Articles on this Page
- 05/10/17--16:00: _Millions paid trash...
- 05/10/17--16:00: _Angolan fuel worrisome
- 05/10/17--16:00: _State appeals murde...
- 05/10/17--16:00: _African editors pra...
- 05/10/17--16:00: _King Mswati visits
- 05/10/17--16:00: _Cops probe culpable...
- 05/10/17--16:00: _Farmer didn't know ...
- 05/10/17--16:00: _Revised code of eth...
- 05/10/17--16:00: _Lutherans back inte...
- 05/10/17--16:00: _Land reform goes re...
- 05/10/17--16:00: _Elephant rampage de...
- 05/10/17--16:00: _Media should be a w...
- 05/10/17--16:00: _Former Opuwo CEO wa...
- 05/10/17--16:00: _Retired judge dies
- 05/11/17--05:58: _Retired judge dies
- 05/11/17--08:22: _Govt loans N$10 bil...
- 05/11/17--16:00: _Khomas kings in pol...
- 05/11/17--16:00: _NAFPU warns Ekandjo
- 05/11/17--16:00: _Money woes in women...
- 05/11/17--16:00: _Welwitschias seek f...
- 05/10/17--16:00: Millions paid trashy work
- 05/10/17--16:00: Angolan fuel worrisome
- 05/10/17--16:00: State appeals murder acquittal
- 05/10/17--16:00: African editors praise Namibia
- 05/10/17--16:00: King Mswati visits
- 05/10/17--16:00: Cops probe culpable homicide in B1 fatal crash
- 05/10/17--16:00: Farmer didn't know of ammo belt
- 05/10/17--16:00: Revised code of ethics for journos
- 05/10/17--16:00: Lutherans back interfaith dialogue
- 05/10/17--16:00: Land reform goes regional
- 05/10/17--16:00: Elephant rampage destroys crops
- 05/10/17--16:00: Media should be a watchdog, not lapdog
- 05/10/17--16:00: Former Opuwo CEO wants top job back
- 05/10/17--16:00: Retired judge dies
- 05/11/17--05:58: Retired judge dies
- 05/11/17--08:22: Govt loans N$10 billion from AfDB
- 05/11/17--16:00: Khomas kings in police sport
- 05/11/17--16:00: NAFPU warns Ekandjo
- 05/11/17--16:00: Money woes in women's football
- 05/11/17--16:00: Welwitschias seek first win
Speaking on the issue, its spokesperson Jackie Scholz said: “Fuel from Angola does not meet our standards. It is detrimental to our industry.”
According to Scholz, there are also incidences where truck drivers and informal traders sell fuel brought in from Angola.
“If you continue buying Angolan fuel, by the time your car puts on 30 000 kilometres on the odometer, problems will start appearing. That fuel does not meet our standards.”
She says a considerable amount of fuel is brought in regularly. “Angola is a big headache. There are incidences where between 5 000 and 6 000 litres of fuel are brought in from the country.
Scholz also alleged that there was a retailer in the north that was selling Angolan fuel, but did not disclose the location of the retailer because the matter is under investigation.
Namibia currently imports all of its refined fuel products from South Africa.
A ministry of mines and energy official acknowledged the presence of Angolan fuel and said that the matter was being looked at, adding that the situation was very difficult for police.
Raising other fuel concerns, Scholz said that a level playing field would be required if the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) goes ahead setting up retail outlets across the country.
“Namcor's presence is also a challenge. What we are asking is two things - firstly we would like to see a level playing field and secondly, if Namcor is going to open a site, the ministry of mines and energy must investigate the impact of Namcor's presence. We would like to see more transparency from government,” she said.
“If you want to apply for a licence, you are not required to advertise. There is no transparency,” added Scholz.
The theft of fuel was also another headache for service station owners, Scholz indicated. “Fuel theft is a huge issue. In the last year, N$20 million worth of fuel was stolen. It gets so bad that truck drivers now have standing customers,” Scholz said.
The Association of Service Station Owners spoke at an industry gathering in the capital this week.
Meanwhile, Namcor's managing director Immanuel Mulunga indicated that the public enterprise was planning to roll out retail outlets, while at the same time it was moving to ensure security of supply with the planned expansion of its bulk fuel storage facilities, with sites identified in Gobabis and Ondangwa.
Fransiscus Dimitri Narimab, 24, was set free on 16 March 2017 in a ruling handed down by Acting High Court Judge Boas Usiku, following his successful application for discharge, which was brought before court by State-funded defence lawyer, Mbanga Siyomuinji.
The defence brought the application for discharge at the closing of the prosecution's case in terms of the provisions of Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977 that deals with acquittal of an accused.
Not happy with this acquittal, the prosecution led by State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu on Tuesday approached the Windhoek High Court with an urgent application, asking the court to be allowed leave to appeal against Usiku's decision for acquittal.
Narimab was on trial alongside Ruben Fritz, 17, for the rape and murder of Alwina Uri-Khos between 28 and 29 March 2013.
