun Investment Group, and employee there confirmed to Namibian Sun last week that both operated from the same premises.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 12/08/16--14:00: Govt reclaims MTC shares
  • Govt reclaims MTC sharesGovt reclaims MTC sharesIn a move seen by many to boost local coffers, government is buying back its foreign-owned shares in MTC. Kicks foreign ownership out Government is set to buy back 34% of MTC’s foreign-held shares from current owners, Portugal Telecom. This was revealed by Minister of Information and Communication Technology Tjekero Tweya this week. MTC’s dividends to government are also expected to raise significantly should the transaction close and the monies, generally paid over to foreign shareholders, will now remain in the country.

    A statement released by the information minister states that the Government Institutions Pension Fund will fund the acquisition of the telecommunications firm.

    Namibia Post Telecommunications Holdings have been instructed to devise a strategy to safeguard the operations MTC in the meantime while a technical partner will also be sought.

    Said Tweya: “Cabinet took note of the progress made with regard to the buyback of the 34% foreign-owned shares in Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTC). Cabinet endorsed the Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings (NPTH) decision to obtain confirmation of the legal rights of SAMBA to act on behalf of Africatel B.V., before the transaction will be negotiated further. Cabinet approved NPTH and MTC to devise a strategy to safeguard the future operation of MTC by way of acquiring a technical partner which is not necessarily a shareholder.”

    Tweya also explained that Cabinet approved NPTH to proceed with the proposed buying strategy of the shares, once the terms and conditions of the GIPF and [participating] financial institutions were agreed upon.

    Said Tweya: “The government through NPTH reserves the right to retain ownership of the full 100% of MTC until further approved by Cabinet.”

    Finance minister Calle Schlettwein also briefly addressed the acquisition at a briefing held. He dismissed the notion that the GIPF was merely bankrolling government acquisitions. “There is a notion that government has its hands on the kitty of the GIPF. We cannot dictate to the GIPF what to do with its money,” said Schlettwein in response to whether government had compelled the GIPF to fund the acquisition of MTC.

    Brazilian telecommunications group Oi in June 2016 confirmed that Samba Luxco S.a.r.l., Oi’s investment partner in developing markets holding company Africatel B.V. (Africatel), agreed to reduce its Africatel stake from 25% to 14%, thereby increasing Oi’s Africatel ownership to 86%. In exchange, Africatel would transfer to Samba its 34% stake in MTC.

    MTC has now gone from being a Swedish held firm to a Portuguese owned entity.

    In its latest annual report, MTC stated that it saw revenue growth of 8% or N$2.1 billion for its financial year end September 2015, while data usage and customers shot up 515 and 45% respectively.

    MTC reported a decrease in net profit after tax from N$504 million in 2014 to N$491 million in 2015, mainly due to the increased operational expenditure.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Chinese bust with ivory will appear todayChinese bust with ivory will appear today Two Chinese nationals who were caught at the roadblock to the Hosea Kutako International Airport with pieces of elephant tusk will appear in court today.

    The two were arrested at the Kapps Farm roadblock on Wednesday afternoon when alert police officials searched their vehicle.

    According to the spokesperson of the Namibian police, Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi the two men were arrested between 12:00 and 14:00 at the roadblock.

    Kanguatjivi said that three coffee and milo tins were found in the vehicle that they were travelling in and that police became suspicious. When the tins were opened pieces of elephant tusk were found wrapped in plastic hidden between the coffee grinds and milo.

    The two Chinese nationals, aged 47 and 60 years, were on work visas in Namibia employed at Nkurenkuru near Rundu in the Kavango East Region at a construction project. They were on their way to the airport and wanted to fly back to China.

    The value of the pieces of elephant tusk and where they originate from has not yet been determined.

    The latest statistics indicate that 69 elephants have been poached this year mainly from the Zambezi Region and the Kavango East Region.

    Kanguatjivi confirmed that the two men will appear at the Windhoek Magistrate''s Court today.

    This arrest follows just weeks after a Chinese national was arrested at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg after boarding a flight at the Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek to Hong Kong with 18 rhino horns hidden in his luggage. The rhino horns, weighing in at 43kg, were valued at around N$6.6 million. A probe was launched at the Hosea Kutako airport into how Ye ZhiWe, 28, managed to pass scanners with the contraband undetected. Shortly after Sergeant Pendapala Abraham Iitula, 42, who worked at Hosea Kutako, was arrested in connection with the case.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Legitimacy of SPWC questionedLegitimacy of SPWC questioned Some gender activists question the achievements of political parties'' women councils while others argue it must be terminated once non-discriminatory measures are put in place by the relevant party.

