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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Aerial search for missing touristAerial search for missing tourist JESSICA BOTES

    A 37-year-old Senegalese man who went missing in the vicinity of Klein Brandberg near Uis on Friday has not been found yet.

    According to the Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu, the police have intensified their search with the use of a police helicopter.

    The anti-poaching organisation Intelligence Support Against Poaching (ISAP) also joined the search with its aircraft on Saturday.

    Mark Mokosho, who resides in America, came to Namibia on holiday and drove alone from Swakopmund to Brandberg to go camping. According to Ikuyu, Mokosho rented a white Ford Ranger from Namibia Car Rentals.

    “On Friday during the day he was allegedly seen by people in the area when he parked the car next to the D2342, Xoboxobo gravel road and climbed the mountain (Klein Brandberg) and he never returned until late in the evening.

    “The people in the area notified the Uis police station around 23:00 and the incident was attended to but they could not find the person. The search was also conducted this morning (Saturday) without any success. The rental company was informed to come and take their vehicle,” said Ikuyu.

    According to him, the police suspect that Mokosho took a wrong road to Brandberg and got lost.

    “People in the area are hereby requested to assist in the search and report any suspicious observations to the nearest police station,” said Ikuyu.

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    Hotel Thule awards best employeeHotel Thule awards best employee Hotel Thule last week awarded the hardworking Selma Kamelo as its employee of the year. Kamelo was recognised for her commitment and loyalty by the hotel's management. According to Wolfgang Balzar, General Manager of Hotel Thule, “Selma's commitment and loyalty towards her work has made her a well deserving winner of this title. She truly goes the extra mile to ensure that our guests enjoy the delectable meals Hotel Thule has become renowned for”. Kamelo also received a cash reward from the management team of Hotel Thule. Photo: Contributed

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    No loading-shedding under HarambeeNo loading-shedding under HarambeePower generating capacity increases The economic adviser in the Office of the Presidency, John Steytler, was happy to report that power supply was stable in the last two years. There has been no load-shedding since the start of Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), the economic adviser in the Office of the Presidency, John Steytler, has said.

    Speaking at the year-in-review media conference at State House last week, Steytler said local electricity generating capacity increased with 55 megawatts due to the hydroelectric supply from Ruacana.

    “A total generating capacity delivers approximately 400MW, thereby rendering a deficit of about 200MW,” said Steytler.

    Steytler noted that much of the generating capacity of 332 megawatts is linked to the hydro supply from Ruacana that is dependent on seasonal flow from the Kunene River.

    He further emphasised that good progress is being made with the electrification of all schools and health facilities by 2020 and that rural electrification rate will increase from 34% in 2015 to 50% by 2020.

    “The Namibian government, as part of its poverty eradication strategy remains committed towards providing electricity to all educational and health facilities and to all households, especially rural households. This is why generation of electricity will enjoy top priority during the Harambee period,” he said.

    Namibia imports a significant amount of electricity from neighbouring countries, with the bulk coming from Eskom in South Africa.

    Steytler also noted that the fourth pillar of the HPP, which focuses on infrastructure development, promises to increase in local electricity generating capacity from 400 to 600 megawatts by 2020 and ensure access to water for human consumption to 100% by the same year.

    – NAMPA

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    'Miserable Xmas' over no-show of VAT refunds'Miserable Xmas' over no-show of VAT refunds Small vendors in Namibia say the non-payment of value added tax (VAT) refunds by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) will probably bring some owners and companies close to bankruptcy and a miserable Christmas, “to say the least”.

    Alister Slamat, VAT refund administrator for SARS in Namibia, last week “encouraged” businesses “not to expect any payments for this year” as the “chances are slim to zero” that SARS would process any of the claims before the end of the year.

    The administrator's office in Namibia will be closed between 15 December and 2 January.

    Slamat did offer an apology, though, saying that his office was well aware of the long overdue payment of claims for this year, which he reiterated was due to incorrect completion of customs documentation, mainly the SAD500 exporter details.

    This claim, which was confirmed by SARS's Sandile Ntoyi in Pretoria, is disputed by the vendors who said not everyone could have made the same mistake since SARS has not paid out any VAT refunds since March, or as early as January.

    Slamat reiterated that his office had sent claims back to SARS for payment and that his office was waiting for the finalisation thereof.

    “At this moment we are unable to indicate when payment will be made on these claims but we have been assured that it is being worked on in order to clear the payment backlog stretching as far back as March,” Slamat wrote to traders.

