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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 12/15/16--14:00: No time to rest- Ambunda
  • No time to rest- AmbundaNo time to rest- AmbundaFormer champ hints at March 2017 return Namibia''s most decorated boxer is trying to lose a few kilogrammes that he gained in the last couple of months. Former world super bantamweight champion Paulus ‘The Rock’ Ambunda says December for him will be all about working harder to maintain fitness rather than going on a long, expensive vacation.
    The boxer says the reason he wants to work out during the festive season is because he has gained a few kilograms.
    Speaking in an exclusive interview yesterday, Ambunda said: “I think my holiday was in August and now it is about time I work harder.
    “I will be in the gym this festive season preparing for an incredible comeback in 2017.
    “I have gained seven to eight kilograms and that is why reducing some of the fat will be important.
    “I really would love to work hard in order to make it back into the top boxing rankings and eventually fight for a world title again.”
    Ambunda’s last fight ended in defeat at the hands of Mexican Moises Flores in an IBO and WBA super bantamweight world title bout in June.
    Since then, the former world champion has devoted his time to recovering from the horror night in Windhoek.
    The loss in June meant that Ambunda now has two losses and 24 victories from 26 fights.
    He expressed optimism that his promoter Nestor ‘Sunshine’ Tobias will secure him a fight at the beginning of next year.
    “Right now, I would like to wish all the people a wonderful and safe festive season.
    “I would also like to congratulate our new world champion Julius Indongo on the victory.
    “Indongo set a great example to many boxers in this country and therefore he must also have a great festive season,” Ambunda said.
    Ambunda made his debut in 2007 before going on to win two world titles and several African titles in the bantamweight and super bantamweight divisions.

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  • 12/15/16--14:00: Players in hot water
  • Players in hot waterPlayers in hot waterSpanish tax authorities ask newspaper for documents Cristiano Ronaldo and 37 other footballers are under investigation by the Spanish authorities for tax fraud. Spanish newspaper El Mundo confirmed on Wednesday that Spanish tax authorities had requested it hands over documents related to the ''Football Leaks'' revelations of wide-scale tax avoidance by big-name football stars, such as Cristiano Ronaldo.

    El Mundo director Pedro Garcia, wrote in his column that whether or not the paper complied with the request for “all information and documents of a fiscal interest,” would “depend on the authorisation of our sources.”

    El Mundo is one of 12 European news outlets that began publishing the results of investigations into over 18 million financial documents obtained by German magazine Der Spiegel and nicknamed ''Football Leaks'', on 2 December.

    The leaks allegedly show that agent Jorge Mendes, who looks after the rights of Ronaldo and coach Jose Mourinho, amongst others, set up a system which saw earnings for image rights paid into companies set up in offshore tax havens. Ronaldo is accused of hiding around 150 million euros in the British Virgin Islands, something the recently named 2016 Ballon D''Or winner denies.

    However, Ronaldo is not the only player under investigation, with El Mundo confirming authorities were looking for information on 37 people, with Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and former Madrid players Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria (another client of Mendes) also on the list.


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    Santos sign Hamburg defender CleberSantos sign Hamburg defender Cleber Santos has secured centre-back Cleber on a four-year deal from Bundesliga club Hamburg, according to the player's agent.
    The Brazilian club agreed to pay two million US dollars for 60 percent of the 26-year-old's economic rights, the Lance newspaper said on Wednesday, citing Cleber's agent, Guilherme Miranda.
    "I was surprised at the coordination involving Santos' staff and the coach Dorival Junior," Miranda was quoted as saying. "While other teams tried to negotiate via email, Santos made the effort to speak to him personally and got him to sign, even with a lower offer."
    The newspaper added that Cleber would undergo a medical in the coming days before an official announcement.
    Cleber has failed to hold down a first-team place with the German outfit since his move from Corinthians in 2014.
    Santos finished second in this year's Brazilian Serie A championship, earning them a berth in next year's Copa Libertadores, South America's top club competition.

