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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Russian war games rattle NATORussian war games rattle NATOKremlin says Russian threat is a myth With countless countries busy with military manoeuvres, Russian war games close to NATO’s eastern flank, are ruffling feathers. Russia On Thursday began major joint military exercises with Belarus along the European Union's eastern flank - a show of strength that has rattled nervous NATO members.

    Named Zapad-2017 (West-2017), the manoeuvres, scheduled to last until September 20, are taking place on the territory of Moscow's closest ally Belarus, in Russia's European exclave of Kaliningrad and in its frontier Pskov and Leningrad regions.

    Moscow says the drills will involve 12 700 troops, 70 aircraft, 250 tanks and 10 battleships testing their firepower against an imaginary foe close to borders with Poland and the Baltic States.

    In a statement announcing the start of the exercises Russia's defence ministry insisted the manoeuvres are "of a strictly defensive nature and are not directed against any other state or group of countries."

    But NATO claims Russia has kept it in the dark and seems to be massively underreporting the scale of the exercises, which some of the alliance's eastern members insist could see more than 100 000 servicemen take part.

    The war games come with tensions between Russia and NATO at their highest since the Cold War due to issues in Ukraine and the US-led alliance bolstering its forces in eastern Europe.

    Moscow has dismissed fears over the drills - the latest in a series of annual exercises that rotate around the vast country - as fuelled by the "myth about the so-called 'Russian threat'".

    But for NATO allies, especially jittery members such as Poland and the Baltic States which only broke free from Moscow's grip 25 years ago, such reassurances have not dampened suspicion.

    "This is designed to provoke us, it's designed to test our defences and that is why we have to be strong," Britain's Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told the BBC last week.

    "Russia is testing us and testing us now at every opportunity. We see a more aggressive Russia, we have to deal with that."

    Moscow has held a stream of exercises since ties with the West plunged in 2014 over Ukraine, with the military claiming some drills included nearly 100 000 troops.

    Minsk has said the games will role play a conflict with a made-up rebel region backed by neighbouring European nations. Russia says they will simulate assaults by "extremist groups" trying to carry out "terrorist attacks".

    The Kremlin has vigorously defended its right to hold exercises and has long blamed the United States for ratcheting up tensions by expanding NATO up to its borders and holding its own provocative drills.

    The Russian war games come as Ukraine on Monday launched annual joint military exercises with the US and a host of other NATO countries.

    Meanwhile non-aligned Sweden has mobilised 19 000 soldiers for its biggest drills in 20 years which also include units from across Scandinavia and the US.


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  • 09/14/17--15:00: Death toll up in Irma's wake
  • Death toll up in Irma's wakeDeath toll up in Irma's wake Five patients at a sweltering Hollywood nursing home died in Hurricane Irma's aftermath as people confronted a multitude of new hazards in the storm's wake, including oppressive heat, brush-clearing accidents and poisonous fumes from generators.

    Hollywood police chief Tom Sanchez said investigators believe the five deaths at the Rehabilitation Centre at Hollywood Hills were heat-related, and added: “The building has been sealed off and we are conducting a criminal investigation.” He gave no details.

    A total of 115 patients were evacuated from the nursing home, which lost power in the storm and had no air conditioning. Sanchez did not answer questions regarding whether a generator was running inside the place.

    Also in the Miami area, a Coral Gables apartment building was evacuated after authorities determined a lack of power made it unsafe for elderly tenants, while officers arrived at the huge Century Village retirement community in Pembroke Pines to help people on upper floors without access to working elevators. More than half the community of 15 000 residents lacked power.

    In addition, at least five people died and more than a dozen were treated for breathing carbon monoxide fumes from generators in the Orlando, Miami and Daytona Beach areas.

    Aside from the nursing home deaths, at least 13 people in Florida were killed in Irma-related circumstances, many of them well after the storm had passed. A Tampa man died after the chain saw he was using to remove branches kicked back and cut his carotid artery.

    Elsewhere, Irma has been blamed for four deaths in South Carolina and two in Georgia. At least 37 people were killed in the Caribbean.

    In the battered Florida Keys, meanwhile, county officials pushed back against a preliminary estimate from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that 25% of all homes in the Keys were destroyed and nearly all the rest were heavily damaged.

    “Things look real damaged from the air, but when you clear the trees and all the debris, it's not much damage to the houses,” said Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers.

    The Keys felt Irma's full fury when the hurricane roared in on Sunday with 209km/h winds.

    President Donald Trump's homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, said the federal government is working to help Florida Keys residents secure shelter through rental assistance, hotels or pre-manufactured housing. Trump was planning to visit Florida yesterday.

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    Basi, world's oldest panda, diesBasi, world's oldest panda, dies The world's oldest captive giant panda has died at age 37 - more than 100 years in human years - her handlers in China said yesterday as they gave 'Basi' an emotional send-off befitting a minor celebrity.

    Basi outlived most of her peers by nearly two decades - Pandas in the wild have an average lifespan of about 20 years, but those in captivity generally live longer.

    She was something of a beloved star in China and her birthdays were often celebrated with gusto.

    State television reported live from the zoo where Basi lived in southeastern China, which held a memorial in her honour.

    “With a heavy heart, we solemnly announce that the original model of 'Panpan', the mascot for the first Asian Games (in China, 1990), and an angel of friendship both at home and abroad, giant panda star Basi died at 08:50 on September 13, 2017 at the age of 37,” the Straits Giant Panda Research and Exchange Centre in Fuzhou said.

    Basi had lived at the facility since being rescued from the wild after she fell into a river in southwestern China at the age of four or five, it said. She was named after the valley where she was found.

    Basi spent some time abroad when she was loaned to the San Diego Zoo for six months in 1987.

    Giant pandas have a notoriously low reproductive rate, a key contributor - along with habitat loss - to their status as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of threatened species.

    The black and white bear, which symbolises wildlife protection efforts worldwide, was previously classified as endangered.