As a result of the State's application to be allowed leave to appeal against Narimab's acquittal, the continuation of the trial in respect of Fritz's case was on Tuesday put on hold until 13 June 2017 to allow the Registrar of the High Court to set a date for the hearing of the planned appeal by the State.
The postponement was effected as per agreement reached between Ndlovu and Fritz's government-sponsored defence lawyer, Sampson Enkali in court.
Narimab was acquitted on a charge of murder, two counts of rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat the course of justice in respect of the death of the schoolgirl.
Usiku said at the time there was no prima facie evidence presented by prosecution before court upon which a reasonable court may convict the accused person.
“In the result, the application for discharge is granted and the accused person is, therefore, discharged on all charges he was facing,” said Usiku.
The rape and murder of the schoolgirl four years ago sent shockwaves through Katutura's. 'Damara Location' and Shandumbala at the time.
According to a summary of substantial facts contained in the charge sheet, during that fateful night, Uri-Khos was in the company of Narimab and Fritz and they were seen socialising at different shebeens in Shandumbala.
She was raped twice.
On the charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances, the State alleges that Uri-Khos was thrown to the ground, hit with stones and other unknown objects and robbed of her mobile telephone, a pair of shoes and trousers.
The victim was strangled to death after she was hit with rocks on the head and due to the blunt force impact trauma, died on the spot.
Fritz remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility until his next court appearance scheduled for 13 June 2017.
The delayed celebrations were marked in Windhoek and local journalists were addressed by President Hage Geingob, among other speakers.
The African Editors' Forum believes that Namibia – currently enjoying the highest ranking on the continent when it comes to media freedom – is a good example to other countries.
Namibia is ranked 24 out of 180 countries in the world.
“The African Editors' Forum (TAEF) today heaps tons of praise to journalists, editors and the government of Namibia for working hard to ensure that Namibia remains the highest ranked country on the African continent when it comes to media freedom,” said the messaged sighed off by Jovial Rantao, TAEF chairperson.
“TAEF believes that other countries from Africa and other continents can learn lessons from Namibia a country which through Section 89 of the Communications Act, allows for self-regulation of the media. We urge the Editor's Forum of Namibia (EFN) as well as the government of Namibia led by His Excellency Hage Geingob to jealously guard the freedom and independence of the media, ensuring that it grows and deepens.”
The African editors also added that the Windhoek Declaration, which advocated for a media pluralism and independence back in 1991, remains a historic one. The declaration is a statement of press freedom principles put together by African newspaper journalists in 1991.
“This declaration was a bold and powerful statement that traced the connection between a fully independent media and successful participatory democracy. The Windhoek Declaration called for a free, independent and pluralistic media throughout the world. The declaration also asserted that a free press is essential to democracy and a fundamental human right. At the same time, participants at the historic summit highlighted the practical problems of journalists in Africa, particularly those related to acquiring up-to-date equipment, building inter-company cooperation, and providing adequate training.”
Self-regulation is best
In another solidarity message, the Press Council of South Africa said media self-regulation was good for democracy instead of allowing the government to control the work of journalists.
“Along with the EFN and the office of your Media Ombudsman, the Press Council of South Africa believes that is only media that uphold very high standards of ethics and conduct that will emerge triumphant at the other end of the current revolution. We also believe, along with the African Commission on Human and People's Rights, that effective self-regulation is the best system for promoting high standards in the media,” the Press Council of South Africa said.
“High standards flourish when they grow voluntarily from inside the newsroom and are not imposed from outside. In this democratic world, readers and listeners and viewers are the final judges of good journalism. And it is the publications that maintain these high standards now that will emerge as the butterflies at the other end.”
King Mswati arrived in the country yesterday and is expected to visit the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) secretariat today.
In a brief statement, SACU chief Paulina Elago said the king would also get the lowdown on the SACU operations.
“The purpose of the visit is to meet and address SACU secretariat staff and to appreciate the secretariat's operations. His Majesty King Mswati III will have the opportunity to tour the SACU secretariat building that was inaugurated on the 12th November 2015, at which event he was not able to attend due to prior commitments,” she said.
“His Majesty King Mswati III, will be accompanied by Her Royal Highness Inkhosikati Lankhambule, the Hon. Martin G. Dlamini, Minister of Finance and Chairperson of the SACU Council of Ministers, Hon. Jabulani A. Mabuza, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Hon. Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.”
King Mswati will be jetting in from Gaborone, Botswana where he visited the SADC headquarters.
The gruesome death of the woman and child has again prompted authorities to plead with drivers to adhere to speed limits and road traffic regulations in order to avoid unnecessary and tragic deaths on the road.
“Drivers should understand that if they are behind the steering wheel, the lives of their passengers are in their hands,” NamPol spokesperson for the Otjozondjupa Region, Maureen Mbeha said.
The accident claimed the life of the 37-year-old woman and a 14-month-old baby boy, and Mbeha yesterday said that while investigations continue the police suspect that “speed was involved in this accident”.
