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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 256 | 257 | (Page 258) | 259 | 260 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    350 000 children trapped in west Mosul350 000 children trapped in west MosulIraq begins operation to retake west Mosul Iraqi forces early Sunday began a large-scale offensive to seize the western side of Mosul, Islamic State's de-facto capital in Iraq. Around 350 000 children are trapped in western Mosul, Save the Children warned yesterday as Iraqi forces launched a fresh offensive on jihadists defending the strategic city.

    “Iraqi forces and their allies, including the US and UK, must do everything in their power to protect children and their families from harm, and avoid civilian buildings like schools and hospitals as they push deeper into the city,” said the London-based charity's Iraq country director, Maurizio Crivallero.

    He warned that escape is not an option for most families, who risk summary execution by fighters from the Islamic State group, sniper fire and landmines - but they are also running out of food, water and medicine.

    “This is the grim choice for children in western Mosul right now: bombs, crossfire and hunger if they stay - or execution and snipers if they try to run,” Crivallero said in a statement.

    He added: “Safe escape routes for civilians must also be established as soon as possible.”

    The offensive to retake Mosul's west bank that began on Sunday could be the most brutal fighting yet in a four-month-old operation on Iraq's second city, where the leader of the Islamic State group declared a “caliphate” in 2014.

    The Iraqi government launched an offensive to reconquer Mosul on October 17, and declared east Mosul “fully liberated” on January 24.

    Federal forces now face what was always one of the toughest challenges -- the narrow streets of the Old City in Mosul's west bank, which are impassable for many military vehicles.

    Save the Children warned that “the impact of artillery and other explosive weaponry in those narrow, densely-populated streets is likely to be more deadly and indiscriminate than anything we have seen in the conflict so far”. The 350 000 figure relates to people under the age of 18, a charity spokeswoman confirmed.

    Since the Mosul offensive against the Islamic State group was launched in October, around 200 000 civilians are estimated to have fled their homes, and some 50 000 have already returned, according to the United Nations.

    In the early stages of the offensive, the army dropped tens of thousands of leaflets into Mosul, some bearing safety instructions for residents, most of whom remained in the city.

    This prevented both sides from resorting to heavier weapons, avoiding large-scale destruction, as was the case in the battles of Fallujah and Ramadi.

    “We know that IS targets people who try to flee, causing many casualties,” Abdulwahab al-Saadi, a top commander of the elite Counter-Terrorism Service that did most of the fighting, told AFP.



    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 02/19/17--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day WORLD RECORD: This file photo shows twelve-year-old Palestinian teenager Mohammed al-Sheikh showing off his skills in Gaza city. The thirteen-year-old Palestinian teenager, who has been nicknamed as “the extraordinary spider”, broke the Guiness World Record for the most full body revolutions maintaining a chest stand position in one minute, with 38 turns compared to the previous record holder. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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    Is this how we uplift the people of Namibia?Is this how we uplift the people of Namibia? In Namibia, we do not have many quality institutions of higher education. Fortunately, we have some – for example, Unam was established by an act of Parliament in 1992. The university's programmes were specifically designed to meet national human resource requirements of our beloved country through quality teaching, research, consultancy and community service. At its inception, our founding father, the venerable Sam Shaffiishuna Nujoma, the first Chancellor of Unam declared his vision of the university at its inception as “a centre of higher learning served by dedicated men and women of quality, and producing graduates to uplift the standards of living of Namibian people”. Slashing the budget of this key institution and shattering the vision of our founding father, is no less than criminal. How is Namibia supposed to produce its human resource requirements, now and in the future, if the institution's budget is being cut to the extent that they are barely able to pay their dedicated and quality lecturers? How are these “men and women of quality” supposed to “produce graduates to uplift the standards of living of the Namibian people”? At present, the thousands of international and local students at the main campus in Windhoek do not have a single working toilet. Where are they supposed to go? The toilets at the main campus are all blocked, filthy and unhygienic, unusable. Clearly, this is a consequence of serious lack of maintenance, due to the lack of funding. Drains are overflowing and the campus is turning into a health hazard. Is this how we intend to produce quality graduates that uplift their living standards? Are we going to continue perpetrating this structural and symbolic violence on the future leaders of our nation? There are many international students at Unam and the budget cuts affecting this institution are paramount to destroying the noble vision of our Founding Father Sam Nujoma, who no doubt had the best intentions for the institution to serve Namibians first! If this is the fate of our institutions of higher learning, it needs urgent remedy; otherwise, they will become a disgrace to the Namibian nation.

    Africans we are still looking uneducated to the developed world countries. You want Nujoma fired but you don't even have his replacement at least give president the person you want to replace Nujoma before you demand him to be fired. Nujoma is not the first Minister of Land there were others before him who were even more useless. You are just reacting emotionally because Swartbooi was fired. He should have given the apology.



