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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 217 | 218 | (Page 219) | 220 | 221 | .... | 1152 | newer

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  • 01/16/17--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day KEEP OUT: Kyrgyz police officers cordon off the site of a Turkish cargo plane crash in the village of Dacha-Suu outside Bishkek on January 16. A Turkish cargo plane crashed into a village near Kyrgyzstan's main airport Monday, killing 32 people and destroying homes after attempting to land in thick fog, authorities said. NAMPA/AFP

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  • 01/16/17--14:00: Woven together, one garment
  • Woven together, one garmentWoven together, one garment Martin Luther King said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”, and also, “Whatever effects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

    The inequality gap in Namibia continues to widen, worryingly, despite the thick stack of PRO promises of equal opportunity for all in the country. Injustice in Namibia is rife, and will continue to fester as long as poverty is widespread and social healthcare nets remain flimsy, unreliable and of poor quality.

    If King is right, then the injustice faced by many Namibians, specifically when it comes to accessing quality healthcare and education, among the long list of pitfalls, should be of concern to each and every citizen.

    It is no secret that for those who are able to afford private medical care, the experience of going to hospital is vastly different from the average experience of a state patient. Recently, in Windhoek, a young mother is scheduled for surgery, after the wound from her recent Caesarean became infected. She tried to return to work, because she had no money to pay for necessities, and the overall stress and panic of her situation has left her weak, and now ill. Colleagues provide food and nappies, and some money. Social security has not yet sent her a cheque since the birth of her child. The surgery was scheduled for Friday. By Sunday, she was still waiting. She has access to a hospital. But the quality is lacking. The safety nets of medical care have let her down. The safety nets of social care have let her down. What type of education can she look forward to for her daughter? The daily struggle will continue to bog her down. Can her daughter escape the cycle of poverty? Will the promises of equal healthcare and education become reality, or will they remain talking points for politicians and disgruntled tax payers? We have to realise that if we truly want to live in an equal society, one that gives everyone the chance to contribute to a nation to be proud of, then the basics such as equal health and education, are topics we must stand up for, march for, and demand from our government. Because King was right. “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

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    Declining education standards decriedDeclining education standards decriedOpposition parties slam exam results Both the DTA and the Rally for Democracy and Progress have expressed disappointment with the 2016 Grade 10 and 12 pass rates. The Namibian education system has been labelled as a complete failure by opposition parties who have called for the urgent reform of the education system.

    The condemnation follows the recent release of Grade 10 and 12 exam results.

    The DTA's education secretary, Elma Dienda, said the results are completely unacceptable for a country which allocated 18% of the national budget towards education in the 2015/16 financial year, saying the public did not receive a real return on this significant investment.

    Dienda said when only 37% of full-time Grade 12 candidates attain sufficient points to qualify for university admission then it is clear that the country is faced with a systematic problem.

    “Where there are numerous schools across the country where not even one learner is able to attain pass points, is a worrying trend,” she said.

    According to Dienda, equity and quality within the Namibian education system remains a huge problem.

    She said one only needs to look at the best performing learners and schools to realise that the quality of private schools far outweighs that of public school education.

    “This in turn results in unequal access to quality education since only the rich and elite can afford to send their children to expensive private schools.”

    She further said that the education system has over 30 000 Grade 12 students that are part-time and only 21 000 that are full-time. This, she added, is clear that the system has failed the Namibian child.

    Dienda said the education system is also not a truly Namibian product and does not directly respond to the demands of the local job market.

    She said that for many years, Namibia has continued to see over 50% of learners fall out of the system either in Grade 10 or 12 and yet an education system is retained whose primary aim is to produce learners for tertiary education and not to develop skills.

    “It is high time there is a clear recognition that the current design of the education system is failing and not serving the youth.”

    It is no longer acceptable for the system to produce over 30 000 learners who have failed Grade 12 and do not have technical or other skills, she added.



    Dual education system

    According to her, the only way to overcome the challenge of having an education system which breeds unemployment is to move towards a formalised multi-layered dual education system which places equal emphasis on vocational and theoretical education. Urgent reform is needed.

    The DTA called for a strategic national education conference that would tackle issues crippling the education system.

    These include the overhaul and reform of the education system and special analysis of poor performing regions and schools, and identifying the root causes. The conference should also look at the role of discipline in schools and how it affects results, learner-teacher involvement and improving the qualifications of teachers in Namibia.



    'Lack of discipline'

    Meanwhile, the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) also slammed the poor performance despite the massive investments that have been made.

    According to party's spokesperson, Nghiningilwandubo Kashume, the current Cambridge education system in Namibia is either failing learners or producing functionally illiterate youth.

    “If the Namibian system is solid and qualitative then the problem lies with the management, administration and the curriculum development and implementation.”

    Kashume said politicians in Namibia know the weaknesses of the current education system and that this is the reason why they send their children to South Africa to follow the very education system that they threw out at independence.

    “The RDP strongly believes that under the Swapo-led government which does not shy away from supporting a weak education system that fails thousands upon thousands of Namibian children each year, the nation should not expect Namibia to develop and become an industrialised nation and enjoy peace and stability,” said Kashume.

