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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 01/28/18--14:00: Nghidinwa laid to rest
  • Nghidinwa laid to restNghidinwa laid to rest The former minister of home affairs and immigration and one of Namibia's most loved heroines, Rosalia Nghidinwa, was buried at Nkurenkuru in the Kavango West Region on Saturday.

    Hundreds of mourners from all walks of life gathered at the Nkurenkuru Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) cemetery to pay their final respects. Nghidinwa died on the evening of 14 January. She was 65.

    Nghidinwa was buried next to her husband, Sam. Among the dignitaries in attendance were founding president Sam Nujoma, vice-president Nickey Iyambo and the prime minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. Based on the tributes which poured in for Nghidinwa, many remember her as being a family person, a devoted nurse, an advocate for development and one who played an important role in the attainment of Namibia's independence, as well as her contributions after independence as a lawmaker.







    Nghidinwa was described as a person who would meet a total stranger and embrace them as if they were her own child.

    During the service on Saturday mourners were collected but when her coffin was lowered into the grave, people could not hold back their tears.

    Emotions were palpable when some of the family members, especially her children and some elders, paid their final respects by throwing flowers into the grave, which saw many of them burst into tears.

    Most of the politicians spoken to shared their memories of the late Nghidinwa and described her as a person who was committed to serving the Namibian people.

    Iyambo read President Hage Geingob's message, in which he described Nghidinwa as a dedicated member of society who sacrificed a lot for the people of Namibia.

    “The legacy of Comrade Nghidinwa's dedication to nation-building, the development of our country and the social welfare of our people, is one that will endure and will never be forgotten,” Iyambo read.

    He called on fellow Namibians to emulate the work of the late Nghidinwa, saying she served her generation exceptionally well.

    “As we bid farewell to a heroine of our liberation struggle, I implore you compatriots, to emulate the good deeds of this exemplary comrade. Certainly Comrade Nghidinwa lived a life worth emulating and served her generation with distinction,” Iyambo read.

    Locals Namibian Sun spoke to shared their fond memories of Nghidinwa, whom they either referred to as 'Sister Rosa' or 'Comrade Rosalia'.

    They said Nghidinwa was involved in the majority of the development projects that have taken place in Nkurenkuru - be it a shopping complex, an educational or health institution.

    Nghidinwa is survived by six children.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 01/28/18--14:00: Bring your chair to school
  • Bring your chair to schoolBring your chair to schoolOnly one textbook for new curriculum A school at Nkurenkuru is so overcrowded that pupils have to bring their own chairs from home, or sit on the floor. Because of a lack of furniture at Nkurenkuru Combined School in Kavango West some learners carry chairs from home to school every day to avoid sitting on the floor.

    On Friday at 11:30 the bell rang to announce the end of the school day when it started raining heavily in Nkurenkuru.

    Outside the administration block of the Nkurenkuru Combined School one of the learners was spotted running with a chair in the direction of the school gate.

    A teacher said: “Look at that boy running over there. That is his own chair which he brings from home to school, Monday to Friday.”

    Conditions in the school's classrooms are bad. In most of the classrooms the learners either share chairs or sit on the floor.

    One of the learners on the floor said: “I came late to the class and now I don't know who took my chair.”

    School principal Frans Ngoma could not be reached for comment.

    Teachers attributed the lack of furniture to overcrowded classrooms, saying some classes consist of 65 pupils.

    Currently the school has 38 teachers for 1 213 learners from grade 4 to 10.

    The teachers say a class should have a maximum 35 learners per teacher but at their school the average is between 48 and 50.

    “This is why the school does not have enough furniture and we have an abnormal number of learners in class. If you calculate 35 learners by the 25 classes at the school it will give you 875 but look, we have 1 213 learners. That is cause of the problem,” one of the teachers explained.

    The teachers placed the blame on the Kavango West education directorate. They claimed that the school was told to enrol as many learners as it could, with the promise of receiving more furniture during the course of the year, but that never happened.





    “We have been waiting for years for new furniture but nothing has come. How does the ministry expect me as a teacher to ensure the learners are passing under these conditions?” another teacher remarked.

    Besides a lack of furniture, the school also experiences shortages of textbooks and other items.

    The government has introduced a new school curriculum but the teachers at Nkurenkuru Combined School said they received only one copy of each of the necessary textbooks. Teachers use these textbooks for planning their lessons; the pupils have to do without.

    “We don't think all schools across the country are faced with this challenge so why are they treating us like this?

    “At the end of the day our academic performance is compared to that of all the schools in the country,” a teacher remarked.

    In 2017 the school aimed for a 50% pass rate in the Grade 10 Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) examinations. Only 30% passed.

    The school has no dustbins either and piles of rubbish are seen on the school grounds.

    The teachers said they did not know what happened, as there was a company that was awarded a refuse-removal tender but they stopped collecting the rubbish long ago.

    The administration block is also too small and meetings are held standing up.

