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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    AFD facility for Bank WindhoekAFD facility for Bank Windhoek Bank Windhoek is proud to announce the conclusion and signing of a facility to the value of 15 million euros with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) this week.

    The French Development Agency approached Bank Windhoek with an offer to provide mid- and long-term facilities, inclusive of technical assistance, for lending towards eligible projects in renewable energy, energy efficiency and natural resources sustainable use small-scale investments in Namibia.

    The main purposes of the Sustainable Use of Natural and Environmental Finance (SUNREF) facility are to reduce the carbon footprint and energy intensity of the Namibian economy; secure energy supply of small- and medium-sized companies in Namibia; leverage investments in the fields of sustainable agriculture and tourism to help structure these strategic sectors; provide replicable and innovative good examples of what could be performed through local banks and small- to medium-sized companies to ensure scalability.

    The agreement is further aligned to Bank Windhoek's sustainability focus and the bank's commitment to combating climate change, together with the environment ministry.

    Bank Windhoek MD Baronice Hans said: “We are proud of our association and partnership with the AFD. The loan facility will empower the bank to increase its lending to small-scale enterprises, amongst others, which is a very important sector in Namibia's future economic growth and development. Bank Windhoek strives to be a catalyst for sustainable opportunities in Namibia and with partnerships such as these, aims to empower the communities we serve.”

    French ambassador to Namibia, Jaqueline Bassa-Mazzoni, said that she was convinced that the agreement, supported by AFD and implemented by Bank Windhoek, would lead to great and efficient projects in the fields of sustainable development, green tourism and renewable energy.

    “I am proud of the SUNREF project as it perfectly complies with the objectives of the Harambee Prosperity Plan and the fight against poverty by supporting green job creation,” Bassa-Mazzoni said.

    Bank Windhoek in 2015 also secured a facility from the International Finance Corporation of approximately N$920 million. This marks the second occasion an external financing organisation has approached the localised lender.


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  • 06/08/17--16:00: Hell and high water
  • Hell and high waterHell and high waterKnysna battles fires‚ strong winds and massive waves Up to 20 suburbs have been damaged and 10 000 people evacuated Knysna as fires in the area continued to spread yesterday. Up to 10 000 residents were forced to flee their homes in Knysna overnight as fires fuelled by storm winds ripped through the Western Cape coastal town.

    Provincial local governance spokesman James-Brent Styan confirmed‚ in an update early yesterday‚ that 8000 to 10 000 evacuations had taken place in the town of 77 000 residents.

    In a statement Western Cape officials said Brenton‚ Belvedere‚ Welbedacht‚ Nania‚ Eastford‚ Green Pastures and Knysna Heights were evacuated.

    “The officials on the ground are monitoring the situation and will inform locals timeously if and when additional evacuations become necessary‚” the statement said.

    At least three people - a farmworker‚ his wife and their son - had died in fires in Rheenendal outside Knysna.

    “These are the worst fires I have seen in the 45 years I've lived in Knysna‚” said the town's mayor‚ Eleanore Bouw-Spies.

    Firefighters responded to at least 26 fires along the Garden Route as most of Plettenberg Bay‚ Knysna‚ Sedgefield and Wilderness were shrouded in smoke.

    The fires came in the wake of a huge storm which wreaked death and damage across the Western Cape.

    Eden disaster management boss Gerhard Otto said all available staff had been deployed to deal with the fires‚ including staff that had been on rest breaks.

    By mid-morning‚ about 13 houses had already been evacuated just outside Knysna towards Plettenberg Bay.

    The N2 between the two coastal holiday towns were closed due to low visibility.

    Knysna municipal spokesperson Fran Kirsten said residents had also been evacuated from Belvedere‚ Brenton-on-Sea and Karatara outside Knysna‚ among other areas.

    Plettenberg Bay and Knysna were also without power for most of Wednesday because of the fires.

    Knysna fire chief Clinton Manual said there was little hope of stopping the fire and officials would continue evacuating all those in its path.

    At least 11 fire engines were deployed to the area from neighbouring towns and the City of Cape Town.

    Working on Fire has deployed more than 120 firefighters to the area.

    Meanwhile‚ those in need of help may have difficulty contacting the local fire station as several people tweeted that phone lines were down.

    One woman took to Twitter to say an elderly woman was stranded on a hilltop after fleeing her burning home.

    Panic was spreading‚ with some people struggling to locate their relatives.

    The Knysna Provincial Hospital was one of the structures which were ablaze‚ a local resident told TimesLIVE.

    “The fire began on the one side but is now spreading to the other side of the town and the hospital is on fire. Basically the whole town is burning‚” said journalist Ivo Vegter.

    Earlier‚ Vegter said on Twitter: “Knysna is burning down. This is a disaster of epic proportions. I'm stuck in fleeing traffic. Not sure I'll have a home tomorrow.”

    Martin Hatchuel said he had fled his home in Fisher Haven late yesterday afternoon to be with his family on Leisure Isle.

    He said large sections of the town were on fire and many buildings had already been lost.

    “It's a f-up‚” he said. “Apparently the main centre of town is burning.”

    The fires came amid a day of dramatic weather across the procince and which claimed at least eight lives to fire and damage caused by gale-force winds.

    DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said on Facebook that her mother had fled a fire threatening Brenton on Sea. “She has taken her dog and some papers and driven off.”

    Cape Town saw scenes of devastation as trees‚ street poles and roofs were felled by gale-force winds and monster waves battered the coast.

    The heartache of losing a home to natural disaster was repeated for hundreds of people in Hout Bay.

    Hundreds of structures destroyed by the storm were built less than three months ago for families who lost everything when much of Imizamo Yethu was razed.

    City of Cape Town teams worked to clear roads throughout the day‚ and at one point the city council asked residents to stop phoning its call centre‚ which was struggling to cope.

