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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 02/14/17--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day FIND A NEW PLACE: Displaced Syrians carry blankets at a makeshift camp near the village of Tarshan, some 20 km north of Raqa after they fled their homes due to the battles between Syrian Democratic Forces and Islamic State (IS) group jihadists. PHOTO: NAMPA/AFP

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    Economy needs radical transformationEconomy needs radical transformation South Africa's president Jacob Zuma may not be a popular leader owing to his controversial past, but we don't think many will disagree with him as he pushes for greater economic transformation in his country. As his second and last term comes to a close, the ANC president said his administration will focus on introducing a sweeping programme of radical economic transformation. He laid out this economic transformation plan during last week's State of the Nation Address, emphasising greatly that the structure of the economy will be transformed through industrialisation, broad-based economic empowerment and strengthening and expanding the role of the state in the economy. There is no doubt that a radical shift in policy is needed to transform our economy for the type of growth that leads to poverty alleviation. Poverty reduction has been a political slogan for quite some time now. But our leaders don't seem to have the guts to push for such radical economic transformation in the same manner the ANC is trying to do. For many years we have been too apologetic in our national discourse when it comes to transforming the economy, where income distribution is highly skewed. The sad reality is more and more people are wallowing in need and this backlash has the potential to threaten our collective sense of humanity. Namibia, like many other African countries, is resource-rich and it is up to the political dispensation to tackle and address the disparities between the haves and have-nots before the situation further deteriorates. The glaring inequality between the rich and poor is there for all to see. In fact, it is a gap that continues to widen, with many previously disadvantaged Namibians still living in squalor compared to a minority few. Programmes like NEEEF are as not as bad, but I think there is a need to push for more reforms to improve our economy, which must be characterised by more equitable benefit-sharing and getting rid of inequality.

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  • 02/14/17--14:00: No tax shocks for budget
  • No tax shocks for budgetNo tax shocks for budgetFinance ministry will consider recession Experts are of the view that the finance ministry will opt to support economic growth and therefore no real tax shockers are expected in the budget. The finance minister Calle Schlettwein will possibly only make minor adjustments and changes to the tax regulations when he tables the budget at the beginning of March.

    Experts are of the view that in spite of the recession government finds itself in, Namibians will not carry the burden of extra tax.

    “We do not expect an increase in taxation, whether it be personal or company tax or even VAT. We believe that the finance ministry understands the importance of supporting economic growth and that increases in taxes will have the opposite effect,” said Stefan Hugo, tax director at PwC Namibia.

    Cameron Kotzé, managing partner at EY Namibia, agrees. “I believe that the focus will be placed on the collection of tax monies. I further also believe that more efficient implementation of the existing legislation will enhance revenue collection,” he added. Kotzé said the rebates announced recently are a good example of this.

    According to Kotzé, transfer pricing, internationally viewed as an easy revenue source, could be another focus area along with improved monitoring to ensure that all taxpayers declare all their taxable income.

    “A good example of this is profits from the sale of assets or investments on which currently no taxes are paid but which are taxable according to the income tax regulations,” he said.

    Hugo is of the view that the finance ministry is already focused on adherence to the existing regulations and these types of projects would increase revenues without making any changes to the current laws.

    However, small amendments are possible, Hugo said. This could include changes to the list of tax-free items which could become taxable.

    He added that communications regarding changes in the administrative procedures regarding VAT on imports and said that he expects further adjustments to make “VAT-administration more efficient”.

    In his view, the ministry will focus on two issues in the coming year: The creation of a revenue collections agency and the implementation of an e-filing system for electronic tax return filing.

    The bill for the collections agency is in its final review Hugo added.

    With regards electronic filing, the system will be rolled at in a test phase to large taxpayers and only in the second half of the year. If the system performs, the public will be allowed access.

    He also added that proposals currently under review by the ministry include changes to regulations which allow trusts not to pay taxes as well as capital gains tax and presumptive tax.

    JO-MARE DUDDY

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    NTTU blames govt for incompetence NTTU blames govt for incompetence The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) has blamed the stagnation of the public transport regulations on incompetence or the wilful inaction by some government officials.

    According to the president of the NTTU, Werner Januarie, the public transport regulations were supposed to be implemented on 31 January this year.

    He says that the union however did not receive any communication as to the why there has been a delay in the implementation, and they also did not receive an update about progress on the matter.

    According to him, this will therefore be an issue that will be discussed at a meeting with members on Sunday where they will decide which steps to take.

    During this meeting, Januarie said members will also decide whether they will continue with a planned strike set for 20 March.

