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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 10/12/17--15:00: Forgiving them is
  • Forgiving them isForgiving them is I was shielded from difficulties encountered by many in life, by being in a six-year romantic relationship. He was wonderful, but unfortunately the heart-stopping, breath-taking love which I knew existed in the world, did not exist in ours. After love for each other faded, we let each other go and this was how I came to meet the harsh world that I was shielded from during that six-year relationship. The relationship protected me from men who are in this world and who come to steal, kill and destroy. I was naïve about men, because I believed every man had a good heart like mine or the man I was with for six years. The dilemma that came out of this misconception is; I found myself playing with fire more often. I ended up with men who were train wrecks, yet I yearned to see the goodness in their hearts. Refusing to acknowledge that perhaps this is not where I ought to be, I spent so much time searching for the goodness in people. I refused to accept that not everyone you meet means good to you. With that, I found myself going from relationship to relationship without acknowledging my scars. This led to character changes, because I never took time to heal. Convincing myself I was fine, I was walking around with open wounds and collecting more as I went along. I was constantly advised to take a break and stop dating. I wouldn't listen, because I was convinced that if I kept going, I would eventually find someone who would love me and heal my hurtful past. I was looking for a band aid. In the end, you are glad you worked through the baggage, because the person who will emerge will have scars, but will have found themselves again.

    *Mavis Braga Elias is a civil engineer, philanthropist, MC, blogger, poet and radio Personality.

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  • 10/12/17--15:00: Art exchange
  • Art exchangeArt exchangeBig Ben featured on Tanzanian TV programme Tanzanian VJ is revolutionising the entertainment industry one artist and country at a time by having artists from different countries to unite African arts. Taxi is an international TV programme that started this year and whose main purpose is to bring to the public artists who are excelling in their fields and genres but who do not get the publicity they deserve or foreign artists who must be celebrated. The founder, VJ Majimaji realised the lack of unity in Africa especially in the entertainment industry and came up with a brilliant idea known as Taxi today. “I understand what it means to be an artist and the struggles that come with it. You get artists who are born with the talent to sing and those that put in effort to become great musicians. These are the ones who need a little push and this is why I came up with the programme,” said VJ Majimaji. Majimaji encourages international tourism whereby international artists talk about their countries and tourist attractions for visitors.

    NAMAs 2016 Male Artist of the Year, Big Ben has been nominated and chosen to represent Namibia not only with his music but, by sharing the beauty of our landscape. Majimaji says coming up with the winning artist is a taxing process that demands researching the artist's country and the music in order to start a conversation. The show will be aired on DSTV channel 295 starting tomorrow (Saturday)at 17:45 East African time.

    Majimaji says he's eager to work with other Namibian artists and to feature them on the show such as Sally and an artist in his words “is a phenomenal artist” and Miss Namibia to share the Namibian story through their lenses. Majimaji has a project that has already kicked-off that is popping in East Africa.

    June Shimuoshili

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  • 10/12/17--15:00: Give them a good cheer
  • Give them a good cheerGive them a good cheer This week I have a burning desire to talk about the glaring lack of support for our own artists, as we ridicule the “local is lekker” chant. It is high time Namibians rally and hoist the flag high for our local artists and this is the only way that we can help them to soar higher. They are our own and for expending so much energy and their meagre earnings from long hours of rehearsals, we can do better to make them grow. That moral support no doubt lifts their morale and fuels their zeal to excel and do better. The arts define who we are, what boggles our mind and often what we wish to be or become. Artists sing, draw and act about issues that as a people and country encounter and therefore, their talents are never meant to benefits them alone but of us as a nation. And, it is based on this assumption that we all need to support them, emotionally, financially and morally. Unless we accord them that respect and appreciation, there are lesser chances they will be appreciated elsewhere. After all our artists are a reflection of whom we are and they mirror our culture to the rest of the world. To the artists I urge you to understand that growth is a process and success depends on what and how much you put down. When embarking on your careers take cognisance of the fact that your project is like sowing a seed. Unless you prepare the land well, the seed that you plant may fail to germinate and bear fruit. Or, if it germinates, how you take care of it after it emerges, will determine the harvest. Many of our artists spoil their bright future because they are in a hurry to prosper and get famous but prosperity and fame do not come on a silver platter; it demands patience, hard work, good relations and good reputation. One wise man once said: “It doesn't matter how slow you move as long as you keep moving.” It is based on this that I encourage our artists to be patient enough to allow the natural growth processes of our different personalities. Our roads to fame are never one-size-fit-all and therefore I urge Namibian artists to work hard and with the necessary support from all of us, you will enjoy your roads to stardom and remember the sky is always there for you keep shining.

    June Shimuoshili

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  • 10/12/17--15:00: fashion bar
  • fashion barfashion barStay classy and fabulous with Manya Young upcoming Namibian fashion designer Ndahafa Shaimemanya debuts her Manya fashion line. Ndahafa Shaimemanya is a 23-year-old Namibian fashion designer, born and raised in Windhoek. Just like most girls, Shaimemanya was interested in fashion, clothes and looking good and she kept herself busy with fashion magazines, stalking fashion blogs and watching fashion TV shows. At 14, she already knew that she wanted to be a designer and nothing would stop her. Shaimemanya followed her dreams and today, she is an upcoming designer with an elegant style of design.

    This is her story.

    (tjil) T: Where did you study fashion design?

    (Shaimemanya) S: I studied at Esmod Paris and CNAM, a French arts institution. The experience was very enriching. Studying in Paris has really pushed me to explore my creativity and embrace my unique personal identity and add those elements in my garments. It allowed me to explore the depths of myself and to create an aesthetic that truly embraces me and my background and life experiences. I wanted to study journalism but I felt that I would have more creative freedom in fashion design and I was generally curious about how I would adapt to the design field of fashion without having a sewing and designing background.