    In Taiwan‚ Khayelitsha‚ community leader Noxolo Masilika said: “In this area alone 18 families were affected.

    Four shacks were blown away by wind and others were washed away by water. Each household is comprised of a number of adults and small children.

    Some are trying to set up their homes in this weather while others moved in with relatives and neighbours.”


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    The AU, Ethiopia, and the dessonance of symbolismThe AU, Ethiopia, and the dessonance of symbolism By Babatunde Fagbayibo

    Since many of the African leaders that attend the jamboree summits of the AU are equally guilty of suppressing, there is no wonder as to why there has been little or no criticism of the regime in Addis Ababa. These summits and meetings usually amount to nothing more than an organised hypocrisy, a platform for fine-tuning sound and fury.

    As we advance the cause of effective regional integration and development in Africa, one salient point that we cannot continue to ignore is the symbolism of the location of regional headquarters. Such symbolism speaks to a number of issues – most important, the vision and purpose of the agenda. Beyond the glitzy venues and well-choreographed atmosphere, it is also necessary to establish how such location reinforces the standards and aspirations of the organisation. The inability to draw a positive link is not only worrying, but also essentially defeats and weakens the foundation of the agenda.

    It is against this background that one is often critical of the Ethiopian government. Such criticism is not based on an aversion for the country but mainly due to the regime’s negation of all the ideas of freedom and justice the African Union (AU) supposedly upholds. Beyond the chorus of “Ethiopia is rising, Africa is rising”, it is essential that we begin to understand how repressive the Ethiopian government is. Both real and imagined opposition are brutally suppressed by a government that continues to force the theory of “development is better than democracy” down our throats.

    In a long line of repressive activities, the Ethiopian government, under the laughable guise of preventing exam leaks, shut down the internet on 30 May 2017. Ethiopia remains one of the pioneers of digital repression on the African continent, and it routinely adopts this strategy to censor opposition activities. The negative impact of internet shutdowns on operations of the AU secretariat has hardly moved the organisation to register any substantial complaint against this action.

    Since many of the African leaders that attend the jamboree summits of the AU are equally guilty of suppressing, and in some cases turn the machine guns on their citizens, there is no wonder as to why there has been little or no criticism of the regime in Addis Ababa. These summits and meetings usually amount to nothing more than an organised hypocrisy, a platform for fine-tuning sound and fury.

    The regime in Ethiopia is fully aware that only a handful of African countries can really confront it and register displeasure by protesting and/or boycotting AU summits and meetings in Addis. The regime understands the psychology of African “brotherhood”, which has always informed the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” approach to atrocities committed by fellow African states. The regime has mastered the knowledge that the AU, like its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), remains a trade union of autocrats, where the interests of tyrants trump those of the citizens of Africa.

    Furthermore, the regime knows that the weak articulation and implementation of democratic values allows it to flaunt the signs of “development” in Addis as the symbol of the warped theory of “democracy hinders real economic progress”. In addition, the regime flourishes in the bubble of praises and gyrations by intellectuals and western governments that fall over each other to rationalise its bad behaviour (The same unfortunate rationalisation is extended to Rwanda’s Paul Kagame).

    While our leaders gather in their Chinese built and donated AU secretariat to “talk” about democratic norms, their host, Ethiopia, continues to refine and perfect state machinery of suppression. The reality, albeit a sad one, is that Addis Ababa remains the political and administrative headquarters of the continent, and the symbol of what it intends to achieve through unity. This reality is the primary reason why we must not relent on calling out and exposing the misdemeanours of the regime. How do we expect to achieve true freedom and justice while the “seat of power” remains the bastion of suppression?

    We need to send the right message to the masses of our people. It should be the message that highlights the compatibility of freedom and development. Without diminishing the contextual nature of development, which should rightly inform the rejection of a “one size fits all” discourse, the imperative of freedom must remain the flagship idea. Our postcolonial history is littered with the nonsensical obsession with the erasure of freedom on the altar of phantom development, yet we fail to learn any lessons.

    Ethiopia’s legitimacy to host the AU can no longer exclusively lie in its historical significance; it must be underwritten by its willingness to reconcile the symbolism of location with the aspirations of freedom and justice in Africa.

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  • 06/08/17--16:00: Get political, or die trying
  • Get political, or die tryingGet political, or die trying Whoever said I was a boring, old fashioned man stuck in the Iron Age ought to think again. Ok, perhaps some of these views about me are correct - like those on being boring, and the Iron Age thing. I guess the old fashioned part would also be correct...alright, who am I kidding – I guess all the above statements are correct about me. But that is besides the point...

    Hoping to dispel some of these myths about me, I decided to check out what the Gobabis night life has to offer over the last weekend. The quest for ‘emancipation’ found me at a bar deep in the heart of Gobabis that has a name fitting what normally happens there – Dronk lappies Bar!

    I had barely made myself comfortable at a seat near the window (the entire pub was engulfed in cigarette smoke), when a group of friends showed up at my table.

    “You mind if we join you, comrade,” inquired one.

    Wow, what are the odds! I had no idea the ‘Aminuis Transitional Emancipation for Liberation and Hard work Party’ (AMITEFOLIHAP) had members in Gobabis as well. I mean, he called me a comrade!

    “Sure comrades, please join me,” I said.

    As the night got older, the conversation around the table shifted to politics, with the ladies in the group – who all held post-graduate University Degrees from institutions other than Unam – concluding that the country is going to the dogs.

    “Why can’t Namibia learn from the developed world and improve the standards of living of most of its citizens living below the bread line,” said one.

    “I agree, I mean it is really high time we stop blaming apartheid for everything and move on to develop our country,” another lady agreed.

    At that point, a well nourished man who had been eagerly eavesdropping on the conversation, and whom I realised earlier during a conversation with a waiter, had difficulties expressing himself in the queen’s lingua, chipped in.

