Articles on this Page
- 01/31/17--14:00: _It is a new day for...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _SA fears xenophobia...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _Jammeh weapons cach...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _It's in the grass
- 01/31/17--14:00: _Norwegian quota all...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _Okahandja abattoir ...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _Shot of the day
- 01/31/17--14:00: _All eyes on Kahimise
- 01/31/17--14:00: _DBN donates chairs ...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _Men appear for the ...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _500 homes to be bui...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _The inspiring story...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _Land valuations go ...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _Kunene farmers desp...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _Man jailed for 32 y...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _Log on in 1-2-3
- 01/31/17--14:00: _Agriculture ministr...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _Air Namibia owes NA...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _Teachers dig deep f...
- 01/31/17--14:00: _Schlettwein disappo...
- 01/31/17--14:00: It is a new day for the AU
- 01/31/17--14:00: SA fears xenophobia return
- 01/31/17--14:00: Jammeh weapons cache found
- 01/31/17--14:00: It's in the grass
- 01/31/17--14:00: Norwegian quota allocated
- 01/31/17--14:00: Okahandja abattoir stays shut
- 01/31/17--14:00: Shot of the day
- 01/31/17--14:00: All eyes on Kahimise
- 01/31/17--14:00: DBN donates chairs to primary school
- 01/31/17--14:00: Men appear for the rape, murder of schoolgirl
- 01/31/17--14:00: 500 homes to be built at Otjiwarongo
- 01/31/17--14:00: The inspiring story of the deaf teacher
- 01/31/17--14:00: Land valuations go to court
- 01/31/17--14:00: Kunene farmers desperate
- 01/31/17--14:00: Man jailed for 32 years for stepdaughter's murder
- 01/31/17--14:00: Log on in 1-2-3
- 01/31/17--14:00: Agriculture ministry identifies pests
- 01/31/17--14:00: Air Namibia owes NAC millions
- 01/31/17--14:00: Teachers dig deep for supplies
- 01/31/17--14:00: Schlettwein disappointed by N$3.5 billion saga
A loyal ally of President Idriss Deby, the 56-year-old has held a number of senior Chadian posts, including prime minister (2003-2005), before being named foreign minister in 2008.
As head of the African Union Commission he has said he dreams of a continent where the “sound of guns will be drowned out by cultural songs and rumbling factories” and wants “development and security” to top the agenda during his four-year term.
He also wants a less bureaucratic, procedural AU where free circulation of goods and people is made easier.
Faki was elected AU chief on Monday by member states after seven rounds of voting, beating candidates from Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya and Senegal.
He replaces South Africa's Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who is standing down after a single term.
Also, the AU has agreed to readmit Morocco 33 years after it quit the bloc, following a difficult debate over the status of Western Sahara, according to presidents attending the summit.
“Morocco is now a full member of the African Union. There was a very long debate but 39 of our 54 states approved the return of Morocco, even if the Western Sahara question remains,” Senegalese President Macky Sall told journalists. “As we have said, if the family grows bigger, we can find solutions as a family,” he added.
Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf confirmed that “the majority of the member states have accepted Morocco's application to rejoin the African Union.”
“Africa wants to speak in one voice. We need all African countries to be a part of that voice.”
Delegates attending the debate described an emotional and tense discussion, with heavyweights like Algeria and South Africa against the re-admission of Morocco.
These nations have long supported the campaign for self-determination by Western Sahara's Polisario movement.
Morocco maintains that the former Spanish colony under its control is an integral part of the kingdom, while the Polisario Front, which campaigns for the territory's independence, demands a referendum on self-determination.
A dark cloud has hung over the AU following Brexit and new American isolationist policies, and has prompted AU officials to call for greater unity among member states and the message is that Africa can only weather this storm by relying on its own resources.
In her opening address, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the outgoing chairperson of the AU Commission said that “Africa's only protection in these treacherous global waters” is to honour commitments like setting up its own Continental Free Trade area as soon as 2017, the deadline set by the AU. The “neo-conservative pushback” against women's rights and the threat against multi-lateralism calls for the revival and strengthening of “the spirit of pan-Africanism” she said. Abdalla Hamdok, acting director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, said that “regional co-operation and policy co-ordination for Africa's development cannot be emphasised enough”.