She said the woman and child died on impact, at around 16:40 on Tuesday afternoon.
Mbeha joined the view of many in law enforcement in the region and elsewhere when she said that driver attitudes must change before the carnage on the roads can be stopped.
“The police are really concerned about the attitudes of drivers. If they don't change, then we will not be able to overcome this.”
Mbeha confirmed that the unnamed 26-year-old driver of the brand-new GWM bakkie sustained only minor injuries after he ploughed into the back of the truck.
He was en-route from Windhoek to the north, she said.
The man, whom Mbeha confirmed is a soldier stationed in Windhoek, was taken to the state hospital in Otjiwarongo following the accident.
Mbeha confirmed reports that the driver had been fined N$1 500 shortly before the accident, after a NamPol traffic officer saw him speeding through the main road of Otjiwarongo and failing to stop at a stop sign.
She said he “was seriously warned due to the speed he was travelling at” but nonetheless it was only a few minutes later that the accident occurred, indicating he did not heed the warning of the police.
Mbeha added that the truck was standing still in a line of cars that had been stopped at a construction area on the road, and that numerous signboards had been posted along the road to warn motorists they should slow down when approaching the construction area.
“He was supposed to have been driving at 30km/h,” she explained.
Mbeha underlined that drivers should value the lives of the occupants in the cars they are driving.
She said that instead of speeding in order to arrive at a destination, drivers should start their journeys earlier in order to arrive alive.
“I was not aware of this bullet belt in my storeroom,” Norman Alexander Campbell, 54, said during his evidence-in-chief at the Otjiwarongo Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
Campbell told Magistrate Toini Shilongo that had he known about the more than 200 7.62x51-calibre bullets in his storeroom, “I would have used them”.
He testified that he was the licensed owner of a 308 hunting rifle, which uses .308-calibre bullets, the equivalent of the 7.62-calibre munitions, one denoting inches and the other millimetres.
Campbell repeated in court during the continuation of his trial, what he had told police officers on the day they raided his farm in April 2016 - that he was not sure where the belt had come from, but it was possible it had been part of his late father's household and garage contents.
During his testimony Campbell, a technical advisor for livestock farmers and a former teacher who lives on the farm north of Otjiwarongo, explained to his lawyer Danie Small that after his father's passing in 2015, he had inherited some of his household furniture and other odds and ends of household goods that had accumulated over decades.
He was also the heir to his father's garage contents, filled with boxes containing his father's former trade tools and other items used during his terms as a technical teacher and plumber.
Over several months, during weekends, Campbell, and friends who volunteered to help transport the household's contents, including those from the garage, moved the goods from his father's house in Windhoek to the farm.
He admitted that he was not always present when the contents of the house and his father's garage, were loaded and unpacked at the farm.
He told the court that it is possible that the bullet belt was part of the “rubbish from my dad's garage”.
Same, but not the same
During testimony yesterday, Campbell also informed the court that the bullets strapped into the ammunition belt were 7.62 calibre, the equivalent to .308-calibre bullets, which can be fired with his licensed .308 rifle, if they are extracted from the belt.
Ignatius Nangombe, head of the NamPol firearms division, who testified as the last of the state's witnesses earlier on Tuesday, confirmed during his testimony that the calibre of bullets in the belt, can be discharged from the .308 hunting rifle owned by Campbell.
He told the court that if the bullets are removed “one by one from the belt, yes they can be used” on the licensed and commercial rifle.
He was adamant, however, that the ammunition belt in question contained a type of ammunition where every fifth anvil was marked with a red tipped tracer bullet, which indicates military use.
He said in his view the format in which the ammunition was discovered on the belt, indicated it was meant for military purposes and not for commercial use.
On Tuesday, Campbell told the court that on the day of his arrest in April last year, he and his wife had only recently woken up when two NamPol police vans and nine armed police officers arrived at their home with a search warrant.
During the search of the house, the police confiscated three brown shirts as well as a camouflage shirt and a jacket, and two green canvas bags.
They also confiscated a handful of loose bullets found in the house and in the gun safe.
The clothes and bags were not part of the charges Campbell faced, although the state entered the items as exhibits during the trial.
Campbell yesterday explained that all of these items dated back to his school years and some had been gifts more than 30 years ago.
One of the canvas bags still has the name of a friend stitched on the front.
The police also confiscated a number of sleeping bags, which they returned later that day.
During the search, the police discovered six loose bullets on top of the safe as well as a pair of bullets in a bowl containing a gun cleaning kit. Campbell is facing three separate charges of illegal possession on account of these loose bullets.
He explained that he could not explain the ownership of two of the groups of bullets found, informing the court that they could belong to his wife or son who also owned firearms and stored them in the safe.
Yesterday he explained that the charge of illegal possession for the six .357 revolver bullets belonged to a revolver he intended to buy, and had already submitted the licence application forms at the Otjiwarongo police station.
The revolver in question is still in safekeeping at a store in Otjiwarongo.
He provided documentary evidence. When the police searched a storeroom, they emptied a number of crates and boxes, which had contained plumbing tools and fixtures belonging to his late father.
