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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 06/22/17--16:00: Namibian winters
  • Namibian wintersNamibian winters I realised one thing Namibians stick together on is what should happen in winter, not that it's just this one thing but you hear this statement more "find yourself a 'vleis kombers' people it’s that time"losely translated, ‘find a meat blanket’. Firstly I just thought it was weird, a blanket made from meat, okay not venturing on that.

    So the air starts getting cold and the breeze was cooler and all I heard was "hey are you keeping anyone warm this winter? I was a little stunned because in the beginning when it was winter no one would just come out and say they want a "vleis kombers" you would wait for winter to be over and see by who is pregnant to know who was having a "vleis kombers" for the winter. Ahhhh ja you know. Now I believe freedom of speech has taught us a thing or two maybe three as well. So are you keeping anyone warm this winter? I don't even know why I didn't respond. I was dumbfounded because I thought we still did it the old way you know..wait, check and see. But not Namibians today, we have definitely progressed to higher communicating methods, being straight to the point. So I'm there wondering does this happen a lot like guys don't use word play anymore? They just let you know and if you don't wanna then on to the next potential "vleis kombers". Leaving me with this: what happens after winter?

    Ronell Sechogele is a blogger and a presenter at Base FM.

    #theledi_venture #insta - cute_factor #BLOG - theledi_venture.blogspot.com #twitter - the_ledi

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    Brexit uncertainty hurting investmentBrexit uncertainty hurting investment Large amounts of business investment is being postponed because of uncertainty over the outcome of Brexit negotiations so Britain should seek clarity as early as possible over a transition arrangement, finance minister Philip Hammond said.

    “There would be a sigh of relief from business if we were able to get an early agreement on a transition arrangement,” Hammond told Sky News on Thursday.

    “There is a large amount of business investment that is being postponed until business can see more clearly what the likely outcome of these discussions is. The earlier we can give business that reassurance the more quickly we will get businesses investing again,” he said.

    Hammond said the British people wanted a Brexit that protected their jobs and their standard of living. Hammond said he was not at odds with other ministers in government over his approach to Brexit.



    NAMPA/REUTERS

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    Fitch affirms DBN BBB- ratingFitch affirms DBN BBB- ratingInvestors can expect more from DBN Development Bank CEO Martin Inkumbi says the Fitch rating reflects adequate capacity to meet its obligations. The Development Bank has received a 'BBB-' investment grade credit rating from Fitch, the international ratings agency.

    The rating, Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) CEO Martin Inkumbi explained, signals that the bank is investment grade, and has the highest possible rating for a state-owned development finance institution (DFI), given the Namibian government's investment grade rating of 'BBB-'.

    According to him, the 'BBB-' rating states that the bank has adequate financial capacity to meet its obligations, but may be affected by adverse economic circumstances.

    “The negative outlook in the rating signifies that there are conditions prevalent that might cause the current rating to be lowered, however, this is in line with the ratings agency's view on the Namibian government. The rating afforded to DBN is capped at the sovereign rating,” said Inkumbi.

    Inkumbi added that Namibia's unsecured long-term national scale rating has been upgraded from 'AA+' to 'AAA', a further indication of the strength of the national economy. DBN's unsecured long-term debt rating was also set at 'AAA' in line with that of the state.

    Talking about the practical implication of the rating, Inkumbi said that the upcoming local borrowing programme, together with an initial bond issue of N$250 to N$300 million will be boosted by the affirmation of the investment grade quality of DBN debt, and this should prove beneficial in the case of this and further issues by the bank.

    He said that DBN has previously accessed the market on an informal basis to source funding, but now with its strong governance, financial strength and the development of a treasury function, it has the opportunity to formalise these issues which will benefit DBN with diversification.

    The bond, he said, is in keeping with the DBN's mandate to diversify its funding sources and at the same time assist with the development of domestic financial markets. “For investors, the bond, will be a high-quality investment, which will also offer portfolio diversification in the local markets where investment choices are fairly limited,” he said.

    “DBN will leverage its financial strengths to further develop Namibia's financial sector and economic environment, so investors can expect more,” Inkumbi concluded.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 06/22/17--16:00: FNB impersonator scam alert
  • FNB impersonator scam alertFNB impersonator scam alert FNB Namibia wishes to warn the public to be extra vigilant as the FNB imposter scam seems to be on the rise according to FNB forensics expert, Ingrid Kahona-Katjiukua.

    “The imposter or caller who pretends to be from FNB Namibia has been manipulating customers by asking them to perform an action on their cell phone, which leads to loss of money through e-wallet payments,” said Kahona-Katjiukua.

    “The scam works as follows - the fraudster calls people at random and poses as a FNB employee enquiring about funds that need to be released for various reasons. Dividends, policy pay-outs, or rewards for long-standing customers have been used as ruses to receive money,” said Kahona-Katjiukua.

    The call, in most cases, is placed to a landline and the customer is then requested to enter a code on their cell phone for release of funds, she explained.

    “This code is normally the cell phone banking string; *140*392# or *140*321# followed by what the fraudster then names as a verification code, but is in fact the amount the customer is about to transfer to the fraudster,” said Kahona-Katjuikua.

