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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 01/30/17--14:00: Ayew brothers shine at Afcon
  • Ayew brothers shine at AfconAyew brothers shine at Afcon Brothers Jordan and Andrew Ayew scored as Ghana beat a spirited Democratic Republic of Congo 2-1 in Oyem to reach the semi-finals of the African Nations Cup finals on Sunday.

    They were joined in the last four by Egypt, who later rode their luck to defeat Morocco 1-0 in Port Gentil with a late strike from substitute Mahmoud Kahraba, the first time in 31 years they have beaten their North African rivals.

    Seven-time winners Egypt, back at the continental finals for the first time since lifting the trophy in 2010, will face Burkina Faso in their semi-final on Wednesday in Libreville.

    Ghana will have an extra day to rest and plot victory over Cameroon in Franceville on Thursday having reached the last four for the sixth time in a row.

    All the goals in their quarter-final with the Congolese came in a 15-minute spell in the second half.

    Ghana were ahead when Mubarak Wakaso picked out Jordan Ayew and he sprinted to the edge of the box before unleashing a fierce shot past Congolese goalkeeper Ley Matampi.

    It was a goal of high quality, but the equaliser from Paul-Jose Mpoku was even better as the Panathinaikos winger took aim from 30 metres and found the top corner of the net.



    Ayew penalty

    Congo were the architects of their own downfall after that though as defender Joyce Lomalisa clumsily fouled Christian Atsu in the box and Andre Ayew converted the penalty.

    Ghana coach Avram Grant lamented his side's first-half showing but was full of praise for their second half display.

    “We corrected mistakes we made and in the second period it was totally different,” Grant told reporters. “We played good football. The two goals we scored were fantastic. And when we fell asleep, they (DR Congo) also scored a fantastic goal.”

    Morocco should have buried Egypt long before the closing stages of their game and were made to pay for that profligacy when Kahraba bundled the ball home from a corner. Morocco's Mbark Boussoufa had earlier curled a shot from outside the box against the crossbar and striker Aziz Bouhaddouz missed a sitter from close range.

    Egypt coach Hector Cuper is likely to be without Mohamed Elneny and fellow midfielder Mohamed Mohsen for their semi.

    “Mohsen looks to have a serious problem with a knee,” Cuper said. “Elneny has a bad calf strain. He will have tests and we hope if we manage to reach the final that he can return.



    NAMPA / REUTERS

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    U-17 team loses at Netball Quad SeriesU-17 team loses at Netball Quad SeriesSA too strong for Nam The Namibian team failed to win a single game even though they did not lose by big margins. Namibia's under-17 national netball team lost their final game 38-46 against the South Africa Schools under-17 team during the 2017 Netball Quad Series in Durban on Sunday.

    The netball challenge is an iconic event in African netball, where the world's top four netball teams compete against each other.

    This competition sees South Africa's Spar Proteas, the England Roses, New Zealand's Silver Ferns and the Australian Diamonds battle to be crowned champions as part of the Vitality Netball International Series.

    The Namibian team was an invitational team at this year's challenge, competing in the youth category against U-17 teams from South Africa.

    Namibia was invited to the competition after winning gold at the Confederation of Schools Sport Associations of Southern Africa Ball Games in Botswana in 2016.

    The Namibian girls played three games with their South African counterparts and lost all three games.

    The first match of the series between the two teams was played on 27 January and the Namibians lost by just two points.

    The score in their opening match was 40-42 in favour of the South Africans.

    The girls also lost their second match in the series against the same team 37-51 on Saturday.





    NAMPA

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    Sun sets on Angolan dream for Portuguese expatsSun sets on Angolan dream for Portuguese expatsEnd of oil boom hits hard Portugal is witnessing a new wave of “retornados” - returnees - leaving Angola as it wrestles with its own economic woes. When Portugal was suffering in the depths of the global financial crisis, Marina Pereira followed thousands of her compatriots and took a job in Angola as it rode the wave of an oil boom.

    But now the collapse in global crude prices has hammered the southwest African country's economy and sent Pereira and many others like her heading back to Europe.

    “At the start I was earning 4 200 euros (US$4 500) a month working in a spa. I was housed and fed, it was paradise,” the 33-year-old osteopath said.

    In 2012 she had moved to Luanda, capital of the former Portuguese colony, rich in oil and diamonds. But after a dream start, euphoria began to give way to disillusion.

    “I started to be paid in kwanzas, the local currency, and my monthly income dropped to 1 000 euros. You can only change money on the black market, at a really bad rate,” she said, eventually leaving as the cost of living got too high.

    Her return in 2015 to Portugal, then barely out of a deep recession, was a brutal experience. On a wage of 650 euros a month for working in a gym, she said that “it's not enough to have a decent quality of life”.

    Some 300 000 Portuguese colonists fled Angola as violence flared in the run-up to independence in 1975. Forty years later, Portugal is witnessing a new wave of “retornados” - returnees - leaving the African nation as it wrestles with its own economic woes.

    The exodus began in 2015 and is still going on, according to Paulo Vieira, president of the Portuguese-Angolan chamber of commerce.

    The end of Angola's bloody 27-year civil war in 2002, combined with high global oil prices, unleashed rapid development, with Luanda often compared to a new Dubai.

    GDP growth peaked at over 20% in 2007, but the decline in oil prices, poor governance and lack of investment have seen growth collapse to less than two percent last year.

