Articles on this Page
- 08/10/17--16:00: _JSE investigates eq...
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Healthy financials ...
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Auntie Nangy
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Keeping in touch wi...
- 08/10/17--16:00: _All on board with W...
- 08/10/17--16:00: _GoT leaked episode ...
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Celebrating Namibia...
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Cocktails
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Dodgy radio stations
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Let me educate you ...
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Donkey meat and win...
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Benchmark assets su...
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Agribank and NDC si...
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Letshego announces ...
- 08/10/17--16:00: _BoN rate cut expected
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Lesotho not SADC's ...
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Things fall apart
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Covert bug derails ...
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Land expropriation ...
- 08/10/17--16:00: _Taxi drivers rule t...
- 08/10/17--16:00: JSE investigates equity dishonesty
- 08/10/17--16:00: Healthy financials for Glencore
- 08/10/17--16:00: Auntie Nangy
- 08/10/17--16:00: Keeping in touch with Monique
- 08/10/17--16:00: All on board with WakaWaka Moo
- 08/10/17--16:00: GoT leaked episode broke ratings record
- 08/10/17--16:00: Celebrating Namibian trendsetters
- 08/10/17--16:00: Cocktails
- 08/10/17--16:00: Dodgy radio stations
- 08/10/17--16:00: Let me educate you on why we celebrate Women's Day.
- 08/10/17--16:00: Donkey meat and wine pairing dinner is back
- 08/10/17--16:00: Benchmark assets surpass N$2 billion
- 08/10/17--16:00: Agribank and NDC sign financing deal
- 08/10/17--16:00: Letshego announces planned listing
- 08/10/17--16:00: BoN rate cut expected
- 08/10/17--16:00: Lesotho not SADC's 'bad boy'
- 08/10/17--16:00: Things fall apart
- 08/10/17--16:00: Covert bug derails US-Cuba relations
- 08/10/17--16:00: Land expropriation needed
- 08/10/17--16:00: Taxi drivers rule the world
South Africa's employment equity legislation aims to remove unfair discrimination and accelerate diversity in workplaces as the government seeks to redress the race-based policies of apartheid which ended in 1994 when the ruling African National Congress came to power.
The department of labour said any company which breached employment equity laws could face a fine of R1.5 million or be liable for criminal prosecution to enforce compliance.
This comes as Glencore reported 68% increase to US$6.7 billion in the adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and earnings before interest, and a 334% increase to US$3.8 billion in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the first half of 2017.
Net debt fell a further US$1.6 billion to US$13.9 billion from end of 2016, strengthening its balance sheet. The net income attributable to equity holders increased to US$2.5 billion, up from a loss of US$369 million last year.
Glencore attributed its turn of fortunes to favourable fundamentals and rising prices for key commodities amid robust growth momentum in the global economy though copper, nickel and oil production was down.
CEO Ivan Glasenberg said the miner's efforts to reposition its balance sheet and drive further industrial asset portfolio improvements over the last 24 months were reflected in strong first-half financial performance.
“Amid the best global economic growth momentum seen in recent years, our assets reported strong margins, generated by significantly better commodity prices and the favourable cost structures now embedded across the portfolio,” Glasenberg said.
“As we look forward, the potential large-scale rollout of electric vehicles and energy storage systems looks set to unlock material new sources of demand for enabling underlying commodities, including copper, cobalt, zinc and nickel. Our portfolio of Tier 1 commodities underpins our ambition to create significant long-term value for Glencore shareholders.”
Glencore kept its dividend unchanged at US$1 billion for the year, after a near two-year hiatus, as it had announced last year that it plans to pay out a minimum of US$1 billion annually following a rebound in commodity prices.
NAMPA/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY
Dear Auntie Nangy, please help me. My breasts are now lighter since I had a child. What must I do?