    “We have a library but we were warned not to hold our meetings there. We are now forced to stand in this small administration office,” a teacher explained.

    The teachers also have no break room where they can go when they do not have lessons.

    The Kavango West education director, Theopolina Hamutumua, undertook to respond to Namibian Sun's questions during the course of the week.





    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Brave Warriors' road ends at ChanBrave Warriors' road ends at ChanMorocco comfortable in their den The Brave Warriors exited the 2018 African Nations Championships (Chan) in the quarter-final after losing 2-0 to tournament host Morocco on Saturday at a packed Mohammed V stadium in Casablanca. LIMBA MUPETAMI



    Namibia entered the competition as underdogs and surprised football fans when they beat Group B favourites Ivory Coast 1-0 in their opening match.

    The local players, who have not enjoyed any active football for almost a year, further went to defeat Uganda in the second match with the same results and drew 1-1 with Zambia, which gave them the opportunity to face the dreaded Moroccans.

    In the first six minutes of the match against favourites Morocco Namibia received a free kick near the box which Riaan !Hanamub took. He curved in a brilliant ball but none of the Namibian players in the box put a touch to the ball. Morocco counter-attacked and almost scored but goal keeper Loydt Kazapua came to the defence of Namibia and stopped the ball from reaching the back of the net.

    The match was even in the first half as Morocco struggled to find their form and Namibia stood firm in their quest to humble the hosts.

    But to the surprise of the Namibian defence who were caught napping, the host nation scored their first goal on 33 minutes, through a quick free kick which saw Ayoub El Kaabi score before halftime. The technically gifted Moroccans found their rhythm soon after and started attacking the Namibian defence each minute they got in the second half. Namibia also came out more brave and confident but the sleek play of the Moroccans on the ball could not be denied.

    The hosts played free-flowing football and again got a goal through Sallahedine Saidi who tormented the Namibian defence all evening.

    The Namibian team found it hard to find the back of the net as their only goal in the game came in the 70th minute when Absalom Iimbondi's free kick, which was headed in by Charles Hambira, was disallowed by the referee. After the match Namibia's coach Ricardo Mannetti said the level of football by the Moroccan team and individual quality was key to the host nation winning the game.

    “We did well under the circumstance of playing against a well-oiled machine today, but my boys came out to show they deserved to be here with their brilliant performance against the host team,” he said.

    When asked about the decisions that went against his team, the coach said football was an emotional game and he refused to blame the match officials for his team's loss.

    “The game just didn't go our way because our opponents were better than us. I am not going to blame the referee for the decisions he took because that's not me,” Mannetti said.

    He stated that they needed individual brilliance in the team to come out, but their opponents were tactically better.

    “I don't think there is a Namibian fan or player that should drop their heads because we lost.

    “We qualified for this competition against the odds and that is something we should be happy about as a nation,” said Mannetti, who added that he was happy as his team did well in the competition.

    - Additional information: NFA

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  • 01/30/18--14:00: Chinese visit Meatco
  • Chinese visit MeatcoChinese visit Meatco The deputy minister of agriculture in China, Qu Dongyu, recently led a delegation of officials from his ministry including the Chinese ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, on a tour of Meatco.

    Earlier in the day, the delegation met with agriculture minister John Mutorwa to discuss matters on Chinese-Namibian agricultural cooperation.

    Namibia in 2016 became one of the first countries to be approved for the export of beef to China. However it was short-lived when only two months after the agreement, there was an outbreak of lumpy skin disease in Namibia.

    According to the agreement signed between the two governments, once any disease – either skin disease or foot-and-mouth – breaks out, beef exports must be terminated for at least one year.

    From 2016 to the first half of 2017, the country has seen lumpy skin disease outbreaks in the FMD-free zone of Namibia, notably in Otjozondjupa and Kunene, south of the veterinary cordon fence, and Omaheke.

    However, these outbreaks had been contained through vaccinations, and declared over in May 2017.

    Late last year Namibia and China made commitments to remove the lumpy skin disease condition in their old agreement, which blocks the export of beef to China.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 01/30/18--14:00: Producers must register
  • Producers must registerProducers must registerMeat Board urges new bi-annual registration All producers, including abattoirs and traders and dealers in meat products must register for the next two years with the Meat Board. The Meat Board of Namibia is requesting all livestock producers, abattoirs or slaughtering facilities, exporters or dealers of livestock or livestock products to register at the Meat Board for 2018/19.

    With this registration producers will receive their producer numbers which are annually renewable. The advantage of having a producer number is that it puts a producer in a position to market animals to any export abattoir and to import and export animals to and from Namibia.

    According to the Meat Board, registration is free of charge.

    Producers who have not been registered before, or would like to renew their registration numbers, can get the application forms from the Meat Board as well as agents such as Agra Auctions, Karoo Ochse, Kaap Agri and several others.