    T: Would you say there is a difference in fashion sense between Namibians and the French?

    S: Yes, Parisians have a more minimised and subtle fashion sense, whereas most Namibians have what I would describe as a loud fashion sense compared to the French. They are totally different.

    T: Let's talk about Manya. From where did you draw inspiration for your designs?

    S: The collection is named after the last five letters of my surname which represents strength, endurance and hard work which is exactly what I have put into Manya. It is my second collection and the brand is inspired by Namibia in terms of tone and how earthly we are. The colours stand out and they look different but I do see myself venturing into other colours such as black and white perhaps.

    The fabric was sourced in Paris from various manufacturing companies. The inspirations of my designs were drawn from my obsession with solidity and fluidity. Creating flowy garments on a structured base which seem to give of architectural elements is the direction I like to take.

    T: About the price range of the garments, who is your audience and why these people?

    S: My target market is the working professional women with effortless style. I wanted to target this market first before venturing into other markets. I felt like my garments suited their criteria, style and budget. These are the independent, self-aware, confident and comfortable women in their skin. She is not worried about looking perfect and outstanding, she would rather be graciously refined and elegant which inevitably makes her stand out. The Manya collection is targeted at the working professional woman who enjoys comfort and quality in her garments. I plan to venture into other markets in the future with a diffusion line with a lower pricing range.

    T: You spoke about being interested in mass production in the future. What do you think the reception will be from the Namibian public?

    S: I think mass production can work but prices of garments would have to be affordable to get sales. Mass production in Namibia with high price rates is a recipe for disaster. I'm greatly interested in mass production and the retail business as a whole which Namibia lacks. I believe retailing is the meeting point of fashion and business which are two industries that I'm greatly interested in getting my foot into the world. I would like to put Namibia on the fashion map by creating and building brands that can be on the same level and size as international brands such as Zara and Mango.

    June Shimuoshili

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  • 10/12/17--15:00: The red line can go
  • The red line can goThe red line can go The economic planning minister Tom Alweendo has it right. The red line, which effectively cripples the farmers in those northern areas, limits access to real and tangible markets and creates an area, at least a third of the country, where only communal and small-scale livestock farming can be done. This in turn creates dependency and vulnerabilities for those communities whose food security status will remain fickle, to say the least.

    That foot-and-mouth disease is problematic also, but the challenges we experience with this disease come from across our borders, not within.

    While we understand that the northern border of this country was artificially created, effectively separating families, communities and tribes, the time has come that we begin to control cross-border movement.

    Communities must be educated in this regard and in fact, it should have been done years, if not decades, ago.

    Border controls, those which are recognised internationally by the relevant authorities, need to be implemented and proper and effective systems and protocols need to be in place.

    In this way, the entire red line or, northern communal area, can be turned into an area where proper commercial farming can take place, whether it be livestock or agronomy, and with that, access to markets, lucrative markets.

    We have reported repeatedly on this workshop and that meeting. We have typed up speeches offering lip service left, right and centre. We have hailed those with wise words and criticised those with narrow vision.

    And yet, nothing has changed for the communities north of the red line.

    It is time that we put deed and action to our words. Effective planning, along with assistance from international authorities, can turn around the lives of the people in the north of our country.

    We cannot simply accept the status quo and say that there is foot-and-mouth disease in that area and let that be that.

    It is absurd, especially in the light of the lofty goals of the Geingob administration to eradicate poverty once and for all.

    This is an essential step in that direction and will impact thousands of people in a positive way.

    And as an added bonus, it is after all, the electorate not?

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  • 10/12/17--15:00: Pick-up lines in the Hood
  • Pick-up lines in the HoodPick-up lines in the Hood For years, the men species have been subjected to the continuous and strenuous process of courting the women they love. Yes, from the wackiest of pick-up lines to the alleys of expensive restaurants, we have been to hell and back in the quest to get women to notice us.

    My favourite pick-up line of all time was “You may fall from the sky, you may fall from a tree, but the best way to fall... is in love with me.” If that one did not work, I always had the “Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?” line.

    If she replies that she has a boyfriend, I would always go like “I have a gold fish.” When she asked what I was referring to , I would say “Oh, sorry…I thought we were talking about things that do not matter.”

    I tell you, I was a master at the game of pick-up lines. If I am in a group of five guys, I always ended up with the best pick-up line – minus the girl. I figured it must have been the squeaky voice I only managed to get rid of some two years ago. Well, some girls thought it was sexy but the majority preferred a ‘Barry White’ baritone.

    At first I never quiet understood why my friends failed to make ladies laugh and love them in return, but with pick-up lines like “My love for you is like diarrhea; I can’t hold it in,” or “Hi, I am Mr. Right. I heard you were looking for me,” it is not surprising why most of them failed in their quest.

    What is more fascinating gents, is what happens after you land the woman of your dreams and you are attempting the happily ever after. For starters, be warned that women might mean what they say sometimes, but they never say what they mean – never!

    If she says ‘Yes’, she means ‘No’ and if she says ‘No’ she means…’No’. A ‘maybe’ also qualifies as a ‘No’ - she is simply using this to give herself more time to gather her courage before she turns you off diplomatically.

    If you are in a furniture shop attempting to play man of the 90s and she spots a cushy sofa, lean against your shoulder and say “Honey, we need this sofa,” she basically means “I have never liked the sofas you inherited from your grand-ma but did not have the courage to tell you until now…”

    After a heated argument, you make it up to her by running her a warm bath with all those funny salts they claim to relax a person’s body, and some cucumber slices for her eyes and announce “Honey, your bath is ready.” As she makes her way to the bathroom you ask her if she is still upset with you, to which she replies “Of cause not, honey”

    What she actually means is “Of cause I am still upset with you, moron! No one talks that way about my Brazilian hair extensions and get away with it.”