The body of a woman goes through a lot of hormonal transformation during pregnancy and these changes are a natural process consistent with child-bearing. The hormonal changes include changes to the breasts. Let me give you a bit of background as to what happens to a woman's body when she falls pregnant. A woman's breasts during pregnancy grow bigger as fat tissue is deposited. They get engorged because they are processing milk for the baby but different changes take place in different women. For some they grow bigger and then drop back down to even smaller than they were before the pregnancy after giving birth. There's not a lot you can do to control sagging besides keeping your weight stable and wearing a supportive bra. Whether you end up much the same or plagued with what I call “fallen heroes” or sagging breasts, is pretty much beyond your control but for me the softness and sag are memorable and the result of an act that brought life on this earth. A breast specialist Susan Love says how you wind up is really the luck of the draw, determined by factors such as heredity, weight gain, and how big your breasts got while you were pregnant. Because a woman's breasts grow during the pregnancy process, it means your body must accommodate this growth. Your skin stretches right along with your growing breasts. This growing process occurs whether you decide to breastfeed or not. After the nursing ends, your glands and ducts return to the size they were prior to your pregnancy. I hope I have answered you adequately.
Help me find a woman
Dear Auntie Nangy, I am looking for a girl to date but I cannot find one. Can you please help me? What must I do now? I am 28 years old.
I cannot believe this hopelessness that you are trying to make me see. Every day and since time immemorial, God is churning out millions of “fearfully and wonderfully made” women. I honestly find it condescending that you want the world to believe that there is not a single woman who is good enough to provoke your feelings and sexual taste buds? Or, maybe you are the one who is at fault? I know about witchcraft that can “lock” a man so that you never get aroused and your manhood will never rise to the occasion. Maybe you need to go for cleansing if you do not believe in divine intervention like some of us otherwise I would have advised you to fast and pray to regain the virility otherwise let sleeping dogs lie. I cannot find you a woman because from the tone of your letter, there is something seriously wrong with your sex drive and this is not transferrable unfortunately.
Could I be pregnant?
Dear Auntie Nangy, I'm 26 and I have a 7-month-old baby. I had sex without a condom and I have not had my periods. Am I pregnant?
Before you start stressing yourself and risk creating health hazards for yourself, do the honourable thing and go the nearest clinic for a free pregnancy test. The risk of falling pregnant is always there when you have unprotected and have defaulted on taking your family planning pills or injections. I honesty cannot tell you that you are not pregnant or you are, unless you go for a pregnancy test. Please take the test and put this unnecessary anxiety to rest.
I don't know what to do
Dear Auntie Nangy, I am a man, 18 years old and I have a sensual feeling for a girl but, I am afraid to propose. Please give me tips on how to do this. Give me direction on steps that I need to follow so that I can overcome this problem.
This is a common problem and you are not the only one because many young men face the same problem. The tips that I am going to give you are not a one-size-fit-all because the girls are different, so you need to be street wise and emotionally intelligent. You need to propose to a girl according to her temperament and nature. Be yourself and remain real and do not over do things to impress a girl. If you stick to this advice then you will not overwork yourself emotionally and the process of opposite poles attracting each other will take place with ease. If you are proposing what I call an SRB (Strong Rural Background) then take the traditional root and you will win her heart easily. The same way cannot work with an urban Tura girl who watches soaps and plays Hip Hop music. If you are placing your cards on a girl from Auasblick then get ready to go down on your knees and say the Three Little Words. A man must know how to get to a woman's heart. This you can do by taking her out to a special restaurant or hotel for dinner. The darkness and the glow that comes with night time has a seductive effect on the nerves of a woman and believe me. Girls like romantic moments and special occasions.
English says she doesn’t want to be known for winning the title and disappearing after winning. She says there are a lot of expectations from the public in terms of advancing her career which she said exert pressure on her but it is doable. The title, according to English, motivates her to raise the bar and become a better artist for her fans and herself.
Since winning the title, English has been up and down and across the country staging gigs with the latest being a performance at the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair gala dinner and the opening for South African hip-hop artist Cassper Nyovest. She has also shot her first music video for her song Work of It. “The feedback is overwhelming. The views over a few days have been tremendous and the love is just too much. I appreciate my fans a lot for the support,” she said.
With her NAMA award, English will be taking a trip to America in September, to broaden her music career. Through her connections, Monique will do auditions for labels in New York, Washington and Los Angeles and Sony Music Entertainment is one of them. She also said should there be no signing the opportunity will give her exposure. “I am taking my money and investing it in this trip. So it will be worthwhile,” she said.
