Articles on this Page
- 11/08/17--14:00: _Tucna wants answers...
- 11/08/17--14:00: _Resettled farmers c...
- 11/08/17--14:00: _Herero Mall upgrade...
- 11/08/17--14:00: _Chinese urged to im...
- 11/08/17--14:00: _Help the City keep ...
- 11/08/17--14:00: _Watch your tongue, ...
- 11/08/17--14:00: _Welcome to Ondangwa!
- 11/08/17--14:00: _Investigate Legal S...
- 11/08/17--14:00: _Geingob wants unity...
- 11/08/17--14:00: _Tjongarero, NNOC ra...
- 11/08/17--14:00: _Inquest into Engela...
- 11/08/17--14:00: _Genocide lawyers ma...
- 11/08/17--14:00: _Alweendo takes stoc...
- 11/08/17--14:00: _Vehicle industry's ...
- 11/09/17--04:43: _Cosafa u-20 draw done
- 11/09/17--14:00: _MultiChoice, MobiPa...
- 11/09/17--14:00: _Hosting with a purpose
- 11/09/17--14:00: _Gecko threatens leg...
- 11/09/17--14:00: _Namibia has made a ...
- 11/09/17--14:00: _Invest in energy, S...
- 11/08/17--14:00: Tucna wants answers on North Koreans
- 11/08/17--14:00: Resettled farmers contribute to food security
- 11/08/17--14:00: Herero Mall upgrade starts
- 11/08/17--14:00: Chinese urged to import local beef
- 11/08/17--14:00: Help the City keep taps open
- 11/08/17--14:00: Watch your tongue, Team Swapo tells Shanghala
- 11/08/17--14:00: Welcome to Ondangwa!
- 11/08/17--14:00: Investigate Legal Shield, law firms ask
- 11/08/17--14:00: Geingob wants unity within communities
- 11/08/17--14:00: Tjongarero, NNOC rally behind Fredericks
- 11/08/17--14:00: Inquest into Engela baby's death
- 11/08/17--14:00: Genocide lawyers made a killing
- 11/08/17--14:00: Alweendo takes stock of NDP4
- 11/08/17--14:00: Vehicle industry's engine seizing
- 11/09/17--04:43: Cosafa u-20 draw done
- 11/09/17--14:00: MultiChoice, MobiPay renew partnership
- 11/09/17--14:00: Hosting with a purpose
- 11/09/17--14:00: Gecko threatens legal action
- 11/09/17--14:00: Namibia has made a fool of itself - KK
- 11/09/17--14:00: Invest in energy, Schlettwein urges
The ministry of international relations last month said all North Korean nationals have left Namibia as part of the implementation of the UN Security Council sanction resolutions against that country. In an open letter addressed to Geingob, Tucna demanded to know how many visas were issued per year, for which sector, region and company. Kavihuha yesterday said the union also wants all joint ventures with North Korean entities and individuals investigated and terminated.
Tucna further demands that information be provided on the measures taken with regards to the renewal and extension of work visas for North Korean migrant workers and how government can stop the further issuance of visas.
The union's demands come in the aftermath of recent headlines in both local and international media about North Korea's construction projects in Namibia.
It is alleged that North Korea has been sending labourers to Namibia to build military facilities and other structures. The activities breach UN Security Council resolutions against North Korea. Namibia is one of several African countries alleged to have supported North Korea's nuclear programme by funding various projects undertaken by Mansudae Overseas Projects, ranging from munitions factories, State House and apartments.
Mansudae, which was constructing Namibia's defence ministry's new headquarters, has been linked by UN investigators to alleged weapons exporters, Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (Komid).
According to the UN, Namibia contracted North Korean workers and state companies to construct a munitions factory, which is a clear violation of UN sanctions imposed for nearly a decade. Kavihuha said North Korean workers who are still present in the country must be provided with humanitarian protection and offered equal treatment. The union also called on companies to investigate forced labour of North Korean workers, saying justice must be ensured for these workers. According to Kavihuha, this is a serious human and labour rights violation that has evolved into a critical international security issue.
He said the union together with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) reject recourse to war to resolve conflict and condemns terrorism, colonialism and militarism as well as racism and tribalism. Kavihuha said in recent months there has been an increase in North Korea's weapons activity programme.
“Universal condemnation has led to the unanimously adopted UN Security Council Resolution imposing further economic sanctions on North Korea.”
According to him, this should de-escalate tensions and push the North Korean regime to abandon its nuclear programmes and open dialogue for a diplomatic solution.
However, in the absence of real enforcement, North Korea's tiny ruling elite will continue to generate enough revenue through trade to maintain its nuclear arms programme, said Kavihuha.
According to him, for many years an important source of wealth for the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un and his family and the ruling elite has been the income of North Koreans working abroad.
“The workers are kept in conditions of absolute slavery, working in construction, mining and other sectors. Their wages are taken by the regime and only a tiny portion is left for them and their families.”
In 2015, the UN Special Rapporteur's report on the situation of human rights in North Korea estimated that around 50 000 North Korean migrant workers operate abroad in about 40 countries.
According to deputy lands minister Priscilla Boois, rising food costs have dire consequences for vulnerable communities.
She said the efforts of resettled farmers could, therefore, have a positive impact on poverty eradication.
Boois was speaking at the Khomas Resettlement Farmers' Day, which has been held every year since 2014.
