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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    10th anniversary for O&L’s TAP initiative10th anniversary for O&L’s TAP initiative11 participants welcomed in 2017 So far more than 70 Namibians have completed the leadership programme offered by O&L. STAFF REPORTER



    The Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group has welcomed its highest intake of participants in its Talent Attraction Programme (TAP). This year marks the tenth anniversary of the development programme.

    O&L group human capital director Berthold Mukuahima said: “We never imagined that ten years later the programme would be such a huge success. The O&L TAP is linked to a mentorship programme that serves as a support tool for the programme participants.

    “Each mentor is responsible for motivating, advising and guiding each participant to achieve their career and development objectives. In simple terms, the mentor is expected to hold the hand of the mentee as he or she goes through the programme.

    “The O&L Group attaches a high price tag to talent attraction and talent development, and through this, nurtures the participants into future business leaders. The programme has been very successful during the past years with a 60% retention rate.

    “Candidates have already proven themselves to be successful in their development and careers, and most, if not all the TAP participants took bold stands to move the O&L Group closer to its 2019 vision.”

    O&L executive chairman Sven Thieme expressed joy about the success of the TAP programme.

    “TAP speaks directly to our purpose of ‘Creating a Future, Enhancing Life’,” he said.

    “Education and development, especially for our young and future generation, is a critical component on our journey of living our purpose. Education and a conducive learning environment is one of the focus areas of the O&L Corporate Social Investment (CSI) portfolio, because we believe that investing in our children and youth, and contributing to inspiring and equipping them with the tool of education is one of the key elements in a prosperous future for our nation.”

    Thieme encouraged the new intake to make full use of the opportunity.

    “You have endless opportunities to thrive and build yourself a great career and promising future for you and your family. However, no success story comes while you sit back and expect things to happen for you. The same principle is applicable to you to use this wonderful opportunity which thousands of other graduates only dream of. What you make of it, is completely up to you. Grab it with both hands!”

    Some of the current O&L senior managers are former TAP participants. Mukuahima said that was what made the programme special; that the participants had the opportunity to build careers within the group.

    “Allow me to thank the O&L group human capital department, under the leadership of our group human capital director Berthold Mukuahima and his team, for a job well done with the TAP programme over the past 10 years. Your dedication and commitment to this development programme is what makes it the success it is today,” Thieme said.

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    Farmers commit to Operation WerengendjeFarmers commit to Operation Werengendje About 710 hectares of mahangu fields have been ploughed in five constituencies of the Kavango East Region under Operation Werengendje since its launch in December last year.

    The food production programme was initiated by the governor of the Kavango East Region, Samuel Mbambo, towards the end of last year to assist and inspire residents of the region to produce their own crops to become self-sufficient and ensure food security.

    Operation Werengendje means 'Operation Termite'.

    It was revealed at a recent progress report meeting that 198 hectares were ploughed in the Ndonga Linena Constituency, 78 in Mukwe Constituency, 94 in Rundu Rural Constituency, 129 in Ndiyona and 211 in Mashare Constituency.

    Statistics for Rundu Urban were not released as not many farmers there responded to the programme.

    N$100 000 was allocated to each constituency to be utilised under Operation Werengendje.

    Of the N$600 000, only 25% has been used. The office of the governor has urged farmers to register for Operation Werengendje.

    Many of the administrative officers and councillors in the various constituencies reported that the operation started well in their constituencies thanks to the good rains received.

    Farmers constantly enquire about when their fields will be ploughed.

    Tractors, private and government owned, were allocated to each constituency to assist the farmers with ploughing.

    One of the challenges was that some farmers were not willing to pay the N$250 fee to have their fields ploughed, claiming that the fee was unaffordable.

    Another challenge is tractors breaking down.

    The chairperson of the Kavango East Region Farmers' Union, Hannes Balzar, said farmers in the region decided to support the project.

    Balzar called on the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to allocate more tractors to the programme.

    Agriculture minister John Mutorwa, who was present at the meeting, said there was nothing better to restore human dignity than food.



    “Once there is sufficient food in the country, you can deal with the rest of the problems,” he said.

    NAMPA

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    International demand for Neckartal landInternational demand for Neckartal land1 800 hectares earmarked for irrigation Time is running out for crop farmers interested in the new irrigation scheme in southern Namibia. The clock is ticking for aspiring farmers who would like irrigable land as construction of the Neckartal Dam races towards completion. This is according to the Agribusdev's managing director, Petrus Uugwana, who says the land is attracting a lot of attention.

    He informed Namibian Sun that 1 800 hectares of land had been earmarked for irrigation purposes and that the project had attracted international attention too.

    Agribusdev has placed newspaper advertisements calling for expressions of interest from would-be commercial farmers.

    The land, according to Agribusdev, is suitable for the production of table grapes, wheat, dates, vegetables and maize. It forms part of the Ministry of Water, Agriculture and Forestry's Green Scheme project.

    “Many companies and individuals have registered interest but since the deadline is 3 March we cannot give the exact figure at this stage,” Uugwanga said.

    Of Agribusdev's role, Uugwanga said: “It will act as a facilitator until appropriate contracts are signed between the successful bidder and the agriculture ministry, upon which Agribusdev will assume its monitoring function.”

    At this stage, registered businesses are eligible to apply for land. Joint-venture initiatives are required to submit agreements that they will be jointly and severally liable for the successful completion of their projects. In case of a joint venture, separate documents for each of the partners should be submitted, together with a summary statement of net cash accruals for the past five years and the net worth of the partners, which must be certified by a chartered accountant where applicable.

    “Local participation and empowerment of Namibians while black economic empowerment entities [in the absence of an empowerment framework] will be an added advantage,” Uugwanga said.