    She also urged customers to remain vigilant at all times. “Calls such as these are not from FNB Namibia. We will never call a customer or a member of the public to release funds for dividends, policy pay-outs or for any form of receiving or sending money. We also do not require any 'codes' from a customer to release funds. Keep in mind that we will also never ask you to go through any steps on your cell phone.”

    “When you suspect fraud or a scam, please call FNB on 061 299 2222 and or 061 299 7764,” she concluded.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 06/22/17--16:00: Revenue agency bill tabled
  • Revenue agency bill tabledRevenue agency bill tabled Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein on Tuesday tabled the Namibia Revenue Agency Bill of 2017 in the National Assembly, saying it will transform the existing Department of Inland Revenue and the Directorate of Customs and Excise.

    The bill is an establishing law for a semi-autonomous revenue agency to be known as the Namibia Revenue Agency (Namra).

    Motivating the bill, Schlettwein said the institution will act in the interest of the State and streamline the collection and processing of revenue using 79% of the ministry's staff.

    “This new institution will serve as the agency for the State, with the primary function of assessment and collection of public revenue for the benefit of the State Revenue Fund as well as the administration of revenue and customs and excise laws,” he explained.

    Namibia, he noted, is a resource-based economy, which comes with the associate complexity of potential illicit financial flows, transfer pricing, profit shifting and other base-eroding tax planning activities.

    NAMPA

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    African Deli's grand plans laid bareAfrican Deli's grand plans laid bareFive-year dream results in tripe factory With a solid plan, it seems that the future is bright for Namibia's second plant that imports a raw product, adds value to it and sells it. Born and bred in Mondesa, entrepreneur Silvanus Kathindi is on a mission to produce ready-made tripe meals for the masses, with grandiose plans to produce up to 30 million servings by 2020. He recently spoke to Namibian Sun to share the inspiration behind the idea to package tripe, or 'matangara' as it is commonly known, into ready-made meals.

    “Traditional food creates the bond between the people and their respective cultures, he said. “Most of us have increasingly modernised, urbanised and have moved from our slow cooked food culture to a convenience food culture. Most current food offerings are either Western or are lacking in health attributes, or both. This has left a gap in the market for cost-effective, tasty traditional food solutions that are healthy and easy to prepare,” he said of the idea to commercialise tripe.

    “It took us about five years to get where we are today from marketing research, registration of trademarks and the setting up of our fully-fledged value-add facility, which is situated in Walvis Bay,” said Kathindi reflecting on his journey to get African Deli up and running.

    African Deli has thus far created 55 new jobs to positive, talented and highly energised young Namibians, of which some are graduates from the University of Namibia, the Namibia University of Science and Technology and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, according to him.

    “These youngsters are eager to learn, make things happen and create efficient and simple ways of doing things right all the time,” said Kathindi.

    While there may be some criticism behind his decision to import tripe from abroad, he justifies his decision saying that there is not nearly enough tripe locally that will conform to local food standards as prescribed by the Namibia Standards Institute.

    “The volumes of tripe from our Namibian HACCP-certified facilities are not enough to support the economic production volumes of our facility and it is also not our intention to compete in the supply chain of our local people, especially 'the Memes that sell kapana'. We created a new market and a new product category and therefore, we also decided to create our own supply chain for our products so that all of us can co-exist,” Kathindi said.

    “To put it into context, we have just started and we are currently processing 100 tonnes of tripe per month and this equates to about 11 100 cattle,” explained Kathindi.

    According to him, there is no issue procuring locally as long as there are proper checks and balances in place from potential future suppliers. “In principle, we do not mind buying from our local facilities, provided they are certified,” said Kathindi.

    “Our projections in terms of growth, is to produce 30 million servings by the year 2020. African Deli will grow, and therefore more jobs for Namibians will be created in the near future,” he said positively.

    “We have adopted a staged market and product penetration plan and we have opted to start first at home, Namibia and thereafter moving to other SADC countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Angola, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

    He also reveals plans to introduce more product offerings which will appeal to lovers of delicacy foods.

    “We will shortly be adding other lip-smacking flavours to the mix, including beef tripe in curry or in spicy chakalaka. Plus, our food technologists are busy developing a whole range of exciting traditional ready-meals. So, you can soon stock a full range of African family favourites that will improve your customers' shopping experience and your bottom line, so watch this space,” he concluded.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 06/22/17--16:00: Germany spied on White House
  • Germany spied on White HouseGermany spied on White House Germany's foreign intelligence service long spied on numerous official and business targets in the United States, including the White House, Spiegel weekly reported Thursday.

    The magazine said it had seen documents showing that the intelligence service, the BND, had a list of some 4 000 so-called selector keywords for surveillance between 1998 and 2006.

    These included telephone or fax numbers, as well as email addresses at the White House as well as the US finance and foreign ministries.

    Other monitoring targets ranged from military institutions including the US Air Force or the Marine Corps, space agency NASA to civic group Human Rights Watch.