The purpose of the day is to bring together all the resettled farmers in the Khomas Region to meet and network with agricultural experts and share information and farming tips.
According to Boois, during the current financial year the ministry's budgetary allocation was considerably cut to accommodate other equally important national activities.
“But we have been managing to do more with less,” she added.
She said because of this collaboration with other agricultural institutions was necessary.
This collaboration extended to regional farm inspections and evaluation of farming units.
Based on these evaluations, the government could intervene in cases where farmers were not fully utilising the land and production was below the expected output, she said.
Agriculture minister John Mutorwa said resettled farmers must acknowledge that farming is challenged by climate change. He urged farmers to start adopting smart agricultural practices, including diversification of farm enterprises.
He said Namibian rangeland is degraded and with the worsening effects of climate change farm productivity is adversely affected. He said the government was reviewing its National Drought Policy, which is aimed at mitigating the impact of this catastrophic situation through focused drought risk management strategies.
Mutorwa added that following a cabinet decision in 2012, the agriculture ministry was in the final stages of developing pre- and post-settlement support initiatives.
In this context the ministry, together with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, has finalised a capacity-building strategy for resettled farmers.
The main objective of the strategy is to empower farmers to utilise their farming units productively in order to contribute to national food security.
HMDC Chairperson, Runaa Tjikuzu told Nampa the sewage system for the six toilets has already been completed.
The toilets and a fence around the famous Herero Mall trading area are expected to be completed by the end of November.
“We wanted to fence off the mall already with the money we collected from the people trading here, but the City of Windhoek refused,” Tjikuzu said.
He, however, maintained that the agreement between the HMDC and City regarding the way the HMDC wants the mall to be constructed is continuing.
The City, according to Tjikuzu, wanted to only accommodate a few restaurants while the committee wished to accommodate all the traders who trade there.
Tjikuzu told Nampa there are motor mechanics, welders, hairdressers, car wash businesses, bars and restaurants at the Herero Mall and that the committee's suggestion to the City to accommodate all the traders stems from the fact that the enterprises operating there complement each other in terms of financial support.
“While someone is waiting for their car to be washed or hair to be cut, they buy something to eat or drink,” the chairperson explained, adding that they, however, agreed to lessen the bars at the mall.
There are about 76 people trading at the mall at the moment.
Municipal councillor, Joseph Kauandenge in a recent radio interview raised concern about the state of sanitation in the trading area, while also pointing out the need for lights to be erected to avert crime.
He urged the traders and public to keep the new toilets in good condition once completed.
“We should also help the municipality in such a way that they don't use the money for the same activity over and over again by not maintaining what they build for us,” Kauandenge said.
Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry acting CEO Charity Mwiya has encouraged a visiting Chinese business delegation to look at importing more beef.
The importation of beef would also entice China to consider importing other products from Namibia, with beef finding favour in the European Union and Scandinavia, she said.
The Chinese delegation is in Namibia at the invitation of the NCCI. Mwiya said Chinese imports from Namibia were rather low.
“Over the years, the trade balance has not been impressive on the Namibian side. We have seen many imports from China but not many exports from Namibia to China. If this is translated into numbers it is quite insignificant,” she said.
“As soon as you allow Namibian beef into China, we will see these numbers changing. Beef will entice you to look at other products you can import into China from Namibia,” said Mwiya.
According to her, the investment landscape was open to many other investment flows and that Chinese business people should not just look at mining as having good returns.
“There are many other areas China can invest in besides mining,” Mwiya said. China Council Centre for the Promotion of Trade vice-chairman Zhang Wei supported Mwiya's calls and said exports and imports were far from balanced.
According to Zhang, Chinese exports to Namibia were worth US$100 million while Namibian exports to China accounted for only US$1 million in value terms.
He encouraged the delegation to explore further opportunities to invest.
“Namibia has many advantages in terms of infrastructure, the legal framework and its location in southern Africa,” he said.
Zhang said a number of opportunities had been identified besides the mining sector.
“We have reached consensus on areas we can invest in at a meeting we held with the ministry of industrialisation and the Chinese ambassador to Namibia,” said Zhang.
“Chinese companies have a rich experience in investing in infrastructure. We also had exchanges in terms of investing in solar energy.”
According to Zhang, mining remained a priority sector for investment, though.
“Mining is a priority area, we can further explore how to [support] new technologies so as to ensure the sustainability of the mining sector,” he said in closing.
The Chinese delegation will hold a number of meetings with local entrepreneurs during their stay in Namibia.
A South African delegation is expected in Windhoek on 15 November for the same purpose.
During the two and half days of repairs at the dam, a drop in water pressure is expected and discoloured water is likely because the municipality is drawing water from its emergency borehole scheme.
The municipality has urged the public to use water as sparingly as possible to ensure the water lifeline is not interrupted by overuse.
Industries and businesses, including car-wash operators, are urged to reduce activities that will put additional pressure on the city's stretched water resources.
“Windhoek consumers will not face a complete interruption, but low pressure is likely to be experienced. But water will run from the tap, as we will switch to the borehole scheme for those days,” says City spokesperson Lydia Amutenya.
The public was reassured that the municipality “will maintain its disinfection standards, which guarantee that water is safe and fit for human consumption.”