    The worst moment of all, however is when she looks you straight into the eyes as you come home after work, and in a frank voice reminiscent of your lady boss say “Charles Vanguaa Tjatindi, we need to talk.”

    This will be the best time to confess all about your office romance with Sara. Also, don’t forget to tell her how you hate her father’s after-dinner stories in which he is always the hero.

    The trick, however, is to make sure she is not simply intending asking your permission to change from Brazilian hair to Indian weaves. Be careful gents, you might end up confessing for nothing.

    On the other hand, if she sits you down and asks you “Honey, how much do you love me…”, be sure to brace yourself for any possible bad news ranging from “I have always faked it since day one” to “Dennis, my Ex, was a rodeo man between the sheets”

    Although such statements hurt a man beyond any reprise, we are bound to naïvely follow up with questions like “So, how did he do it…” or “Who was on top…”

    Eish, guess a dude always gotta learn the hard way.

    Until then…


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    Alleged Chinese briber gets N$15 000 bailAlleged Chinese briber gets N$15 000 bail The Tsumeb Magistrate's Court yesterday granted Mo Yongmeng (36) bail of N$15 000 after he was arrested for attempting to bribe an official at the Oshivelo checkpoint on Monday with N$200.

    Yongmeng was arrested around 09:00 on that morning when he and Hu Julin (42), who were travelling from Windhoek, were stopped at the Oshivelo checkpoint and the official demanded to see their passports.

    However, Julin did not have his passport and Yongmeng then allegedly placed N$200 in the palm of the official who had asked for their documents, in order for them to be allowed to continue with their journey. The duo was consequently arrested and detained.

    Julin has been given 14 days to produce his passport or otherwise a case against him will be opened.

    Kitchen knife stabbing

    The Oshikoto police on Monday arrested a 20-year-old student who stabbed a schoolmate with a kitchen knife on their way home from school.

    The incident took place at Okambugha village around 15:40 and the deceased has been identified as 19-year-old Mhanda Fredrick.

    According to the police, the two were on their way home from school when the suspect took out the knife and stabbed Fredrick once in the chest without any provocation.

    The victim was transported to the Omuthiya State Hospital and later transferred to the Onandjokwe Intermediate Hospital but he succumbed to his injuries and died while en route.

    In an unrelated incident, the lifeless body of 49-year-old Christopher Kamati was found hanging from a tree at Farm Vryheid South of Oshivelo Tuesday morning.

    It is alleged that the victim who was a suspect in a stock theft case had travelled to Oshakati on Monday. It is alleged that he set the home of a witness in his case on fire. A co-worker on the farm escaped unharmed. His body was transported to the Tsumeb police mortuary for a post mortem.


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    Actions ongoing to reduce Waterberg buffaloActions ongoing to reduce Waterberg buffalo The process is ongoing to proclaim a farm neighbouring the Waterberg National Park as part of the park which will assist in reducing the numbers of buffalo in the park itself.

    Currently, there is an overpopulation of buffalo at Waterberg and grazing has been under pressure due to drought.

    There are about 1 000 buffaloes in the park while there is only capacity for 400 and therefore the environment ministry earlier this year advertised to sell some of the buffaloes to reduce grazing pressure and environmental degradation.

    However, the livestock sector in Namibia has made it clear that those in favour of removing the Waterberg buffalo onto commercial farms or game reserves, must first prove that it is in the national interest and not just for the benefit of a few individuals.

    The chairperson of the Livestock Producers' Organisation (LPO), Piet Gouws said that the organisation's viewpoint still remains that it will protect the industry on which nearly 70% of the population is directly and indirectly dependent.

    He made the remarks while speaking at the annual congress of the LPO this week.

    Gouws said the livestock industry has an estimated value of N$3 billion. “We call on the appropriate authorities to guarantee our animal health and export status.”

    He said the EU export market was established against the background that there are no buffalo in the commercial farming sector, except for Waterberg.

    According to the LPO annual report, continuous communication has taken place with the environment ministry regarding the issue.

    Several options are being considered to reduce the buffaloes through either culling or hunting, and also exporting the animals to neighbouring countries, said the LPO.

    According to the report, actions are in place to proclaim farm 963 as part of the Waterberg National Park and another option that is being considered is to span an extra 5 kilometres of fencing to enforce a buffalo buffer zone between the park and farms.

    However, many of these actions that are being considered depend on the approval of other ministries.

    The agricultural ministry recently denied the request of Erindi Private Game Reserve to introduce buffalo and become the first-ever big five game reserve in Namibia.

    The ministry denied Erindi's request because the total commercial area in Namibia was proclaimed as a protected area in 2013, which aims to prevent the introduction and spread of foot-and-mouth Disease (FMD) in the FMD-free zone of the country.


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  • 10/12/17--15:00: Education hero honoured
  • Education hero honouredEducation hero honouredMaintenance worker a benefactor for hundreds With little more than a deep desire to see a better Namibia, a Swakopmund-based maintenance worker has changed the lives of hundreds of poor learners. Gideon Itewa's tireless passion for education, hard work and a better Namibia for all, is a beacon of hope for a country where crucial funds for education, basic services, housing, and health are often unavailable or torpedoed by corruption, bail-outs and mismanagement.

    All who meet Itewa appear to walk away inspired and hopeful, a characteristic that has led him to cross paths with former president Sam Nujoma, who in 2013 became the official patron for Itewa's Erongo Education Fund, and a generous donor to boot.

