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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 12/20/17--14:00: No more gym rebates
  • No more gym rebatesNo more gym rebates The Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) this week announced that medical aid funds would no longer be allowed to offer gym rebates or other “wellness” benefits to their members.

    Namfisa spokesperson Victoria Muranda said the registrar of medical aid funds had issued a directive stating that gym rebates and wellness programmes were in contravention of section 1 of the Medical Aid Fund Act.

    Wellness benefits include rebates on gym membership, quit-smoking programmes, walking clubs, boot-camp fitness training and cooking classes.

    Funds were directed to comply with the directive by 31 December 2017.

    Muranda said although Namfisa acknowledged the health benefits of an active lifestyle, it was compelled by law to rectify any malpractice that is in contravention of the applicable laws.

    Meanwhile, the Namibian Association of Medical Aid Funds (Namaf) is trying to get Namfisa to rescind the decision to cancel gym rebates.

    Namaf CEO Stephan Tjiuoro said there was compiling evidence to revise the clause in the Medical Aid Fund Act that does not support gym and wellness rebates.

    “The position that Namfisa has taken is a legal position, thus we will have to find a way to amend the legislation provision and get them to change that if there is evidence supporting the continuation of rebates,” Tjiuoro said. He added that once the report was finalised, Namaf would engage Namfisa in search of an amicable solution.

    “It is not like we are going to tackle one another as it is in a boxing match. We just need to look at how best to approach that,” he told Windhoek Observer.


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  • 12/20/17--14:00: Tourism tackles littering
  • Tourism tackles litteringTourism tackles litteringNamibians are litterbugs Namibians are polluting their previously unspoilt country, in the process harming the tourism industry. Role players in the tourism industry will join hands next year in support of a cleaner Namibia.

    This follows just days after tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta again addressed the culture of littering by Namibians and called for a cleaner country and capital.

    Shifeta specifically mentioned that although there are rules against littering in national parks this problem is continuing and that people do not even feel shame when throwing their rubbish out of cars.

    “The culture of litter is very primitive and it is an eyesore. Let us have Namibia back the way it was and Windhoek again rated as one of the cleanest cities in Africa,” he said.

    The Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN), Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations, Eco Awards Alliance and Recycle Namibia Forum (RNF) recently met to develop an initiative which is to run under the motto, 'Joining hands and linking brands for a cleaner Namibia in 2018'.

    HAN, Eco Awards and RNF have also committed to focus their attention, plans and activities to increase awareness about the need to reduce waste, re-use and recycle. The institutions will also encourage all their members and partners to join hands in ensuring a cleaner Namibia.

    According to the institutions, the marketing of Namibia as a land of untouched beauty had been used effectively to attract visitors to the country.

    “Unfortunately, fast life, consumerism and convenience have caught up with this remote part of the world too, with residents and visitors leaving tracks of waste behind where many years ago unspoilt nature ruled.”

    In addition to clean-up campaigns the entire tourism industry should ideally contribute towards reducing waste accumulating at destinations such as Etosha National Park, Sossusvlei and the Fish River Canyon, the institutions said.

    An action plan has been developed to reduce waste and this includes encouraging the production and use of re-usable bottles, setting up recycling and waste collection centres at strategic places, such as the entry gates to national parks, and engaging with suppliers on transport opportunities of waste material.

    They also aim to foster a “take along only to re-use or to dispose of correctly” attitude amongst staff and guests and highlight all good practices in waste management already in place in Namibia.

    “HAN, Eco Awards and RNF jointly have a wide enough database to get word out and to call for input, buy-in and assistance and to encourage all of them to dedicate 2018 towards a cleaner Namibia.”


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    Canada may take Bombardier-Boeing dispute to WTO Canada may take Bombardier-Boeing dispute to WTO Move is not seen as a quick fix Canada is looking to get the involvement of the World Trade Organisation to sort out a squabble between itself and the United States. NAMPA/REUTERS

    Canada may ask the World Trade Organisation to intervene in the dispute over a proposed 300% duty on US sales of Bombardier's CSeries jets, but any resolution of the trade spat could still take years, experts said on Tuesday.

    The US Commerce Department is due this week to announce a final determination in the dispute between Boeing Co and Bombardier Inc, which faces the massive duty on sales of the fuel efficient, narrow-body CSeries on the US market.

    Boeing says the Canadian company benefited from government subsidies and dumped the planes at below cost. The proposed duties would not take effect unless affirmed by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in February.

    The case has heightened trade tensions between Canada and the United States at a time when the two countries, together with Mexico, have been struggling to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

    US President Donald Trump, known for his so-called America First strategy to boost US manufacturing, has threatened to withdraw from NAFTA unless he can rework it in favour of the United States.

    A spokesman for foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland did not immediately respond to questions about what Canada would do next in the Boeing dispute. But it scrapped plans to buy 18 Boeing fighter jets just last week, in a sign of escalating tensions.

    Experts said a trade challenge under the WTO or NAFTA's arbitration system known as Chapter 19 are both good options for Canada, even as the United States seeks to eliminate the latter.

    US trade envoy Robert Lighthizer has also called the WTO dispute settlement "deficient."

    "I would recommend Canada use all its options," said international trade strategist Peter Clark.

    Canada's ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, made a compelling argument before the ITC on Monday when he said a finding of material harm to Boeing by Bombardier could represent a possible violation of WTO agreements, the experts said.


    The WTO already opened a separate dispute settlement panel in September to rule on Brazil's complaint that Canada has hurt its commercial jet industry by subsidising Bombardier's CSeries jets.

