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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 11/29/17--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day NO MERCY: A woman puts her hands up as anti-riot policemen flush out opposition supporters, who had taken cover in a shack to escape teargas, during demonstrations in the Umoja suburb of Nairobi on 28 November 2017, following a denial of permission by police to the National Super Alliance (NASA) leader to hold a rally concurrently to the inauguration of the country's new president. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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    No need to stifle social mediaNo need to stifle social media Should social media be regulated? The ruling party has made its intention clear for government to establish a ministry of cyber security to monitor social media, among others. Although this resolution was not adopted at the just-ended Swapo congress, it was nevertheless tabled and deferred to an extraordinary congress, which is likely to take place next year. We think this is a very bad idea and takes away the ordinary citizen's right to free speech. The draft policy also raises more serious concerns over access to information. Interestingly politicians are taking their time in enforcing the access to information legislation. Yes, we are aware that the advent of social media has given rise to uprisings against governments with the Arab Spring a typical example. We have also seen instances where societies erupt into violence and hooliganism merely because of social media posts. However, no one is above the law as we are all accountable for our actions. Our take is that anyone who breaks the law should be prosecuted to the full extent of that law. There is adequate legislation at the moment that allows anyone to lay charges of crimen injuria against those abusing social media. It must be clear that we are in no way advocating the use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms for unlawful activity, however, limitations to freedom of expression will not be good for our country's democracy. By the way, experts have already criticised the Electronic Transactions and Cybercrime Bill, which is still riddled with questionable legal provisions and outdated content. Everyone is sceptical of the government's motives at the moment and the authorities should instead look at strengthening legislation around other pertinent issues such as the fight against corruption instead of getting nosey around social media. There must be political will to have an independent agency that should be able to investigate and act against high-level corruption in this country. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) must be given more teeth to tackle corruption in the public service by promoting a culture of moral and ethical behaviour.

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  • 11/29/17--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Tullow Oil refinances credit line

    Africa focused Tullow Oil Plc said yesterday it refinanced US$2.5 billion of loans borrowed against its oil and gas reserves.

    Tullow, which has a market value of around US$3.1 billion, had net debt of US$3.6 billion as of Oct. 31, racked up during the oil downturn.

    Tullow also said it had decided to reduce the commitments of its revolving corporate credit facility to US$600 million from US$800 million. – Nampa/Reuters

    Unilever leans towards single structure

    Unilever sees a single corporate structure as in the best interests of the company and its shareholders, but has not yet made a decision to pursue one, it said on Tuesday.

    The dual-headed, Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group said a single share class would provide "greater ongoing strategic flexibility for value-creating portfolio change".

    After rebuffing a US$143 billion takeover offer from Kraft Heinz, Unilever said in April it would review its corporate structure, with an aim to make a decision by the end of the year.

    Omnia Holdings HY profit surges 32%

    Omnia Holdings, a South African chemicals and fertiliser maker, said its half-year profit surged 32%, underpinned by improvement in its Australian agricultural business and a recovery in their mining division.

    Diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months ended Sept. 30 rose to 397 cents per share from the restated 301 cents a year ago.

    HEPS is the main profit measure used in South Africa that strips out certain one-off times. – Nampa/Reuters

    Nampak reports 15% rise in earnings

    South African diversified packaging group Nampak reported a 15% increase in full-year earnings, assisted by good performance in its metal divisions.

    Headline earnings per share for the year to September 30 rose to 123.8 cents from 107.6 cents a year earlier, said Nampak, which supplies plastic milk bottles to Britain and operates in several African countries.

    Nampak is grappling with weak economic growth in South Africa and Angola were consumers are spending less, substituting products or downsizing to smaller packaged goods. – Nampa/Reuters

    SoftBank offers to buy Uber at discount

    Japan's SoftBank Group Corp is offering to purchase shares of Uber Technologies Inc at a valuation of US$48 billion, a 30% discount to its most recent valuation of US$68.5 billion, a person familiar with the matter has said.

    Even at the discounted price, Uber is the world's second-highest valued private venture-backed company, after China's ride-service company Didi Chuxing, and the offer is a chance for early investors to lock in substantial profits and for employees to cash in shares that have to date only had value on paper.

    However, the 30% discount is steep given Uber's plan to launch an initial public offering in 2019, said Phil Haslett, co-founder and head of investments at secondary marketplace EquityZen. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Blue Fuel offers added convenienceBlue Fuel offers added convenienceFleet management made easier The technology ensures that only authorised vehicles are able to fill up, without the need to purchase and install expensive vehicle hardware. Standard Bank Namibia recently launched its Blue Fuel solution, aimed at simplifying fleet management with low-cost innovations.

    “Every fleet manager knows that fuel costs can overshadow other operating expenses.

    Standard Bank's Blue Fuel offers the newest innovation in fleet management to help you better manage your fleet of vehicles, whether you have a huge company or just three cars,” Standard Bank's head of cards, Hendrik du Plessis, said.

    The technology ensures that only authorised vehicles are able to fill up, without the need to purchase and install expensive vehicle hardware. In addition, drivers can authorise transactions using fleet cards, driver PINs or even their mobile phones.