    According to SARS's website, it is required to pay VAT refunds within 21 business days of receiving the correctly completed documents.

    It states that if the refund is not paid within the required 21 business days, it will have to pay interest, at the prescribed rate, on the amount that is refundable.

    SARS has, however, reportedly informed traders that they would not get interest on the delayed refunds, which escalates the frustration of the businesses.

    The South African media last week reported that a report from the office of the tax ombudsman, Judge Bernard Ngope, found that between October 2016 and March 2017 SARS withheld more than N$25 billion in VAT refunds.

    It reported that taxpayers complained that SARS has used “dubious tactics” to delay or avoid refunds.

    Reuters last week reported that SARS was concerned over falling tax compliance reportedly over growing unhappiness with the South African government.

    SARS had indicated that of the 6.4 million taxpayers only 4.8 million had submitted tax returns, which meant that tax revenue for the 2017/18 financial year underperformed by N$50,8 billion, the largest amount since the 2009 recession.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 12/17/17--14:00: Millions more for Neckartal
  • Millions more for NeckartalMillions more for NeckartalGovernment funds emergency water projects The Neckartal Dam near Keetmanshoop is expected to be finished in the first half of next year after the government made extra funding available. At least N$1.3 billion will be defrayed from the Infrastructure Development Fund during the 2017/18 financial year for the Neckartal Dam project.

    This is according to agriculture minister John Mutorwa, who said if all goes according to plan the Neckartal Dam near Keetmanshoop will be completed during the first half of 2018.

    Speaking at the annual general meeting of NamWater, Mutorwa said the ministry had faced a serious shortage of funds to pay contractors and consultants building the Neckartal Dam during September and October.

    Following high-level discussions through the Cabinet Committee on Treasury the following recommendations were later endorsed by the cabinet.

    The ministry allocated N$155 million from its development budget and NamWater advanced N$600 million guaranteed by the government.

    This year, Salini Impregilo SpA, which was awarded the contract to build the dam near Keetmanshoop, stopped operations at the construction site three times because of the government's non-payment.

    The agriculture ministry said in October that the cost of building the dam had escalated from N$3.2 billion to N$5.7 billion.

    Mutorwa further elaborated on the drought experienced in the country last year.

    He said even though Namibia is prone to drought, the country experienced its most devastating drought last year.

    “It was during 2016 when the central areas of Namibia including Windhoek were gloomily faced with a clearly distinct and visible possibility of running dry that the indispensable and irreplaceable value of water as a life-giving and life-sustaining commodity came visibly to the fore for all to see, feel and experience,” he said.

    He said water is a commodity whose importance is usually taken for granted, particularly when it is available.

    According to Mutorwa, the drought experienced during the 2016/17 rainy season resulted in the government through the Cabinet Committee on Treasury instructing NamWater, together with the Cabinet Committee on Water Supply Security, to implement water-related capital projects on an emergency basis.

    This is being done in collaboration with the City of Windhoek to guarantee that central Namibia, including Windhoek, does not run dry.

    The water capital projects did not have funding from the treasury or from government's drought relief emergency budget of 2016.

    “That is how bad and worrisome the situation was at that time,” Mutorwa said.

    According to him, Namwater allocated N$235 million with which the Cabinet Committee on Water Supply Security could upgrade the water infrastructure at Kombat and Berg Aukas, the Eastern Water Carrier and the Von Bach Dam ,as well as drilling emergency boreholes in and around Windhoek.

    “NamWater was and remains up to today the saviour.”

    He added that as per cabinet decision NamWater needs to be refunded for these expenses, at least for water infrastructure that was funded with part of the N$235 million for Windhoek.

    “The fact is those assets have virtually become the City of Windhoek's assets; they are and shall remain part and parcel of the City's balance sheet.”

    Mutorwa added that the prevailing economic environment in the world, and in Namibia specifically, has made trading conditions quite unfavourable.

    For example, the mining industry's demand for water is not generally guaranteed in the foreseeable future as all the mines have been negatively affected by low commodity prices.

    Mines are the biggest and more reliable customers of NamWater.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 12/17/17--14:00: NPL first leg concludes
  • NPL first leg concludesNPL first leg concludes The first leg of the Namibian Premier League, which kicked off in October, concluded yesterday after rounds 14 and 15 were played.