    Neckartal's irrigation land is expected to remain state land and business will be conducted on the build, operate and transfer principle.

    Water for the irrigation project will be sourced from the dam, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 02/09/17--14:00: Somalia has US president
  • Somalia has US presidentSomalia has US presidentFormer prime minister takes the vote After 25 years, Somalia has a functioning government and there are high hopes for peace. A former prime minister who holds dual Somali-US citizenship was declared Somalia's new president Wednesday, immediately taking the oath of office as the long-chaotic country moved toward its first fully functioning central government in a quarter-century.

    Incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud conceded defeat to former prime minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo after two rounds of voting, saying that “history was made; we have taken this path to democracy”.

    Fears of attacks by extremist group al-Shabaab limited the election to members of the upper and lower houses of parliament instead of the population at large. Lawmakers voted at a heavily guarded former air force base in the capital, Mogadishu, while a security lockdown closed the international airport.

    Thousands of cheering Somalis quickly poured into the streets in jubilation, chanting the new president's name. Cheering soldiers fired into the air. “Somalia will be another Somalia soon,” said Ahmed Ali, a police officer celebrating in the crowd.

    Mohamud held a slight lead over Farmajo, 88 votes to 72, after the first round of 21 candidates, but Farmajo won the second round among the three candidates remaining, with 184 votes to Mohamud's 97.

    “This victory represents the interest of the Somali people. This victory belongs to Somali people, and this is the beginning of the era of the unity, the democracy of Somalia and the beginning of the fight against corruption,” Farmajo said. “There is a daunting task ahead of me, and I know that.”

    Farmajo, who is in his mid-50s and holds degrees from the State University of New York in Buffalo, was prime minister for eight months before leaving the post in 2011. When he was in office, al-Shabab was expelled from Mogadishu, his campaign biography says. He had lived in the United States since 1985, when he was sent there with Somalia's foreign affairs ministry. Somalia began to fall apart in 1991, when warlords ousted dictator Siad Barre and then turned on each other. Years of conflict and al-Shabaab attacks, along with famine, left this Horn of Africa country of about 12 million people largely shattered. Across Mogadishu, Somalis had gathered around TV screens at cafes and homes, eagerly watching the vote. “We need an honest leader who can help us move forward,” said Ahmed Hassan, a 26-year-old university student.

    Somalia's instability landed it among the seven Muslim-majority countries affected by President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, even though its government has been an increasingly important partner for the US military on counterterrorism efforts, including drone strikes against al-Shabab leaders.

    The new president, Farmajo, can travel to the United States on his US passport. In a sign of the dangers that remain in Mogadishu, two mortar rounds fired by suspected extremists late Tuesday hit near the election venue. There were no such attacks reported in the capital Wednesday and no public statements by al-Shabab.

    “We encourage Somalia's new administration to take credible steps to stamp out corruption and to establish strong electoral institutions to enable a free and fair one person one vote poll in 2020,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said as the US congratulated Farmajo.

    Tremendous challenges remain for Somalia and its new president, even beyond graft, al-Shabaab attacks and an economy propped up in part by the country's diaspora of more than two million people.

    An African Union peacekeeping force of more than 20 000 is making plans to pull out of the country by the end of 2020, leaving the job to national security forces that observers have said remain underprepared.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees are under pressure to return home as neighbouring Kenya's government seeks to close the world's largest refugee camp, Dadaab, by the end of May. Human rights groups have warned that Somalia is hardly equipped to support the returnees — especially as the United Nations and others warn that drought is creating a humanitarian crisis for almost three million Somalis.

    NAMPA/AP

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  • 02/09/17--14:00: Show us the list
  • Show us the listShow us the list The authorities have finally succumbed to pressure from opposition parties as well land activists to halt the tabling of the land bill until such time that a second land conference is held.

    We have said before that cooler heads should prevail in this whole debacle and that personal interests and egos should not be entertained.

    Whoever pulled the bill did the honourable thing and we implore all stakeholders to prepare thoroughly in ensuring that their submissions at the land indaba are meaningful and well-researched in order to effect change.

    The land question is a critical issue and we again ask that the problem should not be politicised for personal gain. The rising tension between the land reform minister Utoni Nujoma and the Landless People's Movement, which is headed by his former junior Bernadus Swartbooi, is worrisome at this point in time, especially as the nation deliberate on coming up with working mechanisms to address the land issue.

    Obviously, the Landless People's Movement has the right to call for the minister's head. It is their democratic right. But such a standoff should not be allowed to infiltrate through the corridors of the conference centres when solutions to the land question are being sought.

    We also wish to register our disappointment with the ministry of land reform for refusing to publicly release the list of those who have been resettled in recent years.

    The argument by the accounting officer Peter Amutenya that the release of the list would promote tribalism is not justified. If anything, the release of the list will dismiss allegations of corruption hovering over the resettlement process.

    If the ministry claims that everything is done above board, what is there to fear? The list should be made available to the public for scrutiny otherwise it invites more questions than answers. Show us the list, it is in the public interest after all.

    President Hage Geingob has made repeated calls for increased transparency, as has the justice minister Dr Albert Kawana, just yesterday. Provide us with the list of names. That is the only way forward.

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  • 02/09/17--14:00: Don't mess with a man's ego
  • Don't mess with a man's egoDon't mess with a man's ego I read with great interest some time ago of how a woman in Zimbabwe had to flee her matrimonial home to escape the fury of her husband, who was angered by his wife’s actions when she apparently “screamed in appreciation’ to a sexy video of US R&B star Usher.

    The husband, according to the article reasoned that his wife has not been showing him any affection, yet she went “mad at an image of someone she will never meet in real life”.

    Accusations and counter accusations from both parties follow as the story unfolded. However, dear friends, there is a common message in such story and other similar ones - don’t mess with a man’s ego.

