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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 289 | 290 | (Page 291) | 292 | 293 | .... | 1152 | newer

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  • 03/19/17--15:00: Salt-mine squabble drags on
  • Salt-mine squabble drags onSalt-mine squabble drags onSalt-mine squabble drags on A salt-mining concession at Henties Bay is the bone of contention between two small-scale miners who both claim to have mining rights there. An ownership battle over a Henties Bay salt mine appears to be dragging on with no end in sight.

    Small miner Petrus Iimbodi says his rights to the mining concession have been stripped fraudulently by another small-scale mining entity, Cape Cross Namibia Investment.

    Iimbodi claims that although he is the rightful owner of the concession, none of his attempts at mining salt took off.

    Telling his side of the story, Iimbodi said: “I went to the Ministry of Mines and Energy two weeks ago to follow up on the ownership of the mine. I have had no answer to that effect.”

    According to Iimbodi, the concession was transferred to his company, Cape Cross Salt (Pty) Limited, by the Small Miners Assistance Centre in 2002 for an initial 10 years which was renewable for another 10.

    Iimbodi also claimed that Cape Cross Namibia Investment did not have the necessary registration documents that would enable it to own a mining licence.

    “What does not make sense to me is that the same entity [Small Miners Assistance Centre] also transferred the concession to Cape Cross Namibia Investment.

    “They have said that the mining rights were transferred to them by the Small Miners Assistance Centre and have claimed that they have an agreement with the Employee Equity Trust, which is the employees of the salt mine's equity stake.”

    Questioning the legality of Cape Cross Namibia Investment's existence as a company Iimbodi asked: “How can a mining licence be granted to a company that does not have a year of incorporation? How will the Small Miners Assistance Centre turn around and breach an [earlier] agreement with Cape Cross Salt? This means that the claim should never have gone through. Cape Cross Salt exists and it should be mine.”

    Iimbodi also claimed that although he had made repeated attempts to resolve the issue with the Ministry of Mines and Energy, nothing has happened.

    “The ministry never consulted us about these developments. The ministry has given a licence to another small miner despite an outstanding arrangement with us.”

    According to Iimbodi, he would like to resolve the matter but the rival company was not willing to negotiate.

    Cape Cross Namibia Investment has denied the allegations and claim they are the rightful owners.

    Namibian Sun spoke to one of Cape Cross Namibia's directors, Lamech Mwanyangapo, who shot down Iimbodi's claims.

    “Last year they went to the court; what did the court say? Who does Mining Licence 147 belong to and for what purposes? I think I must also go to court. If they are the owners of the mine, they must just mine,” Mwanyangapo said.

    The Ministry of Mines and Energy did not respond to emails asking for comment on the matter.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 03/19/17--15:00: A wild, relaxing time
  • A wild, relaxing timeA wild, relaxing timeJackalberry exudes Africa, peace and luxury Jackalberry Camp, on the Kwando-Linyanti River, deserves its spot as a Responsible Tourism Award finalist because it is not only as green as the plains around it, but it is a magical destination. Jackalberry Camp is the second camp opened by the Micheletti family on the banks of the Kwando-Linyanti River system, the first being Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge, which is situated just outside the park on an island bearing the same name as the lodge.

    What sets Jackalberry Camp apart is its location within the park and its exclusivity. Consisting of only four tents, guests are assured of experiencing the serenity of nature and all its sounds, as well as receiving personal attention from the staff.

    Being unfenced, Jackalberry Camp has elephants, buffaloes, hippos and sometimes lions roaming through the camp, which adds to the wild experience of staying here.

    The idea was to build something with the least impact on the environment as possible, not only on the terrain, but also visually, explains Ruggero. This is evident in the site chosen for the camp. Each tent is built in such a way that it is tucked underneath and next to bushes and under trees to offer shade, but also to obscure the tent from view.

    The main building and defining feature of the camp is the Jackalberry Tower, which overlooks the lagoon of the Linyati swamp system and is built around a giant jackalberry tree. It houses the reception, lounge, dining and bar area on the first floor. Upstairs there is another comfortable lounge where the surroundings and animals can be viewed.

    The elevation offered by the Jackalberry Tower gives one a completely different perspective of the flat landscape and makes it easy to spot game. On the ground floor of the tower there is a fireplace around which the day's adventures can be shared and plans can be made for the next day.

    The design of the camp incorporates natural products and uses recycled material where possible, like the sausage-shaped fruit of the sausage tree decorating the outside of the Jackalberry Tower, and old wooden sleds and yokes used in the interior of the tents. Everything is built in such a way that it can be easily disassembled and the area can be easily rehabilitated if need be in accordance with the rules of the concession in the park.

    Being in such an ecologically sensitive area, providing a true eco-friendly camp is very important to the Michelettis and therefore the whole camp runs on solar power.

    As with Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge, Jackalberry Camp is run in cooperation with the local Wuparo Conservancy, who granted the concession to the Micheletti family, but because the camp is situated inside a national park, the agreement also includes the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

    As part of the agreement Jackalberry Camp pays a fixed annual fee to the ministry as well as a fee and part of the revenue to the Wuparo Conservancy. In working together with the conservancy, the aim is to protect the natural surroundings and animals, as well as looking after the well-being of the local population. At both establishments almost all employees are from the local community.