    The Meat Board further requests that, when persons want to be de-registered, such as with retirement or in the case of a producer's death, the Meat Board is informed accordingly.

    The registration forms are also available on the website of the Meat Board at and at certain agricultural extension and veterinary offices, or alternatively the Meat Board office can be contacted.

    Furthermore the producers should take note that the ear tag office of the Meat Board will be closed on Thursday, 1 February as well as on Friday, 16 February from 08:00 until 10:00 for stock taking.

    The office will be open again from 10:00 on these days for the purchasing of ear tags.



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 01/30/18--14:00: Diplomacy for 'shithole'
  • Diplomacy for 'shithole'Diplomacy for 'shithole'AU chooses strategic response The 55-nation African Union appears to have decided to react diplomatically and strategically to President Donald Trump's alleged vulgar remarks about the continent. Rather than issuing an angry condemnation of Trump's reported comments in which he likened Africa to a filthy toilet, the African Union may decide to follow the advice of its new chairperson, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, to deal with the US president as the leader of a country elected by his people.

    Kagame made the remarks on Monday as the annual summit, which was attended by more than 40 African leaders, drew to a close. Kagame spoke at the African Union after meeting Trump last Friday in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum.

    “I've met the president of the United States but the president of the United States is Trump,” Kagame told reporters in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. “For me the most value is to meet the President of the United States. When the United States decides to give us Trump as their president, we will deal with that president.”

    Many African leaders were outraged by Trump's alleged rude comment about the continent. Trump has said he didn't use such language, while others present say he did.

    But the fury appears to have been muted by a letter sent by Trump to African leaders in the past week in which he said he “deeply respects” the people of Africa. Trump also pledged that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will make an “extended visit” to the continent in March, his first in that role.

    “President Trump wrote a letter through the (AU) Commission and to the chairperson addressing the heads of state of Africa wishing them every success and stating how he is ready to collaborate with Africa,” said Kagame.

    Trump called Kagame a “friend” when they met at the World Economic Forum.

    Many in Africa were taken aback by Trump's rude toilet comment after nearly a year of little attention to Africa by the US president's administration.



    'It's a sensational... accusation'

    US diplomats have scrambled for days to address the shock and condemnation after the reports of Trump's remarks. Trump's letter and Kagame's careful response seem to have calmed things down. Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, toned down his stance in a press conference with journalists on Monday. The previous week he said “Africa cannot keep quiet” about Trump's “shocking” remarks. But Monday he would only say African leaders had received a “letter of correspondence” from Trump and “we've taken due note of it.”

    Another controversy at the African Union summit was over the report in the French newspaper, Le Monde, that China spied on the organisation's headquarters from 2012 to 2017. Chinese officials quickly rejected the report.

    “It's a sensational and total preposterous accusation. It's so absurd,” said Kuang Weilin, China's representative to the African Union, who said he suspects the report was intended to harm China's relations with Africa.

    The African Union's headquarter in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, was built as a gift by China to Africa at a cost of more than US$200 million. The main building is 100 metres high and is currently the tallest building in Addis Ababa.

    Also at the African Union summit, it was announced the organisation has launched a new aviation deregulation scheme. The plan calls for a full liberalization of air market access between African states and the elimination of restrictions on ownership of airlines and full liberalisation of air frequencies. The move is intended to promote cheaper air travel between African countries.

    NAMPA/AP

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  • 01/30/18--14:00: It starts with the basics
  • It starts with the basicsIt starts with the basics According to Maslow's hierarchy of human needs, which runs in a pyramid from the bottom up, the first basic human need is physiological – things like food and shelter. The second need is safety which is self-explanatory. The third is love and belonging which moves into self-esteem and the final need, self-actualisation – becoming a highly evolved, altruistic person living out his or her particular set of skills and caring for the community and the environment.

    The matter of the Ondangwa Town Council refers here.

    Let us say from the outset, that we support rights for animals, all animals and that we are vehemently opposed to any form of animal abuse – of any animal.

    However, there is something we need to understand.

    No human being, who does not know for a fact that there is a meal tonight, that there is shelter and a blanket, safety and personal security, will care anything for the rights of animals. If a person does not have his or her needs met, there can be no altruism. That person, who is forced to survive, who is unsure of what tomorrow will bring, whether that includes food or a violent crime towards him or her, cannot possibly give a damn about a pig or a cow or any other animal who too, is not being fed.

    Our women and children suffer abandonment, physical abuse often as a cultural right and suffer the threat of rape. In the most recent crime report from the Namibian police, the victim was first stabbed and then raped. And in our high courts, fathers are facing charges of killing their own minor children.

    This is the Namibia we live in. Poor children have to take their chairs to school. They sleep in hostels which are unsafe and not fit for human habitation. They are surrounded by shebeens and alcohol abuse, they are faced with fetching water, walking long distances and what not.

    There is no way they, anyone else will care for the animals.