The emergency water supply period begins at 17:00 on Friday and will continue for 60 hours until Monday at 06:00. During this time valves along the pipeline to the purification ponds will be replaced.
Technical experts, who declined to be named, warned that there is some concern that residents and businesses located north of Windhoek and the two booster pump stations could experience water interruptions if water use is not very carefully managed.
Residents there, including those living at the Mix informal settlement, should take timely precautions and stock up in case their taps run dry, Namibian Sun was informed.
Most importantly, although plans are in the pipeline to assure taps remain open, experts say that teamwork from residents, who should use water sparingly, will be vital to keep the water flowing.
Although NamWater's spokespeople could not be reached for comment, the City of Windhoek's Amutenya said they had been assured that “all consumers in the Windhoek to Okahandja area will be taken care of by NamWater”.
The municipality has confirmed that according to its monthly outlook, water demand in the city peaks at roughly 76 000 cubic metres per day. Residents must still comply with water saving measures.
In the case of any water problems, the municipality should be contacted at 061 290 2402, 061 290 2162, or 061 290 3668.
Shanghala drew the ire of some political heavyweights - party presidential candidates Nahas Angula and Jerry Ekandjo, as well as Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Helmut Angula, Armas Amukwiyu, Petrina Haingura and Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun – when he made some unsavoury comments at a gala dinner at Noordoewer last weekend.
Speaking in support of President Hage Geingob's bid for the party presidency, Shanghala was quoted as having described 'Team Swapo' as a “coalition of angry people” and questioned their integrity.
He was further quoted as having accused Ekandjo and Iivula-Ithana of using government vehicles on the campaign trail.
“Sacky Shanghala is not qualified to make any statements at a Swapo Party function. He is an unadmitted [sic] lawyer who is practising law in the wrong place.
“Making statements about people who are old enough to be his parents is a clear example of an individual who is not culturally anchored. However, we understand that he is singing for his supper,” Team Swapo said in a statement.
The team “advised” the attorney-general to “rather confine himself and his attention to the N$35 million dispensed from the national treasury under questionable circumstances as he has a direct hand in it”.
It said the team would not be intimidated or deterred by a “political novice” such as Shanghala, “who ought to be worried about his place as a non-lawyer after the congress”.
Shanghala's N$35 million 'concern'
Finance minister Calle Schlettwein said in parliament on Tuesday that the millions paid to the British-based lawyers commissioned by Shanghala for research and review of documents relating to the 1904 to 1908 genocide had not been budgeted for.
The advocates are Anna Uukelo (a Namibian), Dexter Diaz, Cameron Miles, Richard Reynolds and Paul Clark.
The Namibian government has so far paid out over N$35.5 million to the lawyers. Uukelo (at N$16.4 million) and Dias (N$16.9 million) received the lion's share.
Marine phosphate mining
Meanwhile, Shanghala has denied claims that he had approached English experts to investigate the possibility of marine phosphate mining in Namibian waters.
Shanghala reportedly approached eight British scientists and Namibian lawyer Stanley Kambonde for this purpose at a cost of N$4.5 million.
“It is categorically denied that I engaged English experts,” Shangala responded to questions sent to his office.
He added, however, that there was nothing wrong with soliciting external counsel and that his office always had an annual exemption relating to the engagement of legal services.
He said he had intended to make a presentation to a cabinet committee chaired by Tom Alweendo to request funds for this purpose, but before he could do that, his intention was leaked to the media.
That, he said, was “destructive”.
“[Journalists] need to observe a modicum of dignity in their work. Alas, this is not the only time I make these remarks, yet, I guess my plea will fall on deaf ears,” he said.
The exercise cost more than N$585 000.
The town's public relations officer, Petrina Shitalangaho, told Nampa the leadership of Ondangwa in 2015 identified the need for such signage.
“During the 2016/17 financial year, the council set aside a budget to ensure that dream is kept alive,” said Shitalangaho.
A company to carry out the project was sought through a tendering process and Sign Shop was awarded the tender in July this year.
Shitalangaho said they started with the erecting of the signs in September due to arrangements that had to be made with the Roads Authority.
“It is on the road reserve, hence we needed authorisation from RA,” she said.
The construction of the site structure was completed in October and the lighting thereafter.
“The welcome signs become a matter of local pride because as a town, you need to communicate the beginning and end of your town to inform travellers about its location,” Shitalangaho said.
The complaint emanates from a court challenge lodged by legal firm Kruger, Van Vuuren & Co. for an allegedly substantial amount not paid out by legal insurance company Legal Shield, and a subsequent confirmation of non-payment to the Law Society of Namibia since September.
ISG Namibia, which handed in the complaint on behalf of the firms, maintains that the Trustco Group should have enough money to pay for legal services provided to clients of Legal Shield, and suggests that there might be a possibility that money is being swirled around the various companies in the group.
The Trustco Group offers services including banking and financing, insurance, investments, and others.
Eben de Klerk of ISG Namibia wrote in the correspondence to BoN and Namfisa that it was possible that Trustco Bank was a related party to Legal Shield or that the bank's finances might be controlled by one or more persons in control of Legal Shield.
“Both insurers and banks are regulated entities with statutory reserve requirements.
If it is the case that these entities within the group are under overlapping control, there exists the risk of funds being transferred from one to the other to create the impression, when observed at a given point in time, or for a short period, that reserve requirements are being met,” De Klerk argued.