    “What do you mean when you say apartheid is no blame? Dat is de problem with you young people! Just because you drive ‘be my wifes’ and mashete, you think you can tell elders what to do. We in Swapo, including myself, died for this country,”

    A member of the group, whom I gathered must belong to an opposition, could no longer contain his disagreement...

    “That is exactly the type of politics that requires radical transformation, and taken to a wholly different school of thought and ideologies. We need to embrace Ubuntu, and take cognisance of the fact that it is virtue and not pedigree that characterises nobility...”

    Everyone, including myself were seen going through the virtual thesaurus in our brains – none of us, could make sense of what was just said. To break the tension, I asked if anyone wanted refills.

    “No comrade, don’t go,” the group leader whom I had met first said and pulled me down. “...this man has it all wrong. What about all that money stolen by selfish people from government agencies?” he asked.

    Realising that their friend needed help, of the ladies attempted to offer help.

    “...I guess what comrade ‘Ak-47’ mean is that people like himself and comrades ‘Bazooka’ and ‘Shoot to kill’ over there really suffered and also want a share of the profits,” she said.

    The conversation then dwelled on how the perceived feud between drivers of Mercedez Benzes like yours truly and those driving those Rooi Oog BMWs has led to the weakening of the Yen against the US Dollar – or something like that.

    By the time the night was over, we had taken over the VIP Pub, shaking our hips and doing the ‘snake’ dance to Ndlimani’s Sema Oulipeni. We even danced to Jaloers Bokkie, with my learned comrade going “...die levire is vor, my tlane lor...” (die riviere is vol, my trane rol).

    Well, we are one in Gobabis, as such we sing to all tunes – even those in Otjiherero. No wonder my friend Frikkie always has a toothache after a singing session – who said singing Otjiherero was a walk in the park!

    Ah, what a feeling it is to be at the people’s parliament! So, next time you run out of reasonable conversations, you know where to go to have those “meaningful” conversations.

    Until then...


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    Everyone is a foreigner somewhereEveryone is a foreigner somewhere Namibia has not experienced extraordinary levels of xenophobic sentiment over the years in comparison to what has been witnessed in South Africa and other parts of the continent.

    In South Africa alone, thousands of people have been harassed and even killed, because of their foreign status. The natives have continuously claimed that foreigners were taking their jobs and this has led to a series of attacks, including looting shops owned by their African brothers. The ghastly images of the xenophobic violence that rocked South Africa in 2008 leading to over 50 000 fleeing for safety is still fresh in our minds and we doubt any peace-loving person would condone such barbaric conduct. To put it frankly, xenophobia is indeed a crime against humanity, which society can ill afford. It is disturbing to note that some Namibians are now portraying hostile attitudes towards foreigners in our country. From the Chinese accused of wildlife crimes to the highly-publicised SME Bank saga, there is enough reason to believe that some of our countrymen and women are harbouring xenophobic sentiments. The SME Bank saga, which has seen many economic refugees considered for high-paying jobs at the expense of locals, is saddening to say the least. It is true that not all foreigners coming to Namibia are here to steal jobs from locals or poach our precious wildlife. However, government must equally share the blame here for doing little in protecting the interests of Namibians who are now frustrated, because of a lack of employment opportunities. Thus they will vent and may even speak ill of foreigners whom they are accusing of getting preferential treatment at their expense. We would, however, like to caution our fellow countrymen and women that the debate around the SME Bank debacle should not be allowed to degenerate into unwarranted attacks on foreigners.

    As Namibians we are not inherently xenophobic and we cannot afford to entertain such madness. There should be better ways to address our grievances through constructive dialogue.

    And as the saying goes – we should remember everyone is a foreigner somewhere.

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    Oukwanyama authority has court victoryOukwanyama authority has court victory The Oukwanyama Traditional Authority has reached a settlement agreement with dissidents who allocated villages to themselves and declared themselves headmen.

    Mukwata Mainga, lawyer for Thomas Haihambo and 20 other respondents confirmed the settlement.

    Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula postponed the matter to 31 June to afford the respondents the opportunity to attach their signatures to the settlement agreement.

    In terms of the agreement, the respondents, Haihambo and eight others Ndadi Marti, Wilbard Nambahu, Ndemudina Ndove, Ndapwa Hamukwaya, Moses Ndilenge, George Hikumwa and Festus Wangushu, who declared themselves as headmen and the 13 remaining respondents, in terms of the agreement, shall not unlawfully allocate villages in the communal area under the jurisdiction of the authority.

    The respondents further agreed not to instigate public members under the Oukwanyama authority to disobey or defy lawful directions and orders.

    They agreed not to issue any verbal, written or any form of notice, communication or any process which otherwise is the sole responsibility and prerogative of the authority as the only lawfully recognised traditional authority.

    It was further agreed that the respondents will cancel all allocations of customary land rights by any one of them and declare such allocations as null and void and of no legal effect.

    The geographic area of the traditional authority is divided into districts which districts are constituted of villages.

    Traditional councillors are appointed by the traditional authority while junior traditional councillors are appointed by the senior traditional councillors.

    Around April 2013 the authority decided to subdivide some of the districts for better coordination and sound management, as some districts had many villages and it became burdensome and hard to manage.

    Ohakafiya district had 78 villages and was subdivided while Ohaingu district had 174 villages and was subdivided.

    The subdivision was not fully welcomed by certain members of the community. It is allegedly this resentment that manifested in factionalism and disobedience.

    The 20 respondents were allegedly established to destabilise the Oukwanyama traditional area in its leadership. After this settlement agreement this seemingly is something of the past.


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  • 06/08/17--16:00: Land reform meetings slammed
  • Land reform meetings slammedLand reform meetings slammedCriticised as being for government players only Uninvited activists say the process is shrouded in secrecy and exclusivity. Land activists say the draft programme for consultative regional workshops in preparation of the anticipated second land conference in September is becoming a fig leaf.

