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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Paralympics reaches out to ZambeziParalympics reaches out to Zambezi The Namibia Paralympic Committee (NPC) visited the Zambezi Region at the weekend to introduce different sport codes in the region.

    Speaking to Namibian Sun yesterday NPC secretary-general Mike Hamukwaya said Zambezi Region was one of the regions that were left out from Paralympic sports for many years and only started getting involved last year.

    “When we visited the region, we saw that they were having a bit of a difficulty because most of the athletes were not classified so for this event we decided to invite all the constituencies around so there were about six constituencies who came through and brought their athletes so that they could be classified,” he said.

    He explained that after the classification of 124 athletes on Friday, an athletics event was scheduled for Saturday but because of rain they could only host two indoor events, powerlifting and table tennis.

    Hamukwaya said despite the interest in powerlifting, the athletes do not have any gym in the region, apart from a private gym that a medical doctor allowed them to use on that day.

    “The guys showed so much interest but the only problem I saw was that there is no real gym in Zambezi, so they are still struggling with the gym and it will be difficult for them to continue it,” he said.

    Not much interest was shown in table tennis as they also do not have any facility but a local businessman has offered to provide the aspiring players with a table and place to train while also helping to train the athletes.

    He further mentioned that all was done to prepare the teams for the national events that NPC planned to host in May.

    He indicated that their plan was to host a multi-sport national event for the first time.

    “This exercise also helps us to classify the athletes and make sure that we identify athletes who are interested in this type of sport code, so that when it comes to national games we already know them,” he said.

    “This is also just for the development on the region so that people can be introduced to Paralympics as there are many people who are interested in helping out.”

    The NPC plans to visit as many regions as they can before the nationals.

    Hamukwaya said they also planned to introduce swimming in the region but there is no pool.

    “They do not have a swimming pool and the ministry really needs to do something there because those regions are struggling with just the facilities.

    “There are some guys that have been swimming all their lives but just in the river so now we need to introduce them to the right platform maybe some are champions that we are just leaving out because the sport is not introduced and because of the facility,” he said.

    KAINO NGHITONGO

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    Drobisch wins Nedbank WPP Road seriesDrobisch wins Nedbank WPP Road series National 2016 individual time trial and Nedbank Cycle Challenge champion Till Drobisch on Sunday won the opening race of the 2017 Nedbank Windhoek Pedal Power (WPP) Road Cycle Series.

    Drobisch won the 100km race ahead of Lotto Petrus and his teammate Johannes Hamunyela, who came third. Petrus and Hamunyela ride for the Namibia Cleaning Chemical Solutions (NCCS) team.

    The race, which was the first of the year, took place on the Dordabis road east of Windhoek. The WPP Road Cycle series consists of six races held throughout the year.

    No women competed in the 100km race. Michelle Vorster won the women's category of the 70km race.

    In Sunday's race, Drobisch, who is a professional cyclist and races for Team 0711 / Cycling in Germany, crossed the line in style alone after breaking almost a minute away from Petrus and then Hamunyela, who came with the chasing pack.

    Speaking to Nampa, Drobisch said the race was tough but his tactics helped him to defeat other cyclists.

    “It is always nice to win the first race of the year as most riders take part in it. When I started cycling it was only 12 to 15 riders competing in these competitions but the numbers have grown, which is a good thing for the sport,” he said.

    He added that he was now gearing up for the second race of the series, which will be held over the weekend of 29 January.

    Petrus, who came second, said it was a tough race but he was happy to see a lot of cyclists competing.

    Vorster said her biggest dream this year was to compete in the ABSA Cape Epic, an annual mountain-bike race held in South Africa's Western Cape.

    The WPP series is divided into five categories - 10 km; 30km; 50km; 70km and 100km.

    NAMPA

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    Weak decision-making costs the EaglesWeak decision-making costs the EaglesCoach says future looks bright for cricket Despite losing four games in a row, Cricket Namibia's coach remains confident that the team is improving. Cricket Namibia's senior national team coach, Dee Thakur, says poor decision-making in key moments of the game has cost them a lot.

    Speaking to Namibian Sun yesterday Thakur said despite a good improvement by the Eagles there are key areas that the team will have to work on.

    “We need to get things right in key moments of the game to win those, and that has to start with our decision-making,” he said.

    The Eagles lost all three matches at the T20 Desert Cup held in Dubai.

    Thakur says they gained valuable experience though.

    The team came home to another defeat by Eastern Province on Sunday.

    “The players enjoyed the experience and it was rich enough but winning is ultimately what we are looking for and we have a few areas where we have to do a lot much better,” the coach says.

