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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 08/14/17--16:00: School funding must be fair
  • School funding must be fairSchool funding must be fair The right to education enjoys extensive protection in the Namibian Constitution under Article 20. It states that primary education shall be compulsory and the state shall provide reasonable facilities to render effective this right for every resident within Namibia, by establishing and maintaining state schools at which primary education will be provided free of charge. In 2013, government took full responsibility to finance primary education, which included paying for textbooks and other learning materials, stationery, payment of teacher salaries and the provision of additional classrooms and furniture. In 2014, government also endorsed a proposal to run secondary education on the same approach, leading to the abolishment of compulsory parental contributions to the school development fund in 2016. Before the introduction of 'free primary education' in 2013, we had instances were some children were automatically expelled from schools for not paying the school development fees. In fact, the school development fund, which was established by the Education of Act of 2001, was itself a violation of the constitution. Now that the issue is now back in the spotlight following mixed sentiments expressed at the recently held Swapo Central Committee meeting, there are fears that re-introducing compulsory school development fund payments would disadvantage the poor learners who simply can't afford such contributions. Government is clearly struggling to expand fiscal space to promote socio-economic development across the country and it has realised that free primary education is sustainable given the huge challenges within the system. As much as the authorities don't want to acknowledge this, education has been suffering in silence in this country and it is evident from the many incomplete projects. Inadequate quality facilities and resources, and low transition and retention rates, are among the prevailing challenges facing the education sector. We believe that schools need parents who will take responsibility for the education of their children and who are willing to contribute the little they have. However, there must an equitable funding plan in place across the board to help lessen the burden on government, while the plight of poor learners, who are unable to afford education, should also be considered and addressed. The Namibian child belongs in the classroom and the access to quality education cannot be overemphasised.

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    State asks for 30 years in murder trialState asks for 30 years in murder trial The State has asked the presiding judge in a murder trial to impose a severe sentence against a murderer who killed his girlfriend by stabbing her 18 times with a knife

    State prosecutor, Karin Esterhuizen, told the court the deceased lost her life at the age of 22 in a brutal manner and that through the accused’s actions, his son lost a biological mother.

    Edmund Jagger, 26, was last month found guilty on a charge of murder with direct intent to kill in a judgement handed down by High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka.

    He murdered Renelda Alien Oamite Hoeses, 22, at her parents’ home in the Orwetoveni, Otjiwarongo during the night of 1 March 2013 by stabbing her with a knife 18 times all over the body. This was after she informed him that she is in love with someone and that she wants to end their relationship.

    Hoeses died at the scene due to severe blood loss after the brutal stabbings and Jagger fled after which he attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself with a wire. When the police cut him from the wire Jagger was found in possession of the blood-stained knife he had used to kill Hoeses.

    In arguments for sentencing on Friday, Esterhuizen said the accused did not testify, did not express remorse in person, and said the court does not have insight regarding his remorsefulness.

    She further said it is unimaginable what the deceased went through and that she was left in a pool of blood, adding that accused personal circumstances does not measure up to the aggravating factors she asked for 30 years imprisonment.

    Elias Kuga, the father of Hoeses called by the state to give evidence in aggravation on Friday told the court he will forgive the accused for what he did but will never forget what he did.”

    The government-funded defence lawyer Joshua Kaumbi stated in mitigation that Jagger is now suffering from high blood pressure, that he has spent four years in custody since his arrest, was relatively at 24 years when the incident happened and committed the offence out of fear that he might lose his only child if Hoeseb leaves him for another man.

    “The killing is already a severe punishment that he will live with for the rest of his life. The court should not overemphasise the severity of the offence but also consider rehabilitative aspect and give him a second chance,” Kaumbi pleaded.


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    Pensioner claims 'raw deal' for landPensioner claims 'raw deal' for landCries foul over land sale A pensioner is saying the Oshakati Town Council robbed him and his neighbours of proper compensation when they bought their land 17 years ago. A pensioner from Okaku Kiipupu, who was compensated for his land 17 years ago, is alleging that the Oshakati Town Council has discriminated against the localities of residents when compensating them for their land and is demanding a new and fair compensation from the council.

    The man is claiming that he discovered that the method used to compensate landowners from Okaku, where the majority were old and illiterate, was daylight robbery and was not the same method used at Ehenye and Ekuku were landowners were young and educated.

    Helmut Hamwaalwa, 75, said that in 2000 he received total compensation of just over N$300 000 for his land which measured 12 hectares, while others received millions for their land of the same size. He is saying that the town council is now generating a lot of money from plot sales.

    He said after he conducted research he found out that what they received in Okaku Kiipupu was a pittance compared to those at Ehenye and Ekuku.

    “I was happy with the money I received until I did research on how others in other villages were compensated. People from Ekuku and Ehenye were compensated with a lot of money because they have money and are educated. The majority from Okaku Kiipupu are old and not so well educated and that is why they discriminated against us,” Hamwaalwa claims.

    He alleged that town council is now busy claiming that it was easy to deal with Okaku Kiipupu residents, more so than other townships because they were “robbed” of their land.

    “The same money I got for my plot as compensation is the same money the municipality is now asking for a small plot. This is not fair compensation. They cannot be making a lot of money from our land while they failed to compensate us fairly. They must come back and compensate us fairly,” he said.

    Oshakati Town Council's spokesperson Katarina Kamari said compensation differs from property to property even if the land is the same size.

