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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 02/27/17--14:00: Don't be a hater
  • Don't be a haterDon't be a hater“No one is successful to spite you.” This is one thing that stood out for me the past week. We all want to win and succeed in life but sometimes that is not easy. When other people do better than us we tend to get bitter. In our slumps, we can let emotions like envy and jealousy fester and take over. It is easy to develop hatred or feel a specific way about people's achievements especially when things are going wrong or too slow on our side of life.

    But you do not have to be envious or jealous. By all means, you need to learn from other people's success and cheer them on. Be happy for others and learn a thing or two from what they have done. Pick up a few life lessons and principles from others and use them to your benefit.

    You should be grateful for what you have. Sounds simple, but this is difficult when you're running low on cash or you're dateless and alone again on a Saturday night or your favourite pair of jeans stopped fitting a couple of months ago. And it's even harder if your best friend is rolling in the dough, has the sweetest spouse, and looks like a supermodel. But before you start decorating for that pity party for one, take time to reframe your perspective.

    Instead of focusing on everything that's going wrong (especially in comparison to others), focus on what's right. What is going well in your life? What's something that you kick butt at? Even if it's watching a television show like it's your job, wear it like a badge of honour. And then be grateful that you even have something you can look forward to in life because others may have nothing!

    Just know that whatever it is, there can always be a sunny side! Or, if you need to look at it with a little less pixie dust, just realise that things could always be worse.

    As an alternative of being jealous or thinking that your friends don't deserve their happiness, be inspired! Be happy that your own friends have such beautiful things happening in their lives and take it as a sign that it's possible (and likely) for you, too! Take the time to inspect the kind of things that your friends do that may be different from what you've been doing. Maybe they eat healthier or make time to volunteer or they meditate in the morning. Think about the healthy habits they have and consider giving some of them a try. The point is not to become all “bitter and jealous” and take someone else's identity, but to open your mind to more emotion-nourishing activities.

    Listen, I understand that it's difficult to be excited for other people when your life feels like it's falling apart. It's only human. And in those times when you can't muster up the ability to separate their circumstances from your own, take some space. It's okay! If you get angry every time you see this person update something positive on Facebook (or happy when they post something negative), then hide their profile from your feed. Don't give yourself fuel to keep yourself down. If you can't think anything nice, then it's better to not think about them at all. Keep your distance and work on YOU. It sounds counterintuitive, but the distance could actually SAVE your friendship. It gives you time to focus on your best assets outside of being compared to that person and lets your individual skills develop and flourish. Grow in your confidence so that when you're around that person again, you are secure in yourself and not threatened by their awesomeness (because you realise you have your own brand of it, too).

    Maximise on others' success and the world will reward you plentiful, you are wasting your time, energy and focus if you hate on other peoples success. Remember this is Africa “Ubuntu” is important. May I also remind you we are in Namibia, where we “Harambee” everything. That the culture you should carry with you at all times, spread love and positivity. We can all learn from each other if we put our heads together.

    When you are happy for others the world will reciprocate the same energy towards you. With the world being such a beautiful mess, we need to cherish each other.



    Until next time. Peri nawa!!



    shona@namibiansun.com

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  • 02/27/17--14:00: Gambian prison chief sacked
  • Gambian prison chief sackedGambian prison chief sackedHuman rights activists laud the decision The chief of the Gambian prison system that has been described as brutal and arbitrary was fired by President Adama Barrow on Friday. The Gambia's new president has fired the head of the national prison system, officials said on Sunday, taking aim at a service denounced for alleged abuses under the former regime.

    President Adama Barrow on Friday “sacked David Colley, the director-general of the Gambia Prison Service”, a government source said late on Saturday.

    The prison service confirmed the news on Sunday.

    Colley had run the penitentiary system nearly non-stop since 1997 under Yahya Jammeh, the longtime leader of the tiny West African state who was forced out of power last month after losing an election.

    The United Nations and rights groups repeatedly condemned The Gambia's security services under Jammeh, blaming them for arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial killings and torture.

    They also criticised the sordid conditions and detainee treatment in Gambian prisons, notably at Mile Two, the biggest compound in the country located outside the capital Banjul.

    Interior Minister Mai Fatty led journalists on a tour of Mile Two on February 13, revealing concrete cells in almost complete darkness where prisoners lived in squalor, and apologised on camera for the conditions.

    Amnesty International said that under Jammeh, “Gambia's climate of fear was sustained for years through regular arbitrary arrests and detention, as well as routine torture.

    “You could never be sure who would be arrested, when or why,” it said in a December statement.

    Since effectively taking power late last month, Barrow has rushed to uphold pledges to overhaul those services.

    Gambian police arrested the former spy chief, head of the notorious National Intelligence Agency this month. He and eight subordinates have been charged with the murder of an opposition member.

    Barrow also appointed a former UN war crimes prosecutor as the country's new chief justice.

    Britain has pledged support for its former colony for justice reform.