    The Ministry of Land Reform on 5 June sent out a draft programme of the schedule for the regional consultations that are to kick off on 10 June in Keetmanshoop for the //Karas Region.

    Other dates are 12 June at Mariental (Hardap), 13 June in Windhoek (Khomas and Omaheke regions), 14 June in Otjiwarongo (Otjozondjupa and Erongo), 16 June in Rundu (Kavango East and Kavango West), 19 June in Katima Mulilo (Zambezi), 21 June in Outapi (Kunene and Omusati), and 23 June at Ongwediva (Oshikoto, Ohangwena and Oshana).

    The meetings will be presided over by the permanent secretary in the lands ministry, Peter Amutenya, and the registrar of deeds in the //Karas and Hardap regions, Dana Beukes.

    The deputy permanent secretary Esther Lusepani and director Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata from the directorate of land reform, resettlement and regional programme implementation, will preside over the meetings in Windhoek, Otjiwarongo, Rundu and Katima Mulilo.

    The director of land reform and resettlement Petrus Nangolo will chair the meetings at Outapi and Ongwediva.

    According to the programme of the Hardap Region leaked to some of the land activists, Kabbe Investments CC will present a draft review of the 2001 national resettlement policy.

    Time allotted for this presentation is one hour and 15 minutes.

    Only 50 minutes is allotted for “discussions and consultations” with invited participants.

    “This is not consultative process let alone a workshop,” said land activist Sima Luipert. “The ministry calls this a policy review process, but how can you only engage people that you have selected?”

    She said it appears from the programme that the consultations will only deal with resettlement instead of agrarian reform as was advised by President Hage Geingob.

    Luipert further said that the draft review, which was prepared by Kabbe Investments has not been made public or circulated amongst workshop invitees, giving the impression that its contents are shrouded in secrecy.

    Moreover, activists say it is not clear how participants to the consultations have been invited.

    “The land issue is a very big thing that affects so many people, but it seems that mostly government people were invited. These consultative meetings are government consultations, not public consultations. These are selective and exclusive consultations,” said Luipert.

    Catherine Sasman

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    Small-scale farmers to up food productionSmall-scale farmers to up food production Although the agricultural sector is currently only contributing 3.8% to the GDP of Namibia, the government aims to make it a priority during the next few years with more emphasis on the production of small-scale farmers.

    According to the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), agriculture remains a strategic sector as it supports 70% of the Namibian population end employs a third of the country's workforce.

    The continuous drought and frequent outbreaks of animal diseases have negatively impacted the growth of the sector during the NDP4 period, contracting it by an average of 2.2% per year.

    The country has moved from an exporter of live animals to an exporter of value-added agricultural goods, the report says.

    According to the report, the aim is to decrease food insecure people from 25% to 12% and increase food production by 30% by 2022.

    Namibia imported about 75%, 98% and 91% of its demand for maize millet and wheat respectively in 2015.

    “Such import dependency poses a food security risk and trade imbalance,” says the report.

    It adds that most smallholder farmers are not currently organised and therefore not productive.

    The re-organisation of smallholder farmers will increase production, food security and income.

    “The productivity of small- medium- and large-scale farms must be maximised to increase the wealth of Namibians and ensure food security for all.”

    An increase in production of smallholder farmers will create opportunities for value addition and the development of agro-business. “This will in turn narrow the trade deficit of agricultural products and improve the nutritional status of the Namibian people.”

    Furthermore, government institutions will procure locally sourced produce in bulk for prisons, army barracks, hospitals and schools, and will encourage larger companies to do the same. It also says that the government tender system will be used to favour local producers.

    There will be accelerated land acquisition for redistribution, supportive infrastructure for small-scale farmers, including increased access to market, quality control support and better seeds.

    Some 5 536 hectare of land for irrigation and 82 200 hectare land will be de-bushed annually.

    Furthermore, the government aims to increase the share of national livestock production marketed from 4% to 10% and increase food storage capacity from 22 900 tonnes to 39 400 tonnes.


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  • 06/08/17--16:00: Social media policy tabled
  • Social media policy tabledSocial media policy tabled The Social Media Use Policy and Implementation Plan for 2016/17 to 2019/20 was tabled in parliament by information and communication minister Tjekero Tweya.

    The policy provides guidelines on the code of conduct when government officials use social media networks for official purposes, with the aim of improving transparency and interaction with the public.

    The code also covers the use of social media for personal purposes.

    Tweya said government is required to deploy available resources and ensure that citizens have access to relevant information to make meaningful and informed decisions for the improvement of their livelihoods.

    He said social media is one of the tools that government intends to use in the dissemination of information and improvement of service delivery.

    The policy, Tweya noted, is vital in the process of creating a transparent, effective and efficient government in line with the National Development Plans, Vision 2030, and the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

    The Access to Public Information Communication Plan for the period 2016/17 to 2019/20 was also tabled on Wednesday.

    It provides guidelines for effective information dissemination by government public relations officers and regular media monitoring.

    Tweya elaborated that the document would be developed into individual communication plans for all government offices, regional councils and local authorities.

    Parliament on Wednesday also passed the One-Stop Border Posts Control Bill of 2017 for the National Council to review.

    Deputy finance minister Natangwe Ithete said the Bill provides for the conclusion of agreements with neighbouring countries on the establishment and implementation of one-stop border posts that would fast-track migration and the clearance of goods at border posts.


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  • 06/08/17--16:00: DRC residents must cooperate
  • DRC residents must cooperateDRC residents must cooperate The Swakopmund Municipality has requested that residents of the DRC informal settlement cooperate with service providers currently at work in the settlement.

    The installation of water, sewer pipes and electrical services started last year in DRC Proper and Extension 28.

    At a community meeting Tuesday night, the town authority provided feedback and updates on development projects undertaken in the previous and current financial year.

