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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Stergiadis breaks national swimming recordsStergiadis breaks national swimming recordsNamibian shines at World Swimming Championships Two Namibian junior swimmers performed extremely well at the FINA World Swimming Championships in the United States. Local swimmer Heleni Stergiadis broke five national records at the sixth annual FINA World Swimming Championships which took place in Indianapolis, United States, from 23 to 28 August.

    She qualified for eight swimming events and swam personal best times in all her events. She broke five Namibian records in the women's 13-14 age group, setting new records for the 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle medley, 100m butterfly, 200m individual medley and 400m individual medley, and scored the highest FINA points in the 200m backstroke with 652 points.

    Zune Weber swam in three events and set two personal best times. She scored her highest FINA points in the 100m freestyle with 635 points.

    There were 640 swimmers from 93 countries participating.

    Team manager Phinelia Stergiadis said the competition was a very successful one for the two Namibian swimmers as they performed extremely well.

    Weber said their focus was to improve their times ahead of the competition.


    The 13-14 age group 200m freestyle relay record was held by Kiara Schatz when she took part in the 10th Africa Junior Swimming Championships in 2013 and swam a time of 2:12.90. Stergiadis broke her record with 2:11:23 this year at the FINA Championships.

    In the 400m freestyle relay Sonja Adelaar swam a time of 4:42. 82 at the 10th Africa Junior Swimming Championships in 2013; however Stergiadis set a new record of 4:37.61.

    In the 100m butterfly event Kiara Schatz's record of 1:07.60 was broken by Stergiadis with a time of 1:06.23.

    At the South African National Junior Age Group Championships in March, Stergiadis set a record of 2:29.81 in the 200m individual medley. She improved this with a time of 2:27.41 at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.


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    Pressure builds on Messi and ArgentinaPressure builds on Messi and ArgentinaMessi expected to earn Argentina a spot in the World Cup Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay are all vying for the three remaining automatic qualification slots. While Brazil have already secured their place at next year's World Cup in Russia, the battle for South America's other direct qualification berth remains wide open as the continent braces for another double header round of qualifiers.

    Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay are all vying for the three remaining automatic qualification slots with four fixtures left in the CONMEBOL tournament.

    Having already pocketed 33 points from 14 matches, Brazil coach Tite can now afford to experiment with his squad for the team's remaining qualifiers against Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Chile.

    Colombia is the next-best placed team with 24 points from 14 matches. Jose Pekerman's outfit will be without influential midfielder James Rodriguez for Thursday's away clash against Venezuela but the 26-year-old is expected to be available for the duel against Brazil in Barranquilla five days later.

    Victories in both matches would all but guarantee the Cafeteros a berth in their second consecutive World Cup.

    A point behind Colombia is Uruguay and Chile. The Celeste will be without injured striker Luis Suarez for the clashes with Argentina and Paraguay, meaning their attacking plans will rest largely on the shoulders of Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani.

    Chile has struggled to recapture the form that took them to back-to-back Copa America titles in 2015 and 2016. But the Roja should take a significant step towards qualifying by defeating Paraguay at home on Thursday and Bolivia away on Tuesday week.

    Arguably no team is facing greater expectation to perform than Lionel Messi's Argentina, who is a point behind Uruguay and Chile in fifth place.

    The Albiceleste will be managed by Jorge Sampaoli for the first time in a competitive fixture and the pressure on the former Chile boss to succeed will be immediate.

    Failure to win both of their upcoming matches against Uruguay and Peru will leave the two-time world champions in grave danger of missing football's showpiece tournament for the first time since 1970.

    It could also shape Messi's legacy, with many believing the Barcelona forward needs to win the World Cup to be considered among the greatest players in history.

    One of the major disappointments of the CONMEBOL campaign so far has been Ecuador. After a flying start to the qualifying rounds, Gustavo Quinteros' team have won just two of their past eight matches.

    They face a daunting task to overcome Brazil away from home on Thursday before a home clash against Peru five days later.

    The sense of urgency is even greater for Peru and Paraguay who, with 18 points apiece, can still mathematically qualify, though they will realistically be targeting fifth place, which would secure an intercontinental playoff berth.

    Bolivia (10 points) and Venezuela (six points) are out of contention for a World Cup place.


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    Liverpool confirm record deal for KeitaLiverpool confirm record deal for Keita Liverpool have confirmed they have agreed a club record deal with German club RB Leipzig for the transfer of midfielder Naby Keita, who will move to Anfield at the start of next season.

    The 22-year-old Guinea international was identified as a priority signing by Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, but Leipzig, who are in the Champions League this season, were unwilling to let him leave in the current transfer window.

    Keita has a 48 million pound ($62.14 million) release clause in his Leipzig contract that comes into effect next season and Liverpool agreed to pay an undisclosed premium on that amount to secure his services in advance.

    “I am delighted that an agreement has been reached which will allow me to join Liverpool Football Club next summer, when I will become part of a project that excites me greatly,” Keita told Liverpool's website www.liverpoolfc.com

    The Guinean, who scored eight goals in 31 Bundesliga appearances for Leipzig last season and helped guide them to a second-place finish, added that he would be committed to the German club until he officially joins Liverpool in July 2018.

    “Having my future resolved means I can now focus on helping RBL achieve great things this season. Until I join my new club, next summer, I will remain an interested supporter from a distance,” he said.


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    Caster Semenya shatters 600m world record in BerlinCaster Semenya shatters 600m world record in Berlin Caster Semenya delivered another remarkable performance on Sunday to set a new world best over the 600m distance at the penultimate leg of the IAAF World Challenge series in Berlin, Germany.