    According to him, the only outstanding issue with regards to the public transport regulations is to legislate them into law.

    “From our side we can confidently inform you that all else is done vis-à-vis the public transport policy, the public transport bill and they are already transcribed, therefore we see no cogent reason whatsoever why legislation cannot be done.”

    He further said that the fact that the government is facing financial constraints should not have an impact on the project as the implementation of the regulations for public transport and the initiated support are funded by the German government through the GIZ.

    “We are convinced government not having money cannot impact or hamper the continuation of this initiative unless proven otherwise.”

    Januarie said the stagnation of the project is based either on incompetence or simply wilful inaction by relevant government officials with certain intentions.

    “However the information we have at hand is that we are being set up for failure due to our political convictions and expediency.”

    He said alternatively, it is due to the total incompetency of government as they are dismally failing the Namibian people.

    “They cannot give us half a product and expect is to succeed - it must be noted that we need those regulations which will be able to speak to any agreement reached on behalf of the employees and their employers.”

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Support for shack fire victimsSupport for shack fire victims The Namibian National Insurance Corporation (NamibRe) handed over a donation of N$50 000 for victims of shack fires to the Walvis Bay Mayoral Fund last week.

    Mayor Immanuel Wilfred received the donation form Ntwala Mwilima a representative of NamibRe.

    Ntwala explained that NamibRe, which became operational in 2002 was a state-owned enterprise established to provide reinsurance services locally in order to minimise the placement of insurance and reinsurance business outside the borders of Namibia.

    “Being in the business of helping our clients to mitigate the impact of loss, we know from experience that most of the victims of fires who will benefit from this donation are uninsured not because they do not need insurance but because they cannot afford insurance premiums. It therefore gives us great pleasure to provide some form of assistance to the affected families.”

    The donated funds were collected during the 39th Organisation of Eastern and Southern Africa Insurers (OESAI) conference hosted in Swakopmund in 2016.

    The idea came about after a meeting between NamibRe MD Patty Karuaihe-Martin and the leadership of the Erongo Region where it became apparent that shack fires were one of the major socio-economic challenges faced by the region's most vulnerable population.

    NamibRe approached other insurance/reinsurance companies and received pledges from AON Benfield, AfricaRE, MMI and Hollard.

    Wilfred called on the community to be mindful of other people's pain and announced that the Mayoral Fundraising dinner in aid of the Mayoral Fund will once again be hosted this year in March or April. The event was shelved last year due to a number of conflicting events.

    “This donation will be put to good use and will warm the hearts of many. People living in informal structures are the most vulnerable members of the community who often suffer the brutal and undignified effects of shack fires. The Mayoral Fund assisted many victims of shack fires over the years. We should however be mindful that resources are limited and cannot cover everything or compensate for the trauma experienced by people.”

    Special advisor to the Erongo governor Adelheid Bobby Kandjara welcomed the financial assistance, applauded NamibRe and challenged other companies to follow suit.

    She urged the office of the mayor to use the funds for the benefit of those in need. Kandjara also commended the Mayoral Fund for reaching out to many persons in need and called on the beneficiaries to be appreciative.

    “Shack fires and the harsh conditions endured by shack dwellers is a huge concern in our region. A suggestion was put forward to establish a green village in order to reallocate those who live in shacks and address these issues. The concept of Farm 36 was approved in principle by council. Bureaucracy is however delaying the process which should be fast-tracked.”

    OTIS FINCK

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    Murder accused mom prepares bail applicationMurder accused mom prepares bail application Murder accused Zenobia Seas made her third appearance in the Swakopmund Magistrate's Court on Monday.

    Seas, 32, is accused of killing her two-year-old daughter by suffocating her with a piece of cloth along the Henties Bay-Terrace Bay road in September last year.

    The State refused bail due to the seriousness of the case.

    Prosecutor Dalon Quickfall told the court that investigations into the matter are at an advanced stage, however the forensic investigations from the scene of the crime are still pending.

    The suspect was not asked to plead.

    Seas allegedly sent a text message to the girl's father informing him she had killed the girl.

    She is said to have put firewood under her vehicle in an effort to burn herself and her daughter inside the car. The wood was, however, not lit when the police arrived at the scene.

    Magistrate Surita Savage postponed the matter to 7 March this year for the finalisation of investigations and for Seas's Legal Aid lawyer, Mposikeng Dube, to brief the court on the bail application.



    NAMPA

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    Trade corridors driving growthTrade corridors driving growthNon-tariff barriers and development essential Intra-African trade cannot be stimulated and developed without a continent-wide action plan. The interim chairperson of the African Corridor Management Alliance (ACMA) Johny Smith has hailed the action plan on boosting intra-Africa trade and the framework for establishing a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) as the driving force for the enhanced role of Corridor Management Initiatives (CMIs) on the continent.