The crates are of military origin and although they were confiscated and entered as evidence, they do not form part of the charges against Campbell.
The police then discovered the ammunition belt, uncovered, in a small container in the storeroom.
Campbell said he was placed under arrest shortly afterwards.
He testified that one senior police officer on the scene pointed out and told him “this is terrorism”.
He testified that the police did not read him his rights until the next morning, after his first night in jail.
The matter continued late yesterday.
This is according to the newly revised Media Code of Ethics and Conduct which was launched yesterday as part of the country's official celebration of World Press Freedom Day.
The self-regulatory Editors Forum of Namibia's (EFN) ethics code emphasises several new important points and changes to journalists and media houses, as well as the public.
The code highlights that “regulation is most effective when the effective practice of norms of good conduct are internalised within the organisations, rather than enforced by an external agency.”
According EFN secretary-general, Dani Booysen, a meeting was held in April 2017 with Professor Justine Limpitlaw with the purpose to streamline and adapt the code of ethics and procedures to best international practices.
He said that the key issue is the legal compliance with the Communications Act of 2009 which allows government, through the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN), to permit the self-regulation of media content.
The revised code stresses the importance of context when gathering news and reporting on it.
According to the code, news should be obtained legally, honestly and fairly, unless the public interest dictates otherwise. Reasonable and fair comment should be allowed in advance of publication.
It also says that when an online article has been amended for factual accuracy this should be indicated.
According to Booysen, more emphasis and detail is also placed on the protection of children throughout the entire code, while the protection of personal information against misuse or loss and the prevention of unauthorised access to such information, is also highlighted.
Booysen also pointed out that for elections, media coverage should be balanced, fair and impartial.
According to him, some of the more detailed legal aspects related to elections have to be administered and when required, adjudicated, by CRAN or the Electoral Commission of Namibia in terms of the Electoral Act.
There is also a clear prohibition on: Propaganda for war; incitement of imminent violence; or the advocacy of hatred based on race, ethnicity, religion or gender and that which constitutes incitement to cause harm.
Another new addition to the code is with regard to competition and audience partition, which spells out how media houses must handle these matters.
An entire new chapter added to the code, deals with user-generated content, which is applicable to online media.
Booysen explains that media houses are not required to moderate online content beforehand.
They are, however, required to have an in-house online policy.
According to him, should there be a complaint about something that was posted online; the person should first take it up with the media house to remove this. It is then up to the media house to act according to its in-house policy.
The complainant can then turn to the Media Ombudsman if they are not satisfied.
Once this is referred to the Media Ombudsman, the user-generated content will be treated as media-generated content that is supported by the media house.
Another change in the code is that complainants now have 30 days to make a complaint to the Media Ombudsman, instead of 14.
However, complaints can only be made against members of the Editors Forum of Namibia.
A fine of up to N$50 000 may be imposed for a second, or a subsequent violation.
Previously, the fine was N$10 000 after three violations. The money will be used solely for publicity and/or training to promote the ethics code.
“All findings and reasons will be publicly available on the Media Ombudsman's website for five years,” said Booysen
CRAN shall be notified in writing of any findings against a broadcaster.
Applications and nominations for the position of the Media Ombudsman have also officially opened as Clement Daniels who currently occupies the position, will step down. The position will be advertised.
Daniels was awarded the Windhoek Declaration Scroll for his contribution to the media industry. The editor of The Nation magazine from Swaziland, who was a guest speaker at the event, was also awarded the Windhoek Declaration Scroll.
The LWF Assembly, which is a six-yearly event, is being held in Namibia on invitation by the three Lutheran churches in Namibia – the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN), the German Evangelical Lutheran Church (GELC), and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRIN).
The Lutheran reformation celebrates German theologian and monk Martin Luther who nailed 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church to protest against certain practices of the Roman Catholic Church.
The theme of this assembly is 'Liberated by God's Grace' with three subthemes, being 'salvation not for sale', 'human beings not for sale' and 'creation not for sale'.
LWF's president, Bishop Dr Munib Younan, in glowing terms spoke of Namibia's liberation struggle and commended the Namibian government for pursuing economic and social development that would satisfy the needs of all its citizens.
Younan may very well have been uninformed of a demand for an apology for the LWF's silence on the human rights abuses perpetrated by Swapo in exile, but he mentioned that the “confession” of “German colonial crimes” by the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) is appreciated.
He said EKD's confession openly acknowledges extermination orders issued against the Ovaherero and Nama people and that these were “clearly genocidal”.
“Only when the truth has been told and justice sought, can reconciliation over the pains of the past take place,” said Bishop Younan.
He said Namibians and Germans should, through the genocide dialogue process, identify and agree how the history will be told, how justice can be done and how reconciliation can be promoted.
Younan said the LWF is committed to offer accompaniment and support in this process.
