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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Perks of doing what you love
  • Perks of doing what you lovePerks of doing what you love Often, people complain about their professions and the jobs they do. I have noticed that most people, who complain about their studies or their work, are doing something they are not passionate about. There are various reasons which force many to venture into something they do not love. It could be for the money or sometimes because their parents made the career choice for them. It is not a bad idea to consider financial security but just make sure that your passion aligns with the career that will give you enough money that can sustain you and your family.

    This week, I just want to share with you the benefits of picking a field of study that you love. Firstly, studying something you love will eventually allow you to get a job that you will enjoy doing. Another reason is, you should always try to do what you love doing because it will give you more energy to perform all your duties and responsibilities. If you want to start jumping out of bed excited to start your day, try doing work that is meaningful and fulfilling. I believe when you are doing something that completely resonates with your character and passion, you will feel energised and not drained all day long. Therefore, you will be more productive.

    By doing something that you love, you will ultimately enjoy life more.

    When you are not happy with your work, your unhappiness and frustration will spill over into all areas of your life. Because it is difficult to contain this type of unhappiness, what you do in your life will be affected by negative work experiences. So, try by all means to do what you love. You will be happier and you will spread positive energy to people around you.

    Choosing the right career may sound like a far-fetched dream in a world with limited opportunities. However, it is possible and people should strive to realise this dream. By doing something that you love, you also become a source of inspiration to others. Someone who genuinely loves his or her job is not likely to complain and they complete tasks with minimum effort. In fact, you are motivated to help co-workers to realise the company's mission and goals and so, try to be that person.

    To parents and guardians, please do not choose careers for your children, because they end up in careers that just please you while doing work that they do not really love doing. I know sometimes, young people seem to not know what they want to do but your input should just be to help them choose a career path that matches their passion.

    When you allow your children to pursue a career of their choice, that liberty invigorates them to succeed. This is because when someone does what they are passionate about, their passion compels them to excel in that particular field. Everyone wants their dreams and aspirations to take them where they want to be because they are compelled by their dreams to realise their vision. Look around you and see how young people who have been fortunate enough to train in career fields they are passionate are excelling. They are thriving because they are doing what they love best and therefore are compelled to reach new heights. This effortless push is because they love what they are doing.

    Another advantage of doing something that you are passionate about is that your motivation to soar is effortless. If you are happy with your work, you are motivated to work hard. This means you will be more productive than someone who does not like what he is doing. Because there are so more benefits in doing work that you love than doing a job that you don't like, I wonder why people just don't choose careers in fields they are passionate about. This is a question that I keep pondering about. To the youth, you are also never too old to start doing something that you love. Do not live the rest of your sulking and blaming your parents for having selected a career that you do not like. You can be 30 something before you decide to take the plunge and start doing the work that fits your personality, interests, and passion. When you do, you will never look back because it's never too late to start something new. .



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    Venezuela poll a blow to MaduroVenezuela poll a blow to MaduroOver seven million vote in opposition election The opposition accuses Maduro of driving the country into bankruptcy, and of using the Constituent Assembly to entirely sideline the legislature. Venezuela's opposition voted en masse Sunday against President Nicolas Maduro and his plan to rewrite the constitution, hoping to use this success to demand a change of government after nearly four months of violent protests.

    Deadly violence returned as a 61-year-old woman was killed and three other people wounded when gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on people lined up to vote in Catia, a working-class neighbourhood in the capital, prosecutors said.

    Nearly 7.2 million Venezuelans - lower than the projected 10.5 million out of 19 million possible voters - cast ballots in the symbolic election against Maduro, university guarantors said with 95 percent of votes counted.

    Venezuela “sent a clear message to the national executive and the world,” announced Central University of Venezuela president Cecilia Garcia Arocha, noting that 6 492 381 voted in the country and 693 789 abroad.

    Garcia said final results would be released Monday.

    “We do not want to be Cuba, we do not want to be a country without freedom,” said Julio Borges, leader of the opposition-controlled parliament.

    “Today, Venezuela said yes to a dignified country, a democratic country, a country where people do not have to go because they have no future. The mandate the people have given us is clear.”

    The woman's death brought to 96 the number of people who have died in nearly four months of protests and political agitation in Venezuela's streets.

    The opposition blamed the attack on “paramilitary groups” linked to the government.

    The central question before voters concerned Maduro's intention to hold an election on July 30 to choose 545 members of a citizens' body called the “Constituent Assembly” that would redo the constitution.

    A dry run of that election was also held Sunday, to detract from the opposition vote which the government branded “illegal.”

    Maduro told the opposition to “not go crazy” with the results of its vote, though the head of the national electoral council told the opposition that the result would have “no legal consequence.”

    Meanwhile, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada said on VTV government television that he was declaring former Mexican president Vicente Fox persona non grata and banning him from the country for conspiring to instigate violence and foreign intervention. Moncada did not provide evidence to back his claims.

    Fox, who left Venezuela late Sunday, had travelled to the country with several other Latin American ex-leaders in a show of support for the opposition's referendum.

    The Mexican government, critical of Maduro, called for the results of the opposition consultation to lead to a “negotiated solution” to help “restore” democracy.

    Ordinary Venezuelans blaming food and medicine shortages on Maduro's policies, however, seized on the vote as a way of telling the president to leave office.

    People took to Caracas' streets after the vote shouting “this government is falling” as motorists honked their horns in celebration.

    During balloting, one voter, 49-year-old Tibisay Mendez, told AFP that Maduro and his officials “only want to hold on to power - We are voting to get them out.”

    Many wore white and the colours of the national flag as they cast their votes.

    Government supporters - and public workers worried about keeping their jobs - stayed away.

    Several Latin American countries and the Catholic Church have criticized Maduro's move to redraft the constitution.

    The opposition says it is a bid by Maduro to concentrate dictatorial prerogatives and stay on despite his deep unpopularity, put at 80% by Datanalisis.


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    Congo votes for parliament with opposition calling foulCongo votes for parliament with opposition calling foul Voters went to the polls in legislative elections in the oil-rich Republic of Congo on Sunday, the first since a violence-marred presidential poll last year which returned Denis Sassou Nguesso to power.

    The first round of polling to elect National Assembly members as well as local councils went ahead despite the opposition calling foul, accusing the ruling Congolese Labour Party (PCT) of giving its candidates an unfair advantage.