    “Please give way to service providers if you see that the line pass through your dwelling. Only with your cooperation can we finish the work and develop DRC,” mayor Paulina Nashilundo said.

    The municipality struggled to demarcate erven as people settled in the area illegally.

    People whose shacks are situated on the land where servicing needs to be done, were asked to move while they wait for land to be allocated to them.

    Some residents at the meeting expressed concern over the pace at which services are provided, saying they have been waiting for a very long time for toilets and electricity.

    “Please make sure the pits are filled immediately because people might fall into them. Also relocate those who are affected,” a woman asked.

    Others said they feared people who just moved to DRC from Walvis Bay might receive erven before those who have been staying there for a while now.

    Acting CEO Marco Swartz said residents must be patient as development takes time, although the fact that work is underway is something they should be proud of.

    “We at least have something going on, we have kick-started the development process, so let us not treat it like nothing is happening.”

    Swartz said so far, 60% of sewer and water infrastructure is installed in DRC Proper, while civil and electrical services are 85% complete in DRC Extension 28.

    He said the council also last year replaced spotlights at sport stadiums in Mondesa and Vineta and repaired the fence around Tamariskia sport field.

    Swartz said the construction of the multi-purpose centre in Mondesa is ongoing, with N$6 million allocated for that purpose.

    With regard to land provision, more than 20 erven were sold in Mondesa Extension 26 and more than 100 in Matutura Extensions 34 and 35.


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  • 06/08/17--16:00: Safile gives back
  • Safile gives backSafile gives backFormer soccer star makes generous donation to orphans Eliphas Shivute has put his money where his mouth is by supporting school-going children in the north. Former Brave Warriors striker Eliphas 'Safile' Shivute has donated school uniforms to 86 orphans and vulnerable pupils at his home village of Olukonda.

    The donation includes N$30 000 towards school uniforms as well as N$55 000 for the construction of shading at the local school.

    He made a call to his fellow Namibians to develop a culture of sharing and to do away with the tendency of waiting for the government to provide.

    Shivute told the gathering of parents, community leaders and stakeholders that the donation is part of N$200 000 that he secured from San Fishing (Pty) Limited to use for the benefit of three schools in the Oshikoto and Oshana regions.

    Shivute is a shareholder in the fishing company.

    “I was born in Olukonda and I am fully aware of the condition of the children and people of my community. Many of the children are from poverty-stricken backgrounds and I know how it feels to grow up in poverty. It is bitter, inconvenient, difficult and embarrassing to be among others who are better off,” Shivute said.

    The education inspector for the Onathinge circuit in Oshikoto Region, Naemi Amuthenu, and former regional councillor for Olukonda constituency Fillemon Ndjambula, attended the event and express their gratitude.

    Shivute told them, “I decided to invest in children because our nation's hopes rely on children, while our children's hope relies on education and their education relies on us. They are our future leaders and for them to have a better future it must come through education.”

    Olukonda Primary School has 265 learners of which 115 are orphans and vulnerable children.

    The children received a school jersey, blouse, trousers/skirts, shoes and school bags.

    Shivute urged other Namibians also to look back to the communities where they come from and also to those who need their help.

    Shivute, who started playing football at a very young age, was part of the national team between 1993 and 2001.

    He also played overseas.

    He told the children that he grew up in Walvis Bay with another local sport icon, former world boxing champion, Harry Simon.

    He told them that they grew up just poor and worked hard to become successful.

    Ndjambula and Amuthenu expressed their gratitude toward Shivute.

    “This is very rare for our people. Many do not go back to their communities and assist where they can. It is a good thing that you remember where you came from and you decided to give back,” Ndjambula said.

    Other schools to benefit from Shivute's gesture are Olukonda Senior Secondary School and Onezizi Combined School in Oluno circuit in the Oshana Region.


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    Helao Nafidi tussle remains unresolvedHelao Nafidi tussle remains unresolved The controversial case of the Helao Nafidi Town Council, where an elected Swapo candidate was snubbed and replaced, and is now fighting for her position, has ended in deadlock.

    This follows a meeting held in Windhoek this week in an attempt to resolve the impasse.

    The saga emerged in December 2015 after the local authority elections.

    Ester Ndatala Nghidimbwa was sworn in as a councillor in the Helao Town Council instead of Lucia Nghililewanga, who featured on the party list when the electorate went to the polls.

    Since then, Nghililewanga has been asking the party to help her get her position back.

    She says it rightfully belongs to her, but her attempts have been unsuccessful.

    Swapo tried to resolve the issue last year after admitting the mistake and calling for the removal of Nghidimbwa on the council.

    Nghidimbwa did not take the instruction lightly and approached the High Court with an urgent application, interdicting Swapo from installing Nghililewanga into council. The court still has to rule on the matter.

    Nghidimbwa still serves on the council and has been present at a number of council meetings Namibian Sun attended.

    Meanwhile, Namibian Sun has been reliably informed that at Monday's meeting, Swapo attempted to resolve the matter before the date of the High Court judgement set for 21 June. However, no agreement could be reached.

    Namibian Sun is informed that last week Swapo secretary-general, Nangolo Mbumba summoned Nghidimbwa, Nghililewanga, Swapo Ohangwena regional coordinator Hafeni Hatutale and mobiliser Tuyeimo Nathingo to the Monday meeting, which took place at the Swapo headquarters in Windhoek.

    Also at the meeting was chairperson of Swapo national leaders assigned to Ohangwena Erkki Nghimtina, environment minister Pohamba Shifeta and economic planning minister, Tom Alweendo, among others.

    It is said Mbumba called on the members to see how best they could solve the situation.

    His efforts, according to sources, were in vain as Nghidimbwa and Nghililewanga apparently entered into a war of words, accusing one another.

    A source informed Namibian Sun that at no point in the meeting was support given to Nghililewanga.

    Mbumba adjourned the meeting and it is understood that the issue has been referred to the Politburo.

