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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 01/17/18--14:00: Desperate to register
  • Desperate to registerDesperate to registerStudents queue from sunrise In an effort to ensure a spot at Namcol, students are waiting for hours to register, especially for Biology and English, at Namcol. Prospective students from various parts of the Omusati Region yesterday flocked to the David Sheehama Secondary in Outapi seeking to register with the Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) in order to improve their Grade 10 and 12 results.

    The students, who are desperate to further their studies with Namcol after failing their Grade 10 and 12 examinations, say that staying at home and not studying is not an option for them.

    Some of the students told Namibian Sun that they arrived at around 05:00 at the school in order to be first in line to register for the subjects they want to pursue this year.

    This is because the learners fear that the subjects they look forward to improve might not be available as the demand to study with Namcol is always very high and only a limited number of people can be registered for a subject.

    However, at around 12:00, some of the learners who said they arrived as early as 07:00 were still not assisted, adding that the process was remarkably slow.

    Recently, Namcol director Heroldt Murangi also announced and encouraged learners to register as soon as possible as places are limited. For English for example, the institution can only take 12 000 students.

    “Annually, we are challenged with prospective learners approaching enrolment points late resulting in them not securing a place in their desired subjects,” Murangi was quoted.

    The majority of the prospective students Namibian Sun spoke to on Tuesday at the David Sheehama Secondary School registration point indicated that they want to improve the symbol they got in English.

    “I am here to register for English because I got 24 points in five subjects with a U-symbol in English. By registering it is the only way I can apply to a university,” Martha Simon said.

    When contacted for comment, Maria Angula, the registrar at the centre said that indeed English is the subject most in demand and soon it will not be available, which will see students having no choice but look for alternative centres, or wait another year.

    Angula said that Biology is also in demand but said there is a lack of interest in commerce subjects such as Accounting and Economics.

    “The demand for English and Biology remains high… less people are interested in Accounting and Economics,” Angula said.


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    Nigeria's exchange to be publicly listed once bill is signedNigeria's exchange to be publicly listed once bill is signedMarket for IPOs inactive The NSE expects corporate earnings to lift equities this year after stocks crossed 44 000 points to hit a nine-year high on Tuesday. In 2017, we amplified our efforts to establish West Africa's first derivatives market. - Oscar Onyema, CEO: NSE The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) expects a bill that will allow it to be publicly listed will be signed into law this year, its chief executive Oscar Onyema said on Tuesday.

    The second-biggest exchange in sub-Saharan Africa after Johannesburg and a main entry point for investors in Africa, the Nigerian bourse last year got a green light from its members, mostly stockbrokers and some institutional investors, to become a publicly listed company.

    The exchange's CEO, Oscar Onyema, has said he expects the public listing, a process known as demutualisation, to generate profits that will boost its business and product development capacity.

    The Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the continent's most developed stock market, has been a listed company since 2006.

    “In 2017, we amplified our efforts to establish West Africa's first derivatives market,” Onyema told analysts discussing the outlook for 2018.

    “We also worked to create and enhance legal and regulatory frameworks which support derivative instruments, and have made significant progress towards securing approvals to operationalise these frameworks.”

    The equities market in Nigeria was the third best-performing market in the world in 2017 after the central bank liberalised the naira for foreign investors, a move which lured back funds that been pulled out at the peak of a currency crisis.

    Onyema attributed last year's performance partly to central bank policies that helped increased currency market liquidity.

    He added that he expected corporate earnings to lift equities this year, despite currency and political risks, after stocks crossed 44 000 points to hit a nine-year high on Tuesday.

    Stocks gained 42% last year and have continued to rally this year, rising 13% in the first 11 days of trading.

    Onyema said the market for initial public offerings remained inactive, noting that there are plans to revive new issues.

    Nigeria's bourse has around 200 listed companies and plans to launch exchange-traded derivatives securities this year.

    – Nampa/Reuters

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    Solar systems for rural clinicsSolar systems for rural clinics Solar systems were installed at five rural clinics in Namibia during December to provide constant and cost-effective access to electricity.

    The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Namibia collaborated with Global Fund and the health ministry on a global initiative called Solar 4 Health to install the energy photo-voltaic (PV) systems at the clinics.

    The funding was facilitated by Global Fund and is aimed at supporting governments in improving access to quality health services. By providing cost-effective access to electricity the systems will assist vulnerable communities in mitigating climate change and poverty conditions.

    According to the UNDP, Namibia is geographically located in a sunshine-rich region and solar-powered energy systems are ideal for providing low cost reliable electricity.

    “Effective solar power solutions are a way in which the Namibian health system can increase its resilience to the challenges presented by climate change, including extreme weather events such as droughts that affect conventional sources of electricity,” the UNDP said in a statement.