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    I am a wealthy man - my own wayI am a wealthy man - my own way If you ever thought Africa had a deficit of acting talent – think again! The ‘black’ African soil has surely produced some of the world’s finest actors and actresses. Hands down!

    No, I am not referring to the likes of Arnold Vosloo and Charlize Theron.

    I am referring to the plain ‘Jane’, or as in this case – plain ‘Johns’ who would go out of their way to prove their perceived superiority and intelligence to all and sundry. The motive: to win the affection of a woman.

    Their modus operandi might appear simple to the untrained eye, however, it is a carefully orchestrated and fool-proof method, at least for a while. The trick is to get into a personality that would surely arouse the interest of the woman concerned.

    For instance, if she is into bankers and economists - you become one of Namibia’s sought-after economists. It’s not that simple though – you have to do some groundbreaking research on basic fiscal terminology and jargons and find out about latest interest rates from the central bank.

    If you have one of those names… named after your grandparents, like Estalimentaline for a Herero, or Shifinalonginyamwe if you hail from the north – lose it. Trust me; the woman would suffocate trying to say your name in a fit of anger… or passion!

    Once the opportunity arises to meet the woman, you offer to take your boss’ Mercedes Benz for a wash and pitch up at the woman’s place in it. Once outside her flat’s door, and after making sure she is watching from the window, you grab your new Nokia dual-sim cell phone (which you borrowed from a wealthier friend), and start ‘talking’ on it.

    It does not really matter what you say on the phone, as long as you throw large figures on the balance of payment surplus and comment on the raging economic meltdown. Oh, don’t forget to remind your ‘secretary’ on the other end of the phone to hold all your calls for the next hour, as you do not want to be disturbed. That is guaranteed to keep you in her good books for a while.

    Try to remain ‘modest’ during the conversation with the woman. If she goes like “Wow, so you studied at Harvard...?” You can interject by saying; “Actually No...I turned Harvard down. The timing of the studies came at a time when my country needed my services in drafting a turn-around strategy for our fiscal policy amid global speculations that emerging markets stand to lose out on direct-foreign investments as a result of a slowdown in the demand for the country’s exports. So, I had to turn them down in the interest of my country...”

    Also, make sure you throw in some titbits from history or go the trivial route, something like “...more people are killed each year from bees than from snakes and it is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.”

    Well, that usually gets the brother going for a while before the woman invites him to dinner to meet her father – the governor of the central bank.

    If your boss does not own a Merc, take your boss’ boss’ car. What, he too does not own one? Then quit – you will be better off working at the counter of Casa Branka For You and Me Shebeen.

    For those of us not lucky to land an office job, just present her with whatever is in abundance at your work place. For instance, if you work in a bakery - take her bread for her school kids every day. Trust me; bread is an expensive commodity in this world.

    I have to admit, acting out such a role requires more takes than shooting a Hollywood blockbuster. Of course the golden rule still applies - don’t get caught. If you do, you didn’t hear it from me.

    Until then...


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  • 09/14/17--15:00: Transparency is lip service
  • Transparency is lip serviceTransparency is lip service The authorities are quick to talk about ‘being for the people’ and the Namibian House has become quite the political term, right up there along with Harambee. Certain ministers often point out the importance of transparency and accountability, as listed in the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

    Lip service we say.

    Let us take for instance, the matter of the donkey abattoir being planned for Outjo. As we type this editor’s note, a meeting is underway in that town with authorities and experts from the United Kingdom. Photographs of high-level officials at that meeting have been shared and they are asleep. Those are the same high-level officials who do not supply answers to legitimate questions. Questions that have been sent repeatedly.

    Every piece of real information sourced on the donkey abattoir saga has been offered by those who prefer to remain anonymous.

    And so it is with most things in the country. Headline after headline in the media every day with no real answers to the questions posed. The right of reply that the media must ethically offer to those being accused has become nothing but a ‘he said, she said’ issue.

    And when no answers are forthcoming from the direct powers that are involved, what is it that we and the public are supposed to think?

    How on earth can land be cleared for an abattoir, a mixed abattoir slaughtering donkeys and cattle, when there has been no formal application to the meat authorities? There is no regulation for the export or sale of donkey meat. There is no NamLIT system to tag donkeys and there is no law that can say yes or no to such an abattoir.

    And yet, no answers are forthcoming.

    There is concern not only over the rights of these animals to not be slaughtered alive for the ‘medicinal value’ of their hides, there is concern over the country’s image, not only in Africa but across the world. Across the continent the commercial slaughter of donkeys has failed dismally and many countries have outright banned it.

    But not Outjo. No, the council has allocated the land and cleared it.

    Who stands to benefit from this operation and why can we not get any real answers?

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    Fishing levy abolishment to remainFishing levy abolishment to remain The decision to reverse the implementation of the increased recreational angling levy will remain in place until public consultations are completed.

    Fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau made the assurance this week when he opened the first consultation meeting on the levy at Henties Bay.

    The announcement of the increase from N$14 to N$1 500 a month on 26 July this year, shocked the angling community especially in Henties Bay where most residents survive from angling.

    Such disapproval was also expressed in Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz, where some people said the amount was too high, while others said there were no consultations done.

    Last month, Esau reversed the decision with the aim to conclude consultations and come up with a collective decision based on public input.

    “I know businesses here depend on recreational fishing. We therefore do not want to kill the economy of this town with exorbitant charges,” the minister said.

    Esau said the public had the right to be consulted before any law or policy is implemented.

    He said he valued the input from the stakeholders and the public and hence he started the consultations.

    The minister also explained that government is charging the levy to recover administration costs for officials who carry out fishing control activities.

    Such costs, Esau said, amount to about N$400 000 a month.

    “We are unemployed and survive from the fish we buy from anglers and sell it. If the levy is high then we will not support our children,” a lady said during the discussions.

    The public at the meeting suggested that N$700 or 800 a month is reasonable.

    Consultations will continue in Swakopmund, Lüderitz, Walvis Bay and Windhoek.