    Electoral officials said voting passed off calmly although some polling stations opened more than a hour late because of a delay in receiving voting materials.

    Polls closed at 6:00 pm.

    However, an incident was reported in the northern town of Kelle where opposition protesters briefly took away the ballot boxes, a local resident who gave his name only as Antoine told AFP by phone.

    “The ballot boxes have been returned after a lot of negotiation,” he said, adding that one protester was beaten up by police but that his injuries were not life-threatening.

    Sassou Nguesso returned to office in March 2016 after a constitutional referendum ended a two-term presidential term limit, amid deadly violence notably in the Pool region neighbouring the capital Brazzaville.

    The 73-year-old president's PCT ran 128 candidates for the 151 seats available, while several independents have close ties to the party.

    The main parliamentary opposition group, the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy (UPADS), put forward 43 candidates, compared to 31 run by the UDH-Yuki group of Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas, who came second in the presidentials last year.

    But an opposition coalition said it would only take part under certain circumstances, including “the end of the crisis in Pool and the release of all political prisoners”.

    Two leaders of that coalition, Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko and Andre Okombi Salissa, were arrested and jailed in June 2016 and in January “for threatening the internal security of the state”.

    “It's a disgraceful election and we already knew there would be fraud. The system for organising these elections is like the mafia,” Clement Mierassa, a leader of the Frocad opposition grouping, told AFP Sunday.

    Django Cissoko, head of a 50-strong African Union observer mission, said on Friday that “campaigning has been carried out normally.”

    But UPADS spokesman Daniel Tsoumou Ngouaka said the ruling party had the upper hand. “It's a one-way campaign because the PCT has controlled all the state media, leaving no space for others,” he said.

    “The PCT drew on public funds for the campaign of its candidates and its allies. It's unacceptable,” added Christophe Moukoueke, spokesman for a collective of opposition parties which called for a boycott of Sunday's polls.

    Sassou Nguesso, a former paratrooper, served as president from 1979 to 1992, returning to power in 1997 following a civil war. He won two successive terms in elections in 2002 and 2009, both of which were disputed by opposition parties.


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    Teen pregnancies need to be curbedTeen pregnancies need to be curbed The problem of teenage pregnancy is an old one, which has proven difficult to contain over the years.

    It is particularly concerning when there is a high rate of schoolgirl pregnancy in our country.

    Our story yesterday highlighted the issue, which the authorities are grappling with at the moment.

    Although the story focused entirely on Ohangwena Region, which has recorded about 900 schoolgoing mothers last year, the situation is just as bad countrywide.

    In Ohangwena alone it is reported that 109 pupils fell pregnant in the first trimester this year.

    Of the 109, 16 are learners attending primary school in the region, while 93 are at secondary schools.

    It seems being pregnant in school has now become the norm.

    We are a nation battling with unacceptably high HIV/Aids infections and the phenomenon of teenage pregnancies raises relevant questions on whether sex education is effective in our schools.

    The high teen pregnancy rate has also resulted in many girls dropping out of school to stay home with their little ones even though there is a government policy in place which allows learner mothers to return to school.

    There is nothing good about girls and boys having sex at an early age.

    We have seen many incidences whereby teenage mothers don't graduate from high school, which in itself has long-term effects on them.

    There is a need to really look at new workable solutions to curb teenage pregnancies in our country, because it seems social campaigns geared towards practicing safe sex are not effective enough to change reckless behaviour among young people.

    This must be dealt with on a social level by addressing the root cause of teenage pregnancy in our communities.

    It is also important to hold the boys and the men accountable for impregnating young girls.

    However, the task to help reverse this disturbing trend should not be left to a few stakeholders.

    Everyone needs to be involved and help raise awareness to reduce the prevalence of teen pregnancy.

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    San in dire need of hostel accommodationSan in dire need of hostel accommodation Learners at the Tianjiu Hope Happiness Primary School in Talismanus, some 220km east of Gobabis in the Omaheke Region, are in dire need of hostel accommodation.

    The school, which was built in 2015 for learners unable to secure placement at other schools due to limited places, has 270 learners in Grades 0 to 7.

    Besides being a relatively new establishment, the school has no accommodation for learners in the form of a hostel.

    The school population is largely made up of San learners, whose parents' original homesteads are more than 100km away from the school.

    In a bid to be closer to their young children, some parents built makeshift structures at Talismanus in which they reside with their children.

    This force learners to share a single room with their parents, which often expose them to the unbecoming conduct of their parents, especially related to intoxication.

    School management member, Jeanette Ruueza told Nampa on Thursday the lack of a hostel has placed the learners in undesirable circumstances.

    “When some of these parents are intoxicated, they end up doing things in front of their children which they (children) are not supposed to see. This is indeed a sad reality,” she said.

    There is no electricity at these makeshift structures and learners' problems are made worse by hordes of shebeens that emit noise and exhibit the noxious behaviour of adults in full view of learners, most of whom are younger than 14.

    “Bars and shebeens are a problem as learners' parents either work there or frequent these places, which lure these young kids to such places,” said Ruueza.

    Other parents have opted to have their children attend school from their home villages, but this forces learners to walk long distances to and from school.

    “Poverty is a problem this side for these learners too. Children are only fed maize meal daily through the school feeding programme without any balanced diet due to a lack of funds,” Ruueza said.

    Most parents approached by Nampa refused to speak on record, although they admitted that they had no choice but to move closer to their children to support them.

    Talismanus is the main economic centre of the Otjombinde Constituency and has a clinic, government offices and a police sub-station, amongst other services.



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    N$65m is waiting to be claimed from Guardian's FundN$65m is waiting to be claimed from Guardian's Fund The state has N$65 million worth of unclaimed monies in the Guardian's Fund, lawmakers were told last week.

    Briefing the National Assembly, Deputy Minister of Justice Lidwina Shapwa, also announced the Guardian's Fund currently has N$1.3 billion on its books, which includes N$1.2 million for minors and N$65 million for unclaimed monies.

    Shapwa also expressed concern about the quality service provided to the Master of the High Court by various stakeholders.

    The Master carries out supervisory duties in respect of administration of deceased estates, insolvencies, trusts and curatorship's directly to the public.