    He said the problem of the education system is compounded by lack of discipline among learners and teachers, insufficient education structures, a shortage of subject teachers and widespread poverty. Moreover, Kashume said the automatic promotion and the lowering of standards of an already weak education system are compounding the

    problem.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Neckartal complete by year-endNeckartal complete by year-end Salini expects to complete the construction of the Neckartal Dam by the end of the year. This is according to company spokesperson, Gilles Castonguay, who recently updated Namibian Sun about the dam project.

    “Our company [Salini Impregilo] expects to complete its part of the project by the end of 2017. The dam is about 50% complete while the entire project, which includes the turbine room, the intake tower and other installations, is 70% complete.”

    According to him, the project team has installed amongst others an intake tower, a sleeve valve house, turbine room, stilling basin, pump station, and a pipeline.

    Construction activities were split into two phases.

    The first involved the construction of a temporary enclosure called a cofferdam on the left side of the river.

    Standing at a height of 10 metres, it allowed workers to complete the excavations in safety, prepare the foundations of the dam, start pouring the reinforced concrete and build a diversion culvert, which allows water to flow under its structure.

    The second phase will see the deviation of the river through this diversion culvert so as to allow workers to complete the job on the right side of the riverbed.

    It is expected that the Neckartal Dam will harness water from the Fish River to produce energy and to create a reservoir capable of holding 857 million cubic metres of water, which will be used to irrigate 5 000 hectares of land for the agricultural development of the area.

    As part of the agriculture ministry's master water plan, a pipeline will also eventually be constructed which will connect the dam to all the other dams in the country.

    Construction work on the dam started in September 2013. Once complete, Neckartal will be three times the size of Hardap Dam, while its dam wall will be three stories high. Neckartal forms part of the Ministry of Water, Agriculture and Forestry's master water plan.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Farm resettlement frowned uponFarm resettlement frowned upon Residents of Maltahöhe have expressed anger at their systematic exclusion from land allocation, claiming that marginalisation is institutionalised.

    In a petition handed over to the Daweb Constituency Councillor, Hercules Jantze, residents of Maltahöhe and the Uibes communal area last week argued that rising poverty in the South is linked to increased landlessness.

    They argued in the petition that the massive loss of land of their forefathers today resulted in loss of the productive systems of the Nama people, reducing them to cheap labourers.

    The residents further accused government of having failed to implement a key resolution of the first national land conference in 1991, which is to use legal means to expropriate farms of absentee landlords.

    “The government has not displayed political will to act on this resolution,” Maltahöhe residents claim.

    According to them the resettlement programme has created a pool of apartheid-like reserves, which are overcrowded, overgrazed and lack basic infrastructure required for productive farming.

    “When considering the number of people resettled against the carrying capacity of land the units allocated are economically unproductive.”

    They further criticised the land reform programme, which they say was not pro-poor as it does not address poverty.

    They maintained that pastoral communities within the former police zones were most affected by the colonial land dispossession and lost almost their entire land during the German and South African colonial era.

    “Government is resettling people who were never unsettled at the expense of those of us who lost land through war and genocide. We do not understand how government understands the word resettlement.”

    The petitioners further maintained that resettlement programmes show no meaningful respect for the traditional political, socio-economic and cultural role of chiefs and traditional authorities. “Rather it dictates to the chiefs.”











    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 01/16/17--14:00: Red Cross appoints new SG
  • Red Cross appoints new SGRed Cross appoints new SG The Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) has appointed Naemi Patemoshela Heita as the new secretary-general for the humanitarian organisation with effect from today.

    Heita succeeds Dorkas Kapembe-Haiduwa who served in the position since 2008.

    According to a media release issued on Friday, Kapembe-Haiduwa decided not to extend her contract which ended on the 31 December.

    “The Namibia Red Cross Board welcomes Heita to the NRCS and pledges its commitment and support to her as she takes over the reign of the national society,” the statement read.

    Heita who is no stranger to the NRCS previously worked as the coordinator for health and care as well as deputy secretary-general.

    Heita was also seconded to the southern Africa Zone of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) based in Pretoria, South Africa for the past four years where she served as the disaster risk management coordinator.

    “Heita brings a rich humanitarian knowledge and experience to the national society gained over the years she worked for both the national society and the IFRC,” the statement read.

    Heita is a nurse by profession and also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration as well as a postgraduate qualification in healthcare management.

    According to the statement, Heita has obtained international humanitarian related qualifications in humanitarian diplomacy and disaster management.

    The NRCS board expressed its appreciation to Kapembe-Haiduwa for her eight-year tenure as the secretary-general of the organisation.

    “The NRCS governing board equally expresses its appreciation to the former secretary-general, Kapembe-Haiduwa for steering the NRCS through stormy waters at the height of severe drought and mobilising resources to provide emergency assistance. The board wishes her well in her future endeavours.”

    Staff Reporter

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    Omaheke education in critical stateOmaheke education in critical state A lack of discipline amongst school learners, limited parental involvement and weak leadership at some schools continue to cost the education sector in Omaheke.

    Omaheke Regional Education Director Peka Semba told Nampa that such factors have led to the consistent weak performance of the region in the Grade 12 Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) examinations. Semba said it was disheartening that despite several strategies devised in 2016 to address the shortfalls in the sector, the region has failed to make a mark and keeps producing undesirable results.