    The minister plans to complete the meetings by the end of next month when a report will be compiled and feedback given to the public.

    Only then will a decision be made on how much the increase should be.

    About 100 residents attended the one-day meeting.


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    Communal farmers should step upCommunal farmers should step up The agriculture minister, John Mutorwa, has asked farmers in communal areas not to produce for status but to contribute to food security in the country.

    Mutorwa made the call during the just-ended Food Namibia Trade and Conference held in Rundu.

    The conference brought together stakeholders in government and the agro-food industry to discuss key issues related to agriculture and sustainable food production in Namibia last weekend.

    He said most of the food being consumed in schools and hospitals should not come from other places but should be provided by local farmers as this would be a way of empowering them.

    “What government intends to do, which is also stipulated in the 2015 Procurement Act, is that a certain percentage of the food being supplied to these institutions should come from what the farmers in those areas are producing,” said Mutorwa.

    He said the problem was that people were still stuck in the old-fashioned way of doing things, arguing that food produced by local farmers is not enough because communal farmers only produce for status.

    “It is old-fashioned,” Mutorwa stressed.

    He said what local farmers lacked were opportunities in terms of market access, so that they can produce the required quantities of quality food.

    Mutorwa said the ministry had experts that could advise and assist farmers on what kind of quality crops to produce and this was also applicable to the livestock sector.

    He further urged government agencies such as the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) to create markets for farmers to sell their produce.

    In terms of infrastructure in the livestock sector, the minister touched on the construction of the Rundu abattoir that will be used for slaughtering and processing meat, while the Zambezi Region's abattoir will also be upgraded.

    He said government had already allocated funds for the building and upgrading of the abattoirs.

    In addition, he said another meat processing plant is due for construction at Bukalo Village in the Zambezi Region.

    Mutorwa explained that the building of these abattoirs is to serve farmers residing north of the red line, which is the veterinary cordon fence separating northern Namibia from the central and southern parts of the country due to the prevalence of foot-and-mouth disease.


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  • 09/14/17--15:00: Revised land tax proposed
  • Revised land tax proposedRevised land tax proposedSlight relief for landowners offered Land reform minister Utoni Nujoma says that the land tax approved by the Valuation Court last year could adversely affect the land reform programme. The Ministry of Land Reform has revised the land tax rates for commercial land in Namibia, with a slight decrease for both Namibian and foreign landowners.

    Land reform minister Utoni Nujoma tabled the proposed new land tax rates in the National Assembly for approval this week.

    The land tax for Namibians was revised from 0.75% to 0.4% and to 1.4 % from 1.75% for foreign nationals for the first piece of agriculture land owned.

    It is further proposed that the progressive rate of land tax for additional farms owned by the same owner remains the same as before at 0.25% in either case.

    Nujoma said the annual amount of land tax expected to be collected on the revised rates will be N$80 million.

    “This is twice the current amount that is supposed to be collected annually in terms of land tax paid.”

    According to Nujoma the prevailing rates of land tax were last determined and approved by the National Assembly in 2004 on the basis of nationality and the number of farms owned by an individual.

    Nujoma said that valuations of unimproved farmland approved by the Valuation Court in 2016 were three to four times the values of the land in 2007. This meant farmers also had to pay three to four times the amount of land tax should the rate of land tax remain at the 2004 level, he added.

    Such a position may not be suitable for the agricultural sector which employs a significant number of Namibians, according to Nujoma.

    According to him, the ministry interrogated the implications of maintaining the current rates of land tax that is chargeable on commercial land.

    “It was found that if the rates are not revised the price at which government will be purchasing land in the future will be high because land owners are likely to inflate the offer prices in order to recover the cost of a high land tax.”

    He said this has the potential of negatively affecting the current land reform target of acquiring five million hectares by 2020. Similarly 10 million hectares are to be acquired through the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme by 2020.

    According to him a high land tax is likely to contribute to the widening gap between farm prices and mortgage loan amounts that can be advanced to applicants and thereby make it unfavourable for those who wish to acquire land through this avenue.

    He said the ministry is directed to amend the current land tax regime to be more progressive in order to entice those owners with more land to offer it to government.

    “The revised rates of land tax that I have just tabled places the burden of paying more land tax to those who own more land.”

    He said the ministry also considered the viability of the agricultural sector and the impact that the high land tax would have on the viability of farming activities in the short and long term as well as the impact on employment levels in the sector.

    A high land tax will be able to increase funding for acquisition and simultaneously accelerate the land reform process. However, this is not sustainable in the long term as the issue of affordability and sustainability of a high land tax is more likely to lead to high levels of non-payment making the whole process counterproductive, said Nujoma.

    “We should remember not to kill the goose that lay the golden egg through levying unsustainable taxes.”

    The proposed tax revision was postponed to 26 September for debate.


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    Feeling the pinch of paying rentFeeling the pinch of paying rent Vendors at Oshikango are feeling the pinch of paying monthly rental fees at the newly constructed Helao Nafidi open market.

    They say they want to return to their old one where they did not pay anything to council for doing business.

    This is according to the Helao Nafidi mayor, Eliaser Nghipangelwa, in relation to this week's mass demonstration by over 300 vendors, who say they are unhappy with council regarding the open market which was opened about a week ago.

    Ever since the Helao Nafidi Town Council was established, it has not received any rates and taxes from the vendors doing business at old Katwitwi informal open market.

    This, Nghipangelwa said, is the reason why the vendors are surprised by the fact that they are expected to pay for their stalls at the new open market in Oshikango.

    “Of course they were never paying for selling at Katwitwi. This is their first time to experience making payments,” Nghipangelwa said.

    He added that the vendors who do not have a problem paying rent are those that used to rent from others at Katwitwi, a rate which he said was higher than what they are expected to pay for renting at the new open market.

    Meanwhile, among the many points raised in their petition, the vendors demanded to return to their previous site where they operated saying that they want to allow council to finish with the pending construction at the new open market.

