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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 274 | 275 | (Page 276) | 277 | 278 | .... | 1152 | newer

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  • 03/06/17--14:00: Doing more with less
  • Doing more with lessDoing more with less Everyone is waiting with bated breath to see how finance minister Calle Schlettwein intends to keep the country on the straight and narrow fiscal path with the tabling of the 2017/18 national budget. This time around Schlettwein is under extreme pressure to provide direction and faces a tough balancing act amid slow growth and high unemployment, especially among the youth. Government is already burdened with an unsustainable wage bill and will continue to pour money into parastatals like Air Namibia, NAC, NHE and NBC among others, on top of the social and old-pension grants that will also be increased. With constant budget cuts now the order of the day, we are particularly interested in hearing how government intends to improve government efficiency, given the fact that we are operating in an increasingly complex environment. The Hage Geingob-led administration has created new ministries such as the poverty eradication ministry and the one responsible for public enterprises two years back and we are now realising how a top-heavy government can be a burden to taxpayers. We know that this government has set its sights on tackling poverty and delivering prosperity to the Namibian people, but this will remain a pipe dream if we don't invest in areas that matter, given the uncertainties presented by the current financial crisis. Government must admit that fostering collaboration is the way to go in this rapidly changing world. We can only improve service and service delivery if we streamline our operations instead of sticking with shameful priorities. We thus agree with those who are calling on government to stop creating new ministries and agencies in the hope of fixing structural and systematic deficiencies. It is best to have directorates within ministries instead of establishing new institutions all the time, which do not come cheap at all. Furthermore, we need to be frank with ourselves and address the bloated civil service issue. There is no doubt that public servants are vital assets to the economy of this country. But, there is a need to ensure that public servants deliver services in a way that provides maximum value to our countrymen and women.

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    Fundraising for wildlife protectionFundraising for wildlife protection The Ministry of Environment and Tourism last week held its first fundraising event in an effort to raise money for protecting the country's wildlife.

    Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said the government was concerned about poaching in Namibia and had spent millions on anti-poaching efforts.

    More than 500 members of the National Defence Force, the police and the ministry's own rangers have been deployed in poaching hotspots such as the Etosha and Bwabwata national parks and the Kunene Region.

    Shifeta expressed shock over the frequency of poaching incidents, particularly of elephants and rhino.

    “These unprecedented levels of illegal hunting are on the increase across Africa and it is driven by organised criminal syndicates who are involved in trafficking of wildlife products using very complex networks to feed illegal foreign markets,” he said.

    Shifeta said an all-out war against poaching should be declared.

    “I would like to seriously warn all those who are involved to stop these primitive and barbaric acts forthwith,” he said.

    Last year, 260 cases of elephant and rhino poaching, as well as illegal possession and export of horns and ivory, were reported.

    Shifeta said although significant strides had been made in arresting 222 perpetrators of wildlife crime, the same could not be said of the prosecution of such crimes.



    Many cases still pending

    Shifeta said the Nature Conservation Amendment Bill was tabled in Parliament recently, seeking to increase penalties for poaching and smuggling of rhino and elephant products.

    “The significantly higher punishment that is proposed for rhino and elephant poaching and trafficking is a preventive measure aimed to deter the would-be poachers and smugglers from committing such crimes.”

    He said the passing of the bill, and another one on trafficking that was coming soon, would send a clear message of Namibia's collective resolve to deal a decisive blow to the scourge of poaching.

    According to him illegal wildlife crime is more than just a conservation issue, since it disrupts development by depriving the country of billions of dollars worth of natural resources. It is also driving many threatened species to extinction.

    “Namibia has not seen this level of poaching since independence in 1990,” the minister said.

    He said the black rhino population was on the brink of extinction in the 1980s, but today Namibia had the largest population of black rhino in the world.

    However, these significant achievements are being undermined by poaching, as Namibia lost nine rhinos in 2013, 56 in 2014, 95 in 2015, 59 in 2016 and two so far this year.

    The elephant population has increased from 7 600 in 1995 to 22 000 at present.

    However, Namibia lost 78 elephants in 2014, 49 in 2015, 101 last year, and one so far this year.

    The ministry has not yet announced how much money was raised at the event.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Some bills are a financial drain, says DTASome bills are a financial drain, says DTA DTA lawmaker Nico Smit has suggested that the passing of the Witness Protection Bill would lead to the creation of yet another state-owned enterprise or agency, which he felt was unnecessary in light of the economic headwinds the country is facing.

    Speaking during the debate on the bill in the National Assembly, he said: “Since the commencement of this session bar one bill [Nature Conservation Amendment Bill 2017], each and every bill that has been tabled in this House has sought to create new institutions or bodies to do work that is currently to some extent already being performed by somebody else. Given the country's current financial constraints, as legislators, we need to be more cognisant of the financial and cost implications of the bills we pass.

    “It seems to be that the general approach to fixing structural and systematic deficiencies is to create new ministries, agencies or in this case, a new directorate. All these directorates must of course have highly qualified staff and highly remunerated directors and so forth.

    “Similarly, an advisory committee must be created to advise on policy matters. All this is well and good, to create a new institution to fix existing shortcomings. The trouble, however, is that this new directorate that will be created will be primarily composed of staff designated or seconded from the public service.”

    He continued: “The same people who have been failing to ensure sufficient protection to witnesses so that they may feel secure enough to be willing and competent witnesses, will now most probably be shifted to this directorate and be asked essentially to perform the same tasks that they have previously failed at.”