    "If (the ITC) were to find injury, I think it would be hard at a WTO level to sustain that, because it doesn't look like the CSeries is really a competitor" to Boeing's aircraft, said Canadian and US trade lawyer Mark Warner.

    Given how quickly the Canadian government filed challenges in a separate trade dispute with the United States over softwood lumber, it would likely take the Bombardier case to the WTO shortly after any adverse ruling by the ITC, said Warner.

    "My judgment of the Canadian government is they seem to have a very aggressive approach to both trade negotiations and trade dispute settlements," said Warner.

    Canada opened challenges under both the WTO and NAFTA last month over a recent US Commerce Department decision to impose duties on Canadian lumber exports.

    The real purpose of a challenge at the WTO would likely be to gain some leverage in order to come to a negotiated settlement with the United States, said Ian Lee, professor of business at Carleton University.

    "If we do go to the WTO, it's not to get finality and resolution, it's only to push the Americans back to the negotiating table," Lee said. "You use whatever tools are in your tool kit."

    But trade challenges can drag on for years, which could pose a problem for Bombardier as it tries to find U.S. buyers for the CSeries.

    "The real threat to Bombardier is, are they going to be able to sign new contracts with people," said Warner. "That's the chilling effect the decision has on Bombardier."

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    Egypt plans major power link to Saudi ArabiaEgypt plans major power link to Saudi Arabia BLOOMBERG

    Egypt will connect its electricity network to Saudi Arabia, joining a system in the Middle East that has allowed neighbours to share power.

    The link will cost about US$1.6 billion, with Egypt paying about US$600 million, Egypt’s electricity minister Mohamed Shaker said on Monday at a conference in Cairo.

    Contracts to build the network will be signed in March or April, and construction is expected to take about two years, he said.

    In times of surplus, Egypt can export electricity and then import power during shortages.

    “It will enable us to benefit from the difference in peak consumption,” Shaker said.

    “The reliability of the network will also increase.”

    Transmissions of electricity across borders in the Gulf became possible in 2009, when a power grid connected Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

    The aim of the grid is to ensure that member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council can import power in an emergency.

    Egypt, which is not in the GCC, may have been able to avert an electricity shortage it suffered in 2014 if the link with Saudi Arabia existed at the time, Shaker said.

    The link with Saudi Arabia should have a capacity of 3 000 megawatts, he said. Egypt has a 450-megawatt link with Jordan and one with Libya at 200 megawatts, the minister said.

    Egypt will seek to use its strategic location to connect power grids in Asia and elsewhere in Africa, he said.

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  • 12/20/17--14:00: Good rain prospects
  • Good rain prospectsGood rain prospects Rain is expected to continue countrywide until Saturday, while the latest annual Southern African regional climate outlook forum (Sarcof-21) confirmed that the bulk of the country can expect normal to above-normal rainfall between January and April next year.

    “A deep low-pressure system over Namibia will continue triggering thunderstorms in the next couple of days,” chief forecaster Odillo Kgobetsi from the Namibia Meteorological Service (NMS) told Namibian Sun yesterday.

    “Thundershowers are expected in the north, central, east and southern regions until Saturday. It will be heavy in places in the northern and //Karas regions.”

    Strong westerly winds will keep the extreme west of Namibia dry.

    The heat wave that led to highs of between 34 and 40 degrees Celsius in some places ended on Tuesday, but hot weather of more than 30 degrees Celsius will continue.

    In terms of a long-term outlook, a statement issued by climate scientists following the Sarcof-21 meeting in Botswana earlier this month indicates that most parts of Namibia and the bulk of the Southern African region is “likely to receive normal to above-normal rainfall for most of the period January to May 2018”.

    The Sarcof-21 statement added, however, that “the extreme western part of Angola, Namibia, south-western part of South Africa, extreme northwest of DRC and eastern Madagascar are more likely to receive normal to below-normal rainfall for the same season.”

    The Sarcof-21 mid-season review was held to present a consensus outlook update for the 2017/2018 rainfall season over the SADC region.

    Climate scientists from across the region as well as global partners contributed to the final outlook.

    The scientists say the Sarcof-21 outlook is relevant only to seasonal, or overlapping three-monthly time-scales and relatively large areas may not fully account for all the factors that influence regional and national climate variability, such as local and month-to-month variations.

    “Most of Namibia” is expected to have increased chances for normal to above-normal rainfall during January, February, and March 2018.

    For February, March and April 2018, the “bulk of Namibia” has increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall.

    For the period March, April and May 2018, the Sarcof-18 consensus is that northern Namibia has increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall,

    Above-normal rainfall is defined as lying within the wettest third of recorded rainfall amounts; below-normal is defined within the driest third of rainfall amounts; and normal is the middle third.


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  • 12/20/17--14:00: Girls rule the roost
  • Girls rule the roostGirls rule the roostOnly two boys among top 10 Windhoek High School learner Larisa Oosthuizen is the top performer in this year's Grade 12 Higher Level examinations. The latest Grade 12 Senior Secondary Certificate Higher Level exam results show that 65.8% of the candidates obtained a grade 3 and higher grade.

    The minister of education, arts and culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, announced the results yesterday.

    The results of the National Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary level results for both full-time and part-time candidates will be announced in January 2018.

    According to Hanse-Himarwa, 16 314 out of 72 619 candidates entered for one or more higher-level subject in 2016.

    The minister also announced the top ten Grade 12 higher level candidates.