He suggested that Namfisa should investigate this possibility and requested that such an investigation be coordinated by the central bank.
The argument is also made that Legal Shield, as a matter of course, should generate enough money to pay service providers.
According to a sample contract, the lowest premium payable for Legal Shield cover alone is N$111.80 per month. With 60 000 policyholders, Legal Shield should, therefore, collect at least N$6.7 million per month, and N$80.5 million per year.
Therefore, the argument goes, it is unlikely that Legal Shield cannot honour its insurance contracts, unless, De Klerk says, Legal Shield is not keeping to its statutory reserve requirements.
The president emphasised that although unity is not the solution for prosperity, it is the fuel that will sustain the nation on its journey towards prosperity.
He made these comments at the 20th annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders at Rundu yesterday.
“Unfortunately, on numerous occasions, the government is dragged into the midst of these avoidable disputes, which not only cause divisions among communities but are also time consuming, taking necessary time and resources which would best be served on matters of priority such as the war against poverty,” the president said.
Furthermore, the president urged traditional leaders to establish community trust funds in order to complement the government's efforts.
“The implementation of a Community Trust Fund by all traditional authorities will be an ideal instrument to buttress economic development at the regional level through the promotion of various activities such as fundraising events, trade fairs and cultural festivals.
“I, therefore, encourage our traditional authorities to prioritise this area,” he urged.
Geingob further stressed that it was an ideal mechanism to spur regional development at the grassroots level.
Fredericks was suspended from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) amidst allegations that he had received a payment of close to N$4 million from Papa Massata Diack, the son of former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Lamine Diack, when Rio de Janeiro won the vote to host the 2016 Olympics, French newspaper Le Monde recently reported.
Fredericks consequently stepped down from the two key administrative roles he held, saying he did not want to be a distraction while investigations took place.
The money was reportedly paid to Yemi Limited, a company set up by Fredericks in the Seychelles.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde early this year, Fredericks defended the payment, saying it had “nothing whatsoever to do with the Olympic Games”.
Tjongarero yesterday said the allegations against the former sprinter did not hold water, adding that she believed in his innocence.
“We stand behind him until the day he is proven guilty,” she said.
Fredericks was a council member at the IAAF and was head of the evaluation commission for the 2024 Games, which was helping Russia to return to international competition after doping scandals.
He was tasked to lead a team assigned to do inspection visits in Los Angeles and Paris, which were bidding to host the 2024 Olympic Games.
The IOC suspended Fredericks on Tuesday, saying his case “impacted on the IOC's reputation”.
The committee said: “Considering the gravity and urgency of the situation and its impact on the reputation of the IOC, the IOC executive board has decided to suspend Mr Frank Fredericks from all the rights, prerogatives and functions deriving from his quality as an IOC member.”
Fredericks insists the money was legitimate payment for consultancy and promotional work he had done for the athletics governing body. He says the payment was related to his role in the promotion of several athletics events.
The president of the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC), Abner Xoagub, said the former sprinter had stepped down from his voluntary post at the IOC some time ago and he did not understand the latest suspension.
“He is not involved with either committee as he recused himself from the situation. He was also a member of the NNOC but withdrew,” Xoagub said.
“For our part we cannot stop him from giving motivational speeches to athletes or anything he does in his personal capacity as it has nothing to do with the allegations he is facing.”
Xoagub also said Fredericks had proof of the payments he received and the grounds on which he was paid, adding that Fredericks had probably provided that information to the IOC.
-Additional reporting BBC Sport
According to the police, the inquest was opened after the head of hospital lodged a complaint at the Oshikango police over the incident when 38-year-old Peelina Nghikumwa lost her baby on 20 October. Nghikumwa blamed the nurses on duty that night for the death of her baby, saying they ignored her calls for help minutes before the tragedy. Nghikumwa said she was called in by the police on Monday to make a statement at the Oshikango police station.
“They called me and took my statement as to what happened that day, which I did,” Nghikumwa told Namibian Sun yesterday.
She added that although she was possession of the preliminary report on her baby's death, which indicates that her baby was born alive but died from head injuries, she was still waiting for the final report from the pathologist.
She said she left her home village, Onanghwe yaNghikumwa in the Ohangwena Region, on 19 September and stayed at the shelter behind the Engela State Hospital until 20 October, when she was admitted to the hospital's maternity ward to deliver her baby.
Nghikumwa said around 01:00 she went into labour while sitting on her bed in the maternity ward. She called for help from the nurses and she alleges they did not respond to her and instead called her to their station.
She said she tried to do that but felt too weak.
“I was calling them but they did not come. One nurse told me to come to them, which is why I got off the bed trying to make my way to them. I was not walking straight as I was in pain and my legs were wobbly,” Nghikumwa said.
She said it was only when her child's head hit the floor that the nurses came and assisted her.
She and the baby's father considered suing the nurses.
These complaints appear to have prompted the hospital to lay a formal complaint with the police to investigate the matter which will be heard by the Ohangwena Magistrate's Court.
Namibian Sun has been informed that the post-mortem has been completed, but according to health ministry spokesperson Manga Libita the post-mortem report is not yet ready.
It is not clear whether charges will be filed if the inquest finds negligence on the part of the hospital.