    Although Angola remains Africa's biggest oil producer alongside Nigeria, revenues have halved.

    The Angolan government, reliant on oil for 70 percent of its budget, has put the brakes on public spending, stopping thousands of building projects and imposed currency restrictions, hitting the construction industry.

    “Several Portuguese companies in Angola can no longer pay their staff because they are having problems repatriating profits,” said Ricardo Pedro Gomes, president of Portugal's construction industry association.

    “Of the 100 000 Portuguese construction workers in Angola before the economic crisis, there are only a few thousand left. And there are salary delays going back up to a year,” construction union leader Albano Ribeiro said.

    Pedro Dias, 42, a salesman for an Angolan electronics company, saw his friends leave, one by one, before returning to Portugal himself as well.

    In Luanda, he was paid up to 3 000 euros a month and the company paid for his accommodation, car and food - a good income to support his wife and three children back home.

    But with the currency restrictions, bank transfers to Portugal have stopped.

    “I had to leave, my family have to eat,” he said, his eyes hidden behind dark sunglasses.

    Dias says he still misses Angola.

    “If the situation improves, I'll go back,” he says, recalling “the smell of Africa and the savannah”.

    Expat life in Luanda is full of pitfalls and politics is off-limits in a country ruled by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos for some 37 years.

    “You never talk about the Angolan regime in public,” Dias says. “If you want to avoid problems you must not get involved in politics.”

    And Pereira tells of being attacked in broad daylight “with a gun pointed at my head by 10- or 11-year-old children” and almost dying after catching malaria and yellow fever.

    Despite these hair-raising experiences, Pereira says she misses her old life, and is already planning to move to another former Portuguese colony, Sao Tome and Principe.

    “It's a love-hate relationship, I have always been fascinated by Africa,” she says, remembering the “wonderful beaches” and “the smell of damp earth”.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 01/30/17--14:00: Uproar over Trump's ban
  • Uproar over Trump's banUproar over Trump's banResistance grows in the United States Sixteen attorney-generals from mostly Democrat-run states have vowed to fight the order as unconstitutional. Donald Trump faced mass protests and global outrage on Sunday over his controversial ban on travellers from seven Muslim countries, facing the first real test of his nine-day administration.

    The ban was criticised by allies, sparked confusion over its implementation and galvanised Democrats looking for a lightning rod to beat Trump. There was growing unease among Republican lawmakers as well.

    Four federal judges moved to halt deportations, around 300 people were stopped or detained worldwide and US civil rights lawyers warned the battle could head to the Supreme Court.

    Thousands of noisy demonstrators poured into the country's major airports for the second day in a row to show support for immigrants and refugees impacted by Trump's contentious travel restrictions.

    “I just hope that we can pass this difficult period while maintaining our values as a country,” said Saif Rahman, a 38-year-old Iraqi-born US citizen who was called in for additional screening after flying into Dulles airport outside Washington.

    Lawyers accompanied by interpreters set up shop in airports and fought for the release of those detained on arrival - many of them were in mid-air when Trump signed the decree.

    The decree suspends the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.

    At least 109 people were held upon arrival to the United States despite holding valid visas. It was unclear how many were still detained late Sunday.

    Top Trump aides downplayed the number as “a couple of dozen” as Canada said it would offer temporary residence to those stranded in the country by the ban.

    Under fire from all quarters, Trump issued an official White House statement to deny it was a Muslim ban and blast the media for its coverage.

    “To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe,” he said.

    The decision - which falls short of his 2015 promise on the campaign trail to ban all Muslims from coming to the United States - ignited the biggest controversy since he took office.

    Trump then took to Twitter to blast Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, fellow Republicans who criticised the ban. He called them “wrong,” “weak on immigration” and “looking to start World War III.”

    The real estate tycoon, who has never previously held elected office, sees himself making good on a key but highly controversial campaign promise to subject travellers from Muslim-majority countries to “extreme vetting” - which he declared would make America safe from “radical Islamic terrorists.”

    The detention of travellers at US airports left families divided: a father was unable to reach his son's wedding, and a grandmother unable to meet her grandchildren. Iran called the ban a “gift to extremists.”

    Six Syrians were turned away from Philadelphia International Airport and sent back to Lebanon, a Beirut airport official said.

    In New York, police estimated that 10 000 people gathered in protest at Battery Park across the river from the Statue of Liberty - America's famed beacon of freedom and immigration.

    “Refugees are welcome here!” demonstrators shouted, some holding up signs recalling the Holocaust that read “Never Again.” Trump signed the decree on Holocaust Memorial Day.

    “It should send a chill down the spine of every American,” the city's Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio said as the crowd chanted “impeach” in reference to Trump.

    Thousands more protested outside the White House.

    “Taking a whole part of the world and saying you are not welcome here, you are our enemy, that invites violence. That's not the American way,” said Tal Zlotnitsky, a software technology owner and dual US-Israeli citizen.

    French-American national Sarah Diligenti added: “I hope this is a movement that lasts. I hope it's not just a flash in the pan.”

    Protestors also gathered at Washington's Dulles Airport and airports in Los Angeles, Orlando and Sacramento. Hundreds demonstrated in Boston, with activists scheduling other rallies in Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City and Seattle.

    While Trump cited the September 11, 2001 attacks in explaining his move, none of the 9/11 hijackers' home countries - Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - were included in the measure. All of those countries are key US allies.

    Uncertainty reigned over the ban's implementation, with some green card holders from the targeted countries saying they had been turned back or prevented from boarding flights to the US.