    The top performer was Windhoek High School learner Larisa Oosthuizen, followed by Lauri-Anne Potgieter from Edugate Academy in second and Maryke van der Merwe from Windhoek High School in third place.

    The fourth-highest performer is St Paul's College learner Henry Johnston, and Windhoek Gymnasium learner Henryke Garbers is the fifth-highest performer.

    In sixth place is Helena Wassenaar from St Paul's College; seventh is Jana Spoerer from Windhoek Gymnasium; eighth is Dawie Fourie from Windhoek High School; ninth is Anja Barnard from Edugate Academy; and Layla Diehl from St Paul's College is in tenth place.

    Oosthuizen attributed her success to continuous hard work, saying many people think they need only to study for exams to pass.

    “I worked hard from the first day I started in Grade 11,” she said.

    She plans to study sports through an international sports college with a local campus, as well as biotechnology through the University of South Africa (UNISA).

    Her advice to next year's Grade 12 learners is to stay focused and busy.

    Potgieter, on the other hand, thanked God for blessing her with perseverance and the ability to work hard.

    “A lot of credit goes to my school, Edugate Academy, which has given me the opportunity to learn, develop and improve. I am most grateful for my principal, Frikkie Louw, and teachers that have always gone the extra mile and supported me from Grade 0 until Grade 12. And, of course, my parents who gave me everything to spread my wings,” she said.

    Potgieter wants to study medicine, with the aim of specialising as a paediatrician.

    Van der Merwe attributed her success to mercy and hard work and said she plans to study medicine at the Unam School of Medicine or the University of Stellenbosch.

    Her advice to the next class of Grade 12 learners is to enjoy their matric year but to be responsible.

    Diehl said she thought she did well but never expected to be in the top 10. She is due to leave for Israel, where she will join the Bahai Wellness Centre and work for the community for a year.

    “After that I will leave for Germany, where I would like to attend the University of Berlin to study as an architect. Maybe I can add a year in France at the end.”

    Her inspiration is her hardworking mother, who also excelled as a top 20 student twenty years ago.


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    St Boniface makes a clean sweepSt Boniface makes a clean sweepNorthern schools excel in JSC exams Eight of the top ten learners in this year's JSC examinations are from St Boniface College in the Kavango East Region. The top performers in the Grade 10 examinations shared some tips and advice with Namibian Sun on how they excelled in this year's Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) examinations.

    The education ministry yesterday released the list of top-performing Grade 10 candidates. Eight of the top ten learners are from St Boniface College in the Kavango East Region.

    The other learners are from Oshigambo Secondary School in Oshikoto and Rukonga Vision School, also in Kavango East. The top performer, Katrina Sikongo from St Boniface, said she made it onto the top-performing list by working hard and by tapping into her religion.

    “By making sure that I prayed all the time for motivation. My advice to the upcoming Grade 10 learners is to be determined and they should remember that you can achieve what you want through hard work and nothing comes easy,” said Sikongo.

    Cathrine Hafeni, also from St Boniface, said she was extremely honoured to be among the top ten performers.

    “I feel ecstatic, pleased and I am so proud of myself. I made sure that I studied beforehand right before my examinations and listened in class and always prayed to God for assistance. To the next Grade 10 learners, always stay positive, be humble and study diligently and be committed to your studies.” Ndeshipanda Mulongeni advised future learners on the importance of doing revision to deal with the workload at school. Mulongeni is also from St. Boniface.

    “I am really happy that I am a part of the top-performing learners because my hard work and determination came through. I managed to achieve this academic milestone by not putting too much pressure on myself and I put all my worries in God's hands. The next crop of Grade 10 learners need to start revising early and must get enough rest and do not stress too much about your workload.”

    According to Anna Hishitile from Oshigambo Secondary School, learners need to make sure that they listen to the advice they get from their teachers and should make their studies a priority.

    “I am very excited and I am really grateful that I made it through my academics. I practiced personal discipline and diligence and make sure that you focus at all times in class and cut out all other distractions,” she said. Girls dominated the top ten list this year. The only boy is Petrus Nauyoma from Rukonga Vision School.

    “I feel calm and grateful. I worked hard and it feels great to be awarded for that. Our school has a great study policy, I took advantage of it. My teachers were dedicated so I did my part as well. My advice to the new Grade 10s is to put God first in all your works. No matter how much confidence you have in your abilities, stay humble and you will be uplifted,” he said.


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    SA economy not expected to recover overnightSA economy not expected to recover overnight FIN24

    Cyril Ramaphosa’s victory in a gruelling battle to lead South Africa’s ruling party may have been the easy part.

    His narrow win and his allies’ failure to secure three other top posts is likely to delay his ascendancy to the nation’s presidency and plans to revive a stuttering economy.

    While Ramaphosa won 52% of the vote for the top post of the African National Congress, edging out Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, President Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife, David Mabuza and Ace Magashule - who’ve been Zuma allies - took the positions of deputy president and secretary general.

    Ramaphosa will be the party’s presidential candidate in the 2019 elections, but the close race reduces the odds that he’ll replace Zuma as the nation’s leader soon.

    “The balance of forces probably makes an immediate recall of President Zuma unlikely and therefore two centres of power will need to coexist for a period,” Colin Coleman, head of sub-Saharan Africa at Goldman Sachs Group said in an emailed response to questions. “This will make decisive change more difficult to effect. ”

    Zuma’s rule has been marred by scandal, alleged corruption and policy missteps that dragged down support for the ANC and cost it control of Johannesburg, the economic hub, and Pretoria, the capital, in last year’s municipal elections.