    The Swapo Party Women''s Council''s (SPWC) seventh elective congress has kicked off yesterday and is expected to conclude tomorrow.

    This election will see incumbent secretary Petrina Haingura challenging her deputy, Eunice Iipinge, and Sylvia Kandanga for the secretary position. Windhoek deputy mayor Fransina Kahungu, Katrina Liswani and Bernadette Jagger are standing for the deputy secretary position.

    Deputy secretary of Swapo Laura McLeod-Katjirua said the SPWC has brought a great deal of positive change for women since the liberation struggle.

    “We now see women in leadership positions. Women''s views and issues are also mainstreamed throughout the party by virtue of the secretary of the council who sits on the executive committee of the main party,” she said.

    However, gay rights activist Linda Baumann says female politicians in all political parties have failed women at grassroots levels and often shy away from driving women''s issues to the fore.





    She argues that women at the top structures do not make effort to mentor young and upcoming activists or to make sure knowledge is passed on to younger women.

    “Look at the recent Aids conference, there was only one woman on the panel and she was the master of ceremonies - why must women always be given the cheapskate jobs? The only female politician who stands out for me is Margaret Mensah-Williams who defends issues affecting women relentlessly,” said Baumann.

    Meanwhile gender equality expert Ngamane Karuaihe-Upi argues while institutions such as the SPWC are indeed necessary and relevant they should no longer be needed once a party implements 50/50 gender representation.

    “When we have done things right then all these special groups won''t be necessary. In other words, men and women will take care of women''s issues and equally of men''s issues,” he says.

    Swapo amended its constitution in 2013 to bring about 50/50 representation of men and women in the party''s organs and structures.

    Swapo member of parliament Agnes Kafula hailed this as the SPWC''s biggest achievement, but added that much still needs to be done to ensure equal gender representation across the board.

    “There are still some challenges at regional council levels, we do see an acceptable gender representation at local authority councils, but we need to do more,” she says.

    Furthermore, political commentator Nico Horn argues that legislative frameworks such as these are of paramount importance to ensure that the country becomes and remains a gender-sensitive society.

    “We would be naïve if we think discrimination will just go away. Women still need to work hard to break through the glass ceiling; we therefore need councils and institutions such as these,” said Horn.

    President Hage Geingob during the opening ceremony yesterday reminded the delegates that the council needs to be at the forefront of the fight against gender-based violence as it is limiting women from taking their rightful place in society.

    He also told delegates that women hold very powerful positions in Cabinet due to their skill and not as a result of tokenism.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 12/08/16--14:00: Securities still abused
  • Securities still abusedSecurities still abusedWhile a minimum wage for security guards in Namibia has been set, companies are still paying a pittance to their staff. Companies ignore minimum wage directive A Namibian security company could be facing labour court soon after an employee payslip shows the company still paid the 2009 minimum wage of N$3.80 per hour until at least October this year.

    Since 2009, the minimum wage for security guards has increased to N$7 per hour, with another increase to N$8.75 slated for January.

    Levi Shigwedha, chairperson of the Security Association of Namibia (SAN), this week confirmed that Superior Security Services is being investigated, and SAN plans to declare a labour dispute with the help of relevant unions.

    Simon Kandondo, general-secretary of the Namibia Independent Security Union (NISU) urged employees being paid below minimum wage to contact the union for help.

    “Even if they are not union members, we will take it up. I will make sure that the company is called out.”

    Andreas Haingura Karupu, owner of Superior Security Services, on Wednesday claimed he had amended the hourly rate since October and employees were paid the correct rate of N$7.00 as from November.

    His claim could not be verified before going to print and no further proof was submitted by him other than his verbal statement.

    Likewise, SAN could not confirm the amendment and confirmed the company is not a member.

    The Superior Security Services payslip provided to Namibian Sun anonymously shows the employee was paid a salary of less than N$850 in October, after having clocked close to 220 hours. These hours include more than 55 overtime and nightshift hours.

    The payslip shows a nearly N$200 deduction for transport and “meat”. Zero deductions are indicated in the Social Security Commission column.

    Karupu blamed the demands of clients for the N$3.80 rate. He told Namibian Sun during a brief telephone conversation that he wants to pay the minimum wage “but the problem is, it depends on what we get from our clients, the clients are not happy to pay higher rates. That is where the problem is.”





    He claimed he is currently in discussions with SAN, the unions, and the labour ministry. He said he was in the process of negotiations with the parties.

    Several commentators said a big question around Karupu''s failure to comply with the minimum wage, is whether he would be held responsible for his employees'' loss of income.

