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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 04/23/17--16:00: Charlo KOs Hatley
  • Charlo KOs HatleyCharlo KOs HatleyBoxer retains WBC crown Jermel Charlo outclassed his opponent with dangerous body punches on the night. Unbeaten Jermell Charlo knocked out Charles Hatley just 32 seconds into the sixth round Saturday to retain his World Boxing Council super welterweight title in an all-American showdown.

    Charlo landed a flurry of punches to open the sixth round, the decisive one a stunning right hook to the chin that caused the challenger to fall forward to the canvas, prompting an immediate stoppage.

    “I knew Charles Hatley goes down sometimes and gets back up – he's a warrior and won't go down easily,” Charlo said. “I knew I had to be a lion in there.”

    Charlo improved to 29-0 with 14 knockouts while Hatley fell to 26-2 with one drawn.

    Asked after the triumph whom he might like the fight next, Charlo said was interested in a unification bout against compatriot Jarrett Hurd, the International Boxing Federation champion.

    Charlo's unbeaten brother, Jermall, vacated the IBF crown in the 154-pound weight class two months ago to advance into the middleweight ranks, Hurd winning a February fight to claim the crown.

    Charlo, making his first title defense, had not fought since last May, when he won the crown with an eighth-round knockout of US Virgin Islands fighter John Jackson.

    The bout was a matchup of Texas rivals, but Houston's Charlo, 26, dominated Dallas-based Hatley, 31.

    Charlo, who suffered a cut over his left eye in a second-round clash of heads, knocked Hatley into the ropes with a hard right at the end of the round and flattened the challenger once before the knockout blow.

    Hatley, who saw a nine-fight win streak snapped, had not fought for 17 months, since knocking out Australian ex-champ Anthony Mundine in November 2015.

    The fight was on the undercard of an all-US welterweight matchup at Barclays Center between former champions Shawn Porter and Andre Berto.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 04/23/17--16:00: Gatlin trumps De Grasse
  • Gatlin trumps De GrasseGatlin trumps De Grasse Evergreen American sprinter Justin Gatlin struck gold when he anchored his team to victory at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau on Saturday, while double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson shone for Jamaica.

    The battle between Gatlin, the 35-year-old 2004 Olympic 100m champion who has served two doping bans, and Usain Bolt's self-professed successor Andre de Grasse did not play out, the Canadian deprived of the chance to run his leg after a botched handover by his teammates.

    De Grasse, a three-time medallist at the Rio Olympics, had cocked his head over towards Gatlin three times before turning on the afterburners to edge the American in the heats.

    But there was to be no showboating come the final at a breezy, half-full Thomas A. Robinson stadium as Aaron Brown fluffed his handover to Brendon Rodney.

    The US were not out of danger, however, with Britain looking to be ahead as Gatlin took the baton from Ronnie Baker after slick passovers between Leshon Collins and Mike Rodgers.

    But Englishman Danny Talbot failed to hit his mark and Gatlin had a free run in for 38.43sec, eyes glued on the big screen in near bewilderment as Barbados took silver at a distant 39.12 and China bronze (39.22).

    Thompson, who won double gold in Rio last year, was afforded a rousing welcome as she safely led her Jamaican teammates to victory in the women's 4x200m.

    The 24-year-old anchored her team also including Jura Levy, Shericka Jackson and Sashalee Forbes home in a championship record of 1min 29.04sec, Germany (1:30.68) snatching silver from the United States by 0.21.

    “There was no pressure,” said Thompson. “We came on the track and do what we do.”

    The US defended their women's 4x800m relay title in first final of the night, Laura Roesler and Charlene Lipsey pulling away in the final two legs after teammates Chanelle Price and Chrishuna Williams were involved in an early nip-and-tuck battle with Australia.

    “I've had the pleasure of making all three teams that have won here in the Bahamas,” said Price, whose opening leg of 2:01.73 was the quickest run on the night.

    “I knew we had a target on our backs and that all the other teams wanted to take the crown from us. We also wanted to set the tone for the USA.”

    Belarus eventually edged the Australian quartet into third thanks to a strong anchor leg by Maryna Arzamasova, the 2015 world champion in Beijing.

    Despite Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo running a scorching first leg, the Bahamas failed to progress to the final of the women's 4x400m. France, with European indoor champion Floria Guei running anchor, also failed to qualify.

    There was also no such luck for the Jamaican men's 4x100m quartet, missing Bolt and late withdrawal Asafa Powell, as the precision needed for baton passovers was highlighted in their first-round race.

    Third leg runner Jevaughan Minzie bolted before Kemar Bailey-Cole could get the baton anywhere near to him, leaving anchor leg Yohan Blake, the 2011 world 100m champion and double 2012 Olympic silver medallist behind Bolt, with his head in his hands.

    “We didn't get here in time to practise,” said Minzie, the team having had just one previous outing. “It was just a misunderstanding. It happens in relays,” added the last member of the team, Everton Clarke.

    That leaves the Jamaicans needing to post a top-16 qualifying time for the London worlds by July 23.