These calls – along with statements made from the podium, and the presence of so many heads of states – create a semblance of unity. Yet the AU is more divided than ever. On a number of crucial issues, it is clear that the continent is far from united, and there is little evidence of the pan-African solidarity that prevailed during the early days of the organisation. The consensus politics resulting from a common desire for unity is, to a large extent, a thing of the past.
For example, Morocco's membership of the AU has created a stir that pits countries and regions against each other – with apparently little appetite for compromise. On the other hot topic of the summit – namely the election of a new chairperson of the AU Commission – competition among states led to some negative campaigning.
The divisions among the continent's leaders are not only evident when it comes to the big issues and decisions that confront African heads of state.
More mundane matters, such as the election of officials for the United Nations system, are also seeing confrontational campaigning as never before.
According to an AU insider, key positions at the UN used to be assigned following a lengthy and orderly process whereby proposed names would be circulated months before final decisions were taken at a summit. Consensus would then be reached through a process of give-and-take, and compromises reached long before the vote by the executive council of AU foreign ministers. The vote would be a mere formality.
This time round, last-minute candidates who didn't have the endorsement of their regions emerged. Voting by the executive council dragged on for hours on Thursday last week. “This is a breach of the way things are normally done in the AU. Many people think that countries who do this should be sanctioned,” said a former AU ambassador. When the various leaders take up their positions behind the microphone at the official sessions of the summit, they will no doubt repeat the call for Africa to stand together in an increasingly troubled world. They will recall the important steps that have been taken towards greater solidarity on the continent – such as the recent successes by the regional organisation, the Economic Community for West African States to oust the Gambia's ex-president Yahya Jammeh through a show of force and unity among leaders willing to uphold democracy. There is no doubt that this was a major achievement and set a precedent for dealing with leaders who cling to power.
They will also point to progress with economic trade blocs – which are increasingly functioning well – and continent-wide campaigns. These include rooting out archaic practices that are harmful to women, or efforts to harness the blue economy; something that also requires countries to stand together.
Yet when it comes down to decision-making within the AU, there is still a long way to go. African states are seemingly threatened by increasing globalisation and are clinging to their sovereignty and not budging from their positions, regardless of the consequences.
The AU and the new commission that should emerge from this summit can do better to promote the ideals of African solidarity through its leadership and setting an example of unity of purpose. – Additional reporting by ISS Today
The circular, signed by “Mamelodi Concerned Residents” and calling for a march on 24 February, is also being shared on social media.
“We have to start packing our bags. We can't risk it. This time around they may not leave any of us alive,” said Mebo, a Zimbabwean immigrant living in Mamelodi.
“Why do they hate us so much? Is South Africa the first country to have immigrants? We are all Africans. We need each other as Africans.”
Oupa Mtshweni, whose name appears on the circular, said the demonstration would be “peaceful”.
“We are not planning to be violent,” he told GroundUp, a South African NGO. “I don't see why this should be a problem to anyone.
This has nothing to do with xenophobia.”
But immigrants living in Pretoria are not convinced and are circulating warnings to each other on social media.
Family members outside South Africa are also warning their relatives to be careful.
“I received a warning message from my mother who resides in the UK. She is worried and even encouraged me to go and suffer back home rather than die here in South Africa,” said Monalisa, a Nigerian hair salon owner.
Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said the matter had not been reported to the SAPS but police would investigate.
Violent and bloody xenophobic attacks have ravaged South African communities with sporadic outbursts since 2008 and the most recent, during the middle of last year.
Senegalese General Francois Ndiaye, who leads military forces sent by the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), said the arms and ammunition were found at ex-president Yahya Jammeh's private residence in his home village of Kanilai.
Jammeh left the country after refusing for weeks to recognise his electoral defeat to Adama Barrow, who returned to The Gambia as president from Senegal this week.
“All the weapons and ammunitions are now under Ecowas custody. So nothing will happen there,” Ndiaye said. “The situation is under control.”
He added that since the Kanilai residence is private, “There shouldn't be any military there. In the coming days, there will be no more military there.”