    The various clinics that have been equipped with PV systems through the project include Okaukamasheshe and Uutsathima in the Omusati Region as well as the Eiseb, Klein Aub and Kalkrand clinics in the Hardap Region. In addition to the PV systems, two mobile TB diagnosis clinics equipped with solar power features were leased by UNDP Namibia to conduct the nation's first TB survey from 29 November to 5 December last year.

    The clinics effectively use solar energy to assist in providing rural communities with cost-effective, reliable and sustainable power solutions. The medical staff at these clinics are better equipped to provide the much needed health services in these parts of the country.

    Namibia is a step closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 17 as set out by UNDP Global.

    The World Health Organisation's (WHO) operational framework for building climate resilient health systems highlights the need to take a broad approach to mediate the challenges of climate change, including a focus on renewable energy in health facilities and utilising innovative technologies.


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    Mugabe safe, Zimbabweans toldMugabe safe, Zimbabweans told Zimbabwean leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has assured his fellow countrymen currently residing in Namibia that former president Robert Mugabe is safe and well taken care of.

    He made the comments during his short visit to Windhoek this week. Paying homage to Mugabe, Mnangagwa described Mugabe's 37-year rule as 'sweet independence'.

    Mnangagwa shifted blame away from Mugabe over the demise of Zimbabwe and said that the elderly statesman had been taken advantage of by unsavoury elements who had influenced him negatively.

    “We respect our elders… because of his age many things happened that he was not aware of. We are convinced that there were elements that surrounded Mugabe. I phoned President Robert Mugabe while I was in South Africa. He asked me why I was in South Africa. I informed him why I cannot come and he summoned me to State House,” Mnangagwa said of his brief stay while exiled in South Africa.

    As part of his retirement package, Mugabe will be entitled to at least 20 staffers including six personal security guards, all paid for from state coffers, according to details of the benefits published in Harare-based The Herald newspaper.

    “We have said that we shall preserve his legacy. He is safe… we made sure that he will remain comfortable,” Mnangagwa said.

    Mnangagwa took over power from Mugabe in November last year in what was described as a 'soft coup' by commentators.

    He became Zimbabwe's third president after Mugabe and founding head of state, Canaan Banana.


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  • 01/17/18--14:00: Fraud was 'bank's fault'
  • Fraud was 'bank's fault'Fraud was 'bank's fault'Van Wyk pleads guilty A Standard Bank Gobabis employee, Mark Wayne van Wyk has placed the blame squarely on the bank's systems for his 288 counts of fraud and theft. Weak security systems at Standard Bank tempted an employee to commit 288 counts of fraud and theft, causing a loss of N$1.6 million to the bank.

    Self-confessed fraudster Mark Wayne van Wyk on Tuesday, after admitting guilt to the charges, blamed the systems at the bank in his plea explanation before Judge Naomi Shivute in the High Court in Windhoek.

    Van Wyk, who was employed from 19 January 2013 to 31 August 2015 at the Gobabis branch of Standard Bank as an accounts support consultant and asset custodian, further in the plea explanation, read on his behalf by his lawyer Jan Wessels, emphasised that he was pleading guilty out of his of free will.

    He admitted that he initiated the fraudulent scheme wherein he obtained bank accounts from some of his friends, relatives and acquaintances, and would fraudulently manipulate the bank's system to cause payments to be captured, deposited or transferred from the bank's internal revenue interest account into these accounts.

    “These payments were going into my personal account and into the accounts of my friends, relatives and acquaintances who in all cases and circumstances had nothing to do with the scheme and never were owed any money by Standard Bank, or, who in some instances did not have any accounts with the bank, or who were not entitled to any payments whatsoever from the bank,” he stated.

    In doing so, he used the user ID numbers of colleagues and on several occasions his own in defrauding the bank.

    The accused was a team leader and was responsible for the supervision of other consultants and custodian.

    “Nobody has influenced me in any manner whatsoever to plead guilty nor was I made any promises,” he stated.

    He admitted that he, between the period extending from 19 January 2013 to 31 August 2015 at the bank's Gobabis branch, wrongfully, unlawfully, falsely and with the intend to defraud gave out and misrepresented to bank management that seven people, including himself, were entitled to payments from the bank's internal accounts.

    Van Wyk stated the transfers were performed by the bank employees in the course and scope of their employment. More than N$1.6 million on different occasions into the bank accounts of the seven people.

    He initiated a fraudulent scheme.

    He admitted that he was performing his duties and responsibilities as an employee of the Standard Bank and therefore ought to have worked in the best interest of his employer.

    “I admit that I, by means of the said misrepresentation, induced the bank, its management and board of directors to the actual and potential loss to believe and accept the misrepresentation, authorise the transfer of funds into the bank accounts of the seven people and allow the recipients of the monies to withdraw from their bank accounts,” Van Wyk admitted.