    “Going forward I think we are in a good place as these are things that we can get right and if you look at last year compared to now we are in a better place as we never won four games in a row in the CSA tournament in the history of the tournament that we have been involved in.”

    Describing their games in Dubai, Thakur says winning their warm-up game was an achievement.

    “We went into the tournament positive although we did not execute all our skills as we would have liked, we still came out with a win and I was quite happy going into the tournament,” he says.

    He maintains that they stood a good chance of winning their first game against the United Arab Emirates and had their fielding been better they could have won.

    “We batted quite well up front in the first 10 overs of the second game against Ireland but we lost our way a little bit as we should have also won the game but our fielding was not up to scratch again so that cost us,” he says.

    He says their performance in the T20 tournament has shown that Namibia is not so far from the playing standard of the other teams.

    “I am quite positive as the signs are quite good and we are improving from where we used to be.

    “I hope we can keep on improving going forward, as this team has improved and the future is bright.”

    KAINO NGHITONGO

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  • 01/23/17--14:00: Opec shrugs off Trump threat
  • Opec shrugs off Trump threatOpec shrugs off Trump threat The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries' (Opec) two biggest suppliers to the US shrugged off a vow by President Donald Trump to end dependence on the group's oil, saying the world's biggest economy would continue to need crude from abroad.

    The US is “closely integrated in the global energy market,” Saudi Arabia's energy and industry minister Khalid Al-Falih said, while his Venezuelan counterpart Nelson Martinez said he expected his country's crude exports to the world's top consumer to remain stable.

    “The positions that the US and Saudi Arabia take in global energy are very important for global economic stability,” Al-Falih said Sunday at a meeting of oil-producing countries in Vienna.

    He added that Saudi Arabia was looking forward to working with the Trump administration.

    Just after his inauguration on Friday, Trump said he was “committed to achieving energy independence from the Opec cartel and any nations hostile to our interests,” by exploiting “vast untapped domestic energy reserves”, according to a plan posted on the White House website. The US imported about 3 million barrels a day from the organisation last year, with Saudi Arabia and Venezuela accounting for 1.81 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.





    FIN24

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  • 01/23/17--14:00: Reduce civil service – DTA
  • Reduce civil service – DTAReduce civil service – DTANow is the time for economic and DTA shares insight into what is required by government. With a possible downgrade by ratings agencies Fitch and Moody's a possibility, DTA of Namibia secretary-general Nico Smit recently expressed his dissatisfaction with government's spending priorities and suggested what he thinks will bode well for the country going forward.

    “It is my belief that government must immediately announce a reduction in the size of civil service, which accounts for a disproportionate percentage of public expenditure through the civil service wage bill.

    “Government's role in creating employment must be limited to creating and maintaining a legislative and policy environment that is conducive to the establishment of private business and attractive to foreign investment.

    “A government should never be directly involved in employment creation to the extent that the Namibian government has been since independence,” he said.

    “It is my conviction that over the longer term government must do away with all earlier targets for budget deficits, and that the national budget must be compiled with the distinct aim of generating a surplus. This is because it is only through accumulating sufficient reserves that one can embark on a sustainable and responsible programme of borrowing.”

    Should the government wish to return the economy to growth, it would need to take a proactive approach to reducing public expenditure, said Smit.

    “Now is the time for economic and financial discipline, as a lack thereof has the very real potential to undo all of the development progress that government has experienced since 2010.

    It is time for government to issue a clear directive on budget deficits and government debt, and it is even more important that government's actions match its words in this regard,” he concluded.



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 01/23/17--14:00: S8 launch delayed
  • S8 launch delayedS8 launch delayedProbe into Galaxy S7 continues Samsung mobile chief Koh Dong-jin says procedures have been put in place to avoid a repeat of the exploding Note 7 debacle. Samsung Electronics indicated yesterday that its latest flagship Galaxy S smartphone could be delayed as it pledged to enhance product safety following an investigation into the cause of fires in its premium Note 7 devices.

    Wrapping up its months-long probe into the cause of the Note 7 debacle, the world's top smartphone maker said faulty batteries from two suppliers were to blame for a product failure that wiped US$5.3 billion off its operating profit.

    Samsung mobile chief Koh Dong-jin said procedures had been put in place to avoid a repeat of the fires, as investors look to the launch of the South Korean tech giant's first premium handset since the Note 7, the Galaxy S8, sometime this year.

    “The lessons of this incident are deeply reflected in our culture and process,” Koh told reporters at a press briefing. “Samsung Electronics will be working hard to regain consumer trust.”

