Articles on this Page
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Paladin looks at op...
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Fighting for LGBTI ...
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Ohorongo Cement rew...
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Millennial junkies
- 03/27/17--15:00: _The balancing act
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Live a purposeful life
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Trials and tribulat...
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Zim women use mine ...
- 03/27/17--15:00: _42 Congo cops decap...
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Shot of the day
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Scandal after scandal
- 03/27/17--15:00: _The Russians have l...
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Unemployment needs ...
- 03/27/17--15:00: _A battle of ideas o...
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Older generation or...
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Keetmans council de...
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Malaria outbreak cl...
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Second stock exchan...
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Beached whales baff...
- 03/27/17--15:00: _Poaching fight inte...
- 03/27/17--15:00: Paladin looks at options
- 03/27/17--15:00: Fighting for LGBTI rights
- 03/27/17--15:00: Ohorongo Cement rewards top student
- 03/27/17--15:00: Millennial junkies
- 03/27/17--15:00: The balancing act
- 03/27/17--15:00: Live a purposeful life
- 03/27/17--15:00: Trials and tribulations
- 03/27/17--15:00: Zim women use mine tailings as stimulants
- 03/27/17--15:00: 42 Congo cops decapitated
- 03/27/17--15:00: Shot of the day
- 03/27/17--15:00: Scandal after scandal
- 03/27/17--15:00: The Russians have landed
- 03/27/17--15:00: Unemployment needs urgent solutions
- 03/27/17--15:00: A battle of ideas or generations?
- 03/27/17--15:00: Older generation or the aspiring youth - who is right?
- 03/27/17--15:00: Keetmans council denies accusations
- 03/27/17--15:00: Malaria outbreak close to containment
- 03/27/17--15:00: Second stock exchange bid fails
- 03/27/17--15:00: Beached whales baffle researcher
- 03/27/17--15:00: Poaching fight intensifies
Efforts to restructure and sell off a stake of the Langer Heinrich mine to the China National Nuclear Corporation have not gone as planned, resulting in Paladin chief executive officer Alexander Molyneux voicing concern about potential job losses should the structuring deal not go through.
Namibian Sun this week asked Langer Heinrich Namibia how operations were being affected by the standstill.
Its spokesperson, Bernadette Bock, responded: “Although Paladin ultimately has little influence over China National Nuclear Corporation's (CNNC) decision-making, it would be in their best interest to retain the employees and in light of this, we do not foresee major disruptions to the current staff complement on site. Notwithstanding this, Paladin is currently pursuing various options, including disputing the validity of CNNC's claim, in order to preserve its assets and valued employees.”
“In the absence of the Langer Heinrich stake sale, I'm very happy that our bondholders are supporting the company with a viable restructure that preserves long-term value for all stakeholders,” Mining Weekly quoted Molyneux as saying.
Mining Weekly also reported that Paladin could be a bankruptcy casualty of the uranium price downturn that has ravaged the industry for several years now. In 2016, spot prices fell 37% from US$34.70 per pound to US$18.50 per pound on November 14, according to independent market consultant UX Consulting, before turning somewhat positive again to trade at US$20.25 per pound as on January 2. This is still a far cry from the lofty all-time high of US$136 per pound hit in 2007.
Meanwhile, The Langer Heinrich mine produced 1.20 million pounds of uranium oxide during the December quarter, with the volume of ore milled down 5% on the last quarter, while the average plant feed grade also decreased by 2% over the September quarter.
Total uranium sales during the three months under review reached 1.52 million pounds of uranium oxide, with average selling prices of US$26.26 per pound, generating gross sales revenues of $40.1 million.
This was a 166% increase over the previous quarter's revenue, as spot prices increased from the US$19.72 per pound recorded in the September quarter.
Paladin told shareholders that lower uranium sales of between 700 000 pounds and 800 000 pounds were expected in the March quarter due to the timing of deliveries under a major contract.
“We must acknowledge the great and tangible work that The Rainbow Project did and started the conversation around sexual diversity and addressing homophobic and trans-phobic rhetoric in Namibia in the late 1990s,” Samaria said.
ORN fights for the realisation of the full constitutional rights of the lesbians, gays, bi-sexual, trans-gender and intersex community in Namibia.
Speaking at the ORN stakeholders briefing meeting in Windhoek recently, Samaria added that it is indisputable that ORN's ability to execute its mandate is inseparably linked to the performance and level of understanding of the general Namibian society which he says has been showing slow progress and willingness in addressing issues that concern the LGBTI community.
Addressing stakeholders at a recent meeting, Pancho Mulongeni spoke about the LGBTI landscape in Namibia. Mulongeni said the LGBTI community in Namibia is still facing stigma and discrimination and issues that ORN wants to address so that everyone lives a hassle-free life despite their sexual orientation.
Mulongeni added that in Namibia, adolescents are the ones mostly at risk of sexual abuse and often when cases of this kind are opened, they are later withdrawn.
“We need to report these cases and not keep quiet about sexual abuse, as voices and people's stories are important,” said Mulongeni.
As an organisation ORN strives to attain the full realisation of human rights for all in Namibia. ORN has noted that around Namibia, people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex, or seen as such still face stigma, discrimination and violence because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity. This violence and discrimination against LGBTI persons takes place at homes, in schools, in hospitals and other public places. ORN strives to put an end to these behaviours.
According to Samaria, LGBTI persons often face rejection by their families and communities who disapprove of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
“LGBTI children are often bullied by classmates and teachers, resulting in some students dropping out, even though our national life skills curricula makes provision on education our young Namibians on issues around sexual orientation,” said Samaria.
