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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 187 | 188 | (Page 189) | 190 | 191 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Bloody few days for our wildlifeBloody few days for our wildlife Elephant and rhino poached, poachers arrested In what marks a bloody few days for Namibia''s wildlife, authorities have scored some major successes with busts and arrests. Another Chinese national was arrested on Friday morning at the Kapps Farm roadblock on his way to the Hosea Kutako National Airport, this time for being in possession of US$33 500 (roughly N$469 000) and also for attempting to bribe a police officer.

    The incident occurred at around 10:00 on Friday morning when two Chinese men tried to pass through the roadblock and the car they were travelling in was searched by the police.

    Several suitcases were found in the back of the vehicle and inside U$33 500 was found wrapped and sealed in biscuit packs, sealed in the luggage.

    The driver of the vehicle who is also a Chinese national, explained that he knew nothing about what was in the luggage and that he had only given his friend a lift to the airport who was flying to Taiwan to visit friends and family.

    According to the driver who did not want to divulge his name, he had picked his friend up at his house. He says that the friend is currently living and working in Namibia.

    The suspect also attempted to bribe one of the sergeants who was questioning him with the amount of N$4 200.

    The case is being investigated.

    Meanwhile the two Chinese nationals who were arrested last week for illegal possession of ivory pieces hidden in tins at the same roadblock were denied bail in the Windhoek Magistrate''s court Friday.

    Zhang Ruhe, 60, and Xinxi Xue, 47, are charged with contravening the Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Act no 9, the unlawful export of any controlled wildlife product.

    According to Nampa the State, represented by senior public prosecutor Hans Tourob, strongly objected to the granting of bail citing the seriousness and complexity of the charges the two foreigners each face, as well as that police investigations into the matter are at an initial stage.

    The foreigners'' privately instructed defence lawyer, Uno Katjipuka informed the court she will bring an urgent formal bail application next week.

    Their case was postponed until 24 February next year, pending further police investigation.

    The two were employed as construction workers at a Chinese-owned construction company in Windhoek prior to their arrest.

    In another incident six poachers were arrested in the Etosha National Park last week Wednesday.

    Unfortunately one rhino was wounded in the limb by the criminals.

    Confirming the arrest spokesperson for the environment ministry Romeo Muyunda said that although veterinarians of the ministry treated the animal, it had to be put down due the severity of its injuries.

    Muyunda said that the operation which lead to the arrests was a combined effort by the Namibian police and staff of the environment ministry and also stressed that the MET helicopter played a big role in the operations.

    In a another incident two elephants were on Tuesday shot and killed in the Buffalo area of Divundu in the Kavango East Region by suspected poachers, while poachers were prevented in removing the elephants tusks.

    Another elephant was also shot and killed on Wednesday at Omega in the Mukwe Constituency.

    The animal was shot between Golden Road and the Trans-Caprivi Highway on the northern side of the Buffalo area.

    It is suspected three poachers were involved in removing the elephant''s tusk.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 12/11/16--14:00: Iyambo dismayed by Etunda
  • Iyambo dismayed by EtundaIyambo dismayed by Etunda Budget cuts have affected green scheme production The vice-president, Dr Nickey Iyamba has expressed his dismay with the levels of production after a visit to the Etunda Green Scheme Irrigation Project near Ruacana in Omusati Region last week Thursday. Etunda is the largest government farm in the green scheme programme in terms of hectares and volumes of production.

    The land is 1 200 hectares in size but less than half, 450, is being utilised. As from observations made by the vice-president, the irrigation project consists of 15 centre-pivot lands, but only five are in use.

    For the remaining ten, infrastructure and facilities such as irrigation materials and water pipes are unused, amounting public resources wasting.

    The project is divided into two segments of 450 hectares each with commercial farmers using the 15 centre-pivot facilities which cover 30 hectares each.

    There are 71 spaces for small-scale farmers which consist of three hectares each and ten spaces for medium-scale farmers also consisting of three hectares each.

    Farmers use to receive vouchers from the Agribank to buy inputs such as fertilisers, chemical and seeds, but after the budget cuts, this was halted and many farmers simply stopped production.

    This affected both the commercial and small-scale farmers.

    “Only the maize fields impress me. Half of the land here is not in use. I think we made a mistake when we cut the agriculture ministry''s budget.

    “There is no money to produce any food in government''s green scheme irrigation projects,” Iyambo said.

    In October this year, finance minister Calle Schlettwein announced national budget cuts from N$67 billion to N$4.9 billion in his mid-term budget. The cut has severely limited spending.

    “This visit was a lesson learned that we were not supposed to cut green scheme irrigation funds.

    “We are in the grip of a drought and we are not producing at maximum capacity. We are going to use the money we have to buy drought relief from other countries to feed our people.

    “Remember that the money we are spending on drought relief cannot be recovered as the aid is distributed for free,” Iyambo continued.

    The secretary for the small scale farmers in Etunda, Petrus Daniel told Namibian Sun that since Agribank stopped providing vouchers, farming became impossible for them.

    “We cannot afford chemicals and pesticides. Some of the farmers gave up and those of us still farming are finding it difficult to maintain our fields.