    “There were many strategies that were put in place in 2015 such as principal leadership courses, cluster level meetings and subject advisory visiting schools, but these failed to bear results,” he said.

    The education director admitted that the implementation of the planned interventions did not go as planned. As such no new strategies will be devised this year as the previous ones will be fully rolled out instead. Omaheke dropped from ending sixth out of 14 regions in the 2015 NSSC ordinary level examinations to 11th position in last year's examinations. “This dropping down to position 11 is very questionable to me and everyone in the region. I am not happy at all,” he said. Semba questioned the consistent weak performance of ordinary level students in the region, while those who took the examination at high level continue to do exceptionally well. He however encouraged learners who failed to make it to Grade 11 to seek recourse at the Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) or any other institution of their choice to improve their results. A total of 144 government schools registered for the NSSC Grade 12 ordinary level examinations, while 31 private schools registered for the same examination during 2016.





    NAMPA

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  • 01/16/17--14:00: Mbango heads Erongo RED
  • Mbango heads Erongo REDMbango heads Erongo REDPosition vacant after Kahimise leads Windhoek Erongo RED has announced the appointment of Fessor Mbango as acting CEO. Fessor Mbango will replace Robert Kahimise who accepted the position of CEO of the City of Windhoek last year as acting CEO for Erongo Red.

    Mbango will lead Erongo Red for the next three months starting from 23 January.

    Following Kahimise's acceptance of the Windhoek CEO offer, the Erongo RED board held an extra-ordinary board meeting on 11 January and resolved to start the search for a new CEO and appointed Mbango to fill Kahimise's position in an acting capacity.

    The chairperson of board of directors, Tobias Nambala, said Mbango would be responsible for ensuring shareholder value by giving direction and the coordination of key strategic decisions.

    The direction will include corporate governance and risk and performance management.

    He will also be responsible for ensuring that Erongo RED's activities support economic development and instil investor confidence not only for the regional electricity distributor but for the whole region.

    “We are confident that Mbango is competent to take Erongo RED and to lead the company during this transition period. His academic and results-oriented approach as well as his ability to think strategically will play a pivotal role in extending Erongo RED's track record as a leader in the industry. Kahimise laid a solid foundation that includes sound financials and a technical position for further development,” said Nambala,

    Nambala also thanked Kahimise for a remarkable job in transforming the company and congratulated him on his new appointment on behalf of the board and management.

    Mbango's association with Erongo RED started in 2012.

    He occupied several prominent roles including that of technical manager and later executive manager. He joined the company from EMCOM Consulting Group where he served in various management positions.

    He holds a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

    Kahimise joined Erongo RED in an acting capacity in 2012 and was appointed permanently, in 2013 as CEO. “When I joined, Walvis Bay which is the heartbeat of the region and the biggest customer, faced network constraints. Raising N$280 million in funding externally to address this issue was a project of huge magnitude and if anything went wrong, it would have been catastrophic. The good thing is that these challenges resulted in a stable organisation. We also responded and addressed consumer outcries with regard to tariff rates and increases.”

    Kahimise also expressed confidence that Erongo RED would be in a position to supply an envisioned desalination plant.

    “I am sure that implemented strategies will be continued in addition to the introduction of renewable energy within the near future,” he said.



    OTIS FINCK

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    Thirteen shacks destroyed in Walvis fireThirteen shacks destroyed in Walvis fire A shack fire in Walvis Bay's Kuisebmond area on Saturday left eight children without school uniforms and books.

    The blaze destroyed 13 structures erected behind a house next to the mayor's house.

    About 30 people were affected by the fire.

    They suspect that the fire was started by a neighbour who left a cooking pot unattended on a stove.

    “I don't know what to do because I do not have money to buy new uniforms,” Riana Awases, 31, told Nampa at the scene on Sunday. She was referring to her two daughters' school uniforms.

    Another parent, 38-year-old Rachel Motabe, fell from the roof of her shack and dislocated her knee while attempting to extinguish the fire.

    “I could not stand by and watch the fire destroy our property,” said Motabe while balancing on crutches.

    Walvis mayor Immanuel Wilfred was found sympathising with his neighbours at the scene.

    He said fire-fighters battled to put out the fire, as it spread rapidly.

    Wilfred said the council had assessed the situation and taken note of who was affected so they could solicit help.

    He said he had asked the Erongo Regional Electricity Distributor to assist with buying school uniforms.

    “We also have a little food collected from local business owners.”

    Wilfred said landlessness is a challenge at the harbour town, adding that fires would only be reduced once people had proper brick houses.

    He said the council had planned to relocate close to 50 000 landless people to Farm 37 south of Walvis Bay, near Dune 7, but their application for land there was turned down by the Namibia Planning Advisory Board (Nampab).

    This board is appointed by the minister of urban and rural development and is responsible for supervising town planning by all local authorities and regional councils.

    Wilfred said the council had now applied for Farm 33 for the same purpose and was waiting for a response.

    NAMPA

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    Legality of arrest under spotlightLegality of arrest under spotlight A man who escaped after his arrest on two counts of housebreaking argued that the Magistrate's Court erred when it ordered his detention.

    Ruben Awaseb, from Mariental, is appealing against his conviction and argues that the court relied on the evidence of police officers who could not testify about the circumstances causing him to be in custody prior to his escape on 21 October 2014.