Documents seen by Namibian Sun show that one of the lawyers hired by attorney-general Sacky Shanghala to handle Namibia’s reparations case against Germany, Anna Uukelo, charged N$11 000 an hour for reading genocide-related articles in local newspapers and relaying this information to the lead lawyer, Dexter Dias.
Uukelo, who is a Namibian based in the UK, was paid a total amount of N$16.4 million, while Dias submitted invoices totalling N$16.9 million.
Detailed invoices showed Uukelo charged £600 per hour (N$11 000 at the August exchange rate) for making telephone calls to Shanghala and for waiting in transit while travelling between Namibian and the UK.
She also billed the government for non-essential work such as sending her colleagues information on malaria vaccinations.
Three other European lawyers, Richard Reynolds, Cameron Miles and Paul Clark, were also approached by Shanghala to conduct research to determine the strength of Namibia’s genocide case against Germany.
Reynolds was paid N$785 784, while Clark received N$417 717. Miles was paid almost N$1 million.
In total the government spent N$35.5 million on the fees of the five lawyers, which finance minister Calle Schlettwein found to be excessive. Shanghala has defended the payments.
One of the lawyers charged up to N$9 250 for a single telephone call, according to the invoices submitted.
Schlettwein told lawmakers on Tuesday that there were several discrepancies in the information provided by the lawyers in the invoices.
He said it was necessary to settle invoices to avoid possible attachment of the Namibian embassy in the United Kingdom. He also admitted that the money had not been budgeted for.
Swanu leader Usutuaije Maamberua had requested Schlettwein to provide clarity on the excessive legal fees in the case.
Schlettwein said the office of the attorney-general only made a request for payment in the last quarter of the 2016/17 financial year, by which time payment needed to be made to avoid attachment of the embassy.
“During the last quarter of the financial year 2016/17, a request was made by the office of the attorney-general for the payment of the referred to legal fees. However, such expense was not appropriated for,” Schlettwein said.
The other snag was that the treasury could not be compelled to pay invoices not budgeted for under the State Finances Act, Schlettwein explained.
This meant the payments to the London-based lawyers could not be honoured.
The ministry of finance, however, had to make a transfer to the ministry of international relations to avoid an attachment order against the Namibian embassy in London.
“Arrangements were made for the ministry of international relations to partially settle the invoices to the tune of N$3 365 931,” Schlettwein said.
The remaining balance was then budgeted for under the attorney-general’s budget vote, under the provision for unpaid invoices from the 2016/17 financial year, Schlettwein said.
The finance minister asked the Anti-Corruption Commission, the office of the auditor-general as well as the attorney-general to investigate the payments made to the five lawyers and report their findings to the National Assembly.
However, opposition members of parliament felt that the government could not investigate itself, fearing a potential a cover-up.
PDM’s McHenry Venaani suggested that the matter be referred to a parliamentary standing committee. The National Assembly is expected to vote on the matter today.
Recently the ACC stopped an investigation into these legal fees, much to the chagrin of Schlettwein and the opposition.
ACC director-general Paulus Noa was quoted in The Namibian as saying that there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing in the payment of the lawyers. “They were contracted and paid for the work they did,” he was quoted as saying.
Spotlight on Uukelo
Meanwhile, a director of a large law firm in London has told Namibian Sun that a £600 hourly rate is appropriate for a highly experienced senior legal practitioner.
He also questioned the lawyers’ claimed working hours of between 18 to 20 hours a day for weeks on end.
“It is very odd to just be registered at the London Bar but not to be linked to an advocate’s office, this does not happen,” he said.
He was referring to Uukelo, who on the Bar Standards Board listed her primary practice address as the office of the attorney- general of the Republic of Namibia at the UK High Commission for Namibia at 6 Chando Street in London.
Uukelo also listed the High Commission’s telephone number as her office number.
The second secretary at the High Commission in London, Toini Filemon, yesterday told Namibian Sun that Uukelo had never worked from the embassy.
“I am afraid Ms Anna is not reachable at this address. She has never worked here,” she said.
Venaani claimed in parliament last week that his investigations into Uukelo’s affairs had led him to a block of flats in London instead of a business address.
According to Uukelo’s Linkedin account, apart from practising as a barrister in the UK, she is a renewable energy expert and the CEO of Olupale Energy Namibia, a renewable energy company registered in the country.
She also states that she is an expert in commercial law, compliance and money-laundering laws and regulations.
She states that she has B.Juris and LLB degrees from the University of Namibia and a master of law (LLM) degree from the University of South Africa.
The minister of economic planning, Tom Alweendo, says the successful implementation of the fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) will require multi-stakeholder participation if it is to be successful.
He made the remarks when he tabled a report on the achievements of NDP4 in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
“The implementation of NDP5 will take a multi-stakeholder approach. In NDP5, the emphasis is more on a results-based framework that focuses on the monitoring and evaluation of goals, targets, and outcomes. Clear reporting modalities for monitoring and evaluation have been outlined in NDP5,” said Alweendo, who is also the director-general of the National Planning Commission (NPC).
The success of NDP5 would also depend on how the various government offices, ministries and agencies aligned their strategic plans to complement what the broader development plan sought to achieve in the realisation of Vision 2030.
“This approach will be heavily dependent on detailed and relevant statistics as key inputs. It will also require all government offices and agencies to align their strategic plans with NDP5 and key statistics will help to ensure coherency in our monitoring and evaluation framework,” said Alweendo.