    Visiting Jackalberry Camp, guests have to book for a minimum of two nights. Rates include all meals plus two activities per day. Activities consist of game drives, night drives and boat cruises. There is no self-driving to the camp. Guests can leave their vehicles either at Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge if they have 4x4s, or at the conservancy office in Sangwali village if they have 2x4s, where they will be picked up by one of the guides. Once you are in the tented camp, you will realise how nice it is not to have cars buzzing around you.

    Jackalberry is one of the finalists in the Responsible Tourism Awards, the winner of which will be announced at the Namibia Tourism Expo at the end of May.



    LE ROUX VAN SCHALKWYK

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    Parolee accused of raping, killing pregnant womanParolee accused of raping, killing pregnant woman A Tses resident, who stands accused of raping and murdering a 28-year-old pregnant woman in September 2014, was denied bail last week in the Windhoek High Court.

    Jesaja Boois, 40, has been in custody for two years and six months after he was arrested on 3 September 2014 in connection with the death of Bonaventura Jahs.

    According to the indictment, Jahs was attacked, raped and murdered on her way home from a shebeen at Tses village in the //Karas Region on 2 September 2014. At the time, Boois was on parole while serving a sentence for murder.

    The post-mortem report submitted during the bail hearing says Jahs died as a result of suffocation. It also shows that she was four months pregnant.

    Boois was arrested on five charges, namely murder, rape, defeating the course of justice, assault by threat and attempted murder.

    A police officer testified that on the day of the murder, Boois had threatened Jahs while they were both at the shebeen.

    The officer added that Boois's semen and DNA was found on the clothes and body of the deceased. Boois claimed that he had cut his finger during a struggle with the deceased.

    Back in 1997, Boois was convicted of murder and sentenced to 14 years in prison, as well as 10 years for rape and 10 years for housebreaking. He was released on parole after serving seven years.

    “The accused has a tendency of committing similar offenses and these previous convictions were relied on (in judgement),” Acting Judge Boas Usiku said before denying him bail.

    The Tses community in August 2015 protested against bail for Boois.

    Boois will remain in custody until his trial starts on 23 March.

    State-funded attorney Titus Mbaeva represented Boois and prosecutor Antonia Verhoef represented the State.



    NAMPA

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  • 03/19/17--15:00: Efundja cancels May recess
  • Efundja cancels May recessEfundja cancels May recessNo date yet for reopening of schools Schools in the Omusati Region remain closed because of flooding and pupils may have to give up their May recess to make up for lost time. Pupils at flooded schools in the Omusati Region have told Namibian Sun that they are willing to sacrifice their winter holiday to catch up with work missed while the schools remain closed.

    The learners say they will attend school during the May recess because they are lagging behind with their work.

    The Omusati governor, Erginus Endjala, agrees that it is a good idea.

    “It is the only way to make up for lost time,” he said in an interview with Namibian Sun.

    More than 60 schools in the region – with more than 20 000 pupils - have been closed since 3 March.

    It is not yet known when they will be able to reopen, as the education authorities are waiting for the water to subside.

    For the past few days it has not rained in Omusati, which has led to a drop in the water levels, but with heavy rain predicted for southern Angola, the possibility of a second seasonal flood wave cannot be ruled out.

    A group of pupils from Engolo Combined School described the flooding as a big setback.

    “Education is very important to us and we just hope the water level decreases so that we can go to school,” the group collectively said.

    They said they were bored at home, with nothing to keep them busy.

    “The mahangu fields are under water so we cannot play sports and we cannot even herd livestock for our parents because the grazing is also under water.”

    Meanwhile, according to Endjala, the Omusati Regional Disaster Risk Management Committee is monitoring the flooding.

    If there was no further rain, schools might reopen sometime next week, Endjala said.

    “As you have seen, the water level in the oshanas has subsided and we remain hopeful that it continues to decrease so that our children can return to school,” Endjala said.





    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 03/19/17--15:00: 'Sex is not a free meal'
  • 'Sex is not a free meal''Sex is not a free meal' Health minister Dr Bernard Haufiku says poverty is not the main driving force behind an increase in HIV infections – attitudes are the problem.

    Haufiku says the majority of young people who contracted HIV in the past three years could blame their negative attitude towards the virus and their refusal to wait for the right time to have sexual intercourse.

    He further slammed the parents and guardians who are supposed to protect the youth, saying they have in fact contributed to the spread of HIV.

    “Poverty is part of it, but the larger component is actually our attitude … you get infected by older men, your uncles, your dads and even your grannies are giving you HIV,” Haufiku said.

    Haufiku was speaking on Saturday at the handover ceremony of a prefabricated office donated by Unicef to the Ou Nick Health Centre, which helps adolescents living with HIV.

    “Why are teenagers getting HIV from older men?” Haufiku asked, before explaining that studies proved that it was due to transactional sex.

    “In Namibia, transactional sex takes place with huge age gaps,” he said.

    “I mean, if I am 50 and you are 15, what do you think you are compared to me? I have been through life… a man wants to please himself,” he said.

