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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 04/17/17--16:00: Choose your friends wisely
  • Choose your friends wiselyChoose your friends wisely We have all heard the cliché: “Show me who your friend is and I will tell you who you are.” As clichéd as it is, that statement is an accurate reflection of the realities of the kind of people you choose to be around you.

    Any teenager would spend their teen years making sure they choose the right kinds of friends. However, what exactly is the right kind of friend? I do not have the answers but I believe your friends should have the same kind of interests as you; they should be loyal to you and willing to assist you if possible. Friends are important because they bring companionship, support and enrichment to life.

    Take a look at your friend right now and ask yourself “Will we still be friends after five years?” The one thing I've noticed with friendships, especially with the youth, is that we are never honest with each other. We hardly tell each other the truth because we are afraid the bond we have will be lost. That for me is the most dangerous thing because not being open with each other spells trouble for any kind of relationship.

    You should also start to question the dynamics of your friendship. Is it worth it to be friends with this person? This is mainly to make sure that you do not end up with a backstabber for a friend. What kind of conversations do you have with your friends? If it is always about girls or the boys you should date or if your conversations are only fruitful when you talk about where you should chill, I believe those are not really your true friends. A friend is someone who you should have constructive conversations with as well; does he/she give you advice on things that are important to you? Do they reprimand you when you commit wrongs without being worried about the state of your relationship? You need to build the foundations of your friendship on loyalty, honesty and love.

    At times, we may come across situations where we doubt our decisions and capabilities. In situations like these, friends help us by providing us with a reality check. They never let us down and stand besides us like a rock while we are in the midst of tackling the most drastic adversaries in our lives. True friends show faith in us and make us believe in our capabilities keeping aside all negative feelings of jealousy, agony and hatred.

    Friendship is a beautiful bond but while making friends, it is essential to keep in mind that one should always be aware so as to differentiate between true friends and false friends. It is essential to be capable of making proper choices in life, especially when we are interested in choosing the group of friends we want to support and be with for the rest of our lives. Choosing proper friends is a bit difficult but not impossible. We should have a group of friends who are disciplined and punctual individuals. This is essential because of the reason that we start becoming like the people we hang out with most. If, for example, one or two of our close friends are involved in bad habits such as smoking, drinking and taking drugs, eventually we will follow suit.

    All of us need somebody with whom we can share our emotions. A friend is someone can trust. There are times when your family fails to solve all the problems of your life; you can easily get out of some problems if you are in communication with a few great friends.

    Friends can be family. Sometimes our friends are the family we wish we had. Sometimes we have difficulty with our own family. We may feel misunderstood, judged, ridiculed, or even ignored. In that case, our friends often fill in for what is not provided by our own family. In the best-case scenario, family members can also be good friends.

    Securing true friendship is essential to become successful in all the areas of life, so choose wisely.





    shona@namibiansun.com

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  • 04/17/17--16:00: Tensions spike over N. Korea
  • Tensions spike over N. KoreaTensions spike over N. KoreaPyongyang should not 'test Trump's resolve' The United States, its allies and China are working together on a range of responses to North Korea's latest failed ballistic missile test. US Vice President Mike Pence warned North Korea Monday not to test Donald Trump's resolve, declaring that “all options are on the table” in curbing its missile and nuclear weapons programmes.

    Defying international pressure, the North Sunday test-fired another missile as fears grow that it may be preparing for its sixth atomic weapons test.

    “We hope to achieve this objective (the North's denuclearisation) through peaceful means but all options are on the table,” Pence told a press conference in the South Korean capital after his trip to the tense border with the North.

    “Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan.

    “North Korea would do well not to test his resolve, or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region,” Pence said at the press conference with South Korea's Acting President Hwang Kyo-Ahn.

    Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington have soared in recent weeks, as a series of North Korean missile tests have prompted ever-more bellicose warnings from Trump's administration.

    The new and inexperienced US president has indicated he will not allow North Korea to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the western United States.

    Pence declared that the era of US “strategic patience” in dealing with the North was over, after more than two decades.

    North Korea “answered our overtures with wilful deception, broken promises and nuclear and missile tests”, he said.

    The US, which stations 28 500 troops in South Korea, would “defeat any attack and we will meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective response”.

    Pence's trip earlier Monday to the Demilitarised Zone between the two Koreas - one of the most heavily fortified frontiers on the planet - underscored Washington's changing policy towards the isolated state.

    The visit came after a huge military parade Saturday during which North Korea showcased apparent intercontinental ballistic missiles, and as a US carrier group converges on the Korean peninsula.

    It also came the day after North Korea's latest launch - which failed when the missile blew up seconds after blast-off.

    Speaking at the village of Panmunjom inside the DMZ, Pence said America's relationship with South Korea was “ironclad and immutable”.

    Pyongyang insists it needs a powerful arsenal - including atomic weapons - to protect itself from what it says is the ever-present threat of US invasion.

    A top White House foreign policy adviser on Sunday became the latest Trump official to warn that while diplomatic pressure was preferable, US military action is very much on the table.

    Pence urged the international community to join US and regional demands for an end to the North's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

    “It is heartening to see China commit to these actions. But the United States is troubled by China's economic retaliation against South Korea for taking appropriate steps to defend itself,” he said, referring to the US THAAD missile defence system.

    The system being installed in South Korea is designed to shoot down missiles from North Korea or elsewhere. But China furiously objects to its deployment, saying it could spy on its own defence installations, and has taken apparent retaliatory action against South Korean firms operating in its country.

    Pence said he and Trump “have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea”.

    “But as President Trump made clear just a few short days ago, if China is unable to deal with North Korea, the United States and our allies will.”