    Now, the 68-year-old Itewa's work on the fund, which was borne from his insatiable desire to ensure that hard-working, but poor learners in the Erongo Region are afforded every opportunity to succeed, will be inducted as a Laureate of the Namibian Business Hall of Fame (NBHF) in November.

    “I appreciate the nomination very much and I am enjoying it,” he told Namibian Sun this week in response to the news about his recognition from NBHF announced two weeks ago.

    Fellow laureates include Fans Indongo, Gwen Lister, Hilda Basson-Namundjebo, Tom Alweendo, and both the late Harold Pupkewitz and the late Werner List, among others.

    It is clear when speaking to Itewa that national honours for his achievements with the fund are a welcome bonus, but his true passion is for quality education, hard work and a ferocious appetite for books and reading.

    “Education is the only solution for the problems facing our country. It is the only solution to help build Namibia.”

    Itewa himself is not a rich man but says hard work and honesty are the bedrock for success, for both the people and the country.

    In Swakopmund, he can often be spotted, in his blue overalls, taking care of the general maintenance for residential and business properties, a job he has done for more than three decades.

    He says that he spends a lot of his own, hard-earned cash on books, primarily those that deal with leadership, business and management practices.

    Helping hands

    To date, more than 200 learners from schools in the Erongo Region have benefitted from the trust, after they are evaluated and carefully screened to ensure that they are deserving of assistance.

    More than N$900 000 has been donated, either in cash or as school shoes and uniforms, educational supplies, school fund payments and more, to worthy learners.

    In some cases, grade 12 learners are assisted with funds to help them attend university.

    “Children are nominated and then I and a board decide together to whom the money will go,” Itewa explained, emphasising the meticulous and transparent process in which the donor funds are managed and spent.

    The current state of education is a big worry for Itewa.

    “It saddens me, very much, to witness the type of teachers in classrooms today. Very few of them have the knowledge and passion for their job. Many of them are too lazy to do their jobs properly, and are only in it for the money. Teachers should teach to help boost the country. They need to be in it for education, not for money. Money should only be a second priority.”

    He is also not convinced parents take their responsibilities seriously.

    “Parents have to be more involved in the schools. The government cannot alone be responsible for the quality of education. Government should give 50% and parents the other 50%. Only then will things improve in Namibia.”

    A long, dedicated road

    Itewa, who celebrates his 40th wedding anniversary this year, is the father of five children, with his youngest child set to complete school this year.

    None of his children have benefitted from the fund.

    He told Namibian Sun the idea he had in 2008 for a school fund, to help learners in need to successfully attend and finish school, bore fruit soon after he approached education officials there.

    At first, he approached school principals and teachers, asking that N$1 dollar per learner and N$2 or more per teacher, be donated to the fund.

    “But only for those who have earned it, who work hard and who came from a poor home.”

    The fund slowly but surely grew, until it drew the attention of higher up officials and donors, with the eventual official launch of the fund in 2013, and the acceptance of the positions as patron to the fund, by Nujoma.

    “The first milestone was when we had collected more than N$360 000. When Nujoma became involved, the funds doubled. The real work began, and we make sure that all schools in the region benefit from it.”

    Itewa says he can “talk about education all day. I can talk about the need for quality education all day.”

    He says the fund is managed in line with stringent guidelines on transparency and fairness.

    “I don't tolerate this 'boetie boetie' (buddy buddy) style or corruption. I don't stand for nonsense. And I also don't tolerate excuses. I am someone who believes in taking responsibility, and if you are tasked with being responsible, not to be irresponsible.”

    Last year, Itewa was named as an honorary minister of education by education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa.


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    Olympia pool to re-open next monthOlympia pool to re-open next month A hold-up in the delivery of nozzle pipes for filters from Germany has delayed the completion of the Olympia swimming pool's upgrading, the City of Windhoek said this week.

    In an interview with Nampa, The City's communications officer Scheifert Shigwedha attributed the delay in the opening of the swimming pool to the replacement of outdated nozzle pipes.

    Shigwedha explained that the nozzles for 12 filter pipes were ordered from Germany in August for around N$140 000 as the specific parts are unavailable in Africa, but they are yet to arrive.

    “The current filters are obsolete and can no longer be used, hence the need for new ones,” he said.

    The filters are high-rate sand sieves which, amongst others, consist of a large tank made of fibreglass concrete. During filtering, dirty water from the pool comes in through the filter's inlet pipe and allows for the cleaning process where any dirt and debris are sieved. It plays a major role in cleaning the pool water, Shigwedha explained.

    The pool, which was closed during winter, is expected to open in the first week of November.


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    Sanitary pads keep girls in schoolSanitary pads keep girls in school Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa says there is no need why the girl child in modern-day Namibia must still be faced with the challenges of the past.

    The minister highlighted that there are direct and indirect barriers that combine to impact negatively on the education of a child. The minister made these remarks at a handover ceremony of sanitary pads on behalf of the Forum for African Women Educationalists in Namibia (Fawena) to a group of schoolgirls in Windhoek as the world marked International Day of the Girl. According to the minister, the root causes of these barriers can generally be attributed to low-income earnings at the household level and to the budget constraints within which the government has to operate.

    “While boys too face many challenges, one challenge that uniquely occurs to girls is when they reach puberty. It is a sad reality that girls from low-income families across the country are struggling to afford sanitary protection. Although not widely reported, this problem can impact negatively on a girl's confidence and concentration levels at school,” she said. The minister stated that in some extreme cases girls are forces to skip school or to drop out altogether in order to avoid the shame and ridiculing by peers.