    According to Smit, directorates and ministries are created to help correct deficiencies, often the one after the other.

    “The solution to every institutional deficiency in Namibia is not to create a new directorate or ministry at considerable cost to the taxpayer, especially during challenging economic times.

    “It is this line of thinking which has seen the public wage bill balloon completely out of control. Once created, these institutions are not held to account, but should there one day be another deficiency identified, in all likelihood another bill will be tabled to create another institution to address the deficiency.

    “As lawmakers, our thinking needs to be immediately shifted away from thinking that our role and focus should be to create new institutions, but rather it should be to debate and discuss innovative ways to amend existing laws and the functioning and scope of exiting institutions to respond to our current needs.

    “Efficient witness protection does not necessarily require a new directorate. Instead, what is required is that the existing institutions, being the police, the office of the prosecutor general and the judiciary, be given the enabling powers and financial backing required to ensure proper and sufficient witness protection.”

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 03/06/17--14:00: Wife hacks husband with axe
  • Wife hacks husband with axeWife hacks husband with axeFather rapes daughter, 7 It has been a weekend marred with violent crime and road deaths, much like any other in Namibia. The police report that a 46-year-old woman hacked her husband to death with an axe after a squabble over money.

    The incident took place on Thursday afternoon at Shamahembe village in the Kavango East Region.

    Police spokesperson Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi said the woman hit her husband on the neck with an axe, killing him instantly.

    The deceased was identified as Thomas Shiyave Kamwanga (52).

    His wife fled but was arrested on Friday and was brought before the Rundu magistrate yesterday.

    The police also recorded two cases of rape in the //Karas and Kunene regions over the weekend.

    A father at Opuwo in the Kunene Region allegedly raped his seven-year-old daughter on Friday.

    Shikwambi said the incident took place at their home in the Otuzemba location.

    The child and her siblings were in the care of their father. He allegedly sent the siblings to fetch water and ordered the girl to sweep his room. While she was busy with the chore, he allegedly grabbed her, pushed her to the floor and raped her.

    The victim reported the incident to her mother when she returned home and the matter was reported to the police.

    The man was arrested and appeared before the Opuwo Magistrate's Court on Monday.

    A 28-year-old man at Keetmanshoop was arrested on Saturday in connection with the alleged rape of his 11-year-old cousin between January and 3 March this year. He allegedly raped the girl in a house at the Tseiblaagte location.

    A case of suicide was registered at Ondangwa in the Oshana Region.

    Sales Mwalundange Bonifasio (25) allegedly hanged himself with shoelaces from the roof of his shack on Friday. The incident took place in the early morning hours at Oshandja village. He was a security guard at a local shop in that area.

    A boy from Iilambo village in the Okahao Constituency of the Omusati Region drowned in a bucket of water on Saturday.

    The Omusati police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Lineekela Shikongo, identified the boy as four-year-old Simon Petrus Embula.

    The drowning happened at around 11:00 while the older family members were working in the mahangu field.

    “The information received stated that the deceased was playing with another child in the house when the incident happened,” Shikongo said. It is not clear how it happened that he drowned.

    On Friday, a grade 10 girl at KW von Maree Combined School in Okahandja collapsed at school and died at the Okahandja State Hospital later the same day.

    Detective Chief Inspector Naukalemo Andreas of the police in the Otjozondjupa Region identified the girl as Elsie Kahiire.

    “Her cause of death is still unknown to us,” said Andreas, adding that a post-mortem was expected to be done this week.

    NAMPA

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  • 03/06/17--14:00: The meaning of things
  • The meaning of thingsThe meaning of things Granted, government has been channeling a huge chunk of the budget to education ever since independence. Why is it that it is said that 30% of the Namibian labour force consists of those with grade 10? Why is it that only a small fraction of the labour force consists of those with tertiary qualifications? These questions cannot be answered by and from a pedestrian perspective. It requires a lot of thought processes, interpretations and analyses. It is only an astute mind that is able to unravel the truth that although politicians always beat themselves on their chests that they always give a huge chunk of the budget to education, the truth of the matter is that more than 90% of these allocations go to salaries and wages. What is not said is that the huge allocation does not signal educational development and reform but is mainly to maintain salaries and wages. This is what is meant by the meaning of things. Things ought to be explained beyond the obvious; the meaning of things. What does a thing mean? A thing is not only a thing because of its name.

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  • 03/06/17--14:00: Do they really care?
  • Do they really care?Do they really care? By Jefrey Shapange

    In Africa and Namibia in particular, politics is has become about individual interests before the masses can receive any benefit. Whoever tries to question the status quo is labelled as having ill-discipline or lacking respect.

    The status quo will resist and will try to remain unchanged while many of our citizens continue to wallow in poverty. The opposers of the status quo are sometimes beaten to keep silent. They want to scare and sue us. They are plotting injustices against us, but they will never kill us. It's sickening to see what has become of our rights? Are we invisible because we do not exist or because they just choose to stubbornly ignore us? Their proclamations have promised us liberty, but nothing is happening. We are tired of being the victims of shame every time. They're throwing us in a class that has a bad name and one wonders if this is the land from which we have come. The government does not want to see us opposing its decisions, even if they are wrong.