    “Our products are affected by pests that we do not know where they come from and we are finding it difficult to control them,” Daniel said.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 12/11/16--14:00: Crime starts in Chinatown
  • Crime starts in ChinatownCrime starts in Chinatown The inspector-general of the Namibian police, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitungu, has demanded a full-scale clean-up of Chinatowns countrywide specifically in the largest towns, saying they have become a breeding ground for criminal activity.

    Speaking to Namibian Sun Ndeitunga he compared Windhoek''s Chinatown located in the northern industrial area to the Single Quarters prior to independence and said that it is a breeding nest for criminals.

    He said that the problem with the entire setup is the fact that business are allowed on the ground floor while most business owners at Chinatown reside either in or above the retail space of their shops, which Ndeitunga said should not be the case in the first place.

    “People should have their businesses far from their dwellings, to avoid illegal activity.”





    According to Ndeitunga the police currently has information about on-going criminal activity at the Chinatown in Windhoek and therefore the current set-up and the design of these structures favours crime.

    He said that some of the criminal activity that is currently happening at Chinatown are amongst others that shop owners are illegally exchanging forex, there are discussions involving poaching, drugs are being sold and large sums of money are hidden.

    According to Ndeitunga some foreign nationals are taking advantage of Namibia''s need for investment.

    “Poaching is becoming a major issue in this country and most of these culprits are foreigners who come here and pretend to be investors, whilst recruiting locals to do their dirty deeds for them.”

    He said that the police have confirmed that most of the poachers are Asian nationals, who have made connections with locals within the African continent to enable them to acquire ivory.

    “These individuals are tarnishing the names of those who want to do honest business in the country and should therefore be blacklisted to avoid an escalation of these crimes.”

    He further expressed concern about the “nest” of criminal activity happening at Chinatown and called upon the City Of Windhoek to redesign the entire structure.

    He said that he does not want the businesses to necessarily to be shut down, but he wants the sleeping quarters to be totally removed. “This is a criminal operation. My message is load and clear and stakeholders must take note.”

    He said that other towns with similar Chinatowns must also take this into account.

    There have been repeated raids by police at Chinatown over the years to check and confiscate expired passports, unlicensed shops and counterfeit goods.

    Earlier this year police entered the Chinatown complex in Windhoek''s northern industrial area. However, their attempt at enforcing the law was foiled when shop owners abruptly closed their doors as the police arrived.

    Chinatown has also been in the news over the years for repeatedly breaking labour laws in the country and forcing Namibians employed by Chinese shop owners to unknowingly carry their faeces.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Unease over Oshikoto grazing tribal disputeUnease over Oshikoto grazing tribal dispute The governor for the Oshikoto Region Henock Kankoshi held a meeting last week where he put the spotlight on the councillor for the Nehale lyaMpingana Constituency, Leevi Shiningombwa for exposing the grazing tribal dispute in his constituency.

    In the meeting that was held on Thursday, Kankoshi demanded Shiningombwa explain why he exposed the tribal dispute to the media last month. Shiningombwa had told Namibian Sun that Oshikwanyama-speaking farmers are being targeted and forced to leave their grazing areas the Ondonga area in his constituency. After the meeting Kankoshi sent a press release denying any tribal dispute.





    In release, the governor maintained that Namibian Sun misquoted some political and community leaders when reporting on the Elavi grazing dispute, but he also admitted that it was a tribal dispute and his office is mandated to intervene. He also promised to solve the issue alongside the Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA) once and for all.

    Shiningombwa exposed the dispute to Namibian Sun following the arrest of 22 villagers from Elavi No. 2 in Onalusheshete district of the OTA for allegedly vandalising a farm belonging to the Oshikwanyama-speaking Jonas Shiningeni in his constituency last month.

    “My office has learned with dismay about recent report circulating in the print as well as social media, and among the community of the Oshikoto Region regarding the alleged tribal conflicts purportedly emanating from a lack of grazing in certain areas of Nehale lyaMpingana constituency. These reports are devoid of the truth and are herewith strongly condemned with the contempt that they deserve,” read the press release signed by Kankoshi.

    It went ahead to say that these reports have the potential to cause disunity and animosity among the various tribes within Oshikoto. “As political head and representative of the central government in the region, I am mandated to intervene in tribal disputes with a view to find an amicable solution. My office has engaged OTA which equally does not tolerate this kind of phenomenon and condemns it in the strongest terms. We have thus jointly agreed to work together in solving this issue once and for all,” he said.



    Last week''s meeting was attended by Kankoshi''s special advisor who is also the OTA senior headman for the Oshivelo district, Elvin Nashikaku, OTA secretary, Joseph Asino, senior headman for the Onalusheshete district, Eino Shondili, Joseph Akawa, the chairperson Oshikoto regional council Samuel Shivute, Oshikoto regional councillor for the Nehale lyaMpingana Constituency, Leevi Shiningombwa and Kankoshi as the chairperson.



    In a telephonic interview with Namibian Sun, Kankoshi said that OTA confirmed the tribal grazing dispute, but Shiningombwa denied them. “The Ondonga Traditional Authority has confirmed that it what they said is true. They also said that they know those 22 community members and they will be summoned to King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas. We also agreed in that a meeting will be convened by the regional council and OTA at Elavi,” Kankoshi said.



