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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 02/01/17--14:00: Our budding conservancies
  • Our budding conservanciesOur budding conservanciesBillions contributed to country coffers Conservancies and the management plan applied to them in the country have not only contributed to conservation but has made major deposits into the national income. Community conservation areas now cover almost 20% of the country with 189 230 residents, while it generates more than 5 000 jobs.

    This is according to the latest report about the state of conservation in Namibia.

    The 2015 State of Communal Conservation in Namibia report says since the beginning of 1990 to the end of 2015 community conservation contributed about N$5.02 billion to Namibia’s net national income.

    The report says that community conservation may grow to cover

    90 to 100 conservancies and 40 to 50 community forests in the near future, covering 21% of Namibia and well over 50% of all communal land.

    “It will embrace up to 15% of all communal area residents and well over 50% of rural communal area’s residents in suitable areas.”

    According to the just-released report the total cash income and in-kind benefits generated in conservancies (including the Kyaramacan Association) grew from less than N$1 million in 1998 to more than N$102 million in 2015.

    The report says returns from wildlife and other natural resources generated through community conservation have proven to be substantial, including direct income to conservancies from tourism and conservation hunting, jobs created, and other meaningful benefits such as the distribution of venison.

    At the end of 2015, there were 82 registered communal conservancies and 32 registered community forests in Namibia, covering 165 182 square kilometres.

    This is about 52.9% of all communal land with an estimated 189 230 residents.

    An additional 5 620 people are represented by the Kyaramacan Association, which operates in a similar manner to a conservancy, but is located in the multiple use area of Bwabwata National Park.

    Of the total 165 182 square kilometres, conservancies manage 162 030 square kilometres, which is 19.66% of the country.

    The report says that over the years, returns to conservancies have increased steadily from just over N$500 000 in 1998 to over N$102 million in 2015.

    “Although this is an impressive figure, much of the related cash income is required to cover conservancy costs such as game guard salaries, vehicle operation and maintenance and office expenses. Once these have been deducted, there is often little left to provide meaningful benefits to members,” according to the report.

    During 2015 community conservation generated about N$102 million in returns for local communities and facilitated 5 116 jobs.

    The report says that of the total N$102 million generated tourism generated N$53.6 million while consumptive wildlife use (which includes hunting and live game sales) generated about N$45 million.

    Indigenous natural products generated N$1.8 million and miscellaneous (including items such as interest) generated N$1.6 million.

    According to the report conservancy residents earned a total cash income of N$46.8 million from enterprise wages, of which N$28 million was from joint-venture tourism, N$12.8 million was from conservancies, N$4.1 million from conservation hunting and N$1.8 million from SMEs.

    Conservancy residents earned cash income of N$1 million from indigenous plants and slightly more than N$1 million from crafts.

    More than N$8.9 million in cash was distributed to conservancy residents and used to support community projects.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Countrywide census on disabled kicks offCountrywide census on disabled kicks off A wide-ranging questionnaire to be completed by all government and municipal institutions as well as private institutions was launched yesterday with the goal of gaining an overview of compliance and implementation of polices for the disabled.

    The National Disability Council of Namibia is spearheading the maiden gathering of data via the just-launched Disability Annual Monitoring Report, which all government ministries and institutions, and members of the private sector, have to complete before end of April 2017.

    Tobias Mwaudikange, the chairperson of the disability council yesterday said that the disability annual monitoring report, which consists of a number of questionnaires, is part of the council’s task to provide a holistic and comprehensive status of people living with disabilities in Namibia.

    He said the report hopes to shed light on the overall livelihoods of disabled people “in all spheres of life, such as political, economic, social and cultural.”

    Mwaudikange yesterday said the disability council’s primary role is to monitor the mainstreaming of disability issues by government, a function the report will help fulfil.

    The annual monitoring report will collect a wide array of information, as per the provisions of Section 3 of the council’s enabling Act.

    Copies of the questionnaire will be available on the NDCN website or at the offices of the council in Windhoek.

    Principal of Dagbreek School in Windhoek, Paul du Plessis yesterday said the move to gather information on the integration and policies aimed at assisting disabled persons in the country, is more than welcome.

    “It will assist greatly in planning for the future, and to see where we really stand in terms of disabled members of the community. Such a report could help indicate if we need to build more schools for the disabled for instance,” Du Plessis said.

    He added that gathering of this data would immensely help identify employment opportunities for disabled persons and to help provide a purpose in their life.

    “This is a good start,” he said.

    Petra Dillmann of Special Disability Services Namibia agrees.

    “We welcome the move and while it will take some time get the information compiled, we certainly need it. It is our hope that the council will work together with the results and information complied in the national census,” she told Namibian Sun.

    The disability annual monitoring booklet consists of four parts, and various institutions are instructed to complete different parts.

    The first part of the booklet must be completed by all participants in the survey, including government offices and agencies, local authorities, regional authorities, state owned enterprises and the private sector.

    Part two of the booklet is aimed at specific ministries and the national assembly and national council.

    Part three requires municipalities, town councils and village councils to respond to questions while part four is aimed at all 14 regional councils.

    The census also fulfils Namibia’s obligations as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability and the Continental Plan of Action for the Africa Decade of Persons with disabilities.

