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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 02/04/18--14:00: Chiefs draw against Santos
  • Chiefs draw against SantosChiefs draw against SantosTeams share the spoils Tsumeb-based Chiefs Santos failed to capitalise on their home-ground advantage against Rundu Chiefs over the Rundu Chiefs and Chiefs Santos on Saturday played to a goalless draw at the Oscar Norrish Stadium in Tsumeb.

    The match follows Rundu Chiefs' 3-2 success over Mighty Gunners on 27 January at the Rundu Sport Stadium.

    “It has been games of mixed results so far, but we are happy with the way things are going at the moment.

    “It can give us a confidence boost going forward, given the way we started the first round of the NPL.

    “The players and the entire Rundu Chiefs staff are working towards making the best out of this team,” Rundu Chiefs spokesperson Thomas Shapi said.

    Chiefs were expected to play the last match of three games from the first round against Oshakati's Young Chiefs yesterday afternoon.

    The club hopes for a better second round, in order to avoid lingering at the bottom half of the table, as they did in the first round of the MTC Namibia Premier League campaign.

    One of the club's biggest aims for the remainder of the season is to avoid relegation at all costs.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Nam to compete at wrestling championshipNam to compete at wrestling championship A group of six athletes and their coach jetted off to Nigeria on Sunday to compete at the 2018 Senior African Wrestling Championship.

    The Nigeria Wrestling Federation will host the championship from 7 to 11 February at the Alfred Diete Spiff Sports Centre.

    The African Wrestling Championship is an annual event which showcases the best of African Wrestling in the senior, junior and cadet categories of wrestling.

    Speaking to Nampa on Friday, the team coach, Luis Forcelledo, said his athletes are ready to compete in Nigeria.

    “We had good preparation even though the athletes did not fight in friendly matches ahead of this competition.

    “I am confident and hopeful that when in Nigeria, we will win medals for the country because my athletes are ready to show the continent how good they are,” he said.

    The Namibian wrestling team will use this championship as a qualifier for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics to be hosted by Buenos Aires, Argentina from 6 to 18 October.

    Namibia Sport Commission's chief administrator Freddy Mwiya called on the athletes to represent the country with pride.

    “It's important to work hard while in Nigeria and I hope you will follow in the footsteps of the Brave Warriors that did us proud when they were in Morocco.

    “The Brave Warriors reached the quarterfinals of the competition. I hope you'll reach the semis or the finals, so you bring home the gold medals or silver,” Mwiya said.

    Nigeria will be hosting the championships for the first time since its inception 42 years ago.

    The Namibian athletes that will be representing the country at the championship are Asino Festus - (45kg), Salom Panduleni - (51kg), Merven Eixab (40kg), Linus Katujanda (55kg) and Devin Bernhard (60kg). These athletes will compete in the cadet category.

    Romio Goliath who is 55kg, will be the only athlete in the squad competing in the junior category.


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  • 02/04/18--14:00: Rundu to get 123 new houses
  • Rundu to get 123 new housesRundu to get 123 new housesPromises of jobs, revenue There will be direct and indirect employment during the construction period as well as economic development for Rundu and the entire country. RUNDU – Housing projects should be implemented not only for the sake of providing much-needed houses, but to positively contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

    This was said by the deputy minister of urban and rural development, Silvia Makgone, during the official ground-breaking of the construction site for 123 National Housing Enterprise (NHE) houses at Rundu on Thursday.

    Makgone said the ground-breaking signifies another milestone in government’s quest to house the Namibian people in decent shelter.

    “To us as a government, the construction of houses under the Mass Housing Programme and the servicing of land under the Massive Urban Land Servicing Project are not the only interventions being undertaken in the quest to reduce the housing backlog in the country,” she said.

    Makgone said taking into consideration the existing efforts made by the government, the challenges of housing and urban land delivery are not insurmountable - if the government, the private sector, and the community pull efforts and resources together to pursue innovative strategies.

    Housing developments such as these, the minister said, are important as they contribute to the realisation of the desired outcome as outlined in the social progression pillar in the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

    There will be direct and indirect employment during the construction period as well as economic development for Rundu and the entire country, she added.

    “The mayor and the local authority councillors will be pleased to have 123 houses constructed in Rundu as this will be revenue collection for them,” she said. - Nampa

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    Looking for 2018 Women of ExcellenceLooking for 2018 Women of Excellence These women have selflessly dedicated their lives to the betterment of other, often without recognition or much needed support. - Surihe Gaomas-Guchu, Spokesperson: Standard Bank Namibia Staff reporter - It is often said that if you empower a woman, you empower a nation as the benefits are felt throughout the whole community.

    Standard Bank Namibia supports the development, empowerment and recognition of women in all sectors of society. As such, the bank has committed itself to contributing financially towards the Namibian Women of Excellence project through the Miss Namibia Pageant.