ORN operates in all 14 political regions of Namibia and is focusing on expanding its operations to four regions identified under the 2012 Integrated Bio-behavioural Surveillance Survey (IBBSS). The four regions are Erongo, //Karas, Khomas and Oshana Region.
ORN currently works in eight regions with no structures and envisions the establishment of regional structures in these regions. “The organisation currently works through points of contact (PoC) in these regions,” said Agapitus Hausiku, the chairperson of ORN.
Out-Right Namibia's vision is to be the leading agency in creating a united movement of sexually diverse people that enjoy improved quality of life and access to legal and social justice.
ORN has partnered with various ministries and agencies to help them achieve their goals.
Sackaria Nakamela, a former learner at Haufiku Haimbili Secondary School who is now in his third year, was awarded the bursary based on his outstanding performance.
“My first and second years at university where very tough as I relied heavily on my father to finance part of my studies especially helping me with availing study materials, accommodation and transport,” said Nakamela. With the bursary from Ohorongo Cement, Nakamela maintains that he can now concentrate better on his studies.
The bursary will cover registration fees, tuition fees, stationery and accommodation for this year.
Nakamela grew up helping his mother in the mahangu field which was the family’s source of food. According to Nakamela, the experience helped him to develop self-reliance and discipline. He said his ambition is to get employed at a processing plant in order to gain experience before setting up his own processing business.
“Namibia is endowed with raw minerals and most of it is process outside the country. I would like to set up my own manufacturing plant like Ohorongo Cement, that processes and adds value to local raw minerals,” Nakamela said.
His advice to others is to do whatever they want to do to the best of one’s ability.
To ready Nakamela for the industry, Ohorongo Cement will engage him in projects related to his field of study during school holidays at the Ohorongo Sargberg plant, were he will be mentored by the Ohorongo technical team.
Two electrical engineering and two nursing students are also being funded by Ohorongo Cement, for the second year running. In addition, 13 students from the Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology are also doing internships at the cement manufacturing plant near Otavi in the fields fitting and turning, boiler making, diesel mechanics and electrical engineering.
Ohorongo Cement launched its bursary scheme in 2015 to help deserving Namibians both employed and not employed by the company to assist them to develop their careers. The bursary scheme was set up to help Namibia achieve its national development objectives as set out in Vision 2030 goals under the Growth at Home strategy of Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
“We believe that for Namibia to achieve all these objectives and help to better the lives of its people, we need to increase the level of education of its people. That is why we have embarked on a program aimed at helping deserving young people to acquire this education,” said Hans-Wilhelm Schütte, the managing director of Ohorongo Cement
What does it do?
According to a Windhoek-based pharmacist the codeine, which is an opiate, produces a feeling of euphoria. The cough syrup also contains a drug called promethazine, which acts as a sedative. The combo makes users lean over, hence the nickname 'lean'.
What's the danger?
Too much codeine and promethazine can depress the central nervous and respiratory systems and consequently, stop the functioning of the heart and lungs. Medical experts say the concoction causes nausea, dizziness, impaired vision, memory loss, hallucinations and seizures. Bottom line - it can be deadly, especially when mixed with other drugs and alcohol.
The pharmacist said most teenagers may think because something is available from the pharmacy, it is not harmful but that's not true.
How common is it?
According to another pharmacist, who preferred anonymity, lean is very common and not just used by teenagers, but adults as well.
“They do not just use cough syrup but tablets that contain codeine,” added the pharmacist.
The pharmacist added that teenagers are very clever or sly, when it comes to obtaining these medicines.
“They are cunning and sometimes send someone older to get it for them or pay a security guard to buy it on their behalf,” said the pharmacist.
While it's unclear how many people drink Sizzurp mixes in Namibia, many teenagers have started to drink these mixes and it is a cause for grave concern.
The Zone caught up with some of the teenage codeine users to find out why they consume the deadly concoctions and if they do know the debilitating consequences of their actions.
Johannes Hausiku said he consumes lean because it is a sedative and when he drinks it, it takes him to a place of comfort where all his problems fade away.
“I am aware of the side-effects of mixing cough syrup with cold drinks and it is not something I am particularly proud of because I feel I have let my parents down,” Hausiku said with concern.
Another pharmacist who was interviewed by The Zone warns teenagers to stay away from using drugs and to concentrate on their studies. “Doctors must also not prescribe syrups with codeine to just anyone,” said the pharmacist.
A lean user who only wanted to be identified as Tuese says he started using the drink from watching hip-hop videos.
“I don't really know when I started drinking codeine but I know hip-hop played a huge role in my consumption. It's a cool drug and there is nothing wrong with it,” said Tuese.
The teenager argues that lean is not as addictive as other drugs. “I don't think there are any dangers, at least nothing has happened to me and my friends,” said Tuese.
He accepts codeine consumption as a part of his lifestyle. “It is a lifestyle and it is completely safe if you know how to use it wisely,” said Tuese
Tuese further argues that since codeine is easily accessible for him and his friends and the fact that it is legally available through a prescription, it is not wrong to for him to use it.
“Why do they sell it in shops if it is dangerous, tell me that first, I have never taken an overdose and I do not know anybody else.
“How is codeine dangerous?” Tuese asked The Zone. He did admit that he uses marijuana, but codeine is his drug of choice.
“I smoke weed whenever I can but I just like to use codeine. It is a different kind of drug and it is different from weed,” said Tuese.