    Council still needs to construct a bus terminal at the site and is also faced with a challenge of relocating the vendors from Katwiwti to another site closer to the open market.

    Regarding the monthly rental fee, which is in question, the vendors indicated that it is too high for them to afford.

    They also asked whether the open market is for well-established business people or for the upcoming business people who want to make a living for their family.

    “Is the open market constructed for the small business people or big business people because the rental prices are too high?” a vendor asked.

    Meanwhile, Nghipangelwa said the rental fee is reasonable as it was already reduced from what council is actually supposed to charge them.

    The vendors also complained about the location of the new open market saying that they are not doing good business which Nghipangelwa said is normal.

    “I came to Helao Nafidi before the Katwitwi informal open market was established and I remember it was the same thing. Businesses were struggling when they moved there but it became better as time went on,” Nghipangelwa said.

    The vendors further complained about the issue of the allocation of spaces at the new open market saying some Katwitwi vendors were left out and not given space to trade in the open market.

    Nghipangelwa said this was done by the administration and not the politicians therefore the administrative staff can best answer on the issue.

    Nghipangelwa said there has always been constant consultations with the people.

    He said at the time of the selection of the site, where the new open market should have been constructed many years ago, Nghipangelwa said the vendors, together with council, agreed on the current site. Therefore the issue raised about the location is not justifiable.

    Another point also raised was the issue of water as vendors at the open market are expected to pay for using water at the premises.

    Nghipangelwa, however, indicated that the issue of water is still being looked at and an amicable solution will soon be found.

    Nghipangelwa said the petition will be announced at this month's upcoming council meeting and then sent to a management committee and be presented in the following council meeting.


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  • 09/14/17--15:00: Pay up or go to jail – NBC
  • Pay up or go to jail – NBCPay up or go to jail – NBC Namibians who have defaulted on their television licence payments will soon be criminally charged and will have to explain themselves in a court of law.

    This was confirmed by police inspector-general Sebastian Ndeitunga, who urged defaulters to pay up as soon as possible.

    According to Michaela Jaeger, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation's head of TV licensing, approximately N$40 million in operational expenditure is lost as a result of unpaid licences.

    “So far, for the current financial year, the NBC has collected slightly over N$3.3 million in TV licence fees. In the previous financial year, the NBC collected close to N$21 million,” she said.

    Section 18 of the Namibian Broadcasting Act provides that the NBC may call on the police to assist with inspections to check whether there is a television set on the premises.

    Section 28 of the same Act makes it an offence to be in possession of a television set without a valid television licence. Violators may be prosecuted and if convicted could be fined N$2 000 or sentenced to a maximum prison term of six months.

    NBC head of legal services Steven Yarukeekuro Ndorokaze says the broadcaster will only take action when a person has ignored regular statements, including a final reminder.

    “The case here will be failure to comply with this Act. This case will have two elements to it, the criminal charge, which is as a result of a person failing to comply with the Act, and secondly a civil claim as a result of outstanding fees,” he said.

    The Act prescribes for an annual licence fee of N$204 for household television sets, while pensioners, disabled people and war veterans must pay N$60.

    Under this Act, businesses, public and private schools, clinics and hospitals, bars and shebeens must pay N$220 per TV set.

    Furniture stores and TV repair companies hiring out TV sets, and accommodation establishments like lodges, hotels, and bed-and-breakfasts must pay N$440.

    The licence fee remains payable even if one never watches NBC broadcasts.

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    Youth league congress challengedYouth league congress challenged Aggrieved Swapo Party Youth League members have petitioned the party's central committee over alleged irregularities at the sixth SPYL elective congress held at Katima Mulilo last month.

    The petition was signed by 17 members and is addressed to the Swapo Party Politburo.

    It claims that there was no justice or fairness at the congress.

    “The congress was not properly constituted, not held in free and fair atmosphere; hence, we demand the nullification of the whole congress and urge the upholding of the constitution to the letter and spirit,” the petition reads.

    Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba confirmed receipt of the petition, saying it would be forwarded to the party's central committee.

    According to the party members, high-ranking police officers confirmed that they had been given a list of names of people to be targeted throughout the congress.

    “A case in point: Imms Nashinge was removed from the venue on day two of the congress because he had a cellphone whilst others had their phones inside the venue. It was purported that there was a decision that no cellphones were allowed in the congress, but the congress ground rules made no mention of prohibition of cellphones,” the petition states.

    The members claim that those allowed to carry cellphones included Mandela Kapere, Muesee Kazapua, Veikko Nekundi, Neville Iitope, and Milo Iipinge.

    Nekundi, the outgoing SPYL secretary, was replaced by Ephraim Nekongo.

    Christine Haindaka was elected deputy secretary.

    “Are they more Swapo members? The question is who ordered the police? Was it State House or the Swapo headquarters, and under what article of the party constitution was this done?”

    The disgruntled members further expressed “grave” concern over the so-called “new Swapo” that reportedly disrespects the party constitution.

    “It has now become a trend, so bad that many regions did not present financial reports at regional conferences. Congress itself did not even discuss any financial position or a financial report despite the party having spent so much on the wings annually.

    “Those who dared to question and demand financial reports were blocked from attending the congress and others threatened to be removed from the venue for being out of topic.”

    The group further alleged that Haindaka, who is from Kavango West, and central committee member Mirjam Nghidipo, who is from Khomas, attended the congress as delegates of the Epukiro and Kamanjab districts, respectively.

    “This is a violation of the Swapo Party constitution,” they claimed.

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  • 09/14/17--15:00: Nam, North Korea cut ties
  • Nam, North Korea cut tiesNam, North Korea cut tiesGovernment terminates construction contracts All remaining contracts with North Korean companies will be terminated in compliance with UN sanctions. ELLANIE SMIT

    The Namibian government has terminated all contracts with North Korean companies.

    The minister of international relations and cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, said the government invited the United Nations (UN) Security Council to visit Namibia to show them that the country has complied with sanctions.