    Attempts to get comment from Mbumba proved futile, while Hatutale's telephone went unanswered.

    Ngililewanga confirmed that she was summoned to the meeting but declined to give more details of the meeting.

    She, however, hopes the party “will do the right thing and install her into council”.

    Nghidimbwa's lawyer Henry Shimutwikeni said he was unaware of the meeting that took place on Monday.


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    Speaker rejects DTA motion on SME BankSpeaker rejects DTA motion on SME Bank Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi has rejected a motion moved by DTA leader McHenry Venaani calling on parliament to debate the SME Bank debacle.

    Venaani was yesterday set to motivate the motion, but his hopes were dashed when Katjavivi rejected debate on the matter as it was still before the courts.

    “It is not the first time that we are confronted by such a request, we have to comply with the rules and rules are meant to be followed,” he said.

    Without putting up much resistance, Venaani retired to his chair and accepted the speaker's order before making way for the exit while business continued in the meantime.

    This week Venaani had also called for judicial commission of inquiry into the affairs of the SME Bank, which has since been place under curatorship by the Bank of Namibia because of “questionable investment in South African financial instruments”.

    The board and top management of the troubled bank have also been suspended pending the central bank's investigation.

    “We need to restore confidence in the SME Bank,” Venaani said earlier in the week.

    “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.”

    The High Court recently dismissed an application to overturn a decision to have the suspension of three executives and board members lifted.

    The suspended officials include CEO Tawanda Mumvuma, finance manager Joseph Banda, General Manager of Treasury and Investments Alec Gore. Board chair George Simataa, vice-chairperson Enock Kamushinda and ordinary director Ozias Bvute are also suspended.

    They have been ordered to pay the costs of the respondent in this case the Bank of Namibia.


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    Julius may access accounts for 90 days Julius may access accounts for 90 days Tax evasion suspect commits to pay N$1.2 million in tax liability The businessman who was released on bail over fraud and tax evasion charges has won a High Court battle to access millions frozen in local bank accounts. One of the accused in the massive fraud and tax evasion case involving N$3.5 billion and whose assets were frozen, yesterday reached a settlement agreement with the finance ministry, and the departments of inland revenue, and customs and excise.

    The agreement was made an order of the court.

    Laurensius Julius, the owner of the Extreme Customs Clearance Service through which the alleged N$3.5 billion fraud and tax evasion was said to have been committed, will now be at liberty to utilise his accounts at Nedbank, First National Bank, Bank Windhoek and Capricorn Asset Management as he deems appropriate, for 90 days.

    He was arrested together with three Chinese nationals for fraud, tax evasion and money-laundering following an investigation into the outflow of foreign currency from Namibia.

    Julius, Tao Huizhong and Huang Jinrong were granted bail of N$1.5 million each in January this year, while another co-accused Zhu Honggang, was granted bail of N$500 000 in the Ondangwa Magistrate's Court in December 2016.

    The fifth accused in the matter and influential Chinese businessman Jack Huang was granted bail of N$1 million following his arrest in February.

    In the matter heard yesterday, Julius’ company, himself and his wife Janieta Jennever Julius, are the first to third applicants.

    The minister of finance, Nedbank, the commissioner of inland revenue, acting commissioner of customs and excise, First National Bank, Bank Windhoek and the director of financial intelligence were listed as the respondents.

    He submitted the application after the minister of finance had instructed the commissioner of inland revenue on 28 February to transfer to Nedbank an amount of N$14 528 289.38 from five different accounts to inland revenue.

    On the same date, a further N$134 904.32, on instructions of the finance minister, was transferred by inland revenue to Nedbank from the five accounts of the applicant.

    The respondents also transferred N$93 million from Julius’s accounts to inland revenue and in the event that the account did not have sufficient funds coming in, to hold it until the balance is settled.

    However, the parties agreed that any amounts collected by the tax authorities as set out in the papers shall be retained by the tax authorities towards any liability of the applicants.

    The respondents had prevented the applicants from accessing the accounts.

    The respondents, in terms of the agreement, undertook to refrain from taking any further enforcement and/or execution steps in respect of any tax and or value added tax (VAT) and/or customs duties liabilities of the applicants for a period of 90 days.

    This is calculated from the date of the court order.

    The appointment of Nedbank, First National Bank, Bank Windhoek and Capricorn Asset Management as agents in terms of the applicable tax legislation is also lifted for a period of 90 days as from the date of the court order.

    Julius undertook to pay N$400 000 per month effective from 30 June for three months towards any tax liability.

    He is allowed to apply for relief in terms of the incentive programme for payment of outstanding taxes and undertook to consider such application.

    The applicant also undertook to follow the dispute resolution process provided for in the legislation.

    Finally, the suspension of the customs clearance licence of Extreme Customs Clearance Service was lifted with immediate effect for 90 days from the date of the order provided that the applicants will not remit any funds abroad for clients or any other person.

    Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula presided.


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  • 06/08/17--16:00: Rangers can’t be all over
  • Rangers can’t be all overRangers can’t be all overBudget cuts threatens conservation efforts The human-wildlife conflict programme is hard hit by government austerity measures. The environment ministry has confirmed budget cuts have forced it to reduce its operations, including that pertaining to human-wildlife conflict.

    Ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said budget cuts have affected the operations of the game rangers, adding government cannot afford taking rangers to all the places where there are reports of conflict.

    However, Muyunda refuted allegations that the financial crisis in the ministry has been caused by anti-poaching activities.

    “Yes, the ministry has cut on some of its operations due to financial constraints, but allegations that the financial difficulties facing the ministry is caused by anti-poaching activities are not correct,” he said.

    “The ministry is implementing all planned activities such as anti-poaching, human-wildlife conflict management, the community natural resources management programme and parks management, amongst other wildlife management activities. It is possible that sometimes, depending on circumstances, we might prioritise other activities ahead of others but that is normal in any organisation.”