    The 75-year-old president has fended off repeated calls to resign with the aid of his allies, including Mabuza and Magashule, who dominated the party’s previous National Executive Committee.

    “Most ANC members would not want to see Zuma being humiliated,” Ralph Mathekga, an independent political analyst, said by phone. “The best Ramaphosa can do is to kindly ask Zuma to leave.”

    Much depends on who’s elected on Tuesday or Wednesday to the 86-member National Executive Committee, the party’s top decision-making body between conferences that are held every five years.

    “For Cyril Ramaphosa’s agenda to hold, especially because the top six is divided into two camps, he needs the backing of the NEC,” said Mcebisi Ndletyana, a political science professor at the University of Johannesburg. “The NEC composition becomes very important. It determines whether or not he succeeds or fails.”

    The rand has gained 7.4% against the dollar since the start of the month, the best performer of 16 major currencies monitored by Bloomberg.

    Nicholas Spiro, a partner at London-based Lauressa Advisory, which advises asset managers, said the optimism may be overblown.

    “Ramaphosa’s victory is the best piece of news out of South Africa in years and the strongest repudiation of the Zuma regime,” he said. “Yet winning the ANC leadership contest is one thing, rescuing a discredited party and ailing economy is quite another.”

    Coleman, at Goldman Sachs, said Ramaphosa’s chances of putting the country back on track shouldn’t be written off.

    “Whilst a Ramaphosa clean sweep would have given him a freer hand to effect a decisive economic recovery, the outcome is still better than it otherwise could have been if he had not prevailed,” Coleman said.

    “Do not underestimate his ability to navigate these choppy waters. He is a past master at negotiating difficulties.”

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    Steinhoff appoints execs to steady companySteinhoff appoints execs to steady company NAMPA/ANA

    Retail group Steinhoff said on Tuesday it had appointed Heather Sonn as acting chair of the company following Christo Wiese's resignation amid an accounting scandal.

    The company said Sonn was also a member of the independent committee of the supervisory board - including Johan van Zyl and Steve Booysen -charged with providing stable leadership and oversight to Steinhoff during this period.

    The global retailer is structured according to the Dutch governance convention of a supervisory board of non-executive directors and a management board comprising executive directors.

    Steinhoff said Daniel Maree van der Merwe, formerly chief operating officer, had been appointed acting CEO of the group, and Alexandre Nodale as his deputy.

    Steinhoff said last Friday that Wiese, its chairman and major shareholder, had stepped down in the wake of revelations of accounting irregularities which saw its chief executive Markus Jooste quit and its shares lose more than 80% of their value.

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  • 12/20/17--14:00: Woefully low pass rate
  • Woefully low pass rateWoefully low pass rateMore than 18 000 fail Grade 10 The performance of full-time candidates has slightly dropped in all grades when compared to the Class of 2016. An analysis of the 2017 Grade 10 examination results reflects a worrying trend that has been recorded over the years.

    There has been no significant improvement in the pass rate of Grade 10 full-time candidates over several years, while more than 18 000 candidates failed to qualify for Grade 11 in 2018.

    Only 22 462 or 55.3% of the 40 599 Grade 10 full-time candidates qualified for admission to Grade 11 next year, the ministry of education announced yesterday.

    However, the ministry consoled itself with the fact that over 1 000 candidates more will be heading to Grade 11 compared to the total of 21 291 last year.

    However, comparing the results to last year there were only 38 240 full-time candidates that sat for the Grade 10 exams in 2016 and the pass rate stood at 55.7%.

    Last year close to 17 000 full-time candidates failed and in 2015, the failure rate was slightly higher at 17 123.

    The 2015 pass rate stood at 54.3%.

    According to the education ministry, a total of 53 332 candidates this year sat for the Grade 10 national examinations, of whom 40 599 were full-time candidates and 12 733 part-time.

    “The high number of candidates not meeting the admission requirement for Grade 11 remains a grave concern to the ministry and I would like to encourage these candidates not to despair but to explore further academic aspirations,” said Katrina Hanse-Himarwa.

    She added that this year 3 270 candidates were allowed to repeat Grade 10, of whom 2 246 qualified for admission to Grade 11 next year.

    Hanse-Himarwa also said that the number of candidates qualifying for admission to Grade 11 in 2018 might increase to approximately 25 462 due to part-time candidates who have built up subject credits over a couple of years.

    Nine out of 46 hearing and visually impaired candidates who sat for the exams were able to score 19 points and above for admission to Grade 11.

    According to the ministry, the performance of the full-time candidates has slightly dropped in all grades when compared to the Class of 2016. The results showed a similar performance of candidates in 2016 at B and C grades and a slight improvement at A with 0.5%.

    There was, however, a worrying trend at the lower grades F and G, which showed that most of the candidates obtained lower grades compared to last year.

    The overall performance of the candidates dropped by 0.7% in average over the A to G grades when compared to last year and the percentage of ungraded candidates slightly increased from 2.45% in 2016 to 3.1% this year.

    Poor results recorded in accounting, computer studies, physical sciences and design technology were also highlighted.

    “While we note the persistent poor performance in accounting we have recorded an improvement from 20.8% in 2016 to 16% this year representing a 4.8% reduction in ungraded entries.

    “This remains, however, an area of concern and therefore regional education directorates and all stakeholders are urged to put more efforts in improving learner performance in this subject in the coming academic year,” said Hanse-Himarwa.