    “With Blue Fuel all transactions are securely authorised in real-time and checked against multiple, configurable fuel rules using our unprecedented technology. Successful transactions and unsuccessful attempts are instantly available to view on a personalised web portal using any internet-connected device,” he explained.

    Individuals, small businesses and companies with large fleets are all eligible for Blue Fuel, with a hassle-free registration process.

    Du Plessis stressed that Blue Fuel allows for real-time authorisation at the time of the transaction, instant access to reports, increased security against fraudulent transactions and serves as a management tool to effectively manage financial, technical and operational costs.

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  • 11/29/17--14:00: HAN celebrates 30 years
  • HAN celebrates 30 yearsHAN celebrates 30 years The tourism industry this weekend celebrated the Hospitality Association of Namibia's (HAN) 30th anniversary at its prestigious annual gala dinner during which tourism personalities were awarded for their contribution to the sector.

    HAN chairman Shepherd Chinhoi described the 30-year existence of the association as a milestone.

    “Thirty years ago, Namibia was not even independent yet and the tourism industry in Namibia was perceived to be a negligible sideline industry by a few, for a few.”

    Chinhoi said the association had over the years developed into a catalyst for change, development and engagement.

    “One only needs to look at the various activities and events hosted by HAN, and the mottos of the past 30 years, to see that this organisation has reached out to invite not only prime service providers within tourism to become members, but formed partnerships with key stakeholders and corporates in other sectors to live the motto that tourism is everyone's business here in Namibia.”

    The managing director of the Namibia Breweries, Wessie van der Westhuizen, was named as the tourism personality of the year.

    He was recognised for his contribution to the tourism sector and his passion and commitment to Namibia.

    “He believes in uplifting Namibia's value proposition, to innovate and transform the country and its people to rise above competition. For that to be achieved, he knows that it cannot be business as usual,” HAN stated.

    The annual Eco Awards achievers were also announced at the event.

    The Brandberg White Lady Lodge is this year's tourism conservation joint venture lodge.

    Tristan Boehme is the hotelier of the year and Anett Koetting the HAN personality of the year.

    During the two-day congress that started on Thursday, tourism related issues were discussed under the guidance of business coach Saffron Baggally, who talked delegates through ways to work towards a vastly changing world and working environment.

    Useful tips were also provided by Southern African Tourism Services Association CEO David Frost on how legislative and political decisions are influencing the tourism sector in Southern Africa, while HAN members discussed and negotiated a way forward on marketing and operational issues within the tourism sector.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 11/29/17--14:00: Showing us what's possible
  • Showing us what's possibleShowing us what's possibleGabes makes resettlement farm a success A shining light in the Hardap Region, one resettlement farmer is showing the country what is truly possible. The poor state of resettlement farms in Namibia has been under fire for years but Gabes Muteka has proven that success is possible.

    In 2015 the 64-year-old was resettled on 2 500 hectares of farmland on the farm Welgemoed west of Rehoboth in the Hardap Region.

    Muteka and his wife Ndahafa, both liberation struggle veterans, are weekend farmers but have been running the farm successfully and as a result scooped the 2015 Agra award for emerging resettlement farmer.

    “We could only do it with the guidance of our mentors and most importantly our faith in God helped us to push through,” said Gabes.

    “We had to start from nothing. It was just stones and grass. We slept in our bakkie for a while and eventually moved on to a tent until we had built our corrugated iron hut. We used our hands to clear the land to make the kraal for the goats, which we used trees for,” he explained.

    They eventually managed to build a cattle kraal as well as a lavatory for the farmworkers and themselves.

    The more than 80 cattle were financed by Agribank while the couple also had to put in their savings to finance the operations at the farm.

    “Farming is not a jolly-ride. If you are a farmer then your bank account is always in the red. You have to work very hard to be a successful farmer. Farming is not about taking cattle to water and to feeding lot,. You must take care of your animals and that takes a lot of time and patience,” said Gabes.

    His advice to the Namibian youth and other resettlement farmers is to “meet government halfway”.

    “I know sometimes the conditions are not improving but there are simple things that we can do to make a success. If you have got the land, try and build your own home and do not expect government to come and build a house. Even to fix the windmill or the fences should not be demanded from government. Be grateful and appreciate what you have,” he said.

    Gabes and his wife Ndahafa married in exile and returned in the late 1980s.

    The couple, who had waited 18 years for their land application to succeed, said the timing was perfect.

    “I believe there could not have been a better time. Perhaps if we got the farm when our children were still small we would not have made a success of it. We also had very demanding careers,” said Ndahafa, who studied in India.

    Ndahafa has managed to start a successful garden from scratch and has so far harvested spinach, onion, tomatoes, asparagus, chillies and even potatoes.

    “I am experimenting with many types of plants. Because the land is so arid it is difficult to tell what exactly will work so through experimenting I learn. I have planted an apple tree and it is blooming remarkably,” she said as she reaches for a baby apple hanging from the two-metre-tall tree.

    She has also experimented with a Moringa tree but it is withering away.