    The sordid state of the holding pens at Ondangwa, and the shameful way those innocent animals were treated, is a direct symptom of the failure of this government to uplift its people.

    It starts with the basics. Let no Namibian go to bed hungry.

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  • 01/30/18--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day STUCK: Donkeys wait patiently in front of a cart full of water containers after a tyre burst while bewildered young girls try to figure out what to do next in Matebeleland, Zimbabwe. With many young men and boys moving to cities in search of greener pastures, fetching water and firewood falls squarely of young girls and women in much of rural Africa. Photo: MOSES MAGADZA

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  • 01/30/18--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Anglo sells Eskom-tied coal assets

    Anglo American on Monday announced the sale of the New Largo thermal coal project in South Africa for approximately US$71 million to a new majority black-owned-and-managed company, marking its exit from South African domestic coal.

    Mining coal in South Africa is complicated by a dispute with the government and the industry over a new mining code and by turmoil at indebted power utility Eskom.

    New Largo Coal Proprietary Limited is owned by Seriti Resources Proprietary Limited and Coalzar Proprietary Limited, two companies majority owned and controlled by historically disadvantaged South Africans.

    The deal is subject to regulatory approval and expected to close in the second half of 2018.

    Petra Diamonds warns on profit

    Petra Diamonds Ltd expects full-year core earnings to come in about 10% to 15% below consensus and cut its 2018 production forecast.

    The company, which operates diamond mines in South Africa and Tanzania, said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to be hit by the recent strengthening of the South African rand.

    The profit warning comes after a three-week strike at its South Africa operations and the blocking of a consignment of diamonds in Tanzania that led the company to flag a possible breach of two of its debt covenants in October.

    Petra, which had a net debt of about US$644.7 million as of Dec.31, said on Monday it started formal discussions with its lenders to evaluate the covenants. – Nampa/Reuters

    Aspen to start review of infant milk formula unit

    Aspen Pharmacare will review its infant milk formula business with options including a sale to a strategic partner, Africa's biggest generic drugmaker said.

    The unit, which has factories in New Zealand, South Africa and Mexico, follows the approval by the China Food and Drug Administration's registration of the company's baby milk formula brand, Alula.

    The business sells infant milk formula in the Asia-Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, and has a growing presence in the Middle East and China.

    Aspen has appointed Centerview Partners UK LLP as financial adviser to assist in the strategic review process. – Nampa/Reuters

    Apple set to halve production target

    Apple Inc has notified suppliers that it will halve its iPhone X production target for the first quarter to around 20 million units, Nikkei reported on Monday without citing a source.

    The cut was prompted by slower-than-expected sales in the holiday shopping season in Europe, the United States and China.

    The report added that Apple is expected to maintain a total production target of 30 million units for lower priced models such as the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 7. – Nampa/Reuters

    Swatch ‘very positive’ on 2018

    Swatch Group said it expected "very positive" growth in 2018 after net profit rose 28% in 2017, helped by an improvement in global demand for Swiss watches.

    Sales rose 5.8% at constant exchange rates and 5.4% in Swiss francs, helped by a strong acceleration in the second half of the year.

    Swatch said sales increased by 12.2% in the second half of 2017, and an even faster 14.9% rate in the fourth quarter. December was the second highest sales month in the company's history, it said.

    It said it had seen "marked" growth in China, its biggest market, while Europe increased last year. Growth in North America also accelerated during 2017, Swatch said. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Peace of mind with bank demand guaranteesPeace of mind with bank demand guaranteesHelp in uncertain times Anton Smit, executive officer for credit at Bank Windhoek, sheds light on bank demand guarantees. The reality is that losing money can cripple a thriving business, or worse, force its closure. – Anton Smit, Executive officer for credit: Bank Windhoek Daily, businesses in Namibia and around the world enter into agreements for the sale or procurement of goods or services.

    With it, comes the accompanying risk of losing money from services or goods not delivered. The reality is that losing money can cripple a thriving business, or worse, force its closure.

    To make matters worse, it takes time, effort and money to try and recover losses through litigation which may not be successful. So how does one deal with this very real threat? One solution to buffering such a potential risk is obtaining a demand guarantee from Bank Windhoek, which provides contracting parties with peace of mind.

    This is how demand guarantee works: A client will approach Bank Windhoek and provide details of the contract that has been entered into with the beneficiary of the service. The bank will then issue a demand guarantee to the client’s’ named beneficiary; the client’s contractor or supplier. In the event of the bank’s client defaulting under the contractual agreement with the beneficiary, the beneficiary will simply submit a written demand to the bank in order to receive payment.

    A guarantee is independent of the underlying contractual relationship, and the bank is in no way concerned with or bound the relationship in any way. What this means is that the bank is obliged to honour claims made by the beneficiary, despite any contrary claims or defences arising from the bank’s client.

    Listed below are some of the seven commonly used types of demand guarantees: Tender guarantee/bid bond: This guarantee secures a client’s tender commitment. It pays out on demand by a beneficiary should a client default on the tender submission requirements.

