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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Chariot plans drilling activitiesChariot plans drilling activitiesSupport base being set-up Prospective oil and gas operator Chariot plans to start drilling for oil in local waters from the second half of 2018 it said in a recent market update. Chariot is also in the process of setting up a support base to compliment drilling activities when the search for black gold starts.

    Chariot is currently contracting a strategy to identify an appropriate drilling unit, auxiliary services and logistical base for well services, supplies, helicopters and medivacs, it said in a statement recently.

    Chariot completed the acquisition of a third-dimensional seismic survey of approximately 2 600 square kilometres in February 2016 targeting leads identified in the north-western area of the central blocks, giving way for the oil explorer's ambitious drilling project.

    According to its CEO Larry Bottomley, should Chariot strike black gold in one well, it lowers the risk profile of the entire drilling process. Said Bottomley in anticipation of Chariot's planned drilling activities: “The focus for Chariot is the delivery of transformational value through the discovery of material hydrocarbon accumulations. The maturation of the portfolio in the central blocks has uncovered a series of robust, low risk structural traps that are targeting the proven play elements demonstrated in nearby wells. These prospects have the potential for material accumulations and success in one, will significantly de-risk the remainder.”

    Proactive Investors reported a spike in Chariot shares following news of drilling activities. The shares advanced 10.1% to an extensive evaluation of the combined 6100 square kilometres

    Chariot holds significant acreage totalling 27 000 square kilometres and holds prospecting licences to four blocks in the Orange and Lüderitz offshore blocks.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 06/07/17--16:00: London attack: What we know
  • London attack: What we knowLondon attack: What we knowBritish police follow through with great efficiency The violent attack over the weekend in London was committed by three men, one of whom was on the police radar. Seven people were killed in a terror attack in the British capital on Saturday when a van smashed into pedestrians on London Bridge before three assailants went on a stabbing spree. The attackers were shot dead by the police at the scene.



    Here is what we know about the attack:

    Police received reports of a van speeding into pedestrians on London Bridge at 22:08 local time.

    After deliberately swerving into people, the van crashed on the wrong side of the road into fencing and a traffic light by Southwark Cathedral, on the south side of the bridge.

    The three men inside then went on a stabbing rampage in the popular Borough Market area, its bars packed with people enjoying a night out.

    Eyewitnesses said they shouted: “This is for Allah”.

    Police officers were quickly on the scene and the three assailants were shot and killed within eight minutes of the first call to emergency services.

    The attackers were wearing fake suicide vests.

    Seven people were killed and 48 others were initially admitted to hospital. Of these, 32 are still being treated, 15 of whom are in critical condition. Canadian charity worker Christine Archibald, 30; Australian nurse Kirsty Boden, 28 and another Australian Sara Zelenak, 21,; Londoner James McMullan, 32; French bistro worker Alexandre Pigeard, 26, and another Frenchman, identified in media reports as Sebastien Belanger, 36, were among those killed in the attack.

    The family of Ignacio Echeverria, a 39-year-old from Madrid working for HSBC bank in London, fear he may also be among the seven.

    A Frenchman, 45-year-old Xavier Thomas, is also still reported missing and police say he may have been knocked into the River Thames during the attack.

    The wounded included people from Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Spain and New Zealand.

    An unarmed, off-duty police officer, a business journalist and a transport policeman were among those stabbed as they tried to help others.

    London's Metropolitan Police have identified the attackers as Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba.

    Butt, 27, was a British citizen born in Pakistan known to security services and even featured in a television documentary entitled “The Jihadis Next Door”.

    He was investigated in 2015 but he was “prioritised in the lower echelons of our investigative work” and there was no evidence of “attack planning”, police said.

    Redouane was 30 and “claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan”, national counter-terrorism police chief Mark Rowley said in a statement. Ireland's national broadcaster RTE reported that Redouane had an Irish residency card and had lived in Dublin.

    Butt and Redouane both lived in Barking in suburban east London.

    Police said Zaghba was an Italian national of Moroccan descent, living in east London.

    Police said neither he nor Redouane was known to police or security services.

    The Islamic State jihadist group claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack.

    The police probe has centred on the east London suburb of Barking, where Butt and Redouane lived, with several raids and arrests taking place.

    Twelve people were arrested in Barking in the hours after the attack: seven women and five men - 11 of them at the same address - aged 19 to 60. They were all later released without charge.

    A 27-year-old man, has since been arrested in Barking on Tuesday and is in custody while another 30-year-old man was arrested in nearby Ilford on Wednesday.

    The white Renault van used in the assault was recently rented by one of the attackers, police said.

    London police said more officers - armed and unarmed - would be deployed across the city, and there would be additional security measures on the city's bridges.

    Prime Minister Theresa May said she expected the police and security services to review how they dealt with the attack.

    The attack came just five days before Thursday's general election and has dominated the debate since.

    The main Labour opposition, led by Jeremy Corbyn, has attacked May for cutting police numbers by 20 000 while interior minister from 2010 to 2016.

    May's Conservatives have insisted that counter-terrorism budgets and the number of armed officers - British police do not regularly carry arms - have risen.