    However Koh said the Galaxy S8 would not be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in Barcelona, which begins on February 27, the traditional forum for Samsung premium product launches. He did not comment on when the company planned to launch the new handset. Investors have been looking to the investigation into the Note 7 failure to reassure consumers that the company is on top of the problem and can be trusted to fix it. Samsung's reputation took a hammering after it announced a recall of fire-prone Note 7s, only for reports to emerge that replacement devices also caught fire. Images of melted Samsung devices spread on social media and airlines banned travellers from carrying them on flights.

    The handset, Samsung's answer to Apple Inc's iPhones, was withdrawn from sale in October less than two months after its launch, in one of the biggest tech failures in tech history.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 01/23/17--14:00: Vehicle sales under pressure
  • Vehicle sales under pressureVehicle sales under pressureCredit Agreement Act affects sales Vehicle dealers are experiencing a sharp reduction in the number of vehicles sold as reduced government spending and the Credit Agreement Act take effect. Amendments made to the Credit Agreement Act are biting hard into vehicle sales. The amendments make provision for potential owners to pay a 10% deposit and to pay off their vehicles within 54 months while getting rid of the residual value leasing arrangement where a deposit was not originally required.

    Namibian Sun spoke to Indongo Toyota dealer-principal Hans-Joachim Stein and M&Z managing director Verena Gruettemeyer to find out how the amendment and slowdown in government vehicle purchases have affected them.

    “There has been a clear drop in business since the introduction of the new credit rules in August 2016. This is mainly in vehicle sales, both for new and used, rather than in the after-sales area. Indongo Toyota also experienced reduced vehicle sales as a result of the cancellation of government vehicle purchases,” said Stein.

    “The banks are declining many more credit applications from customers than in the past. The restrictions implemented by the [amended] act, often put a vehicle purchase out of the reach of a customer, resulting in a drop of overall vehicle sales. These new rules in certain cases put a customer out of the affordable level. The new credit rules have a stronger impact than the current interest rate. A quarter or half percent increase in interest rate does not increase the repayment significantly. Increasing quarterly vehicle price increases make vehicles more expensive throughout the year, and higher fuel prices may also have an indirect affect,” he added.

    As a result, Stein said Indongo Toyota restructured. “We at Indongo Toyota Windhoek have already been proactive with cost saving measures and implemented a restructuring of our business late last year without any job losses, apart from natural attrition, with certain specific strategies for the future.”

    Gruettemeyer said regarding vehicle sales: “New passenger vehicle sales have declined sharply in the second half year of 2016 by approximately 22%. Our used vehicle sales have seen a drop of about 17%. Unfortunately dealership profitability is linked to achieving factory targets. The drop in vehicle sales therefore has a negative effect on dealer pay-outs and overall profitability.”

    She added: “The change in the credit act as well as inflationary increases have an enormous effect on the monthly affordability of vehicles and has put entry and mid-level vehicles out of range for the ordinary consumer. I believe that the drought and sharp decline in government spending are further contributing factors.

    “With inflationary increases and a drop in revenue, cost cutting is inevitable. Sensible cost-saving measures where possible have and are being implemented. Employment cost-saving measures will only be considered once it can be established that vehicle sales continue to drop, or fail to recover over the next approximately six months,” she concluded.

    CLEMENS VON ALTEN

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    2016 a bad year for car sales2016 a bad year for car sales A total of 1 066 vehicles were sold in December, a 19.1% month-on-month drop from the 1 317 vehicles sold in November, and 32.7% lower than December 2015 when 1 583 vehicles were sold.

    For the year 2016, 16 598 new vehicles were sold, down 21.9% from the 21 246 vehicles sold the previous year. Vehicle sales have been lower than both 2015 and 2014, but still slightly ahead of 2013 level, according to IJG Securities

    “Vehicle sales have been contracting on a year-on-year basis since mid-2015. The slowdown has been felt in both passenger and commercial vehicles, with passenger vehicle sales down 28.3% year-on-year and commercial vehicle sales down 35.4%.

    “Within the commercial vehicle segments the light commercial category, which makes up the bulk of sales, has decreased by 32.2% year-on-year, while medium commercial vehicles sales have decreased by 28% year-on-year and heavy commercial vehicle sales have decreased by 76.4% year-on-year,” IJG said.

    Passenger vehicle sales decreased by 17.8% month-on-month to 440 vehicles in December, while commercial vehicles sales decreased by 19.9% month-on-month to 626. This brings the total number of passenger and commercial vehicles sold in 2016 to 7 006 and 9 592 respectively. Of the 9 592 commercial vehicles sold, 8 838 were classified as light, 277 as medium and 477 as heavy commercial, IJG found.