    She was speaking to Nampa during an interview in New York on Wednesday where she is attending the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly.

    The UN Security Council has passed a series of resolutions to impose sanctions on North Korea because of its nuclear weapons programme.

    The latest sanction imposed on North Korea was adopted on Monday and one of the issues that appear in that resolution is the North Korean labour force in other countries.

    “There are quite a number of [North] Koreans who are working in different countries of the world and the resolution now says there should be no further employment of North Korean labour,” the minister said.

    She added that the resolution states that such people’s employment contracts should not be renewed when they end.

    Nandi-Ndaitwah explained that the projects Namibia had with North Korea were not investment- or enterprise-related, but rather infrastructure development projects.

    The contracts that have been terminated include the maintenance and renovation of State House and the Heroes’ Acre.

    “The construction of the Ministry of Defence headquarters has not been completed but we had to break that contract,” she said.

    Nandi-Ndaitwah said she visited North Korea last year to deliver a message from President Hage Geingob, which said that Namibia valued the long relationship between the countries but in view of the UN Security Council resolution, the country had no choice in the matter.

    The United States and Japanese governments recently imposed sanctions against companies and individuals in Namibia that support North Korea.

    The sanctions were imposed against the Chinese construction company Qingdao Construction for its links with North Korea.

    That happened after Qingdao Construction had taken over four Namibian government construction projects from Mansudae Overseas Group of Companies, which had been told to leave Namibia.

    Sanctions were also brought against Kim Tong-Chol, who is the managing director of Mansudae Overseas Projects and the deputy managing director of Qingdao Construction (Namibia).

    Mansudae Overseas Projects Architectural and Technical Services, the Namibian-based company of Mansudae, was also sanctioned.

    Geingob, who is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, is scheduled to address the General Assembly on September 20.

    According to a statement released by the Presidency, apart from the UN General Assembly, Geingob’s itinerary includes other engagements such as private consultations with UN secretary-general António Guterres.

    Presidential spokesperson Albertus Aochamub said a number of influential media outlets that include Voice of America, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, CNN, Financial Times, New York Times and the Washington Post had requested interviews with Geingob.

    International media reported that Geingob was expected to be grilled over Namibia’s relationship with North Korea during his visit to the US.

    Also on the radar is a munitions factory that was constructed by Mansudae at a military base outside Windhoek.

    Over the years, Mansudae has been granted no-bid contracts to build multimillion-dollar national monuments such as the Heroes’ Acre and the Independence Memorial Museum in Windhoek.

    It also built a military academy in Okahandja and it was further given a contract to build the new head office of the Ministry of Defence.

    The new State House was also designed and built by the North Koreans.

    Namibia has for a long-time resisted international pressure to cut ties with North Korea, amid allegations that the relationship was in contravention of international sanctions against Pyongyang.

    - Additional reporting Nampa

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  • 09/14/17--15:00: Inmate demands parole
  • Inmate demands paroleInmate demands paroleAssault convict says his rights are violated Jermano Jeraldo Eiseb claims that he should have been released on parole after serving one year of his two-year sentence for assault GBH. An inmate at the Windhoek Correctional Facility is demanding to be released on parole with immediate effect.

    Jermano Jeraldo Eiseb, in an urgent application filed with the High Court this week, said he was eligible for parole after having served half of his 24-month sentence.

    “The prison authorities have violated my constitutional right by their notorious delay of my release on parole,” Eiseb argued in an affidavit before the High Court in Windhoek.

    Eiseb argued that he was supposed to have been released on 30 December 2016. He is currently in the Windhoek Correctional Facility serving 24 months' imprisonment after his initial sentence of 36 months was reduced by 12 months.

    Eiseb was sentenced on 31 August 2016 in Gobabis on one count of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, which he maintains is not a schedule one offence.

    He was transferred from Gobabis to Divundu prison on 28 September 2016 and was then transferred to Windhoek Correctional Facility on 24 February 2017.

    He maintains that he has served half of his sentence and qualifies to be released on parole in accordance with the provisions of the Prison Service Act.

    “All Namibians are eligible to be released on parole, including foreign nationals, but I am still in prison,” Eiseb said.

    According to Eiseb, the parole recommendations usually start three months prior to the eligibility date for an offender to be released on full parole or probation. He added that a non-schedule-one offender should complete half of his sentence in order to be considered for release on parole.

    Eiseb maintained the prison authorities had failed him, as other people were recommended on time and were released.

    He maintained that the National Release Board has the mandate to authorise the release of offenders for all non-schedule-one crimes serving less than five years.

    “My parole was on 30 August 2017 but the prison authorities did not release me. They claim parole is not a right but a privilege,” Eiseb argued.

    The respondents in the case are the commissioner-general of the Namibian Correctional Service, Raphael Hamunyela, the safety and security minister, the officer in charge of the Divundu and Windhoek prisons and the commissioner of the National Release Board.

    He argued that it was evident from his prison file that he was cooperative and respected inmates as well as the guards during his time in custody.

    “I am a non-schedule-one offender, served more than half of my prison term but I was not recommended to be considered for parole and this amounts to illegality,” Eiseb charged.


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  • 09/14/17--15:00: Swapo's kingmakers
  • Swapo's kingmakersSwapo's kingmakersDistricts hold the balance of power As Swapo gears itself for the elective congress in November, we look at the potential kingmakers in the succession race. The run-up to the Swapo elective congress has been plagued by infighting and it is clear the ruling party is struggling to contain the deep-seated differences among members.

    While the tug-of-war between supporters of acting president Hage Geingob and those opposed to his candidacy continue to play itself out, at the end of the day it will all boil down to the number of votes. The stakes are high at the upcoming congress and this explains the all-out battle for the control and soul of the ruling party.

    It will also be the first time an incumbent state president contests for the presidency of the party.

    But which delegates will play a crucial role?

    The outcomes of the concluded district conferences, and by extension the regional conferences, have an important bearing on who will become the next Swapo president.