    They also highlighted Corbyn's history of voting against anti-terror legislation, his unease at shoot-to-kill policies and his relations with Sinn Fein at a time when it was the political arm of the Irish Republican Army.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 06/07/17--16:00: Ritualistic attacks in Moz
  • Ritualistic attacks in MozRitualistic attacks in Moz Police in Mozambique on Tuesday warned that bald people could be the targets of ritual attacks, after the brutal killing of two men whose body parts were to be used in witchcraft.

    The two bald men, one of whom was found with his head cut off and organs removed, were killed in a part of the country already notorious for the persecution of albinos.

    “Last month, the murders of two bald people led to the arrest of two suspects,” national police spokesperson Inacio Dina told a news conference in the capital Maputo.

    “Their motivations come from superstition and culture: the local community thinks bald individuals are rich,” he said.

    The killings took place in Milange, in the centre of the southern African country, a few kilometres from the border with Malawi.

    The local police told AFP that the two victims were aged over 40.

    “One of them was found with his head cut off and his organs removed,” said Miguel Caetano, spokesperson for the security forces in the central province of Zambezia.

    The suspects arrested are two Mozambicans around 20 years old.

    According to their statements, the organs were to be used by healers in rituals to promote the fortunes of clients in Tanzania and Malawi, he said.

    It was the first time that bald people have been victims of such attacks in the region, Caetano said.

    In Maputo, the national police spokesperson likened the attacks to those on albinos, whose body parts are used in witchcraft rituals.

    According to the UN, more than a hundred attacks against albinos - who have white skin because of a hereditary condition that causes an absence of pigmentation - have been registered in Mozambique since 2014, mainly in the centre and the north of the country.



    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 06/07/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day VANDALISED: Copenhagen's world famous statue of The Little Mermaid is pictured after it was vandalised and painted red recently. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 06/07/17--16:00: Unity of purpose is crucial
  • Unity of purpose is crucialUnity of purpose is crucial It is clearly the silly season for politics and succession debates, especially from a Swapo point of view, which are the order of the day. While the Swapo Party Women's Council already elected a new leadership late last year, the Swapo Party Elders Council will follow suit and it remains to be seen whether incumbent secretary Mukwaita Shanyengana will prevail once more to lead the ruling party senior wing for another five years. It is now certain that the youth league will undoubtedly have a new leadership installed by end of August even though infighting has intensified with those loyal to acting secretary Veikko Nekundi and Elijah Ngurare at each other's throats. The behaviour of the youth league is worrying to say the least and one wonders where our country is heading. The SPYL is in turmoil as we speak and this situation is worsened by the level of immaturity and inability of some youth leaders to engage in any form of intellect. The current crop of leaders in government and by extension Swapo have not put the youth agenda amongst its priorities. So many young Namibians have hopes and dreams for a better future, but their aspirations cannot be fulfilled if the SPYL is divided and fractured to the core. Instead, the focus has been on young leaders fighting the battles of their ambitious senior comrades. The SPYL is struggling to re-establish itself as a powerful youth structure in Namibian politics. There is clearly lack of leadership, as one would have expected a dynamic group of leaders to champion the cause of their fellow youth. Unity of purpose is crucial for the SPYL to become a relevant force once more, and for Pete's sake, the young people should stop getting carried away with the games senior politicians play. We are not saying SPYL members should not be engaged in activities that are campaign orientated, but we want to see more of the youth articulating the vision for a prosperous Namibia, which will reflect a transformation of their attitudes for the better.

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    Cuba and Africa's unbreakable bondCuba and Africa's unbreakable bond Struggle veteran Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo has highlighted Africa's unbreakable alliance with the people of Cuba which has been forged over the years.

    Ya Toivo said Cuba, under the leadership of its late iconic leader Fidel Castro, embraced the liberation struggles of the African people as their own.

    In particular, Cuba sent 30 000 volunteers to Angola between 1975 and 1991 to do battle with the apartheid regime.

    The battle of Cuito Cuanavale and the Cuban intervention southern Angola is still regarded as one of the turning points in southern African history, which paved the way for Namibia's independence after the withdrawal of the South African soldiers.

    “Cuban internationalism is felt daily in our countries, as your medical personnel, agricultural specialists, architects and sports specialists render services in our countries to contribute to the improvement of the lives of our people.

    “The deep bonds forged between the people of Cuba and the people of Africa are unbreakable,” said Ya Toivo during the just-ended 5th Continental African Conference in Solidarity with Cuba, which was held in Windhoek.

    Ya Toivo addressed the conference on behalf of the Namibia-Cuba Friendship Association.

    The conference seeks to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the people of Cuba and their African counterparts.

    “In our struggle, as in many others, the Cuban people showed the world the true meaning of friendship and international solidarity,” he said.

    “Some may find it hard to believe that the people of a small island in the Caribbean could open their hearts to the peoples of so many far away nations as if they are members of their family. But Cuba has done this. Cuba has understood that all of humankind is a family and it has embraced us all as blood brothers and sisters.”

    The conference was attended by representatives from various African countries.

    The first conference took place in South Africa in 1995 and it was chaired by the late statesman Nelson Mandela.