    This is Pence's first visit to South Korea - part of an Asia swing that will also include stops in Japan, Indonesia and Australia - and although it was conceived months ago, could hardly come at a time of higher tension.



    NAMPA/AFP

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    Resurrecting the meaning of EasterResurrecting the meaning of Easter What is the meaning of Easter? Is it colouring hard-boiled eggs then hiding them around the yard and taking small children with you to hunt for these eggs and awarding children with sweets and chocolate?

    Not for everyone.

    Christianity has many different facets and many different cultures celebrate the holy days in their own ways. Visit a Catholic church in the USA and you might find the priest outside with a basket of chocolate bunnies.

    Take a trip to Finland and you will find people burning bonfires to keep the evil spirits away, most especially those evil witches flying around.

    What do we do to celebrate in Namibia though? Church for most and a special meal with close family and friends.

    Maybe some will participate in an egg-hunt and some pray and sing.

    But what are we celebrating? What does the resurrection of Jesus Christ mean for us human beings in the world today?

    Nowadays, we have saviours all over the world. From Bushiri to Trump, people of the world are either becoming more excited about these saviours or just tired of hearing about another saviour.

    Easter also marks a change in season.

    In Namibia the seasons change from wet to dry with the coming of Easter.

    In the northern half of the world, the seasons change from winter to spring. New life is meant to be celebrated but what new life can we celebrate in Namibia?

    We survived a potential water crisis and now are drowning in efundja. What will we do to secure water for when the next drought comes? What new life is being pumped into Namibia to make it grow stronger? Have we truly put the boot down on tenders? Has Calle reigned in the spending? Will Hage come out of hiding and settle the land issue?

    There is a reason we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus every year.

    We need to remember the sacrifice because we have to sacrifice in our life in order to be reborn again.

    These traditions remind us to stay on course. Let us look at our course critically and grow stronger each Easter.

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  • 04/17/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day RAINING CATS AND DOGS: Two young men try to avoid muddy puddles caused by the recent heavy rains in the capital. PHOTO: JUNE SHIMUOSHILI

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    Works budgets billions for roads, railwaysWorks budgets billions for roads, railways The works ministry has budgeted N$1 billion for upgrading the country's railway network.

    Introducing his budget vote, works minister Alfeus !Naruseb said there was a need for new railway lines, as well as maintenance and upgrading of existing lines.

    “The antiquated rolling stock and other equipment supporting the provision of railway services need to be modernised to improve availability, reliability and efficiency. Thus, increased spending on these programme activities to improve railway transportation services is anticipated,” he emphasised.

    The ministry further earmarked N$1.4 billion for the planning and development of transportation infrastructure.

    According to him, this project aims to develop world-class transportation infrastructure and to maintain it in a safe and serviceable condition for the duration of the design life.

    This includes the construction of gravel roads, tarring of gravel roads, rehabilitation of roads and the construction, upgrading and maintenance of state-owned aerodromes.

    “The Ministry of Works and Transport has put a lot of effort into its endeavour to restore Namibia's status of having excellent transportation infrastructure in the sub-region. This programme seeks to ensure that Namibia has modern and reliable transportation infrastructures that are well maintained and are cost-effectively managed. The objective is to guarantee access by rural communities to economic and social centres as well as to link Namibia with neighbouring countries and other parts of the world through the ports,” said !Naruseb.

    !Naruseb's call for money comes at a time when Namibia is poised to become an export hub for the SADC region.

    These sentiments have been repeatedly expressed by President Hage Geingob, who believes that the country's railway system is in bad shape and needs to be improved.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Time change: We did our bit, says Home AffairsTime change: We did our bit, says Home AffairsAmple time was given for responses The home affairs ministry says other ministries and government offices never responded to its request for input on the Namibian Time Bill. The Ministry of Home Affairs says it did all it could to facilitate consultation on the Namibian Time Bill, but there was little feedback from key ministries and government offices.

    The ministry was summoned by the National Assembly's standing committee on foreign affairs, defence and security to explain what had happened during the protracted consultation process, which left parliamentarians divided over whether the law providing for winter and summer time should be repealed.

    The permanent secretary of the home affairs ministry, Patrick Nandago, told the standing committee that input had been sought from major stakeholders, which included 10 ministries, all 14 governors, other government institutions, civil society organisations and the public.

    The ministries approached for input were the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ministry of Safety and Security, and the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation.

    Letters calling for input were also sent to the Office of the Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of the Namibian Police.

    Only the labour ministry and the offices of the attorney-general and the inspector-general responded. The AG's office included an opinion from the Law Society of Namibia and regional police commanders gave their input.

    The rest remained silent despite the fact that all the ministers are in the cabinet, which had given the home affairs ministry the mandate to engage in wider consultations on the Time Bill.

    Nandago said only three governors – from Oshana, Erongo and Otjozondjupa – sent their comments.

    “There was the expectation that responsible ministries would escalate consultations. If this was not done, someone, somewhere was not doing his or her work but the Ministry of Home Affairs has done what it was supposed to do,” said Nandago.

    He said it was also hoped that governors would have convened meetings in their respective regions, but for the most part that did not happen.

    “That is how some of our people are doing business,” said Nandago wryly.

    He denied claims that the letters from the home affairs ministry seeking input had been set out at the last minute.

    The ministry had written to Cabinet on 16 September 2015 to ask permission to conduct public consultations on the Time Bill after local businesses and sports clubs requested a standard winter and summer time.

    Cabinet approved the request on 6 October 2015 and letters seeking comment from government and other institutions were sent out in December 2015. All were requested to comment by February 2016.