    “The misrepresentations were false and I had no lawful right to transfer or deposit money from Standard Bank's internal account into my own account and to those other six beneficiaries,” he stated.

    “I admit that I was committing the crime of fraud on each and every occasion and on each and every of the 288 counts and knew that if caught I could be arrested, charged and convicted as well as sentenced on the various counts of fraud.”


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    Govt to continue irrigation scheme implementationGovt to continue irrigation scheme implementationN$5.4 bn project By 2030, a total of 27 000 hectares must be under irrigation through the implementation of the green scheme programme. In order to ensure food security in Namibia, the ministry of agriculture, water and forestry says it will continue to implement irrigation projects along main perennial rivers and dams.

    These projects include the Sikondo and Musese in the Kavango West Region, Shadikongoro, Vhungu-Vhungu, Ndonga-Linena, Mashare and Shitemo irrigation projects in the Kavango East Region.

    Other projects are the Etunda, Hardap and Orange River irrigation projects in the //Kharas region.

    The agriculture ministry's permanent secretary, Percy Misika, said this at recent information sessions for farmers held across the north-eastern regions of the country.

    “As outlined in the Fifth National Development Plan and the Harambee Prosperity Plan, the agriculture sector is expected to put 27 000 hectares under irrigation by the year 2030 through the implementation of the green scheme programme,” he said.

    Currently, 11 500 hectares are under irrigation countrywide and the remaining 15 500 hectares need to be placed under irrigation over the next 12 years.

    This will cost the government about N$5.4 billion.

    Other projects

    Furthermore, Misika said the development of other irrigation projects such as at Katima/Liselo in Zambezi, Tandjeskoppe in //Kharas and Etunda phases 7 and 8 in the Omusati Region are well on track.

    These developments, he said, are made with a view to increase the land under irrigation and subsequently, increase food production.

    In addition, there are new projects in the pipeline that will be implemented by the ministry, including the Climate Resilient Agriculture Project which will be implemented in the three vulnerable extreme northern crop growing regions of Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi.

    The project was launched in December 2017 and funded by the Green Climate Fund to the tune of N$135 million through the Environmental Investment Fund.

    Another project is the Namibia Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Project which is funded by the Africa Development Bank to the tune of N$1.42 billion and has been approved for implementation.

    The third project is the support to the livestock sector in the northern communal areas in the country funded by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund to the tune of N$ 300 million.

    - Nampa

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    Patchy, moderate rain expectedPatchy, moderate rain expected Weather forecasters expect moderate but isolated showers to continue in patches across Namibia in the coming days and say that the 'new normal' rainfall season is finally getting under way.

    “The southern hemisphere has a marked Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) from central Africa to Zambia, and the cloud and sea temperatures conform with this. The overall is for the 'new normal' season to get into action,” Odillo Kgobetsi, chief forecaster at the Windhoek Meteorological Service (NMS), said yesterday. He said it was not unreasonable to expect moderate rainfall, albeit in limited quantities.

    Rainfall is expected to be isolated in a band stretching from Kunene and Oshana, south across the Khomas Highland, and extending to southern Namibia. He cautioned that the intensity of the rainfall will be limited. The expectation is that the ITCZ's vertical convective activity will weaken the anti-cyclonic ridge that has been reducing chances of rainfall in the region, including Namibia. This weakening will allow moist air activity to expand in distribution and intensity and lead to a “more normal expectation” of rain towards the end of January. The most recent rainfall recorded was 9.7mm at Outapi, 7.4mm at Okahao and 4.8mm at Okaukuejo. Omuthiya received 4.6mm, Oshakati 2.6mm and Omaruru 0.7mm. At Otjiwarongo 1.8mm was recorded and 2mm at Rehoboth. On Tuesday, the daily flood bulletin issued by the Hydrological Service of Namibia noted that only light showers had been recorded in the central and northern areas of Namibia.

    The report noted that the Zambezi River at Katima Mulilo continued to rise gradually and was at 1.38m, which is higher than at the same time last year.

    The Okavango River at Rundu was at 4.35m, which is lower than at the same time last year.


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  • 01/17/18--14:00: Drowned boy found
  • Drowned boy foundDrowned boy found The body of Mushinonge Ulinana (13), who drowned in the Calueque-Oshakati canal at Epalela in the Omusati Region, was recovered on Tuesday afternoon after NamWater heeded the family's request to stop pumping water into the canal.

    This has been confirmed by NamWater and the Omusati police, who said that Ulinana's body was found soon after NamWater started refilling the empty canal.

    NamWater spokesperson Johannes Shigwedha told Namibian Sun that the family's plan for NamWater to shut down the canal worked.