    I personally think it is as silly as walking in front of a speeding train to expect a woman to bend over backwards (hope I said that right), just to accommodate your insecurity. But then again, who am I to judge?

    I bet every woman wakes up silently in the middle of the night, turn the lights on and looks at our sorry faces as we snore the night away! They would probably be staring at it for at least two full minutes, thinking “I must have been lonely as hell to hook up with this dude….”

    The sad part is - you were not forced, you chose independently. I mean, you could have gone for a six-pack chested dude, but you defied all odds and went for a beer belly like yours truly - you ought to be content with the product.

    If it was looks you were after, and yet you chose your next door neighbour’s nerdy son - how on earth do you expect a picture perfect man?

    Trust me, the bathroom picture already reminds us that we are the luckiest sons of a gun to have you as a partner – don’t rub it in by going crazy over some American in a movie, someone you would probably never get to meet.

    I personally would you rather go crazy about Idris Elba than the dude that lives across the street from us – at least that way I know ‘nothing will happen’.

    Come to think of it, why does this dude always work bare-chested in his so-called garden? What the hell does he know of plants anyway? I am just wondering; it is not like I am jealous of his six-pack at which my partner seems to stare every time she greets him!



    So, next time a sexy music star graces the screen, look away and pretend not to be interested - although your heart would be skipping a beat and screaming for more! Trust me, our eyes are always fixed on our women at such times - one cannot be too careful!

    Also, steer clear of all your sexy male workmates. In fact, if you can help it, make sure your boss books you with the nerdish and unlikely ‘contender’ on those extended business trips to the remotest area of the country. It might not make much sense to you, but a man would feel safer that way!

    Dear friends, just like a woman - a man smitten would fuss about any small thing from the way you greet him after work to your willingness to share intimacy with him. If he picks up a negative vibe, he would be fast to pin it on chick flicks or even better - the alleged bad influence from your best friend Maria, who according to him is a successful failure!

    Make sure you refer to us as “My Charlie“, “My Husband” or simply “My Love”. Nothing soothes our ego more! And do not forget that smile – it was after all the smile that brought us together.

    Most men would not admit it, but we all appreciate those occasional “I miss you” calls.

    My friend Elvira, from whom I draw most of the wisdom on the opposite sex felt that these are tall orders for a woman, and that women are not responsible for soothing the ego of men.

    Well, I agree with her, but I had to write a column and that is all the conventional wisdom I could come up with.

    Until then…

    Tjatindi@gmail.com

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    Kunene lion killed by anthraxKunene lion killed by anthrax The environment ministry has confirmed that the death of the desert-adapted lion XPL-98 was caused by anthrax.

    The carcass of XPL-98 was discovered during the first week of January in the vicinity of the Ugab River and caused a public outcry and criticism on social media.

    According to a statement issued by the ministry late Wednesday, most of the reactions and comments were misinformed and questioned the commitment of the ministry and those involved with the research and monitoring of the desert-adapted lion in the Kunene and Erongo regions.

    According to the ministry the results of the autopsy have been carried out by Dr Phillip Stander who is also in charge of the Desert Conservation Lion Project.

    The autopsy found what appeared to have been extensive bleeding in the chest cavity and that the lungs and heart of the lion were too decomposed at the time the autopsy was conducted to confirm the cause of the bleeding.

    “This injury could have been caused by a sharp object penetrating the chest between the lion’s ribs, or possibly by a small calibre rifle. As a result, the cause of death of the lion due to human-lion conflict was suspected,” said the ministry.

    However to rule out the possible cause of death as result of a disease, soil samples were collected for evaluation of diseases and tests were conducted at the Central Veterinary Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.

    The samples tested positive for anthrax (Bacillus anthracis). Blood and tissue samples collected from the lion carcass were also submitted to Central Veterinary Laboratory for further analysis and also tested positive.

    The ministry therefore concluded that the death of lion XPL-98 was caused by anthrax.

    The ministry further assured the public that measures were taken to ensure the further spread of anthrax from the carcass to other areas or other animals.

    The carcass was burned and buried immediately after samples were collected.

    Furthermore the ministry also appealed to the public particularly those referring to themselves as environmental activists, to refrain from interfering with the processes and activities of the ministry. “As a competent authority, the ministry is aware of its public duties of informing the nation and the public at large of any developments during the execution of our mandate - only when due processes have been followed to verify information released to the public.”

    The ministry advised and encouraged Namibians who genuinely care about wildlife conservation to communicate directly with them using appropriate channels instead of sensationalising issues such on social media.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 02/09/17--14:00: Maltahöhe CEO under fire
  • Maltahöhe CEO under fireMaltahöhe CEO under fireACC probe recommends disciplinary action An investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission has uncovered many irregularities, including kickbacks, in the town’s plans to construct a fire station. The Maltahöhe Village Council has resolved to institute disciplinary procedures against its CEO and electrician for violating tender board procedures and personnel regulations.

    The CEO Otto Richard and electrician Geronino Tise allegedly irregularly awarded the tender for the construction of the fire station in the village.

    They allegedly sold the tender documents without advertising the tender to three contractors, JCM Investments, LN Perfect Builders and ED Power.

    The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigation found that they received N$48 000 in kickbacks.

    Former councillor Markus Saal allegedly also benefited, receiving N$10 000 with a further promise of livestock.

    It is further alleged that the company, LN Perfect Builders paid Tise N$35 000 to purchase a Volkswagen Golf, which is currently in his possession.

    At their monthly meeting held on Wednesday this week, the Maltahöhe Village Council decided to first involve the rural and urban development ministry, and to obtain legal advice before any action.

    The charges allegedly warrant discharge with immediate effect.