    Colley, the sacked prison chief, first served under Jammeh from 1997 to 2007, the penitentiary source said.

    He was fired in June 2007, then reinstated in 2008.

    In January 2012 Jammeh moved him to the interior ministry, then reinstated him as prison services director general in April 2013.

    The prison service said Colley would be replaced by Ansumana Manneh, currently the director of another prison, at Old Jeshwang.



    NAMPA/AFP

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    India's top diplomat to visit US after Kansas killingIndia's top diplomat to visit US after Kansas killing New Delhi's top diplomat will travel to Washington this week for talks with US officials as anger grows over the death of an Indian expatriate in a suspected hate crime.

    Thousands of Indians visit the United States every year for work or study, and the killing of 32-year-old engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in a Kansas bar last week has caused shockwaves around the country.

    A second Indian engineer, Alok Madasani, was injured in the shooting by a white man whom witnesses said screamed racial slurs.

    A ministry official said Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar would travel to Washington on Tuesday for a "wide-ranging bilateral discussion", without giving further details.

    Reports said Jaishankar, the most senior Indian official to visit since President Donald Trump took office, would discuss proposed restrictions to so-called H-1B visas as well as seeking reassurances on the safety of Indian expatriates.

    India's IT sector uses H-1B visas to send thousands of highly-skilled workers to America every year.

    News of the visit came after an Indian minister described hate crimes as "shameful", adding to a growing chorus of demands for Washington to act.

    In an editorial on Monday The Times of India said the shooting had shocked the Indian community in the US and urged Trump to "make it clear that such hate is not acceptable in his America".

    US authorities have charged Adam Purinton, 51, with premeditated first-degree murder over the shooting, and are looking into whether it was a hate crime.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Australia must do more to protect indigenous women - UNAustralia must do more to protect indigenous women - UN Australia is failing to protect its female indigenous people from violence, which is aggravated by high levels of inequity, the United Nations said on Monday.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians rank near the bottom of every social and economic indicator, which exacerbates tension in communities of the world's longest continuous civilisation.

    “They are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised as a result of domestic/family violence and up to 3.7 times more likely than other women to be victims of sexual violence,” Dubravka Å imonović, U.N. special rapporteur on violence against women, told a news conference in Canberra.

    Šimonović, who said the figures were likely to underestimate the extent of the problem, said aboriginal women were often caught in a cycle of violence, beginning in childhood.

    Indigenous children are about seven times more likely than non-Indigenous children to be subjected to abuse or neglect and about 10 times more likely to be in out-of-home care, the United Nations said.

    With a troubled upbringing, a disproportionately high number of indigenous woman end up in prison, a figure exacerbated by government policies, most notably incarceration for unpaid fines, which Šimonović said affected indigenous people more than the non-indigenous people.

    The issue of the incarnation of indigenous women hit the headlines after the 2014 death of a woman known only by her surname - Dhu - after she was arrested for unpaid fines shortly after a domestic violence incident.

    Despite complaining of pain, Dhu was denied adequate medical attention, a coroner in Western Australia state ruled late last year.

    Reducing the imprisonment of indigenous people is one of seven government objectives to improve the lives of aboriginal people, as well as increasing life expectancy and employment.

    Critics of government policy say there is not enough funding to eradicate inequity.

    “We need more funding for programmes, especially providing culturally sensitive environments,” said Angela Spinney, a research fellow at Swinburne University of Technology.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 02/27/17--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day BRAVING THE HEAT: An Emirati man walks with his camels across the Hameem desert, some 170 kilometres west of the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi, on 24 February 2017. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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    The plight of expectant mothersThe plight of expectant mothers We are once more taken aback by the conditions in which expectant mothers specifically at Engela State Hospital are subjected to. These mothers, who include Angolan nationals, are forced to camp in squalid conditions without proper antenatal care and good nutrition. This situation is not only unique to Engela. Many other towns, including Outapi, continue to record an influx of expectant mothers from different northern remote areas as well as southern Angola. Obviously the issue has been widely reported in the mainstream media and despite interventions here and there by the authorities, it remain a concern. At Engela, the women camp alongside a sewage-filled water pond, making them more susceptible to life-threatening diseases like Malaria. Just imagine someone sleeping next to sewage-filled pond for many days and nights. This is inhumane to begin with. The Ministry of Health and Social Services have now confirmed a possible malaria outbreak in Ohangwena region, with permanent secretary Andreas Mwoombola saying that clinics near the Angolan border have reported a high number of malaria cases in particular pregnant women who are waiting to deliver. It is good to hear that the ministry of health is at least trying to do something by the timely provision of anti-malaria medications in Ohangwena that are powerful and available at all the clinics. But more needs to be done to improve the plight of these hapless women. These women are poor and can simply not afford to stay in decent accommodation establishments, while waiting to deliver their babies. Finding shelter solutions for them should be a priority issue at this point in time. The situation at Engela and other places should no longer be allowed to continue like this. It is an embarrassment that 27 years after independence we are doing little to improve the living conditions for some of country's most vulnerable groups. Our people deserve decent shelters with basic amenities like running water and toilet facilities.