    Turning out as the lone SA representative, Semenya enjoyed a gun-to-tape victory, completing the race in 1:21.77.

    She obliterated the previous world best of 1:22.63 which had been clocked by Cuban athlete Ana Quirot in 1991.

    Semenya, who took nearly four seconds off her own SA best of 1:25.56 which had stood for more than five years, was well clear of Ajee Wilson of the United States, who ended second in 1:22.39.

    The ninth and final leg of the World Challenge series is set to be held in Zagreb, Croatia on Tuesday.

    “It's been a beautiful and eventful long season for a dedicated athlete and we congratulate Caster for being part of the current breed of South African athletes leading in flying the national flag high around the world.

    “We are proud of her, her coach and the rest of her support staff for the great work done to make her perform the way she has over the two seasons including at the Olympic Games in Rio last year and the IAAF World Championships,” said Aleck Skhosana, the president of Athletics South Africa.


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    Oshindji osha pumbwa okuningwa mekondjitho lyombuto yoHIVOshindji osha pumbwa okuningwa mekondjitho lyombuto yoHIVAanyasha yeli moshiponga Aanyasha oyeli unene moshiponga shokukwatwa kombuto yoHiv, noyendji inaya konaakonwa ombuto ndjoka omanga mboka ya konaakonwa nokumonika ombuto ihaya kutha ko epango lyawo neitulomo. Namibia iniitulamo okukondjitha etaandelo lyombuto yoHIV mokati kaanyasha, pahapu dhomutseyinawa gwuundjolowele.

    Sho a yamukula kolopota tayi ithanwa Unicef 2016 seventh stocktaking report, Omukomeho gwoNanaso (Namibia Networks of AIDS Service Organisations) Sandy Tjaronda okwa popi kutya aanyasha moshilongo oya pumbwa okupewa ontseyo kombinga yomayakulo ngoka.

    Okwa popi kutya Namibia okuli konima sho e na omwaalu omunene gwaanyahsa yoomvula dhili pokati 15 no 24 taya kwatwa kombuto.

    Mo-2015 olopota yoUNAIDS oya holola kutya ongundu yoomvula dhili pokati ko15 no 24 oyi li moshiponga shokukwatwa kombuto yoHIV, moNamibia.

    Olopota ndjoka oya holola kutya oopresenda 43, dhiipotha iipe yombuto ndjoka moshilongo oya dhidhilikwa mokati kaanyasha yoomvula 15 sigo 24.

    Pahapu dhomukalelipo gwaAmerika, Thomas Daughton, omapekaapelo oga ulike kutya aanona yaakadhona naakiintu ya thika po 390 000, ohaya kwatwa kombuto yoHIV kehe omvula muSub Sahara Afrika.

    Okwa tsikile kutya moshitopolwa shoka oopresenda owala dhili pokati 40 no 50 ndhoka dhi shi kutya odha thikama peni nombuto yoHiv, naashona yowala yeli kepango lyoHIV.

    “Okwaadha mboka ya gumwa konkalo ndjoka aakadhona naakiintu oshowo aalumentu oshi li eshongo enene moNamibia, ihe oshi li oondjoka kutya otwa pumbwa okugandja uuyelele kaantu mboka unene aakiintu naanona yaakadhona. Omauyelele ngoka oga kwatela mo omayambidhidho, eningo lyomakonaaakono gombuto oshowo omakwatho galwe.”

    Olopota yoUnicef 2016 report oya holola kutya omukithi gwoAids ogumwe gwomomikithi ndhoka tadhi dhipaga omwaalu ogundji gwaanyasha miilongo yaSub Sahara Afrika.

    Olopota ndjoka otayi pula ehwahwameko opo ku gandjwe epango lyombuto ndjoka kaanona naanyasha ya kalelapo oopresenda 95, mboka taya lumbu nombuto okuya momvula yo-18.

    Tjaronda okwa tsikile kutya shoka osha pumbiwa noonkondo molwaashoka ongundu yaantu mboka itayi pumbwa okwiihumbtelwa ngaashi ongundu dhaantu yalwe. Oya pumbwa esiloshisho lyowina oshowo okupewa ehungomwenyo.

    Tjaronda okwa popi kutya ehulithepo lyepango mokati kaanyasha oli li pombanda unene na ohaye shi ningi owala onga omukao gwokwiiyuvitha nawa.

    Shoka otashi kolekwa kolopota yoUnicef ndjoka ya holola kutya e yo pombanda lyiipotha yetaandelo lyombuto ndjoka, olya londo noopresenda 28 okutameka omvula yo-2005, neyopombanda ndyoka otaku fekelwa tali londo pombanda, mokati kaanona yoomvula 15 sigo 19, ngele inaku ningwa sha.

    Ominista yUundjolowele moNamibia Bernard Haufiku okwa koleke kutya olopota ndjoka oyi li ethano lyoshili konkalo ndjoka ya taalela Namibia. Haufiku ngoka a popi kutya e yo pombanda lyondjele yetaandelo lyombuto mokati kaanyasha mboka otali hwahwamekwa kokwaahena ko nasha okwa gandja woo uusama kutya ope na ompumbwe yomayakulo gombili goludhi ndoka kaanyasha oshowo aapangi aakuluntu mboka taya tindile aanyasha mboka omayakulo galwe ngaashi oluvalo lwa longekidhwa.

    Olopota ndjoka natango oya popi woo ketaandelo lyombuto okuza kooyina yuunona okuya kuunona, na oya holola kutya aanona yoomvula dhili po 0 sigo 14 oya kwatwa kombuto muuyuni, noopresenda 85 dhaanona mboka otaya lumbu moSub Sahara Afrika.