    “We are striving to be self-sufficient. So far we are managing well. We are selling the spinach from our house in Windhoek and we cannot keep up with the demand. Even the eggs are in high demand, so much so that we do not eat our own eggs as every single one is bought,” said Gabes.

    The chicken run and garden are Ndahafa's domain; she even talks to her plants.

    The couple's children, Merrill, Tauya and Emma, have proved to be a great help in getting the farm running and assist with veterinary advice, financial and physical assistance.

    “Our youth must leave the 'Vrrrpaaas' and start producing at home. Start at your little backyard with a garden and expand. Learn from the white farmers: you always see them in shorts and velskoene in the bank but he holds the economy in his hands,” said Gabes.

    His main motto is hard work and respect for your neighbour.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Cops accused of beating suspectsCops accused of beating suspects The standard operating procedure to be followed when an accused person is taken from holding cells for questioning was ignored at Wanaheda Police Station.

    There is no record in the 'Occurrence Book' of the holdings cells at the station which indicates that three murder suspects, Annastancia Lubinda, 33, Abiud Uazeua, 35, and Dollam Tjitjahuma 27, were booked out on 2 April 2015 for interrogation.

    The three defence lawyers, Milton Engelbrecht, Syomuijnji Mbanga and Miriam Kenaruzo, allege that their clients were assaulted to make admissions in their statements.

    They further argued these statements cannot be admitted as evidence because their clients were not informed of their rights.

    The three, together with David Matali, 45, Dawid Kondjara, 32, and Donald Hindjou, 26, stand accused in the High Court in Windhoek of the murder of Peter Muleke, 36, who was killed near Penduka around the Goreangab Dam area between 29 and 30 March 2015.

    Judge Johanna Salionga yesterday, during the trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of the evidence the defence lawyers allege were coerced from their clients through assault, granted the request of the three defence lawyers that the Occurrence Book be brought to court for inspection.

    This was to ascertain whether or not it is true that the accused were interviewed together and thereafter, one by one.

    Constable Augustinus Iipinge, who earlier in his testimony could not remember whether the accused were booked out from the holding cells, when given the book and after perusing through it, conceded there is no indication that they were booked out.

    According to extracts of 2 April 2015 presented to the court, the suspects were not booked out.

    “If a suspect under police detention is interrogated he will have to be booked for having being taken out,” Siyomuinji put to the witness who maintained the three were interviewed whether it is not indicated in the book or not.Iipinge had testified that the accused were interrogated by him, Sergeant Malakia Frederick Nuule and another officer, Romeo Swalisano Libala.

    However, allegedly there is no mention made of the two phases of the interrogation, that is, when they were questioned together and then, interviewed one by one, in the statements of the three police officers.

    Kenaruzo, appearing for Tjitjahuma, put it to him that she will argue that there is no way his evidence in court can be tested against his evidence in his statement that was disclosed to the defence.

    The trial continues.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 11/29/17--14:00: UPM to tackle land
  • UPM to tackle landUPM to tackle land The United People's Movement (UPM) has accused the Swapo government of failing to deliver land.

    The UPM is expected to host its central committee meeting in March where the land question will be discussed.

    The party has also expressed its disappointment at the continued delay in the provision of affordable urban land to the poor.

    UPM Member of Parliament Jan van Wyk said they had been to “all government offices” to complain about skewed urban land distribution but it was fruitless.

    “We want to address in particular the issue of land given to developers at the expense of landless people.

    “Our motto is if a local authority sells 300 plots to a private developer then it must simultaneously give 100 plots to individuals. And this is not taking place at all,” said Van Wyk.

    He also criticised the government's failure to release a list of beneficiaries of the lands ministry's resettlement programme.

    This is the same call that has been made by the Landless People's Movement (LPM), which threatened to approach the ombudsman to put pressure on the government to release the list of all resettlement beneficiaries.

    The UPM further called upon its members to submit nominations for the different wings before 9 March.

    The central committee meeting is expected to take place between 30 and 31 March at the party headquarters in Rehoboth.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 11/29/17--14:00: Africa Briefs
  • Africa BriefsAfrica Briefs Billion-strong fund for African SMEs

    France is setting up a billion-euro (US$1.2 billion) fund for small- and medium-sized African businesses, President Emmanuel Macron announced Tuesday.

    Macron, visiting Burkina Faso at the start of his first African tour, said the money could be used to help firms maximise value from agriculture, but also the digital sector.

    He said the ultimate objective is "to multiply this fund tenfold, which is absolutely do-able if we appeal to our European allies or other private financiers, European or non-European". – Nampa/AFP

    Egypt scraps FX restrictions for importers

    Egypt's central bank has removed caps for the deposit and withdrawal of foreign currency for importers of non-essential goods, the latest sign of improving US dollar liquidity at banks.

    The central bank in 2012 implemented a deposit limit of US$10 000 per day and US$50 000 per month as well as a US$30 000 per day withdrawal limit for importers of non-essential goods.