    The minister also emphasised sexual education, saying parents and guardians should not shy away from talking about sex with their children.

    He pointed out that most of the youth involved in sexual activities were between the ages of 15 and 24 and were still in school.

    “We will end this epidemic by being bold and to the point, that's what we need to tell you. I want to tell you that sex is not a free meal, certainly not a cup of tea, not a glass of wine. Sex is a means of reproduction - that's the purpose of sex,” Haufiku said.

    Unicef country representative Micaela Marques de Sousa said parents were not doing their children any favours by not talking to them about sexual matters.

    “We know that in most cases parents are uncomfortable to talk about sex and sexuality with their children; they therefore miss out on the opportunity to encourage delayed sexual debut or give the adolescents the right options for safer sex,” De Sousa said.

    She added that for economic and cultural reasons, adolescent girls and young women continued to acquire HIV from much older men, while many other young people remained unaware of their HIV-positive status for years.

    She added that reaching the infected and affected adolescent girls and young women with information, treatment and services remained a challenge in Namibia because of stigma and discrimination.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 03/19/17--15:00: Govt denies genocide U-turn
  • Govt denies genocide U-turnGovt denies genocide U-turnUS$30 billion lawsuit rumoured The Namibian government has engaged lawyers in London to pursue a case of violation of human rights, and is said to be demanding reparations of US$30 billion. NAMPA/AFP



    Namibia is to file a US$30 billion lawsuit against Germany over genocide committed during colonial rule, when tens of thousands of people were killed, according to documents seen by AFP on Friday.

    The Namibian government had previously avoided demanding financial compensation, but it changed its stance as two indigenous groups filed a class-action suit in New York against Germany.

    Legal documents provided to AFP and The Namibian newspaper show that the government has engaged lawyers in London to pursue a case of violation of human rights and a "consequent apology and reparations process".

    More than 65 000 people are believed to have been killed when colonial Germany massacred Namibian tribes such as the Herero and Nama between 1904 and 1908.

    Namibian vice-president Nickey Iyambo issued a statement on Friday saying the government had sent a report to Germany last year on the genocide, an official apology and reparations.

    In the statement Iyambo emphatically denies the fact that the government may have made a U-turn on the genocide talks and said the guiding policy principle had always been about the genocide, an apology and reparations.

    “I affirm that government’s commitment to the current diplomatic negotiations which emanate from our national parliament motion adopted on 26 October 2006,” he said.

    "We trust the government of the Federal Republic of Germany is giving serious attention to the position," Iyambo said, giving no details on the level of reparations sought.

    Namibia could approach the International Court of Justice in The Hague to advance its case, the documents show.

    While some German officials have acknowledged that genocide occurred, the government has refused to pay reparations, saying aid worth hundreds of millions of dollars over the last 25 years was "for the benefit of all Namibians".

    Germany seized the territory of modern-day Namibia in the late 19th century under Otto von Bismarck, as part of the so-called Scramble for Africa by European colonisers.

    It was called German South-West Africa during Germany's 1884-1915 rule, and then was under South African rule for 75 years, finally gaining independence in 1990.

    The separate US class-action suit was filed by the Herero and Nama people in New York on Thursday, seeking compensation for "incalculable damages".

    They are also demanding to be included in negotiations between the two countries.

    Tensions boiled over in 1904 when the Herero rose up, followed by the Nama, in an insurrection crushed by German imperial troops.

    After the Battle of Waterberg in August 1904, around 80 000 Herero fled, including women and children.

    German troops went after them across what is now known as the Kalahari Desert. Only 15 000 Herero survived.

    The Namibian government case alleges Germany was guilty of slave labour, mass murder, sexual abuse, human trafficking and theft of land.

    The two governments have been in talks about a joint declaration on the massacres for two years.

    Iyambo said Namibia wanted an "amicable closure to this sad history".

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    Cattle herder arrested in rape of boy, 2Cattle herder arrested in rape of boy, 2 KENYA KAMBOWE

    A 19-year-old man from Angola was arrested on Friday in Oshikoto Region on a charge of raping a two-year-old boy.

    According to Deputy Commissioner Naomi Katjiua the incident took place last Tuesday at Onashikuvu village near Omuthiya, where the suspect was employed as a cattle herder. Katjiua said the case was only opened on Friday.

    In another rape case in the Oshikoto Region, the police are searching for a 20-year-old man from Iihandhi village who allegedly sodomised two girls aged 13 and five.

    According to Katjiua the suspect is the uncle of the girls and lived in the same house.

    The incident took place on Sunday, 19 February when their guardian went to church, but a case of rape was only opened last week Wednesday. The police are asking the community’s assistance in tracing the suspect.

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  • 03/19/17--15:00: Psemas mess laid bare
  • Psemas mess laid barePsemas mess laid bareFinance Ministry has known since April 2010 The Finance Ministry was advised as far back as 2010 to urgently appoint a board of trustees to manage the government medical aid fund, but has done nothing. YANNA SMITH



    The Public Service Employees Medical Aid Scheme (Psemas) has made headlines since January, with accounts of massive fraudulent claims by local and foreign doctors, pharmacies and clinics, as well as the fact that roughly N$180 million is owed to service providers which the scheme cannot pay.