    NAMPA /AFP

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  • 04/23/17--16:00: Naimhwaka happy with champs
  • Naimhwaka happy with champsNaimhwaka happy with champsAN hopes for better attendance The national championships saw a very low turnout from the general public over the weekend. Athletics Namibia (AN) president, Erwin Naimhwaka, says he is delighted by the fact that the national track and field championships went well.

    He however conceded that more needs to be done to attract supporters to the annual event.

    “I am very happy with what went on at the Independence Stadium on Saturday.

    “The turnout of the athletes was good and we therefore like to thank all those that made this event possible,” Naimhwaka said.

    The president promises a better track and field championship next year.

    “There is definitely still more to be done in order to improve the situation in Namibia's athletics.

    “I am a bit disappointed with the fact that only a few supporters made it to the stadium,” he said. Getting an official sponsor for the event is one of the things that the president will try and do.

    He also felt that it will be important to improve the marketing of such events in the future.

    Naimhwaka further lauded the standard of some athletes, stating that he was impressed with the determination they showed on the day.

    “The athletes are doing a great job because they want to become future stars.

    “It is important that Athletics Namibia stands behind the guys in order to create champions.

    “I would also like to thank our partners Coca-Cola for being with us during the duration of the national championship.”

    The president further invited more corporates to come on board in order to help athletes grow.

    Naimhwaka was elected as president of Athletics Namibia last year, replacing Alna Similo.

    He reiterated that his main aim is to get athletics to a standard where it used to be in the past.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 04/23/17--16:00: Clubs advance in Cup
  • Clubs advance in CupClubs advance in Cup Several clubs progressed to the 2017 Debmarine Namibia Cup last-16 finals following action played out on Saturday at the Oscar Norich Stadium and Sam Nujoma Stadium in Tsumeb and Windhoek respectively.

    Windhoek saw Rhino FC facing Young Beauties and Unam FC taking on Eleven Champions.

    Rhino FC and Young Beauties encounter was action-packed and in the end produced a six goals thriller at the cathedral of Namibia football - the Sam Nujoma Stadium.

    Beauties were 3-1 up before the boys from Kavango East, Rhino FC, bounced back in empathic fashion to force the game into penalties. Beauties proved too clinical with their kicks as they advanced to the next round, winning 5-3 on penalties. The University of Namibia Unam FC then took on Khomas champions Eleven Champions and in the end the Clever Boys recorded a comprehensive 3-1 win over Champions.

    At Tsumeb, Premiership outfit Young Chiefs and Kavango West's Kantema Bullets squared off and in the end Chiefs won 3-2.

    Ogongo United faced Eleven Arrows with the latter winning 8-0. The day then closed off with clash between Oshikoto regional qualifiers Khuse against Namibia Premier League returnees Touch & Go.

    The two sides played to an exciting 2-2 draw before Go proved their mettle and advanced 4-3 on penalties.

    Sport Reporter

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  • 04/23/17--16:00: Basketball at grassroots
  • Basketball at grassrootsBasketball at grassrootsMumba on youth sport development Basketball coach, Ramah Mumba started coaching basketball at a young age, and now heads the Basketball Artists School Foundation (BAS). Sport is a global phenomenon connecting fans across the globe. Grassroots sports development is key to the continuation of sport as a whole and it is the coaches who labour to expose this hidden talent.

    One such coach is 30-year-old Ramah Mumba who eats and sleeps basketball. He started throwing hoops at the tender age of seven, an age when most youngsters do not know what to do with their precious time.

    But Mumba was busy practicing, and learning all there is to know about basketball. Each day, with a basketball in one hand and his school books in the other, he would trek to school. His peers would always try and snatch the ball from his hands.

    Sport Wrap caught up with the inspiring coach to find out who he is, what makes a good coach, what his vision is and more about the importance of youth involvement in sport.

    Mumba is Namibian but was born in Tanzania and spent most of his youthful years in Zambia. He eventually came to Namibia in 1998 where he enrolled at Windhoek International High School for secondary education. After completing his secondary education he enrolled at Unam and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and Physics.

    Despite having completed his tertiary education, he realised that what he had studied was not what he wanted to do in life and he embarked on his journey to pursue a career in coaching basketball. Mumba is the current executive director of the Basketball Artists School Foundation and the Namibian Basketball Federation secretary-general.

    The foundation was established in 2010 with the aim of equipping young basketball players with the fundamentals of basketball as a sport, as well as life skills.

    His job as the head of the organisation is to ensure that all departments are operating efficiently and that the BAS is and remains sustainable, as well as to ensure that individual players' skills are honed.

    But, with everything great, there is a beginning. For Mumba, the love for the game grew in his teenage years. At the age of 16 he was presented with an opportunity to coach the under-12 team at his high school. “I grabbed the opportunity even though I didn't know what I was doing and I just ran with it. Since then, I have not stopped coaching. I volunteered at basketball programmes and coached young players who were mostly beginners.

    “But that's not all I did. I focused on my schoolwork. I don't believe that an athlete's performance on the court, field, or in the pool makes them special, but their dedication, hard work and sacrifice towards their education makes them who they are. Because of those beliefs, we incorporate education with basketball at BAS,” he says.