    NISU''s Kandondo said in effect, Karupu''s employees are due not only a pay raise to the current minimum wage, and another one in January as per a recent agreement between SAN and the unions, but are furthermore owed back-pay for loss of income.

    According to the unions and members of SAN, non-compliance around minimum wages and various regulations and labour laws is chronic in the industry.

    Commentators say that apart from depriving security guards of their rightful salary, non-complying companies crush compliant competitors.

    Industry insiders say that clients in particular should take responsibility for the companies they engage, ensuring the companies are compliant.

    “Clients have to become more aware of the costs involved. Clients have to ask the right questions when comparing quotations. They need to take into account that these companies have full-time employees and this involves many costs. That is why it is so difficult to compete in this industry,” a security employer said.

    A lack of regulations in the industry complicates the task of holding non-compliant companies accountable while the oversight of labour law breaches frustrate the sector.

    Shigwedha said that SAN and the unions are intensifying efforts to address non-compliance and the introduction of security sector regulations in the industry to ensure fly-by-night and unethical operators are forced to step up or are pushed out of the industry.

    Until such time, the industry is reliant primarily on the labour ministry. Shigwedha said that labour inspectors can play a critical role in providing broader oversight. “They can call the company to order.”

    Another solution the industry is contemplating is the introduction of benchmark rates, which would force clients to pay a minimum rate for security services, ensuring compliance across the board.

    The national minimum rate of N$3.80 for security guards was established in 2009 and rose to N$5.30 in 2014. In August 2015 the rate was hiked to N$7.00 and last week a minimum rate of N$8.75, was confirmed by the unions and SAN. This rate becomes valid from January next year.



    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 12/11/16--14:00: 'I am still here'
  • 'I am still here''I am still here' Sprinter promises better 2017 Forgotten 200- and 100-metre sprinter Dantago Gurirab still has hope of making an incredible come back into athletics. Namibian sprinter Dantago Gurirab says that he is still chasing his dream of becoming a world''s greatest despite spending almost a year off the track .

    The male sprinter revealed that he has begun with working out in order to start 2017 with a bang.

    “I have been out for almost one year but I will never quit athletics because it is my life and I love it very much.

    “Currently, I started working out on my muscles because it is one of the most important things an athlete has to do.

    “There has never been a time I planned on quitting despite the challenges that I came across in life. My view is that I was born to make it,” Gurirab said.

    The athlete was part of the Namibian team that participated at the Confederation of School Sports Associations of Southern Africa (Cossasa) Games in Botswana in 2007.

    He won silver medals in his 100 m and 200 m races, and went on to win a bronze medal in the same competition.

    In 2008, the athlete took part in the World Youth Games which took place in the Czech Republic and he fell out in the semi-finals of the competition.

    Gurirab was also part of the 2015 Jamaica''s University''s relay team that took part at a pan-American competition held in Philadelphia in the United States.

    In the same year, Gurirab went on to win the 200 m Zone VI gold medal, as well as a silver medal.

    He also qualified for the 2008 World Youth Games in the Czech Republic, where he made the semi-finals.

    “I learned from the likes of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt who we used to train with in Jamaica that life can come with challenges, but you have to keep your eyes on the prize.

    “The most important thing in my life right now is to stay focused and chase my dreams of becoming a world or Olympic champion,” he said.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Oosekuriti otadhi mono iihunaOosekuriti otadhi mono iihuna Aagandji yiilonga otaya idhimbike oondjambi dhopetameko dhoka dha tulwa po Nonando okwa tulwa miilonga oondjambi dhopetameko dhaaniilonga aakeleli yomaliko, aaniilonga mboka onkene taya hepekwa moshilongo. Ehangano ekeeli lyomaliko lyaNamibia otashi vulika li falwe kompangu mbala sho okambaapila kondjambi yomuniilonga ka ulike kutya ehangano ndyoka natango otali futu aaniilonga ondjambi yopetameko ndjoka yali ya tulwa miilonga mo-2009 yooN$3.80 mowili sigo omuKotomba gwomvula ya piti.

    Okutameka mo-2009 ondjambi yopetameko yoosekuriti oya gwedhelwa sigo opooN$7 mowili na okwa tegelelwa dhi gwedhelwe okuya pooN$8.75.

    Levi Shigwedha, Omunashipundi gwoSecurity Association of Namibia (SAN), okwa koleke kutya ehangano lyoSuperior Security Services otali konaakonwa noSAN otayi pangele okukakonga ekwatho lyopampangu meyambidhidho lyomahangano ganiilonga.

