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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 08/28/17--16:00: Depression is not cool
  • Depression is not coolDepression is not cool I have over a long period of time focused on social media and how the youth have used it over the years to communicate with one another. Over the years I have seen many teens use social media to make depression seem like a “nice and cool thing to have”. There has been an influx of teens using social media to share their self-diagnosis of depression. They are confusing depression or mental issues with shared human emotions such as sadness.

    Depression, defined by Psychiatry.org is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Sadness, on the other hand, is defined as emotional pain. In simpler words, depression is extreme sadness. Depression is often said to be caused by chemical imbalance in the brain. Depression is a soul sucking, crippling condition that destroys people from the inside out.

    Now, what I have seen is many young social media users jumping on the “depression bandwagon” to appear cool or to seek more attention and to get more people to feel sorry for them. I am in no way a doctor to tell who is depressed or who is not but, I can identify a social media attention seeker when I see one. Simple everyday tasks have been linked to depression by many people on social media, if they cannot find their favourite shirt they think they are depressed, if they fail a test they think they are depressed and sometimes even finishing their favourite chocolate to some can be depressing. You are not. You are disappointed, you are upset. You have been let down and maybe you annoyed and disappointed yourself. What you feel are natural human emotions, not depression. On one side we have people who actually have it. They are the people who stop smiling mid-afternoon for no reason, the people who have a harder and harder time getting out of bed, the people who nurture thoughts that friends and family dislike them. On the other side we have…I'm not sure what to call it, but let me describe it to you. These people brag about their mental illness. These people who fake their depression make it harder for others to come out and talk about their issues and make others really question the severity of their issues. Depression is not a cool thing. It is a mental illness. Breaking up with your boyfriend is not depression it is just you sad and disappointed that you are out of a relationship, but I have seen many youth diagnose themselves with depression on social media just because they broke up with someone. Depression is not a trend that you can use to garner attention for yourself on social media. It is a serious mental issue. There are those who are genuinely affected by it and who go through it on a daily basis and many of them have shared their experiences on social media. There are those who run to social media and used it as a way to call for help and to seek some kind of assistance with regard to their mental issue and those are the ones who deserve the attention and not those ones who simply do it because depression is a “trendy” thing. The use of imagery and quotes is one way I have seen many “want to be depressed” people seek attention. Those who seem to seek out and share imagery associated with torment, but are not clinically depressed and believe in their own pain, but they often blur the line between depression and commonplace negative emotions. This makes it difficult to tell who is really affected and what clinical depression really is. This online cultivation of beautiful sadness is easy to join and anyone can take a picture, turn it black and white, pair it with a quote about misunderstood turmoil, and automatically be gratified with compassion and pity and voila! You have an individual who really thinks they are depressed.

    I think many of the attention seeking youth and those not affected by it glorify it because they want to be different. This sense of being different, of understanding the world for what it truly is, is the gratification these teenagers seek. If they are part of this community, they are part of something dark and beautiful, something misunderstood by the rest of their peers.



    shona@namibiansun.com

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  • 08/28/17--16:00: Inclusive education
  • Inclusive educationInclusive educationTutor believes in teaching with a purpose Lebbeus Hashikutuva speaks about his career as a tutor and how it fulfills him. Hashikutuva has been offering tutoring services for many school children and as well as students at universities. His specialises in applied subjects such as accounting and entrepreneurship. He has been tutoring for over a year now and says he does it because he believes it necessary to gives back to the community whenever he can. “I just feel like I am giving back to the community and helping where I can when I am tutoring,” shared Hashikutuva.

    He is currently working for Anna Akweenda Association (AAA), a youth empowerment organisation. “In 2012, I joined AAA an organisation that empowers the youth through education initiatives such tutorials, motivational speeches and sometimes career expos. That is where my tutoring career also began,” said Hashikutuva.

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  • 08/28/17--16:00: Kenya turns tough on plastic
  • Kenya turns tough on plasticKenya turns tough on plasticImposes world's toughest law against plastic bags In a move that concerns many due to its impact on jobs, the Kenyan government has imposed one of the world's strictest laws to ban plastic bags. Kenyans producing, selling or even using plastic bags will risk imprisonment of up to four years or fines of US$40 000 from yesterday, as the world's toughest law aimed at reducing plastic pollution came into effect.

    The East African nation joins more than 40 other countries that have banned, partly banned or taxed single use plastic bags, including China, France, Rwanda, and Italy.

    Many bags drift into the ocean, strangling turtles, suffocating seabirds and filling the stomachs of dolphins and whales with waste until they die of starvation.

    “If we continue like this, by 2050, we will have more plastic in the ocean than fish,” said Habib El-Habr, an expert on marine litter working with the UN Environment Programme in Kenya.

    Plastic bags, which El-Habr says take between 500 to 1 000 years to break down, also enter the human food chain through fish and other animals. In Nairobi's slaughterhouses, some cows destined for human consumption had 20 bags removed from their stomachs.

    “This is something we didn't get 10 years ago but now it is almost on a daily basis,” said county vet Mbuthi Kinyanjui as he watched men in bloodied white uniforms scoop sodden plastic bags from the stomachs of cow carcases.

    Kenya's law allows police to go after anyone even carrying a plastic bag. But Judy Wakhungu, Kenya's environment minister, said enforcement would initially be directed at manufacturers and suppliers.

    “Ordinary wananchi will not be harmed,” she told Reuters, using a Kiswahili word for “common man”.

    It took Kenya three attempts over 10 years to finally pass the ban, and not everyone is a fan.

    Samuel Matonda, spokesman for the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, said it would cost 60 000 jobs and force 176 manufacturers to close. Kenya is a major exporter of plastic bags to the region.