    The funds are paid to the Master on behalf of various persons such as minors, persons who are incapable of managing their own affairs, unborn heirs, missing or absent persons or persons having an interest in the use of monies held in the Guardian's Fund.

    The Guardian's Fund has currently 24 784 minors who are beneficiaries, consisting of capital received in the amount of N$883 million and accumulated interest earned in the amount of N$417 million.

    Shapwa further stated that public currently exerts considerable pressure on securing speedier finalisation of estates and payouts of inheritance from Guardian's Fund.

    “The passing on of loved ones negatively affects the livelihoods of those they leave behind, especially minors. They have direct interest in securing speedier finalisation of the affairs of the deceased which include inheritance,” Shapwa emphasised.

    She said in order to ensure speedy and quality service delivery to the public, additional personnel is required but the ministry has opted to utilise labour-saving devices to fast-track the process.

    “The Administration of Estates Act will be reviewed in order to address all these challenges,” Shapwa promised.


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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Nam gets food security boost
  • Nam gets food security boostNam gets food security boostMajor improvements in crop harvesting Commercial and communal farmers alike recorded above-average harvests this season, thanks to adequate rains. Revised crop estimates indicated a substantial improvement in the crop harvest, which is far better than last season in all the regions.

    Aggregate cereal estimates show the country is expecting an increase of at least 84% compared to last season's harvest and 16% above the average production.

    This improvement came as a result of a considerable increase from the producers both in the subsistence and commercial production system.

    However, according to the crop estimates only the Oshana and Oshikoto regions and the commercial areas recorded above-average harvests this season.

    The rest of the regions noted near normal to below normal crop harvests.

    According to the latest Crop Prospects and Food Security Situation Report issued by the agriculture ministry, the national aggregate coarse grain production (white maize, sorghum, pearl millet and wheat) is estimated at 140 000 tonnes.

    This consists of 68 100 tonnes of white maize, 57 600 tonnes of pearl millet, 2 800 tonnes of sorghum and 11 500 tonnes of wheat.

    Maize production in the communal area (Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions) indicated a significant improvement of 175% compared to the previous season's poor harvest, but it is 50% below the average production.

    According to the report, about 91% of this improvement comes from Zambezi while the remaining 9% is from Kavango West and Kavango East.

    During the February assessment, preliminary crop estimates, which were based on crop germinations, suggested normal production this season.

    “However, this could not be achieved because of the excessive rainfall and Fall Army worms experienced this season,” the report noted.

    Maize production in the commercial area on the other hand showed a considerable improvement of 53% higher than last season's harvest and 59% above the average production.

    This improvement is as a result of a recovery and good harvest received from the dry land maize producers.

    It was noted that the dry land maize area received good rainfall this season when compared to the severe drought conditions experienced in the past two successive seasons.

    According to the report pearl millet production also showed a significant improvement of 197% compared to that of last season, and 2% above the average production.

    Much of this improvement comes from Oshana and Oshikoto regions where bumper harvests were reported.

    Similarly, sorghum production has also showed a remarkable improvement of about 85% compared to that of season's poor harvest, but it is 63% below the average production.

    The report said, according to farmers, much of the below average yield is attributed to seed shortages for sorghum, which was experienced at the beginning of the season.

    Furthermore the area planted for cereal this season is estimated at 338 900 hectares.

    This represents a slight increase of about 9% compared to the previous season.

    However, it is 9% below the average planted area.

    The below average planted area came as a result of poor rainfall performance experienced in the north central regions as well as heavy rainfall experienced in Zambezi.

    In the two Kavango regions as well as surrounding commercial areas, most farmers covered greater parts of their crop fields.


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    Examining the political systemExamining the political system Each and every generation has its own time to determine what it will do with its own future. Whether to actively engage in the public debate of its affairs or to be a passive generation that stood by on the sidelines and watched its future being crafted by others.

    Recently, the national broadcaster, NBC, reported two regional governors who are yet to give their State of the Region Address, unsurprising the governor of the mighty Kunene was one of the two. This is almost 3 months after President Hage Geingob had delivered his maiden State of the Nation Address, giving the results of his Harambee Prosperity Plan thus far, with some aspects yet to be actualised.

    It has also become the norm in our African set up that leaders too often tend to shift the blame onto others without examining their individual roles in causing damage to the economy of the nation, the SME saga is a true testament to this reality.

    In this column of the Astute Conversation, regular writer Romanus Mungamba and Abraham Vincent Kamati give us their take on the current state of affairs by explaining the need to elect result-driven leaders and maybe, just maybe, it could be time for a youthful President. Let's read their narratives.

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Time for a youth president
  • Time for a youth presidentTime for a youth president It is true that in every human being's lifetime, one's livelihood cycle is to live until they die, and the only permanent life facet is 'change', for what's more, better or worse. For instance not long ago Namibia was under colonialism and 27 years thereafter gained independence, but the roles played both by the youth and adults then were equally pivotal, both mentally and physically in resisting the apartheid regime under British rule and actively managing to convince the world/United Nations, that we were better off ruling ourselves.

    I for one find our Namibian liberation struggle history to be very intriguing it is a beautiful and rich story – speaking of national heroes.

    The execution and the courage our heroes showed; priceless.

    As a result of the unity demonstrated during these liberation battles, we were able to achieve independence as a country, and thereafter the sustainable peace, tranquility and prosperity, “the blood of the fallen shall forever water our freedom, whilst the survivors lead our freedom” that we the contemporary society enjoy and embrace today and tomorrow.

    The lack of engagement and commitment is the first issue I see with our contemporary heroes, because in my view, if you want to solve a problem, then involve both the victim and the culprit and help them find an amicable solution, by listening to both concerned parties' objections, before taking drastic measures (or stance), to cultivate a comprehensive environment that serves the well-being of the entire nation's security. Recently, the youth have encountered various tribulations and quite surprising not only did the relevant ministers or the president fail to resolve the matter by consulting the aggrieved; no stance was taken for either party on matters that seemed to be a conflict of interest by the Management and some Government officials.

    Thus prompting my observation of the current administration – to remind them that their leadership of the Namibian government, is owed to the Namibian citizens that gave their consent and that the youth were equally eager to vote for the incumbents' administration to govern – and for once we would like to feel the presence of our leaders, to retain the faith we had in them during the elections.