    *I feel the aggrieved groups of people have a valid reason to demand back their ancestral land just us our leaders demanded back our country from colonial forces and the apartheid government.



    UNAM

    So the same guy who builds a gate for N$27 million wants to complain now about budget cuts? The Unam vice-chancellor is not serious. These institutions should also get innovative and start looking at ways to generate income on their own. This thing of relying on government for everything is really irritating.



    * Clearly that is not the proper leader for Unam, you could have anticipated this and had alternative funding with your academics and could have done forecasting. That is what happens when you only have one form of funding.



    OMUNGWELUME FLOOD

    We like to complain about everything, most of those bars owners were told to vacate or shift to pave way for the construction of our road but they refused, so who is to blame now? They must blame themselves. You have been complaining that there is drought and now that it rains you also complain. Namibians!



    MR PRESIDENT

    Talk is cheap Mr President but without any severe action against those ministers who fail in their duties to deliver, your words mean nothing and will fall on deaf ears. Good luck.



    *With all due respect Mr President, instead of always going on about tribalism whether real or imagined how about changing the subject and talk about job creation first please?



    *Why must the President fire Utoni Nujma? Please Namibians you like to make noise about things you don't even know about. Swartbooi was asked to apologise he should have done that. Now leave Utoni alone he is not the Alpha and Omega when it comes to deciding on land issues.



    *Mr President, the people just want fair distribution of land, that' all. Unlike Libya, we do not want to take over the government, we just want a fair distribution of the Namibian cake and not just for the Elites!



    *The President is 100% talking the truth. The land issue should not be made a tribal thing. We are all Namibians and all tribes were affected by the colonialists.

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    Country still divided by Red LineCountry still divided by Red Line Agriculture minister John Mutorwa says Namibia is still divided by a Veterinary Cordon Fence 26 years after independence.

    Mutorwa made the remark when he announced the new Meat Board members last week.

    The fence divides the country into a disease-free southern zone, which is recognised by the World Animal Health Organisation and where most commercial livestock farming happens, and the so-called northern subsistence farming sector.

    According to Mutorwa the presence of trans-boundary animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease and lung sickness is largely responsible for the lack of participation of this important sector in the agricultural economy.

    He said the ministry was cognisant of the huge amount of work that was being done by the ministry's Directorate of Veterinary Services in dealing with the combating, prevention and eventual envisaged eradication of trans-boundary animal disease in the northern communal areas (NCAs).

    He said the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in some parts of the NCAs in 2015 was a national setback.

    Mutorwa said the cabinet decided in 2015 that ideally a border fence should be erected between Namibia and Angola.

    Consultations between the relevant authorities of the two countries are continuing. Once mutually acceptable agreements are reached, the erection of the proposed border fence can start.

    The minister said the Meat Board must continue to support the Directorate of Veterinary Services in this regard, as well as other relevant and needed projects.

    The Meat Board members are Patricia Gurubes (chairperson), Dr Archibald Norval (deputy chairperson), Julene Meyer, Ramana Mutjavikua, Yvonne Howaes, Alfred Namayabona Chilinda, Dr Lucia Ndamonako Marius, Johannes Albertus Balzar and Mary Kalangula. Rosa Katjivena represents the meat manufacturers, Sikunawa Tshiponga Negumbo represents the traders, and Floris van Niekerk represents the agents. The new board will serve until 2020.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Auditors find books in shamblesAuditors find books in shamblesMaltahöhe lacks internal controls An auditing firm has harsh words about accounting practices at the Maltahöhe village council. An accounting and auditing firm has found that the Maltahöhe village council has insufficient internal control systems on which the auditors could rely upon for auditing purposes.

    Mostert Landgrebe Chartered Accountants and Auditors made this finding in a report submitted to the village council for the year ended 30 June 2016.

    “The council could not provide proper documentation on the construction of the new administrative building for the village council and new fire station amounting to N$1 632 505,” the report states.

    The auditors are of the opinion that the asset register is not fairly stated with regard to the assertion of completeness, accuracy and classification.

    They also observed that assets which had been acquired were not included in the register.

    The auditors further found that there was no value-added tax reconciliation done on trade and other receivables. The annual financial statements also do not reflect an accurate balance of the VAT account.

    “The council could not provide the auditors with an age analysis, thus the auditors were unable to do this test.”

    The auditors could also not verify Build Together loans of N$282 735 because of a lack of supporting documents.

    It was further uncovered that the average period of arrears collection was 865 days and the auditors advised that the council should urgently attend to the arrears.

