Articles on this Page
- 09/20/17--15:00: _Nam not ready for A...
- 09/20/17--15:00: _Trump threatens 'Ro...
- 09/20/17--15:00: _21 children among 1...
- 09/20/17--15:00: _Shot of the day
- 09/20/17--15:00: _Stop being complacent
- 09/20/17--15:00: _Schoolgirl suspecte...
- 09/20/17--15:00: _Town planners criti...
- 09/20/17--15:00: _Govt delays payment...
- 09/20/17--15:00: _Skulls safe in air-...
- 09/20/17--15:00: _Close to 130 000 jo...
- 09/20/17--15:00: _First Lady explains...
- 09/20/17--15:00: _Stepfather up for r...
- 09/20/17--15:00: _Namibia a traitor -...
- 09/20/17--15:00: _Airport mayhem lingers
- 09/20/17--15:00: _Swapo flattens rese...
- 09/20/17--15:00: _Tragedy leads to cl...
- 09/21/17--15:00: _Kautondokwa set for...
- 09/21/17--15:00: _Clubs wage war in s...
- 09/21/17--15:00: _Tough test for Welw...
- 09/21/17--15:00: _Dream Team lead SWS...
- 09/20/17--15:00: Nam not ready for African FTA
- 09/20/17--15:00: Trump threatens 'Rocket Man'
- 09/20/17--15:00: 21 children among 149 dead in Mexico quake
- 09/20/17--15:00: Shot of the day
- 09/20/17--15:00: Stop being complacent
- 09/20/17--15:00: Schoolgirl suspected of concealing birth
- 09/20/17--15:00: Town planners criticise govt
- 09/20/17--15:00: Govt delays payment to Salini
- 09/20/17--15:00: Skulls safe in air-conditioned room
- 09/20/17--15:00: Close to 130 000 job losses
- 09/20/17--15:00: First Lady explains 'family trip'
- 09/20/17--15:00: Stepfather up for rape
- 09/20/17--15:00: Namibia a traitor - Venaani
- 09/20/17--15:00: Airport mayhem lingers
- 09/20/17--15:00: Swapo flattens resettlement motion
- 09/20/17--15:00: Tragedy leads to close friendship
- 09/21/17--15:00: Kautondokwa set for title defence
- 09/21/17--15:00: Clubs wage war in semis
- 09/21/17--15:00: Tough test for Welwitschias
- 09/21/17--15:00: Dream Team lead SWSL after three matches
A one-day consultation was held in Windhoek on Tuesday where various trade unions, faith-based organisations, academics, youth groups, government officials and the private sector deliberated on the developmental impact of the CFTA on people in Namibia in particular and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in general.
Sylvester Wullo Bagooro from the Third World Network-Africa, who was a guest speaker, cautioned the participants on the negative impact of the deadline on which they will have to approve the content of agreement, which is December 2017.
Some other issues brought forward by Bagooro are the exclusionary nature of the consultation process, which according to him omitted, among others, civil society, the private sector and academia.
The programme coordinator for the Economic Justice Network, Simon Vilakazi, supported Bagooro on the exclusionary nature of the consultations, saying that civil society and ordinary people were inadequately informed about CFTA issues and yet they were not immune to the effects of the decisions taken by those in authority.
African countries, according to Bagooro, have been liberalising for a period of time under the WTO, structural adjustment, EPAs, regional economic communities without an improvement in the welfare benefits for the people as this forms part of the liberalisation agenda.
One aspect for consideration in this regard is the fact that some SADC countries have asked for derogations after the SADC FTA was launched in 2009, saying it was not working for them.
Zimbabwe promulgated a statutory instrument last year closing its borders to spur local production while Malawi asked for derogations, saying they could not implement the FTA to the expected and agreed level.
These, according to Bagooro, are some of the concerns emanating from the SADC FTA forum which are a clear indication that more consultations were needed in terms of moving forward with the CFTA.
Cementing Bagooro's doubts regarding the due date of the CFTA was a trade negotiations coordinator at the Southern African Customs Union, Albertina Hitiwa, who said only 20% of the content of the agreement had been completed, with less than three months left to the due date.
The SADC FTA was established in August 2008, after the implementation of the SADC Protocol on Trade in 2000 laid the foundation for its formation.
Officials and pundits across Asia struggled yesterday to parse Donald Trump's vow Tuesday at the UN General assembly to “totally destroy North Korea” if provoked.
In a region well used to Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear weapons generating a seemingly never-ending cycle of threats and counter threats, Trump's comments stood out.
South Korea officially played them down, while some politicians worried that Trump's words signalled a loss of influence for Seoul. Tokyo focused on his mention of Japanese citizens abducted by the North. Analysts across Asia expressed surprise, worry, even wry amusement, in one case, that Trump's words seemed to mirror threats normally emanating from North Korean state media.
Amid the speculation, the focus of Trump's belligerence, North Korea, remained silent in the hours after the speech.