Think of the future
“We need to be more forceful in promoting a strong work ethic, a sense of duty to others and a strong thirst for self-improvement. We need to understand that in the progression of our socio-economic development agenda, there are no more too many low-hanging fruits waiting to be picked,” said Alweendo.
He further discouraged self-gratification, saying implementers of NDP5 had to think of the country's future.
“We need to cultivate the ethic of deferred gratification, in order for us to meet our long-term goals as articulated in our long-term vision,” said Alweendo.
During NDP4 just over 79 000 jobs were created, representing 88% of the target of 90 000 jobs. Because of the economic downturn in 2016, instead of net job creation there was a net job loss last year, according to the NPC.
With regard to reducing income inequality, the target during NDP4 was to achieve a Gini Coefficient of 0.48 from a baseline of 0.597 as per the 2009/2010 Namibia Household Income and Expenditure Survey (NHIES).
The NDP4 outcome was 0.572, according to the preliminary NHIES for 2015/16, showing a marginal improvement from the baseline.
Schlettwein kept total vehicle spending in the current year at just over N$45.1 million, the same as in his main budget in March.
This is nearly N$46.4 million less than actual government spending on vehicles in the previous budget year.
In his struggle to regain macro-economic stability and the confidence of credit rating agencies, Schlettwein didn't adjust his vehicle spending projections for the next two budget years either.
In 2018/19, he has put aside roughly N$9.6 million more for vehicles, increasing the budget to about N$54.7 million.
The N$134.9 million provisionally available in the 2019/20 budget should bring some relief.
This more than doubling of 2018/19 vehicle spending, however, is hardly comforting if one compares the millions the government pumped into vehicles in previous budgets. Except for the bonanza in 2014/15 when the government went on a car spending spree costing the taxpayer more than N$1 billion, budget expenditure on vehicles from 2008/9 to 2013/14 averaged about N$350 million a year.
An analysis of the mid-year budget review, tabled last week, shows just how determined Schlettwein is to brake spending on vehicles. Of the 35 votes in the document, only three got money for vehicles.
The ministry of health and social services may spend about N$40.24 million on vehicles this year. Agriculture, water and forestry was allocated nearly N$4.4 million, while the ministry of land reform got N$500 000.
In the next fiscal year, only five votes may buy vehicles.
Health and social services will get N$45.1 million, while agriculture, water and forestry has a budget of N$7.9 million. About N$4.1 million is planned for the ministry of poverty eradication and social welfare. N$700 000 is allocated to land reform and N$500 000 to safety and security.
In 2019/20, spending projections on vehicles are: Safety and security (N$74 million), health and social services (N$42.7 million), agriculture (N$13.2 million), land reform (N$700 000), and poverty eradication and social welfare (N$4.2 million).
On a calendar year basis, 2014 was the peak in total new vehicle sales in Namibia, with decreases in each subsequent year, according to IJG Securities. Although 2017 thus far has seen some month-on-month improvement in some of the months, figures still look very bleak on an annual, cumulative and year-to-date basis. IJG's analysis show 10 435 new vehicles were sold in the first nine months of the year, a drop of 19.7% compared to the same period in 2016.
“On a rolling 12-month basis 13 957 new vehicles have been sold in Namibia, down 22.8% from September 2016, and down 38.4% from peak 12-month cumulative number of vehicles sales in April 2015,” IJG says.
Currently, 2017 is on track to deliver new vehicle sales similar to numbers last seen in 2012, the analysts say. IJG says the slump “is a reflection of depressed business and consumer confidence, as well as slowed government spending on new vehicles. Tighter credit conditions have only exacerbated the above conditions”.
Year-on-year, instalment credit extended to businesses and individuals has been contracting since June this year.
Instalment credit is primarily used to finance vehicle purchases.
The latest statistics released by the Bank of Namibia (BoN) show nearly N$12.1 billion in instalment credit was owed to local banks by the end of September.
This is about N$432 million less than a year ago.
The draw took place today in Johannesburg South Africa, as the southern African nations gear up for the competition.
The annual regional tournament is slated for Zambia from 6-16 December.
Namibia will also play Zimbabwe and Lesotho during the group stages, while 2016 champions Zambia will do battle in Group A with Swaziland, Uganda (guest nation) and Malawi.
South Africa is in Group B with Egypt (guest nation), Mozambique and Mauritius.
Jesse Jackson Kauraisa
Since the end of October, customers have been able to make payments using a number of platforms such as the MTC Money Wallet and Standard Bank's Blue Wallet. Subscribers have also been able to pay when visiting Nedbank, Pick n Pay, Waltons and Woermann Brock establishments.
“As part of our commitment of providing convenient access to our service for our customers, MultiChoice Namibia has reintroduced the innovative and convenient payment solutions to suit our DStv & GOtv customers' varied lifestyles and locations,” MultiChoice Namibia general manager Roger Gertze said.
“Our mission is to deliver value to our customers by making great entertainment more accessible - we believe the MobiPay solution will ensure our customers can continuously enjoy their favourite entertainment hassle free,” Gertze said.
MobiPay chairman Amos Shiyuka highlighted their vision of being a world-class innovative and financial services provider, based on robust and tested technologies and platforms.