    “Compensation is determined by valuators. It depends on what you have on your land and how you develop it. That is why compensation will never be the same. These people were given contracts that they signed that they were happy with the compensation made to them,” Kamari said.

    Kamari also said that Hamwaalwa can go to the council office so that these matters can be explained to him.


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  • 08/14/17--16:00: Thoughts to conclude
  • Thoughts to concludeThoughts to conclude By: Romanus Mungamba

    What is growing evidently in our present society daily, is the uncanny Namibian habit by those in power and the lack of resilience that they showcase to cede power or engage the youth in state strategic sector's endowment. This is purely because they've become accustomed to the civil positions they occupy, like a permanent hinge. This behaviour is true especially for those that did not reach their positions on a merit basis, but rather on comrade basis, thus they fear their corruption supply chain will be greatly hindered and they would eat twice as much no more, but most importantly they fear for the worse which rightfully so, is that should they lose their jobs, it will be for good. This is because most of them will never find such an accommodating job anymore else, hence leaving the current exposure we have become used to, of which state officials are turning the government coffins into a milking cow. While this works all the time for them and for what it's worth, had it not been for the media all these scandals would've otherwise gone unnoticed or unopposed as it is in other patriarchal states that are led by dictators. My argument might be inevitable to callings of me being a hypocrite, but if I may, allow me to quote what the then president-elect of the United States stated that “Africa needs to be re-colonised again”. As much as I hate the sentiment the statement represents, I cannot help but be intrigued by the essence of the content carries. I personally do not believe Africa must be re-colonised but hold on to your thoughts and allow me a platform to unravel my thoughts.

    With all due respect, most of us that have an interest and/or have been taught politics, we have surely come across the concepts 'regime transition' and 'democracy trajectory' as conditions that were proposed by the United Nations to almost every newly and/or independent country. They were ideologies that gained prominence especially after the Cold War between the USA and USSR that led to neglecting of satellite states that consisted mostly of developing countries, which led to what is known as the 'African Lost Decade' period. During this period economic and political conditions were in dire straits. Money from the West wasn't flowing in anymore and dictators couldn't afford to hold on to power through the patron-client system anymore, as the trickle-down paradigm of resources became very scarce. These conditions saw international financial institutions gain eminence such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who through their conditional loaning schemes proposed Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPS), provided to the willing developing countries in Africa and this was perceived by many as the neo-colonialism era. The aim however, was to help revive and develop our stagnant economies and it is within this context I would like to interpret President Trump's statement, taking into account that every policy has its negatives. In this perspective its exploitation of Africa's natural resources through their conglomerate among others, but at least the conditional loans came with what we currently continue to enjoy for the vast parts of the continent which is democracy and liberty. Now take some time off and reminisce back and forth to the past and current situation, whereas even in the presence of democracy and liberty all fronts of corruption still exists, the question is how awfully bad would our people, continent and country have been? The SAPS oversaw in most part of the continent's dictatorships transit to democracy regimes and this in my view changed our historically long inhabitant's values and culture but as far as human rights are concerned, they brought about some human dignity in the essence of freedom of speech and expression to human kind. The same can be deputised in the Namibian case, because even after 27 years of independence and youth outcry for our voices to be heard and our basic demands met, but truth be told all we have is freedom of expression and speech that falls on deaf ears, because leaders are reluctant to neutralise empowerment to all and of course in my view, this is for the reasons stated earlier.

    Truth be told we owe our democracy and liberty acceleration to some extent, to those conditional mechanisms. Nevertheless a time will come or should I reiterate our time will come and just like the way they enrich themselves and cronies through the affirmative action policy, on the minority whites, we too yes the “black Africans” shall repossess those state properties and assets from them and/or their relatives thereafter, because the current leaders and cronies think they have the right to break and override the basic rights of others - but just like you were once a youth, you too will eventually leave your positions in your retirement tenures and we shall take charge then. This might just transpire to be a generational fight, but we too will repossess them (their assets) as we sought to justify our youth's miserable days, my hope is that they too show the same level of patience and commitment while they grieve and patiently wait for their turn. Unless justice and accountability for and to all is upheld, this obstacle will never cede and the Namibian leadership since independence is the one to hold accountable.

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

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  • 08/14/17--16:00: Questioning accountability
  • Questioning accountabilityQuestioning accountability For every nation to succeed it must have mechanisms in place to welcome checks and balances from its citizens. For example, if a president or government decides to come up with and implement policies that do not necessarily work in favour of participants, the people have the right to question the accountability of such a government. Last year, during the State of Nation Address, President Geingob introduced the Harambee Prosperity Plan; in it the president provides five pillars of how he wishes to move Namibia forward. One of the pillars is economic advancement, however, the country has struggled to economically move forward since its implementation. This has been accompanied by the introduction of new ministries and several advisors all paid for by taxpayers. Recently, the president held a press conference about the improvements the economy has made over the past few weeks. Two days later, an economic outlook by Moody's announced Namibia's credit rating downgrade to 'junk status'.

    In this edition of the Astute, regular writers Romeo Mungamba and Joseph Tobias talk about ethics to uphold in any working environment and if the Harambee Prosperity Plan is really yielding any progressive results respectfully. Let's take a look at the analyses.