Officials from the office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a liberal who has advocated dialogue with the North while being forced into a hawkish position by the North's weapons tests, called Trump's words a signal of Washington's strong resolve to deal with the North but essentially a repetition of a basic US policy.
Trump has previously threatened the North with “fire and fury.” Pyongyang responded to those past remarks with a string of weapons tests, including its sixth and most powerful nuclear detonation and two missiles that flew over US ally Japan.
A South Korean presidential official said Trump was repeating the basic stance that all options will be considered when confronting North Korea.
Park Soo-hyun, a Moon spokesman, said the amount of time Trump spent on North Korea in his speech shows how seriously Washington takes the issue.
Trump's comments “reaffirmed the need to put maximum sanctions and pressure against North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations,” so that Pyongyang realizes that abandoning its nuclear weapons is the only way forward, Park said.
North Korea's regular weapons tests are an attempt to create an arsenal of nuclear missiles that can threaten US troops throughout Asia and the US mainland. Pyongyang tested its first two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and claims that it can now accurately reach the US homeland, though outside experts say the North may still need more tests before its weapons are fully viable. Each new test pushes the nation that much closer to that goal.
Some South Korean opposition politicians saw the comments as another sign that South Korea is losing its voice in international efforts to deal with the North's nuclear program.
Trump's UN speech came days after US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis created unease in South Korea by saying without elaboration that the United States has military options against North Korea that wouldn't involve the destruction of Seoul.
The South Korean capital is within easy artillery range of the huge array of North Korean weapons dug in along a border only an hour's drive from greater Seoul's 25 million people.
Kim Su-min, a lawmaker in the People's Party, said South Korean military officials had no communication with the Pentagon before Mattis' remarks, and no one in Seoul heard from the White House before Trump's speech.
This has prompted worries about the communication channel with the United States.
“The government should comprehensively review its diplomatic and national security system and do its absolute best so that our stance on critical issues related to the existence of our country and the lives of our people doesn't go ignored,” Kim said.
Diplomacy meant to rid the North of its nukes has been moribund for years, and Pyongyang has made huge strides over the last several years in its quest for nuclear tipped missiles that can reach anywhere in the world. Trump has pushed Beijing, which is the North's only major ally, to do more to influence Pyongyang's behaviour, so far to no avail.
A Chinese expert on North Korea was surprised by the vehemence of Trump's speech, saying “his rhetoric is full of military force.”
Cheng Xiaohe of Renmin University said in an interview that he initially thought that “the US had nearly declared war on North Korea.” The speech, he said, signals that “if North Korea conducts another missile test, the US is very likely to intercept.”
Officials in Tokyo, meanwhile, welcomed a reference by Trump to North Korea's abduction of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and '80s.
“I think it means an understanding has gotten through” to the United States and other countries, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura said, according to Kyodo News service.
In a list of accusations against North Korea, Trump said “we know it kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea's spies.”
The girl, Megumi Yokota, was one of at least 17 people that Japan says North Korea kidnapped.
The destruction revived horrific memories in Mexico on the anniversary of another massive quake in 1985, the disaster-prone country's deadliest ever.
One of the most gut-wrenching scenes was at the Enrique Rebsamen primary school on Mexico City's south side, whose three floors collapsed into one, trapping students and teachers inside.
Twenty-one children and four adults were killed, said deputy education minister Javier Trevino.
President Enrique Pena Nieto, who rushed to the site, warned the death toll could rise.
“There are 30 children and eight adults still missing. Rescue operations are ongoing,” he told journalists.
Local media reports said soldiers had located one child alive beneath the ruins. They administered oxygen through a tube, but were so far unable to extract him.
The devastation struck across a swath of central states.
There were 49 dead in Mexico City, 32 in Puebla, 55 in Morelos, 12 in Mexico state and one in Guerrero, said Luis Felipe Puente, head of the disaster management agency.
Rescue crews and volunteers in Mexico City - home to 20 million people - clawed through the rubble of at least 49 collapsed buildings looking for survivors and bodies.
Local media reported that families were getting WhatsApp messages pleading for help from desperate relatives trapped under debris.
Memories of the devastating 1985 earthquake, which killed at least 10 000 people, surged to the surface on what was meant to be a low-key 32nd anniversary.
Adding to the national sense of vulnerability, the quake also came just 12 days after another that killed nearly 100 people and left more than 200 injured, mainly in the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.
Many in the capital quickly ran for safety outdoors when walls around them swayed and cracked.
“I'm so worried. I can't stop crying. It's the same nightmare as in 1985,” Georgina Sanchez, 52, sobbed to AFP in a plaza in the capital.
The quake - which occurred in the early afternoon, hours after city authorities had conducted an earthquake drill - caused massive damage in the bustling centre of the city.
“It was horrible,” said resident Leiza Visaj Herrera, 27. “I had to hold on to the ground.”
Scenes of chaos erupted in the quake's aftermath. Traffic jammed to a standstill before blanked-out stop lights, and anxious people ran between vehicles as ambulances tried to make headway, sirens blaring.