    With regard to part-time candidates, in total 12 733 learners were registered this year compared to 11 735 last year. This represents an increase of 998 or 8.5%.

    A total of 12 044 candidates were enrolled with the Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) while 289 part-time candidates were enrolled with various distance-education institutions registered with the ministry.

    A comparison of cumulative percentages since 2013 indicates that the performance of the 2017 candidates is much better at higher grades A and B, while slightly poorer at intermediate lower grades.

    “It can therefore be assumed that more of the part-time candidates might qualify for admission to Grade 11 next year,” the minister said.

    No national ranking

    The minister also announced that the traditional national ranking of regions has been done away with.

    According to Hanse-Himarwa, the ministry traditionally ranked regions according to performance, which from an objective perspective was challenged by various role players.

    She said the ministry was exploring different ways of presenting national rankings that would present the results in such a way that the regions can learn best practices from each other.

    “There is nothing like dominance of one region. The traditional method was not reflecting the real outcome. A region could be performing well in one subject and poorly in another subject.”

    The ministry this year analysed the performance of regions in compulsory subjects and ranked it according to the national average in certain subjects in order to gauge the performance of learners per region.

    From this analysis Oshikoto was ranked first, followed by Omusati, while St Boniface College remained the top-performing school.

    This year the top ten performing schools were balanced, with five private schools and five public schools.

    Hanse-Himarwa added that the academic year was full of challenges that required doubling of efforts, innovating thinking and bold leadership to get the job done.

    She reminded learners who did not manage to meet the requirements for Grade 11 that there are always other options.

    “The ideal situation is for children to study and pass the first time and parents must ensure and support children through their schooling. You cannot begin to learn when exams are around the corner. Every test counts.”

    She further stressed that there was no space in schools. “If you are 18 you are out. We do not have space for children who fail and are occupying the seat of another child.”


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    Hepatitis E outbreak can be containedHepatitis E outbreak can be contained A rare outbreak of hepatitis E virus (HEV) spread by contaminated water in Windhoek's informal settlements claimed the life of a 26-year-old mother in November, while eight other patients have tested positive to date.

    Namibia's first confirmed outbreak of HEV, a waterborne disease that can be prevented through good sanitation and the availability of clean drinking water, was more than 30 years ago at Rundu in 1983.

    The last outbreak was also reported at Rundu between 1995 and 1996.

    Minister of health Bernhard Haufiku says the main prevention tool to contain the outbreak is personal hygiene, including washing hands as often as possible and disinfecting water before drinking it.

    He also cautions against hysteria, noting that at this stage, the outbreak can still be contained and the key focus is to ensure affected communities improve basic sanitation and hygiene.

    Since October, a total of 26 patients from informal settlements in Windhoek presented with symptoms of liver disease, of which nine have tested positive for HEV. Four were negative and eight results are still pending.

    The 26-year-old mother died shortly after giving birth to a healthy baby on 19 November. The baby survived, authorities confirmed yesterday at a press briefing.

    An outbreak is defined as more than five confirmed cases of HEV from the same area.

    All 26 patients live in one of Windhoek's informal housing areas which are at high risk of waterborne diseases, including HEV.

    The majority of patients are from Havana (16), while six live in Goreangab, and the rest in Greenwell Matongo, Ombili, and Hakahana.

    Apart from one, all have been discharged from hospital.

    On 14 December, a hepatitis E outbreak was officially declared and emergency task teams set to work.

    The newly appointed acting permanent secretary for the health ministry, Petronella Masabane, said she was confident that the emergency teams, including health outreach workers in the communities and global partners, were equipped to respond to the outbreak.

    She said the outbreak can be contained but it is vital that affected residents are made aware of the ways in which they can drastically reduce their risk of infection.

    Experts note that the festive season increases the risk of the disease continuing to spread, as families and friends get together in large numbers.

    Clean drinking water and sanitation, including frequent hand washing, are crucial in containing the rate of infection, authorities say.

    The virus is transmitted via the faecal-oral route, principally via contaminated drinking water, and the disease is most common in areas with limited access to water, sanitation, hygiene and health services.

    According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “the risk factors for hepatitis E are related to poor sanitation, allowing virus excreted in the faeces of infected people to reach drinking water supplies.”

    Health authorities are urging residents to ensure they frequently wash their hands before and after using bathrooms, handling food, changing nappies or shaking hands. People should keep their homes clean and purify their drinking water.

    The WHO also recommends that authorities ensure that residents have access to quality water supply and that proper disposal systems for human faeces are provided to help reduce the risk of HEV outbreaks.

    Symptoms include jaundice, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, dark urine, pale-coloured stool, joint pain, nausea and vomiting.

    Health officials urge anyone presenting with these symptoms to go to the nearest health facility.

    Most people with hepatitis E recover completely and the fatality rate is about 1% for the general population.

    However, for pregnant women, hepatitis E can be a serious illness, with mortality reaching 10%–30% in their third trimester of pregnancy.

    Hepatitis E could also be serious among persons with pre-existing chronic liver disease or persons with suppressed immune systems.


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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.

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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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    Brazilian star Kaka announces retirementBrazilian star Kaka announces retirement Former Brazilian World Cup champion Kaka announced his retirement as a player Sunday, suggesting that a management career at his old club AC Milan could be on the cards.

    “I am preparing to continue in football and to have a different role, but I will no longer be a professional player, an athlete,” the 2007 Ballon d'Or winner told Globo television.

    “I would like to take part in a club in a role more like a manager, or a sporting director, someone between the field and the club.”

    Kaka, 35, said AC Milan “recently made this proposal”.