He also said that General Bora Colley, the head of a Gambian military commando unit, had been arrested in Senegal, without giving further details. Four guards of Jammeh's wife, Zainab, were also arrested, in the border town of Karang in Senegal, and were being held in Dakar.
Ndiaye said that Gambian officers and soldiers needed to be “screened”, including “background checks, so that we know all of them”, he said.
He added, however, that the Gambian armed forces have been “very co-operative, and we are now controlling the ammunitions and the weapons.
So there is no need for us to stay longer. That's why we are downsizing gradually.”
From 24 to 27 January Agra ProVision trained ten farmers through the Rangeland Management training course. The training was well attended by both upcoming and established farmers.
The four-day programme comprised topics that included understanding grass, how it grows and how it responds to drought and utilisation impacts; understanding rangeland conditions and how to monitor changes over time; determining fodder availability and adjusting livestock numbers to available fodder
At the end of the course, participants were empowered to develop their own rangeland management plan, making provision for adequate utilisation and recovery periods.
Agra ProVision's technical advisor for rangeland management Bertus Kruger said the training was offered at the right time, as rangeland is the first step to livestock production.
“Livestock farming can only be sustainable if there is sufficient grass. The training course therefore comes at the right time to prepare and educate farmers on the fundamentals of rangeland management.”
The training was concluded with a practical session facilitated by Agra ProVision's technical advisor for livestock production Frank Wittneben, and Agra ProVision's researcher Angelina Kanduvarisa.
During this session, participants employed a scientific approach based on collecting samples and using this data to calculate forage availability. Samples account for the composition of the grass sward, which is subdivided into perennial grasses, annual grasses and Aristida type of
Furthermore, the process is instrumental to monitoring veld condition. “Aristida grasses are usually not quantified, as these are hardly utilised by livestock. Annual grasses are nutritious and palatable, but they only last for a few months before they disintegrate if not grazed by the middle of the dry season. Perennial grasses on the other hand constitute the main fodder reserve with the potential to last throughout the dry season,” said Wittneben.
At the end of the training course, participants were able to develop rangeland management plans that will guide them to implement planned grazing management on their farms.
The next course will be held from 28 to 31 March in Windhoek.
The quota of 1 600 tons was allocated to Meatco and Brukkaros Meat, with the bulk of the quota going to Meatco.
According to the Meat Board of Namibia, Meatco received 1 400 tons and Brukkaros Meat Processors 200 tons. Both organisations indicated that they are able to utilise the quotas. According to the Meat Board it will manage the quota and exporters must indicate by 30 June this year how the quota was utilised or how it will be utilised.
It said that the Norwegian market is a highly lucrative market that increases the profitability of the Namibian meat industry.
Last year Meatco was granted the full 1 600 quota.
It was reallocated the full quota after Brukkaros Meat Processors and Witvlei Meat were initially allocated 225 tonnes and 175 tonnes respectively but failed to utilise their quotas before the 30 June deadline.
Meatco said last year that it managed to fill its Norwegian export quota of 1 600 tons despite its Okapuka Feedlot that was closed for eight weeks.
This will however have a short-term impact on the company's financial situation.
According to the company's chief financial officer Ingo Schneider, the limited inflow into the dams remains a major concern for Meatco. He said that this means that until there is a lesser risk of water supply Meatco will continue to operate under the current set constraints.
Schneider said that the company is committed to accommodate staff elsewhere, with additional plans on how to best to utilise the Okahandja factory.
According to him Meatco's financial position can be considered healthy at present, with the only concerns being the limited number of available cattle due to the consecutive droughts.
“The impact being that despite Meatco offering record prices to lure farmers to deliver cattle the committed supply has been limited with the fear of little slaughter cattle remaining as farmers are beginning to restock the national herd.”
He said that the expectation is that slaughter volumes for the first two quarters of the year will be low and Meatco will have to greatly rely on backward integration models to maintain slaughter operations.
“In these trying times, Meatco is confident that we are well-funded and have sufficient reserves to meet our commitment while supporting farmers and Namibia in large during difficult times, just as we have done in the past,” said Schneider.