    “The knock-on effects will be very severe,” Matonda said.

    “It will even affect the women who sell vegetables in the market - how will their customers carry their shopping home?”

    Big Kenyan supermarket chains like France's Carrefour and Nakumatt have already started offering customers cloth bags as alternatives.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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    Chinese poachers jailed in EcuadorChinese poachers jailed in Ecuador A court in Ecuador sentenced the crew of a Chinese ship caught fishing endangered sharks in the Galapagos marine reserve to prison terms on Sunday.

    The Chinese-flagged Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999 was caught within the protected zone on August 13 with 300 tonnes of fish - including some 6 000 sharks, mostly protected species such as the hammerhead and the bigeye thresher.

    The court announced on the third day of the trial against the crew that it was sentencing the ship captain to four years prison for committing an environmental crime with aggravating circumstances.

    The ship's three top officers got three years prison, while the 16 other crew members were jailed for one year.

    The court also ordered the crew to pay US$5.9 million to the Galapagos National Park.

    It's unclear if the Chinese crew will appeal the sentence.

    “After the enormous indignation we felt, this will definitely compensate for the damage caused because a historic precedent has been set,” park director Walter Bustos told AFP upon hearing the sentence.

    The 138 000 square-kilometre reserve, a sanctuary for sharks, has been designated by Unesco as a World Heritage site.

    Some 27 000 people live on the 19 Galapagos islands, located in the Pacific some 1 000 kilometres off Ecuador's coastline.

    The Galapagos is famous for its unique flora and fauna studied by Charles Darwin as he developed his theory of evolution.

    “Zero tolerance for environmental crimes!” tweeted Ecuador's Environment Minister Tarcisio Granizo.

    The Chinese ship has been confiscated and will be held in service to the Galapagos park, Granizo said.

    Galapagos residents have been protesting what they say is a fleet of 300 Chinese fishing vessels located in international waters just outside the marine reserve.



    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 08/28/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day TRAGIC: Men wait beside empty graves for the coffins of mudslide victims on 17 August 2017 at Waterloo cemetery near Freetown, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone buried at least 300 victims of devastating floods last week, as fears grew of more mudslides and accusations of government “inaction” over deforestation and poor urban planning mounted. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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    The exclusive “Namibian House”The exclusive “Namibian House” The president speaks of the Namibian House. The president says that no one should be left out. The president says that we have found out that we need each other. The president says we should be grateful for the peace we enjoy. The president says our focus should be on unity, and on nation building.

    But our president does not want to give the former SWATF soldiers, whether Koevoet or not, veteran status so they can also receive the monthly pension the Plan soldiers receive. For reasons utterly beyond our understanding, our country's president thinks that this is in order. And it is in order to make this statement while speaking of unity in the country… and the peace and stability, which we so enjoy.

    The president appears to be of the view that disgruntled war veterans that fought for the other side are no threat to peace and stability and the fact that they are sidelined, does not say anything about unity. Or reconciliation for that matter...

    The president is also of the view that the probe into the Swapo dungeons saga is counterproductive, and that it apparently smacks of selective morality.

    Would such a probe not finally provide the answers to the many questions that have been asked by so many people over so many years? Would it not clear Swapo once and for all if it is found that the dungeons are indeed only a myth?

    Is it not selective morality to decide that the probe is wrong? What is there to hide?

    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission helped South Africa to heal many wounds – and all their retired soldiers receive pension.

    This is South Africa, a country that is, and was, far more torn up than Namibia will ever be.

    Surely, if we are talking unity, if we are saying no one should be left out, if we are talking about solidarity tax… how the rich must help the poor – in solidarity… then we cannot say that certain retired soldiers cannot get pensions. Then we cannot say that a commission of enquiry into what is at best, a stark shadow over Swapo, should not be held.

    Surely, we cannot.

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  • 08/28/17--16:00: Tourists are welcome
  • Tourists are welcomeTourists are welcome Celebrations in anticipation of World Tourism Day kicked off at the Hosea Kutako International Airport on Friday with a Namibian culture and heritage exhibition and performances.

    The celebrations were aimed at welcoming tourists and were designed to ease the frustrations of arriving visitors due to the long queues.

    World Tourism Day takes place on 27 September and this year's theme is 'Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development'.

    In line with this theme and also to recognise the importance of tourism, Namibia selected the theme for this year to be 'Tourism begins at home'.

    This is to sensitise and create awareness about the issues affecting the sector in Namibia and to encourage Namibians to travel within their own country.

    Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste highlighted the challenges posed by new airlines arriving in Namibia and the limited space at the international airport.

    “As a line ministry we are aware of this and we are working to address these challenges.

    “With an increase in the number of visitors and airport users, more money flows into the local economy. With increased economic activity and employment, consumer behaviour changes, raising the standard of living of the people in the region. Thus, the availability of our airports provides a thrust to the GDP.”

    According to Jooste few industries can demonstrate the rate of sustained growth and investment shown by the air transport business.

    The deputy environment minister, Tommy Nambahu, said the ministry has established a steering committee to spearhead the preparations and several events are planned to build excitement for the final event that will take place at the Zoo Park Amphitheatre in Windhoek on 27 September.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 08/28/17--16:00: Red Flag drama unfolds
  • Red Flag drama unfoldsRed Flag drama unfoldsRukoro says police are politically motivated The police restricted access to the Ovaherero gravesite at Okahandja after violence erupted. The Paramount Chief of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA), Vekuii Rukoro, has accused the Namibian police of being politically motivated in its operations after their members restricted access to the historic Herero graves at Okahandja this weekend.