    The latest UNAM scandal for one, could have served as a great platform for the incumbents to intervene and hear our cries, but to the contrary, there has been no such constructive intervention or attempts at such matters from either government or the relevant agencies.

    There have been calls, from time-to-time from students at the University for the incumbent's intervention, who also happen to be stakeholders of the institution to attend to the students' (also citizens of an independent and democratic Namibia) pleas, but unsurprisingly, it fell on deaf ears and the only hope for students is therefore to write and air their grievances on social media platforms, to help get the message across.

    Therefore my question is this: Is this the contemporary culture we wish to nurture or do the current leaders feels that the youth's problems are not theirs for the taking? May I remind them, they were once young too and they looked to their elders and leaders for answers and they got them and they lived in a better and more progressive environment, we the youth for once would like to make them proud the same way President Geingob, Sam Nujoma and the late Toivo ya Toivo made the elders of their time happy and proud with their accomplishments.

    Today however, there seems to be no hope for us, for youth empowerment. Why not nurture the current youth to become better versions of themselves? To give you something to be proud of, and if there is any truth in the saying that “the youth are the future”, then perhaps it is worth teaching and embracing the current youth with knowledge and wisdom for the future generation to acquire and benefit from equally, thus to remedy the situation. It's time the government takes care of the youth's needs and hearken to their cries.

    It is time to enrich and equip them well for a better tomorrow, a tomorrow that they themselves will look forward to in their retirement. Unemployment rate, high poverty and crime statistics are all topped by the country's youth, whilst the “unfit and self-indulging” capitalists and the elite continue to capture our national wealth, selfishly.

    What kind of a future are we cultivating? We, the youth, “the leaders of tomorrow”, for once, would like to appeal to the government to hear our voices and attend to our grievances.

    Start with engagement, become involved in every decision made that involves even a mere reflection of this country's future.

    *Romanus Mungamba is a final year Public Management student at the University of Namibia.

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Governors must be elected
  • Governors must be elected Governors must be elected Under the influence of alcohol, a mischievous youth sarcastically asked; “if a governor is renting someone's house, does it suggest the person is being governed by his or her landlord in a region s/he governs?” Analyzed closely, the story was aimed at capturing, positioning and winning public opinion on the matter of governors' supposedly poor conditions of service.

    To start with, word from treasury is that governors' remuneration is similar, if not exactly equivalent to that of deputy ministers. You are correct in wondering why deputy ministers aren't renting. How is it possible that nurses and teachers, whose salaries are probably four times smaller than those of governors, can afford houses? Be reminded that in February 2013 about 239 politicians (governors included) benefited from a 15% salary increase. What is the way forward if the governors' self-actualisation moan is dismissed as dishonest? To answer that, we must shift the debate from their material aspirations to the challenges in local authorities of which “the status of governors” is one. The genesis of problems of local authorities can be understood from the seemingly unresolved dichotomy of the policy of decentralisation, on the one hand, and the unitary principle of the state on the other. In Article 1, our Constitution establishes our republic as a democratic and unitary state whose main organs are the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, while providing the basis for decentralisation in Chapter 12. Decentralisation, therefore, has to take place in observation of the dictums of both Chapter 12 and Article 1.

    The architecture of the Regional Councils Act 22 of 1992 somehow harmonised the decentralisation policy and the unitary state principle. Where problems remained, the Decentralisation Enabling Act, Act 33 of 2000 was roped in to regulate the decentralisation to encompass regional and local authority councils vis-à-vis functions vested in line ministries. It is the Second Regional Councils Amendment Act, Acy 16 of 2010 - read together with the Special Advisors and Regional Governors Appointment Amendment Act, Act 15 of 2010 - that caused the serious problems that we wish to discuss today. Five key problems can be identified. These are (1) Democratic deficit; (2) Alienation of the general will; (3) No legal basis of effective governance; (4) Encroachment and lack of legitimacy; and (5) Eyes-hands-accountability dichotomy.

    While the Regional Councils Act, Act 22 of 1992 makes provision for members of the regional council (consisting of elected councilors) to democratically elect among themselves a person to serve as chairperson and governor of that respective region – the Special Advisors and Regional Governors Appointment Amendment Act, Act 15 of 2010 takes away this democratic practice exporting it solely to the President. This then creates a democratic deficit. Governors are the only high ranking political office bearers not subject to any form of the people's will. Councilors are elected; the President is also directly elected, not forgetting the mere fact that ministers are firstly elected into parliament, thus making governors the only officials not subject to popular public choice.

    The Second Regional Councils Amendment Act, though giving some rights to appointed governors to attend the meetings of the regional council, legally discriminates and victimises governors by taking away their voting powers in these meetings, in so doing, birthing an effective governance quagmire. There exists a dilemma of encroachment and legitimacy.

    Most government officials have clear reporting structures from themselves – through directors, the line ministers and eventually the President. It is unclear as to where appointed governors, who are viewed as a duplication of reporting structures, or encroaching thereon and lacking legal legitimacy, fit. Further to this, it is for this reason that some governors, after receiving cold shoulders, resort to intimidation and bullying tactics; sometimes it works, but sometimes it doesn't. Consider the case of a state-owned enterprise board of directors summoned by the appointed governor to explain their operations (which the governor disagrees with). Their operations are approved by their line minister (also appointed by the President). The governor informs them that he/she is the President's representative while the board responds that their operations are approved by their line minister – to whom they report.

    Imagine what would happen should serious differences develop between the regional council chairperson and the governor. Wouldn't the governor be isolated? Governors are regarded, some proclaim, as 'the eyes and ears” of the President in the regions. They indirectly admit that someone else exists in the region, not them, who are the hands of the President – theirs is to see and listen. The governors themselves openly proclaim that they are accountable, not to people, but to the Commander-in-Chief.

    *Abraham Vincent Kamati is a final year student teacher at the University of Namibia. He also serves as a Speaker of Student Parliament for all UNAM Campuses.

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    Examining the political systemExamining the political system Each and every generation has its own time to determine what it will do with its own future. Whether to actively engage in the public debate of its affairs or to be a passive generation that stood by on the sidelines and watched its future being crafted by others.