    In 2016 Toyota and Volkswagen dominated the passenger vehicle market based on the number of new vehicles sold. Toyota and Volkswagen claimed 29% and 28% of the market respectively. They were followed by Ford at 7% and Mercedes at 5%. The rest of the passenger vehicle market remains very fragmented, data showed.

    Said IJG: “2016 was not a particularly good year for new vehicles as December numbers brought the year to a disappointing close. The slowdown was driven by two main factors. Firstly, the reduction in government spending had a direct and indirect effect on the demand for new vehicles. Both direct orders from government and the weaker economic environment have reduced the demand for capital goods. Secondly, higher interest rates and amendments to the Credit Agreement Act have reduced the availability of credit used to purchase these capital goods. “We expect the slowdown to continue into 2017. The full effect of interest rate increases normally takes 18 to 24 months to filter through to all areas of the economy. Additionally, lower government spending on capital expenditure should also put pressure on vehicle sales for the foreseeable future.”



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 01/23/17--14:00: Focus on yourself
  • Focus on yourselfFocus on yourself Many a time we deny ourselves happiness because we choose to concentrate on what is happening in other people’s lives. We tend not to give ourselves enough time to plan our future and get distracted by the progress other people are making in their lives. This week I am going to share ideas on how one can focus on his or her life without worrying about the progress other people are making, and I want to help you to realise your own greatness.

    There are so many advantages of focusing on yourself and your own happiness. By focusing on yourself you are able to figure out how you will tackle a lot of issues in your life because you will take time to properly examine what is going on in your life. Moreover, by focusing on yourself you will spend your resources to meet your needs because you will allocate your time and resources to achieve all the desires of your life. By doing this you will not feel any pressure or some kind of deadlines that you must meet and thus, you will have time to complete tasks with ease. It is not selfish to take time to make you happy. In fact it is critical. Certain accomplishments and satisfaction do not come from your family or even your friends. If you are not actively working on your own happiness, I guarantee you; you will be missing out on a lot of the experiences that make you whole. Spending time alone also unleashes an independence element in a person. It makes one to be confident about themselves and removes the dependency syndrome that many people suffer from.

    We have to acknowledge that different things are going to happen to different people at different times. Just because your colleague is going to graduate this year and start making money does not mean you should start borrowing funds to start a business so that you can start making money too. As stated earlier, different events are going to unfold at different times in your life and that of others. Learn to cherish the life you are leading now and work hard to attain the goals that you have set for yourself. Minding your own business provides you with enough time to work on your objectives and to be a better person. You cannot be progressive in life if you always want to know what the next person is doing. If you want to keep up with how others are progressing in their life, use it as a motivation to do better in your life. Healthy competition is okay. Just learn to be genuinely happy for other people and avoid wishing others bad things. Avoid social media, especially Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat. They are great information-sharing tools but these social networks also make you envious. Not only this, but these applications also take up most of your time because instead of working or studying, a lot of people waste time going through friends’ timelines to see who and what is trending. A lot of people do not have knowledge about themselves because of social media. A lot of young people tend to mould their characters based on what people on social media say about them. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social networks should not be used as a benchmark in or of your life. They are applications and we should not let them dictate how we should live our lives.

    Do not get me wrong, I am not suggesting that you become antisocial, the point I am trying to bring across is that let us be independent and not allow society to dictate our happiness and growth. What society has deemed appropriate does not necessarily accommodate everyone and this is okay because you don’t have to like everyone. If you do not like something; do not be bothered by that and similarly if you do not like someone, do not worry yourself, just concentrate on your life. There is someone for everyone and it is not up to you decide who should befriend who. Just because you do not get along with someone does not mean everyone does and just because you do not like something does not mean no one else. So, avoid such unnecessary stress and focus on yourself and your happiness. Take some time to examine your life, identify aspects in your life that require your attention and dedicate enough time and energy to polish those aspects and by doing this you will appease yourself and will make your life so much happier.

    Michael Kayunde

    michael@namibiansun.com

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    Jammeh 'stole' millions in his final weeksJammeh 'stole' millions in his final weeks Exiled Gambian ruler Yahya Jammeh stole millions of dollars in his final weeks in power, plundering the country's state coffers and shipping luxury vehicles by cargo plane, a special adviser for the new president said on Sunday.

    Mai Ahmad Fatty told journalists in neighbouring Senegal that already they have determined Jammeh made off with more than US$11.4 million during a two-week period alone.

    “The Gambia is in financial distress. The coffers are virtually empty. That is a statement of fact,” Fatty said. “It has been confirmed by technicians in the ministry of finance and the Central Bank of the Gambia.”

    Fatty also confirmed that a Chadian cargo plane had transported luxury goods out of the country on Jammeh's behalf in his final hours in power, including an unknown number of vehicles.