    The first section of the monitoring booklet, to be completed by all institutions, collects general information on the type of disabilities within an organisation, the number of disabled employed in the organisation and requests information on wage scales for disabled personnel versus all personnel.

    The questionnaire furthermore requires a list of policies, programmes and action plans for disabled employees in the work place and the various efforts organisation undergo to raise awareness, recruit or promote disabled employees and more.

    Part Two of the monitoring booklet is aimed at relevant government ministries, including the Ministry of Land Reform and Resettlement, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health among others.

    Questions are aimed specifically at the roles each ministry plays and their provisions for disabled members of society.

    The questionnaire, among several other points, asks that the ministries provide feedback on budgets, including money set aside in government offices by the Ministry of Economic Planning that was earmarked for disability programmes.

    The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development is required to list how many houses were specifically earmarked for possible occupants with disabilities in all municipal, town and village areas within each region.

    The act requires that the council monitor “the implementation of the national policy on disability by the various offices, ministries and agencies of government.”

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 02/01/17--14:00: NamPower draws the line
  • NamPower draws the lineNamPower draws the lineEight towns, 40 settlements face the chop The power utility is poised to cut electricity supplies to at least eight towns and villages, mainly in the south. NamPower has given notice that it will cut the power supply to at least eight towns and villages, and a further 40 small settlements.

    NamPower announced in a newspaper advertisement that it would shut off the power supply to Koës, Gibeon, Tses, Kalkrand, Bethanie, Kombat, Mariental and Rehoboth.

    “NamPower has resolved to suspend power supply to a number of village, local and regional authorities with long-outstanding accounts. The decision was taken after continuous engagements with the affected parties to settle their outstanding accounts did not yield positive results.

    According to the notice, the power will be disconnected on Wednesday, 8 February, from 10:00.

    Mariental is in trouble because some government ministries have fallen behind with their payments. The council's CEO, Paul Nghiwilepo, laid the blame squarely at the door of defaulting ministries.

    “The problem we have is with government. Some of them pay their accounts very late and that affects our cash flow. There are some ministries that have requested for more time, however, with the situation we are in, we are not going to give an extension. This thing is because of ministries not paying their accounts,” Nghiwilepo told Namibian Sun.

    “I understand NamPower's position,” he added.

    But he seemed optimistic that the town's power supply would not be cut, saying: “[For us] it is not an issue.” Kalkrand's acting CEO, Ruben Shipanga, was also fairly positive that the village would not be left in the dark.

    “We are actually preparing payments to NamPower. We will pay an amount of N$300 000 while a total amount of N$600 000 is currently outstanding.

    “We have been telling our customers to pay their accounts because we need to pay the NamPower account from our revenues. We have asked NamPower for ample time because we also need to make payments to our other bulk supplier, NamWater,” he said.

    The Rehoboth Town Council was not very forthcoming, only stating that they planned a meeting to discuss ways of avoiding such situations. This is the second time in a few years that the Rehoboth council is in arrears for utilities, having owed NamWater millions in 2014.

    Gibeon Village Council CEO Desire Theunissen had a different excuse to the three other executives. She said: “We do owe a substantial amount, something like N$1.1 million, made up of arrears accumulated over a reasonable time.

    “We have challenges here in Gibeon like high unemployment and sometimes it is impossible to pay the entire outstanding amount in a month, so it can add up. We are now in negotiations with NamPower but we do have a cash-flow problem.”

    Theunissen added that the village council was looking for an amicable solution to its cash-flow problems. “We are also talking to the ministry [of urban and rural development] to address demand charges they have still not paid. Also we are looking at in-house measures.

    “We have started the valuation process which can lead to land sales, and educating the community to buy and receive their title deeds. Most only pay a meagre occupation fee from lease agreements.

    “We have been busy with this since last year and the people seem to welcome the initiative as we keep economics of scale and affordability of rates in mind. Still, I am concerned for the less advantaged here.”

    Human rights activist Phil Ya Nangoloh was not too pleased with NamPower's intent to cut the power supply, calling it a human rights violation.

    “Electricity is a basic right. That is a violation of the basic right to adequate housing, water, sanitation, electricity.

    “The state is there to promote the welfare of the people. It is a serious violation if access to electricity is cut. Whether it is the town council, village council or city council, ultimately and at the end of the day, it is the state's responsibility,” Ya Nangoloh said.

    Nampower did not respond to follow-up questions at the time of going to press.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 02/01/17--14:00: Body found in canal
  • Body found in canalBody found in canal The body of Abel Timoteus (46) has been retrieved from a canal in Oshakati.

    The body was discovered by a passer-by in the canal behind Sky location around 08:00 on Monday.

    Timoteus, who was a resident of Sky location, suffered from epilepsy. He was last seen on Saturday.

    According to Oshana's regional police commander, Commissioner Rauha Amwele, the preliminary report indicates that Timoteus drowned. However, a post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

    Apparently Timoteus used to go to the canal to collect water or to bathe.



    Raped and robbed

    In another incident in the Oshikoto Region, a 52-year-old woman was raped by a man she identified as Tulonga. The suspect is still on the run.

    According to Chief Inspector Edna Nawa, the incident took place around 20:00 on Tuesday at Oshikulu village in Onyaanya.