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  • 12/15/16--14:00: Dealing with stress
  • Dealing with stressDealing with stress As you may or may not know, I recently started a new internship; which is proving to be a really great and valuable experience and opportunity. Although I have been mostly thrilled to start this new chapter in my life, I''ve been extremely stressed, because naturally, there are more responsibilities and demands that go hand-in-hand with the launch of a career. I think, for the most part we overlook the amount of adjustment and transformation it takes to transition from being a university student to entering the working world; or experiencing any life change for that matter. Most of us deem stress as a bad thing but stress, when managed adequately actually helps to keep us safe and protect ourselves. Also, stress is not always a response to negative life events like job loss or being stuck in a traffic jam, stress can also be in response to positive life events such as gaining a new employment opportunity or being a newly-wed. Stress is the way our bodies respond to real or perceived threats or pressure. When we are placed in highly demanding or pressure situations, our body''s stress or what is commonly known as, our ''fight or flight'' response is triggered. This biological response stimulates the release of stress hormones or chemicals known as cortisol and adrenaline. The physiological response that follows are that your heart beats faster, blood pressure increases, muscles tighten, and breath quickens and your senses like sight for example, become sharper. Pressure to pass an exam, for example, can create stress that motivates us to study because of the fear of failure. Or the pressure of work-related deadlines can motivate us to prioritize important tasks and work more efficiently which allows us to thrive in our careers. However, stress can have an extremely adverse effect on our bodies, relationships and lives in general when not dealt with in a way that is healthy for both our minds and bodies. Unfortunately, the body distinguishes very poorly between life-threatening events, such as an imminent car accident and daily stresses such as being stuck in traffic; causing the mobilization of the fight or flight response, even when it is not necessary. This repeated experience of the stress response can lead to a condition of chronic stress which can be detrimental to mental, physical and emotional health. Various health issues that can occur or be exacerbated by high stress levels are depression, anxiety, weight problems, frequent headaches, digestive problems and heart disease to name but a few. In spite of the doom and gloom that I''ve just laid out before you, stress can be managed and dealt with in a way that allows us to live our best lives. Setting time to rest and relax, regular exercise, deep breathing exercises, eating healthy, sleeping well, proper planning and time-management are all stress reducing and releasing methods that can be applied into your daily life. We all owe it to ourselves to manage our stress levels in a way that fosters thriving and not simply surviving at this life thing.


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  • 12/15/16--14:00: Distell to change hands
  • Distell to change handsDistell to change handsPublic Investment Corp new buyer AB InBev will sell its entire indirect shareholding in alcohol company Distell. NAMPA/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY

    The Public Investment Corporation (PIC), the equivalent of the Government Institutions Fund of Namibia, this week announced that it had entered into a binding agreement to buy the entire indirect shareholding in Distell Group for an undisclosed amount.

    The PIC is acting on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund. As part of its ruling to approve the business combination with SABMiller, the Competition Tribunal required AB InBev to dispose of the Distell Shareholding.

    The stake comprises 58 674 000 ordinary shares, or approximately 26.4% of Distell''s shareholding. Remgro Limited and Capevin Holdings, who hold pre-emptive rights in relation to the Distell shareholding, had confirmed that they would not exercise their pre-emptive rights triggered by the sale.

    The sale remains subject to the approval of the South African competition authorities.

    The giant brewing company said it would provide an update in due course. In a statement, Distell welcomed the PIC as a new major shareholder, saying it was looking forward to working together. Standard Bank and Deutsche Bank are acting as joint financial advisers to AB InBev in connection with this transaction. Webber Wentzel is the legal counsel to AB InBev.

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  • 12/15/16--14:00: Nutshells & forecasts
  • Nutshells & forecastsNutshells & forecasts What was and what will be
    Some of the most exceptional moments of 2016 include Namibia being quite the international celebrity destination with David Tlale almost being a resident as the fashion focus programme ‘The Intern’ made its way to the land of the brave. Two lucky designers, Taati Sibolile and Deon Mathias were selected for the mentorship opportunity.
    Other celebrities that made their way to Namibia include those that took part in the Jazz Festival. Letta Mbulu who for her age knows how to get down and saka, Caiohpus Semenya who was the crowd’s favourite, and Nathi Mankayi the hit-maker of Nomvula had the ladies to tears with his soulful voice and charms. The Jazz Festival was made even more special as it flew in Elisa Rodrigues all the way from Portugal and boy did she bring her all!
    Of course everything can’t go perfectly at the time; otherwise there won’t be anything to be learned! Just as there were the international artists that came through and shone, there were those that did not. One of those that didn’t impress us was personality Bonang Matheba with her diva tendencies, who was supposed to make an appearance at the first-ever Windhoek Fashion Week (WFW). The showbiz queen decided to make a detour to the event as she came from the airport and went straight to her hotel room until it was time to go back home. The reason was because the initial hotel booking was not 5-star rated and the event organisers spend the whole night looking for her majesty’s preferred hotel. Shem.
    Then there was Heavy K who wasn’t happy with the event promoters who invited him to perform at the Etenda Beer Festival in Ondangwa. Heavy K posted on his Facebook page, a post he later removed, saying he had been at the airport for a few hours and there was no sign of the promoters. The post also stated that the promoters phones went unanswered and he apologised to his fans as there was no way he would make it to the show on time. The artist later updated his status stating that regardless of whatever issues that arise he always puts his fans first and that his management have reached a deal with the organisers.
    Along came the most anticipated event of the year which eventually got cancelled altogether. American R&B sensation R Kelly played with many people’s feelings with the postponement and eventual cancellation of his performance at the Windhoek Draft Live Music Festival as the Namibia Breweries withdrew from the event as sponsors.
    In other news, there were Namibians who also made it big outside our borders and carried the Namibian flag high. The NAMA female artist of the year Chikune was crowned the Best Female Southern Africa at the AFRIMMA 2016 that was hosted in the USA. Sally Boss Madam walked away with the title Best Female Artist Southern Africa whilst The Dogg was awarded by Reel African for his exceptional work in the African entertainment industry and contribution to the African community at large. The smart cut paid off!
    Milestones have also been reached in the fashion industry as we had Helena Ngaifiwa host the Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards in Kampala, Uganda, where Reinhard Mahali was awarded Stylist of the Year Southern Africa and Antonia Shinana, Female Fashionista of the Year.
    Hip hop artist J Black represented Namibia and the entire southern Africa in the Africa Youth Hope Project (AYHP) an initiative of @Booponetime designed to unite creative youths in Africa and the diaspora doing awesomely in entertainment, e-learning, tourism, fashion and ICT. The rapper was part of the video of a historic song which features aspiring artists from all five regions in Africa as a mark of unity on a song titled ‘Together We Can’.
    The year 2016 also saw many people pushed out of their comfort zones and they must be watched for in 2017. Some of the models who have pushed beyond their limits and have a promising 2017 include Linus Kwenani who has managed to keep his body intact and well-oiled to pull off a lace ‘jockey’ on the catwalk at the WFW. Other male models include Jean Claude Tjitamunisa and Jeremiah Jeremiah.
    The female model to keep an eye on is Georgina Kanjeke. Georgina is not one of being in the limelight all the time but she is making a name for herself on the continent. She recently claimed the 2nd princess title at Miss Princess of the Globe 2016 in Bodrum, Turkey. She also won Miss Bikini Award. Go Foxy go!
    The artists that will definitely be on fire next year include R&B star Jaleel. The hit-maker of uptown, downtown and Block Block recently released his album and there is so much hard work put in, on y’all have to step back a little. The young singer, if he maintains his composure will surely run the year 2017.
    The Boss Madam also did some wonderful work this year including hitting the Trace Africa top ten channel one many times. Sally also has had collaborations with South African songbird Busiswa on the hit track and December track Bim Bim. Other female artists include Queen Oteezy and Deal Done Records songstress Doris who has done a tremendous job on her latest album.
    Some names that popped up in the acting biz this year include Gift Uzera who has done a couple of blockbuster films, jack-of-all-trades Dice and the flawless on screen and in the theatre, Tjuna Kauapirura.
    Killer Stars, a dancing group that hails from Ongwediva has proven themselves too many times this year that their skills can get anyone out of their chairs and on the dance floor. The group has managed to infiltrate the corporate world for gigs which many before them have failed at. With a house track out and a music video, 2017 can only be for bigger and greater things.
    June Shimuoshili