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    Is the Harambee Prosperity Plan progressive?Is the Harambee Prosperity Plan progressive? By: Joseph Tobias

    The phrase “let’s pull together in the spirit of Harambee” has become like a song to many Namibians, especially politicians, but councillors mostly. Sometimes you become inclined or forced to think they do not understand it entirely, at least not in detail, not the whole purpose and explanation behind the phrase. But they do understand the sound of it, which would certainly give them a clue of what exactly it means. In my own understanding the phrase should be significantly as meaningful to us as the president’s phrase of “no one should feel left out” meaning no one should feel left out not only in the country’s development but also the benefits that come with it. The burden of drought, hunger and poverty, and the lack of better shelters, cheap and affordable housing, accessible and clean drinking water, clean city, locations and towns and communities and electricity provision, all these are things we need to overcome together. This means the whole nation and country work or pull together for the greater good, holding hands perhaps, and we all strive toward economic emancipation, maturity and also economic growth and no one feel left out of the work done to achieve this or the fruits it’s bound to bear in the near future.

    However, not every citizen in the country feels this is the case. I for one certainly cannot say we are all pulling in the same direction. Considering how wide the gap between the rich and poor is widening, or has widened over the last couple of years, considering the inequality that still persists in our country, considering the benefits that the powerful politicians and high-profile officials get that a lot of our general citizens do not. How can we pull in the same direction when some people are living on empty stomachs, struggling to get work even with their degrees in hand, struggling to earn minimum income, to buy food or clothes, living in shacks, paying electricity and water from their already depleted pockets? All this happens while others live in mansions and travel without covering for any expenses. While people are out there struggling with jobs, water, electricity expenses, payments and whole other different struggles that can simply be avoided and settled with a little sum of money, our distinct politicians and honourable are planning on building billion-dollar parliaments, airports, increasing their own salaries, even an 80% water and electricity increment in subsidies for ministers was reported earlier. This money can be used to help other people who are in greater need of it. What do they use their money for? Water is paid for them, transport, electricity and even housing. Do they even know what it means to spend the money they have been hardly working for all month like every citizen out there? More importantly, do they know how it feels to get along, let alone pull in the same direction with a person with a full stomach from food that he/she didn’t even spend on with a person who spent everything he/she’s had on that food and yet not be satisfied?

    People are having real life struggles in the streets throughout the country. They have no money, no food, no water; no basic needs to survive, not everyone feels like we are pulling in the same direction, not everyone feels the spirit of Harambee as many politicians are preaching these days.

    Our politicians need to understand the phrase before they preach it out to innocent and poor citizens out there and do something about it. They should experience and be familiar with the ordinary lives and tribulations of general citizens, their struggles in life and every aspect of it, their living conditions. Actions speak louder than words. “Let’s pull together in the spirit of Harambee” is an inspirational phrase, one that is believable or can be believable to anyone, in saying possibly! But we need to see action, progress, help, assistance and development, for people to realise that we are indeed pulling together in the same spirit. The inequality gap, the gap between the rich and poor or let us say the gap between the people with access to state or government resources and the general citizens, needs to be reduced, we need to be on the same page, on a level playfield for us to get along, to be in the same spirit and finally pull and work together. It’s the only way we could possibly tell our citizens to pull together in the spirit of Harambee, the only way we can make them believe and have hope and feel that they are not left out of building this Namibian house or the fruits it’s destined to bear. The newly introduced food bank can be seen as such. Credit where it’s due. The help would indeed make the periphery feel and believe that they are not being left out of the Namibian house.

    *Joseph Tobias is a graduate in the Department of Politics and Administrative Studies at the University of Namibia

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    Moody's rating blamed on GeingobMoody's rating blamed on Geingob The DTA president, McHenry Venaani, says President Geingob used “alternative facts” last week when he promised that the country's economy was on the brink of recovery.

    Venaani blamed the economic mess in the country on the government, saying it created the chaos after it outsourced construction tenders to Chinese building companies.

    “A non-trickle-down effect was created by government itself. The construction industry was killed by government. A lot of our capital projects' profits are going abroad – when somebody [local] finishes a tender he goes and buys a holiday home in Swakopmund, or buys his uncle a car or he pays his niece's school fees so there is an economic trickle-down effect,” he said.

    Venaani also blamed the president's approach to handling increasing corruption as a reason for the Moody's downgrade.

    He said his party believed the president's “nonchalant” attitude towards corrupt officials had played a key role in the country's credit downgrade. According to Venaani, the president's failure to hold corrupt officials accountable and his attempt to exonerate SME Bank board members of any wrongdoing raised red flags. “He is now saying he was misquoted but we watched him live on the national broadcaster,” Venaani said.


    Venaani further accused the Swapo government of abusing state coffers to sustain its political agendas through the establishment of a network through which it could spend resources in return for support and loyalty. “The exponential growth of the public service and the state-owned enterprise (SOE) sector, and the significant portion of public spending allocated to these, are evidence thereof. The ruling party has plunged the country into an unsustainable situation only so that it could sustain its hold on political power,” Venaani said.

    Meanwhile, finance minister Calle Schlettwein has expressed dissatisfaction with the Moody's downgrade. According to him, it was unfair for Moody's to issue a downgrade without thoroughly assessing Namibia's ability to honour its debt obligations.

    “This recent rating relied merely on an exchange of emails on a single item, that of outstanding invoices and how government is planning to settle them. This is highly regrettable,” the minister said.