    The league received a sponsorship of N$15 million from MTC and N$5 million from First National Bank (FNB). N$260 000 was distributed to each of the 16 clubs taking part in the premier league for September, October, November and December.

    This was a welcome relief after the league came to a halt at the end of last season when the NPL administration failed to secure as sponsorship after its three-year deal with MTC expired. Brian Isaacs, former Tigers coach, left for Civics, while Paulus Shipanga resigned from Tura Magic in November, saying that he had no plans to join another club. James Britz was appointed as caretaker coach until a substantive coach is appointed. Woody Jacobs also unceremoniously left Orlando Pirates to join Tigers. Ivan Namaseb was appointed as caretaker coach at Pirates.

    As it stands African Stars are leading the log, with Black Africa and Tura Magic hot on their heels. Young Chiefs, Rundu Chiefs and 2016 champions Tigers are in the relegation zone. They need a turnaround strategy if they want to climb the ladder.

    The fact that Tigers are not competing as expected has caused frustration among some of the fans while others are positive that the team will survive relegation.



    Weekend match results

    Friday, 15 December

    Orlando Pirates 3-2 Tigers

    Saturday, 16 December

    Unam 1-0 Chief Santos

    Eleven Arrows 2-2 Civics

    Blue Waters 0-1 African Stars

    Citizens 1-2 Young Chiefs

    Tura Magic 0-1 Life Fighters

    Rundu Chiefs 1-2 Young African

    Mighty Gunners 2-1 Black Africa

    The results of Sunday's matches were not available before going to print.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Meroro set for a fight in RussiaMeroro set for a fight in RussiaBeastmaster off to set critics wrong Namibia's former World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa Cruiserweight champion, Vikapita “Beastmaster' Meroro, says he is ready to show the world his best when he steps into the ring on 22 December in Moscow, Russia. He is scheduled to fight Russian boxer Maxim Vlasov in a non-title cruiserweight bout.

    Speaking to media on Thursday, The BeastMaster, who has a record of 34 fights of which he won 28 and lost six, said he was in great shape and the world would see a side of him they had not seen before.

    “I am currently hoping for the best when I get to Russia and I am confident I will do well when I step in the ring,” he said.

    He added that despite losing his last two fights by knockout, he has set his sight on returning to the top of the boxing ranks.

    “I am currently with a new boxing stable and I was in Russia before when I lost my fight with a knockout against Dmitry Kudryashov in 2015 but this time around I am going to Russia and fight because of the love for boxing plus I prepared well for this fight,” he stated.

    Speaking at the same occasion, Meroro's coach, Elifas Namundjebo, said Meroro was in great shape and would make the country proud.

    “The boxer is ready and the nation should expect a victory from the boxer because we tailored a certain routine for his training and if all is followed when in Russia, I don't see anything stopping him from winning,” Namundjebo said.

    His Russian opponent, Vlasov, has a record of 42 fights, 40 wins and two losses.

    The team will travel to Russia today and will use the fight as Meroro's comeback since his loss against Kevin Lerena from South Africa in February this year.

    NAMPA

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    Rugby World Cup qualification fixtures releasedRugby World Cup qualification fixtures released Namibia will play its first match towards qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup against Uganda on 16 June 2018.

    The match set for the Hage Geingob Stadium in the capital is part of the 2018 Africa Gold Cup competition, which will be used as qualification for the world showpiece in Japan between 20 September and 2 November 2019.

    Namibia will then play Tunisia on 23 June at the same venue.

    Namibia's Welwitschias will face Morocco on 30 June in Morocco, before clashing with Zimbabwe in Harare on 4 August and Kenya here on 18 August.

    These Africa Gold Cup fixtures were released by Rugby Africa on 29 November 2017.

    The winner will likely find themselves in a group made up of world champions, New Zealand.

    Africa and the Americas are guaranteed repechage places, with the runner-up of the African qualification and the third-placed team in the Americas, playoff loser and Asia/Oceania playoff winner competing for a place in the final, giving Africa a strong chance of having three representatives in Japan in 2019.

    Repechage is a practice in series competitions that allows participants who failed to meet qualifying standards by a small margin to continue to the next round, in a similar way as wild card system works out.

    The qualification process for the 2019 Rugby World Cup began during the pool stages of the 2015 tournament in England, during which the top three teams from each of the four pools were awarded automatic qualification for the 2019 event.

    The qualifying matches began on 5 March 2016.