    Oya tsikile kutya etata lyaanona mboka yoomiliyona 1.8 yoomvula dhili pokati ka 0 sigo 14 taya lumbu nombuto inaya mona epango lyombuto ndjoka mo2015.

    Nonando ongaaka Namibia okwa hololwa a longo nuudhiginini pombinga ndjoka sho egwo pevi lyondjele yetaandeo lyombuto mokati kaanona mboka lya gu pevi okuza poopresenda 33 mo-2002 okuya poopresenda 4.1 mo-2015.


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    Omakonaakono taga ningilwa Swapo otaga yi moshipala ombili-GeingobOmakonaakono taga ningilwa Swapo otaga yi moshipala ombili-Geingob Omahangano gaali oga nyana omapopyo gomupresidende Hage Geingob ngoka a ning imesiku kwa dhimbulukiwa Esiku lyOmapendafule, kombinga yomakonaakono giimbuluma yiita nomiyonena dhuuthemba womuntu, ngoka kwa holola taga ningilwa ongundu yoSwapo.

    Omuleli okwa popi kutya omakonaakono ngoka otaga yi moshipala ombili yoshilongo.

    Aanyasha yaNamibia oya pumbwa okuuva oshili kutya oshike sha holoka mookamba dhaSwapo pethimbo lyekondjelomanguluko.

    Ngoka omaiyuvo gokomitiye Joint Parents and Truth committee sho ya yamukula komapopyo gaGeingob.

    Momukanda gwa manguluka ngoka gwashangelwa omuleli, Omunashipundi gwokomitiye ndjoka Erica Beukes mOmaandaha okwa dhimbulukitha Geingob kutya oUnited Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) oya gandja elombwelo kepangelo lyaNamibia opo li kwashilipaleke kutya omapopyo agehe ngoka giimbuluma yiita nomiyonena dhuuthemba womuntu, ndhoka dha longwa kuSwapo, odha ningilwa omakonaakono noonakumonika ondjo oya pangulwa nokupewa omageelo, mwakwatelwa oshikumungu shomuAguste gwo-1999.

    Okwe mu dhimbulukitha woo kutya “Momasiku 28 gaSepetemba mo-2016, hahendje-ndjai kelombwelo lyoye okwa shanga kutya oto ka ya moonkundathana naantu taya kutha ombinga moshikumungu shoka nokukambadhala okukandula po nokweeta ekandulepo lyomukundu moshikumungu shoka.”

    Beukes okwa nyana omapopyo gaGeingob, ta popi kutya onkalo yuukumwe ndjoka ya kwatele Namibia kumwe muule woomvula 27 dha piti, nayi ze kaaleli omanga AaNamibia naya hangane mokukondjitja oohandimwe mboka taya topola nokupatulula iilalo yiikolokosha mbyoka ya ningwa omimvo odhindji dha piti.

    Okwa tsilike kutya oshili uuthemba womuntu okutseya kutya omadhipago ngoka oga ningwa uunake, kulye naantu mboka oya hulitha ngiini. Okwa tsikile kutya oshi li woo uuthemba wokumona oombila dhoonakusa mboka, oshowo okutseya kutya mboka kwa lopotwa yakana oye li peni.

    Beukes okwa popi kutya Geingob okushishi kutya omakonaakono ngoka itage mu gumu, ihe ota kambadhala okugamena aakokele yoSwapo.

    “Oshili oshi na okuza mo.”

    Omunambelewa ngoka okwa popi kutya omakonaakono nomapulaapulo ngoka oga pumbiwa kutya oolye yali oondaadhi naamboka kaya li oondaaadhi mboka ya longele kumwe naSouth Afrika, poshiponokela shaCassinga oshowo kutya oolye ye na mo olunyala medhipago lyaanyasha yoPeople's Liberation Army of Namibia (Plan) mesiku lyotango lyaApilili mo-1989.

    Ongundu yoNational Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo), okupitila momupopiliko gwawo Joseph Kauandenge nayo oya nyana Geingob kutya kashili mondjila okulongitha eEsiku ndyoka lyOmapendafule mokupopya momutya nayi kombinga yiilyo nale yoKoevoet oshowo SWATF.


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    FNB’s @Parkside bags five-star awardFNB’s @Parkside bags five-star award The FNB head office @Parkside recently received a 5 Star Green Star Africa As Built rating from the Green Building Council South Africa. This is the only As Built project in Africa, outside of South Africa, and the first five-star rating in Namibia.

    FNB Namibia Holdings CEO Sarel Van Zyl expressed his pride at the achievement.

    “Our building is the first As Built rated building outside of South Africa, as well as the first five-star rating outside of South Africa. We are immensely proud of this achievement and once again thank all involved parties who have made this possible. This is a great achievement and a testament to hard work by the construction and operational team,’ he said.

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  • 08/29/17--16:00: MTN seeks partners
  • MTN seeks partnersMTN seeks partnersKeen to expand service offering Partnership designed with customer in mind, says sales manager. MTN Business Namibia will soon launch its partner programme, an initiative that will enable local and global ICT service providers to become part of the telecommunications company's products and solutions offering.

    The programme, which is already operational in other markets, will allow selected companies to leverage on the group's expertise, while it rides on their know-how of the local market to fill any capacity or expertise gap currently existing in the business.

    This comes barely a month after Profile Technologies, a unit of Profile Investment Holdings, acquired a 30% stake in MTN Business Namibia, a local arm of the MTN Group.