    According to Schlettwein, Moody's went about its business in a questionable manner, considering that the mid-year budget review was currently being developed by his ministry.

    “A thorough assessment taking all factors into consideration would have been the proper way in dealing with reviewing Namibia's sovereign credit rating. The process followed by Moody's is, therefore, not systematic.”

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    Shaningua guilty of murdering Finnish citizenShaningua guilty of murdering Finnish citizen A High Court case arising from a road-rage shooting incident outside a Windhoek bar which fatally wounded a Finnish citizen is drawing to an end.

    The 46-year-old accused in the matter, Rodney Danne Shaningua, was yesterday found guilty of murder with intent for the killing of Finnish citizen Marco Kristian Uolevi Rönni, 42. Shaningua was also found guilty of attempting to defeat the course of justice.

    Rönni was shot nine times with a pistol in an apparent fit of road rage during the night of 8 to 9 August 2015 outside Joker's Bar in Bell Street, Windhoek.

    Judge Christie Liebenberg said in his judgment that Shaningua's version that he was a victim of a collision was contrary to the fact that his life was never threatened.

    “The accused drove away and never reported the incident to the police,” the judge said.

    He added that Shaningua then removed the number plates of his car and moved the car to his girlfriend's place.

    “This is out of the ordinary for someone who is not guilty. The only reasonable inference is that he appreciated the wrongfulness of his conduct and that it was aimed at frustrating the investigation efforts,” Liebenberg observed.

    “It was a clear attempt to defeat the course of justice,” he emphasised.

    State pathologist Dr Yuri Vasin had testified about Rönni's post-mortem. He said a bullet had been fired into Rönni's back, penetrating the right lung and wedging in the chest cavity.

    Vasin had said the fatal shot severed a large vein and that caused extensive bleeding in Rönni's chest cavity, where two litres of blood accumulated. Another shot that went through his right arm also caused extensive bleeding.

    Shaningua had said in his testimony that he heard a bang when something struck his stationary car. Rönni had bumped into the rear of Shaningua's car and drove off. Shaningua followed Rönni and when he caught up with him, emptied his 9mm pistol in a hail of bullets that killed Rönni.

    He had stated that after the collision when he disembarked from the car he saw a car with a revving engine driving towards him. He said he pulled out his gun and fired until the magazine was empty, intending to puncture the wheels to fend off the danger.

    However Judge Liebenberg ruled that there was no evidence of self-defence.

    Shaningua had argued that Rönni was aiming the car straight at him and he could not resist or refrain from firing on the car.

    State prosecutor Karin Esterhuizen and defence lawyer Slysken Makondo are expected to make submissions on sentencing this afternoon, after which the case is expected to be postponed for sentencing.


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  • 08/14/17--16:00: Education remains free
  • Education remains freeEducation remains freeConstitutional right cannot be overruled Although the government is feeling the pinch of budget cuts, it cannot revoke the free primary and secondary education implemented in 2013 and 2016. The education ministry yesterday confirmed that primary and secondary education at state schools will remain free, but again urged parents and communities to help where they can to ensure the education needs of their children are met, since the ministry faces severe budget constraints.

    The education ministry yesterday underlined that universal primary and secondary education, implemented in 2013 and 2016 respectively, that led to the abolition of compulsory fees towards the school development fund, was based on the constitutional rights of Namibians to obtain an education. “The objective is to ensure that every Namibian child receives quality education, for free, as mandated by Article 20 of the Namibian constitution. The aim is further to reduce the financial burden of parents who otherwise cannot afford school fees in order to ensure that their children stay in school,” Johanna Absalom, education spokesperson, confirmed yesterday. Reportedly the issue of free education, which is facing strain in the current financial climate was debated at the weekend's Swapo Central Committee meeting.

    The director of the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), Toni Hancox, yesterday confirmed that free education is a constitutional right and cannot be overruled. She added that this means not only that the government has to provide all children with an education but also that “government has no choice but to provide reasonable facilities to effectively render this right. So it is not enough just to provide a building. Sufficient qualified teachers and resources and teaching aids must also be in place.”

    Hancox added that reinstating compulsory school fees in Namibia would also be untenable because many Namibians simply cannot afford it. In response to alternative ways the ministry could shore up additional funding in tough financial times, Hancox said: “The real question that should be asked is where our taxpayer's money is going? It is sickening to hear about millions of dollars going missing and then in the same vein being told that our children cannot be provided with a most basic need: education.”

    She said the government could save significant amounts of money by changing a few costly habits, including the senseless spending on expensive advertisements congratulating senior government officials on their birthdays, the costs of which “provide stationery to around three to four learners for one year.”

    One for all, and all for one

    The education ministry yesterday noted that universal primary and secondary education was aimed at expanding the access to quality, and inclusive, education for all by eliminating the barriers to accessing education through various interventions.

    The ministry reiterated their urgent and oft-repeated call on parents who are in a position to do so to make voluntary contributions to schools, an act that could play a critical role in ensuring that schools operate effectively and cover all needs of learners.

    “Parents are kindly requested to fulfil their duties in providing for the hidden costs outside of the school environment as well as accord the school necessary support,” Absalom stated. She said the latest budget cuts would have an impact on the provision of education. “For instance, in regard to the provision of textbooks, the ministry will not be able to reach the targeted 1:1 learner–textbook ratio at schools that have not yet reached the target.”