    On 23 February last year, Awaseb was convicted of escape from lawful custody and sentenced to two years' imprisonment. He had escaped after he found his cell door was left open.

    He had been detained on two charges of housebreaking. Two warrants of detention were produced to show that he was in custody, but this did not satisfy the court regarding the lawfulness of his detention.

    Awseb pleaded not guilty but did not provide a plea explanation.

    At the close of the State's case he brought an application for discharge, which the court refused.

    He closed his case without testifying but was subsequently convicted as charged and sentenced to two years for unlawful escape.

    In his heads of argument his lawyer, Linus Samaria, said: “For an accused to be convicted of escaping from lawful custody, the State must prove that the accused was in lawful custody.”

    He added that the State was therefore required to present evidence of a lawful arrest in order to prove that the appellant was in lawful custody at the time of his escape.

    “It is clear from the court proceedings record that such evidence was non-existent. The State did not lead evidence regarding the lawfulness of his arrest,” Samaria maintained.

    According to him there was no evidence before the court as to when the appellant was arrested, on what grounds he was arrested, and when he escaped from the police cells.

    “The State did not discharge the onus of proving the lawfulness of the appellant's detention. There is accordingly a lacuna (gap) in the State's case which is fatal to a conviction,” Samaria argued.

    State advocate Clifford Lutibezi argued that there was no requirement under common law that the accused must be lawfully arrested or that the State must prove lawful arrest.

    “What is required for the common-law offence of escape from lawful custody is for the State to prove the accused was in lawful custody and it has nothing to do with lawful arrest,” he argued.

    He maintained that any unlawfulness of an accused's arrest had no effect on the lawfulness of his detention when such detention was ordered by a court.

    “In essence a person can be in lawful custody after an unlawful arrest and if he escapes from such custody he commits an offence,” he advocate argued.

    The case was postponed to 13 March for a ruling.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 01/16/17--14:00: Relief as dams receive water
  • Relief as dams receive waterRelief as dams receive waterGood inflows recorded in the south Widespread rain has brought good inflows to many dams in the country but Windhoek's water supply is still critical. Although the Neckartal Dam in southern Namibia is still under construction it received its first inflow last week when massive amounts of water flowed in from the Fish River.

    Workers at the construction site have been warned to remain alert, as the river level at Tses was high and more water was expected to reach Neckartal.

    Some places in Namibia received more than 100mm of rain at the weekend and some rivers were in flood.

    More than 22 million cubic metres water flowed into storage dams during the past week.

    To put this in perspective, Windhoek uses about 23 million cubic metres of water a year.

    According to the weekly Namwater dam bulletin, six dams recorded inflows.

    The Hardap Dam had the lion's share of 16.8 million cubic metres. The dam is now 35.4% full – the same level as a year ago.

    The Naute Dam near Keetmanshoop received 3.7 million cubic metres of water and is now 75.2% full, in comparison to last year when it was 70.8% full.

    Rehoboth's Oanob Dam rose to 28.3% after receiving 1.144 million cubic metres. Last year the dam was 38.1% full.

    In central Namibia the Von Bach Dam received an inflow of 1.7 million cubic metres. The dam is now 15.5% full in comparison to the 21.9% of last year.

    In total the dams in the central area are now 7.4% full and the water situation remains critical.

    The Otjivero Silt Dam in the Omaheke Region received 0.006 million cubic metres of water and the Olushandja Dam 0.413 million cubic metres.

    Downpours of 125mm within 12 hours were reported at Tsumeb on Friday.

    On Saturday, Raaswater near Omaruru recorded 40mm. The Omaruru River has been in flood since last week, which has always been a good indicator of above-average rainfall

    About 30km outside of Swakopmund 40mm was reported and in the Gochas area between 20mm and 45mm was recorded.

    On Sunday 42mm was reported at Okahandja, 30mm at Kalkfeld, and 51mm at Omitara in the Omaheke Region.

    At the farm Omatako 32mm was reported and on a farm near the Duwisib Castle west of Maltahöhe, 26mm was recorded.

    On the farm Nutusdrift near Maltahöhe 31mm was measured, while 55mm fell at Heuwelsrus farm near the Omatakos.

    In the Summerdown area of the Omaheke Region the farm Okarapiko received 60mm over two days, while Stampriet in the south received 22mm.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 01/16/17--14:00: Halt land reform, says OTA
  • Halt land reform, says OTAHalt land reform, says OTAAuthority asks for moratorium on resettlement The OvaHerero Traditional Authority says the finalisation of the Land Bill can only be of real consequence is if it is done after the proposed second national conference, which must precede extensive consultations. CATHERINE SASMAN



    The paramount chief of the OvaHerero Traditional Authority (OTA), Vekuii Rukoro, has requested the minister of land reform, Utoni Nujoma, to extend the deadline for submissions on the proposed Land Bill until after the second national land conference, which is slated for September.

    Rukoro further suggested that the ministry in the meantime place a moratorium on all land-reform procedures.

    This would mean, he said, a suspension of the entire resettlement programme, putting on hold allocation of land parcels under customary law by traditional authorities and regional land boards, and the suspension of the government’s purchasing of land for resettlement purposes.