    MTN Business Namibia manager for sales and business development, Keith Handura, said the partnership programme has been designed with the customer in mind.

    “All the partners that we are targeting have their core competencies and we have ours, and the whole idea with partnerships, is about us trying to marry the two. At the core of this, is the customer. We want to add more value to the customer. The customer is at the heart of everything that we do,” he said. “We aim to take the best of those companies, the best of MTN and provide our customers with something better. I think there are a lot of complete products on the market, but if you take the best of product A and the best of product B and you put it together, you get best of class for a particular product,” Handura added. MTN Namibia believes that the partnerships will enhance value of its service offering, which will be offered at competitive prices on the market.

    “We have wonderful offerings that we have rolled out in other operations, but there is no guarantee that they are going to work in the Namibian market, so we need those partners who can say, 'that is not going to work in the Namibian context, let's change it to this or let's not even think of bringing that to the market'.”

    The partnership programme is expected to be launched in the next couple of months.

    “Namibia is a very important market for us. The sooner we get these partnerships up and running, the sooner our customers will start enjoying the benefits,” Handura said.


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  • 08/29/17--16:00: Nambahu on tourism roadshow
  • Nambahu on tourism roadshowNambahu on tourism roadshow The deputy minister of environment and tourism, Tommy Nambahu, is currently in Kigali, Rwanda for the 41st Annual World Tourism conference. The conference brings together government leaders, international investors and travel professionals from the United States, Europe and Africa to set the tone on how tourism can be utilised as an engine for economic growth.

    During his visit to Rwanda Nambahu will also participate in various panel discussions and will hold meetings with ministers from other countries to discuss issues of mutual concern. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

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    Good profit for Standard BankGood profit for Standard Bank In its half-year financial statement, Standard Bank Namibia Holdings recorded a profit after tax amount of N$282 million as at 30 June 2017.

    Standard Bank Namibia Holdings has grown its profit after tax by 10.8% off the back of moderate loans and advances, growth to customers of 7.9% and a 24.6% reduction in credit impairment charges.

    “Total income grew by 3.7% whereas expenses grew by 3.0%, signalling the start of the 'plateauing' of our expense growth, following the expansive investment cycle in our core-banking system and physical infrastructure.

    “We are continuing with our progress in managing our loan book as evidenced by the decline in the credit loss ratio to 0.5% from 0.7%. Our return on equity saw a slight decline from 20.3% to 19.9%. This was largely attributable to a lower dividend payment, diluting the return,” said Standard Bank's chief financial officer, Bryan Mandy.

    The Group remains appropriately capitalised with tier 1 and total capital levels at 11.7% and 14.94% respectively. Standard Bank is in a good position to meet the progressively higher requirements arising from Bank of Namibia's intent to implement Basel III capital standards in the near future.

    “Standard Bank Namibia maintained its strong liquidity position within approved risk appetite and tolerance limits. Total liquidity remained in excess of specific prudential requirements and remains adequate to meet all internal stress testing, prudential and regulatory requirements,” said Standard Bank's CEO, Vetumbuavi Mungunda.

    The outlook for private-sector credit extension continues to improve, albeit slightly. However, sluggish demand for mortgage and vehicle loans will in all likelihood persist over the short to medium term. Also bearing in mind the latest Q1 GDP release from the NSA that now affirms that Namibia is in a recession, makes for a relatively difficult outlook.

    “We continue to focus our efforts into transforming Standard Bank into an innovative and forward thinking bank that is moving towards, understanding and delivering what matters to customers,” said Mungunda.


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  • 08/29/17--16:00: Trade fairs important
  • Trade fairs importantTrade fairs importantSeen as stimuli of growth Trade fairs are seen as avenues to inject new capital into the economy. ILENI NANDJATO

    President Hage Geingob says the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair gives established and aspiring businesspeople a chance to use their entrepreneurial flair to transform Namibia’s exhibition landscape, and in so doing, generate the business activity needed to inject new capital into the economy.

    Geingob yesterday opened the 18th OATF. As is customary on the day of the official opening, entrance was free and the fairgrounds were packed.

    The president said trade fairs and exhibitions can be defined in as sophisticated platforms for conducting business on a national and international scale.

    “It is more than just a marketing tool as it allows exhibitors and clients access to the entire marketplace. As a source of market information they fulfil needs in a centralised way.

    “Exhibitions present a reliable medium for exchange of information, and this is one of many reasons that they are globally recognised as the most effective medium for doing business in the modern world,” Geingob said.

    The organisers have confirmed that 456 exhibitors are represented at this year’s trade fair. Among these, 15 are international exhibitors from countries such as South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania and Indonesia.

    Geingob said Namibia is a child of Pan-African and international solidarity and has always valued its African and international friends.

    He said during an economic downturn it is crucial for businesses to enhance their visibility and display strong fundamentals and market robustness. Exhibitions are therefore ideal for exhibitors to build trust and confidence across the supply chain.

    Geingob said the SME Tent, where local traders exhibit traditional goods, is a focal point of attraction.

    “The local entrepreneurial spirit should be nurtured, encouraged, honed and supported at all costs in order to create new markets for businesspeople and new growth opportunities within our economy,” the president said.

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  • 08/29/17--16:00: Choose the best for the best
  • Choose the best for the bestChoose the best for the bestSelection is critical to optimal livestock performance Livestock farmers should strive for optimal productivity while keeping production costs in check and the production efficiency of a livestock enterprise is directly linked to the efficiency of livestock selection. According to Agribank, to maximise productivity, a livestock farmer should establish breeding objectives and goals, and implement a selection process that will meet their objectives. The purpose of livestock selection is to improve herd or flock productivity, meet market demands and increase farm income.