    “We closed the canal and pumped out water into Olushandja Dam. When we restarted pumping water into the canal the body came out of the siphon where it was stacked due to water pressure,” Shigwedha said.

    Ulinana drowned on Friday on his way back from school. He was apparently trying to drink from the canal.

    A search for the body started on Friday, headed by police divers from Oshakati.

    The funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.


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    New board must clean up NSFAF messNew board must clean up NSFAF messReintegration will take time: minister A new board has been appointed to run the student's assistance fund until it can become a directorate within the ministry of higher education. A new board of directors has been appointed to clean up and restore the image of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) and to transform it as it plans to return, as a directorate, under the wing of the higher education ministry.

    Higher education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi yesterday announced the board that will be chaired by Development Bank of Namibia spokesperson Jerome Mutumba, who will be deputised by businesswoman Christina Swart-Opperman.

    She emphasised that there were challenges that would require their collective wisdom as a board and added that “the negative publicity has to come to an end”.

    Kandjii-Murangi said she believed that the board members, with their experience and educational background, would resolve some of the negative publicity haunting the fund.

    The controversy surrounding the fund's administration has dominated the news for the past few years and eventually prompted a decision to remove its parastatal status and integrate it into the ministry.

    However, the minister yesterday stated that it would take time and certain processes needed to take place before the fund could eventually be part of the ministry.

    “The fund was established by an act of parliament, we will have to look at repealing the law. And these things cannot be done instantaneously,” she said.

    NSFAF was established in January 1997 to provide financial assistance to students at approved institutions of higher education. The minister repeated that the board's main purpose was to provide clear, effective guidance and leadership in the affairs of NSFAF. She also said the board would ensure that the transformative processes at the fund do not negatively affect service delivery.

    “The board must take correct and decisive actions to improve NSFAF governance, service delivery and restore students, parents, staff and public trust in the fund,” she said.

    The institution has been embroiled in controversy over claims of corruption and financial mismanagement. The fund's management failed to turn up for a public hearing before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts towards the end of last year, where it was expected to account for more than N$1.7 billion.

    In fact, 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.

    In the same year a report by auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers stated that the fund had failed to provide documents to verify the loans and scholarships it had awarded. The fund also failed to keep proper record and has lost the records of some loan and grant recipients.

    Kandjii-Murangi appealed to the new board to make efforts to improve and simplify the selection procedures and to ensure that correct records are kept and readily available at all times.

    “With 8 000 Grade 12 learners having qualified to access higher education institutions, what innovative ways can the board and fund come up with to ensure the majority of those, especially those that come from poor and impoverished backgrounds, are identified and given an opportunity to further studies and become active participants in the Namibian House?” she asked.

    The other members are business transformation expert Stephen Tjiuoro, Abner Ananias, Adda Angula, Natascha Cheikhyoussef, Isak Neema and Tulimeke Munyika.

    The board will serve for three years.


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    De Beers turns to blockchain to guarantee diamond purityDe Beers turns to blockchain to guarantee diamond purityPilot project up and running Blockchain offers a secure way to track diamonds and can provide a digital record they are conflict-free, the gem giant says. It's a much more un-hackable system than anything on a single server. – Bruce Cleaver, CEO: De Beers Barbara Lewis - Anglo American's diamond unit De Beers aims to launch the first industry-wide blockchain this year to track gems each time they change hands starting from the moment they are dug from the ground, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

    De Beers owns 50% of Namdeb Holdings, which the rest in the hands of the Namibian government.

    The world's biggest diamond producer by the value of its gems, De Beers has led industry efforts to verify the authenticity of diamonds and ensure they are not from conflict zones where gems could be used to finance violence.

    For De Beers, cast-iron guarantees its stones are ethically sourced are vital to maintaining consumer confidence. It sells technology across the industry to help prevent anyone trying to pass off synthetic stones as natural.

    The firm also works with the rest of the industry and governments to support the Kimberley Process set up in 2003 to increase transparency and eliminate trade in conflict diamonds.

    The firm says blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, complements its existing methods. It offers a secure way to track diamonds and can provide a digital record they are conflict-free, it says.

    "It's a huge public ledger as immutable as anything invented," CEO Bruce Cleaver told Reuters in reference to blockchain. "It's a much more un-hackable system than anything on a single server."

    Blockchain is a shared database of transactions maintained by a network of computers on the internet that is best known as the system underpinning bitcoin.

    Wider use

    Other industries are also looking at blockchain to enhance security or create efficiencies in business, such as financial transactions. Bankers say it could be used in trade finance or cross-border payments. But such plans have not gone beyond the pilot stage.

    The diamond blockchain, which De Beers says will be the first to span the entire value chain, would be open to everyone in the industry and would offer the potential for monitoring each stone.