    But the Trump administration officially clarified late Sunday that the permanent residents would be exempt from the ban.

    The order affected dual nationals, but not Canadian or US dual passport holders. Britain - one of several countries seeking clarification from Washington - said its nationals would not be subject to additional checks unless they travelled directly from one of the listed countries.

    In addition to scathing criticism from abroad - from Tehran to Cairo to major European countries - Democratic and Republican lawmakers at home also hit out against the move seen by many as religious discrimination at the border.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Benin hit by Nigeria's car import banBenin hit by Nigeria's car import ban Surveying his sprawling car dealership on the fringes of Benin's commercial hub Cotonou, Kassem Hijazi alternates between chainsmoking Marlboro cigarettes and puffing on a hookah.

    He and his colleagues don't have much else to do. There hasn't been a single customer since December, when neighbouring Nigeria banned car imports by land as part of a wave of protectionist policies that are strangling Benin's economy.

    “We spend our days smoking, it's our life now,” Hijazi sighs, sitting in a gazebo beside his stock of thousands of cars steadily accumulating the dry winter dust.

    This afternoon, Hijazi - who, like the vast majority of car dealers in Benin, is Lebanese - called in his Beninese accountant to help close up shop.

    Debts are accumulating and the stress is becoming too much. “I lost in one year what I have earned in 16,” Ali Assi, another car dealer, told AFP.

    Of the 2 500 Lebanese dealers in Cotonou, 1 600 have packed up and left in the last six months, shutting down businesses that employed dozens of drivers, cleaners and security staff.

    “Unemployed people used to come here to find work,” said Vincent Gouton, who represents a group of car dealership managers in Cotonou.

    The Benin car market began its free fall last year when neighbouring Nigeria entered its first recession since 1994.

    Nigeria, an economic behemoth of 190 million people, gobbles up “99 percent of car exports” in Benin, according to Gouton.

    Benin, a tiny country with scarce natural resources, relies on its port business to survive.

    From the port city of Cotonou, imported cars, fabrics, and food from all over the world get distributed across West Africa.

    But since the Nigerian economy crashed following the collapse in global oil prices, Benin has been suffering knock-on effects.

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's protectionist policies - his government has banned a slew of items including cars imported by land - has only aggravated the situation.

    “This decision will encourage smuggling, it's back to square one,” Gouton said.

    Several agreements were signed in the past between Benin and Nigeria to facilitate legal trade.

    But Nigeria accuses Beninese customs of failing to monitor the exported goods and collect taxes.

    Buhari hopes that closing land borders will revitalise Nigerian industries and attract business to the port at Lagos, Nigeria's economic capital and largest city.

    Today over 20 products the list has never been officially published - are banned from being imported overland.

    “For the past 18 months, we have seen a lot of policies that are not market friendly”, said Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili.

    “The self-sufficiency policy has led the government to create all sorts of hostile environments around import”, Obikili said.

    “The government wants to ban palm oil (imports) but our plantations are not ready to meet local demand, and it takes two years to get oil from trees. It's a mess,” Obikili told AFP.

    “And this will encourage illegal trade.”

    It isn't just Benin which is hurting. Nigerian car dealer Olabanji Akinola said he had to fire half of his employees last week as a result of the ban.

    Business used to be brisk at Akinola's car dealership, located on the outskirts of Lagos.

    Yet now he can't pay any wages. “In Cotonou, they tax 35 percent of the value of an imported car. In Lagos, it's 70 percent”, Akinola said. “It's killing the business.”

    “The price of cars will go up, and the smuggling will increase. There are 200 roads through the bush to come to Nigeria, the borders are porous,” Akinola said.

    “This morning, customers begged me on my knees to lower my prices, but I cannot,” Akinola said.

    Ultimately, it may only be the Nigerian government who benefits from the import ban.

    In 2016, customs seized 307 contraband vehicles, worth nearly 5 billion naira (about 15 million euros). The figure is expected to rise in 2017.

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    Cash Converters BPI House wins againCash Converters BPI House wins again At the prestigious Cash Converters Southern Africa regional awards held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Cash Converters Independence Avenue in Windhoek beat 25 other stores to be crowned the Regional Store of the Year for 2016 for the fifth year running.

    The Cash Converters Store of the Year awards are highly competitive and the criteria of assessment include compliance with the international brand values; service excellence; merchandising; general management; comprehensive audits as well as mystery shopper assessments.

    Being on top of their game however is a constant driver for this store. Since their opening in 2011 when they won Newcomer of the Year, they have consistently been the regional winners. In 2012 they were crowned the best store in Southern Africa and last year they were runners-up.

    “I believe that we are what we repeatedly do, and whether it be on the retail floor or in our buy shop, we always strive to be the best every day in every little thing that we do. We have amazing customers and it really is a pleasure to serve our community,” said proud franchisee Annegret Binneman.

    She welcomed everyone in the community to visit the store to experience their winning ways. Find the store in Werner List Street, between Pick n Pay and Shoprite, next to MTC, or call them in Windhoek at 302 624.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Electrification starts at EkukuElectrification starts at EkukuLand servicing makes good progress The Oshakati town council serviced 2 290 plots during the 2015/16 financial year and expects to service about 2 270 more plots by July this year. The latest phase of the mass land servicing project at Ekuku township in Oshakati is the electrification process, which will cost the council N$21 million.