    Agribank says there are several factors that hinder livestock improvement, which amongst others include the costs of breeding materials, uncontrolled breeding practices, absence of records, skills or knowledge gap and environmental conditions.

    “Selection is critical to optimal livestock performance, and the objective is to retain and maintain superior breeding animals that will pass the most desired traits onto future generations. To achieve this, three common approaches can be used in order to help the farmer make desired and well-informed decisions.”

    These are visual assessments which are based on descriptive standards set to identify an ideal animal based on its physical soundness such as body conformation, posture udder and testicle size and placement.

    According to Agribank, another approach is genetic assessment which is based on known inherited characteristics which are influenced by an animal's genotype. This is done by genetic evaluation methods such as estimated breeding value (EBV) or expected progeny difference (EPD).

    The use of these methods is based on statistical formulas to predict if an animal is able to pass on the most economically important traits such as growth rate, carcass quality, reproductive efficiency, parasite resistance, etc.

    The difference between the two is that EBV estimates individual animal breeding value whereas EPD estimates the individual animal's progeny (offspring) breeding value. Farmers can always obtain such estimates from livestock stud breeders' associations.

    Classing and culling is visual assessment of the animal, and the use of its performance history such as calving intervals, abortions, complications at birth.

    “For example, a cow on average should have a calf every year (365 days and less), but if it starts delaying and has longer intervals between every calf, then it can be selected and classed as a low- or non-producer, thus, culled for market,” according to Agribank.

    For any animal type or breed, a farmer should take into account the environmental conditions and their management ability. “On that, what is expected is a productive and adaptive animal, and the management should be able to meet the animal's requirements in terms of health and nutrition, and general animal welfare practices,” said the bank.

    Ellanie Samit

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    Pork production hampered by lack of abattoirPork production hampered by lack of abattoir The growth of the pig industry in the central region of Namibia is hampered mainly because of the lack of a pig abattoir.

    This is one of the issues that was discussed during the members' meeting and information day of the Pig Producers' Association which took place during mid-month.

    According to the Namibia Agricultural Union there was a lot of interest in the information day, especially from emerging producers. Dr Albert Schutte of the Pig Improvement Company (PIC) stimulated the interest of pig farmers with his speech about the potential of pig production “Feed the world: a long term approach”.

    PIC is the world leader in the breeding of pigs. The genetic progress which is made with pigs and especially with regard to the effectiveness in feed turnover relationship and meat production per sow, is enormous. His second speech was about the management of sows with the key on increased throughput of piglets.

    During the meeting a new management was elected with Gideon Goosen as chairman and William Bosch as his deputy.

    It is the task of the new management to address the lack of a pig abattoir in the central Namibia.


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  • 08/29/17--16:00: Harvey's path of destruction
  • Harvey's path of destructionHarvey's path of destructionWorst storm in Texas in 50 years Fatalities linked to Harvey could soar once the devastating floodwaters recede from one of America's most sprawling metropolitan centres. More than three days after Harvey ravaged the Texas coastline as a Category 4 hurricane, authorities had confirmed only three deaths - including a woman killed Monday when heavy rains dislodged a large oak tree onto her trailer home in the small town of Porter. But unconfirmed reports of others missing or presumed dead were growing.

    “We know in these kind of events that, sadly, the death toll goes up historically,” Houston police Chief Art Acevedo told The Associated Press. “I'm really worried about how many bodies we're going to find.”

    One Houston woman said Monday that she presumes six members of a family, including four of her grandchildren, died after their van sank into Greens Bayou in East Houston, though Houston emergency officials couldn't confirm the deaths. Virginia Saldivar told The Associated Press, “I'm just hoping we find the bodies.”

    And a spokeswoman for a Houston hotel says one of its employees disappeared while helping about 100 guests and workers evacuate the building amid rising floodwaters.

    The disaster is unfolding on an epic scale, with the nation's fourth-largest city mostly paralysed by the storm that has parked itself over the Gulf Coast. With nearly 2 more feet of rain expected on top of the 30-plus inches in some places, authorities worried the worst might be yet to come.

    The storm is generating an amount of rain that would normally be seen only once in more than 1 000 years, said Edmond Russo, a deputy district engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers, which was concerned that floodwater would spill around a pair of 70-year-old reservoir dams that protect downtown Houston.

    Rescuers meanwhile continued plucking people from inundated neighbourhoods. Mayor Sylvester Turner put the number by police at more than 3 000. The Coast Guard said it also had rescued more than 3 000 by boat and air and was taking more than 1 000 calls per hour.

    Chris Thorn was among the many volunteers still helping with the mass evacuation that began Sunday. He drove with a buddy from the Dallas area with their flat-bottom hunting boat to pull strangers out of the water.

    “I couldn't sit at home and watch it on TV and do nothing since I have a boat and all the tools to help,” he said.

    A mandatory evacuation was ordered for the low-lying Houston suburb of Dickinson, home to 20 000. Police cited the city's fragile infrastructure in the floods, limited working utilities and concern about the weather forecast.

    In Houston, questions continued to swirl about why the mayor did not issue a similar evacuation order.

    Turner has repeatedly defended the decision and did so again Monday, insisting that a mass evacuation of millions of people by car was a greater risk than enduring the storm.

    “Both the county judge and I sat down together and decided that we were not in direct path of the storm, of the hurricane, and the safest thing to do was for people to stay put, make the necessary preparations. I have no doubt that the decision we made was the right decision.”