He said that codeine is very affordable and he does not usually use a lot of codeine.
“Compared to everything else I've tried, it is very cheap and can last for the rest of the day,” said Tuese.
He confessed that the drug does not have any after effects or hangover compared to alcohol. “If I use lean the next day I wake up very normal,” said Tuese.
The young codeine user says he is aware of the dangers of the drug but he is not moved.
“Look anything has its dangers but for me, I still have to experience it with lean.
“I have been using it for two years now and I have not had a bad day so it is fine,” said Tuese.
Asked whether he would migrate to using other, harder drugs he said it is not something he would trade codeine for. “Codeine is great, you just need to use it carefully and not abuse it.
“If I use other drugs they are not good for me,” he said. Tuese says he is not addicted to the opiate and that he can go for months without using it.
“I am a codeine user but I am far from being addicted to it, I can stay months without using it and nothing will happen to me,” said Tuese.
Deputy Commissioner Hermie van Zyl, the head of Namibian police drug squad says there aren't a lot of people using codeine and no arrests have been made linked to codeine use.
“It is not like in America where there is a total change to prescription medicine that contains codeine- or morphine-based medicines and as we know, morphine-based drugs are used by heroin addicts, and there have been no arrests or seizures of heroine at the moment,” said Van Zyl.
He also said some people use codeine to deal with drug withdrawal symptoms.
“There is some information that people use codeine after they quit using other drugs and they use it to try to cope with the after-effects of those drugs,” said Van Zyl.
Van Zyl says plans are underway to schedule and classify codeine to make it less prone to abuse. “They are already busy with a strategy to minimise its abuse,” said Van Zyl.
Shona Ngava & Michael Kayunde
When she walked in for her interview, she was yawning and her eyes were red. She looked like she had hardly slept and she barely managed to sit up and tried hard to stay awake. “I am sorry, but I am so tired. I have been preparing for the upcoming April examinations and I wake up at 02:00 in the morning to study,” she says. Rosie is mother to a three-year-old boy and she says being a mother at her age is not easy. “After giving birth, I had to give up on so many things, things that a girl of my age should not have sacrificed.”
Growing up, she was a depressed and suicidal child. She grew up with her younger male cousin and her grandmother in Okahandja and she always felt her grandmother favoured her cousin. “I never felt her love growing up. She always sided with my cousin. Maybe she loved me, but she had a weird way of showing it,” she said. Rosie was convinced that she was not loved and she would always use every chance she could to stay out of the house. “It got to the point where the streets were my happy place. A friend's house would be my happy place,” she said. She attempted suicide when she was in Grade 7 at age 13. She said she had taken an overdose of tablets but she could not pinpoint what triggered the act. “I cried myself to sleep after drinking the pills, but I woke up feeling nauseated and with a banging sound in my head.” When her grandmother and mother found her, their reaction surprised her. “They mocked me and called me 'stupid and attention-seeking' for trying to kill myself.” After giving her fresh milk to drink, her grandmother and mother took her to a pastor to pray and wish her well. “I have a very good relationship with my father so it broke my heart when we got home from church and when my father saw me he broke down. He started blaming himself and he asked me if he was a good father,” a teary Rosie said.
She later moved to Windhoek to stay with her mother and to complete her Grade 7. Admitting that she has “authority issues” Rosie and her mother never saw eye-to-eye because she was not allowed to do a lot of things, like going to play outside or having a chat with children of her age. By the time Rosie reached Grade 8, she said she was “dead inside.” Her mother took her to see a psychologist to fight her “suicide demons”, but it did not help much because Rosie said her mother was to blame for it. “My psychologist made me promise to never try and kill myself again and things got a bit better,” said Rosie.
In October 2013, she met her son's father and she said one event led to another. “During the December holidays, we would go for walks to the shops and talk. Things kind of happened fast and we started dating.”
At the age of 14, she had her first sexual encounter with him and she could not believe what happened. “My virginity was my pride so I felt so ashamed of myself. I chased him out of my mother's house where it happened and I cried that day.” During the April school holidays of 2014 and in Grade 9, Rosie noticed that her body was changing. “I just gained a lot of weight and I used to eat a lot. I would go for seconds and thirds and I would still want more,” she said.
After a few discussions with her closest uncle, Rosie managed to get a home pregnancy test and the results were positive. “I just went numb. I did not really know what to do or say at that point,” Rosie explained. Schools reopened in May and she had to go to school with a little boy growing inside her. “I think everything started sinking in when my baby first moved. I started crying and then I realised that the pregnancy was real.
After welcoming her healthy baby boy in August 2014, Rosie had to restructure her life. “Being a teenage mother is not easy, especially if you are not the one taking care of your baby financially and you are being constantly reminded of that. My mother always reminds me about that fact and it hurts me a lot, because I want to help where I can,” Rosie said. Her relationship with her mother worsened after the birth of her child and the fights become more and more frequent. “I have been called so many things in my life… a disgrace, embarrassment and disgusting.” She said the only reason why she chooses to stay at home is because of her son.
“I need the support structure so that my child is taken care of and I can finish school. Otherwise, I can give him nothing but the life I have.”
However I will not try to dissect the meaning of living a purposeful life, I will just try and elaborate how finding your purpose in life can help you live a better life. Personally, I believe knowing your purpose in life helps you to be focused, it helps you find your passion, and it brings fulfilment.
When you know your purpose in life, it will shape your focus. I believe when your clearly know what you want in life, your purpose becomes a conduit allowing you to focus more clearly on what matters most to you. It can be anything from nurturing your talents and abilities to ensuring that you achieve all the goals that you set for yourself.