    “Corridors must not be viewed as conduits to growth and regional integration only, but also as engines of regional and local development. The establishment of ACMA will contribute towards this goal by increasing gains from expanding development opportunities arising from the network of inter-linked corridor routes,” Smith told delegates at the opening of the inaugural meeting of the organisation in Walvis Bay on Monday.

    According to Smith, transport corridor operations on the continent, are largely characterised by long transit times and high costs, making doing business in Africa very expensive with a negative impact on the ability of firms to compete globally.

    Therefore, Smith said, the development and modernisation of transport infrastructure and removal of non-tariff barriers along corridors of Africa is critical for trade expansion and regional integration and the role of CMIs in addressing these challenges is paramount.

    “The implementation of the ACMA strategy will enhance the capacity of economic corridors to strengthen investment for local production capacity and value addition. Effective management of development corridors will improve the capability to promote investment in areas such as agro- industries and -manufacturing, natural resource-based enterprises, large- and small-scale industries, trade (including planned roadside shops), tourism (rest houses and hotels), and schooling and health facilities located in the immediate vicinity of the corridor.”

    CMIs play a considerable role in the trade agenda of the region and trade facilitation and Smith stressed that this role could be further enhanced when they operate as a unified body proposed under the Pan African Network of Corridor Management Institutions (PANCMI) initiative.

    Existing transport corridors are being transformed into economic corridors with the aim of making these the driving force for transformation through value chain and enhanced linkage built on rich regional resource endowment within the framework of the continental development architecture by the Africa Union.

    “The ultimate goal of corridors is to promote both internal and external trade by providing more efficient transport and logistics services through the implementation of strategies and interventions that reduce transit times and the cost of shipping goods along corridors. It also serves to improve the quality of services and infrastructure along corridors. Support of development corridors aims to stimulate intra-regional and global trade and aims to foster market integration. This will be realised by providing more efficient transport and logistics services through the implementation of strategies and interventions that reduce transit times and costs of shipping goods along the corridor and by improving the quality of services along the corridor,” said Smith.

    The strategy document to support the architecture of ACMA dictates economic transformation and the need to be anchored on domestic resource mobilisation through effective text policies, saving mobilisation and the use of other financing mechanisms such as pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, diaspora bonds and remittances as well as the participation of the private sector.

    ACMA will soon setup a consultative public-private partnership (PPP) mechanism capable of coordinating, integrating and optimising various corridor improvement initiatives by stakeholders.

    The PPP framework for AMCA allows for the public sector to provide advice and action regarding issues such as customs, transport regulation and infrastructure development while the private sector will focus on implementing various projects and business opportunities to spearhead trade and economic development along various corridors. The private sector is expected to provide capital investment on the basis of a contract with the public sector providing agreed services and the cost of providing the service to beneficiaries.

    The actual amount needed to realise the implementation of ACMA initiatives and activities during the strategy period is estimated to be US$4.405 million (N$57.77 million).

    The realisation of the long-term goals of the alliance requires a funding strategy that ensures stable sources of funding to achieve expected outcomes from corridor development initiatives. Some funding options that could be considered include engaging African philanthropists on projects of their interest and emphasising the role of domestic financing.

    The continent already spends US$45 billion (N$591 billion) a year on infrastructure of which two thirds is domestically financed from taxes and user charges. To build the infrastructure to support growth and meet development goals, Africa will have to spend about US$93 billion (N$1.2 trillion) a year for a decade, according to the African Development Bank. Two thirds of this sum would be for investments and hence the significance of PPPs.



    OTIS FINCK

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    Ondangwa lower court bogged downOndangwa lower court bogged downOndangwa court bogged down A broken recording device at the Ondangwa Magistrate's Court has led to the postponement of cases since the middle of 2015. The Ondangwa Magistrate's Court is reportedly postponing cases because of a broken recording device in one of its two courtrooms.

    The three magistrates employed at the court have to share a single courtroom, Court A, as it is the only court with a functioning recording device. The device in Court B broke mid-2015.

    On Thursday last week, Magistrate Jurina Hochobes was giving reasons for the seventh postponement of Congolese pastor Pedro Marcelino Moussongela's bail hearing. The broken recording device was listed as the main cause.

    Moussongela, who is in custody on charges of human trafficking, rape and assault by threat, was due to appear in the Ondangwa court for the continuation of his bail hearing that started on 31 August last year. This time, it was postponed to 23 February.