English is currently working on a single and working with international collaborators. She will be performing at the upcoming Hash Tag Festival which will take place in Windhoek from 7 to 9 September at the SKW Fields and Municipal Swimming Pool in Olympia.
He was thrilled to see them sing along the cartoons tunes. The cartoons were western and had no relevance to Africans. “Then it hit me. Us as Namibians are not represented in cartoonsand we do not have puppetry or cartoon shows on our TV stations telling our own stories and adventures. It was then that I realised I have to be the change I want to see in the world,” he said with pride. A year later, here he is making his dream a reality.
The cartoon series is a campaign incorporating songs,dance,storytelling,history, science and preserving culture in Uukwangali, Afrikaans, Oshiwambo, Otjiherero, Damara/Nama, Silozi, Tswana, Dutch and English. There are segments on the show that are only in cartoon form and then there are segments which involve child hosts interacting with real life hand puppets. The aim, according to Munana is to preserve Namibian stories by making them relevant, fun and exciting. Munana has shot over 26 episodes thus far and he wants to ensure that every Namibian child sees an episode at least. Discussions are still underway with television stations to get the programme airplay. In the interim, the Waka Waka Moo crew will be visiting primary schools in rural areas in collaboration with relevant ministries to show the episodes starting from September. “Growing up, not everyone had a television at home so we would gather at a neighbour's house to watch. I know that not all kids have access to television and that's why we want to have them in schools. I want the Namibian child to watch TV and be able to watch cartoons and hear them speak their native language,” he said.
Munana said he is in the process of securing funds to enable him to travel and take WakaWaka Moo to every child in Namibia. He says it is critical for children to remember their stories and realise that they too have Namibian and African heroes, kings, queens and princesses.
Over the years, Game of Thrones has not only proven to be a global juggernaut, but it's given HBO channel their biggest hit. Unlike other shows that tend to dip in ratings over time, the fantasy series has posted higher and higher numbers with each season. With just a handful of episodes to go until the show ends, HBO is pulling out all the stops to ensure season seven is the biggest one yet.
Just a few weeks back, the season première of Game of Thrones broke the show's ratings record. Since then, the total has nearly tripled to sit in the 30 million ranges across platforms around the world. But given how epic the past Sunday's episode was, many have wondered whether it could top the première. From the reunion of the Stark children to the massive dragon battle, there was plenty to get people excited. Still, a recent hack of HBO that leaked the episode had the network worried about how the episode would fare. Luckily, it only helped things.
For HBO, this is good news. The hackers have continued to demand things from the network, but they look to have less and less bargaining power. Time and time again, the leaking of scripts, details, and episodes of TV shows only seems to boost the interest in the final product. Given the promise of Dothraki and a dragon in a huge battle sequence, it appears that no amount of spoilers could keep audiences away from the episode.
On the other end of the storytelling spectrum, new character pairings will continue to blossom. The Stark children are each going through an identity crisis that could affect the fate of the North. Meanwhile, Dany and Jon are becoming uncomfortably close given their secret history. With only nine episodes left in the entire series, the coming weeks should be full of excitement for Game of Thrones fans.
The nominees in the categories are as follows:
Celebrity Couple: Gazza and Golden, The Dogg and Nomvula, Sula end Oteya and Kbozz and Sally.
Dj of The Year: Asser Deep, Afroberries, Dj Molequils end KFC Djs.
Comedian of the year: Slick the Dick, Courage the comedian, Big Mitch, Fernando Tafish and Mark Kariahuua.
Blogger of the Year: Maurechen Mouton, Leah Misika, Asimenye Nyondo and Lorna Mabuku.
Female Model of the Year: Lorna Mabuku, Prisca Nghipandwa, Meriam Kaxuxwena and Varaa hambira.
Male Model of the Year: Jeremia Jeremia, Linus Kwenani and Tove Kangotue.
Male Radio Personality of the Year: Nashawn, Adriano Visagie and NSK.
Female Radio Personality of the Year: Miss Bee, Shaiquan and Sunet.