    Fatty said officials with the new government “regret the situation” and would stop any additional belongings of Jammeh from leaving Gambia. It appeared, though, that the major damage had already been done, leaving Gambia with little recourse to recoup the funds.

    Jammeh, who ruled this west African nation for more than 22 years, went into exile late on Saturday under mounting international pressure. He is now in Equatorial Guinea, home to Africa's longest-serving ruler.

    Gambia's new president, Adama Barrow, who defeated Jammeh in December elections, remained in Senegal for safety reasons after being inaugurated at Gambia's embassy there on Thursday. He has said he would come home “soon”.

    A regional military force that had been poised to force out Jammeh if diplomatic efforts failed rolled into Gambia's capital, Banjul, on Sunday night to secure it for Barrow's arrival.

    Hundreds greeted the force's approach to the president's official residence, State House, cheering and dancing, while some people grabbed soldiers to take selfies.

    NAMPA/AP

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  • 01/23/17--14:00: Afghans need help
  • Afghans need helpAfghans need helpMillions are displaced says UN Almost 15% more Afghans need humanitarian aid this year as the humanitarian situation in that country worsens due to conflicts by insurgents and the Taliban. The United Nations on Saturday launched a US$550 million (N$7.4 billion) humanitarian appeal for Afghanistan, where about a third of the population is in need of assistance.

    Around 9.3 million people will be in need of help this year, a 13% jump from last year, according to the UN.

    The increase is due to the number of people in Afghanistan fleeing their homes in 2016 because of fighting between government forces and Taliban insurgents, and the unanticipated influx of Afghans returning suddenly from Pakistan, the UN said.

    “The current scale of need in Afghanistan calls upon the humanitarian community to deliver increased levels of assistance to ensure the lives of many Afghans are not endangered,” said the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, Mark Bowden, in statement.

    According to the UN, more than half a million Afghans were internally displaced by the conflict last year, and more than 600 000 Afghan refugees were forced to return to the country from neighbouring Pakistan and Iran, draining local resources.

    “The aid organisations are expecting around one million more Afghans to return from neighbouring countries in 2017, many of whom will require assistance,” the statement said.

    After 15 years and tens of billions of dollars in foreign aid, Afghanistan is still dangerously unstable and persistently at the bottom of almost every major human development index.

    Massive displacement has plagued Afghanistan for years, beginning with the Soviet invasion in 1979. But with a growing Taliban insurgency since their ouster in 2001, the violence has now been driven to Afghan cities that puts more civilians in the crosshairs.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Taxi boss arrested for rape of daughtersTaxi boss arrested for rape of daughters A taxi boss accused of raping two of his daughters and a niece will appear in the Palm Ridge Regional Court in Alberton today.

    Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) said the man allegedly raped his victims, aged between 12 and 17, over a five-year period from 2007 to 2013.

    “The accused would regularly abuse his victims to a point where he did not want them to have relationships. He raped his daughter at gunpoint after finding a boy's number in her cell phone.”

    WMACA said he is also accused of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, after he beat his then three-month pregnant daughter until she miscarried.

    “He then buried the foetus. His actions have been chilling and heartless.”

    WMACA added that his niece gave birth to a child after his “incestuous actions”.

    “WMACA has been closely following this case, particularly the matter relating to the abuse of his children and niece. The accused has previously been accused of murder, which raises the question of the safety of his children and others.”



    NEWS24

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  • 01/23/17--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day NEW YEAR: A worker prepares Chinese New Year decorations outside a mall in Beijing, China, yesterday. Chinese worldwide celebrate the Lunar New Year on 28 January with family reunions, fire crackers and traditional food. Photo: NAMPA/AP

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    Officials must clean up their actOfficials must clean up their act It never rains but pours for Namibian football. The beleaguered game is still struggling to get sponsors on board for the Namibia Premier League (NPL), which has not been active for quite some time now. It is now almost six months after the NPL and MTC severed ties, putting the future of at least 350 footballers in the balance, and yet there is no prospect of a new sponsorship being announced.

    Any football enthusiast will agree that Namibian football is in the doldrums and this is exacerbated by the continuous factional infighting among soccer bosses. The latest war of words between the under fire NPL chairperson Johnny Doeseb and NFA boss Frans Mbidi is testimony to this. The two football heavyweights are reportedly embroiled in an ugly spat, with Mbidi accused of holding meetings with NPL clubs executives in an attempt to engineer Doeseb's downfall.

    The personal fight between the two football bosses does not augur well for the future of the local game at all.

    Both the NFA and the NPL can ill-afford to have such a standoff.

    The question of whether the NPL boss should step down or not, is debate for another day, but it is important that the current crop of football executives come up with plans to turn this state of affairs around.