    "It has the ability to be very significant for the industry," Cleaver said in a telephone interview, adding it could reassure banks financing the industry and would make the mining supply chain more efficient and transparent.

    Blockchain could also help guarantee the ethical origins of other minerals, such as those used in electric vehicles.

    Startup firm Everledger, which uses emerging technology to eliminate fraud and other corporate risks, said it had been using blockchain to track the provenance of diamonds since 2015.

    De Beers began its pilot project this month after several months of research, responding to a rising number of customers wanting guarantees diamonds had not been used to fund conflicts.

    "It's a bold step going public with a pilot, but we're going public because we're interested in the entire industry participating," Cleaver said.

    He declined to name those taking part in the pilot, saying only that they included De Beers sightholders, the term used for its accredited diamond buyers.

    Cleaver said the problems associated with using blockchain for bitcoin, such as excessive energy use, need not impact other applications as new technology was more energy efficient. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Phones silenced north of WindhoekPhones silenced north of WindhoekTelecom falls prey to criminals again Vandalism of a Telecom cable in the Brakwater area has once again plunged business and residential customers into the dark ages. Telecom services were disrupted on Tuesday after vandals damaged a fibre-optic cable in the Brakwater area outside of Windhoek.

    Several households in the Brakwater area, including Elisenheim housing estate, were left without telephone and internet services.

    Telecom spokesperson Oiva Angula yesterday said that technicians were working diligently to replace the 53-metre section of fibre cable that was damaged.

    “We will be working on this until it is completed, and are doing all we can to get this completed as quickly as possible.”

    According to him the deliberate, costly, and often malicious damage to Telecom's network is a serious problem and requires serious solutions.

    “Telecom Namibia is committed to taking the necessary action to ensure that service disruptions for our valuable customers are minimised.”

    About two weeks ago, voice and data services to about 800 Telecom residential and business customers in the southern part of Windhoek were disrupted after thieves struck an underground network and stole a copper cable.

    The theft disrupted services in the Cimbebasia suburb that borders Prosperita to the north and Kleine Kuppe to the east.

    The thieves broke the locks of two manhole covers on the corner of Mataman and Arimas streets to get access to the cable.

    Angula apologised on behalf of Telecom to all affected customers for the ongoing disruption of their telephone and internet services.

    He appealed to anyone with information about persons responsible for damaging or stealing Telecom cables to contact the company's 24-hour crime hotline number 0800 20 35 79, or the nearest police station.


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    PDM wants state funeral for late chiefPDM wants state funeral for late chief The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has requested President Hage Geingob to grant the late Chief Dawid Fredericks of the !Aman Traditional Authority a state funeral.

    Fredericks, who died on Saturday, was a prominent figure in the Nama and OvaHerero 1904-08 genocide reparations claim.

    In a statement issued this week PDM president McHenry Venaani said he had noted that sometimes “important gallant leaders of Namibian society” are not given the due recognition.

    “The departed chief has served the people of Namibia in general and the southern community with great unparalleled distinction and honour. He pioneered a culture of self-worth among his people and beyond. He was an ardent fighter for freedom and in post-independence was a voice of reason in fair distribution and access to equitable land reform,” said Venaani.

    He added that Fredericks pioneered and fought for restorative justice of the Nama people who suffered an inhumane genocide during 1904-1908.

    “Chief Fredericks played a catalyst role in the Church where he worked to establish the AME Church around Namibia which was an instrument that fought colonialism and oppression. These credentials, among many, in my opinion warrant him to deserve a national send-off...” he said.

    State House confirmed receipt of the letter but it is yet to indicate what the president's response is.


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  • 01/17/18--14:00: Hostel left to rot
  • Hostel left to rotHostel left to rotParents must supply mattresses A fundraising drive for a school hostel in the Kunene Region has elicited shocked reactions because of the living conditions it depicted. Slum-like conditions at a rundown primary-school hostel in the Kunene Region have cast a spotlight on the state of education and of maintenance at government institutions following an outcry by many Namibians.

    Photos posted by a charity organisation on social media recently as part of a fundraising drive to help improve conditions at the Frans Frederick Primary School hostel, show beds without mattresses, broken windows and ceilings, dilapidated washrooms and toilets as well as peeling walls.

    Former pupils of the school pointed out that the hostel was built in the early 1980s and has not been renovated since then.

    Serious concerns about sanitation and health at the hostel have been raised countrywide.

    School principal Naftalie Goraseb this week confirmed that the photos paint an accurate picture of conditions at the hostel.

    He said it was true that many students slept on spring beds without mattresses, after the government stopped supplying the hostel with bedding.

    He said parents are expected to supply bedding for their children, including mattresses.

    “Most government schools did not receive mattresses, apparently because of tender issues.

    “It has been at least three or four years,” he said.