    “Standard Bank is in support of raising awareness towards the important role women play in our Namibian communities. These women have selflessly dedicated their lives to the betterment of other, often without recognition or much needed support. We are therefore calling on all Namibians to help us honour these women by nominating a Woman of Excellence in their communities for this year,” Standard Bank Namibia’s PR and communications manager, Surihe Gaomas-Guchu, urged last week.

    Standard Bank Namibia’s main involvement with the Miss Namibia Pageant revolves around its sponsorship of the Namibian Women of Excellence initiative.

    Community members nominate women-run charity organisations as part of the project and nominees are placed in one of two categories, one for women who have contributed greatly to the less privileged and the second for a spirit of generosity and kindness.

    “Through the years we have managed to help some of our exceptional winners with much needed financial support, which they in turn use for the benefit of their communities. We would like to help more people and extend our reach further than before so we are urging every Namibian to actively look for and nominate a Woman of Excellence from within their community,” she said.

    The most recent winners include Dr Christina Swart-Opperman of the Christina Swart-Opperman Aids Orphan Foundation Trust, Ebenecia Tjiveta of the Onyose Trust and Johanna Hauwanga of Helping Hands in 2016.

    Entry forms can be collected at the Standard Bank Namibia Head Office in the Town Square Centre, Windhoek on the 4th floor, Marketing Department, or from all Standard Bank branches from the branch manager.

    The new winners will be announced during the Miss Namibia 2018 Pageant on 07 July.

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  • 02/04/18--14:00: Let's build on CHAN
  • Let's build on CHANLet's build on CHAN Namibia's performance at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) was impressive, given the challenges the country faced before the tournament.

    Therefore, it is important that Namibia makes the most of this momentum, in order to excel in other competitions.

    Coach Ricardo Mannetti has proven his tactical acumen, while marshalling his players cleverly and strategically.

    This is what Namibia wants to see, and I believe our time to flourish has finally arrived.

    In the early CHAN matches, Mannetti's charges embraced their underdog status and defended for long periods, before playing some excellent counter-attacking football.

    Mannetti also proved his versatility during the last group game against Zambia, when his side played devastating attacking football.

    In the quarterfinal clash against Morocco, a tactical mix was employed, which made it difficult for the host nation to dominate the Brave Warriors.

    Morocco had been scoring plenty of goals before meeting a tactically disciplined Namibian side, who were unlucky to lose 2-0.

    The Brave Warriors certainly look like the real deal, and that is why more money needs to be invested in the national team as a matter of urgency.

    This team now needs to receive the necessary exposure and funding, in order to play more international friendlies, which have been few and far between, because of ongoing funding issues.

    This is one of the reasons why the country has been failing to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and World Cup.

    Government, over the years, has continued to categorise sport as a sector that is not a funding priority, which is a woeful and wrong approach.

    It is important to note that many of the players who made the starting line-up for the CHAN matches pocketed over N$60 000 each.

    This money will help to feed their families and will surely contribute to the economic growth of the country.

    It goes without saying that our former sport ministers haven't done enough to ensure that government prioritises funding for the sector.

    Former minister Jerry Ekandjo, who was last week dismissed from his cabinet position, never really showed much pride and enthusiasm for sport.

    In fact his efforts, if any, to argue for a bigger slice of the national budget for sport were well below par, so whoever takes his place will have to do much better.

    It goes without saying that the Namibia Football Association (NFA) will need more money to get the national team ready for their upcoming Afcon qualifiers.

    As part of their preparations, players will need top-quality high-performance centre training, in order to keep the country's flag flying high.

    The NFA will therefore need more funding, so that the national team can undergo the best training preparations.

    It is also important for corporate Namibia to further invest in the national team and the MTC Namibia Premier League.

    Mannetti also needs the support of the fans, government and his technical team, as he continues to master his tactics.

    The coach should also be applauded for his loyalty to the team, while confirming recently that he will not be tempted by foreign club offers.

    His coaching CV is impressive, given what he has achieved in a short space of time.

    Mannetti was appointed as national team coach in June 2013, replacing Swedish national Rodger Palmgren.

    Two years later, he became the first Namibian national team coach to lift the Cosafa Castle Cup in South Africa, after his team defeated Mozambique 2-0 in the final.

    In 2016, Mannetti won the Cosafa Cup plate final on home soil.

    Last year, the team lost 1-0 to hosts South Africa in the plate final of the tournament.

    His latest success at the CHAN finals now augurs well for the future, as Mannetti continues to build a formidable team that the nation can be proud of.


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  • 02/04/18--14:00: Tebe excited
  • Tebe excitedTebe excitedDefender signs deal with Zambian side Tiberius Lombard's superb performances at the CHAN finals have earned him a place in the Zambian Premier League. Senior national team defender and former Tura Magic player Tiberius Lombard says he is excited about the three-year deal he has signed with Zambian Premier League side Lusaka Dynamos.

    It was announced last Thursday that he will now relocate to Zambia.

    “It is an exciting time for me, because I am now moving to a new place, to learn a new life. I am grateful for my club and the national team coach for helping me become the player I am today.