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  • 12/15/16--14:00: The boy next door
  • The boy next doorThe boy next door Not so much skollie as cutie-pie Dann-Jacques Mouton, a born Namibian who plays the lead role in South African movie ‘Noem my Skollie’ sat down with Jemima Beukes this week to share a bit about himself. The film ‘Skollie’ is set on the Cape Flats and in the Pollsmoor Prison and is based on the life of the film’s scriptwriter, John Fredericks.

    Who is Dann-Jacques Mouton?

    I am a child of Namibia, but obviously my circumstances dictated that I grew up in Cape Town. Namibia is where my heart is. I was born in Windhoek and moved to Cape Town when I was four but came back to Windhoek for primary school.

    Noem My Skollie, has been nominated as for an Oscar, how do you feel carrying two countries on your shoulders?

    I am very proud of our achievement and how people have reacted to the movie. There is no need for us Africans to feel inferior - we do amazing work. Most amazing is that Noem My Skollie is the first film set on the Cape Flats and told by the coloured people themselves.

    The truth is you are a boy from Namibia who landed an almost sacred but crucial role. How did you manage this?

    Well the truth is Coloured people are innately storytellers, and growing up on a farm where we shared stories around the fire nurtured my storytelling gift. But I am very privileged to have been given this role. I am very honoured that they trusted me with the part especially given the fact that the film was based on a true story, but I could never have done this without my co-actors.

    Noem my Skollie is a deep and intense movie that has moved its entire audience. What did you – the person – learn from this story?

    I am inspired by Boeta John’s testimony, his urge to better himself despite his difficult upbringing. Quitting his job at age 50 to pursue his dream to finally write a book about his life. It speaks about a strong character – we all know that guy, in our families, in our communities, someone who has faltered but who has a dream and needs to re-discover that dream. I would not have been where I am now, my mom made some very good choices in her life.

    Apart from Noem my Skollie you managed to land the role in yet another South African movie - Abraham and is also seen on television as Jason in the South African soapy 7de Laan. How did you manage this in South Africa’s extremely competitive industry?

    Actors always say I did not choose the industry the industry chose me - and this is true for me. It swallows you. But you have to put in lots of hours, to sacrifice family time. But then I believe in fate - for me it was written. But an actor’s success has a lot to do with who they work with – who you know and who knows you well enough to push you through.

    How did you prepare for your role as AB?

    I listened to a lot of violent music. Hemelbesem’s music was also perfect; his use of language is astonishing. The entire evening before the day we would shoot the kissing scenes, I usually listened to love songs. But I also talked to Boeta John a lot; I was fortunate to have access to the man whose life story I was telling. I could always go to him for advice and this is unique, not every actor has this privilege.