    Congress delegates are drawn from 121 Swapo districts, 14 regions, the central committee, women's council, youth league and elders' council.

    The National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) is also represented as an affiliate of the ruling party.

    Regions such as Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena and Oshikoto, which have more than ten districts each, make up a significant portion of the delegates and certainly hold the key in the leadership race.

    The delegates from these four regions constitute about 35% of the total number of district and regional delegates involved in the process. The regional leaders of these four regions have remained conspicuously silent about who they will support at the congress.


    Each district will send four delegates to the party congress, representing a total of 484 and a significant 63% of the total delegates.

    The regions are allocated ten spots each, which include four nominees for the powerful central committee, the highest decision-making body between congresses. In total, 140 Swapo members will make up the regional delegates at the congress.

    The central committee will contribute the third largest number of delegates, with its 70 members assured participation.

    In fact the central committee consists of 84 members, but the 14 regional coordinators are counted among the 140 regional delegates.

    The Swapo Party Women's Council, which held its elective congress last year already, will be represented by 20 delegates, while the Swapo Party Elders' Council, Swapo Party Youth League and the NUNW will each have 16 delegates.

    There will be 762 delegates at this year's congress, with an additional 25 invited guests at the behest of the secretary-general. The invited guests don't have voting rights.


    At the congress delegates vote for the top four positions - the party president, vice-president, secretary-general and deputy secretary-general.

    Delegates will also elect new central committee members during the congress.

    It is, however, important to note that the central committee is made up of 84 members, including the top four who are directly elected at the congress as well as the elected 14 regional coordinators.

    The secretaries of the youth, elders' and women's councils are also part of the central committee, while the NUNW is represented by its leader. The party president has the power to nominate six candidates to the central committee.

    Members who are part of the current central committee automatically qualify to contest the 56 positions, if interested, at the congress and will compete against 56 regional delegates.

    'Voting cows'

    Voting at the congress takes place on an individual basis and is secret, however, delegates may agree beforehand which group of candidates they want to support for the different positions.

    The expectation is that delegates will vote for their preferred group of candidates.

    While the district delegates appear largely to be the kingmakers in the Swapo elections, they are also seen merely as “voting cows” as most delegates standing for positions such as the central committee and the top four are not necessarily drawn from districts.


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    Pressure to renew Zim work permitsPressure to renew Zim work permits The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration is allegedly being “pressured” by certain employees in the Ministry of Works and Transport to renew the contracts of all 88 Zimbabweans who are still attached to the works ministry.

    Sources inside the ministry say those who are pushing for the contract renewals do so “to eat with the others”.

    The rumour was that the home affairs ministry had already processed new work permits for the Zimbabweans but it is now understood that home affairs permanent secretary Patrick Nandago is still considering the applications.

    “The buck stops with him,” said a source in the works ministry.

    “Renewal of the work permits, however, does not make sense because there are no projects the Zimbabweans are currently working on. There is no work for them or us here. Any renewal will only further suck our economy dry.”

    The request to the home affairs ministry is questioned, particularly because most of the Zimbabweans' contracts expire at the end of this month. Their contracts were extended for three months in June.

    Works ministry permanent secretary Willem Goeiemann would not comment on the applications for work permits, saying only that he still had to consult staff at the ministry.

    Water from the trough

    In the meantime, some of the Zimbabwean professionals have been spotted collecting large containers of water from the head office of the works ministry, as well as from outside taps at the adjacent office of the Roads Authority (RA).

    Disbelieving Namibian staff say this has been going for at least the last two weeks.

    “What is going on here?” asked one Namibian staff member. “It is as if these Zimbabweans are living in heaven.”

    The attractive packages offered to the Zimbabwean professionals include housing, as well as rent allowances, which cover water and electricity usage.

    According to the sources none of those carting off water in large containers have so far been confronted or stopped, despite the police officers sitting at the front desk at the head office having been alerted to this.

    Some of the Zimbabwean professionals have reportedly been kicked out of their accommodation because they have not been paying rent, despite receiving housing allowances from the Namibian government.

    It is suspected that many of these young professionals prefer to send money to their families in Zimbabwe instead of spending it here.

    The old deal

    The Zimbabwean professionals have been attached to the works ministry for five years under an agreement signed by former President Hifikepunye Pohamba and his Zimbabwean counterpart, Robert Mugabe, in 2012.

    This agreement lapsed in June and a new one is still being devised.

    Because of the controversies surrounding the employment of the young Zimbabwean professionals, technical staff at the works ministry advised that the Namibian government be more circumspect when considering a new agreement.

    “Over the last five years the programme has not produced any results. Since last June there have also not been any active projects. The Zimbabweans are just here to eat,” said a source at the ministry.

    The 2012 agreement was a “project of secondment of professional staff” in the field of infrastructure development and maintenance from the Zimbabwean government.

    It was to remain in force for five years, to be renewed for a further five years, but may be terminated by either party upon giving six months' notice through diplomatic channels.

    Under this agreement 23 architects, 20 quantity surveyors, 21 civil or structural engineers, 17 electrical engineers and 16 mechanical engineers were to be seconded to Namibia's works ministry.

    Zimbabwe would send the professionals “for the purpose of implementing projects on infrastructure development and maintenance”.

    Namibia would cover their financial, accommodation and transport needs and be responsible for economy-class air tickets for the professionals and their families from Zimbabwe to Namibia and back.

    There was a formal undertaking that Namibian professionals, “when available”, would understudy the Zimbabweans. Insiders say there has not been a single Namibian understudy and those working with the young and inexperienced Zimbabweans were employed temporarily as assistants to the foreigners.

    The Zimbabweans were also to provide in-service training to Namibians, while Namibia was to help the Zimbabweans to obtain relevant documents from the home affairs ministry, to register with local professional bodies, and to register their children at schools.


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  • 09/17/17--15:00: Sports awards seek sponsors
  • Sports awards seek sponsorsSports awards seek sponsorsPlans for 2017 sports awards on track The MTC-NSC Namibia Sports Awards are still seeking sponsors for two categories. Twenty-two categories will form part of the 2017 Namibia Sports Awards. This is slightly more than the 15 categories of last year.