    On his Twitter feed, devout Christian Kaka, who was part of Brazil's 2002 World Cup-winning team, wrote: “Father, It was much more than I could ever imagine. Thank you! I'm now ready for the next journey. In Jesus' name, Amen.”

    He started his storied career with Sao Paulo in Brazil, where his performances attracted the attention of Europe's leading clubs and prompted a move to Milan in 2003.

    It was while at Milan that Kaka picked up the Ballon d'Or, awarded annually to the world's best player. He was the last player other than Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi to receive the prize.

    He also helped the Italian side to a Serie A title in 2003-04 and propelled Milan to 2007 Champions League glory, scoring a competition-best 10 goals as the club were crowned kings of Europe for the seventh time.

    The hugely talented attacking midfielder joined Real Madrid in 2009 for a then world record transfer worth 68 million Euros ($89 million, £56 million), but Kaka struggled to consistently reproduce his top form in the Spanish capital.

    He won the Copa del Rey in 2011 and was part of Jose Mourinho's team that won the league crown a year later, but he fell out of favour in Madrid and returned to Milan on a free transfer in September 2013. Kaka was unveiled as the face of Major League Soccer's expansion franchise Orlando City in 2014, heading home for a brief reunion with Sao Paulo ahead of the US club's debut season in 2015.

    He scored the MLS team's first ever goal and was the North American league's highest-paid player for three years running before leaving Orlando in October.

    He scored 29 goals in 92 international appearances for Brazil, although having been overlooked for the 2014 World Cup on home soil he was also ruled out of last year's Copa America Centenario by injury.

    In November, media reports said he had been considering a move to Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng in the Chinese Super League.

    Spain's La Liga paid homage to Kaka on its Twitter account, saying: “One of football's greatest talents is hanging up his boots after a glittering career.”

    However, Kaka said his transition off the pitch wasn't being taken for granted.

    “The fact of having had successes as a professional player does not mean I will or won't be a good manager. So I want to prepare myself for this going ahead, to study, to follow, to be closer to certain clubs, especially those where I played,” he told Globo.


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    Mourinho won't give up on catching CityMourinho won't give up on catching CityUnited chase log leaders Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United will not give up on the Premier League title race after his side cut Manchester City's lead back to 11 points. Mourinho's side won 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday with goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard before Gareth Barry replied for the hosts.

    And Mourinho is adamant United will keep going until the end of the season despite their Manchester rivals' huge lead at the top.

    “I know that the questions are always coming in the same direction and I keep saying the same,” Mourinho said.

    “Our last match in the Premier League is Watford at Old Trafford, in mid-May, and until then in every match we go - every match we will try to win.

    “If people ask that question to us and then you do it to the third team and the fourth and to the fifth and to the sixth, probably they will disappear.

    “Probably they want to go on holidays. We don't want to go on holidays. We want to play until the last match.”

    Mourinho refused to be drawn on the leaked video which emerged on social media before United's victory at the Hawthorns, showing City players celebrating Saturday's win against Tottenham by taunting United over their cautious style of play with the words “park the bus”.

    “I didn't see, I didn't watch,” Mourinho said. “I am not interested in doing that.

    “You are the ones to make your evaluations, your comments, for me, nothing.”

    United are set to check on the fitness of captain Antonio Valencia after he limped off with a sore hamstring after 66 minutes at West Brom.

    The full-back will be assessed ahead of the League Cup trip to Bristol City on Wednesday and next Saturday's Premier League game at Leicester.

    “The Valencia injury is what I call a December injury,” said Mourinho.

    “It is an injury of the accumulation of fatigue. It is a muscular one - hamstring. Big, small, medium? I don't know.

    “He is an experienced guy who will know not to let it go to difficult limits.

    “But it is an injury of fatigue - everyone in the Premier League, especially the ones with more accumulation of cups and European cups, are at risk.”

    Meanwhile, West Brom are still without a win in four games under new boss Alan Pardew despite an improved second-half display against United.

    And Pardew admitted his own errors after the game.

    “We were disappointed in the first half and I think I picked the wrong team,” he said.

    “The boys gave me so much at Liverpool, obviously I'm getting to know them, but I didn't think we had that energy in the first half that we need against Man United. It was too comfortable for them.

    “Second half, we had some experience in Gareth Barry; I thought he made a big difference when he came on.

    “And then Chris Brunt came on and suddenly we looked threatening from the moment he entered the pitch.

    “It was a lesson for the other players in having confidence in what you're doing.

    “There are some good managers at the bottom of the league and some good squads and we're not going to make it up playing like we did in the first half.”


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    Vogel wins Coastal Senior OpenVogel wins Coastal Senior Open The Senior Open Golf Championship took place at Swakopmund on 12 and 13 December.

    This year 39 golfers took part in the competition with participants from various golf clubs inland and the coast competing in the two-day tournament at the Rossmund Golf Course.

    During the tournament the players not only competed individually, but also had to play for the Central versus Coastal trophy.

    Gerd Vogel from Swakopmund was the overall winner, while Bennie Venter and George Vink from Windhoek battled it out for second and third place.

    Vogel won the competition with 76 stableford points, while Venter and Vink both obtained 73 points.

    The team from the central branch won the Central versus Coastal trophy back from the coastal branch who won it both in December 2016 at Rossmund and in May 2017 in Windhoek.

    “It was a very good turnout from both the coastal and the central branches. But this year central was the better team on the course. They won with a final score of 844 points versus the 820 points of the coastal golfers,” said Tienie van Rensburg, senior coastal golfer.