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  • 12/15/16--14:00: Leave it in 2016
  • Leave it in 2016 Leave it in 2016 This is has been a year of many handfuls! A crazy, bumpy yet awkwardly enjoyable year for me! The one thing that stuck out for me was the growth in the industry. I can surely only hope that next year will be bigger and better.

    So where do we start… the quest for fame should stop please… for the love of God. Little kids nowadays are so into the wrong things because they want to be famous. These things of exposing yourself whether you send your nudes out yourself or you sent them to someone who later decides to be Nampost and distribute their partner’s private parts to the world. The latest trend that must definitely not make it into 2017 is having a bad break up or relationship and then washing all your dirty laundry on social media. Like, girl, we were not there when it was all honeymoon and sweet, so why should it be our business when it goes sour? And the worst… it’s always ladies that do such petty things. Ladies, we need to get information and we need to get there fast! We shall rule 2017 by being independent, ambitious, and driven to strive forward. Let’s leave the fame hunger in this year please.

    There is a trend of people buying plain shirts from Pep or Mr Price and pasting a word or two and calling it innovation or a brand. Guys no... not every trending word or phrase deserves to be on a shirt. You get five friends who each have a brand and they sell their items for N$200. Remember that all your peers don’t work yet and many depend on their parents. So how many shirts and leggings must I buy and what will I be left with? Yes I’m pretty sure that’s not how Louis Vuitton came to be where he is today. I believe the way to go is by designing then you add your brand name on it. Like Ingo Shanyenge and Ruberto Scholtz and Melissa Poulton do things. Challenge yourselves, be authentic and don’t just do things because your bros are doing it.

    Not everyone can host a party and pull it off. This story of just wanting to be on Good Morning Namibia so those that thought you were only capable of being a WhatsApp group admin can see you on TV. These many bashes and beauty pageants must be left in 2016. Why would you host the first anniversary of your album launch? Does the title even make sense? I didn’t know Namibians were this creative. If you have so much money to waste rather put give it to charity. It’s not nice when you invite the media to cover an event where five people show up because it is on the exact same day there are four other bashes or parties happening and then you get mad for not making it into the papers. This thing of not wanting to be helped in areas where you can’t do a certain activity must be left in 2016. Let someone who knows the area work it.

    The one thing that disturbs my peace is the idea that is growing in many upcoming artists that they can be billionaires overnight. For goodness sake be humble! It takes time guys; it took The Dogg over ten years to be where he is today. Build yourself and most importantly let your music talk for you and not you coming to support it. There were many like you and today they are nowhere to be seen. Keep calm and relax! Your chance to shine will come. Just work hard.

    On that note I would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year! See you soon. J

    June Shimuoshili


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    Revive railways, says !NarusebRevive railways, says !NarusebTrains are safer than cars Transport minister Alpheus !Naruseb has called on the government to revive the railway sector as a means to curb road accidents. NAMPA

    Reviving and renovating railway systems could go a long way in preventing road accidents, transport minister Alpheus !Naruseb has said.

    !Naruseb was answering questions from the media during the year-end review of the Harambee Prosperity Plan at State House on Tuesday.

    President Hage Geingob delivered a post-mortem on progress made between April, when the plan was implemented, and September 2016 to Cabinet ministers and members of the media.

    The HPP is the government’s development plan from 2016 to 2020 and focuses on poverty alleviation, wealth redistribution and industrialisation.

    !Naruseb said reviving the railway network could go a long way toward reducing Namibia’s road carnage.

    At least 617 people died in accidents between 1 January and 21 November this year, according to statistics provided by the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund.

    A total of 3 601 crashes were recorded over the same period, in which 6 180 people sustained injuries.

    !Naruseb said rail at one stage was a lucrative mode of transport.

    With regard to the railway between Aus and Lüderitz, he said contractors had been appointed to build a tunnel to provide cover from strong winds.

    “This will protect the rail system so that it can become sustainable,” !Naruseb said.

    He said six locomotives were refurbished this year, but the local railway sector faced a number of challenges including industrial action and financial and human resources constraints.

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    Nintendo releases smartphone Mario Nintendo releases smartphone Mario BLOOMBERG

    After almost two years of waiting, the big day is finally here for Nintendo Corporation and its first game for smartphones, Super Mario Run.

    The release for Apple devices is the first full test of what the Japanese game maker can achieve after years of eschewing the thriving mobile-app market. While Nintendo gave a hint of its potential with the success of Pokemon Go earlier this year, that title was only partly its own creation.

    Super Mario Run was developed mainly by Nintendo, with some assistance from partner DeNA Co.

    Expectations have swelled since the Kyoto-based company announced a strategic shift toward embracing mobile in March 2015, adding almost US$20 billion to its market value.

    Yet amid the euphoria, some are already discovering holes in execution. Macquarie Securities analyst David Gibson finds it puzzling that the game requires an internet connection and worries that the US$10 price tag for the full version might be too aggressive, especially for users in developing countries.

    “It’s not like it will be Pokemon Go of 500 million downloads in two months,” Gibson said. Instead, he’s estimating about 200 million downloads by the end of March, with a tenth of users paying US$10 for the full version.