    Civil society organisations such as the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), the Namibia Sports Commission, the Namibia Schools Sport Union and the Council of Churches were also asked for input. None of them responded.

    Although Unam and NUST responded, they did not provide scholarly views on the proposed time change, as had been requested, said Nandago.

    The Electricity Control Board (ECB) and the Roman Catholic Church sent in comments.

    Notices were published in newspapers inviting the public to comment. More than 3 500 comments were received and the overwhelming sentiment, more than 80%, was that the winter and summer times should be disposed of.

    Nandago said the cabinet had been properly briefed on the responses, after which home affairs minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana went ahead with discussions with the AG, Sackey Shanghala, for the drafting of the new Time Bill.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Figueira leaves behind a giant legacyFigueira leaves behind a giant legacyNamibia loses one of its foremost photographers Tributes have poured in for photographer Tony Figueira, who died last week. Acclaimed Namibian photographer Tony Figueira died on Wednesday, 12 April at the age of 57, leading to an outpouring of grief in Namibia and around the world.

    The news was greeted by heartfelt tributes to his legacy, not only as an artist and journalist, but as an inspiring teacher, generous friend, family man and overall kind human being.

    “It sounds trite to say Tony was a kind and good man, but it is true,” said Gwen Lister, a long-time friend.

    Another close friend and sometime artistic colleague, Sigi Kolbe, said during their friendship and collaborations, it became clear that “Tony may not have been tall in stature, but he was a giant in every other aspect”.

    Many of the tributes shared publicly over the last few days shared common threads of the lasting impression Figueira made on the people he met, of his generosity, kindness, commitment and open-mindedness. And, consistently, of his dedication and passion for photography, the art form he discovered at the age of 16.

    John Liebenberg, a renowned photographer in his own right, met Figueira when he was 18, in matric at St Paul's College in 1979. They remained lifelong friends, and shared many years as colleagues during the pre-independence era.

    Liebenberg described Figueira as a “very competent photographer who understood his camera and capabilities. He worked with fervour, always delivering high quality work, and living up to the requirements of his clients.”



    Music and humour

    Lister said Figueira stood out in the 1980s for always being ready to help, whether it was to volunteer distributing newspapers or contributing with weekend sport reporting for The Namibian.

    Mostly though, she said, Figueira will be remembered for “his love for photography”.

    Privately, Liebenberg described his friend as “a highly principled person, but always friendly and sensitive to the lives of people”.

    He said Figueira lived a full life, a man who “loved his art photography and gave it preference to the day-by-day work he did.”

    Many commented on his love for music, especially jazz. Liebenberg said Figueira played drums in the Rhodes jazz band while he was studying.

    A close friend said Figueira was part of the “first truly multi-racial band” in pre-independent Namibia in the 1980s. “Tony, like many of his photographs, was enigmatic. Rest in peace my friend.”

    Figueira's sense of humour, his ready laugh and his love for his wife Gabi and his daughter Gina stood out for Lister.

    “He will forever be remembered by those who knew him, and his photographic images will ensure that he is never forgotten,” she added.



    Artist

    Figueira's first camera was a Pentax, which he received via mail order as a teenager.

    After he completed a degree in journalism at Rhodes University in Grahamstown in 1984, he was catapulted as a photojournalist into the tumultuous liberation struggle, documenting a number of historic moments and people at the time and after independence.

    Although he could have chosen a steady job in the motor repair business, a job he did while completing his studies, he nevertheless chose the less certain path of a photographer, a deliberate choice based on his passion for the craft.

    He later said that the work he did as a photojournalist during Namibia's pre- and post-independence phases “augmented the passion to document people and processes.”

    Liebenberg said after Figueira finished his degree, he was called up for military service, which “he very obstinately refused.”

    In 2004, Figueira, together with partners, opened Studio 77, a place that for many years became the centre of his work and one of Namibia's premier photo studios. There he offered others a chance to exhibit their own work and he became a much loved teacher, and inspiration, to many.

    Studio 77 became a one-stop shop for photographic services, workshops, fine-art photography, entrenching Figueira's reputation as a Namibian photographic artist, teacher and mentor to many.

    Kolbe, who lived near Figueira and his wife Gabi after they moved to Swakopmund about two years ago, remembers Tony as a generous and helpful man, who was an inspiring teacher.

    Kolbe, an artist and yoga teacher, describes Figueira as “always generous and helpful, he was not petty or envious. He wanted to see everyone flourish and grow in their own light.”

    After Kolbe decided to pursue photography, she took one of Figueira's classes. She says she “loved his ability to share information and teach with clarity, enthusiasm and creativity. I loved his confidence with the camera and his ability to multi-task wherever he went.”

    She said Figueira relished the sometimes stressful environments of corporate or commissioned shoots at his studio, a lesson she took on board after they worked together on occasion. “Tony had vision and determination, this inspired me.”

    Following a benefit exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Namibia in 2015, 'For Tony', Figueira told a reporter that in his view “true photography has to be composed in the mind before the shutter is released.”

    He said principally, photography was about mastering the technical aspects of it, and most importantly, about understanding light.

    Figueira himself was a beacon of light to many, as the messages of condolence attest.

    In one, an admirer and former student wrote: “You were more than a teacher and photographer, you were an inspiration for others to be better people. We will miss you my friend.”

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Kandjii granted bail, remains behind barsKandjii granted bail, remains behind bars Gerson Kandjii (51), who is facing multiple charges in four separate criminal cases, was granted N$2 500 bail by the Windhoek Regional court in Katutura on Wednesday.

    The bail was granted in a case of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, in which he was arrested in December last year. Magistrate Johannes Shuveni postponed the case to 22 May.