In several locations, large crowds of people clambered on buildings that were now piles of stone and tangled metal, trying to pull people out.
Emergency workers held up signs commanding “Silence” so crews could listen for the sounds of any survivors.
This is certainly true when one considers the facts. It is widely known that HIV positive people who are on medication have a lower viral load and insist on using condoms to protect their sexual partners.
Stats reveal that HIV/Aids remain the number one killer in Namibia, with up to 3 900 deaths annually.
We need to ask ourselves, why we have not beaten the virus when we have every tool possible to fight it.
We have every tool to prevent new infections and equally, we have all the tools to ensure that those already infected can live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.
In 2016 UNAIDS estimated that more than 200 000 Namibians live with HIV. In Namibia, what is more startling is that adolescents and youth represent a growing proportion of HIV positive people in the country.
We need to ask ourselves, why without some kind of biological preference, HIV seems to target young Namibians?
Have we perhaps failed to tailor prevention programmes to the needs of young people? We continue to hear young people refusing to go to public health centres for testing and treatment. So what alternative are we offering these young Namibians without medical aid? Equally, we need clubs and leisure centres to come on board in stocking condoms.
This is no time for complacency; we need to find a unique way to get our young tested.
The perception in the minds of many is still that “if I feel and look healthy” I have nothing to fear. How do we change the narrative, the perception being HIV positive looks sickly, and in the absence of that there is no need to get tested?
The stats are shocking; the stats are a call for action. Parents need to speak to their children about getting tested, friends need to speak to their friends, colleagues need to encourage each other to get tested and pastors need to encourage their congregants to get tested. Love yourself enough to know your status and to protect yourself.
Deputy Commissioner Naomi Katjiua of the Oshikoto police said the girl allegedly committed the offence at her home village of Epembe-Longa at about 01:00 the same day.
“It is alleged the suspect gave birth to a baby boy and wrapped it in a plastic bag and hid it in a suitcase under the bed in her sleeping hut, and left for school early [Tuesday] morning,” Katjiua stated.
According to Katjiua, the girl's guardian went into her hut at about 10:00 and saw blood all over the place. She called the police.
Upon her arrest, the girl was admitted to the hospital at Omuthiya under police guard.
A post-mortem will be conducted to determine if the baby had been born alive.
Katjiua also confirmed the arrest of one of the suspects in a robbery at Farm Onsplaas, situated some 20km from Tsumeb, earlier this month.
Thimoteus Nghinashindatila Mukete, 34, from Okakwa village in the Ohangwena Region, was arrested on Wednesday last week and appeared in the Tsumeb Magistrate's Court on Friday.
The case was postponed to 23 October for further investigations.
He was remanded in custody.
“Three more suspects are still at large,” Katjiua said.
It is alleged that Mukete and the others on 6 September entered the farm under the pretence of buying goats. They tied up the elderly farm owners, Lukas Nel and his wife, with electrical wire and locked them in a room.
They then stole N$16 000 and fled the scene with Nel's 4x4 bakkie that was later found abandoned on the premises of the Dundee Precious Metal mine in Tsumeb.
They also say the impasse does not resolve a longstanding and critical problem for the City.
“We are very disappointed in the response from the minister, especially with the current initiative from the president to drive and management performance in government. This decision will certainly delay the processing of planning applications even further,” Harold Kisting, President of the Namibia Institute of Town and Regional Planners (NITRP) told Namibian Sun last week.
In letters to the ministry earlier this year, members of NITRP told authorities there that it is “simply unacceptable that a simple rezoning can take more than a year at the City of Windhoek to be approved.
“It has become standard that rezoning applications take more than two years for planning approval from the City and another two years to get included in an amendment scheme to finalise the rezoning process before investors can benefit from the new development rights.”
These delays have led to “low levels of investment and therefore low levels of job creation at a time that Namibia can ill afford,” letters from NITRP noted.
Last week Kisting told Namibian Sun that town planning “is about development, investment and job creation. If we take longer than one year to process development applications, we are not serious as a capital city.”
He explained that the city, through speedy processing of applications, is able to add additional income streams through betterment and endowment fees “and ultimately grow the rates and taxes base of the City.”
He noted that while the city has asked for a government bailout they could “grow their income by expediting the planning approval process.”
Town planners say that it is due to the city's slow response to applications that Windhoek “lags behind smaller municipalities in land and housing delivery”.
In a letter last year, addressed to the municipality's department of urban planning and property management, NITRP and members of the Namibia Council for Town and Regional Planners (NCTRP) said the City of Windhoek is considered a leader in local authority management in Namibia and many follow its example.
However, the letter noted that the processing time of planning and property applications “unfortunately does not live up to the standard of excellence and negatively impacts on the image of the city.”
Close, but not close enough
According to NITRP, the only feedback received to various proposals and letters of complaints to the municipality last year, was from the Namibia Planning and Advisory Board (NAMPAB), who approved the compilation of the Special Amendment Scheme 97.
The special scheme was then submitted to NAMPAB for approval on 6 June 2017.