    On Thursday, the court ran out of time to continue with Moussongela's hearing. He appeared late in the afternoon, only to be informed that the case was postponed due to a case overload in the sole functional court.

    “We could not continue with the bail hearing today because the court had too many cases today, and we only have one courtroom for recording. The recording device at the other court is not functioning.

    “We will postpone the bail hearing continuation to 23 February. On that day we are going to postpone most of the cases to get enough time for this one,” Magistrate Hochobes told the court.

    Moussongela's case was first heard in Court B on 24 June last year, but was transferred to A Court on 31 August because the recording device was broken.

    Since then the case could only be heard in the afternoon.

    A source at court told Namibian Sun that all cases were being transferred to A Court. That has allegedly caused tension among the magistrates, as the other two have to wait until the A Court magistrate finishes all the cases on the roll.

    “Due to limited time, magistrates end up postponing cases. They do not get enough time in the afternoon to finish with their cases,” the source said.

    Moussongela (56), founder of the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Church, Mennonite Brethren Community School Namibia and Ongenga English Private School, was arrested on 23 June at his Omafo School following new charges laid against him by a complainant who reported him to NamRights.

    At the time of his arrest in the north, he was out on bail after a first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court where he appeared on charges of having trafficked five of his own children to England.

    He allegedly had delegated someone to drop off three of these children, who are all under the age of 12, in London.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 02/14/17--14:00: Remember Libya - Geingob
  • Remember Libya - GeingobRemember Libya - Geingob Addressing the first cabinet meeting for the year yesterday, President Hage Geingob strongly warned against tribalism.

    He urged Namibians not to forget examples like Libya and Iraq, where according to him, people sought to disrupt orderly systems in the hope of creating better ones.

    Geingob said it was easy to destroy but very difficult to pick up the pieces.

    “I have said on many occasions that there is nothing wrong with belonging to tribes. Our tribes are part and parcel of our genealogy and African heritage and we should be proud of who we are. But let us avoid the placing of the 'ism' at the end of the word 'tribal',” he warned.

    The president also warned against “discontented” individuals and groups who were using the land issue with the aim of igniting chaos in the country.

    Geingob instructed his ministers to ensure that the land issue was extensively deliberated and approached with utmost sincerity and clarity.

    He also challenged land activists to come up with proposals that were acceptable within the context of a united, free and reconciled Namibia.

    “Let them come up. Come and tell us who the ancestral owner of this country is, come and tell us. We use concepts just to instigate people; we debated that issue, it took us time. Nobody is mentioning the San when we are talking about ancestral land,” he said.



    Witch-hunt

    According to the president, there are corrupt people who are attacking him through the media because he declared war on corruption.

    “I was warned . . . well, recently, we have read and witnessed the manifestation of that warning. It is a sign that the fight is working, so let us continue,” he said.

    Geingob further urged his cabinet to deliver on the promises of industrialisation and job creation.

    “We have a responsibility not to fail our people, so we should simply deliver, embracing the ethos of hard work and avoiding the lure of personal wealth and the pursuit of selfish gains. We should also exude the values of an inclusive society and focus on increasing prosperity to benefit the disadvantaged,” Geingob urged.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Landless People want Nujoma firedLandless People want Nujoma firedMinister 'insults traditional leaders' Banished from the Parliament Gardens, the land activists handed over a petition to the deputy speaker in the Zoo Park instead. The Landless People's Movement yesterday called upon President Hage Geingob to dismiss the minister of land reform with immediate effect.

    The movement spent most of yesterday in Windhoek's Zoo Park, where they handed over a petition to the deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Loide Kasingo.

    They had planned to hand over the petition at the parliament building but were not allowed to gather there.

    They said the call for Utoni Nujoma's dismissal came in the wake of what they called his recent “irrational, intellectually retarded and constitutionally toxic un-statesmanlike language. We will not stand by and look from distance if Nujoma continues to insult our traditional leaders on national radio and other platforms in the future,” the petition stated.

    The petition reiterated a call on the president to halt the current resettlement programme.

    It demanded that the results of the first national land conference be externally evaluated for objectivity and fairness. “The Ministry of Land Reform cannot be a judge in its own cause! They cannot evaluate themselves and must be evaluated from outside,” the land activists argued.

    They called on President Geingob to release the list of resettlement beneficiaries. The permanent secretary of land reform, Peter Amutenya, recently declined to release the list of beneficiaries saying it would stoke tribalism.

    A further call was made on the minister of land reform to include civil society in preparations for a second land conference.

    “This would ensure that the conference is inclusive of civil society and dispossessed communities,” the Landless People Movement said.