    Kandjii will remain behind bars at Gobabis, however, where he faces charges related to rhino poaching after police linked him to the killing of three rhinos on a farm near the town in December.

    Apart from the rhino-poaching charges he faces at Gobabis, Kandjii faces murder and armed robbery charges in a case related to the killing of Reinhard Schmidt on the hunting farm Hoodia in the Kalkrand District in February 2015.

    He also faces charges related to rhino poaching near Etosha, on which he was arrested in November 2014.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Queen wins battle against dismissed headmenQueen wins battle against dismissed headmen A legal battle between Oukwanyama Queen Mwadinomho Martha ya Kristian Nelumbu and three dismissed headmen over their alleged unfair dismissal is over after the Supreme Court ruled in the queen's favour on Thursday.

    The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Oukwanyama queen in respect of her urgent appeal application, in which she requested the court to overrule an earlier decision by the High Court that ordered her to reinstate the three headmen, George Hikumwah, Sipora Weyulu Dan and Vatilifa Hangula.

    The three were relieved of their traditional duties in June 2011 as per a traditional committee's findings, which were the result of deliberations in which the three respondents participated without objection.

    “The outcome of those proceedings established that the respondents were indeed, amongst others, guilty of sowing division in the community and undermining the queen's authority,” said Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Petrus Damaseb as he read the ruling.

    In the ruling, the three Supreme Court Judges of Appeal, Damaseb, Dave Smuts and Elton Hoff, said for all of the above reasons, “we are satisfied that the appellants are correct to say that the High Court misdirected itself in relying on review grounds and not on the founding affidavits in the High Court”.

    In her appeal application, the queen maintained that it was entirely within her rights as traditional leader to dismiss the three.

    The appellants are Queen Nelumbu, along with the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, as well as traditional councillors Nghidinihamba Urias Ndilula, Elias Waandja, Samuel Mateus, Josef Kamati and Linda Nauyoma.

    The queen stated that she had acted in terms of her non-reviewable royal prerogative, which is not an administrative decision.

    She dismissed the three headmen following the discovery of alleged irregularities in the handling of the communal trust fund of the Oukwanyama traditional community.

    It was found that the trust fund was not handled in accordance with the Traditional Authorities Act.

    The discovery was made in 2010.

    It is reported that certain funds sourced from the community were not paid into the designated communal trust fund account, but into a separate bank account, and that certain loans of the monies held in the Oukwanyama Community Trust Fund were granted to beneficiaries without any resolution of the board of trustees and without following proper procedures.

    Senior South African defence lawyer Ishmael Semenya, assisted by Silas Kishi-Shakumu, represented the appellants on the instructions of the Office of the Government Attorney.

    Denis Khama appeared for the respondents on the instructions of the Kwala law firm.

    NAMPA

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  • 04/17/17--16:00: Fatal crashes mar Easter
  • Fatal crashes mar EasterFatal crashes mar Easter Car crashes, a stabbing and a suicide claimed the lives of at least seven people over the Easter weekend.

    On Thursday, eight-year-old Aneli-Rejoice Namakumbu died after she was run over at Okatope village in the Oshikoto Region. Namakumbu was on her way home from school when she was run over while crossing the road. A case of culpable homicide has been opened.

    In the early hours of Friday morning, a 20-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend with an Okapi knife. The stabbing led to the death of Carlos Garab (24).

    Police said the incident took place at around 02:30 while the couple were walking home after visiting a nearby bar. Garab was stabbed once in the chest and died on the spot. The suspect will appear before the Grootfontein Magistrate's Court today.

    In a suspected suicide, a man's body was discovered hanging from the roof of his bedroom at Onguma-Omulonga village in the Oshikoto Region on Saturday morning. The deceased was identified as 35-year-old Josef Tomas.

    A 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a 29-year-old man at Oshifukwa village in the Oshikoto Region on Friday. The suspect was arrested on Saturday and is expected to make his first court appearance at Ondangwa this week.



    Toll on the roads

    On Thursday afternoon at around 18:00, three people including the driver died on the spot when the bakkie they were travelling in collided head-on with an Iveco minibus between Ondangwa and Omuthiya.

    The driver of the bakkie apparently swerved to avoid cattle standing in the road. Police said the driver lost control and collided with the minibus traveling in the opposite direction.

    The bus was reportedly carrying 20 passengers from Swakopmund. They all survived and were admitted to the Onandjokwe State Hospital for observation.

    The deceased were identified as 48-year-old Tangeni Fillemon (driver), Victoria Iishuna (45) and Magnaem Ishuna (3).

    In the early morning of Saturday, Nel van Greunen (32), a Namibian photographer and founder and CEO of Namlish Media, died when the car he was travelling overturned near Grootfontein.

    In the Erongo Region, police are investigating a case of culpable homicide and reckless or negligent driving following a crash in which one person died in Walvis Bay on Saturday.

    Loretha Louw (41), a passenger in one of two bakkies involved in the crash, died on the spot while the two drivers sustained serious injuries.

    Erongo Police Commissioner Erastus Ikuyu confirmed the incident.

    “Information we received indicates a white Nissan double cab (N154-660 W), with two occupants, Robert Hanekom (45) and the deceased, was travelling along 5th Street when it was bumped on the passenger's side by a white Toyota Hilux double cab (N168-988W) travelling along Nangolo Mbumba Road,” he said.

    According to Ikuyu, Liam Daniel (25) was the driver and the only occupant of the Toyota Hilux which slammed into the Nissan.

    The injured were admitted to the Welwitschia Hospital and Walvis Bay State Hospital, he said.

    Another case of reckless or negligent driving was reported at Usakos after a vehicle left the road and overturned on Friday. Two Zimbabwean citizens were injured.