    The Army Corps started releasing water from reservoirs Monday because water levels were climbing at a rate of more than 6 inches per hour, Corps spokesman Jay Townsend said.

    The move was supposed to help shield the business district from floodwaters, but it also risked flooding thousands more homes in nearby subdivisions. Built after devastating floods in 1929 and 1935, the reservoirs were designed to hold water until it can be released downstream at a controlled rate.

    Harvey increased slightly in strength Monday as it drifted back over the warm Gulf, according to the National Hurricane Centre.


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  • 08/29/17--16:00: Blind loyalty is dangerous
  • Blind loyalty is dangerousBlind loyalty is dangerous The Swapo Party Youth League elective congress has come and gone with newly elected leader Ephraim Nekongo promising to make the youth wing “great again”. The SPYL has been hogging the headlines, mostly for all the wrong reasons, in the last three years or so due to constant infighting amongst members.

    There has been a vicious dogfight amongst senior members for the heart and soul of the youth league, which further exposes the growing divisions in the ruling party ahead of the elective congress in November.

    While Nekongo's victory was not predicted by many, it will be interesting to see how the SPYL will run its affairs in the next five years or so.

    Will he be his own man or will he be controlled by those positioning themselves to curry favour with the ruling elite? As the saying goes, Nekongo must be given a chance to prove his mettle as he leads his comrades in the youth league. The youth league is known for coming up with exciting resolutions each five years.

    However, it has found it difficult to ensure that its policies and resolutions are implemented. The former regime advocated for a radicalism and militancy and continued supporting programmes that were even initiated at mother body level.

    As said by many political commentators over the last week, the problem with the youth league is that it has been propelled by leading politicians to fight the battles of the elders within Swapo.

    Obviously there is nothing wrong with them backing acting president Hage Geingob as a sole candidate for the Swapo presidency.

    The members have the right to support a candidate of their choice and it is no different this time around.

    Perhaps the youth leaders must be warned against blind loyalty where members do not question anything in the party.

    It is incumbent on the youth leaders to provide direction to the top political and government leadership in order to move our country forward.

    The SPYL must be guided by principles and not petty politicking as it charts a new way forward.

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  • 08/29/17--16:00: PPPs drive Ondangwa growth
  • PPPs drive Ondangwa growthPPPs drive Ondangwa growth Despite central government slashing capital budgets by half, the Ondangwa Town Council has entered into multi-million dollar public private partnerships (PPPs) to realise its serviced land delivery goals and reduce the housing backlog, among its deliverables.

    Last year, the town council's budget for capital projects was slashed by the line ministry from N$7.2 million to N$3.7 million.

    However, the town council has entered into these strategic partnerships to meet its obligations on key development projects.

    The Ondangwa Town Council has over the past months attracted a number of investors and the latest is a partnership signed last week with Ark Industries Namibia committing about N$300 million for the establishment of a wastewater treatment plant.

    The plant, which is expected to be completed by 2019, will do away with oxidation ponds as a method of managing waste water because they are a pollution threat to underground water as well as flooding of residential areas.

    According to the experts, an anaerobic digestion process plant will purify and treat sewage for further use in agriculture to produce potable water, as well to generate energy.

    At least 50 temporary jobs will be created during the construction of the new system while 27 permanent jobs will be created once the plant becomes operational.

    According to the CEO of Ondangwa Town Council, Ismael Namgongo, the partnership with Ark Industries is a worthwhile project that is in sync with the town's vision to become the most industrialised in the country.

    The council also signed a collaboration agreement with Trans-Kalahari Logistics to develop a multi-million-dollar business park for logistics operations, commercial services and a 5 000-ton combined cold storage facility worth N$250 million.

    The project envisioned to be completed in two years, will create up to 100 jobs during the construction phase and 80 permanent jobs when fully operational. The company has been given two hectares of land at extension 18.

    According to Trans-Kalahari Logistics managing director, Joseph Mundjele, the project is in line with the government's drive to reduce unemployment and alleviate poverty as envisaged in national development objectives.

    Furthermore, Ondangwa earlier this year also entered into a PPP with the Sun Investment Group owned by Chinese businessman and money-laundering suspect, Jack Huang, who will service over 500 plots and construct low-cost houses at extensions 32 and 33. Huang's deal is worth about N$200 million.


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    Trophy hunting threatened by mutantsTrophy hunting threatened by mutantsConservation, reputation is at stake Namibia has a fantastic reputation among the hunting fraternity worldwide; this is put under pressure by a small sector of the industry hell-bent on introducing animals with rare genetic traits for self-gain. The Namibian trophy hunting industry is deeply concerned about a stealthy introduction of genetically manipulated intensive breeding of wildlife, a trend that has blown over from South Africa where the market for such species has literally collapsed.

    It is legal in South Africa to intensely breed rare genetic traits such as colour variants and for excessive horn length. Popular breeds include black- and white-flanked impala, golden wildebeest, golden gemsbok, the king wildebeest and many more variants.

    Namibia's legislation does not make provision for this type of farming. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), and conservation circles, do not endorse it either.

    The Namibia Professional Hunting Association (Napha) already two years ago very strongly condemned any artificial breeding for trophy hunting.

    NAPHA and other organisations such as the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) and the Federation of Namibian Tourism Association (Fenata) remain steadfast in their rejection of this new trend that could cause irreparable reputational damage to Namibia's trophy hunting industry, and the hunting industry in general.

    “Trophy hunting forms a big part of sustainable use of our natural resources in Namibia. Your usual average international trophy hunter that wants to come to Africa with a vision in mind of wide open spaces, the real Africa pursuit for ethical and conservation hunting, does not want to know that we intesively and slectively breed with animals for hunting,” commented professional hunter and president of Napha, Danene van der Westhuyzen.