    The petition demands restoration of ancestral land and agrarian reform to safeguard food production.

    The petition states that the landless people feel insulted and humiliated for speaking the truth to the authorities about ancestral land.

    They further implored the government to identify and expropriate farms owned by absentee landlords.

    “Obviously this should be done within the ambit of the Namibian Constitution and should only benefit landless people and not the elite and the ruling class,” they stated.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 02/14/17--14:00: Advertised hunts illegal
  • Advertised hunts illegalAdvertised hunts illegal A trophy hunt for a desert-adapted lion and a desert elephant in the Torra Conservancy in the Kunene Region that has caused outrage and a public outcry on social media has turned out to be illegal and unapproved by the environmental ministry.

    The hunt that was advertised by outfitters Savannah Safaris Namibia on social media has since been removed while their Facebook page has also been deleted following a barrage of critique from the anti-hunting lobby.

    Very little details are available on their website and the only contact details, ostensibly in the US.

    The environmental ministry has since been urged to explain the hunt and provide details.

    By yesterday afternoon the ministry confirmed it has issued no permits for either hunt.

    When the advertisement came to light, members of the public said the ministry suspended all trophy hunts on desert-adapted male lions four years and demanded answers on why the moratorium was lifted. Savannah Safaris Namibia were also accused that they were planning to lure the “dark-maned lion” out of a tourist concession where hunting is not allowed. Baiting fees were included in the cost. Both the lion and elephant hunt were being offered in the Torra Conservancy and for 14-day period. The desert elephant bull hunt which included the trophy fee was being offered for N$1.05 million.

    “We have not had a desert elephant trophy tag in several years, this is not very common, pretty rare. Exportable ivory,” said the advertisement.

    Furthermore according to the advertisement a full black-maned lion hunt was also offered for N$1.05 million and included the trophy fee and baiting.

    “These lions don't see much hunting pressure, last one we took was four years ago.”

    Conservationists said that they specifically remember the lion shot four years ago as it went down as one of the most unethical and immoral killings known and caused the moratorium on the hunting of desert-adapted lions. A collared lion XPL 35 was baited and shot while mating with Monica XPL 36. The professional hunter, Fred Bezuidenhoudt, came under heavy public scrutiny and criticism.

    However, spokesperson of the ministry, Romeo Muyunda yesterday told Namibian Sun that they are aware of the advertisement and that the matter will be addressed. He said that permits for such a hunt have not been issued by the ministry. According to him the Torra Conservancy was awarded a quota for a trophy hunt of one lion, but the conservancy was not awarded a quota to hunt an elephant. He also pointed out that even though the conservancy was awarded a quota to hunt a lion that an application to hunt the animal has not been made to the ministry and therefore a permit has not been issued.

    Some claims have already been circulated that of the N$ 1 100 000 paid for of the desert adapted lion trophy hunt the community in the Torra Conservancy will get about N$40 to N$50 000.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Road engineers blamed for floodRoad engineers blamed for flood Residents of Omungwelume settlement are accusing the road contractor and engineers working on the Oshakati-Omungwelume road of causing flooding by ignoring local people's advice about storm water.

    On Monday evening, the settlement received heavy rain that flooded houses, shops and shebeens.

    The community claim that that the flood was caused by a blocked water course that is supposed to channel rainwater to the river.

    A senior headwoman for the Omungwelume district of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, Linda Mweetako, told Namibian Sun that they knew the settlement was at risk of flooding because of the road works.

    “When they started with the construction of this road last year, we informed them [about the storm water], but they ignored us.

    They blocked the water course with streets that connect to the main road. This is a big loss to the people of Omungwelume,” Mweetako said.

    Mweetako, who is a businesswoman at Omungwelume, said her shop was flooded and her money and stock were destroyed.

    The N$229 million Omungwelume-Oshakati road contract was awarded to Zhongmei Engineering Group, a Chinese construction company. Construction started in mid-2015 and is almost completed.

    “My business has been there for 16 years now, but this is the first time it gets flooded.

    The rain started at around 23:00 Monday night. Businesses were closed already that time. When water started flooding the area, we could not save anything, apart from evacuating people from houses,” she added.

    Omungwelume village headman Festus Hamutoko said he grew up in Omungwelume and it was the first flood he had witnessed there.

    “Omungwelume became a settlement with too many buildings, all the water coming from those building is running into this blocked runway and that is how we get flooded. When they started their construction, we held meetings with their engineers, but they ignored us. We are waiting for them to come and rescue us from this,” Hamutoko said.