    But if we are to reverse time, we would know confidently that if Ya Toivo was the president, he wouldn't let this be. Some things in life just don't need to exist at all. If we would reverse the time further, we would again take pride in knowing that if Mandume Ya Ndemufayo was alive he wouldn't let the status quo to continue unchanged.

    Paraphrased in the famous, “all I want to say is that they don't really care about us” song, one would point to the current events in the present-day Namibia. The decisions of those in high office favour their pockets and their families under the pretext of 'peace and stability'. They keep on blaming colonial oppressors and refuse to take blame for their own mistakes. The colonisers may have had their flaws and they lived up to them, they didn't shift their failures to others like we have been made to believe. Again, if B. J. Vorster was alive on this very day, it wouldn't have come to this. Colonisers are turning over in their graves, their names viciously being used as the reason for the poor sanitation and poor housing Namibia faces many years after their departure from the face of the earth. It's a shocking shift in blame. The oppressors are now the reason the Cabinet was expanded to an incredible number, with some officials not really knowing what their task is. Oppressors are now the reason that rhino poaching continues to be on the rise.

    All these shifts in blame have done little in repairing the wounds of our country instead, they have divided the youth into groups; puppets, bootlickers and the radical ones (who are labelled as peace destabilisers). The puppets are being promised jobs and high ranks for singing choruses. These bootlickers are living fancy lives, claiming to be hard-working and disciplined, while they actually betray and sell out their own country. They are being awarded tenders and they sell them to their sex partners, namely the Chinese and other Asians, who drain the country to its very core.

    We have also seen incredible budget cuts because the country is perceived to be broke. This whole catastrophe happens while the partners of those in high office continue to steal from the country. These disciplined chorus singers are the reason why the partners want to employ people of their nationalities only, in our country, while our own brothers and sisters are jobless. This group of the youth that always want others to fail and disciplined, instead of helping them. These are the people that wouldn't be living if Adolf Hitler was still in power. These are the people Swapo guerillas would have killed during the liberation struggle.

    The known peace destabilisers are being sidelined; they are not fortune enough. They are always seen as bad ones. These are the people that are never given a chance to express themselves. These are the group of people that have this nation at heart. These are the people running up and down donating to their brothers and sisters in need, but the state-owned television find it useless - they never broadcast such events, they are more interested in broadcasting the SPCA donating cats, which are now a concern at the main Unam campus in Windhoek. Yet, these people are the one destabilising peace, and are very disrespectful.

    Initiatives are being brought to the poor nation to manipulate them. Agreements are being signed to benefit the two parties, but not the nation. After all this, we should be brave enough to question certain things without fear of expulsion. For instance, what happened to the money meant for the struggle kids? What happened to Kora Awards money? What happened to Food Bank? Mbuae, what is happening? If Kandara was alive, then we would know. If Anton Lubowski was alive, these wouldn't happen. If Phil yaNangolo was the president, then these questions would be less. However, if a person who truly understands our struggle becomes president, a lot of the so-called disciplined chorus singers will pack and Namibia will be able to stand on its own two feet again.



    *Jefrey Shapange is a student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Namibia. He authored the book 'Wining Hearts and Minds'. He also serves as secretary for external affairs and acting vice-president of the SRC.

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    Does independence really have meaning to an average Namibian?Does independence really have meaning to an average Namibian? By Sakaria Johannes

    Looking back at the life of Namibian youth back than in colonial days and looking at the life of the black youth 26 years later, one can ask, what is the meaning of independence to these brothers and sisters? The majority of the youth are unemployed. There are people who only earn N$500 and those who never had a job in their lives. Some people will die without tasting the fruits of independence while the majority of black Namibians are working for low salaries and no benefits at all.

    Our youth are working as security guards, cleaners or Chinese shopkeepers. Many of them are people from poor families. The white youth have been living a good life. When is a white man going to work as a security guard, a taxi driver etc.? When is a white man going to live in a ghetto at Katutura just like the black people who are there? You have to ask yourself these questions before you start to preach peace and stability.

    Namibian leaders have their everyday song “youth are the leaders of tomorrow“. When is tomorrow? Some people served in the government for more than 20 years. These people are above 60s. When is the youth going to lead if they do not want to leave? We appreciate what they did and we are ready to continue where they end off. Some people were told in 1990 that they are the leaders of tomorrow… some of them are 50 above.

    During the days of migrant labour young black Namibians migrated from rural areas to urban areas. The aim was to find job opportunities and improve their standard of living. In an independent Namibia young people are still migrating from rural areas with the same reason. The majority of them are employed by white people. These white people are the sons and daughters of the same whites who employed the forefathers of these people. Ask yourself, when is a white man going to work for a black man? Another question is when is a child of a black man going to recruit the child of a white man as a farmworker? Because all that we see in Namibia are children of whites inheriting their fathers’ properties.

    The majority of the Namibian youth are landless. This is rooted in apartheid.

    The school dropouts in the village have no other ways to survive – they have to migrate to cities in order to look for jobs. If that young person does not find a suitable job, than there is no any other option apart from being a thief or a prostitute. The minister of poverty eradication once said, “It is a scandal for Namibia with such a small population to still have people scavenging for food at rubbish dumpsites.” That is a testimony that those people who could not find suitable jobs in urban areas end up surviving like animals .Those who did not leave the villages are still in absolute poverty. Many of them depend on their grandparents’ pension. What do these people benefit from our government? Only peace and stability.