    In its preliminary findings, the ACC recommended that disciplinary procedures against the CEO and electrician be instituted with immediate effect.

    They had investigated alleged corrupt practices in relation to the non-procedural awarding of work and payment of N$160 000 to the company Arcon for the construction of a fire station at the village. The scope of the work included the drawing of plans, compiling of tender documents and the supervising of the project.

    The council resolution was taken in the wake of the ACC conclusion that Richard and Tise, both public officials, conspired to commit an offence and misused their positions to obtain gratification for Arcon and for themselves.

    They further allegedly obtain gratification for a company, ED Power, as well as for themselves knowingly and corruptly while they were aware that there was no tender board resolution to appoint ED Power and thus, they contravened the Anti-Corruption Act.

    Among the charges are that ED Power solicited and paid a bribe to Tise and Richard as well as Saal in order to obtain the tender to construct the fire station.

    It was established that during the 2013/14 financial year, the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development released N$2 million for the construction of a fire station in Maltahöhe.

    It, however, turned out that the fire station was not constructed and in August 2015 a ministerial team was sent to Maltahöhe to find out why.

    The ACC report concluded that N$160 000 was paid but the designs were incorrect and not up to standard.

    As such, another consultant was approached to rectify the designs.

    It stated the tender board procedures were violated when ED Power was appointed because procedures were not followed and that there was no council resolution.

    Both Richard and Tise attended the meeting with the minister’s team.

    Richard informed the meeting that he was to table the matter on the next council agenda.

    Tise obtained two quotations, one of Silver Starkz dated 4 August 2015 in the amount of N$177 804 and that of Arcon dated 6 August 2015 in the amount of N$160 000.

    According to the ACC report it was clear that the quotation for Silver Starkz was used to establish a price and the price was made cheaper. It further said Richard was supposed to have tabled the entire project at a Tender Board meeting because the amount involved was higher than N$10 000.

    “The Tender Board Act and local Tender Board regulations were violated,” concluded the ACC report and added that it was also supposed to be advertised in the local newspapers.

    The ACC report stated that the payment was made on 11 August 2015.

    “It is strange that the work to the amount of N$160 000 was completed within such short period,” it said.

    The report added that 6 August 2015 was a Thursday when the quotation was obtained.

    Further, on 10 August 2015 the work was completed and invoiced on Tuesday, 11 August 2015.

    Arcon also compiled the tender document.

    It was further stated Richard admitted in a sworn statement that after a week, around 14 or 19 August 2015, a certain Waldo, the owner JCM Investments, came to his office and handed him an envelope and said, “we talk later”.

    He said he received N$10 000 and was told that it was a gift because of the assistance he and Tise had offered Arcon. Tise allegedly also received the same amount.

    Tise is alleged to have phoned three contractors, JCM Investments, LN Perfect Builders and ED Power and sold to them the tender documents without advertising the tender.

    The Tender Board meeting of 28 August 2015 resolved the tender should be advertised.

    However, another council meeting of 9 September 2015 totally contradicted the Tender Board resolutions.

    On that same date the tender was advertised with a starting date to purchase tender documents on 9 September 2015 and closing date on 1 October 2015.

    “This was the same date council resolved both the electricity and the fire brigade tenders be exempted. At that stage the tender documents were already sold and JCM Investments already had the tender document in his possession,” the ACC report concludes.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Suspected wife killer denied bail Suspected wife killer denied bail A man who is accused of stabbing his wife to death in December last year was denied bail in the Ruacana Magistrate’s Court.

    Andreas Mbwale (47) made his second court appearance this week.

    He was denied bail and remains in custody at the Outapi police station.

    The case was postponed to 3 April.

    Mbwale allegedly stabbed Petrina Wokaulu (44) at Otjaandjamwenjo village in the Ruacana Constituency, where they had been living together for about ten years, on 12 December last year.

    Following Mbwale’s arrest on the same day, members of the community protested against the granting of bail.

    “Life in Namibia has become so cheap. Women are killed like cats and dogs,” read a petition which was received by the Outapi District Court control prosecutor, Phineas Mpofu.

    The demonstration was spearheaded by the Ruacana Swapo Party Women Council (SPWC).

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 02/09/17--14:00: Winds of change
  • Winds of changeWinds of changeLüderitz wind farm turbines arrive Namibians will soon see the iconic and massive wind turbines on the horizon in the south of the country and the first wind farm takes shape. The first shipment of wind turbines for Namibia’s inaugural wind power farm called Ombepo Wind Park near Lüderitz arrived at the end of January 2017, putting the project on schedule for completion by mid-2017.

    The 5-megawatt (MW) Ombepo wind farm, a development by Namibian registered company InnoSun, with Namibian and French shareholders, will initially consist of three gigantic 80-metre-high towers, to which 43-metre-long blades are attached.

    The Lüderitz Town Council is a 5% shareholder in the wind farm.

    One 5MW plant can supply approximately 10 000 average households with electricity.

    Jan-Barend Scheepers, project manager at InnoSun Energy Holdings this week said progress is on schedule with civil works still on-going. “We are very happy with the contractor,” he said and confirmed that the project will be commissioned by mid-2017.

    “We have had to build several kilometres of access roads up the granite hills to access the intended turbine positions. This also includes large platforms which will be used for component storage before being lifted and assembled into their final positions.”

    Once the access roads are completed, specialised trucks will be used to transport the gigantic pieces of equipment, including a 70-ton generator that has to be lifted 80 metres high, to assemble the pieces for the wind farm.

    A 700-ton crane will be required for the operation to install the towers and the turbines.