    Before the launch the organisers had not secured funds for four of these categories, namely Coach of the Year, Umpire of the Year, Sports Journalist of the Year and Development Programme of the Year.

    Jessica Jacobs from Offlimit Communications says that status has changed and they are now only seeking sponsors for only two categories: Coach of the Year and Umpire of the Year.

    She said 15 companies where interested in getting on board to sponsor the categories and everything was on track.

    The Namibian Sports Awards capture the spirit of Namibian sports stars, who regularly have to churn out remarkable performances despite little funding coming from the ministry of sport.

    In this regard the chairperson of the marketing committee, Monica Shapua, initially said companies should come on board and sponsor a category, which would reward sports stars for their efforts in sports.

    The chairperson of NSC, Joel Matheus, who launched the event in August, also urged coaches to nominate athletes fairly without victimising anyone and giving them a fair chance of winning at the award ceremony.

    Kaino Nghitongo, who won the Journalist of the Year award last year, said the awards were important for athletes because they offer national and international exposure.

    “It encourages corporates to come on board and sponsor an athlete who they see is constantly working hard. Also the awards should serve as motivation for journalists not only to hope for a trophy at the end of the day but to work hard and expose these hardworking athletes.”

    The categories up for grabs include MTC Sports Star of the Year, MTC Sportsman and Woman of the Year, Nampower Sportsman and Woman of the Year with Disability, MTC Junior Sportsman and Woman of the Year, Nampower Junior Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year with Disability, Tafel Lager Sports Team of the Year, Coach of the Year, Umpire/Referee of the Year, Sports Journalist of the Year, Development Programme of the Year, and the Namibia Sports Commission Honorary Award.

    All these categories recognise individuals, men, women, athletes with disability, national and international participants, national federations, schools, media and sport legends. All categories will recognise performances from 1 October 2016 to 31 August 2017.

    The NSC invites all sports federations and umbrella bodies to submit entries of their best athletes before the due date. Entry forms are available on request from the Namibia Sports Commission offices till 28 September.


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    Kenyan runners to break world record in Berlin marathonKenyan runners to break world record in Berlin marathon Former world record-holder Patrick Makau of Kenya has warned that the current crops of marathon athletes are capable of winning the race in under two hours and two minutes.

    However, Makau noted that his best bet to win in Berlin on September 24 will be Wilson Kipsang, the winner in the 2013 edition who clocked 2:03.23. This was 25 seconds faster than the time that Makau had set on the same course in 2011.

    “The irony of marathon running is that there is always an element of surprise and in this race in Berlin, the bet is on Kipsang stealing the show,” Makau said in Nairobi on Thursday.

    Kipsang tenured as the world record holder could not last more than a tear as compatriot Denis Kimetto shuttered the record in 2014 when he became the first man to run under two hours and three minutes as he clocked 2:02:57 to win.

    “That is why it is critical to look at who is lining up for the race. You can't rule out a dark horse. We could see an outsider, who is under no pressure like the three, come and win the race,” Makau said.

    Well on September 24 the citizens of Berlin City will see three of the finest marathon runners in Kipsang, facing Eliud Kipchoge, the Olympic champion and Kenenisa Bekele, the 2015 winner in the German capital.

    “I'm better placed than anyone else to break the world record. I have done it before and believe I am able to do it again,” said Kipsang.

    The secret to his strong performance is down to training and Kipsang believes he is hungrier to prove his worth in his third show in the German capital.

    Watching them train and put in the hard work and miles will make you appreciate the meaning of the phrase “train hard, win easy.”

    In the women's race, there will be plenty of anticipation with six runners on the start list have already broken the two hours and 24 minutes mark.

    Four of them are Ethiopians and two are from Kenya. Leading this elite field, at least in terms of personal bests, is the Kenyan Gladys Cherono, winner in the 2015 with her lifetime best of 2:19:25.

    Cherono was absent last year as she struggled with injury, but she has been able to shake it off and will have keen competition in the shape of her rivals who include defending champion Aberu Kebede, a triple Berlin winner (2010, 2012, 2016), and her Ethiopian compatriots Amane Beriso, runner-up in Dubai 2016, Gulume Tollesa, the 2015 Frankfurt winner, and Meseret Mengistu, the 2015 Paris champion.

    Another contender to be reckoned with is the Prague champion this year, Valary Aiyabei of Kenya, with a best of 2:21:57. Every one of them has shown they have the ability to win marathons on the big stage.


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    Dembele suffers hamstring injury in first Barca league startDembele suffers hamstring injury in first Barca league start Ousmane Dembele suffered a hamstring injury and was substituted in his first La Liga start for Barcelona during their clash with Getafe on Saturday.

    The French winger was taken off in the 29th minute for Gerard Deulofeu, with the scoreline goalless at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

    “Ousmane Dembele has a hamstring injury in his left leg, more tests are needed to find out the extent of the injury,” said Barcelona in a statement.

    Dembele, Barcelona's record signing, had started against Juventus in the club's 3-0 Champions League win last week Tuesday.

    Reports in Spanish media suggested the 20-year-old would miss three weeks, which includes league fixtures against Eibar, Girona and Las Palmas, as well as a Champions League clash in Lisbon against Sporting.

    Dembele became Barcelona's record signing in August when the Catalans paid Borussia Dortmund a fee which could reach 147 million euros ($175.53 million) with add-ons, after Neymar departed for Paris Saint-Germain.


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    Doubles win gives SA lead in Davis Cup tieDoubles win gives SA lead in Davis Cup tieSA's hopes glowing brightly A sensational South African tennis duo walked all over their Danish opponents in their Davis Cup Paribas Group II Euro/Africa third-round clash in Aarhus on Saturday. South Africa's doubles duo Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse produced a morale-boosting performance as they steamrolled their way to a 6-3 6-0 6-4 win over Danish duo Frederik Nielsen and Thomas Kromann.