    A well-placed source within the regional council for Oshikoto told Namibian Sun that tensions between the Aandonga and Aakwanyama are very high, but politicians and traditional leaders are trying to sweep it under the carpet. “Is just unfortunate that Shiningombwa who exposed the issue is also Oshikwanyama-speaking and they are the minority in the council,” source said.



    Following the arrest of 22 villagers from Elavi No. 2 in Onalusheshete district of the Nehale lyaMpingana constituency, Namibian Sun visited the area near Omangetti last week, and was informed that in the 1980s, the OTA reserved Onalusheshete district as a grazing area.

    Whoever wanted farms was allocated communal land.

    The tracts of land issued then were large and now with the scarcity of grazing, the Aandonga are claiming their land from the Aakwanyama.



    Councillor Shiningombwa told this newspaper that Oshikwanyama-speaking farmers are being targeted and forced to leave their grazing areas.

    Their farms are being vandalised, grazing on their farms has been burnt and they have also reported being threatened with physical harm. The conflict only came to light when the 22 villagers get arrested.



    A farm owner also told Namibian Sun that in the 1980s, together with other farmers who are still in the area, they were allocated land by the OTA to set up communal farms.

    Like others, he fenced off his portion but the fence was removed by members of the community in 2005 after he was labelled a “foreigner”.



    Headman Shondili also said that fence and others belonging to non-Aandonga farmers was vandalised in 2005 and the perpetrators were summoned by Ondonga King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas.

    Effort to get comments from Shiningombwa failed.



    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 12/11/16--14:00: Chaos over SPWC results
  • Chaos over SPWC resultsChaos over SPWC results Leaked WhatsApp comments go viral In a WhatsApp group for the Swapo Party Women''s Council, questions have been asked about the legitimacy of the election results. The Swapo Party Women''s Council (SPWC) elections held over the weekend at Keetmanshoop have been mired in controversy with some members unhappy with the outcome, saying it was rigged.

    This frustration appears to have been triggered by a delay of over 15 hours; the results that were expected to be announced at 08:00 Saturday morning only saw the light shortly before midnight Saturday evening.

    In a leaked conversation on the Swapo Party Women''s Council central committee(cc) WhatsApp group Katrina Hanse-Himarwa bluntly called the weekend''s elections which saw Eunice Iipinge elected as secretary as “clearly rigged results”.

    The number linked to Hanse-Himarwa''s name on the group is the same number Namibian Sun has always used to contact her however, when it was called yesterday, it seemingly no longer exists.

    On the same thread in the group, Hardap''s governor Esme Isaak enquired whether the central committee results were out “[or] are they still cooking”.

    When contacted for comment on her remarks Isaak however declined to say anything. The comments have since gone viral on social media.

    A total of 557 delegates participated in the vote to elect the SPWC leadership for the next five years.

    Meanwhile, on the same conversation, deputy international relations minister Maureen Hinda said this election will be the end of inclusivity in the council.

    “The 37 elected central committee members will be 80% from one tribe, no translation meetings conducted in one new official language. Wait and see that''s the new strategy,” said Hinda.

    Hinda also expressed unhappiness with the fact that voters were not allowed to enter voting booths with handbags or notes but were expected to make do with the names on the voting register only.

    “I may have had people in mind that I so much wished to vote for but maybe I could not remember their names,” she said.

    However, when Namibian Sun contacted her using the same number on the WhatsApp group, Hinda did a 180-degree turnabout and said she did not mean tribe but rather “language group”.

    She added that some people are not born Aawambo but have Aawambo surnames by virtue of being married.

    “Let me tell you what to do… analyse the names of what you have and see whether this will promote nation-building,” said Hinda and added that “the system did not produce the desired result of inclusivity. I am not saying it was rigged, the problem is the system.”

    The congress which took place under the theme ''Embracing 50/50 for prosperity beyond generations'' also saw Windhoek deputy mayor Fransina Kahungua scoop the deputy secretary position with 318 points over 130 for Bernadette Jagger and 105 for Katrina Liswani.

    Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana and Clara Bohitile scored the highest votes after Iipinge and Kahungu.

    Some of the women who failed to make the central committee included Lucia Basson, Margaret Mensah-Williams and Hinda.

    It is as yet unknown what the new secretary Eunice Iipinge plans for her tenure at the helm of the women''s council as she could also not be reached for comment.



    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Jonas trial set for next yearJonas trial set for next yearNature of trial not yet known by NNOC After months of waiting for a trial date for Namibian boxer Jonas Junias Jonas in Brazil, his legal team has finally received a trial date in January. Namibian boxer Jonas Junias Jonas''s rape case has been allocated a trial date, says Namibia''s Chef de Mission to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Jessie Schickerling.

    Schickerling told Namibian Sun yesterday that the case will be heard in court on 25 January 2017 in Rio de Janeiro.