    She added that although the ministry plays the primary role in the provision of the direct costs associated with the school environment, including resources and facilities, “parents still have the obligation towards the education of their children, hence the call for parents to support schools.”

    She warned that while schools can carry out fundraising activities and obtain voluntary contributions, they should focus on essential and critical needs and cut down on non-essential spending.


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    N$26 million bailout for AMTAN$26 million bailout for AMTAGovernment will buy the grain harvest The Namibia Agronomic Board is to empty its piggy bank to enable the agro-marketing agency to buy grains and other crops from communal farmers. The Namibia Agronomic Board (NAB) will dip into its reserves that have been built up over more than a decade to grant a N$26 million bailout to the government agency responsible for buying crops from farmers.

    The loss-making Agro Marketing and Trading Agency (AMTA) had by the beginning of this month depleted it funds for this year and halted all crop purchases from farmers.

    Urgent meetings were held last week between the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, AMTA and the Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) in an effort to solve this crisis.

    It was decided that N$26 million from the Agronomic Board's reserve funds would be allocated to AMTA.

    The CEO of NAB, Christof Brock, said after a good rainy season and a bumper harvest, problems with cash flow and storage had been foreseen earlier this year already.

    He said one of the solutions that were considered was to move some of Namibia's crops out of the region and then buy it back when it was needed.

    However it was agreed that NAB would allocate three quarters of its reserves to the agency.

    Brock said these savings had been built up over a period of 15 years.

    He stressed that these funds should not be used for operational purposes at AMTA, but to buy crops from farmers in the communal areas.

    Meanwhile, AMTA announced that it will also be venturing into the livestock sector. AMTA will administer a new lease agreement with the two operators managing abattoirs in the northern communal areas on behalf of the ministry and will be responsible for the maintenance of the abattoirs. The CEO of AMTA, Lungameni Lukas, explained that there is a separate account for the buying of grain and that this fund has been depleted since the beginning of August.

    According to him AMTA has stopped buying all crops since then.

    “This was a very urgent matter to solve and we approached the ministry.” He said as soon as the account has been updated they will resume buying from the farmers.

    The permanent secretary in the ministry, Percy Misika, said the N$26 million bailout would make it possible for the government to procure the outstanding grain harvests in communal areas.

    According to him Namibia's silos have a capacity of 22 900 tonnes while 4 000 tonnes were carried over from the previous year's harvest.

    He said 3 000 tonnes of grain has already been bought and with the bailout AMTA would be able to buy 5 000 tonnes more.

    Misika said it would discourage farmers to produce more crops if these outstanding crops were not bought.

    “NAB will contribute from its reserve funds and ensure that these crops are bought. There is the possibility that the next rainy season may be another El Nino and if we are not buying what we produced, we will be plunged into food insecurity.”

    The agriculture minister, John Mutorwa, said the point is that the government purchases what is produced so that the country can store it for future use.

    “We started this programme of purchasing grains through AMTA. The budget line we gave AMTA has been depleted. The situation on the ground is that livestock and grain producers are demoralised and the government should be seen doing something.”

    Referring to the economic situation in the country, he said farmers had complained to him that they were unable to sell their produce.

    Earlier this year Namibian Sun reported that AMTA had recorded a net deficit of close to N$63 million in the year 2015/16.

    The loss of N$62.7 million was N$59.5 million more than the previous year's loss of N$3.1 million.


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    What a Moody's downgrade meansWhat a Moody's downgrade means Economists are in general agreement that the recent downgrade by Moody's is not expected to immediately affect the average Joe but have sounded a caution that government's obligations to its lenders will now become pricier.

    According to them, this also has the ability to make the possibility of funding future deficits improbable, delay planned expenditure on projects of importance or even raise the cost of lending at the consumer level.

    Capricorn Asset Management analyst Claudia Boamah said the immediate impact of Moody's actions would not be noticeable in the short term but could become more visible with time. “In the short term the impact on the average Namibian is minimal. There could be long-term indirect effects on the man on the street… it all depends on how the markets will react,” said Boamah. According to her, the treasury had reacted positively to concerns raised by Moody's by cutting spending considerably.

    “Moody's has issued their view but most of the concerns are concerns that the country is well aware of [which] were mostly addressed in March (when the budget was tabled). Until there is a significant market reaction, I would not want to speculate on what it means for ordinary people.”

    Boamah also pointed out that it was not necessarily a downgrade and that Namibia had avoided outright junk status. According to her, the actions of Moody's only have bearing on Namibia's outstanding long-term unsecured bonds that are not backed by government guarantees. “While it is correct to say that Namibia has been downgraded (because most current ratings are lower than previous ones) it isn't quite right to say that we are on 'junk status'. Of the individual credit features which were taken into consideration only long-term senior unsecured bonds were relegated to junk status.

    According to her, the government's secured debt obligations still remained investment grade going by the report issued by Moody's.

    “Long-term foreign currency bonds and deposits are still of investment grade and long-term domestic bonds and deposits are of prime investment grade,” said Boamah.

    On the back of the downgrade, IJG head of research Eric van Zyl was of the opinion that an interest rate cut would not necessarily follow through as was eagerly expected, thus affecting the rate at which consumers borrow from the commercial banks.