Another advantage of knowing your purpose in life is that it helps you to find your passion in life. By knowing your purpose, you will dedicate your valuable time and space to things that you are passionate about and thus get rid of negative energies or “bad vibes” as the youth like to call it.
Moreover, finding your purpose in life and living a purposeful life also brings you a sense of fulfilment. Fulfilment in the sense that you will be overwhelmed with the feeling of doing what you are supposed to do in life.
To achieve all this, we need to believe in ourselves and be supportive of each other's work. We should do away with discouraging each other and, we should strive to support our friends. We should support each other's dreams and not ridicule others or tell them their dreams are too big or not reasonable. A perfect example is the Get Rich local musician who is being made fun of on social media for believing in himself and trying his hand at pursuing a musical career. Instead of making fun of him, I believe people should rather be giving him advice on how he should approach his music and demeanour. A lot are making fun of Get Rich whilst perhaps just maybe his purpose in life is to make music… but we are quick to judge and discard other people's passions.
I described why you should live a purposeful life. Let me also tell you how you should live a purposeful life. You can live a purposeful life by attaching your life to a goal and having fun while you do tasks that you love. Life is to be enjoyed. People who live a purposeful life can bring purposeful play to almost any situation and find ways to live each day as a reflection of their true joy and purpose.
You can also live a purposeful life by holding on to the things that matter most to you. You must be grateful for what you have, be nice to people and work on being a better version of yourself every day. It is not rocket science to live this way. You just need to associate yourself with good company. Always surround yourself with people that can build you to be a better person, because you gain nothing by keeping bad company.
To live a purposeful life one also has to get out of their comfort zone and be open to explore new opportunities. By doing things that are outside of your comfort zone you will be opening yourself up to things that you may have not known about yourself and it is prone to give your more clarity on your purpose.
Lastly, I believe one can live a purposeful life by being guided by your values, not your necessities. It is very important that you stay grounded and stick to your principles and not be led astray by activities that do not matter, or on something that is going to be short-lived, strive to live a good legacy by staying true to yourself and living a purposeful life.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, the Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG) said that mining companies in the Hwange district were exposing women to serious health risks by dumping toxic acidic waste in unprotected fields.
In an environmental impact assessment report published last week in Harare, the rights group said that the acidic chaff from the mining sites was being used by women as “sexual stimulant”.
“These are dump sites for toxic waste but when they dry up they leave this acidic mud exposed and we saw women going to collect that mud and when we asked what it was for we were told that it was a sexual stimulant,” CNRG director Farai Maguwu was quoted as saying.
Magawu said the problem was prevalent not only at the Hwange Colliery but also at other sites like Makomo, WMK, Chilota and at coal mines.
“It appears that the chemical could lead to cervical cancer and there is a need for mining companies in Hwange to professionally dispose of this acid so that people are not exposed to danger,” Maguwu said.
He said that mining companies were supposed to be handling their toxic waste in a professional manner that would not expose people to risks.
According to Zim News: “The quality of air in Hwange town is questionable due to high presence of coal and carbon dust covering streets, engulfing the town and hardening lungs thereby causing breathing difficulties in villagers who need to take pills or drink cold milk to ease their respiratory challenges”.
Members of the Kamwina Nsapu militia staged Friday's attack between the cities of Tshikapa and Kananga, according to Kasai Assembly President Francois Kalamba. The militia members freed six policemen because they spoke the local Tshiluba language, he said.
Kasai Governor Alexis Nkande Myopompa said investigations were underway into the decapitations.
Large-scale violence erupted in the Kasai region in August when security forces killed the militia's leader. More than 400 people have been killed and more than 200 000 displaced since then, according to the UN Human Rights Watch said it has received reports of scores killed in recent weeks.
While the violence is linked to local power struggles, there are also clear ties to Congo's political crisis, according to Human Rights Watch. Anger has been growing in the country at long-delayed presidential elections, and dozens were killed in December amid protests as President Joseph Kabila stayed on past the end of his mandate. A deal reached between the ruling party and opposition to hold elections by the end of this year, without Kabila, remains fragile as the UN urges its implementation.
Security forces have been known to back local leaders seen as loyal to Kabila, while militia groups support those who are believed to support the opposition, the rights group said.
Militia members have recruited large numbers of children and used crude weapons to attack security forces and some government buildings in Kasai, Kasai Central, Kasai Oriental, Sankuru, and Lomami provinces, Human Rights Watch said.
The decapitations were announced as the rights group on Saturday called on Congo's government to cooperate with UN efforts to locate experts, including an American and a Swede, who have been missing in the Kasai region for nearly two weeks.
The UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC said its movements have been restricted by security forces in Kananga, the provincial capital of Kasai Central.
Michael Sharp of the US, Zaida Catalan of Sweden, interpreter Betu Tshintela, driver Isaac Kabuayi and two motorbike drivers went missing on 12 March near a remote village south of Kananga. They were looking into recent large-scale violence and alleged human rights violations by the Congolese army and local militia groups.
Their disappearance is the first time UN experts have been reported missing in DRC, Human Rights Watch said, and it is the first recorded disappearance of international workers in the Kasai provinces.
“The missing UN team reflects a bigger picture of violence and abuse in the Kasai region,” said Ida Sawyer, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch. She called on the UN Human Rights Council to establish a commission of inquiry into abuses there.
The UN in recent days reported the discovery since January of more than two dozen mass graves in three Kasai provinces.