    Recently, the national broadcaster, NBC, reported two regional governors who are yet to give their State of the Region Address, unsurprising the governor of the mighty Kunene was one of the two. This is almost 3 months after President Hage Geingob had delivered his maiden State of the Nation Address, giving the results of his Harambee Prosperity Plan thus far, with some aspects yet to be actualised.

    It has also become the norm in our African set up that leaders too often tend to shift the blame onto others without examining their individual roles in causing damage to the economy of the nation, the SME saga is a true testament to this reality.

    In this column of the Astute Conversation, regular writer Romanus Mungamba and Abraham Vincent Kamati give us their take on the current state of affairs by explaining the need to elect result-driven leaders and maybe, just maybe, it could be time for a youthful President. Let's read their narratives.

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    NBC denies snubbing landless groupNBC denies snubbing landless group The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has denied claims by the Landless People's Movement (LPM) that its leaders are being denied an opportunity to be aired on the English and Damara/Nama radio stations.

    The LPM last week said Bernadus Swartbooi, Henny Seibeb and Rosa Namises were barred access to the public facility because the broadcaster refused to interview them and does not air announcements by the movement.

    Last Friday, Namises was allegedly “shoved out of the studios” by anchor Gerson Ore-Aob, and when asked, Ore-Aob reportedly said he did so on instructions by Damara/Nama station manager Joseph !Garab, “and by implication,” the NBC director-general Stanley Similo.

    The NBC yesterday denied these claims.

    Its chief commercial officer, Umbi Karuaihe-Upi, said Namises last week came to the Damara/Nama studio to make an announcement of an LPM meeting that was supposed to have taken place over the weekend.

    “She [Namises] did not have a script so the producer said he would refer the matter to the manager [who was in a meeting at the time]. After some discussions with the producer Ms Namises was allowed to announce the message,” Karuaihe-Upi said.

    Karuaihe-Upi said after the incident, the NBC had called Namises. She, in turn, reportedly said she was writing a letter to the NBC and claimed she was directed what to say on radio and told the LPM was not allowed on air.

    “NBC told her that all announcements must be in writing for our managers to know if these are public or commercial items. If she comes for an interview next time she must speak to the manager so that the interview can be discussed in advance,” Karuaihe-Upi said.


    The LPM insists that its leaders are being barred access to the national broadcaster despite “fruitful” discussions between the parties in May where assurance was given that the national broadcaster does not have a policy that rejects any social movement or activists from being interviewed and covered.

    The May meeting was called after the LPM raised alarm over NBC journalists and radio announcers who alleged to be “generally reluctant” to cover LPM activities for fear of being fired.

    The LPM alleges that former NBC director-general and current press secretary to the presidency, Albertus Aochamub; had “arm-twisted” Similo not to broadcast an interview with Seibeb on the 'One on One' television programme after the minister of land reform, Utoni Nujoma, had complained about it in a cabinet meeting.

    The LPM said this interview with Seibeb was difficult to cancel after it was announced on social media. However, it claimed, the interview was nonetheless “censored” by the office of the presidency.

    Aochamub scoffed at the allegations, saying: “Someone has a very rich imagination. They should not give us powers which we do not have. They should also not insult those that are in charge of running the NBC. They [NBC staff] are not anyone's stooges or puppets.”

    The LPM said attempts to “suffocate” freedom of speech are unacceptable, saying the NBC cannot be a mouthpiece of the powers that be because it is funded by taxpayers' money.

    “[Taxpayers] are diverse ideologically, politically and economically. Democratic pluralism is sacrosanct. It cannot be that only views seemed to be praising government are heard and those viewed to critique government are excluded,” the LPM said.

    The movement wants the offices of the Ombudsman and the media ombudsman to investigate this matter.


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    Another delay in Heckmair murder trialAnother delay in Heckmair murder trial American murder accused Marcus Thomas has applied for leave to appeal against the dismissal of his bid to have the presiding judge recused from the trial.

    Earlier this month the High Court ruled that Thomas had failed to show reasonable grounds for the recusal of Judge Christie Liebenberg.

    Thomas had argued that the judge would not bring an impartial mind to bear when adjudicating the matter.

    Thomas and co-accused Kevin Townsend allegedly plotted and committed the murder of André Heckmair in Windhoek in early 2011.

    The two Americans are charged with one count of murder, one count of robbery with aggravating circumstances, three counts of contravening the Ammunitions Act and one count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

    Judge Liebenberg last year ruled that Thomas was mentally fit to stand trial.

    “It is evident that the court at no stage made any findings on the alleged commission of the offences charged and that the same charges still had to be proved during the trial,” Liebenberg stated when he dismissed Thomas's application for his recusal.

    Judge Liebenberg yesterday postponed the case to 28 August for hearing arguments on the application for leave to appeal.


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    Genocide court case continuesGenocide court case continuesGermany accused of delaying tactics The Nama and Ovaherero groups threaten with a default judgement if the German government fails to appear before the New York court by 13 October. The genocide reparation movement under the auspices of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) and the Nama Technical Committee on Genocide says its case against the German government before the United States Federal Court is “very much alive” and will be pursued to its logical conclusion.

    This is despite the fact that the German government is being accused by the groups of “resorting to delaying tactics”, refusal to receive the submissions and complaints and for failing to attend court proceedings.

    “Germany has every reason to be worried about facing us in court. They can run but they cannot hide. The card they have played is the last card,” Ovaherero Paramount Chief Vekuii Rukoro said at a press briefing yesterday.

    The groups said the delaying tactics as a legal manoeuvre would only serve to unite and radicalise the victim groups and strengthen them in their resolve “to stand firm and pursue this campaign for restorative justice” together with international solidarity groups, “no matter how long it will take”.

    They added: “The insensitive and insulting racist disdain the German government has towards the Nama and Ovaherero genocide and reparation issues will only serve to make the terms of settlement progressively worse for itself.”

    Court case postponed

    A delegation of the victim groups went to New York in the middle of March to attend a case-management conference convened by US Judge Laura Taylor Swain, a proceeding the German government failed to attend.

    Rukoro said the German government refused to accept the summons and the plaintiff's complaint issued by the court and served on its diplomatic missions in Washington and New York.

    The German government on that occasion reportedly insisted that it wanted all legal processes to be served in terms of The Hague Convention, which provides for either serving such documents in the capital city of the defendant country, Berlin in this case, or alternatively to be served through diplomatic channels.