He further said that Meatco is concerned over the funding position of government, despite the fact that large outstanding VAT claims against the Receiver of Revenue have been settled with Meatco, having received a material payment over the year-end effectively bringing them back to a normal working capital cycle in terms of its outstanding VAT.
He said overall the current negative economic outlook is expected to have a further negative impact on consumer spend and this scenario seems to vindicate the approach taken by Meatco to export beef to markets not directly affected and in turn earning Namibia much-needed foreign currency.
Now there is a massive weight of expectation on the shoulders of Kahimise to make the much needed radical changes and ultimately deliver in making the City of Windhoek great again.
And as the saying goes, a new broom sweeps clean, and the new CEO will therefore have to live up to expectations.
Kahimise is credited for turning around the fortunes of Erongo RED where he has been CEO for about four years and he will be expected to hit the ground running from the onset.
He has already boldly declared that he will tackle the contentious land issue, which has been a concern for many years now. Land is one of big problems besetting the City and it will be interesting to see how he intends to tackle the situation, which has undoubtedly reached crisis level.
Many a times City councillors have been making electoral promises, including speeding up land delivery, but this is yet to be realised as only a connected few and the elite benefit from land allocation. It is shameful that a City like Windhoek doesn't have a clear land release strategy in place.
We have always questioned the manner used to determine the allocation of land. Yes, we are cognisant of the fact that in today's topsy-turvy market, cash rules and that is why the modern day parasites (property developers) are capitalising on the huge demand for housing in the country.
This has essentially given rise to property prices making housing unaffordable and out of reach for many. The painful truth is that many Namibians who merely want a place to live are shut out of the market because rising prices have encouraged “buy-to-let” landlords to snap up so many properties on the market.
We don't expect Kahimise to perform miracles in a matter of weeks or months, but something cohesive must be done to address the many problems facing the City, including its poor financial situation.
Schlip Primary School is celebrating its centenary this year. Speaking at the handover ceremony on Monday, the principal of the school John Benjamin Theron thanked DBN for investing in education. “The Schlip Primary School community salutes you for having a heart for education,” said Theron. He appealed to other companies to get involved in school projects saying the lack of adequate equipment and textbooks in schools affects the quality of education. The donation of the chairs which was greatly appreciated will guarantee a seat for every learner in the hall and classroom, as well as a seat for every teacher in the staff room. Development Bank of Namibia's PRO Di-Anna Grobler said the assistance that is offered by the bank takes into consideration the long-term benefits.
“We want the projects that we finance and sponsor now, to continue providing benefits for decades,” Grobler said. She further said the bank supports educational projects because it believes that investment and sponsorship in education gives a solid foundation for economic development. In conclusion, Grobler said in order to achieve the goals of Vision 2030 and beyond, DBN has given financial assistance to numerous primary and secondary schools as well as the International University of Management.
The two accused, the then 24-year-old Fransiscus Dimitri Narimab and Ruben Fritz, 17 at the time of the incident, allegedly killed Alwina Uri-Khos during the evening of 28 and 29 March 2013 between Shandumbala and Western Bypass.
During that fateful night Uri-Khos was allegedly in the company of Narimab and Fritz where they were socialising at different shebeens in Shandumbala.
The two accused made a brief appearance with a request from one of the defence lawyers for postponement to today.
Mbanga Siyomuinyi requested for postponement as he had received instructions to appear on behalf of Narimab at very short notice on Friday of last week.
Acting Judge Boas Uusiku consequently postponed the matter to today for plea and trial.
Narimab and Fritz are being charged with murder, three counts of rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating or obstructing the course of justice. They both allegedly on three occasions raped Uri-Khos.
On the charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances it is alleged that they threw Uri-Khos to the ground, hit her with stones and other unknown objects and strangled her with the intention to rob her and took from her a cell phone, SIM card, pair of shoes and a pair of trousers.
It is further alleged the two men destroyed the SIM card and sold the cellphone. The state also charges that they instructed the mother of Fritz to give false information to the police.
They requested her to tell the police that Fritz never left her home during the evening of 28 March up to the morning of 29 March 2013.
She was also allegedly instructed to hide her son's health passport in a pipe in a riverbed and to sell and/or dispose of the shoes and trousers of the deceased.