However, shortly before the expiration date of the notice of the special scheme, to which the City was obliged to respond before 19 September, a letter signed by Minister Sophia Shaningwa on 9 September, ordered NAMPAB to retract the amendment notice without further delay.
The minister noted that she was seeking legal advice and was waiting to be properly briefed on the matter before commencing to meet with all stakeholders, including NAMPAB, the municipality and the ministry, on the amendment scheme and relevant issues.
NITRP told Namibian Sun the ministry's instruction to cancel the notice “shields poor performance and will make City officials even more arrogant in the interactions with town planners and clients.”
The 2017 August council agenda, which stated that City officials feared that NAMPAB's approval of the amendment scheme would cost the city “tens of millions” in betterment and other fees, among other worries, showed that the city had hastily enacted a “military style” action plan, that led to at least 217 rezoning applications being finalised before this week's deadline.
In NITRP said a retraction of an amendment scheme was the right of the ministry, but noted that the city should instead present an action plan on how to deal with the backlog and future applications.
From bad to worse
In July last year, a formal complaint was sent to the City, highlighting their growing frustrations, possible causes for delays and suggestions to resolve the delays.
In an October letter to the ministry of urban and rural development, the NITRP informed the ministry that although members had tried “all formal avenues to find a solution to the current lack of responsiveness from the city, but to no avail.”
The City of Windhoek did not respond to the formal complaint and did not invite representatives from the concerned parties to a meeting to discuss the issue, the letter stated.
NITRP urged the ministry “to attend to the current crisis and rescue the situation. Windhoek as a local authority is losing out on much needed investments that will create jobs for residents and income for the city coffers, because of unreasonable delays.”
The minister of agriculture, water and forestry, John Mutorwa, had informed Salini at Neckartal Dam site last week that the cash flow problems would likely be solved this week.
Salini Impregilo is the Italian contractor building the multibillion-dollar Neckartal Dam in the Berseba Constituency in the//Karas Region.
The government owes the company N$600 million in back payment, while further funds are needed to complete the remaining 10% of work on the project.
In a statement on Tuesday, Mutorwa said the Cabinet Committee on Treasury, in a meeting this Monday, had put together a technical committee to source the money.
“The technical committee was put together to urgently work on detailed and specific possible financing modalities and to report back to the committee of ministers on 25 September 2017,” the minister said.
The technical committee is made up of officials from the ministries of finance, agriculture and public enterprises, the National Planning Commission and NamWater.
In a meeting with Salini on Friday, Mutorwa indicated that NamWater would be approached to pay the overdue invoices for May, June, July and August totalling N$600 million. However, late Sunday, the minister informed Nampa that his ministry, in fact, would be responsible for sourcing the outstanding amount and that NamWater would be approached to take over funding on the remaining 10% of the project.
The reasoning behind roping in NamWater is that the dam would be on the books of the parastatal as an asset once completed.
The proposal was to request NamWater to borrow money and that this loan would be backed by a government guarantee.
“The technical committee's expected recommendations will then be served at the Cabinet Committee on Treasury meeting on 27 September 2017,” Mutorwa's statement said.
He said further details on the financing matter would only be available after the Cabinet Committee on Treasury has met.
The Cabinet Committee on Treasury is also expected to report on the matter to the entire cabinet after its 27 September meeting, Mutorwa added.
Work at Neckartal, meanwhile, has come to an almost complete standstill since the end of August when the company sent around 90% of the workforce home.
Salini project manager Fabrizio Lazzarin said in the meeting with Mutorwa that work would only resume once payment had been received.
Only essential minor works are currently conducted at the dam.
It had been alleged that the skeletons were “tucked away” and “collecting dust” in government offices.
Namibian Sun has established that the skulls are safely kept in a climate-controlled and secure storage facility at the National Museum.
“I cannot even entertain these kinds of comments. It is not true at all. None of them have made the effort to come and see where the skulls were put. There is a room for them [skulls] at the National Museum and everyone is free to see them,” said Moombola-Goagoses.
She said the skulls were not on display to the public, as was expected by the affected communities, but were in safekeeping according to international standards.
“This is not a medical museum. We need permission from the relatives of victims with these remains to put the skulls up for display. Now if you do not know who the relatives are, how will you get permission?” she asked. Moombola-Goagoses was responding to claims by a member of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA), Utjiua Muinjangue, who argued that the government was disrespecting their ancestors' remains.
According to Muinjangue, there was an agreement between the affected communities and government that the skulls would be placed in a special exhibition on the first floor of the Independence Memorial Museum.
“It is not what is reflected there, there is one corner only. I was there with Al Jazeera who wanted to know where the skulls are and there is no answer,” Muinjangue said.
According to her, attempts to secure an appointment with the directorate had been futile.
“We want to know, it is the skulls of our people – we want to know in what condition they are, whether they are in boxes somewhere. Are they still treated the same way they were treated when they were in Germany? Where is the dignity?” she complained.
“For some people they might be [just] skulls [but] for some of us it brings pain. The same pain people feel when they talk about Ongulumbashe and Cassinga,” she said.