    Speaking at the Red Flag Day commemoration in Okahandja on Sunday, he said the police chief Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga was not fair in the way he handled the disagreement between supporters of the OTA under Rukoro's leadership and OtjikaTjamuaha Royal House under the leadership of Chief Tjinaani Maharero.

    The police had to intervene when supporters of the two factions became confrontational at the disputed site of the Red Flag Day commemoration in Okahandja on Saturday.

    Supporters of the OtjikaTjamuaha faction reacted furiously when supporters of the OTA decided to parade their horses on their plot.

    They were in disagreement over where the commemoration should take place – plot number 1755 belonging to the OTA or plot number 1756 leased to the Red Flag Regiment by the Okahandja Municipality.

    Someone hit one of the horses with a knobkierie and women threw rocks at the riders, resulting in one of the riders being thrown off his horse.

    Things came to a head when an OTA supporter pulled out a gun, cocked it and threatened the crowds.

    In another physical altercation a supporter of one of the two factions could be seen pushing someone from the other faction.

    The police's Deputy Commissioner Gerhard Mavenjono asked that each of the factions send five representatives to meet with them and a final decision was taken that no one be allowed to access the graves on Sunday – an integral part of the Red Flag commemoration.

    A visit to the graves of their ancestors holds sentimental value to the Ovaherero as they believe in paying homage to their fallen heroes.

    According to Phanuel Kaapama of the OtjikaTjamuaha Royal House, they could not allow anyone to access the grave site in Heroes' Street as the commemoration proceedings up to that point had not been carried out.

    They include lighting the holy fire, which is a site of communication with the ancestors. The fire should be lit before any commemoration takes place.

    On Saturday, the commemoration also failed to transpire as tensions ran high at the site in Nau-Aib.

    Tjinaani Maharero earlier this week said plot 1755 holds sentimental value not only to the OtjikaTjamuaha clan, but to the entire Ovaherero community both nationally and internationally.

    According to Maharero, a court order issued in 2014 states that the 'holy fire', which signifies hope and a site of communication with the ancestors, should be restored east of the corrugated iron structure at this plot.

    He said the order had never been challenged, which makes it still valid. This structure was, however, removed from this plot after the OTA bought the area and has now been re-constructed at Plot 1756, which is adjacent to 1755.

    In 2014 when the two factions went to court, it was ordered that the OtjikaTjamuaha Royal House in collaboration with the Red Flag Regiment be in charge of the commemoration's organisation, which includes the lighting of the holy fire by a member of the OtjikaTjamuaha clan as dictated by tradition.

    Speaking on Sunday, Rukoro said the late Samuel Maharero was the leader of the entire Ovaherero and the police has no right to deny them their constitutional right.

    “The Namibian police is one-directional, not objective and is politically motivated,” he said.

    Speaking to Nampa on Sunday, Ndeitunga confirmed having ordered the police in Okahandja to restrict access to the graveyard.

    “If an action by the public or any group seems to provoke danger or seems to challenge security, the police have no option but to prevent that from happening,” he said.

    Ndeitunga also said Rukoro had accused him of being political motivated and biased in his handling of conflict between the two Herero factions.

    “I am used to accusations, but where I see there is danger I need to intervene,” he said.

    Red Flag Day, also known as Otjiserandu Day, marks the remembrance of the life of Samuel Maharero and the struggle against German troops. The day was introduced by the late Chief Hosea Katjikururume Kutako after the return of the remains of Samuel Maharero on 23 August 1923.



    NAMPA

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  • 08/28/17--16:00: Peace, peace but no peace
  • Peace, peace but no peacePeace, peace but no peace By: Jeisn S. Ashimbanga

    I never thought I would echo the words of peace, but I have. I have been thinking and questioning: Why is one man joyous and prosperous and another man poor and miserable? Why is one man fearful and anxious and another full of faith and confidence? Why does one man have a beautiful, luxurious home while another man ekes out a meagre existence in a slum? I've finally mustered the courage to analyse this.

    I have been especially interested in the misdirection of public interest. To all my countrymen, Namibia is our country today. Tomorrow, the Republic of Namibia will be your children's country. We all learnt and understood that every generation has a role to play… the first generation brought about social change and the second generation brought about political freedom, what will history write about us? Let's fight our war of economic freedom and put more attention on the labour market, economic growth and on foreign investors. Obviously we need to think very well and drive our future in proper way. We need to put our heads together and avoid all the unnecessary division among ourselves and the fights that do not belong to us.

    It is known that no one will hand you success, you have to fight for your future, and bear in mind that time is limited, so we should work hard while we can. Elders were once youth.

    Working hard is not a guarantee that you will succeed, you will have to go through processes or procedures, but for you to succeed your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. Be a risk taker and be willing to spend and sacrifice [invest] to gain. As a scenario in schools, kids usually write their books 'God help me to pass'. You will only pass if you study. Shame, cowards don't get to speak their minds and as a result they don't get to see their world change. War kills the warrior. It is usually the game you play that will see you lose. Don't be too rough, you might be approaching a blind spot! One hint, some think only good things are facts. Things that are stupid are kept to oneself, after all our mouths paint us, we look like what we say (in fact, we are what we say). Don't get too carried away, use what you got to get what you want, and what you don't have. A journey of thousand miles will always start with a single step! Every word we utter conveys what we are more than what we intend to mean. I am serious.

    Politically, history cuts little ice with the young people who grew up with no apartheid memories, the struggle continues. In every role I play, I am sure to go above and beyond what is expected of me. I don't look back in service of anyone regardless of the sacrifices that I have to make along the way because I believe in the justice and the clarity of purpose. Identified as a youth is a badge of honour because I subscribe to the ideals and principles of our early heroes. Being an avid follower of youth movements is not just about wearing movements' t-shirts and have stickers, it's about personifying freedom and magnifying human dignity in political, social and economic dimensions.