    “The update that I have is that a trial date has been set for 25 January. What the nature of the trial is I don''t know,” he said, adding that it might be that it is just all preliminary legal issues that they will argue or it might be the full trial, “so we still do not know exactly but I suspect that it might start by arguing some legal issues I suppose.”

    The legal practitioners representing Jonas last month filed an application to set aside the arrest and preliminary hearing proceedings, or alternatively an order for clearing the charge, arguing that “based on the complainant''s version, there was no rape.”

    Schickerling mentioned that he thinks the trial date was set after they had lodged those papers. “The judge sent a message back to the prosecutor-general again for consideration so I think it is probably those issues that are going to be argued on that day,” he said.

    Jonas (22), who is in the care of the Namibian embassy in Rio, is said to be doing well.

    “Jonas is doing fine, we are in regular contact and from what we hear from the embassy is that he is in good spirit and just waiting for these formalities to be finalised,” Schickerling said. He added that the legal practitioners had informed the NNOC that they would start their consultations with Jonas in due course.

    Schickerling said Jonas was in constant contact with his mother, and so was the NNOC.

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    NPL sponsorship hunt continuesNPL sponsorship hunt continues The spokesperson of the Namibia Premier League (NPL), Cassius Moetie, says no potential sponsors have yet made a firm commitment.

    The league has been in search of a N$21 million sponsorship which will enable them to start the 2016/2017 campaign.

    Moetie said league officials remain optimistic despite the slow progress.

    In an exclusive interview Moetie said: “I can be honest and say that we have not have received anything in writing at the moment.

    “We are aware of the fact that it is December and most businesses are likely to close down.

    “However, all I can say at the moment is that we will remain very positive in order for us to secure that sponsorship.

    “There is no way the league officials are going to rest until something positive happens.

    “Currently, we still stand with the February starting date for the premier league until further notice.”

    The league had earlier announced that it had secured a N$3 million, three-year sponsorship from Groot Systems.

    It still falls N$21 million short of the required budget in order to start the 2016/17 premier league season.

    The problem for the league came after its main sponsor, MTC, withdrew at the end of the 2015/16 season.

    The reason was that the league had failed to raise an additional N$9 million that was required.

    Since then, the Namibia Premier League officials have embarked on a journey to strike what could possibly be the biggest deal in the history of the local game.

    “We are working tirelessly towards getting that sponsorship and that is why I would plead for patience from the public and sports fraternity.

    “I do believe that we will have something concrete at the beginning of the year,” Moetie said.

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    Uutoni goes for world title eliminatorUutoni goes for world title eliminator SPORT REPORTER



    Current WBO junior flyweight international champion Japhet Uutoni will step into the ring with Angel Acosta from Puerto Rico for the final world title eliminator in February next year.



    The MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing and Fitness Academy says the fight will take place in Dallas, Texas, on 25 February 2017, and will be promoted by MC Cotto Promotions.



    Boxing promoter Nestor Tobias explained that a final world title eliminator is when two top-rated fighters are given an opportunity to fight each other, and the winner will become the mandatory challenger to fight the current world champion.



    “In the case of the WBO junior flyweight title, the world title is vacant after the champion moved up one division. On 30 December number one rated Moises Fuentes (Mexico) will fight number two rated Kosei Tanaka (Japan) for the vacant world title, and the winner will have to fight the winner between Uutoni and Acosta,” he further explained.



    Uutoni is currently rated fourth by the WBO while Acosta is rated fifth in the junior flyweight division.



    The Namibian boxer will go into the fight with a record of 13 fights, 12 wins and one loss, while Acosta is currently unbeaten with 15 fights and straight wins.



    “This is a big opportunity for Uutoni. He has worked hard since being an Olympic boxer. His big break is here now and he must win this fight if he wants to fight the world champion.



    “We are also making history as MTC Sunshine by having our very first title fight in the USA, it is not easy to go and fight there but we are there now and humbled by the opportunity not just to be present but to go and compete and win.



    “It is a real pity that we cannot stage the fight in Namibia due to financial constraints and that is why we had no option than to fight away,” said Tobias.

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    Mourinho accepts fans' right to boo FellainiMourinho accepts fans' right to boo FellainiMkhitaryan injury said to be minor The consecutive home draws of Manchester United have become frustrating for the club''s fans and the coach is not surprised by the fans'' reaction. The booing of midfielder Marouane Fellaini by Manchester United''s supporters was an acceptable reflection of frustration over the team''s recent results, according to manager Jose Mourinho.

    United ended a dispiriting run of four consecutive home draws in the Premier League by beating Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 on Sunday courtesy of a 29th-minute goal from the resurgent Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

    Fellaini, who had conceded a late penalty to allow Everton to snatch a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park a week earlier, was booed as he prepared to come on as a stoppage-time substitute, but Mourinho played it down.

    “I had that feeling (that Fellaini got booed),” he said.

    “I accept it because from the fans you have to accept everything, and especially fans that are giving so much to us without getting so much from us.

    “The only things they are getting from us are honesty, professionalism, dedication, but they are not getting the results they expect from us.

    “They are so supportive of us. They can also be a bit critical. They have in their mind the mistake that Marouane did at Everton and no more than that.