    However, a report in possession of Namibian Sun indicates that the finance ministry knew as far back as April 2010 that there were major gaps in the fraud management system regarding claims managed by the fund administrator, Methealth. It had also received a list of suspect doctors, clinics and pharmacies that had submitted questionable and false claims, along with risk analyses. The ministry was also advised to urgently appoint a board of trustees to manage the fund effectively.

    However, in the same year, Methealth Administrators was awarded a new five-year tender to continue administering the medical aid scheme and doing the claims processing and payouts. That tender has since been extended annually. Methealth has been administrating Psemas since a merger with NamHealth in September 2003.

    The 2010 report, in excess of 100 pages with spreadsheets, graphs, statistics and a detailed list of service providers under investigation, appears to have been ignored.

    Commissioned by the finance ministry in October 2008, South African-based Savvy Solutions was appointed as independent consultants to Psemas to “focus on forensic audit investigations aimed at identifying and curbing irregular claims activities within the scheme to reduce costs and financial losses from fraud.” They inspected Psemas services providers for the period 2007 to 2009.

    It makes for bizarre reading.

    A doctor in Rundu had issued 391 prescriptions for the drug Pegasys, a potent drug that treats Hepatitis B and C. His total Psemas claim for this drug was N$1 292 603.48 and he was paid out N$1 185 603.02. When the investigators compared the dosage to the need for the drug, it was found that he had prescribed more Pegasys than was needed on the entire African continent.

    Celestone too, is a very popular medication. It is a steroid that is used for a number of diseases including rheumatic disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, among others.

    The report indicates that 66 894 prescriptions were issued for this medicine. The numbers speak for themselves when compared to the number for scripts for the rest of SADC, which in the same period totalled 64 632. In the case of Pegasys, a total of 1 205 scripts were issued in Namibia and in the rest of SADC, a mere 20. The costs run into millions of dollars.

    “Pegasys and Celestone are both over- and incorrectly prescribed. A simple comparison to SADC reveals that Psemas has overpaid by in excess of N$10 million just for these two medicines,” the report states.

    The Savvy Solutions investigators found that “the scheme appears to have limited internal controls and coherent risk management mechanisms at various levels.”

    They specifically highlighted an alleged lack of control at Methealth Administrators and the absence of a board of trustees for the medical aid scheme.

    “Apart from the required accountability, Psemas’s current governance structure appears inadequate to meet increasing challenges and risks faced by the scheme.

    “This includes the absence of key management structures in the form of a board of trustees with active board committees or any other clearly defined structures that could provide ongoing strategic management of the scheme.

    “A typical medical aid scheme is governed by a strong board of trustees with specialist technical committees … and the key areas where board committees play a crucial role to mitigate risks.”

    The report states that there were no protocols with regard to special authorisations, no tariff guidelines on some benefits, including transport and an inconsistent application of the rules.

    “Some doctors claimed for procedures they could not possibly have performed and one doctor received a payout of N$3 million for medication prescribed although records indicate that he only had the value of N$140 000 in stock,” the report states.

    That was seven years ago and the situation has only deteriorated. By all accounts, the report was shelved in 2010 and no action was taken.

    Dave van Heerden at Savvy Solutions would not comment, saying the investigation and its results were confidential.

    “I cannot comment but, I can confirm that is our report and I stand by our findings,” he said.

    At the time of Savvy Solutions’ report, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila was the minister of finance and the current permanent secretary, Ericah Shafuda, was already in that position.

    In 2011, Insight Namibia asked questions about the re-awarding of the Psemas tender to Methealth in view of the fact that the then finance minister’s brother, Tylvis Kuugongelwa, owned a 20% share in Methealth through Bombax (Pty) Limited. While reports indicated that the tender procedure had been above board, new questions have now arisen due to the finance ministry’s inaction since that time.

    Telephone calls to Shafuda remained unanswered.

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    Unclaimed bodies in no-man’s landUnclaimed bodies in no-man’s land JANA-MARI SMITH

    Dozens of unclaimed bodies remain piled up at the Windhoek police morgue while several authorities deny responsibility for the cost of their disposal.

    A meeting was reportedly held last year at which, according to the director of the National Forensic Science Institute, it was decided that the health ministry, with the assistance of local authorities, was responsible.

    Yet the ministry denied responsibility last week, while the Windhoek municipality said its involvement was limited to the provision of facilities, not the logistics or costs of cremation or burial.

    In a written response to Namibian Sun’s queries last year, which was reconfirmed last week, health permanent secretary Andreas Mwoombola said: “Where resources allow, the ministry may assist the police in the Khomas Region to dispose of their unclaimed bodies, however this does not make it a responsibility of the health ministry.”

    The ministry, he said, was only responsible for unclaimed bodies from public health facilities and had allocated a portion of the Windhoek mortuary to the police “for storing their bodies”.

    Mwoombola said the ministry had one responsibility towards the police and that was to provide doctors for conducting post-mortems.