    “The Moody's downgrade has the potential to affect the man on the street through higher borrowing costs. We expected the Bank of Namibia to cut interest rates this week, but following the downgrade we think that there is an increased probability that BoN will keep rates at present levels. As the currency is not immediately affected by the downgrade, as it would be in South Africa, there is little real impact on the regular Namibian in the short term,” said Van Zyl.

    Simonis Storm analyst Frans Uusiku said Namibia's debt repayments would rise, placing significant risk on the government's ability to fund future government deficits.

    “It means that Namibia's creditworthiness has been downgraded to non-investment grade due to scepticism that the government may not be able to honour its debt repayments as the revenue squeeze lingers,” said Uusiku.

    Like other analysts, Uusiku was in agreement that it would raise the cost of borrowing. “This lack of investor appetite will effectively raise the cost of borrowing for the Namibia government in the international capital market. This would pose significant risk of financing the budget deficit in the future,” added Uusiku.


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    Highway robbery suspect bailed againHighway robbery suspect bailed again Frabianus Endjala, 32, the first accused in Thursday's highway robbery on the Western Bypass, was granted bail of N$5 000 by the Katutura Magistrate's Court yesterday.

    While Endjala was being captured at the scene of the robbery by the now-famous bus driver, he was supposed to be in court on another robbery charge. That morning, the magistrate withdrew his N$2 000 bail and issued a warrant for his arrest.

    According to police spokesperson Edwin Kanguatjivi, “there must have been a miscommunication for the accused to secure bail.”

    Endjala's latest case, the robbery of a German tourist couple on the Western Bypass, was postponed to 5 September. His two alleged accomplices, known to Namibian Sun, are expected to appear in court today. According to the police, the Polo Vivo used in Thursday's robbery was impounded.

    The vehicle has been linked to other cases of theft out of motor vehicles.

    The keys to the German family's rental vehicle were also recovered.

    While Namibia has always been regarded as a safe travel destination by local and international tourists, increasingly violent robberies of tourists are threatening the country's image.

    Namibia was ranked as the third most peaceful country in the world but recently, crime against tourists in Namibia has put the country's reputation at risk with industry players highlighting it as one of the main challenges that the tourism sector is facing.

    Just last week there were reports of South Africans being attacked and robbed at Dune 7 near Walvis Bay.

    South African newspaper reports on the Dune 7 attack said that Namibia was no longer a safe destination for tourists.

    The minister of environment and tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, has expressed concern over the growing trend of attacks on tourists in Namibia and said the ministry condemned these destructive actions by some members of society.

    “The ministry has noted at least two attacks on tourists in a space of two weeks, with the [most] recent attack taking place on the Western Bypass in Windhoek on 10 August 2017.”

    Shifeta said Namibia had always been regarded as a safe travel destination with peaceful people.

    “This reputation has contributed to the growth of tourism in the country and with the current trend where tourists are being attacked we are called upon to take collective measures, as individuals and institutions, to restore our status of a peaceful environment.”

    According to Shifeta these actions have far-reaching consequences for the tourism industry.

    Violence is not an experience Namibia wants to create for tourists, but on the contrary tourists should experience the peacefulness that the country has always offered over the years, the minister said.

    “We would further like to discourage those elements that tarnish the image of our country and or seek to jeopardise our efforts in growing tourism to its maximum potential in the country.”


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    Private schools on chopping blockPrivate schools on chopping blockPoor learners to be severely affected Private schools are likely to lose the government subsidies that give children from poor backgrounds a chance to attend top schools on scholarships. Private schools that were given charitable status in return for providing education to orphans and vulnerable children have been given until 31 October to make written submissions to the minister of education and give reasons why the subsidy cannot be reduced or terminated.

    Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa on 8 August wrote to the owners of private schools, informing them that the government was reviewing its subsidy allocations to these schools.

    “Private schools are herewith given three months ending 31 October 2017 to make written submissions and representations to the minister giving reasons why the aid that was granted to private schools cannot be reduced or terminated. Each private school should make its own representation and lodge it with the minister or before 31 October 2017,” she wrote.

    School funding is in turmoil, with the ministry of education grappling with deep budget cuts owing to the financial crisis in the country, which has seen the authorities embarking on unprecedented cost-cutting measures.

    The minister recently warned during the State of Education address that the ministry would be forced to review private-school subsidies, which many fear may lead to the independent schools closing down or sharply increasing fees.

    According to the arrangement in place, private schools are allocated funds by the government as prescribed in the Education Act of 2001.

    This is, however, at the discretion of the minister, who also has the power to terminate such aid provided that affected schools have been given an opportunity to make representations. Eligible schools are required to enrol at least 10% of pupils from very poor backgrounds on a full scholarship.

    The managing director of Windhoek Gymnasium, Colette Rieckert, yesterday said it would be a sad day if the government decided to terminate the aid given to her school to fund the education of 157 learners from poor families.

    “It will be a sad day for us. This will force us to increase our school fees to make up for that loss. This will mean that we will lose learners because we already have many who are struggling to pay their school fees,” she said.

    She warned that the termination of the subsidy might eventually become a government problem, as the affected learners' education programme might be disrupted.

    She said her school was yet to receive the government aid this year. She confirmed that they had received about N$700 000 per term from the education ministry last year.

    “We take a substantial loss because we feel it is part of our contribution. We relied on this money to help the previously disadvantaged learners. However, we also respect the responsibility of the government,” she said.

    Another principal told Namibian Sun that the future of many private schools would be uncertain if the government decided to scrap the aid given to poor learners.