    Nawa said the victim was on her way from the Engande cuca shops when the suspect attacked her. He raped her and robbed her of N$200.

    The victim and the suspect are both from Oshikulu village. The police investigation continues.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Spate of armed attacks on walkersSpate of armed attacks on walkers A series of armed attacks on dog walkers in green spaces in an around Windhoek has raised concern.

    In two incidents this week, one at Farm Windhoek and one at Avis Dam, residents were held up by armed robbers while taking their dogs for a walk. In line with this, Green Space, the group that manages the area around Avis Dam, pleaded with nature lovers and dog walkers to assist with funding in order to boost security measures.

    “We need citizens to come forward to help us fight these criminals,” said Ulla von Holtz, vice-chairperson of Green Space. She said currently security guards are stationed at the entrance to Avis Dam from 07:00 to 19:00 every day.

    In order to increase the presence of security guards, public funding was required, she said.

    “We want to make it as safe as we can, but we need funding,” Von Holtz said.

    Von Holtz said this was the first armed attack at the Avis nature reserve, a day after a similar armed robbery took place near Kleine Kuppe, at Farm Windhoek.

    Von Holtz appealed to the public not to visit remote areas after sunset, when few people are around and criminals can easily pounce.

    Windhoek residents Jens Schneider and Belinda Retief were robbed at Avis Dam on Tuesday evening.

    In a public statement yesterday, Schneider described the attackers as “aggressive and threatening”. He said they were armed with a firearm and a knife.

    The couple were forced to provide access codes and passwords to their phones, so that the robbers could deactivate all tracking functions.

    “All the time, one of the men was threatening to shoot me and the other two men threatened Belinda with their knives near her face and neck. They forced us both to take off our shoes,” Schneider said.

    The three armed men stole an iPhone, two pairs of walking shoes, a pair of Rayban sunglasses, one car radio and a sixpack of Savanna Dry. The robbery happened around 20:00, the couple said.

    On Monday, a couple walking their dogs in the early morning hours close to Kleine Kuppe were able to fend off the attackers with pepper spray. During the struggle, one of the men threw a rock at the man wielding the pepper spray, injuring his shoulder. Nevertheless the attackers fled. No arrests have been made to date.

    A spokesperson for neighbourhood watches in Windhoek, Francois Löttering, yesterday advised nature lovers and dog walkers not to walk alone, but to remain in groups. He added that it is advisable to leave any valuables at home, including jewellery and electronic gadgets.

    “Rather be safe than sorry,” Löttering warned.

    When confronted by attackers or robbers, “try to remember as much as possible about the thug for possible identification,” he advised.

    Police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi warned that criminals often target potential victims in isolated areas such as nature reserves.

    He advised residents to remain alert and to “always walk in the company of others, not alone”.

    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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  • 02/01/17--14:00: Guilty of double murder
  • Guilty of double murderGuilty of double murderDausab to be sentenced on 27 February Julius Dausab has been convicted of the murders of Paulina Kenamune and her mother, Elfriede Kenamune, eight years ago. A riddle that persisted for the past eight years around the shooting and killing of a mother and her daughter at Okatuo in Okahandja came to a conclusion on Monday when the Windhoek High Court found the daughter's boyfriend guilty of murder with direct intent.

    Julius Dausab was found guilty of the murders of Paulina Kenamune and her mother, Elfriede Kenamune (44), on 3 June 2009. Dausab had fathered two children with Paulina.

    He was further found guilty of possession of a firearm without a licence and illegal possession of ammunition.

    In his judgment Judge Alfred Siboleka said there were no irregularities in the way the police had investigated the matter.

    He further found that the evidence of State witness Simon Kavendja, boyfriend of late Elfriede Kenamune who was present at Okatuo that night, was credible and that he had all the means to tell the court that he saw Dausab shooting the victims.

    But he simply said he didn't observe or hear the sound of the first gunshot that killed Paulina.

    “He was fast asleep, tired from the drawing of water using a donkey cart. Only when he was awakened by Elfriede Kenamune, did he realise there were problems at his residence,” Siboleka said.

    The judge dismissed Dausab's claim of an unknown assailant who arrived in a vehicle that was parked there until after the double murder. Judge Siboleka said no tracks of such a vehicle were seen by any of the police officers or by Kavendja.

    He stated that immediately after Elfriende Kenamune was gunned down Dausab called to Kavendja to come out, saying: “I have got no problem with you. I will not do anything to you.” This implied that Dausab had had problems with the two deceased women.

    The judge consequently found him guilty as charged and postponed the matter for sentencing to 27 February. Advocate Eric Moyo prosecuted while Bradley Basson appeared for Dausab.





    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 02/01/17--14:00: 260 poaching cases
  • 260 poaching cases260 poaching casesNamibians the main culprits The nationality of more than a hundred poaching suspects is unknown, the environment minister revealed yesterday. A total of 266 cases of wildlife crime have been registered in Namibia since the beginning of last year, and 231 suspects have been arrested.

    The majority of those arrested are Namibians, statistics indicate, while contrary to popular belief the majority of foreigners involved in poaching are Zambians and Angolans.

    In an exclusive interview with Namibian Sun, tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta revealed the latest statistics pertaining to wildlife crime.