Fashion Designer of the year: Ingo Shanyenge, Taati Sibolile, Hafeni Frans, Melisa Poulton and Leah Misika.
Emerging Designer of the Year: Deon Angelo, Mathias, Lafika and Ndapcee.
Photographer of the Year: Andrew Ingo, Andreas Elifas and Martin Amushendje.
Actor of the Year: Dice, Ashwyn Mberi and Adriano Visagie.
Actress of the Year: Felicia Mutonga, Odile Muller, Monica Pinehas, Lize Elhers and Inesh Dos Ramos. Stylist of the Year: Aubrey Tj, Reinhardt Mahalie and Loux Vintage Guru.
Makeup artist of the Year: Miss Jey, Antonia Shinana and Ada Auala.
It is unclear where, who, and what went into the creation of the original cocktail, but it seems to be a specific drink rather than a category of mixed drinks during that time. There are as many stories behind the origin of the name cocktail. As always, some are preposterous, some believable and who knows, one, or two, may be the truth. Nonetheless, the stories are interesting. A popular story behind the cocktail name refers to a quirky story of an American tavern keeper who stored alcohol in a ceramic, rooster-shaped container. When patrons wanted another round they tapped the rooster's tail.
Mixology, which refers to a person who is skilled at mixing cocktails and other drinks, has become an art form for high-end restaurants and chic nightclubs. These days it's not enough just to have one or two bartenders with excellent manners on staff. Now you need a mixologist, capable of mixing 10 ingredients, which would otherwise be off-limits, into something that is mildly interesting for one's taste buds. Chopsi's bar has a reputation for making the best cocktails in the city. What makes their cocktails unique is the fact that they are named after Namibian showbiz personalities. Mixologist Lil Chops who is also known as the Drunk Master and has been on the block for five years, says creating a cocktail and naming it depends on its taste, the ingredients used and the creativity put into it. Today at Chopsi's bar one can order a Ras Sheehama, The Dogg's Deception or a Boss Madam out of six of their designer cocktails made in-house. “Anyone can make a cocktail but it takes a perfectionist to make a good cocktail,” he says. Chopsi's bar came third in a recent cocktail mixologist competition whilst four of the top five best cocktail mixologists came from Chopsi's bar.
Here Lil Chops shares techniques and ingredients on how to make a Chopsi's flavoured cocktail which anyone can try at home.
There is a love/hate relationship between radio stations and artists or just the media. We all need one another. We live by the concept “you wash my hand and I wash yours” to survive in this brutal industry. But over the past few years, the artists have not been getting the better end of the deal and partly because of the broadcasting industry and radio, to be specific. Radio stations hide behind their “Local is lekker” slogan. Radio stations have been hiding behind local music charts and making it seem like they are supporting our local artists while in reality they have been milking their music teats dry. Just because you play local music does not mean you truly support local artists. Your actions should speak for yourself. We need to support our artists in a better way than just playing their music. Our artists are being exploited by many stations but do they are not aware. Some major radio stations in the country have not been paying NASCAM artist royalties for the music produced by our local artists and rotated at the stations. Yet, some radio personalities are quick to criticise our artists when they fail to live up to their expectations.
The artists are entitled to the royalties which if paid help them to grow from the revenue.The music industry relies on royalties generated by the licensing of copyrighted songs and recordings as the primary source of income.The fees radio and TV stations play is the blood that keeps the musicians alive including entry fees for gigs. Most people are not aware that when music is played over the radio, in a restaurant or bar, or by a service provider such as Sound Cloud or iTunes is considered a public performance.
If we can't pay the artists their royalties, they cannot give us satisfactory work. We need to support our artists and not duck and dive when we are supposed to paywhat is due to them.
Mavis Braga is the founder of Love is Charity Foundation and enjoys writing for her blog.
Two budding entrepreneurs in the catering industry and winners of the first donkey meat cook-off, Mpule Sezuni and Tao !Noarises made it their agenda to promote donkey meat and eating it as a culture in Namibia. “Donkey meat is the healthiest red meat because it is not so fatty. For good life and diet, donkey meat is highly recommended,” Noarises said. !Noarises, said they decided to host the second Donkey Meat and Wine Pairing Dinner after receiving many requests.