    I am dedicating my time and effort to help change our country for the better, because it seems like most of the current crop of politicians have completely forgotten that ideal, I don't want to spit on someone's parade. Moreover I don't have hope in our leaders because of their hypocrisy in overlooking the scandals and the serious allegations of corruption concerning politicians, and that the stealing from the nation's coffers gets overlooked. Don't get me wrong, I have just understood that there are certain political realities that have to be realised in order to effectively wield power.

    As a young person I have learnt that in politics the means can never justify the end thus I believe in my personal integrity and I will never be ashamed of the fact that I gave all for myself. Honestly, I want to serve and dedicate my life in service to the people for my entire life in terms of social, political and economic transformation. I want to be an avenue by which I will show my devotion to serve our people and my commitment to help change our country for the better in our own ways.

    Our people deserve more from our leaders. For far too long, political parties have negated the very reason why they're supposed to be there - to represent the people. They have been benefiting from the people that they are supposed to be serving, I think it's high time to turn the tables. Let's put our conscience over ambition, principles over our own glory and integrity above the pursuit of power, if they can no longer keep themselves true to these ideals. I will keep following this as my moral compass and guiding star in my own journey as an aspiring public servant.

    I hope to see many more thought-provoking articles like this one. “Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. If I advance; follow me. If I retreat; kill me. If I die; avenge me! It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep!”

    *Jeisn S. Ashimbanga is a third-year student at the University Of Namibia studying towards an honours degree in secondary education

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    The inevitability of corruption in Africa: Will it ever end?The inevitability of corruption in Africa: Will it ever end? By: Joseph Tobias



    After colonialism ended, many people followed the practice of exploiting government for their personal gain as the colonial leaders used to do, using state resources to build up their home countries. During these colonial times, people in African countries fought together as collective units. Now, the collectivism has disappeared and has been replaced by individualism, nepotism and the mentality of “every man for himself”, which disadvantages the poor, the unemployed, and fails to take into consideration the youth and disabled, and those in rural areas. Corruption originates from this kind of mentality. African leaders have this mentality. They ignore the masses and focus solely on themselves.

    During the struggle, a lot of people were killed and despite the sacrifices made, most African leaders feel they are more entitled to different resources and privileges than their compatriots, so they refuse to recognise corruption as inappropriate or as a crime, they mostly take what they want, from whoever they want, without considering who suffers. War in Africa was not fought by these individuals but by collective units, groups organised in unity with a sense of belonging, a feeling of togetherness, nationalism and nationhood. This is what won Africans the war against the European whites.

    Julius Nyerere greatly questioned the benefits of independence of the African states, and if the people would be able to enjoy the true benefits of independence if corruption was allowed to continue. He was afraid that confidence in the government, including the very foundation of justice, will be shattered if corruption is/was not confronted. Decades on since these leaders emphasised these issues, the fears of both Nyerere and Nkrumah who cited corruption as a vice that risked harming millions in Africa striving for freedom and justice, has been realised. African leaders have since exploited the institutions and government agencies and the public resources at their disposal after being drafted into office after independence. Nyerere and Nkrumah's fears have been integrated into the very social, political and economic systems that are being used in our societies, communities, and countries. The practices of nepotism, patronage, and paternalism have been employed to secure and maintain control of resources and material benefits for African leaders.

    Corruption in Africa is not a carbuncle on the body politics, but a virus in its bloodstream. If we are to remove corruption, we will have to threaten the state itself and this should include the state actors and everyone involved, as the state now acts as a lubricant to an otherwise static and inefficient bureaucracy.

    Corruption kills more than warfare; it takes land and money to build a hospitals and buys private jets. And the consequences are that from that poverty pool, the next genius to lead Africa out of this morass; the next Malcolm X, the cure for cancer, the woman/man who will make cars run on air can no longer be found. Many African countries have made considerable efforts, but so far they have not made any progress. This is because corruption in Africa starts from the top officials, the very same people always preaching about Harambee, Ubuntu, Ujamaa, and many other ideologies mostly aimed at blinding people and are excuses of making people believe the system is all good!

    Angola's former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, has been accused of creating one of the most corrupt environments in Africa by ignoring the everyday needs and concerns of citizens and focusing, instead on accumulating a massive fortune for himself and his family and crushing all political opposition. Zuma's tortured journey to the top of South African politics began when he was made deputy president under Thabo Mbeki. Since then, he has been accused of murder, rape, bribery, fraud, just to mention but a few.

    Mugabe and Zanu-PF's government are like gangsters and Mafia operations. The only difference between Zanu-PF and the mafia or the yakuza groups is that the latter are illicit organisations operating on the fringes of the formal system. Namibian politics is filled with selfish and greedy people, who think of no one else other than themselves, even the people they lead. Political appointments are made dependent on the political loyalties of the candidate or perhaps on the basis of a favour the appointee owes to the candidate.

    Leadership should never be according to who shouts the loudest, or who can make the best speeches. There is the face of power, and behind that those who have the best insight, and have a track record and the skills to get results should be speedily selected. Real leaders do not prey and play to the passions and prejudices of the people they serve. They instruct them in ways which foster their development and enhance the quality of their lives. The new leaders that will cure Aids, which will put a man on Mars are lost to mismanagement and corruption. And that is a sin against humanity to have tools for liberation but choose not to engage them.