    “My aim is to play good football and also help my new club prosper in their league,” Lombard said.

    The defender was an outstanding performer for the Brave Warriors during the just-ended African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco.

    Lombard's forceful and fearless defending earned him a man of the match award at the tournament.

    He has been playing for Tura Magic for over three years, after joining the club from the first division in 2008.

    Lombard was on loan to Orlando Pirates during the 2009/10 season, before returning to Magic for the 2010/11 season.

    The defender has earned 10 national team caps so far and becomes the first Namibian to play in the Zambian Premier League.

    “For me, CHAN has been a great experience, even though the team did not win the competition.

    “I am sure many of my teammates will get chances to play for bigger teams outside the country, after putting up great performances,” Lombard said.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 02/04/18--14:00: SSC cuts 46 positions
  • SSC cuts 46 positionsSSC cuts 46 positionsMinistry fails to approve budget for posts Despite a series of meetings that attempted to address the issue, 46 SSC contract workers will officially be jobless at the end of this month. Despite several rounds of talks between employees and the management of the Social Security Commission (SSC), a group of 46 contract workers at the commission will lose their employment at the end of this month.

    The decision by the SSC to terminate their employment contracts has been maintained, with the commission saying its line ministry - labour, industrial relations and employment creation - has failed to approve the budget for these positions.

    It was reported that a series of meetings were held last week, in a bid to maintain the positions of the SSC contract workers, but these all failed.

    The SSC has apparently informed employees that there is nothing it can do. Some of the workers have been with the commission for more than five years, with their contracts being renewed annually.

    SSC human resources manager Yulanda Marais informed the staff that the SSC will pay out all outstanding leave days and that the workers will receive their full packages at the end of the month.

    “It is confirmed that leave days not taken will be calculated as at 28 February 2018 and paid out to you less taxes, provided that your HR and IT clearance has been signed off and handed into the salary office by the 9th as payroll closes on 10th of the month,” Marais said.

    The workers have written letters to President Hage Geingob, labour minister Erkki Nghimtina and the SSC board, urging them to intervene in the matter.

    While most of the employees were on leave over December last year, a letter was sent to them by Marais, informing them that, “… your services as per your employment contract will come to an end as at 28 February 2018 and your contract will not be renewed. As discussed, the human resources team will support you to build a professional CV, with an in-house reference letter. A PDA assessment to provide a personal profile of yourself to prospective employers will be arranged for you by the HR team.

    Furthermore the HR team will put you into contact with a recruitment agency in Windhoek to ensure you are absorbed in the labour market,” the letter stated.

    The labour ministry did not respond to enquiries from Namibian Sun.


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    On the trail of the SME millionsOn the trail of the SME millionsLiquidators hunt for N$174.4 million An urgent application by the liquidators of the SME Bank makes for horrifying reading, as the trail of the missing millions goes cold in South Africa. The Windhoek High Court has granted David Bruni and Ian McLaren the right to pursue any proceedings, as required, in the high courts of South Africa and that of Zimbabwe, to track and trace the missing SME Bank millions. Following an urgent application on Friday, Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula ruled that the pair, acting as the official liquidators of the SME Bank, are authorised to institute any proceedings, including that of the recovery of movable and immovable assets, and seek any interdictory relief, as is necessary for the winding up of the bank.

    Just under N$175 million is missing, invested dubiously in South Africa, and the liquidators now have the authority to secure any information, including that which may lead to criminal charges.

    In his founding affidavit, Bruni told the court that there were major discrepancies between what the SME Bank had said it invested in South Africa to what was invested, and where.

    Bruni said that N$196 million had been invested into Mamepe Capital, of which N$150 million was disinvested at Mamepe, and invested into VBS Mutual Bank, both in South Africa.

    However, statements received from VBS showed that three investments were made, totalling N$185 million - which already exceeded the approval limit of Tawanda Mumvuma, the CEO of SME Bank, and the financial manager could not provide any proof that board approval for the transfer of these funds was ever made.

    “By 30 September 2016, N$50 million was expected from VBS and only on 14 October of that year, was N$37 million received,” Bruni wrote.

    However, by mid-December 2016, no confirmation could be established of the investments made by SME Bank at either Mamepe or VBS.

    An account statement from VBS showed that from 1 January 2014 to 22 March 2017, only N$10 million was transferred from SME Bank to VBS, on 11 August 2016, but, that this amount was withdrawn six days later, on 17 August.

    Bruni said that “significant discrepancies” exist between this account statement and that provided by SME Bank to its auditors, BDO, for exactly the same account. That statement, dated 8 September 2016, shows a balance of N$185.3 million. However, another statement, dated just over three months later, shows a balance of N$153.8 million.

    By 23 March 2017, it was confirmed that only just under N$459 000 was available for SME Bank at VBS.

    And things do not get better.

    Quoting from Ipumbu Shiimi, the governor of the Bank of Namibia's affidavit in the liquidation application last year, Bruni wrote that the SME Bank invested N$10 million into Tulive Capital and some N$6.7 million of this was invested into a “speculative equity investment” in South Africa.