Younan further said he is “deeply impressed” by President Hage Geingob's Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), which he said can be an inspiration for the global Lutheran community because its message is not just about political liberation as a one-time event, but an attempt at ensuring “that the fruits of liberation are manifested in the lives of all people”.
Younan said the theme of the assembly means that the poor in the world will no longer be silenced because everyone is equal before God.
“[Our] global communion has a calling to care for communities trampled by a world turned in on itself. This calling includes responsibility to provide a witness of robust moderation, countering the many extremisms of this world, especially those hiding behind religious masks,” he said.
Younan said recent global trends promoting extremism, protectionism and populism, drive communities apart and threaten conflicts as a way of strengthening exclusive community identities.
Younan said African countries are today experiencing multiple layers of internal division promoted by countries and corporations seeking to rob the continent of its natural resources.
Unity among churches
Younan said Lutheran communities should continue to emulate Luther's drive to rebuild, remake and reform the church while repairing and restoring ecumenical and interreligious relationships. He called on the churches to cultivate a spirit of liberation and have the freedom to ask each other tough questions.
This follows the selection of six regional offices that were delegated land reform responsibilities in September 2016.
The Kavango East, Omaheke, Erongo, Otjozondjupa, Oshikoto, Zambezi and Hardap regions were selected to manage land reform efforts this week.
Delivering the keynote address yesterday, the prime minister, Dr Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said: “Some 308 staff members from the land reform ministry were also seconded to all the 14 regional councils to administer land reform applications.”
Starting the process in the capital this week, the minister, Utoni Nujoma said, “the ministry handed over several functions to the selected regional councils and include amongst others the identification and recommendation of suitable candidates for resettlement, monitoring of resettlement farms, collection of rental fees and monitoring of communal land use, to mention but a few.”
He added, “I would like to reassure all the seven regional offices that are to be decentralised to continue embracing the same work ethic. To the staff members seconded to the regional councils, we expect efficiency, consultations and accountability as you dispense your duties.”
Meanwhile, President Hage Geingob was recently quoted as saying that Namibia would emulate Zimbabwe's example on land reform.
He made the comments on his visit to Harare.
“I have to deliver the land and prosperity… it is a tall order. So, I came here to get advice because indeed I said this man [President Robert Mugabe] is my mentor,” The Herald quoted Geingob as saying.
“We cannot hide from this issue. We can't hide away from it. We can't hide away from the fact that some people are still left out after 27 years of independence. In my thesis a long time ago, I said in Zimbabwe my brothers there had a Caesarean section to deliver a baby. A Caesarean section could be very painful, but they used that and I was saying when the pain stops you will deliver a healthy baby.”
Geingob had already warned during the Independence Day celebrations in Rundu this year that the government would consider expropriating land, with fair compensation, as outlined in the Constitution.
“This means we need to refer back to our Constitution which allows for the expropriation of land with fair compensation, and also look at the foreign ownership of land, especially absentee land owners,” he was quoted as saying in March.
The farmers told Namibian Sun that the elephants' marauding in their fields started on 29 April when they invaded the crops, feasting on the harvest and destroying what was still standing.
This was evident when Namibian Sun visited the site.
Most of these invasions by the animals take place at night starting around 21:00. They enter, destroying fences and causing havoc in the fields.
These nightly incursions make it very difficult for farmers to protect their fields due to the dark and the subsequent increase in danger.
Narrating his ordeal, Haggai Nangolo, 46, who has been a farmer at the village for about five years said that the elephants destroyed his crops and this has badly affected his family of 11 that he takes care of.
Nangolo's farm is one of the most affected farms in the village as the four hectares of crops he was expecting to harvest this year have been destroyed by these animals.
Nangolo indicated that the blow has been worsened by the fact that the elephants overnight in his fields, flattening everything and scattering dung everywhere.
“This was a good harvest and I looked forward to it as it looked better than that of last year, but now as you can see, I will not be able to use what is left to sustain my family,” Nangolo said.
“As you can see my cowpeas are gone, my sorghum is gone, my maize is gone, my watermelons are gone and even my ground nuts are gone. I am left with nothing in my field,” Nangolo explained.
He indicated that said this is not the first time that the elephants invaded his farm as they also did so last year. Then, it was in July, after the harvest, and the animals only managed to eat the last of the melons left in the fields.
“Last year they only destroyed my melons, eating them up because they like them very much,” he added.
Other farmers who suffered the same fate said that the situation worsens by the day as the elephants spend the night in their fields. This makes the threat to their families worse, they said.
“We have young children and they can fall victim to these animals as they will not know what to do when they encounter something as big as an elephant,” one farmer told Namibian Sun.
The farmers have now resorted to burning fires in their fields as a measure to scare the elephants off but they indicated that the elephants are not shaken that easily as they continue to torment them.
MET offers sympathy
Contacted for comment, environment ministry spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, confirmed that the ministry is aware of the situation and that teams have been deployed to the area to assist the community.
Muyunda indicated that the ministry sympathises with the farmers for enduring the losses, adding that efforts are in the pipeline for them to be assisted.