    In 1997, Ghana hosted the conference while Angola followed suit in 2010.

    In 2012, the conference was moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.



    STAFF REPORTER

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    Underfunding delays three-lane highwayUnderfunding delays three-lane highway The Roads Authority has completed studies pertaining to the upgrade of the stretch of highway between Karibib and Swakopmund to a three-lane road.

    This is according to Roads Authority spokesperson Hileni Fillemon who updated Namibian Sun on the grandiose plan to upgrade the 169-kilometre stretch of highway.

    She said that the idea to upgrade the road to a three-lane road also known as the 2 + 1 standard is contained within the Harambee Prosperity Plan but could not give an outline as to when construction activities would start owing to cash constraints on government's part.

    “The Karibib-Swakopmund road upgrade to a 2 + 1 is part of the Harambee Prosperity Plan. Thus far, we have completed the detailed design for the section from Karibib to Usakos. We are currently busy with the detailed design for the section from Usakos to Swakopmund. Construction of this project will commence as soon as funds are made available for this project,” she said.

    The Okahandja-Karibib highway is at present the only 2 + 1 road and allows up to three vehicles to be on the road at a specific time on a specific portion of the road.

    A 2+1 road is a specific category of three-lane road, consisting of two lanes in one direction and one lane in the other, alternating every few kilometres, and separated usually with a steel cable barrier.

    Traditional roads of at least 13 metres in width can be converted to 2+1 roads and reach near-motorway safety levels at a much lower cost than an actual conversion to motorway or dual carriageway.

    The Okahandja-Karibib 2 + 1 road was officially inaugurated by former works and transport minister Errki Nghimtina in 2012.

    Construction costs for the 117-km stretch came in at just under N$424 million at the time of its completion.

    The road forms part of the Trans-Kalahari corridor extending beyond Botswana into South Africa's Gauteng province.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 06/07/17--16:00: Tourism targets 13 000 jobs
  • Tourism targets 13 000 jobsTourism targets 13 000 jobsIndustry set for record levels of revenue Namibia expects to rake in more revenues by 2022, while hoping to create 13 000 additional jobs in the next five years. Namibia aims to grow its tourism arrivals to 1.8 million in the coming five years and plans to increase formal employment in the sector with more than 10 000 jobs.

    According to the fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), the tourism industry is an important contributor to the generation of foreign exchange earnings, investments, revenue, employment, rural development, poverty reduction and the economy's growth.

    “Namibia is a remarkable and competitive destination because of its comparative advantages, which include the wide open spaces with spectacular landscapes, abundant wildlife resources, a diversity of experiences, excellent infrastructure, security, peace and stability, and a low population density,” it says.

    According to the report, the country plans to increase its tourism numbers from the 1.4 million recorded in 2015 to 1.8 million by 2022.

    Tourist numbers increased from 220 000 tourist arrivals in 1992 to 1.4 million.

    The report says that there are currently about 30 000 people employed in the tourism sector which the government aims to increase to 43 000 within the next five years.

    “Namibia is heavily dependent on its top ten tourist markets and therefore there is a need to expand the market to ensure sustainability of the sector. Although Namibia has an excellent infrastructure in most areas, a lack of infrastructure at some tourist spots is hampering the growth of the sector,” it says.

    It further says that hotels and restaurants increased by an average of 6.6% per annum during the NDP4 period, and contribute about 1.8% to GDP. It is estimated that during this period foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector increased to about N$4.68 billion.

    According to the report, the strategy aims at retaining and expanding new markets, promoting local tourism, and ensuring conservation as a key policy priority for tourism and finally, also to promote communal conservancies and cultural tourism.

    Furthermore, new tourism products should be developed by promoting Namibia as a meeting, incentives, conference and exhibition hub through the establishment of conferencing facilities.

    The permanent secretary of environment and tourism, Malan Lindeque, recently said that while the Namibian economy is under pressure with declining resources, remarkably, the tourism sector has remained steady.

    According to him it is estimated that the sector currently contributes 15% of the GDP and with new figures to be released this year on the contribution of the sector this may be higher.

    Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta has also echoed this message saying that the sector has remained resilient in the face of the country's economic problems.

    The Namibian tourism industry last year experienced one of the best years in over a decade, with tourism establishments recording nearly 60% occupancy across the country, while current figures indicate that the sector may perform even better this year.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 06/07/17--16:00: Oniipa partners with ELCIN
  • Oniipa partners with ELCINOniipa partners with ELCINPrime land essential for development Both the town council and the Lutheran church are upbeat about the strategic partnership entered into. The Oniipa Town Council has signed an agreement with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) to develop the town.

    Oniipa mayor Immanuel Kambonde said the ELCIN strategic partnership will tap into the church's rich history, networks and land assets to bring about development.

    ELCIN owns most of the town's prime land.

    Onandjokwe, the centre of attraction of Oniipa, was founded by Finnish missionaries in 1911. It became the Finnish stronghold in Namibia and later became ELCIN's head office. The church developed the area and obtained large tracts of land.

    When Oniipa was proclaimed a town in 2015, the church had developed infrastructure that includes the Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital.