    Poverty is particularly concentrated in northern Namibia. If a young person fails Grade 10 or 12, and their parents are unable to pay Namcol or vocational schools, this means that this person is going to look for job in towns and cities. The possibility is high for this person to be employed by a white man’s company. These companies are paying people less but they are making huge profits that they obviously repatriate back to their countries of origin. Namibia does not have its own multinational company. The question is until when will our own Namibian youth be working for Spar, Shoprite, Pep, FNB, Edgars and many more? Until when is Namibia going to depend on South Africa economically?

    The Namibian premier league is now history. Football is a source of bread to many young people in the world. This means many Namibian soccer players are in the streets and some are currently employed by foreign companies while their talents are dormant. The country has many companies that are operating in Namibia but they cannot sponsor the league simply because they are here to exploit. Companies like DeBeers were established by imperialist Cecil Rhodes. Namdeb alone made N$11 billion in 2016. This is to testify that companies have money to sponsor the league but they are just not willing to do so.

    The caste system that Namibia is constructing will only ruin peace and stability. The poor youth is now tired of empty promises. The testimony is in many of the movements that are formed in the country. The president of Namibia Dr Hage Geingob once warned “Namibia must learn a lesson from Libya”. These movements are proof that it is time for the government to change how it views the youth. They should now understand that the youth is now open-minded and they can see their suffering. The youth have been waiting for their promises to be delivered.

    *Sakaria Johannes is a student at the University of Namibia’s Faculty of Humanities doing a Bachelor of Arts (Honours).

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    N$65 million road falls apartN$65 million road falls apartLack of culverts blamed for wash-aways A road that was opened slightly more than five years ago has become impassable after recent heavy rain in the north. Recent heavy rain in northern Namibia has caused severe damage to gravel roads that had cost the government millions of dollars not so long ago.

    One of these is the Ekamba-Onkani gravel road, district road DR 3643, in the Oshana Region, which was built at a cost of N$65 million by Namibian contractor Nexus Civils in partnership with six small and medium enterprise (SME) contractors.

    The road was opened in November 2011 and was jointly funded by the Namibian and German governments.

    The road stretches 55 kilometres and was one of many labour-based road projects embarked upon after independence.

    Besides potholes caused by a lack of maintenance, the rain has now gouged deep trenches across the road at numerous places.

    Road users are blaming the contractors for not installing enough culverts to channel storm water during the rainy season.

    With no warning signs on the road, extreme vigilance is required from drivers to avoid plunging into the dongas.

    “Please take pictures and report the bad state of this road so they can come renovate it,” a frustrated driver shouted from his car when he saw Namibian Sun's reporter with a camera.

    Road users who talked to Namibian Sun said they were surprised that the road had deteriorated so badly in such a short time. They said it needed urgent attention from the government.

    “Government has neglected us. I have not seen this road being maintained for over a year now and it was already damaging our cars as the potholes are so many and so big that we could not avoid them anymore. Now look at it.

    This was just a waste of money, as the contractors used weak sand and this is the result,” one driver said.

    Approached for comment, the regional councillor for the Uuvudhiya Constituency, Amutenya Ndahafa, admitted that the road was in very poor condition. He said he had been informed that gravel roads in the other north-central regions were in a similar state.

    “During the course of last year this road was never maintained and I approached the relevant authorities on numerous occasions. I wrote about five letters and it seems like the company that was contracted to maintain these roads does not have money,” Ndahafa said.

    Ndahafa said he had spoken on the local radio service, warning residents about the dangerous condition of the road.

    He hinted that plans might be afoot for the road to be tarred and appealed to road users to be patient while he conveyed their concerns to the relevant authorities.

    At the inauguration of the road, former transport minister Erkki Nghimtina said the road would make it possible for local farmers to transport their produce to markets in the Oshana and Omusati regions.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Chinese feel stigmatised because of wildlife crimeChinese feel stigmatised because of wildlife crime The Chinese embassy in Namibia has urged Namibians to be careful of witch-hunting and said China was an easy target when it came to wildlife crime in Namibia.

    According to embassy charge d'affaires Li Nan, who was speaking at a Wildlife Day Seminar in Windhoek, there has been overwhelming negative news coverage about Chinese citizens and China in the local media. In the past three months there had been more than 70 negative reports on China, mostly on wildlife crime, he said.

    According to him there have been 74 negative reports and only 28 neutral or positive reports.

    Li said he was worried about the rising sentiment against the Chinese community in Namibia.

    “It is truly regrettable and unfortunate that some Chinese individuals have committed illegal activities against wildlife,” he said.

    Li said according to a local report, only eight out of 231 people arrested in 2016 for wildlife offences in Namibia were Chinese.

    “So every time when you are trying to blame a group of people be aware of the collateral damages to the innocent ones.”

    He said China condemned all sorts of wildlife crime and its government had a zero tolerance towards criminals and lawbreakers, whether they were Chinese nationals or not.

    Li said China fully supported the Namibian government's decision to amend the Wildlife Protection Act to provide for harsher punishments for poachers and smugglers of wildlife products.

    “China has no intention to interfere with the Namibian judicial sovereignty. China has never done so and will never do so,” he said.

    Li said that the few “Chinese rotten apples” did not represent the local Chinese community, the Chinese embassy or their government.

    According to him the majority of Chinese people in Namibia are honest and abide by the law, create jobs, pay taxes and make voluntary contributions to local communities.

    “Please be aware of the dangerous temptation of witch-hunting because it will only damage our traditional friendship and cooperation, nothing more.”