“The ministry fully sympathises with those farmers that have endured vast damage as a result of these elephants and it is our outmost wish that this damage will be mitigated,” Muyunda said.
“What we are doing now is that we have deployed teams, people who are going to monitor them and see how we can assist the community with regards to mitigating the impact of crop damage,” he added.
Muyunda said as part of monitoring the elephants, the teams deployed will study the behaviour of the animals as it will give a clear indication as to what step the ministry should take next.
Muyunda said that in most cases where there are farm attacks by elephants they are driven by a bull, which is regarded as a problem animal, and needs to be taken care of.
“The possibility when elephants are causing damage is that they are led by bull and if we identify that bull it will be declared as a problem animal. If approved, we will look at the possibility that this elephant will trophy-hunted,” Muyunda explained.
Regarding compensation of the farmers, Muyunda said in a case of an elephant being commercially hunted, the money is used to assist the community members. He however stressed that it is not compensation, but offsetting, as they are not fully compensating the farmers but just assisting where they can.
Speaking at the World Press Freedom Day that was celebrated in Namibia yesterday, Geingob reminded journalists that with great power comes great responsibility, and a free media was key in effecting change. The president was lauded for his presence in attending the event, setting an example for other presidents and countries to follow. While Namibia has been ranked as the freest country in Africa and 24th in the world when it comes to media freedom, Geingob made it clear that the country should not accept the status quo and must strive to be the best in the world. “We want our media to be the freest in the world. We are talking about being number one, not just in Africa, but in the world.”
At the same time Geingob said that media freedom will always be guaranteed while he remains president.
“Let me tell you here, that as long as I am given the mandate to lead this great country, freedom of the press is guaranteed.”
He said that in a time where the consumption of media has become just as necessary as food and clothing, Namibia is proud of the fact that it has the freest press in Africa.
“In fact, our press freedom index still outranks long-established democracies such as France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. And when we talk of restrictions on press freedom, it is actually in those countries where such freedoms are under the threat of being severely curtailed.”
Geingob further said that if the freedom of press is curtailed, people become their own news-bearers and the end result is a flood of un-sanitised and unverified information, and fake news.
“Media diversity, including social media, has brought new challenges. Today, everyone is a journalist! That makes it difficult for anyone to get reliable news.”
According to him, newspapers have therefore gained a new respect in this environment.
“Even the television newscasters refer to the print media to give credence to their broadcasts.”
He stressed that the importance of responsible journalism is more important now than it has ever been.
“Today, news is being consumed in a manner and at a rate which is unprecedented. The influence of technology is real. Global news outlets have platforms for user-generated news where viewers are allowed to post video clips or stories, giving their views on a particular news story. Everyone, leaders and others alike, are on Twitter.”
Geingob said that with the ever-increasing ability for individuals to generate their own news, traditional media is often caught off-guard and left behind. This allows for journalists to misuse these platforms to pursue their own agendas.
The head of state also called for responsible journalism.
“When government speaks of introducing checks and balances with regards to the press, we are not calling for our journalists to be muzzled; rather we are calling upon our journalists to practice their journalism with a clear conscience, liberated by accountability.”
Editor speaks out
Guest speaker at the event, Bheki Makhubu, editor of The Nation magazine in Swaziland, spoke highly of Geingob's presence in addition to praising Namibia's democracy.
“It is a big deal to have a president at such a gathering. I do not know much about Namibian democracy, but maybe you should show off more and stop being humble,” he said.
Makhubu said that if more leaders in Africa would follow Geingob's example it would be a step in the right direction.
In March 2014 the Swazi government charged Makhubu and human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko with contempt of court for criticising the judiciary. After a lengthy and irregular trial, they were convicted and sentenced to serve two years in prison.
They had both written articles in Makhubu's magazine, The Nation, in which they criticised the Swazi judiciary and the chief justice.
Meanwhile, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa Namibia) said senior politicians insulted and intimidated journalists over the last year, as well as threatened and initiated attempts to regulate the media.
In the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Regional Overview on the state of media freedom in southern Africa in 2016, the organisation says that it is important to note that in as much as Namibia has a lot to be proud of, there is room for improvement, in particular with regard to ensuring that the diversity of voices present in the country is amplified.
According to the report, unfettered access to social media has provided citizens with a wonderful platform on which they can access information, and express themselves on issues of public interest.
“There is no denying that social media provided an impetus for citizens to fearlessly engage on issues of national and international interest. We live in a media and information age, thus the importance of media and information literacy (MIL) cannot be overstated.”
It says that Namibia wouldn't have become an international media freedom leader if the country had a government that aimed to regulate and censor expression.
“There is a sincere hope that the recent attacks by political leaders against the media will cease, and that all sectors of society will recommit themselves to upholding Namibia as a best practice model of the Windhoek Declaration,” the report concludes.
Tjitombo's contract was not renewed when it ended last year and it is reported that the latest court application has threatened the smooth recruitment process for a substantive CEO at the town council.