    “The driver, Michael Richard Matafeni (26), sustained minor injuries and the passenger, Bonani Mthimkhulu (25), sustained fractured hip and head injuries. She was admitted to the Swakopmund State Hospital in a stable condition. The cause of accident is not yet determined and the investigation continues,” Ikuyu said.

    The couple were travelling on the B2 road from Windhoek to the coast for the Easter weekend with a silver Toyota Etios (FB 77 YZGP). It is alleged that the driver lost control at around 22:40 approximately 45km from Usakos towards Arandis.

    On Saturday afternoon, emergency services attended to the scene of an accident approximately 40 kilometres north of Henties Bay after a vehicle in which four people were travelling left the road and overturned. According to a report, “two of the occupants were catapulted from the overturning vehicle resulting in one sustaining critical injuries”.

    -Additional reporting Nampa

    STAFF REPORTERS

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    Critical shortage of legal draftersCritical shortage of legal draftersA rare and specialised skill The legislative process is hampered by a shortage of qualified legal drafters in the Justice Ministry. Namibia is facing a critical shortage of experienced legal drafters that is hampering the legislative process.

    Justice minister Albert Kawana revealed that when he motivated his ministry's close to N$424 million budget vote last week.

    “Legislative drafting is a very scarce and specialised skill,” he said.

    When an experienced drafter resigned, the ministry struggled to replace them, in some cases waiting as long as seven years to find a suitable candidate.

    “If something is not done to address the critical shortage of experienced drafters, we will experience more challenges in the law-making process which might affect the work of the legislative arm of the state,” Kawana warned.

    He said additional posts had been created but there was no funding for them. In addition, a number of vacancies arising from resignations had been frozen.

    It was expected from the ministry to draft more bills but the process was being delayed by the skills and manpower shortage at the directorate, he pointed out.

    The directorate received 42 bills during the previous financial year, including 13 bills brought forward from the 2015/2016 financial year. Twenty-five of these bills were completed.

    The directorate also dealt with 13 proclamations, all of which were completed; 59 regulations, of which 46 were completed; and 172 government notices, of which 166 were completed.



    Speedy

    On a more positive note, Kawana announced that an integrated financial and case-management system was expected to be rolled out by July.

    The main objective was to facilitate the speedy finalisation of deceased estates and to ensure daily reconciliation of the accounts of the Guardian's Fund.

    The value of the Guardian's Fund had increased to more than N$1.4 billion last year. After vacant positions were filled, the Master of the High Court's office was able to reduce the waiting time for payments from the Guardian's Fund from five working days to two days, provided that applicants had all the required documents.

    With the introduction of the integrated financial and case-management system later this year, the turn-around time for payments from the Guardian's Fund would be reduced to one day, Kawana said.

    The system included an e-filing functionality which would allow for the online registration of trusts and deceased estates, the minister explained.



    Ombudsman's diary

    As the accredited National Human Rights Institution of Namibia, the office of the ombudsman was allocated close to N$20 million to carry out its activities, including investigation of complaints related to maladministration, human rights violations and degrading of the environment.

    Besides its day-to-day duties, at least five additional major projects would be carried out during the current financial year.

    These included the introduction of 'complaint intake clinics' at the Windhoek, Keetmanshoop, Oshakati and Swakopmund regional offices. These sessions would include visits to police cells, childcare facilities and places of detention for vulnerable groups, including the elderly.

    The ombudsman's office would furthermore conduct public hearings on “racism and racial or general discrimination” nationwide.



    Legal Aid woes

    With more than N$77 million allocated to the Administration of Justice programme, under which the Directorate of Legal Aid falls, the minister said there were concerns about a staff shortage.

    The ministry relied on the services of private legal practitioners to bolster these services.

    In such cases, private lawyers were paid according to tariffs agreed with the legal profession, with the approval of the minister.

    Kawana said the ministry hoped to reduce reliance on private lawyers, but that would not be possible for the foreseeable future.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Unemployment soars amid budget cutsUnemployment soars amid budget cutsNamibia's economic woes are hitting its workers hard, with layoffs being announced almost weekly. Not a festive May Day Namibia will this year commemorate Workers' Day in the shadow of skyrocketing unemployment brought about by almost weekly retrenchments which have affected close to 41 000 workers countrywide.

    Speaking to Namibian Sun, National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) secretary-general Job Muniaro said many workers had fallen victim to the country's cash-flow problems. Many construction projects came to a standstill last year following a serious water crisis, which put pressure on the economy and resulted in a string of retrenchments.

    It is not only the construction industry that is bearing the brunt of government budget cuts, though. Recent media reports showed that 1 200 workers had lost their jobs in the last three months of 2016.

    These retrenchments occurred mainly in the construction, food services, agriculture, forestry and fishing industries, and most recently the mining sector.

    “It is our biggest challenge. People are not just losing jobs, they are losing their livelihoods, medical aid, salaries, cars and houses. The entire family suffers.

    It has far-reaching effects on families. People become a burden to the state because they cannot provide for themselves,” said Muniaro.

    He added that an influx of Chinese state-owned companies and their workers aggravated the situation. Muniaro said it was time for the government to consider laws that would explicitly protect the rights of local workers.

    “You cannot have an individual builder from a developing country competing for a tender with a foreign state-owned company from a developed country with sophisticated skills.

    These types of situations are killing our small-scale builders because they never get a chance to develop,” he said.

    Awareness

    Meanwhile, as workers struggled to hold onto their jobs and the uncertainty grew, many still did not know their rights, according to Muniaro.