    Some blind supporters especially in Africa are blinded by their leaders' intentions and the little that he/she gives them. But in a continent where 70% access 7% percent of the national wealth, as an example, would an 8% increase in eight years really be written down as an acceptable improvement? If the government has built two houses, where it had the potential to have built 1 000 (based on your natural resources and human potential) is called “progress” then we seriously need to ask what this progress is being measured against! A 2% and 5% increase in prosperity in 1% of the population in the richest continent on earth is certainly not “good leadership”.



    *Joseph Tobias is a 2016 graduate of the University of Namibia's Department of Politics and Administrative Studies

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  • 08/28/17--16:00: Measuring our times
  • Measuring our timesMeasuring our times When Tanzanian President John Mugufoli was elected, taking over from Jakaya Kikwete, he vowed to root out corruption. Civil servants have thus since been removed and corrupt individuals have been arrested. However, President Mugufoli is just but one a few of the dedicated African leaders as most have simply offered lip service not putting action to their words.

    The Chinese have taken over most of the operations on the continent and are dining with African leaders to obtain tenders. As a result, Africa has become a battlefield for them to practice their corruption and they do so without any resistance. One prominent US businessman was quoted by the South African newspaper the Sowetan in 2009 as having said that he often comes to Africa and gives a few gifts to our leaders in order to obtain his wants.

    The writers in this instalment explain the need for Africa to regain its dignity. Joseph Tobias writes about the inevitability of corruption in Africa and Jeisn explains the peace and stability that is inherent in us. Let's read their narratives.

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    American seeks appeal for judge's recusalAmerican seeks appeal for judge's recusal The two Americans accused of the murder of André Heckmair in 2011 have submitted a notice for leave to appeal against the refusal of the presiding judge to recuse himself from the trial.

    The accused Marcus Kevin Thomas submitted in his heads of argument that it would be in the interest of the administration of justice for the Supreme Court to pronounce itself on the matter of recusal so as to ensure finality on the issue.

    Judge Christie Liebenberg, after having heard the arguments of the State and defence lawyers, postponed the matter to this morning for ruling.

    In his judgement on 19 October last year, Liebenberg said there were no inadequacies in the opinions of three medical experts, who found that Thomas is not mentally ill and is thus fit to stand trial.

    Liebenberg said there is no history that he suffers from any mental defect and he did not experience brain damage during his failed attempt to escape from the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility on 3 November 2014.

    Thomas claimed that he suffered memory loss or other mental impairments since that time. He jumped from a tree and landed on the barbed wire of the prison fence, hanging upside down, during a failed attempt to escape.

    He wanted Judge Christie Liebenberg to recuse himself from the proceedings after finding him fit to stand trial. The recusal application was refused.

    The application for the recusal of the presiding judge was apparently made after deep introspection and consideration of the further conduct of the trial against him and his co-accused Kevin Donnell Townsend.

    Kadhila Amoomo, appearing on behalf of Thomas, stated that the application for leave to appeal to Supreme Court is based on the fact that Liebenberg refused to recuse himself from the proceedings despite having accepted and acknowledged that the neither of the two psychiatrists who evaluated the accused testified about him having acted in any way.

    They further accepted and acknowledged that no incriminating evidence has as yet been presented and there is no basis from which a court would be able to find that Thomas had acted in respect of the offences charged.

    According Amoomo, notwithstanding these concessions, the court failed to explain on what basis it had arrived at the finding that the accused had acted and could appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions.

    He further stated the court erred by rejecting the meaning attributed to the words 'acts' and 'acted' by Thomas and also failed to indicate what meaning should be attributed to the words 'acts' and 'acted' as reflected in the court order.

    Thomas maintains the court erred by not realising that it should have only expressed itself on the applicants ability to appreciate the concept of its wrongfulness at the time of the offence was allegedly committed and not on whether he acted or not.

    The lawyer argued that they rely as far as the prospects' of success is concern on their heads of arguments filled in the main application and the law relied thereon.

    ”We maintain that the ruling of the High Court creates reasonable apprehension of bias to a reasonable and informed accused person,” Amoomo submitted.

    He further maintained another court would come to a different conclusion because there is a reasonable prospect of success on appeal.

    He emphasised that the judge has not or will not bring an impartial mind to bear on the adjudication of the case.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Cops probe toddler's death after 'fall'Cops probe toddler's death after 'fall' The police are investigating the death of a two-year-old girl who was brought to a Swakopmund hospital with bruises, a swollen face and a broken tooth.

    According to the police, Jenny Muningondu Fabiola Rooinasie was declared dead on arrival at the Swakopmund State Hospital on Sunday.

    It is alleged that the child had bruises on the neck, a swollen face, one broken tooth and a loose tooth. According to her mother she had fallen on two occasions. A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

    In a separate incident on Sunday a man was strangled with a rope in the Kunene Region and died after he fell and hit his head on the floor.

    The incident occurred between 13:00 and 14:00 at Erwee Settlement.

    According to the police, Patrick Pietersen Dausab, 37, and his 36-year-old partner had an argument. She allegedly strangled him and in the process he fell and hit his head. The suspect has been arrested.

    In another incident on Sunday at about 10:30 in Tabernacle Street, Dolam location, a 31-year-old woman was shot, allegedly by her jealous boyfriend.

    The woman was shot with unlicensed firearm and was wounded in the right arm and throat. She was admitted to the Katutura State Hospital in a stable condition. The suspect was arrested.

    A Zimbabwean national died in Windhoek on Saturday after he was stabbed and robbed by three suspects who demanded beer and a cigarette.

    According to the police, the Zimbabwean, identified as Richard Jemusi, and his nephew were attacked by three suspects on Saturday at about 05:00 at the Otjomuise shopping centre.

    The suspects allegedly demanded beer and a cigarette from the two men. According to the police, when the victims supplied the beer and a cigarette, the suspects threw the items on the ground and robbed them.