According to the indictment after socialising at different shebeens in Shandumbala the accused took Uri-Khos to a busy area between Shandumbala and Western Bypass.
Fritz, with the assistance and encouragement of Narimab raped Uri-Khos twice and Narimab is said to have raped her once.
They allegedly killed her by strangling her, hitting her with rocks on the head and due to the blunt force impact trauma she died at the scene.
The state further maintains that the accused acted with common purpose at all material times.
In a public notice issued last week, the Otjiwarongo municipality invited proposals from private developers to build the houses under a public-private partnership.
The first extension will be in Freedom Park, where the municipality has set aside 17 hectares of serviced land for the construction of 300 houses.
About 24 hectares of serviced land has been allocated in Heroes Park for the construction of 209 more homes.
According to municipality spokesperson Adelheid Shilongo, this is the first such initiative by the municipality.
“These two extensions are fully serviced, with government aid, to accommodate subsidised low-cost houses. The extensions are part of the mass housing project.”
The deadline for proposals is 28 February.
The notice states that the main objective is to attract established developers or consortiums, with their own funds and expertise to partner with the council.
Shilongo said further details of the project, including the cost of the houses and the intended date of completion, could not be confirmed at this time.
“It is too early to say when the houses will be ready for occupation, because first the Expression of Interest has to go out for proposals, then be submitted to management and then to council.
Thereafter, agreements have to be signed between the council and the successful developer.”
Following that, the developer would need to seek funding, she explained.
Shilongo said future plans included three more low-cost extensions that would be serviced through a private-public partnership, emphasising that the municipality's core function was to provide serviced land.
“The community can buy these plots and build their own houses of course, provided that their building plans are approved by the municipality.”
Prospective buyers of the low- and medium-cost houses in Freedom Park and Heroes Park will probably be able obtain mortgage loans from banks, but Shilongo said it was too early to confirm such details.
For various reasons she only went to Eluwa Special School for the deaf and blind when she was already 12 years old.
Like most deaf learners she unfortunately failed the grade 10 exam but instead of sitting idle she kept herself busy doing different things. She worked on a crafts project with blind people and later, started a hair salon. All the time she was driven by an ambition to help and assist her fellow members of the deaf community, especially in the north.
CLaSH, the Association for Children with Language, Speech and Hearing Impairments discovered Tresia in 2005 when the organisation supported a parents' initiative at Eenhana that had started from a group of parents with deaf children. First, Tresia became the sign language instructor for the parents' meetings. Then, in May 2006 after the Eenhana Town Council had allocated a plot and the parents had built a zinc house, she became teacher, matron and activist – all in one.
CLaSH invited her to the pre-school unit in Windhoek for some basic in-service training and also assisted her with teaching materials and volunteers.
The little zinc house, originally envisaged as a kindergarten for young deaf children, quickly became a meeting point for the deaf community, attracting deaf people of all ages. Parents from afar brought their children who couldn't be accommodated at Eluwa and Tresia embraced them all.
She slept among the children, cooked for them, played with them and taught them.
But she also ran literacy classes and HIV/Aids awareness campaigns for deaf adults.
Tresia was very determined and refused to be held back by anything.
In April 2009, the plot with the zinc house and another pre-fab building that CLaSH had managed to acquire were officially handed over to the Ministry of Education. The place was then already called Usko Nghaamwa Pre-School due to the generous support from Ohangwena's governor Usko Nghaamwa.
Now being a government institution, it was impossible for Tresia to continue as a teacher because she had no formal qualifications. CLaSH's motivation, however, helped her to be appointed as matron. She could then still work with the children in the hostel and assist the newly appointed teachers to learn sign language and – she was accepted into the government service.
In 2011, the Headstart Montessori Teacher Training College in Walvis Bay agreed to enrol the first two ECD caregivers in Namibia who were deaf, in their teacher training programme. Tresia was one of them.
Over a period of five years the school and the ministry granted Tresia occasional study leave to attend the training workshops in Windhoek.
During 2016 she was permitted to spend the whole year at an accredited Montessori school in Windhoek.
The Montessori training was demanding.
It took years of utter dedication, flexibility and creativity of everybody involved, including students, lecturers and donors to see the two deaf students through the course.