    Hundreds of foreign embassies as well as international organisation like the International Monetary Funds were not spared, Spiegel said.

    The BND declined comment in the Spiegel report.

    Germany had reacted with outrage when information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed in 2013 that US agents were carrying out widespread tapping worldwide, including of Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

    Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany where state spying on citizens was rampant, declared repeatedly that “spying among friends is not on” while acknowledging Germany's reliance on the US in security matters.

    But to the great embarrassment of Germany, it later emerged that the BND helped the NSA spy on European allies.

    Berlin last June approved new measures, including greater oversight, to rein in the BND following the scandal.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 06/22/17--16:00: Grace under fire
  • Grace under fireGrace under fireAmbitious Zim first lady stopped in tracks According to reports, Grace Mugabe's presidential ambitions has caused major splits in Zanu-PF and her husband has stepped in. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has reportedly moved to stop his wife, Grace's ambition to succeed him.

    According to Bloomberg, this came after the country's intelligence chief warned that “her campaign may stoke political violence”.

    Quoting three members from the ruling Zanu-PF party's politburo, Bloomberg said that Grace's ambition faced opposition from the military, who backed Mnangagwa as next leader.

    “Mugabe asked his wife Grace, 51, to tone down her public criticism of veterans of Zimbabwe's independence war who've supported the president since he took power in 1980 and back her main rival, Deputy President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 74,” the politburo members were quoted as saying.

    Zanu-PF was reported to be divided into two distinct factions that sought to outwit each other in the battle to succeed Mugabe, 93.

    The nonagenarian has failed to groom a successor in his 37 years in power in the southern African country.



    Civilian structure

    One of the camps calling itself “Team Lacoste” was linked to Mnangagwa, while another faction made up of Young Turks trading by the name Generation 40 was reportedly linked to First Lady Grace.

    G40 was said to be seeking to torpedo Mnangagwa's presidential ambitions.

    In April, Zimbabwean former freedom fighters reportedly said they would rather vote for “a stick” if Mngangagwa failed to succeed Mugabe.

    According to News Day, the war veterans vowed to continue backing Mnangagwa, with the spokesperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association (ZNLWVA), Douglas Mahiya saying at the time that their move was in line with the Zanu-PF leadership structure agreed upon under the Mgagao Declaration of 1975.

    “We agreed there that the civilian structure would be religiously followed with no attempt to stop each other. That is why Emmerson (Mnangagwa) is quiet. We must respect the sacredness of the structure of the revolution which even caused the deaths of our gallant sons and daughters,” Mahiya was quoted as saying.

    NEWS24

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    Taking it one donkey at a timeTaking it one donkey at a time Eliot Chisango didn't come to South Africa to make a better life for himself.

    He came to enrich the lives of others. Having arrived in Limpopo after completing his studies in Zimbabwe, the environmentalist aimed to develop conservation projects that would build community.

    A humble, unassuming man, he found his answer in the meekest of creatures. Donkeys.

    Chisango picked up a job with the P.E.A.C.E. foundation, which specialises in community upliftment, and began to investigate the rural area where he was stationed to determine the best way of helping its people to help themselves.

    He soon learnt that the community was already dependent on the services of a collaborator. They used donkeys for transportation.

    Inspired by the hardworking animals, which in most parts of the world are treated with contempt or outright abuse, Chisango decided to design a project around them. The obvious environmental concern for the area was pollution. And the donkeys provided the answer.

    Chisango set up a buyback recycling centre and offered the community the opportunity to earn money by collecting and delivering waste.

    This was the founding premise of his Donkeys 4 Development project, which provides people with carts to be pulled by their industrious donkeys.

    Chisango has driven home the message that the animals should be cared for properly, and the community has been delighted to oblige, with each owner undergoing training and allowing her animal to be monitored.

    Chisango has helped a community without changing it much at all. By teaching people to better use the tools around them, he has empowered them to solve a devastating environmental issue.

    NEWS24

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  • 06/22/17--16:00: Kameisie, the school bully
  • Kameisie, the school bully Kameisie, the school bully Back in the days, school bullying was a way of life. It didn’t really matter who your parents were, or whether you lived in the township or the suburbs – we all went down the same boat.

    Yeah, whether you had peanut butter on your bread during break time, or just plain old Hugo’s mixed fruit jam on it like I did, it didn’t really matter.

    When you were new at a school, they would make you go on all fours, bleat like a sheep and eat grass. Either that or you would be playing soccer barefooted – with a brick for a ball!

    But nothing really beat the wrath of real primary school bullies with intent to name and shame. We had one at my school – Kameisie. Yes, I was bullied by a girl and what a beauty she was!

    You see, Kameisie was no ordinary bully. I mean, she wouldn’t make you go on all four or something – although I prayed for seven years she would – but a bully she was, nonetheless.

    During the morning assembly one day, my eyes happened to catch those of Kameisie. She looked at me, I looked at her, she smiled, I smiled. That was it. At primary school level, that was Morse code for “I love you too Charlie and I have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. Yes, I accept to be your girlfriend.”