    Community members reported the flooding to the contractor and an engineer, who would not give his name to Namibian Sun, went to inspect. He told the community that there was nothing he could do.

    “This is serious and there is nothing we can do now. We are going to sit and discuss the way forward. We are very sorry for this,” he said.

    The Omungwelume flooding was in stark contrast to other areas in the north that are still drought stricken.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 02/14/17--14:00: Unam blasts budget cuts
  • Unam blasts budget cutsUnam blasts budget cutsVice-chancellor spits venom over spending cuts In a no-holds-barred speech, Unam vice-chancellor Lazarus Hangula has harshly criticised spending cuts at the institution. University of Namibia vice-chancellor Lazarus Hangula says budget cuts imposed by the central government will greatly affect the institution's mandate to contribute towards the attainment of national goals.

    His concerns were expressed in a speech read on his behalf by the vice-chancellor for administration, finance and resource mobilisation, Ellen Namhila, at the official opening of the Unam campuses.

    “The systematic regressive cuts of up to 40% in Unam's budget are tantamount to killing by asphyxia of this national university whatever the real reasons may be,” he said.

    “Where are we expected to go from here? Have we rescinded on our national promises of Vision 2030? Or how can a national university be repeatedly urged to make visceral cuts on programmes that are fundamental to setting the enabling stage for the human and material resources for Vision 2030?”

    In January, Unam announced that it had frozen the recruitment of new staff. Vacancies and new positions, including those that had already been approved, were also put on hold as the government tightened the purse strings.

    The university also announced that no part-time staff may be hired without the approval of the vice-chancellor.

    Hangula said three years ago, Unam had about 21 000 students and received N$1.1 billion to upgrade its infrastructure.

    The student population has now grown to 24 000 students from nearly 40 countries.

    He said the university had received a budget allocation of only N$600 million for the current financial year.

    Meanwhile, student leaders have called on Unam to build a hostel at the Oshakati campus.

    The plea was made by Unam Student Representative Council (SRC) president Joseph Kalimbwe in a speech read on his behalf by Hifikepunye Pohamba campus SRC vice-president Shihepo Jafet.

    “Every year we are haunted by the pain faced by the students at Oshakati campus who for the past 18 years have never known the comfort of having a hostel facility… We want to see the construction of hostels at Oshakati begin,” Kalimbwe said.

    The plea was echoed by other SRC members at the Oshakati campus who held placards demanding hostels.

    Kalimbwe said following an increase in the hostel breakage fee this year, the students expected improvement in the hostel facilities at all Unam campuses.

    “We will not accept a situation where contractors come to renovate our hostels, put in Chinese products and leave them worse than before,” Kalimbwe said.

    Kalimbwe highlighted numerous challenges faced by students during the registration process and examinations.

    “To all the lecturers who take pride in victimising our students with threats, I want you to know that your time is up. Should you continue to laugh and mock at our students for asking why you don't have consultation hours, we will send you home,” the statement read.

    The SRC also called on students to take their studies seriously and never give up.

    “To all my fellow students in the stands, I want you to study hard this academic year. What lies ahead will not be easy. It will take a while for us to overcome our challenges. We are Unam students, we never give up. We uplift each other up when times are hard,” Kalimbwe said.

    Hangula said lack of adequate infrastructure was a big stumbling block that restricted the number of students enrolled at the university. Unam will be celebrating its silver jubilee in August.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 02/15/17--02:56: Repo rate maintained at 7%
  • Repo rate maintained at 7%Repo rate maintained at 7% The Bank of Namibia’s kept the repo rate unchanged at 7% this morning. Announcing the decision, the central bank said the rate remained appropriate to support the one-on-one link between the Namibian dollar and the South African rand while supporting economic growth. On price movements on the economy, the annual inflation rate increased on average to 6.7% in 2016 compared to 3.4% in the previous year. According to central bank governor Ipumbu Shiimi, this was driven mainly by a rise in the inflation rates for major categories such as housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels and transport. The annual inflation rate increased to 8.2% in January 2017 from 7.3% in December 2016, marking the highest level of inflation since October 2009, while the preliminary stock of international reserves stood at N$22.9 billion amounting to three months of import cover.
    The Monetary Policy Committee will meet again on Tuesday 11 April 2017 to deliberate on the repo rate.