    NAMPA

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    Debmarine encourages road safetyDebmarine encourages road safety Debmarine Namibia embarked upon a long road safety awareness campaign to promote and inculcate road safety consciousness in the country, primarily among its employees, but also aimed at drivers, passengers and the community members at large.

    Debmarine communications manager Stella Ipinge encouraged road users to have their vehicles checked and serviced by professionals before they embark on their ­respective journeys ahead of the festive season.

    “Shortcuts and quick fixes are risky. It is best to leave the servicing of your vehicle in the hands of trained automotive professionals. As they have the knowledge and adequate tools to diagnose and correct problems; and to ensure that you and other road users are safely back on the road,” said Ipinge.

    Road Safety requires not only driver fitness, but also vehicle fitness.

    A well maintained vehicle not only speaks volumes about the owner, but also will protect its driver and passengers on the road.

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    Easy Christmas shopping at Maerua MallEasy Christmas shopping at Maerua MallMall has all you need for a fantastic summer holiday Windhoekers and visitors alike who still need to do the last Christmas shopping will find that the Maerua Mall is conveniently stocked over the festive season. Maerua Mall has got you covered this summer, with its great mix of retail outlets to suit every taste and pocket, fun and exciting holiday visitors (including Father Christmas), games for the whole family in the Family Entertainment Centre, a fabulous competition, a wide range of eateries, and a new interactive website to keep everyone up to date on exactly what's happening at the mall and when.

    “With the recent upgrade we wanted to create more experiences for our shoppers and enhance our retail mix,” said Carel Fourie, CEO of Oryx Properties, owners of Maerua Mall.

    Top retailers and anchor stores Checkers, Food Lovers Market, Edgars, Boardmans, House & Home, Hi-Fi Corporation, Mr Price, Mr Price Home, Woolworths and Stuttafords are pulling out all the stops to make sure you can tick off every gift on your Christmas list.

    The mall is on the itinerary of a couple of VIP Christmas visitors too: Santa Claus, who will stop by to give his young fans time to have a photograph taken with him; and the St Boniface choir, performing popular Christmas carols for shoppers to sing along to, including favourites like “Silent Night”, “Little Drummer Boy” and “O Christmas Tree”.

    To help you get your Christmas shopping done, Maerua Mall is offering free parking on Sundays for the entire month of December.

    If the kids and young at heart are looking for something to do, come and “be part of the family” at the new Family Entertainment Centre, and join the record numbers pouring in to get in on the action.

    There's “Around the World”-themed 18-hole glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, trampolines, tenpin bowling and much more to keep everyone entertained.

    Then it's off to the newly launched Food Court to satisfy all your hunger cravings.

    Mugg & Bean and Panarotti's are among the new eateries opening their doors at Maerua Mall in the near future, keeping you spoilt for choice.

    Maerua Mall will also be running an amazing summer competition.

    “We know how braaing in Namibia is a national pastime, so we put together an amazing prize that will make you the ultimate braai boss this summer,” says Fourie.

    The prize consists of everything you'll need for the perfect braai, from a gas braai to a gazebo.

    All you need to do is spend N$100 at any store then place your till slip (with your name, email and phone number) in the entry boxes dotted around the mall between 15 December and 1 February 2018.

    Finally, you don't have to take a step to find out what's happening at the mall – you can just let your fingers do the walking across your keyboard.

    “We know how important it is for our shoppers to have information around Maerua Mall at their fingertips, so we've made the website fun, user-friendly and much easier to navigate,” says Fourie.

    “You can find all the latest events taking place on our calendar, while we've also upped our game on social media and have created engaging posts to keep all our shoppers in the loop.”

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  • 12/17/17--14:00: Farmers pushed to the brink
  • Farmers pushed to the brinkFarmers pushed to the brinkOlushandja dry spell leads to retrenchments NamWater has been forced to pump water to Oshakati from its emergency reservoir at Olushandja, leaving crop farmers high and dry. Crop farmers at the Olushandja Dam in the Omusati Region have been forced to shut down their operations, with the majority struggling to repay their AgriBank loans due to a chronic water shortage.

    The farmers, who source their water from the NamWater reservoir, have also laid off hundreds of workers in the process.

    A decision by NamWater to pump water from Olushandja to supply its Oshakati purification plant has severely affected the farmers.

    NamWater confirmed that it pumps water from the backup reservoir at Olushandja whenever it experiences supply shortages from the Calueque Dam in Angola.