    N$6.2 million lost

    “The losses [in this investment] resulted in a retrievable balance of a mere N$48 296.45,” Bruni wrote, adding that the investment also transgressed certain provisions of the Banking Institutions Act of 1998.

    Total funds invested with South African institutions amounted to N$207.6 million, as at 28 February 2017 – N$52.4 million in Mamepe and N$155.2 in VBS.

    The Bank of Namibia, Bruni said, found that the total funds invested in South Africa only amounted to N$199.7 million and of this, N$32.7 million was with Mamepe and a staggering N$167 million “was paid into various accounts belonging to other beneficiaries, namely Asset Movement Financial Services, DMA Consultants, Moody Blue and Transparency.com”.

    Bruni said the amount invested with VBS was confirmed to be zero.

    To add fuel to the fire, it was found, during a criminal investigation in South Africa, that a director of Mamepe, Mauwane Kotane, told those proceedings that N$175 million of the SME Bank monies was invested into fertiliser, held under a product consignment note, on behalf of Mamepe Capital, by the suppliers of the product, Rawfert Offshore Sal, a company based in Lebanon.

    “Until date hereof, not a single cent has been repatriated to Namibia by Mamepe,” Bruni told the court.

    Overstated records

    The Bank of Namibia prepared a report on the investment recoverability and insolvency assessment of the SME Bank. What they found is that the financial records of the bank were overstated and that the Mamepe investment should down-written by N$19.7 million, from N$52.4 to 32.7 million, and that the investment balance at VBS should be down-written with a staggering N$154.7 million, from N$155.2 million to a paltry N$459 000.

    Bruni said not only was the investment unsound and questionable, but further, that it is doubtful whether the monies can be recovered. He added that the bank had misrepresented to the board and the auditors “where and with whom, and precisely what funds were invested”.

    The Bank of Namibia had found that N$167 million was paid to beneficiaries who are not investment entities and this was never disclosed.

    According to Bruni, “funds paid to other beneficiaries cannot be recognised in financial records as an investment, as there are no contracts with these persons or entities”.

    VBS confirmed only just under N$459 000 was invested and Bruni told the court that thus, N$154.7 million is gone. He continued by saying: “Mamepe had not properly confirmed the nature of the assets the funds were purportedly invested in or even if the investments are held in the name of SME Bank.”

    Expected losses amount to N$174.4 million, of which N$154.7 is with VBS and N$19.7 with Mamepe.

    A banker who spoke to Namibian Sun on the condition of anonymity said that he believes that 'cut flying' was employed. When an account holder 'cut-flies', he or she will transfer funds electronically, but before the funds reach their destination account, the money, or a portion of the total, is diverted. It is said to be a common occurrence in fraudulent transactions.

    The SME Bank was liquidated on 29 November last year.


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    Austere measures to curb wastageAustere measures to curb wastage Government has imposed a number of cost-cutting measures for the public sector, in line with its intention to cut spending, as treasury buckles under financial strain.

    The new measures include curbing spending on travelling, newspapers, as well as the attending and hosting of conferences, among others. The administrative directive, signed off by prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, comes just days after President Hage Geingob banned political office-bearers from travelling outside the country this month.

    Geingob, who flew with a scheduled commercial flight to attend the African Union summit in Addis Ababa recently, announced last week that ministers, deputy ministers and other public office-bearers will not be allowed to travel outside the country in February, in order to rein in spending.

    Subsequent to Geingob's announcement, a number of cost-cutting measures have now been made public, with government limiting air travel in business class for senior government officials. Qualifying members will only be allowed to travel business class when it comes to long-haul flights. Permanent secretaries will now also have to get approval from the secretary to cabinet and line minister, before going on official trips.

    “Travel abroad by a delegation should not exceed two staff members. Any delegation with more than two staff members requires special consideration by the secretary to cabinet, in consultation with the minister,” read the directive.

    “If applicable, local and international travel by an individual staff member shall be capped, and shall not exceed two trips outside the country per year and three trips within the country. Exceptions shall be considered and approved by the permanent secretaries or accounting officers on merit.” According to the new measures, no office, ministry or government agency may buy new vehicles, unless approved by the secretary to cabinet.

    “Government vehicles must be parked at 17:00 at the office or officially designated parking place. Assigning of vehicles for official use after hours to individual staff members shall only be done for essential services.”

    New appointments

    The new measures also include the freezing of non-essential civil servant posts, while the ministry of finance is expected to issue new guidelines for capping personnel expenditure. “The creation of new posts shall not be allowed unless it is on account of compensatory reductions and based on a workload assessment,” read the directive. “Posts that remain vacant for more than six months should be abolished and or may be given up for compensatory reductions. Filling of vacancies should be done with approval of the secretary to cabinet and will be approved when it is critical for the performance of the OMA (office, ministry or agency).”