    Last year 260 poaching cases were reported, involving the illegal hunting of elephants and rhinos and the possession of elephant tusks and rhino horns.

    These consisted of 105 cases of illegal hunting of rhinos, 44 of illegal possession of rhino horns, 74 of illegal hunting of elephants and 35 of illegal possession of elephant tusks.

    This year six cases have been registered - one of illegal hunting of rhino, two of illegal possession of rhino horns, one of illegal hunting of elephants and two of illegal possession of elephant tusks.

    Shifeta said 222 suspects were arrested for rhino and elephant poaching last year. Of these 83 were Namibians and 17 Zambians. Eight Chinese and 14 Angolans were arrested.

    The nationality of 100 suspects could not be ascertained. Shifeta said the number of foreigners arrested in these crimes could, therefore, be much higher.

    Twenty-five of the Namibians who were arrested were charged with rhino poaching, 15 with illegal possession of rhino horns, and 23 with possession of elephant tusks.

    A breakdown of the Zambians who were arrested shows that seven were arrested for illegal elephant hunting, two for rhino poaching, five for possession of elephant tusks and three for possession of rhino horns.

    Five Angolans were arrested for possession of elephant tusks, six for hunting elephants, two for poaching rhinos and one for possession of rhino horns.





    So far this year nine people have been arrested for these crimes – three Namibians, two Chinese, two Angolans and two from Botswana.

    According to the minister 36 rhino horns were confiscated in 2016, along with 56 elephant tusks and 79 pieces of ivory.



    In the first month of this year three rhino horns and 18 elephant tusks were confiscated.



    Shifeta said there had been 10 successful prosecutions for rhino and elephant poaching. These included the case of four Chinese citizens convicted of trying to smuggle 14 rhino horns and a leopard skin out of Namibia in March 2014. They were sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment each last year.





    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Illegal Na#Jaqna settlers ignore court orderIllegal Na#Jaqna settlers ignore court order CATHERINE SASMAN

    A notice of appeal filed in October and November 2016 by 11 of the 22 respondents ordered to vacate illegally occupied land in the Na#Jaqna Conservancy in Tsumkwe West has lapsed.

    In a letter from the Supreme Court dated 28 December, the 11 appellants, including Teckla Lameck, were advised that their notice of appeal had lapsed after none of the appellants met the requirements to continue with the appeal.

    In lieu of this, the landmark High Court judgement delivered on 18 August 2016, which instructed the 22 illegal settlers to remove themselves, their fences and livestock within of 60 days, remains in effect and must be executed.

    The deadline expired in mid-November, yet none of the 22 respondents, including the 11 who initially decided to appeal, have complied with the court order to date.

    During the delivery of the judgement, High Court Judge Shafimana Ueitele instructed the Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board and the !Kung Traditional Authority to take steps to evict the respondents and their livestock, should they not adhere to the court order within 60 days.

    In a statement this week, Legal Assistance Centre director Toni Hancox noted that “given that the Supreme Court has now pronounced itself on the appeals, we hope that the Communal Land Board and the Traditional Authority are taking steps to execute the order.”

    Yesterday, officials at the Ministry of Land Reform could not comment on the way forward, or any actions taken since the appeals lapsed in December.

    According to a source at Omatako in the Na#Jaqna Conservancy, none of the 22 illegal settlers have vacated the land.

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  • 02/01/17--14:00: Indongo's rhino poached
  • Indongo's rhino poachedIndongo's rhino poached A farm owned by businessman Frans Indongo has become the latest target of rhino poachers.

    Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta confirmed to Namibian Sun that a white rhino killed on Indongo's farm Okanenampanti was the first rhino poaching of this year.

    According to Shifeta the white rhino was killed last week.

    The farm is located near Otjiwarongo and is the location of the Frans Indongo Lodge.

    According to the minister the rhino carcass was discovered last week Thursday. The horns had been removed. No one has been arrested and investigations continue.

    Shifeta said because of intensified security measures in national parks and conservancies poachers are increasingly targeting private farms.

    Releasing the latest poaching figures, Shifeta said 63 rhinos were killed last year - 52 in Etosha National Park, eight in the Palmwag Conservancy in the Kunene Region and two on private farms.

    He also confirmed that one elephant was poached in Bwabwata National Park last month.





    Shifeta said Bwabwata was a huge area to cover and therefore it was decided to send in National Defence Force units to reinforce the anti-poaching patrols of police officers and game wardens.

    He said it had become more common for poachers to be armed with assault rifles and to open fire on patrols when cornered.

    “It would be reckless to allow the police to respond to such serious incidents and risk their lives,” he said.

    According to statistics last year a total of 101 elephants were poached, while in 2015 49 elephants were killed and 78 in 2014. In 2013 a total of 38 elephants were poached.

    The minister said last year 44 elephants were poached in the Zambezi Region and 49 in the Kavango Region. Five elephants were poached in the Kavango West Region, two in the Omusati Region and one near Omaruru.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Jack Huang gets N$1 million bailJack Huang gets N$1 million bail Influential Chinese businessman Jack Huang has been granted bail of N$1 million, just a day after he was arrested by the Namibian police in connection with the N$3.5 billion tax evasion, fraud and money-laundering case before the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court. Huang was arrested at the Hosea Kutako International Airport on Wednesday where he was preparing to board a plane to Angola, where he allegedly has numerous business interests. Magistrate Ruben Mutuku granted the N$1 million bail on condition that the accused report between Monday and Friday once a week at the Windhoek Police Station and ordered that if he is not in Windhoek he must do so at the nearest police station. Huang is represented by prominent lawyer Sisa Namandje.