The chairperson of the management committee, Richard Tjazapi, told Namibian Sun that they got the green light now from the council's lawyers to go ahead with the recruitment despite the court application.
“We were informed by our legal team that Tjitombo approached the court alleging that he was unfairly dismissed. We put the recruitment process on hold, but later they advised us to go ahead,” Tjazapi said.
“He was not unfairly dismissed. His contract came to an end and we did not renew it automatically. The post was advertised twice last year and we received over 20 applications.” Tjazapi said that they are expected to shortlist the candidates and invite only five of them to be interviewed next month.
Tjitombo's contract as CEO ended on 30 October last year and the councillors have not automatically renewed it following allegations levelled against him by the Opuwo Community Concerned Group.
It is alleged that the mayor made a solitary decision to advertise the post without a full council resolution.
Last year Namibian Sun reported that the mayor, Albert Tjiuma was said to favour Tjitombo. Tjiuma had allegedly allowed him to manage the vacancy and its applications and by allowing him to apply for the position.
It was reported that before the closing date on 11 October, only six people had applied, including Tjitombo.
A source from the council told Namibian Sun that during the local authorities' framework workshop last month in Rundu, attended by senior officials and members of local authorities, the Opuwo Town Council was advised to follow the correct procedures in filling the executive position and consequently re-advertised it in November.
In September, Namibian Sun reported that governor of the Kunene Region, Angelika Muharukua tried to lobby the town council members to automatically renew Tjitombo's contract and only the mayor and deputy mayor allegedly supported the idea.
When contacted, Tjitombo said, “Go back to your sources and ask them to give you all the information without putting me into your stories.” Tjazapi could not confirm if Tjitombo's application was still among those applications for the CEO position.
Retired judge Simpson Mtambanengwe has died. The Zimbabwean-born Mtambanengwe died in a Windhoek hospital last night after battling high blood pressure and diabetes for some years and is said to have succumbed to renal failure. He was 87. His son, Victor, confirmed his father’s death to Namibian Sun this morning. Mtambanengwe was admitted to a Windhoek hospital last week Thursday. He served as an acting judge of appeal of the Supreme Court before his retirement. He had also served as judge of Namibia’s High Court and acted as Chief Justice of Namibia between 2003 and 2004.
Over two years, the government has taken out a total loan of N$10 billion with the remaining N$4 billion to be spent on infrastructure projects.
Namibia has 15 years to pay the loan back at an interest rate of 8.14% but, government has received a three-year reprieve before repayments must begin.
NamPol sports teams from all 14 regions gathered at Swakopmund for five days, competing against each other in various sports codes.
Khomas scooped first place trophies in men and women's football, volleyball and netball.
The Hardap men took second place in football, followed by Kavango East, while in women's football, Kavango East ended in second place followed by Omusati.
In volleyball, the women's team from Otjozondjupa won second place, followed by Oshana. The Kavango East men's team took second place in volleyball, leaving the third place to Oshikoto.
Ohangwena topped the men and women's 21km race, followed by Khomas and Omusati in second and third.
In netball, Otjozondjupa took second place, with Khomas in third place. Based on the points garnered during the games, Khomas was first in the regional ranking, Ohangwena second and Oshana third. At the end of the games, national teams for the participating codes were selected in preparation for the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation Games later this year in Lesotho.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Khomas police commander, Major-General Desiderius Shilunga, who is also the deputy inspector-general for operations, encouraged police officers to be more involved in sport.
He also called on regional commanders to give time to those interested in sport so that they can give it their all.
“Do not stop them from participating in sport, allow them to go so that they can grow as sportsmen and women who participate in national teams,” he said, further encouraging police officers to stay fit and also participate in private sports clubs.
Inspector Timo Haikonda, NamPol deputy head for sport and recreation, said this competition also produced players for the football Premier League and national teams.
Regions such as Ohangwena, Khomas and Hardap have players in the Premier League, and football and volleyball national teams.
The next police sport championships will be hosted at Opuwo in the Kunene Region in May or August 2018.
These games are made possible by sponsors and are not paid for by the government, Haikonda mentioned. “We will already start searching for sponsorships so that we can host the next games,” he said.
The complaint comes after 12 months of no football due to a lack of sponsorship and the confusion that has engulfed the NPL and NFA.
The union yesterday handed over a petition to the Namibia Football Association (NFA). The petition was also addressed to Namibia Sports Commission chairperson Joel Matheus and the minister of sport, Jerry Ekandjo, but they were not present at the handover. The NFA's Barry Rukoro and Frans Mbidi were attending a FIFA congress in Bahrain.
“The minister of sports is a feebler, with no understanding of sports probably because he never participated in sports at his age,” the petition charged. “The minister has failed to prioritise amendments to the outdated Sports Act. “We demand that the minister of sports within 30 days resubmit to the cabinet [a request for] additional funding to his ministry,” the petition read.
NAFPU further demanded that the minister institute an inquiry into the affairs and conduct of the sports commission.
Another demand was that Ekandjo appoint a technical committee to draft an amendment to the Sport Act.