    The cap on deposits and withdrawals for non-essential importers was among the final foreign currency restrictions still in place since Egypt's currency crisis began and its removal was among the reforms agreed to as part of the IMF lending programme. – Nampa/Reuters

    Angola opens market to 4th mobile provider

    Angola is to allow a fourth mobile operator to enter its profitable telecommunications sector in a move which could impact business interests linked to former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

    The mobile phone sector is currently shared between two private firms, Movicel and Unitel, the country's leading operator. Isabel dos Santos, the former president's oldest daughter, holds a controlling stake in Unitel while her half-sister, Welwitschia dos Santos, holds a stake in Movicel.

    Angola also announced moves to privatise 45% of the capital of state-owned Angola Telecom.

    Ghana cuts interest rate to 20%

    Ghana's central bank has cut its benchmark interest rate by 100 basis points to 20%, citing a drop in consumer inflation and the possibility of steady economic growth.

    The major commodity exporter this month raised its 2017 growth forecast to 7.9% from 6.3% on expected oil production, and 2018 growth is seen at 6.8, marking a turnaround of sorts for an economy that in the previous three years has averaged less than 4%.

    It has undergone an IMF loan programme to reduce its fiscal deficit and public debt and stabilise the volatile local currency. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 11/29/17--14:00: Police probe death in pool
  • Police probe death in poolPolice probe death in pool The Oshana police are investigating the death of 25-year-old Mateus Hafeni Auwanga who fell into a plastic swimming pool and sustained serious injuries which caused his death. The matter, however, was not reported to the police on time.

    According to authorities, the incident took place at the London Man Bar at Adolf location at Ekolyanaambo village along the Ongwediva-Ondangwa main road in Oshana Region on Saturday around 17:00.

    The police say Auwanga died on Monday morning at Oshakati Intermediate Hospital where he was rushed after he was said to be swimming in the pool.

    Eyewitnesses say Auwanga was swimming with friends when he jumped into the pool, falling on his back, resulting in neck and back injuries.

    “It is reported that the incident took place last Saturday around 17:00.

    “The deceased was allegedly trying to swim in a plastic swimming pool.

    “He fell on his back which resulted in neck and back injuries.

    “He was taken to Oshakati Intermediate Hospital and died on Monday around 11:00 due to his injuries. The matter was only reported to the police on Tuesday.

    “It is alleged that the deceased was under the influence of alcohol when he was swimming,” the police said.

    The authorities say Auwanga is originally from Onhokolo village near Outapi in Omusati but was staying at Ekolyanaambo village. The investigation continues.

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    SME Bank liquidation bid succeedsSME Bank liquidation bid succeeds The fate of the SME Bank was sealed yesterday morning when High Court Judge Hannalie Prinsloo ruled that the beleaguered lender will now be placed under liquidation.

    The application to finally liquidate the bankrupt SME Bank was brought by the Bank of Namibia against the government, the Namibia Financing Trust, the Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe, World Eagle Properties, and the ministers of finance and industrialisation.

    Minority shareholders World Eagle Investments and the Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe had vehemently fought against the planned liquidation but had their application struck down with costs by Prinsloo.

    The Bank of Namibia took control of the SME Bank on 2 March after it had come to light that between N$181 million and N$196 million had been invested in questionable financial instruments in South Africa.

    The SME Bank was placed in provisional liquidation on 11 July, sealing the fate of 208 employees, who are now jobless. The bank was placed under the management of liquidators Dave Bruni and Ian McLaren.

    The Bank of Namibia sought the winding up final order based on the fact that the SME Bank is insolvent as contemplated by provisions of the Banking Institutions Act in that its liabilities exceed its assets.

    “It is commercially insolvent in that it is unable to pay its debts and it is just and equitable that SME Bank be wound-up,” argued Ipumbu Shiimi, governor of Bank of Namibia in his founding statement before the court.

    The Namibian government through Namibia Financing Trust held 65% shares in the defunct SME Bank while Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe held 30% shares and World Eagle Properties, a real estate and property development company based in Harare, held 5%.

    Shiimi stated that during August 2016 BDO, the external auditing firm of SME Bank, raised concerns to the Bank of Namibia's supervision department and supplied information on certain investments by SME Bank made with Mamepe Capital, a South African investment company.

    Shiimi argued that if the financial situation at SME Bank is arrested now and a liquidator is appointed there are some prospects that creditors' claims will at least in part, be satisfied.

    “If an order for the winding up of SME Bank is not granted and the banking institution continuous to trade under insolvent conditions, depositors, which are both creditors and customers of the institution, are likely to lose their funds,” Shiimi had maintained in his papers.

    He added that the inability to pay its debts may further lead to a run on the bank, which will cause the imminent dissipation of its remaining assets and negatively affect the public's confidence in the banking system as a whole.

    “Based on these grounds it will be to the benefit of the creditors if the order sought is granted as it will ensure the orderly exit of SME Bank out of the banking system,” he had pleaded.

    Judge Prinsloo yesterday ruled that the beleaguered lender will now be placed under liquidation.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 11/29/17--14:00: Geingob full of ideas
  • Geingob full of ideasGeingob full of ideasCompensation structure for party functionaries The president of the ruling party has proposed a number of changes within the Swapo management and structures. Swapo president Hage Geingob is brimming with ideas in order to strengthen the operations of the ruling party.