    At a separate occasion last week, the deputy minister of environment and tourism, Tommy Nambahu, said the ministry had been accused of defending Chinese nationals involved in wildlife crimes.

    “But this is not true. What we simply have done is a separation of criminals from good citizens from each and every country that is involved in these crimes.

    “Our government stands for peaceful co-existence between countries and friendship between nations. Inasmuch as we condemn the unbecoming activities of the nationals of those countries, we equally stand for the promotion of friendship between peoples and countries.”

    He said China was a long-time friend of the Namibian government and the ministry called on all Chinese nationals to come on board in the protection of wildlife and support the anti-poaching drive.

    He said, however, that the ministry would not condone the violation of any law by any criminal, be they from China, a neighbouring country or elsewhere.

    “Our message is that this is not a banana republic and we must be taken seriously when we are executing our duties, including that of protecting our wildlife,” Nambahu said.

    Li further said that the Chinese embassy had donated N$200 000 towards wildlife protection and was considering providing tens of millions more.

    China was also working on a plan for joint law enforcement involving the Namibian police and China's Ministry of Public Security to combat transnational crime, he said.

    The Chinese embassy also called upon the Chinese community to set up a Chinese wildlife protection fund in Namibia.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 03/06/17--14:00: Dam levels rise and rise
  • Dam levels rise and riseDam levels rise and riseVon Bach reaches 54.4% Widespread rains in the past week have led to welcome inflows into Namibia’s storage dams. JANA-MARI SMITH



    Widespread rain in catchment areas continues raising dam levels, with the Swakoppoort Dam rising by 19.5 percentage points since the end of February.

    According to NamWater’s latest dam bulletin, the Swakoppoort Dam was 31.7% full yesterday, compared to 12.2% on 27 of February.

    Other central area dams also continue to receive inflow, with the vitally important Von Bach Dam currently at 54.5%, compared to 42.8% last week.

    The Omatako Dam is close to 60% full, rising from 53.3% a week ago.

    On average, the three central dams are now 46.7% full, compared to 33.3% on Monday last week.

    In the south, the Hardap Dam level has changed minimally in the past week, remaining at around 72%. The sluices were opened on Thursday and Friday after heavy rain in the catchment area. Yesterday no confirmation was available whether the sluices had been closed again or remained open.

    The Omaruru Delta Dam has received its first inflow since 2011. The dam, which was empty, is now at 4.2% of its capacity.

    Last week the first seasonal ‘efundja’ flood wave reached the central Cuvelai area in northern Namibia.

    According to the Hydrological Service flood bulletin released on Friday, the latest water levels recorded at hydrological gauging stations are: 1.25 metres at Ompundja, 0.51m at Shaneheke, 0.67m at Shanalumono and 0.90m at Endola.

    On Friday, the Zambezi River level at Katima Mulilo was 2.66m, compared to 3.8m last year.

    At Rundu, the Kavango River level was at 5.15m, compared to 5.84m last year.

    The Orange River level measured at Blouputs station showed a slight drop of 3cm and was at 0.68m on Friday.

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    No action on ballooning budget for oil storageNo action on ballooning budget for oil storageNoa says no corruption charges were brought Cabinet secretary George Simataa says any steps to be taken will be subject to the findings of a review being done. CATHERINE SASMAN



    Cabinet secretary George Simataa and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) director Paulus Noa are accused of not taking steps against possible fraud on the national oil-storage facility project.

    The Villager of 3 – 9 March reported that attorney-general Sackey Shanghala had instructed Simataa in September to suspend and charge the permanent secretary of the Namibian Planning Commission (NPC), Leevi Hungamo, over the ballooning budget of the oil-storage facility being built at Walvis Bay.

    The Villager also reported that Shanghala had requested Noa in December to investigate potential corruption in the project.

    Shanghala reportedly also requested Noa to probe Vaino Nghipondoka and his Babyface Civils company, which is building the storage facility in a joint venture with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

    Noa yesterday denied that any case of corruption had been lodged with the ACC.

    “I do not have a letter from the AG,” insisted Noa.

    Last Friday, Simataa did not deny that Shanghala had instructed him to take action against Hungamo but said any steps to be taken would be subject to the findings of a review being done by Shanghala’s office.

    He said Shanghala had prepared a number of reports on the project and the government had been briefed about its funding structure and the financial implications of that.

    Simataa said it was agreed to engage the stakeholders in order to limit any further “financial exposure” for the government.

    “Similarly, government also agreed that procedures that were used in awarding the oil-storage tender be reviewed in order to verify if there were any possible deviations. Should such a review show that there were deviations in procedures, such matter will be dealt with in terms of the existing law,” said Simataa.

    He added that there was not yet any decision on the next course of action “in compliance with our constitutional provisions”.

    Shanghala said his office had no authority to instruct either the cabinet secretary or the ACC. He also said that if his office had received instructions, he would not discuss that with the media.

    Ballooning budget

    Around 2008 and 2009 the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) initiated the idea to build an oil-storage facility to penetrate the petroleum supply market.

    Namcor since 2003 had a 50% import mandate, which in 2010 was revoked by former minister of mines and energy Isak Katali. Namcor, which then had a supply agreement with Glencore, had incurred major losses and was technically bankrupt.

    Today all petroleum products are again imported by private oil companies.