    Mumba also says there are many qualities that a coach must have. Mumba believes a good coach must be reliable, committed, responsible, supported by team work, hard work and excellence. “I believe these values can make a coach a good role model to the young players and whoever looks up to him.”

    In addition, he says that no matter what he does, he sticks to his philosophy which is skills development in basketball and in life. “I try all the time to combine the two aspects because sport can be used as a tool to develop life skills in young people. I would rather have a team that wins some games and is made up of well-behaved young people with good values and who have a bright future, than having a team with arrogant players who are bad role models in the community.”

    What follows are his responses to questions from Sport Wrap.



    How do you motivate your players?

    “I usually give them real-life stories and experiences that I know I've been through or someone I know has. After that I show them something that will make my point clear and help them to do what they must do. I'm more of a practical person than theoretical in my approach.”

    How do you teach your players to balance their game and academics?

    “Well, I give them my life experience when I was their age to show them that I managed to do sports and studies at the same time. I also give them examples of other people I know. I tell them that it's all about priorities and time management. Many young people fail to manage their time and focus on the wrong things. If sport and basketball and family are their top priority, there is enough time to manage those activities. If friends, parties, drinking and other unproductive activities are added to your life, you won't find time for studies and sports.”



    What is your coaching philosophy?

    “I believe that a team that plays the best defence has a higher chance of winning than a team focused only on offense, so my philosophy is to teach players how to play good defence than fast breaks. This is what young players need.”



    How are the parents reacting to their children's involvement in basketball?

    “Well, basketball is still developing so more and more parents are starting to hear about it. Many are supportive if the child starts at a young age and grows in the programme.”



    Many Namibians do not value basketball, how do you plan to change that mind-set?

    “I say it starts from the top, the right leadership is needed and at the moment I will say that we are slowly getting there because we have found the right people to develop basketball. We need programmes at grassroots level, as well as coaching clinics all year round. But, of course the most important aspect to have all these is manpower and resources. It's really difficult to develop without these aspects.”

    The coaches at BAS from Monday to Friday spend each afternoon at the centre in Katutura mentoring young players from Windhoek. The resources which they use are local donations and support from Germany. Currently, BAS has four full-time staff members, six part time trainers and three volunteers. The volunteers come from Germany and are attached to the programme for a year. The foundation has no centre outside Windhoek, but there are plans to expand basketball development to other regions which require training to develop the sport. The popularity of the sport is now attracting around 100 players each week.







    Limba Mupetami

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  • 04/23/17--16:00: Touch & Go ups brand
  • Touch & Go ups brandTouch & Go ups brandGaoab raising standards Touch & GO FC launched the 'I Belong Campaign' to drum up support. Namibia's first division football club Touch & Go FC has embarked on a journey to get more supporters involved with the team, spokesperson Jefta Gaoab announced.

    The Otavi-based team is busy strategising ways to improve its brand and the quality of its football.

    Touch & Go were relegated from the 2014/15 Namibia Premier League (NPL) season after ending 14th on the log.

    Since then, the club has attempted to get back to the league, but however failed to secure topflight football last season.

    Speaking in an exclusive interview Gaoab said: “We have been teaching supporters that Touch & Go is the most dynamic and vibrant football team in Otavi.

    “This is to encourage each person from Otavi to have a sense of ownership towards a team we all love so dearly.

    “There has to be a feel of patriotism towards what is ours in order to help the team grow in to a fine supported club.”

    Gaoab believes that most football clubs in Namibia have failed to raise standards because they have not been able to get supporters involved.

    He maintained that fans should feel valued at their clubs in order for them to get involved with their respective teams.

    “We have to develop a deeper understanding as a football brand and team business.

    “The supporters also have to know the role they need to play in a team.

    “This is what we have been trying to do and we do believe that this is going to bring a positive change towards the team.”

    The club's main aim is to push their way back in to the premier league next season.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 04/23/17--16:00: Trophy to energise Omitara
  • Trophy to energise OmitaraTrophy to energise Omitara Football lovers in the Omitara settlement in the Steinhausen constituency in the Omaheke Region should expect fireworks from the third edition of the annual #Nossob Floating Trophy football tournament which will take place from 29 April to 1 May.

    The tournament is the brainchild of Kuti Hoxobeb, a football fanatic. Hoxobeb says that the tournament is open to any team in the country that has a potential to impress to take part. “There is still time until Saturday for teams to register. Currently, we have confirmation from 18 teams and we need more.”

    Last year 32 teams participated in the tournament with #Nossob Dream Team walking away with the cash price. “This year we will see more surprises,” Hoxobeb added. He further says the aim of the tournament is to give players living on farms around Omitara, the chance to prove their mettle by playing against players playing in organised football clubs. “It is their time to shine and make a good impression on everyone,” said Hoxobeb.

    He also called on vendors to come and sell food and drinks during the play-offs saying, “this tournament is for all of us. It is our way of giving back to you, please come out in your numbers and support the boys.”

    The registration fee per team is N$1 300 and the winner will walk away with N$13 000, a floating trophy and gold medals.

    The runners-up will get N$7 000 and silver medals with semi-final losers getting N$2 500 each.

    Teams are allowed to use only three Namibian Premier League players.



    NAMPA

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    Valke blows Welwitschias awayValke blows Welwitschias away The Hino Valke scored seven tries on their way to an expansive 50-33 (halftime 17-20) victory over the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias in their opening game of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park on Saturday.

    The game was still very tight with only a quarter of the match to go with the hosts leading their Namibian counterparts by just six points but then the Valke ran in five of their seven tries to comfortably win their North Section match and send the men from Windhoek packing.

    But it was the visitors who began the match on fire, opening the scoring as early as the second minute with the first of their five tries through the left wing, Gino Wilson. Valke flyhalf Warren Potgieter opened the scoring for the home side with a penalty to close the gap to four points after his counterpart; Theuns Kotze had converted the opening try.

    The Welwitschias increased their lead when right wing Lesley Klim darted down the touchline to score in the right-hand corner but the lead remained at nine points as Kotze was unable to convert from a tight angle. The Valke's Etienne Taljaard scored the first of his two tries of the afternoon after 25 minutes, beating a few defenders to score his side's first try, which Potgieter converted.

    It was a heavy tussle in the first stanza but the hosts registered their second five-pointer through flanker Dian Koen, who burst over the line from close range. Potgieter converted the try to give the Valke a slender two-point lead after Kotze had landed a penalty shortly before the try.

    But the visitors were to have the last say in the first period when lock Maharua Katjijeko rumbled over in the corner after a well-taken lineout but as Kotze failed to convert, the men from Namibia had to be content with a three-point advantage heading into the break.

    The home side rushed into a nine-point lead early in the second half with tries from Taljaard and right wing Grant Janke with Potgieter only converting Janke's score but midway through the second stanza, the Welwitschias clawed back three points as Kotze landed a penalty.

    Then the floodgates opened as the Valke landed two converted tries through flank Ernst Ladendorf and fullback Keaton Gordon to open up a 20-point lead going into the final 20 minutes of the match. Despite the visitors snatching back two unconverted tries of their own through scrumhalf and Captain Eugene Jantjies and Number 8 Leneve Damens, the home side finished off the encounter when replacement Maphutha Dolo barged his way over on the stroke of fulltime.

    SuperSport

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  • 04/23/17--16:00: Indongo parades titles
  • Indongo parades titlesIndongo parades titlesBoxer appreciate the fans The MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing & Fitness Academy embarked on a massive street parade throughout the city of Windhoek on Saturday. Julius 'Blue Machine' Indongo lauded his fans for the support they have given him during his title WBA, IBF, IBO unification fight in Scotland.

    The parade started at 09:00 in the town and went all the way through Katutura, with various stopovers at Soweto Market, Single Quarters and Eveline Street.

    “We are nothing without our fans, they pay big money and sacrifice their time to come and watch and support the MTC Nestor Sunshine Promotions every time we have events.

    “This achievement of Indongo is not just ours, but theirs as well, because we are nothing without them.

    “It was therefore important for us to introduce the champ to them, allow them to talk to him and shake his hand and celebrate the victory with us,” said Nestor Tobias.

    The boxer could not hide his excitement during the parade which lasted seven hours.

    “I am humbled by the parade because it allowed me to meet so many die-hard boxing fans today.

    “So many of them told me how they watched my last fight from the young to the most senior of citizens, and just knowing that the whole nation was behind me means so much to me.

    “It encourages me to go out there next time and do it again, not just for myself but for all Namibians.

    “I would like to thank our main sponsor MTC for the support and allowing me to mingle with people that I regard as my brothers and sisters,” said Indongo.

    The academy announced that more parades in different towns will follow soon.

    Sport Reporter

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  • 04/23/17--16:00: Tears for the players
  • Tears for the playersTears for the players It is with a deep sadness in my heart that I write this editorial today about the players that will not get a chance to play in the NFA Debmarine Cup this season.

    This comes after several clubs decided that they will not participate in the competition because they are not ready to do so.

    However, I must say the sad truth is that many thirsty football-loving players did not welcome the decision their respective clubs have taken with open hearts.

    These players have been out of action for far too long given that the Namibia Premier League has been dormant for almost a year now.

    When the news broke that Debmarine Namibia was sponsoring the competition, one could see the excitement among players and fans.

    Now that the competition has kicked off, there is a sudden sadness among some of the greatest talents gracing the pitches of this beautiful country.

    I spoke to several players after it was announced that some clubs have decided not to be part of the cup.

    I can boldly state that speaking to them felt like I was talking to someone who had just buried both his parents in one day.

    One could see that these players' thoughts were swimming deep in an ocean of sadness, confusion and despair.

    I could barely ask any further questions about how they feel because I felt as though I was rubbing salt on deep, deep wounds.

    Some of these players depend solely on football given that they do not have jobs and neither do they hold any academic qualifications.

    They are fathers and sometimes husbands or partners and football has been the only thing which has enabled them to put bread on the table.

    For most, hearing about the Debmarine Cup reignited their hopes and dreams of becoming a valued person in our society – sports or otherwise.

    The players thought that they could at least earn some extra money in view of the fact that each club participating in the tournament gets N$18 000 for each round.

    All this has become just words for some players now because some of the clubs have chosen to take the alternative route rather than taking them to the promised land.

    I strongly believe that it was a bad idea for the football clubs to opt not to play in the Debmarine Cup.

    Some clubs are claiming that they are not prepared, but I have been wondering why some other clubs, clubs with less financial backing, are ready.

    This is a question that has gone unanswered by most of the clubs that have decided to ignore the tournament.

    The fact that the NFA has indicated that it will take legal action against the clubs that chose not to be part of the tournament adds extra misery to the helpless players.

    We all thought that things were finally falling into place for football after the administrators' meeting with President Hage Geingob.

    It appeared as if the light is finally shining upon our beautiful game with MTC, Debmarine and many other companies showing their interest in football again.

    However, with what is happening now, I feel that this will probably drive away many other potential sponsors.

    My understanding is that more premier league clubs have also drawn knives against the tournament and will probably not be part of next weekend's matches.

    My advice to these clubs is that they must reconsider their decisions for the sake of the players who are desperate to play.

    It is about time that we let go of our personal egos and targets and think of the people that are directly affected by our decisions.

    We will never be able to fix problems if our decisions are based on vengeance and piloted by power-hungry motives.

    Enough is enough with this unwise administration that has been going on for so long in our beautiful game.

    It is time we stand together as people born under the same sun rather than acting as if we come from different planets.



    jesse@namibiansun.com

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  • 04/23/17--16:00: Athletics thrills
  • Athletics thrillsAthletics thrillsBock content with finish Athletes raced for their lives at the annual national athletics senior track and field championships. Namibian 400m sprinting sensation Mahmad Bock narrowly missed the number–one spot in the category after clocking 48/33 seconds(s) in the 400m final standings.

    The category saw two separate finals at the Independence Stadium on Saturday, with Bock winning one of the finals.

    Ernst Narib however took the overall glory after clocking 46/54s in his final race.

    “I am happy that I managed to win my race, but a bit disappointed that I could not get the number–one spot in the overall standings.

    “It was a very hard race because the guys were coming on very fast behind me.

    “I however managed to use my energy well in the final homestretch to win my race,” Bock said.

    Rejuvenated Dantago Gurirab outshined the experienced Hitjivirue Kaanjuka in the men's 100m final.

    Gurirab finished the race in a time of 10/3s, while Kaanjuka came in second clocking 10/4s.

    Former 100 and 200m national champion Even Tjiviju lost his crown to Gurirab after only managing a third place finish in a time of 10/5s.

    The women's 100m finals saw Jolene Jacobs winning the race in a time of 11/82s.

    Jacobs was followed by Sade De Sousa who clocked 11/82s, whilst veteran Globine Mayova came third with 12/22s.

    Narib also displayed fine form in the 200m races after winning in a time of 20/94s, followed by Even Tjiviju who managed 21/46s.

    Sprinter Hitjivirue Kaanjuka did not have any joy in the race seeing that he only came in third with 21/53s.

    Sade de Sousa also redeemed herself in the 200m women's finals after finishing first with 24/30s respectively.

    She was followed by Mberihonga Kandovazu who clocked 24/76, while Globine Mayova took the third spot with 24/78s.

    Kandovazu won the 400m races with a time of 57/58s followed by Salmi Nduviteko who managed 59/09s, while Perpetua Simataa finished third with 10/00/93s.

    “My plan is to work harder in order to compete in the Botswana national championships.

    “I hope that I can qualify for the world championship taking place later this year,” Bock said.

    The event also shot-put, javelin, high jump and many other categories represented.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    S. Sudan's kids too hungry to learnS. Sudan's kids too hungry to learn In South Sudan, where hundreds of thousands are on the brink of starvation and famine has been declared in two counties, children are struggling to learn because of lack of food.

    “I can't do my homework because I'm hungry,” Thor Athiam says. “I can't concentrate.”

    He shuffles the dirt under his small bare feet. The skinny nine-year-old's ripped shirt falls loosely off his frame. Crouched under a tree outside his classroom, he waits patiently for lunch.

    This will be the first time he's eaten since yesterday.

    “This is the worst year for school dropouts,” says Deng Mawien, the deputy headmaster in the school in this small town. “The hunger is having a negative impact.”

    Out of 1 000 children enrolled, Mawien says roughly 700 show up daily. Some have left with their families to neighbouring Sudan, while others are sent by their parents to work in the market to make money for food. South Sudan's three-year civil war and economic crisis has disrupted farming so much that millions of people are going hungry, aid officials say. As part of an initiative to keep kids in school, World Vision says it is providing 30 000 students with one hot meal a day in 171 schools in Greater Bahr El Ghazal province. “When the kids come to school in the morning and see the fire cooking, their eyes light up,” says Matthew Majok, a volunteer teacher. He says 14 of the 16 children who come to his class every morning haven't had anything to eat.

    “I see their faces,” he says. “They're hungry and they don't want to listen.” For most students, this is the only meal they'll eat all day.

    Devouring his lunch of porridge in a small metal bowl, Athiam says he's determined to continue his studies because he wants to become a teacher. “If you teach other generations they can teach the next ones,” he says. “And then there will be no hunger.”

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 04/23/17--16:00: Two drug lords shot dead
  • Two drug lords shot deadTwo drug lords shot deadMexican federal forces in gunfight Two sought-after drug dealers and leaders of cartels were shot dead in a stand-off with Mexican police forces. Two top drug traffickers have been killed in pre-dawn shootouts on Saturday with federal forces in the northern Mexico border state of Tamaulipas, authorities reported.

    The Tamaulipas security spokesperson's office said the men were killed in separate confrontations, which left highways littered with burned-out vehicles.

    Julian Loisa Salinas, better known as “Comandante Toro” and also known as Juan Manuel Loisa Salinas, was killed in a clash with marines in Reynosa, a city across the border from McAllen, Texas. Loisa Salinas reportedly was the Gulf cartel's local leader in Reynosa.

    Authorities had tried to capture him a number of times, leading to gun battles with his gang. In early April, two US citizens were reported wounded in one such gunfight.

    On Saturday, photos showed burned-out cars, trucks and buses littering streets in Reynosa. State authorities said his supporters had set fires and tried to block roads in an unsuccessful effort to help him escape.

    Luis Alberto Rodriguez, the state security spokesperson, said there were a total of 32 highway and street blockades, 11 of which were erected using burning vehicles. Such vehicles are usually hijacked from their owners by armed men and then set on fire.

    Nine businesses were burned and 18 vacant lots were set on fire.

    Also on Saturday, the local leader for the rival Zetas cartel in Tamaulipas' capital, Ciudad Victoria, was killed in a similar shootout farther south. He was tentatively identified as Francisco “Pancho” Carreon.

    The two were believed to be behind much of the recent violence in Tamaulipas.

    NAMPA/AP

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  • 04/23/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day LIVE BY THE SWORD: A Syrian boy stands with a toy gun in front of a bullet-riddled wall in the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus. PHOTO: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 04/23/17--16:00: Can we see some action?
  • Can we see some action?Can we see some action? Qualified audits. This is all we see in every single auditor-general report on town councils and regional councils across the country. Most recently, the Omaheke Regional Council received a qualified audit result with the possibility of fraudulent activity. Year after year, the reports are the same, in particular for the smaller towns in Namibia.

    We all know that they are falling apart. Places like Maltahöhe, where not too long ago, residents fed unemployed people to fill the raging potholes in the streets with a mixture of sand and cement. Towns where millions are owed to NamPower and NamWater. Towns where there are no jobs, schools are falling apart and even the town's church is in dire need of repair.

    Some of these places even dare to hold expos looking for investment. But there is no sanitation, no development, and no vibrancy, save the service stations on the main route, if of course the place is at all on any main route in the country. Shanty towns grow, shebeens mushroom and qualified audits are delivered.

    Have we ever seen any consequence to these qualified audits? Are there any investigations? Does the line minister have any disciplinary code to deal with town councils that are pillaging resources and committing fraud? Not one. We know of a few probes by the Anti-Corruption Commission, in Maltahöhe and of course, Minister Sophia Shaningwa 'stepping in' at Rehoboth. But nothing has happened in either place and the persons who are suspected of behaving irregularly, are still in office. A good thing we suppose otherwise they may be suspended to enjoy extended leave of more than a year on full pay and benefits.

    It is time for accountability. It is time that public servants begin to realise that that is precisely what they are. Servants. Working with other people's money. Not theirs. They are there to serve the ratepayers and the town or village in which they live.

    When will we see some action in this regard? Windhoek is overcrowded with job seekers and squatters because other places in this country are dead-end towns with nothing to offer save possibly, a little garden work every second Sunday or so.

    Accountability is key.

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    Concern over animal attacks in KavangoConcern over animal attacks in Kavango Concern has been raised about the increasing number of people who have been killed in incidences of wildlife conflict in the Kavango East Region.

    The governor of the region, Dr Samuel Mbambo, raised the concern during a briefing with Vice-President Dr Nickey Iyambo who is on a familiarisation tour of the region.

    He noted that the deaths occur mostly at 'Rundu Beach' and in the Ndiyona and Mukwe constituencies.

    “Crimes of concern in the region are rape, poaching, murder, housebreaking, theft and animal-related deaths,” he said.

    Iyambo was accompanied by agriculture minister John Mutorwa, the deputy minister of Environment and Tourism Tommy Nambahu, as well as senior officials from the Office of the President.

    Since 2013, some 116 lives have been lost to drowning and animal attacks. The numbers have remained high over the years.

    In 2013, 34 drownings, one hippo attack and three crocodile attacks were recorded.

    In 2014, 34 people drowned and four crocodile attacks were recorded, while in 2015, 15 drowning, 12 crocodile attacks, three snake bites and four elephant attacks were recorded.

    In 2016, three people drowned and three were attacked by crocodiles. One person has drowned so far this year.

    Iyambo said government could look into building crossing points for people to use in order to reduce the water-related deaths.

    During the past five years nearly 60 people have been killed by wild animals while 11 others were injured. A massive 25 867 livestock, which includes cattle, goats sheep and donkeys, have been killed by wild animals since 2013 while 1 524 hectares of crops have been destroyed.

    These statistics includes up-to-date data for this year which was made available by the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta at the National Conference on Human Wildlife Conflict Management.

    The ministry said in the first two months of this year seven people have already been killed by wild animals and 55 livestock have been killed while 57 hectares of crops were destroyed.

    Meanwhile some of the latest figures available of crocodiles in Namibia indicate that in the Kavango river system there were 376 crocodiles in 2014 and in the Mahango river system 276 crocodiles in 2014 while in 2015 there were 250 crocodiles in the Zambezi/Chobe river system and in the Kwando river system there were 680 crocodiles in 2015.

    In the Kunene there were 1 065 crocodiles in 2013.

    In recent years crocodiles have become a major problem causing human wildlife conflict, with between six to eight people that are killed annually by crocodiles and hippos in the regions.

    Annually between 30 livestock are killed by crocodiles.

    -Additional reporting by Nampa





    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Essential drone regulation lackingEssential drone regulation lacking The absence of drone regulation has been described as frustrating and problematic by local pilot Clay Elves.

    Elves has in the recent past seen various attempts to operate his drones shot down because of the absence of clear drone regulation.

    While it was generally expected that the setting of drone regulation in South Africa would ease matters locally, it appears that nothing has been done in that regard.

    “The biggest problem is that there is not a set legislation to deal with drones. The Namibian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is still discussing. The truth of the matter is, they do not have the capacity to regulate the use of drones, and they will need a dedicated team. The NCAA has their work cut out for them. The biggest problem is the lack of stipulated legislation,” he said following discussions with the authority.

    This has also seen many operators take their drones to the skies, often without following procedure Elves observed. “There are concerns especially if it comes to aircraft flying at low altitudes. The danger would be if a drone were to encounter a low altitude aircraft that is outside the restricted airport radius flying a scenic flight at low. I have also seen instances at Sossuslvlei where aircraft are flown at low altitudes and there are a number of scenic flights. It is foolish on one side, on the other, no one is doing anything.”

    As an advocate of the use of drones, he listed various advantages in their use. “The use of drones would be essential for fire-fighting and medical purposes.”

    South African drone expert and CEO of South Africa Drone Holdings, Sean Reitz recently told PoliticsWeb that the drone industry can help create thousands of work opportunities.

    An unbelievable amount of employment opportunities exist in the drone industry, provided candidates are the “right fit”, and that suitably structured and compliant companies are authorised to trade by the Civil Aviation Authority, he pointed out.

    “Training is important, but so is recruiting the right candidates for this training. It starts with the individual. Much thought needs to go into whether you are suited to becoming a drone pilot. It's not an easy job, it's not a 9-5 job and it's not always glamorous either,” said Reitz. Until July 2015, there were no laws in place in South Africa, which meant the flying of any unmanned aircraft was illegal. New stringent regulations were set up in response to the growing demand to regulate the sector so SA could take full advantage of the emerging technology.

    In other parts of the world, drones are used in agriculture to herd livestock and spray pesticide over crops. Drones are also being used to improve weather prediction and save time mapping archaeology sites.

    -Additional reporting by PoliticsWeb



    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Pohamba boosts small-scale farmersPohamba boosts small-scale farmersBemoans the lack of local support for northern producers Speaking at the graduation of the Unam northern campuses last week, former president Hifikeypunye Pohamba undertook to address the lack of local support for northern farmers. Former president and the outgoing chancellor of the University of Namibia (Unam) Hifikepunye Pohamba, urged local institutions to support local producers.

    Pohamba, who also announced that his term as chancellor ends in November this year, made the remark during the Unam northern campuses graduation ceremony at Ongwediva last week.

    The remarks came at a time when northern small-scale farmers are accusing government of not taking them seriously.

    The small-scale farmers say there are no markets for their products after government failed to allow public institutions to buy their produce. This, they say, is despite the fact that government encourages them to invest their money into farming.

    “I was delighted when I visited the Kalimbeza Rice Project in the Kavango West Region. Farmers there are producing very good rice, but I was saddened to hear that our business people do not want to buy the Kalimbeza rice to support local farmers. The same applies to other farmers who are producing fresh produce around here,” Pohamba said.

    Pohamba said that he is going to appeal to government so that all local government institutions will start supporting local producers. He commended the country's correctional services, saying that they produce their own food.

    “How can you import things that you can get locally? We must support our own people. I am going to talk to the government to start making use of products by local producers.”

    Farmers who operate under the government's Green Scheme, private producers and livestock farmers under the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU), all of them farming in the Northern Communal Areas (NCA) claim that government institutions sideline their products.