    FRED GOEIEMAN



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    Swartbooi to address southern landless Swartbooi to address southern landless
    Not less than 3 000 people are expected to attend a mass meeting in Keetmanshoop on Saturday in an attempt to stop the tabling of the Land Bill.
    Minister of Land Reform, Utoni Nujoma, has so far denied repeated calls by communities and interest groups to postpone the tabling of the Bill until after the promised second land conference that was slated for later this year.
    In response to the growing clamour, the minister has instead postponed submissions on the Bill from 16 January to 16 February but has expressed his intention that the tabling of the Bill with the opening of parliament would continue.
    He had also dismissed claims that there were not sufficient national consultations on the Bill.
    The mass meeting taking place tomorrow is held under the theme ‘landless Namibians’ mass meeting’ and is spearheaded by the //Karas Progressive Landless Namibians Movement.
    The organisers said the mass meeting is aimed at creating awareness among landless Namibians that “they have been historically disposed of their land, [and the] unjustifiable and unfair allocation of commercial agricultural land purchased for resettlement as part of the broader land reform”.
    The keynote address will be done by deposed former Deputy Minister of Land Reform, Bernadus Swartbooi, who was forced to apologise to Nujoma after accusing the latter of allocating resettlement farms in southern and central Namibia to primarily northerners who have not lost land during the colonial and apartheid regimes.
    Paramount chief of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA), advocate Vekuii Rukoro, was also to attend the mass meeting but will instead be represented by senior councillors of the OTA as he will be attending the centenary commemoration of King Mandume Ya Ndemufayo to be held this weekend.

    Catherine Sasman

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  • 02/02/17--06:57: Court says Kudumo must go
  • Court says Kudumo must goCourt says Kudumo must go Deputy Judge President of the High Court Hosea Angula today dismissed an urgent application by Eugene Siwombe Kudumo to have an earlier ruling of the court that his designation as chief is invalid and of no effect be overruled.
    Kudumo has refused to leave the office and continued to carry out the duties and functions of the Uukwangali traditional authority despite a High Court ruling in October last year that he be stripped of the chieftainship.
    Kudumo in his urgent application claimed that he was unaware of the application from rival groups who tried to depose him of the chieftaincy.
    It was, however, established that he in fact was served with the court papers through the chairperson of the traditional authority, Christian Simuketa Ndeya, who Kudumo had authorised to in February last year to do so.
    Senior traditional councillors yesterday welcomed Deputy Judge President Angula’s ruling.
    “We want to see that this court order is honoured. Kudumo must adhere to the order and respect it. We want the Uukwangali community to come together and choose a fit and proper leader,” said senior councillor Rudolph Ngondo.
    According to Ngondo and other senior leaders the five royal houses should choose amongst themselves, with the assistance their subjects, the next chief of the traditional authority.
    The five royal families are the Nasira, Kapango, Lyankova, Kanuni, and Mbunze.
    “It is clear that in an independent Namibia no autocratic or despotic dispensation can be tolerated. A leader should be installed democratically. That is what we want to prevail; that is our firm standpoint,” said Ngondo.
    The High Court last year ruled in favour of senior councillors who maintain that Kudumo’s instalment as the chief was not done in accordance with the customary laws and norms of the traditional authority.
    In January Kudumo was served with a letter from the legal representative of senior councillors, Norman Tjombe of Tjombe-Elago Law Firm, to vacate the office.

    Catherine Sasman

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    New coach fired up for great timesNew coach fired up for great timesJones predicts better Currie Cup performances Lyn Jones is happy with the effort the players have put into training since his arrival in Namibia this week. Newly appointed Windhoek Draught Welwitschias Currie Cup team coach Lyn Jones is confident that the team will perform much better this year than they did last season.

    Jones, who arrived this week, predicts a great future for the team.

    “Last year was not great because the team did not do so well, but we are going to get better and better with time.

    “We will keep on going as long as we are working in the same direction as a group.”

    The high-profile coach also revealed that he was not going to change the coaching staff for now because they have a good understanding and relationship with the players.

    “The experience of Roger Thomson is critical and I will lean on him a lot until I find my feet.

    “I am also impressed with the determination because everybody has been working hard in training,” Jones said.

    The 52-year-old Welsh coach has coached the New Port Gwen Dragons and three other clubs since he started coaching in 1994.

    Jones is the second Welshman to hold a position in the NRU, with the other being his former teammate Phil Davies.

    The coach will be at the helm of the Currie Cup team for eight months, with many locals expected to benefit from his experience.

    Last year's competition saw Namibia losing all five their Currie Cup First Division matches, while scoring 117 points and conceding 303.



    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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    NFA Debmarine Cup fever beginsNFA Debmarine Cup fever begins Lower divisions will enter uncharted territory next weekend when the 2017 Debmarine Namibia Cup gets under way countrywide.