    Performance guarantee: Secures a client’s contractual commitments and pays out on demand by a beneficiary when client defaults on the terms of the contract. A prerequisite in terms of the Procurement Act, is an example for both the tender and performance guarantee functions.

    Retention guarantee: Mostly implemented in construction projects. A beneficiary can demand payment when client does not rectify faults identified during the warranty period.

    Credit facility guarantee: Used to secure a facility granted by a creditor - pays out when client does not honour payments of the facility. For instance, your company extends “unsecured” credit terms to a client and they fail to pay. Small, medium and large retail and commercial business, regularly make use of this form of guarantee.

    Payment guarantee: Its purpose is to secure payment for goods. The payment guarantee pays out on demand by a beneficiary when client fails to honour contract.

    Advanced payment guarantee: Mostly used in construction projects, its main purpose is to secure prepayment made by a beneficiary to enable a client to start work.

    Lease guarantee: Commonly used by landlords, it forms as a deposit for a lease agreement instead of paying over cash money to a lessor (beneficiary). Clients thus earn interest on own money.

    Bank Windhoek’s demand guarantees are subject to the International Chamber of Commerce Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees.

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    US budget deficit to top US$1-trillionUS budget deficit to top US$1-trillion A Washington think tank has estimated the US federal budget deficit under President Donald Trump’s (photo) watch is on track to blow through US$1 trillion in 2019. If it does, it would be the first time since 2012 the US economy will have to support a deficit so large. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budge said the red ink may rise in fiscal 2019 to US$1.12 trillion. If current policies continue, it said, the deficit could top a record-setting US$2 trillion by 2027. Photo Nampa/Reuters

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    Okavango poaching in spotlightOkavango poaching in spotlightUS sets sights on the river basin The United States is keen to develop a comprehensive plan for human and animal well-being in the Okavango River Basin, saying it is of strategic importance to them. A legislator in the US has introduced a bill that is aimed at promoting sustainable development and combatting poaching in the Okavango River Basin, which also falls in Namibia.

    Jeff Fortenberry, who is a party member of US President Donald Trump, presented the Defending Economic Livelihoods and Threatened Animals (DELTA) Act.

    The Okavango River Basin supports more than one million people in Angola, Botswana and Namibia and is home to several threatened wildlife species, including the largest remaining African elephant population in the world.

    “This transnational conservation initiative marks a new approach to protecting majestic species such as the African elephant, and rhinoceros, while creating dynamic new benefits for the surrounding countries and indigenous people,” Fortenberry said on the bill.

    “Through innovation, creativity, and conservation, we can save and enhance one of the most beautiful and delicate ecosystems in the world.”

    The DELTA Act has five main goals that it aims to complete in order to foster economic development in the three southern African countries and the Okavango River Basin area.

    These are to encourage federal agencies to work in conjunction with the governments of Angola, Botswana and Namibia to create improved natural resource management and wildlife conservation.

    It also aims to add protection to the migration routes of elephants and other endangered species that live around the river basin.

    Furthermore, it wants to fight poaching and trafficking of wildlife in the area and to assist with human health and other development needs of the local communities around the river basin.

    The bill says it wants to prioritise wildlife trafficking and anti-poaching programmes in the basin to protect threatened species and prevent a critical source of criminal and terror financing.

    The DELTA Act states combating poaching and trafficking is also important because these activities can have detrimental effects on the local government, due to the potential of causing instability in the region.

    The bill also states “it is in the strategic interest of the United States to… advance conservation efforts and promote economic growth and stability in the greater Okavango River Basin.”

    The bill was introduced in the US House of Representatives and has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

    The Okavango River Basin covers a hydrological active area of approximately 323 192 square kilometres shared by three countries in southern Africa: Angola, Namibia and Botswana. The Okavango River is the fourth longest river system in southern Africa. As well as the water resources, people living in the basin derive numerous natural resources from the basin ecosystem.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Child killer sentencing starts next weekChild killer sentencing starts next week A father who was in November 2017 found guilty of murdering his two minor children in December 2009, will on 7 February 2018 hear pre-sentencing evidence in respect of the type of sentence the High Court will impose in the matter.

    Jonas Penovanhu Shinana, 37, was found guilty of killing Matheus Shinana, 6, and Emilia Naatye Shinana, 4, by slitting their throats with a knife between 23 and 24 December 2009 at their house along Mersey Street in the Wanaheda residential area.

    The pre-sentencing evidence in respect of the type of the punishment Shinana is to receive was scheduled for Monday, but could not proceed because Shinana's government-funded defence lawyer, Bradley Basson, had travelled to South Africa for medical attention. During the submission of the pre-sentencing evidence, both Basson and prosecution representative, State Advocate Palmer Khumalo will address High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo in respect of the type of sentence to be imposed in the matter.