    “Nostalgic Nintendo players will almost certainly spend. But what matters is if the marginal customer says this is good, yeah, I’ll spend the money.”

    Investors are counting on Nintendo’s ability to breathe new life into the arcade and console icons of its heyday by getting them into people’s palms. Players get access to three levels with the free download while US$10 will unlock all 24 stages. Super Mario Run will be available in more than 150 countries.

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  • 12/15/16--14:00: Transfer of SOEs delayed
  • Transfer of SOEs delayedTransfer of SOEs delayed State-owned enterprises remain under the ambit of their line ministries, as proposed amendments to the Public Governance Act still linger in the background.
    This process is delaying the transfer of state-owned enterprises and the proposed implementation of a hybrid governance model that will classify state-owned entities into various categories.
    Explaining the delay, the minister of public enterprises, Leon Jooste, said this week: “To implement this governance model we need an amendment to the Public Enterprises Act and we were hoping to table this amendment in 2016 during the last sitting of parliament.
    “The amendment will make provision for the ministry to be empowered to classify public enterprises according to three new categories, namely commercial public enterprises, non-commercial enterprises and financial institutions and extra-budgetary funds.”
    Pending the transfer, Jooste explained that business would continue as usual.
    “The important issue I want to communicate is that in the interim period the status quo remains as before. The ministry shares the responsibility with the various line ministers, as has been the case under the State-Owned Enterprises Governance Council.
    “This means that the line ministries have the shareholder responsibilities while the Public Enterprises Ministry is responsible for governance and related directives and remuneration matters.
    “The new remuneration guidelines have been finalised and will herald the introduction of an integrated performance-based system for the first time.
    “The new guidelines are incentivised with basic salaries and long-and-short-term performance-based incentives. New performance agreements will be signed with individual board members and these contain measurable key performance indicators (KPIs),” Jooste said.

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    International obligations metInternational obligations metUN, AU, SADC dues paid Namibia gives contributions in tough economic times. Namibia has fully paid its international obligations to affiliated international bodies despite economic constraints, says the presidential advisor for economic affairs, John Steytler.
    Presenting a review of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) at State House on Tuesday, Steytler said the country had fulfilled its financial obligations in the interest of maintaining international relations this year.
    Namibia gave its contributions to the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), while also attracting investment opportunities.
    He said diplomatic missions to Namibia successfully organised the marketing of investment opportunities in the country, which led to the Invest in Namibia Conference held in Windhoek last month.
    The country, Steytler said, had also drawn international support in the war against poverty and continued to fuel solidarity with the oppressed people of other countries.
    He said during the HPP period from its launch in April 2016 to September this year, Namibia ratified several international instruments, including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, instruments on conservation and reviews of the country’s foreign policy.
    The HPP is the government’s development plan from 2016 to 2020 and focuses on poverty alleviation, wealth redistribution and industrialisation.
    The deputy minister of international relations and cooperation, Peya Mushelenga, said international trips undertaken by the president and some cabinet ministers this year were done to attract trade and investment.
    Mushelenga said the outcomes of the trips included new airlines flying to Namibia and the Invest in Namibia Conference that attracted several investment interests.
    During the induction of cabinet ministers in 2015 President Geingob announced a moratorium on ministers’ foreign trips as a way of cutting costs.

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  • 12/15/16--14:00: Aleppo became main prize
  • Aleppo became main prizeAleppo became main prize Human rights actrocities as Assad takes city back Aleppo has been utterly destroyed as Syria’s government forces took back the city. When rebel fighters launched a last desperate attempt to break the siege of Aleppo in October, they were beaten back - not by the Syrian army but by the Lebanese Shi''ite group Hezbollah fighting on its behalf, a senior official in the pro-government alliance said.

    In the build-up to the final battle for Syria''s second city, scores of fighters from a single Iraqi Shi''ite militia were killed in just two days of combat this summer, said a commander of another group fighting for President Bashar al-Assad.

    Even in the last hours of fighting in Aleppo, allied Iraqi militia were at the vanguard. The UN human rights office said it had reports that the Syrian army and an allied Iraqi militia had killed at least 82 civilians in captured city districts - allegations denied by the army and militia in question.

    These episodes show how in the decisive battle of Syria''s nearly six-year-old civil war, Assad drew heavily on foreign Shi''ite militias sponsored by Iran for his most important victory to date.

    Rebel sources say that among fighters taken prisoner by insurgents in the last months of Assad''s campaign to retake Aleppo, there was not a single Syrian soldier.

    To be sure, Russian air strikes were the most important factor in Assad''s triumph. They enabled his forces to press the siege of rebel-held eastern Aleppo to devastating effect and regain full control of what was Syria''s biggest city and economic hub before the war.

    But on the ground, Shi''ite militias from as far afield as Afghanistan played an important role for Assad, a member of the minority Alawite sect which is an offshoot of Shi''ite Islam.

    Among these militias, which fought in and around Aleppo alongside the Tiger Force, an elite Syrian army unit lavishly backed by Russia, was the Ansar Allah al-Awfiya group.