    The 80-metre towers will have a spinning diameter of close to 100 metres and will be erected between 5 and 7 km east of the harbour town. InnoSun signed a 5 MW power-purchasing agreement with NamPower, through the Electricity Control Board’s (ECB) ReFIT programme, for 25 years.

    Scheepers explained that the company continues to work on future energy projects that will boost Namibia’s renewable energy contributions to the national grid.

    He said that the Ombepo wind farm project has been in development for several years. One of the components of the project has been a two-year study to collect wind data, which will form the basis for potential future projects, including additional wind farms.

    “The great energy potential lying untapped on the southern coastline of Namibia won’t just be of great benefit to the local economy and society, but to the advantage of national and even the entire southern Africa’s development goals,” he said.

    Funding for the project was assisted with a loan from the Development Bank of Namibia, with the total investment for the project reportedly close to N$180 million.

    InnoSun also designed, developed and completed two previous renewable energy projects in Namibia to date.

    The 5MW Osona solar plant is situated west of Okahandja in the Otjozondjupa Region, and the company also developed and operates that 4.5MW photovoltaic solar power farm Omburu, at the time the first solar power farm in Namibia.

    Future projects include an 8MW wind farm called #Oab near Elizabeth Bay Mine and a much larger wind farm is being developed known as WindNam.

    By the end of 2017, InnoSun will have added a total of 26.5MW of local Namibian power generation since opening the first park in 2015.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 02/09/17--14:00: Land bill on hold
  • Land bill on holdLand bill on hold President Hage Geingob has called for further consultations on the land bill, thwarting assertions by lands minister Utoni Nujoma who recently revealed that the bill should go ahead as it is “over-consulted”.

    Speaking during the opening of the legal year on Wednesday Geingob said the bill will not be tabled in parliament until the holding of the second land conference where the land issue will be thoroughly interrogated.

    During a press briefing this week the permanent secretary in the ministry of land reform and resettlement Peter Amutenya insisted that consultations on the land bill, which started in 2004, have been overwhelming.

    This is despite claims by communities that they have not been consulted on the contents of the bill.

    “We have even provided transport and translations to them at the expense of the state and then we had one big workshop in Windhoek in 2012. This bill has also been discussed by the special committee on land and special matters,” he said.

    Hitting back

    Meanwhile, Amutenya slammed land activists that claim the resettlement process is skewed and discriminated against minority groups in the south.

    Amutenya pointed out that 70% of Hardap and //Karas indigenous people have been resettled in their regions, while the rest are people from other areas.

    When asked to provide a full list of beneficiaries of resettlement farms over the past few years, Amutenya said it would spark tribalism and hatred.

    “There are manifestations of tribalism, what will be the implications if this list is released?” he asked.

    According to him, releasing the list of names will put beneficiaries’ lives in danger.

    He could also not provide the media with statistics on the other regions saying it is still being compiled.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Landless Movement wants Utoni's headLandless Movement wants Utoni's head The Landless People's Movement yesterday affirmed its intention to hold a protest march in front of the parliament building on 14 February to call for land reform minister Utoni Nujoma's removal.

    The group that gathered at the Red Flag Commando Hall in Katutura yesterday also demanded a complete overhaul of the contentious land bill.

    The group, under the leadership of Henny Seibeb, rejected claims that their demonstration was aimed at twisting the government's arm to reinstate Bernadus Swartbooi in his former position as deputy lands minister.

    “This is a complete lie. As a matter of fact we only offered an olive branch to the Speaker of Parliament last week to inform them that we will have a march on 14 February to submit a petition calling for the withdrawal of the land bill pending the hosting of the national land conference,” Seibeb said.

    The group insists that Nujoma must be removed as minister because he is “extra-arrogant” and disrespectful of the plight of landless people.

    “Nujoma does not understand his portfolio and is causing hatred and divisions among Namibians. He is issuing threats to people and calling them unpatriotic. He must be fired,” said Seibeb.

    Another demand is that the ancestral land debate be reintroduced in parliament and discussed unapologetically.

    “Why must parliamentarians be afraid to discuss ancestral land? We need all inputs so that the bill is then put together with best practices and all stakeholders' input,” he said.



    Persistence

    The proposed march follows a number of protest marches at Keetmanshoop and Maltahöhe in the //Karas and Hardap regions in recent weeks, aimed at forcing the government to reconsider its resettlement programme.

    According to these communities the resettlement process is skewed and marginalises indigenous communities.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Huge quantity of blacktail confiscatedHuge quantity of blacktail confiscatedSuspect employed a crew A man was arrested on suspicion of illegal fishing near Dolphin Park Resort on Wednesday. Fisheries inspectors acted swiftly and detained one person with a huge quantity of blacktail in his possession during a routine patrol of the coastline on Wednesday.

    Fisheries and marine resources deputy director Steven Ambabi confirmed the incident and said the fish was confiscated and transported to Swakopmund to determine the total weight.

    “I have personally seen the fish. When quantities of blacktail are caught as a by-catch of, for example, mullet, it should not be more than 5% of the actual catch.

    “Once we determine that the confiscated fish has a weight of more than a ton, we will proceed and open a criminal case against the trespasser since we cannot fine him for such a huge quantity of fish found in his possession.”

    Ambabi pointed out that the person who was arrested employed a crew and could possibly be the holder of a quota to catch mullet.

    “Some rights and quota holders deliberately exploit the situation and instead of catching what they are entitled to, intentionally cast their nets out to catch other fish species.”

    The fish were allegedly caught with nets cast from a dinghy between the guano island and Dolphin Park Resort. Photos of the operation were circulated on social media. According to the person who alerted the newspaper it was a regular occurrence.

    Angling regulations determine that every person who angles for recreational purposes must be in possession of an angling permit. Regulation 6, which contains the means of harvesting, states that only a hook and line, or a scoop net to lift rock lobsters from the water, and a ring net for diving are allowed.