    Shinana was found guilty as charged in a judgement handed down by Ndauendapo on 24 November 2017.

    “The accused was alone in the house with the two children and it was the accused himself who committed these heinous crimes. The accused's claims that an intruder had entered the house and killed the two children are just mere afterthoughts,” said the judge in his ruling. On 2 March 2017, Shinana also suffered a heavy blow when his self-incriminating statements were admitted as evidence in court and were used against him during trial. Shinana's trial is being handled by the court in accordance with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act (Act 4) of 2003 that warrants a long direct custodial sentence upon conviction. Evidence presented during trial had it that Shinana was found unconscious after he unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself with a rope shortly after murdering the children. Shinana remains in custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility.

    NAMPA

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    Namibia part of breakthrough discoveryNamibia part of breakthrough discovery Namibia was part of a breakthrough discovery in the astrophysics world that gained international recognition last year.

    The collaboration that led to the first ever observation of gravitational waves was named as the 'Breakthrough of the Year 2017' by the acclaimed publications Science and Physics World, the journal of the UK Institute of Physics. The result is also on the scientific magazine Nature's list of 'Science Events That Shaped the Year'.

    The discovery helps explain how heavy elements are formed and spread in galaxies. It also points to a new method of measuring the distances to remote celestial bodies, because when astronomers have both gravitational waves and light to work with, they can measure remote distances more precisely. Based on the distance measured, they can calculate how fast the universe expands.

    According to Dr Michael Backes, the head of the High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) Research Unit, gravitational waves were detected on 17 August last year from the collision of two ultra-dense remains of giant stars, called neutron stars.

    HESS is a system of four 12-metre and one 28-metre-diameter telescopes, situated in the Khomas Hochland about 120km south-west of Windhoek. The telescopes are operated by an international collaboration of more than 250 researchers from 13 countries.

    “As soon as the automatic data analysis procedures had spotted something interesting going on, a message was sent around the world to collaborating observatories to complement this gravitational wave detection with as much coverage by as many different telescopes as possible,” Backes said.

    In an unprecedented move, more than 70 observatories around the world followed the call for co-observations, among them the HESS telescopes.

    The awards particularly emphasise the collaborative nature of “big science” these days.

    “The explosion was easily the most studied event in the history of astronomy, with 3 674 researchers from 953 institutions collaborating on a single paper summarising the merger and its aftermath”, states Science, whereas Physics World is even more explicit in saying that the award was deliberately “given to thousands of scientists working in nearly 50 collaborations worldwide”.

    Further, the publications believe that the observation “is a shining example of how our knowledge of the universe can move forwards when people from all over the world join together with a common scientific cause”.

    In this big international effort, Namibia was represented by four staff members of the Department of Physics at University of Namibia (Unam), joined by Namibian PhD students at Humboldt University Berlin (Germany) and North-West University (SA).

    Unam has been a member of the HESS collaboration since its inception. Currently, there are three Namibian PhD and two MSc students conducting their research in the context of HESS and gamma-ray astronomy in the Department of Physics at Unam.

    Out of the more than 3 600 authors from 953 institutes of the observation, five are based at Unam.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    These ‘boots’ were made for talkingThese ‘boots’ were made for talking Delegates at last week’s meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, knowing they had big shoes to fill, stepped up to the occasion. Canadian Prime Minister's Justin Trudeau (left) stole the show with his socks, while Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (2nd from the left) tackled the lion’s den in leopard print pumps. Maryam Monsef (2nd from the right), Canada's minister of status of women, attended the WEF boot camp in true Canadian style. Dan Schulman (right), president and chief executive officer of PayPal, cowboyed up to appear tough as leather. Photos Nampa/Reuters

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  • 01/30/18--14:00: Livestock sector recovers
  • Livestock sector recoversLivestock sector recovers Namibia's livestock farming sector has recovered from drought and economic recession, with higher numbers of cattle and sheep marketed last year.

    The sector experienced one of its worst years in 2016, but the number of cattle marketed last year increased by 30%.

    According to the Meat Board of Namibia a total of 421 000 cattle were marketed last year compared to 293 000 in 2016.

    Of the total number of cattle exported last year, 313 000 were weaners exported to South African feedlots, which means that 172 000 cattle were slaughtered at local abattoirs in 2017.

    Producers were also paid a 34% higher price for weaners at auctions in 2017 compared to the previous year.

    According to the Meat Board, the average B2 grade beef price at export abattoirs increased by 16% in 2017.

    In 2016 there was a 30.3% decrease in the number of cattle marketed compared to 2015.

    Numbers have now almost stabilised to the level of 2015, when 433 491 cattle were marketed.

    The Meat Board attributed the drop in numbers from 2015 to 2016 to a steep decline in live cattle exports to South Africa because of veterinary import regulations implemented by that country on 1 July 2016.

    Live cattle exports to South Africa dropped from 281 965 in 2015 to 165 927 in 2016, showing a decrease of 30.1%.