    S&T abuse

    Permanent secretaries will now also have discretionary powers to determine the most suitable and economical rate for daily subsistence allowances for official travelling. “Permanent secretaries shall decide on whether to pay directly to the accommodation establishment or to the staff member, whichever is the most economical option.” Government has also announced that it will limit participation at trade fairs. “Participation by OMAs at various trade fairs should be restricted and limited to trade fairs adding significant value to the performance of the respective institution. Participation in trade fairs should be limited to staff members, where the OMA has offices in those regions.”

    HR audits

    Government said it will also start implementing human resources audits, in order to weed out possible ghost workers. These annual reports will be submitted to the secretary to cabinet. Ministries and other government agencies have also been implored to do away with unnecessary meetings and the conducting of workshops. “Conduct meetings where possible, through video or telephone conferencing to reduce travelling and loss of production time. Institute paperless meetings to protect the environment and reduce cost.” Government employees have also been urged to make use of email facilities, to reduce the printing of letters, photocopying and the delivery of documents. Government will also stop the purchasing of newspapers for staff members, with effect from 1 April 2018.


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    ‘Non-performing contractors will not be tolerated’‘Non-performing contractors will not be tolerated’ RUNDU – The National Housing Enterprises (NHE) said it will not tolerate non-performing contractors this year and that it will not be business as usual.

    The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NHE, Gisbertus Mukulu, said this at the NHE Project site handover held at Rundu on Thursday where 123 houses will be constructed.

    NHE had a similar ground-breaking ceremony for the construction site for 200 houses at Ekuku Extension 6 in Oshakati late last month.

    “My team will be on the ground to ensure the houses are built according to technical specifications,” he said.

    He pointed out that at times when a particular tender is given, the main tenderer has a tendency of selling out the contract to another contractor, thus generating quick cash.

    This situation he stressed will not be allowed.

    ‘Working tirelessly’

    Mukulu called on the contractor, Darwin Investment Group Namibia in a joint venture with Salami Island, to work on the project and if there are bottlenecks to sort out the problem with NHE until they bring the project to conclusion.

    He reiterated the organisation’s commitment and preparedness to continue developing houses for all Namibians.

    “NHE is working tirelessly to ensure efficient and effective deliverance of this important mandate as there is a need for an increase in public investment housing sectors,” he added.

    A house, the NHE CEO said, is an asset and as such, each and every Namibian would like to have one which can be used to acquire another asset. He explained that the national housing backlog stands over 100 000 and that there are still 87 000 people on the NHE’s waiting list.

    The prices of the houses are estimated to be below N$500 000.

    The event was attended by the Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development Silvia Makgone, Governor of the Kavango East region Samuel Mbambo and Mayor of Rundu Verna Sinimbo. - Nampa

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  • 02/04/18--14:00: Govt hikes fuel tax by 60%
  •  Govt hikes fuel tax by 60% Govt hikes fuel tax by 60% Pump price unchanged The higher fuel tax is necessary to generate additional revenue for government. The 60% increase amounts to around N$154 in additional revenue in 2018/19. – Dylan van Wyk, Cirrus Capital Jo-Maré Duddy – Although the increase in fuel tax announced by the ministry of mines and energy won’t be much of a budget boost, it is a “move in the right direction”, Dylan van Wyk of Cirrus Capital says.

    Van Wyk commented on the ministry’s statement on Friday, saying that, effective from 7 February 2018 [Wednesday], fuel tax will rise by 15c/l on the price of all regulated fuel products – from 25c/l currently to 40c/l.

    “In order to generate additional revenue for the government, the ministry of finance has increased the tax on fuel,” mines and energy minister Obeth Kandjoze said in his statement.

    Despite an under-recovery of between 3c/l and 6c/l on diesel in January, the ministry decided to keep the diesel price unchanged for February – N$11.73 per litre of diesel 500ppm and N$11.78 per litre of diesel 50ppm at Walvis Bay. An over-recovery of nearly 19.7c/l on 95 octane unleaded petrol was recorded as at 25 January this year. The petrol price of N$11.70 per litre at Walvis Bay will also remain the same this month.

    Kandjoze said “fuel prices will be reduced by 15c/l in the ready reckoners in order to offset the fuel tax increase and keep the pump prices unchanged”.


    In response to an enquiry by Market Watch, Van Wyk said the impact of an increase in fuel tax should have a small impact on the fiscal budget.

    “According to the mid-year budget review, around N$256 million is estimated to be collected in 2017/18 budget year. The incremental tax (60% increase) amounts to around N$154 in additional revenue in 2018/19 while the deficit for 2018/19 is estimated to be in the region of N$7.8 billion,” he said.

    “Still, this is a move in the right direction,” Van Wyk said. The timing of the increase to coincide with lower petrol prices, which results zero net effect on pump prices, will have no effect on consumers and minimal effect on inflation, which is a good thing, he added.

    Oil price

    Kandjoze said the results of the latest fuel price review indicate that the average Free On Board prices per barrel has increased for ULP 95 and for both diesel grades. Barrel prices for refined oil traded at an average of US$77.084 for ULP95, and US$79.693 and US$79.916 for diesel 500ppm and diesel 50ppm respectively.