    Regulation 8 contains the daily bag limit and stipulates that the maximum daily quota that can be caught by an angler is 30 barbel, 20 snoek and one shark. Anglers are allowed to catch a maximum of ten kob, West Coast steenbras, blacktail and galjoen in total. The minimum size for blacktail is 25cm and that for galjoen is 30cm. The minimum size for and kob and steenbras is 40cm.

    OTIS FINCK

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    My tears won't solve problems - MbumbaMy tears won't solve problems - Mbumba Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba has told the struggle kids not to play on his emotions because his tears will not solve their problems.

    A group of struggle kids who have camped outside the Swapo Party headquarters since Wednesday evening locked out staff members, claiming that Swapo had failed to respond to their demands for jobs instead of training.

    This follows the death of one the group's members at the Swapo farm at Brakwater and the party's failure to assist with the funeral arrangements.

    The group now charge that the government dumped them at the farm with the hope that they would all die silently and no longer be a burden to the party.

    When Mbumba arrived at the party headquarters the group started chanting and singing songs to demonstrate that they are tired of living in the “bush” and being treated like second-class citizens.

    Mbumba then demanded that they change their tune and sing the Swapo Party anthem instead because they were on “Swapo ground”.

    “You are playing on my emotions and making me cry, but my tears won't solve your problems. It pains me to see you here. I have known some your parents; I even know where some of you were born,” he said.

    He informed the group that he would liaise with the cabinet secretary to see if they could secure jobs for some of them, but insisted that they needed to be taught basic skills.

    “I know it is the citizens that have elected politicians and ministers into power but it is not fair to expect them to be always available,” he said.

    This protest comes barely a month after the same group camped at the Zoo Park in the city centre to reject the civic training at the Berg Aukas Youth Development Centre for which the government had enlisted them in October last year.

    At the time, the group handed over a petition to cabinet secretary George Simataa, who promised to give them feedback that same week. That never happened.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 02/09/17--14:00: ISAP receives 'Protector'
  • ISAP receives 'Protector'ISAP receives 'Protector'Air support for anti-poaching operations The private-sector-funded anti-poaching organisation ISAP has taken ownership of a light aircraft donated by Namibia Breweries. Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) this week handed over a two-seater Piper Super Cub aircraft, nicknamed 'The Protector', to the organisation Intelligence Support Against Poaching (ISAP) in an effort to curb poaching in Namibia.

    NBL managing director Wessie van der Westhuizen said rhino poaching was no longer just a Namibian or SADC issue, but was at the centre of the world's attention.

    “We need to understand that not only does losing one single rhino cause an ecological imbalance, but the impact it has on our economy, in particular the tourism industry, is enormous. We simply cannot ignore this inhumane act and watch our beautiful endangered species become extinct. We need to act now,” Van der Westhuizen said.

    For the past two years, NBL has supported ISAP's operations with an annual sponsorship of N$100 000 through its Windhoek Lager brand.

    “We are excited to further strengthen ISAP in its quest to curb this sad act. The plane that we are handing over is not just another sponsorship from NBL, but is testimony to our passionate commitment to really making rhino poaching a thing of the past,” said Van der Westhuizen.

    Official poaching statistics released by the environment ministry indicate that 216 black and white rhinos have been killed over the past four years.

    Poachers killed 63 rhinos in 2016, 91 in 2015 and 61 in 2014. Elephant poaching has also proven to be a great concern in the country, with 266 elephants killed by poachers since 2013.

    The ministry's records show that elephant poaching skyrocketed last year with 101 cases reported in 2016 compared to 49 in 2015, 78 in 2014, and 38 in 2013.

    The minister of environment and tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, said rhinos were part of the country's tourism potential.

    He stressed that the tourism sector was doing well at the moment because of the unique features it offered.

    “The tourism sector plays a critical role on the economic front of Namibia and contributes immensely to the national coffers. This sector provides jobs for thousands of Namibians and feeds thousands of families. The impact of this sector on Namibia's economy is tremendous.”

    Shifeta said failing to address a major threat to the future of the tourism sector would worsen unemployment and poverty.

    “And it starts with confronting, addressing and confiscating our current biggest threat - the sad and despicable act of poaching.”

    Shifeta applauded ISAP for its remarkable work in addressing poaching. He further commended the O&L Group, in particular NBL, for taking the lead in corporate Namibia to address the issue.

    According to ISAP's director of operations and marketing, Tinus Hansen, 'The Protector' will be used for tracking collared animals, providing air support for ISAP operations, locating carcasses and patrolling national parks and private reserves.

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    Law reform occupies Justice in 2017Law reform occupies Justice in 2017 A comprehensive review of laws that are hampering development is on the cards this year.

    This is being undertaken by the Ministry of Justice in order for it to play its critical role to ensure that the objectives of the Harambee Prosperity Plan are achieved.

    The minister of justice, Dr Albert Kawana, said this at a staff meeting of his ministry. He cautioned that it would be a lengthy project.

    “The process will involve wider consultation with various stakeholders, therefore it is a work in progress,” Kawana emphasised.

    He said the Whistleblower Bill had been drafted, consultations with stakeholders had been completed and the bill was ready to be tabled during the first parliamentary session which starts on Tuesday next week.

    At the top of the ministry's agenda of legislative reform will be amendments of the Maintenance Act and Domestic Violence Act.

    The minister said other major projects for the year were the Small Claims Court legislation and the recruitment of maintenance investigators. The ministry had an approved structure of maintenance investigators, he added.

    “I must however point out that due to financial implications we will propose alternative measures to be taken in order to ensure that the objectives of the Act are met,” he said.

    Kawana said an amendment to the Domestic Violence Act was drafted to address the scale of domestic violence in the country.