    The rebels inflicted big losses on the militia''s fighters by hitting them with a barrage of guided anti-tank missiles as they retreated in an area outside Aleppo, according to the militia commander, also an Iraqi. Reuters was unable to confirm the account with the group itself.

    But Hezbollah, battle-hardened by years of conflict with Israel, played an even more important role. It ensured the siege was not broken by helping thwart a series of suicide attacks, according to the official in the pro-Assad military alliance.

    "If they (the suicide attacks) had succeeded we would have been the ones under siege," he said.

    Asked about the role of Shi''ite militias in the battle for Aleppo, a Syrian military source said army statements always referred to the "allied forces" working with the army. Last year Assad publicly credited Hezbollah for its role.

    Victory in Aleppo leaves Assad virtually unassailable by the rebels but he still faces great challenges in restoring the power of his state. While he controls the most important cities in western Syria and the coast, armed groups including Islamic State control swathes of territory elsewhere in Syria.

    Assad could face prolonged guerrilla warfare from forces including the Nusra Front, until recently affiliated with al Qaeda, the global jihadist network founded by Osama bin Laden.

    But victory in Aleppo shows how the direction of the civil war has shifted with the support of his allies.

    "The course of events in Aleppo in the last few months ... has turned the tide in Syria''s war in favour of the Syrian government and resistance movement," said Hossein Salami, the deputy head of Iran''s Revolutionary Guard, which has also deployed forces in the protracted campaign for Aleppo.

    Warplanes unleashed bunker-busting bombs that left craters metres wide and brought down buildings. Hospitals were bombed out of service.

    Helicopters also dropped chlorine bombs, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, though the government denied this and other reported atrocities.

    Some rebels said cooperation on the battlefield was weakened by a lack of trust between groups in eastern Aleppo. Others said government spies has sewn discord among the rebels.

    Above all, rebel officials complain that their main allies - the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar - did not offer more military assistance when Russia began air strikes.


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  • 12/15/16--14:00: The disgrace that is Opuwo
  • The disgrace that is OpuwoThe disgrace that is Opuwo
    The re-elected mayor of Opuwo, Albert Tjiuma has admitted that Opuwo is failing to attract investors because it is filthy. He is not even ashamed to say this and he has been re-elected so who is to blame here really? Stories of corruption in the Opuwo town council have been rife as people complain about the uselessness and self-enrichment of the councillors.
    The people of Opuwo, the capital of the Kunene Region are living in a pigsty and their mayor admits to this. What has he done apart from now making more empty promises?
    He says his council’s main priority for the next 12 months is to clean up the town. He is laughable. He says the aim is to make sure that the town looks neat like other towns in the country and is able to attract investors. Why has this not been the case and a priority before? What investors would want to come to a filthy place like that? Opuwo was once one of the biggest tourist attractions in the country because of its indigenous Himba people and rich culture but now the Himba people are flocking to the cities to eke out a living. There is no development whatsoever taking place in Opuwo. Pictures we saw recently show disturbing images of people operating their small businesses in dirt, and this man is telling us about his plan for the next 12 months.
    The mayor is not ashamed to say several efforts have been made to lobby investors to do business in the town, but due to the omnipresent filth investors have rejected them.
    “Our town is very dirty and we have not done much in the past to clean it. Garbage is all over the town and there is no proper waste management in place. This keeps investors away as they have refused to do business in a dirty town,” he is quoted as saying.
    Why is there no waste management system? Why no dustbins? Where is the money allocated every year going to? And why is the ministry of urban and rural development allowing this council to stay on?

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    How to beat ‘Januworry’ bluesHow to beat ‘Januworry’ blues

    There comes a time in everybody’s life when you are down and out and desperately need a shoulder to cry on, and January will be such a time.

    We never learn, every year it is the same thing, spend like crazy over December and starve like a man in January. Allow me, in the spirit of giving and loving, to share with you these tips on how to beat the ‘Januworry’.

    Oh, by the way, the following tips have not been sanctioned by the Bank of Namibia. Or to put it more bluntly – use them at your own risk. As a consolation, though, I tried them and am still standing.

    There is an age-old trick I inherited from my grandma. I never quite got it back then when as a toddler, she explained it to me. Now that I am older and more irresponsible, I thank her silently every time I use it.

    It’s pretty simple – separate the big cows from the small ones. Ja, I know – typical of my Herero grandma to explain everything with illustrations of cattle.

    Anyway, all she meant is to have one of those big Nestlé baby powder tins and use it to collect all the coins also referred to as small change by rich people and throw them in there.

    It doesn’t matter the denomination, just collect them all and store them in there for dry days. As for the notes, well just spend them all. That is why you wake up every morning to go to work isn’t it? Get a family feast ‘bucket’ from KFC or something.

    Oh, one more thing, remember how you are always left with N$19.98 in your bank account and how it frustrates the hell out of you that you are not able withdraw that last 10 bucks? Well, due to the advent of technology it is now possible, although it requires a bit of work.

    All you have to do is ‘zula’ N$2.00 from your friends, go over to the nearest bank and deposit it. Your balance will now read N$22.13. Oh yeah, now you can withdraw your last N$20.00 and you will live happily ever after.