    With this victory, SA has stolen a march on their hosts, Denmark, who were expected to win both reverse singles yesterday if they are to thwart SA's promotion bid. The winner of the tie will be promoted to Group 1 in 2018.

    On Friday, each team won a rubber and that meant the sides were level-pegging at 1-all going into Saturday's doubles clash.

    Marcos Ondruska, captain of the SA Davis Cup squad, was in awe of his doubles team who reigned supreme from start to finish even though the 2012 Wimbledon doubles winner Frederik Nielsen was on the other side of the net.

    SA's 2-1 lead made Ondruska a very happy man afterwards.

    “I'm ecstatic!” said Ondruska. “It's nice to be 2-1 up rather than 2-1 down.

    “We steadied the ship on Friday and now we have our noses in front. That is a good feeling.

    “There's still a lot of tennis to be played and we won't be taking it lightly.

    “We still have to figure out how we are going to take one, if not two, of the singles.”

    Ondruska said Klaasen showed why he is world class doubles and he predicted that he will better his 11th place world raking sooner than later.

    “Just watching Raven play out there you can see there is a reason why he is 11 in the world and I think he is going even higher.

    “He is incredible, he's everywhere on the court and he doesn't miss a thing.

    “He is also very knowledgeable and that combination is so difficult to play against. His class showed.”

    Ondruska said Roelofse was playing the best tennis of his career.

    “The way Ruan is playing will drive his confidence even higher and there could be outstanding times ahead.

    “Every time he and Raven come together they seem to have more energy.

    “When our ties were at altitude doubles play was a lot trickier. Now that we've down from altitude and it is not so fast, you can see their true level of play and the class they are.

    “As this match progressed, they went from strength to strength.”

    Klaasen afterwards said that he and Roelofse were “totally in sync” for this rubber. He felt his option-taking was sound on the day.

    “When you make the right decisions and it works out you look pretty good.” said Klaasen.

    “I made a few moves that drew the ball to me and their good shots didn't get points it was like a gut punch for them.

    “In the end, we drained their confidence but it wasn't plain sailing.”


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    Ekateko lyemanitho lyoshipotha shedhigapoEkateko lyemanitho lyoshipotha shedhigapoEpangulo tali ende kashona Ompangulilo yaMangestrata mOmbaye oya undulile komeho lwahugunina oshipotha shaalumentu yatano mboka taya tamanekekwa edhipago lyomunangeshefa mondoolopa moka. Oshipotha shaalumentu mboka taya tamanekelwa edhipago lyomunangeshefa Hans Jorg Möller, osha undulilwa komasiku 24 gaKotomba nuumvo.

    Aatamanekwa mboka oya holoka komeho yamangestrata

    John Sindano mOmbaye oshiwike sha piti. “Kape na uumbangi tawu ulike kutya aatamanekwa mbaka yatano oyo ya longo oshimbuluma shoka,” mangestrata a popi.

    “Pethimbo ndika oshipotha shoka osha kala momusholondondo gwiipotha yompangu uule woomwedhi 17 na itashi vulu we okuundulilwa komeho. Oshoshili kutya kehe eundulilo komeho tali ningwa napu kale omatompelo gomondjila.”

    Sindano okwa tothwamo iitsa iyali, mbyoka yi li kutya aatamanekwa kaye na ondjo sigo uuna ya monika ondjo kompangu, oshowo ohokwe yoshigwana moshipotha shoka, ndjoka tayi utha kutya aatamanekwa naya pangulwe, nuuna ya monika ondjo nena naya pewe omageelo.

    Omukalelipo gwepangelo moshipotha shoka,Theresia Hafeni okwa pula opo oshipotha shoka shuundulilwe komeho. Okwa popi kutya oshipotha osha kala ethimbo nuule mompangu, sho kwa kala kwategelelwa etokolo okuza kOmbelewa yOmupanguli-ndjai. Okwa tsikile kutya Omupanguli-ndjai okwa holola kutya natango okwa pumbiwa omwedhi gumwe opo ku vule okuningwa etokolo moshipotha shoka, na okwa popi kutya aakuthimbinga moshipotha otaya longo nuudhiginini opo oshipotha shoka shi vule okumanithwa mbala.

    Hafeni okwa popi kutya oonakupangulwa oye na woo iipotha yilwe moondjokonona dhawo naashoka osho tashi etitha opo ku ha popilwe egandjo lyomboloha kuyo. Okwa tsikile woo kutya aakalimo yomOmbaye oye na ohokwe mepulakeno lyoshipotha shoka.

    Hahende Mpokiseng Dube, ta kalelepo, David Tashiya (29), David Shekundja (35) oshowo Panduleni Gotlieb (30) ngoka ta kalelwapo kuAsnath Kashipara, itaya popile eundulilo komeho lyoshipotha shoka.

    Okwa pula po aatamanekwa mboka yapewe omboloha kwiikwatelelwa kotopolwa onti 3 oshowo 12 yEkotampango lyaNamibia.

    Dube okwa dhimbulukitha ompangu kutya omutamanekwa gwotango okwa tulwa miipandeko momasiku 18 gaJuni omvula ya piti.

    Hahende Albert Titus, ngoka ta kalelepo Elly Ndapuka Hinaivali (29) oshowo Malakia Shiweda (28), okwa tsu kumwe nomaiyuvo gaDube.

    Möller okwa yahwa mepunda omanga a kambadhala okugamena omukulukadhi gwe, Carol-Ann Sowden Möller, osho aanona yawo yaali yoomvula 6 noomvula 4, pethimbo ya ponokelwa megumbo lyawo mOmbaye muJuni gwo-2016.

    Aatamanekwa oya tindi ondjo moshipotha shedhipago shoka taya tamanekelwa, okukala nondjembo niikuti yaana oombaapila oshowo omuyeka kwahomatiwa, pethimbo ya holoka mompangulilo, omathimbo ga piti.


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