    Jemusi was stabbed in the chest and died in the Katutura State Hospital. All three suspects were arrested.

    On Sunday at about 15:46 at Onhuno Village in Ohangwena a seven-year-old girl, Anna Mbulu, died when she was hit by an unlicensed driver. The suspect was arrested.

    On Friday, a five-year-old girl was run over by a Ford Ranger bakkie at Mahenzere village. She died at the Rupara Health Centre.

    The body of a South African man was retrieved from the Fish River Canyon in the //Karas Region on Friday. He has been identified as 64-year-old Michael Kenneth Erasmus. According to the police, it appears as though Erasmus drowned in the river while hiking in the canyon. He was in the company of eight others.

    On Saturday at Schlip, a 29-year-old man was arrested for possession of 395g of dagga valued at N$1 975.

    On Thursday, three men were arrested in separate incidents for dealing in drugs in Rehoboth.

    At about 16:00 on Thursday at Block B location In Rehoboth a 32-year-old man was arrested following a police search at his house. It is alleged that 1.330kg of dagga with a street value of N$6 650 was found in his possession.

    On the same day at about at about 14:30 at Block Bin Rehoboth, a 17-year-old boy was arrested when he was found in possession of mandrax tablets and 10g of dagga valued at N$4 290.

    In another incident at about 12:45 at Block F in Rehoboth a 27-year-old man was arrested after his house was searched by the police. It is alleged that the suspect was found in possession of five bankies of dagga worth N$250 and N$945 in cash.

    According to the police at least six people committed suicide over the weekend.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    978 plots serviced at Oshakati978 plots serviced at OshakatiNorthern town sets example The Oshakati town council is leading the way in the servicing of land and provision of low-cost housing. The Oshakati town council has serviced 978 new residential plots and 100 more are expected to be completed soon.

    N$140 million has been spent on the land servicing programme.

    This has impressed the urban and rural development minister, Sophia Shaningwa.

    Speaking yesterday at a ceremony held to mark the completion of the 978 erven in Ehenye extensions 2, 3, 7, 8 and Ehenye proper, Shaningwa said the completion of the project was in line with the government's efforts to ensure that all Namibians have a roof over their heads and a place to call home.

    “It is through projects such as this one that we see the efforts that the government of the Republic of Namibia and the Oshakati town council are making in ensuring that the land and housing needs in Namibia are addressed adequately,” Shaningwa said.

    “I would like to assure everyone that this project is not solely a project of the government or the council; it is the Namibian nation's project, it is our project. Therefore, in ensuring that we continue to deliver on land and low-cost housing, we all should play our part as towns, developers, investors and as various respective stakeholders,” she added.

    The minister called on other towns to emulate the efforts of Oshakati as far as land delivery and the construction of low-cost housing are concerned.

    “As I commend the Oshakati town council for a job well done on this ambitious project, we want to continue seeing more and more serviced land as well as more low-cost housing delivery, not only in Oshakati but all over the country,” she said.

    Shaningwa used the opportunity to call for public-private partnerships (PPPs) in solving Namibia's housing crisis.

    “As we know, durable solutions require the very active involvement of many different sectors, therefore I would like to see more private-sector partners and development partners join forces to ensure that more projects of this nature are established so that land issues do not remain at the core of the issues in Namibia,” Shaningwa said.

    Shaningwa thanked the community members who cooperated by selling their homesteads to the town council to make way for development, describing it as a noble deed for the youth and the next generation.

    Oshana governor Clemens Kashuupulwa also acknowledged the town council's efforts in servicing land for its residents.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Geingob under fire over dungeon remarksGeingob under fire over dungeon remarksFundamental right to know their history Two organisations have slammed President Hage Geingob's Heroes' Day speech, in which he said that the probe into Swapo's alleged human rights abuses would disturb the peace. The Namibian youth deserve to know the country's history, such as what really happened in the so-called Swapo dungeons during the liberation struggle.

    These were the sentiments of the Joint Parents and Truth committee in response to President Hage Geingob's claim that the dungeon probe would disturb the peace.

    In an open letter addressed to Geingob, committee chair Erica Beukes yesterday reminded Geingob that the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) had instructed the Namibian government to “ensure that all allegations of acts of torture and ill-treatment are investigated, prosecuted and punished, including those committed during the liberation struggle and the state of emergency of August 1999.”

    She also reminded him that “on 28 September 2016 the attorney-general on your instruction and behalf wrote of the 'serious matters' that you would 'consult with the people involved' and develop a long-term solution so as to best resolve all the issues that the commission raised.”

    Beukes also criticised Geingob's remarks quoted by a local newspaper that the example of unity that has been holding Namibia together for the past 27 years must come from the leaders, while Namibians must be the united defence against individuals and initiatives that divide and open old wounds and scars caused by successive conflicts for longer than a century.

    “Given your entreaty to our Joint Committee on 28 September 2016 to 'please accept the assurances of our highest esteem', we were naturally disconcerted to read this report,” Beukes said.

    She added that fundamental rights include the right to know when, how and where their people died.

    “It is a fundamental right to have access to their remains, which includes to be informed of the fate or whereabouts of missing people,” she stated.

    According to Beukes, Geingob knows the probe will not affect him directly and he only resists it to protect other Swapo elders.

    “But the truth will come out eventually.”

    She added that this inquiry was necessary to determine who the spies were and who were not; who collaborated with South Africa on the Cassinga massacre as well as who was responsible for the massacre of young People's Liberation Army of Namibia (Plan) fighters on 1 April 1989.

    “Why do South African police spies and collaborators qualify for war veteran status and many Plan fighters and freedom fighters inside the country do not qualify for it?”