    Diamond mining giant Debmarine Namibia and the NFA in December announced a three-year, N$14.1 million sponsorship deal that will see the return of Namibia's flagship competition.

    More than 250 players will get a chance to show their skills in the first competition of the new football season.

    From Kunene to Zambezi, from Oshana to Otjozondjupa, Khomas down to Karas and Omaheke and Erongo, second-division clubs will vie for just one spot each to proceed to the last 32.

    Two regional champs will then be drawn to face each other in elimination matches.

    Clubs in the North East, North West and Southern Stream first divisions will also fight for one spot each.

    The winners of the elimination round will each walk away with N$20 000, while the losing finalist with receive N$10 000. The losing semi-finalists will receive N$5 000 for their part in the football extravaganza.

    The 16 Namibia Premier League clubs will join the fray in the round of 32. At this level each club will receive N$18 000 for preparations all the way to the final, while the overall winners will walk away with N$500 000.

    NFA secretary-general Barry Rukoro confirmed that the logistics were taking shape for the opening weekend.

    “We are all excited about this venture and pulling out all the stops to make sure the first weekend of the Debmarine Namibia Cup is a success.

    “I can assure you that from the organisational point of view we are on course and I have no doubt that the clubs are gearing up for this competition as well.

    “This is football and I bet this cup will bring so many smiles to our people's faces across the board,” Rukoro said.



    SPORTS REPORTER

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    NSC halts funding of sport federationsNSC halts funding of sport federations NAMPA

    The Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) on Tuesday informed all sport federations that it could no longer give them financial assistance in the wake of recent government budget cuts.

    In a letter addressed to all 54 sport codes in the country, the NSC stated that no annual grants, financial support or transport assistance would be rendered to sport federations for the rest of the current financial year, which ends on 31 March 2017.

    “As you know, given the recent history of budget cuts, there is virtually no excess in our budget. At the same time, we must confront the need to make reductions in our current financial plan, cutbacks that are not as large as we had earlier predicted, but difficult nonetheless,” reads the letter.

    Speaking to Nampa on Wednesday, the acting chief administrator at the NSC, Peter Wilson, said they hoped everything would stabilise when the new budget was approved.

    “We are lucky that we have some codes that are not really dependent on the NSC and I know things will be better when we get our new budget. It’s now time for the corporate world to start meeting government halfway,” he said.

    Wilson added that in its 2017/18 budget, the NSC would cater for all sport codes, including those that had not received funding in the past.

    “We know we are going to get less money, which will lead to codes getting reduced annual grants, but we will give all the 54 codes assistance when they represent the country,” he stated.

    The 54 sports codes are divided into three categories: main codes, developmental sport and family sport.

    The main codes are football, rugby, boxing, netball, volleyball, athletics, boxing and cricket, which get the biggest chunk of the sport budget.

    Codes are allocated a certain amount of money per year and the money is then paid to them on a quarterly basis.

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  • 02/02/17--14:00: Tuyeni remembered
  • Tuyeni remembered Tuyeni remembered Tributes roll in for midfielder The Namibian football fraternity is celebrating the life of a fallen football player who played an important role in the lives of many. JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA



    The coastal town of Swakopmund will remember the lost son of Namibian football who once graced the football fields of the Land of the Brave, Tugela Tuyeni, with a football tournament.

    Many called him a friend and a humble soul who was extremely gifted when it came to the beautiful game.

    Friends and family will flock to Swakopmund to witness matches between some of his former teammates.

    The tournament is expected to wipe off the tears of his close friends who are still heartbroken about the midfield all-rounder’s death. The country was robbed off a down-to-earth son in a fatal car accident in December.

    Former football players have dusted off their boots to play in a Tugela Tuyeni Memorial Match at Swakopmund tomorrow.

    Tuyen was a former Blue Boys, Blue Waters, Civics and national team midfielder who earned premier league medals during his playing days.

    His friends therefore decided to pay tribute to their fallen star in the most befitting manner, which is a memorial tournament at his home town of Swakopmund.

    Another memorial match will be played in Windhoek later in the month.

    The memorial matches have been organised by Aweh Aweh, the social club which he and his friends established after he retired from active football, and Blue Boys, where he started his organised football career.

    The exhibition matches are sponsored by MobiPay, the technology company where Tuyeni was employed.

    Matches which will be played at the Mondesa Stadium in Swakop and entrance fee will be N$10 per person.

    The schedule of the exhibition matches is as follows:

    12:30 Swakop Secondary School v De Duine Secondary School

    13:30 Aweh Aweh SC v Tugela’s Walvis friends

    15:30 SFC v Blue Boys

    17:30 Aweh Aweh SC v Tugela’s Swakop friends

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    Curry red-hot as Warriors bury HornetsCurry red-hot as Warriors bury Hornets Stephen Curry bounced back from a bout of stomach flu in impressive style on Wednesday, his three-point barrage pacing the Golden State Warriors' 126-111 rout of the Charlotte Hornets in Oakland.

    Curry drained 11 of the Warriors' 21 three-pointers en route to 39 points.

    The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player had missed the Warriors' game on Sunday, traveling to Portland but staying in his hotel room because of illness.

    After taking Monday off he returned to practice on Tuesday and he showed no sign of any lingering effects as he unloaded on the team from his hometown.