And five videos have emerged in recent weeks that appear to show Congolese soldiers firing on militia members.
Parts of the DRC, particularly the east, have experienced insecurity for more than two decades since the end of the Rwandan genocide led to the presence of local and foreign armed militias, all vying for control of mineral-rich land.
But the Kasai Central province where the UN experts were abducted represents a new expansion of tensions.
The Russian Northern Fleet’s press service said on Saturday,
“The warship’s command has paid protocol visits to Namibia’s navy and defence ministry, the mayor of Walvis Bay and diplomats of the Russian embassy in Namibia.
The commodore of the March Captain of the 1st Rank Commander Stanislav Varik, the Russian ambassador to Namibia Alexander Khudin and captains of the accompanying vessels paid courtesy calls to the Mayor Immanuel Wilfred and the port captain, Lukas Kufuna on Sunday.
They shared information on the vessels and their mission, and also exchanged gifts. The Russian sailors met with their Namibian counterparts and were afforded an opportunity to do some sightseeing during the visit. Members of the public could also board Severomorsk for a brief tour on Sunday from 10:00 to 13:00.
Commander Varik said the visit served the purpose of strengthening cooperation between Russia and Namibia in view of a number of global threats. He also said that he was impressed with the well-equipped port and its facilities and expressed the hope that more Russian vessels would call in the foreseeable future.
Severomorsk left Russia on November 16 last year. Its 130-member crew provided security to the Northern Fleet vessel grouping headed by the “Admiral of the Soviet Union Fleet Kuznetsov” [a heavy-aircraft-carrying cruiser] during combat operations involving air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist groups near the Syrian coast.
The ship also participating in the AMAN 2017 naval exercise which took place in the Arabian Sea and at a Pakistani naval base between 9 and 15 February.
The crew conducted different exercises and successfully detected foreign submarines using deck-based aviation during the trip.
Severomorsk carries an impressive arsenal of weapons and fire power. It is equipped with two, four-container Rastrub rocket torpedo launchers, 6-26 mines, eight Kinzhal SAM systems (carrying 64 missiles), one coupled 100-mm artillery gun AK-100, four six-barrelled 30-mm machine guns AK-630M and RBU-6000 ASW rocket launchers. The vessel also accommodates two KA-27 helicopters.
A task unit consisting of Severomorsk, a tanker Yelnya, and rescue tug SB-406 performed an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden from 8 May until 24 October 2011 and escorted 11 international convoys with 41 vessels including Russian ones. The crew covered over 30 000 nautical miles and visited the ports of Portugal, Greece, Djibouti, Syria, and Spain during this time.
A statement frequently directed to the youth by the elders in our communities is that only you can determine your future by deciding to focus on acquiring a good education and seeking gainful employment in order to have a steady and successful life.
A lot has changed over the past two decades, especially socially and economically. Many countries across the world are experiencing unsteady economies leading to the penultimate devastation of poverty slipping into African countries and communities. Poverty is the biggest challenge that we as Africans face on the continent because it can become generational if not nipped in the bud immediately.
The great belief that sits in the mindsets of our elders, that acquiring an education, especially tertiary education, will lead to the eradication of poverty in families, communities and nations has become a belief without a factual basis due to the way African governments have shamefully ruled their people. A crippling and disheartening high rate of unemployment runs through the minds and hearts of youths on the African continent. Vast knowledge in different fields is being acquired but is not being put to any use, with the youth are just statistics to increase the numbers.
Governments have taken it upon themselves to recruit unemployed youth into the uniformed services as a way of reducing unemployment but that is not the solution. The question civil society will always ask is “why recruit soldiers yet the country is not at war?” and secondly “do armed forces ever do resource mobilisation and fundraising?”. Certain branches of government such as the Ministry of Defence receive the biggest portion of a national budget. However in reality that is unnecessary especially if the country is not at war. Politicians may bring up the argument that creating jobs in the armed forces means more money for the government in the form of taxing the newly employed men and women in uniform.
It is about time governments realised that the strategy they have employed thus far is not working. The solution is right in front of them… incorporate the private sector into decision-making and seeking foreign direct investment (FDI). There is so much said about Africa being behind technologically compared to the rest of the world, so why not use that to our advantage and employ the youth before we catch up to this technology, that's if we ever will.
Incorporating the private sector and acquiring FDI requires our African governments to have steady policies in place, for example indigenisation policies, black empowerment policies that are enticing and lucrative for foreign investors. The African continent has vast natural resources which have the potential to grow through human capital educated abroad and on the continent itself. The right initiatives should be put in place for the African youth to be prosperous and rise from the ashes like a phoenix.
The various stakeholders in the private sector may assist African governments with ways of curbing the high unemployment rate, resource mobilisation and consulting on ways to bring investors into African countries. For instance, the private sector is competitive and does not rely on hand-outs like the branches of government, and is very strict with expenditure unlike government entities. They are also serious about acquiring finances which should be the way our African governments should be managed.
Unemployment should not be taken for granted as it has dire consequences that we as the civil society see on a day-to-day basis such as high crime rates and the increase in African youth joining terrorist groups. It leads people into doing everything and anything to get a source of income hence this makes people easy targets for terrorist organisations to have them be part of their violent activities. Many may turn the blind eye and say sub-Saharan Africa is not affected by terrorism but sadly, the high unemployment rate facing the sub-region makes it an easy recruitment area for terrorist organisations.