    Lost opportunity

    Meanwhile, the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) says it was disappointed by Geingob's decision to use the Heroes' Day celebration as a platform to “berate” and “relegate” the Koevoet and SWATF issue to a “non-issue” to score political points.

    “It is understandable perhaps to some degree that the president, who is fighting for his political survival at the upcoming Swapo congress, saw a perfect opportunity and the right audience to appear to still be politically relevant.

    “However, he indeed missed a perfect opportunity to showcase that indeed Namibia belongs to all, irrespective of on which side of the liberation struggle they were.

    He let an opportunity go by to demonstrate that he is president of all Namibians and not a selected few,” Nudo spokesperson Joseph Kauandenge said yesterday.

    Nudo also accused Geingob of opportunism and criticised him for meeting the Koevoet and SWATF soldiers in good faith at State House in November and now he “turns around lashing out at them”.

    It further stated that that it was time for Namibia to address the issue of Swapo dungeons and to begin a healing process.

    “What the president conveniently forgets is the fact that there are daughters, mothers and extended families that still seek answers as to what has happened to their loved ones and where their remains are. How long will they be kept in the dark?” he asked.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Teacher arrested for poachingTeacher arrested for poaching A teacher was among the suspects arrested for poaching this weekend in the Kunene Region, following the recent discovery of two rhino carcasses.

    This brings the total of poached rhinos in Namibia to 26 for the year compared to a total of 60 in 2016.

    The environment ministry yesterday confirmed in a statement that a poached rhino carcass was discovered on Friday in the Klip River area in the Kunene Region.

    According to the ministry, staff observed suspicious movements which were followed up with the police. Two suspects were arrested almost immediately.

    “Thereafter an operation involving aerial patrols and strategic roadblocks were initiated and led to the arrest of four more suspects who are believed to have carried out the hunt of the poached rhino,” according to the ministry.

    The four suspects were found in possession with a pair of fresh rhino horns.

    Among the suspects arrested is a school teacher. All the suspects are Namibians, the ministry confirmed.

    With regard to this incident the police in its crime report yesterday said seven suspects were arrested for allegedly being in possession of two rhino horns.

    According to the police on Saturday between 02:00 and 17:00 at the Humor area, Anker, the suspects also had in their possession two unlicensed firearms and eight rounds of ammunition.

    It is alleged that two vehicles were found parked in Erwee village with three suspects while the other four suspects were in the field.

    According to the ministry another poached black rhino carcass was also discovered in the Okozongoro farm in the Erongo Region. Okozongoro is one of the ministry's rhino custodianship areas. According to the police the dehorned black bull rhino carcass, believed to be eight days old, was shot in the heart. No cartridge was found at the scene and no arrests have been made as yet.

    “Investigations into both cases continue and we reiterate our appeal to the public to continue assisting us and the police by reporting any suspected rhino or elephant poaching incidents. The ministry further wishes to warn those involved and those with intent to conduct such illegal activities that our anti-poaching teams comprising of members of the environment ministry and the Namibian Defence Force are deployed in all concentration areas,” the ministry said.



    The ministry added that the Nature Conservation Amendment Act No. 3 of 2017 will apply in any illegal activities related to hunting of rhinos and elephants. The provisions in this act stipulates that suspects found guilty qualify for a fine of N$25 million or 25 years imprisonment or both fine and imprisonment.



    In cases where suspects are second offenders, the get a fine of N$50 million or 50 years imprisonment or both such a fine and imprisonment.



    A total of 18 elephants have been poached this year compared to 101 in 2016.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 08/28/17--16:00: Failing our HIV+ girls
  • Failing our HIV+ girlsFailing our HIV+ girlsYouth remain most vulnerable HIV is especially perilous for the youth, who are not tested and often do not take their treatment regimes seriously. Namibia is not geared to deal with the high HIV infection rate among adolescents, a local public health expert argues.

    Responding to the findings of the Unicef 2016 seventh stocktaking report, Nanaso (Namibia Networks of AIDS Service Organisations) executive director Sandy Tjaronda said adolescents need tailor-made sexual reproductive services.

    Namibia, he added, is still lagging behind and has seen a worrying upwards trend in HIV infections among youth aged between 15 and 24.

    Late in 2015, UNAIDS figures for Namibia indicated that the age group between 15 and 24 was at the forefront of new infections.



    Girls, women at forefront

    The most recent figures indicate that the youth, aged between 15 and 24, make up 43% of all new infections in the country.

    According to the American ambassador Thomas Daughton, research shows that every year, 390 000 adolescent girls and young women are being infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Girls account for 75% of new HIV infections each year among adolescents in the region and HIV testing and treatment coverage continues to be unacceptably low among these groups.

    In this region, only 40 to 50% – less than half – of young people between the ages of 15 and 24 know their HIV status, with the result that too few of them are on treatment.

    “Reaching the affected adolescent girls and young women as well as the affected young men remains a challenge in Namibia and across the region. But the reality is simple: if we want to break the propagation cycle of the virus, we must address the health needs of adolescents, girls and women collectively. These interventions will include as post-violence care, optimised HIV testing services, PrEP, and effective, youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services,” Daughton said.

    According to the Unicef 2016 report Aids is a leading cause of death of adolescents globally and especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

    The report also calls for an urgent scale-up of treatment coverage to 95% of all children and adolescents living with HIV by 2018.

    “This is a true reflection. They definitely have special needs and they cannot be treated in the same way as the general population. They need certain people who can speak to them about HIV. They need constant counselling and most of the time they do not have this kind of support,” Tjaronda said.