    According to council spokesperson Katarina Kamari, 945 people will benefit from the programme.

    The site was recently handed over to BDI Electric, which will install the power grid.

    This phase is expected to be completed by the end of June.

    Consulting Services Africa is the appointed consultant for the project.

    BDI Electric will install streetlights and connect the plots to the power grid.

    Oshakati Premier Electric will only come into play upon completion of the project. “BDI Electric is a Namibian-owned reputable company which has done considerable projects in electrical installations countrywide,” Kamari said.

    Kamari said other services such as the bulk water supply, sewage pump system, sewer and water reticulation at Ekuku were completed last year. Street construction is 90% complete and will be finished by March.

    The Oshakati town council serviced 2 290 erven during the 2015/2016 financial year and expects to service about 2 270 more plots by July this year.

    Oshakati has been praised for its progress on the Massive Urban Land Servicing Programme.

    Windhoek and Walvis Bay are the two other cities in the pilot phase of the project.

    The minister of urban and rural development, Sophia Shaningwa, recently remarked that other towns should imitate the efforts of Oshakati in terms of servicing land and building affordable houses for its residents. The current national backlog stands at 300 000 housing units.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Don't lose yourself in the cityDon't lose yourself in the city Have you ever wondered why Windhoek does not have the “Welcome to Windhoek” sign? Well I think it is because you enter the city at your own risk.

    For most outsiders, the city is alluring, the bright lights are enticing and the city life is bustling. Many people get lost in those “bright” lights and hectic lifestyle in the city. As many students are preparing themselves for the beginning of the academic year and coming to the city for the first time for some, please let me warn you about the life here. So you've passed your matric and congratulations! You now have to exchange the landscape of your small town for the horizon of the city of opportunities also called Windhoek.

    Of course the city can look good to you, but for the purpose of this column, I will focus on only the negative lifestyle choices that city goers always fall prey to. I do not really know what it is about the city that makes people lose a sense of themselves. Maybe it is something in the water, maybe it is something in the air, but this city will definitely change you if you are not prepared for it. You travelled a few kilometres from your destination, but before you got on the bus your parents or guardians had a few things to say to you: “Study hard and make sure you are safe my child.” You should always remember those words - they are important.

    Coming to the city of Windhoek can be very exciting. There are so many things to do and so many places you can go to. You can make as many friends as you wish and you can finally have the freedom to do whatever you want. If you are not too careful like many others before you, the city will literally put an end to all your dreams and hopes. I've once said, “once you taste city life, forget about the small town life.” Some of us who come to big towns like Windhoek usually lose our morals and aspirations.

    The young, respectful and kind boys who grow up in small towns now become mean and sour towards others when they taste this city life. The cornrows-braided girl with the skirt now rocks Brazilian hair and a mini skirt. That is what the city does to you, it changes you. Surely, any other place you go to will have an effect on you but it does not have to be a bad one. Surviving the negative aspects of the city is based on a few choices you make for yourself. These include the friends you choose, your choices and lifestyle and your attitude. Choose your friends wisely, particularly if you are in university for the next four or so years who will be by your side. Make sure you choose friends that you are willing to grow with and friends who have the same interests as you. The same friend you “turn up” with should be the same friend you study with… it's that simple. Your lifestyle should also not change, it can be adapted to suit that of the city but you should always remain that small town humble person you used to be before you came to the city. Your attitude must be intact and should not be altered. Student life can be very daunting and challenging at times. The pressure of having to keep up with your study sometimes can be too much. Some people can't handle the pressure and resort to drinking and other destructive habits to cope with it. You should not have to resort to those measures too, that is why a positive outlook and attitude is important.

    If and whenever you find yourself struggling in Windhoek, always remember these words and the words that your parents or guardians told you before you came to the city and live out every single word. Remember the purpose of your stay in Windhoek is to study and get that degree, commit yourself to that. Everything else should just wait.

    Until next time. Peri nawa!



    shona@namibiansun.com

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    UK court denies Nigerian claimUK court denies Nigerian claim A British court blocked pollution claims against Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell by more than 40 000 Niger Delta residents demanding action over decades of oil spills in the region.

    Members of the Ogale and Bille communities had applied for the case to be heard in Britain, arguing they could not get justice in Nigeria.

    But the High Court in London said it did not have jurisdiction in the case.

    “Our community is disappointed but not discouraged by this judgement,” King Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi, ruler of the Ogale Community, said in a statement.

    “This decision has to be appealed, not just for Ogale but for many other people in the Niger Delta who will be shut out if this decision is allowed to stand.

    “Shell is simply being asked to clean up its oil and to compensate the communities it has devastated,” he said.

    The firm's lawyer Peter Goldsmith told judge Peter Fraser during a hearing in November that the cases concerned “fundamentally Nigerian issues”, and should not be heard in London.

    However, Daniel Leader from legal firm Leigh Day, representing the claimants, responded that the spills had “blighted the lives of the thousands”.

    He said they had “no choice” other than to seek legal redress in London.

    Goldsmith also argued that the case involves Shell's Nigerian subsidiary SPDC, which runs a joint venture with the Nigerian government.

    He claimed that the case was aimed at establishing the High Court's jurisdiction over SPDC, opening the door for further claims.

    SPDC claims that the main sources of pollution in Ogale and Bille are “crude oil theft, pipeline sabotage and illegal refining”.

    The first claim was brought on behalf of 2 335 individuals from the Bille Kingdom, who are mostly fishermen who claim their environment has been blighted by oil spills.