    Bank Windhoek was the main sponsor of the event.


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  • 12/18/17--14:00: Mnangagwa in tight spot
  • Mnangagwa in tight spotMnangagwa in tight spotZim leader must pick two deputies Army chief Constantino Chiwenga is being tipped for a high-profile appointment this week. Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa was reportedly facing a tough time in choosing his two deputies after strong backlash for picking a militarised cabinet early in December.

    Mnangagwa appointed two senior military officers to key portfolios in his first cabinet and dropped close allies of Robert Mugabe who resigned after the armed forces took control of the country.

    President Mnangagwa appointed as foreign affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo, the army major general who went on state television announcing the military's take-over, a dramatic power grab which culminated in Mugabe stepping down a week later.

    The long-serving airforce commander Perence Shiri also became the lands and agriculture minister.

    All eyes on Constantino Chiwenga

    The omission of the military head General Constantino Chiwenga suggested that he was being earmarked for one of the country's two deputy president posts, according to reports.

    There is also speculation that the army chief, who is widely believed to have orchestrated the military take over leading to end of Mugabe's 37-year rule, is likely to be elevated to the vice presidency seat during the upcoming Zanu-PF congress.

    However, The Standard is reporting that Mnangagwa is facing a tough balancing act in appointing his two deputies amid indications he is under pressure to reward the military for playing a pivotal role in removing long-time ruler Mugabe.

    Mnangagwa did not appoint his deputies as expected at the just ended Zanu-PF conference, saying “he needed to wait for certain institutional processes” to run its course.

    'An invidious position'

    Analyst believe that Mugabe's successor wanted to appoint Chiwenga as one of his deputies but had to also balance the competing interest of his backers before ascending into the presidency last month.

    “I don't envy President Mnangagwa's current position,” said UK based political analyst Reward Mushayabasa, who is a former media lecturer.

    “He seems to be in a very invidious position where he has to balance the competing interests of all the stakeholders who cleared the way for his ascendancy to power.”

    Mushayabasa, however, added that in his view the president was being remote controlled by the military who had him installed as Zanu-PF leader and Zimbabwe's president. An unnamed source within the ruling party who claimed to know “the plan with the VP appointments”, however, said Chiwenga and defence minister Kembo Mohadi are tipped for appointment this week.


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    Gabon arrests dozens in knife attack that wounded two DanesGabon arrests dozens in knife attack that wounded two Danes Police in Gabon arrested dozens of people Sunday over a knife attack that wounded two Danish nationals working for National Geographic, apparently in retribution for “US attacks against Muslims,” officials said.

    The men detained were mostly traders and sellers in the popular market in Libreville where the attack occurred Saturday - and all are from west Africa.

    An official said they were taken to police headquarters, where they are due to be questioned.

    “Operations are ongoing,” government spokesman Alain-Claude Bilie By Nze told AFP. “We are not commenting at this stage.”

    National Geographic confirmed that the targets of the attack were working for the organisation.

    “We are deeply saddened to confirm the reports that the two Danish nationals horrifically attacked in Gabon are members of the National Geographic family,” it said in a statement.

    “We are in direct contact with the victims and the Danish production company with whom they were on assignment, and our main objective is to support their recovery and safe return to Denmark.”

    Police said the assailant is a 53-year-old Nigerien man who, according to witnesses, shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) during the attack.

    The man, who has lived in Gabon for 19 years, said in his first statements that he “acted in retaliation for US attacks against Muslims and America's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital,” Defence Minister Etienne Massard said.

    Residents said the man was from the Muslim Hausa/Fulani community and sold smoked meat from a cart in the city and in the market.

    “We are still gathering information,” Bilie By Nze said.

    The market in Libreville, popular with tourists, was shut down after the incident and remained closed on Sunday, with security forces manning the gates.

    Authorities have said the attack appeared to be politically motivated, but have not publicly classified it as terrorism.

    Gabon, a small French-speaking former colony with 1.8 million inhabitants, has so far been spared the Islamist-inspired attacks that have taken place in some neighbouring countries.


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    Indonesia court jails men for two years over 'gay sex party'Indonesia court jails men for two years over 'gay sex party' An Indonesian court has sentenced ten men to two years in prison for taking part in a gay sex party at a sauna, court documents show.

    The group were among at least 141 men detained during a raid on a building that houses a sauna and a gym in the capital Jakarta in May.

    While most were released, ten were charged and found guilty last Thursday of violating the country's controversial 2008 anti-pornography law.

    “(The defendants) have been proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt of displaying nudity and sexual exploitation collectively in public,” said the documents, which have been reviewed by AFP.

    The North Jakarta Court also ordered the defendants to pay one billion rupiah (US$73 700) in fines.

    The sentencing is further evidence of growing hostility towards Indonesia's small lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

    Homosexuality and gay sex are legal everywhere in Indonesia except in conservative Aceh province, but police have used the country's tough anti-pornography laws or drugs charges to criminalise LGBT people in the past 18 months.

    Rights groups condemned the decision to jail the men.

    “It is an abuse of these gay men's rights. It is not a crime, they did not hurt anyone,” said Andreas Harsono, a Human Rights Watch researcher in Jakarta.

    The men, who were tried in two separate closed court hearings, were sentenced the same day the Indonesian Constitutional Court rejected a bid to outlaw extramarital sex.

    The unsuccessful petition would have affected both unmarried heterosexuals and gay people, who cannot marry in Indonesia. Its rejection was seen as a victory by LGBT communities.