    “But again if they stop the funding many private schools will either close or increase their fees. Like in our case, the learners' hostel fees are not enough to cover all expenses,” said the headmaster, who requested anonymity.

    Emma Kakona, Amazing Kids Private School founder, recently told a weekly newspaper that the school would struggle to retain some of its learners should the government scrap the subsidy.

    “Even though the amount they were providing was just a drop in the ocean, it helped to some extent, but it will mean some of these schools might decide not to carry that cost and let them go,” Kakona was quoted as saying in the Windhoek Observer.

    Attempts to clarify the matter with the education ministry proved futile as they failed to respond to Namibian Sun's questions yesterday.


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    Security guard nabbed with N$500 000Security guard nabbed with N$500 000 An Otjiwarongo security guard from Southern Cross Services was arrested yesterday with a total of N$556 134.75 hidden in plastic bags. According to the Namibian police, the monies belonged to clients of the security firm and were collected on Monday to bank.
    It is alleged that the guard aged 41 and whose identity is known to Namibian Sun, took the money abandoning the company vehicle and leaving for the north in another car.
    His bosses became concerned when his gun was found at the office but he had not return and the police was called in. The serious crime unit of the police set up a roadblock and the man was caught during the lunch hour yesterday, just outside Otjiwarongo with the money hidden in plastic bags.


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    De Sousa matter still unresolvedDe Sousa matter still unresolved Athletics Namibia is yet to resolve the matter between athlete Sade de Sousa and her team manager, Namibian Sun has established.

    The athlete's mother, Brenda Bezuidenhoudt, last month accused team manager Leonie van Rensburg of treating her daughter unfairly at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Kenya.

    Bezuidenhoudt threatened to withdraw her daughter from taking part in any international events.

    “The main reason for me going with [Sade] to Nairobi was the absence of her coach and the fact that she is a girl.

    “I shudder at the mere thought had I not been there, what would have happened to my child.

    “With all due respect, I herewith formally withdraw Sade from any future national athletics events outside the country where Leonie is involved in whatever country,” Bezuidenhoudt wrote.

    At the time, Athletics Namibia confirmed that they had received the letter and were waiting for the board to discuss the matter.

    Athletics Namibia president Erwin Naimhwaka says the matter is still pending.

    He says the Athletics Namibia board will discuss the matter in due course.

    “Yes we did receive the letter and we are just waiting for the board to sit and review the letter,” Naimhwaka said.


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  • 08/15/17--16:00: Fans send Indongo support
  • Fans send Indongo supportFans send Indongo supportCountdown to unification mega-fight Namibian boxing fans have sent Julius Indongo messages of encouragement ahead of his fight against Terence Crawford of the US this weekend. Namibia's super lightweight champion Julius Indongo is in Nebraska preparing for Saturday's showdown with Terence Crawford of the US.

    The two are will square off in a historic unification mega-fight in Lincoln, Nebraska, Crawford's hometown.

    Indongo, who has a record of 22 fights, no losses and 11 knockouts, is accompanied by promoter Nestor Tobias, Mike Shonena, Paulus 'The Hitman' Moses and trainer Joseph Hantindi. He holds the WBA and IBF world super lightweight titles.

    The team set up camp in Los Angeles on 9 August, where they used Freddie Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club for final preparations for the fight. They left for Nebraska last week Wednesday.

    It will be a tough test for the champion, who will fight an equally successful competitor. Crawford holds the WBC, WBO and Lineal titles and has 31 wins, no losses and 22 knockouts.

    Before he left Indongo said he feared nothing and would like the country to give him full support. “I am ready and would like the Namibian nation to support me as I plan to make history,” Indongo said.

    A public workout is scheduled for today, to be followed by a final press conference tomorrow.

    The official weigh-in will take place on Friday.

    Moses, who is Indongo's sparring partner, says the boxer is training well in the US and is looking forward to the fight. “We are following the training schedule and will stick to our plan to win the fight,” he says.

    Local boxing fans sent the boxer messages of support through social media. Veiko Amutenya said Indongo should be fast in the ring and not give Crawford any chances to knock him down.

    Elisandra Hezron said she was waiting for Saturday and wished the local champion well. “Please do it for yourself before considering your nation, that way you will knock Crawford out in 20 seconds,” she said.

    Simon Kandume also wished Indongo well. “I wish you all the best, stay focused, remember that Namibians sent you overseas to achieve the best.”

    Tango Kweenda said it's not about where you come from, but about what you can do. “Good luck, Blue Machine.”

    The fight is promoted by Top Rank and will be televised live by ESPN.


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  • 08/15/17--16:00: Soronto Bucks take the cup
  • Soronto Bucks take the cupSoronto Bucks take the cupSports festival a huge success Soronto Bucks won the soccer section of the Areva and Engen sports festival after beating Marokko Boys FC 5-4 on penalties. Twenty-two soccer teams from Erongo and neighbouring regions participated in the Areva and Engen sports festival at Usakos on Saturday.

    Last year's winners, Speed Fire FC from Omaruru, fought tooth and nail and knocked out Arandis-based Kaizer Chiefs on penalties in the first of the two semi-finals.

    Soronto Bucks, also from Arandis, relied on a well-executed 30-yard free kick to eliminate Usakos-based Marokko Boys FC in the second semi-final.