    I made the mistake of telling my good friend Tjeripo that I got a girlfriend – Kameisie! Keeping secrets has never been my good friend’s strong point – it was just too good not to share.

    Soon the whole school knew about me and Kameisie. The other girls would look at me and smiled every time I pass by. As for the guys? Well, let’s just say I went from zero to hero in record time!

    But like all good things, my imagined affair with the beautiful school bully did not last. She got to hear of it and decided to confront me about it.

    We were chatting with Tjeripo and a few nerdy friends of mine during break time that day when we saw her approaching us, accompanied by four other girls. My heart started beating faster – not because I was in love, but because I knew I was going to meet my Lord sooner than I had anticipated!

    Mind you, not only had she won every single beauty contest at school since Grade 1, but Kameisie's dad drove a red BMW. My mom told me to stay away from such people; apparently they were members of the Red Ear…or was it Red Nose crime family.

    “So, which one is it,” Kameisie asked her bodyguards as she got near. Everyone, including Tjeripo pointed at me. I was shivering not knowing how to react.

    “Look at you, why would you say I am your girlfriend? Why would I date a boy like you?”

    She moved closer, grab me by the collar and I felt my feet losing grip with the ground. I always thought she swept me off my feet, but this was not how I imagined it.

    After being given one or two slaps and being harshly warned to stay away from her shadow or something like that, it was all over. Kameisie and her goons left, and my friends with by me, nursing my bruised ego for hours after school.

    Ja, that was the last time I ever imagined hooking up with Kameisie. The good part is that I was relieved of my duties of carrying her school bag, covering her books and doing English homework for her. Trust me; her English was as good and as effective as that of my one-year old daughter!

    I never really figured why I got a beating for something as simple as lying about going out with a girl. Phew, thank God I am much older and wiser now, for I know that the same trick would probably not have the same results.

    Whoever I lie about now would probably go something like “Ag, you mean that disillusioned fool who does not know how to deal with the mess in his own life? That guy annoys the hell out of me…”

    She would then turn to me and in a whisper say

    “…call me…”

    Until then…

    tjatindi@gmail.com

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    AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT GEINGOBAN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT GEINGOB By Tulinane Obed Emvula



    Comrade President Hage Gotfried Geingob!



    I take my hat off for you for being able to withstand the stormy weather crafted carefully by the spirit of the enemy against the Namibian independence under the leadership of SWAPO. Many would have caved in under the kind of pressures that are exerted on the Office of the Presidency of yourself. But you are able to wade through the quagmire of local and global challenges and snares set up to make your presidency fail and so usher the Namibia we want and sacrificed for into the dustbin of history. This shall never be!



    It is not that you are holy or unscathed, and I am not in your camp, if you have one; I am a SWAPO member and the SWAPO that I belong to does not have camps: We are a united spirit.



    (Please comrades of the liberation struggle at home and abroad, join me in this one statement!)



    Historically, SWAPO has passed over many life threatening episodes, and crossed many rivers of blood, but thanks to the God of Namibia, we've always narrowly missed and escaped the death. So shall it be today! Namibia shall not fail in your hands: After all you said, “So help me God”! Bravo! Where you have made a miscarriage in judgment, go ahead and correct the order.



    At this juncture when we, as a nation, are immersed in the heavy showers of the incredibly inspiring legacy of the illustrious comrade Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo, we cannot but be invigorated in our resolve to fight to the finish the cause that he has begun; to finish the distance he has set and left for us to run with one and singular aim of ridding Namibia and Africa of all the vestiges of imperialism, colonialism, oppression and exploitation, man by man from any quarter whatsoever.



    The so-called factions within SWAPO must be shamed for what they are, even if we, at one point or another, might have been part of such a negative inspiration. The Namibian people must be forewarned not to allow themselves to be divided by anyone whosoever, because of whatever personal challenges or hardships they may face at this point in time. There are many imposters in SWAPO who may have sneaked in by hook and crook; but the spirit of a true SWAPO will always pinpoint them out. You will notice them by what they say and by what they do. Those who call others names; you know them! They denigrate others with appellations such as “Vambos”, “Kwankara's”, “Boesman's”, “kaffers “ etc.; they talk of Ovambo government and all the tribal separatist inclinations. They say, “Our government will come when one of our own mounts the seat of presidency!” They think that the SWAPO Government has an agenda to favour and benefit some members of the Namibian society based on tribal or ethnic classification.



    Those that may be indulging in such vices are either the enemies in SWAPO or they are babies in our political spirit, needing to be re-educated. Indeed, we have such corrupt people in our Government. They are the main cause of the situation we are facing today: those that are seeking political office in order to get to national resources and squander them. Be wary about those who caucus at night to strategise how to defeat justice and honesty; they reject quality and efficiency for crooking and thieving; overthrowing others just for their own selfish ends. They are selling away our precious land; being short sighted and” victimised by materialism.” Look at Toivo Ya Toivo and learn who a true SWAPO must be!