“MobiPay continues to grow its business model with various strategic partners such as MultiChoice Namibia in order to provide seamless and reliable services to our customers.
“Our approach is to accommodate different payment channels for various service providers and create opportunities to the banked and unbanked consumers and make sure that we support the financial inclusion charter of Namibia.”
“You are just not an Air hostess, you are also a safety officer” These are the words of Xuro Milton, who is an air hostess. Air hostesses, also called flight attendants, are accountable for thousands of peoples' lives each week. Their tasks run from demonstrating safety procedures to serving meals and drinks. Some even help nervous passengers relax, such as when turbulence is high. They also perform administrative duties for their captains and employers.
“One of my main is to ensure the safety of my passengers in case an emergency occurs or if need be,” says Milton. He says on average his days are spent making sure he cautiously goes through his duties and responsibilities.
“One of my first is awareness. It starts from home. I make sure I pack all my bags and make sure there are no illegal or foreign objects. I then go to the office and report that I will be ready for a flight. We then go to the airport where we are briefed by the Pilot about the weather conditions and what routes we will be flying. We also make sure that we go through an emergency check and check all emergency equipment, and make sure that there is enough food for the people on board,” explained Milton of his day.
He says his passion for people and travelling is what drove him towards a career as an Air Hostess. “A combination of travelling and working with different people are some reasons why I became an air hostess. We don't even call this job a job, it is a lifestyle and it is a flexible lifestyle where you can do many other things you want to as well,” says Milton.
He says air hostesses are usually people who love working with people from many backgrounds; they are fun, hardworking, friendly and kind.
Milton says that air hostesses do not need qualifications in order to follow a path in their careers but you need to be compassionate and with a zeal for people. “You do not need a Qualification to become an air hostess. However, different air lines do provide basic medical training, physical and mental evaluation. Depending on the air line you work for you have to sit through an examination before you are considered to be an Air hostess.
Milton says he would recommend more people to become Air hostesses because they play an important role for their countries hospitality industry and it is a good experience.
“Air hosting is a great thing you travel a lot and you also learn about many other places, their people and their traditions. You are also very important for your country's hospitality industry because the way you treat people plays an important role on how they perceive where you come from,” he says.
He says air hostesses are people who are hardworking, dedicated and that they pay attention to every small detail.
“You have to be a good communicator and you should be able to understand people. It is not an easy job although we make it look like it there is so much that goes into becoming an air host,” he says.
Reinhold Iita, the chairperson of the Oshana communal land board and a director of Gecko's Otjivalunda Salt Mining and Soap Production company, claimed that they suffered a financial loss of N$2 million spent on an environmental impact assessment (EIA) that he said justified mining in the environmentally sensitive area.
“We are just waiting for them to respond to our appeal, and then if they fail to grant us permission we will go to court. Our EIA was positive,” Iita said.
In 2013, Gecko hired Enviro Dynamics Consultancy to perform the EIA which, according to Iita, found that the project was viable and would not cause environmental damage.
Gecko's joint-venture partner, Ondonga-Uukwambi Mining Enterprises (Pty) Ltd, also known as OUME, has in the meanwhile been accused of trying to sell out the salt pan by allowing the exploration of its trona reserves.
The salt pans at Otjivalunda are among the few places in the world were trona is naturally found. Trona is a common source of soda ash, which is a significant economic commodity because of its applications in manufacturing glass, chemicals, paper, detergents, and textiles. It is also used to condition water, to remove sulphur from both flue gases and lignite coal and is also used to manufacture bicarbonate of soda.
Concerned members of the public have contacted Namibian Sun, saying that Gecko was driven by German investors who were not interested in salt mining but rather wanted to mine trona.
“The environment ministry must reject this proposal. These people are interested in the trona and once they remove it, there will be no more salt in that pan. Namibia's cultural and natural heritage, including its biological diversity, must be protected and respected for the benefit of future generations,” said one source.
Another said that a trona resource takes up to 20 years to mature once it is harvested.
Otjivalunda has two salt pans situated in exclusive prospecting licence (EPL) 4365, which covers 20 650 hectares. The EPL allows only exploration and no mining.
Iita confirmed that there would be salt mining, which was aimed at removing the trona, and soap production.
“Salt is not reliable. What we want is sodium sulphate and calcium sulphate that foreign investors take out of the country as raw material. We would like to add value to it here in Namibia. For the trona, investors themselves know what to do with it,” Iita said.
The Ondonga and Uukwambi traditional authorities, through OUME, acquired the EPL and have a joint venture with Gecko Namibia, which has the mining experience.
Gecko Namibia owns 95% of the shares in the envisaged salt mining, while the two traditional authorities own 2.5% each.
In the planned soap project, Gecko Namibia owns 50% of the shares while the two traditional authorities each own 25%.
Iita said this was fair, since Gecko had the equipment and the financial means for exploration and mining which OUME did not have.
Otjivalunda is located within the Iipumbu Ya Tshilongo Conservancy. The two salt pans are situated on state land immediately to the north of the Etosha National Park.
According to Gecko's website, the pans contain sodium sulphate and sodium carbonate deposits of roughly 5.3 million tons.
More than 400 exploration holes have been drilled on the 700 hectares.
They say currently there is no infrastructure at the pans. Their proposed processing plant will be located 10km west of Oshakati and 120km by road from the pans.