    For the trick to work effectively, you gotta be fast. In fact, rather send someone else to do the deposit while you wait by the ATM. Maintain eye contact at all times and you will know when it has been deposited, otherwise the bank will beat you to it.

    As for airtime, don’t fret about it. Simply text all your phonebook contacts with the following message “Hi, 2 dollar pls dear”. It works like a bomb all the time. If you are as popular as those ladies that do this to some of us a day after the first date, you are bound to walk away with at least N$150.80.

    If all fails, run to the nearest mobile phone shop and get one of those starter packs. I mean they cost less than ten bucks but could save you way more than that. Use that as your new number until the next pay period.

    If the dude at mobile home refuses to sell you the starter pack (believe me, they know the trick now), call the nearest journalist you can get hold of, the rest will be history.

    If FurnMart calls looking for the money you promised last year to pay ‘tomorrow’, simply adopt a Chinese accent or answer with “Mondesa Mortuary and Funeral Services, how may I help you?

    That ought to do the trick; trust me, we may all want to go to heaven but no one wants to die.

    Lastly, memorise the following list of specials at fast food places during the course of the week; Tuesday – ‘Tuesday Two’ at Hungry Lion, Wednesday – ‘Wacky Wednesday’ at Wimpy. Simply pop in and have yourself a bargain to save those hard-earned notes.

    If that too fails, then you have got to adopt a new moniker for the rest of the month. Ja, I have been Nanguariovanndu Cloete for over two weeks now and it works like a charm.

    By the way, do you believe in unicorns, fairies and all that fuss about who really composed the Namibian national anthem? No wonder you believed everything I have written in this column.

    Until then…


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  • 12/15/16--14:00: Cleaning up its act
  • Cleaning up its actCleaning up its act Opuwo to introduce eight new positions The town council of Opuwo, in a bid to better its overall performance will be creating management and head of department positions which were not considered before.

    A part-one level local authority, Opuwo has been operating without managers or heads of departments since inception. According to the mayor Albert Tjiuma, all departments are controlled and managed by town officials.

    "We are putting an end to this era. We are going to appoint managers and heads of departments to run our different section so that we can run our town effectively," Tjiuma said.

    He said that currently the town is behind other towns in the country in terms of development because it does not have staff to actually do and oversee the work.

    "We are in consultations to design eight key top positions for our town council. These are the people who will be held accountable for our town’s development,” he said.

    Tjiuma could not say which positions will be created, but Namibian Sun is reliably informed that the eight positions include a technical manager and finance or administration manager, a town planner, building inspector, environmental health officer, fire fighter, public relations officer and personal assistant to the CEO.

    Currently the council has appointed Abel Katjoho as acting CEO to facilitate the new CEO’s appointment as the current contract ended in October.

    Katjoho is currently the official responsible for the maintenance and technical department.


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  • 12/15/16--14:00: Injured Mole penguin rescued
  • Injured Mole penguin rescuedInjured Mole penguin rescued A penguin that was rescued at the Mole on Saturday by members of the Swakopmund Neighbourhood Watch is recovering well at the Penguin Rehabilitation Centre in Swakopmund.
    Jörg Heiser from the Swakopmund Neighbourhood Watch said the penguin was spotted on the rock barricade next to the walkway wall by a member of the public at 18:00.
    “We could see that the penguin was injured. He was sitting between the rocks close to the small wooden jetty. Another member and I jumped onto the rocks and I caught the bird using a welding glove,” said Heiser.
    The penguin was taken to the Penguin Rehabilitation Centre where Dr Sandra Dantu took care of its wounds. According to her the wounds on its flippers and across its belly are not serious. She said the injuries were most likely caused by a seal.
    “The penguin is now being kept in a safe enclosed space and will be released as soon as he has recovered fully. It is not unusual to find penguins at the Mole, this is the third or fourth one we’ve found this year,” said Dantu.
    She appealed to members of the public to contact the centre, the Swakopmund Vet Clinic, the SPCA or the Ministry of Environment and Tourism if they see any injured sea birds, especially penguins.
    “If you can pick up a wild animal, the animal is most likely injured. Penguins do bite and should be approached with caution. They are however not vicious and will not attack humans. Use a towel or blanket to cover the bird’s head and hold it firmly at the back of the head while using your other hand to pick it up,” she said.
    Penguins and other wild birds can be transported in a box. Dantu warned that penguins should not be placed in water and that people should not attempt to force feed them. They should be kept in a cool, quiet place.
    According to Dantu, penguins are usually released from Lüderitz, close to their breeding grounds.
    “We try to send the penguins down to Lüderitz with members of the ministry, but when there is no lift available we try to take them down ourselves or we release them at Vierkantklip, close to Swakopmund,” she said.
    Members of the public can contact Dantu at the Penguin Rehabilitation Centre on 081 129 4901 or 064 402 765.

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    Visitors bag a bargain at roadblockVisitors bag a bargain at roadblock Motorists entering Swakopmund were treated to a ''Shopping Bag for Life''.