    He said officials in the ministry are not aware of the report made about a lioness that gave birth to cubs on a private farm in the Uuvudhiya constituency of Oshana Region, saying there might be confusion with incidents of lions that escaped from the Gobatere Community Concession.

    Despite claims that a report about a lioness straying onto businessman Mburru Ismael’s farm in January this year and giving birth to four cubs, Muyunda said the incident was not reported to the ministry and according to him, the only report received during the course of last week was that of lions that escaped from Etosha onto the same farm.

    “We are aware of the lions on that private farm but the matter was only reported to us last week and our staff was deployed immediately. To this end two were captured and returned to Etosha National Park. Our staff is hard at work to capture the remaining three. We believe the residents confused this incident with the other incidences. These specific lions came from the Etosha and should not be confused with those from the concession area.”

    The farm manager, Eino Ashipala, dismissed Muyunda’s remarks.

    Ashipala said he reported the lions to environment officials who are always patrolling alongside the Etosha fence.

    He claimed to have also reported the matter to officials from the Ongwediva office.

    “What they are saying is not true. They know of the incident. It is only because we are not endangering the cats, that is why they are not responding. Even today [Wednesday] I am going to the farm and I will give you the report,” Ashipala said.

    Ashipala said a lioness came onto the farm in January this year and gave birth to four cubs.

    They are now growing up, eating lots of meat and being taught to hunt, and since February they have killed 22 cattle.

    Muyunda said the ministry’s employees are also working to mend the park fence to prevent wild animals from escaping from Etosha.

    In 2015, MET started with the anti-poaching operations in Etosha, Palmwag Conservancy, Bwabwata National Park, Rupara Conservancy and Mudumo National Park, where members of the Namibian police are attached.

    This is a three-month rotation detachment duty that is headed by Nampol regional commanders of the five regions that share boundaries with Etosha namely Oshana, Oshikoto, Omusati, Otjozondjupa and Kunene.

    Each team will consist of hundreds of different Nampol members from all the five regions with assistance from nature conservation officials.

    The government is responsible for providing basic needs, transport, subsistence and travel allowances as well as overtime.


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  • 06/08/17--16:00: Psychiatric ward hell
  • Psychiatric ward hellPsychiatric ward hellPain and anguish as patients recall mental treatment The Oshakati hospital's psychiatric department has been operating without a psychologist for many years and consequently there are no tests that conclusively identify mental illness. The psychiatric department of the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital is accused of administering psychiatric drugs to patients without any psychoanalyses done by psychiatrists or psychologists, neither of whom is available at the hospital.

    This has been revealed by several patients who have fallen victim of this practice.

    They indicated to Namibian Sun, that just because of social hardships in their lives, they ended up on psychiatric treatment.

    Four individual patients said psychiatry injections were administered to them upon their arrival at the hospital - for the first time - without any evaluation performed by a medical professional. The health ministry has confirmed to Namibian Sun that the hospital's psychiatric department or 'Ward 16', as it is popularly known, has been operating without a psychologist since the ward was established many years ago.

    It is reported that in most cases the hospital administers Largactil as an adjunct for anxiety, psychomotor agitation, excitement, violent or dangerously impulsive behaviour and also schizophrenia. Largactil is a schedule 5 drug that has a wide range of side effects including dizziness, drowsiness, anxiety, insomnia breast swelling or discharge, changes in menstrual cycle, weight gain, swelling in your hands or feet, dry mouth or stuffy nose, blurred vision' constipation and impotence.According to Windhoek psychiatrist Dr Reinhardt Sieberhagen, Largactil is the first anti-psychotic drug ever to appear on the market and was launched as far back as 1954.

    Side effects

    “The side effects connected to this medication are severe and if the patient uses the drug for too long, these side effects can become permanent.

    It is not the kind of drug you want to use injudiciously,” he said.

    Another problem Sieberhagen highlighted was misdiagnosis.

    “If you have a patient that presents psychotic symptoms due to severe stress, you can give him a prescription for Valium and after a few days the patient will be fine. However, if you begin Largactil treatment, there is no way a psychiatrist will be able to distinguish between symptoms of stress and something as severe as schizophrenia. In other words, you commit a patient to a diagnosis and a drug for the rest of his life.”

    According to a 27-year-old woman, she passed Grade 12 in 2008 with good marks, but, as there was no one to pay for tuition fees at university, she was forced to stay home.

    She began to cry constantly and until her aunt took her to the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital.

    “Upon arrival, my aunt told the nurses that I was mentally disturbed because I had been crying non-stop for three days. The nurses took me and injected me. I fell asleep and when I woke, I was admitted into Ward 16, getting psychiatric medical treatment already. It was painful for me to discover this and the more I cried the more they injected me,” she said.

    After she was released from the hospital she decided not to take the medication any longer. “I have felt better ever since.”

    Another victim, 43, said that in June 2000, she lost her job. Life became very difficult for her as a single mother.

    “Life was tough. Nobody could provide the basic needs for my child and I. One evening while we were sleeping in one room with my mom, my four siblings, their children and I began to pray. Sometime during the prayer I began to scream and the next day they took me to the hospital.”

    'Horrible pain'

    As with the previous woman, upon their arrival, her mother and sister told the nurses she was mentally disturbed.

    “They injected me and when I woke up I was in horrible pain. I decided that I am not going to eat, drink or take their medicines. They continued injecting me and I had to stay in the hospital for three months. When they discharged me I refused to take their medication. In 2008 I was taken to the hospital and again it was the same and I spent another month in Ward 16. The doctor only comes to us asking how we are feeling. There are no evaluations at all,” she said.

    A young man, 24, was addicted to drugs and when he became violent his parents took him to the hospital.

    “I was injected and they locked me in an isolation room. I slept and when I woke up I was in the psychiatric ward. I was furious and I decided to escape from the hospital, which I did,” he said.

