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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 05/09/17--16:00: MPs must not shut out media
  • MPs must not shut out mediaMPs must not shut out media National Council chairperson, Margaret Mensah-Williams, has implored fellow parliamentarians to embrace journalists instead of completely shutting them out.

    She said the media is responsible mediums for informing the nation.

    “The traditional sense of the term media and news has truly advanced as it not only informs the masses of the happenings around the country, but a vast majority of the public's opinion rests in the hands of this important institution and here lies great responsibility,” Mensah-Williams said during a media day event hosted by the National Council.

    The event was held to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the various media houses in the country working with government officials. She appealed to members of parliament to stop shutting out journalists but to make themselves available to the media.

    Misa Namibia country director, Natasha Tibinyane also shared the same sentiments, saying one of ways the media can be effective is “if all media houses are plural, diverse, independent and not controlled by external factors”.

    Tibinyane said that Namibia has been the only African country in the top 20 of the World Press Freedom Index for the past six years. The index is the annual ranking of countries compiled and published by Reporters Without Borders, based upon the organisation's own assessment of the countries' press freedom records in the previous year.

    Currently at 24, Tibinyane blamed political intimidation for Namibia's global decline.

    “We need to recognise that journalists are people too. They have families to take care of and a bill to pay so by intimidating someone, you will make them lose their job is unfair,” she said.

    She informed MPs that journalists should be held accountable for their work and the public should make use and contact the Media Ombudsman whenever the journalists violate journalism ethics.


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  • 05/09/17--16:00: Vet foreign engineers
  • Vet foreign engineersVet foreign engineersMPs must not shut out media The Society of Engineers in Namibia believes that foreigners are being allowed to work in Namibia at the expense of local talent which is qualified. The Namibian Society of Engineers has called on the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration to carry out due-diligence in the issuance of work permits to expatriate engineers.

    In an appeal letter addressed to permanent secretary for home affairs Patrick Nandago, the society's secretary-general Rachel Kakololo called for proper vetting when work permits are issued to foreign nationals in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering.

    A large number of local engineers are unemployed according to Kakololo, due to retrenchments, lack of adequate training opportunities and the lack of proactive engagement by the Engineering Council of Namibia.

    “Namibian engineers are currently unemployed or misemployed due to retrenchments [because] companies have not been receiving project appointments in a long time, because of inadequate supporting programmes within the government system and a lack of proactive engagement by the Engineering Council of Namibia,” Kakololo said.

    Pleading the home affairs ministry to favour local engineers, she said: “The era of 'we don't have engineers' is long over. The ministry of home affairs must ensure with absolute certainty that such engineering work for which an expatriate is being hired can truly not be carried out by our own engineers here in Namibia.”

    The society also called on government to cap contracts given out to expatriate engineers to five years. “Under no circumstances should any contract for engineering positions be more than five years or extended without a clear reason why the intern can still not take over from the expatriate,” Kakololo further suggested.

    According to her, the society has compiled a database of engineers and graduate engineers and said that it was prepared to provide the list to the home affairs ministry for the cross-checking of local engineers. “We are prepared to provide your office with the information you need to cross-check the availability of local engineers before issuing any work permits to non-Namibians for any positions in the fields of engineering, science and mathematics.”

    Kakololo also called on the ministry of labour to conduct investigations at various state projects to establish whether locals were favoured over foreign engineers. “Launch an investigation at various state projects and find out how many Namibians engineers are employed,” she said. “Understand if the jobs given to non-Namibians can be performed by our own engineers,” she said.

    The society was, according to her, also willing to work more closely with the Engineering Council of Namibia and admitted that the relationship was not always at its best.

    Commenting on the relationship, she said: “We would like to work together with them. We have not enjoyed a good relationship with them in the past and hope the relationship improves going forward.”


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    Uukwangali chief officially installedUukwangali chief officially installed Eugene Siwombe Kudumo was officially sworn in as chief of the Uukwangali Traditional Authority on Friday, bringing to an end to a two-year conflict for chieftaincy.

    Kudumo’s chieftaincy wrangle followed the death of Hompa Sitentu Daniel Mpasi in 2014 and despite Mpasi having chosen him as heir to the throne and his selection announced publicly by the late chief Mpasi, a pressure group within the traditional authority who claimed Kudumo was not procedurally chosen, contested his chieftaincy.

    The pressure group contested Kudumo’s installation as chief of the Uukwangali Traditional Authority and the matter was heard in the high court several times. The group argued that Kudumo’s chieftaincy had not been done procedurally.

    The Windhoek High Court in 2015 set aside his appointment but Kudumo continued to act as the chief of the Uukwangali Traditional Authority.

    Last month, the minister of urban and rural development, Sophia Shaningwa also entered the chieftaincy fray to stave off Kudumo's removal from office.

    On Friday, Kudumo was officially installed as the 21st chief of the Uukwangali Traditional Authority.

    During his acceptance speech, Kudumo appealed to his people to set aside their differences saying the Uukwangali Traditional Authority gives priority to the serve the community.

    “I am acknowledging the fact that there have been some challenges in terms of Uukwangali chieftainship to succeed the late Hompa Sitentu Mpasi. However today, I am requesting all of us including myself to set our differences aside for the interest of Uukwangali community and the country at large,” Kudumo said.

    “Peace and stability of any given community starts at community level. We are therefore the leading agents of peace, harmony and tranquillity. Let us all therefore direct our efforts towards developing our community rather than pushing backwards in one way or another.”