Unemployment in Africa is caused by the defective education system. The educational systems in Africa do not correspond directly to the economic realities prevailing outside the school system. Instead of training professionals and people with skills, theory instead of practical is the order of the day. The education system in our countries has failed to respond to the existing inter-generational gap. It simply imparts general and literary education devoid of any practical content. Africa's educational policy merely produces individuals whose services do not reflect the economic trends on the job market. The educational structure, especially the curriculum, does not include industrial skills hence it produces most graduates whose skills are not transferrable. The open-door policy at the secondary and university level has increased manifold unemployment among the educated that are fit only for white-collar jobs and not for self-employment.
Africa suffers from the bad vice of unemployment due to lack of vocational guidance and training facilities. As, already discussed, our education system is defective as it provides purely academic and bookish knowledge which is not job-oriented. There must be a sufficient number of technical training institutions and other job-oriented courses at village level. Most of the students in rural areas remain ignorant of possible avenues of employment and a choice of occupation.
Therefore, unemployment is the matter at hand that should be of great concern because it is the major cause of poverty and crime on the continent. Employment gives financial stability to individuals, families and communities, but yet again financial literacy should be taught as it makes no sense to earn money and use it wastefully, remaining under the poverty line.
*Farai Tinashe Munoriarwa is a post-graduate student at the University of Namibia.
In primordial societies, the youth were inclined to respect their elders but today this appears akin to entrusting groundnuts to mice, a move that neither a hungry nor a rich man would venture at. The youth want the old guard out on account of being let down, while the elders throw a harsh amount of criticism at those we only hope will not throw the same amount when their time comes. However, to touch on the current stance of inequality is not my area of interest, rather the approach of the youth and the response they get from the elders. As we wish for a better tomorrow, the question remains - who is right and who is wrong?
Article 28 of the Namibian constitution addresses the age suitable for one to hold public office, particularly running for the seat of president. The constitution declares 35 years of age as fit for one to contest. To confine ourselves within the law is wise and in doing so we realise also that gerontocracy or rule dominated by elders in a democratic society only becomes a matter of questioning if the rulers’ reign is not determined by the decisions of the majority. The same applies to the rule of young elites… anything that stipulates that age should be questioned with the exception of the law is a theory that needs rechecking. The law stands above all. Now let’s assume that this law was penned by a supreme being for by doing so, in the long run, we render it the respect it deserves. Let the law be the law and matters that require debate be debated in an effort to prevent chaos.
The problem in the political arena today is more than just the issue of age… it is finger pointing about who did not do better, who is not better, and when should one relinquish power. It is this finger pointing, inspired by self-worth, a utilitarian approach that shuns political correctness. In the overall circumstances it is easy to foresee that people being laid off from their positions for behaving in a certain manner, is somewhat peculiar. “The giant must not look down on the dwarf that does not see ahead as him, he may want to look up to him because he sees the ants that bite his feet.” Knowledge is bestowed upon everyone and it is vital to listen to one another, even to the smallest.
In the 18th century of African history, we see that the greatest fall of kingdoms not only emanated from succession disputes that rose among relatives of the dead king, but also what the successor would implement to ensure his total grip to power. In the western province of the country presently known as Zambia there once lived King Sekeletu of the Makololo people. When he came to power in 1851 as a young man, history indicates his authoritarian regime later found him laying off all the elders from positions of Indunas (subordinate chiefs) to replace them with young men of his age. I wonder if we have learned anything or are doing anything different from our forefathers… an Igbo proverb of Nigeria says that, “when mother cow is chewing the young ones watch its mouth”.
Professor Joseph Diescho in his column published in a daily newspaper, entitled “Healing a sick nation” Part 2, warns of a failed state that is at hand and that is worsening as politics evolve to the unpleasant side. Ndumba J. Kamwanyah, lecturer and deputy director for professional development at the University of Namibia, in his article entitled “Appreciate a life well-lived” stated that “the younger generation show the same leadership styles; the same self-entitlement mindset; the same self-regard mindset as their elders,” and this does not sound peculiar at all.
To every force there is an equal and opposite force and in a democratic set-up such as ours, society needs radical views and not radical people… and we need to act quickly before it becomes a trend and a culture, where potentially an anomie would be the product rather than real and desired change. What society needs is improving the livelihoods of the ruled from which anyone who aspires to hold public office derives his motivation, enthusiasm and reason to stand.
We are a collective force and we must ensure that our actions are rational, for knowledge and wisdom is bestowed in each one of us to run one engine.
We must shun away from making groups within groups, but maintain making deferent views within us.
We must understand that no one is wrong and no one is right. Not even age determines that.
We are all right and we are all wrong, but the majority get to decide, for the power to endow in others is bestowed in them by law.
Let us listen to one another, we are all giants and the grass expects better.
Those are the defining factors of a mature and democratic state that we must admit daily not having attained and we must remember political correctness is vital. Inclusion is a necessity to meet shared access to national affairs and economic development, but exclusion, a product of radical people, eradicates divisions and promotes diversity.
*Goli Banda is a student at the University of Namibia’s Faculty of Humanities.
The residents, preferring anonymity, were referring to camps that were leased for a further five years to people who allegedly have a firm foothold in the council.
The leaseholders are Clyde Kröhne (the husband of mayor Gaudentia Kröhne), Jean Kröhne (the mayor's sister-in-law), Basil Brown (former mayor), Thomas Shatipamba (father of deputy mayor Hilia Shatipamba), Arnold Losper (former mayor), Nimrod Swartz (employee at the municipality), Cyril Pieters, Mervin Fisch, Johan van der Merwe, Willie Kisting, and Marius Blaauw.