    Kambonde said the town council will use ELCIN to lobby for support from the organisation's partners.

    “Onandjokwe is an open museum on its own and it attracts many tourists from around the world. The place has a rich history that Oniipa needs to benefit from. We are very happy that the church leadership has agreed to enter into this partnership agreement with us,” Kambonde said.

    The town's CEO, Junias Jacob, said the main aim of the partnership agreement is to make sure that the town council gains access to the land.

    “The purpose of this agreement is to formalise our relationship with the church. The church owns most of the prime land in town and for development purposes we need to join hands with them. This agreement also means that Oniipa Town Council will be able to acquire resources easily to develop the town by using the church's status,” Jacob said.

    Jacob said council will also use the church's credentials to negotiate with landowners in order to get land for development.

    The council is relying on the church to link them to organisations and towns in developed countries where they can get assistance for development.

    ELCIN's director of land and properties Reverend Wilhelm Hainane said the church supports development, adding it partnered with Oniipa to help it to accomplish its mission.

    “When missionaries came to Namibia they settled here. This agreement will cement the mission of the church and its missionaries. We are going to teach Oniipa's people how to live with other people and work together with them to build Namibia,” Hainane said.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Education director dismisses corruption claimsEducation director dismisses corruption claims A document circulating on social media alleging that the education directorate of Omusati corruptly awarded a N$751 059 tender to an unregistered company is fake, Laban Shapange, the director of education in the region said.

    A purchase order and claim form with an official stamp of the Omusati Region Directorate of Education dated 9 March is allegedly claiming a payment of N$751 059 for work said to be done by Shilakomupaya Investment CC before it was registered on 23 March.

    According to the document, the claim is for renovations done at a classroom with repairs of 70 chairs and 70 desks.

    Shapange vehemently dismissed the allegation saying the document is fabricated and fake, and was authored to tarnish the image of his directorate.

    Shapange further said that such a tender was never advertised and he questioned the manner in which it was completed.

    “Nonsense document, it is fake things…, there is no person with such a signature,” he said before saying that no one in the region authorises an amount above N$200 000.

    “I refer you to where you get such fake things for them to explain to you, but I will investigate the source. This is total tarnishing of our reputation as a directorate and we shall leave no stone unturned,” Shapange said.

    According to the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Shilakomupaya Investment CC belongs to a Hofni Alugodhi Iipinge.

    A source confirmed to Namibian Sun Iipinge is the Ongwediva district secretary of the Swapo Youth League (SPYL) secretary.

    When contacted, Iipinge said he has no knowledge of such information and dismissed the matter adding that Shilakomupaya Investment CC was never involved.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Back to school campaign launchedBack to school campaign launched The Deputy Minister for Marginalised People in the Office of the President, Johan Kxao /Ui/o/oo has launched the 'Back to School and Stay in School' campaign targeting learners who come from the marginalised communities of the San, Ovatue and Ovatjimba people this week.

    During the press briefing, /Ui/o/oo said the campaign is an integral part of the reintegration of marginalised communities into formal education and pleaded with the private sector to invest in the campaign.

    “To achieve the objective of reintegrating learners from marginalised communities into education we need to bring the private sector on board and we must also meet the government halfway,” said /Ui/o/oo.

    The campaign will kick-start on 10 June and run until 25 June with a nationwide tour of different schools. The education ambassador, musician Lazarus Shiimi, popularly known as Gazza, will also be part of the campaign to motivate and entertain the learners. Shiimi said the campaign is an important development for the marginalised communities while preserving their traditional practices.

    “We are not saying we want to kill our traditional practices, we are saying we want to coexist with development,” said Shiimi.

    Gerson Kamatuka, a deputy director in the Office of the President for the San division said, the 'Back to School and Stay in School campaign' has so far sponsored and assisted 120 students at the Namibia University of Science Technology (Nust), 33 students from the International University of Management (IUM) and 122 students across Vocational Training Centres (VTC) all over the country.

    According to the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef), there were 103 768 children out of school in Namibia in 2011 at pre-primary, primary and secondary level. An additional 99 200 children were at risk of dropping out. Unicef cited poverty, learner pregnancy and social protection as some of the reasons why learners drop out of school.

    At the event, First National Bank (FNB) donated N$60 000 towards the campaign, Oxygen Communications through Hilda Basson Namundjebo, donated 50 kilogrammes of soap and sanitary pads to be used by girls in the marginalised communities. The Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) donated N$10 000 and Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA Fund) donated N$10 000 to support the campaign.

    The campaign schedule includes visiting school in Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, Zambezi, Oshikoto and Kunene regions.

    Shona Ngava

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    Family finds son in mortuary three day laterFamily finds son in mortuary three day later Police were yesterday unable to say why a family had to spend almost three days searching for a loved one, only to find him dead in the state mortuary.

    Gerson Pohamba died after being involved in a car accident on Saturday night at around 20:00 outside Windhoek.

    He apparently lost control of the vehicle and it overturned.

    According to his uncle, Kelly Nghixulifwa, both police and personnel from the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund were at the accident scene.

    Pohamba was taken to a private hospital where he was declared dead shortly before midnight.