    According to NamWater spokesperson Johannes Shigwedha, the 17km long and 2km wide Olushandja Dam, where farmers draw water from, serves as reservoir to store water for emergency usage.

    “Whenever we have a water shortage from the Calueque Dam we close the Olushandja Dam's off-take. Since the Angolan government started with the rehabilitation of their dam, NamWater has been experiencing a water shortage that preventing us from pumping water into the dam. We however started pumping water from Olushandja to supply Oshakati purification plant,” Shigwedha explained.

    At the moment there is no water for about 68 farmers in the area. About 2 000 farmworkers have lost their jobs.

    Olushandja Horticulture Producers Association (OHPA) chairperson Paulus Amutenya has decried the state of affairs.

    “Some farmers have already closed their projects, while some are preparing to wind down operations as there appears to be no hope for what has the potential of becoming the breadbasket of the northern regions and a contributor to Namibia's food self-sufficiency,” Amutenya said.

    Shigwedha confirmed that NamWater had reduced its pumping of water at Olushandja three years ago because of rehabilitation work that was being carried out at Calueque.

    He said three new water pumps were installed at Calueque and due to the increased pressure damage was done to the canal.

    The Calueque-Oshakati canal of approximately 150km supplies northern Namibia with water for irrigation and drinking purposes.

    “From Calueque we replaced the canal with a pipe and that pipe is currently damaged and that is why we are experiencing water shortages.

    We closed Olushandja off because we do not have enough water. In fact we had to get water from Olushandja to supply Oshakati purification plant,” Shigwedha said.

    He said a company that was contracted to repair the pipeline arrived at the site on Friday and were expected to be done in three weeks' time.

    He added that currently they are only using one pump to avoid damaging the canal.

    According to Tangeni Negonga, who has been growing vegetables at the Olushandja Dam since 1998, the situation has become unbearable.

    He said business had been good for them until 2015 when NamWater stopped pumping water into the dam and they have been depending on rainwater.

    “The production started getting low as the water quality became bad for the produce. We started reducing production fields and later we started retrenching workers.

    Things are not good for us at all,” Negonga said.

    He said when business was booming AgriBank extended loans to most of the farmers and because of the current situation they would not be able to repay them.

    “Farmers along the Olushandja Dam do not receive financial support from the government. Some of us have started our projects with our savings and use profits to extend our farms without any assistance from the government.

    “Only after we were doing well did Agribank come to us and the majority took out loans. Now we are in this situation, how are we going to pay back the loan money?”

    The farmers supply their produce to the Agro-Marketing and Trading Agency (AMTA) at the Ongwediva Fresh Produce hub and the Olushandja Horticultural Marketing Centre at Epalela.





    ILENI NANDJATO

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    TUN wants NSFAF top brass firedTUN wants NSFAF top brass fired The Teachers Union of Namibia has welcomed the government's decision to reintegrate the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) into the higher education ministry.

    The higher education minister, Itah Kandjii Murangi, last week confirmed that it had been decided to strip NSFAF of its parastatal status and move it back into the ministry as a mere department following a string of media reports over corruption and financial mismanagement.

    NSFAF was established in January 1997 to provide financial assistance to students at approved institutions of higher education.

    The institution has to date been managed as a parastatal.

    TUN secretary-general Mahongora Kavihuhua on Friday strongly urged the government not to take the current management on as directors, saying they were useless.

    “The way they have failed to pay out student funds and to keep proper records is proof enough that they are not capable for the job.

    I would like to know why is it so difficult to get rid of incompetent CEOs but so easy to get rid of competent ones?” asked Kavihuha.

    Meanwhile, public policy expert Graham Hopwood believes there is a need for improving the governance of government ministries and state-owned enterprises alike.

    He drew attention to the historical challenges the bursary fund had experienced while it was still part of the education ministry before it became an independent body.

    “I am not clear that moving it back into the ministry will solve the problems affecting it. Both the state-owned enterprises and government have a massive governance problem. Government must therefore say what management changes it intends to bring about to improve the governance of the fund,” he said.

    It is not the first time that a call has been made for the fund's management to be fired.

    In November, The Villager newspaper reported that Rally for Democracy and Progress member of parliament Mike Kavekotora had called for the immediate firing of the fund.

    Kavekotora was quoted as saying: “We all know that NSFAF in its current form is a mess. Management is running this fund to the ground”.



    Bad record

    NSFAF has been embroiled in controversy over claims of corruption and financial mismanagement.