    “I have heard of cases in which girls are forced to use cut-outs from mattresses, newspapers and so forth.” The sanitary pad donation was made possible by a donation of N$50 000 from Morcar Fishing and N$250 000 from the education ministry.

    “Certainly, through this donation, Fawena will continue to increase access, improve retention and enhance the quality of education for girls and women in Namibia as per their mandate,” she said. The Forum for African Women Educationalists is a non-governmental organisation founded in 1992 and is currently operating in 34 African Countries. FAWE Namibia's (Fawena) national chapter opened its doors in 1999 with the support of education ministry. Fawena's goal is to increase access, improve retention and enhance the quality education for girls and women in Namibia.


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  • 10/12/17--15:00: Govt faces N$75m lawsuit
  • Govt faces N$75m lawsuitGovt faces N$75m lawsuit A former treason accused is suing the government for unlawful arrest, prosecution and detention, two years after he was found not guilty on 200 charges including high treason and murder.

    Gabriel Mwilima alleges he suffered damages as a result of his wrongful arrest, prosecution and detention. He says he suffered general damages including loss of income and degradation, injury to his self-esteem and to his reputation, deliberate and offensive deprivation of his freedoms including freedom of movement, and discomfort and inconvenience.

    The former treason accused was detained for 5 889 days from 2 August 1999 until 14 September 2015 when he was found not guilty and released from prison.

    He is now, in papers filed on his behalf by Inonge Mainga Attorneys before the High Court in Windhoek, suing the government, the minister of safety and security, the inspector-general of the Namibian police and the prosecutor-general.

    Mwilima alleges the PG and her employees wrongfully and maliciously continued to prosecute as from 11 October 2007.

    This, he alleges, was done knowing the testimonies of all the witnesses and all the evidence which could have been presented for the purpose attempting to implicate him regarding the commission of any of the charges were completed by 11 October 2007.

    “Despite the facts and circumstances the PG and her personnel continued to prosecute me until 14 September 2015,” he alleges.

    He added that they ought to have stopped the prosecution in terms of the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act on 11 October 2007 or within a reasonable time thereafter.

    As a result of their conduct he was detained during the period of 2 August 1999 until 14 September 2015 in various prisons and correctional facilities throughout the country.

    Mwilima claims that he was arrested on 2 August 1999 at Katima Mulilo without a warrant of arrest after the police wrongfully and maliciously laid false charges.

    They allegedly gave false information that he was arrested on over 200 charges including high treason and murder.

    He argues that the police had no reasonable or probable cause for doing so, nor did they have any reasonable belief in truth of the information given.

    According to him, the prosecutor-general and her employees wrongfully and maliciously set the law in motion against him and continued to do so by prosecuting him on the 200 charges.

    This was allegedly done while they did not have probable cause and without sufficient information which substantiated such charges or justified his prosecution of such charges.

    He alternatively states that they did not have any reasonable belief in the truth of any information given to them which could have implicated him in the commission of high treason or any of the other serious charges. The matter is still in case management at the High Court.


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    Reward for info on pangolin poachersReward for info on pangolin poachers Namibian environmental non-profit organisations together with the environment ministry are offering a cash reward for any tip-offs that could lead to the arrest of pangolin poachers and traffickers or could prevent illegal pangolin killings or captures.

    Pangolins are believed to be the most trafficked mammals in the world and in recent months, the illegal trade has taken hold in Namibia, leading to concerns that the Namibian population of Cape pangolin, or scaly anteater, could become extinct.

    Illegal pangolin trafficking is so common that all eight species of these little-known creatures are categorised as threatened under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Data listing.

    The enormous demand for pangolin scales is driven by the insatiable appetite for traditional medicines in Asia, especially in China, where the scales are used to make a number of potions or ornaments. The meat is also a highly valued commodity.

    Numerous studies have found that the scales have no medicinal properties and the threat posed by the Asian myth is causing huge environmental damage and is threatening the survival of the species.

    The recently launched tip-line is part of a landmark outreach initiative spearheaded by the Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE) in partnership with several other organisations, including the environment ministry, and Namibia's communal conservancies and their NGO support organisations.

    The outreach initiative is aimed at not only preventing pangolin poaching or arresting poachers, traffickers and syndicate heads, but also at educating Namibians about the “precarious status of these animals and to ask everyone to help put a stop to the illegal trade”.

    Christopher Brown of the NCE told Namibian Sun that over the past years the incidents of live and dead pangolins confiscated in Namibia were typically in the range of about five to ten animals per year.

    These numbers have risen considerably since then.

    “Over the past three months, this has risen sharply to 23 pangolins. This could be the tip of the iceberg. We do not fully understand how the illegal trade pressures are working, but it would appear that there is both solicited illegal purchase through established networks and speculative collection and killing in the hopes of a sale.”

    Brown warned that most Namibians are not aware of the legal consequences of being found guilty of catching, killing and trading in pangolins and their parts, and the outreach initiative is also aimed at warning poachers and traffickers, “including foreign nationals, that they will be severely dealt with if caught.”

    The NCE has emphasised that Namibians have to become the “eyes and the ears” of poaching activities on the ground and to alert authorities immediately.

    The growing pressure on these animals requires a “collective national effort to tackle the problem of incentivised illegal trade of pangolins to Asia”.

    A cash reward is offered for information leading to the arrest of people catching, killing and trading in pangolins and for information leading to the seizure of pangolins or pangolin parts and products.

    Brown explained that for an arrest with evidence, including live animals, skins, scales the basic reward is over N$1 000.

    If the information leads to further arrests, for example of traders, traffickers, syndicate members, the reward will be considerably larger.