    “We knew then already that Germany will try to exhaust all tricks available to it to avoid taking accountability for the genocide it committed against the Namas and Hereros in our country. Hence the unnecessary delaying tactics which are prolonging the inevitable adjudication of our complaint by the court,” Rukoro said.

    The case was adjourned to 21 July and again to 13 October after a certain company, Crowe Foreign Service, engaged the victim groups' legal representative, Kenneth McCallion, in an attempt to serve the German government through The Hague Convention.

    According to the genocide groups the German government has once again refused to accept diplomatic service, upon which the complainants instructed their lawyer to “close that very last loophole the Germans were hoping to crawl into”, Rukoro said.

    Rukoro said the complainants would now ask the Crowe Foreign Service company to initiate a “diplomatic service” on the German government in an attempt to send the summons and complaint directly to Germany under diplomatic cover.

    It is anticipated that these papers will be hand-delivered to the German foreign ministry, after which the complainants say they would then have a sound legal basis for filing a motion for a default judgement if the German government fails to appear before the US court on 13 October.

    Genocide negotiations

    Rukoro yesterday said the genocide negotiations between the Namibian and German governments had so far taken place in “complete secrecy away from the eyes and ears of the Namibian people as a whole and the people they claim to represent and on whose behalf they are supposed to negotiate”.

    “We as the victim groups have no clue what case was being submitted on our behalf and no clue what the response was of the German government,” said Rukoro.

    The Namibian special envoy, Dr Zed Ngavirue, in July last year presented a document to his German counterpart, Ruprecht Polenz, which described the position of the Namibian government on the genocide negotiations.

    This document formed the basis for extensive deliberations by both special envoys during meetings in September and November last year.

    Germany presented its position paper on 27 June, which contained the detailed German assessment of the Namibian paper presented.

    The German embassy said this development showed that negotiations between the countries were on track.

    The victim groups, however, maintain that these negotiations “continue to be non-transparent” because they are being excluded from direct negotiations with Germany.

    They have rejected being part of any technical or advisory committees, insisting to “sit at the negotiating table to face Germany across the floor eyeball-to-eyeball”.


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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Rehoboth is dying - CEO
  • Rehoboth is dying - CEORehoboth is dying - CEOTown council in chaotic mess The Rehoboth council has financial problems that cannot be solved without intervention by the central government, its CEO says. Rehoboth Town Council chief executive officer Christophe Uirab says the town is on the brink of collapse.

    Uirab said in a recent interview that he was trying to make sense of a chaotic environment as a result of piled-up debts, years of mismanagement and alleged corruption.

    According to him he is forced to run council affairs on an ad-hoc basis since there is “no money” in reserve and the council can only deliver services such as water and electricity with the daily payments from residents.

    Rehoboth residents owe the council N$106 million for services rendered and according to Uirab the affluent suburbs such as Blocks D and A must subsidise non-paying areas such as Blocks E and C.

    “And do you know currently even the council employees here are standing collectively at N$1.3 million, an individual owes about N$30 to 40 000. How can it be? I have never seen this at any other municipality but in this place it has happened,” he exclaimed.

    He added that about 95% of Block E residents owed the council N$20 000 or more.

    Uirab said the council had entered into a prepaid arrangement with NamWater but it was expected to pay monthly instalments of N$700 000 in an effort to clear its N$29 million outstanding debt.

    “If we do not pay that, then they will deduct the money from the money that we have paid for the units. And the worst part is that they can only update the units if they have received proof of payment, they are not keeping in mind that there are long queues in the bank or that all signatories are not always in the office,” lamented Uirab.

    According to him, it costs the council N$2.5 million per month to supply the town with water, 40% of which is lost to burst pipes.

    The council is however, often only able to scrape together N$500 000 or less hence the frequent disconnections.


    According to Uirab the town cannot afford to maintain the water infrastructure and the town's streets without government intervention.

    “I receive a lot of complaints from residents, but we do not even have a grader and no heavy-duty machine to fix the roads,” he said.

    Meanwhile, for the last few weeks the town has been flooded with sewage, which is threatening residents' health as well as the groundwater resource.

    “It is really a big problem. As a result the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has revoked our permit and declared us unfit to manage the evaporation pond,” said Uirab.

    He added that the sewerage infrastructure, which dates back to the apartheid government more than three decades ago, was no longer reliable.

    “We simply do not have the capacity to manage the pumping station, if any problem arises then we must call in the help of private companies,” he said.

    The council is currently making use of Harley Investments, owned by Tommie Besser, to assist them with the sewage problem.

    According to Besser it would cost the government about N$4 million to replace the entire system, while the council is expected to cough up about N$100 000 to fix and maintain a pump.

    “This problem is not unique to Rehoboth, you must understand that. It is however unfortunate that all five pumps gave in. But at the moment we have three that work. The one in Block A, which is the central one that feeds into most neighbourhoods, is out of order,” he said.

    He said it takes up to four to six weeks for a part to be delivered from overseas since it is not locally available.


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    Westair reassures Air NamibiaWestair reassures Air Namibia Air Namibia will be able to continue using the four planes it leased from a French airline, which have been sold to Westair.

    In a statement issued by Westair yesterday the company gave its reassurance that the planes would remain available to Air Namibia.

    “The only change is that the aircraft will no longer be foreign owned, but will be owned by Namibians. Additionally, this new venture enables the renewal and upgrade of the current domestic and regional fleet, and will address the issues of dispatch reliability that could have negatively impacted the traveling public in the long run,” the statement said.

    According to Westair it intends to honour all the terms of the current lease of the aircraft.

    Air Namibia learned on Wednesday that the four planes, leased since 2011 from Air France, are now owned by the Namibian aviation company Westair.

    The transaction between Westair and Air France transpired without the knowledge of Air Namibia's board or management.

    Air Namibia has a valid and legally binding lease agreement with Air France/ HOP for the utilisation of the four Embraer Jet aircraft. These aircraft are currently used on domestic routes and some regional routes.

    The lease agreement with HOP terminates during the first quarter of next year.

    Meanwhile, concerns have been raised about the fact that Air Namibia might be overcharged when leasing planes from Westair.

    Reportedly Air Namibia currently pays about US$70 000 per month for leasing a 37-seater.

    “At this stage Westair is not in a position to disclose any contractual obligations other than confirming that the lease terms will not change from the current terms as stipulated in the contract between HOP (Air France) and Air Namibia.

    “Westair will not under any circumstance overcharge Air Namibia and prices will remain as per industry standards, with the added benefit that the lease fees will now stay within the country as Air Namibia will pay a local lessor,” said Westair

    According to the company the recent influx of five regional airlines and six international airlines, with very little reciprocity, has highlighted the need for the airline to promote aviation business within the country by supporting local businesses such as Air Namibia.

    “As a 100% Namibian-owned company, we believe in promoting and supporting business within our borders. During the past 50 years of the existence of Westair Aviation we have continually expanded the company's core business areas of aircraft acquisition, aircraft refurbishment, aircraft leases and direct aircraft operations. This new venture is in alignment with the Westair core values of doing business in Namibia, whilst unlocking the economies of scale,” the company further said in its statement.

    The Westair Group is comprised of a team of Namibian aviation experts who are dedicated to promoting business in the sub-region.


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  • 07/17/17--16:00: IAAF suspends Frank
  • IAAF suspends FrankIAAF suspends FrankPayment probe against Namibian continues The Namibian sprint legend has been suspended while being investigated over alleged corruption. STAFF REPORTER

    The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) yesterday provisionally suspended its council member and Namibian sprint legend Frank Fredericks over corruption allegations.

    Fredericks is under investigation for alleged corruption suspected of being linked to the 2016 Olympics hosting vote. Fredericks was placed under investigation in March this year after having been paid nearly N$4 million by a disgraced IAAF official.

    He reportedly received the amount on 2 October 2009 - the same day Rio de Janeiro won the 2016 Olympic hosting vote in a four-city contest. A request by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for an interim ban on Fredericks was granted by the IAAF disciplinary panel.

    Fredericks could not be reached for comment yesterday, but the AIU statement noted that he had indicated that he intended to contest suspension at a provisional hearing.

    “Mr Fredericks enjoys the presumption of innocence until the conclusion of that investigative process and any disciplinary process which may follow depending on the results of the investigation. The investigation will be led by Sir Anthony Hooper, a former judge of the English Court of Appeal and an experienced investigator in the context of sports integrity,” the AIU stated in a statement.

    According to reports, Fredericks had received US$299 300 (equivalent to N$3.9 million) from sports businessman Papa Massata Diack, the son of former International Olympics Committee (IOC) member and IAAF president Lamine Diack, in 2009.

    A French-led investigation has since been under way to find out whether large sums were paid to buy the votes that determined the host cities of the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. Rio de Janeiro hosted the 2016 Games, while Tokyo will host the 2020 Games.

    “An order for provisional suspension is not any early indication of guilt or innocence and orders for provisional suspension may be sought by the Athletics Integrity Unit and imposed by the Disciplinary Tribunal on a precautionary basis in cases where the interests of the sport favour the suspension of an IAAF office holder, employee or participant in the sport pending investigation of potential ethical breaches in the sport,” the AIU said.

    Fredericks has denied wrongdoing, claiming the money was for contracted consultancy work. He previously offered to step aside from his IOC work and his IAAF duties except his seat on the ruling council.

    ‘Nothing untoward’

    In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, Fredericks defended the payment, saying it had “nothing whatsoever to do with the Olympic Games”.

    “The amount of US$300 000 paid by Pamodzi Sports Consulting to Yemi Limited was paid pursuant to the terms of a contract dated 11 March 2007,” Fredericks was quoted as saying by Le Monde.

    “I had the idea to develop a relay championship. In addition I supported the IAAF Marketing Programme, the African Athletics Programme, the IAAF Continental Programme and the African Athletics Championships.

    “My attendance at various events and promotional efforts is documented and accordingly these services can be substantiated by other evidence.

    “Payment was in respect of services rendered in the period 2007 to 2011. The payment has nothing whatsoever to do with the Olympic Games.

    “By the way, I was not an IAAF board member at the time, but an IAAF ambassador, and did not breach any regulation or rule of ethics.”

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    Half a billion needed to complete Etosha fenceHalf a billion needed to complete Etosha fence Efforts to erect an elephant- and predator-proof fence around Etosha National Park and managing the human-wildlife conflict have been thwarted by logistical and financial challenges.

    The fencing project which started six years ago has only covered 112km of the 822km.

    According to the minister of environment and tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, the ministry started the construction and electrification of the elephant- and predator-proof fence in 2011.

    “Over the past six years, only 112 kilometres of the fence have been upgraded and 710 kilometres remain.”

    According to him, the slightly more than 700km that still need to be upgraded and completed will cost at least N$500 million.

    “Quotations are between N$1 to 2 million per kilometre. It will take half a billion dollars to get the fence completed. Without this money, we will not be able to finish it,” Shifeta said.

    He said one of the reasons why the fence had taken so long to complete was because tenders were awarded to companies that did not have the competence to do the work and “were just taking chances”.

    “They were unable to the job and did not have the necessary skills and abandoned the job.”

    Shifeta said action would be taken against farmers living adjacent to the park who put up their fences against the Etosha boundary fence. He said the ministry had repeatedly requested the farmers to remove their fences but they ignored it.

    “Action will be taken and now the only thing I can do is to go to court if they do not take down these fences. Etosha is by law a national park and it is no longer part of communal land,” the minister said.

    The park boundary borders the Oshikoto, Oshana, Omusati and Kunene regions. This boundary consists of different types of fences but the main one is a 1.2-metre-high stock-proof fence.

    Commenting on human-wildlife conflict, Shifeta said 25 lions had killed so far this year. Nineteen of these were killed illegally while the rest were killed by ministry officials or professional hunters after being declared problem animals.

    Six of the lions were killed illegally in the Omusati Region, and one in Oshana, In the Kunene Region three lions were poisoned and nine shot. No arrests have been made.

    Shifeta said the estimated lion population in Namibia currently stood at 700, with 430 lions in Etosha. The park's carrying capacity is about 350 lions.

    “Lions escape from the Etosha National Park now and then. They are attracted by livestock that graze along the Etosha National Park because farmers established cattle posts or graze livestock close to the park,” the minister said.

    With regard to the investigation into lions shot by David 'Kambwa' Sheehama Kambwa, a police docket was opened and forwarded to the office of the prosecutor-general.