    The situation at the institution has become so dire that in 2016 the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Ministry of Public Enterprises were prompted to investigate its procurement procedures.

    The fund has on several occasions failed to provide documents to verify the loans and scholarships it had awarded to Namibian students.

    It has also admitted that it had lost the records of some loan and grant recipients.

    Last year Namibian Sun reported that NSFAF was ready to locate at least 16 669 students who had received loans, grants and scholarships between 1997 and 2010 and failed to pack back the money.

    These loans, grants and scholarships are valued at over N$479 million.

    The fund has since appointed a debt-collection company to help it recover these funds.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Players on edge as Warriors name squadPlayers on edge as Warriors name squadNam set to list Chan team The Brave Warriors final squad is set to be announced today in preparation for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) which will be played from January 12 to February 4. The national football team qualified for the championship for the first time in years after beating Comoros 2-1 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek and they are expected to leave for Morocco in two weeks.

    Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti is tight-lipped about the speculations about the announcement but sources close to Namibian Sun said the nation will know today who will make it to the squad.

    With all the speculation of who might and might not make it, the chance of Mannetti sticking with the same team he qualified to Chan with is high. These are the same players with whom he won the Dr Hage Geingob Cup against Zimbabwe.

    Due to the league kicking off Mannetti might have other choices to look at. But looking at the time the league started, it is unlikely that he will disrupt the flow of the players this late.

    Mannetti had a plan earlier on in the year as he took it upon himself to organise an intensive training programme for the players. He organised a 24-member squad that went through an intensive training programme which was divided in four stages.

    The jam-packed football calendar was in preparation for the June 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers, and the COSAFA Cup, hence the players were very unfit due to the inactive league.

    At the moment speculation is rife that the 23-man squad will consist of Edward Maova, Lodyt Kazapua, Ferdinand Karongee, Tiberius Lombard, Charles Hambira, Tjiuana-tja Tjinotjiua, Larry Horaeb, Edmund Kambanda, Dynamo Fredericks, Immanuel Heita, Hendrick Somaeb, Petrus Shitembi, Ronald Ketjijere (captain), Denzil Haoseb, Absalom Iimbondi, Roger Katjiteo, Panduleni Nekundi, Christiaan Jakobus, Junias Theophilus, Wangu Gome, Riaan Hanamub, Muna Katupose and Peter Shalulile.

    However, Nekundi, Katopuse are doubtful as they picked up injuries while playing for their clubs in the premier league. Nekundi is the leading goal scorer whereas Katupose is very good in the air and secured Namibia the spot at Chan.

    Woody Jacobs, Tigers coach, said that he would like to see Willy Stephanus and Gerry Aochumeb in the squad.

    “Willy is a quality player who has experience and Aochumeb impresses me every time he players. However, the rest of the team is developing very well together,” he said.

    Chan is a competition which gathers exclusively players featuring in the national championships of their respective countries.

    Namibia is in Group D with Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, and Mauritania.

    Group A: Morocco (host), Angola, Cote d'Ivoire and Libya.

    Group B: Cameroon, Guinea, Nigeria and Zambia.

    Group C: Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Sudan.

    The tournament will be played in the following cities: Casablanca (Group A), Marrakech (Group B), Tangier (Group C) and Agadir (Group D).

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Youngest governor humbled by appointmentYoungest governor humbled by appointment At the age of 29, Outjo mayor Marius Sheya has been appointed regional governor of Kunene, making him the youngest person to hold the position in the country's history.

    Sheya was named by President Hage Geingob as the new political head of the region following the death of former governor Angelika Muharukua in October this year.

    His appointment is effective 1 January 2018 and expires in two years' time.

    In a brief interview with Namibian Sun, Sheya said the youth were ready to step up and claim their place in the running of the country's affairs. Regional governors are the link between the central government and the regional council, local authorities and the traditional leaders of the region.

    They serve at the pleasure of the president as the appointing authority.

    “President Hage Geingob expressed his confidence and trust in the ability, commitment and fairness with which the governor will be expected to discharge his duties and responsibilities,” a presidency statement read on Friday.

    The youthful Sheya said Geingob's decision to appoint him was proof that he was ready, able and willing to groom young people for leadership positions.

    “I am truly humbled by the president's decision to assign me for the region's top job. I am also very frightened not to mess up and close the doors for other young people.

    “I know all eyes will now be on me, especially to see if the youth can get the job done. And, therefore, I intend to work very hard to prove that we are indeed ready and able,” he said.