    He said maintenance investigators had been appointed to trace parents who run away from the responsibility of maintaining their children.

    “We are going to trace you and remind you of your responsibility. We will make sure the objectives of the Maintenance Act are met,” he warned. The minister further stated that the operations of Guardian Fund had been improved.

    “The case management system will improve service delivery. We promise that with the improvements the guardians will receive payment due to them within 24 hours,” Kawana promised.

    At the same meeting, attorney-general Sackey Shanghala urged staff to rededicate themselves to efficient service delivery.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Chinese logging operation haltedChinese logging operation halted A probe into suspicious logging by a Chinese company near the construction site of a new green scheme in the Zambezi Region has led to a temporary halt of operations and confiscation of equipment since last week.

    The inquiry was launched after forestry officials discovered that dozens of mature and protected African rosewood trees, also known as the large false mopane, had been felled deep in the forest and the loggers were unable to produce a permit.

    The logging was taking place in an area close to the Liselo and Farm Katima green scheme, where 1 700 hectares are being cleared for irrigation as per a multimillion-dollar tender awarded by the agriculture ministry.

    The trees are a high-value commodity, and are much sought after in Asian markets.

    Sources told Namibian Sun that officials became alarmed when they encountered a group of Chinese and Namibian nationals cutting the large trees, allegedly without permits from the forestry department.

    However, it is unclear what documentation is required to remove protected tree species under the terms of the ministerial tender.

    In April 2016 the environment ministry issued an environmental clearance certificate, based on the required environmental assessment (EIA) conducted before the project could begin.

    The environmental clearance certificate was issued with two conditions, one related to water extraction and the other stipulating that “any key biodiversity habitats must be protected”.

    Moreover, the ministry's project specifications stipulate that the contractor “may work into his pricing the selling of wood harvested from large trees located within the irrigation fields provided this is requested in the cover letter and all necessary permits and documentation required [are] obtained.”

    The investigation is now verifying what the “proper documentation” is, and whether the clearance certificate, in addition to the tender specification, exempted the company from obtaining additional permits to cut down protected trees, as it is not a purely harvesting operation but a project aimed at clearing land for irrigation.

    Nevertheless, an anonymous source claimed that when officials came across the logging last week, it appeared that the loggers were “doing selective cutting”.





    “It was very suspicious. There was no clear sign of de-bushing for crop production,” the source said.

    A contract seen by Namibian Sun shows that the Chinese-owned company New Force Logistics agreed to pay Uundenge Investments, which had won the de-bushing tender, N$3 million to undertake the job.

    The contract was signed in Windhoek in early January. It stipulates that the sub-contractor “can fell, transport, sell any diameter trees in appointed construction area and the trees variety is unlimited [sic]”.

    New Force Logistics is owned by Hou Xuecheng, a Chinese national who has been arrested multiple times in Namibia since 2004 on charges including stock theft, illegal possession of wildlife products such as leopard skins and elephant tusks, and drug possession.

    An investigative article published this week implicated Xuecheng as a key player in the illegal timber trade in Namibia and neighbouring countries.

    The contract between Uundenge Investments and New Force Logistics is titled 'Farm Trees Sales Agreement ', and states that the “main contractor assists sub-contractor to apply for those permits and documents about requiring for felling, transporting, selling these trees and the cost undertake by main contractor [sic].”

    Laban Kandume, founder and owner of Uundenge Investments, listed as a construction company, last week told Namibian Sun that any de-bushing activities, including the felling of protected trees, were being done in line with tender specifications.

    He claimed that the environmental clearance certificate exempted the company from having to obtain additional forestry permits in order to cut any trees within the designated area stipulated by the ministry.

    “For the cutting we don't need a permit, we were instructed to clear the area. We only work within our cut lines and are clearing the whole area as instructed by the ministry,” he said.

    Kandume said an additional permit was only required for transportation, which hadn't begun yet.

    Kandume provided a copy of the environmental clearance certificate, the ministry's project specifications as well as details on who had conducted the EIA.

    Kandume distanced himself from any illegal activities by the Chinese contractor, saying he had made it clear to the contractor what the boundaries for the de-bushing and deep ripping were.

    “The moment they go beyond and do other things, they are on their own. We are not in support of people violating laws. They must not drag us in if they are doing wrong things. We are in favour of doing things the right way.”

    Last week, Joseph Hailwa, director of forestry in the agriculture ministry, told Namibian Sun that it was his understanding that the clearance of the Green Scheme area did not require additional permits from the forestry department.

    “The tender is clear and the company must de-bush the area. It is unfortunate that sometimes development brings along damage,” Hailwa said.



    He added that it was out of his department's hands if a clearance certificate had been issued and the project specifications stipulated large scale de-bushing.



    He warned, however, that forestry officials would investigate whether any trees had been felled outside the project boundaries.



    On Wednesday, Hailwa said the inquiry was continuing and the logging operation was still suspended because there was evidence that rosewood trees had been felled outside the Liselo Green Scheme project area.



    “So we think that is suspicious,” he said.



    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 02/09/17--14:00: Job puts up his hand
  • Job puts up his handJob puts up his handConsiders contesting for Swapo top post Intense lobbying for top Swapo positions appears to have started behind the scenes. Outspoken youth activist Job Amupanda has dropped a bombshell, saying he is considering running for one of the top positions at the Swapo elective congress slated for the end of this year.

    Amupanda yesterday confirmed that his priority now lay with the mother body and not the Swapo Party Youth League.

    He indicated that he would be free to take up the position of vice-president or even president if required.

    “It must be normal for young people to contest for elections within the party. I meet the requirements and that is why I am considering contesting for the president or vice-president position, even if get one vote,” he told Namibian Sun yesterday.