    Nujoma had determined that public and stakeholder submissions to the Land Bill must be made before 15 January.

    Rukoro and the OTA, however, have expressed reservations over the rushed handling of the Land Bill, saying that the land question was a “very sensitive issue with social, economic and political dimensions which warrants a careful approach and strategies to address the past, current and future imbalances”.

    The OTA said in its letter to Nujoma on 9 January that the 15 January deadline was too short and did not allow enough time for considered inputs, since the bill was introduced shortly before the Christmas festive season.

    It said the persistent drought which had left commercial and communal farmers battling to stay afloat did not allow stakeholders sufficient opportunity to devise inputs at village and national level.

    The OTA said ample time must be given for proper consultations before the national land conference. Finalising the Land Bill before this conference would neither yield the desired results nor justify the expense of holding the conference.

    The group proposed extensive consultations at grassroots level long before the conference.

    “Subsequently the finalisation of the Land Bill will become relevant as those learning experiences, inputs and ideas will form the basis of consensus formulation and adaptation of resolutions to the final Land Bill,” the authority said.

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    Illegal fishing is killing northern riversIllegal fishing is killing northern rivers A petition demanding urgent intervention in illegal fishing activities that are devastating fish stocks in the Kavango and Zambezi regions has gained close to a 1 000 signatures since its launch on Friday.

    The online petition, titled 'Give the Rivers Back to Namibia and Her People”, is addressed to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. It asks the government to take control of the situation, which has reached “crisis proportions” according to experts.

    “Illegal fishing in Namibia is taking its final toll. Commercialisation and exportation has placed immense pressure on the eco- and river systems. Communities are strained as the natural resources and their cultural heritage are threatened. Fish species are being eradicated and the river systems may never recover,” reads the petition, which can be accessed via Change.org.

    A five-minute video accompanying the petition provides a worrying overview of the threat posed by illegal commercial fishing operations in the Okavango and Zambezi rivers.

    In the video experts warn that the devastating impact on fish resources was close to the “point of no return” and that the ripple effects of destruction to fish stocks could “fundamentally kill the river”.

    The video paints a dim picture of the current situation of illegal commercial fishing in the rivers, including the use of illegal monofilament nets which harm not only fish, but bird and reptile species, compounded by a lack of law enforcement.

    Another major issue is the widespread traditional belief that that the fish in the river cannot be depleted, as demonstrated by a fish seller appearing in the video, who states that the “fish cannot finish” and that “god will make them survive.”

    Nevertheless, the decline in the fish stock has hit home for some.

    In the video, a fisherman who grew up in the area says: “I have been fishing here my whole life; we had a lot of fish here. But now there is no fish anymore.”

    He adds that the problem is linked to “a lot of fishermen, and a lot of nets. It is a big problem, because these people take everything.”

    Overfishing is threatening his livelihood and his hopes of teaching his grandchildren how to fish, he says.

    The outlook is grim, with some experts saying that fish stocks are nearing levels from which they “probably won't recover” unless drastic and urgent action is taken.

    Drag-netting, or the use of illegal monofilament nets, remains uncontrolled and popular among fishermen, who ignore laws against the use of these nets.

    According to experts, monofilament nets have a very short lifespan and old nets are carelessly discarded in the river or on the shores, where they continue to wreak havoc. Footage shown in the video demonstrates this, with birds, fish and reptiles, including crocodiles, caught in discarded nets.

    “It keeps on fishing,” an experts says in the video, noting that the nets remain deadly long after they are thrown away by fishermen.

    The petition was launched last week, about a month after the government placed notices in the Government Gazette concerning inland fisheries. It announced an annual three-month closed season in the Zambezi and Chobe rivers, for the months of December, January and February, in an effort to allow fish stocks to recover.

    According to Notice 296, the use of all monofilament nets in Namibia is illegal, in line with the fact that these nets have proven to be at the centre of the dwindling fish stock crisis.

    According to a contributor on the watchdog Facebook group 'Illegal Fishing Activities in Namibia' the ban on all monofilament nets is a crucial step.

    “This is a really important move, as monofilament nets, entering north-eastern Namibia via Zambia from China, have had a devastating impact on the status of fish in the Zambezi and Okavango rivers and adjacent wetlands.” The contributor noted that a similar ban was being considered in Zambia.

    The creators of the petition and the video could not be reached for comment by the time of going to print.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 01/16/17--14:00: Cousin killed over cigarette
  • Cousin killed over cigaretteCousin killed over cigarette The Rundu police are investigating a case of murder after 41-year-old woman allegedly killed her cousin over a cigarette on Saturday evening.

    This was confirmed by the Kavango East regional crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Willie Bampton, who identified the deceased as Maliro Ncame (52).

    Bampton said the incident happened around 19:00 at Likwaterera village in the Rundu district when the two returned from the nearby cuca shops. The two were under the influence of alcohol and started arguing about a cigarette.

    He said Ncame demanded a cigarette from the suspect, who responded by hitting her on the head with a stick. Ncame died on the spot.

    The suspect is to appear before the Rundu Magistrate's Court today.

    The Omusati police on Saturday arrested Tweufiilwa Johannes (26), who had been on the run since the killing of his cousin, identified as Wilson Nghilongwa (18), last week Thursday.