    “He''s a player and a person I like and the person is even more important than the player. So he will have always my protection and my trust.”

    Mkhitaryan struck after Ander Herrera intercepted a pass by Spurs striker Harry Kane and threaded the ball forward, the Armenian driving into the box and powering a shot past Hugo Lloris.

    Mkhitaryan was stretchered off in the 84th minute after being caught by Danny Rose and rolling his left ankle, but Mourinho played down the injury, saying the 27-year-old would be out for “maximum two weeks”.

    United remain sixth, 13 points below leaders Chelsea and six points off a Champions League berth, but Mourinho is hopeful his team can start to reel in the sides above them.

    “We still have our ambitions this year and obviously to win this match puts us in a position where we can feel them (the teams above),” he said.

    “We can be in touch with fifth, with fourth. We can feel them with so many matches to go, so we can say this result was very important for that.

    “We were six points from Tottenham. We lose today and six goes to nine. And nine is more difficult than three. So the result was important.”

    Kane lost the ball in the build-up to Mkhitaryan''s goal as Spurs tried to build play up from the back.

    Centre-backs Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen had moved towards the touchlines to provide passing options, which left Herrera with a gaping boulevard down which to pass the ball to Mkhitaryan.

    But Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said: “That is how we want to play. We built a perfect action from the back. When that situation happens, it''s football and we need to be clever enough to try to react.

    “Our offensive players can make a mistake. We need to understand that they need to take a risk. Then we have a lack of reaction in that situation when we lose the ball and we allow them to score.

    “We try to play under our philosophy and we try to create a chance.”

    Ten points below Chelsea, Tottenham''s hopes of replicating last season''s title challenge are beginning to fade, but Pochettino says his team have plenty of time to claw back the deficit.

    “The concern is not too much,” said the Argentine, who revealed midfielder Mousa Dembele would undergo tests after taking a kick to the foot.

    “The Premier League is tough. Chelsea started the season very bad and for different circumstances they changed the system and look how they are now. There is too much time to recover and reduce the gap.

    “We are in a good position and it is a long way to the end of the season.”

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Chinese swimmer banned two yearsChinese swimmer banned two years Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi has been banned from competition for two years, the swimming federation FINA announced, after she failed a doping test at the Rio Olympics.

    The 18-year-old tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic, on August 8, the same day she took part in the women''s 100m butterfly final, finishing fourth.

    She is banned from competing for two years, from August 11 this year to August 10, 2018, FINA said in an announcement Saturday.

    Diuretics increase urination rates and can be used as “masking agents” to hide the presence of performance-enhancing substances that are screened for in doping tests.

    Chen first made headlines when she won gold in the 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle events at the 2014 Asian Games, with times that set championship records.

    She also won gold at the 2015 World Championships with the Chinese 4x100m medley relay team.

    The country''s swimmers have previously been embroiled in doping controversy, with athletes at Rio calling China''s star swimmer Sun Yang a “drugs cheat”.

    Sun served a three-month doping ban in 2014, which was only announced retrospectively by Chinese authorities.

    In March, the Chinese Swimming Association revealed that six of the country''s swimmers had tested positive for drugs in the preceding months, including three for hydrochlorothiazide. Two of the six athletes received only warnings.



    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 12/12/16--14:00: Oryx appoints new CEO
  • Oryx appoints new CEOOryx appoints new CEO Oryx Properties Limited, the only Namibian property company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange, has announced the appointment of Carel Fourie as its new chief executive officer with effect from 1 March 2017.

    Oryx Properties has a retail, industrial and office real-estate portfolio valued at about N$2.3 billion which generates a dependable, sustainable and growing income stream for investors. These include the major shopping centre Maerua Mall and office block in Windhoek, plus several industrial properties in South Africa.

    Fourie, a chartered accountant, brings to his new position extensive experience in both Oryx Properties itself and the real-estate industry in general. He was appointed chief financial officer for Oryx Properties in 2011. In 2014 he took up the position of chief operating officer with the responsibility of participating in the development of the company''s investment strategy as well as evolving a management structure for the property portfolio.

    Francois Uys, the chairman of the board of Oryx Properties, congratulated Fourie on his appointment, and added, “Oryx is well structured with suitably qualified and experienced staff which gives the board confidence that this is the right way forward. We''re completely confident that Mr Fourie is more than capable of taking on his new responsibilities.”

    STAFF REPORTER

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    BCL mine closure affects Selebi-PhikweBCL mine closure affects Selebi-PhikweCommodity price affects Botswana A slump in commodity prices has rendered Botswana''s north-eastern mining regions lifeless, turning once-vibrant settlements into ghost towns. The streets of Selebi Phikwe in north-eastern Botswana no longer teem with trucks, and once-busy shop assistants and bank tellers wait for the rare customer.

    Since state-owned mining company BCL Ltd closed its loss-making copper and nickel operation that was the economic lifeblood of the area two months ago, the settlement of 50 000 has become a virtual ghost town. The government says it can''t afford the US$748 million needed to recapitalise the mine. Instead, it''s asked former central bank governor Linah Mohohlo to oversee a plan to rescue the region.