    With or without Doeseb, the NPL will always have to endure financial difficulties, and this is why serious interventions are needed – to lift the game out of this financial mess. The problems haunting football are well documented.

    Ours is a football industry that is in a deep and demoralising place.

    At this juncture it is advisable that all warring factions come together and map the way forward.

    One hopes that cooler heads will prevail and that soon everything will calm down in the interests of our players and other stakeholders who have not taken part in any football activity for the last six months or so.

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    Elephants terrorise villagersElephants terrorise villagersOfficials accused of lackadaisical response Villagers at Ondjungulume in the Omusati Region say a group of four elephants has moved in and nothing is being done to halt the destruction. Four elephants are reported to be causing havoc at Ondjungulume in the Omusati Region and community members say they live in fear of animals.

    Villagers reported that their crops, fences and homesteads have been destroyed while nature conservation officials are doing nothing, they say.

    They also reported that these elephants, three adults and a calf have been in their village for about three weeks and have caused enormous damage.

    Speaking on behalf of Ondjungulume village headman Francisco Nekwaya, Paulus Nuuyoma said they do not know where these elephants come from and that this is the first time they came into their village.

    He said they are destroying their crops and property.

    “These elephants mostly roam at night to destroy our crops and vandalise homesteads and fences. People are living in fear that one day they might harm them while sleeping. Conservation officials only scare them when they are approaching households during the day,” Nuuyoma said.

    He added that the elephants are also playing in water ponds of their livestock turning them into muddy pools and wasting water. He continued that some villagers have abandoned their homes in fear of the grey giants.

    "We are appealing to nature conservation to remove these elephants. They are telling us that they are waiting for answers from Windhoek so that they see what to do with them, but our crops and properties are being destroyed and vandalised on daily bases. Who is going to pay that damage for us?” a concerned Nuuyoma asked.

    Another villager Valeria Namboga said the elephants have visited her crop fields three times and have cause serious damage to her plants and her property.

    "They came into our field for three consecutive nights. There is nothing we can do to prevent them. We reported this to nature conservation officials, but they only told us not to try chasing them away because we might provoke them. It is like they come here to herd their elephants into our crop fields," Namboga stressed.

    According to the chief control warden for the northern regions, Rehabeam Erki, they are aware of the elephants and they have despatched nature conservation officials to keep them under control while they are finding a solution to chase them away. He said they come into that area from the Ruacana area searching for water.

    "Those elephants are attracted to Ondjungulume by the good rainfall that was received there. They come from the Ruacana area which is still very dry. Our officials are there monitoring and keeping them under control while we are waiting for a helicopter to chase them away,” Erki said.

    Erki said that they are aware that the elephants are destroying crops and vandalising properties, but he urged community members not to try fighting them because they may get aggressive.

    "We do not know how long it will take us to get a helicopter since it is currently in for maintenance but we have also requested help from Nampol to assist us with their helicopter as they always do. Members of the community must just bear with us while we are getting a solution to remove them," Erki.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Student murder suspect in courtStudent murder suspect in court A 36-year-old man yesterday appeared in court for the murder of the International University of Management (IUM) student, whose body was found along the B1 road next to the Van Eck Power Station.

    The body of the 25-year-old Iyaloo Ndapandula Hainghumbi, a student at the International University of Management (IUM) was found last week Tuesday.

    Victor Elia made his first appearance at the Katutura Magistrate’s Court yesterday and his case was postponed to 16 March for legal representation.

    He appeared on a charge of murder that was read together with the Domestic Violence Act.

    Elia was arrested last week Thursday in Otjomuise after police had first brought him in for questioning and then released him.

    However, after an in-depth investigation police confirmed that he was the main suspect.

    According to the charge sheet, Elia was involved in a relationship with Hainghumbi and he is accused of murdering her by hitting her with an unknown object over the head.

    Hainghumbi's body was found by a passer-by last week Tuesday.

    Police said she had accompanied some friends to town after registering for the new academic year at IUM, before apparently meeting up with another friend.

    Hainghumbi had left home on Monday, and had not returned.

    It has been established that Hainghumbi had been killed elsewhere, and her body dumped near the B1 highway.

    Elia yesterday indicated that he would apply for a private lawyer.

    The state applied for remand to 16 March for further investigations and it objected to bail due to the seriousness of the offence.

    The state also said that they fear Elia might interfere with investigations at this premature stage if bail is granted.

    He was remanded in custody.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Govt responds to Amarika schoolGovt responds to Amarika schoolOver 100 pupils registered for the first time Things are looking up for Amarika Primary School with an excellent response by government for infrastructure. Following several reports on Saara Lukas and five other young ladies who returned to continue primary school in their early 20s, government has speedily responded to develop Amarika Primary School as a matter of urgency.