    He said when learners first arrive at the hostel, they and their guardians or parents are shown around and parents are encouraged to supply a mattress, but this is not always financially possible.

    “Many only leave blankets but no mattress.

    “I think mostly it's because they can't afford to buy mattresses. They are just not able to help.”

    All publicity is good publicity

    Goraseb stressed that the charity organisation that posted the photos online did so with “good intentions” to help the school by appealing for private donations from hunters who visit Namibia.

    Since then, several farmers in the area and other interested parties have contacted the school and offered to help.

    Moreover, a delegation from the Kunene regional education office visited the school last week, and a meeting with several stakeholders was earmarked for yesterday afternoon.

    “The response from the public has been largely positive. And especially people from this area have been calling after they saw the school and volunteered to help.”

    He said the directorate of education visited to “verify the situation” and the way forward must still be determined.

    He said the hostel's windows, ceilings and walls need urgent attention and the school simply does not have the funds to renovate.

    Goraseb added that the school and hostel are also seriously understaffed but that there is a moratorium on new hires because of government cutbacks.

    The hostel accommodates around 200 learners.

    Social media pitches in

    While some expressed shock and outrage, many people who saw the photos on social media blamed the government for the hostel's condition.

    One man described the hostel as a “humanitarian disaster” and asked: “How in the world could this be possible?”

    Another questioned the government's spending priorities. “What is this government? You drive the latest and most expensive cars while the schools look like this? Look where the children have to sleep. You do not stand for your people.”

    Another woman ventured that the conditions at the hostel are “sad and horrible” and seem to be similar to those of Namibian correctional facilities.

    But others called on communities to band together to assist and share the responsibility, noting that the government alone is not responsible for the upkeep of the facilities.

    “It is very depressing just to see these pictures. It is embarrassing and inhumane. I would like to urge the former leaners (alumni) of this school to come up with solutions, we cannot just allow government to be blamed or look to them. Let's take ownership of this eyesore,” one man wrote.

    Another social media user proposed a trust fund where Namibians donate N$100 per month for the upkeep of government schools, hostels and clinics; but others pointed out that Namibians already sponsor education by paying tax.

    “People are already paying for schools and clinics in the form of taxes. The problem needs to be caught at the root. I find starting to collect extra money to fill the holes of corruption is the wrong way to go. It provides a quick fix but worsens the problem long term. The ministries are responsible for it. They have the funding. Let them deal with it. It's literally why those ministries exist.”

    The ministry of education's official response to Namibian Sun was not yet available by the time of going to print yesterday.


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    'Water shedding' begins in the north'Water shedding' begins in the north The northern regions should brace for tough times in the next six weeks after the water utility announced that supply will be interrupted due to rehabilitation works at Angola's Calueque Dam.

    The extensive weed growth and silt accumulation at the base of the Calueque-Oshakati canal is another factor affecting the performance of the supply system.

    The first phase of rehabilitation, which included repairing one of the water-supply lines, was completed on Tuesday.

    NamWater has now started repairing another crucial pipeline at Calueque. The N$5 million tender for the repairs was awarded to Natwe Engineering.

    In the meantime, the local and regional authorities have been alerted about the looming water shortages.

    NamWater is not sharing much on the issue and is denying the media access to their Calueque premises in southern Angola.

    In a surprising turn, the water utility announced that the N$2.7 billion facilities that were rehabilitated by the Angolan government are not yet in operation due to power shortages.

    NamWater's chief operating officer for business in northern Namibia, Kaliki Kambanda, noted in the statement to local and regional authorities that the water supply from the Calueque scheme in Angola started leaking profusely. One pump was taken out of operation, leaving only one to supply water.

    “Communication was sent out to the media in this regard. From this intervention, it was expected that shortages may occur for which rationing would have to be implemented.

    “However, to everyone's delight, the project at Calueque is about to be completed, without severe negative impacts to our customers,” Kambanda wrote.

    “Meanwhile, additional factors of weed growth and silt accumulation at the bottom of the canal, and the consequent reduced carrying capacity during this increased demand season, has caused a negative balance in the availability of raw water at Oshakati production works.”

    She said due to the circumstances, water rationing will be implemented from the evening of 15 January to 28 February. According to Kambanda, there will be no water supply between 22:00 and 05:00.

    She said the objective is to build up reserves for daytime use and also to sustain the limited available water that is being produced.

    “Should there be critical needs at essential service centres as hospitals and clinics, the authorities and responsible officers or managers are encouraged to contact NamWater for possible arrangement of delivery through water tankers to these respective institutions,” she said.

    Calueque water scheme

    In 2015 the Angolan government spent about N$2.7 billion to rehabilitate the Calueque Dam. That was completed at the beginning of 2016.