    His long-range bomb 23 seconds into the contest gave the Warriors a lead they would stretch to as many as 32. Teammate Klay Thompson made six from beyond the arc to score 29 points and tied a career-best with eight assists.

    “The cool thing about tonight was we both got started hot,” Curry said of himself and Thompson. “The flow was perfect. Everyone was involved. It got contagious.”

    Draymond Green led all rebounders with 10, but found time to make two three-pointers himself while Kevin Durant and reserve Patrick McCaw had one apiece.

    Durant finished with 18 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, but it was Curry who seized the spotlight in 30 minutes on the floor before sitting out all of the fourth quarter.

    He passed Rashard Lewis to move into 12th place on the NBA's all-time list of three-pointers made with 1,792. Retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is number 11, with 1,827.

    “He hit a couple of threes that had to be 30 feet,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said of Curry. “There's a lot of shots that are made that are not defendable. There's not a lot you can do.” Curry's 39 points came without benefit of a single free throw. In fact, he didn't go to the foul line once.

    “Yeah, it's weird when these nights happen,” said Curry, who recalled a 51-point performance last February in Orlando in which he had just one free throw attempt.

    “When you get it all from the field you can get into a rhythm and make all kinds of shots.”

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Sharapova boxes clever as return nearsSharapova boxes clever as return nears Maria Sharapova on Wednesday said she refused to feel sorry for herself during her doping ban, occupying her time by studying at Harvard, writing a book and even learning how to box.

    The former world number one and five-time Grand Slam title winner told a Russian chat show that she particularly enjoyed lacing up a pair of boxing gloves as part of her fitness regime.

    “I tried boxing as I needed to keep myself in good form. It was great as I could imagine some particular people whom I wanted to hit,” said the 29-year-old, without elaborating on the identity of her imagined targets.

    Sharapova was banned from the sport after testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open. However, she will return to action at the Stuttgart claycourt tournament on April 26 after her initial two-year ban was cut to 15 months. Her reappearance in the sport will come seven days after her 30th birthday.

    “I found out that I'm very good in resting,” added Sharapova when she was asked what lessons she had learned during her enforced absence from the tour and which has left her without a world ranking.

    “Formerly I couldn't imagine what to do during such a huge period of free time. I had almost 12 months to think, to read books etc.” She added: “I also had a vacation in Croatia, I celebrated the New Year in Hawaii.

    “I've never been in London as a tourist before. I've seen almost nothing there while playing at Wimbledon.” Sharapova, who studied at Harvard Business School to help expand her candy business, added she had written a book about her life.

    “I wrote a book which will be out in September.

    First it will be issued in English and then translated into Russian.” Earlier on Wednesday Sharapova said it was too early to discuss the possibility of her participation in 2020 Olympics at Tokyo.

    “Now I'm focused on my comeback,” the London Olympics silver medalist and 2008 Fed Cup winner told Russia's TASS news agency, saying it was “still unclear” if she would play in Tokyo. “I would really love to play (in the Tokyo Games).

    It was hard to watch people competing at (Rio) Olympics, while I was unable to play there,” she added.



    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 02/02/17--14:00: Jesus fires Man City
  • Jesus fires Man CityJesus fires Man CityMan United frustrated by Hull The day did not end well for Manchester United as they were held to a draw while Manchester City rolled past West Ham with a convincing victory. Gabriel Jesus opened his Manchester City account in a 4-0 stroll at West Ham United on Wednesday that sent his side level with fourth-place Liverpool in the Premier League.

    Pep Guardiola's team took full advantage of slip-ups by the other teams in the leading pack on Tuesday to move level on points with Liverpool, 10 points below leaders Chelsea.

    “Gabriel Jesus is a fighter with an instinct for the goal,” beamed Guardiola of his £27 million ($33.6 million, 31.3 million euros) recruit from Palmeiras. “He is good at assists too.”

    Manchester United could not follow suit, however, a damaging 0-0 draw at home to struggling Hull City leaving Jose Mourinho's men four points below Liverpool and City in sixth place.

    Just a point now separates the teams sitting second, third, fourth and fifth, with Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal level on 47 points, a point above Liverpool and City.

    Guardiola made two bold selection choices at West Ham's London Stadium, dropping goalkeeper Claudio Bravo for Willy Caballero and keeping City talisman Sergio Aguero on the bench.

    And it worked as the visitors streaked into a 3-0 lead inside 39 minutes through goals by Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and 19-year-old Brazil starlet Jesus.

    De Bruyne opened the scoring in the 17th minute, picking up a loose ball and exchanging passes with Jesus before sweeping a first-time shot into the bottom-right corner.

    Leroy Sane created the second goal four minutes later, neatly nutmegging Sam Byram and slipping past West Ham debutant Jose Fonte before squaring for Silva to convert at the back post.

    Jesus then opened his account with a delightfully constructed goal, slotting in after Sane's through ball had been steered across goal by Raheem Sterling.

    West Ham manager Slaven Bilic gave Robert Snodgrass his debut as a 64th-minute substitute following his move from Hull.

    But three minutes later Yaya Toure made it 4-0 from the penalty spot after Sterling was clumsily fouled by Fonte, sealing a second convincing win for City at West Ham after last month's 5-0 FA Cup romp.

    “We played a front three with an average age of 20. I like the fans to be excited,” Guardiola told BT Sport.

    “Those players are the future of the club. They will be important players for the next few years.”

    Hull's draw at Old Trafford gave them a small measure of revenge for last week's League Cup semi-final defeat at Manchester United's hands.

    Mourinho made nine changes to the United team that had crushed Wigan Athletic 4-0 in the FA Cup on Sunday, but Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic repelled everything the hosts threw his way.

    He saved spectacularly from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba in the first half and produced a stunning goal-line block to deny substitute Juan Mata what seemed a certain goal in the second half.

    United continue to press, but Hull new boy Lazar Markovic almost completed a smash-and-grab win in the 86th minute, the on-loan Liverpool winger seeing his shot come back off the post.

    “We didn't score. You don't score; it is not possible to win. Their goalkeeper was good,” Mourinho said in a terse post-match interview.

    “They had the feedback and were comfortable to do what they did. I am not critical of that. They are fighting against relegation and every point is gold.” The point took Hull off the foot of the table, but Marco Silva's much improved side are still four points from safety. “It is a very good result for us against a very good team,” said Hull manager Silva.

    “We played like a team with a great attitude, spirit and character.”

    Everton remain seventh, nine points below the Champions League places, after a 1-1 draw at Stoke City.

    Peter Crouch gave Stoke an early lead with his 100th Premier League goal, but Ryan Shawcross turned Seamus Coleman's cross into his own net in the 39th minute to give the visitors a point.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 02/02/17--14:00: AU commits to immunisation
  • AU commits to immunisationAU commits to immunisationDeclaration for all in Africa to benefit History was made when the AU committed to provide universal access to immunisation on the continent. Heads of State from across Africa adopted a Declaration on Universal Access to Immunisation in Africa, in which they endorsed the Addis Declaration on Immunisation, a historic and timely pledge to ensure that everyone in Africa – regardless of who they are or where they live – receives the full benefits of immunisation. The endorsement was issued during the 28th African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    While Africa has made impressive gains over the last 15 years toward increasing access to immunisation, progress has stagnated, and the continent is falling behind on meeting global immunisation targets. One in five children in Africa still does not receive basic life-saving vaccines and, as a result, vaccine-preventable diseases continue to claim too many lives. Measles alone accounts for approximately 61 000 preventable deaths in the African region every year.

    “We know that universal access to immunisation is achievable,” noted outgoing African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. “The Addis Declaration on Immunisation is a historic pledge. With political support at the highest levels, we are closer than ever to ensuring that all children in Africa have an equal shot at a healthy and productive life.” The Addis Declaration on Immunisation calls for countries to increase political and financial investments in their immunisation programmes. It includes ten commitments, including increasing vaccine-related funding, strengthening supply chains and delivery systems, and making universal access to vaccines a cornerstone of health and development efforts.

    “Vaccines are among the most effective public health tools available,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. “When children are given a healthy start, communities thrive and economies grow stronger. This show of support from Heads of State is a significant step forward in our efforts to achieve universal access to immunisation and, ultimately, improve child health and drive sustainable development across Africa.”

    Fewer than 15 African countries fund more than 50% of their national immunisation programmes. As Africa nears polio eradication, critical funding for immunisation through the polio eradication programme is expected to ramp down. Additionally, countries approaching middle-income status will transition away from Gavi support for immunisation in the coming years. Consequently, governments must redouble their efforts to make universal immunisation coverage a national priority.

    “As long as even one child in Africa lacks access to immunisation, our work remains unfinished,” said Dr Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. “With the right mix of political will, financial resources and technical acumen, Africa can – and will – stem the tide of vaccine-preventable diseases across the continent.”

    With strong leadership and investment, increased access to immunisation is within reach. For example, in 2010, Ethiopia built 16 000 new health centres, purchased 2 000 battery-free solar refrigerators for vaccine storage, and built a network of millions of health extension workers and volunteers at community level to increase access to immunisation throughout the country. Since these investments were made, Ethiopia has made remarkable gains, with immunisation rates soaring from 61% in 2010 to 86% in 2015.

    “Immunisation is one of the smartest investments a country can make in its future,” said Professor Yifru Berhan Mitke, Ethiopia's Minister of Health. “We must do more to protect all our children from preventable diseases – not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it makes economic sense. When our children are healthy, our families, communities and countries thrive.”

    The Addis Declaration on Immunisation was signed by Ministers of Health and other line ministers at the Ministerial Conference on Immunisation in Africa (MCIA) in February 2016 in Addis Ababa. MCIA was the first-ever ministerial-level gathering with a singular focus on ensuring that children across the continent can access life-saving vaccines. To guide the implementation of the ADI, a roadmap is being developed in close collaboration with the WHO offices in the African Region and Eastern Mediterranean Region, the African Union Commission and immunisation partners. “African leaders are showing outstanding leadership by endorsing this landmark commitment which will allow more African children to be reached with life-saving vaccines no matter where they live,” said Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance board. “We must now ensure that the commitments translate into sustainable financing for immunisation. Gavi stands ready to support African countries in their efforts to implement equitable health approaches and maintain strong immunisation coverage so we can create together a more prosperous future for communities across our continent.”

    WHO

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