The dinner that is slated to take place on 1 September at the Old Location Restaurant in Windhoek West, to celebrate culture in an urban set up and invite people from all walks of life, aims to dispel the misconception about donkey meat among Namibians. The organisers have decided to make the dinner an annual event to promote eating donkey meat and to make it a sought-after delicacy. They hope to make the dinner one of the 'go-to' events on Namibia's social calendar.
While the event is mainly to promote donkey meat !Noarises said there will also serve other foods and other types of meat for those who do not eat donkey meat. “But what is very certain is that after that dinner, all the patrons who profess they will not eat donkey meat will come out of that event as the biggest ambassadors of donkey meat eaters.
Apart from the meat, wine and other treats, the patrons will be entertained with traditional music, dance and poetry.
Principal officer Kai Friedrich said investments held by the fund's members grew by N$164 million during 2016. The fund had assets of N$2.1 billion under management for 8 778 members.
Of the 8 778, Friedrich said, 657 were individual members and the remaining 8 121 were members under participating employer groups. The fund also provides umbrella fund Alex van Wyk solutions to employer groups who are not large enough to warrant, or prefer not to incur the expense of, private fund administration and the associated governance obligations.
The fund has 216 pensioners who received about N$22.5 million in pensions during the year. Benefit payments, including withdrawals, retirement lump sum payments and conversion of member shares into pensions amounted to N$451 million.
At the same event, South African investment expert Glenn Silverman spoke about five global megatrends affecting investments.
He said investment managers must step up to the plate to ensure that investments take into consideration climate change and mitigating its impact. Currently there is a marked global shift away from investments in carbon-emitting technologies in favour of renewable energy.
He particularly cautioned that fund managers should strike a balance between cutting-edge technology and old technology to optimise investment potential and avoid “stranded assets”, such as coal-fired electricity generation plants, which will yield limited returns as they become redundant.
The second megatrend Silverman discussed was demographics. The growth in the ageing segment of the global population, he projected, will place strain on the younger generation who are expected to support them. This will lead to later retirement ages, but the impact can be offset with better health for the aging population.
Talking about the power shift in global economies, the third megatrend, he noted a power shift away from western nations towards Asia. Silverman went on to say that African countries present opportunities for real growth, but issues of poor infrastructure and weak institutions need to be addressed.
Technology, the fourth megatrend, will be the basis of a socio-economic revolution. One of the factors that need to be contended with is massive job losses due to technology.
The fifth and final megatrend that Silverman identified is over-regulation of the financial sector, or “financial repression”, as he prefers to call it.
He noted that over-regulation leads to lower returns on capital, but liberalisation of financial regimes leads to capital inflows. He went on to say that sovereign debt should be capped, and that excessive sovereign debt creates long-term inefficiencies.
The number of cows to be financed through this agreement will be limited to 15 per client. The purchase price will be either 80% of the market value or a fixed rate of N$20 per kilogram, whichever is the higher.
Financing will be subject to Agribank's credit policy and upon approval final livestock selection will be done by the NDC and the customer. The animals will be handed over to the buyers and the NDC will then issue an invoice to Agribank for payment. Payment will be made directly to the NDC.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Agribank CEO Sakaria Nghikembua said the agreement was just one of many initiatives by the bank to improve communal farmers' access to financing.
“As the agricultural bank, we have a duty to ensure inclusivity so that we can make a bigger developmental impact in our country. Extending financing to farmers in the NCA will no doubt improve their production output, as food security at a household level is one of the expected outcomes of the socio-economic development pillar of our strategic plan. It is therefore imperative that we develop ways and means to cater for this distinct segment of our market,” Nghikembua SAID.
The acting managing director of NDC, Pieter de Wet, added that as development partners accountable to the same sole shareholder, this deal could not have come at a more opportune time when excellence is expected to take centre stage in agricultural production.
The NDC's Kavango Cattle Ranch is located just above the veterinary cordon fence, with corridor status, and has been operating for more than 20 years focusing on beef production.