    Shifeta said the investigation found that the number of livestock Kambwa claimed to have been killed by lions was inflated.

    In an effort to address the increasing human-wildlife conflict, Shifeta said the ministry had developed a lion management plan.

    “One of the strategies is to determine the number of animals that can be removed when there are conflict problems. Response to the conflict should be quick, based on information made available. Population numbers should be maintained to scientifically accepted carrying capacities.”

    The plan for Etosha includes capturing and moving lions to other areas where they will not cause conflict.

    “Lions that leave Etosha will be captured, branded and translocated to identified areas. Should such animals continue to cause problems then they can be destroyed. Reduction management strategies also include trophy hunting of certain animals,” Shifeta said.


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  • 07/16/17--16:00: Shaningwa reads riot act
  • Shaningwa reads riot actShaningwa reads riot actSlams 'boetie-boetie' relationships at city The days of corrupt activities are over, minister Sophia Shaningwa warned on Friday. Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa has read the riot act to “corrupt” City of Windhoek officials, saying maladministration will no longer be tolerated.

    Calling the city out on several issues, Shaningwa said she is not sleeping on the job and “boetie-boetie” relationships will not be tolerated as it does not benefit the country.

    “My office is inundated with complaints [from] residents that are being treated unfairly and mistreated by the municipal council. Residents have approached my office in the hope that there will be administrative justice,” she said during the launch of the City of Windhoek's strategic plan for 2017 to 2022 on Friday morning.

    She said that the success of the plan depends on its implementation and if its execution goes wrong everything will fail.

    Shaningwa castigated the city's officials, accusing them of taking decisions on their own accord, which resulted in unnecessary legal action.

    Shaningwa urged the municipal leadership to take charge and make sure that accountability prevails.

    She further said she had been informed about restructuring and deployment of city officials.

    “While this is taking place with good intentions, I caution that this should be done within the laws of the country and financial resources available,” she said. She further stressed that it should not be a situation where restructuring is done with a “friends and foes” system in mind.

    “I know what is going on in all 57 local authorities in the country. I am on the ball.

    “I do not sit in the office with the air cons and what happens in Windhoek also reaches my ears. I am not sleeping,” she said. According to Shaningwa, sometimes things are not healthy at local authorities, because there is no administrative justice and too little resources.

    She further highlighted the slow pace at which the city has been providing serviced land, saying that the delivery of serviced residential land in Windhoek has been very disappointing.

    “Yes resources are an issue, but the city should not struggle alone, it should be assisted.”

    Shaningwa said although the topography of Windhoek makes it difficult to provide serviced land, more should be done. According to her the city should enter into public-private partnerships (PPPs) for assistance.

    “None of this “boetie-boetie” business. This will not help our country.”

    She said that the majority of the country is swimming in poverty while a few individuals are benefiting.

    “When are they going to get satisfied? To address these challenges it can no longer be business as usual. The answers to these challenges are in the strategic plan. It just needs to be implemented.”

    According to her, most local authorities of today are faced with many challenges, such as the scarcity of land, sanitation, housing and finances, and she says that Windhoek is no exception.

    “Windhoek attracts many migrants that are seeking to improve their living standards with better jobs.

    “This large scale migration has proved to be a challenge for the city and resulted in a mushrooming of informal settlements,” she noted.

    No duplication

    Meanwhile, Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua said Windhoek represents more than 98% of the region's populace and the strategic plan is therefore important to ensure that no duplications take place. According to her, one of the goals of the plan is to formalise the informal settlements around Windhoek. “This will be a mammoth task.”

    A total of N$25 million has been budgeted during this financial year for servicing informal settlements.

    City of Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise said the needs of the residents are increasing and different solutions are necessary to address the challenges faced.

    “We have to change our approach to the challenges out there, if we can achieve that, then service delivery in Windhoek will be transformed,” he said.

    Among others, the city furthermore aims to become fully financially accountable by providing clean audits.

    “There are leakages [financial] in the city, there is a lot of money lying on the ground and a lot of money lying in people's pockets. It is time to regroup and collect what belongs to the city.”

    According to him, the N$500 million debtors' book needs to be dealt with.


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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Indongo spars with the best
  • Indongo spars with the bestIndongo spars with the bestIndongo spars with the best Namibian boxer Julius 'Blue Machine' Indongo is training intensively for a boxing showdown with Terence Crawford on 16 August. Julius Indongo has pulled out all the stops in preparation for the showdown with Terence Crawford of the US on 26 August in a super lightweight unification title fight in Lincoln, Nebraska.

    Indongo's camp has called in big names in Namibian boxing circles to help prepare the boxer for the toughest fight of his career.

    'Blue Machine' is sparring with the likes of Paulus 'The Hitman', Mike Shonena, Max Ipinge, Jeremiah Nakathila and Jatoorora Tjingavete: boxers who are highly respected in boxing ranks.

    'The Hitman', Namibia's former World Boxing Association lightweight champion, is a hard puncher who remains one of Namibia's most accomplished and experienced fighters of all time.

    'Silent Assassin' is also known for his hard punching and quick feet in the ring.

    Ipinge brings flavour to the table with his feistiness and attitude. Nakathila is skilful too and is rising fast in boxing circles, whereas Tjingavete is an unorthodox fighter, making it difficult for boxers to face him in the ring. All of these traits will push Indongo forward.

    Internationally acclaimed boxing promoter Nestor Tobias from MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing Academy says they are using experienced boxers with different traits in order to prepare the fighter.

    “I picked these boxers for various reasons. Each brings something special to the ring and that will help Indongo. He is fit and has a heart but those are not the only things he needs. There is technique as well. Even though we will not change his style of boxing, we want to get him ready for whatever comes.

    “Crawford is a southpaw, which means that he fights with his left hand. But he also sometimes fights as Orthodox which is the opposite. Sometimes he uses a style of running in the ring. So, whatever he brings to us, we will be ready,” Tobias said.

    He emphasised that it will not be an easy fight for either boxer. “It will not be easy, but all we can do is to prepare well and do the right things in the ring. If we need more manpower as time goes on, we will call in more people to help the champion,” Tobias said.

    The fight will take place at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska, and 15 000 spectators are expected to fill the seats.


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