    The enemies have long worked on us to believe their strategies. They created the elitist spirit of branding some members as stalwarts among peers; who prodded on failing to share knowledge and experience with new generations as they appeared and would have created an unbreakable chain within the ranks; but instead who have created a cycle of the same people at the top that has fostered spiritual estrangement and schism within the organisation, destroying the spirit of egalitarian comradeship, and so paved the way for the praise singing masses towards an elitist top. That is a capitalist or feudal order. SWAPO is not capitalist and should not be feudal; we are socialist in nature and so should we be in character; why; because, our basis are the workers and the peasantry.



    Comrade Hage,



    It was not by chance that Providence has destined you for an appointment in our time to be elected by an 87% lead during the elections in 2014. You had the backing and wisdom of your predecessors. Therefore you have a mandate to carry out your programme until your normal constitutional term of office expires. Remain unmoved by the enemy darts. The enemy is not physical people of flesh and blood, but a spiritual force of selfishness and destruction that wishes to see Namibia lose its starlight amongst the team that points Africa to the Promised Land which DR. Kwame Nkrumah illuminated for our continent: One Africa, One Nation.



    The current situation is not of your own making. Many of us, by design or default, are responsible for the ideological, socio-economic and political mess we are finding ourselves in today. Nobody can escape this blame. So it is now imperative for all genuine SWAPO spirited members; young and old, to bury hatchets and come to terms with ourselves; if we destabilise Namibia by messing up with this particular presidency, history will not judge us kindly. The blood that watered our freedom will cry against us. We don't want that.



    Comradely yours



    *Tulinane Obed Emvula is from Okando Village, Oshikuku Constiuency, Omusati Region in Namibia

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    Be vigilant against human traffickingBe vigilant against human trafficking Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga couldn’t have said it any better when he expressed his utmost concern over the increasing cases of human trafficking. The general was specifically referring to the alleged human trafficking case involving an Air Namibia employee working as a check-in agent at the Hosea Kutako International Airport. The case came to light this week when the national airline employee and his accomplice – an Angolan national – were arrested on Monday for alleged human trafficking. According to reports, the two men are accused of smuggling 11 Angolan nationals on an Air Namibia flight to Frankfurt. There are many cases of human trafficking that occur across our borders and even though law enforcement agencies are stepping up efforts to crack down on offences of this nature, the crimes continue unabated. Most recently prosecutor-general Martha Imalwa confirmed this rising wave of human trafficking at a recent retreat in Oshakati where she announced that between 600 000 and 800 000 people are trafficked across international borders every year. The shocking truth is that Namibian citizens and foreign nationals are abetting these illegal activities of human trafficking. It is reported that 25 cases of human trafficking have been recorded since 2010 and most of these cases are still before the courts, with six pending trial. “Currently, there is no case pending for the prosecutor-general's decision, while 14 cases are still under investigation,” Ndeitunga said earlier this month at a northern conference. It is all good and well that the authorities are doubling efforts to curb the scourge of human trafficking and that government is committed to enhancing the prosecution of traffickers, having criminalised all forms of human trafficking. But we can do better as nation. With the help of law enforcement agencies there is a need to involve a broad range of stakeholders, to raise public awareness campaigns, specifically when it comes to sex trafficking. It is essential that these campaigns target the most vulnerable communities, who are in most cases oblivious to the consequences of human trafficking and what's more, the most vulnerable to this evil.

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  • 06/22/17--16:00: Put a ring on it
  • Put a ring on itPut a ring on itThe rise of the promise ring Conjuring up a rosy picture of a movie-styled relationship, young women used to love promise rings… but do they still matter today? Over the years, the use of a promise ring has slowed as morality expands its boundaries and the practice has all but died out in modern society.

    Only a handful of Namibians know of the practice and even fewer are aware of the difference between a promise, purity and an engagement ring.

    The definition of a promise ring varies between couples, but promise rings are widely used as a symbol of commitment leading to marriage.

    A purity ring, on the other hand, symbolises a religious vow to practice abstinence until marriage.

    Both were fashionable at a time when sex was seen to be limited to marriage and marriage was seen as the eventual outcome of any relationship.

    Pastor Mike Amy from the Experience Koi Church in Windhoek says to “fully understand the difference between the promise, purity and engagement rings, one needs to take it back to the basics.”

    He added although there may be a lot of stages or steps before receiving a wedding ring, it “should serve as the ultimate goal upon receiving a promise ring.”

    The ring is an important symbol.

    “The wedding ring is a symbol of your unending love for someone. The ring is the symbol of their love for, and commitment to, each other. In relation to the engagement ring, one needs to understand that these are all manmade concepts. If you are entering a period of engagement, it will result in intense discussions on the future,” says Amy.

    He is also of the opinion that promise, engagement or purity rings do not hold any weight until “you have made the big leap which is marriage.”



    Faithfulness

    As the name suggests, purity rings signify that a promise is being made to stay celibate until marriage and Amy feels it would be a good practice to bring it back as it would benefit the church and the congregation at large.

    Admitting that it will not be the easiest task to do, he also added that these rings would not stop anyone from engaging in pre-marital sex as the “ring may just be a piece of metal to you”.