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  • 02/27/17--14:00: Nakale reaches out
  • Nakale reaches outNakale reaches outResponds to teachers' plight of paying for stationery Following an article published in Namibian Sun of teachers having to supply stationery for their learners, a northern businesswoman stepped up. In response to recent media reports that teachers in the Omusati Region are using their own money to purchase teaching aids, northern businesswoman Maria Nakale donated school stationery worth more than N$50 000 that has benefitted 25 schools from the marginalised communities in the region.

    According to the governor of the Omusati Region, Erginus Endjala, Nakale, who is employed by First Capital Company was moved by the plight of the teachers in an article published by Namibian Sun recently and she donated the stationery via the governor's office.

    Each of the 25 schools from Okahao, Otamanzi, Onesi, Tsandi and Ruacana circuits received a hamper consisting of various items including calculators, notebooks, mathematics sets, photocopy paper and other accessories.

    “I am very proud of you as educators in my region. I am aware that schools in marginalised communities are experiencing a lot of challenges and school stationery is one of them. Your schools have fewer privileges and you work in remote areas, but you are making an effort to make sure that a Namibian child has received education. Please keep it up,” Endjala said.

    Endjala also thanked Nakale who was not present at the official handover for her efforts and caring heart. “I know the donation is not enough to make the whole school happy, but I am delighted by her effort to give something to a group of schools from different, needy communities. I hope that other Namibians and corporate companies will emulate her,” he said.

    The governor told the beneficiaries to use the donation as an incentive to boost performance at their schools. “Some of the donated items are luxuries in your community. Let's give them to best-performing learners to encourage them to keep up the good work and create competition with others.”

    School principals from schools that received the donations used the opportunity to inform Endjala that they faced a serious challenge of high absenteeism and dropouts because the schools have not benefitted from the school feeding programme since 2014.

    “I am shocked and disappointed. No one from the directorate of education told me this. I always hold meetings with the director and his inspectors, but they never told me of this problem. I am going to address it as an urgent matter,” Endjala promised.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 02/27/17--14:00: Girl, 10, raped at Ongwediva
  • Girl, 10, raped at OngwedivaGirl, 10, raped at Ongwediva A 10-year-old girl was allegedly raped at Ongwediva on Thursday. Namibian police spokesperson Warrant Officer Immanuel Lazarus says a 25-year-old suspect has been arrested.

    The incident occurred at the victim's home at Ongwediva.

    The police suspect that it was the second time the victim was sexually assaulted by the same man. The first incident is thought to have occurred in June 2015. Police investigations continue.

    In another incident, a 30-year-old man allegedly raped a 23-year-old woman at Bethanie at around 02:00 on Wednesday. The suspect has been arrested.

    Another rape was reported at Gibeon, where a 65-year-old woman was allegedly raped by a male relative of unknown age on Friday at around 18:00. The incident occurred in a riverbed near the Gibeon Clinic. The suspect has not yet been arrested.

    In Windhoek, a 20-year-old woman died after she was stabbed in the early hours of Sunday. The incident occurred in Ombili in Katutura at around 02:00. Shapulina Shaduka had apparently been walking with her boyfriend and friends when two men approached them.

    The men are said to have taken Shaduka's boyfriend's cap. When they tried to get the cap back, one of the men pulled out a knife and stabbed Shaduka in the neck. The suspects fled and are still at large. Police investigations continue.

    In another incident in Windhoek, 34-year-old Brendlime Kamutuua Hovaka died on Saturday at around 23:00 after he was stabbed in the chest.

    Hovaka was in the company of others at a shebeen in Abraham Mashego Street when he got involved in an argument with the suspect in the matter.

    “While arguing, the suspect pulled out a knife and stabbed the deceased,” said Lazarus.

    Hovaka died in the Katutura State Hospital. The suspect was arrested.

    A 45-year-old man was arrested at Okahandja on Sunday in connection with a murder.

    Detective Chief Inspector Naukalemo Andreas of the police in the Otjozondjupa Region said 31-year-old Joshua Benjamin Simeon was shot in the head at a shebeen around 23:45 Saturday night.

    It is alleged that Simeon was shot by the owner of the business, who was angry because Simeon would not stop fighting.

    A pistol believed to have been used in the shooting was confiscated. The suspect was expected to appear in the Okahandja Magistrate's Court yesterday.