    Late last year, the Ministry of Health and Social Services agreed to cremate 76 of the unclaimed bodies after media reports on the crisis at the over-full morgue.

    At the time, it was reported that 170 unclaimed bodies, some dating back to 2009, were being stored there, far exceeding the morgue’s capacity of 30 bodies.

    To date, the 76 bodies the health ministry agreed to cremate remain in the morgue. Recent television reports stated that there were 128 bodies in the mortuary.

    Dr Paul Ludik, head of the National Forensic Science Institute, last week said that in terms of the Public Health Act of 1919, section 35, sub-section 2, the responsibility for such burials lay with the local authority or, when there was no local authority, with the relevant government ministry, which he said was the health ministry.

    Ludik said it was agreed at last year’s meeting that it was not the police’s responsibility to dispose of unclaimed bodies.

    He explained that the responsibility of the police was purely to conduct an autopsy and to issue a directive to the next of kin that the body was ready for collection. He said the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration was responsible for the issuing of death certificates.

    “After that, the rest lies with the ministry of health,” he said.

    He said a follow-up meeting was scheduled to take place soon to “iron out practicalities” but he could not confirm the date.

    Ludik insisted that there was no confusion about the matter, and that unclaimed bodies were the responsibility of the health ministry and the municipality.

    He said minor progress had been made, in the sense that the health ministry had begun talks with the crematorium run by the Windhoek municipality.

    The municipality last week confirmed that it had been approached by the ministry about the use of the municipal crematorium and cemeteries.

    City spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said, however, that the ministry had yet to revert on the way forward and no further details had been confirmed.

    Lawyer Norman Tjombe informed Namibian Sun on Friday that in terms of the Public Health Act of 1919 the responsibility for the burial of unclaimed bodies used to rest with the local authority.

    However, that act has been replaced by the Public and Environmental Health Act of 2015, which only refers to the burial of human remains of persons who have died of notifiable infectious diseases. That responsibility still rests with the local authority.

    Tjombe said in his opinion local authorities were responsible for burying or cremating people who died of causes other than notifiable infectious diseases too, since they were in charge of cemeteries and crematoriums.

    The Inspector-General of the Namibian Police, Sebastian Ndeitunga, on Friday said that he would look into the matter and clarify the issue in the coming weeks.

    Ndeitunga urged families to claim the bodies, even if they could not afford funerals. He said it was vital that the next of kin contact the mortuary and give consent for the bodies to be buried or cremated.

    “There is always opportunity and a possibility for them to be assisted. But to abandon their loved ones … that is a human disgrace,” the police chief said.

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  • 03/20/17--15:00: 2015 Ruby World Cup pools
  • 2015 Ruby World Cup pools2015 Ruby World Cup pools A0 44.75

    A1 59.50

    A2 60.00

    A3 60.00

    A4 50.75

    A5 46.25

    A6 46.25

    AB0 40.25

    AB1 52.00

    AB2 52.00

    AB3 52.00

    AB4 44.25

    AB5 40.25

    AB6 40.25

    B0 37.75

    B1 49.00

    B2 49.00

    B3 49.00

    B4 41.25

    B5 37.25

    B6 37.25

    C0 33.75

    C1 45.75

    C2 45.75

    C3 45.75

    C4 38.25

    C5 35.25

    C6 35.25

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    White-owned land to be expropriatedWhite-owned land to be expropriated
    President Hage Geingob announced that the time of the ‘willing-buyer, willing-seller is over in Namibia. Speaking at the 27th independence celebrations in Rundu, Geingob told roaring crowds that “We are committed to addressing the land issue and this is why I have alluded to the fact that we need to revisit the willing-buyer willing-seller concept which we adopted to adhere to resolution 435. We have exhausted the concept because after 27 years, the process is slow in satisfying the wishes of the majority of Namibians.
    “This means we need to refer back to our Constitution which allows for the expropriation of land with fair compensation and also look at foreign ownership of land, especially absentee land owners.
    “In terms of ancestral land, Geingob said that his administration welcomes proposals so that a national consensus can be reached before proceeding with new measures to address the land problem.”
    However, he warned that “we should desist from visiting the sins of the fathers on the children of today.”
    The matter was widely reported on, also in international media.
    Geingob’s speech focused strongly on unity and he sent a stern warning to detractors.
    “I am aware that there are some people in this country who are tired of peace and have made it no secret by questioning why we keep repeating to talk about peace. We are repeating ourselves because the truth cannot change. Only lies can change. Therefore we will continue reaffirming our identity by repeating the truth. We cannot also stop thanking those that supported us through difficult times. We cannot cease telling the story of our glorious history.”
    Geingob also spoke of the current financial challenges urging that austerity measures be taken seriously and implemented and said that development plans for Namibia, including Harambee, the National Development Plans and Vision 2030 will be fast-tracked.
    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 03/21/17--15:00: Civilians are raring to go
  • Civilians are raring to goCivilians are raring to goNell poised for Debmarine Cup The Mighty Civilians will begin training in early April as they attempt to rewrite Namibian football history. Namibia Premier League club Civics are itching to play in the NFA Debmarine Cup next month, coach Donnelly Nell says.