Nghitila refused to issue the environmental clearance certificate, saying the salt-mining operation was an ecological risk.
This is according to former cabinet member and Swapo politburo member Kazenambo Kazenambo, who spoke to Namibian Sun on the contents of both the German position paper on the genocide, and the Namibian government's response.
Kazenambo said Germany's official response to Namibia's demands was presented to the politburo and central committee about three months ago.
He said the German government stipulated three demands in its response to the Namibian government.
The first is that the genocide be referred to as 'atrocities'.
The second demand is to replace the word 'reparations' with 'special fund' and the third is to include the affected communities in the negotiations.
To date, only representatives selected by the government have been allowed to take part in the process.
“This is what we got… that the German government wants to directly engage the affected communities. And the Namibian government seem to have problems with this issue,” Kazenambo told Namibian Sun.
There have been repeated calls by representatives and chiefs of the Nama and OvaHerero communities to be included in the discussions surrounding the matter of the genocide and reparations but these have, to date, largely been ignored by the Namibian government.
The German position paper on the issue was presented to Namibia's special envoy Zed Ngavirue on 27 June this year by the German ambassador to Namibia, Christian-Matthias Schlaga.
Namibia presented its demands in July last year.
According to Kazenambo, Namibia's document is flawed with factual distortions, including that the genocide began at Namutoni in Etosha, a fact which he says ultimately makes Namibia's case “laughable”.
There was a large battle on 28 January 1905 between the Germans and the Aawambo led by Chief Nehale Mpingana who was notoriously opposed to any type of European settlements and also led several attacks against the Dorslandtrekkers during earlier years.
For the remainder of the Aawambo leaders, history records at that time, their tribal lands were not under German administration and they did not respond to Samuel Maharero's calls to assist them to fight the German presence in Namibia. Chief Nehale decimated the Germans at Namutoni.
According to Kazenambo, this is not the only inaccuracy in the Namibian response to the German authorities.
“In that document they are saying ordinary prisons such as the prisons in Karibib and Waterberg were concentration camps, which is nonsense. That is why we say they must talk to the right people, there are people who know the history,” Kazenambo said.
He added that Namibia has made a “fool” of itself in the eyes of the German people.
“The Germans are the ones that were manning these concentration camps; they know where the camps were. If you go to them today and say 'Waterberg was a concentration camp', do you think they will believe that?” he questioned.
He also accused government leaders of using the genocide issue to milk state coffers.
“Why are they bringing in United Kingdom-based lawyers instead of using our local liberation lawyers such as Peter Koep and Hartmut Ruppel? Why are they no longer good enough? We also have Nama, OvaHerero and Damara lawyers, and our own human rights lawyers,” Kazenambo argued.
The government paid N$35.5 million to five UK-based lawyers to study Namibia's case.
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila recently told parliament that Germany's position paper did not address specific details highlighted by the Namibian government.
Zed Ngavirue, the special envoy in the reparation negotiations, told Namibian Sun upon enquiry that neither the Namibian nor the German governments have been against the direct involvement of descendants.
He said he was not aware of any mention of Namutoni as the genesis of genocide.
“There must be some confusion. Are you sure you are not misquoting him? I have not seen any documents that say the genocide started at Namutoni,” he said.
Ngavirue would neither deny nor confirm whether Germany's demand to refer to the genocide as 'atrocities' or reparations as a 'special fund' was true.
He also said that the Namibian government had never discussed the negotiating process with Nama and OvaHerero descendants in the diaspora.
Minister of finance Calle Schlettwein has urged private-sector investors to look at collaborative projects in the power sector.
He made the remarks yesterday at the third Annual Public-Private Partnership Conference, hosted by the ministry of finance, PwC Namibia and Standard Bank Namibia.
According to Schlettwein, Namibia's location within Southern Africa and its abundant sunshine throughout the year boded well for its ability to generate solar electricity for the region.
“Namibia has an ambitious plan for private investments in the power generation sector and given its strategic location, we have the potential to light up Southern Africa,” said Schlettwein.
“Namibia is fortunate to be endowed with many natural resources that we can exploit to become power self-sufficient.
“We have one of the highest solar radiation resources, for free and suitable for PV and CSP installations,” said Schlettwein.
“We also have suitable locations and available space for wind energy generation. These renewable energy resources are an excellent solution for off-grid connectivity and in order to accelerate the electricity service to unserved areas.”
The government was favourably looking at small- and medium-scale power projects, Schlettwein told potential investors.
“Generation of electricity from renewable resources is therefore enjoying the highest support from government and the private sector; a number of small- and medium-scale renewable energy projects have been and are being developed,” he said.
The public sector was more than willing to partner with the private sector he added, he indicated.
“The public sector alone cannot respond to the enormous investment needed to meet the growing demand for electricity.
“We must therefore leverage on private-sector resources to finance, build and operate power infrastructure, in order to help take electricity to all corners in Namibia where households and businesses are presently deprived of this enabling facility,” said Schlettwein.
He said Namibia must learning from the success of the renewable energy programme in South Africa.
“Not only will the economy benefit from the enhanced development of productive infrastructure, but PPPs in the power sector could reduce the price of power, improve competitiveness and bring about a better balance of payment and positive current account balance,” Schlettwein said.
The minister informed delegates attending the conference that the PPP regulations were expected to be gazetted before the end of the year.