    The health ministry's spokesperson, Ester Paulus said that there is no psychologist or psychiatrist at the Oshakati hospital's psychiatric ward.

    “The ministry has been advertising this position frequently but no qualified applications have been received. The Oshana Regional Health Directorate has put the matter on its agenda to devise some form of intervention on filling this position without delay,” Paulus said.

    Local expertise key

    Sieberhagen also confirmed to Namibian Sun that health minister Bernhard Haufiku has approached local psychiatrists to assist in the north for short periods, to no avail.

    Asked about providing work permits to foreign psychiatrists, Sieberhagen said this is risky.

    “A psychiatrist must be knowledgeable about culture and traditional aspects of the community they serve. It is not like a surgeon that can operate on any human body, irrespective of race or tribe. A psychiatrist must understand the cultural practises to make good diagnoses and to understand what is going on.”

    There are two mental health care centres in the country, and the other one is at the Windhoek Central Hospital. The Windhoek centre is the only one with a full range of professionals such as psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, clinical psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists.


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    12-year-old rape victim gives birth12-year-old rape victim gives birth A twelve-year-old girl in the Erongo Region recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy whose father is accused of raping her regularly over the course of five months last year.

    The police yesterday confirmed the suspect is known to them, but he has not yet been arrested, although the manhunt continues.

    According to the police, the suspect is accused of raping the 12-year-old multiple times between August and December 2016.

    Although she has already given birth, the rape was only reported to the police recently, for reasons not yet provided to Namibian Sun.

    The exact birthday of the baby boy was not revealed and the age of the girl at the time the alleged rape took place is also not known.

    The Nampol crime report stated the girl was forced to have sex with the man “on numerous occasions under coercive circumstances and impregnated her.”

    Social workers at LifeLine/ChildLine Namibia Counselling Centre yesterday warned that the trauma of long-term rape of a young child can cause multiple difficulties for the victim, including issues of self-blame, shame, lack of confidence and a lack of trust in men in general.

    The consequences moreover of a child having a child, could also be far reaching.

    “The baby has a child as a mother, the mother is not psychologically or emotionally ready to take up that kind of responsibility,” a social worker at the centre warned.

    Issues such as child neglect and relationship difficulties between the child and its mother could also feature in future.

    Child rape epidemic

    Over the past week, Nampol opened at least seven more cases of alleged rape of children and minors, between the ages of four and 17.

    On Wednesday, police said they are investigating the case of a four-year-old girl who was allegedly raped in the Omaheke Region by her 19-year-old uncle.

    Police this week also opened a new case of alleged rape of a five-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by a 16-year-old teenager in Kavango West.

    An adult male was arrested near Outapi on Monday, after he allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl twice and gave her N$20 afterwards as payment.

    The suspect claimed he had offered the complainant money in exchange for sex and that she had allegedly agreed.

    Police this week said they are investigating an alleged rape of a 12-year-old girl by her biological father, also near Outapi.

    Police have not yet arrested the father, who lives in the same house as his daughter, and the investigations are continuing.

    Moreover, a 10-year-old girl's family have opened a case of rape at the Oshakati police against a 67-year-old neighbour, who is accused of raping the girl last week.

    The man was arrested.

    Another case of rape was opened on 2 June in Grootfontein, after a 17-year-old complainant was allegedly raped by a 41-year-old man. The suspect appeared before the court on 5 June and was granted N$3 000 bail. Investigations continue.


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  • 06/09/17--11:50: Struggle icon Ya Toivo dies
  • Struggle icon Ya Toivo diesStruggle icon Ya Toivo dies Struggle icon Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo has died.
    He was 92.
    Ya Toivo died this afternoon in Windhoek.
    Namibian Sun understands Ya Toivo was rushed to a local hospital where he was declared dead.
    More to follow


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     Ya Toivo: Geingob offers condolences Ya Toivo: Geingob offers condolences President Hage Geingob has offered his condolences to the bereaved family of the late struggle icon Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo who died this afternoon at the age of 92. “I wish to express our collective sorrow to the bereaved family. Their loss is not only felt by the family but all of us as a country as well. May comrade Andimba’s soul rest in peace,” said Geingob who officially announced his death on NBC TV. Ya Toivo was due to celebrate his 93rd birthday this August

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     Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo: 1924 – 2017 Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo: 1924 – 2017
    Namibia has lost a gallant son in Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo. Born on 22 August 1924 in northern Namibia, Ya Toivo went on to become an icon of the anti-apartheid struggle and a towering giant of note. Ya Toivo’s life has been full of trials and tribulations, but throughout he has shown his undying determination to fight for the dignity and freedom of his people. He was a revolutionary and a true hero of conscience. He attended vocational training at Ongwediva between 1939 and 1942. He also attended school at Odibo’s St. Mary’s Mission School where he completed Standard 6. He stayed on until 1950, graduating as a teacher, and he successfully operated a store at Ondangwa. Ya Toivo taught at St Cuthberth's School at Onamutayi and St. Mary's Odibo before travelling to South Africa for further studies in 1951. He was employed as a railway worker in Cape Town where he also became a member of the African National Congress in 1957. Ya Toivo was one of the co-founders of Swapo and its predecessor the Ovamboland People’s Organisation (OPO) in 1959. He served 16 years at Robben Island in the same section as the late South African apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. Ya Toivo was held in solitary confinement in Pretoria for more than a year before the sentence. According to Wikipedia, Ya Toivo was released in 1984 and rejoined his Swapo comrades in exile in Lusaka, Zambia. In Lusaka, he became a member of the Swapo central committee and politburo and was elected secretary-general thereafter. After independence he served as minister of mines and energy under Founding President Sam Nujoma. He later became minister of labour in 1999 and was moved to the ministry of prisons in 2002 where he served until retirement from active politics in 2006.


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