    Geingob, who won the party's presidential election by a landslide this week, is proposing a number of changes within the Swapo management and structures.

    In his acceptance speech on Monday morning, Geingob highlighted the need to introduce a compensation structure for party functionaries working in the regions.

    “It is discomforting to note that comrades who enter into government following elections become financially secured, while comrades who have worked tirelessly to ensure victory are still volunteering,” Geingob said.

    He said he would also propose decent remuneration and housing for Ndilimani Cultural Troupe members. The members have often complained of ill-treatment by the senior leadership of the party. Geingob said the process to revamp Ndilimani would be expedited.

    Regarding the administration of the party, Geingob wants a fulltime administrator at the level of a government permanent secretary to assist the secretary-general.

    Geingob has also proposed that the secretary-general be granted two executive assistants to help run the affairs of the party.

    The new Swapo president has also proposed proper accounting practices at the ruling party's headquarters, especially when it comes to funds appropriated by the parliament.

    Swapo received about N$260 million as part of the subsidy given to political parties represented in the National Assembly between 2013 and 2017.

    Party companies will also be restructured with a focus on effective governance, accountability and profitability, said Geingob.

    Another proposal on the cards is for the party's headquarters to be revamped in order to provide office space to serving and former presidents.

    The new secretary-general of the party, Sophia Shaningwa, will be invited to attend cabinet meetings, as was the case with her predecessor, Nangolo Mbumba.

    “It will be expected of the SG (secretary-general) to immediately after cabinet meetings brief heads of departments of Swapo about the outcome of the cabinet meetings, so that they are kept abreast of what has transpired in cabinet.

    “In that way the membership of the party will be informed of what government is doing, through this secretariat,” Geingob said.

    The president is also hoping for improved relations with the media through the Swapo information department.

    “The Swapo information department will be revamped for the timeous release of information. There must be regular press conferences and modern channels of information dissemination, including social media, must be leveraged, developed and deployed.”

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 11/29/17--14:00: Kenya knows about tourism
  • Kenya knows about tourism Kenya knows about tourism Growing contributor to GDP Investment, local tourist support and a proud heritage of service excellence bring success. Augetto Graig in Nairobi - This week president Hage Geingob and first lady Monica Geingos visited Kenya’s capital Nairobi for a warm reception and to represent Namibia at the historic inauguration of the second term of that country’s president Uhuru Kenyatta.

    Kenyatta’s retention of Kenyan leadership was by no means without complication and police violence has added to tribal tensions that threatened the outcome of the election and still pose a threat to security in the country.

    Nevertheless, the first couple are not the only Namibians visiting the paradise that is Kenya, contributing to an average of close to 11 000 visitors who arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from southern African hub Johannesburg each month this year. From all over Africa almost 38 000 visitors land at Nairobi’s main airport each month and the numbers of African and Kenyan tourists have been rising. Growth in these categories in 2016 is reflected in the Kenya Tourism Board’s (KTB) report that the number of air arrivals from the African continent hit 251 626 in 2016, up from 194 870 in 2015. Of this total number, visitors from Uganda and South Africa comprised a cumulative 86 940 visitors, or about 35%. Rising arrivals from the African continent have helped the industry offset some of its losses from traditional markets in Europe.

    Stats

    Domestic tourism has also been gathering momentum after the KTB launched a US$300 000 SMS marketing campaign in January 2016 aimed at drawing more Kenyans to tourist hotspots.

    Ongoing campaigns urge hotel and tour operators to reduce rates for domestic tourists during the low season and are already paying dividends. The government had targeted a 3% increase in domestic tourists’ share of total occupied hotel nights in the country by 2017 after the Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics reported that Kenyan visitors comprising 53.5% of total occupied hotel nights over the course of 2015, up from 47% in 2014.

    According to the World Travel and Tourism Council report on annual research of tourism contribution to the Kenyan economy in 2017, the industry has made a direct contribution of 3,7% gross domestic product (GDP), or US$2,5 billion in 2016, and this year is expected to bring in 6% more, followed by similar growth each year until 2027 when the country could earn US$4,8 billion from visitors. Total contribution is expected to top US$12,3 billion, amounting to 9,5% of GDP by that time (2027).

    Supporting this continued growth is more investment in the industry, with 2016 recording US$800 million and this year’s total investment expected to grow another 6,6%, the World Travel and Tourism Council statistics indicate. However, world class infrastructure and top notch facilities are not the only contributors to the resilient success of Kenyan tourism in recent times. Visitors testify that the level of service provided by the 400 000 Kenyans employed in the industry makes for a refreshing and congenial experience, especially for southern Africans who are not used to genuine pride of service.

    National spirit

    One example is to be found at the remarkable Enashipai Resort and Spa on the shores of lake Naivasha, some two hours drive from the capital.