    If the informant is prepared to make a voluntary official statement and to appear as a witness then the reward is again considerably increased.

    The numbers to call or SMS are: 081 413 2214 or 081 423 2231, day or night.

    All information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.


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    Support Hage or resign from SwapoSupport Hage or resign from Swapo'Team Hage' lashes out at critics Those who do not support President Hage Geingob's candidacy for the Swapo top position should leave the party, a northern businessman has said. Northern businessman Sigo Amunyela has called on those Swapo members opposing President Hage Geingob's list for the party's top four positions at next month's elective congress to rather resign from the party.

    Last week at a politburo meeting President Geingob revealed his list of preferred candidates for the top four positions, which includes himself as candidate for the Swapo presidency, international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah for vice president, urban and rural development minister Sophia Shaningwa for secretary-general and former prime minister Marco Hausiku for the deputy secretary position.

    Geingob's decision was not generally welcomed as it created tension within the party, with some even saying that it divided party members ahead of the congress, something which they say is a first for the party.

    Former prime minister Nahas Angula and current sport minister Jerry Ekandjo are said to be eyeing the number-one spot too.

    Meanwhile, as in 2012, Amunyela has come out once more in support of Geingob, whom he then strongly campaigned for to be the vice-president of the party.

    Yesterday, Amunyela held a press conference in Oshakati where he told the media that he is a campaigner for Geingob becoming president of Swapo at next month's congress.

    Speaking on behalf of what he called 'Team Hage', Amunyela said they were shocked when senior party members reacted negatively to Geingob's list.

    “We are shocked and surprised by the reactions of some senior members of Swapo when Geingob announced that he would stand for president of the party and announced the team which will assist him,” Amunyela said.

    Amunyela described those members as “rowdy” and added they were acting out of jealousy because they were not nominated by the president.

    “Despite all the badmouthing about President Geingob's choice of top four candidates, we want to tell the rowdy comrades that they must stop being jealous because they were not nominated,” Amunyela said.

    “Why do they think that they are the ones who have the abilities and competencies to lead Swapo? If they don't believe in him then they must resign and leave the government under Comrade Geingob,” Amunyela further said.

    When asked whether he wanted Geingob to run uncontested for the top Swapo seat, Amunyela said Namibia is a free country but Team Hage wanted Geingob as president of Swapo.

    When asked whether he had received instructions from Geingob to campaign for him, Amunyela neither confirmed nor denied it, but said it was his right to openly campaign for his preferred candidate.


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    Food security still problematicFood security still problematicReliance on imports cripples independence Around 28% of Namibians cannot afford to buy food simply because of the cost of imports. The livestock and meat sector plays a critical role in economic growth and job creation in Namibia, and specifically in food security. However, the country is still very dependent on imports which can be risky for food security.

    The commercial farming sector, which is mainly based on livestock farming, is considered to be the largest source of private employment in the country, providing jobs to 25 000 to 30 000 workers.

    This is according to Dr John Purchase, the CEO of the Agricultural Business Chamber in South Africa, who spoke about food security and the contribution of the livestock sector at the congress of the Livestock Producers' Organisation of Namibia.

    Referring to last year's World Food Report, Purchase said Namibia is classified as an upper-middle-income country and between 2000 and 2015 Namibia saw sustained economic growth.

    However, rapid urbanisation and persistently high unemployment rates - at 34% of the total labour force, affecting mostly young people and women - have contributed to a growing number of poor people lacking access to food and basic social services. In 2016 the poverty rate stood at 18%.

    According to the report, Namibia produces about 40% of the food it consumes and is highly dependent on imports. This means that while food is available, price fluctuations can make it difficult to afford for 26% of Namibian families. This particularly affects the 80% of the population who depend on markets to fulfil their food needs.

    Purchase added that according to the report 18% of people live on less than US$39 a month while 60% of cereal needs in Namibia are covered by imports.

    He said the decline in the quality of governance and low productivity were some of the problems at national level that need to be addressed.

    Land tenure and ownership challenges which restrict access to land, also by foreign investors, are other challenges that were identified.

    “A deficit of technical skills and policy restrictions on labour migration which restrict the entry of highly qualified staff from outside the country, even for a temporary period, to transfer knowledge is also a problem affecting the industry.”

    According to Purchase unreliable national data on key indicators, such as animal inventories and land availability affect investment and national planning for the sector.

    He lauded the livestock sector in Namibia, though.

    “Namibia enjoys a comparative advantage in exporting cattle and beef, and is one of very few African countries able to meet strict import regulations in Europe,” he said.

    He said the sector accounts for 7% of national merchandise exports.

    According to Purchase, the relevance of the sector to livelihoods and food security is further revealed by the fact that over 40% of households own or have access to cattle.

    “I think you have a wonderful industry, but critical thinking is necessary to add more value to it.”

    Purchase said while South Africa is ranked as one of the most food secure countries in Africa the problem is that about 28% of the population is unable to buy food.

    He said Namibia has a similar problem, except that the country also has to import a lot of its food products pushing the price up.

    According to him, it is important to know how the demographics of the continent will change as it is expected that over the next 35 years the population will double.

    “This can create either an opportunity or a risk for the continent as it will also have to double its production.”

    Namibia has a population of 2.3 million people and its agricultural contribution to GDP was 7.1% of which more than half comes from livestock.

    According to him, Namibia's top exported products are beer made from malt to the value of U$60 million followed by live animals to the value of U$46 million.

    Grapes are the third biggest export product with a value of U$29 million followed by bovine meat with a value of U$23 million. The fifth biggest export product is live sheep and goats to the value of U$22 million.

    “Your industry is a very strong earner of foreign currency,” said Purchase.