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     Swartbooi calls Utoni an ‘idiot’ Swartbooi calls Utoni an ‘idiot’ The battle lines have been clearly drawn between Swapo MP Bernadus Swartbooi and his former boss and land reform minister Utoni Nujoma, after the former called him an idiot in the National Assembly this afternoon.
    The drama started when Nujoma started delivering a ministerial statement on the postponement of the tabling of the land bill to allow for further consultations.
    At this point, DTA leader McHenry Venaani interjected on a point of order, informing the minister that President Hage Geingob had already provided reasons behind the postponement. It was at this point when Swartbooi uttered the word ‘idiot’ in reference to Nujoma. Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi immediately ordered Swartbooi to withdraw the word, to which he responded.
    “I mean what I say, but I will withdraw.”
    The business of the day was eventually suspended by the speaker, citing the sensitivity of the matter.
    Swartbooi and Nujoma have not been seeing eye-to-eye for quite some time now. Last year, Swartbooi vehemently refused to apologise to Nujoma whom he criticised for not managing the resettlement process well.
    At the time, Swartbooi said it was time that Nujoma was called to order over the land resettlement process. Swartbooi was later fired by Geingob and replaced with Priscilla Beukes.

    STAFF REPORTER



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    Sport will not perish - IlukenaSport will not perish - IlukenaMinistry requests bigger budget Various sport codes will be neglected by the Ministry of Sport in an attempt to keep other sports going for the next few years. JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA



    The Ministry of Sport will do everything in its power to ensure that sport stays alive in the country, permanent secretary Alfred Ilukena says.

    Sport codes are facing difficult times ahead, with many activities being placed on hold due to a financial crisis being experienced in the country.

    The country’s top football league failed to start last year after officials could not secure a sponsor.

    Many junior national teams were forced to cancel their trips or to trim teams because of the ongoing financial crisis.

    This raised concern in sport circles about whether the Ministry of Sport has been doing enough to rescue the situation.

    Critics have often called for a reshuffle in the ministry, calling for the resignation of Minister Jerry Ekandjo.

    However, permanent secretary Ilukena remains positive that the ministry will rescue the situation.

    Speaking in an exclusive interview yesterday Ilukena said: “We are all aware of the situation.

    “Believe me, we are working hard towards finding solutions to the dark cloud that has fallen over Namibian sport.

    “As a ministry, we remain committed and will do anything possible to ensure that sport continues.

    “We have always made it clear that the ministry will focus on the most important sport codes, while putting others on hold as far as funding is concerned.

    “However, we will have to do this rotationally by making some sport codes a priority for two years and focusing on others in the other two years.”

    Ilukena added that their main concern would remain development programmes for the youth.

    According to the permanent secretary, professional sport will receive minimum help from the ministry.

    “Associations like the Namibia Football Association (NFA) will have to source funds on their own because our budgets have always been limited.

    “We are just there to assist with the little that we can, but we are unable to go to the extremes as far as funding such associations is concerned.

    “We therefore also reiterate that the Namibia Premier League is not our responsibility.

    “They must try harder in the pursuing of sponsorships from the private sector to keep their activities alive,” Ilukena said.

    Budget anticipation

    With the finance minister expected to announce the national budget for 2017/2018 financial year in May, the sport ministry hopes that there will be good news.

    The sport ministry has often been in the back of the line when it comes to budget allocations. Public sectors such as health and education are regarded as priorities.

    “I will not be able to disclose to you how much we have requested from the Ministry of Finance for 2017/18.

    “However, I can tell you that the Ministry of Sport has requested more funds than what we got last year.

    “The problem is that the government will continue to argue that sport is not more important than the other sectors, and would therefore not get more funds.

    “We have done our part as a ministry in terms of requesting the funds and we hope for the best.

    “The economic situation makes things even more difficult for the government to release large sums.

    “This is all because it is not only an internal economic problem, but it is affecting the whole world,” Ilukena said.

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    Thrilling results at fistball tourneyThrilling results at fistball tourney SPORTS REPORTER

    The opening tournament of the fistball season got off to a thrilling start at Swakopmund on Saturday.

    Cohen Fistball Club (CFC 1) and Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW 2) retained their titles in their respective categories.

    CFC 1 remained undefeated after winning all seven of their games.

    CFC 1 started the final in promising style by snatching a quick 5-0 surprise lead against SKW 1.

    The quick score awakened counterparts SKW 1 to put up a great fight during the game.

    At halftime, CFC 1 was leading by 3 points. Shortly after starting the second half the SKW 1 attackers had a horrible series of six service mistakes in a row, increasing the cushion of CFC 1 to nine points

    CFC 1 remained dominant and focused throughout the match, resulting in a 20-12 score-line.

    The Bank Windhoek Fistball League will start on 11 March at SKW Stadium in Windhoek.