    According to regional police spokesperson Sergeant Anna Kunga, the suspect and the deceased had an argument at their homestead in Olwiili village at around 22:30. Johannes allegedly stabbed Nghilongwa and ran away, only to be arrested a day later.

    Johannes appeared before the Outapi Magistrate's Court yesterday and the case was postponed to 9 March.

    In another incident in the Omusati Region, Iipinge Nambala (28) from Okapyakambidhi village in the Anamulenge Constituency was murdered by three men last week.





    According to Sergeant Kunga the attack happened at Okeke location at about 23:00 on Thursday.

    Nambala was taken to the Oshikuku hospital the following day but died of his injuries on Sunday.

    Two of the suspects - Isaspar Shetunyenga (24) and Erickson Shitingana (21) -were arrested and appeared before the Outapi Magistrate's Court yesterday. The case was postponed to 8 March.

    The police are still searching for the third suspect.

    In the Oshikoto Region, Olavi Eliphas Shipanga (48) allegedly hanged himself in his bedroom on Friday. The incident happened at Onepandangulo village in the Onayena area.

    According to a Nampa report, a woman identified as Martha Kheixums died at Epukiro Post 3 in the Omaheke Region on Sunday.

    Her neighbour allegedly assaulted her for hanging her washing on his fence.

    Regional police commissioner Josephat Abel said the woman managed to flee but then started vomiting blood. A few metres from where she had been attacked, Kheixums collapsed and died.

    The suspect was arrested and will appear in the Gobabis Magistrate's Court today.



    -Additional reporting by Nampa

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Work on Windhoek-Okahandja road stopsWork on Windhoek-Okahandja road stopsSmall firms bear the brunt The Roads Authority (RA) admits to late payments to contractors but maintains that there is no shortage of funds. Conflicting reports have emerged on whether work has stopped on the N$1.085 billion second phase of the dual carriageway between Windhoek and Okahandja.

    According to some sources all subcontractors have stopped working since 17:00 on Friday due to non-payment by the Roads Authority (RA).

    Subcontractors preferring anonymity for fear of reprisals yesterday confirmed that work had indeed stopped and a site visit yesterday morning around 08:00 showed workers standing around idly.

    Some contractors reportedly started working on the road last Monday but it is understood that an urgent meeting was held on Friday where they decided to cease all activities.

    It is rumoured that the stoppage could continue into March.

    The chief executive officer of the RA, Conrad Lutombi, denied that work on that part of the road had stopped.

    Lutombi, who is still on leave and will be back in office today, said he had phoned the contractors to find out what was happening. He said the contractors informed him that work was continuing.

    Lutombi said contractors had been paid for November and December last year but he admitted that there were outstanding payments that were due in January, which he said would be sorted out as soon as possible.

    He said contractors had given notice on 12 January that there were outstanding amounts, but none of the companies could contractually cease working since they would have to give 21 days' notice of any suspension.

    Angry subcontractors, however, complained about late payments, saying that they would have to demand government guarantees before concluding future contracts.

    “The Roads Authority must be open and honest with contractors who have to pay salaries and suppliers. The work was suspended because we are waiting for someone from the RA whom we can trust that the money will be forthcoming,” one of the contractors

    said.

    Another said: “How can you grow the economy if you kill small firms because you simply do not pay them on time? The situation is getting worse; we are not given the facts.”

    Lutombi denied that there was a shortage of funding, emphasising that the project was partially funded by the German development bank KfW and the Namibian government.

    Last November the RA said that work on this portion of the road was progressing well.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 01/17/17--14:00: USAID donates to Kutwano
  • USAID donates to KutwanoUSAID donates to Kutwano The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently handed over sport equipment worth N$250 000 to the Kutwano Organisation of Sports for People with Disabilities in the Zambezi Region.

    Kutwano, which means 'working together' in Silozi, has 128 active members who are trained and mentored in different sports disciplines.

    The donation consisted of sport uniforms, track-and-field equipment, stopwatches, and special wheelchairs.

    The organisation aims to better the lives of people with disabilities by creating an environment where they can share knowledge and see sport as a means to improve their standard of living.

    “My hope is that one of my athletes would follow in the footsteps of Ananias Shikongo and Johanna Benson,” said the chairperson of Kutwano, Manga Mataa.

    The organisation has trained athletes who took part in the 2016 Nedbank Paralympic Games in South Africa.

    Kennedy Tiyeho won gold and bronze medals in shot-put and javelin, while Misika Zibiso took part in the 100m and 200m races where he won gold and silver medals.

    Zibiso heard about Kutwano from a friend who found out through the Youth Council in Zambezi Region. He registered in 2013 and took part in a regional competition held in Oshikoto in 2014.

    The Kutwano team returned with 14 medals consisting of ten gold, two silvers and two bronze medals.

    “I do sports because I like it. I know Johanna Benson and Ananias Shikongo. I want to be just like them one day,” he said.

    The American ambassador to Namibia, Thomas Daughton, said: “People with disabilities want to and can participate in every aspect of daily life, be it professionally, academically, or in sports. Inclusion is every person's right, and as you know well, disability does not mean inability.

    “I am proud to see that our support of sports equipment through USAID not only benefits Kutwano as an entity but all people with disabilities in the Zambezi Region, reaching out to people even in remote areas through awareness, training, and sports competitions.”

    SPORT REPORTER

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  • 01/17/17--14:00: NAFPU pleads with Geingob
  • NAFPU pleads with GeingobNAFPU pleads with GeingobPlayers' union ready for engagement The Namibia Football Players Union (NAFPU) is ready to smoke a peace pipe with whoever it has had problems with if organisations are willing to sit at the same table to assist football. The Namibia Football Players Union is pleading with President Hage Geingob to reconsider his statement that the government will not intervene in football issues.

    NAFPU president Sylvester 'Lolo' Goraseb says Geingob's speech at the end of last year was a bitter blow for Namibian football.

    Many football fans had anticipated that the president would say something in his Christmas message to encourage sponsors to fund the Namibia Premier League.

    But the president disappointed them by saying that FIFA does not allow governments to meddle in football issues.

    Addressing a press conference yesterday, Goraseb said: “NAFPU would like to ask the president of Namibia to reconsider his statement that the government would not want to be involved in football issues.

    “The president, who is also the patron of Namibian football and a former footballer, should step up and assist his children in these dark days of Namibian football.

    “Only his statement can save football and we therefore plead with him to make a political statement to urge the business community to assist Namibian football.”

    NAFPU believes that sport can enable young people to become instant millionaires legitimately if they are committed.

    Goraseb called upon all stakeholders to join hands to rescue Namibian football from the doldrums.

    “This year, we will try as much as possible to engage in discussions that are more favourable to our players' interests.

    “NAFPU will also try to sign agreements with various stakeholders and companies that will improve the living standards of our players.

    “We are committed in discussions with representatives of the NPL to cooperate and find solutions as responsible leaders,” Goraseb said.

    He said the union would hold workshops for all Namibia Premier League players on contracts. The aim of the workshops is to equip players with financial literacy and advise them how to live after a football career.

    The union also would like to settle its dispute with the Namibia Football Association (NFA).

    According to NAFPU the NFA has written it a letter stating that it is withdrawing the organisation's recognition as bargaining agent.

    “We will knock and go to Football House to try our best to iron out any differences we have had in the past.

    “We could have taken the NPL to court, but we fear that there will be nothing left of Namibian football.

    “Football is in a dilemma and many players are on the streets with an uncertain future caused by the financial crisis,” Goraseb said.

    Trade Union Congress of Namibia (TUCNA) secretary-general Mahongora Kavihuhua assured NAFPU of their support.

    “Our union will stand behind NAFPU and make sure that all workers in Namibia will act on behalf of NAFPU whenever it needs our support.

    “There are employment laws to be obeyed and if they are not obeyed, people will face the consequences of the law,” Kavihuhua said.

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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  • 01/17/17--14:00: Warriors humble Cavaliers
  • Warriors humble CavaliersWarriors humble Cavaliers The Golden State Warriors crushed the Cleveland Cavaliers 126-91 on Monday, snapping a four-game losing streak against the reigning NBA champions.

    In the season's second meeting between the teams that duelled in the past two NBA championship series, the Warriors started fast and never let up.

    Before adoring fans at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Draymond Green notched his third triple-double of the season with 11 points, 11 assists and 13 rebounds for the Warriors, who led wire-to-wire to improve their league-leading record to 35-6.

    The Warriors hadn't beaten the Cavaliers since game four of last June's finals.

    Cleveland rallied from 3-1 down in the championship series to deny the Warriors a second straight title, and in the first renewal of the rivalry this season the Cavaliers emerged with a 109-108 victory in Cleveland on Christmas Day.

    The Warriors weren't about to let that happen again. They scored 78 points in the first half, building their lead to as many as 39 points in the fourth quarter.

    Klay Thompson scored a game-high 26 points, including five three-pointers.

    Kevin Durant scored 21 points and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry had 20 to go with 11 assists.

    In their 13th win of the season by 20 points or more, Golden State connected on 50.5 percent of their shots from the field and shared 37 assists. LeBron James led the Cavs with 20 points but missed 12 of his 18 attempts.

    James was knocked to the floor by Green on a fast break in the second quarter, with Green whistled for a flagrant foul.

    It wasn't the first time the two have tangled. Green was suspended for game five of last season's finals because of his tally of technical and flagrant fouls - including one during a game-four clash with James.

    Kyrie Irving scored 17 points for Cleveland, despite making just six of 19 attempts. Iman Shumpert scored 15 with nine rebounds, but Kevin Love scored just three points with three rebounds in 16 minutes before tightness in his back forced him out of the game for most of the second half.

    The defeat capped an 11-day, six-game road trip for Cleveland that included defeats at Utah and Portland, although at 29-11 they head home still atop the Eastern Conference.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 01/17/17--14:00: Ibra gives Pogba pep talk
  • Ibra gives Pogba pep talkIbra gives Pogba pep talkIbra gives Pogba pep talk Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic has told teammate Paul Pogba to embrace the pressure he is under and use it to his advantage. Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahmovic says the pressure on him that comes from outside is like a kindergarten compared to the pressure he places on himself every time he trains or plays for Manchester United.

    The 35-year-old striker, who has defied the sceptics who thought he was too old to flourish at United but has scored 14 goals in 20 Premier League appearances, said the pressure he placed on himself was so immense because nothing less than winning counted.