“It is therefore only prudent that NDC participates in initiatives aimed at supporting communities in its areas of operation. Given the quality of animals produced at KCR, we are confident that sharing our top breeds with farmers in the NCA will go a long way in infusing quality genetic material in the northern regions,” De Wet said.
He said the partnership between Agribank and NDC gave real meaning to the empowerment of people at grassroots level. Hitherto excluded sectors of the community would now have access to funding at affordable rates and would be able to acquire quality breeding stock for improved agricultural output.
Letshego's purpose is to provide simple, appropriate and accessible solutions to the financially under-served and excluded in a sustainable manner, including, but not limited to, government employees.
The move its CEO says will bode well for the country's financial inclusiveness agenda.
“We believe that to be totally financially inclusive, we should offer Namibians the opportunity to be part of our growth.
Through the planned IPO, partners, customers and wider stakeholders of Letshego have an opportunity to own shares in this business they have come to know so well.
As we grow, so shall ordinary Namibians' wealth.
We believe this is what empowerment is all about, as Letshego is now becoming our Letshego,” group CEO Ester Kali said of the planned listing.
The planned Letshego IPO will be a first of its kind on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX), as the public offer will prioritise educating members of the public, giving preference to Namibian residents.
This is with a primary focus on previously disadvantaged Namibians.
“We will be calling our planned IPO 'Ekwafo Letu', which means 'Our Support'.
This is in recognition of what Letshego, at its core, stands for: to provide support.
Support to those who are typically under-served by traditional financial institutions.
Our Letshego story is about empowerment, via the solutions we provide, and now via Ekwafo Letu,” said Kali.
The 2017 calendar year was characterised by a continuous downward trend on the annual inflation rate recording its highest rate of 8.2% in January 2017 and hitting a low of 5.4% in July 2017.
The 5.4% annual inflation rate is the lowest recorded since February 2016, according to the Namibia Statistics Agency.
“The slowdown in the July 2017 annual inflation rate emanated mainly from price levels of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which dropped from 12.2% recorded in July a year earlier to 4.3% obtained in July 2017, alcoholic beverages and tobacco slowed from 6.6% in July 2016 to 3.6% in July 2017,” according to the NSA.
Furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house fell from 5.7% percent in July of the previous year to 4.1% recorded in July 2017.
The recreation and culture annual inflation rate fell to 4.9% in July 2017 from 5.3% registered in July 2016.
On a monthly basis, the inflation rate slowed down to 0.04% compared to 0.1% registered during the previous month.
Equity analyst at PSG Konsult Eloise du Plessis believes an interest rate cut is now possible, taking into consideration signs of continued economic weakness.
“In light of the current recession, signs of continued economic weakness, the moderation in inflation and the resilience of the Namibian dollar, we now expect the Bank of Namibia will cut interest rates by 25 bps in the second half of 2017, possibly as soon as next month,” said Du Plessis.
The repo rate announcement is expected to be made next week after a meeting of the Bank of Namibia's monetary policy committee.
Du Plessis also believes that a cut in the repo rate would be spurred on by a similar move adopted by the South African Reserve Bank to cut its repo rate by 25 basis points.
“The surprise decision last month by the SARB to cut interest rates by 25 basis points also increases the likelihood of a Namibian interest rate cut this year.
Although South Africa and Namibia's policy rates are not formally linked, the BoN tracks the SARB closely,” Du Plessis said.
Ramaphosa was in Lesotho on Wednesday to monitor progress following elections that resulted in Tom Thabane becoming prime minister.
In a statement issued by the presidency, Ramaphosa said: “... we as the SADC facilitation process also accompanied by oversight committee chairperson have come to Lesotho to find out how the process is unfolding in Lesotho following the very successful elections that they held and the formation of the new government.”
“We have also dealt with issues that have to do with what SADC Summit decided the last time in relation to the holding of the multi-stakeholder dialogue that is meant to, in an inclusive way, address the issues of reforms – security reforms, constitutional reforms, media reforms and public service reforms.
“We are very pleased to have received a report from the prime minister that [the] government of Lesotho (composed of the coalition) is determined to move ahead with the holding of the multi-party stakeholder dialogue where these issues that have been raised by SADC will be addressed.”