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    Kasu Valentine's Cup continuesKasu Valentine's Cup continuesFan favourites to clash Mini-tournaments have become the norm in Namibia lately given that the Namibia Premier League is yet to kick off. The Katutura Sport Union (Kasu) Valentine's Cup will continue this weekend, with local football giants locking horns.

    The first matches of the two-weekend tournament were played last weekend at the Katutura Youth Complex.

    The matches have been shifted to the Sam Nujoma Stadium this weekend.

    Temper XI and Ajax Otjomisaona will kick off at 18:00 on Friday before Real Madrid entertain Eleven Stars in the second match of the day.

    Rising Eagle take on Okombomi, followed by a game between Otjijere and Omandini.

    Twelve games will be played on Saturday, including the quarter-finals of the competition.

    The semi-finals are scheduled for Sunday morning at 07:00, while the final is slated for 15:00 on the same day.

    The football winners will walk away with N$10 000 while the runners-up will take home N$5 000.

    The teams that bow out in the semi-finals will receive N$2 500 each for their efforts.

    The tournament is worth N$30 000 after receiving sponsorships from Kau Van Rooi Stud, Kakero Urban Planning Consultants and Nation Kavari.

    Kasu chairperson Kuveri Tjonga said he was delighted with the quality of football played in the first games.

    He also lauded the level of refereeing in netball and football matches at the competition.

    “The tournament is now at the stage where it is heating up because the bigger teams will now clash in the next round.

    “Last weekend, we saw great football on display and we expect even greater games this weekend.

    “These competitions will continue to grow as long as we have the support from corporate Namibia.

    “Fans must come in their numbers to witness this fantastic talent here on display,” Tjonga said.

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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    Van Niekerk loses out to Nico RosbergVan Niekerk loses out to Nico Rosberg German car racer Nico Rosberg was recognised ahead of South African sprinter Wayde van Niekerk on Tuesday night, in a tight contest for the Breakthrough of the Year trophy at the Laureus World Sport Awards in Monaco.

    Already a winner of two major awards in 2016 - the SA Sports Star of the Year and Association of National Olympic Committees (Anoc) Male Athlete of the Rio Games, Van Niekerk was also an IAAF Male Athlete of the Year finalist last year.

    He had no luck on this occasion, however, with Rosberg called up on stage to collect the accolade after winning the Formula One world title.

    They had been nominated in a hard-fought category which also included Ethiopian distance running star Almaz Ayana, who shattered the world 10 000m record at the Rio Games.

    It also included three teams - the Fiji rugby sevens squad who earned the men's Olympic title, maiden English Premier League title winners Leicester City Football Club and European Championship football quarterfinalists Iceland.

    Van Niekerk enjoyed a remarkable 2016 campaign which included the African 200m and 4x100m relay titles, the Olympic 400m gold medal in a world record time of 43.03, and a unique achievement of becoming the first man to run under 10 (9.98), 20 (19.94) and 44 seconds in his career.

    “Well done to Wayde for again representing our country with pride on the international stage. It was an honour for a South African athlete to be nominated against such esteemed peers in various codes,” said Athletics South Africa president Aleck Skhosana.

    NAMPA / ANA

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  • 02/15/17--14:00: Griezmann happy in Madrid
  • Griezmann happy in MadridGriezmann happy in Madrid Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann insists he feels “great” in the Spanish capital and hailed the impact Atletico boss Diego Simeone has had on his career despite being consistently linked with a big-money move to the Premier League.

    Manchester United lead the chase for Griezmann, who has a 100 million euro ($106 million) buyout clause inserted into a new contract he signed with Atletico in June last year.

    “I feel great at the club and in Madrid,” Griezmann told FIFA.com.

    Any move for the Frenchman would be complicated by Atletico's reluctance to sell as they face a transfer ban on registering new players this summer and move to a new 67 000-seat stadium.

    “On a personal level I'm very happy, and in football terms we're about to move to a new stadium, which is very important,” added Griezmann.

    “We'll just have to see what the future brings, but for now I'm very happy here and I hope to win trophies with this club.”

    Simeone is expected to remain for at least one more season at Atletico after reducing the length of his contract that was originally supposed to go to 2020 but now will run out at the end after the 2017/18 season.

    And Griezmann said it is thanks to the Argentine his star has risen since joining from Real Sociedad in 2014.

    “He's changed me. He's brought so many things to my game that it's hard to even begin to say what they are.

    “Let's just say that I wouldn't have been regarded as one of the best players in the world if it weren't for him.

    “More than anything he's helped me to be more effective in front of goal, to take every chance that comes my way, and, of course, to run and run and work hard for the team.

    “You can't make it at Atletico if you don't do that.”

    NAMPA / AFP

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