    Ibrahimovic, who joined United in the closed season last year after a hugely successful period at French champions Paris Saint Germain, scored United's equaliser in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Liverpool which ended his side's six-match winning streak and left them 12 points behind leaders Chelsea.

    “I think the pressure I have all around me is nothing compared to the pressure I put on myself,” said Ibrahimovic.

    “I really want to do not perfect, more than perfect, every game, even in training. I'm not happy if I don't win in training so imagine what it's like in the games.

    “That is the pressure I put on myself and so your pressure becomes like a kindergarten for me.

    “My pressure is really high. I'm not satisfied until I get what I want. What I want is to win.” Ibrahimovic, who retired from international football following a disappointing Euro 2016 finals, defended teammate Paul Pogba - the world's most expensive player - who was slammed for his below-par performance against Liverpool.

    Ibrahimovic said although he didn't know Pogba that well he felt he could handle pressure too.

    “Pressure is something I enjoy,” said Ibrahimovic.

    “I don't know Paul personally to be able to answer that for him.

    “But I think he likes it also because, without pressure, we would not be on our toes at the top level. “If you want to play at the top, pressure is 24 hours, and if you play well or better the pressure becomes even greater.

    “So it's something that we learn from and something we have to handle because we belong to the top, Paul belongs to the top absolutely and the pressure will be there.”

    Pogba's poor performance came on the day the Old Trafford hoardings promoted his #Pogba twitter hashtag.

    Ibrahimovic admitted it was easier when he started playing as social media was not part and parcel of life.

    “I think football is like that today. With the social media, the media building up the game,” said Ibrahimovic.

    “When I started to play football there was no social media, none of these things.

    “But it's part of the game now. What is too much, what is too less? We don't know. We just follow the game. We are professional, we train like always, try to do our best every game.”

    Ibrahimovic suggested the reason the game passed Pogba by is that the game was not really played in midfield.

    “For Paul (on Sunday) the game was different. It was a dirty game, in the way we had to play more direct, by jumping over the midfield because the pressure Liverpool put on us was hard.

    “It was difficult. The first game against them was the same. The guys told me every game we play against Liverpool looks like this.”

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Sizzling start for Serena and NadalSizzling start for Serena and NadalDangerous Bencic demolished The Australia Open has seen convincing wins from some top players, with Serena Williams producing a powerful comeback. Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal made light of scorching conditions and doubts over their form as they got off to sizzling starts at the Australian Open yesterday.

    Williams, back after an injury layoff, demolished the dangerous Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-3, while Nadal was also impressive in his 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Florian Mayer.

    It contrasts with the laboured progress of Angelique Kerber and Andy Murray a day earlier, despite temperatures rising to 37 Celsius on day two.

    Men's defending champion Novak Djokovic is due on court in the cooler, evening session when he will play his first-round match against Spanish left-hander Fernando Verdasco.

    Williams has barely played since her shock defeat in the US Open semi-finals in September and she made, by one count, 88 unforced errors in her second-round loss to Madison Brengle at this month's Auckland Classic.

    But she came through a tight first set against Bencic before dominating the second set in what turned out to be a convincing victory on centre court.

    The 35-year-old American, with a record 23rd major title in her sights, was watched from courtside by her new fiancé, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

    “It was one of the toughest first-round matches I've ever played,” said Williams, who had a 1-1 head-to-head with Bencic, 19, before Tuesday's encounter.

    “Right now I've got nothing to lose. Every match, every tournament I'm playing for fun,” she added.

    Williams, who can break Steffi Graf's Open-era record of 22 Grand Slam titles if she wins in Melbourne for the seventh time, next faces Lucie Safarova, who had a charmed life in her win over Yanina Wickmayer.

    The Czech survived nine match points before winning 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-1 against the flummoxed Wickmayer, who said she was feeling “definitely not good” after letting slip so many opportunities.

    “It's not fun,” said the Belgian, adding: “I think she served very well on certain points and other points I didn't go for enough.”

    Men's world number three Milos Raonic, a semi-finalist last year, enjoyed an uncomplicated start to his campaign when he beat Germany's Dustin Brown 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

    And German hotshot Alexander Zverev credited a racquet-smashing tantrum with sparking his revival as he came back to beat Robin Haase 6-2, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

    “Sometimes it's good to let it out and I started to play my best tennis again after that (racquet smash) in the fourth set,” Zverev said.

    Injury-hit Nadal had a torrid 2016, failing to reach any of the Grand Slam quarter-finals, but he appeared rejuvenated under new coach and former world number one Carlos Moya.

    “The body's good, that is the key,” said the 30-year-old, who has amassed 14 Grand Slam titles. “If the body's not good, everything is more and more difficult.”

    Women's fifth seed Karolina Pliskova, whose win over Williams at the US Open ended her 186-week stint as world number one, smashed Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2, 6-0.

    And Britain's Jo Konta, riding high after her victory at last week's Sydney International, beat experienced Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 7-5, 6-2 to reach the second round.

    Britain's Heather Watson ousted former US Open champion Samantha Stosur in three sets, and WTA Finals title-holder Dominika Cibulkova beat Denisa Allertova to reach round two.

    NAMPA/AFP

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