    There was also a more significant decrease of 98.6% in the live exportation of weaners in 2016, especially between June and July when the number of live cattle exports dropped from 31 837 to only two cattle.

    An average decrease of N$1.31 in the weaner auction price was observed between 2016 and 2015, as the price dropped from N$18.04/kg in 2015 to N$ 16.73/kg in 2016.

    The total number of sheep marketed last year increased by 2%.

    A total of 704 000 sheep were marketed last year, of which 394 000 were exported and 310 000 were slaughtered locally. The average A2 sheep carcass price increased by 16% in 2017.

    In 2016 a total of 680 843 sheep were marketed, of which 321 413 were slaughtered at export abattoirs.

    That was 29.2% lower than in 2015, when 961 180 sheep were marketed.

    “The country has suffered during the past two to three years, not only as a result of the relentless drought, but also due to the slowdown of the economy.

    “In this year, we will again have to address a number of challenges,” said the Meat Board.

    These include the finalisation of a market for livestock producers north of the Veterinary Cordon Fence and a decision about the future of sheep marketing in Namibia.

    The Meat Board says it is important that all factors affecting the growth of the Namibian meat sector should be thoroughly discussed with the government.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 01/30/18--14:00: Queen becomes foster mother
  • Queen becomes foster motherQueen becomes foster mother Queen Martha Mwadinomho Kristian Nelumbu of Oukwanyama has turned her palace at Omhedi into a foster home.

    During a press conference at Omhedi last week, Nelumbu said she was a caregiver to many homeless or parentless children living with her in the palace.

    Nelumbu did not give the exact number of children but said the palace was full of children up to the age of five.

    She said some of the children were brought in by palace workers and others were brought in by people from the surrounding area.

    “Child neglect and the abandonment of children is a worrying trend in northern Namibia. Some grandparents, whose care the children are left in, consume alcohol and do not take proper care of the children, thus making them vulnerable,” the queen said.

    She said these children were welcome at Omhedi, where many other children were being taken care of.

    The spokesperson of the traditional authority, Ndjeimo Popyeninawa, said the traditional authority took care of these children and budget for them every month.

    “The palace is full of children from the age of zero to five years old and they are being taken care of by the traditional authority. Every month we budget for their basic needs because they are here just as children of the palace,” Popyeninawa said.

    He added that when the children were ready to go to school there was a kindergarten outside the palace where they could start.

    In 2015, Nelumbu urged young mothers to bring their unwanted babies to her instead of abandoning or killing them. So far only two such babies have been brought to her, she said.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    32 years for killing girlfriend32 years for killing girlfriend A man convicted of housebreaking with intent to murder, and murder read in conjunction with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, has been sentenced to 32 years' imprisonment.

    Eben Cloete (40) murdered his girlfriend, Anna Nadia Coetzee (27), on 13 August 2009 by stabbing her eight times with a knife in her parents' home at the then Neudamm Research Station.

    During the trial, it was learnt that when Coetzee saw Cloete approaching her, she ran into her bedroom and locked the door.

    Cloete broke open the door, entered the room and attacked her. He fled after stabbing her to death.

    Judge Dinnah Usiku said domestic violence is regarded as an aggravating factor in sentencing.

    She added that such offences are prevalent in the country and the courts have a duty to protect victims against domestic violence.

    “The manner in which the offence was committed is aggravating,” she emphasised.

    She said the court, when sentencing, is required to weigh the crime committed and the interests of society against the personal circumstances of the convict, while also taking into account any mitigating and aggravating factors.

    “When sentencing the court has a duty to exercise its own discretion as it finds appropriate in the circumstances of each particular case,” Usiku emphasised.

    She added that when society views a crime as abhorrent, the sentence should reflect such abhorrence.

    “The sanctity of life is a fundamental human right enshrined into law by the constitution and must be respected and protected by all. In my view it is not only the accused who must be deterred by a heavy sentence but others too,” Usiku said.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Genocide consultations spark outrageGenocide consultations spark outrageNama committee perceives a snub The Nama genocide technical committee says the government's consultations in the south are disrespectful of the late Nama chief Dawid Frederick. The Nama genocide technical committee has condemned a round of consultations in the south by the government on its negotiations with Germany regarding reparations for genocide.

    The committee yesterday said the consultations were a deliberate insult hurled at the Nama community who are mourning their traditional chief, Dawid Frederick, who died two weeks ago.

    The outreach consultations are being done under the leadership of the government's genocide special envoy, Dr Zed Ngavirue.

    The aim of the consultations is to inform and consult descendants of victims of the state of affairs on the ongoing negotiations between Germany and Namibia.

    The aim is also to solicit input from communities on their needs and aspirations for reparations.

    The consultations kicked off in the south of Namibia, where several meetings were held at all the main towns, and will eventually go to the Erongo and Kunene regions.