    Here state of the art facilities are nestled among the tall trees of the natural landscape and excellent conference facilities attract as many business travellers as the lucky number of visitors staying purely for pleasure. In the evenings those distinctions fall away during fully catered dinners and under the friendly attentions of the immaculately dressed serving staff. The on-site nightclub is testament to efforts at the lodge to provide visitors with all they desire right where they are. From bicycle rides to boat trips on the lake, opportunities to interact with the abundant wildlife are always close at hand.

    Nairobi itself captures this national spirit of the proud host providing a bustling hive of colourful activity to capture the imagination. Adventurers can take their chances on a ‘boda-boda’ motorcycle taxi, or ride first-class in a done-up Matatu public transport bus. The city of 4 million also offers rail transport to residents while the abundance of private vehicles can make traffic congestion a real headache. However, Kenyans know how to make the best of things and how to shelter their guests from the harsher realities of life.

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    Ruacana stairway to be restoredRuacana stairway to be restoredTown council takes responsibility The damaged stairway leading to the bottom of the famous waterfall, which straddles the border with Angola, is to be repaired in order to attract tourists. The Ruacana town council plans to restore the abandoned 400-step stairway leading to the bottom of the Ruacana waterfall and turn it into a tourist attraction.

    The stairway was constructed in 1964 and is situated in the buffer zone between Namibia and Angola, making it difficult for any authority to accept responsibility for it.

    Ruacana mayor Linea Shikale says they are in talks with the relevant authorities in Namibia and Angola regarding the ownership and maintenance of the stairway.

    Shikale says the town is popular because of its famous waterfall and the council planned to cash in on its tourism potential.

    “We are planning to develop the waterfall area and make it a recreational area. This place attracts a lot of people to our town, especially during the festive season. This is also in line with our strategic plan since we would like to promote our town through tourism,” Shikale said.

    Shikale added that the town boundary ends 300 metres from the border with Angola, while the waterfall is situated in no man's land between the two countries.

    “Anything you are planning to do in this area needs to be done in coordination with both countries because it affects natural resources on both sides. We are hoping that our negotiations will be positive,” she said.

    Following heavy rain at Ruacana last year some of the steps collapsed, making the stairway hazardous. The Ruacana Constituency office reported the bad state of the stairway to the Omusati police and after assessing it, the police decided to restrict access because it was unsafe.

    Months later, the police reopened the stairway after failing to get the responsible authority to repair the damage.

    The Ruacana town council, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the Omusati regional council and Nampower all refused to take responsibility.

    Shikale appealed to people visiting the waterfall to respect the environment and refrain from littering and vandalism.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Higher payouts for wildlife conflictHigher payouts for wildlife conflictHalf a million for a human life A parliamentary standing committee has recommended a drastic increase in compensation paid for losses to wild animals. It has been recommended that the compensation for a person killed by a wild animal should be increased to N$500 000 and N$10 000 be paid out for funeral arrangements.

    The National Council Standing Committee on Habitat has recommended massive increases in compensation for human-wildlife conflict. This is even though the environment ministry has proposed its own increases in the revised human-wildlife conflict policy.

    In the revised policy the ministry has proposed increases which include N$100 000 for loss of human life, up from the current N$5 000.

    The committee tabled its report on wildlife conflict, covering the Zambezi, Oshikoto, Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati, Kunene, Kavango East and West and the Erongo regions, in the National Council this week.

    It also said that a trust fund should be established that would pay allowances of N$500 per month to toddlers and N$1 000 to school-going children whose parents were killed in incidents of wildlife conflict.

    The committee recommended compensation between N$8 000 and N$15 000 per cow killed by wildlife, and between N$10 000 and N$25 000 for stud bulls.

    Currently N$1 500 is paid out for either a cow or bull and the ministry has proposed that this be increased to N$3 000.

    The committee has also recommended that farmers should be compensated N$1 000 for calves (0-6 months) and N$2 500 (6- 12 months). The ministry currently does not pay compensation for calves killed by predators.

    The committee also recommended that the amount for goats be increased to N$2 000, sheep to N$2 200 and horses to N$5 500.

    At the moment the compensation for a goat is N$200, for a sheep N$250 and a horse N$500.

    The committee further said that more than N$6 000 per hectare should be paid out for crops destroyed by wildlife. This amount is currently N$800 per hectare and the ministry has proposed to increase it to N$1 000.

    The report found that the majority of those interviewed on wildlife conflict were dissatisfied with the compensation.

    “The offset amounts were seen to be a joke in the face of the market value of the livestock.”

    It said the current offset initiative did not include injuries sustained by residents following an attack by a wild animal. The committee proposed an amount of N$5 000.

    According to the report market-value compensation would not be possible for the government and therefore the focus should not be on paying compensation but rather on preventing human-wildlife conflict.

    It said people who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder needed counselling to help them come to terms with their encounter with a wild animal.

    According to the report, the majority of communities expressed dissatisfaction with the intervention efforts that were made by staff members of the ministry in response to human-wildlife conflict.

    “The quick response offered to wild animals when compared to human beings was vehemently ridiculed by all hearings held in Zambezi, Kavango East and Kunene.”

    The report says in the case of attacks perpetrated by hyenas, lions and leopards, any delay by ministry officials meant that evidence such as tracks was lost. That meant that no compensation claims could be submitted.