    The second claim was brought on behalf of the 40 000 members of the Ogale Community, who say they have suffered repeated oil spills since at least 1989.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Renamo says Frelimo is shootingRenamo says Frelimo is shootingClaims that government forces not upholding ceasefire Tensions are increasing in Mozambique with sporadic violence which Renamo's Afonso Dhlakama is blaming on Frelimo, the government's forces. Mozambique's rebel leader Afonso Dhlakama has accused government forces of violating a ceasefire his armed group Renamo had declared following a surge in deadly violence last year.

    Dhlakama, who only gives rare interviews by phone from the central Gorongosa mountains where he has been holed-up since October 2015, claimed the government was not taking its ceasefire overtures seriously.

    The army “ambushes, kidnaps and detains” rebels and Renamo supporters, he told AFP in an interview on Friday.

    “There have been deaths,” he claimed but gave no details.

    On 3 January, Dhlakama announced a two-month ceasefire, extending a week-long truce he had declared in late December - a move welcomed by Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi.

    Worsening clashes between the ruling Frelimo party government and rebel group Renamo last year had revived the spectre of Mozambique's civil war that ended more than 20 years ago.

    Dhlakama's Renamo is an armed insurgent group that led a 16-year rebellion and an opposition political party that took up arms again in 2013.

    The death toll in the conflict is unknown but Dhlakama claims that “hundreds and hundreds of people have died between the start of 2015 and the end of 2016”.



    'Trying to kill Dhlakama?'

    While admitting the army has not staged any offensive against his bush military base for a month, Dhlakama castigated what he described as “reconnaissance missions” around the camp where he is hiding.

    “What are they doing there? Are they still planning to kill Dhlakama?” asked the 64-year-old rebel, who often speaks about himself in the third person.

    “Are they trying to find the river where Dhlakama is drinking from to poison it, or the roads we use to plant anti-personnel landmines?”

    Dhlakama, whose Renamo party is the main opposition in Mozambique, retreated in October 2012 to his hideout in Gorongosa with 800 former guerrillas demanding a greater share of power.

    In 2013 tensions resurfaced with Renamo fighters again taking up arms against Frelimo, accusing the ruling party of enriching itself at the expense of the southern African country.

    On the eve of the October 2014 general elections Renamo and the government signed a ceasefire.

    But Renamo refused to accept the results of the 2014 elections when it was beaten once more at the polls by Frelimo, which has been in power since the former Portuguese colony's independence 40 years ago



    'Won't give up on truce'

    Dhlakama has accused the army of not only targeting Renamo members but civilians too.

    “The armed forces go to the villages, open fire to disperse the population, and then ransack the houses making off with chickens and goats, which is typical of Frelimo,” he claimed, adding that women had been beaten and houses torched.

    “Either Frelimo does not know how to control its troops or there is a clear lack of will,” he said.

    Abuses have also been reported to international organisations by Mozambicans who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

    Authorities in December said more than 3 000 people fleeing the conflict now live in government camps, while the UN refugee agency says another 8 600 have been forced to cross the border to Malawi and Zimbabwe.

    In spite of the allegations, Dhlakama has no intention of calling off the ceasefire, which he admits he unilaterally proclaimed in a bid to reopen peace negotiations.

    The peace talks with international mediators resumed in May last year but failed to prevent the escalation of tensions and by mid-December the mediators quit the country.

    “I must speak to President Nyusi in the coming days because we are still waiting for him to give the signal for the return of mediators,” said Dhlakama.

    The rebel leader said he will leave his mountain base only to sign a peace agreement.

    “We are not going to give up on the truce.

    But every day someone calls me up to ask me to extend it beyond 4 March. And I always tell them that it will depend on the progress of the negotiations.”

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 01/30/17--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day DAZZLING SUNDOWN: With many tall Makalani trees surrounding Oshikuku town, sunset over the tall Makalani tree gives a spectacular view to the residents of Oshikuku. PHOTO: ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 01/30/17--14:00: Adapt or die
  • Adapt or dieAdapt or die The year 2017 has been predicted as an eventful one by many.

    From a political point of view there is no doubt that the much-anticipated Swapo elective congress towards the end of the year is one of the more interesting events to look forward to.

    As the ruling party, Swapo still commands huge support across the country and there is no glaring indication suggesting that its support is waning compared to its sister, the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa.

    With well-oiled machinery it is unlikely that the ruling party will set itself on the slippery slope of self-destruction, especially in a congress year like this one. However, it is worth mentioning that the party must now adapt to a new kind of politics guided by the changing circumstances.

    This paradigm shift should equally be embraced by the opposition parties in our country, unless your organisation is called the Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF), which was basically another political project that is now long gone and buried.

    The main opposition party has really done well under the youthful McHenry Venaani. It is one party that has presented alternatives to the national discourse.

    They made the right noises on education, the state of the economy and not to forget the impressive address of the 'Real State of the Namibian Nation', which Venaani delivered last year.

    Sadly other parties have become impotent.

    The least said about parties like RDP and CoD, the better.

    The All People's Party is really trying here and there to be relevant, but its voice is not loud enough.

    Nudo has been taking on government, especially on the land bill debacle, but it is the party's contribution when it comes to other national programmes and issues that remain unclear. The Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) is still embroiled in leadership battles and there appears to be no end in sight.