    “The Basic Fuel Price Unit Rate Slate calculations for the past month recorded a combination of minor over and under-recoveries on the price regulated petroleum products. The over- and under-recoveries recorded are not sufficient enough to trigger any adjustment in local pump prices,” he said.

    The average exchange rate fell from N$13.1423 to about N$12.2642 per US$ over the period reviewed, Kandjoze said. “The appreciation of the N$ against the US$ has kept the balance between the regulated prices and the market prices intact,” he said.

    Reuters reports that oil prices fell on Friday as the US dollar surged following strong US jobs numbers, though compliance with output cuts by OPEC and rising global demand kept much of the early-year oil rally in place.

    Brent, the global benchmark, was down US$1.02, or 1.5%, to US$68.62 a barrel.

    “Oil prices have come under pressure because of rising oil production in the US, together with a marginal rebound in the US dollar index. The price is currently in overbought territory, which has also promoted profit taking," said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy’s Global Gas Analytics in London. – Additional reporting by Nampa/Reuters

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  • 02/04/18--14:00: Sudan finishes third, again
  • Sudan finishes third, againSudan finishes third, again Sudan came third at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) for the second time on Saturday, after defeating Libya 4-2 on penalties in Marrakech during a tense playoff match.

    But while the bronze medals the Sudanese won in 2011 as hosts were expected, those they collected in the central Moroccan city came as a surprise, following the match ending 1-1.Few neutrals expected Sudan to go beyond the group stage of the competition, with all teams restricted to using home-based footballers, while Morocco and Guinea were favoured to advance from Group A.

    However, the East Africans came second on goal difference in their group, to hosts Morocco, before upsetting Zambia in the quarterfinals and losing by a solitary goal to Nigeria in a tight semi-final clash.

    The fighting spirit of the squad, coached by recently appointed Croatian mentor Zdravko Logarusic, was evident again against Libya, as Sudan recovered from conceding a late goal to win the penalty shootout.

    They converted all four penalties, while Libyans Elmehdi Elhouni and Salem Ablo were foiled by saves from Sudanese goalkeeper Akram Elhadi.

    Ablo's miss condemned Libya to a first CHAN shootout loss, after three spot-kick successes won them the 2014 title, and they pipped Congo-Brazzaville on penalties in a quarterfinal clash last weekend.

    Walaaeldin Musa nodded Sudan into an eighth-minute lead and an Ablo header on 84 minutes, after Elhadi failed to cut off a deep cross, brought the teams level.


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  • 02/04/18--14:00: Volleyball comes to life
  • Volleyball comes to lifeVolleyball comes to lifeElectric atmosphere at DTS The 2018 Windhoek Draught DTS Volleyball for All competition once again lived up to expectations, by delivering a tremendous atmosphere. Spiking Vikings won the overall prize, after beating Duxta 40-31, while Windhoek Draught Warriors finished in third place.

    The DTS sports ground was packed to capacity, as over 200 teams from across Namibia competed for the top spots in the competition.

    People who attended the 35th edition of the tournament expressed excitement over the event.

    “It was indeed a very special occasion, given the number of people who came together just to witness this competition.

    “For me, it was the very first time I have attended such an event; I think I will come back again next year.

    “I do believe the event is good for relaxation and also for a healthy living standard,” Jarukako Riruako said.

    The annual event first started in 1984, with only 34 participating teams.

    The event grew to 90 teams in 1987, and has boasted 240 teams over the past five years. The organisers were hoping to accommodate more teams, but this has not been possible, due to limited resources.

    Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) has been supporting the event since 2001, with its Windhoek Draught brand taking over as the main sponsor nine years ago.

    The six-a-side teams at the tournament were allowed to make an unlimited number of substitutions, but at least two women were required to be on court at all times.

    Here are some of the results

    Semi-final A

    Windhoek Draught Warriors 20 -21 Juxta

    Semi-final B

    Spiking Vikings 22 – NamPower A 14

    3rd / 4th Place

    Windhoek Draught Warriors 19 -18 NamPower


    Spiking Vikings 40 -31 Juxta

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 02/05/18--14:00: Mbidi pleased with CAF AGM
  • Mbidi pleased with CAF AGMMbidi pleased with CAF AGMNew members appointed Namibia Football Association (NFA) president Frans Mbidi yesterday returned from the Confederations of African Football (CAF) meeting. The Namibia Football Association president Frans Mbidi has welcomed some of the decisions taken at the Confederations of African Football (CAF) general meeting.

    The 40th General CAF General Assembly was held in Casablanca, Morocco on 2 February which saw four new members elected to the CAF executive committee.

    Jamal Jaafri (north zone), Augustin Senghor (west A zone), Sita Sangare (west B zone) and Edouard Patrice Ngaissona (central zone), are the new members.