It was also quite costly as CLaSH had to recruit a highly skilled sign language interpreter from South Africa and then cover fees, flights, accommodation and transfers.
But at the end of last year in December, both candidates qualified with a level five teacher's diploma.
The graduation ceremony will take place on 31 March in Walvis Bay.
Tresia's story is rounded off in the most encouraging way. Early this year her position at Usko Nghaamwa Special School was adjusted from matron to pre-primary teacher and since Monday, 23 January 2017 she teaches the pre-primary class at the school in Eenhana.
This shows what resilience, commitment and vision can achieve. Grateful appreciation goes to the wonderful network of cooperating partners: determined deaf students, flexible lecturers at the Headstart Montessori Teacher Training College, accommodating Montessori schools in Windhoek, a very professional sign language interpreter, supportive Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, including her school and the Ohangwena Regional Office of Education, countless others, who offered encouragement and support and last but not least, the tireless team from CLaSH and their wonderful donors.
According to the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) the large number of objections which were submitted against the 2012/17 provisional valuation rolls for the payment of land tax, as well as the confusing announcements by the Valuation Court in 2016, left landowners with no other option than to appeal to the High Court.
The union says they also plan to submit a review application which disputes the administrative procedures for the drafting of the valuation rolls.
According to the NAU the legal representatives that represented landowners in the Valuation Court decided to submit an appeal to the High Court against the findings of that court and also to submit a review application later on.
The appeal and review application to the High Court are supported by the NAU as it is the aim of this action to correct the valuation roll for future land tax assessments.
On 23 November last year the Valuation Court gave a 40% discount to all landowners who objected.
The NAU at that time said that the 40% discount given by the Valuation Court to the objectors did not solve the problem of the valuation roll.
“The problem still is that the valuation roll ignores certain regulations in terms of which it was compiled which causes that the valuation roll does not take the production potential of land into consideration. Furthermore it does not address the problem that the valuations differ as much as 100% of neighbouring landowners who fall into two different valuation zones.”
The 40% discount caused an imbalance of land valuations within the same zone, which defeated the purpose of the valuation roll, the union said.
According to the NAU it has since 2013 been in contact with the then Ministry of Land Reform about the application of the regulations for the drafting of valuation rolls for the purpose of payment of land tax.
It said the biggest shortcoming was that the 2012/17 provisional valuation rolls did not take the production potential of the land into consideration. Various submissions in this regard were made by the NAU to the ministry, without any response.
This view of the union is confirmed by the large number of objections that were submitted as well as the confusing verdict of the Valuation Court which caused even bigger confusion, the union said. According to the union, numerous landowners contributed to the High Court action. As this action affects all landowners in the country, the NAU says it is of utmost importance that all landowners contribute.
Against this background the NAU is requesting N$1 500 per landowner from those who have not yet contributed.
Uhangatenua Kapi, the coordinator for Zakuruka Producers' Cooperative, a regional livestock and crop marketing association, told Namibian Sun that this was a very difficult season for the farmers.
“As you have seen for yourself, grass has not germinated yet and the trees have no leaves. The livestock have nothing to eat. Our people in the region earn a living from their animals and seeing them dying is a very difficult thing for them,” Kapi said.
The cooperative helps farmers in the region to sell their livestock and produce.
According to Kapi, when they organised the last auction for 2016 in November, farmers showed interest during the mobilisation exercise. However, after the media announced that the region would get good rains during the festive season, the farmers shunned the auction.
“It is a pity that even small livestock like goats and sheep are dying and we cannot do anything to help them. Farmers had been responding well to the auctions we organised from May to October last year, except for the last auction we organised in November.
“While we were organising the auction, the media started announcing that the region was going to receive good rains but now, we are almost in February and it only rained once last week,” Kapi said.
He said during the last auction, many buyers attended but there were only five head of cattle on offer. Livestock farmers are now desperate to sell their animals that have lost condition and they are too thin to get buyers. The next auction will only be held in May.
Kapi further said the most affected areas were around Otjokavare, Opuwo, Omakange, Sesfontein, Orumana and Orupembe.
He said through an organisation called Conservation Agriculture Namibia that helps farmers with improved crop production, the famers only started ploughing the land last week after the first rains fell.