    The construction of teachers’ accommodation has already been completed, while construction of additional four classrooms, a hostel and ablution facilities is underway.

    According to the school’s principal Abraham Haukelo, he is delighted by the government action to improve his school’s standard and extend their curriculum up to Grade 8.

    He said that for the past years the school had only up to Grade 4 and learners find it difficult to continue their studies.

    “I am very happy. Finally, children of Amarika will enjoy education as never before. It used to pain me just to see these small children dropping out of school in Grade 4, not because they chose to do so, but because there was no other option,” Haukelo said.

    He added that thanks to media reports, Saara Lukas and the five other young ladies who returned to school have become the ambassadors of education in Amarika.

    “After parents started seeing those young ladies in newspapers, no parents wanted their children to stay at home but to go to school and became famous like Lukas and the others. Those ladies are also performing well and are well-disciplined in school, which is a motivation to the others in school,”

    Haukelo said that last year they had only 56 learners, but this year they recorded the first-ever record of 106 learners.

    School history

    Established in the 1960s by ELCIN missionaries, Amarika Primary School in Amarika village and Dr Ndeutala Angolo Primary School at Onghaanghaa were the only two schools in the area and only provided education from Grade 1 to 4, until last year.

    Following a visit by the deputy minister in the Office of the Vice-President responsible for marginalised people, Royal /Ui/o/oo in July 2015, Amarika Primary School was granted immediate curriculum extension approval up to Grade 8 this year.

    In December 2015 Prime Minister Saara Kuukongelwa-Amadhila visited Amarika. Inspired by a visit from Prime Minister Saara Lukas, now 24, who completed her Grade 4 in 2005 when she was 12 and had to stay home, decided to return to school to continue Grade 5 which was introduced in 2016.

    Lukas’ act of bravery was then emulated by five others, Ottillie Johannes, 20, who left school in 2006, but she returned with the advice of her parents, Lyidia Ipinge, 19, Josephina Gabriel and Ottillie Jonas, both 17, and Leena Kashenye, 16. They all felt it was not too late to quench their thirst for knowledge and they enrolled to finish what they left behind ten years ago.

    These ladies had to stay at home because they had nowhere to go to further their primary education. The nearest school where she and others could continue with their primary education was Erastus Shapumba Junior Secondary School in Etilyasa, about 80 km away. This school does not have hostels to accommodate the learners.

    Some of these young ladies are mothers and they leave their children home while going to school.

    Last year, the Office of the Vice-President’s development plan for marginalised communities decided to support these young ladies by offering them a monthly grant of N$500 each.

    According to Omusati’s regional director for education, Laban Shapange, curriculum extension for Amarika means a lot.

    “This school will not only cater for children of Amarika, but all communities in the surrounds since it has hostel. Finally children will enjoy their constitutional right,” Shapange said

    Amarika village headman Salom Hamutenya said that the construction at the school is a meaningful development for his village.



    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Crowds lay Naikaku-Nelulu to restCrowds lay Naikaku-Nelulu to rest Meme Hilya Naikaku-Nelulu, wife of the chairperson of Oukwanyama Traditional Council, senior headman George Nelulu, was Saturday buried at Etomba village in the Ohangwena Region.

    Hundreds of mourners from all over Namibia packed the Lutheran Church at Ondobe to join the Nelulu and Naikaku families in paying their last respects to the deceased.

    Nelulu passed away at home on 11 January at the age of 74 and was buried at Etomba village, the two families' home village, near Ondobe Saturday afternoon.

    Former president Hifikepunye Pohamba and his wife Penehupifo, attended the funeral as friends to the Nelulu family.

    Those who spoke at her funeral church service described the late Naikaku-Nelulu as a God-fearing and caring person; a talented teacher and a freedom fighter.

    She was said to have qualified as a teacher from a teachers training institution at Okahao in the Omusati Region in 1965 and taught since then until 1996, when she took early retirement due to ill health.

    The late Naikaku-Nelulu is the founder of a local school Omunyekadi, which is now a combined school named after her.

    Government declared the late Naikaku-Nelulu and her husband war veterans for their contribution to the liberation of the country by providing shelter and food to Plan (People's Liberation Army of Namibia) fighters during the liberation war. Naikaku-Nelulu is survived by her husband and seven children.



    NAMPA

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  • 01/23/17--14:00: Treason trial delayed again
  • Treason trial delayed againTreason trial delayed again The trial of the eight men deported from Botswana on allegations of attempting to secede the then Caprivi Region from Namibia was last week postponed to 18 April for the determination of the trial date.