    A few very affluent game ranchers started to experiment with colour variants in South Africa around 2009.

    This game breeding segment of the wildlife industry experienced a real boon around 2013 essentially because they sold these animals as breeding stock at exorbitant prices with teh promise of growing demand for hunters.

    It went so well for a while that even the Financial Mail in South Africa reported that it had outperformed the best financial instruments on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

    This created such a hype around the colour variants that some in the industry tried their hand at it.

    However, the bubble has burst spectacularly. Although game auction sales in general declined by 10% in revenue and 16% in wildlife, teh decline in prices for colour variants have been much more dramatic.

    It created an oversupply and with no real trophy hunters' market for the mutants, South African breeders are knocking on Namibia's door to find a new outlet.

    South African breeders have started to aggressively market the manipulated game species in Namibia since around 2015 and 2016 and interest seems to be growing, albeit amongst a small but influential group in the game hunting fraternity lured by the promise of massive profits.

    However, while the hunting industry in South Africa generates more than N$10 billion a year (N$2 billion of which is from the trophy hunting sector) hunting for colour variants has dramatically fallen.

    Between March 2015 and April 2017 prices for some colour variants in South Africa, particularly females in breeding herds sold on auction, have plummeted from about N$500 000 to below N$100 000 per animal.

    The price for a black impala has dropped with a whopping 87%, king wildebeest (80% decline), buffalo (45% decline), and golden wildebeest (40%).

    And yet, the repeated promise of a quick buck in difficult economic times remains an enticing allure for some game ranchers in Namibia.

    Wildlife Ranching Namibia is one organisation that is pro-intensive breeding. It argues that the phenomenon is not only good for trophy hunting, but that there are also other potential off-shoots such as the production of game meat.

    Intensive breeding of game meat would, however, impact negatively on the marketability of game meat as 'free range' with no antibiotics and supplements.

    Another argument used is that intensive breeding means less lan required and more land available for land reform purposes and increased job creation in the wildlife sector.

    The hype

    Angus Middleton, executive director of the NNF said the hype around the colour variants and other rarespecimens is that these make desirable trophies for which hunters would pay top dollar.

    “The reality is that all the big trophy hunting organisations do not accept any intensely mutilated specimens on their trophy records,” Middleton said.

    These trophy hunting organisations include big international players such as the Safari Club International, Dallas Safari Club, Boone & Crockett, Roland Ward, and the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation.

    “There is no question that there is no demand for these animals on the high-end market and yet the narrative continues that if you buy these animals you will be able to cash in on this amazing trophy market,” said Middleton.

    No market, no conservation

    The truth of the matter is that responsible hunters want to hunt wild game in a fair chase situation in their natural habitat.

    Game that has been intensively bred and manipulated like agricultural stock over time can tame and lose their natural resilience to survive the wild, commented Lizanne Nel, conservation manager at the SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association (SAHGCA).

    Hunting of these animals can cause reputational damage to the responsible hunting sector, said Nel.

    Last year, South Africa's trophy hunting industry suffered a major reputational blow with the release of 'Blood Lions', a documentary about the captive-bred lion industry.

    This resulted in an oversupply of between 7 000 and 8 000 lions in breeding facilities. Breeders are now looking at alternative markets like trading in lion bones and skin primarily to China.

    “Is this really the direction we want to go? If teh social, economic and ecological impacts of the public outcry and international reaction to hunting of captive-bred lions is an indication of the risks associated with it, teh hunting industry has to consider if teh short-term financial gains of a few outweigh teh long-term negative impact on the wildlife sector,” said Nel.

    Damage to environment

    Yet another big concern is the damage to the natural environment and other animal life.

    In a span of less than 10 years intensive game breeding in South Africa has meant that game farms are increasingly cut up in small camps encircled with highly electrified fencing, some with more than 15 electric wires, for breeding facilities.

    This means that added pressure is being placed on free-ranging wildlife like cheetah, wild dog and smaller animals like tortoises and even dung beetles that are killed on mass by impermeable electric fences that reach down to the ground.

    Research has shown that one of the major causes of the demise of pangolins – in addition to illegal trade – are electric fences. Porcupines digging holes under fences are being annihilated by farmers who brook no competition for the new, prized colour variants.

    No mitigating measures are being taken.

    Other risks include line-breeding to fix rare traits, disease risks associated with breeding with wild species in intesive agricultural production systems and transformation of natural habitats.

    Also worrying is the fact that former agricultural land is being converted into fields producing fodder for the expensive new breeds.

    Van der Westhuyzen is deeply concerned about the impact it will have in Namibia.

    She said if Namibia is not cautiously guarding its reputaiton, hunters will move elsewhere because the majority want to hunt responsibly.

    “It is as if the intensive breeders are living in a bubble. They have no idea what the world perspective is and they do not care because they do this purely for self-gain. Anyone is allowed to pursue business and strive to be successful and gain financially, but as a stakeholder in the tourism industry they have to realise that it influences numerous other institutions negatively, not to mention the reputational damage to our own country as a tourism destination. This is unacceptable.

    “It is costing the rest of the industry dearly. The repercussions on a fantastic industry we now have will be enormous. Conservation is going to fall. Even tourism will take a big knock when people realise there are funny animals walking around Namibia and everything is fenced off; there is no free movement any longer. We have to protect the habitat if we want to protect the natural world. If you do not have habitat, you won't have any natural wildlife.”