“Failure to achieve the above, we demand the minister resign voluntarily from his position or our sport-loving president relieve him of his duties and appoint a young and dynamic sports minister,” the petition read.
The union also reiterated that they wanted NFA secretary-general Barry Rukoro out, accusing him of misleading the association.
The delegation led by NAFPU secretary-general Olsen Kahiriri was not welcomed by some people who witnessed the protest.
Some fear that Kahiriri and his team have chosen the wrong way to fix things in Namibian football.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an attendee said: “Kahiriri must just return to politics because he is causing even bigger problems.
“It is such a shame that they are speaking about representing the players, but I only see three recognisable footballers behind him.
“He could be right about the minister, but I do not think ousting Barry Rukoro will be a solution.
“I spoke to a few people inside the NFA and I heard that a sponsorship deal for the premier league is about to be signed.”
Others at the occasion praised Kahiriri and NAFPU for the bold step they had taken against the sport leaders. NFA top officials, the sport minister and NSC chairperson could not be reached for comment.
JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA
Things did not go as expected. Adams picked up several injuries and her contract was not renewed. Adams had left Namibia for greener pastures in April 2016, along with compatriot Zenatha Coleman, hoping to sustain a professional career at European club Gintra Universitetas.
Coleman is faring well, having scored a dozen goals for her club. Adams was not as lucky. Now the football wizard focuses her time on getting back to speed with her fitness, hoping to secure another deal that will put her back on the international map. Jacky Shipanga, Brave Gladiators coach, says Adams picked up multiple injuries and could not perform to her best ability. “Now she is nursing her injuries but it is frustrating because there are no funds available for us to rehabilitate her. But not only her, all the other players suffer because of the dormant league.”
Shipanga says Adams's case is dangerous because she cannot go back into the field of play without receiving the best medical care and getting game time to keep active.
“Adams and Coleman were successful in getting deals because they were scouted while playing in the league. They were physically prepared and that helped them to go overseas. Now, there is no league and other players cannot enjoy the same opportunity they had.”
According to the coach it has been almost four years since the African Women's Championship took place in Windhoek: a competition which they used as a springboard to push local players out of the country.
“The competition gave women footballers an opportunity to be seen by the world. Doors opened for four players to play international football. It created job opportunities for local players as well. “We as a nation were supposed to use the exposure from the competition to push for greater opportunities. But we didn't. Now, it feels like we have stepped years back,” she says.
“I am worried because the league is not kicking off. Fifteen percent of the money FIFA gives for football each year is supposed to go to women's football, but we have no access to those funds. The executive leaders need to look into this matter and help the female players.”
She says a country like Zambia, which was ranked lower than Namibia in football, has surpassed it in terms of developing women footballers. “Zambia is using funding from FIFA, whilst we have no access to use the funds. We are right where we started. It is demoralising for everyone. “Give us the money from FIFA and we will source funding from corporate companies. I can even start the league with my eyes closed if we can receive the money,” Shipanga says.
Not only does the funding help in developing the game but it helps local coaches too. “I have been pushing coaching courses, but what is the point of having any of that if coaches don't get the chance to practise what they learned? The certificates they received are collecting dust.”
Adams who plays for Tura Magic Ladies Football Club locally, sounds optimistic, saying that playing in Lithuania was her dream. “I remain positive to play overseas again, not only to grow as a player but to change the lives of my family members. If my talent takes me out of poverty, I am ready to take up the responsibility of helping my mother financially,” she says. She says an idle league dampens players' spirits because it pushes them into social evils like alcohol abuse. “I am urging corporates to help the game we love.”
Her manager and the Women's Football Desk are helping her to get back on form and to return to an international career.
Just like last season in the Currie Cup competition, the side has failed to secure any points, making them one of the underperforming teams in the group.
Last week's 14-112 defeat to the Golden Lions was testament that the team's chances of progressing to the next round hang in the balance.
The Namibians now face a daunting task away from home given that the Pumas are not one of the easiest teams the competition.
However, the players and coach remain optimistic that they are not so far away from their first win in the competition.
Coach Lyn Jones says he is satisfied with the way the players have performed, despite failing to win a game after three matches.
The team will be hoping that their captain, Eugene Jantjies, will step up his game in order to lead them to a famous victory on enemy territory.
Another player who has shown determination is centre Darryl de la Harpe. The player is determined to inspire his teammates in a crucial away match at the Bill Jardine Stadium in Johannesburg.
With the 2019 Rugby World Cup draw announced, the Namibia Rugby Union expects the players to start playing with all guns blazing.
Collen Smith, Shaun du Preez, Andries Rossouw, Thomas Kali, Max Kasiringua, Rohan Kitshoff, Leneve Damens, Victor Rodriguez, Eugene Jantjies, Theuns Kotze, Gino Wilson, Darryl de la Harpe, JC Greyling, Lesley Klim and David Philander.
Orbet Nortje, Christo McNish, Ruan Ludick, Adrian Booysen, Cameron Klassen and Heinrich Smith.
JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA