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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 08/07/17--16:00: No to easy rides
  • No to easy ridesNo to easy rides The mantra 'no Namibian should feel left out' is commonly used by our leaders in public speeches and so on. This has, frankly speaking, been a potent mantra for the Geingob administration, which has promised inclusive leadership. However, many Namibians, especially young professionals are getting the short end of the stick from the authorities. They feel hard done by and are dissatisfied by a lack of opportunities for personal and professional growth. In yesterday's edition we reported on the preferential treatment that 29 Zimbabwean quantity surveyors and architects are receiving from our government at the expense of local professionals. The 29 Zimbabweans have been granted exemption from professional competence examinations. This has caused outrage among Namibians who find the easy ride for their Zimbabwean counterparts as unfair, uncalled for and not in the best interest of the country. In the letter addressed to the Namibia Council of Architects and Quantity Surveyors, works minister Alpheus !Naruseb requested the registration process of the 29 professionals to be expedited, paving the way for the group to register with the council faster than usual. The letter by the minister was authored in March this year and the exemption requirements were ordered with immediate effect. The failure by the works ministry to clarify this matter also adds salt to wound. Given the stringent registration and classification criteria for qualified professionals such as quantity surveyors, architects and engineers, it is absurd that government is providing leeway to the Zimbabwean professionals by allowing them to sidestep assessment rules for them to start working in Namibia. Yes, we fully understand the contribution of our Zimbabwean brothers and sisters to the Namibian economy. But why should there be an easy ride for a selected few? Political decisions between the two countries have led to the closure of the SME Bank recently and we can ill-afford to go the same route again. If the Zimbabweans are competent enough they should register like any another professional in Namibia and compete on equal terms with locals. At the moment government is doing very little in protecting the interests of Namibians who are now clearly frustrated because of a lack of employment opportunities.

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    MET committed to credible dataMET committed to credible data The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has reassured the public that it is committed to providing credible poaching data.

    This follows an article that appeared in Namibian Sun that identified several discrepancies in statistics released during February this year and then again in July, about poaching-related arrests.

    The ministry said where there are discrepancies; careful scrutiny will be done to ensure that these are rectified.

    The ministry also explained that it is important to note that carcasses of rhinos and elephants are discovered on an on-going basis and some of these carcasses are old and are therefore recorded for the relevant years. According to the ministry, additional suspects are arrested as police investigations progress, and other suspects are released for various reasons, including a lack of evidence, to link them to cases.

    Also due to the involvement of regional police, the protected resource department, ministry offices, and their lines of reporting to head offices, there is sometimes a delay in the information reaching the responsible offices.

    It can therefore happen that the information changes shortly after new information has been released.

    “This delay in information between the various stakeholders can also lead to different figures released by Namibian police and the ministry.

    The conflicting data for instance, indicated that hundreds of people were arrested last year for poaching, but a few months' later ministry data showed that less than 80 suspects were arrested that year.

    Figures released by the ministry at the beginning of February indicated that a total of 231 suspects were arrested during 2016.

    The majority of these suspects were arrested in 2016 when 222 people were arrested for poaching related crimes.

    Statistics released by the ministry in July however, indicated that since 2014, until June this year, a total of 246 suspects have been arrested.

    According to the July figures, only 78 people were arrested in 2016 for wildlife crimes. In 2015, a total of 96 arrests were recorded and in 2014, there were 29 people arrested while this year, 43 suspects were arrested.


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  • 08/07/17--16:00: 20 killed in crashes
  • 20 killed in crashes20 killed in crashesRoad carnage in Namibia continues unabated In a series of fatal accidents over the past few days, 20 people, including several young children, perished. More than 20 people died on Namibia's roads during the past few days, while international tourists visiting the country were among those that were killed in road crashes.

    A well-known Israeli photographer was killed and his wife injured in a vehicle accident on Sunday.

    They were travelling with two other Israeli nationals through the country on a photography trip.

    Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi said the accident occurred on Sunday at 09:30 on the Oshikuku/Oshakati main road at the Etayi junction.

    According to him the driver of the Ford Ranger allegedly tried to avoid hitting a donkey in the road and the car overturned.

    Amos Gil, 72, was killed in the accident, while his wife Irit, 66, and the other two Israeli nationals, Joseph Shakaka, 73, and Carmela Heffer, 32 were injured in the accident.

    In another accident an Italian tourist was killed and three other Italians injured.

    The accident occurred on the Helmeringhausen road on Friday.

    It is alleged that four Italian women were traveling in a Toyota Hilux when the driver, 46, lost control of the vehicle and it overturned. Ingrid Simona Ungaro, 37, died at the scene.

    The other women sustained serious to slight injuries.

    In a separate accident on Saturday at about 19:00 on the road between Klein Aub and Rehoboth; two children were killed after three vehicles were involved in an accident.

    According to the police two vehicles were stationary on the road, while the driver was attending to a tyre puncture when another vehicle collided into the cars causing a chain collision.

    The deceased are identified as Sonet Schuster, 5, and Joanely Rooinasie, 9.

    Meanwhile, six people died in a head-on collision approximately 25 kilometres from Leonardville and Dordabis.

    The accident occurred Thursday between 21:00 and 22:00 on Dordabis-Leonardville gravel road.

    Eight people were also injured in the accident that involved a Land Cruiser and a bakkie.

    There were reportedly 12 people in the bakkie of which six died at the scene.