“Our early land preparation starts in November, but since there was no sign of rain farmers did not want to plough the land. It is only last week when they started flocking to our offices for help.”
David Kido was arrested on 19 September 2013 at the farm Jakkalsfontein in the Hardap Region, following the death of Izelda Kock.
On 26 November 2016 Kido was found guilty of rape, murder with direct intention to kill, and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
He had shoved the girl's body into an aardvark burrow before reporting her as missing to the police.
He was further found guilty on two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm for beating the girl and her friend a few days before he committed the rape and murder.
On the count of murder with direct intention to kill, Kido was sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment, of which three years were conditionally suspended for five years.
He was sentenced to 12 years on the rape charge and five years on the count of defeating the course of justice.
On the two counts of assault, Kido was sentenced to one year on each count.
Seven years of the rape sentence, plus the sentences for assault and obstruction, were ordered to run concurrently with the murder sentence.
Kido reported the girl as missing and went to see a local witchdoctor seeking advice and protection.
The witchdoctor, however, informed police officers at Mariental that someone had asked him to help cover up a murder.
The police immediately suspected Kido, and went to the farm to search for the girl. Kido then showed them where the corpse was hidden.
Kido told the police upon arrest that he had raped the girl and then beaten her to death with an iron bar and buried her because he was afraid she would tell her mother.
Advocate Cliff Litubezi appeared for the State. Titus Mbaeva defended Kido.
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The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has identified three species of caterpillars that are causing havoc in fields in the north-central and north-eastern regions.
Namibia will likely have to import more maize because of the outbreak, as most northern farms and irrigation projects have been hit hard.
In January the ministry confirmed the outbreak in the Omusati, Ohangwena, Kavango East and Kavango West regions.
That prompted the ministry to send entomologists to the affected areas to inspect the damage and identify the caterpillars.
The ministry yesterday identified the culprits as army worms, bollworms and maize stalk borers.
“Serious damage was observed to be a result of fall army worms, which feed on the foliage part of the plant, while bollworms cause damage to leaves and to the developing cobs at the milk stage. Stalk borers are a common occurrence but do not cause serious damage, unlike army worms and bollworms,” the statement read.
The ministry explained that these caterpillars are likely to recur every rainy season if materials containing eggs are not destroyed.
During a recent visit to the Etunda Green Scheme irrigation project and a number of small-scale farms in the Omusati Region, it was evident that the caterpillars were causing havoc. Farmers said it was the first time that caterpillars had destroyed so much of their fields.
Some tried to spray pesticides to rescue their crops but the caterpillars kept going.
“They are not new to us but the manner in which they came this year, they are just too many, uncontrollable and they are just destroying everything,” one farmer said.
Etunda project manager Albertus Viljoen told Namibian Sun that climate change and a lack of rain were some of the causes of this outbreak.
He said 30 hectares of maize was destroyed at the scheme and had to be ploughed under.
Viljoen said they hoped to rescue 60 more hectares that were partly affected by the caterpillars.
According to a well-placed source at the NAC, the two parastatals are currently doing business on the basis of a monthly agreement, which is renewed every 30 days, so as to ensure “that NAC does not embarrass the national airline”.
The debt incurred includes services such as landing fees, parking fees and airport taxes for Air Namibia passengers and is said to date back more than two years.
“The debt continues to grow as Air Namibia is simply not paying its bills,” the source told Namibian Sun. Air Namibia spokesman Paulus Nakawa confirmed that the national airline owed NAC money. “Yes, Air Namibia owes NAC some funds. Air Namibia and NAC management engage one another at different levels on many occasions, to ensure that our operations and cooperation continue amid challenges that are normal with any working institutions or relationships, and this is what we will continue doing, as we are obliged to honour services rendered to us by NAC through payment,” Nakawa said.
He refused to disclose the amount owed by the national carrier but said the relationship between Air Namibia and NAC was “lasting” regarding their mandates, as none of the two could exist without the other and they all reported to the same line ministry, that of works and transport.