    Cane or beet sugar is the top imported product by Namibia to the value of U$61 million, followed by maize to the value of U$48 million. The third biggest import product is alcohol of less than 80% volume to the value of U$47 million.


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    Drug trafficking, boozing in NDFDrug trafficking, boozing in NDF The Namibian Defence Force is struggling with social challenges such as alcohol abuse, drug trafficking and the mushrooming of shebeens.

    The police, on the other hand, are facing problems with office space, lack of staff accommodation, understaffing and shortages of essential equipment and suitable vehicles.

    These are some of the findings contained in reports on inspections of capital projects and facilities of the police, correctional services and the ministries of defence and home affairs in the Zambezi,

    //Karas and Hardap Regions.

    The reports were tabled in parliament this week.

    According to Leevi Katoma, the chairperson of the parliamentary standing committee on foreign affairs, defence and security, the committee undertook inspection visits to the three regions during August and September this year to assess the progress on the implementation of capital projects identified in the development budget under the MTEF 2014/15 to 2017/18.

    At the Hardap Correctional Facility, due to a lack of accommodation, wardens had to stay in makeshift rooms in an old corrugated iron barn or storeroom partitioned with curtains and blankets.

    According to Katoma the place where the correctional service wardens stayed is called Ramatex.

    “We were informed that some wardens even had to use the beds of those that were on shift at the time.”

    The committee has requested the Ministry of Safety and Security to do an investigation, said Katoma.

    The report on the Zambezi Region addressed the daily challenges faced by members of the police, the army and immigration officers at Impalila Island in the Bwabwata National Park.

    Challenges of demarcation and beaconing of border lines at border posts in all three regions were also reflected in the report, said Katoma.

    At the Singalamwe (Kamenga) police border post in Zambezi Region, police officers were sleeping in tents.

    “They are exposed to the dangers of wild animals such as leopards and cheetahs and snakes on a daily basis. They face network challenges making it virtually impossible to use their cellular phones and prepare their meals on wood fires, meaning that they do not have the luxury of electric stoves.”

    According to Katoma, the reports identified social problems in the Namibian Defence Force such as alcohol abuse, drug trafficking and the mushrooming of shebeens and emphasised the need for these issues to be tackled by the responsible ministries and religious and civil organisations.

    According to him the non-completion of the regional offices of the ministry of home affairs and immigration at Keetmanshoop and Katima Mulilo is a cause of concern.

    The committee is also concerned about the situation at the Noordoewer border post and requests intervention from the home affairs, safety and security, finance and works and transport ministries.

    According to Katoma the reports are comprehensive and provide an account of the progress on each capital project inspected in the three regions.

    Findings in the reports are based on face-to-face briefings conducted with senior officers in the regions as well as physical inspections of sites and facilities.

    According to Katoma some of the findings indicate that progress on the implementation of capital projects in the three regions was satisfactory despite constraints and challenges at some sites and facilities that are clearly identified in the report.

    These include building material, questionable quality of workmanship and general maintenance, abandoning of the sites, removal of main contractors from sites, non- or late payment of contractors.

    “We have witnessed first-hand the impact of budget cuts on capital projects. A sizable number of capital projects of the ministry of safety and security, ministry of defence and ministry of home affairs and immigration have been put on hold or suspended due to budget cuts.”


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    Sochi trip: Embarrassment growsSochi trip: Embarrassment grows Air Namibia's Airbus A330 might have taken off on time on Tuesday evening at 21:00 as scheduled and landed “safe and sound” at Sochi, Russia, on Wednesday morning around 08:40, but the aftermath of this trip has reportedly unravelled in an embarrassing comedy of errors.

    According to insiders chaos ensued right from the start when the flight was very nearly cancelled because there was no flight plan and few preparations had been made for the long-haul flight.

    A last-minute decision was made to take off nevertheless to get the estimated 200 National Youth Council (NYC) delegates to the 2017 World Festival of Youth and Students.

    The NYC chartered the Airbus for the direct flight to Russia and the rash decision meant that the cabin crew was on duty for nearly 26 hours, an official of the Namibian Cabin Crew Union (NCCU) who prefers anonymity, said.

    This source said this was in violation of aviation regulations which stipulate a maximum shift of 18 hours.

    When the flight arrived at Sochi, the Russian hosts reportedly were less than amused to find that there were in fact many more Namibian delegates than had been invited or catered for.

    As if that was not enough, handlers at the Sochi airport apparently damaged the plane's cargo door while offloading the luggage.

    That meant that the aircraft was stuck at Sochi airport for about six hours while the matter was attended to.

    As a result of this unforeseen delay, the Airbus arrived late in Frankfurt for a scheduled flight back to Windhoek.

    Air Namibia denied that the Sochi flight had left without an approved flight plan.

    “To provide some perspective to the aviation operations, no aircraft (commercial, charter or private) is allowed to fly without a flight plan. Therefore, the flight plans were submitted and approved before the flight could depart from Windhoek.

    “Flight plans entail details of a particular proposed flight, providing the exact departure and arrival details to ensure that the flight operates on the right path. Even when we ferry (transport an empty aircraft) our aircraft from Eros to Hosea Kutako International Airport, we need an approved flight plan. Therefore, this question is irrelevant in totality,” Air Namibia spokesperson Paulus Nakawa said.

    Air Namibia also denied that the cabin crew had to work for nearly 26 hours.

    It said the flight left Windhoek at around 20:53 and arrived at Sochi at 06:41, which is around 08:41 local Namibian time. Hence, Air Namibia said, the cabin crew was on duty for about 10 continuous hours.

    Air Namibia said there were 10 cabin crew, three in the cockpit for flight operations and two cockpit staff that were passengers on the flight to Russia who ferried the aircraft from Sochi to Frankfurt.