    “The ring signifies your intentions, but whatever your moral compass is and the decision you have made internally is what you are going to keep,” Amy adds.

    He says programmes to bring purity rings back into churches would be difficult as morality has shifted.

    “It was taboo to have pre-marital sex and nowadays, being a virgin is synonymous to being crazy. This is a result of the media as they glorify the concept of sex before marriage.”

    He added when you accept a promise ring from your partner it should also be accompanied with terms and conditions, guidelines and set deadlines.



    Commitment

    The promise ring is in essence, an early engagement ring.

    Jolokeni Nakale, an employee at a local jewellery store in Windhoek, said they do not usually get requests from men wanting to purchase promise rings, but it does happen.

    “About 60% of men come with their partner looking for a ring, and the remaining 40% is men who come alone,” she says.

    According to Nakale, rings in their stores start at N$1 500 and can retail for up to N$30 000.

    It appears as only a few of our youth believe in promise rings and the rest stand by the fact “rings are not respected anymore”.

    Local radio personality Jean-Claude Nazarii believes in them and intends on keeping his side of the promise. However, not all think this way.

    “If you are going to be good to me and treat me right, why waste it with a promise ring?” asked Mildred Makgone, a student in Windhoek.

    Others think it is old-fashioned and in these times of feminism and women's rights, the ultimate goal of a young girl should not be to marry.



    Equality

    Rosa Namises, human rights activist and the director of Woman Solidarity Namibia, agrees.

    She believes promise rings are derived from Western cultural practices, but similar techniques are also present in Namibian cultures.

    “In the Damara culture, a young man would present you with a traditional necklace or bracelet made with beads during courtship. This symbol serves as an interest this man has in you and it is not usually taken off unless you are not interested. This practice, however, died out and it is not done today anymore.”

    In the Aawambo culture, it is said a palm leaf was tied around a young woman's body by an interested partner and if she kept it on, she was interested.

    Namises says Namibian women still view marriage as an accomplishment, which in turn results in them wanting to receive promise rings.

    “Our country has a lot of cases of domestic and gender-based violence and this is mostly present in relationships – whether married or not. This is all because women do not want to be alone and seek praise being with someone although the relationship is toxic,” Namises points out.

    “Promise rings can have a positive impact by causing men to take charge of the relationship, but then again, a promise ring can plant a seed into a woman's mind of a sense of security which is a bad thing as women should not have to feel this way. Self-empowerment is the first step to leading your life in a positive direction.”

    Asked what the Namibian society, including the country's education strategies, should focus on in order to ensure girls and women are taught gender equality, Namises said educating girls from a young age is important.

    “It should be part of the Life Skills curriculum and home education is also vital. Churches should move away from shaming sex topics in church and speak to the youth about these issues head-on.”



    TUNOHOLE MUNGOBA

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    Eye camp restores sight to the cataract-blinded poorEye camp restores sight to the cataract-blinded poor The directorate of health in the Oshana Region has expressed delight about the success of the government-sponsored intervention aimed at preventing, controlling and eradicating blindness in northern communities.

    The national annual free eye surgery campaign is meant to benefit poor and disadvantaged Namibians who cannot afford eye healthcare services.

    The Oshakati Intermediate Hospital started the programme on 16 June and it is expected to end tomorrow.

    About 500 patients are expected to benefit from the programme, which has targeted 300 patients.

    It is led by a team of five local and two foreign ophthalmologists.

    According to the regional health director for Oshana, Johanna Haimene, this free campaign started in 1996 and has restored the sight of 5 496 patients in the region to date.

    “It could be stated with confidence that these beneficiaries can now look after themselves and their families as they have once again became productive and independent members of the society after regaining their sight. All these operations have taken place at the intermediate hospital in Oshakati,” Haimene said.

    The head of ophthalmology at the Windhoek Central Hospital, Dr Sven Obholzer, speaking on behalf of the award-winning Dr Helena Ndume, told said this year, although the target is to treat 300 patients in Oshakati, the turnout is very high and since the operations started last week Friday, the team had operated 250 patients by Tuesday and more than 100 patients were expected to be operated Wednesday.

    “We have a dedicated team of nursing staff and professional ophthalmologists, both local and foreign. We were in Keetmanshoop last month and from Oshakati we are going to the Engela, Oshikuku and Rundu hospitals. The community outreach is perfect and we are expecting a high turnout in all hospitals this year,” Obholzer said.

    He also said the operation is headed by Professor Christoph Faschinger, a volunteer from the Austrian Association without Frontiers who is in Namibia with his daughter who is also an eye surgeon. Obholzer, together with the resident eye surgeon for the Oshakati hospital, Dr Gustave Shembo, are also part of the team as are ophthalmologists from the Ongwediva MediPark private hospital.



    Cataract challenges

    Haimene said the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated at least 1% of the Namibian population would be blind from various cases, mainly cataracts, glaucoma and corneal disorders.

    Cataracts alone are thought to account for 50% of the total blindness figure in the country.