During his visit, Ramaphosa met with Thabane, who pledged inclusiveness in the coalition talks as well as his country's co-operation in finding lasting solution.
Thabane vowed that as head of government, his country was no longer going to be the region's “bad boy”.
“Nothing could be greater than in showing the strength of this region. Thank you very much and your delegation for coming this morning and for the wisdom that you are leaving behind which we need to follow.
“As leader of the government group, I assure you that we will do everything to stop being the bad boy of SADC. Enough is enough,” said Thabane.
Lesotho plunged into a political crisis following a failed coup attempt in 2014, prompting regional intervention.
In March this year, the mountain kingdom again faced a fresh crisis after parliament passed a vote of no confidence on the former Prime Minister Pakalithi Mosisili.
This consequently paved way for the 3 June held election which saw Thabane winning 48 out of 120 parliamentary seats.
Head of the Commonwealth's observer team, former Ghana president John Mahama, said: “Kenya has the potential to be the most inspiring democracy in Africa” should it conclude the elections process successfully.
Preliminary results showed incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta in the lead with 54.3% of the vote, and challenger and opposition leader Raila Odinga with 44.8% of the vote. These results were yet to be verified and the elections body had until Tuesday to declare the final result.
Head of the African Union's team, former president Thabo Mbeki, said the people of Kenya and its elections institutions had done well to ensure that the people of Kenya's views were heard on building a peaceful and democratic country to overcome poverty and unemployment.
“Hopefully nothing will happen to spoil that outcome,” he said.
Former US secretary of state, John Kerry, who led the Carter Centre's observer team, urged those who lost in the elections to concede defeat. “I know how it feels to lose,” he said, adding that he had lost the race for the US presidency and had a lot of reasons to complain. “But you have to move on,” he said.
On allegations that the electoral body's computers were hacked to alter results, Kerry said it was important that paper ballots and processes were used to tell the final results. There were agents from both parties at each polling station to sign off results forms, he said.
The European Union observer team praised the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission's (IEBC) commitment to transparency. It called on Kenyans to exercise “patience and restraint” as they awaited final results.
The National Democratic Institute's observer mission praised the elections process and said they had full confidence in the courts to arbitrate in elections disputes should this be needed.
Violent female candidates
It expressed concern with the discrimination and even violence female candidates suffered during the elections process, and also said the issue of fake news in this country, which cause divisions and suspicion, should be addressed.
Observer missions also expressed concern about the murder of the IEBC's information technology manager, saying it should be investigated thoroughly.
Odinga has voiced concerns about vote-rigging, claiming the results system was hacked in Kenyatta's favour.
In the fall of 2016, a series of US diplomats began suffering unexplained losses of hearing, according to officials with knowledge of the investigation into the case.
Several of the diplomats were recent arrivals at the embassy, which reopened in 2015 as part of former President Barack Obama's reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Some of the diplomats' symptoms were so severe that they were forced to cancel their tours early and return to the United States, officials said.
After months of investigation, US officials concluded that the diplomats had been exposed to an advanced device that operated outside the range of audible sound and had been deployed either inside or outside their residences.
It was not immediately clear if the device was a weapon used in a deliberate attack, or had some other purpose.
The US officials weren't authorised to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the US retaliated by expelling two Cuban diplomats from their embassy in Washington on 23 May.
She did not say how many US diplomats were affected or confirm they had suffered hearing loss, saying only that they had “a variety of physical symptoms”.
The Cuban government said in a lengthy statement late on Wednesday that “Cuba has never permitted, nor will permit, that Cuban territory be used for any action against accredited diplomatic officials or their families, with no exception”.
The statement from the Cuban foreign ministry said it had been informed of the incidents on February 2017 and had launched an “exhaustive, high-priority, urgent investigation at the behest of the highest level of the Cuban government”.
It said the decision to expel two Cuban diplomats was “unjustified and baseless”.
The ministry said it had created an expert committee to analyse the incidents and had reinforced security around the US embassy and US diplomatic residences.
“Cuba is universally considered a safe destination for visitors and foreign diplomats, including US citizens,” the statement said.