    Sheya believes his appointment is important at a time when youth empowerment is on everyone's lips.

    “One of the main issues discussed these days is youth participation in decision-making. I could see the expectation expressed by many people on social media and many of these people are not necessarily from the Kunene Region. I promise to do my best for the people of Kunene,” he said.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Military spending remains highMilitary spending remains highDefence budget ‘a job-creation strategy’ Despite being a peaceful country, Namibia is one of the world's big spenders when it comes to its defence budget. ELLANIE SMIT



    Military spending in Namibia has more than doubled in the past decade - from about N$2.8 billion in 2007 to close to N$7 billion in 2016 - remaining one of the sectors that receive the largest contribution when it comes to budget allocations.

    Namibia’s military spending as percentage of its gross domestic product (GDP) is currently the fifth highest in Africa, with only Algeria, Botswana, Congo and Mauritius that are above 4%.

    This is according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's (Sipri) military expenditure project, which aims to study issues relating to transparency and accountability in military budgeting, spending and procurement.

    “Such transparency is often quite weak, which can affect the reliability of data, but more seriously can lead to wasteful and excessive spending, often unconnected to genuine security needs, and to widespread corruption,” said the institute.

    Namibia's military spending as a percentage of GDP came under Sipri’s attention in 2015 when the country was highlighted as having the eighth highest increase in spending geared towards its military.

    “Namibia's military expenditure spiked by 200%,” Sipri said at that stage.

    It uses the US dollar in its analysis and uses an average exchange rate for the specific year being measured. In its estimations, 2014 was selected as the base year.

    Namibia's military spending amounted to 4.4% of its GDP in 2015 and 4.1% in 2014.

    The fact that Namibia is one of 20 countries that had a big military relative to its size was highlighted by the institution while it also pointed out the country was unique because it was not involved in any wars.

    In its 2016 analysis, it said this was the second year of decreasing military spending in Africa after 12 consecutive years of increased military spending. Military spending in Africa stood at US$37.9 billion in 2016 - a 1.3% decrease compared to 2015.

    Despite the recent decrease in military spending, African military spending was still 48% higher than it was 10 years ago (in 2007).

    In Namibia it found that in 2007 military spending was US$203 million (N$2.8 billion) in 2007 and this increased to US$312 million (N$4.1 billion) by 2013, while it was the highest in 2015 at US$540 million (N$7.1 billion) and slightly dropped in 2016 to U$500 million (N$7 billion).

    The country’s defence budget showed similar trends with an allocation of N$1.3 billion in 2007, which skyrocketed to N$6.6 billion in 2016.

    In comparison, South Africa spent US$3 160 million on its military in 2016, Angola US$2 824 million, Botswana US$514 million, Zimbabwe US$358 million and Zambia US$292 million.

    Sipri found during its analyses that world military spending was US$1.69 trillion in 2016, equivalent to 2.2% of the global GDP or US$227 per person.

    The ten countries with the highest military spending accounted for nearly three quarters (73%) of this total. These countries are the US, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, UK, Japan, Germany and South Korea.

    Military spending is not only money spent on weapons; it includes costs on wages, pensions, equipment, research and development.

    Namibia’s budget for defence has always come under fire.

    “One country, Namibia, functions as a democracy and has since 1990 never been involved in an armed conflict, but has a military expenditure of 4.6% of GDP,” the Institute for Public Policy Research recently said with regard to the defence budget.

    It said as a result of the large allocations to defence, Namibia had the 12th highest defence spending relative to GDP in the world.

    “While some defence spending is likely to be justifiable, the magnitude of such that we see in the current budget is certainly not.”

    According to the IPPR, the bulk of the defence spend is allocated to personnel costs, which make up N$4.7 billion of the N$5.7 billion allocated.

    When broken down by main division, the Namibian army is the largest recipient of funds, receiving N$3.2 billion of the total N$5.7 billion allocation to the vote.

    “While this defence spending is undoubtedly predominantly a job-creation strategy, particularly for the creation of jobs for young Namibians, serious questions exist around the strategy with regards to its efficiency.

    “In essence, the government’s strategy of creating jobs directly, rather than creating an environment for the business sector to create jobs, is sub-optimal.”

    Almost N$349.9 million of the military's expenditure, which amounts to 53% of its 2017/18 budget allocation, was said to be for research and development.