    “There is despair, anguish and sorrow,” said Dithapelo Keorapetse, one of the town''s two members of parliament. “The future for many is uncertain. For some there is no future.”

    The mine closure is symbolic of the malaise among Botswana''s metal producers that bore the brunt of the commodity price rout. The copper and nickel industries have been decimated as a result of the BCL shutdown and the earlier closure of shafts owned by Discovery Metals Ltd, African Copper Plc and Tati Nickel Mining Co. Together they accounted for about 4.5% of Botswana''s exports in the first half of the year.

    The government hopes to find a buyer for the BCL mine and has received inquiries from firms in South Africa, Mozambique and Canada, according to mineral resources minister Sadique Kebonang. In the meantime, the mine has been placed under the control of a provisional liquidator who''s due to file a report with the High Court on 7 February indicating whether operations should be revived or shut permanently.

    A recent surge in metals prices has provided a glimmer of hope to Selebi Pikwe''s residents that the mine could restart. Copper has jumped 22 percent on the London Metal Exchange since the mine was shut on 8 October, while nickel has advanced 11 percent.

    “Residents of Selebi Phikwe understand what is going on and they, together with mineworkers, were consulted on the mine and reasons for the suspension in operations,” Amogelang Mojuta, the town''s mayor, said by phone. Plans are being drafted and implemented “to rescue the town. I am confident the town will survive.”

    Norman Kelaotswe, deputy president of the mineworkers'' union, is sceptical.

    “There''s nothing government can do to replace the BCL mine,” he said in an interview. “BCL''s wage BWP60 million monthly and that was circulating in the Selebi Phikwe economy. Nothing Mohohlo or the unit does will replace that.”

    BLOOMBERG

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  • 12/12/16--14:00: Business climate weakening
  • Business climate weakening Business climate weakening 17 indicators show deterioration Core indicators in the IJG Business Climate Monitor continue to point towards a contraction in the local economy in 2016 when compared to 2015. STAFF REPORTER



    The IJG Business Climate Monitor fell by 0.94 points in September 2016 to a level of 51.34 points. This tick down follows the first upward move seen on the index since February 2016 and suggests a continuation of the weakening business climate in the country.

    “Of the 31 indicators measured by the index, 17 showed deterioration over the past year while the remaining 14 indicators showed improvement,” the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says.

    Said the IPPR: “As has been the case throughout the year, many of the core indicators in the index continue to point towards a contraction in activity in the local economy in 2016 when compared to 2015.

    “This is driven by a number of factors, including the weakening external position driving down demand for Namibian commodities and therefore commodity prices, as well as the drought and a number of home-grown challenges.

    “From a policy perspective, major cuts in government expenditure and increasing interest rates continue to put the brakes on the local economy, which when combined with the external environment means the slow-down has been accelerated by macroeconomic policy decisions.”

    The IPPR found that monthly government expenditure was down by 6.9% in September 2016 when compared to the same period in 2015, while at the same time interest rates are up 50 basis points on their September 2015 levels, reflecting a 4.9% increase in rates.

    “Many other indicators look similarly bleak, with most sectors showing sizable contractions. In this regard, the high frequency data is unquestionable, the Namibian economy has contracted thought 2016, when compared to 2015. However, many sectors will bounce back fairly quickly should the external environment improve and should we see significant rainfall,” the IPPR said.

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    Bank Windhoek appoints area managerBank Windhoek appoints area manager STAFF REPORTER

    Bank Windhoek has announced the appointment of Aloysius Garoëb, manager of its Oshakati branch, as area manager for the Far North as from 1 January 2017.

    Aloysius joined Bank Windhoek in 2012 as the Oshakati branch manager. Since then he has been responsible for the smooth running of the branch and four sub-branches with a staff complement of 79. Aloysius is a seasoned banker and has more than 25 years of banking experience.

    In congratulating Aloysius with his new position, managing director Baronice Hans said: “We wish Aloysius success with his new responsibilities in the leadership role at our Far Northern branches. His extensive knowledge and wealth of experience in the banking sector will no doubt add value to the bank and our clients.”

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    Bank of Namibia invites opinionsBank of Namibia invites opinionsSecuritisation drafting begins Securitisation is a financial engineering tool that pools various illiquid assets together to transform these financial assets into a security. The Bank of Namibia recently called on various stakeholders to make comments on the General Draft of Securities Schemes. While securitisation activities have occurred in the past, the Bank of Namibia now wants a policy in place.

    The Bank of Namibia said in a motivation: “It is one of the key responsibilities of the Bank of Namibia, as a regulator of banks, to ensure that effective and proper legal frameworks are in place to conduct securitisation transactions in Namibia. In light of this, the bank has drafted, for the issuance by the minister of finance, a general notice on securitisation schemes.”

    Giving a definition securitisation, the central bank said: “Securitisation is the process by which relatively standardised loans, originally made by a bank, are pooled and sold to special purpose entities that issue marketable and or tradable debt securities or debt instruments against the pooled assets, to raise funding. The primary objective of securitisation is to increase the liquidity of loans at banks and non-bank entities, diversify the sources of funding and to reduce the originating bank''s capital requirements where certain conditions are fulfilled.”