In a presentation on Namibia's economy and future prospects on Tuesday, Schade said 74 074 people had lost their jobs in the agriculture and fishing sector, 31 607 in wholesale and retail trade, 11 629 in public administration, 7 944 in the private sector and 4 390 in the transport and storage sector.
Schade attributed the high number of job losses in the agriculture and fishing sector to the drought the country had experienced for the past four consecutive years.
Giving a breakdown of job losses per region in the agricultural sector, Schade said the Omusati Region had the most job losses (22 794), followed by 8 730 jobs in Kunene, 7 564 in Ohangwena and 6 919 in Oshikoto.
Schade said the wholesale and retail trade was affected by retrenchments in the construction and related industries.
The presentation emphasised that the agricultural sector's production in 2017 had increased by 10 per cent due to good rainfall received.
He further said that mining could expect an upsurge given the commissioning of a new diamond exploration vessel, higher zinc and copper prices and an expected increase in production at the Husab uranium mine in 2018.
“Husab, at full production, is the second largest uranium mine globally and its full production will have an impact on global prices,” said Schade, adding that production remained low at the moment.
In June this year, Debmarine Namibia launched the world's most advanced diamond exploration and sampling vessel, the MV Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma.
Gossip-mongers have alleged that Geingos, who accompanied President Hage Geingob to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, took her parents, siblings and children along on the trip.
In a three-page statement yesterday, Geingos rejected claims that her parents accompanied her.
She admitted that a younger sister travelled to the US at the same time, but said she flew on a commercial flight and the ticket was paid for privately.
Geingos further explained that a second sibling was also in the US, but said she travelled with her employer on official assignment to the UN General Assembly, and not at the expense of the Namibian taxpayer.
Geingos said her son was in New York too, but his trip was privately funded. She had persuaded him to travel at the same time so that they could spend some time together as he was studying and frequently away from home.
The First Lady pleaded with the Namibian nation to “accept dependent children and parents as no-go areas for our scandalmongering, particularly where no public interest exists”.
“I find legal discomfort in being placed in a situation where people create false allegations against my family and I am then required to prove that such allegations are untrue,” she said.
Geingos, who had stated publicly on Twitter that she had receipts for her family's travel expenses, said she would only make them public if necessary.
“It is painful to see the inclusion of my parents in these types of spurious claims. Had my parents been funded by taxpayers' money to holiday in New York, it would be a dereliction of duty for any media house to pander to the sensitivity of an individual regarding their parents.
“My parents are not in New York and the journalists referenced by Natasha Tibinyane as having told her that they knew of the presence of my parents in New York were either lied to, or have lied,” she said.
The storm around the first family's travel itinerary broke loose after Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) director Natasha Tibinyane tweeted that she demanded “answers” from Geingos and the presidency.
That followed a picture posted on Twitter by Geingos's younger sister, Tashia Kalondo, indicating that she was enjoying the nightlife of New York City.
“If there was a time that we required professional and investigative journalism, it would be now as social media has become the crime scene for the production of 'weaponised' lies.
“I appreciate the fact that the journalists who reached out to me did so with the caution required when involving elderly parents and children but the reality is that the source of their media queries according to their own admission was based on social media postings,” Geingos hit back.
A man from Onandjaba village in the Omusati Region, who was arrested this week on allegations of raping his 17-year-old stepdaughter when she was a minor, made his first appearance before the Outapi Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
The 59-year-old man, whose identity cannot be revealed to protect the identity of the complainant, was not asked to plead.
He was denied bail and the case was postponed until 14 December for further investigation. The man told the court that he would find his own legal representative.
It is alleged that the accused had sexual intercourse with the complainant on several occasions between December 2016 and August this year, when the girl’s mother was not at home.
The girl reported the matter to the Onandjaba police station early this month but refused to file charges even though the police and social workers advised her to do so. It is also alleged that her mother refused to lay charges on behalf of her daughter.
However, on Monday, the police opened a statutory rape case after the girl claimed in her statement that the sexual relationship with her stepfather has been going on for almost a year.
Namibia on Friday voted against the inclusion of a motion on The Responsibility to Protect, also referred to as R2P.
In a statement yesterday, Nudo spokesperson Joseph Kauandenge rejected the government's official explanation that it was merely a “procedural vote” and did not reflect the government's stance on human rights.
Nudo demanded that the government provide a proper answer for this “political blunder of the century” and explain how it plans to fix Namibia's image in the eyes of the world.
“The explanation given yesterday by the international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah is at best an answer given to an elementary child or better yet to a kindergarten child who cannot comprehend, analyse and form an independent opinion for himself,” he lashed out.
According to Kauandenge, the government cannot demand reparations from Germany for the 1908 Nama and OvaHerero genocide if the government itself was opposed to countries being held accountable for genocide.
Nudo believes the government was moved to vote against the inclusion of the motion because it is haunted by the recently launched Swapo dungeon probe.