The chief executive officer of the municipality, Desmond Basson, denied the claims of nepotism and conflict of interests.
Basson said Clyde Kröhne had occupied the municipal camp where he farms with pigs before he married the mayor in December 2015.
He said Brown also had been renting his camp before he became mayor and was charged N$5 per hectare. Brown apparently had applied to occupy the camp while working as a teacher because he had intended to take pupils there on outings.
Basson said all the other people had business dealings with the municipality before the new councillors were elected, including Swartz, whose appointment at the municipality had been conditional and would hand back the camp at the end of this year.
The lease agreement
The municipality initially signed agreements with the leaseholders in July 2009.
The contracts expired on 30 June 2012 but the lessees refused to vacate the camps and the municipality decided to institute court proceedings.
However, the former minister of regional and local government and housing, Charles Namoloh, instructed the council to settle the matter out of court, which it did.
Basson said as part of the settlement the lessees were offered an additional five years at N$5 per hectare, at the end of which the camps would be advertised and leased to the highest bidder.
The disgruntled residents claim that the council has in the meantime, presumably due to drought conditions, decided to charge the lessees only N$1.50 per hectare. Should the situation improve, they will be charged N$2.50 per hectare.
Basson said as part of the settlement the municipality initially wanted to charge N$6.60 per hectare, which is the current gazetted rate. He said the lessees then offered N$1.00 per hectare but it was settled that they would be charged N$2.00 per hectare during the drought and N$3.30 per hectare (excluding value-added tax) once good rains were received.
“It does not make economic sense to charge such rates because the council is in a financial crisis. The council forces others to pay their rates, but the camp leaseholders are entitled to pay such ridiculous payments while the town can make good money from those camps,” said one resident.
During the standoff between the municipality and the leaseholders no rent was charged for the occupation of the camps. That meant lost rental income of N$496 849, which the municipality later decided not to claim back from the lessees.
“The municipality was initially advised not to accept payment from the lessees if a settlement is reached. Acceptance of payment would have amounted to acceptance of illegal occupation of the town lands. No invoices were raised against these lessees, therefore no accrued against them,” said Basson.
Basson said the lessees were required to maintain the camps and water infrastructure, for which they were charged market-related fees. He said the rent was low because the municipality had decided not to maintain the infrastructure of the camps.
The municipality refused to give in to a demand from the lessees to have 99-year rental agreements because the camps are town lands and not farmland.
It is claimed that some of the lessees have erected permanent structures on the municipal camps “as if they are the owners”.
Basson said any infrastructure put up without municipal approval “will revert back to the owner, which is a standing rule in lease agreements”.
“Renting out camps is not the core business of the council and funds collected from the non-core business also reflect that economic reality,” said Basson.
He added: “Providing water, sanitation, electricity and removal of sewage to the poor has been the core business of the municipality and it is only with the collections made from the core business that the municipality can be run as a going concern.”
Basson said all camp lessees “at this stage” were paying their dues.
“Should it be found that some lessees have stopped paying we will follow the legal process. The guilty party will be charged with the outstanding amount, as well as being removed from the camps in question. Such available camps will be offered to the next person on the waiting list,” said Basson.
The minister of health and social services, Dr Bernhard Haufiku, yesterday confirmed that since January this year, 18 people have died from malaria while close to 12 000 have tested positive.
Haufiku also confirmed that the outbreak of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever has been contained and one person out of the two confirmed cases died.
“The one confirmed case was discharged from isolation unit at Windhoek Central hospital and is now isolated in the Gobabis hospital.” No other infections have been detected, he said although the blood results of the last two suspected cases would only be released yesterday afternoon.
The minister emphasised that while Namibia is making progress towards the goal of eradicating the disease by 2020, with a 96% reduction in cases and deaths since 2001, outbreaks over the past few years indicated a less rigorous approach to the deadly disease.
In 2012, a total of 3 163 cases of malaria, and four deaths, were reported. In spite of the progress, the next years saw a spike in infections and deaths, with 24 682 cases reported in 2016, of which 87 died.
Between January and March 2016, a total of 7 779 cases of malaria were reported, and a total of 32 people reportedly died, the minister said yesterday.
He cautioned furthermore that in most cases, deaths result when cases of malaria are detected to late and has transformed to complicated cases of malaria, including kidney failure and cerebral malaria.
Moreover, those who are more vulnerable, including the young and the elderly are often most at risk.
Those who are treated early have a greater chance of overcoming the infection.
“It comes with late presentation. That is where we are losing. The primary thing is to prevent,” he said.
Haufiku said some of the issues that led to resurgence in malaria outbreaks between 2013 and last year include pockets of land that were no sprayed, and incompatible spraying operations between neighbouring country Angola and Namibia.
Moreover, mosquito net distribution was “weak” and people were not using those that were handed out.
As a result, the country is now faced with “this type of disaster”, the minister said, saying that the way forward was improving and strengthening efforts to stop the spread of the outbreaks.
A second bid to compel the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namifisa) through the High Court to grant a licence for the establishment of a second stock exchange was dismissed yesterday.
The first application by NamFin-X was dismissed on the basis of an interlocutory objection which was raised by the respondents.
Acting Judge Collins Parker dismissed an application for leave to appeal against the previous court decision, saying that the previous interlocutory ruling did not on dispose on the merits of the case.
He indicated that the applicants could still challenge the decision not to grant the licence through the review proceedings.
Meanwhile, NamFin-X has already petitioned the Supreme Court to set aside the decision of the High Court so that its application can be heard on merit.