    It will also be interesting to see how the WRP fight for the ex-South-West African Territorial Force (SWATF) and Koevoet fighters will pan out. The year 2017 is going to be a make or break year for most of the opposition parties and it is high time that they strategise and position themselves as worthy contenders for power one day.

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    Infighting halts Keetmans land deliveryInfighting halts Keetmans land delivery Landless residents of Keetmanshoop are the losers in a battle of wills between the Keetmanshoop Town Council and the municipality's management after the abrupt halt of land servicing at the town.

    The council last year stopped the further development of around 600 erven in residential extensions of three Keetmanshoop suburbs on the grounds that the land is not yet proclaimed.

    The council is also investigating senior local economic development manager Jegg Christiaan for his alleged corrupt role in the allocation and servicing of these plots.

    In a special council meeting last week, the councillors unanimously agreed to seek legal advice to pave the way for Christiaan's suspension.

    Mayor Gaudentia Krohne confirmed to Nampa that Chistiaan would be pursued on suspicion of interference, incompetence, self-enrichment and insolence towards councillors.

    Christiaan allegedly impedes the operations of the property department by unilaterally awarding municipal land and fixing land prices.

    Two of the three residential extensions of over 200 erven were serviced last year, but lie idle due to the non-proclamation of the land – though this agency understands that proclamation can still be effected.

    One is the Smart Community concept, a Finnish-Namibia research initiative meant to create a “safe and healthy” suburb through the creation of parks and other social amenities. Krohne questioned the awarding and design models of all three extensions and accused the municipality of “throwing money down the drain” by servicing land yet to be proclaimed.

    The third extension would have been developed by the municipality through an interest-free loan from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, but this was reportedly stopped by the mayor.

    Christiaan recently accused her in a daily newspaper of hijacking the project and single-handedly commissioning a town-planning company owned by an in-law to redesign the area.

    Krohne told Nampa the company was not paid for the work and that her interest in the re-design was to deliver more erven through size reductions.

    She said this would up the amount of 220 erven to over 400 potential housing and business units.

    Christiaan told Nampa he welcomed an investigation.

    “They should just not waste the financial resources of the municipality with an ill-led investigation,” he said.

    He added that while a probe would exonerate him of any wrongdoing, time would reveal the identities of the “real” corrupt elements.

    “The council makes our work environment extremely difficult. It is clear to me that this is a personal witch-hunt and while this is happening, there is zero productivity and service delivery to residents.”

    Krohne similarly agreed that services were compromised, but blamed this on the “unwillingness of the municipality's top management to cooperate” with the council.

    NAMPA

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    Pillar of education passes onPillar of education passes on Former Narraville Primary School (NPS) principal and philanthropist Jan Opperman died at the age of 87 on Saturday evening.

    Opperman was hospitalised on a number of occasions during the past few months and passed away at his home after a long sickbed.

    He will be buried in Walvis Bay and is survived by a sister and a brother.

    He never married and had no siblings.

    Opperman played an integral part in the education of many as well as the expansion of NPS after his arrival as a young mathematics teacher in Narraville from Orchard in South Africa in 1974.

    He joined NPS as a deputy headmaster and eventually became the fourth headmaster of the institution.

    He will be remembered as a staunch disciplinarian and the founder of the first NPS brass band.

    Opperman made a tremendous impact in the community and on the quality of education. He touched many lives across all spheres of the community and continued doing so as a philanthropist after his retirement. A street was subsequently named after him in Narraville.

    Paul Fisher the current NPS principal said Opperman never gave up on his calling as a teacher, fought the good battle and completed the race.

    “He was an all-rounder who specialised in teaching mathematics.

    He left behind a strong set of ethics and discipline.”



    OTIS FINCK

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    Pipelines to be tested for leaksPipelines to be tested for leaksFrench experts bring technology and experience In a bid to minimise water wastage, the agriculture ministry has teamed up a French engineering firm to inspect underground pipelines. Three underground pipelines that are connected to Namibia's dams have been identified to undergo leakage detection which could lead to massive water savings of up to 30%.

    A French company, G2C Engineering, will this week conduct field visits and studies on several of Namibia's underground pipelines before they will on Friday deliver their preliminary findings to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.

    The three pipelines that have been identified are the Von Bach-Windhoek pipeline, the Omatako-Von Bach pipeline and the Naute-Keetmanshoop pipeline.

    According to the agriculture minister John Mutorwa, the proposed project was originally initiated by France's ambassador to Namibia, Jaqueline Bassa-Mazzoni.

    He said that Mazzoni approached NamWater and the ministry last year and informed them that the French government is willing to fund a study that will look at the numerous and extensive pipelines of NamWater to identify leaks along these pipelines.

    “Leaks that contribute to massive but unnecessary water leakages,” said Mutorwa.

    He said that French companies like G2C have the expertise and technology to detect leaks along any pipelines and to do repairs speedily and timeously.

    According to him most of the pipelines are underground and especially if the leak is small or the pipeline is deep, the water seepage may not be visible and can therefore go undetected for a long time.

    Mutorwa said that NamWater was requested to identify pipelines where detection can be applied and the above-mentioned three pipelines were identified.

    Concept notes were prepared on the pipelines by the ministry and NamWater and these provided the rationale and reasons why these pipelines needed to be tested for leaks, said Mutorwa.

    “It also highlighted the importance of the pipelines in the process of supplying water to the nation as well as industry, and fauna and flora.”