    Securitisation as a legal policy tool was first mooted in the third National Development Plan. However, securitisation as a financial engineering tool has been used before by the Government Institutions Pension Fund. First Capital was in 2010 mandated to convert pension money into mortgage-based securities.

    Local magazine Insight quoted fund manager First Capital as saying in October 2010: “The N$100 million will be used to acquire these new mortgage loans and these will be held in mortgage securitisation fund (MSF) under a trust deed to be lodged with the master of the high court. The MSF will issue the mortgage-backed securities to the market and all repayments from customers will be passed over to investors including the Government Institutions Pension Fund. In fact, the Government Institutions Pension Fund mortgage securitisation mandate is very important in addressing the shortage of funding for housing and property market in general.”



    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Fiscal consolidation paramount – PSGFiscal consolidation paramount – PSG Just like ratings agencies Moody''s and Fitch, PSG Konsult has also suggested that the government should continue on its path of fiscal consolidation.

    Releasing its opinion following Moody''s report released early this month, PSG said: “There is now a risk that Namibia''s sovereign credit rating will be downgraded to non-investment grade over the next 12 - 18 months, given that both the major rating agencies that rate the country have changed their outlooks to negative.

    “Should a downgrade occur, it will increase the country''s borrowing costs and affect investment sentiment, which could feed through to slower economic growth. In order to prevent a downgrade, it is paramount that the government implements its stated fiscal consolidation path to contain public debt and that the economy does not experience any large shocks to economic growth or borrowing costs, which would complicate government''s fiscal consolidation efforts.”

    Moody''s decision to revise Namibia''s outlook from stable to negative, while affirming the country''s investment grade credit rating, mirrors the decision by fellow rating agency Fitch in September.

    “There is now a risk that Namibia''s sovereign credit rating will be downgraded to noninvestment grade over the next 12 - 18 months, given that both the major rating agencies that rate the country have changed their outlooks to negative,” said PSG.

    “While we currently still rate Namibia''s sovereign credit at BBB- stable, our own sovereign risk score for Namibia deteriorated during our previous assessment in September. Our updated credit rating review will be published later this month,” PSG said.

    Finance minister Calle Schlettwein still found it necessary to explain why government was on a path of fiscal consolidation.

    He said: “Domestically, we are faced with liquidity constraints to finance the elevated financing needs as a result of these shocks on public finance. As a result of these adverse developments, it was necessary and timely that we respond to these shocks in a timely manner with appropriate magnitude.”

    According to Schlettwein, this has resulted in reducing expenditure by 2.8% of gross domestic product or some N$4.5 billion.

    “Operational budget activities for the remainder of the year have to be aligned to the new norm and development budget projects not started, are deferred and those that have recently started, are slowed down,” Schlettwein said.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Accepting your disappointmentsAccepting your disappointments Disappointments are the most uncomfortable feelings I have experienced thus far. The feelings we get from disappointments are multifaceted and unearth underlying emotions like rage, unhappiness, and possibly several others too delicate to detect. Although disappointments can be dealt with they can surely throw us off the cliff. The education ministry has announced it will release the Grade 10 and 12 higher level full-time and part-time results on December 21. I can imagine that this will be the most tense day for anybody expecting their results and unsure of how they fared. I believe most of the people will be disappointed about the results they get whether they fail or pass so maybe my column for this week will help you deal with your “disillusionment”.

    The first thing you would want to know about dealing with disappointment is to let yourself experience the disappointment… be with the feeling. Just be aware of your displeasure and “get over it”. So what you failed? So what you didn’t get the points you expected? If it happened there is nothing you can do about it, but don’t hide from your problems - just be in the present and allow yourself some time to get used to the moment and move on. We’ve all heard of learners who have tried to commit suicide after getting their results but I believe such occurrences can be dealt with if only we knew how to deal with disappointment. Sure our parents and guardians are strict and we do not want to let them down but still no amount of disappointment should result in somebody trying to harm themselves over exam results.

    With that said, after you’ve had your experience with your frustration over your results or any issue you are dealing with, it is time to get another viewpoint. Get another perspective! The awesome thing about getting over any kind of stressful situation you’ve already told yourself how to overcome it. You have said to yourself “I know I can do better”. After you give yourself a chance to feel and accept your situation you are able to move on. A broader perspective gives you a means on how to move forward and how you plan on plotting your next move.

    Throughout any disappointing situation you should know yourself and never lose sight of your goals. For example I know that I should always expect the unexpected no matter how I feel about anything. Things tends to change, such is life. This has always prepared me to deal with issues that are not within my control. If and when I deal with any issue that does not benefit myself, I know that I can overcome it because I know that I have goals set out for myself and even if I fail at times I’ll know that I will have to achieve those goals. Knowing yourself and your core gives you the freedom of choice. You can choose to be driven by what happens to you, or you can choose to live in line with your principles.

    Above anything else you should know that disappointments are only temporary. It’s a cliché but you should know that disappointments are not bound to last. You need to know that you did something and it did not work out, learn from your experience and keep moving forward. All of your disappointing experiences provide you with valuable lessons you can use to help improve your chances of success the next time around. You are not perfect and should accept that you will need to make progressive improvements over time even in the face of disappointments

    Until next time… Peri nawa!!