“Government is demanding compensation from Germany and at the same time is at pains to keep its dark secret of people tortured by its own officials and leaders deeply hidden from the prying eyes of the world and still grieving relatives looking for answers as to what happened to their loved ones in the dungeons of Lubango,” he said.
Meanwhile, DTA president McHenry Venaani said Namibia, a nation with a history littered with human rights abuses and discrimination, had no business voting against any discussion relating to humanity.
“The Swapo Party as the majority party in government has in a moment of characteristic folly chosen to side with dictators, war criminals and human rights abusers by voting to keep the R2P off the UNGA agenda. The Swapo Party has in one fell swoop betrayed those whose blood waters our freedom,” he said.
According to Venaani, despite the government's assurance that it will give its views during the debate on the motion, irreversible damage has been done to Namibia's image as a human rights defender.
“Tragically, Namibia will henceforth be known as a sell-out of the very principles that underpinned its own revolution. The Swapo Party has played a defining role in ensuring that international intervention and support will likely not be available to scores of oppressed and threatened peoples the world over.
“Ironically, had it not been for the intervention and support of the international community it is doubtful whether independence for Namibia would have been achieved,” Venaani charged.
Passengers have complained about standing in long lines for two or three hours to be scanned before they could get through customs at the check-in points.
There is an unconfirmed report of a passenger who missed his flight due to the holdup and allegedly was forced to buy a new air ticket because neither the home affairs ministry, nor the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) or the airline was prepared to take any responsibility.
Another reported that he had to wait in line for more than an hour before he got to the check-in point.
The NAC reportedly suggested that passengers should check in at least four hours before departure and immediately make their way to the immigration counters.
This could not be confirmed with the NAC because neither the communications manager nor acting CEO Lot Haifidi were available for comment.
Six days after the introduction of the biometrics system, Air Namibia said on its Facebook page that it expected some delays at the check-in points, but welcomed the introduction of the system as a development that “aligns Namibia's aviation industry with global standards”.
“We are well aware of the situation as the ministry and other stakeholders,” commented the spokesperson of the home affairs ministry, Sakeus Kadhikwa.
He said as a short-term mitigating measure the ministry on Tuesday installed more cubicles - five cubicles at the arrival and three at departure points – to speed up the scanning process.
“If you ask any of the passengers today how their experience was, they would tell you that it went much faster,” Kadhikwa offered.
The biometric system launched by home affairs minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana on 6 September makes use of facial recognition and fingerprint software.
The aim of the system is to enable immigration officials to detect wanted or blacklisted persons, illegal immigrants and suspected terrorists.
At the launch Iivula-Ithana said it was hoped that it would improve the collection of statistics, data storage and connectivity.
She said the system would improve operations of all law enforcement agencies as it would help to identify people “even if they change their names because the fingerprints will never change”.
She added that the project would bring about significant improvement in the management and facilitation of lawful migration and further contribute to the turnaround strategy the ministry had embarked upon a few years ago.
The system was developed by local company Syntex Technologies.
An overwhelming Swapo vote has swept off the table an attempt by Swanu president Usutuaije Maamberua to motivate his motion on the government’s resettlement policy.
Maamberua last week introduced the motion in an effort to interrogate the implementation of the policy as well as to discuss the criteria and list of people selected for resettlement since Independence.
The motion also intended to call on lands minister Utoni Nujoma to give a breakdown of the ministry’s challenges and successes in the implementation of the programme.
However, chaos erupted in the National Assembly when Nujoma rejected the motion before Maamberua could motivate it.
Efforts by the Speaker, Peter Katjavivi, to restore order by repeatedly banging loudly with his gavel were simply ignored.
When he eventually managed to restore order, a vote was called on whether the motion should be tabled or not.
Fifty-three Swapo members voted against the motion while ten opposition members voted for the motion. Poverty eradication minister Zephania Kameeta and newly sworn-in youth leader Paula Kooper abstained from voting.
Maamberua said Swapo’s strong resistance to open dialogue and scrutiny of its policies was because it was hiding wrongdoings.
“I suspected something is fishy - why would the government be hesitant to exercise its oversight role? That means there is some corruption,” said Maamberua.
The permanent secretary of the lands ministry, Peter Amutenya, said in February that there was no way the ministry could release the list of beneficiaries as that would stoke tribalism and stir up trouble.
According to Maamberua the party’s rejection of his motion and what Amutenya said confirmed that the ministry’s resettlement policy was flawed and driven by a corrupt agenda.
A horrific car accident which landed six-year-old Valentina Tsamases in hospital with serious, life-changing injuries led to a surprising friendship between two families now united in their quest to see Valentina back on her feet again.
For Valentina’s legal guardian, her grandmother Josefina Tsamases, the friendship that began with the Tredoux family after they met about three weeks ago was a blessed and welcoming event.
“When we met for the first time, I had come to visit Valentina and I saw them by her bedside. I could immediately see they cared, and that they were concerned about her. They have stood by me, even after we left and came here again (Katutura State Hospital). They have done so much good. They are kind to Valentina, and to me.”