    “Cataracts are the clouding of human lens leading to the gradual loss of transparency and decreased vision in one or both eyes. Among the main causes are congenital factors, ageing, ocular trauma and complications resulting from other systemic diseases and conditions. The aim of this programme is to restore sight and prevent and eradicate blindness in the country.”

    According to 87-year-old Thomas Iipinge from Ongwediva and 94-year-old Natalia Hangalo from Ongha, one of their eyes have already been operated and they are back for the final one for the complete restoration of their eyesight.

    According to Shembo, the sight restoration process is done on eye at a time. He also said patients can also visit the Oshakati hospital anytime because it is equipped with medically advanced and modern technology used to prevent blindness caused by cataracts.

    “Even if the patient has blindness in both eyes, we first operate one eye before they come back to be operated on the remaining eye. We fear that if we operate both eyes a complication might occur that will cause total blindness,” Shembo said.



    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Rundu police probe child traffickingRundu police probe child trafficking The police in Kavango East are investigating cases of human trafficking following the circulation of video footage on social media where two men from Rundu confessed to being willing to sell their biological children for amounts of between N$10 000 and N$20 000.

    The two video footages show two men being questioned by members of the police in which they confessed to crimes of human trafficking.

    In the video the two men say they were prepared to sell their children for N$10 000 and N$20 000 respectively.

    The buyer is identified as Kakove.

    One of the men in the video indicated he is a father of the four-year-old child.

    According to Kavango East's Deputy Commissioner, Bonifatius Kanyetu, the police are investigating the authenticity of the claims made in the videos, which he confirmed indeed took place in his region.

    Kanyetu explained the two men were arrested after the complainant, a businessperson mentioned in the video, opened a case of defamation of character against them as they were allegedly tarnishing his image in society.

    Kanyetu could, however, not provide information as to whether the two remained in police custody or were released, saying if the suspects admitted to guilt and paid the admission of guilt fine, they would have been released.

    He, however, stressed police investigations are ongoing.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 06/22/17--16:00: //Naobeb weighs options
  • //Naobeb weighs options//Naobeb weighs optionsConsiders future at Tourism Board The CEO position at the Namibia Tourism Board is being advertised and the incumbent, Digu //Noabeb says he is still thinking about it. Digu //Naobeb says he has not yet made up his mind on whether to consider re-applying for the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) CEO position.

    //Naobeb's five-year contract is coming to an end this coming months and his position has since been advertised in local newspaper.

    //Naobeb told Namibian Sun he has been with NTB for nearly ten years and is still consulting with his family on whether to reapply for the post.

    “I am also weighing up other opportunities before I make a final decision if I will reapply for the position again,” said //Naobeb. He said the position has truly been an exciting one, saying he is glad to have been part of creating employment for so many people, especially those at grassroots level.

    “It is, however, a challenging industry but I am excited and satisfied with the achievements that we have made.”

    He mentioned the fact that the tourism industry has grown tremendously since he started in the position. “We have seen a number of new airlines coming into the country, tourism numbers increased and I truly believe that NTB can reposition itself as the leading tourism institution,” he said.

    Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta also confirmed //Naobeb's term is coming to an end, but that the position will be open for him to reapply.

    He, however, stressed that it is within the jurisdiction of the board and that transparency must be applied throughout.

    Listed as a key performance area for the position the prospective candidate should be able to formulate and implement sound business strategies to drive growth in key result areas as agreed with stakeholders and the board.

    Another area of performance required is that the person should be able to ensure the existence of a financially sound and viable institution through good financial practice operations and administration.

    The position requires amongst others, a Bachelor's Degree in Administration or Business leadership and Hospitality Management and at least eight years' experience as a strategic executive.

    The person should have executive experience within the tourism and hospitality industry and leadership skills and comprehensive understanding of the role of NTB to fulfil the tourism sector.

    The closing date for applicants is 7 July.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Inmates get 26 years for prison cell murderInmates get 26 years for prison cell murder The High Court has sentenced three prison inmates - convicted for killing a fellow convict in 2012 after an alleged love triangle - to a further 26 years imprisonment.

    The three inmates Herman Rukero, 28, Benedictus Afrikaner, 31, and Maleachi Seibeb, 48, were further, on a count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice, sentenced to three years each.

    Judge Dinnah Usiku ordered that the sentence of three years run concurrently with the sentence for the murder.

    She ordered that the weapons used in the commission of the crime be forfeited to the state and destroyed immediately. The three inmates were jointly involved in the killing of a fellow prisoner, Eddy Gomxob, 33, in a prison bathroom on 18 January 2012.

    After the killing, they also tried to hinder the investigation by instructing fellow inmates not to reveal what they had witnessed.

    Gomxob died as a result of a head injury and multiple stab wounds to his chest.

    Defence lawyers, Siyomuiji Mbanga and Milton Engelbrecht, during mitigation conceded that their clients cannot escape a prison sentence but had asked the court that the sentence be blended with a measure of mercy.

    Usiku pointed out the requirement of mercy does not mean that the court must be weak or must hesitate to impose a heavy sentence where it is justified by the circumstances.

    “The wave of crimes sweeping through our country and the need to effectively combat such crimes call for our courts to change the emphasis from individualism to deterrence,” she said.