    A speech read on behalf of Shaningwa by Philip Tjerije, her special advisor on traditional matters, said Kudumo as the chief is obliged to act as the custodian of the customary law of the traditional authority.

    Shaningwa in her speech also outlined some of Kudumo’s powers, duties and functions as the chief, stressing that he should work together with his subjects and followers to avoid conflicts which are divisive.

    “You (Kudumo) and your leadership, as well your community, should work together to ascertain your customary law to provide certainty especially with regard to leadership succession and by doing so avoiding squabbles and costly and divisive disputes over successions in the future,” Shaningwa said.

    “Your community expects from you a leadership role that is responsive to the needs and that you lead by example. Similarly they expect you to be in the forefront in advocating for peace, unity, order and social cohesion in your community,” Shaningwa added.

    She also called on the councillors, the Uukwangali community and hompas in the two Kavango regions to assist Kudumo to exercise his leadership role.


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    Slow start to Genocide Memorial Day talksSlow start to Genocide Memorial Day talksResidents of the south first want deferment on date discussions Consultations for the memorial day for the genocide kicked off rather slowly and //Karas residents said they first need closure and compensation before they can decide on a date. Consultations with various traditional authorities and communities on the proposed Genocide Remembrance Day to determine a suitable date for the commemoration started Monday.

    At the first meeting, members of the //Karas community were divided over the proposed date of 28 May as the “National Genocide Remembrance Day” at a meeting in Keetmanshoop.

    Swanu of Namibia President Usutuaije Maamberua in April last year tabled a motion in the National Assembly to discuss, determine and declare the said date as the day to observe the genocide.

    The date, 28 May 1908, is said to mark the release of Herero and Nama victims who survived the war against the German colonial forces from 1904 to 1908, during which many were held in concentration camps.

    The motion was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitution and Legal Affairs, which embarked on its first meeting on the matter in the southern capital.

    Some members of the Nama community present expressed agreement with the proposed date, while others requested a deferment for further consultation.

    Those who did not want to settle on the date said remembrance of the genocide could not take place separate from the discussion and conclusion of reparations.

    The deputy captain of the /Hai-/Khaua clan of Berseba, Stephanus Goliath said it is simple to decide on the date but painful to discuss the genocide.

    “Our people lost their lives and their resources, and today still languish in poverty. When the issue of genocide, land or reparations come up in parliament, fights erupt. Why?” he asked.

    Goliath said government over the years chose certain moments in the country's history to recognise, while the resources lost during the genocide continue to be in the hands of those who appropriated them.

    “The bottom line is that we want our land back. The pain will come back when the day is commemorated, but the question will remain: What am I celebrating?” he said.

    Chief David Frederick of the !Aman of Bethanie said the date and its meaning should be deliberated on by the two affected tribes and alongside the developments of a lawsuit lodged against the German government.

    The chief is a plaintiff in the matter filed in a United States of America court seeking reparations from Germany and demanding the inclusion of the affected communities in official talks between the Namibian and German governments.

    He noted the proposed day might over time lose significance, as it will be held in a month awash with public holidays including Cassinga and Workers' Day.

    Simon Isaak, a second-generation descendant of Chief Cornelius Frederick who died as a prisoner in the Shark Island concentration camp, also said the discussion of the date should be postponed.

    “This is a painful and sensitive issue that elicits brutal images of babies torn from the breasts of their mothers and skulls put on display. There should be sensitivity and a chance for affected families to sit together and clear their minds first,” he said.

    The chairperson of the Standing Committee Sebastian Karupu, the vice-chairperson Emilia Nuyoma-Amupewa and member Vipuakuje Muharukua said the purpose of the proposed day is to unite all Namibians in remembrance of the atrocity.

    They said the day should be mourned by all Namibians and that is why consultations will be held all over the country.

    Committee member, Bernadus Swartbooi said the genocide is an important issue, in which over 100 000 people died and lost their land.

    The first consultation in Keetmanshoop is expected to be followed by others in Mariental, Gobabis, Outapi, Oshakati, Omuthiya, Eenhana, Nkurenkuru, Rundu, Katima Mulilo and Windhoek.

    The committee is expected to report its findings to the National Assembly.

    It thus decided to consult the affected communities and authorities to determine the enactment or declaration of a Genocide Remembrance Day, and reach consensus on the most suitable date.


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  • 05/09/17--16:00: Electricity goes up 8%
  • Electricity goes up 8%Electricity goes up 8% The Electricity Control Board has approved an 8% increase in the cost of electricity, translating to an effective bulk tariff increase from N$1.49 to N$1.61 per kWh, its CEO Foibe Namene said yesterday.

    In its motivation for a tariff hike, NamPower said the aim was to ensure cost-reflective tariffs, to sustain NamPower as a going concern, and to fund capital expansion projects.

    While NamPower has experienced an under-recovery on the generation part of its business, it experienced an over-recovery on the transmission part, the full benefit of which will be passed on to the customer in the tariff review for 2017/18, reflecting the 8% tariff hike.

    Justifying the ECB's decision to hike the tariff, Namene said: “The ECB considers the 8% tariff increase to be the optimum increase for NamPower and its customers. Should the increase be lower than 8% it means that a large proportion of the under recovery will be deferred to the following year which will burden the future tariff adjustments.”

    On future anticipated tariff hikes she said: “The regulator is confident that the tariff will stabilise in the short and medium term.