    Catherine Sasman

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    First #Festival bound to open new frontierFirst #Festival bound to open new frontier On Thursday next week, the first Hashtag Festival will be launched in Windhoek at the SKW sport grounds.

    Thursday will be dedicated to the career expo and the day's highlight will be the image consultant presentation at 17:00 followed by the crowning of the first Miss High School at 18:00.

    Friday will again be dedicated to the career expo with its presentations and access to the various information stands. It is important to take note that access is free of charge to all learners who visit the #Festival while in school uniform or approved sport dress.

    Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi, the higher education minister, will be visiting this first career expo on Friday, 8 September at 17:00. That event will be followed by the school choir competition and the DJ competition concludes the activities of the day. The community games and sport activities start very early on Saturday morning while the career information stands remain available to learners and parents who may not have had an opportunity to visit the expo earlier. Simultaneously, the inter-schools chef's competition will also be conducted on the grounds.

    The hive of activity during these three days will conclude with a prize-giving ceremony in the late afternoon, which will be followed by the Summer Music Festival featuring performances by various local and South African musicians, among them Fatman who features on the South African programme 'The Voice'.

    The end of this year's festival technically implies the start of next year's festival and NMH as the initiator of this new one-stop-shop for career guidance and advice is bent on growing this event every year to the perpetual benefit of the next generation of Namibians.

    NMH is proudly associated with Bank Windhoek, Deloitte, Intouch, King Price, Newsprint, Paratus, Prosperity Health, Republikein and Shoprite, who are sponsors of the first-ever Namibian #Hashtag Festival.


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    Nudo blames govt for Ovaherero infightingNudo blames govt for Ovaherero infighting Nudo has blamed the government for the ongoing conflict between followers of the Maharero Royal House and those of Paramount Chief Vekuii Rukoro, who crossed swords during the Red Flag commemorations at Okahandja at the weekend.

    The two factions disagree over where the commemoration should take place: plot number 1755 belonging to the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) or plot number 1756m leased to the Red Flag Regiment by the Okahandja municipality.

    The OTA supports Rukoro, while the other faction backs the chief of the OtjikaTjamuaha Royal House, Tjinaani Maharero.

    In a statement yesterday, Nudo spokesperson Joseph Kauandenge said the Namibian government deliberately pitted Ovaherero people against each other.

    “The question is, in whose interest is this situation allowed to continue? If the government wanted this issue to be resolved they had ample time through the minister of urban and rural development to pronounce themselves on who the rightful owner of Erf 1755 in Okahandja is. However, the minister chose to delay in making this decision and in the meantime anarchy and chaos reign supreme,” said Kauandenge.

    He called on the government to treat all Ovaherero people equally and not to treat those “born in wedlock with velvet gloves” while treating those born “out of wedlock” with contempt.

    “Equally too, we cannot turn a blind eye or allow a whole nation to be taken hostage by some of our elders in the Ovaherero community whose days are close to the graveyards and who know nothing else but to eat and dream divisions,” he said.

    According to him it is time that Ovaherero leaders go back to the drawing board and restore the dignity of their people.

    “It is sad that after most of these elders are gone, as many are close to that end of their natural lifespan, it will be left to the poor youth to clean up their mess and hope to unite once more this once proud tribe.”


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    Thomas denied leave to appealThomas denied leave to appealHeckmair murder trial to continue Marcus Thomas's latest attempt to derail his murder trial has failed. Judge Christie Liebenberg yesterday dismissed an application for leave to appeal by American murder-accused Marcus Thomas against Liebenberg's refusal to recuse himself from the trial.

    On Monday, Thomas's counsel Kadhila Amoono indicated that his client intended to petition the Supreme Court to allow him to appeal Liebenberg's refusal.

    Liebenberg yesterday in his ruling emphasised that the mere possibility that another court might come to a different conclusion is insufficient to justify the granting of leave to appeal.

    Marcus Kevin Thomas and his co-accused, Kevin Townsend, are accused of killing Andre Heckmair on 7 January 2011 in Gusinde Street in Klein Windhoek. Heckmair was killed with a single gunshot to the back of his head and was robbed of his cellphone and wallet containing about 100 Swiss francs.

    The judge stated that Thomas had not shown how the court had misdirected itself.

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

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

    Liebenberg said there was no history of any mental defect and Thomas did not sustain brain damage during his failed attempt to escape from the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility on 3 November 2014.

    Thomas claimed that he had 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.

    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.

    Yesterday, Liebenberg stated that the application for leave to appeal was based on four grounds, all of which are related to the court's order of 19 October 2016.

    “The evidence and the facts relied on by the court in deciding whether the applicant is criminally responsible are set out and discussed in the judgment and need not to be repeated,” the judge reiterated.

    In addition, with regard to the court's alleged rejection of the meaning attributed to the words' 'act' and 'acted' or failure to indicate what meaning should be attributed thereto, he said, “It is evident from the court's ruling on the recusal application what meaning should be accorded thereto. In essence, it was never intended to suggest that the court had already found that applicant had acted as alleged in the indictment,” Liebenberg said.

    He stressed the court was required to pronounce itself on Thomas's criminal responsibility already at the beginning of the trial and where the elements of the offences charged still had to be proved.

    The judge further said it was not required of the examining psychiatrists or the court at that stage to decide whether or not the applicant had committed the act, only that he was criminally responsible for his actions once that had duly been established.

    Liebenberg emphasised that for these reasons the application for leave to appeal against the presiding judge's refusal to recuse himself had no merit and falls to be dismissed.

    The case was postponed to 10 October for continuation of trial.


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