    NAMPA

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  • 02/27/17--14:00: Can we see the direction?
  • Can we see the direction?  Can we see the direction? It has become clear that our country is facing numerous challenges. Of these problems, economic and financial troubles are the most obvious. They have been a long time coming. Even ordinary citizens in remote villages are experiencing these challenges. Even if staying far from health facilities is to be ignored as a challenge, the reality of travelling long distances to nearby health facilities just to find these facilities without needed medication is a reality. These experiences have brought many villagers close to the realities of our economic and financial situation. The villagers do not need to read newspapers or watch television to learn the country is broke. They have already received a number of retrenched workers who have explained immaculately that the tenders and contracts have been stopped. Although it is evident that the country is facing these challenges the political elites do not acknowledge the problems. They blame the global economy as if we do not have a negative balance of trade. They still tell the public that all is well and those speaking up are disturbing ‘peace and stability’. The political elites are fast becoming a laughing stock of the thinking members of society. The students are concerned with equality and they are asking for direction; which way Namibia?

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  • 02/27/17--14:00: The sinking Titanic
  • The sinking TitanicThe sinking Titanic By Inna Hengari

    A few days ago, my friends and I got into a heated debate on how the idea that European structures and the idea of European modernity are some of the causes of an unjust and unequal African community. We spoke of how in the past, Africans were forced to conform to this idea of 'eurocentricty' and how that is equally responsible for the injustices around us.

    In Namibia, for instance, we have a constitution that still portrays marks of the colonial period, perhaps even engraved within us are those self-same marks of dependency designed to make the African people seem unable to govern their own or even themselves. The idea of homelands for example, one could argue, was a 'divide and rule tactic'. This very idea has been revolutionised to make it seem as though it is the ideal tool to acquiring unity. The idea that people should be grouped on the basis of belonging to a certain race or tribe is grossly offensive to decency and morality.

    In fact, I am of the opinion that our constitution provides for inequality, especially in the aspect of private land ownership. It has been and still remains my considered opinion that the black people of Namibia were betrayed via Article 16 of our constitution which promotes economic apartheid.

    Also, for as long as we recognise tribal leaders in Namibia - 'traditional leaders' being the preferred term here; we are to blame only ourselves for the continuous promotion of tribalism which eventually results in division within the social construct.

    The demarcation of areas, done solely to reflect new population patterns, one would have it, has been tampered with in Namibia. An attempt to fix boundaries in a discriminatory manner, which is at times the case in Namibia, is called ‘gerrymandering’. The demarcation of areas in my opinion has been highly discriminatory. This process over the past years has been the root cause of unequal advantages given to a particular political party. Race and culture often form as part of the barriers to economic development. A very critical question then arises… would Namibia be in the same position both economically and politically if African rather than European structures were pursued to attain development? Would we be facing the same continental problems? Could we have perhaps achieved more as a continent? Is there a need then, to review the Rule of Law in our country, considering the fact that even after 26 years of independence the previously disadvantaged form the majority of those who fall under the poverty line?

    It is a common belief that African people have a tendency to always opt for the wrong choice when they are given the platform to make decisions. Africans 'by nature' are said to be a people that are self-enriching and self-centered. At times Africans are even deemed to be a people that are rarely innovative and are rather, a people of 'copy and paste'.

    It is often always a good thing to remember that nothing in politics is constant or inevitable. Bluntly put, politics is a give and take process. A change in the socio-political and economic environment of Namibia in the right direction is only possible when and if we invoke change at the very top, our constitution; the document which outlines the very principles that rule and dictate everyday life in our country. No wonder the gap between the rich and poor keeps widening! White farm owners continue to hide behind this very Article 16 when the black people take so much as a step towards land ownership.

    So then until we realise that unity, co-operation and embracing diversity are key to conquering most of these issues, we might as well forget about sailing on these troubled waters. This Titanic of ours is certainly going down. We are about to sink.

    *Inna Hengari is a student at the University of Namibia’s Department of Political and Administrative Studies

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    The need for God’s intervention in NamibiaThe need for God’s intervention in Namibia By Daniel Lusianu

    For any nation to succeed in the world of today, it has to, one way or the other, rely on the sacred belief in God. The Bible narrates a story of how God’s chosen people (Israelites) were mistreated in Egypt by the pharaoh and how the Israelites needed someone to deliver them out of their bondage. Israel as a nation was in a physical and spiritual bondage. The Israelites wanted to be free from Egyptian slavery, hardship and all sort of infirmities. Therefore, God gave them Moses as a leader who would deliver them.

    Moses was both a spiritual and public leader. The Bible clearly illustrates that he was a learned man and knew how to deal with public affairs. Moses delivered the people of Israel from physical bondage by parting the Red Sea. The Egyptians tried to follow the Israelites, but God was with his nation and as a result the Egyptian soldiers drowned in the Red Sea. The children of Israel were delivered and they sang songs of victory led by the chorister Miriam (Moses’s sister). But after they got their independence they forgot who God was. It makes one think they only needed God when they were in hardship. They stood in spiritual apostasy against God, as a result they were still in spiritual bondage though they were free from physical oppression. From time to time Moses would remind them to turn back to God, but they did not listen.