    According to Mutorwa, should the team detect any leaks on the pipelines identified NamWater is then expected to replace or repair the leaking portions of the pipelines.

    Christian Laplaud the chairperson of G2C said that priority areas for Namibia should be to find water, manage its water demand, reduce water losses and maintain infrastructure to secure water sources in the future.

    “At this stage we believe that the scope of the project must include the Omatako-Von Bach pipeline rehabilitation in three phases.”

    He said that this should include identifying weak sections on a limited part of the pipeline, to train Namibian personnel on technical diagnoses and make recommendations for the construction of a new parallel pipeline.

    Laplaud said that they also strongly believe that the scope of their study should include long-term solutions such as the implementation of an asset management department for utility services, with state-of-the-art water asset geographic information systems (GIS), as well as an expert system for forecasting defaults and promoting timely renewal and capacity building.

    “Rehabilitation of main pipelines will only be successful if leaks are managed in the distribution network, he concluded.

    NamWater's pipeline network covers over 4 000 kilometres across the country.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Baboon working group tackles conflictBaboon working group tackles conflictAnimals becoming a major threat to safety in the city Baboons on the outskirts of Windhoek's fringe suburbs have become a real and tangible threat and a plan of action is being devised. The feeding of baboons and the shooting of any animal, including baboons or other wild animals intruding into residential areas, is prohibited in Windhoek, and perpetrators face stiff fines.

    The feeding of baboons is said to increase their attraction to human settlements, exposing the baboons and humans to increased risk and potential conflict.

    These were some of several discussion points at the first public meeting on baboons held in Windhoek recently.

    The meeting was aimed at mitigating baboon-human conflict in a humane way within city boundaries.

    The meeting has led to the establishment of a Baboon Policy Working Group, which will work closely with the City of Windhoek in devising a baboon management plan, which will also encompass awareness education for residents.

    Izak van Niekerk, one of the members of the Baboon Policy Working Group, explained that baboons have lost their fear of humans and have learned to associate humans with food.

    As such, baboons “could readily take food from any person they come into contact with. This will occur whether the person wants it or not, and whether they resist or not.”

    Van Niekerk said the main finding from the meeting was “to never, ever, feed baboons or other wild animals. They are not really hungry and do not need our food.”

    He said baboons do not share food among themselves as humans would.

    “They work in a dominance-related hierarchy, so if we give our food to a baboon we are showing that individual that we are subordinate,” he explained.

    Feeding baboons jeopardises their ability to survive in the wild as well as their health, studies have shown.

    The meeting afforded residents and experts an opportunity to share information and experiences, and to plan future activities geared towards mitigating problems associated with baboons and other problem animals in the city, which have worsened because of the drought.

    No statistics are available for baboon populations entering Windhoek, but according to the City of Windhoek, the most problematic areas are Avis, Döbra, Elisenheim, Ludwigsdorf and Kleine Kuppe, as well as informal settlements.

    Baboons have been found to damage property, including rubbish bins, in the search for food.

    Nevertheless, authorities warn that residents should never attempt to deal with the problem privately.

    “The public should be cautioned not to deal with these animals themselves, it can be dangerous to themselves or the animals. They can contact our emergency services at 211 111 or contact the Ministry of Environment and Tourism directly,” a spokesperson for the City of Windhoek said this week.

    Martin Shikongo, an official in the municipality's department of environmental affairs, added that “discharging a weapon in a municipal area is prohibited, let alone the shooting of wild animals”.

    The topic of baboons and how best to deal with them gained momentum in early January after a baboon was shot in Avis. It was fatally wounded and died after several hours of suffering.

    The shooter has not been identified.

    Residents who discovered the baboon said the trauma of the event prompted a renewed drive to address the presence of baboons in and around Windhoek and how to humanely deal with them.

    After a WhatsApp group attracted more than 250 members within days, the group decided to host a public meeting, inviting experts to speak, and to map a way forward.

    The meeting was attended by officials from the City of Windhoek, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, veterinarians and animal welfare groups, as well as residents.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

    0 0
  • 01/30/17--14:00: Kashanu laid to rest
  • Kashanu laid to restKashanu laid to rest Hundreds of mourners gathered this weekend at Oshilemba village in the Omusati Region to pay their last respects to prominent northern businessman and farmer Tobias Shivute Kashanu.

    Kashanu, 63, died in the Lady Pohamba Private Hospital in Windhoek on 15 January.

    He started doing business in 1974 by transporting people from Lüderitz in the //Karas Region to northern Namibia before establishing several businesses in the Omusati and Kunene regions.

    He owned businesses at places such as Oshilemba, Otamanzi, Okahao and Ruacana in the Omusati Region and at Otjokavare in Kunene under the Onekuni Generation brand. Kashanu was also a member of the Mangetti Farmers' Association (MFA) and farmed with livestock at Uuku and Okenene in the Ongandjera traditional district in Omusati and at Oromaua in the Opuwo area.

    His funeral service was to be held at the Lutheran Church of Ombogodhiya in the Otamanzi Constituency, but it was instead held at his family homestead at Oshilemba to accommodate the large number of mourners who had turned up.

    Chairperson of the northern branch of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), Tomas Iindji in the chamber's message of condolences said Kashanu was a business leader of great distinction and a person of rare quality. “The rich contribution he made to our society and the imprint he has left engraved on our history goes far beyond what is known by each one of us who has had the privilege and opportunity to work with him or to count him amongst our friends,” Iindji said.