    The council made a provision of N$736 405 for maximum overall debt. But the auditors made an estimation of N$6 900 476, and as a result the provision for doubtful debts was understated by N$6 164 071.

    It was further found that a N$78 502 provision for employees' leave was a recurring balance from the previous year.

    “This balance is not accurate. The council did not make provision for the current financial year's leave days owed to the employees,” the report reads.

    The report states that the council's suspense account held deductions from employees' salaries that the council should have paid over to third parties.

    “Therefore, at year-end payments to third parties were still due. However, the auditors could not confirm the balance.”

    It was found that all VAT returns were submitted late to the Directorate of Inland Revenue.

    “No pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) returns were submitted to the Directorate of Inland Revenue. No provisions in the financial statements were made for the outstanding PAYE or VAT.”

    The auditors advised the council to address this matter to avoid interest payments and penalties.

    The council could not provide auditors with electricity statistics, therefore the auditors could not perform practical tests on the sale of electricity.

    At the time of the audit, the council had failed to trace its valuation roll, thus the auditors could not perform any tests on revenue from rates and taxes.

    The auditors could not perform proper tests on expenses due to improper filing and untraceable invoices for transactions processed.

    The council could not explain a difference of N$576 420 between the salary register and the annual financial statement.

    There were no stock sheets for the auditors to perform alternative practical audit procedures to confirm the existence of the inventories on hand at year-end.

    “The information came to our attention during our audit and does not necessarily represent a complete list of all weaknesses,” said the auditing firm.





    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    The sky is the limit for Selma JonasThe sky is the limit for Selma Jonas'A shining example for young Namibians to emulate' The Namibia Express Travel and Tourism Information Centre in Windhoek specialises in passenger and cargo services, client bookings and tours around the country. The Namibia Express Travel and Tourism Information Centre in Windhoek was opened by the deputy minister of environment and tourism, Tommy Nambahu, last week.

    This centre specialises in passenger and cargo services, client bookings as well as tours around the country.

    It was established by a young Namibian woman, Selma Jonas, and is located in the Carl List Building in Windhoek.

    “She is indeed a shining example for young Namibians to emulate, especially to aspiring emerging entrepreneurs. She has demonstrated that not even the sky is the limit as her business is already conquering the global skies. I am informed that currently, she is the only black Namibian woman accredited by the International Air Transport Association, IATA,” said Nambahu.

    According to Nambahu the centre has been in operation for over a year and has become one of the strategic partners of the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB), making a great contribution to the economy.

    He said the centre would play a significant role in promoting the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.

    It will also address the challenges outlined in the Namibian National Sustainable Tourism Growth and Development Strategy as well as the Namibian National Tourism Investment Promotion Profile, said Nambahu.

    According to him the fourth National Development Plan (NDP 4) saw tourism as one of the key pillars of Namibia's economic policy and requested the full and effective implementation of the National Tourism Growth and Strategy, which the ministry launched last year.

    Nambahu said the fifth National Development Plan was now being developed and tourism was again earmarked as one of the priority economic sectors.

    Some of the targets in the strategy to be achieved by the year 2026 are for the country to be ranked the most competitive destination in Africa, and the tourism sector to be the largest contributor to Namibia's Gross Domestic Product. The aim is to increase the length of tourists' stay in the country from the current eight days to 22 days.

    Nambahu further said that many people still believed that tourism was only for foreign nationals.

    “The question however is, how much do we know about our own country? How often do we travel to different places of our country as Namibians?”

    He said domestic tourism needed to be promoted, and the onus lay on local tour operators and in particular the NTB to ensure that this segment of tourism is popularised.

    “As Namibians, it is time that we start going beyond Etosha National Park and Swakopmund. There are many majestic places in this country that local people need to visit. Places such as Twyfelfontein, Sossusvlei, Fish River Canyon and Ruacana Falls, to name but a few.”

    He called upon all local tour operators together with the NTB to do more in promoting domestic tourist destinations and to strengthen their marketing strategies that promote domestic tourism.

    Nambahu said the country's cultural diversity, landscapes and wildlife existed not only to be explored by foreign nationals, but by Namibians too.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Police remove protesters from Walvis Bay harbourPolice remove protesters from Walvis Bay harbour About 40 casual workers of the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) were removed by the police last week after they had been camping illegally in front of the Namport offices in Walvis Bay.

    More than 250 workers were informed last week that their services were no longer required after a manpower analysis performed by the company concluded that casual labour was an unnecessary expense.

    A quarter of these workers resorted to camping illegally in front of the offices to demand reinstatement.

    An eviction notice was served on them on 11 February.

    The notice stated that the action was unlawful, was interrupting port operations and was preventing Namport employees from attending to their duties.

    About 12 of the protesters were taken to the Walvis Bay police station after they allegedly became aggressive towards the officers.