    He said many workers' rights were “passively violated” because they were illiterate and did not know that they had a right to decent treatment. “It is difficult to empower these workers because sometimes employers do not want them to know their rights,” he said. The union leader said this ignorance had cost many workers their jobs because they simply stayed away from work out of frustration, not realising there were procedures for registering their grievances.





    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Deputy minister, youth leader in spatDeputy minister, youth leader in spat Chaos erupted at the weekend when deputy minister of finance Natangwe Ithete and the newly elected Swapo Party Youth League Oshakati West district treasurer, Paulus Paulus, came close to exchanging blows.

    The public spat played out at the Oshana's Swapo headquarters where a youth league meeting addressed by acting SPYL secretary Veikko Nekundi was taking place.

    The confrontation started after Paulus was barred from attending the meeting by the SPYL Oshana regional secretary, Matilde Nakwedhi.

    The standoff reached boiling point when Ithete left the meeting and prevented Paulus from entering the building.

    The two exchanged words, with the deputy minister remarking that he was “from the street” and could fight back.

    The two were later pulled apart following the intervention of some youth members.

    Paulus said he never had the intention to fight the deputy minister and he was shocked by Ithete's behaviour.

    Earlier Ithete had addressed the youth leaders, urging them to promote unity within the party.

    “As young people, unite and respect your elders, no matter what you have done to us, don't even compromise it. Let's unite as a force, let's stop insulting our leaders,” he said.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 04/17/17--16:00: Zika risk for Namibia
  • Zika risk for NamibiaZika risk for Namibia ILENI NANDJATO

    Namibians are at risk of contracting the Zika virus, which has been confirmed in Angola.

    Namibia has already reported suspected cases of dengue fever that had spread from Angola.

    Angola recorded its first two Zika cases in January this year, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not informed the Namibian health ministry of any potential risk.

    Responding to Namibian Sun’s enquiries about the presence of Zika in Angola, health ministry permanent secretary Andreas Mwoombola said whenever there was any disease of international public health concern, the WHO shared the information with other countries in accordance with international regulations.

    “We [health ministry] have not yet been informed about the outbreak of the Zika virus in Angola. However, there is a possibility of receiving people from Angola infected with this virus as we have already reported suspected cases of dengue fever which is associated with Zika virus and they all came from Angola,” Mwoombola said.

    Whereas malaria is spread by the female Anopheles mosquito, the Zika virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito, which prefers tropical regions. The Aedes aegypti mosquito also transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.

    However, it is suspected that Zika can also be transmitted from human to human through sexual intercourse. If a pregnant woman is infected with the Zika virus, her child can be born with microcephaly and mental retardation.

    The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rashes, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild, with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.

    Mwoombola said the existence of Aedes aegypti in Namibia had not been proven yet.

    On 1 February last year, the WHO declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency, prompted by growing concerns that it causes birth defects and millions were feared infected. Brazil bore the brunt of the virus, with about 5 000 cases of microcephaly linked to the virus. The virus has reached as far as America, Canada, Europe and even Australia.

    Mwoombola said there was no Zika virus treatment or vaccine available yet, but those who had symptoms of the virus should seek medical advice.

    “People should get plenty of rest, drink enough fluids and treat pain with common medicines,” he said.

    Mwoombola assured Namibians that the health ministry was ready for any possible Zika outbreak, as it had successfully responded to a number of disease outbreaks – including Congo fever.

    “Our system is ready to handle a Zika outbreak in case it occurs. We continue to improve our capacity to prevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies of international concern as per International Health Regulation of 2005,” he said.

    0 0
  • 04/17/17--16:00: Ondonga in a mess
  • Ondonga in a messOndonga in a messRift in traditional authority reaches boiling point Eight councillors of the Ondonga Traditional Authority have been suspended in leadership tussle. The infighting between two Ondonga factions reached an all-time high this past weekend, following the suspensions of eight traditional councillors.

    The infighting, largely linked to the succession battle of the Ondonga kingdom, has exposed further cracks in the already divided traditional authority.

    Among those suspended by King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas are the long-serving chairperson of the Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA), Peter Kauluma, and OTA secretary Joseph Asino.

    Heavyweights such as senior headman John Walenga and former Oshikoto governor Vilho Kamanya were also suspended on Thursday and their senior headmen roles revoked pending investigations.

    Four other councillors - Kashona kaMalulu, Joseph Akawa, Tonata Ngulu and Fillemon Nambili – were suspended with immediate effect.

    The eight councillors are accused of insubordination and promoting disunity in the Ondonga community.

    The councillors hit back by claiming they were being purged by a rival grouping led by the king's wife Secilia, who is apparently taking advantage of Elifas's poor health to wield the axe.

    The eight councillors are backing Shuumbwa Nangolo, who was nominated by the Ondonga king as his heir in September 2012.

























    Namibian Sun has seen letters addressed to former minister of local government and housing Jerry Ekandjo as well as his predecessor, Joel Kaapanda, in which the king reaffirmed the nomination of Nangolo as his deputy and heir apparent.

    This is now a bone of contention, with some members of the royal family, including the king's wife, challenging Nangolo's nomination. Ondonga headman councillor Oscar Sheehama is reportedly the king's wife favoured heir.

    At the weekend, the suspended councillors addressed over 300 people at Oluno. They appealed for calm, while using the platform to condemn the actions of the Ondonga royal family.

    Kauluma, who has been the OTA chairperson since 1982, told the meeting that he last spoke to the king on 20 February this year. He added that the royal family, particularly the king's wife, had no power to interfere in the affairs of the traditional authority.

    “I am now 75 years old, but I have never seen before a queen interfering in the affairs of the traditional authority like what is happening currently. Our queen is using the king's ailing condition to manipulate OTA functions,” a distraught Kauluma said.