    Upon his return from Morocco yesterday, Mbidi said that exciting times are ahead for CAF as more transparency within the football body structures is now visible.

    Mbidi believes Namibia will benefit from the change of leadership within the CAF structures.

    “The general meeting was perfect and I must say many people I spoke to are happy about the new changes in the CAF structures.

    “It was important CAF managed to complete the appointments of a judicial body chairperson and also a vice-chairperson.

    “All this positive changes in CAF will benefit Namibia in terms of our football and administrative structures,” Mbidi said.

    CAF's 54 member associations had the opportunity to look into the accounts of the 2016/17 budget.

    Mbidi noted that the accounts showed a balance of US$117 million compared to US$9 million balance CAF had in 2015.

    Morocco bid not discussed

    Recent reports have suggested Morocco has showed a strong interested in submitting a bid for hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

    The country was expected to make their intentions known at the CAF general assembly.

    This did however not happen as FIFA gave instructions that countries must refrain from advancing their positions on the World Cup bid until the football body allows them to do so.

    So far, South Africa remains the only African country to have ever hosted the prestigious competition.

    South Africa hosted the competition in 2010 with Spain beating the Netherlands in the final.

    The competition has afterwards been tainted with corruption allegations after it was discovered the southern African country was involved in buying hosting rights.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Coleman, Kordom and Kotjipati to join squadColeman, Kordom and Kotjipati to join squad Brave Gladiators coach Brian Isaacs has submitted 28 names to be called up for the upcoming CAF Women Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers which will be played in March on home soil.

    Isaacs said that the foreign-based trio of golden girl Zenatha Coleman who recently joined a team in Spain, Annouschka Kordom who plies her trade for America, as well as Germany-based Vewe Kotjipati, will be roped in to help the team against the Mighty Warriors of Zimbabwe in the first leg.

    Isaacs said that he does not fear the Zimbabwean team as he saw them play in the Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe last year and has been studying footage to see their game.

    “We only need to be wary of our preparation which will be difficult because most of the ladies in the team have full-time jobs. Now we just have to get them to report for training every day,” he said.

    Issacs, who took over from Jacqui Shipanga last year, said his personal goals as the head coach is to lead the team to Afcon and to win the Cosafa tournament.

    The Gladiators captain, Mamie Kasaona, said they stand a chance to qualify depending on the eagerness of the players.

    “This time around the possibly to go to the end is there. We do not fear. I have also been following the Tanzanian ladies team. They are making progress in terms of recent sponsorships they have received a boost to their league. But we will play to the best of our ability despite not having an active league,” she said.

    The team will have training camps later in the month and will play friendly matches against U-17 and 19 boys in their respective leagues as preparation for their match.

    After the first leg, Gladiators will travel to Zimbabwe for the return leg; dates are yet to be confirmed.

    The winner between Namibia and Zimbabwe will then face either face Tanzania or Zambia in the second round.

    Nigeria are favourites to lift the cup again as they did in the 2016 edition which was held in Cameroon.


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    NSC urges cricket transformationNSC urges cricket transformationNational colours awarded for ICC tournament The Namibian senior men's cricket team is confident of a top-two finish, when they take on Canada, Kenya, Nepal, Oman and the United Arab Emirates in an ICC tournament this coming weekend. Namibia Sport Commission (NSC) chief administrator Freddie Mwiya has urged for transformation to take place in Namibian cricket, in order to engage and involve more players of colour from the country's different regions.

    Mwiya was speaking yesterday at the NSC offices, where the senior national men's cricket side received their national colours ahead of the 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division Two competition, which will take place from 8 to 11 February in Windhoek.

    “The team should comprise of players from the rest of the country. We want you to visit the //Karas and Oshana regions to develop the sport amongst the youth,” he said.

    Mwiya also applauded the players who made the final team and asked them to represent the country with pride and honour.

    Cricket Namibia CEO Peter Forster said the country was selected to host the tournament because of its available facilities, as well as its administrative capabilities.

    He urged the public to attend the tournament in their numbers and support the team.

    Namibia will compete against Canada, Kenya, Nepal, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

    Coach Dee Thakur said he is unfazed by his team's opponents, but said they will be taken seriously

    “We want to be in the top two in the tournament, but on top of that we want to improve in our ranking.

    “We have been here before, as it is not our first time taking part in such a tournament.

    This time around we have a better focused and committed team, as new players are coming in all the time, which also gives them the chance to showcase their talent,” added Thakur. Stand-in captain Stephen Baard said the team was in great spirits and has been training for close to three weeks.

    “We are ready to play, and everyone is excited, as it has been about three years since we have taken part in a competition like this,” he said.

    The national cricket side's B team will also compete in the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup and CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge during the weekend.

    The top teams in this tournament will advance to the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier that will take place in Zimbabwe.

    Namibia will face Nepal on Thursday at WAP Field. Friday they will play Kenya at Trusco United Field.

    At Wanderers Field they will play Oman on Sunday. Namibia will then cross paths with Canada at Trusco United on Monday and then UAE at WAP Field on Wednesday. Finals will be played on Friday.