    Commissioner Andreas Nelumbu, the regional police commander, said they were warned but not formally charged.

    “If they attempt to camp or squat in front of the Namport offices again, we will arrest and formally charge them,” he said.

    Namport CEO Bisey Uirab said the casual workers never had formal employment contracts with Namport but were used as needed, depending on fish volumes.

    He said the company had not embarked on a retrenchment exercise, but simply stopped rendering fish packing services.

    In addition, Namport has taken several other steps to cut costs and improve efficiency.

    The labourers have filed a dispute with the labour commissioner's office.



    LEANDREA LOUW

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    Dineo weakens, moderate winds expectedDineo weakens, moderate winds expected Tropical cyclone Dineo weakened considerably over the weekend and was downgraded to a normal low-pressure system that was expected to cause moderate rainfall, says Meteorological Service deputy director Franz Uirab.

    Uirab said Dineo entered Namibia in a north-westerly trajectory, passing over the northern parts of the Omaheke, Kavango, Zambezi and Otjozondjupa regions.

    “It was situated over the Oshikoto, Oshana, Kavango East and West and the north of the Otjozondjupa regions. As pressures are expected to fall and deepen over the Namibian west coast, the low-pressure system that originated from the tropical depression moved southwards, covering the central and southern parts.”

    Heavy rains, accompanied by fresh winds, are expected this week.

    “As a result, partly cloudy and warm to hot weather with isolated thunderstorms are expected in the Kunene Region.

    “It will be cloudy to overcast with scattered thundershowers and thundershowers over the Khomas, //Karas, Hardap, Oshikoto, Oshana, Omusati, Otjozondjupa, Kavango East and West, Omaheke and Kunene regions, while winds are expected to be moderate to fresh,” Uirab said of the forecast for today.



    STAFF REPORTER

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    Witness Protection Bill tabledWitness Protection Bill tabled The Witness Protection Bill, which would allow witnesses to voluntarily change their identity and even to undergo plastic surgery, was tabled in parliament last week.

    The bill provides for the establishment of a witness protection advisory committee and a witness protection fund.

    This ambitious bill is aimed at encouraging witnesses to come forward to give evidence in cases such as corruption, drug trafficking, poaching, money-laundering, human trafficking, terrorism, environmental degradation and domestic violence.

    Justice minister Albert Kawana on Thursday pointed out that if information was leaked it usually exposed protected witnesses to extreme danger.

    “Indeed, there has been instances where some witnesses have been killed or injured, especially in cases involving terrorism, drug trafficking and high treason. This is very common in countries where convictions of those offences carry a mandatory death penalty,” he cautioned.

    The bill makes provision for a Witness Protection Fund which would ensure the appropriation of money by parliament.

    “It is absolutely important, if we are to learn from the experience of other countries, that a fund is created. According to the experience of other countries, payments have to be made even at night to enable witnesses to be moved from one place to another for their own safety.

    “For security reasons, they have to be moved by other means other than by transport which is used by the members of the public. In addition, food has to be bought for them as they cannot eat in public places,” Kawana told lawmakers.

    The fund would be under the supervision and control of the justice ministry and would be audited by the staff of the auditor-general.

    The minister added that there would be a need to relocate witnesses to other countries because of the size of Namibia where almost everyone knows each other.

    Agreements would have to be entered into with international organisations in relation to witnesses required to give evidence before such international institutions.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Unam aims for financial independenceUnam aims for financial independenceGovt covers 80% of university's costs The University of Namibia is to focus on generating more money in order to become less reliant on government funding. The University of Namibia (Unam) Council has resolved that the institution must develop its own strategies to generate additional income instead of depending on the national budget.

    This is according to the chairperson of the Unam Council, Sam Shivute, who issued a statement in response to a Namibian Sun article dated 15 February in which Unam vice-chancellor Lazarus Hangula harshly criticised the government for cutting the university's budget by up to 40%.

    Shivute said the government currently funded 80% of the Unam budget.

    “The Council of the University of Namibia has resolved that the institution must develop measures and strategies to generate additional income to alleviate the burden and dependency on the national budget,” Shivute said.

    “The university enjoys a good relationship with the government. Furthermore, the university remains appreciative and grateful to the government for its continued support and funding towards the university's endeavours. In this regard, we are grateful that government directly funds more than 80 percent of the Unam budget.”

    In last week's publication Hangula stated that the budget cuts imposed by the central government would greatly affect the institution's mandate to contribute towards the attainment of national goals.

    Hangula said three years ago, when Unam had a student population of 21 000, it received N$1.1 billion to upgrade its infrastructure. He compared that to the N$600 million received for the current financial year, when the student population stands at 24 000.

    However, Shivute said the reported amount of N$600 million was not correct because the minister of finance had not tabled the 2017/2018 budget yet.

    “At this point, the minister of finance has not yet tabled the national budget containing the final budget ceilings for the next MTEF period 2017/18 to 2019/20. As such, it is therefore not factual to conclude that Unam has been allocated N$600 million for the upcoming financial year 2017/18,” Shivute said.

    “The budget preparation process and engagements are still ongoing and the final funding allocation to Unam will only be confirmed once the national budget is tabled in parliament during March 2017,” Shivute said.

    He said last year the Unam Council discussed the university's financial challenges with the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Prime Minister.

    All the political leaders consulted were sympathetic to the challenges facing the university, he said. The Ministry of Finance made the necessary arrangements for Unam to secure the required N$391 million funding from financial institutions to cover for the budget shortfall of the 2016/2017 financial year.

    Shivute said the N$391 million was in addition to the direct budgetary allocation of more than N$900 million for that financial year.

    “With regard to the national budget cuts and continued calls to cut expenditure within the institution, I would like to highlight that that the downturn in the economy has not only affected Unam, but other institutions and branches of government as well,” he said.

    “The fiscal consolidation exercise, will at a minimum cause some pain to various sectors of the economy and the higher education sector is not an exception,” he added.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 02/19/17--14:00: Amupanda cries foul
  • Amupanda cries foulAmupanda cries foul Job Amupanda has accused the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) of deliberately shutting the party door to him.

    In a letter issued through his lawyers, Amupanda said there appeared to be persistent badmouthing by certain members of the SPYL on his position in the youth league following the outcome of the court case between Amupanda and the Swapo Party.

    Amupanda's most recent frustration was when the SPYL leadership sent email to all elected members of its Central Committee except Amupanda to convene a meeting of the committee.

    “It would appear that this omission was a deliberate and ill-motivated attempt to deny my client his right to participate and exercise his right an important platform of his political party and home,” the letter stated.

    According to his lawyers, Amupanda heard about the meeting from his comrades in the Central Committee.

    The letter made it very clear that Amupanda, who was exonerated by a High Court ruling which stated that he should be reinstated in the party but not to his former position, remains a CC member.

    “Accordingly, my client, who neither relinquished his position on the Central Committee nor was substantively removed or replaced, cannot be denied the full exercise of his elected duties and rights as a member of the SPYL Central Committee,” the letter stated.

    SPYL acting secretary Veikko Nekundi told Namibian Sun that he had never received any letter of complaint. He said his email service was not functioning.

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  • 02/19/17--14:00: Rent Bill gains momentum
  • Rent Bill gains momentumRent Bill gains momentumOutdated Rent Ordinance to be replaced A new law needs to be passed before rent control boards can be appointed. A new Rent Bill is being proposed and will replace the Rent Ordinance of 1977, which has been found to be impractical to implement to control and regulate property rent.

    Making the announcement, the minister of information and communication technology, Tjekero Tweya, said: “Government decided to stay the establishment and appointment of members of the Rent Board in order to repeal the ordinance with a new legislation to be known as the Rent Bill.”

    Tweya said the ordinance in its current form was obsolete legislation which, if applied, would render the work of the rent board of no force or effect.

    “Before independence, it made sense for an executive committee to preside over matters pertaining to the ordinance due to the control, divide and rule policy of the apartheid regime, but in an independent Namibia, there are systems and processes in place which are equally capable to administer and implement the ordinance,” Tweya said.

    According to him, the bill will aim to unify, consolidate and amend the law relating to the regulation of rent and eviction of lessees and occupiers of residential dwellings; prevent the exploitation of lessees by the lessors due to high demand and limited supply of housing, and regulate the relationship between lessors and lessees and particularly the circumstances which unfair practices are committed by the lessors and lessees.

    “The draft Rent Bill is currently undergoing constitutional scrutiny at the Office of the Attorney-General and shall thereafter be forwarded to various stakeholders for input and comments. Once the aforementioned process is completed and the bill is passed into law, members of the rent boards shall be appointed in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Act and the general public shall be informed of such appointments and the establishment of the rent boards,” Tweya said.

    The Affirmative Repossession (AR) group recently expressed dissatisfaction with the setting up of a rent control board, saying if it did not see progress by 19 February, it would conclude that the government was unwilling to implement the legislation. In a response to AR, the minister of industrialisation, trade and SME development, Immanuel Ngatjizeko, wrote: “We wish to reiterate our commitment to finding a lasting solution to the rental challenges that face our nation. We therefore wish to indicate that your letter is receiving our attention and we will respond in due course.”

    At a media briefing early last month, AR activist Job Amupanda expressed disappointment with the government for taking so long to address the issue of high rent.

    AR and government ministers held a meeting in April 2016, where they agreed that Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila should summon the Estate Agents Board to review and address escalating property prices before 1 August 2016.

    Both parties agreed to speed up the implementation of a rent control board, as set out in Rent Ordinance 13/1977.

    “The government kept zigzagging from 2015 to date. It keeps paying lip service to the matter instead of decisively implementing the provisions available in their rent ordinance,” said Amupanda.

    *additional reporting by Nampa

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Vice-president wants to censor social mediaVice-president wants to censor social media Vice-president Nickey Iyambo says measures should be put in place to stop people from using social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp to insult elders and disturb the peace of the country.

    Iyambo was speaking at a donation handover event in Ondangwa on Friday.

    He said Namibians, especially the youth, were using social media platforms to spread pornographic material, anti-government rants, tribalism, racism, xenophobia and insults.

    “I am deeply concerned about the increasing irresponsible and destructive anti-nation-building utterances on social media, made mostly by some irresponsible youth, and adults who are supposed to have a sense of right and wrong and knowledge of the violent history our nation emerged from,” Iyambo said. “It is as if people are bored with peace and rather prefer disturbing the peace in our country whose freedom is written in the rivers of blood of many patriotic Namibian martyrs.”

    He said it was “shocking, shameful and unacceptable” that even civil servants were using social media platforms to spread messages promoting tribalism and xenophobia against fellow citizens, foreigners and the government itself, making reference to the tribal spats reported to be taking place in the southern part of the country.

    “A country full of people who are bent on a negative, divisive and warlike discourse can never amount to anything good except for its certain demise.

    “A good example is the recent ugly primitive tribal clashes in Keetmanshoop. This is not the Namibia we fought for, the Namibia we know and the Namibia we want for our future generations,” Iyambo said.

    Iyambo's remarks followed last week's event where the former deputy minister of land reform, Bernadus Swartbooi, referred to land reform minister Utoni Nujoma as an “idiot” in parliament. The insult drew mixed reactions on social media.

    Last month, a WhatsApp video of a married woman fondling a single man went viral and flooded social media networks.

    Politicians of opposition parties and the ruling Swapo Party alike have been using social media platforms to criticise the government for the financial status of the country and other issues such as land reform.

    Iyambo called upon government institutions such as the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Safety and Security and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to take steps on social media to arrest potential national threats.

    He acknowledged that social media had their benefits, saying if they were used correctly they could enhance nation-building and the realisation of citizens' needs for communication, affirmation, and socialisation.

    “Let's address our problems in a civilised manner, and not in a barbaric, primitive, violent way, because we only have this one Namibia and if we lose it, we will all become permanent refugees like some others,” he said.

    Iyambo said the education system should transform children into better adults who were productive, tolerant and respectful of their elders, peers and other cultures.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Whistleblowers to be protected by lawWhistleblowers to be protected by law Anti-Corruption Commission director-general Paulus Noa has commended the government on the tabling of the Whistleblower Bill.

    The long-awaited bill, which provides for a series of incentives for whistleblowers, was tabled in the National Assembly on Thursday.

    Noa said the tabling of the bill was long overdue and a milestone for Namibia in its quest to unearth all forms of corruption.

    “There have been a number of Namibians who claimed that they were not comfortable to come forward and report corrupt practices because there is simply no legislation that protects them,” he said.

    He expressed the hope that the bill included all inputs raised during stakeholder meetings.

    “If a person assisted government to recover large amounts of money then it only makes sense that they are rewarded with a portion of the money,” he said.

    When he tabled the bill, justice minister Albert Kawana said he believed that its speedy passing would go a long way towards fighting corruption, poaching, drug trafficking, human trafficking, environmental degradation, money-laundering and other crime in Namibia.

    The bill provides for the establishment of a Whistleblower Protection Office which may consist of a commissioner, deputy commissioners and other staff.

    Section 9 of the bill covers the establishment and functions of the Whistleblower Protection Review Tribunal.

    In order to cut costs, it is proposed that the members of the tribunal should serve on a part-time basis.

    The tribunal would be empowered to review the decisions of all those entrusted with the administration of the new legislation.

    Kawana added that there was a serious need to protect information disclosed by whistleblowers because if such information was disclosed before the matter was disposed of according to legal procedure, the integrity of such person may suffer irreparable damage even if he or she was eventually cleared of the allegation at the end of the legal proceedings.

    “Indeed, it is likely that innocent politicians, businesspeople and other public figures may be falsely targeted by their rivals,” he emphasised.

    The bill also makes provision for the appointment of ethics and integrity officers to which a whistleblower can report improper conduct of any person within big institutions.



    Clause 5 of the bill prohibits any detrimental action taken against a whistleblower for disclosing improper conduct, which includes intimidation or harassment of any whistleblower who is an employee.



    “Interference with lawful employment includes dismissal, suspension, redundancy, demotion, refusal of transfer or promotion as a result of the disclosure of improper conduct, transfer against such an employee's will, change of working conditions or taking of disciplinary action against such an employee,” Kawana explained.

    The bill also makes provision for the fining of a person who intentionally makes a disclosure knowing or believing that the information contained in the disclosure is false or untrue.

    Such a person would be sentenced to a maximum fine of N$100 000, or 20 years' imprisonment.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 02/19/17--14:00: Fisheries budget cut by 42%
  • Fisheries budget cut by 42%Fisheries budget cut by 42%Scheduled activities will be put on hold The fisheries ministry will have to drastically curtail its operations in the coming year. The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources' budget for the 2017/18 financial year has been cut by 42.3%.

    This was announced by the minister of fisheries and marine resources, Bernard Esau, during his annual ministerial staff address in Swakopmund last week.

    According to him, the ministry's budget for the 2016/17 financial year had already been cut by 10% to N$29.5 million.

    He said these budget cuts meant that several scheduled activities would be put on hold. Employees will not be affected by the budget cuts, but no new appointments will be made by the ministry.

    He explained that the majority of funds were spent on monitoring, control and surveillance, research and resource management.

    “We will have to sit down after the budget has been approved by parliament, then we will have to prioritise and look at what activities will be carried out and what activities will be discarded. These cuts are actually a blessing in disguise, to make us sharper, in terms of getting the maximum out of the minimum allocated to us.

    “The activities that will be affected the most are resource management and controls, especially the flying of airplanes and the control of our vessels, but we are positive to carry out our activities.

    “Research vessels will continue sailing, they will just have to mobilise funds. We will not compromise on our standards of activities,” said Esau.

    He urged staff to save money as far as possible.

    “For example, we can use our own facilities for meetings instead of hired premises, use technology such as Skype and email to minimise the need for travelling to some meetings, ensure paperless documentation and print only when necessary and use pooled official transport as much as possible.

    “We must also minimise on energy wastage by switching off lights and air-conditioning units when not in our offices and closing water taps. In this way we can save vital budgets which can be reallocated to important activities in the ministry.”

    Esau called on his staff to work together to ensure a healthy work environment in the ministry.

    “We spend the most productive part of our day, at least eight hours, or about a third of our time, together at work. Let us therefore ensure that we have a healthy work environment. I want to assure all of you that you have rights as civil servants to a work in an environment free from intimation and favouritism.”

    He called on the Namibian Maritime and Fisheries Institute (NAMFI) to think outside the box and come up with innovative ways to improve training in the fisheries sector.

    “It is clear to me that an in-house approach that relies only on government funding for training will not suffice the huge training need that we have in this sector.







    “Let us consider new and innovative collaborations that we can come up with, involving institutions both inside and outside Namibia, to enhance fisheries training,” said Esau.

    He also asked the Namibian Fish Consumption Promotion Trust (NFCPT) to redouble its efforts to ensure that Namibia joins the league of major fish consumption countries in 2017.

    “I am calling upon all staff involved in capital projects to ensure that the budget allocated to our ministry for development is utilised efficiently and that we do not have any unspent money being returned to Treasury due to non-implementation of projects.

    “Let us ensure that the capital projects are relevant to what we need as a ministry and that projects are completed efficiently within project times. Projects should also be implemented to the highest standards of quality and be cost effective and within allocated budgets,” he said.

    LEANDREA LOUW

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    Indongo fight TV rights for saleIndongo fight TV rights for sale The MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing & Fitness Academy announced today that it has negotiated a discount rate for any company who wishes to buy the TV rights for Julius “Blue Machine” Indongo’s upcoming super fight.
    Indongo will trade leather with Ricky Burns in Scotland for the IBF, WBA, IBO Jnr Welterweight world titles on 15 April.
    In a press statement issued by the academy’s founder Nestor Tobias, he explained that the magnitude of the fight is so high given the titles on the line.
    “This is a massive fight and the attention of the world will focus on this super fight. The negotiated TV rights for this fight is available for N$500 000.
    “Interested corporates or business people who would like to buy the can contact the Academy.
    “Once the TV rights funds are secured, it will be paid over to Sky sports who owns the rights, and they will in return give NBC the live signal.
    “Whoever pays for the rights can then negotiate with NBC as to what sort of return on investment they desire,” Tobias said.
    The promoter is urging interested stake holders to help NBC acquire the broadcasting rights in order to make viewing of the fight possible in Namibia.


    Sport Reporter

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  • 02/20/17--06:29: Hardap sluices open
  • Hardap sluices openHardap sluices open NamWater opened the Hardap Dam sluices this afternoon after the dam level reached close to 70% following heavy rains in recent days.
    The sluices were opened after 14:00 at a release rate of 200 cubic metres per second, with possible increases of up to 400 cubic metres per second predicted. The decision to open the sluices was made as a precaution after NamWater stations calculated that inflows were expected to increase to 350m³ per second by midday today.
    The dam level was at 68% of capacity when the sluice gates were opened and was expected to rise to 73% later this afternoon. In mid-January the dam level had stood at 35.4%.
    Following the 2006 Mariental floods, the dam level has not been allowed to exceed 70%.
    Currently the town faces no danger of flooding. Flooding only occurs if more than 500 cubic metres second is released.
    NamWater is keeping a close eye rainfall in the Ai-Ais area, which is the catchment of the Naute Dam.
    Jana-Mari Smith

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  • 02/20/17--06:30: Hardap sluices open
  • Hardap sluices openHardap sluices open NamWater opened the Hardap Dam sluices this afternoon after the dam level reached close to 70% following heavy rains in recent days.
    The sluices were opened after 14:00 at a release rate of 200 cubic metres per second, with possible increases of up to 400 cubic metres per second predicted. The decision to open the sluices was made as a precaution after NamWater stations calculated that inflows were expected to increase to 350m³ per second by midday today.
    The dam level was at 68% of capacity when the sluice gates were opened and was expected to rise to 73% later this afternoon. In mid-January the dam level had stood at 35.4%.
    Following the 2006 Mariental floods, the dam level has not been allowed to exceed 70%.
    Currently the town faces no danger of flooding. Flooding only occurs if more than 500 cubic metres second is released.
    NamWater is keeping a close eye rainfall in the Ai-Ais area, which is the catchment of the Naute Dam.
    Jana-Mari Smith

    0 0
  • 02/20/17--06:33: Hardap sluices opened
  • Hardap sluices openedHardap sluices opened NamWater opened the Hardap Dam sluices just after 14:00 after the dam level reached close to 70% following heavy rains in recent days.
    The sluices were opened at a release rate of 200 cubic metres per second, with possible increases of up to 400 cubic metres per second predicted. The decision to open the sluices was made as a precaution after NamWater stations calculated that inflows were expected to increase to 350m³ per second earlier today.
    The dam level was at 68% of capacity when the sluice gates were opened and was expected to rise to 73% later this afternoon. In mid-January the dam level had stood at 35.4%.
    Following the 2006 Mariental floods, the dam level has not been allowed to exceed 70%.
    Currently the town faces no danger of flooding. Flooding only occurs if more than 500 cubic metres second is released.
    NamWater is keeping a close eye rainfall in the Ai-Ais area, which is the catchment of the Naute Dam.
    Jana-Mari Smith

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    Only five out of 38 replied – DoesebOnly five out of 38 replied – DoesebNPL chairman calls for unity The search for a sponsor has not been easy for the Namibia Premier League leadership but they are now crossing their fingers and waiting for their long-term partner MTC to reply. SPORT REPORTER



    The Namibia Premier League (NPL) has revealed that in its efforts to secure a sponsor for the league, a total of 38 sponsorship letters were sent out but only five corporates have replied.

    In a media statement by NPL chairman Johnny Jonson Doeseb, he explained the challenges faced by the league.

    The management has since last year been hunting for a sponsor for its N$24 million budget but only managed to secure N$3 million per season over three years from Groot Systems.

    During the announcement of the Groot Systems sponsorship in October last year, NPL mentioned that 37 letters had been sent out and 35 never responded.

    Doeseb said they had long been aware that if MTC walked away they would face a crisis.

    “We are also aware that no other corporate will invest this much money and currently the situation is testimony that out of 38 sponsorship letters to corporates only five have replied.”

    He said after their annual congress last year the management committee was tasked to revise the N$24 million budget to N$18.8 million, and then to engage MTC with a revised budget of N$15.8 for consideration.

    He then mentioned that on Friday last week, MTC requested the NPL to present an annual budget of N$15 million, which was done. They are now waiting for MTC to reply.

    Putting the financial matter in context, NPL chief administrator Tovey Hoebeb explained how they arrived at N$18.8 million.

    “The 16 clubs each pay N$54 500 affiliation fees which then amount to N$872 000. Then you add the N$3 million from Groot Systems and the N$15 million of the budget presented to MTC. That gives you N$18.8 million,” he said.

    Doeseb said he was fully aware that the current crisis had prompted mixed reactions from the different leaders in the NPL, but “this is not the time to play the blame game”.

    “We need to remain united towards common objectives until such time that we have achieved this objective,” he said.

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