    They say government has created the Agro-Marketing and Trading Agency (AMTA) hubs in Rundu in the Kavango East Region and at Ongwediva in the Oshana Region to promote their produce, but AMTA also has no market and their produce ends up getting spoiled there.

    They said the local market is saturated with food from commercial farms or South African imports.

    The Olushandja Farmers Association, a group of private small-scale farmers at the Olushandja Dam, and the NNFU, claim that local government institutions such as school hostels, hospitals, prisons and others do not support them by consuming local produce. Catering companies supplying these institutions buy their products from communal farmers south of the red line and in South Africa.

    AMTA's marketing manager, Sackeus Enkono, agrees with the Olushandja farmers.

    He says the agency's mandate is to promote local products by creating market access, but there is nothing they can do if local catering companies and retailers do not support them.

    “Local farmers supply us with their products and it is the duty of the catering companies and retailers to buy products from us, but they opt to get the same products produced locally from the south or South Africa. This is a limiting factor for our farmers who are producing the same quality products, but have no support,” Enkono said.

    He said in order not to discourage the farmers AMTA takes up all their produce and tries to squeeze it into the informal market where it ends up competing with the farmers and their street-vendor customers.

    Green Scheme farmers get financial and technical support from the government, but they are experiencing the same problem as the Olushandja farmers. Currently they are producing only tomatoes, onions, cabbage and butternuts to sell in the informal market.

    NNFU farmers in the Zambezi, Kavango East and West, Ohangwena, Oshana, Oshikoto, Omusati and Kunene regions who met at Ongwediva last year said they needed meat processing facilities to promote local meat, but were frustrated by Meatco.

    According to them Meatco was created by an Act of parliament but now operates as a company outside the provisions for state-owned enterprises.

    They accuse the meat producer of favouring farmers south of the veterinary cordon fence.

    The farmers also claim that Meatco cares only about the export market and not about the domestic market.



    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Ongwediva's Medipark goes academicOngwediva's Medipark goes academicThe facility is now a teaching hospital for Unam med students Opening up a vast acumen of knowledge, Ongwediva Medipark is working with Unam's medical school as a teaching hospital. The school of medicine at the University of Namibia (Unam) will now rely on specialists and medical facilities at the Ongwediva private hospital, Medipark in their pursuit to train qualified medical doctors and pharmacists.

    Ongwediva Medipark opened its doors for Unam to use their more than 30 specialist doctors in various disciplines to train aspiring medical students.

    On Thursday Unam's vice-chancellor Lazarus Hangula and Ongwediva Medipark's managing director Dr Tshali Iithete unveiled the Ongwediva Medipark academic facility accredited by the Health Professional Council of Namibia, and complementing Onadjokwe Lutheran Hospital and Oshakati Intermediate Hospital.

    However, the school of medicine appealed to Ongwediva Medipark to extend its gratitude in offering internship training to their dentistry, occupational therapy and physiotherapy students.

    “We can now feel the dream of the School of Medicine slowly becoming a reality as Ongwediva Medipark agreed to open its doors to the training of our future doctors. At Unam, we are renewing our dedication to produce the very best of health professionals for the country and the world,” Hangula said.

    Hangula said that Medipark as a private hospital is equipped with specialists many of which have rare skills that young Namibians can benefit from.

    “Ongwediva Medipark has freely made its specialists available to our students, not only train them in and around their hospital premises, but more importantly, making the same experts available to follow the students into state facilities for practical training,” he said.

    On his behalf, Iithete said that the best healthcare facilities are the teaching or academic hospitals. He said their primary objective has always been to complement the existing health facilities in the northern region as a need to elevate the standard of healthcare in the country.

    “The healthcare practitioners in the teaching hospitals are in touch with the latest technology and advancement in medicine and healthcare. It is also at these same institutions where large bodies of knowledge in medicine have been attained in form of research. We also want the same for our Medipark and that is why we made our institution available for the training of medical students,” Iithete stated.

    He said specialists at Ongwediva Medipark have previously been part of the training facilities or academic institutions from different parts of the world. They have brought a variety of skills and experiences to enhance teaching capacity.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    New RA building being repairedNew RA building being repaired The CEO of the Roads Authority (RA) Conrad Lutombi says they have moved into their new headquarters despite having detected a few defects in the building and that the flaws identified will be fixed.

    Lutombi said that they were scheduled to move into the new building in February after they were issued with a completion certificate but before they could occupy they detected the faults. “While we moved into the new building we detected cracks on one of the pillars on the ground floor,” said Lutombi.

    The CEO says they informed the construction company about the defects and that they have carried out investigations to find out the cause of the cracks. “We did not want to take a chance and we instructed our engineers to investigate. They hired an expert from South Africa and we also hired our own independent engineer to find out what caused the cracks,” said Lutombi.

    He added that they have taken measures to ensure that the building is safe for use while the investigations continue. The CEO says that remedial work for the defects found on the ground floor of the southern wing of the building will commence next week.

    The seven-storey building was constructed by Namibia Construction with two basement levels and is located on the southeasterly corner of the intersection of David Hosea Meroro Road and Mandume Ndemufayo Avenue.







    Shona Ngava

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