    By 2010 Namcor had drawn up the design of the fuel-storage facility, had completed a full environmental impact assessment and finalised the prequalification of tenders.

    The cost of the project was pegged at N$800 million in 2010. It was then also estimated that the project would have been completed in 2012.

    The project is now scheduled for completion by the middle of this year. What has raised concern, however, is that the estimated cost had ballooned to more than N$3 billion by 2013, and then to N$4.5 billion by 2014, and is now estimated at N$5.5 billion.

    “This unexplained rise in the cost of this project is just criminal,” commented a source close to the project, who preferred anonymity.

    “There is no way that the cost for the same thing could have gone up like that. The project at the start was cost effective. What has since happened in the configuration of the project that it has ballooned to N$5.5 billion?

    “Why can they not open the books? It is the taxpayers’ money that is paying for the project; people need to know what components we are paying for. Previously the bill of quantities and everything else were worked out; even quotations for companies that had tendered were there. After that, there appears to be nothing. One only hears numbers.”

    One of the reasons earlier suggested for the price escalation was that the design had changed from being a facility for crude oil to a storage facility for different petroleum products like petrol, diesel, and paraffin.

    The National Planning Commission (NPC), to which the project was handed over, referred all questions to the energy ministry.

    The ministry by the time of going to press had not yet responded to questions put to it.

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    LPM denies claims about Geingob’s rallyLPM denies claims about Geingob’s rally CATHERINE SASMAN

    The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) has denied claims that it is urging people at Keetmanshoop to not attend a Swapo rally to be led by President Hage Geingob this weekend.

    New Era yesterday reported that Swapo’s //Karas regional coordinator, Mathews Mumbala, had accused the LPM of being hard at work urging people to boycott Geingob’s rally.

    The LPM challenged Mumbala to prove his assertion.

    It said it had no political agenda, was not a political party and could not be linked to any political organisation. It said it was a civil rights movement championing the cause of ancestral land restitution.

    “Therefore, we reject and condemn the false assertion of Mumbala insofar as he tries to link LPM with a political party. Furthermore, we believe Mumbala is seeking upward political mobility by attacking LPM in an attempt to appease the Swapo leadership,” LPM said in statement.

    The LPM said Mumbala had tried to block its public meeting held last month at Keetmanshoop’s J Stephanus Stadium by trying to appeal to the municipality to withdraw its permission for the movement to use the venue.

    It alleged that Mumbala had wanted to arrange a Swapo meeting on the same day of the LPM meeting to serve as a red herring.

    The movement also accused Mumbala of having “no sensitivity” or understanding of the land question.

    “The land question is bigger than any president and bigger than party politics. The genocide, in the Namibian historical context, was committed for the purpose of land dispossession. This land dispossession had severe social, cultural and economic ramifications for our people, which we continue to feel until this day,” the LPM stated.

    It added: “We see no need to instigate any boycott of the Swapo rally, as the land dispossessed in general and in particular the people indigenous to the South feel disrespected and insulted by national leaders and primarily by the Swapo leadership.”

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    Healthcare workers hit by TB infectionsHealthcare workers hit by TB infections ILENI NANDJATO

    Exposure to infectious patients has resulted in many healthcare workers contracting tuberculosis (TB) in the line of duty at a northern hospital.

    The ministry of health has indicated that it is aware of the large number of healthcare workers infected with TB at the Engela State Hospital in the Ohangwena Region.

    Ohangwena is one of the hardest hit areas when it comes to TB cases.

    Health permanent secretary Andreas Mwoombola confirmed that TB-infected staff had been moved from the hospital’s TB ward, without providing any figures or further detail.

    “The ministry is aware of cases where health workers have been infected with TB while working in the TB ward at Engela State Hospital.

    “Since then health workers with medical conditions that reduce their immunity have not been assigned to work in the TB ward and the usage of masks in the ward by patients, health workers and visitors has been reinforced,” Mwoombola said.

    An insider at the hospital said health workers were refusing to work in the TB ward because of a high number of infections in recent months.

    According to the source, the situation became risky after the hospital started admitting patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis.

    “The problem started when many nurses from the TB ward started being diagnosed with TB. Other nurses refused to work there and the ministry started sending junior nurses,” the source said.

    The source added that drug-resistant tuberculosis was very dangerous and treatment could take up to two years. The risk of contracting TB is highest for people who are in close contact with patients.

    “Nurses working in the TB ward feel that they are at risk of contracting this strain of TB from patients. Nurses can get TB by breathing in droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person, which is very common in the ward. Even if it is the first time you are infected with TB, it will not start as ordinary TB, but will be the drug-resistant form from the start,” the source said.

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  • 03/06/17--23:26: Fredericks quits IAAF body
  • Fredericks quits IAAF bodyFredericks quits IAAF body BREAKING NEWS:
    Namibian sprinting legend Frank Fredericks has stepped aside from an IAAF taskforce following a newspaper report that he received a large payment from a disgraced IAAF official.
    Fredericks has been replaced by Slovenian ex-high jumper Rozle Prezelj in the five-strong group which is coordinating Russia's re-admittance process following its suspension.
    The international media reported on Friday that Fredericks had received US$299 300 (equivalent to N$3.9 million) from sports businessman Papa Massata Diack, the son of former International Olympics Committee (IOC) member and IAAF president Lamine Diack, in 2009.
    A French-led investigation is now under way to find out whether large sums were paid to buy the votes that determined the host cities of the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.

    STAFF REPORTER

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     Swapo to discipline members Swapo to discipline members Swapo will take disciplinary action against members who have allegedly violated the party’s constitution.
    At a media briefing this morning, Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba, said a politburo meeting was held on Monday to discuss the issue of members accused of misconduct.
    “The political bureau expressed its concerns over mushrooming formation of movements by bonafide members of the party and the subsequent blatant and continued disrespect towards the leadership of the party and of the country,” Mbumba said.
    He, however, refused to divulge the names of those against whom disciplinary steps will be taken. The disciplinary committee will be chaired by Swapo stalwart Ngarikutuke Tjiriange. Read full story in tomorrow’s Namibian Sun.

    STAFF REPORTER





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  • 03/07/17--14:00: Tobias ready for Scotland
  • Tobias ready for ScotlandTobias ready for ScotlandNujoma wishes Indongo well The MTC/Nestor Sunshine Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy yesterday visited Founding President Sam Nujoma. Founding President Sam Nujoma has wished world boxing champion Julius 'Blue Machine' Indongo well ahead of his title defence in Scotland next month.

    “I would like to congratulate you on a job well done and for putting Namibia on the world map; you have made history for Namibia,” Nujoma said during a courtesy visit by the MTC/Nestor Sunshine Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy.

    Nujoma said he recalled how Nestor Tobias would visit his office after independence.

    “He used to come to my office from time to time and tell me his plans and I kept encouraging him that Aluta Continua and he has made it,” said Nujoma as he congratulated the academy and the champion.

    “I wish you renewed strength and because you have made Namibia a proud country we all move with confidence that whoever comes towards our faces we can bring him or her down.”

    World champion Indongo was humbled by the visit to the founding father. “This is a great honour to come and meet the founding father for blessings because every time that we come to this place we receive his blessings and encouragement.

    “It is always a blessing because he always encourages us and this being my second time coming here I must say that I always feel that whatever I do I feel more energised and encouraged when I meet him.

    “We are facing big war in Scotland in someone's backyard which is not easy so now that I met the founding father I feel more encouraged and right now I am more motivated and I will keep raising the Namibian national colours high, which is part of my motto,” Indongo said.

    Promoter Nestor Tobias said the purpose of the visit was to introduce the founding president to the unified world champion who won two titles on one night.

    “We could not come here last year as people already had plans for the holiday but this is the right time to see the founding father as we are about to defend the titles on 15 April in Scotland,” he said.

    Tobias added that winning the two titles was the result of hard work and the prayers and blessings that his team always gets from national leaders, “and that is why we are here to seek the founding father's blessings and to go and defend these titles and to add another one in April.”

    He said he wished they could defend the titles at home. “We do not have the capacity and there are no resources to bring the challenger here but we do it with pride all the time when we go outside to put Namibia on the world map.

    “I have trust in Blue Machine and with the blessings from the founding father and support from the nation he will do it again,” he said.

    Indongo and Ricky Burns will put all their world championship belts on the line when they square off for the IBF/IBO and WBA super lightweight unification clash at the 10 000-seat SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.





    KAINO NGHITONGO

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  • 03/07/17--14:00: Fredericks begs innocence
  • Fredericks begs innocenceFredericks begs innocence Sprint legend Frank Fredericks says he will give his full cooperation to an investigation into reports that he was paid nearly N$4 million by a disgraced International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) official.

    International media broke the news on Friday that Fredericks had received US$299 300 (equivalent to N$3.9 million) from sports businessman Papa Massata Diack, the son of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and IAAF president Lamine Diack, in 2009.

    In a statement issued by Fredericks yesterday, he denied any direct or indirect involvement in any untoward conduct. He said he had never breached any law, regulation or rule of ethics in respect of any IOC election process.

    “The fact is that I made a statement to the [IOC Ethics] Commission and will continue to give my full cooperation to a proper investigation of these reports and then await the outcome of this independent process.

    “It is of course in my highest interests to clear myself of the negative insinuations against me and my role within the IOC as soon as possible in order to prevent any further damage to my reputation and that of the IOC,” he said.

    Fredericks said the article did not only target him but the integrity of the IOC bidding and elections process for host cities too.

    “Of course all election processes should be seen to be free and fair, this is why I have been and am still actively cooperating with the IOC Ethics Commission in order for them to conduct a proper and independent investigation,” he said.

    He said he believed in the integrity of the IOC election processes and never noticed anything untoward to make him doubt that.

    “I reiterate that I was never involved with any vote manipulation or, for that matter, any other inappropriate or illegal practice,” he stated.

    Meanwhile, Fredericks has decided to step aside as the chairperson of the 2024 Evaluation Commission deciding on the next Olympic host city.

    “I have decided that it is in the best interests of a good functioning of the International Olympic Committee candidature process that I step aside as chairperson of the 2024 Evaluation Commission, because it is essential that the important work my colleagues are doing is seen as being carried out in a truthful and fair manner,” he said.

    He said Paris and Los Angeles were presenting two “fantastic candidatures” and he did not wish to become a distraction from the great contest.

    “I will not attend the IOC city meetings in July and will not participate during the vote for the 2024 city. I also temporarily step aside as the chair of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games coordination.”

    In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, he defended the payment from Diack, saying it had “nothing whatsoever to do with the Olympic Games”.

    He said the payment was in respect of services rendered in the period 2007 to 2011.