    Simon Kandondo, Amushanga-Ndjai Namibia Independent Security Union (NISU) okwa kunkilile aaniilonga ayehe mboka haya futwa oondjambi dhili pevi ya konge ekwatho komahangano gaaniilonga.

    Okwa popi kutya aaniilonga mboka nando kaye shi iilyo yoouniona na ya ka konge owala omakwatho otaya ka kwathelwa.

    Mwene gwehangano ndyoka, Andreas Haingura Karupu, okwa popi mEtitatu lyoshiwike sha piti kutya okwa ndjekepo ondjambi yopetameko okuza muKotomba naaniilonga oya futwa muNovemba ondjambi yooN$7 mowili.

    Omapopyo ge inaga vula okukolekwa pethimbo onkundana ndjika ya nyanyangidhwa, naSAN inayi vula okukoleka ngele shoka ta popi oshi na tuu uukwashili.

    Okambaapila komafutilo goondjambi dhoSuperior Security Services oka pewa oshikundaneki shoNamibian Sun na oka ulike kutya omuniilonga okwa futwa ondjambi yooN$850 muKotomba konima sho a longo oowili 220. Moowili moka omwa kwatelwa oowili dhomalutayima 55 oshowo oowili dhokulonga uusiku.

    Okambaapila hoka otaka ulike omuniilonga ngoka a nanwa oshimaliwa shooN$200 sholweendo oshowo shonyama. Ina nanwa iifuta yoSocial Security Commission.

    Karupu okwa gandja uusama wiifuta yili pevi kaayakulwa kutya nonando okwa hala okufuta aaniilonga ye pampango, itashi vulika molwaashoka aayakulwa inaya hala okufuta omwaalu gwiimaliwa guli pombanda.

    Okwa popi kutya ngashiingeyi okuli moonkundathana noSAN oshowo omahangano goounion nuuministeli waaniilonga opo ya vule okukandula po uupyakadhi mboka.

    Pamaiyuvo ga hololwa kaadhani nkandangala moshikondo shoka, otaya pula opo omahangano ngoka itaga gwanithwa po ompango ndjoka gaungaungiwe nago.

    Okwa li kwa tulwa miilonga ondjambi yopetameko yaaniilonga yooN$3.80 mo-2009 na oya li ya gwedhelwa sigo opooN$5.30 mo-2014.

    MuAguste gwo-2015 iifuta mbyoka oya gwedhelwa sigo opooN$7, noshiwike sha piti oya gwedhelwa ishewe sigo opooN$8.75, na tayi tulwa miilonga muJanuari twa taalela.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Ondjala otayi hepeke oshigwanaOndjala otayi hepeke oshigwana Aanona yaali kehe momweedhi ohaya pangwa omanyutu moshipangelo shaKatutura. Uuyelele mboka owa hololwa kOmundohotola Wilon Benjamin pethimbo omuhwahwameki gwointernational child-rights , Graça Machel a talele po oshipangelo shoka oshiwike sha piti.

    Pahapu dhaBenjamin, oopresenda 80 dhiipotha mbyoka odha lopotwa mokati kaakalimo yaVenduka, omanga yilwe haya lopotwa okuza kiipangelo yilwe.

    Machel pamwe nomukomeho gwoUnicef mOshitopolwa shomUuzilo nUumbugantu waAfrika, Leila Pakkala, oye li moNamibia metalelepo nokukwatela komeho ooprograma dhepangelo dhoka dha nuninwa okukondjitha omanyutu mokati kaanona.

    Benjamin okwa popi kutya okwa pumbwa okutulwa miilonga omandiki gomanzulonkalo popepi nuupangelogona molwaashoka aanona mboka ya kwatwa omanyutu oya pumbwa okukala popepi niipangelo.

    Omukomeho gwoprogram dhUundjolowele mUuministeli wuundjolowele, Marjorie van Wyk, okwa popi kutya onkalo ndjoka otashi vulika yi ka hwepopale uuna kwa talululwa oprograma yoRevised Food Security and Nutrition Policy and Scale Up Nutrition Country Implementation Plan 2017-2018.

    Van Wyk okwa popi woo kutya ompumbwe yaaniilonga ye na uunongo kombinga yonkalo yomanyutu muuministeli oyo tayi etitha woo onkalo yi nayipale.

    Ondjele yeyamitho kontulo moNamibia oya thikama poopresenda 48.5. palopota yo2016 Global Hunger Index (GHI), oopresenda 42.3 dhaaNamibia otadhi lumbu nomanyutu pamapekaapeko ga ninga pokati komvula yo-2014 no 2016. Oopresenda 7.1 okwa monika kutya odhaanona yeli kohi yoomvula ntano, okuyeleka noopresenda 10 dhoka dha dhidhilikwa momvula dho-2000.