    The report found that property losses resulted from invasions of crop fields by elephants, wildebeest, buffalo, kudus, hippos, porcupines, baboons and monkeys.

    At Khorixas, Otjozongombe and Omatjete, elephants ransacked storage rooms where livestock feed or harvested grains were kept.





    According to the report communities living at Otjozongombe and Omatjetje are restricted to their homesteads after dark because they fear elephants.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Doctors decry lack of medical suppliesDoctors decry lack of medical supplies Doctors attached to the Katutura and Windhoek Central hospitals are urging health minister Bernhard Haufiku to tackle a lack of medicines and essential surgical supplies.

    The doctors are seemingly asking the ministry officials to get their house in order.

    The letter, which is printed on an official Ministry of Health letterhead, is signed by a senior medical officer in the ministry, Dr Manojkumar Kamble, on behalf of other doctors also listed in the letter.

    However, the doctors appear to have backtracked on the letter, as all involved parties yesterday denied any knowledge of the document.

    In the letter, the group expressed dissatisfaction with “unprecedented” shortages of basic supplies at the Katutura Intermediate and Windhoek Central hospitals that have reportedly been experienced for the last two months in operating theatres, wards and casualty departments.

    It appears that the two hospitals, as well as the Oshakati State Hospital, do not have sufficient suction catheters, nasogastric tubes that provide access to the stomach for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, sterile gowns, gloves, sterile drapes, and thoracostomy drains that are used to drain air, blood, bile, pus, or other fluids from the chest cavity.





    “Air-conditioning is poor. Ambient temperatures exceed 30 degrees in theatre 3 and 4 in Katutura hospital. Some essential drugs are not available. Poor theatre lighting with no handles for adjusting the lights. Neuro shunts, vascular shunts, dialysis catheters are not available,” the letter stated.

    According to the doctors, the theatre matron has repeatedly informed the hospital management about the state of affairs.The doctors also questioned the new central procurement body that was recently introduced at the ministry.

    “We are all for change, growth and development. However, this has to be done in the correct context,” they wrote.

    The letter says these shortages have resulted in increasing morbidity and necessitated repeated procedures for wounds that turned septic and cross-infections. Because of the shortage there has reportedly been a higher demand for antibiotics and reports of antibiotic resistance.

    “The spiralling morbidity and mortality has demoralised the surgeons. We are risking professional credibility in providing care for our patients.

    “Honourable Haufiku, please attend to this dire emergency. Your directors may inform you a situation different from what we experience. Please trust our communiqué, it is not meant to malign. We are concerned with the deteriorating situation. It affects patients' lives.”

    The doctors suggested that the ministry stop all elective surgery and undertake an emergency stock-taking and procure all consumables before surgical work proceeds.

    “We are approaching the holiday season. And this situation should be considered as a critical emergency for it will deteriorate to life-threatening conditions.

    “It was planned that 15 December would be the last elective surgery day to commence again on 15 January. [But] now we will close the theatre on 1 December. This will enable all corrections to be made,” reads the letter.

    Denials

    Both Haufiku and the ministry's permanent secretary, Andreas Mwoombola, have denied receiving the letter.

    However, reports that the ministry is running out of medical stock and failing to replenish supplies are not new.

    Last month, Namibian Sun reported that the two Windhoek hospitals had run out of critical supplies such as bandages, cottonwool and sterile supplies used for operations.

    Last week, medical practitioners at the Oshakati hospital said they feared the lives of patients could be put at risk because of untenable conditions at the hospital.

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  • 11/29/17--14:00: Habitual offender gets life
  • Habitual offender gets lifeHabitual offender gets life Convicted murderer Andrew Britz was yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment by High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg.

    Britz (59) was found guilty of murdering his former girlfriend, Juliana Sarvanda Garises, at Keetmanshoop during December 2013.

    Britz has 12 previous convictions ranging from murder to two attempted murders, robbery with aggravating circumstances, three assaults with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, two common assaults as well as malicious damage to property and crimen injuria.

    “He has little respect for the sanctity of human life, which is evident from past behaviour,” Liebenberg emphasised yesterday.





    Between 11 and 12 December 2013 in the Kronlein residential area of Keetmanshoop, Britz stabbed Garises at least eight times in her neck, upper body and arms.

    “His distinct pattern of attack in the past fits in with the present facts where he wounded the deceased eight times with a knife, of which five were in the upper body,” Liebenberg recounted.

    In 1981 Britz was sentenced to 15 and 12 years' imprisonment on counts of murder and robbery respectively, which were ordered to run concurrently.

    For attempted murder he was sentenced in 1986 to three years' imprisonment' which was partly suspended, and in 1987 he received a wholly suspended sentence of 12 months' imprisonment.

    Liebenberg stated that even after he had served a 15-year jail term, Britz committed two further attempted murders, one common assault and the murder he was now convicted of.

    “I am unable to agree with any submission that the accused before the court is a reformed person despite him having steered clear for a period of 16 years, a factor the court should take into consideration in sentencing,” the judge noted.