The Tredoux family, Liese-Mari, her husband Derick and their sons, met Valentina when their youngest son was being treated at the same private hospital to which Valentina was temporarily admitted for emergency surgery, courtesy of the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) fund.
Liese-Mari Tredoux said since the chance meeting, Valentina and Josefina have “stolen our hearts.”
She said she first noticed Valentina, a small, sick girl who was often alone, and began to make enquires, subsequently meeting Josefina and hearing their story.
“They have touched us deeply, and even when Valentina is healthy again, and can go home, I will continue to visit them. I feel that God has put me on this path for a reason,” Liese-Mari said.
A long road ahead
Valentina Tsamases was hit and severely injured when a car crashed into her on Sunday, 27 August at the corner of Otjomuise and Monte Cristo roads, while on her way home from a football game.
At several points during her hospitalisation, doctors feared that her right foot might be amputated.
And yet, specialists who have treated Valentina remain hopeful.
“It is too early to say what the prognosis is at this point, but given that she is young and has great healing potential, she'll pull through,” Dr Sibasthiaan Shituleni, an orthopaedic surgeon, told Namibian Sun.
He explained that Valentina sustained severe injuries, including massive lower limb de-gloving, significant muscle loss and an ankle fracture with multiple bones exposed.
She was referred to him from Katutura Hospital for a limb salvage procedure and underwent “multiple wound debridement and stabilisation of the right ankle fracture / dislocations.”
Doctors applied vacuum-assisted dressings to stimulate granulation and prepare her for reconstructive procedures, and possible grafting, which could mean multiple surgeries ahead.
A close bond
Josefina is Valentina’s legal guardian after her mother passed away “a long time ago.”
She also looks after five other children, who live with her in Havana.
With the help of two of her daughters and government grants, the family gets by, but it is always a struggle, especially since Valentina’s accident, she said.
“When Valentina was in the hospital, I was very worried, especially on the days I could not visit her, because I could not afford the travel costs. But then Liese-Marie and her husband, Derick, began to help with that. They love Valentina, the children, and they love me. They are God’s children,” she told Namibian Sun.
Liese-Mari recounted that she immediately noticed that Josefina was struggling with money to enable her to visit Valentina regularly, especially considering the distance between her home and the two hospitals.
“Taxis are expensive, and every time she wanted to visit, she had to first ensure that someone could look after the other kids, and struggle with the cost of travel.”
Derick Tredoux decided to offer Josefina regular lifts to the hospital, and in addition they began providing her with money to cover travel expenses.
They have also helped the family in many other ways, not only with gifts, but with food, clothing, bedding and more.
After the Tredouxs shared the story of Valentina with family and friends, word spread and donations of toys and other necessities including clothes, food and more, were made one after the other.
Liese-Mari insists that those who can must deliver these gifts personally, “so that they can meet the family.”
When the Tredouxs continued their daily visits to Valentina, after she was transferred back to Katutura State Hospital, they met other mothers and their sick children there with similar needs.
Since then, more donations have been made from far and wide, including South Africa.
Due to the various basic needs of many mothers and their children, nappies, food, bedding and similar donations continue to be made to the ward’s patients and parents where Valentina is currently hospitalised.
“I can only say thank you to all of those people, who have come to visit Valentina, and who have given gifts. She is so grateful, and I am too,” Josefina said.
For Josefina, and the Tredoux family, their hopes and goals are the same: to see Valentina receive top care, so that she can heal and regain the use of her legs.
Enquiries with Namibian Police whether any charges against the driver were made after the accident were not answered by the time of going to print.
The undefeated Kautondokwa, who has an impressive 93% knockout record after 15 fights, will defend his WBO Africa title for a record fifth time when he steps into the ring with Meschack Mwankemwa of Tanzania.
Kautondokwa recently impressed with a TKO win when he defeated WBO Africa Interim champion Obodai Sai in June in Ghana to retain his WBO title and add the vacant IBF Continental Africa title to his trophy cabinet.
He is now ranked seventh by the WBO and is gunning for world supremacy in one of the most competitive weight divisions.
In the main undercard, Namibian welterweight prospect Mike Shonena will make his Africa debut when he fights for the vacant WBO Africa welterweight title for the first time.
Shonena remains undefeated after 10 fights. His opponent has not been confirmed. Promoter Nestor Tobias expressed excitement over the boxing event.
“We just came from a very successful event on 9 September where we treated boxing fans to top-class boxing, and we are inviting them again to another world-class spectacle of Africa's finest boxers involving two legitimate continental titles,” Tobias said. Kautondokwa said he was eager to punish his opponent.
“I am just excited to be stepping into the ring again. I am happy that my world record keeps on improving and my main focus is just to keep winning and getting better.
“I know my big breakthrough will come with time. I look forward to this fight and will be at my usual best against my opponent,” Kautondokwa said. Tickets are available at Computicket outlets, Antonio's shop in Post Street Mall and at the Windhoek Country Club reception. General tickets sell for N$200 while a VIP table seating 10 persons will cost N$10 000. The fight is sponsored by MTC.