    His remains were then taken to the police mortuary.

    His family, out of concern, started to search for him on Saturday night when they were unable to get hold of him.

    According to Nghixulifwa, the family turned to social media in the hope of finding their missing loved one.

    The family also visited hospitals and police stations in Windhoek in an effort to find him, said Nghixulifwa.

    “We looked for him until yesterday [Tuesday] and nobody could find him,” he said.

    Nghixulifwa added the family was not contacted by anyone to inform them about the accident nor Pohamba’s death.

    As a last resort they finally went to check the mortuary on Tuesday and it is here where they found his body.

    Nghixulifwa said Pohamba had all his documents, such as his driver’s licence with him, therefore the police could have easily traced the family and informed them about the accident.

    “We just kept having hope that he was still alive until the mortuary was the last resort for us and finding him there that totally broke us.”

    He said after they found Pohamba at the mortuary they still did not even know how he died.

    “We did not know if someone killed him.”

    By staff at the mortuary they were told that he was brought in from the Medi-Clinic hospital and from there they found out that he was brought in by a MVA Fund ambulance.

    When they contacted the MVA Fund a certain sergeant eventually told them what had happened.

    Deputy Commissioner Jooste Mbandeka, who heads the police mortuary, said he was aware of the incident.

    “You can only inform the family, if you know who the person is,” he told Namibian Sun.

    According to him, the body came in on Sunday morning.

    “What usually happens is that we take fingerprints to Home Affairs to identify a person if they are not claimed.”

    Mbandeka said the mortuary officials were planning to verify the fingerprints on Tuesday morning when the family showed up and identified him.

    Asked about the fact that Pohamba had identification documents with him that could have been used to trace the family, Mbandeka said they cannot just announce the identity of a person when they find documents with them.

    “Even if we find documents we will have to take fingerprints to make sure it is the same person,” he said.

    When Namibian Sun asked whether this does not put extra pressure on the mortuary where hundreds of bodies are still unclaimed for years, he said that the aim is still to have an empty mortuary.

    “The bodies are always coming in numbers and our aim is to have an empty mortuary, but that is impossible. The faster the bodies are moving, the better.”



    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 06/07/17--16:00: DTA wants SME Bank inquiry
  • DTA wants SME Bank inquiryDTA wants SME Bank inquiryVenaani says confidence must be restored A public inquiry has been demanded by the country’s main opposition into the affairs of the SME Bank. DTA president McHenry Venaani has called for a judicial commission of inquiry into the operations of the troubled SME Bank.

    Venaani also wants parliamentarians in the National Assembly to debate the collapse of the SME Bank.

    According to Venaani, the bank was not carrying out its mandate to support small- and medium enterprises but was instead, serving the needs of high-ranking politicians and already well-established businesses.

    The leader of the main opposition has even gone as far as saying that the embattled bank may have fallen prey to some form of capture from certain politicians he did not name.

    “We need to restore confidence in the SME Bank,” said Venaani of the DTA’s motivation to call for an inquiry into the shenanigans at the embattled lender.

    “The intention of the SME Bank was to support SMEs and not institutions like Woermann Brock which has been operating for over 100 years. The mandate of the SME Bank has been circumvented by providing loans to the likes of Woermann Brock. Loans have been given to directors of the SME Bank and these directors of the SME Bank have not even read the King Report. As a board member, you should know you are the guarantor of the rules.”

    This follows wide-ranging reports that politicians and senior government officials had received loans from the bank for purposes other than helping their fledging business enterprises.

    High-ranking officials that secured SME Bank loans include former chairman and presidential affairs minister Frans Kapofi who received money from the bank for his farming operations, former board member and current Social Security Commission CEO Milka Mungunda who secured an overdraft facility from the bank, and personal assistant to finance minister, Esau Mbako who secured a loan to purchase a vehicle according to recent press reports.

    The suspended board chairperson George Simataa reportedly also acquired a N$5 million loan from the bank.

    According to Venaani, the SME Bank was never in a position to provide loan facilities to individuals but rather to SMEs to support business development.

    “We have a high unemployment rate but we are not providing loans to SMEs,” he fumed.

    “Let’s get to the bottom of this. A commission of inquiry will ensure the SME Bank must deliver on what it must do, the inquiry will tell us whether the SME Bank has been captured by certain individuals.”

    The lender was placed under curatorship by the Bank of Namibia after the central bank had found that dubious investment close to N$200 million had been made in questionable investments in South Africa.

    An acting CEO, Benustus Herunga was appointed to head the embattled lender while an interim board consisting of Dennis Khama, Melani Tjijenda, Ali Ipinge and Fanuel Kisting was also appointed.

    In March this year, another political party Nudo also called on President Hage Geingob to institute a commission of inquiry into suspected dubious dealings at the SME Bank.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Changes to whistleblower law hopeful Changes to whistleblower law hopeful Serious concerns raised by civil rights groups earlier this year about the unconstitutionality of the whistleblower protection bill were laid to rest this week when parliament passed an amended version of the law without the controversial clause.