    However, the commencement of the trial is still uncertain as the defence lawyer Ilse Aggenbach indicated that is depends on whether they get full disclosure of documentation from the state as her clients reserve the right to launch an interlocutory application. Acting Judge Petrus Unengu told the legal teams they have had enough time to sort matters out and that trial should have started last week Wednesday already.

    Aggenbach was last year appointed by the Directorate of Legal Aid after the group's previous lawyer, Norman Tjombe withdrew from the case at the request of the accused.

    The defendants include Progress Kenyoka Munuma, Shine Samulandela Samulandela, Manuel Manepelo Makendano, Alex Sinjabata Mushakwa, Diamond Samunzala Salufu, Hoster Simasiku Ntombo, Boster Mubuyaeta Samuele and John Mazila Tembwe. They are charged with high treason, sedition, public violence, and the illegal importation and possession of weapons and ammunition, based on allegations that they took part in a conspiracy aimed at overthrowing the Namibian government in the former Caprivi Region between September 1998 and December 2003. The group of eight men who have by now all spent more than 11 years in jail are accused of having either been members of an armed secessionist organisation in the region, the Caprivi Liberation Army, or of having associated with the organisation.

    The accused men won their first appeal in the Supreme Court when the court found that the judge who presided over their trial, the late Acting Judge John Manyarara, should have agreed to a request for his recusal following his ruling on the jurisdiction challenge with which their first trial started in the High Court in September 2005.

    Manyarara had convicted them of high treason in July 2007 and sentenced them to jail terms ranging from 30 to 32 years.

    In July 2014 the group succeeded in having their conviction on high treason set aside by the Supreme Court and ordered to be retried in the High Court. The trial date has now been set for 18 April. The accused are questioning the jurisdiction of the High Court over them. They are claiming they were abducted from Botswana and brought to Namibia by Namibian officials with the full knowledge and cooperation of the Botswana government. They allege that they were taken from Dukwe Refugee Camp where they were residing as asylum seekers to Francistown Security Prison illegally.

    From there they were transported to the Centre for Illegal Immigrants also in Francistown, where they were detained unlawfully at the request of the Namibian authorities.

    The accused said from the centre they were transported to the Ngoma border post under escort of armed Botswana police members, at times assisted by the army.

    They alleged that they were at all times handcuffed and leg-chained.

    However the state alleges that they took part in a conspiracy aimed at overthrowing the Namibian government in the former Caprivi Region between September 1998 and December 2003. Constance Moyo appeared on behalf of the state in the matter.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 01/23/17--14:00: Dippenaar to plead today
  • Dippenaar to plead todayDippenaar to plead today Jandré Dippenaar, 32, is expected to plead and provide the court with the plea explanation today as his murder and fraud trial begins following a gruesome car accident on 29 December 2014.

    The trial was set to start yesterday but, Hezekiel Ipinge, the state prosecutor, requested a postponement from the court to prepare for the questioning of his witnesses. This follows after Dippenaar's counsel, Advocate Louis Botes handed over Dippenaar's plea and plea explanation to the state.

    “I need time to go through the plea explanation and in light of the new information, I also need to consult with my witnesses again. The defendant's plea will be read into the record tomorrow,” Ipinge told the court.

    Magistrate Gaynor Poulton granted the state the extra day and ordered that Dippenaar's bail be extended to today.

    Advocate Botes said he is ready to proceed and that he has also received the list of state witnesses from Ipinge.

    During May last year, the trial was postponed to yesterday. The defence had requested the lengthy postponement after having received the voluminous accident report of more than 200 pages only at the end of April last year.

    Dippenaar and German national Antonia Klara Joschko,17, who was holidaying with her parents, were the only survivors of the crash which took place between Henties Bay and Swakopmund. Her parents, Walter Helmut, 48, and Stephanie Dorothea Schemick, 49, and her 19-year-old sister Alexandra Marlene died instantly in the Ford Ranger in which they were travelling. Witnesses to the crash had pulled Joschko from the wreckage. In the Toyota FJ Cruiser Gobabis resident Dina Pretorius, 30, also the owner of the vehicle, Charlene Schoombe, 24, and JC Horn, 27, both from Windhoek, also perished. Dippenaar was also pulled from the burning wreckage by witnesses to the crash.

    The Joschko family was returning from the Skeleton Coast while Dippenaar and his friends were driving to Henties Bay. A well-known in rally circles in Namibia, he is alleged to have been driving.

    In total Dippenaar faces not only the six charges of murder, but also a charge of fraud and driving without a valid driver's licence.

    Joschko and the family of those who died in FJ Cruiser were in court yesterday.

    JESSICA BOTES

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