    President Hage Geingob, who is also the acting party leader, is expected to stand for the presidency position. In recent weeks, former prime minister Nahas Angula had also indicated that he would contest the Swapo vice-president's position if nominated.

    Yesterday, Confidénte reported that Swapo spokesperson Helmut Angula was also willing to stand for the vice-president position.

    Namibian Sun understands that intense lobbying for the top Swapo positions has already started behind the scenes.

    There are no age requirements for the top four positions within Swapo. Amupanda will be 30 years old by November when the elective congress is held.

    “The young people can also provide direction because they are not thinking with their heads and stomachs. There is nothing wrong with losing. Countries go to the soccer world cup every four years and still end up losing,” said Amupanda.

    “In the Swapo leadership now there are many people who are approaching 80 years old. Many are in close proximity of 80, while you have 50% of young voters. We also now have young people in the regions who are going to take part in the congress as delegates this year.”

    According to Amupanda, former Swapo youth leaders were told to wait their turn, but still do not enjoy a seat at the big table.

    “Those guys were supposed to be in leadership positions now. The country requires dynamic leadership so that we can be liberated from fear.

    “The young people who were brought in now were all told to shut up. They are told to keep quiet all the time, otherwise they are asked to apologise if not they get fired like (former deputy lands minister Bernadus) Swartbooi,” Amupanda said.



    Succession debate

    On the Swapo succession debate, Amupanda is of the opinion that the party elders should not monopolise the discussion.

    “For 27 years we have been told that the next president should be from Tanganyika or must be of certain age. They have been dividing us between Tanganyika A and Tanganyika B.





    “Sam Nujoma became president of Swapo at the age of 30 so what we are being told is not Swapo tradition. Our generation must go to the ballots.

    “Until when will we allow the Tanganyika group to continue? We are always told that we are the future leaders and before you know it we will still be told that we are future leaders at the age of 70. The ballots have literally been the same and it is high time that young people step up for these positions.”

    The Tanganyika group is a reference to the first wave of Swapo members who were in exile.







    'Smear campaigns'

    Meanwhile, Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba yesterday cautioned party members against declaring their candidacy ahead of the congress.

    “It is not time to talk about the identity of candidates. We have a fully functional Politburo and top four and I still very much enjoy my job as SG,” Mbumba said at a media briefing.



    He further warned against smear campaigns on social media, saying it was unfortunate that the people behind these were party members.



    Mbumba insisted that the Swapo Party would remain intact and would not be broken or disturbed by smear campaigns.



    “We want to caution those in leadership positions not to bring the name of the Swapo Party into disrepute,” he urged.



    When asked which smear campaigns he was referring to, Mbumba insisted that the party had no intention to name culprits at this stage.



    “You also know that there are loose stories about what we plan to do. We have people jumping the gun instead of preparing the people for what is going to happen. We do not want a confused nation or a confused party,” he said.





    STAFF REPORTER/JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 02/10/17--00:07: Jack Huang cries foul
  • Jack Huang cries foulJack Huang cries foul Chinese businessman Jack Huang this morning held a PR exercise where he addressed the media on his recent arrest linked to a massive alleged customs duties and foreign currency scam involving N$3.5 billion. Huang blamed his arrest squarely on the media and certain government “agencies” that made groundless but serious accusations against him.
    Huang, who made his statement in Chinese, declared his innocence and said that he complied with the Namibian laws and regulations and operated lawfully in the past and in the present and will continue to do so in the future.
    He also said that the “groundless accusations” against him have tarnished his name and that he will seek redress in the courts.
    The media was not allowed to ask any questions.
    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 02/10/17--14:00: Namibia’s rising star
  • Namibia’s rising starNamibia’s rising starAthlete says the talent comes from his father A fast developing athlete from Okahandja is etching a definite path to stardom. Sport is part of a child’s life when growing up but not everyone will take sport seriously later on in life. This scepticism escaped 17-year-old Warren Goreseb from Berg-Op Academy in Okahandja.

    Namibian Sun spotted the young Goreseb during a school sports event as he warmed up for his track and field events.

    The tall and slender athlete stood out from all the learners, not because of his height but because of his concentration doing his warm up drills.

    Speaking to this newspaper, Goreseb said he started doing sports from a tender age, but it was only when he was in Grade 1 that he realised running was his passion.

    “I have been doing 100m and 200m for 11 years now and high jump for 7 years but recently started with the 400m hurdles.

    “I want to be a qualified athlete and participate in every international competition for my country Namibia,” says Goreseb.

    The young athlete is described as a committed, dedicated and enthusiastic athlete by his teachers and says he is inspired by Mutaz essa Barshim from Qatar and Frank Fredericks. “What inspires me the most is to believe in myself and in God so that he can make it all possible.”

    Goreseb already has medals to his name, that include a gold medal he won in high jump at the in the regional games as well as a gold at the zone games in athletics and a silver medal that he won at the national games.

    “I did not run last year because of a hamstring injury but I am now fine and fit to compete for more medals,” he said.

    He added that despite his bigger dream of competing in international sport events for Namibia, his aim is to participate in the COSASA games this year.

    “This season has started off very well for me because I broke my personal records in high jumps and also in athletics. So, I am quite positive that my season will be great,” said the optimistic Goreseb.

    The passionate athlete is not the first in his family to be a sportsman, as his father was a “great” sportsman.

    “My father was a great sportsman. He played volleyball, athletics, high jump and football.

    “From stories that I heard about my father, he was a fast runner and also won a couple of medals in running and volleyball and that volleyball was his favourite sport,” Goreseb said.

    Goreseb is in Grade 11 at Berg-Op Akademie and is coached by Elvis Thomas.

    KAINO NGHITONGO

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