    Jakarta's Community Legal Aid Institute, which often provide legal assistance to LGBT-related cases, said the timing was ironic.

    “While the Constitutional Court said social norms should not be addressed using law enforcement, the North Jakarta court sentenced these people using such a problematic law,” its director Ricky Gunawan told AFP.


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    Elongitho lyiimaliwa moshikondo shegameno oli li pombandaElongitho lyiimaliwa moshikondo shegameno oli li pombandaOmwaalu ngoka ogwa londo pombanda noonkondo muule woomvula 10 dha piti Nonando Namibia okuli oshilongo oshinambili, okuli gumwe gwomomusholondondo gwiilongo hayi longitha omwaalu omunene gwiimaliwa moshikondo shegameno lyoshilongo. Elongitho lyiimaliwa moshikondo shegameno lyaNamibia olya londo pombanda noonkondo muule woomvula dha piti, okuza poobiliyona 2.8 mo 2007 okuya poobiliyona 7 mo 2016. Oshikondo shoka oshi li shimwe shomiikondo hayi mono omwaalu omunene gwiimaliwa yomutengenekwathaneko gwopashigwana okuza kepangelo lyoshilongo.

    Okuyeleka niilonga iikwawo muAfrika, oshikondo shegameno shaNamibia oshi li ponomola ontitano muAfrika, miilongo mbyoka hayi longitha omwaalu omunene gwiimaliwa a landula iilongo ngaashi Algeria, Botswana, Congo oshowo Mauritius.

    Uuyelele mboka owa pitithwa koStockholm International Peace Research Institute's (Sipri) military expenditure project, ndjoka ya nuninwa okweeta polweela uuyelele welongitho lyiimaliwa miikondo yegameno.

    Namibia okwa talika omeho mo 2o15, sha landula sho oshilongo sha hololwa kutya osha pewa egwedheleo lyomwaalu omunene gwelongo lyiimaliwa moshikondo shegameno. Omagwedhelo ngoka oga londo pombanda noopresenda 200, pauyelele mboka wa pitithwa koSipri.

    Ehangano ndyoka ohali longitha iimaliwa yaAmerika mokuninga omapekaapeko gawo na olya tothamo omvula 2014.

    Elongitho lyiimaliwa moshikondo shegameno lyaNamibia olya londo okuya poopresenda 4.4 mo 2015, oshowo poopresenda 4.1 mo 2014.

    Namibia oshimwe shomiilongo hayi longitha iimaliwa oyindji moshikondo shoka, okutala woo komwaalu gwaakwashigwana moshilongo nonando oshilongo inashi kala niita konima sho sha mono emanguluko lyasho.

    Nonando omvula yo 2016 oya li omvula ontiyali yeshunitho pevi lyomwaalu gwiimaliwa ngoka hagu longithwa miikondo yegameno muAfrika, elongitho lyiimaliwa miikondo mbyoka menenevi Afrika olya thikama poobiliyona dhaAmerika 37.9 na oli li eshuno pevi lyoopresenda 1.3 okuyeleka nomvula yo 2015.

    Nonando okwa dhidhilikwa eshuno pevi ndyoka, natango aakwiita yiilongo yaAfrika otaya longitha iimaliwa oyindji neyopombanda lyoopresenda 48 okuyeleka noomvula 10 dha piti. MoNamibia osha monika mo kutya elongitho lyiimaliwa moshikondo shoka mo 2007 olya li pooUS$203 million (N$2.8 billion), US$312 million (N$4.1 billion) 2013, 2015 olya li pooUS$540 million (N$7.1 billion) na olya shuna pevi kashona mo 2016okuya pooU$500 million (N$7 billion).

    Natango egandjo lyiimaliwa okuza kepangelo okuya koshikondoshoka olya londo pombanda okuza poobiliyoan 1.3 mo 2007 okuya poobiliyona 6.6 mo 2016.

    Okuyeleka niilongo yilwe muumbugantu wAfrika, South Afrika okwa longitha ooUS$3 160 million momilitali ye mo 2016, Angola US$2 824 million, Botswana US$514 million, Zimbabwe US$358 million oshowo Zambia US$292 million.

    Sipri pethimbo a ningi omapekaapeko ge okwa mono kutya elongitho lyiimaliwa moshikondo shegameno muuyuni olya li pooUS$1.69 trillion mo2016.

    Iilongo mbyoka hayi longitha omwaalu omunene gwiimaliwa miikondo yegameno muuyuni oya tumbulwa okutya US, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, UK, Japan, Germany oshowo South Korea.

    Elongitho lyiimaliwa itali talika owala komwaalu gwiimaliwa ngoka hagu longithwa mokulanda iilwitho ihe otaku talika woo kiinima yilwe ngaashi omwaalu gwiimaliwa ngoka hagu longithwa mokufuta aaniilonga, oopenzela, iikwathithomiilonga, omapekaapeko nomayambulepo.

    Namibia olundji okwa nyenyetelwa omolwa omwaalu omunene ngoka ta longitha moshikondo she shegameno nonando oshilongo oshi na ombili konima nkene sha manguluka mo 1990. Oshiputudhilo shoInstitute for Public Policy Research osha kunkilile kutya oobiliyona odhindji ndhoka tadhi pewa oshikondo shEgameno opo shi totepo oompito dhiilonga mokati kaanyasha yaNamibia oshi li oshinima sha puka noonkondo, nopehala iimaliwa mbyoka nayi longithwe mokuyambulapo iikondo yilwe.


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