Namfisa in 2014 delayed the approval of a licence for the establishment of a second stock exchange.
They demanded more technical information and a detailed analysis from NamFin-X, as the initial application allegedly lacked adequate information on its shareholding structure and proposed capitalisation.
NamFin-X is controlled by Namibian and foreign investors whose identity could not be disclosed before the regulator’s approval.
Former cabinet minister Helmut Angula is one of the co-founders of NamFin-X.
He was quoted in earlier news articles as having justified the creation of a second stock exchange in the country since most of Namibia’s savings are outside the country.
“Our thrust is to ensure that at least a sizeable chunk of capital stays within the country and is used to develop the domestic market,” he was quoted as saying by the Namibia Economist in October 2014.
The Namibian Stock Exchange, which has a partnership with the Johannesburg bourse in South Africa, has 34 listed companies and had a market capitalisation of N$18.7 billion as of December 2013, according to the nation’s markets regulator.
Limitations to Namibia’s banking industry and a lack of local investment opportunities contributed to capital outflows in 2012 of N$4.5 billion to neighbouring South Africa, the central bank said last October.
The governor of the Bank of Namibia, Ipumbu Shiimi, commented that over the years Namibia had generated large private savings which continued to be largely invested abroad, particularly in South Africa.
According to Roux, who is based at Lüderitz, the norm has been one or two such incidents a year.
A tour operator notified the Dolphin Project of a dead humpback whale in the vicinity of Paaltjies near Walvis Bay on Sunday.
In another incident, a member of the public reported a similar finding in the vicinity of Oranjemund on 17 March. A second beached whale was reported in the same area that week. Roux said the whales found near Oranjemund were relatively young, between 10 and 11 metres in length, and had been dead for some time. Adult humpback whales range from 12 to 16 metres in length and weigh about 36 000 kg. “It's alarming and very unusual to have two dead whales of the same species discovered in the same region and within a space of one week.
“We do not know the cause of death and actually want to survey beaches more extensively but we lack the means to do so. The coastline is not very accessible and we might be missing some mortalities taking place. Flying surveys would be ideal,” Roux said.
Photographs taken by a member of the public showed that the first humpback whale discovered this month had been dead at sea for a while before being beached about 7km north of the Orange River mouth.
Beau Tjizoo, another fisheries ministry scientist, confirmed the discovery of another beached humpback whale at Paaltjies near Walvis Bay on Sunday.
“The dead animal was discovered and its whereabouts reported. My colleagues visited the site to gather information and to measure the animal. Determining the probable cause of death is very difficult and depends on the condition of the carcass. We do not have any concrete information available at this moment,” he said.
Humpback whales are regular commuters along the Namibian coast. The animals migrate up to 25 000 km each year from their regular feeding grounds in the Antarctic to their breeding/calving grounds in the tropical waters of northern Angola and Gabon.
Humpbacks feed in polar waters, and migrate to tropical or subtropical waters to breed and give birth. When they fast, they live off their fat reserves. Their diet consists mostly of krill and small fish. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, the humpback population fell by an estimated 90% before a moratorium was imposed in 1966. Stocks have partially recovered but entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships and noise pollution continue to affect the estimated population of 80 000.
The ministry will meet with all private rhino owners in Namibia in an effort to stop rhino poaching on commercial farms.
Five high-level meetings with neighbouring parks, communities and stakeholders are also planned to address poaching in the Bwabwata and Etosha National Parks and the Kunene Region.
The meetings planned for Omega and Kongola will address poaching in Bwabwata National Park and neighbouring parks and conservancies.
Meetings will also be held at Onamatanga, Otjokavare and Palmwag to address poaching in Etosha National Park and the Kunene Region.
Speaking at the unveiling of an anti-poaching awareness campaign billboard at Okahandja, environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said the ministry would continue to engage with traditional authorities, local authorities and regional leadership on the importance of protecting wildlife.
“Illegal hunting of wildlife, mainly rhinos and elephants, and trade in wildlife products in the country is a syndicate-based activity. It involves foreigners who are well linked to middlemen in the country, who in turn use local communities as poachers as they have good knowledge of the areas. As in any criminal setup, it is difficult to pinpoint those involved until the syndicates are well understood and their modus operandi exposed.”
According to Shifeta, as poaching syndicates increase in size, number and sophistication, it becomes imperative that law enforcement responses must be robust, reliable and effective.
He said anti-poaching awareness campaigns are one of the strategies that need to be put in place for robust, reliable and effective approaches.
“Increasing anti-poaching and wildlife protection enforcement efforts will have only limited effect unless we work simultaneously to address the persistent market demand that drives this trade. Criminals will continue to kill wildlife and traffic in contraband as long as the potential profits outweigh the risks.”
Shifeta said public awareness and conservation education was just one strategy.
According to him, in order to end poaching and wildlife trafficking, the illegal buying of game products must also stop.
Shifeta said for that reason, the escalating demand fuelling the illegal trade in wildlife needs to be addressed.
“Our strategic approach in dealing with demand reduction and public awareness to stop poaching and wildlife trafficking is that we will work with partners across Namibia, including non-governmental organisations and local communities, to reduce domestic demand for poaching, and illegally traded wildlife and wildlife products.”
He said the ministry would also continue to promote demand reduction efforts globally by encouraging, supporting, and collaborating with partners to launch public information campaigns.
The ministry last week erected an anti-poaching billboard at the Okahandja gateway. Similar billboards will be erected at Divundu, Werda and Oshivelo and other strategic points in the country.