    The judge emphasised in particular the scenario where serious offences are committed within correctional facilities where offenders are supposed to start their rehabilitation processes.

    “The sanctity of life is a fundamental human right enshrined into the law by the constitution and must be respected and protected by all,” Usiku stated.

    She further said the accused were in custody and that one would have expected that to have an impact on them to rehabilitate but they went on to commit a serious crime within a correctional facility.

    “The viciousness of the attack that was perpetrated upon the deceased was barbaric to say the least,” Usiku said before handing down a 26-year sentence for each inmate.





    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Man allegedly kills neighbour over goatsMan allegedly kills neighbour over goats A 52-year-old man was due to appear in court yesterday on suspicion of murdering his 68-year-old neighbour.

    The incident occurred at Onamhinda village near Oshikango in the Ohangwena Region on Wednesday afternoon.

    The Ohangwena police spokesperson Sergeant Kaume Iitumba confirmed that Ndemwiimba Fillepus died on Wednesday afternoon.

    He also added that after the incident, the accused fled in the direction of Angola, but police managed to arrest him yesterday morning.

    Iitumba said the suspect and victim are neighbours and the incident took place in one of their mahangu fields at around 17:00. “It is reported that an argument broke out after the deceased went to collect his goats that were confiscated by the suspect. It is alleged the goats were eating his mahangu crops. We do not know what happened next, but the suspect allegedly took an okapi knife and stabbed the victim who died at the scene,” Iitumba said.

    A source told Namibian Sun it is not the first time the men argued over goats and mahangu.

    “The suspect has been complaining about his neighbour's goats eating his mahangu for a long time. He always confiscates the animals and the deceased would go and collect them. We do not know what happened this time around,” source said.

    Iitumba said that police investigations continue.







    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Haufiku denies Ondangwa utterancesHaufiku denies Ondangwa utterances Health minister Bernard Haufiku has denied saying Ondangwa was not ideal for the construction of a new referral hospital in the north.

    Haufiku recently drew ire over an article which appeared in Namibian Sun in which he was quoted as saying he was not convinced Ondangwa was the ideal location for a referral hospital.

    While no decision has been made regarding the construction of the hospital, Haufiku did not definitively rule out the possibility of constructing the hospital in one of the northern towns over Ondangwa, and instead said further studies would have to be carried out related to choosing an ideal location for the hospital.

    Haufiku has in the past two weeks voiced his opposition towards Ondangwa as a preferred host town for the hospital.

    Recently he was quoted as saying that the location of the hospital should favour the northern people. “I do not want people to die because they had to be referred to Windhoek for medical treatment. We are looking at the bigger picture of health. We are talking about a big project here, to say the hospital must be built in Ondangwa. What is this Ondangwa speciality? I need to hear it,” Haufiku said during a meeting with the Ondangwa Town Council leadership at State House recently.

    “We are losing sight that we want to serve the regions. I want to reduce the risk. People must not die because they do not receive treatment. I am not going to deviate from my scientific responsibility. If someone takes a political decision, I will not take the responsibility,” said Haufiku.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 06/22/17--16:00: Trafficking probe deepens
  • Trafficking probe deepensTrafficking probe deepensNew twist in saga Police are gathering more pieces of evidence in the human trafficking case involving two Angolan nationals. An Air Namibia employee and his Angolan accomplice initially charged with human trafficking did not appear in court yesterday because police were still gathering more evidence against the accused.

    The two are accused of trafficking 11 Angolans into Germany. Both men have, however, been charged under the immigration act for being illegal in Namibia and they remain in custody. The 32-year-old employee of Air Namibia, working at Hosea Kutako International Airport as a check-in agent and a 29-year-old man were arrested on Monday for alleged human trafficking. They are both Angolan nationals. The arrest came after they allegedly “smuggled” 11 Angolan nationals, which included seven children, two men and two women on an Air Namibia flight to Frankfurt. All the passengers were detained by the German immigration police upon arrival in Frankfurt. Both men were due to appear in the Katutura Magistrate's Court yesterday. Police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi said the two men are being held in custody on immigration charges while the other charges involving the smuggling of the Angolans into Germany were not placed on the court roll. According to Kanguatjivi, one accused had been working at Air Namibia with a work permit, but when this permit expired last year, Air Namibia provided him with the necessary papers to reapply, but he never did. The 29-year-old had also been staying illegally in Namibia since last year. Kanguatjivi said should the men be charged with regard to the 11 Angolans that were brought to Germany, it will involve a charge of smuggling immigrants while additional charges could be added such as trafficking of humans. “Currently more evidence needs to be gained and investigations are ongoing while statements have to be taken from witnesses,” he said. Contacted for comment on the new developments, Air Namibia spokesperson Paul Nakawa yesterday referred Namibian Sun to the police. With regard to Air Namibia's employee, Nakawa said, “Irrespective of whether he gets bail or not, he will undergo separate internal disciplinary action. Given the seriousness of the alleged misconduct he will most likely be suspended.”



    ELLANIE SMIT

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