    SHONA NGAVA

    shona@namibiansun.com

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    Ivory Coast’s 3m floundering kidsIvory Coast’s 3m floundering kids Ivory Coast''s government on Friday announced a programme to provide birth certificates for three million children left undocumented by years of war, poverty and migration.

    "The ''One Child, One Birth Certificate'' project focusses on children - from newborns to age 17 - from the poorest and most disadvantaged communities," said Madeleine Yao of the NSIA Foundation which is financing the effort.

    Yao said the project was a crucial tool for Ivorian authorities to enforce a law passed last year that requires children to attend school up to the age of 16.

    Since the west African nation emerged from a decade of internal conflict in 2011, it has struggled to improve legal protections for children left stateless or forced into full-time work.

    During the conflict, which divided the country and forced thousands out of their homes, government offices were pillaged and destroyed. As a result, internally displaced people often did not have access to registry services.

    A Unicef study two years ago found 2.8 million minors in the country had no legal record of their birth or citizenship status.

    In 2011, Ivory Coast launched an effort to reduce the number of child workers labouring in the cocoa sector, the country''s biggest industry, and get them into schools.

    Since then, 17,829 classrooms have been built or restored, according to the National Monitoring Committee charged with overseeing the government''s anti-child labour efforts.

    But as of early 2016, between 300 000 and one million children were still estimated to work on cocoa plantations and elsewhere in the industry, according to a report by the International Cocoa Initiative.

    The July 2105 law making schooling mandatory now carries the threat of prison sentences for parents who keep their children aged six to 16 out of school.

    The NSIA Foundation, which belongs to the private NSIA banking group and promotes schooling and training for children in West Africa, is providing €275 000 for the registration effort.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 12/12/16--14:00: ‘Get back before 20 Jan’
  • ‘Get back before 20 Jan’‘Get back before 20 Jan’ Trump may bar access of immigrants back to US Members of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme fear they may not be allowed back into the United States after 20 January next year. Immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children, but were protected from deportation by President Barack Obama, are being warned by some advocates to make sure they are not travelling abroad when Donald Trump is sworn in as president on January 20.

    Some advocates, lawyers and universities are concerned that Trump might immediately rescind an Obama programme that had allowed these young immigrants to work and travel for humanitarian, educational or employment purposes.

    That could lead, they fear, to some people travelling abroad being barred from re-entering the US.

    "We are recommending all travel be completed by or before January 20 in the event laws or procedures experience a drastic change," said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. "We wouldn''t want to expose them to an uncertain situation should they not be allowed back to the US."

    Trump made illegal immigration the cornerstone of his campaign, promising to build a wall along the Mexican border and deport millions of people living in the country illegally.

    His actual plans, though, have yet to be revealed. Recently, he has said he wants to focus on people who have committed crimes.

    During a recent Time magazine interview, Trump expressed sympathy for the 741 000 people in Obama''s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme, which started in 2012.

    "We''re going to work something out that''s going to make people happy and proud," Trump said. "They got brought here at a very young age, they''ve worked here, they''ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they''re in never-never land because they don''t know what''s going to happen."

    Cautious

    Advocates are still being cautious.

    Nancy Lopez-Ramirez, a 20-year-old student born in Mexico who is planning a trip there as part of a City College of New York class, said she is glad the group is returning by 15 January.

    "My mom is like ''I am concerned with you not coming back, I want you to be able to come back’," she said.

    "It is nerve-wracking, but I think that at the end it is going to be worth it," said the political-science student, who was brought to the US when she was four.

    City College, part of the City University of New York, is one of the institutions advising students in the DACA programme to return before Inauguration Day. So is California State University, which told administrators to tell participants in the programme "that if they are outside of the United States as of 20 January 2017, there is no assurance they will be allowed to return to the US".

    Trump can rescind the promised protection right away through an "operational memo" because Obama implemented it through one, said William Stock, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    He said the programme''s participants should not consider travelling overseas unless they absolutely need to.

    US Customs and Border Protection spokesperson Anthony Bucci said his agency "cannot speculate" when he was asked how long would it take for CBP officers to deny entry to the US to programme participants if Trump eliminated the protection.

    US Citizenship and Immigration Services records said that as of 31 December last year, about 22 340 people in the DACA programme were approved for the "parole" that allows them to travel outside the US.

    Trump called the programme an "illegal amnesty" during his campaign.

    Tatyana Kleyn, an associate professor at City College who organised the upcoming Mexico trip, said interest in it actually surged among students after the presidential election.

    "So right now our bus fits 18 and we are bringing 20," she said. "It feels like a last chance."

    NAMPA/AP

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  • 12/12/16--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day BLESSINGS: A Kashmiri Muslim woman seeks blessings as the head priest (not in the picture) displays a relic of Prophet of Islam-Muhammad at the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar, summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir yesterday. Muslims in Indian-controlled Kashmir yesterday celebrated Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi marking the birth anniversary of Prophet of Islam-Mohammed. Photo: NAMPA/XINHUA

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