“Air Namibia, being the national carrier of the Republic of Namibia, is the main and key client to NAC as it operates all domestic scheduled flights to all NAC-managed airports. The existence of these airports relies solely on Air Namibia. We are NAC's infinite client,” he said.
Nakawa said the debts was “quite normal in any transactional business”. “Like any other creditors of Air Namibia, we honour the services rendered to us by the NAC through payment and whether there is an agreement or not, such a transactional relationship regarding our suppliers is not to be made public,” Nakawa said. NAC spokesperson Dan Kamati did not respond to requests for comment.
The ministry of education has not disbursed the Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE) funds to schools in the region yet.
The voluntary contributions made by teachers to ensure that classes are not disrupted, will not be paid back by the government.
These contributions were confirmed by the regional director for education for Omusati, Laban Shapange.
He told Namibian Sun that some schools in his region had not received any money from the UPE and USE resource for the whole of last year and that his principals and teachers were funding school needs from their own pockets.
Shapange could not say how many schools are affected by this, but said most of the affected schools were in the Outapi and Otamanzi circuit.
“We are working on a deadlock here. The money we received from our ministry is not enough and we have to prioritise and our priority is schools with hostels. We have to feed those learners and make sure that essential services such as water and electricity are paid.
For other schools we have to put their needs on hold,” Shapange said.
He also said that although his region needed at least N$20 million for UPE and USE funds per year the ministry always sent an amount that was enough just for one circuit.
“I am thankful to teachers and principals in my region. They go the extra mile to make sure that children receive the education they deserve,” Shapange said.
UPE and USE funds replaced school development funds that used to be paid by parents. The ministry of education allocates money to every school to finance school operations and development based on the number of learners enrolled at that school.
Currently, teachers are contributing money for transport, stationery, administration and teaching aids.
“We use our own money for transport costs to the regional office in Outapi, which is 200km away. Teachers are using their own money to buy stationery for learners. Every time we ask the regional office they keep on telling us that they have not received anything from central government,” said Joel Nakanyala, principal of Ndeutala Angolo Primary School.
“If school inspectors visit schools and don't find teaching aids in classes, it is always a big issue and teachers have to answer.”
Education directors in the Oshikoto, Ohangwena and Oshana regions, however, fervently maintained that UPE and USE funds were distributed to schools without any challenge and were up to date.
In an earlier interview with Namibian Sun, education permanent secretary Sanet Steenkamp indicated that the budget cuts had a substantial impact on the education sector.
“There will certainly be an impact and therefore we are appealing that parents should meet us halfway,” she was quoted as saying.
At the centre of allegations is a former customs official turned businessman, Laurentius Julius (40), who is accused of money-laundering and fraud together with two Chinese citizens.
“We have some rotten apples in the basket. You have seen the prosecutions, it is disappointing. If it has happened, it is just criminal. We should have no tolerance for these activities,” Schlettwein told staff.
“If we do not deal with this, it will just get worse. Don't think you are clever; you are not. You are just shooting yourself in the foot,” he warned.
Turning to tax officials he said: “The same can be said for the tax office.
We will not be relenting in our efforts to bring these people to book. Help us, help me, help the country by just being honest.”
An amount ofN$3.5 billion was allegedly smuggled out of the country through a customs clearing business belonging to Julius.
Taking the stand recently, forensic accountant and KPMG South Africa director Roy Waligori revealed worrying details involving Extreme Customs Clearing Services (XCCS) and Organised Freight, both owned by Julius, and possibly 100 Chinese importers who may be in the wrong.
Waligori, together with KPMG South Africa, were called in by the Bank of Namibia to investigate possible money-laundering in June 2016. The central bank had been investigating the matter since February 2016
Speaking about the investigation, Waligori said: “The purpose of our investigation was to investigate remittances away from Namibia by clearing agents and importers. There are 30 people that we can link to these irregular activities, [which] include the three accused. We have found N$3.5 billion that had been remitted offshore through Nedbank. As it relates to XCCS and Organised Freight, the transactions could go back as far as 2008.”
The investigation further uncovered that US$600 million in total had been paid into XCCS's forex account for the period 2008 to 2016.
The investigation stemmed from remittances paid into XCCS's forex account, giving rise to possible money-laundering or capital flight on the part of the Chinese importers.