US officials told The Associated Press that about five diplomats, several with spouses, had been affected and that no children had been involved. The FBI and Diplomatic Security Service are investigating.
Cuba employs a state security apparatus that keeps many people under surveillance and US diplomats are among the most closely monitored people on the island.
Like virtually all foreign diplomats in Cuba, the victims of the incidents lived in housing owned and maintained by the Cuban government.
However, officials familiar with the probe said investigators were looking into the possibilities that the incidents were carried out by a third country such as Russia, possibly operating without the knowledge of Cuba's formal chain of command.
Nauert said investigators did not yet have a definitive explanation for the incidents but stressed they take them “very seriously”, as shown by the Cuban diplomats' expulsions.
“We requested their departure as a reciprocal measure since some US personnel's assignments in Havana had to be curtailed due to these incidents,” she said. “Under the Vienna Convention, Cuba has an obligation to take measures to protect diplomats.”
US diplomats in Cuba said they suffered occasional harassment for years after the restoration of limited ties with the communist government in the 1970s, harassment reciprocated by US agents against Cuban diplomats in Washington. The use of sonic devices to intentionally harm diplomats would be unprecedented.
The drivers of these taxis, locally known as ‘peep-peep’ from the sound of the hooter when looking for customers – have the unmatched ability to make these two coastal towns seemed like they are merely suburbs in the same town.
Trust me; if one of them were to drive past Michael Schumacher, the German would probably think his car was moving backwards!
But it is not only their ability to clock 180km/h in a 60km/h zone that has made this mode of transport infamously popular – it is everything about them that makes them stand head above the rest.
For starters, they do not wait for you as a customer to choose the taxi for themselves; they decide for you. Once you get out of the local taxi to look for another that will take you to Walvis Bay, four largely built guys will be storming towards you.
I didn’t think that was funny the first time it happened to me. I was ready to confess all my hideous dealings of the past 10 years, as I saw the dudes approaching at full speed towards me. In my mind I was screaming “It was only a kiss – on the cheek” and “She told me her boyfriend was in Keetmanshoop”!
This is apparently how they secure customers; by rushing ‘rugby style’ towards you and grabbing your belongings. The next moment you will have each one of the three bags you are travelling with in three different taxis.
Once that happens, phase-two of ‘how to board a taxi’ kicks in. This stage is called the negotiation process, where each driver attempts to convince the other that he should have the privilege of having you as a commuter in his vehicle.
It is funny; they do not even listen to you! It is like those Tates from the village that will be deciding on the bridal price (lobola) for their most precious daughter. If she has Grade 12, completed a Damelin course and speaks moderate English – she is going to cost you an arm and a leg.
If she is born after Namib Air changed to Air Namibia and has the amazing ability to knit and sew, chances are you would need an AgriBank loan to wed her!
So, there you are; standing with your arms on your hips, listening to this taxi driver, then the other and the other, not knowing what to make of the situation.
Deciding on your own is even more difficult; I am told there is more to all those taxis that appear to only needing one person before they are ready to leave for Walvis Bay. Those taxis, I am told, are full of ‘stones’ or ‘Omamanya’ and not real commuters.
I inquisitively enquired as to how the system works from one taxi driver.
“No my friend, those guys are ‘omamanya’. This one is ‘emanya’ and this one also (pointing to the people in the car). We only load them to fool you people into believing the car is almost full,” he said.
The ‘stones’ will be driving around Swakopmund in the taxi looking for real commuters. If there are three ‘stones’ in a car, you would think you are the only one needed before departing. Once you get on, one ‘stone’ will get out of the car, again leaving one space.
The process carries on until the taxi driver has filled his car. The ‘stones’ each earn about N$2.00 for their efforts. It is not much, but multiply that with the number of times the dude is prepared to act as a ‘stone’ per day and you will see the difference.
I am told that some commuters have caught onto the trick, which has forced the drivers to change to women as ‘stones’, as people are more trusting of women. One clever taxi driver has even gone as far as acquiring the services of ‘white stones’, as white people are apparently even more fool proof than women.
In the end, it is not about working harder – only smarter, I am told.