    It was reported that the rehabilitation included the installation of three new water pumps and other state-of-the-art facilities to increase water supply to Namibia's northern regions as part of the 1964 Cunene River Scheme Agreement.

    However, NamWater says the upgraded facilities are not yet in use as they don't have electricity. At the moment, the old facilities are being used.

    NamPower did not provide comment on why the facility is not yet powered.

    On Tuesday, NamWater managers visited Calueque, apparently to familiarise themselves with the situation. No reporters were allowed on the trip.

    “The Calueque premises are jointly operated by NamWater, NamPower and the Angolan water utility of the Cunene Province. We have not informed them and it will not be appropriate for us to take you there,” Kambanda told Namibian Sun.


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    Learner, 13, shot dead at schoolLearner, 13, shot dead at school A 13-year-old Grade 5 learner has been shot to death by an 11-year-old at Iimbili Combined School in the Ontunganga circuit in Ohangwena. According to Absalom Absalom, spokesperson for the education ministry, the 11-year-old had taken a gun to school and had, accidentally, while playing with the firearm, shot the 13-year-old during break. They were classmates.
    The ministry said it is finalising a School Safety Framework that "speaks to an atmosphere of trust, peace, respect and care in the school environment and which will be rolled out soon".
    The regional education directorate visited the school and engaged the learners and parents and will continue to offer psychological support to the families and the school.
    The ministry extended its heartfelt condolences to all involved.

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    Shilongo signs for AlassioutyShilongo signs for Alassiouty Namibian international forward Benson Shilongo has signed for Egyptian Premier League Club Alassiouty FC.

    The former Platinum Stars player announced yesterday on his Facebook Page that he had signed a deal with the Egyptians.

    “Sometimes where you find yourself in football, always find yourself. Alassiouty SC, let's have a great memorable time ahead and I'm very grateful for the opportunity you've presented to me.

    “Thank you so much Siyavuma Sports Group for making this happen,” Shilongo said.

    Shilongo will be the first Namibian to play in the Egyptian Premier League, which has one of Africa's powerful football clubs, Al Ahly SC.


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    Tigers have no player targets yetTigers have no player targets yetDifficult transfer window The January transfer window is open and many clubs are reluctant to reveal their plans this early on. MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) champions Tigers believe that it will be difficult to sign players at the moment.

    The Namibian transfer window opened this week and several clubs have already expressed interest in some players.

    Clubs like Young African are looking at signing players outside Namibia.

    However, it appears that there is still no movement of Tigers players this early in the transfer window.

    Tigers, who began this season on the back foot, are expected to bring in fresh players in order to challenge for a better position on the league table.

    The club appointed Woody Jacobs late last year after coach Lucky Kakuva resigned.

    Jacobs has been reluctant to talk about his plans for the club. The coach felt that signing new players now will be difficult, given the contracts they have with their existing teams.

    Other players are representing the country at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) currently under way in Morocco.

    “At the moment, we do not have any targets because most of the players are contracted by their clubs,” Jacobs briefly said yesterday.

    Jacobs and his boys hope for a better second round after the NPL break, given that they struggled to keep up with teams at the top half of the table.

    The champions find themselves in an unusual 13th position on the log after 15 games were played last year.

    Tigers have lost nine matches this season -the most losses of any club this season- and are 22 points behind log leaders African Stars.

    The Katutura giants have collected only three points on four occasions this season, while drawing two matches.

    Tigers have conceded 20 goals, while scoring only six, putting their goal difference in a negative.

    Their hopes of retaining the title this season are arguably over, given the points difference between them and African Stars.

    Tigers will however hope to stay out of the relegation zone since they are just a point away from the drop zone. It would be a remarkable turnaround if the club is able to bounce back from the terrible start and finish in the top half of the premier league table.

    The big race for league honours is now between African Stars, Tura Magic and surprise package Young African.


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    Sports Commission visits KuneneSports Commission visits Kunene The Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) held a one-day developmental meeting with different sport code representatives in Opuwo in the Kunene Region.

    The meeting was attended by regional sports officers, teachers, non-governmental organisation (NGO) representatives and community activists involved in sports in Kunene.

    Speaking at the gathering, NSC chief administrator Simataa Mwiya said the NSC was visiting all regions in the country to introduce the organisation's activities and duties to the public for sports development purposes.

    Mwiya told Nampa that the NSC was preparing for the Under-20 Youth Games trials to be held in Windhoek in May and the netball tournament that will be hosted as part of The Namibian Newspaper Cup in the Zambezi Region in April. The NSC is also busy preparing all 14 regions to set up regional sports committee structures that will manage all sport codes and establish regional teams that will represent their respective regions in all events at national level.

    Mwiya encouraged the regional sports management to provide a report and evidence of activity in sport codes to the NSC, as sports awards will be introduced for those who perform well at regional level.