    This is exactly the same situation in Namibia. Namibia got its independence from colonial oppression and many other things that constrained its liberty through the leadership of Tate Nujoma. We sang our independence songs too, one of the choristers being the Ndilimani troupe. We too are still under spiritual bondage today. Because of the spiritual condition we are in, we have social evil manifestations. People are killing each other like nobody’s business and when the convicted murderer is asked why she/he did such a cruel thing, all they say “I do not really know what was wrong with me”. We also have a few cases like the one of Kamati, a teacher who was accused of murdering of two Kuaseua sisters on 9 October 2015. He (Kamati) according to some sources was being haunted by spirits and needed help. Clearly one can tell this being was probably possessed by an evil spirit. A human being in his/her normal state would not behave this way. Society is in trouble if it does not get a Moses (leader). We need a spiritual Moses who will direct us to our prescribed manual, the Bible, in order for us to know how we function, for the Bible is a compass that will direct us to the promised land (peace in the country).We do not only need a Moses, we need many Moseses (leaders who are spiritual), who can take up the place of the ancient Moses in the society, yet at the same time directing people unto God.

    We need leaders who are to shape the society that we are in. Leaders in government should be thanked for turning to God through prayer in times of trouble. But prayer alone is not enough; prayer should be accompanied by action. We need a Moses who will stand up for God and introduce religious and moral education in Namibian schools. Learners will learn one or two things from their Creator. We need engineers who need God. We need ministers who thirst after God’s righteousness. We need a president who walks closer with God. We need every member of the nation having the law of God (Ten Commandments) imprinted on their hearts.

    It is very easy to tell whether a society fears God or not. The level of morality in the society says everything “by their fruits you will know them”. We need to know who created whom between God and humanity? Once you settle that question you will not have a problem of knowing who you are without God. The answer can further be illustrated by questioning whether a car can manufacture itself and if it can operate without a manual (instructions). The illustration is very similar to humanity, God is our creator and the Bible is our manual on how to live a good life and how to have a good relationship with God. For the purpose of reminding you as Moses did, here is our Torah which is best summarised in two parts and it is based on love: The first four Commandments speak of our relationship with God and the last six speak of our relationship with others.

    If the Torah could be kept by the Namibian people we would not have greedy, corrupt and immoral leaders. Immorality exists because the Torah has been forgotten. How can one kill if the Torah says “Do not?” How would a leader steal government money if the Torah says “Do Not?” If the Torah was kept we would probably not have the Namibian constitution: Who would be on the wrong side of it? To keep the Torah is to love God and humanity. It is only righteousness alone that can exalt a nation. When our leaders are in harmony with God, we the people under their leadership will learn to follow them just like the greatest shepherd who leads his sheep to greener pastures. If we seek first the Kingdom, then undoubtedly, with a just God as our guide, Namibia will be the envy of the continent.

    *Daniel Lusianu is a second-year student studying towards a Bachelor’s (Honours) in Education at the University of Namibia.

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    Good news in Congo fever scareGood news in Congo fever scare The four patients and five health personnel who were quarantined after an unnamed 26-year-old man died of Congo fever last week are still symptom free.

    In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Health said they would remain in isolation for another few days and would be closely monitored until “there are absolutely no doubts as to their status”.

    The results of blood tests on the four contact cases are expected to be out later this week.

    Meanwhile, local and international experts in epidemiology have been dispatched to the Omaheke Region to continue observations and conduct investigations there, health minister Bernard Haufiku said in the statement.

    He urged people working with livestock to ensure that they adhere to the spraying guidelines of the Ministry of Agriculture in order to avoid tick-borne infection.

    Two doctors and four nurses from the Katutura State Hospital and two drivers were sent to Gobabis on Friday to hold the fort while the doctor and nurses there remain under quarantine.

    Haufiku said all stakeholders including the Ministry of Agriculture had been briefed and were working closely with the healthcare teams on the ground.

    Teams on the ground are actively investigating further cases and are closely monitoring people on the farm where the deceased became ill.

    Community health workers, nurses and other personnel were briefed yesterday on early detection and interventions.

    In addition, a high-level meeting took place yesterday, attended by the regional governor, police, veterinary services and doctors to ensure a coordinated response and long-term strategy.

    Congo fever was first reported in the country in 1986. The infections mainly occurred in the eastern half of the country and since then it has reportedly occurred on average every five years.

    Three of the cases occurred in 1986, one in 1998 and two in 2001. The infections were reported in Grootfontein, Windhoek, Gobabis and one in Karasburg.

    In 2010, after an eight-year break, three human cases of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever occurred in the //Karas Region. According to media reports at the time, these infections were due to handling animal carcasses and not related to tick bites.

    Haufiku yesterday said that the regular cycle of infections and other factors would make it feasible to create a disease risk map to “better understand the transmission dynamics, reservoirs of infection during the non-transmission periods and potential for climate-induced outbreaks”.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 02/27/17--14:00: Tsumkwe West fences fall
  • Tsumkwe West fences fallTsumkwe West fences fall Sources at the Omatako settlement in the Na‡Jaqna Conservancy in Tsumkwe West yesterday confirmed that illegal fences were finally being removed.

    The sources said the operation started on Friday and the process was being monitored by the police as well as officers of the Ministry of Land Resettlement and the Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board.

    They further confirmed that there had so far not been any resistance from illegal settlers despite their earlier refusal to budge.

    “People are rolling up the fences. So far there is no tension but we do not know what might happen later,” said one source.

    The High Court in August last year ordered 22 of the 35 settlers in the conservancy to remove their illegal fences and livestock within 60 days.

    The court ordered the land board and ministry to forcibly remove them if they failed to leave on their own.

    Nearly three months have passed since the expiry of that deadline. The holdup was caused by a Supreme Court challenge of the High Court order. However, the Supreme Court on 28 December last year notified the illegal settlers that their appeal had lapsed and that the High Court order would remain in place.

    The illegal settlers had alleged in their defence that the Communal Land Reform Act of 2002 precluded the Na‡aJaqna conservancy committee from evicting people from the communal land within the conservancy.

    The Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), which represented the Na‡aJaqna conservancy committee, had argued that members of the !Kung traditional community had habitually and exclusively occupied the conservancy area since time immemorial and therefore had the right to claim authority over the land and to evict illegal occupiers.

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  • 02/27/17--14:00: 'No infighting in Swapo'
  • 'No infighting in Swapo''No infighting in Swapo'Geingob denies party crisis The president has told party leaders in the Khomas Region that rumours of dissent in the ruling party were untrue. There is no crisis or infighting within the Swapo Party, President Hage Geingob said yesterday at a meeting with the Swapo leadership in the Khomas Region.

    He also addressed the issue of ancestral land.

    Speaking about allegations that the party is in crisis, the acting Swapo president warned that anyone “looking for trouble in Swapo will be disappointed, as they are always disappointed.”

    Geingob said Swapo was a democratic party and people had a right to challenge anyone, and those who were defeated must accept that.

    He said there were people who wanted division and infighting, but they would be disappointed to know that the party remained united.

    The president warned that Swapo being the ruling party, it should be remembered that infighting within the party would spill over into the country in general.

    “Thankfully Swapo is not in trouble, therefore the country is not in trouble,” he said.

    He said disagreements within the party were to be expected, but that the party continued to “hold hands” with the aim of achieving its goals.

    Regarding the resettlement programme, Geingob said land remained a burning and difficult issue.

    He said accusations that the government had not spent sufficient time in trying to understand the issue were false and that much time had been spent on the issue.

    “Don't say that we haven't discussed ancestral land. It is not true,” he said. He added that what was missing was a mention of the San community. “We never refer to them when we talk about ancestral land.”

    He furthermore dismissed accusations that Namibia's government was “against black people getting land back”, saying that proof should be provided when such allegations were made.

    Geingob encouraged Swapo's regional leadership to help provide solutions to the land issue by September.

    “We must answer the question, how do we empower those who need land,” he said.

    Instead of warring around the issue of land, Geingob said it was important to engage in dialogue and to “find one another by convincing one another where one is wrong and address the issue”.

    At the meeting, also attended by finance minister Calle Schlettwein, Geingob told the large crowd that Namibia was not broke.

    He said the country was facing “serious headwinds and some economic problems” but that was an opportunity to adjust and find a new path forward.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    More dialogue on urbanisation needed More dialogue on urbanisation needed STAFF REPORTER

    The minister of urban and rural development, Sophia Shaningwa, says her ministry is willing to take a leading role in trying to achieve more integrated approaches to urban development.

    She said this at the Public Forum on Namibia’s Urban Future at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust).

    Shaningwa said land provision and adequate housing were difficult issues that her ministry could not resolved quickly.

    “Land provision and adequate housing in particular are multifaceted issues that are even more difficult to find easy answers for and which are even more difficult to resolve in a short period of time,” said Shaningwa.

    “Adequate housing concerns not only my ministry, but many. The structure of government itself does not always encourage integrated development, as responsibilities and budgets are sometimes fragmented across different ministries and other government agencies,” she said.

    The minister said more debate about urbanisation was needed.

    “Urbanisation within a free society is a very complex process which requires many minds to come in together in order to understand it better and transform it in progressive ways,” said Shaningwa.

    The vice-chancellor of Nust, Dr Tjama Tjivikua, said he was proud that the university was contributing toward development of the country through the Public Forum on Namibia’s Urban Future

    “Nust is happy to involve many of its academics, students and alumni in this important project for the development of Namibia, and is particularly proud to have established a competent team, including experts from the University of Namibia and the private sector,” Tjivikua said.

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    Agribank on course against defaulters Agribank on course against defaulters N$500 million in arrears Agribank is looking for property valuators as it steps up action against farmers who owe it half a billion dollars. ELLANIE SMIT



    Following an announcement by Agribank Namibia that it will take action against defaulting borrowers, the bank is seeking experts in property valuation services.

    According to an advertisement the service providers will be expected to conduct land and building valuations which include residential, commercial farmland and industrial property development projects.

    The bank said the service providers must be able to carry out valuations in all regions of Namibia on short notice and should assume responsibility for their assessment values in the event of a disputed outcome.

    It further said that valuation reports must include the market value of the property, forced-sale value in the event of business failure and reinstatement value for the purpose of insurance.

    Agribank Namibia earlier this month announced that it had enlisted debt collectors to start collecting outstanding loan instalments of N$500 million. This process will start next month.

    The bank has disbursed loans of N$2.4 billion and will make use of external debt collectors for the first time.

    According to bank spokesperson Rino Muranda the response from defaulting clients has been encouraging as some have already contacted the bank to make repayment arrangements.

    He said they were unaware of any farmers who had surrendered their farms to date.

    “Some farmers have already started making payments, while others have started making arrangements and we encourage those clients who are unable to make the required payments to contact the bank and make suitable arrangements,” he told Namibian Sun.

    Muranda said normal collections continued through the bank’s recoveries division.

    He said it must also be noted that not all loans were in arrears.

    “As indicated previously, the bank has a loan book of N$2.4 billion, of which N$500 million is in arrears. The remainder of loans are up to date or not due for repayment as yet.”

    He said Agribank was approaching its financial year-end in March and would soon report on its performance during the year under review.

    “We can safely state that the bank will meet its financial targets for this year and is in a liquid position to advance further loans for the promotion and development of agricultural activities in the country as per its mandate,” he added.

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    Meatco to run only one abattoirMeatco to run only one abattoirOkahandja becomes export cold-storage facility Meatco's Okahandja abattoir is being turned into a cold-storage facility for beef exports to the European Union. Meatco has decided to turn its Okahandja factory into an international export cold-storage facility and will operate only one abattoir – the one in Windhoek.

    The company will move the current cold-storage facility from Table Bay in Cape Town to Okahandja. It is estimated that the move will start in early April.

    Meatco said job losses would be minimal. Employees either will be absorbed at the Windhoek abattoir or at the cold-storage facility. The Okahandja facility will need 20 employees.

    The Okahandja abattoir has been closed since last year because of the water shortage in central Namibia, limited cattle numbers delivered to the abattoirs, and effluent problems at Okahandja.

    According to Meatco the water shortage particularly affects businesses in Okahandja because of the town's reliance on supplies from the Von Bach Dam.

    “Okahandja's municipality is not in a position to guarantee a consistent water supply, while the Windhoek municipality can do so,” explained the company.

    According to Meatco the effluent discharge at the Okahandja plant is a major challenge, because the Okahandja municipality does not have a permit system allowing effluent treatment.

    The company says the effluent poses a danger to the environment unless it builds an effluent treatment plant.

    That would cost N$30 million, which the company cannot afford in the current economic climate.



    Besides the fact that it is costly to operate two plants, the Okahandja factory's infrastructure was not used optimally.

    Based on the comparisons done, the Windhoek abattoir can handle more cattle.

    “Therefore it will bring greater value to Meatco to operate [one abattoir] for the next three to four years,” it said.

    The company says having its own export cold-storage facility would cut costs, considering the exorbitant rent paid for storage facilities in the past.

    “Furthermore, some of the foreign markets that we serve require that our products are exported via a certified cold storage.”

    Meatco spokesperson Rosa Thobias told Namibian Sun that minimal costs would be incurred in setting up the cold-storage facility.

    Some structural changes have to be made. All freezing and cooling equipment has been bought already, while other machines are being serviced and tested for functionality.

    Inspections by the Directorate of Veterinary Services will be done early in March to ensure compliance as an approved European Union (EU) export cold storage.

    According to Johannes Joachim, a superintendent at Meatco, it is more cost effective to bring the cold storage facility to Okahandja because transporting pallets to South Africa costs around N$22 000 per trip, in comparison to N$10 000 to the port of Walvis Bay.

    “It is also beneficial for Meatco that we place orders locally from where they will be sent to Walvis Bay instead of placing orders from South Africa. I want to be able to take full responsibility of the product until it is shipped to our markets instead of the product being shipped from South Africa,” he said.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Aviation security scrutinisedAviation security scrutinised Namibia's aviation security was scrutinised yesterday to identify weaknesses following an increase in the number of security breaches reported by air carriers over the past couple of years.

    These breaches included the confiscation of prohibited items and dangerous goods at secondary screening points at Namibia's airports. The minister of works and transport, Alpheus !Naruseb, referred to several incidents where controlled wildlife products were transported out of Namibia through airports without being detected.

    “We have learned as recently as December 2015 and December 2016 that consignments of protected animal species worth thousands of Namibia dollars have been detected and confiscated outside Namibia. One cannot help but wonder how many unaccounted millions of dollars have left Namibia already.”

    !Naruseb said this during a high-level consultative workshop on aviation security.

    The objective of the workshop was to address areas that need improvement to strengthen Namibia's response to its obligations under the Chicago Convention and the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

    “The current operating climate and the manner in which we are organised at state level afford very little opportunity to deliver an aviation secure environment with defences that are sufficiently robust to inform the design of human and machine interface,” the minister said.



    He said he was therefore advocating that the country adopt a risk-based layered approach to security although he believed the vast majority of people, goods and services moving through airports were legitimate.



    !Naruseb said although Namibia had no past experience of any unlawful threat against civil aviation, the country must remain vigilant to avert any threat.



    He said the government recognised the benefit that increased air travel to and from Namibia brought, but said it also brought a number of inherent risks.



    He added that it was hard for the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) to respond to this rapid growth without corresponding changes in its runway capacity, terminal capacity and the other supporting facilities.



    According to !Naruseb the country has seen an 11.86% growth in passenger numbers between August 2015 and December 2016.



    That is almost double the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) projection of 6% growth for the African region, which is considered one of the fastest growing ICAO travel markets.



    “Taking into consideration that air routes are not necessarily static and may change given the fluctuating nature of the financial performance of air carriers, it is undoubtedly clear that Namibia is increasingly considered a lucrative market segment within the region.”



    !Naruseb said he recognised that it was nearly impossible for the police to deliver screening services and enforce the law given their limited resources.



    “There is, however, a need for us to jointly cultivate a new mindset and operating culture in line with international best practices and the international standards and recommended practices set out in the Chicago Convention,” he said.



    During the workshop presentations were delivered by aviation experts from Singapore, after which comparisons were made with Namibia's aviation sector and discussions were held to come up with a long-term strategy to improve services locally.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Geingob defends bloated civil serviceGeingob defends bloated civil service President Hage Geingob yesterday responded to criticism of a bloated public service, saying it was creating job opportunities for Namibians.

    “It is true that the structure of the public service is bloated. This is mainly due to the historical reality that we inherited civil servants from the structures which existed during the apartheid era in the interest of reconciliation,” Geingob told his office staff during a welcoming address at State House yesterday.

    “If we were to downsize now, we would end up sending many people into the streets and add to the already high number of unemployed people.”

    The bloated public service, which has over 100 000 workers, has caused government expenditure to rise yearly and the annual wage bill is over N$22 billion.

    Geingob encouraged his staff to be more efficient and accelerate service delivery.

    “What we need to do is to improve our performance and output. This year, let us disappoint the naysayers with success. Let us defeat them with hard work. Let us deliver, deliver, and deliver.

    We will succeed if we establish a culture of efficient and effective service delivery,” he said.

    The president also defended his decision to appoint presidential advisors in 2015. He argued that the idea of appointing advisors was nothing new.

    Geingob has been criticised for his expensive team of advisors, who are referred to as the 'A-Team'.

    Geingob's A-Team includes former statistician-general John Steytler, former Namdeb Holdings chief executive officer Inge Zamwaani-Kamwi, former Team Namibia CEO Daisry Mathias, former Millennium Challenge Account Namibia CEO Penny Akwenye and former NBC boss Albertus Aochamub.



    Geingob has also been accused of duplication for appointing two deputy ministers in certain portfolios.



    “This presidency has been tasked with bringing about shared prosperity in Namibia, and that requires a new approach to doing things; it requires an organisational change,” he said.



    “It is for this reason that certain ministries and offices have been created. It is also the reason that we have appointed presidential advisors, who possess the requisite competencies to provide executive support for our strategic efforts.



    “Presidential advisors have always been part of our structure. This is not a new concept, except the fact that we have catered for youth and business, since these are crucial sectors in our developmental efforts.”



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 02/28/17--05:08: Fuel price hike tonight
  • Fuel price hike tonightFuel price hike tonight The pump price for fuel will increase at midnight tonight by 32 cents a litre for 95 unleaded petrol and 25 cents a litre for all grades of diesel.
    The production cuts by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members and Russia to balance the oversupplied crude oil market is the main reason for the current rally. However, even after achieving close to their targeted 1.8 million barrels a day of production cuts, the huge stockpiles have not reduced. On the contrary, US crude stocks have risen 39 million barrels this year, to 518 million, since OPEC started cutting production in January.
    The average exchange rate remained stable at about N$13.2656 per US$ over the period reviewed. Despite the exchange rate, stability in the financial markets the prices of fuel products were affected heavily by OPEC’s announcement under the period reviewed.
    The Basic Fuel Price Unit Rate Slate calculations for the past month recorded high under-recoveries on all the regulated petroleum products. The under-recoveries recorded are sufficient to trigger an increase in local pump prices. However, the National Energy Fund will meet Namibian fuel consumers halfway by absorbing a portion of the under-recoveries recorded. Under-recoveries have run into 38.8 cents a litre for unleaded petrol, just under 32 cents a litre for diesel 500ppm and 32.3 cents a litre for diesel 50ppm.

    STAFF REPORTER

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