    In another accident on Thursday a vehicle with 10 people overturned.

    Four of the passengers, including the driver, died in the crash while the others were taken to hospital with injuries.

    The accident occurred on the gravel road between Rietoog and Nabasib.

    On Friday at about 13:00 a woman died in an accident when her car collided against a grader which was busy grading the gravel road between Stampriet and Gochas.

    The deceased is Anna Sophia Engels, 74. A passenger also sustained injuries.

    It is further reported that on Thursday, a four-year-old boy and two others were instantly killed after the vehicle they were travelling in overturned on the gravel road between Klein Aub and Maltahöhe in the Hardap Region.

    A 17-year-old woman was also among the three victims. The 43-year-old driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle and overturned.

    Furthermore, two pedestrians died after being hit by vehicles while a cyclist was also hit by a vehicle and died.


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    Engaging the youth in agricultureEngaging the youth in agriculture By: Nghishidimbwa Rabban

    Engaging the youth in agriculture has been a prominent topic recently and has risen on the development agenda, as there is growing concern worldwide that young people have become disenchanted with agriculture. With most young people living in rural settlements, where agriculture is likely to provide food and the main source of income, it is vital that young people are connected with farming and related activities.

    Currently, around our country we're living in an era where rapid urbanisation has led to a decline in rural populations as the majority of young people prefer to live in urban areas. With this assumption, increasing concentrations of the global population in urban areas it is easier to understand why the number of young farmers is in decline. So how then do we develop the love for farming when the trend is to live in cities and towns?

    For a country to be able to feed itself, agriculture needs to become a more attractive option for youth. Otherwise, the current trend of young people migrating out of rural agricultural areas and into cities in search of bigger, better jobs will leave the country with a shortage of farmers, and eventually food insecure. We will thus continue to rely on food imports, which will tie up monies that could have been used for other developmental projects.

    Generally speaking, most of the schools in the country have a lack of facilities required for the proper training of learners on advanced farming methods and therefore the learners are not being encouraged to perceive agriculture as an attractive field like others. For a learner to develop interest and passion in agriculture, it should start from the very early stages in their life, specifically at the lower grades, because this where learners are built psychologically and mostly their choices and what they opt to be depends on their experience at these early stages. At this stage learners should be taught and be demonstrated on how to grow different high-value crops, rearing livestock and how to market their produce. It is also important that learners are well informed that agriculture is an applied science, as much as medicine and engineering and other similar fields. Indeed, career guidance that instills in the minds of people that various career options that exist in this sector is a must. This will later assist a lot of young people in terms of furthering studies in agricultural and related fields at tertiary level.

    The agricultural sector contributes 27.4% to the employment rate in the country and also contributes 3.4% toward the Gross Domestic Products (GDP). However, despites such a high contribution of the sector to the economy, there are many challenges ahead that hinder its sustainability, but if young people are offered education in agriculture and engaged in innovative and modern agricultural approaches, then the agriculture sector can attract more youth which further could foster more growth. As we look to find solutions towards feeding a country of 2.459 million people it is this new generation that should be working together and can help to achieve our global development goals. Young people often see agriculture as a sector much neglected by the government, giving farming the image of being old fashioned. Investment in agriculture is more effective at reducing poverty than investment in any other sector but public expenditure on agriculture remains low.

    I further believe that every young person in the country should have a background knowledge of agriculture despite pursuit of other careers namely, teaching, nursing, medical, engineering, etc. We all need knowledge and skills on how to produce food, having a backyard garden requires knowledge to manage it otherwise they won't be any production. As an example, young people who took agriculture as a career have a better understanding of inflation of the price of bread to N$10 as they would think of the cost of production and distribution which include (raw material, processing, storage and transportation).

    There is also the fact that we need to add value to our farm produce. A simple act of washing the potatoes and packaging them adds much more value to a locally produced favorite food than simply harvesting them and exporting them raw. This value-addition requires skilled personnel such as food microbiologists and agricultural engineers which are in short supply currently, despite the university's best options. Recently in Namibia, crop farmers were invaded by an American bollworm worm which affected specifically maize and sweet potatoes. However, other countries such as South Africa and Zimbabwe even though they were faced with the same pest challenge, they had better harvests because of their well-developed human capacity of skilled entomologists, who dealt with the situation faster and promptly. I am reliably informed that there is only one person with that qualification in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry in Namibia and there is also a lack of geneticists, plant breeders, foresters, veterinarians, nutritionist, range scientists in the country, to state a few. This is more so because the youth are not heeding the call to study degrees and diplomas in agriculture and related fields, and mainly due to the bad perception or misconception about what agriculture careers are, and the importance and opportunities thereof.

    *Nghishidimbwa Rabban is a third-year agriculture science student at Ogongo campus

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    The struggles of a university student in WindhoekThe struggles of a university student in Windhoek By: Vaino Ndipolifa

    There is no other really memorable part of life than university life, besides that university life itself comes with many day-to-day responsibilities, a series of challenges and many obligations which one must experience to acquire one's dream. The title of being a student is a pregnant title since people's expectations might be high, starting from the government, family members, citizens, friends, and everyone desires to benefit directly or indirectly from a student if things go well. However, the contradiction comes in as only a small number of people dare to contribute to the wellbeing of students.

    The government wants to have qualified personnel in various ministries and administration chambers. Our local businesses aspire to employ qualified personnel, and the rest of the nation is hungry for up-to-standard services offered by well-qualified personnel.

    I am a university student who has been exposed to all sorts of challenges that a number of today's students are suffering from. A university's challenging environment to me is not only a story to tell but it could be various lessons about life on which one has to adapt to some harsh and critical situations. Especially in the suburbs of Windhoek dwellers, because in these areas students seem to be the first targets for theft and robbery, for the reason that most of them carry expensive smartphones and laptops, and many of them have outfits with up-to-standard styles.

    Moreover, students are in danger especially during nighttime and in some cases and at some places during the day. Again, cases of students being mugged and chased by robbers are common here and there and these can happen early in the morning when students are going to school or early in the afternoon, late evenings and during the night when students return from school. To add onto that, stories of students being ambushed are also common.

    It is not on only about suffering, and environmental difficulties, but it might cost one's life over petty things. Just in recent days our country, a family, friends, and our Khomasdal campus have lost a future teacher. These are some of the events that made my tears roll more especially when such things are happing to the people who will be the civil servants of the future.

    In spite of that, glaring issues are endless. There are a number of student-parents, and the situation of being a parent-student is also one of the troubling issues. Yes, there is a literal understanding that university life is preparing students so they can be responsible citizens who can make mature decisions on their own, but in our case, as Namibians, something needs to be done about the living conditions of our future working class.

    Well, the means of transport to and from school is one of the current troubling issues among students that live in suburbs. Moreover, transport is one of the major problems that a huge number of day students are facing more especially in Windhoek, going to the campus is not an easy task as some people think it might be.

    Early inthe morning a student has to wake up and prepare for the day normally as students do, but what pains most is going either to a taxi rank or a bus stop and have to spend two or three hours before you get transport that is taking you to campus. This worsens when some students want to go back to their homes, and this could be the most stressful moment ever, waiting for mini buses or municipal buses mostly for more than two hours.

    However it is not only about waiting for a long time, it can be about who is stronger than who, because several times passengers of mini buses and municipality buses in Windhoek have been observed pushing each other, more especially early in the morning and in the afternoon at their bus stops. Again municipality buses which are the current affordable transport to everyone, targets customers that seem to be working citizens that work outside of town, not students and learners (which are the group of people that need support most) because they are not reliable especially with taking students back home.

    In contrary such difficulties among students can only be solved when Namibians and the government are committed to change, support, and to save lives before we have too many drop outs and increases in criminal practices like robbery. Improvements can only happen when none of us is afraid to speak up and not be surprised by radical changes. I always have a feeling to suggest and propose projects, but sometimes it feels like my social status does not allow me to, however in the name of democracy one shall not hesitate to suggest or propose for changes in a democratic and free country like Namibia.

    University hostel administration personnel should allow students to squat, if they can no longer build any other cheaper hostel that could be afforded even by a daughter or a son of a street vendor. Again the reason that transport is also a challenge, student funding institutions should come up with strategies on how they can find a means of transport that can transport students to and from campuses within a reasonable time. In spite of that our government should not just relax and watch like they are watching Manchester and Chelsea playing a final, responsible ministries should find ways to come up with projects that are aimed at improving students' poor situations.

    *Vaino Ndipolifa is student studying towards a Bachelors degree in education at the University of Namibia.

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  • 08/07/17--16:00: The need to engage youth
  • The need to engage youthThe need to engage youth For the past 27 years, Namibia has been heavily dependent on South Africa for its food and fresh produce. Most of the products across Namibian supermarkets come from South Africa and in this process, young people have been left out in the production of their own country's products.

    On the other hand, several young people have enrolled in universities to study such courses as agriculture and crop science. Namibia has to tap into the potential of these youth and ensure that once they graduate, they contribute to food security in the country. This means they must have access to jobs or financing to get started. Rabban writes about the need for government to engage the youth in agriculture to make sure that Namibia can strengthen its food security capacity. Vaino writes about the struggle of university students in Windhoek – the high rent, the insufficient hostel accommodation. Let's read their narratives.

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    RCC liquidation test of governanceRCC liquidation test of governance Intent to liquidate the Roads Contractor Company is being seen as interference in the operations of the public entity by some ministers.

    This is the view of its board chairman, Fritz Jacobs, who has opposed the liquidation of the RCC for some time now.

    He made the comments on the sidelines of an event at the offices of the ministry of works and transport recently.

    According to him, political preferences stood in the way of good corporate governance practices exercised by the board of the RCC.

    “We have allowed politicking and personal preferences to interfere in the good corporate governance of the RCC. So much so, that the current state of RCC, after the new board took over, is not the doing of RCC itself, but a deliberate choking of the initiatives of the company,” Jacobs told Namibian Sun.

    According to him, the RCC board was also accountable to the employees. Should the RCC liquidation be allowed to proceed, Jacobs said the board would be failing in its duties of protecting the interests of not only government but those of the employees who would possibly stare unemployment in the face.

    “The detrimental political and public influence, which was allowed to propagate, is against the widely accepted principles of ensuring that the interest of all stakeholders is protected, as opposed to only the views of some.

    This will be the fundamental test of corporate governance versus politics for all state-owned enterprises and the local business environment,” said Jacobs.

    The minister of public enterprises, Leon Jooste, did not respond to a query following Jacobs's utterances.

    The Namibian reported last week that the RCC board had sought legal opinion of the intended closure of the RCC.

    According to an opinion drafted by Shikongo Law Chambers, should the government decide to liquidate the RCC, there must be more equitable and just reasons to do so besides the debts the entity has accumulated.

    “If an application is made for the winding up, security must be furnished to the satisfaction of the court for the payment of the debts of the company. The debts must then be paid within 12 months from the date of the lodging of the application,” the law firm said.


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    Absenteeism plagues Omusati schoolAbsenteeism plagues Omusati schoolDistance, traditional customs to blame A small school in the Omusati Region battles to get OvaHimba and OvaZemba learners to attend classes. OvaHimba and OvaZemba learners at Otjekua Primary School in the Omusati Region either arrive at school late or do not show up at all because of traditional activities such as herding.

    This is according to the acting school principal, Moses Johnson, who told Namibian Sun upon a visit last week that one of the pressing challenges they are faced with is the skyrocketing absenteeism of learners.

    The school has 186 learners.

    Johnson explained that the high absenteeism is due to the long distances of about 12 kilometres some learners have to travel to and from school by foot, and also the fact that some children have to remain at home to look after their family's livestock.

    “The biggest challenge the school is faced with is the high absenteeism rate by learners which is a result of the cultural practices as their parents still strongly believe in culture and tradition, and also the fact that the long distances they have to travel make it more likely for them not to show up on time or at school consistently,” Johnson said.

    Johnson said if there are five learners from one home at Otjekua Primary School it is unlikely for all of them to be at school on the same day. He said two or three will remain at home looking after livestock or doing household chores, while the others will be at school.

    He described it as painful to see learners deprived of the education they need to progress and excel academically.

    Asked what the school has done to improve the situation, Johnson said on numerous occasions the school management attempted to call parents for a meeting to look for an amicable solution but they did not show up.

    “We can only solve the issue if the parents play their part correctly because culture alone will not help the children - they also need education which is the key to success.

    This is why we are always telling the children to inform their parents but they do not show,” Johnson said.

    Another big challenge the school is faced with is a lack of facilities such as a library, laboratories, ablution facilities and classrooms.

    The school has only one pit latrine, which is used by the teachers. The children go to the bushes when nature calls.

    “As you can see this is an old-fashioned toilet for the teachers, which is not motivating at all.

    As for the learners, they have to go to the nearby bushes,” Johnson said.

    As for the need for more classrooms, Johnson said the school was about to add a grade 7 class next year.

    Johnson also raised the issue of teacher housing.

    He said all the teachers live in shacks they have erected on the school premises because there is no alternative accommodation.

    Regarding water and electricity at the school, Johnson said the water they are using is from a borehole and that the school uses solar energy.


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  • 08/07/17--16:00: NQA still without board
  • NQA still without boardNQA still without board The National Qualification Authority (NQA) has been operating without a council since February this year and the minister of higher education, training and innovation, Itah Kandjii-Murangi, says she is not certain when a governing body will be appointed.

    According to her, a verification process of nominees against the public enterprise ministry's database is currently in progress and may take some time.

    “It is difficult to say when this will be completed. Once all the consultations are done then it will be submitted to the cabinet,” Murangi says.

    The ministry's permanent secretary, Alfred van Kent, says the absence of a council has not caused major disruptions or delays because it meets on a quarterly basis.

    Van Kent says accreditation is a major process and its duration may vary from institution to institution since each organisation is evaluated on its own merits.

    “There may have been some delays with some approvals in terms of accreditation, but there are some committees and operational structures in place that deal with many of these processes.”

    The NQA management declined to comment on the implications of an absent board.

    “Due to the nature of these questions, the NQA hereby advises that they should be directed to the appointing authority, the minister of higher education, training and innovation,” NQA spokesperson Catherine Shipushu said.

    The NQA is governed by a council of 36 members who are appointed by and report to the minister of higher education, training and innovation.

    The council is appointed for a term of three years and includes persons from government ministries, parastatals, professional associations as well as from the private economic sector groups.

    The last council was chaired by Martha Mbombo, acting permanent secretary in the ministry of gender equality and child welfare.


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    Inclusive education scores badlyInclusive education scores badlyStatistics tell a sad story Stigma and discrimination against children with disabilities hamper efforts to give them equal access to education. High levels of stigma and discrimination as well as false myths surrounding people and children living with disabilities continue to thwart efforts to improve inclusive education for all.

    The results of a rapid analysis conducted by the education ministry and Unicef recently paints a bleak picture about the myriad of challenges many children living with disabilities in Namibia face, which often result in limited access to education, if at all.

    In a powerful poem delivered by a learner from the School for the Visually Impaired at last week's State of Education address, the student underlined that a disability is not an inability, and told the crowd: “Open the classroom, let me in, it is time to begin.”

    Underlining the vast barriers to education faced by too many children with disabilities, education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa called on parents, the community and the country as a whole to support interventions aimed at demystifying disabilities and so help ensure equal rights for all.

    The minister pointed out that that despite a number of national protocols, laws and policies aimed at ensuring inclusive education and the wellbeing of affected learners, “children with disabilities and special education needs continue to face numerous challenges.”

    National disability statistics from 2011 found that at close to 50 000 more persons with disabilities had left school than remained.

    More than 27 000 never attended school.

    The proportion of persons with disabilities aged 5 years and above that never attended school was at 83% in rural areas compared to 17.9% in urban areas.

    A mere 877 children with disabilities had attended pre-primary school, Hanse-Himarwa said.

    Research also found that around 87% of children with disabilities aged 0 to 4 have never attended early childhood development (ECD) programmes.

    ECD and pre-primary education are critical tools in helping children achieve long-term successes, as the programme contributes to reducing high failure rates, school dropout rates, reduces interpersonal violence and learner pregnancies in later life.

    The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) report on disability issued last year highlighted a worrying trend.

    “The number of children with disabilities aged 0-4 that are not attending ECD programmes has increased from 3 359 (2001) to 5 135 (2011). This situation is worrisome and calls for policy interventions to address the issue of children with disabilities that are not attending ECD in Namibia.”

    The NSA noted that with regard to the number of children with disabilities aged 3-5 years, 2 595 were not attending ECD programmes in Namibia by 2011.

    Enrolment in school had improved with the proportion of persons aged 5 years and above that never attended school decreasing from 30.4% (2001) to 28.9% (2011).

    The report also found that the proportion of persons with disabilities who have no formal education was higher in rural areas (82.3%) than in urban areas (17.7%).

    The NSA report found that “the highest proportion of disabled persons with no formal education were blind and visually impaired. The highest proportion of females that were disabled were visually impaired, while for males physical impairment of lower limbs was the common disability.”

    Among the issues the ministry's rapid assessment identified as one of the worst challenges for disabled youth, is the existence of high levels of stigma and discrimination against children with disabilities.

    In many parts of Namibia, disability is still viewed as a curse and children with disabilities are still hidden from society in most cases.

    The study also underlined that a lack of disability knowledge and practical skills among teachers, school principals and hostel staff was a major problem.

    This lack of skills training and awareness led to learners feeling frustrated, stressed, overwhelmed and “wanting to give up and of feeling unsupported,” the study found.

    Another longstanding issue that affects all people with disabilities in Namibia is the lack of disability friendly infrastructure, in this case in and around schools, classrooms and in hostels.

    Moreover, despite being illegal, the issue of corporal punishment and bullying of children continues to undermine the country's push, if not always at maximum, to create optimal education environments for students with disabilities.

    Another challenge is an overall lack of understanding of different disabilities “especially those relating to invisible disabilities such as learning and psychosocial disabilities,” Hanse-Himarwa said.

    The ministry has developed a number of strategies to address the lack of capacity among teachers and principals, the minister said.

    Through the Integrated School Health Programme, the ministry will also partner with the health ministry to address early identifications, assessments and interventions of disabilities among children and learners.

    Advocacy interventions will also be conducted, she said.


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    Woman gang-raped by three menWoman gang-raped by three men A 35-year-old woman from Aroab was gang-raped by three men this weekend, while two people were shot while attending a wedding in the Ondangwa area.

    According to the police it is alleged that the woman was drinking with the three men on Saturday just after midnight. The suspects allegedly locked the door of the house and took turns having sexual intercourse with the victim without her consent. The three suspects have been arrested.

    In another incident on Saturday night a 16-year-old girl was allegedly threatened with a knife and raped by a 27-year-old suspect in the bushes at Kuvukiland in Tsumeb.

    It is alleged that the victim was in the company of her friend when the suspect approached her wanting to talk to her.

    According to the police she apparently refused and the suspect pulled her into the bushes and raped her. The suspect has been arrested.

    On Friday in Ombili, Wanaheda, it is alleged that a 29-year-old man broke into the room of a 52-year-old woman and raped her. He has been arrested. Two people were shot at about 20:00 on Sunday at Olukolo Village in the Ondangwa Region while attending a wedding.

    According to the police a 51-year-old woman was shot in her left leg while a 73-year-old victim was shot in the right arm with a 9mm Makarov pistol. They were both shot by a 67-year-old suspect who has been arrested.

    The body of Anna Scott, 49, was discovered on Friday at about 08:00 in her house in the Kalkrand area. It is alleged that she was seriously assaulted and killed by her 53-year-old husband after an argument on 2 August at the farm Houmoed in the Kalkrand area. The suspect has been arrested and police investigations continue.

    On Monday at about 00:24, four suspects were arrested after they were found in possession of four gemsbok and two springbok carcasses on the B2 road, about 10km from Swakopmund. It is alleged that the animals were poached in the Namib-Naukluft National Park.


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    Calle loses Swapo nomination slotCalle loses Swapo nomination slot Finance minister Calle Schlettwein is unlikely to be a delegate to the Swapo congress scheduled for November.

    Schlettwein was awarded a nomination slot to represent the Khomas Region through its Katutura East district last month, but this move appeared to have backfired as it was deemed unconstitutional because he does not belong to any Swapo branch in Katutura.

    In terms of the Swapo constitution, the district conference elects four delegates to the congress from its executive, while it also elects four other delegates to the regional conference.

    The regional conference elects 10 delegates from its executive to the congress, including four candidates for the Central Committee.

    Both Swapo regional coordinator for Khomas Elliot Mbako and the party's secretary-general, Nangolo Mbumba, confirmed yesterday that Schlettwein would not be one of the four delegates representing Katutura East.

    According to an earlier delegates list seen by Namibian Sun, Schlettwein replaced Erwin Paulino, who had been nominated as one of the delegates to the congress. According to Mbako, the issue was rectified and Paulino retained his post as a delegate to the congress.

    The other nominated delegates are Johanna Henock, Alma Otto and Ruben Sheehama.

    “The situation in Katutura East is that the person going to congress is still Paulino, not Schlettwein,” Mbako said.

    Mbumba also commented on the issue, saying party members from the district in question would indeed represent Swapo at the congress.

    “Maybe it was something they were discussing at a district and regional level and they resolved it themselves as it never came to us,” Mbumba said.

    Prior to the last Swapo congress in 2012, Schlettwein was nominated by Otjozondjupa Region as a delegate to the congress.

    Last month Schlettwein defended his nomination on social media, saying it was done through a legitimate process.

    “My nomination to congress by the Khomas Region through Katutura East involved no bribes, no brown envelopes, only a sober discussion,” he said on Twitter.

    “Without a shred of evidence some allege corruption during a legitimate nomination process. How low do we stoop?” Schlettwein declined to comment yesterday, and instead referred the reporter to the regional coordinator.

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    Zimbabwe architects' exemption questionedZimbabwe architects' exemption questioned The exemption of 29 architects and quantity surveyors from from professional competence examinations is being questioned by the Namibia Institute of Architects, which says there are enough qualified Namibians.

    Its president, Willem Dewulf, made the comment when approached by Namibian Sun following the publication of a Government Gazette which exempts the Zimbabwean professionals.

    Works and transport minister Alpheus !Naruseb wrote to the president of the Namibia Council of Architects and Quantity Surveyors, Kevin McNamara, asking him to expedite the registration for the 29 Zimbabwean nationals.

    Dewulf said it was concerning that there were no conditions attached to the exemption of the Zimbabwean nationals.

    “Will the people that have been exempted only work on government projects? Are we saying that if they will only be working on government projects, do these projects now rank less favourably than private projects?” he asked.

    Dewulf pointed out that he was not privy to the conditions the Zimbabwean nationals would be working under.

    According to him, the registration process was necessary to ensure that suitably qualified people approve architectural work.

    “Registration seeks to ensure that the people who are working are competent. This is to protect the public and any exemption to that principle is always difficult. This is not the normal way it should happen,” said Dewulf.

    The timing of the exemption was also not favourable, Dewulf said, with many architectural firms scaling down. This, he said, did not bode well for a vast majority of local professionals who are bearing the brunt of the economy slump.

    “The timing of this exemption is just odd. There are a lot of people that are available. Our member list is comprised of over 130 people. The numbers are substantial. To do this now does not make sense. There are sufficient individuals especially in these financial times that can do architectural work. We do not see a reason why we cannot use Namibians,” said Dewulf.

    He also questioned whether some of the individuals who were on the list were registered to work as architects in Zimbabwe.

    “Most of these individuals are not registered in Zimbabwe and that is just an observation. The issue is that this opens up the process to a lot of grey areas. Exemptions are fine but put clear conditions to them,” said Dewulf.

    According to him, there was no substantive evidence that the Zimbabwean nationals had contributed to skills development as his institute facilitates the registration of architects in consultation with the council.

    Dewulf also pointed out that the institute welcomed the skills expatriates brought with them. “Who are we to question the law,” he said following a sit-down with Namibian Sun yesterday.

    Works and transport permanent secretary Willem Goeiemann has defended the exemption that he is seeking from the Namibia Council of Architects and Quantity Surveyors.

    In fulfilment of Article 5.6 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2012 between the governments of the Republic of Namibia and the Republic of Zimbabwe, Namibia would “assist the Zimbabwean professionals, who are already registered with professional bodies in Zimbabwe to register with similar bodies in Namibia,” he said at a press briefing this morning.

    According to him, the Public Service Commission required that the Zimbabwean professionals must be registered by relevant professional bodies in Namibia within a period of 12 months after assumption of duties.

    Goeiemann further defended the exemption sought, saying that it would add to the country's skills base. “It must be noted that the signed MoU aims to boost local technical capacity through in-service training and mentorship recognisable by local professional bodies such that the trainees are eligible for registration as full professionals in future,” he said.

    Under the terms of the exemption sought, the registration is not recognised outside the government. “This means that colleagues registered under this special registration cannot provide professional services for private-sector entities or individuals,” said Goeiemann.

    “The Namibia Council of Architects and Quantity surveyors has the full authority to monitor the special conditions under which this has been granted.”

    He also said that the MoU was currently being revised. “The MoU is currently being reviewed by the office of the attorney-general. Because of that process, extensions to the professionals' contracts have been extended to 31 October 2017 to give the relevant offices ample time to make their inputs,” Goeiemann said.

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  • 08/07/17--16:00: Overcrowded, zero pass rate
  • Overcrowded, zero pass rateOvercrowded, zero pass rateParents interrupt teaching at Oshikoto school A San community's attitude to education is making life hard for school officials in the Oshikoto Region. The Tsintsabis Combined School principal, Erick Kheimseb, is blaming the high failure rate of his school on the community's poverty and the illiteracy of the children's parents.

    He has accused parents of making it difficult to enforce discipline at the school because the parents challenge teachers in this regard.

    It is alleged that parents involve themselves in the disciplinary procedures at the school, reprimanding teachers in such cases.

    The school is overcrowded and parents are able to register or withdraw their children from the school at any time.

    The school, which is in the Oshivelo Circuit in the Oshikoto Region, enrols over 800 learners every year, from pre-primary to grade 10, but only a handful make it to grade 11, which last year recorded a zero pass rate.

    This is the only formal school in the settlement, in which the majority of inhabitants are Hai //Om San.

    According to Kheimseb the learner numbers at the school fluctuate throughout the year. He said the primary school classes are the most overcrowded and some learners have to sit on the floor because of a shortage of furniture.

    “At the lower primary level, we have a problem of overcrowded classrooms with a ratio of up to 50 learners per teacher. Learners in those classes are faced with a lack of school furniture making the teaching environment very difficult. The number decreases towards the upper grades. Learners drop out of school,” Kheimseb


    Another source at the school reported that last week a parent had an altercation with a teacher at the school after the teacher instructed the child to get a haircut.

    Kheimseb said the community is largely illiterate and only a few parents are involved in the education of their children. He said these few learners are the ones who pass grade 10.

    “We are fighting a different battle here. Parents are not playing any role in the education of their children and they allow them to skip school for no reason. The only source of income here is the social grant and when this is paid out, few learners turn up for school, the rest accompany their parents to pay points and you cannot say anything. This is very difficult for us,” he said.

    Kheimseb said the whole community should be educated and not only the children. Parents need to be convinced of the importance of education.

    He called for the reintroduction of the adult literacy programme, saying it is the only way parents would understand the importance of education so that they would allow their children to get an education and develop their community.

    “Parents in our community do not understand the importance of education. They are always disturbing the learners' concentration in school. They can register their children at any time they want and they can also withdraw them any time. This is due to their (parents') movement in search for greener pastures.”

    The education inspector for Oshivelo circuit, Gideon Shikongo, confirmed that he is aware of the situation and said that efforts are under way to assist the school. He said that the school is treated as a special school by his office, education regional director's office, and regional councillor's office for Guinas constituency.

    “The school's overcrowding is attributed to the successful back-to-school campaigns we always conduct in the region. We conducted this campaign in Tsintsabis area last year and the majority of the children who dropped out decided to go back. Currently we secured a sponsorship that will deliver furniture next trimester,” Shikongo said.

    “We are assisting the school as region and as a circuit. Now and then we monitor how teachers are doing and how classes are going. We want learners to perform and we do not want to repeat the zero pass rates of last year. We want more learners to pass as we have advisory teachers who go there regularly.”

    Shikongo said that he is aware that there are some parents who disagree with the school rules, but he is not aware of a specific case where a parent fought with a teacher.


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    Court rules in favour of Nekundi, KapereCourt rules in favour of Nekundi, Kapere High Court Judge Shafimana Ueitele on Friday dismissed an urgent application lodged by Swapo Party Youth League members Imms Nashinge and Sioni Ikela, who sought to challenge the authority of SPYL acting secretary Veikko Nekundi.

    The case was dismissed and Ueitele will provide his reasons on 18 August.

    The applicants were seeking an order to interdict and restrain the SPYL acting leader from proceeding with the implementation of resolutions and decisions, including the convening of a congress, made at a meeting of the SPYL central committee on 13 May 2017.

    Nashinge and Ikela further wanted the High Court to declare as invalid, unlawful and unconstitutional all resolutions taken at that meeting.

    The meeting, which was headed by Nekundi, resolved that Swapo acting president Hage Geingob should run unopposed for the ruling party's top position at the November congress.

    The youth league has been deeply divided in its support for Geingob as party president.

    The meeting was boycotted by some central committee members who are mostly loyal to former SPYL secretary Elijah Ngurare.

    The applicants also wanted the nomination of Mandela Kapere as a candidate for the position of secretary set aside and declared inconsistent with the provisions of the SPYL constitution.

    Kapere has now emerged as the favourite to land the role of SPYL secretary at its elective congress starting at Katima Mulilo on 23 August.

    Kapere, who is also the National Youth Council executive chairperson, was nominated for the secretary position along with Ephraim Nekongo and Mirjam Nghidipo.

    Christine Haindaka, Mogale Karimbue and Immanuel Shikongo were nominated for the deputy secretary position.


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  • 08/08/17--09:46: Zuma survives
  • Zuma survivesZuma survives South Africa's President Jacob Zuma survived a no confidence vote after the majority of MPs voted against the motion. According to the results, 198 MPs voted against the motion, while 177 voted for Zuma to go.


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    Kandungua and Ekandjo win Husab marathonKandungua and Ekandjo win Husab marathon The third annual Husab Marathon took place last Saturday at the Husab Access Road near Arandis.

    Nelson Kandungua was the overall winner of the Husab Marathon, finishing the 42km race in a time of 2 hours, 13 minutes and one second. He walked away with the cash prize of N$10 000.

    Leena Ekandjo from Nampol won the women's 42km race, finishing in 2 hours, 57 minutes and 41 seconds.

    The winners of the 10km races were Kefas Kandjaslili and Ottilie Kaunapawa Aimwata.

    The event also offered a five-kilometre fun run and walk category.

    More than 829 people entered the different categories, making this year's event the biggest since its inception.

    Speaking at the event, the governor of the Erongo Region and patron of the Husab marathon, Cleophas Mutjavikua, said the event created a platform to integrate Swakop Uranium employees and their families into the communities of the Erongo Region.

    Mutjavikua said Swakop Uranium employees should work as a team with their Chinese colleagues and that Namibian citizens should adopt the strong work ethics and high-performance culture of China to ensure that Namibia became a prosperous country.

    He thanked the Chinese government, through the China General Nuclear Power Corporation, for contributing to the Namibian economy by investing in the Husab Mine.

    Each year the Swakop Uranium Foundation requests the governor to nominate a charity or school to receive the left-over funds from this event.

    This year the governor nominated the Katora Primary School near Spitzkoppe to be the beneficiary.


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  • 08/08/17--16:00: Omaheke seeks Skorpion glory
  • Omaheke seeks Skorpion gloryOmaheke seeks Skorpion gloryTurns to NSSU for players The Omaheke Region will select most of their players from school teams. The chairperson of the Omaheke Football Region, Ludwig Nunuheb, is confident that the region will come out victorious in the Skorpion Zinc under-17 tournament.

    The competition will take place in Windhoek on 9 September.

    The chairman said the region would have a team ready by next week Monday even though they were unlikely to hold trials.

    Most of the players in the team will be drawn from schools in the region.

    “We are working hand in hand with the Namibia School Sports Union (NSSU) to form a team that will compete in the tournament.

    “So far, we already have three players who have played for the team before and are likely to be part of the team which will compete in the cup.

    “We will also try out a few players who were born in 2001 to see if they can make the team,” Nunuheb said.

    The region held a meeting yesterday where they expected to finalise the selection of a technical team.

    The head of delegation will be appointed from the regional sport office.

    “There is no reason I do not see us winning this competition because Omaheke Region has always provided us with a horde of great players.

    “We call this the governor's team and we are surely going to be ready for the tournament,” Nunuheb said.

    The mining company has committed itself to a N$1.4 million sponsorship for the Namibia Football Association (NFA) to stage the youth tournament.

    The last time the tournament took place in 2015, Omusati Region defeated Oshikoto Region 1-0 to lift win the Scorpion Zinc Cup.

    This year, the competition has drawn defending champions Omusati alongside Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, //Karas and Kunene in group A.

    Group B will see Kavango East, Erongo, Ohangwena, Oshikoto and Khomas battling for the knockout stages.

    Group C has only four teams: Kavango West, Oshana, Hardap and the Zambezi Region.


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    Youngsters grateful for Skorpion Zinc CupYoungsters grateful for Skorpion Zinc CupYouth tournament has made many dreams come true The Skorpion Zinc under-17 tournament has benefited many talented young footballers since its inception. Namibia's under-17 captain, Elderly Morgan, was only the second Namibian captain to have won a Cosafa trophy after his team defeated favourites South Africa to lift the Cosafa Under-17 Championships trophy in 2016.

    Morgan, a grade 10 learner at Khomas High School in Windhoek, started playing football at an early age but his debut tournament was the Skorpion Zinc u-17 championship held at Tsumeb in 2015.

    “It was the first time I played in a big tournament. It was a bit scary but exciting at the same time.

    “Unfortunately, we lost in the semi-finals but I was able to show my skills and impress the NFA coaches.

    “After the tournament I was selected for the Khomas regional team for the Namibian U-20 Newspaper Cup, but unfortunately I could not participate since I was already selected for the U-17 Namibian national team which participated in the Cosafa U-17 Cup in South Africa during the same period,” he recalls.

    After winning the Cosafa Cup, he was suddenly famous.

    “I was on TV for the first time and it felt great, I felt like greater achievements were coming my way.

    “I am currently playing for Windhoek United FC and it would not have been possible if I wasn't given the platform given to me by Skorpion Zinc and the NFA to show my talents.”

    Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW) winger George Hummel also sings the praises of Skorpion Zinc.

    Hummel participated in major international tournaments after being discovered at the 2014 Skorpion Zinc tournament, which was held at Keetmanshoop.

    In 2015, he represented the country in the U-20 national team at the Zone 6 games in Zimbabwe.

    That same year he also participated in the Future Champs competition held in South Africa.

    “The CAF qualifiers games we played last year helped me gain experience and better understanding of the football game, it was a sad loss but I gained exposure,” Hummel says.

    The Skorpion Zinc Cup in 2015 contributed immensely to the scouting of players from all 14 regions of the country.

    Avihe Mbaisa, the captain of the U-20 Khomas regional team, led his team to third place in the 2017 edition of the Namibian Newspaper Cup.

    “I participated in the last edition of the Skorpion Zinc Cup which got me great recognition.

    “The same year, I got signed by the U-17 Tura Magic Team. The greatest achievement came when I was given the honour to captain the U-20 Khomas regional team, which many might think is an easy task but it's not easy at all,” he says.

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    Sakaria improves world ratingSakaria improves world rating Sakaria 'Desert Storm' Lukas will be inspired going into his next title defence with an improved WBO world rating now putting him firmly into top five.

    Lukas was rated number six by the WBO in June and has now improved his rating to number five in the July ratings released recently.

    The undefeated WBO Africa featherweight champion Lukas will face Mudde Ntambi Rabisa from Uganda on 9 September as part of the MTC Sunshine Promotions 'No Mercy Part 7' bout.

    “I am pleased by the new ratings, number five is a very solid position to be in and this is encouraging to be highly rated in such a highly competitive division. I will continue working hard and focus on my next opponent. We invite the fans to come in their numbers, because world-class boxing will be displayed once again” said an upbeat Lukas.

    Tickets for 'No Mercy Part 7' sell for N$200 and a VIP table seating ten people for N$10 000. Boxing fans are advised to secure their tickets as soon as possible, as seats in the venue are limited.


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