    The NSC delegation also visited the office of the Kunene governor, Marius Sheya, where he asked the commission to assist the region in sport activities as the region is behind and neglected in terms of sports development.

    He also called on sports development officers in the region to take their duties seriously in order to assist the youth who are talented in sports.

    “Youth, distance yourself from alcohol and drugs and participate in sport,” said Sheya.

    At the same meeting, Kunene North sport chairperson Forestor Tjijahura said the regional sports management would try their best to develop sports in the region.

    He emphasised poor performance of the regional sports management and urged representatives to improve.


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    Canada cruise to victory over NamibiaCanada cruise to victory over Namibia An assured performance from Canada helped them overcome Namibia with ease at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval yesterday at the under-19 Cricket World Cup.

    Consummate batting and bowling performances from Canada held off a spirited Namibia challenge to keep Canada's dream of a quarter-final berth alive.

    The North American side set themselves well on the way to victory by restricting their opponents to 193 in the first innings, before knocking of their target with ease, early and late slides aside.

    Tenacity was a mark of the display. At several points when it appeared Namibia were about to claim the upper hand Canada struck, and though all of Namibia's top-six got starts, none could go on to a match-defining innings.

    The African side will be desperately disappointed to have thrown away their promising platforms, especially considering the start they had, capitalising on a slightly wayward start to move to 22 from four overs. There started the first of several squeezes applied by the Canadians, however, and having added just 31 in the next 9.1 overs, frustration told and Jurgen Linde spooned Akash Gill to mid-off.

    One brought another soon after with mesmeric off-spinner Rommel Shahzad – who impressed again with figures of 2/29 from his 10 overs – coaxing Lohan Louwrens into a big shot, but the sliced hit, intended to go down the ground, went too square and picked out a deep-ish cover, and when Shaun Fouche fell soon after for 21, Namibia were 100/3, and Canada were on top.

    From there began Namibia's best period, during which Eben van Wyk and Erich van Mollendorf added 51 in 10.1 overs.

    There was plenty of invention and proactivity on display, with one lap sweep from van Mollendorf a particular highlight. Namibia seemed set for a total well in the region of 240, but their dismissals, van Wyk chipping Aman Pathmanathan to cover and van Mollendorf holing out to deep mid-wicket, put those hopes on hold, and the passage may even come to be seen as the contest's defining moments.

    No further batsman was able to score with any fluency. Nicol Loftie-Eaton and Petrus Burger added just 11 in a turgid four-and-a-half over stand, and when the former fell, Namibia collapsed in a heap, Gill taking the last two to finish with excellent figures of 4/43.

    It wasn't the last impact he'd have, striking 52 to help Canada recover from 20/2. His and Arslan Khan's partnership of 110 took the wind out of Namibia's sails, the latter in particular catching the eye, with a compact but appealing batting style, all crisp punches and firm swivel-pulls.

    Even when Gill was dismissed panic didn't set in, Kevin Singh looking immediately at ease. But Arslan Khan's dismissal set in motion a collapse of 3/6 which momentarily set pulses racing. All the while Singh remained at the crease, bemused by the carnage going on all around him, and when he started blocking and aborting singles one feared for Canada.

    He kept his cool though, finally sealing victory with a lofted drive down the ground and a leg glance, bringing up his fifty at the same time, a perfectly scripted finish.


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  • 01/18/18--14:00: Football is growing - Mbidi
  • Football is growing - MbidiFootball is growing - MbidiNFA remains committed The Namibia Football Association (NFA) expects Namibians to be proud of what the national team has done in recent years. Namibia Football Association (NFA) president Frans Mbidi has commended the NFA staff for the effort they are making in improving football in the country.

    Mbidi believes that the performances of the national team, and the fact that female players are now excelling in what they do, are signs that football is growing.

    The national team in 2015 won the Cosafa tournament in South Africa and also won the plate final in 2016.

    The Warriors are currently in Morocco where they are competing in the African Nations Championship (CHAN).

    “I am very proud of the things which Namibian football has accomplished in the past three years.

    “I believe the fact that we qualified to the African Nations Championship speaks volume of the job that is being done on the ground.

    “The other important thing is that we have some of our female football players who have managed to secure bigger clubs in Europe,” Mbidi said.

    He expects bigger things from the national team, and Namibian football in general, this year.

    “We must all be proud of Namibia even if they do not win the CHAN competition, because being there is already important for us.

    “The fact that many of the local players participating in the competition are getting the exposure will be good for the nation,” he said.

    The president, however, admitted that there are some challenges that NFA is still facing.

    “The fact that sport is not a priority funded area has been one of the biggest challenges that we have had to endure.

    “We are however committed to making football grow and we are going to make sure that the dreams of many football players are realised,” Mbidi said.


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