    Moreover, although experts say the bill could be further improved and strengthened, especially in terms of ensuring independence of the office and the removal of stiff fines for false disclosures, the bill’s facelift was commended by a coalition of Namibian activists, civil society and media organisations.

    In a statement issued by the Access to Information Namibia (Action) coalition this week, the group said the changes may enable the bill “to live up to its potential, and allow the creation of a Namibia where whistleblowers feel free to report wrongdoing without fearing retribution.”

    In general, the amendments in general “improved upon the original version” the group said.

    In March, the inclusion of a section that would revoke protection of a whistleblower if they were found to criticise government policies, received widespread criticism and was described by legal experts as “blatantly unconstitutional.”

    At that time, the Action coalition noted that section 52 (1d) “would seem to be included in the Bill purely to ensure whistleblowers cannot criticise government when making a disclosure.”

    With the deletion of this clause in the new version, which is heading to the National Council now, the group stated that “Action welcomes government’s willingness to engage with stakeholders on this bill, and to take suggestions into account when drafting improvements.”

    The fact that the bill was further strengthened with the inclusion of a section that explicitly protects those who blow the whistle on human rights violations, in addition to other acts of wrongdoing, was also praised.

    The extension of whistleblower protection to those whose employment contracts mandate secrecy and the assurance that this protection continues by default until a tribunal has found otherwise, was also welcomed.

    Nevertheless, the Action coalition said that despite these improvements, “the law is not perfect.”

    Fines still a concern

    Supporters of the law warned earlier this year, that excessive fines or jail time for false reporting could backfire and weaken the bill’s intention for encouraging whistleblowing.

    In the new bill, lawmakers reduced the N$100 000 fine or a 20-year jail term to a N$30 000 fine or a 10 year jail-term, a reduction which was welcomed but not in line with recommendations to scrap the penalty entirely.

    In March, the Action coalition warned that the criminalisation for false reporting “will have a chilling effect on would-be whistleblowers who may already be risking their livelihoods, friendships and other associations by coming forward with information.”

    Yesterday, the Action coalition said it “is unfortunate that penalties for those who intimidate whistleblowers were also reduced”, even though the maximum monetary fine is, at N$50 000 and now higher than for false reporting.

    The maximum jail term for any person, who uses force, coercion, threats or intimidation to prevent another person from a making a disclosure has remained unchanged at 20 years.

    The Action coalition said that the overall independence of the office will depend on the final arrangement, after only minimal recommendations in this regard were included in the new bill.

    There were also no improvements made to ensure the inclusion of a more diverse group of stakeholders in the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Guards edge closer to wage dealGuards edge closer to wage dealObjections invited for new security guards pay The labour minister has invited industry members to give input on the proposed minimum wage for security guards. Steps to officially gazette and enforce an industry wide minimum wage increase for security guards from N$7 to N$8.75 per hour and more for long-term employees as per an agreement reached between three unions and the Security Association of Namibia (SAN) in December 2016 are finally underway.

    In the latest government gazette issued on 1 June, the minister of labour published invitations to members of the industry or public to object to the extension of the collective agreement for the minimum wage within the next 30 days, before he can officially gazette the new minimum wage.

    Although the new minimum wage was part of a last-minute agreement reached between SAN and the Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (Natau), the Namibia Security Guards and Watchmen's Union (NASGWU), the Namibia Independent Security Union (Nisu) in December, in an effort to prevent a countrywide festive season strike, many security firms have refused to implement the new wages to date.

    The refusal to pay the higher wage was due to the fact that the new minimum wage was not officially gazetted by the ministry, and according to SAN president, Dries Kannemeyer, the organisation had warned the unions in December that this problem would arise.

    In March, Kannemeyer told Namibian Sun that the employers organisation had warned the unions and the ministry that even if an agreement is reached to prevent the strike, “all the other security companies can only start paying the new wages once the agreement is gazetted, as we knew that this would be the reaction from non-SAN members.”

    As a result of this, Kannemeyer said competition for those who have been paying the higher wages since December and those who have not, mainly non-SAN members, has caused an uneven playing field and possibly contributed to job losses.



    Details of new wage

    In December, the three unions and SAN agreed to a 25% increase and a 40% increase for long-term employees later this year.

    At the time, the unions and SAN stated that the agreement would be effective as from 1 January 2017, and include an industry wide minimum wage applicable to all security guards from N$7 to N$8.75 in the first phase.

    The second phase of the agreement would be applicable only to security guards who have been employed for a year or more and will be implemented on 1 July 2017, to a minimum wage of N$10.00 per hour.

    At the December announcement of the new wage agreement, the unions warned that the new minimum wage must be enforced by all industry employers, including non-members of SAN from 1 January.

    Nevertheless, despite the union's threats, no action was taken by the unions to date, even after it emerged that as many as 50% of the industry had refused to pay the new wages.

    In March, ministry of labour permanent secretary, Bro-Matthew Shinguadja told Namibian Sun that security companies that are not members of SAN were not legally “bound by that agreement until it is extended by the minister.”

    He said it was not clear why the relevant parties had not yet started the legal process of gazetting that is required to extend the minimum wage to the entire sector.

    Shinguadja said the ministry only received a letter on 2 March, in which the unions and SAN asked that the minister extend the agreement to the entire sector, including non-SAN members.