After a battle of many dramatic matches, it all comes down to four teams that will lock horns at the Mokati Stadium in Otjiwarongo tomorrow.
All four clubs are determined to win the competition, but only two will remain after this weekend to give one last push in the final.
Mighty Gunners have all the odds in their favour given that they will be playing in front of their supporters in Otjiwarongo.
The 'men in uniform' will go up against tournament favourites Tura Magic at the Mokati Stadium at 15:00.
Young Chiefs and Young Africans will round off the semi-finals at 17:00 at the same stadium.
Tura Magic defeated premier league side Civics by a solid goal from striker Itamunua Keimuine to reach the last four, while Mighty Gunners secured a 1-0 win against Try Again FC in Gobabis.
Tournament underdogs Young African FC secured their place in the semi-final by defeating Rundu Chiefs 5-4 on penalties in a nail-biting quarterfinal match.
Oshakati-based Young Chiefs advanced to the semis having scored the most goals in Gobabis after easing 5-1 past Eastern Chiefs.
The four remaining teams have received N$20 000 each to prepare for the semi-final matches.
The two finalists will each receive N$30 000 to help prepare for the title-deciding match on 25 November.
Young Chiefs coach Fillimon 'Kaskas' Angula told NFA media that the time had come for the club to turn the tide for northern Namibia.
“Teams from central Namibia, especially Windhoek, have been playing in the final and winning this cup for many years and the plan for 'Amathekie' is to change that.
“We have embarked upon changing that pattern and rewrite history. We have to go all the way,” Angula said.
Young African coach Marley Ngarizemo also stated that his team was prepared to go all the way in the competition.
Tura Magic's Paulus Shipanga is also keen on getting his hands on the prestigious trophy.
Mighty Gunners management also believe that they can put up a great fight to ensure that the fans at home are happy. The overall winners of this year's competition will take home N$500 000.
JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA
The visitors sit a point above the home side, which will propel the Welwitschias to work hard to change that status.
That will not be easy for them as the visitors have won two matches so far and the Welwitschias only one, although the Namibians have scored 12 more tries than their counterparts from George.
The Eagles beat fourth-placed Hino Valke 13-9 in a tight affair at Outeniqua Park in George last Friday.
However, the home side has not been that lucky, losing 78-29 to the Leopards last weekend.
The Leopards have superior attacking and defensive skills, meaning the home side will need to step up their attack and deliver a solid defensive effort to counter the visitors.
At the moment, Griffons lead the log with 20 points, Leopards stand on 17, Boland Kavaliers 12, Hino Valke and SWD Eagles 11, Windhoek Draught Welwitschias 9, Border Bulldogs 7, and bottom of the log is Eastern Province with 3 points.
Before the match kicks off there will be a curtain-raiser Gold Cup match between Western Suburbs and IMT Sishen Rugby Club. Also on the programme for the day are under-13 rugby matches starting at 12:30 and girls' rugby at 13:30.
Tickets are available at the entrance as well as online at www.webtickets.com.na or any Pick n Pay store. Main stand seats cost N$60, while adults will pay N$30 for a seat on the open stand and children N$10.
The match kicks off at 16:00.
Welwitschias squad: Desiderius Sethie, Niel van Vuuren, Nelius Theron, Mahepisa Tjeriko, Ruan Ludick, Rohan Kitshoff (vice-captain), Max Katjiteko, Christo van der Merwe, Eugene Jantjies (captain), Theuns Kotze, David Philander, JC Greyling, Lesley Klim, Russell van Wyk, Mahco Prinsloo, Orbert Nortje, André Rademeyer, Hauta Veii, Adriaan Booysen, Thomas Kali, Cameron Klassen and Johan Tromp.
The 2017 SWSL league kicked off in the middle of July but took a break to allow players to study for their August examinations.
With only three games played so far in the league, Dream Team are top of the log with nine points, while 2016 champions Dragon City are in sixth position with zero points from the two games played so far.
League chairperson Wilson Nguvauva told Nampa that after receiving a N$25 000 sponsorship from Chopsi's Bar they were now able to run their league and teams were reinforcing their squads with new signings.
“We can now start working on making the league bigger so we can feed more players to the senior and junior national women sides,” he said.
Nguvauva added that their goal remains the same - keeping young women off the streets. He said more people should follow the example set by Chopsi's Bar and Swakopmund Uranium, which donated N$5 000.
The sponsorships are used to pay for the use of football fields, the running of the league and the awards ceremony they plan to hold at the end of the season.
The amateur women's football league was established in June 2015 with eight football teams, all based at Swakopmund and Arandis. It has now added a new team from Walvis Bay called United Nations.
Chelsea from Swakopmund and Kavetu's second team are not in this year's competition.
Dragon City, Namib Daughters, Dream Team, Swakopmund Football Club, African Queens, Kavetu, and United Nations are the teams that compete in the league.
Namib Daughters were crowned champions in the league's maiden season.