    The Civilians will meet Ohangwena Nampol FC at the Oscar Norich Stadium in the Round of 32 in Tsumeb.

    Last week Tura Magic coach Paulus Shipanga expressed concern over the whereabouts of almost his entire squad.

    The Civics coach, on the other hand, says all his players are available and hungry for games.

    “I have been in contact with the boys and I can confirm to you now that these guys are hungry to play.

    “We will officially begin with our preparations for the competition on 3 April.

    “This will give us enough time to get the boys ready and fit for the competition,” Nell said.

    The coach added that his wish was to see his side progress to the next stage of the tournament.

    Nell believes that the Khomasdal-based side will only achieve that if they work harder during training.

    “Things have been difficult for almost everyone because the premier league has not been taking place due to a lack of sponsorship.

    “I have known my boys for a very long time now and I can sense that they are prepared to give it their all during this competition.

    “The most important thing now will be to organise friendly matches before we travel to unfamiliar territory,” he said.

    The Civilians will be hoping to regain their form which saw them winning back-to-back titles between 2004 and 2006.



    Fixtures of the Debmarine Cup

    Round of 32

    Rhino FC vs Young Beauties

    Khuse FC vs Touch & Go

    Orlando Pirates vs Gendev FC

    Life Fighters vs African Stars

    Young African vs Otjiwarongo FC

    Mighty Gunners vs Citizens

    Try Again vs Chief Santos

    Young Chiefs vs Kantema Bullets

    Black Africa vs Bee Bob Brothers

    Ogongo United vs Eleven Arrows

    Unam FC vs Eleven Champions

    Tigers vs Eastern Chiefs

    King Fischer vs Tura Magic

    Blue Waters vs Rundu Chiefs

    Civics vs Ohangwena Nampol

    Outjo FC vs United Stars

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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    Three qualify for World ChampsThree qualify for World Champs Only three Namibians athletes have qualified for the World Athletics Championships taking place in London from 5 to 13 August.

    They are marathon runners Beata Naigambo, Helalia Johannes and Lavinia Haitope.

    Athletics Namibia (AN) president Erwin Naimhwaka told Nampa that the qualification window was still open until June and more athletes might qualify by then.

    “I am still waiting for feedback from the committee that oversees our athletes qualifying at different events in the country and abroad,” he said. The world governing body for athletics - the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) - publishes qualifying standards in advance of the competitions. Each country is allowed to choose their own method of selecting athletes for elite-level competitions like the Olympics and world championships.

    Naimhwaka said only one Namibian athlete might compete at the championship this year.

    “Due to lack of resources we might only have one athlete representing the country through the free funded slot by the IAAF, but if we have the resources we will choose two from the three that have qualified for the marathon,” said Naimhwaka.

    The IAAF allows only two athletes per category from the same country.

    NAMPA

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    Omuthiya hosts BMX championshipOmuthiya hosts BMX championship The Namibia Cycling Federation (NCF) and Rand & Merchant Bank (RMB) on Saturday hosted the BMX Inter-Regional Championship at Omuthiya.

    The project was launched last year with the support of RMB through the First National Bank Foundation.

    A total of 148 children showed off their cycling skills. The majority, 110, were from Omuthiya.

    The same event was held at Rundu the previous weekend, with about 90 participants.

    Regional BMX committees have been established at Omuthiya, Gobabis, Omaruru, Okahandja, Rundu and in Windhoek since the NCF added BMX as a recognised sport code last year. All participants get to use BMX bicycles donated to the regional committees by RMB.

    The participants in Saturday's event were categorised into five age groups ranging from eight to 16-years, boys and girls separately.

    The Oshikoto regional sports officer, Nicodemus Amadhila, commended the NCF and RMB for developing cycling at the town.

    “The event was very successful and we cannot wait for the next round. This initiative is great in a sense that it gives the youngsters a sense of competition at a very young age, which enables them to take this further as they grow older,” he told Nampa on Saturday.

    NCF chairperson Salomo Ndeshimona told Nampa that the tricks performed in the competition were kept simple, since the participants are young and are still learning.

    “We will however add a few more to the already existing tricks, which are straight line and around-a-corner riding in the next competition, which will be held in Windhoek,” Ndeshimona said.

    The names of the six winners in each group will be announced in due course.

    BMX, or bicycle motocross, started in the 1970s with children racing and performing all sorts of stunts on the dirt roads of California in the United States, using bicycles that are light and easy to manoeuvre.

    NAMPA

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  • 03/21/17--15:00: Global United inspires
  • Global United inspiresGlobal United inspiresMcCarthy impressed with Gobabis FNB Global United visited three schools at Gobabis last week as part of the 2017 FNB Global United Climate Kick. South African international football star Fabian McCarthy says he was delighted to visit some schools at Gobabis last week.

    The former footballer said the trip was emotional and very pleasing for him and the Global United crew.

    One of the highlights was when they visited the Flhhoandawes Primary School. They came across a tappy-tap which they used to wash their hands and in the same time learned how to save water.

    McCarthy said: “This just goes to show that we don't need expensive taps to wash our hands. I was also impressed with the way in which the pupils make their own compost.