    “Asino and I were called to the palace on 17 February; apparently the king had something to tell us. In the queen's absence, he asked me how is OTA and Ongula yaNetanga. The moment his wife arrived he went mute. The wife insisted that he tell us what he called us for, but he did not say any word until we left,” Kauluma said.

    He said they were again called to go back on 20 February and it was the same situation.

    “Later she informed us that the king had decided to fire Wilbard Lidker as senior headman,” he said.

    A tearful Asino also condemned the Ondonga queen, saying her group was abusing the king's name.

    The meeting was also addressed by the former Khomas Regional Council chairperson Zulu Shitongeni, Ondangwa mayor Paavo Amwele, Oniipa mayor Mannetjies Kambonde, Oshana regional councillor for Ondangwa Urban Constituency Elia Iimali and Oshikoto regional councillor for Oniipa Constituency Jerry Ngwena.







    New list emerges







    Meanwhile, a list shared by a source close to the Ondonga royal family has suggested a number of individuals as possible replacements for the suspended councillors.



    The list includes prominent businessman John Akapandi Endjala as senor headman for Ondangwa, and the Poverty Eradication Ministry's permanent secretary I-Ben Nashandi to take over the role of senior headman at Amuteya.



    Oscar Sheehama has reportedly been identified as replacement for Eino Shondili Amutenya at Onalulushete, while CRAN CEO Festus Mbandeka is tipped to take over as senior headman of Oniiwe, replacing Asino, while Tonis Kalenga is linked to Epale to replace Anneli Sakaria Mbumba.



    According to the notice seen by Namibian Sun, the headmen of Oniimwandi, Omulondo and Oshuushe should not be replaced. It suggested that someone who is respected by the Kwanyama-speaking community should be appointed as senior headman at Ongula ya Netanga to replace Kauluma.



    Acting OTA secretary Nepando Amupanda could not deny or confirm the authenticity of the notice.



    “Ondonga traditional community is an organised social institution with structures in place. The affected districts have structures in place, village cluster head, village headmen/women, etc. They will take care of the districts in the absence of suspended district councillors until further notice,” he told Namibian Sun.







    King makes rare appearance



    Meanwhile, the 82-year-old king Elifas made a rare appearance at the inauguration ceremony of Ester Gwashamba Nepando as the new senior headman of Uukwanambwa district. Nepando replaces Lidker, who was recently fired as senior headman.



    Elifas did not say anything at the ceremony, apart from confirming that he was happy to see the people of Ondonga and the royal family united.



    However, despite Gwashamba's installation by Oniimwandi senior headman Naeman Amalwa, the king refused to anoint her as a sign of his blessing. Amalwa reportedly remarked to Elifas: “Tatekulu, anoint your senior councillor.” The king responded by saying: “No, I cannot do that.” Amalwa then turned to the gathering, claiming that the king had asked him to anoint the new headman on his behalf.





    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Nampost signals banking aspirationsNampost signals banking aspirations
    Nampost this week signalled its banking aspirations when it announced Standard Bank as its sponsor bank, marking the end of an almost year-long procurement process. As a result, Nampost clients will have access to the National Payments System have the ability to transfer funds electronically, have access to Point of Sale devices, transfer money internationally to mention but a few.
    Commenting on the banking milestone, Nampost chief executive officer Festus Hangula said: “It is our Government’s vision that all Namibians, without exception, should have access to the correct type of financial services and products at an affordable price offered through a wide network of service points. To deliver on this important national vision NamPost had created an online transactional banking which enables NamPost to become a significant card issuer thus providing transact ability at reduced costs throughout the broad postal network within Namibia,” while Standard Bank Namibia executive for personal and business banking, Mercia Geises said: “Standard Bank is proud to partner with NamPost to provide its clients with access to a banking platform in an innovative and efficient manner, which eventually results in financial inclusion for all.”
    As the sponsoring bank, Standard Bank will be required to settle transactions between institutions. The signed agreement therefore ensures that all payments and transfers for customers will be settled between the banks at the central clearing system in Namibia through Standard Bank’s membership to the National Payment System. Nampost will also introduce its revamped Smartcards in the second half of the year.

    0 0
  • 04/18/17--16:00: AN launches champs
  • AN launches champsAN launches champsFast and furious sprints on cards Namibia's top athletes will be hoping to qualify for the world championship this weekend. Athletics Namibia (AN) will host the 2017 national track and field championship on Saturday, president Erwin Naimhwaka announced yesterday.

    The event will see over a hundred athletes challenging each other for top honours at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek.

    Top sprinters Dantago Gurirab and Globine Majova will be eager to impress local fans and qualify for the world championship that will be staged later this year.

    “We expect the championship to be very exciting with battles expected in most of the categories,” Naimhwaka said.

    “This year, the middle and long distances have emerged as among the most exciting categories, as there are no clear favourites in the 10 000m and 5000m.”

    Other athletes expected to shine will be 100 and 200m champion Evan Tjiviju and the experienced Hitjivirue Kaanjuka.

    The event was initially scheduled for Oshakati, but the organisers decided to move it to Windhoek because of the high number of participants from the central region.

    Staging the event in Windhoek will also save costs.

    The organisers promised that the event would be expanded to other regions in the future.

    “The championship will feature athletes from marginalised communities, with five athletes coming from Opuwo.

    “The public is therefore invited to come and support the athletes and help make the championship a memorable one.

    “The qualification for the world championship later this year is still open and the athletes can qualify at this championship,” Naimhwaka said.

    The event starts at 07:00 and is expected to end at 16:00.

    Dantago Gurirab emphasised the importance of winning the race in order to get his career back on track.