    Another member of the NCCI in northern Namibia, Josua Haimbodi said he contributed immensely to entrepreneurship and economic development in Namibia.

    Kashanu is survived by his wife, Vistorina and 14 children.

    NAMPA

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    Windhoek CEO to tackle land shortageWindhoek CEO to tackle land shortage Newly appointed City of Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise has promised to tackle the ongoing land issues in the capital.

    Kahimise replaced Niilo Taapopi, whose contract came to an end in 2014. He will serve in this position for the next five years as from 1 February 2017. Kahimise was introduced to members of the public and media by Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua on Friday. “The challenges facing the city can only be solved by the support of the community and staff members of the City,” he said.

    Kahimise said he is prepared to embrace the challenges mentioned in the Mayoral Agenda 2017 and find ways to minimise them together with the council and staff.

    Some of the issues include the improvement of the systems of operations and performance; promotion of economic development and job creation; and land delivery and affordable housing. Kazapua welcomed Kahimise and promised to support him all the way.

    “We will render him the best political support in order for him to administer and run this institution for a period of five years,” said Kazapua. He added that Kahimise was the best candidate for the job and expressed confidence that he would run the City's affairs smoothly.

    Kazapua urged residents of Windhoek who have issues or queries to contact the new CEO. “You can now start knocking on his [Kahimise] door, he is ready,” said Kazapua.

    Kahimise was CEO for Erongo RED since 2013. He also worked as General Manager for Commercial Services at Erongo RED before he was appointed CEO. Kahimise expressed gratitude for his appointment and saying the appointment was humbling. “I am humbled for being appointed as the substantive CEO of City of Windhoek,” said Kahimise. He said one of his responsibilities as CEO is to get the best out of the employees of the city council. “I will lobby and get the best out of the most important aspect of the city, which is its employees,” Kahimise said. He said his strategy is to use a proactive approach to address the demands of the residents of Windhoek. Kazapua said the reason why it took such a long time to appoint the CEO was due to the outcry from residents and other people. “To take up this position was quite a challenge. The offer was given to other candidates who did not take it,” said Kazapua. The City has been without a CEO since December 2014, after Niilo Taapopi's 11-year contract expired.

    – Additional reporting by Nampa













    Shona Ngava

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    APP wants tabling of land bill postponedAPP wants tabling of land bill postponed The All People's Party has called on President Hage Geingob to intervene and call off the tabling of the land bill until after the second national land conference has been held.

    The land bill was withdrawn from the National Assembly in December following a string of criticisms and complaints that it was riddled with shortcomings.

    Addressing the media at his party's first press briefing, APP president Ignatius Shixwameni urged the government to first hold the land conference so that the public's views could be taken into account before the bill was tabled.

    The first land conference was held in 1991, shortly after independence.

    “The land issue is the most burning and topical issue of our time and we are fully supportive of the ongoing calls for the postponement of the tabling of the bill,” said Shixwameni.

    Shixwameni's call comes at a time when the country is hyped up over how the government is distributing land. Opposition parties have threatened to call for mass land action while residents of the Hardap and

    //Karas regions have been marching in protest of what they term “skewed” land distribution.

    Civil society too, under the banner of the Nangof Working Group on Land Reform, has held a number of meetings with regional communities to gain input on the grievances of landless Namibians. Meanwhile, people from the Nama and OvaHerero communities are calling on the government to address the issue of ancestral land lost to German colonisers. In October last year, Swanu president Usutuaije Maamberua emphasised that the bill could not be divorced from the Nama and OvaHerero genocide and that a land bill should therefore address ancestral land, restitution, returnees from exile as well as access to sacred places.

    However, lands minister Utoni Nujoma last week said that was not likely to happen, as the issue of ancestral land had the potential to stir up tribalism which could divide the country. Utoni was adamant that he would not consider calls for postponing the tabling of the land bill and insisted that the bill had been “over-consulted' already.

    “Deliberations on the land bill started in 2004. My predecessors have dealt with this issue, they have consulted widely. If you ask the Legal Assistance Centre they can give you testimony, the ministry has gone countrywide to consult with various stakeholders,” Nujoma said.

    Meanwhile, the chances of the land conference taking place appear slim, as Nujoma emphasised that it would only be budgeted for if his ministry received adequate finances.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Trial postponed for third psychiatric evaluationTrial postponed for third psychiatric evaluation The murder trial of a man who stabbed the mother of his four-year-old son to death has again been postponed after his lawyer asked for a third psychiatric evaluation.

    Two previous psychiatric evaluation reports found that Johnny Ryno Diergaardt, 31, accused of having stabbed his girlfriend 27 times, was mentally fit to stand trial.

    Windhoek High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo granted defence lawyer Boris Isaacks a postponement to 10 May.

    Diergaardt is charged with the murder of Tiffany Tanita Lewin on 3 March 2014 at a room he rented in Garnet Street, Khomasdal.

    Lewin and her son, according to the charge sheet, arrived at the property in the early evening to collect goods that Diergaardt had earlier removed from her handbag.

    He is alleged to have stabbed her at least 27 times, after which he fled the scene. According to reports, the four-year-old boy tried to intervene and managed to stab Diergaardt in his thigh in an attempt to stop the assault on his mother. Lewin died of excessive blood loss.

    Diergaardt was arrested when he returned to his room later that night.

    Judge Ndauendapo reserved the dates from 16 to 27 October for trial.

    Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef appeared on behalf of the State.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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