    The soccer final ended in a goalless draw, and the winner had to be determined by means of a tense penalty shootout between Soronto Bucks FC and Speed Fire FC. The Bucks won the shootout and the celebrations started instantly.

    The festival also included a netball tournament, won by Scorpions from Omaruru. Soronto Bucks took second place.

    Irene Simeon of Engen One-Stop Usakos told the happy crowd that sport was the ultimate winner.

    “Usakos looked colourfully beautiful; all teams did well and gave their best. It was no easy road for the new champs, but well done and congrats to them. We should not forget that sport won and is the overall winner. We also thank the community of Usakos for their good conduct throughout the weekend,” she said.

    The annual sport event was held together with a live music show. It was held for the third year in a row, and continues to grow in popularity and status. It attracted vendors, teams, crowds and individuals from all corners of the country.

    The festival also provides a marketing opportunity for the community of Usakos and surrounding areas, who sell their products and services around the soccer fields. There were more than 52 stalls that traded in a variety of products and services.

    Also speaking at the event, the communications officer at Areva, Christine de Klerk, said her company was humbled to be associated with such an event.

    “For us at Areva, this event is a priority event on our calendar. For we know that it is an event that benefits and positively impacts the communities in our region, either directly or indirectly. If it were not for certain circumstances, then we would have done quite a lot more, like we would have liked to. We thank the organisers for all their efforts and sacrifices in ensuring that this is a success,” she said.


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    Netball Namibia to train umpiresNetball Namibia to train umpires Netball Namibia (NN) will host umpire training courses in Windhoek from Thursday to Sunday.

    Martha du Plessis from Netball South Africa, assisted by Emsie Esterhuizen from Namibia, will conduct the training at the Trustco United Netball courts in Olympia from 08:30 to 18:00.

    NN public relations officer Rebekka Goagoses said on Monday that the same platform would be used to develop the first-ever National Umpires Pathway for implementation on 18 August.

    “There are limited spaces available thus we request early registration and payments. Regions may each send no more than five representatives from clubs,” she said.

    Goagoses said 14 umpires from the Namibia School Sports Union (NSSU) from all 14 regions were expected to attend the workshop.

    Other institutions expected to be at the training include the Namibian Defence Force, Namibian Police, Correctional Services and the Tertiary Institutes Sports Association of Namibia, with three umpires each.

    Registration forms can be obtained from the Netball Namibia offices and must be submitted with proof of payment. One form costs N$100.


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    Kavango East gunning for Skorpion Zinc CupKavango East gunning for Skorpion Zinc Cup Kavango East has selected the best players to represent the region at the 8 to 10 September Skorpion Zinc under-17 championship in Windhoek.

    The manager of Kavango East's under-17 team, Alfeus Shipanga, says they have upped their game and are working towards taking the cup home. In preparation, they have played friendly games with teams such as Kalimba Academy, whom they beat 1-0 after a goal from Hoeseb Khomtatite.

    Due to exams, the teams will only be holding friendlies over weekends and are looking forward to taking on bigger teams such as Rundu Chiefs and Julinho Sporting F.C.

    Shipanga says even though he has confidence in the competency of his team, he accepts that Group B opponents Khomas and Erongo pose a threat to his region, mainly due to experience and exposure.

    “Khomas and Erongo have under-17 leagues, which our region unfortunately does not have. This is a great challenge, but we are preparing and will be ready for them,” Shipanga said.

    Khomas were the inaugural winners of the cup in 2013, after beating Erongo 2-1 in the final. This makes both teams forces to be reckoned with.

    Players to look out for in the Kavango East team are Khomtatite Hoeseb, Johannes Shamwaka and goalkeeper John Muronga, who can be expected to perform well.

    “We are ready to come compete and conquer. We want to take the cup back home,” Shipanga says.

    Kavango East are in Group B, where they will be facing Ohangwena, Khomas, Oshikoto and Erongo. The Group B winner will face the best runner-up from Group A. In Group C, Hardap, Oshana, Kavango West and Hardap will battle for a semi-final date with the Group A winners. Omusati, Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, Kunene and Karas are in Group A.


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  • 08/15/17--16:00: Zuma congratulates Team SA
  • Zuma congratulates Team SAZuma congratulates Team SASix medals at IAAF World Champs Athletes managed to secure six medals for South Africa at the just-ended IAAF World Championships in London. NAMPA/ANA

    President Jacob Zuma yesterday congratulated Team South Africa for winning six medals at the IAAF World Championships in London.

    Team South Africa won three gold medals through Wayde van Niekerk in the men's 400m race, Luvo Manyonga (long jump) and Caster Semenya (women's 800m).

    Van Niekerk won South Africa's only silver medal in the men's 200m while long jumper Ruswahl Samaai won a bronze and Semenya a bronze medal in the women's 1500m race. Their outstanding performance earned South Africa a third place in the medals table behind Kenya and the leaders United States.

    "We wish to heartily congratulate our Team South Africa for their sterling performances on the tracks and a job well done at the IAAF World Championships 2017 in London," said Zuma.

    "The country is extremely thrilled and proud of our athletes, in particular those who won the six medals, for this remarkable achievement and excellent performance that earned South Africa a third place in the medals table, trouncing the most advanced countries in the tournament," he added.

    Zuma also extended his "sincere gratitude" to all South Africans, technical teams and management of Team South Africa for their roles in the successful trip to the World Championships.

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