    Olopota oya tsikile kutya omaso mokati kaanona aashona onga oshizemo shondjala oga shuna pevi okuza poopresenda 6.5 okuya poopresenda 1.5.



    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Epangelo lya hala okulanda iipambuliko moMTCEpangelo lya hala okulanda iipambuliko moMTC Epangelo olya hala okulanda po oopresenda 34 dhiipambuluko yaMTC mbyoka ngashiingeyi yi li momake gehangano lyaPortugal Telecom.

    Shoka osha hololwa kOminista yOmauyelele nOmakwatathano goPautekinika, Tjekero Tweya. Iifuta yiipambuliko yepangelo okuza kuMTC nayo okwa tegelelwa yi ka londe pombanda uuna etsokumwe ndyoka lya tulwa miilonga molwaashoka iimaliwa itayi ka kala we tayi thigi po oshilongo.

    Omukanda gwiikundaneki ngoka gwa pitithwa kominista yomauyelele ogwa holola kutya ehangano lyoGovernment Institutions Pension Fund, olyo tali ka kwatela komeho elandeko lyiipambuliko mbyoka.

    Tweya okwa popi kutya epangelo olya tokola pankatu yokabinete opo li landeko iipambuluko mbyoka ya kalela po oopresenda 34 yehangano lyoMobile Telecommunications Network (MTC).

    Okabinete oka tokola opo ehangano lyoNamibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings (NPTH) opo li mone uuthemba okuza ko SAMBA nokukatuka onkatu pehala lyoAfricatel B.V., omanga inaku manithwa etsokumwe ndyoka. Okabinete oka zimine opo NPTH naMTC ya kwatele komeho oonkundathana dhiilonga yaMTC dhomonakuyiwa.

    Tweya okwa tsikile woo kutya NPTH okwa pewa oshinakugwanithwa a kwatele komeho omulandu gwokulanda ko iipambuliko mbyoka.



    Ominista yEmona, Calle Schlettwein okwa popi kombinga yelandeko lyiipambuliko mbyoka na okwa ekelehi omapopyo kutya GIPF oye ngashiingeyi aningwa oshiputudhilo shokukandulapo oompumbwe dhiimaliwa yepangelo.

    Ehangano lyomakwatathano lyaBrazil muJuni gwo-2016 olya koleke kutya Samba Luxco S.a.r.l., okupitila mukuume ke mongeshefa Africatel B.V. (Africatel), oya tokola opo ya shunithe pevi iipambuluko yawo moAfricatel okuza poopresena 25 okuya 14, nokuyambulapo iipambuliko ye mongeshefa yomahooli okuya poopresenda 86.

    Momukanda gwolopota yopashimaliwa ngoka gwa pitithwa kuMTC okwa holola kutya okwa mona eyopombanda lyiiyemo noopresendaa 8 okuya pehulilo lyomwedhi Sepetemba gwo-2015. MTC okwa tseyitha egwo pevi lyiiyemo konima yiifuta yiishoshela yepangelo okuza poomiliyona 504 mo-2014 okuya poomiliyona 491 mo-2015.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 12/11/16--14:00: Gibeon supports residents
  • Gibeon supports residentsGibeon supports residents Financial cushion for Gibeon gardeners Gibeon is on a path to ensure its residents can become self-sufficient. The Gibeon constituency office handed over building materials, bakery products and equipment, a zinc structure, generators and gardening tools worth N$67 800 to 13 beneficiaries.

    The constituency office under the Hardap Regional Council (HRC) annually assists community members with viable projects for them to become self-sustainable and make a living out of their projects.

    Speaking at the handing-over ceremony, Gibeon councillor and member of the National Council, Jeremiah van Neel said micro projects address the immediate needs of the people.

    “Micro projects contribute to the economic and social development of communities in a sustainable manner,” he said.

    Van Neel urged recipients to grow with their projects and contribute towards boosting the country’s economy through creation of employment to compliment the national Harambee Prosperity Plan.

    Dirk Karigub, a beneficiary and owner of Karigub Leather Works at the Kriess settlement, said they are thankful for what government is doing for them.

    “A lot of people just want to sit back and demand instead of going out and make a living for themselves,” Karigub said.

    He urged the youth to start projects and support themselves.

    Another recipient, 61-year-old Lucia Khoases from Farm Falkenhorst near Gibeon, said they are happy to receive a pre-fabricated zinc house where they can hold community meetings.

    “We held our meetings under a tree or in church before,” she said.

    NAMPA

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