    According to him the risk of defaulting on anti-retroviral treatment is high among teenagers, who suffer immensely under peer pressure. “They disguise their status and even their treatment, and as a result, they (adolescents) go around infecting and re-infecting each other.”

    This is confirmed by the Unicef report which states that HIV infection rates which have increased by 28% since 2005, are projected to rise amongst adolescents and HIV-related problems will multiply if new infections among 15- to 19-year-olds are not halted.

    “In Africa, the total population of 10- to 24-year-olds will rise to more than 750 000 000 by 2060 and thus, the estimated number of adolescents newly infected with HIV is expected to increase, even if the current progress in reducing the HIV incidence rate is maintained,” the report states.

    Health minister Bernard Haufiku said the report was a true reflection of the situation in Namibia.

    Haufiku, who recently said that the HIV infection rate in this age group was driven by rebellion and denial, has often questioned the lack of youth-friendly services and intolerance shown by older nurses to young women accessing contraceptives.



    Mother-to-child transmission

    The report states that a shift in the timing of HIV transmission from mother to child has created a new urgency for focusing on adherence to medicines and retaining mothers and infants in care to the end of the breastfeeding period.

    According to the report, an estimated 150 000 children aged 0 to 14 years were newly infected with HIV globally, and nearly 85% of them live in sub-Saharan Africa.

    “Half of the 1.8 million children aged 0 to 14 years living with HIV globally did not receive antiretroviral HIV treatment in 2015. For those children able to receive ART, it came too late, at an average age of initiation of 3.8 years in sub-Saharan Africa.”

    Namibia has done very well in this regard, with a drop from 33% in 2002 to 4.1% in 2015.

    Sheila Tlou, director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa, said Namibia and Botswana were the first two countries to reach 90% access to anti-retrovirals and a 90% reduction of mother-to-child-transmission in recent years.

    However, without treatment a third of children born with HIV will die by age one and half by age two without timely treatment.

    “In children under the age of one, HIV-related mortality peaks occur as early as two to three months of age, hence the urgent need for these infants to be diagnosed as soon as possible after birth,” Unicef says.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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     More boxers leave Sunshine  More boxers leave Sunshine The MTC Nestor ‘Sunshine’ Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy has suffered another blow following the sudden departure of three of its boxers to a rival academy. Apart from former WBO world champion Paulus ‘The Rock’ Ambunda, it was today announced that heavyweight fighter Vikapita Meroro and Wilberforce Shihepo have also joined Salute Boxing Academy. Salute Boxing owner Kiriata Kamanya expressed excitement about their latest acquisitions. “We are happy to have acquired these boxers and we do believe that they will add value to our stable given their experience in boxing,” Kamanya said.

    JESSE JACKSON KAUARISA

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    Tobias tight-lipped about exodusTobias tight-lipped about exodusThree boxers join Salute The Salute Boxing Academy continues to test the Nestor 'Sunshine' Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy's patience. The MTC Nestor 'Sunshine' Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy's Nestor Tobias says he has more important things to worry about than the boxers who have left the academy.

    The academy suffered another blow following the sudden departure of three of its boxers to a rival academy.

    Apart from former WBO world champion Paulus 'The Rock' Ambunda, it was announced yesterday that heavyweight fighter Vikapita Meroro and Wilberforce Shihepo had also joined Salute Boxing Academy.

    “I really do not want to comment on that because I have more important things to worry about like the progress of the academy and the upcoming fights on 9 September.

    “If you have a partnership with someone and they just decide to leave like that without consulting you, one always wonders,” Tobias said.

    Salute Boxing Academy owner Kiriata Kamanya expressed excitement about their latest acquisitions.

    “We are happy to have acquired these boxers and we do believe that they will add value to our stable given their experience in boxing,” Kamanya said.

    Shihepo last fought for his former recruiters in September 2016 and lost the fight for a vacant Commonwealth light heavyweight title to Cullum Johnson.

    The 34-year-old boxer has a record of 23 wins and nine losses in 32 fights.

    Meroro, who last fought in February this year, has won 28 and lost six of his 34 professional fights.

    It appears that Meroro has made a U-turn after announcing his retirement from professional boxing at the end of his last fight.

    The boxers said they had joined the Salute Academy because they were not contracted to Tobias.

    “I do not have any contract with Nestor Tobias and that is why I decided to join the Salute Boxing Academy,” Ambunda said.

    Shihepo and Meroro added that they wanted to improve their boxing careers with new promoters and trainers.

    It is also understood that the Soweto Boxing Academy has been taken over by the Salute Boxing Academy.

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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    Dancers need money for championshipsDancers need money for championships NAMPA

    Dance Sport Namibia (DSN) needs financial assistance to help realise its dream of allowing dancers to compete at the International Dance Organisation (IDO) Commonwealth Dance Championships for the first time.

    The dance championships will be held at Sun City Resort in South Africa from 3 to 8 September.

    Speaking at a media conference in Windhoek on Friday, Venancius Rukero, the interim secretary of DSN, said the organisation needed N$100 000 to cover their entry fees, accommodation and meals during the competition.

    “We spoke to the government about these championships and they have committed to providing transport for us, but as a newly established organisation, we do not have the funds to cater for the rest of our needs,” he said.

    Rukero said this is the first time that dancing is regarded as a sport code in Namibia.

    The organisation will select 16 dancers to represent the country at the championships.

    “This year we want to participate at this Commonwealth Dance Championships as a test drive to see how things are done at the bigger stage,” he said.

    The IDO Commonwealth Dance Championships are held every second year in a different Commonwealth country.

    Some of the IDO disciplines are performing arts, street dance and special couples’ dances.

    DSN is a new member of the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC), the Dance Sport Federation and the Namibia Sport Commission.

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