    “This is the optimum crew, which is aligned to international aviation standards,” Air Namibia stated.

    It also denied that the cargo door of the plane had been damaged by Russian handlers, saying: “Since this was a charter transaction, the Russians created a slot for us since this is not our normal operating base. As soon as all the clearance was completed and approved by the air traffic control in Russia, our aircraft was ferried to Frankfurt. Please take note that cabin crew members were not on duty at this point.”


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  • 10/12/17--15:00: Sparks fly at politburo
  • Sparks fly at politburoSparks fly at politburoGeingob, running mates secure nominations Sparks flew over the appointment of Sophia Shaningwa as a Swapo politburo member yesterday, while only President Geingob's preferred candidates for the top four positions were nominated. Emotions ran high yesterday morning when Swapo veterans took on the acting president for allegedly violating the party constitution by “single-handedly” replacing former president Hifikepunye Pohamba with Sophia Shaningwa as a politburo member.

    According to Swapo presidential hopeful Nahas Angula, the vacant position left by Pohamba was one of the party's top four positions and could therefore only be filled at the party congress or an extraordinary congress. Shaningwa is only a central committee member and the appointment was therefore regarded unconstitutional.

    “I brought it up and then they realised their mistake so the chair [Geingob] apologised,” he said.

    According to well-placed sources a physical altercation erupted between Mbumba and Helmuth Angula over the legality of Shaningwa's appointment as politburo member.

    Shaningwa left the building looking defeated and tense, minutes after the politburo meeting had started.

    At the same time the security officers barred the media from taking pictures and instructed journalists to leave the premises of the Swapo headquarters immediately, saying it is not a public place.

    Two hours later the remaining members exited the building appearing tense and a visibly shaken Mbumba told Namibian Sun he was not prepared to speak to the media.

    Geingob left the premises shortly after he greeted former presidents Pohamba and Sam Nujoma.

    After this, the mood of the Swapo seniors lightened and reporters could take photographs up close.

    Geingob's preferred candidates, as presented at a politburo meeting last Friday, were formally nominated at yesterday's meeting. Nahas Angula, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Jerry Ekandjo and Helmuth Angula opted to be nominated at Sunday's central committee meeting.

    Nahas Angula and Ekandjo want to stand as party president while Iivula-Ithana and Helmuth Angula are eyeing the party vice-president position.

    Nahas Angula said that confidence in the politburo was waning.

    “We feel that the politburo is compromised because the members that are serving on it, at the pleasure of the acting president, were instructed to behave in a certain way. So all the nominations were seconded in a mob fashion,” he said.

    He added that central committee is a larger body with more people who are not appointed by the president, hence providing a reasonable balance.

    “I am not contesting Geingob as party president. The president's position is vacant and I am exercising my democratic right to contest. Therefore, whether Geingob is a competent president is irrelevant,” he said.

    Namibian Sun further established that deputy SG Laura McLeod-Katjirua nominated Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as vice-president and Albert Kawana nominated Sophia Shaningwa.


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  • 10/14/17--15:00: Swapo wraps up nominations
  • Swapo wraps up nominationsSwapo wraps up nominations The Swapo Central Committee met today to deliberate on the top four nominations ahead next month’s congress that will determine the party president, vice president, secretary general and deputy secretary general. The following candidates were nominated at todays’ meeting.
    The candidates that will vie for the position of president are retired politician Nahas Angula, minister of youth Jerry Ekandjo and state president Hage Geingob.
    Contesting for the position of vice-president are Helmut Angula, Pendukeni Iivula Ithana and Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.
    Those running for the position of secretary-general include Armas Amukwiyu and Sophia Shaningwa while those running for the position of deputy secretary-general include Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun, Marco Hausiku and Petrina Haingura.

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    Professional boxing excludes womenProfessional boxing excludes womenBoxing is still a man's sport The outdated Namibian Boxing and Wrestling Control Act of 1980 does not allow female boxers to fight professionally. The Namibian Boxing and Wrestling Control Act was submitted to the attorney-general's office for review and amendment, Hendrik Mapele, acting administrator of the Namibia Boxing Control Board (NPBWCB), said after numerous complaints from boxing enthusiasts.

    The Act states that no woman may take part in any tournament as a boxer or a wrestler and that no person shall hold or assist in holding any tournament in which any woman takes part as a boxer or wrestler.

    It further states that negotiating with any woman in a bid to procure her services as a boxer or wrestler at any tournament is illegal. This is stated in section 13(1) of the Boxing Act. Mapele said that aspiring female boxers can only be allowed to take part in amateur competitions and not as professionals.

    However, even on amateur level female boxers hardly feature, even though the International Boxing Association (AIBA) instructed member countries to have female boxers at amateur boxing events.

    The sports administrator also said that it will take time for changes to happen as all possible implications need to be reviewed. He urged women who want to fight professionally to register for a licence from neighbouring Botswana or Zimbabwe and still compete as a Namibian.

    But in doing so he explained that boxers should know that they cannot just become professionals overnight and need to start at amateur level in order to work themselves up.

    He also added that it is up to local boxing promoters whether they want to accommodate female boxers in their boxing academies in order for them to grow as professionals. Mapele also stated that there is only one boxing federation which caters for the needs of both men and women and the law does not allow separate federations catering for males and females, as that will bring division.

    At the moment Mangulukeni Hamata and Martina 'Marney' Shenxane are among the local female boxers who continue to train despite the fact that they receive no match time locally.

    “Shenxane said that she has not managed to register yet but has plans to do so in the future.

    I will welcome any trainer who wants to take me up and to coach me,” she said.


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