    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Rosh Pinah workers want 12% ownershipRosh Pinah workers want 12% ownership The Rosh Pinah branch of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) wants employees of the Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation to own 12% of the zinc mine in southern Namibia.

    The employees currently have 1.19% shareholding, according to a letter written by the union to the mine's COO Christo Horn, dated 22 May 2017.

    In the letter, seen by Nampa, the union is requesting Canadian firm, Trevali Mining Corporation, to donate 12% of its shares to the Rosh Pinah Employee Empowerment Scheme.

    Trevali, according to media reports, is in the process of closing a deal in which it will acquire the mine's 80.08% majority stake owned by Swiss-based company, Glencore.

    The remaining 19.92% is shared between Namibian-owned companies Jaguar Investments and PE Minerals Namibia and the employees.

    The union said in the letter, signed by branch chairperson Allen Kalumbu, that the value of the donation could still be negotiated by the union and trustees of the empowerment scheme and the new owner.

    “The employees are requesting Trevali to donate 12% into the scheme for their empowerment and betterment for the time invested in the company. However, the proposed percentage is negotiable,” the letter reads.

    Kalumbu refused to discuss the letter and said it is not a matter for the media when approached by Nampa on Tuesday, although a union source said the note was delivered to Horn's office on Monday.

    Repeated calls to Horn and company spokesperson, Kondja Kaulinge went unanswered.



    NAMPA

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    Kerina's wife suffered severe asthma attack at restaurantKerina's wife suffered severe asthma attack at restaurant Family and friends of newly-wedded Naomi Zauana Kerina (54) who died suddenly in the early evening hours of Monday are still coming to grips with the tragic and sordid circumstances of her death.

    Naomi had recently married veteran politician Mburumba Kerina (85) and died following a severe asthma attack at the Yangtze restaurant in Klein Windhoek.

    Kerina is credited with giving the country the name 'Namibia' and was the first black petitioner to the United Nations (UN) against South African apartheid rule.

    According to witnesses the couple, who were married on 5 May, was at the restaurant at the invitation of a Chinese business partner of Mburumba.

    A manager at the Yangtze restaurant, Eveline Shikongo, said Mburumba had taken Naomi outside for fresh air when she struggled to breathe after they had dinner.

    Naomi handed over her handbag to the waiters to search for her asthma pump, but it was not there.

    She collapsed and a local doctor at the scene stepped in to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for a long time before the ambulance arrived an hour after it was summoned. Police spokesperson deputy commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi said Naomi was pronounced dead at 19:00 at the scene.

    Shikongo said they covered her body with a tablecloth when she died. Her new husband was taken to Medi-Clinic where he was treated for shock.





    Witnesses say family members were called to clean up the blood at the restaurant when staff refused to do it.

    Shikongo admitted that the family members had cleaned up the blood but she did not acknowledge that the staff had refused to clean it up.

    The local press in mid-2013 reported that Naomi, who was checked in at the Windhoek Central Hospital after an asthma attack at home, had suffered another attack while admitted at the hospital.

    She blamed the second asthma attack on the stench emanating from filthy hospital toilets.

    After she recovered she cleaned up the toilet herself when the cleaners refused to do it.



    Catherine Sasman

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    Booze, pills before fatal shootingBooze, pills before fatal shootingCourt hears powerful psychologist testimony Willem Visagie Barnard had earlier told the court he had no recollection of the incident where his wife was fatally shot with a revolver at their farmhouse. Hours of excessive drinking while watching the funeral of South African white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanche preceded the fatal shooting of a woman allegedly at the hands of her husband, the High Court heard yesterday.

    The murder trial of a pensioner accused of murdering his wife seven years ago continued in the Windhoek High Court with chilling testimony about the events preceding the alleged killing.

    A psychologist, who consulted with murder suspect and farmer Willem Visagie Barnard, said that it is possible the accused might not have been able to appreciate the moral and legal wrongfulness of his alleged actions, due to memory loss, which the psychologist, Gerhard Marx, said is due to timing and the amount and combination of psycho-active substances the accused, Willem Visagie Barnard, and his wife consumed during the course of 9 April 2010, the date on which the murder occurred.





    He told the court that the intake of medical depressants together with heavy alcohol consumption likely caused memory loss for the short period of being intoxicated from the substances.

    The consumption of brandy together with Alprazolam, for social phobia, and Zopiclone, for insomnia, led up to and culminated in the death of Anette Barnard on the date, Marx suggested.

    The 64-year-old farmer from the Aranos area, pleaded not guilty to killing his 55-year-old wife with a single gunshot to the head on 9 April 2010.

    The psychologist was called by the defence.

    Advocate Louis Botes appeared on instructions of Christopher Garbers from Garbers & Associates in Mariental for Barnard.

    Marx concluded after consultations of over 660 minutes between 2012 and 2014 on different occasions that depressant intake and excessive alcohol consumption might have led to memory loss.

    He stated in evidence that he was requested to provide an opinion on whether the amount and type of substance consumed by the accused on 9 April 2010 could result in memory loss.