    “While it may take time, it is made from waste material and this is then used for the vegetable garden with the aim of feeding the community.”

    McCarthy added that he was impressed with the work done by Global United and its partner, FNB Namibia.

    “I am glad to be part of Global United. It is a one-of-a-kind project, and it's not every day that people take time to help the next person.

    “I applaud my fellow soccer players for travelling miles to come and assist the learners to plant trees and teach them how to take care of the environment.”

    The former player runs an organisation called Mzanzi Sports Experts in South Africa where the main focus is on football.

    He also works with some local soccer players to host coaching clinics and goes out to disadvantaged areas to encourage the children.

    SPORT REPORTER

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  • 03/21/17--15:00: Smartphones have new rival
  • Smartphones have new rivalSmartphones have new rivalNew threat to iPhones and other smartphones Smartphones of all kinds are facing stiff competition from an unlikely new challenger: old-fashioned feature phones. Last week, an Indian government official announced that iPhones would start rolling off an assembly line in Bangalore by the end of April, targeted at local customers.

    It's a big moment for Apple, which is counting on India's emerging middle class to make up for slowing sales in other markets. But don't bet on the iPhone conquering India, or any other emerging market, just yet.

    That's because smartphones of all kinds are facing stiff competition from an unlikely new challenger: feature phones. With simple handsets and small screens intended mostly for calls and text messages, similar to the Nokia or Motorola you probably owned years ago, a new generation of feature phones is suddenly looking like a threat to Apple and its rivals.

    For a technology long ago left for dead, feature phones have lately made some impressive gains. After years of almost continuous decline, global shipments have grown for two consecutive quarters. Growth in emerging markets has been especially impressive: In Africa, feature-phone shipments surged 32% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2016, compared to a decline of 5.2% for smartphones. Expect that trend to continue, for a few reasons.

    One obvious advantage is price. At the end of 2016, the average global price of a smartphone was US$256, compared to US$19.30 for a feature phone. In emerging markets, where even educated urbanites typically earn less than US$10 000 a year, that doesn't leave much in the way of consumer choice. But even if a buyer has US$256 to spare, the booming second-hand market offers far better options than a smartphone.

    In Ghana, US$256 will buy a used Pentium III desktop computer, a flat-screen monitor, a satellite dish and a decoder box to pirate satellite television broadcasts.

    Another factor is battery life. In many emerging markets, where electricity service can be intermittent, smartphones that have to be recharged each day can't compete against feature phones that can now go for weeks on a single charge.

    In West Africa, it's the rare smartphone owner who doesn't also carry a feature phone as a hedge against missing calls and messages due to battery depletion. Equally important, most emerging-market customers prepay for voice and data, making smartphones that passively eat up bandwidth a major inconvenience.

    The most important innovation, though, has been the development of mobile-payment systems that require nothing more than text-messaging.

    A user simply buys credit at a bank or service centre, then transfers the money via text to friends or merchants.

    For the roughly two billion people around the world who lack access to basic financial services, that can be a life-changing service.

    Kenya's M-Pesa, which enables money transfers via SMS, has about 19 million users who exchange more than US$140 million daily. In India, the government is fast-tracking such services as a remedy to its demonetisation crisis.

    For smartphone makers, all this spells trouble. Some analysts in India are predicting a slump in smartphone sales and upgrades this year. Leading feature-phone brands have even started introducing cheap smartphones of their own, hoping to convert their considerable market share and brand recognition into upgrades. It's likely that the next major advance in mobile technology won't be dictated by designers in Silicon Valley or Seoul, but rather by the needs of emerging-market consumers. In that sense, at least, old-school feature phones are starting to look very much like the future.



    BLOOMBERG

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    Bannerman acquires equity partnerBannerman acquires equity partnerOne Economy Foundation gets 5% shareholding Bannerman Mining Resources Namibia will issue 5% of its ordinary share capital to the One Economy Foundation. Bannerman Mining Resources Namibia has announced its partnership with the One Economy Foundation, providing the opportunity for the not-for-profit organisation to gain a 5% shareholding in Bannerman Resources Namibia.

    RMB Namibia was engaged by Bannerman in August 2016 to identify charitable and financial investors in the Etango Project, culminating in the partnership with the One Economy Foundation. ENS Africa were the legal advisors to the transaction.

    Local ownership is a key pillar of Bannerman's corporate social responsibility in Namibia, and a vital means of addressing the government's Harambee Prosperity Plan and its aim to eradicate poverty, the company said.

    “Growth in the mining sector is critical to Namibia's economic and social development. Therefore, I applaud this partnership between Bannerman Resources and the One Economy Foundation as a strong example of how the benefits of mining can be used to achieve our aim of social progression across all sectors of our society,” said Obeth Kandjoze, minister of mines and energy.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Bannerman Mining Resources will issue 5% of its ordinary share capital to the One Economy Foundation at par value. The One Economy Foundation will be loan carried for all future project expenditure including pre-construction and development expenditure, with a proportion of future dividends used to repay the loan and the balance providing cash to fund the foundation's activities.

    Werner Ewald, managing director of Bannerman Mining Resources (Namibia), said: “Since 2006, Bannerman has invested N$600 million developing its Etango Project, so a 5% shareholding has an immediate and substantial value.