    “This is very important for me because I want to qualify for the world championships. Therefore, I have been preparing myself well and I do believe I am in good shape,” Gurirab said.

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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  • 04/18/17--16:00: Indongo awaits next fight
  • Indongo awaits next fightIndongo awaits next fight Julius 'Blue Machine' Indongo, the new WBA light-welterweight world champion, is facing fresh contenders right after his fight with Ricky Burns in Glasgow on Saturday.

    Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) dominated Burns over twelve rounds by scores of 120-108, 118-110 and 116-112.

    Immediately afterward talk surfaced of a possible fight with either Terence Crawford from America or Sergey Lipinets from Kazakhstan.

    Lipinets, who is undefeated in 12 fights, is the IBF mandatory challenger. If Indongo fights Crawford it will be a full unification bout, as the latter holds the WBC and WBO belts with 30 undefeated fights.

    Indongo's promoter, Nestor Tobias, is unfazed by these big names, saying that offers are on the table they will study all of them and choose one in due course.

    Asked whether Indongo would change his tactics for the next fight to keep his opponents guessing, Tobias said Crawford or whoever was next in line was free to study Indongo's last fight all they liked.

    “Indongo is in a different class. He is special so even if boxers study him night and day, they will come second,” he said. A man of few words, Indongo said the job always had to be done. “In Scotland, Burns's team came to my corner and tested my water to see if I was using something. They were very scared and asked how I kept fighting the way I did.

    “Burns and his team thought that I went into the fight to get a lucky punch to knock him out. They forgot that I can also destroy the stomach,” the boxer said.

    He added that the fight was not easy, as the hall was full of Scottish fans cheering on their boxer.

    “As much you have skill and are well prepared, you also have to have a strong character and have mental strength to withstand anything. I focused on the man in front of me and only listened to my team throughout the night,” he said.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Mannetti drops three from campMannetti drops three from campBrave Warriors’ training intensifies Some players have lost their places in the national football team as coach Ricardo Mannetti trims his training squad. SPORT REPORTER



    In the third week of training at the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Technical Centre in Windhoek, Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti has dropped three players from his 25-man training squad.

    Mannetti announced the cuts on Easter Monday. Young Brazilian FC player Wayne Esterhuisen, Vincent Namiseb of Flamingos and Nampol’s Johannes Shiwedha were sent home.

    Mannetti will announce his squad for the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea Bissau before the team heads to South Africa for the Cosafa Cup on 25 June.

    The local boys will then have to face off with Zimbabwe for the Africa Nations Champions qualifiers in July.

    Namibia will face Zambia, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau in Group K of the qualifiers for Afcon 2019.

    “We are getting to where we want to be in terms of the squad depth but again, this can change depending on injuries, new players at the Debmarine Namibia Cup and of course with the start of the Premier league later in May. We also have the foreign-based players to consider as well,” Mannetti said.

    Here is the 22-man squad: Lodyt Kazapua (African Stars) David Peterson (Tigers), Charles Uirab (Orlando Pirates), Edward Maova (Civics FC), Romario Ndjavera and Ferdinand Karongee (Tigers), Tiberius Lombard and Charles Hambira (both Tura Magic), Larry Horaeb (Black Africa), Riaan !Hanamub (Orlando Pirates), Edmund Kambanda (Unam FC), Ronald Ketjijere and Katiti Hakuria (both African Stars), Benyamin Nenkavu (Tigers), Oswaldo Xamseb (Tura Magic), Dynamo Fredericks (Black Africa), Pandeni Kandjabanga (Golden Bigs), Itamunua Keimuine (Tura Magic), Mapenzi Muwanei (Tigers), Muna Katupose and Immanuel Heita (Black Africa) and Sakaria Jonas (Tigers).

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    Mannetti drops three from campMannetti drops three from campBrave Warriors' training intensifies Some players have lost their places in the national football team as coach Ricardo Mannetti trims his training squad. In the third week of training at the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Technical Centre in Windhoek, Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti has dropped three players from his 25-man training squad.

    Mannetti announced the cuts on Easter Monday. Young Brazilian FC player Wayne Esterhuisen, Vincent Namiseb of Flamingos and Nampol's Johannes Shiwedha were sent home.

    Mannetti will announce his squad for the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea Bissau before the team heads to South Africa for the Cosafa Cup on 25 June.

    The local boys will then have to face off with Zimbabwe for the Africa Nations Champions qualifiers in July.

    Namibia will face Zambia, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau in Group K of the qualifiers for Afcon 2019.

    “We are getting to where we want to be in terms of the squad depth but again, this can change depending on injuries, new players at the Debmarine Namibia Cup and of course with the start of the Premier league later in May. We also have the foreign-based players to consider as well,” Mannetti said.

    Here is the 22-man squad: Lodyt Kazapua (African Stars) David Peterson (Tigers), Charles Uirab (Orlando Pirates), Edward Maova (Civics FC), Romario Ndjavera and Ferdinand Karongee (Tigers), Tiberius Lombard and Charles Hambira (both Tura Magic), Larry Horaeb (Black Africa), Riaan !Hanamub (Orlando Pirates), Edmund Kambanda (Unam FC), Ronald Ketjijere and Katiti Hakuria (both African Stars), Benyamin Nenkavu (Tigers), Oswaldo Xamseb (Tura Magic), Dynamo Fredericks (Black Africa), Pandeni Kandjabanga (Golden Bigs), Itamunua Keimuine (Tura Magic), Mapenzi Muwanei (Tigers), Muna Katupose and Immanuel Heita (Black Africa) and Sakaria Jonas (Tigers).

    SPORT REPORTER

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