    This was in the events leading up to and culminating in the death of Anette some time that evening.

    Marx said that Barnard had never seen a psychiatrist or a psychologist until he saw him in April 2010.

    However, he added Barnard consulted his regular general practitioner since 1982 with symptoms suggestive of social phobia and was prescribed Benzodiazepine for this problem until the later part of 2010.

    “During the months preceding his wife death, he started using Zopiclone 7.5mg at night to help with a lack of sleep,” Marx explained.

    According to him, the accused is otherwise in good health.

    He has never used illicit drugs but started to use alcohol at about the age of 20.

    He said Barnard explained that his alcohol consumption slowly increased over the years.

    “The accused consumed heavily in the three months leading up to the death of his wife on 9 April 2010,” he concluded.

    He testified that on the fateful day, Barnard took 1mg Alprazolam after breakfast and started drinking brandy around 12:00 while watching the funeral of Eugene Terre'Blanche on television with his wife.

    He further took 1mg of Alprazolam after lunch and took off to start an engine somewhere away from the house.

    This was after having taken five to six drinks by the time he left.

    “We are talking about anything between 12 and 15 standard drinks which is between 300 and 350ml of brandy,” he explained.

    The psychologist said Barnard went back to the living room but cannot remember anything from that point onwards until he woke up to find his wife in a pool of blood next to him.

    He further said the past behaviour is a predictor of future behaviour and that Barnard's past behaviour and actuarial profile does not fit with a person who would resort to violence with a firearm.

    “In the past, even under extreme provocation, where his wife on three occasions tried to harm him, he managed to refrain from violence,” Max observed.

    The trial continues before Judge Naomi Shivute.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Eyambulepo lyaanona petameko olya pumbiwaEyambulepo lyaanona petameko olya pumbiwaAavali naya kuthe ombinga meyambulepo lyaanona yawo Omapekaapeko ga ningwa oga ulike kutya omandiki goEarly Childhood Development Centres (ECDs) geli 32 miitopolwa ihetatu yoshilongo oga taalela ompumbwe yomakwatho giiyemo nogopauntu naashoka otashi yi moshipala aanona yamone omayakulo omanga inaya tameka oskola. Omapekaapeko ngoka oga tothamo iinima mbyoka tayi yi moshipala omayambulepo gaanona yoomvula 0 sigo oomvula hetatu, kombinga yuundjolowele wawo wompamadhilaadhilo, palutu pankalathano komagumbo nomokati koshigwana miitopolwa ngaashi Hardap, Kavango West, Kavango East, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Otjozondjupa, noZambezi.

    Olopota ndjoka ya tseyithwa petulo miilonga lyolopota yo‘Needs assessment of under-resourced and vulnerable ECD centres in Namibia’ pendiki lyoMasida ECD mo- Zambezi, oya pula ehanganitho okuza kUuministeli wUundjolowele, Onkalonawa yAanona oshowo elongo opo ya longele kumwe mokugandja omakwatho gaanona paundjolowele, onkalo nawa oshowo oopumbwe dhilwe.

    “Ombelewa yOmunyekadhi otayi hwahwameke kutya omakuthombinga mekandulepo lyomukundu ngoka naga ningwe taku longithwa omaumbangi ngoka ga monika po, nokuuvako omikundu ndhoka dha taalela omandiki ngoka moshilongo,” Omunyekadhi Monica Geingos ta ti.

    Pauyelele wolopota ndjoka, nonando pe na omwaka omunene momandiki ngoka ga ningilwa omapekaapeko, aalongi momandiki ngoka oya holola ohokwe yawo meyambidhidho lyeyambulepo lyaanona .

    Omandiki ngoka omahala moka aanona taya vulu okwiilonga nokupewa uunongo welongo lyopetameko. Ominista yUukashike kOokantu, Doreen Sioka, oya pula aavali opo ya kuthe ombinga meyambulepo lyaanona yawo.

    “Etameko ewanawa monkalamwenyo oondyoka kutya okanona otaka longekidhilwa oskola, uundjolowele oshowo onkalo yi li nawa yuukuluntu, naashoka osho tashi etitha Namibia oshowo iilongo yilwe miiyuni ya ninge omahwahwameko gomandiki ngoka geyambulepo lyaanona momasiku gawo 1 000 gonkalamwenyo yopetameko,” omukalelipo gwoUnicef, Micaela Marques de Sousa ta ti.



    OMUTOOLINKUNDANA GWOMENI

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    Rape of 12-year-old results in birth Rape of 12-year-old results in birth

    A manhunt for an unidentified Namibian man is underway by the Namibian police who has been accused of raping a 12-year-old girl
    over the course of five months last year, resulting in the birth of a baby boy recently.

    Police have not yet arrested the suspect but said he is known to them and they are continuing their probe.

    Police say they cannot disclose any further details at this time because of the sensitivity of the case and the
    involvement of the minor.

    The multiple rapes took place between August and December 2016 in the Omatjete area in the Erongo region.

    The high rate of child and minor rape is deeply concerning to experts who say the frequency of children and minors being raped in Namibia is likely much higher than reported to the police, due to the issues of shame, lack of outreach options and other barriers.

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