    The current favourable condition provided by the stable electricity supply industry will allow opportunity to increase local generation capacity in a more coordinated manner.”

    The tariff will now become effective on 1 July 2017. Commenting on other issues in the electricity industry, Namene said additional electricity capacity would be added to the national grid in due course. “An additional 101 megawatt (mW) is expected to be commissioned in the next 18 months, comprising of the Hardap solar photovoltaic tender (37mW) and three unsolicited projects (64mW).

    “In total there will be 184 mW of renewable energy by the end of 2018 and this will make up 27% of the total installed capacity for the country.”


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    Community petitions Geingob over game farmsCommunity petitions Geingob over game farmsOvaherero want Ovitoto communal area expanded A branch of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority is demanding that President Hage Geingob rescind the allocation of two government-owned farms to a private company. The Ovitoto branch of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) plans to march to State House today to hand over a petition objecting to the allocation of the resettlement farms Osema and Gusinde to Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris (Pty) Ltd.

    In the petition the group asks for President Hage Geingob to rescind the decision that led to the allocation of the farms to the private company.

    The Ministry of Land Reform announced on 12 April that the farms, which lie adjacent to the Ovitoto communal area, had been allocated to Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris. Chief Vipuira Kapuuo of the OTA's Ovitoto branch said the body had made several appeals to the lands ministry to use the farms, totalling 9 128 hectares, to expand the communal area.

    He made specific mention of a letter sent to former lands minister Alpheus !Naruseb on 24 January 2015 and a petition to lands minister Utoni Nujoma on 15 April 2015. He also mentioned a statement made by !Naruseb that the farms should be incorporated into the Ovitoto communal area, as well as the ministry's annual plan of 2014/15 that called for additional land to be allocated to the communal area.

    The OTA similarly had a meeting with Nujoma on 19 September last year about the matter.

    Shareholding in question

    According to the registrar of companies in the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, the shareholders of Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris are John Ali Iipinge (40%), Josephine Ipupa Kasheeta (20%), Gabriel Mureti (20%), Erestine Jessica Tjiundje (10%), the Ovitoto Conservancy (7%) and Angelina Operi Kanduvarisa (3%).

    Conservancy members are furious over their purported shareholding, saying the conservancy on its own had applied for the farms and would not have settled for a measly 7% stake therein.

    Conservancy member Kavetjuo Ndisiro further said there were never any meetings or decisions taken regarding a shareholding in Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris and charged that the chairperson, Lisias Tjeripo Tjaveondja, had unilaterally gone behind their backs and signed himself up as a shareholder.

    The permanent secretary of the lands ministry, Peter Amutenya, had also made the point that individual members of the Ovitoto community, and not the conservancy, were stakeholders in the company.

    Attempts to get comment from Tjaveondja were fruitless since his cellphone remained unanswered.

    Registration of company dubious

    More concerning, though, is that both the Ovitoto Conservancy and the OTA consider the company's registration as “dubious”.

    Tjaveondja himself wrote a letter to Minister Nujoma in which he claimed that the resettlement farms were allocated to Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris while it was not a registered company in the records of the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development.

    From company records seen, the name of Hallie Investment Number Three Thousand One Hundred and Seventy Four (Pty) Ltd waschanged to Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris on 24 April this year, well after the lands ministry has publicly announced on 12 April that the farms would be allocated to latter.

    Equally controversial is that the registrar of companies reserved the name Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris from 11 August 2016 to 10 October 2016 upon an application by a certain Monica Gorases.

    Kapuuo claimed that the expiry of the reservation of the company name was never renewed. He also charged that Hallie Investments had until 24 April been nothing more than a shell company. Kapuuo said when members of the Ovitoto community noted in April that there was no legal entity called the Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris, they went and reserved the same name.

    This, he said, implied that nobody else other than those who had reserved and paid for the reservation of that name could access and use the name for their business.

    “This leaves one to wonder how the new award winners of Farm Osema No. 63 and Farm Gusinde No 197 could have obtained this same name unless through dubious and corrupt practices,” said Kapuuo.

    Kapuuo further questioned how Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris with Iipinge and Kasheeta as directors could have registered as a tourism-related business without first having acquired authorisation from the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB).

    He accused the lands ministry of deliberately omitting the Ovitoto Conservancy from even entering the prequalification phase of the bidding process, claiming favouritism in the award of the resettlement farms.

    “There was no competitive bidding by any other company,” charged Kapuuo.

    Questions sent to director Kasheeta yesterday were not answered before going to press.

    The lands ministry said it had done what was legally required by law to select beneficiaries for the farms by advertising for applicants, which it said was then “justly done”.

    It said successful candidates thereafter were selected “based on credible documentation” supplied to the ministry “by each competing entity”.


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    Namibia competitive in AfricaNamibia competitive in Africa Namibia has been ranked as one of the most competitive countries in Africa.

    Ranked sixth on the continent, it comes in behind Mauritius, South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana and Morocco.

    This is according to the 2017 Africa Competitiveness Report which was released during the World Economic Forum held in South Africa.

    However the report notes that Namibia has over the past six years dropped about eight places in its global competiveness ranking. In 2012/13 the country ranked 92nd out of 144 countries, while currently it is ranked 84th out of 138 countries.

    Analysing the results of 35 African economies included in the report it reveals that African competitiveness is still lower than in other regions and convergence has stagnated.