    SPORT REPORTER

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    Kasu ready for Independence Cup Kasu ready for Independence Cup JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

    The Katutura Sport Union (Kasu) will host an Independence tournament in Windhoek between 18 and 26 March.

    The tournament will be held at the Katutura Youth Complex and the Sam Nujoma Stadium.

    Local football and netball teams will battle it out for trophies and medals.

    Kasu chairman Kuveri Tjonga said: “We look forward for seeing each and every interested club at the tournament.

    “This competition will be fun filled with glamour of beautiful football and netball on display. The tournament draw will be on Tuesday, 14 March at Namibia English Primary School. The registration fee for netball and football teams is N$1 200.”

    The prize money for the football winners will be N$7 000, while the netball winners will take home N$2 500.

    Runners-up in the football category will walk away with N$3 500 and in the netball category N$1 200.

    The club that finishes third in the football games will be compensated with N$2 500 for their efforts, while the third netball team will receive N$650.

    Kasu has been at the helm of hosting local tournaments with the aim of developing of grassroots football.

    In February the union held a Valentine’s tournament which attracted a large number of teams.

    “We are dedicated to hosting great quality tournaments for the sake of the players and everyone who enjoys watching football.

    “Kasu will have more tournaments in the coming months in order to keep our union growing,” Tjonga said.

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    Denial rocks BA and Jacobs caseDenial rocks BA and Jacobs caseLabour case continues Black Africa and its former coach are still at each other’s throats over unpaid settlements. JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA



    The dust between football coach Woody Jacobs and his former club, Black Africa (BA), refuses to settle after both parties refused to come to terms at the labour commissioner’s office last month.

    Namibian Sun understands that Black Africa is still refusing to make a formal apology to its former coach, who insists that he was unfairly dismissed.

    Jacobs dragged the club to the labour commissioner last year after they terminated his contract with 12 months to go.

    The club then gave him a new contract, which he was expected to sign at the end of June last year.

    Under the new contract his salary was cut by half - something that infuriated the 2014/15 coach of the season and he left the club.

    Jacobs argued that he was unfairly treated and demanded compensation.

    Black Africa denied the allegation.

    Sources suggested that the first conciliation meeting between the two parties at the labour commissioner’s office last month did not go well. Jacobs would neither confirm nor deny that, though.

    “I can assure you that things are still just at the beginning and I hope that justice will prevail,” he said.

    “I am not able to say anything now because the case is still on and I would interfere with labour justice.

    “My stance still remains the same from the first time and I would love a public apology and to be compensated by the club,” Jacobs said.

    The case had been slated for December last year, but Black Africa asked for it to be postponed to this year because their lawyer was on holiday.

    Black Africa chairman Boni Paulino said he would rather not comment on the issue until it was concluded.

    0 0
  • 03/07/17--14:00: Toure still has title hopes
  • Toure still has title hopesToure still has title hopesBelieves he is needed by City Yaya Toure concedes the 11-point difference will be tough to overtake. Yaya Toure says making up the ground on Chelsea to win the Premier League title is not beyond his club Manchester City.

    However, a fifth successive win at home to Stoke today would at least keep some pressure on Antonio Conte's Chelsea side.

    Yet their previous two league title wins both involved late runs to overtake teams with seemingly unassailable leads - in 2012 overhauling city rivals Manchester United and 2014 when they did the same to Liverpool.

    City trailed Liverpool by nine points with five games left - albeit with two matches in hand on the Merseysiders - and recovered to win the league by two points.

    “We just hope. The Premier League this year is going to be very demanding and very difficult,” said Toure.

    “When you see Chelsea play, they play with confidence and they are strong. We expect them to slip up, maybe a couple of times.

    “But they have good momentum and they also play fewer games than nearly all of the other teams in the top four because they are not in Europe. That is a big advantage for them.

    “But we just have to believe, because we did that in 2014. Yeah, we have to hope it's possible again.”

    The loss of striker Gabriel Jesus to a broken metatarsal in February might have stalled City's progress, but the good news for Guardiola is Sergio Aguero has taken the opportunity to reassert himself.

    Aguero was dropped in January following the arrival of Jesus from Brazilian club Palmeiras, and there was much speculation that the Argentina international may soon be leaving the club.

    Guardiola, for his part, has always said he wanted Aguero to stay; he has been rewarded by the forward's recent form. His goal in Sunday's 2-0 victory at bottom club Sunderland was his fifth in three matches.

    Under the guidance of former City manager Mark Hughes, Stoke have become remarkably consistent, finishing ninth for each of the last three seasons, and on course to make that four.

    They have, however, failed to beat any side currently in the top half of the table this season, and have developed a worrying recent habit of losing heavily to the top teams.

    They were particularly poor in a 4-0 defeat at Tottenham in their last away game on February 26, but responded well to beat struggling Middlesbrough 2-0 last Saturday.

    In-form forward Marko Arnautovic is doubtful because of illness. Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri, though, is available after missing five matches with a calf problem.

    Goalkeeper Jack Butland has been cleared to return to full training almost a year after breaking his ankle while playing for England, but will not face City, and may not be risked before the start of next season.

    “It's huge for Jack but there's still a big step to be taken for him,” said Hughes.

    “Before the end of the season, if we think it's right and Jack hasn't had any complications, then we'd look to get him some game time.

    “It's whether or not we take that opportunity. We might decide to make sure we get him right for pre-season.”

    NAMPA / AFP

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