    However, he emphasised that irrespective of the lapse of time since the last conviction the sentencing court still had the discretion in deciding what weight should be accorded, if any, to previous convictions.

    “This would mainly be determined by the nature, the number and seriousness of the offences previously committed, its relevance to the present offence and the time lapse between them,” he said.

    Liebenberg stressed that the court must guard against overemphasising the interest of the society at the expense of the offender's interest.

    “The offender should be sentenced for the offence charged and not for previous records. Public interest is harmed rather than served by sentences that are out of all proportion to the gravity of the offence. While it will be justifiable to impose escalating sentences on repeat offenders of some offences, there are boundaries,” the judge explained.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    NSFAF cancels hearing at 11th hourNSFAF cancels hearing at 11th hour The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts will next year subpoena the management of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund to appear for a public hearing after they failed to turn up at a hearing scheduled for this morning. The committee, at the last minute, received a letter from the management requesting for a postponement of the hearing. This was the second time the hearing had to be postponed on request of the Fund's management and the committee felt that immediate action needed to be taken.
    The chairperson of the committee, Mike Kavekotora, was vastly displeased at the late notification, saying members had specifically made time for the hearing which was of some urgency.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 11/30/17--14:00: Legare set for final battle
  • Legare set for final battleLegare set for final battle After so many games have been played it all comes down to one game in the final of the NFA Debmarine Namibia Cup as Mighty Gunners take on Young Africans.

    The two clubs are pitted against each other tomorrow at the Legare Stadium in Gobabis.

    At the start of the tournament, no one had expected that the final would be between the two sides, given they entered the competition as underdogs.

    However, African and Gunners have defied the odds and now clash to determine who will be the champion of the competition this year.

    The 'men in uniform' come into the game with more experience, having played in the premier league for a number of years.

    Young African, on the other hand, are a surprise package filled with a talented squad and hope to end their fairy-tale run with the grand prize.

    The Gobabis-based side have already proven to be a bogey team for league teams in the domestic campaign, having collected several points since the league started.

    The fact that the Gobabis outfit will be playing on home ground gives them an upper hand in the game against a team which travels from the Otjozondjupa Region.

    It is a game in which both clubs are likely to be extra cautious without committing many men forward, given the high stakes.

    These are the types of games where any player who is up for the challenge can become a hero.

    It sometimes just takes one goal to determine the winners of such big finals. Young African boss Marley Ngarizemo said: “The team is ready and we are still preparing until the eleventh hour.

    “It does not matter where the game is being played because every team is motivated to win the final.

    “It has been a great journey for the team, and I will have to thank all the players that played an excellent part in it.”

    It will be Mighty Gunners' second final in a similar competition, having played African Stars in 2013.

    Mighty Gunners coach Gebhardt Hengari said his team would not go out on all guns blazing in order to avoid conceding many goals.

    “Young African are very difficult to beat at home and we therefore have to play with a cautious approach to the match.

    “The boys are however ready and the momentum in the camp is very high.

    “Our opponents have a very strong technical team and young players who can use their pace to their advantage,” Hengari said.

    Both teams received an increased N$30 000 for travel and preparations. The man of the match will get N$5 000 and the player will have to select a charity of his choice that will receive an equivalent amount.

    Match-day tickets are selling at Football House and at Computicket outlets at Shoprite and Checkers stores countrywide for N$30 each.

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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    Sport bodies receive millionsSport bodies receive millionsFunds allocated to three sport codes The Namibia Sport Commission (NSC) handed over cheques worth N$14.9 million to the Namibia Football Association, the Hockey Union of Namibia and the Namibia National Olympic Committee yesterday. The funds are to be used for preparations towards international championships for the athletes who will represent the country abroad.

    The Namibia Football Association (NFA) received N$10 million, the Hockey Union N$900 000 and the NNOC was awarded N$4 million.

    The funds are meant to cover the activities of the three associations till March next year.

    Freddy Mwiya, chief administrator of the NSC, said the money should be used wisely to prepare the travelling teams and that they should not only think about participating but should travel to compete for trophies.

    Barry Rukoro, secretary-general of the NFA, said their cries for financial support have been heard and he is very grateful for the efforts by the ministry of sport and NSC for what they have done for football in the country. He applauded the current administration at the sports commission, saying that people who have been involved in sports are leading the organisation, a positive change as they understand the pressure faced by many sports federations. Rukoro further said that receiving the funds on time allows them to prepare well in advance.

    He explained that the funds will be divided between the under-20 national football team currently in Ghana preparing for Cosafa, and the Brave Warriors.

    “The senior team will get the bulk of the money towards their preparation and participation in Chan 2018,”Rukoro said.

    The money will go towards accommodation, player allowances and flight tickets.

    The women's hockey team, which is currently camping at the Dome in Swakopmund, will use their funds for team tracksuits, accommodation and transport. The team is gearing to compete in the 2018 Hockey Indoor World Cup between 7 and 11 February in Berlin, Germany.

    The NNOC is expected to send a team of 27 athletes to the Commonwealth Games next year in Australia. The athletes will be picked from athletics, bowling, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, swimming and triathlon.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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