    “By providing this shareholding at par value (effectively free) Bannerman is demonstrating its strong endorsement and belief in the One Economy Foundation and what it can achieve in the longer term. Once developed, Etango will be a very large and long-life mine, thus providing the foundation with an opportunity for a long-term source of income to implement sustainable social development projects that we all feel passionate about.”

    Twapewa Kadhikwa, non-executive director of Bannerman Mining Resources, said: “It is a huge privilege to join hands with the One Economy Foundation as long-term equity partners in Bannerman's Etango Project. The foundation's mission, approach and energy are closely aligned with Bannerman's outstanding record as a leader in corporate social responsibility in Namibia.

    “We passionately support the Namibian government's poverty eradication objectives under the Harambee Prosperity Plan and this new partnership will deliver on the role the Ministry of Mines and Energy expects us to play and fulfil.”

    One Economy Foundation's chief executive officer, Uajorokisa Akwenye, said: “The Etango Project has the potential to be a significant driver for positive development in the Namibian economy and it is exciting to have the One Economy Foundation's objectives aligned with its long-term success. I am immensely proud of the vision and approach that the One Economy Foundation has developed, and I am delighted that Bannerman has endorsed our approach with this partnership.”

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Baronice Hans takes helm at BANBaronice Hans takes helm at BAN STAFF REPORTER

    The Bankers Association of Namibia (BAN) has announced the appointment of Bank Windhoek managing director Baronice Hans as its chairperson. Hans was elected to serve a one-year term commencing 1 April 2017.

    Hans will be taking over from Tawanda Mumvuma, chief executive officer of SME Bank, and is the first woman to be appointed as the chairperson of the Bankers Association of Namibia.

    “We are very pleased to receive this prestigious honour to chair the BAN, and to drive the mandate of BAN for the next year. I look forward to leading the BAN Council as chairperson and to work more closely with the CEOs of the banks to address non-competitive issues of common interest. The collective background and experience of the BAN Council members is invaluable and represents the interests of Namibia’s banking sector,” Hans said.

    Hans has been an active member of the BAN since last year when she was appointed as MD of Bank Windhoek and has a career in banking that spans more than eight years.

    “I would like to thank SME Bank for their efforts over the past year. The foundation laid so far will ensure that we keep building the sector together.

    “The banking industry is faced with a myriad of challenges, however, collectively working towards a common goal will ensure that together with our key stakeholders, such as the Bank of Namibia and the government, we build a sound banking industry which is the backbone of our economy,” Hans said.

    Bank Windhoek will chair the subcommittees forming part of the BAN structure, which include credit, treasury, human resources, accounting and tax, compliance, legal, IT, operational and public relations.

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    SORED will be operational this yearSORED will be operational this yearNegotiations under way for power distributor NamPower’s role in the south is likely to change with the introduction of a regional electricity distributor. NAMPA



    The establishment of the Southern Electricity Distribution Company (SORED) is expected before the end of the year.

    The company will distribute electricity in the southern regions of Hardap and //Karas and parts of the Omaheke Region.

    The Southern Electricity Company (SELCo) distributes power in Keetmanshoop and Karasburg in the //Karas Region while other local authorities in that region buy electricity in bulk from NamPower.

    The Central North Regional Electricity Distributor (Cenored) supplies electricity to some towns in Omaheke while others buy in bulk from NamPower. Hardap municipalities and village councils also buy from NamPower.

    Rojas Manyame, the general manager of regulations at the Electricity Control Board (ECB), told Nampa on Thursday that discussions were under way for the establishment of SORED by the local authorities, village councils and regional councils.

    “There is no chief executive officer or board of directors as yet,” he said.

    Manyame said role players in the electricity supply industry were becoming more cognisant of the importance of regional electricity distributors, hence the need to accelerate SORED's establishment.

    “The next step will be the establishment of Central RED,” he said.

    If established, Central RED will distribute electricity to Windhoek and surrounding areas.

    There are already Erongo RED, Cenored, and the Northern Regional Electricity Distributor (Nored).

    Giving a presentation on the ECB's focus for 2017 at the technical conference by the Association of Electricity Distribution Undertakings in Namibia at Swakopmund, Manyame said they would focus on improving the quality of services and supply of electricity together with the distributors.

    He said another focus was to ensure that the country generated 100% of its electricity consumption. At the moment 60% is imported.

    Manyame said the ECB put great emphasis on the maintenance of infrastructure by licence holders who distribute power.

    His advice to distributors was that they should be proactive to survive the future.

    He said the future would see more independent power producers and self-generating companies or individuals who might not need a service provider. Licensed electricity distributors would lose business because these independent producers would desert them.

    “So you need to find ways to ensure that such people will still work with you in the future.”

    The two-day technical conference discussed various matters regarding power supply in the country.

    It was attended by representatives of NamPower, Nored, Erongo RED, Siemens, Tank Industries, and United Kingdom-based EBM Electrical Services.

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  • 03/21/17--15:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day DOG SHOW: Dalmation dogs are shown on the second day of the Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, central England recently. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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