    The Otto Herrigel Environmental Trust and the Swakopmund Lions Club handed out re-usable bags to visitors. They also got the message across that taking your own bags to supermarkets rather than using plastic bags will vastly improve our environment and everyone''s future. With the massive influx of people into Swakopmund over the festive season, the plastic waste increases dramatically, which puts a lot of pressure on local services. Many of the plastic bags find their way into the ocean and desert, choking the flora, fauna and marine life. The Trust decided it was time to act to reduce the damaging impact of plastic on our beautiful country. Studies have shown that particles of plastic are being found in fish, mussels and oysters. The problem will only get worse until we all take responsibility, reuse, recycle and reduce our waste.

    Along with this initiative there will be awareness workshops held in Mondesa and DRC during January with the help of the municipality''s health department. Details of when and where these workshops will take place will still be announced.

    Think before you take a bag, it just may cost you more than you realise.


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  • 12/15/16--14:00: Mariental houses handed over
  • Mariental houses handed overMariental houses handed over 28 Mass Housing beneficiaries receive homes The government has committed itself to providing housing that is not only decent, but also affordable.
    This was said by the minister of urban and rural development, Sophia Shaningwa, in a speech read on her behalf at Mariental during the handover of 28 houses built under the national Mass Housing Development Programme.
    She said the cabinet had decided that houses earmarked for low-income groups should be sold for less than the cost of construction.
    “This is a commendable and praise-worthy gesture from our government that was made to ensure that the houses are affordable for our people, especially the low-income earners,” Shaningwa said.
    She said the government recognised that a large number of people earned less than N$2 700 and could not afford the houses built under the current Mass Housing phase.
    “I want to ensure these fellow Namibians that we will continue to work tirelessly to also attend to their need in the next phase of the programme and through other government-supported housing initiatives such as the Build Together Programme and the Shack Dwellers Federation.”
    Shaningwa said her ministry had undertaken to deliver 5 000 new houses and at least 6 500 new residential plots per year under the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP).
    “In this regard, I call upon all local authorities to prepare themselves, as after the disposal of houses constructed under the Mass Housing Programme Phase 1 is completed, we will engage in Phase 2 of the programme.”
    Mariental housing beneficiary Anton Isaacks expressed thanks on behalf of all the beneficiaries.
    “It was a long struggle, but in the end we got our houses,” he said.

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    Oshakati threatened with illegal shacksOshakati threatened with illegal shacks Youth from the Oshana Region have decided that if the Oshakati town council does not stop allocating plots to certain prominent people, which they say was done illegally, they will identify the plots and erect shacks on them.
    Yesterday a group of about 70 youth held a peaceful demonstration in Oshakati where they handed over a petition at the governor’s office and another at the council offices.
    The demonstration follows after council documents circulated on social media which are interpreted as such that council’s management committee chairperson, Gabriel Kamwanka, finance manager Damian Hamunyela, infrastructure and technical services director Lucas Amushembe and Oshana governor Clemens Kashuupulwa were granted plots because of their social standing and influence over those who have decision-making powers in the council.
    Kashuupulwa applied for a residential plot for the construction of flats on 9 April 2014. He was allocated plot 861, measuring 4 167 square metres, at Ekuku Extension 2 at a price of N$375 030 on 30 November this year.
    Kamwanka applied for a business plot on 10 February 2014 and was allocated plot 107, measuring 8 703 square metres, at Ehenye North at a price of N$957 330.
    Hamunyela, who previously sold a plot he had received from the council, was allocated another plot, Erf 1630, measuring 870 square metres, at Oshakati Extension 3 at a price of N$69 600.
    Amushembe was allocated Erf 1 272, measuring 2 663 square metres, at Ekuku Extention 4 for the construction of a shopping complex at a price of N$292 930.

    The Petition
    The youth demand a public apology with 45 working days and that the land allocation process to the above-mentioned individuals be halted.
    The group threatened that if the council did not meet their demands they would open a case with the Anti-Corruption Commission and if need be they would identify the plots in question and erect shacks on them.
    “We demand that Oshakati town council must halt the process and give a public apology within 45 working days (to exact until 20 February 2017),” Affirmative Reposition (AR) land activist Hileni Malakia said when she read the petition.
    “We shall open a case with the office of the Anti-Corruption Commission. We are going to identify the plots that are ill-acquired and erect shacks on them,” Malakia further read.
    In their petition the group argue that Kamwanka, Hamunyela and Amushembe were present in the council meetings when their plots were discussed, which they say contravened the Local Authority Act.
    The Act states that “no member of a local authority council shall in his or her capacity of such a member be present if and when any vote takes place at any meeting of the local authority council in connection with any contract or matter referred to in subsection 1.”
    The town’s acting CEO, Kornelius Kapolo, said earlier this week that there was no law stipulating who should get a plot. He said the four recipients were excused from meetings when the allocation of their plots was discussed.
    Kapolo questioned why people were targeting the four, saying that they deserved plots just like any other Namibian.
    Kashuupulwa is said to be on leave and the petition was received on his behalf by his special advisor, Micheal Mwinga. At the town council it was received by the newly elected mayor, Angelus Iyambo.

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