    Judging from the consultation programme, a number of local leaders were picked to mobilise communities.

    The committee, in a statement issued by its spokesperson Paul Thomas, called on all Nama people to boycott the consultations, claiming that it disrespects the memory of the late chief.

    “Those of you who can attend can do so, but the Namibian government is busy with a divide-and-rule tactic. They have even sidelined the various traditional leaderships. Zed Ngavirue and his running dogs are at play to mislead the Nama and OvaHerero communities,” Thomas said.

    Ngavirue, on the other hand, said he saw this outreach as an honour and not in the least an insult to the late chief.

    According to him, there is no difference between sending a delegation to attend the New York court hearing and the consultations he initiated.

    “I am surprised to hear people say this. Normally it is an honour to continue a fight when a general has fallen. The chief even sent his people to New York, how is this different?” he asked.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 01/30/18--14:00: Africa Briefs
  • Africa BriefsAfrica Briefs Angola leaves repo rate at 18%

    Angola's central bank left its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 18% at a meeting of its monetary policy committee on Monday, the regulator said in a notice on its website.

    The next meeting of Angola's monetary policy committee is on Feb. 28, the notice said. – Nampa/Reuters

    Mozambique acts on US$2 billion loans

    Mozambique's Attorney General has filed a legal complaint against officials and state-owned companies involved in securing US$2 billion in loans that were not approved by parliament or disclosed publicly, her office said on Monday.

    Investigations into the debt found that the deals violated Mozambique's constitution, the AG's office said in a statement.

    The alleged infringements included failure to comply with the procedures and limits established by law in the issuance of guarantees by the state, it said.

    An independent audit of the debt showed in June last year that questions remained on how the US$2 billion was used and roughly a quarter of the money remained unaccounted for. – Nampa/Reuters

    Liberia's Weah cuts his own salary

    Liberia's newly sworn-in President George Weah pledged to cut his own salary by a quarter on Monday, in a nationwide address in which he warned of tough times ahead for a "broke" country.

    "Our economy is broken; our government is broke. Our currency is in free fall; inflation is rising," Weah said. "Unemployment is at an unprecedented high and our foreign reserves are at an all-time low".

    Weah had promised a crackdown on endemic corruption as he was sworn in a week ago to the cheers of thousands of exuberant supporters crammed into a stadium in the capital, Monrovia.

    The announcement of a pay cut for himself is likely go down well on a continent long used to officials in high office awarding themselves fabulous pay rises and perks. – Nampa/Reuters



    IMF pleased with Morocco's currency move

    Morocco's new, more flexible hard currency system is a step in the right direction to make the kingdom more attractive to investment and turn it into a financial hub for Africa, a senior IMF official said.

    Two weeks ago, Morocco launched a more flexible foreign exchange system under free-market reforms recommended by the International Monetary Fund to protect the North African economy against external shocks and safeguard its reserves.

    Rabat has said it does not plan to follow the path of Egypt, which opted for a full float of its currency in one go.

    Morocco is among the most advanced Arab countries in liberalising its economy, the IMF said. "They are on the right track. This is paying off."– Nampa/Reuters

    Libya gets new central bank governor

    Libya's eastern-based parliament swore in a new central bank governor on Monday, though the head of a rival assembly in the capital, Tripoli, quickly rejected the move.

    The leadership of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) has been divided since 2014, when rival political factions established competing governments in Tripoli and the east of the country.

    The eastern-based parliament, or House of Representatives (HOR), set up a parallel central bank in the eastern town of Bayda, voting to dismiss Tripoli governor Sadiq al-Kabir.

    After backing Kabir's former deputy Ali Salim al-Hibri to run the bank in Bayda, in December the HOR elected Mohamed Shukri as the new governor.

    As he was sworn in on Monday, Shukri spoke of reuniting the CBL and working to emulate the National Oil Corporation (NOC), which has overseen a sharp increase in production despite continuing political divisions. – Nampa/Reuters

    Ghana likely to hedge oil imports

    Ghana will likely hedge its oil imports under a new risk management strategy to keep fiscal consolidation on track as global crude prices recover, a finance ministry source said.

    The West African country has largely been a net crude importer, except last year when oil exports exceeded imports by around US$990 million, according to central bank data.

    While future price recovery was partially good news for Ghana's oil exports, the government fears it could also derail price stability and spike fuel-related expenditures.

    The major commodity exporter operates a deregulated consumer fuel pricing mechanism after the government reluctantly scrapped subsidies in 2015 under a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). – Nampa/Reuters

    Nigeria injects millions into currency market

    Nigeria's central bank said on Monday it had injected $210 million into the interbank foreign exchange market, extending efforts to boost liquidity and alleviate US dollar shortages.

    The bank said in a statement it had released US$100 million earmarked for the wholesale market, US$55 million for small businesses and individuals, and US$55 million for certain dollar expenses such as school fees and medical bills. – Nampa/Reuters

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