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    Namcor suspends Mulunga – report Namcor suspends Mulunga – report Namcor has suspended its managing director Imms Mulunga as well as IT executive Bonny Konjore, the state-owned New Era reported this afternoon. The suspension, which was confirmed by Namcor board chair Patrick Kauta, is to pave way for forensic investigations at the company. The minister of public enterprises, Leon Jooste, last week confirmed that he had received a request from Kauta to suspend Mulunga. This request was also made to the minister of mines and energy, Obeth Kandjoze. A tender for the supply of lubricants to Namcor has, according to reports, been linked to Mulunga’s suspension.
    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 12/18/17--03:28: Namcor probes Mulunga
  • Namcor probes MulungaNamcor probes Mulunga The Namcor board has commissioned accounting firm Deloitte to conduct a forensic investigations against MD Imms Mulunga. The investigation against Mulunga will start immediately. Mulunga is on annual leave until 20 January 2018. Mulunga’s decision to suspend a senior manager Kosmos Damaseb has also been rescinded by the board. The minister of public enterprises, Leon Jooste, last week confirmed that he had received a request from Kauta to suspend Mulunga. This request was also made to the minister of mines and energy, Obeth Kandjoze.
    STAFF REPORTER

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     Geingob congratulates CR17  Geingob congratulates CR17 President Hage Geingob has congratulated new ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa shortly after winning the leadership contest of South Africa’s ruling party. Ramaphosa defeated rival Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for the top ANC position, while David Mabuza was named deputy president. Gwede Mantashe took the national chairperson position, while Ace Magushule was declared the new secretary-general. Jessie Duarte was re-elected deputy secretary-general, while Paul Mashatile was named treasurer-general. “On behalf of the Swapo party, may I wish you continued good health, strength and wisdom as you commence this great assignment of taking the ANC and the Republic of South Africa to higher heights,” said Geingob.

    STAFF REPORTER




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    Ramaphosa wins ANC presidency Ramaphosa wins ANC presidency Cyril Ramaphosa has swept to victory as ANC president in a bitterly-contested win that puts him firmly in line for the presidency of South Africa in 2019. Ramaphosa defeated rival Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
    STAFF REPORTER

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    Blue Waters interim committee illegal - IpingeBlue Waters interim committee illegal - IpingeCoastal outfit divided Knowledge Ipinge, interim committee member of Blue Waters, has resigned, claiming that the committee is an illegal structure. Ipinge served for a year and a half on the nine-member committee, which was tasked to amend the club's constitution in line with the latest sports trends and FIFA rules, a job which was to take three months.

    He said he got tired of the fact that they were not doing what they were tasked to do.

    “One of the guys on the committee drafted a constitution, which was submitted to the chairperson of the club, Hafeni Ndemula. However, after several emails and concerns put to him he never responded,” he charged. Ipinge said he resigned in order to pave way for an extraordinary general meeting which should elect a new productive board for the club as soon as possible.

    He further said the committee was divided because members did not get along, hence affecting the players.

    “I fully recognise the unrest and upset felt by many players and members of the club, including a serious division amongst us interim committee members which has greatly contributed to the current downfall of the club.”

    An avid football lover, Ipinge also revealed that Blue Waters players do not have any contracts and it deeply pains him.

    “The players are currently playing for the club without any valid contracts which has led to the current unrest of key players despite multiple discussions around this matter to find a permanent solution,” he said. He also said the community club has no qualified coach to steer the club to greener pastures.

    “I received positive feedback for the appointment but till date, no significant progress has been made on this matter and the coach who was approached has been kept in the dark despite him turning down offers from other interested clubs because of promises made by Blue Waters.”

    Ipinge refused to name the coach, saying that he is now working as an interim coach for one of the clubs in the league.

    He said he hoped an honest individual amongst the current interim committee will also agree to either stand down permanently or seek re-election at the meeting.

    “It is no secret that we owe the members a platform to vote for a newly formed board with a fresh mandate to represent the club's best interest and best serve the club going forward, which we failed to do collectively.”

    Blue Waters is currently being coached by Fisher Kalimba, a former player of the team, and Kulua Awala.

    Ipinge said they are both unqualified and the NPL requires that a coach must have at least a B-licence and the assistant a C-licence.

    Ndemula said he received Ipinge's resignation, but he refused to respond to the allegations, saying he will respond to them at the beginning of next year.

    Blue Waters lost 0-1 against African Stars on Saturday and drew 1-1 with Civics on Sunday.





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