    According to the report the major problems for doing business in Namibia is access to financing, an inadequate workforce and inefficient government bureaucracy.

    Other problems that were highlighted in the report are the poor work ethic of the labour force of Namibia, corruption and inflation, tax rates and inadequate supply of infrastructure.

    According to the report Namibia was rated fourth on the continent for financial market development and globally it ranked 79th.

    For institutional quality it was also ranked fourth in Africa and was placed 39th globally.

    “Southern African countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, and South Africa) and Rwanda continue to lead the African ranking for institutional quality, all appearing in the upper half of the global rankings,” said the report.

    Namibia also fared well in its rating for infrastructure, acquiring fourth place on the continent and 66th globally.

    The report specifically says that transport infrastructure is well developed only in South Africa (30th); while in Morocco (47th), the second-best performer in Africa, it is already about 15% less sound than in that of the OECD average. OECD countries are a group of 35 developed countries belonging to an economic development framework programme.

    “Namibia, Kenya, and Ghana, the 4th-, 5th-, and 6th-best African performers, have average scores that are 5 to 30% lower than the level attained by Morocco.”

    The report says that over the past 10 years only South Africa and Botswana have managed to reduce the gap in transport infrastructure with the advanced economies.

    It however says the quality of seaports and roads in some African countries perform relatively well: the quality of roads in Namibia and ports in South Africa is in line with average levels in advanced economies.

    Furthermore Namibia was ranked third for its labour market efficiency in Africa while it was placed 32nd globally.

    However Namibia did not rate very high when it came to its macroeconomic environment, health and primary education and higher education and training compared to other countries in Africa.

    The poorest rating Namibia received was for its market size which on a global scale received 113rd place and with a dismal sore resulted in Namibia being placed at 23rd out of all the African countries.

    In the areas of technological readiness, business sophistication and innovation Namibia fared moderately compared to other countries on the continent.

    “African countries are not equipped to transition to a Fourth Industrial Revolution economy. Even the most tech-savvy countries in the region—South Africa (ranked 58th in ICT use), Mauritius (72nd), Botswana (83rd),

    Namibia (96th), and Kenya (105th)—are still far behind the frontier in the adoption of ICT technologies.”

    The report said Namibia is also best placed to achieve nominal benefits from low population growth and is less likely to encounter stress from rapid population growth. Population growth and basic requirements for competitiveness as set by the report suggest that a backwards relation exists between the projected working-age population growth towards 2035 and beyond.


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  • 05/09/17--16:00: Omatala still unresolved
  • Omatala still unresolvedOmatala still unresolved There is no information available on the status of the allocation of the land known as Omatala in Oshakati.

    The town's CEO Werner Iita has confirmed that the issue of the allocation of the old open market's land is a critical matter to discuss but he opted not to divulge any further information to Namibian Sun.

    The chairperson of the management committee, Gabriel Kamwanka, also declined to comment.

    Sources are speculating that the matter is currently either at court or on the desk of the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, as Iita confirmed that it is not with the council.

    The ministry did not respond to requests for information and declined to take telephone calls from Namibian Sun in this regard.

    A well-placed source told Namibian Sun that the crisis deepened after all ten companies who tendered for the land, wrote letters to the council objecting to its decision to sell Omatala to businessman Erastus 'Chicco' Shapumba for N$2.5 million.

    It is also reported that the councillors have refused to release the findings of an independent property valuator who ascertained the value of the old open market land.

    Iita said that it is very difficult for him to talk about the issue at this stage.

    “This is very critical for me. The council has completed all the processes and it was handed to the relevant authority. It is no more in the hands of the council and that is all I can tell you,” Iita said.

    It is also reported that councillors are under mounting pressure from Shaningwa, who is said to be demanding that they finish what they started.

    In July last year, former Oshakati mayor Katrina Shimbulu announced that Shapumba's company, Mouse Properties CC, won the bid to acquire the old Oshakati open market. Shapumba's company beat Lynx Property Developers, Oshiwana Property Developers, Tecklink Consultants, Kalahari Holdings, FAI Square Development Consortium, NDI Holdings SINCO Investments, Water Power Trading CC, BH Properties CC and Sun Investment CC, that all submitted bids to develop the prime land.

    It has been confirmed that Shapumba, through his company Mouse Properties had paid N$2 million shortly after receiving the letter of acknowledgement of the allocation of the land from the town council and has already cleared the 1.7-hectare plot to make way for development. According to documents at the time, the land was valued at N$7.5 million. Last year Shimbulu told Namibian Sun that the 1.7-hectare piece of land was worth about N$900 000, but the council decided to sell it for N$2.5 million.

    This prompted the other ten companies to object the allocation of the land to Shapumba for N$2.5 million while they were informed the land value was N$7.5 million.


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    Nujoma's birthday to be low-key affairNujoma's birthday to be low-key affairFounding president to hand over a clinic Founding President Sam Nujoma turns 88 on Friday and will mark his birthday by handing over a clinic built at his farm. Unlike the usual fanfare, Founding President Sam Nujoma has decided to keep it a low-key affair when he celebrates his 88th birthday this weekend.

    Nujoma turns 88 on Friday and will mark his birthday by officially handing over a clinic - constructed at his Etunda farm outside Otavi - to the government on Saturday.

    Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba yesterday told reporters that the ruling party was not planning a major event for the elder statesmen under the banner of the 12 May Movement.

    The movement was the idea of the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) to honour Nujoma for his contribution to Namibia's independence.

    According to Mbumba, the party will instead opt to raise funds to complete a school at Nujoma's farm.

    Nujoma has donated land from his own farm and undertook to construct a modern health facility known as Etunda Farm Primary School and a clinic to cater for farming communities in the surrounding areas.

    According to Mbumba, the clinic project has now been completed and will be handed over to the Ministry of Health and Social Services on Saturday.

    “As we all know, 12 May is the birthday of our beloved Founding President, Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma, who led Swapo through the bitter years of the liberation struggle. His birthday has been celebrated each year and the Swapo party has always been spearheading the birthday celebration,” said Mbumba.

    “The Founding Father has directed that he wish to dedicate his 88th birthday towards the completion of Etunda Farm Primary School project. Therefore, his desires that all those who wish to celebrate his birthday should do so by contributing financially or in kind, towards the completion of this very important school project.”

    Mbumba has urged the business sector as well as individuals who want to contribute, to contact his office or John Nauta, special assistant to the founding president.

    The 12 May Movement was created to celebrate Nujoma's legacy and the role he played in the liberation struggle of the country, as well as his outstanding leadership during his time as first president of Namibia.

    Last year Nujoma's birthday was organised by a group of business people.


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    NAMIBIA WELCOMES RELEASE OF CHIBOK GIRLS NAMIBIA WELCOMES RELEASE OF CHIBOK GIRLS RELEASED: In this handout picture, some of the 82 released Chibok girls wait before a meeting with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Eighty-two of the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria in 2014 arrived in Abuja on Sunday to meet the Nigerian president after a prisoner swap deal secured their release. The Namibian government yesterday welcomed the release of the Nigerian girls. “The people in the northern part of Nigeria have suffered unimaginable distress caused by militants. The Chibok girls underwent trauma of insurgencies as they have been held under difficult conditions,” a statement from the international relations ministry read. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 05/09/17--16:00: Lutherans must apologise
  • Lutherans must apologiseLutherans must apologiseChurch accused of silence over Swapo dungeons Human rights organisations say the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) was well aware of human rights abuses committed in exile. The human rights organisations Forum for the Future (FFF) and NamRights want the Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) meeting in Windhoek this week, to publicly apologise for its alleged complicity and continued silence about Swapo's human rights violations in exile before independence.

    The organisations further want the Assembly of the LWF to facilitate and provide funding for a national truth and reconciliation process in Namibia. They say such a truth and reconciliation process would give survivors of Swapo's dungeons, individual Swapo perpetrators “overburdened with guilt”, as well as former SWATF and Koevoet soldiers, a platform to publicly share what they went through and to openly confess and ask for forgiveness for crimes committed.

    Swapo is accused of widespread and systematic planned torture, enforced disappearance, summary executions, prolonged arbitrary detentions and other war crimes against fellow Namibians between 1966 and 1989.

    NamRights and FFF say there is substantial documentary evidence demonstrating that the LWF was fully informed and aware that the Swapo leadership was involved in war crimes, especially in Angola and Zambia.

    The late Reverend Siegfried Groth and late Reverend Salatiel Ailonga, as well as the Committee of Parents and the Parents Committee of Namibia, are said to have warned LWF's office in Geneva that a “dangerous situation” was unfolding in Swapo in exile and asked it to act before it was too late.

    “Yet the LWF failed to act,” the human rights organisations say. “Had they acted, the violations would have stopped or would have occurred to a lesser extent.”

    Former Swapo president Sam Nujoma reportedly visited the LWF in Geneva in 1987 to seek humanitarian assistance. There, he denied all allegations of the widespread violations in Swapo camps and claimed it was a smear campaign orchestrated by the apartheid South African regime.

    Nujoma then invited the LWF to Angola on a fact-finding mission. The LWF dispatched six people – Dr Ishmael Noko, Reverend Ruth Blazer, Olle Eriksson, Hanne Sophie Greve, Reverend Helmut Jehle, and Bodil Solling – in December 1987 to visit a Swapo refugee settlement in Angola.

    A report drawn up by the LWF delegation corroborated Nujoma's denial. This report was commended by the former secretary-general of the LWF, Dr Gunnar Stålsett.

    NamRights and FFF say the LWF delegation allowed itself “to be taken for a ride” by the Swapo leadership while Swapo-held detainees were languishing in dungeons at Lubango in southern Angola.

    “The fact is that President Nujoma had intentionally misinformed the LWF in Geneva about human rights abuses by Swapo in Angola. He also connived to invite and mislead the LWF delegation to Angola. This all had caused the delegation to compile a false report,” said FFF and NamRights.

    They said that also led to Stålsett making outrageous statements about reports of human rights abuses by Groth, Ailonga, the Committee of Parents and the Parents' Committee of Namibia, which he had shrugged off as South African propaganda and in the process aggravated the plight of the Swapo detainees.

    NamRights and FFF said after the LWF delegation's report, more than 130 Lubango detainees were killed or disappeared between 1987 and 1989, before the return of Namibians from exile.

    The human rights organisations also expressed disappointment that the LWF Assembly booklet entitled 'The Lutheran Wold Federation and Namibia' had left out names of Lutherans who had suffered at different times in different ways at the hands of the Swapo leadership.

    NamRights executive director Phil Ya Nangoloh said it was a moral issue for the LWF to respond to the appeal.

    “They owe the Namibian people an apology; it is not too late. They must repent. But I will not forgive them until they ask for forgiveness. All people make mistakes but better people apologise,” said Ya Nangoloh.

    Organisations such as the joint committee of the Committee of Parents and Truth and Justice Committee, as well as individuals, have signed the appeal to the LWF Assembly which will be hand-delivered and electronically sent to the Assembly.

    The joint committee of relatives and former PLAN fighters said they had appealed to the LWF and the World Council of Churches (WCC) since 1 March last year to assist with the resolution of the matter but that they never received a response.

    According to Erika Beukes of the joint committee, the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) in December last year called for an inquiry into the alleged war crimes. The joint committee is embarking on the inquiry soon.



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    Haufiku warns against fake healersHaufiku warns against fake healers In a no-holds-barred speech, health minister Bernard Haufiku has strongly condemned self-proclaimed prophets and traditional doctors who claim to have the power to cure diseases such as HIV/Aids.

    Haufiku told community members in the Oshana Region that people with illnesses should seek help from medical facilities and not from “prophets”.

    “Why don't we think for ourselves, as someone will be making money from you by telling you lies. Many people have died of HIV, not because of the virus but because they were told lies by a prophet that came from wherever into Namibia to make money telling people that he or she can heal you with prayers and that you stop taking your medication,” Haufiku said.

    He was speaking at the inauguration of the N412 million Eloolo clinic yesterday. “We are being crooked and lied to by these people and we are still believing in them… we have to stop this nonsense,” he said.

    Haufiku also accused nurses in the public service of abusing their position by selling fake medicines.

    The minister also made reference to advertisements for “magic bullet” remedies purported to cure a variety of ailments, saying that there was no such product in existence.

    Haufiku said he would engage with information minister Tjekero Tweya and the Health Professional Council of Namibia to stop of any form of medical advertisement in the mainstream media.

    Contractors slammed

    The health minister also took issue with government-appointed contractors, accusing them of maximising profits at all costs by delivering shoddy work.

    He specifically referred to the septic tank at the Eloolo clinic, which is said to be leaking.

    “Some people don't think when they build, and it is wasting government money, which is your money, because now we have to reconstruct that septic tank.

    “I want to plead with the contractors and subcontractors that they should not just want to complete their project, get away and run to the next project, but consider that they are contributing to national goals and that they are part of the community and Namibia. Therefore, don't just think of making money,” Haufiku said.

    The Eloolo clinic, which opened its doors in March 2016, serves about 5 000 people.

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  • 05/10/17--16:00: World cup draw motivates NRU
  • World cup draw motivates NRUWorld cup draw motivates NRUWelwitschias chase qualification Namibian rugby has already started planning for matches against the world rugby giants, even before qualifying to the global tournament. With the 2019 Ruby World Cup draw out, Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) president, Bradley Basson, believes that the team will be more motivated to work hard.

    Namibia will still have to play in the Africa Cup before they can guarantee themselves a place in the biggest world rugby competition slated for Japan.

    The team which qualifies from Africa Cup will automatically be drawn in pool B with world champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and repechage winner.

    The Africa Cup competition will be played from 24 June to 5 August and will see Namibia, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Uganda, Tunisia and Kenya battle for a place to the finals.

    However, as hot favourites to qualify, the Welwitschias has already started planning on how they will boost their preparations to meet the top rugby teams at the world cup.

    “Yes, we saw the draw and I do not think there is much of a difference than the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

    “We still do have to qualify and I think after seeing the draw, we will be motivated to work hard so that we can do better in the tournament if we do qualify.

    “I do believe that it is not only Namibia that will be motivated by the draw, but any African country that wants to qualify,” Basson said.

    During the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Namibia gave a tenacious performance against the world champions, All Blacks, losing 58-18 in the group stages.

    Their best performance in the competition came in a match against Georgia, where they narrowly lost 16-17.

    However, the team still seeks its first ever world cup win in the history of the competition.

    The draw:

    Pool A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan

    Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy

    Pool C: England, France, Argentina

    Pool D: RugbyU: Australia, Wales, Georgia

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Preston advised to sign NyambePreston advised to sign Nyambe A football columnist in Britain has urged championship side Preston North End to consider signing the talented Black Burn Rovers defender Ryan Nyambe for next season.

    Jay Williams who writes for the Football League World website suggested that the Namibian will be an ideal catch for the championship side.

    Writing in his column, Williams predicts that Nyambe will possibly be on the radar of many teams during the transfer window.

    He believes the fact that Nyambe's side were relegated from the championship and will make things easier for any club to sign the young defender.

    “Grayson will be keen to add a new face to his squad at right back, especially with Browning and Baptiste's loan deals ending.

    “Ryan Nyambe of Blackburn Rovers is the ideal capture.

    “The young defender has been a shining light in Blackburn's team during their relegation campaign.

    “The 19-year-old only made his senior debut this season, but has made the right back position his own during his 28 games in all competitions.” The opinion reads.

    Williams added that: “The Namibian-born teenager is likely to be in high demand this summer, but a switch to Preston North End to stay in Lancashire and stay in the Championship might suit the promising starlet.”

    The teen made his Rovers academy debut in the 2014/15 season. He progressed through the Academy system and into the development squad.

    He was included on the bench in two first team games during the 2014/15 season and was awarded a three-year professional contract in July 2015.

    On August 11, 2015, Nyambe made his first team debut in the Football League Cup against Shrewsbury Town.

    Since then, the player has appeared for the starting line-up of the senior squad on several occasions.

    Pundits have spoken highly of the young Namibian, stating that he possibly has a bright future ahead of him.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Golf challenge coming to NamibiaGolf challenge coming to Namibia Namibia has been awarded the bid to host the 2020 All Africa Golf Challenge Trophy.

    The tournament will attract close to 20 countries from Africa to compete in the golf competition. The tournament was recently held in Lesotho and three golfers from Namibia took part. Namibia came fifth in the tournament where only six countries took part.

    Each country is allowed to enter a team of up to four golfers but Namibia only featured three golfers, Adri Pienaar, Angie Lohmann and Brenda Lens.

    Pienaar, a senior golfer said that she has been playing golf for 18 years and their poor performance at the tournament was due to the fact that one of their team members was not present. “She had to stay behind due to a family emergency but the tournament was organised very well and we build positive ties with our neighbouring ladies golf unions,” Pienaar explained.

    She said golf as a sport is a growing adding that it is very expensive to take part for both male and female players. “There are many young golfers across Africa except for Namibia as it is expensive. In order to promote the sport, coaches need the right qualifications as well as sponsors as equipment is costly,” she said.

    The three-day challenge takes place every second year and teams from Southern Africa regions compete for the honour to be regional champions.

    Limba Mupetami

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  • 05/10/17--16:00: Chess laurels brought home
  • Chess laurels brought homeChess laurels brought homeMedals for chess champs Chess players who took part in a four-day tournament held in Windhoek showed impressive skills. Fourteen-year-old Dante Beukes became the youngest Namibian Classical Chess Champion when he beat defending Champion Charles Eichab into second place while Lishen Mentile successfully defended her title.

    The four-day chess tournament was held at Namutuni Primary School in Windhoek from 4 -7 May.

    Fide Master Beukes finished the 9-round-robin tournament with six wins, two draws and a solitary loss to Goodwill Khoa who finished third. His draws were against Matjiua Kajovi who scored four points and Max Nitzborn who also scored four points.

    Candidate Master Eichab lost on time to Beukes and even though he too scored seven points, he lost his title on the head-to-head tie-break.

    The tournament pushed the players beyond their comfort zones to produced impressive wins.

    In the Women's section, Women's Candidate Master Mentile scored perfect seven wins from seven matches to claim the title with a round to spare. She was followed by Kamutuua Tjatindi on five points with Patience Tsuses claiming third place.

    “It was one of the toughest championships ever as 'the best faced the best,” remarked Namibia Chess Federations technical director Israel Shilongo who also said “the level of chess has improved considerably and we're now targeting continental championships.”

    According to Shilongo, using the new format, the players first qualified from the Namibian Chess Championsihps Qualifiers and later played an all-play-all tournament in each section to crown the country's best. The top three players in each section have now automatically qualified for the 2018 Closed Championships.

    Shilongo said players who did not make it into this year's Closed Championships have a second chance to qualify for nex year's championships through the B-Section tournament which run parallell to the Namibian Chess Championships.

    Immanuel Gariseb and Nicola Tjaronda won the Open and Women's section respectively, to make it into next year's Closed Championships. The NCF has now crowned champions in all three disciplines: Blitz Chess, Rapid Chess and Classical Chess. Former Brave Warriors goal-keeper Athiel Mbaha surprised friends, foe and himself when he won the Blitz title while Khoa is the new Rapid Chess Champion. In the Women's section, Mentile won both discliplines and is now the undisputed Queen of Namibian Chess.

    The Blitz and Rapid Championships were held last month.

    Sport Reporter

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  • 05/10/17--16:00: Wellness Games on
  • Wellness Games onWellness Games on The draw for the annual Khomas Wellness Games will take place next week Tuesday in Windhoek.

    Gabriel Katuuo regional sport officer of the Khomas Region said preparations for the tournament are going well and several ministerial departments have registered to take part in the games.

    “We have 12 teams that have registered so far to take part. They will take part in various sport codes except basketball. I am very excited to see the event kick off and encourage teams that still want to join to do so as there is still time,” Katuuo said.

    He urged everyone to get on board saying the games are meant to unite people. “The aim of this tournament is to bring sports to working class people and by doing so, we create a platform were we mingle with each other and also promote fitness. This is my initiative in order to make sure that all residents within Khomas Region are fit and able to contribute to the world of sport.”

    The annual Wellness Games will run from the 20 - 21 May in Windhoek at the Independence Stadium. Teams are requested to participate in all codes to stand a chance to win a floating trophy apart from medals and other prizes. The codes are 7-a- side football, netball, volleyball, basketball, tug of war and 100-metre relays.

    Katuuo emphasised that registration for all the games is free and that ministries still have time to register their respective teams.

    Limba Mupetami

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  • 05/10/17--16:00: Sharapova's wildcards driven
  • Sharapova's wildcards drivenSharapova's wildcards driven The level of media coverage surrounding Maria Sharapova's return to tennis from a doping suspension has been a key factor in the five-time grand slam winner being offered wildcards to events, men's world number one Andy Murray has said.

    The Times reported this week that Sharapova would be awarded a wildcard by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to play at next month's Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

    Sharapova's current ranking of 258, after a return from a 15-month doping suspension, was too low to merit a direct entry for the event and the organisers were looking to give her one of the four available wildcards, the report said.

    The former world number one has played two tournaments through wildcards since her return - losing in the semi-finals at last month's Stuttgart Open and falling to Eugenie Bouchard in the second round of the Madrid Open last week.

    “I do think the tournaments are going to do what they think is going to sell the most tickets, give them the most coverage, get the most people in to watch,” Murray told BBC Sport.

    “I'm sure the LTA saw the coverage that was given, ... the amount of media covering it, and think that's what's best for the tournament in Birmingham. But I'm sure it's split a lot of opinion.

    “I'm sure the discussions about whether to give it or not were long... but they've obviously done what they think is right for that event and maybe haven't thought as much about the wider implications.”

    The 30-year-old Russian last played in the Wimbledon warm-up event in 2010.

    Sharapova's hopes of featuring in this year's Wimbledon could hinge on a June 20 meeting of tournament organisers unless the Russian finds form in upcoming events.

    The Aegon Classic will be held at the Edgbaston Priory Club from June 17-25.


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    Mandzukic becomes Juve's weaponMandzukic becomes Juve's weapon Mario Mandzukic looks like an old-fashioned centre forward, plays on the left wing and often transforms himself into one of Juventus' key defenders.

    Versatility personified, the wild-eyed Croatian began the season contemplating a long spell on the bench after Juventus splashed out 90 million euros to make Gonzalo Higuain the world's third most expensive striker.

    Instead, coach Massimiliano Allegri has found a new role for him on the left flank and he has become one of the team's most important players as they chase a Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble.

    The unsung hero opened the scoring on the way to Juve's 2-1 win over AS Monaco as they completed a 4-1 aggregate win in their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday. But goals are not the most important part of his game.

    Tall and imposing with good technique, Mandzukic has become a target man, left winger and full back, all rolled into one.

    The 30-year-old is capable of holding up play or charging down the touchline himself and has a phenomenal work rate off the ball, pressing opponents when they try to play the ball out of defence and dropping back to make key tackles deep in his own half.

    He is one of the reasons why Juventus have such a good defensive record.

    On Tuesday, he won 10 aerial duels, made five interceptions, had five shots and created two chances.

    "He is so fit that I think he could play two back-to-back games without stopping even for a minute," said his former coach at VfL Wolfsburg Felix Magath, a notoriously hard task master.

    Allegri is equally impressed.

    "Mario is player who has a different motor to the others," he said. "He does an amazing amount of running, he is great tactically and he has really good technique. He is an important third attacker."

    Well travelled, Mandzukic spent three seasons at NK Zagreb, four each at Dinamo Zagreb and Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg four, two at Bayern Munich and one at Atletico Madrid, before joining Juventus for the 2015/16 season.

    "His track record speaks for itself and he has demonstrated his quality all over Europe with Bayern, Atletico and now Juventus. He is a top-class player," said Allegri.

    Although his combative style means that he often tangles with opponents, he has been sent off only once in his club career, back in his Dinamo Zagreb days.

    Typically, Mandzukic celebrated his goal on Tuesday by going to the Curva Sud where he was mobbed by fans.

    "I try to play for Juve with the same passion that fans show in their support for the club - and that makes moments such as these so special to me," he said recently.

    In all, he has scored a modest 22 goals in all competitions since joining Juventus at the start of last season. But, as Juventus fans are well aware, they have won every single one of the games in which he has hit the target


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  • 05/10/17--16:00: FIFA drops Borbely
  • FIFA drops BorbelyFIFA drops BorbelyEthics Committee investigated hundreds FIFA's ruling council decided on Tuesday not to renew the mandate of Borbely and chief ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert. Ousted FIFA Ethics investigator Cornel Borbely said on Wednesday his committee were looking into “several hundred” cases of possible wrongdoing, some involving senior officials.

    Several dozen soccer officials, mainly from Latin America, were indicted in the United States in 2015 on corruption-related charges, sparking the worst crisis in FIFA's history.

    Among the officials banned from the sport were former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Secretary General Jerome Valcke.

    FIFA President Gianni Infantino was also investigated by the Ethics Committee but was cleared in August 2016.

    Speaking at a news conference held close to the venue for FIFA's Congress, Borbely said the move was a “setback for the fight against corruption” with know-how and experience in the cases being lost.

    “We investigated several hundred cases and several hundred are still pending and ongoing at the moment,” Borbely said.

    Borbely said he could not comment on specific cases that were pending or ongoing.

    FIFA issued a statement on Tuesday saying Colombian investigator Maria Claudia Rojas had been nominated as the new head of the investigatory chamber with Vassilios Skouris of Greece, a former president of the European Court of Justice, put forward as head of the adjudicatory chamber.

    The nominations of Rojas and Skouris, along with other proposed heads of committees, will be put to a vote of the full FIFA Congress on Thursday.

    The changes to the Ethics Committee follow the resignation of former reform and compliance chief Domenico Scala last year.

    He argued that the independent committees had been undermined by changes made by FIFA president Infantino, who denied the accusation.

    Borbely said they had not been officially informed by FIFA of the end of their mandate and found out only from the media.

    The Swiss investigator said the manner of their dismissal meant there would be no transition period.

    “We worked well on a very high level with a huge volume of cases,” said Borbely. “There was no need to change the Ethics Committee - the only conclusion can be that this was politically intended.”

    The pair said that the FIFA administration had not interfered in their work prior to deciding to remove them.

    Borbely and Eckert remain with an active mandate until the end of Thursday's Congress.

    “I cannot tell you what we will be doing.... but we take this mandate very seriously until the very end,” said Borbely.


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