    The Squad: Bernard Scholtz, Craig William (vice captain), Gerhard Erasmus, Lohan Louwrens, Niko Davin, Jan Frylinck, JP Kotze, Stephen Baard, LP van der Westhuizen, Petrus Burger, Zane Green, JJ Smit, Tangeni Lungameni and Sarel Burger (captain).


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    US sets 4x800m record, Miller-Uibo equals fastest 300mUS sets 4x800m record, Miller-Uibo equals fastest 300m Bahamian Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo matched the fastest time ever recorded in the rarely run women's 300m and an American team broke the world record in the women's 4x800m relay at the NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday.

    Miller-Unibo, the 2016 Rio Games 400m champion, sped to a runaway victory of 35.45 seconds around the indoor track in New York as she equalled the 25-year-old mark set by Russia's Irina Privalova.

    “Coach wanted me to come out her and run a pretty good time and it was a world record,” Miller-Uibo said of the event which is not recognised for world record purposes.

    A world record did fall in the women's 4x800m relay, however, thanks to an inspiring anchor leg by Ajee Wilson.

    Chrishuna Williams, Raevyn Rogers, Charlene Lipsey and Wilson clocked 8:05.89 to better a 2011 Russian quartet's mark of 8:06.24.

    “It was insane,” Wilson, who ran her 800m in 1:58.37, told NBC Sports. “I could feel the crowd. They really pushed me, encouraged me to keep digging.”

    Greek Olympic gold medallist Katerina Stefanidi won a highly anticipated women's pole vault that lost much of its lustre after American rival Sandi Morris pulled out due to back spasms.

    Stefanidi, who is also the reigning world champion, claimed her 15th consecutive victory by clearing 4.71m on her second attempt.

    American Katie Nageotte matched the Greek woman's vault but lost out on countback after registering more failures at an earlier height.

    Young Kenyan Emmanuel Korir sped to the year's fastest 800m, cruising to victory in 1:44.21, and Scotland's Chris O'Hare posted the leading mile time of 2018 with a 3:54.14.

    Americans Ronnie Baker and Devon Allen, and the Ivory Coast's Murielle Ahoure also defeated quality fields.

    The up-and-coming Baker eased to victory in the men's 60m, running 6.48 seconds, more than a tenth of a second ahead of countryman Noah Lyles.

    Jamaican Olympic hurdles champion Omar McLeod was fifth and countryman Asafa Powell, the former world 100m record holder finished sixth.

    Allen ran down outdoor world record holder Aries Merritt to claim the men's 60m hurdles in 7.50 seconds, 0.03 seconds faster than Merritt.

    Ahoure, already the year's fastest, put up another quality time to win the women's 60m in 7.11 seconds, marginally ahead of American world 100m champion Tori Bowie (7.14).


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  • 02/05/18--14:00: Morocco romp to Chan glory
  • Morocco romp to Chan gloryMorocco romp to Chan glory Morocco romped to an emphatic 4-0 victory over Nigeria in the final of the 2018 African Nations Championship at Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca on Sunday night.

    The Atlas Lions become the fourth different winner of the Chan, joining DR Congo, Tunisia and Libya on the honours board after they overpowered the Super Eagles, who played most of the second half with just 10 men.

    Morocco gave an early warning of their attacking potency when striker Ayoub El Kaabi headed home from Ismail Haddad's corner kick in the seventh minute, but the goal was correctly ruled out because the ball had passed out of play in its flight.

    El Kaabi took centre stage again in the 15th minute when he met Haddad's left-flank cross with an acrobatic overhead kick and rattled Nigeria's crossbar with the effort, underlining the Atlas Lions' early dominance.

    Nigeria came into the game a little more as the first half wore on, but the hosts remained dangerous in attack and finally broke the deadlock just before the interval.

    A slick move put Abdeljalil Jbira free down the left flank, his pullback from the by-line picked out Zakaria Hadraf and the winger fired a low shot into the back of the net, beating goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye low to his right.

    Things went from bad to worse for the Super Eagles when Peter Moses, who was already on a yellow card, scythed down Mohamed Nahiri early in the second half and was sent off for a second caution.

    The Atlas Lions duly made the most of their numerical advantage, with Walid El Karti doubling their lead on the hour mark when he headed home on the rebound after Ajiboye saved Haddad's shot, before Hadraf added his second a few minutes later to make it 3-0.

    A Morocco win at this tournament wouldn't be complete without a strike from El Kaabi, and the forward duly notched his ninth of the 2018 Chan when he redirected a shot from Nahiri in the 73rd minute to complete the scoring.


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    No remorse for killing blacksNo remorse for killing blacksExtremist says he knows what he did Nazi paraphernalia found at shooter's house. A right-wing extremist suspected in the shooting rampage that wounded six Africans in central Italy was “lucid and determined, aware of what he had done” and exhibited no remorse for his actions, an Italian law enforcement official said Sunday.

    Luca Traini, 28, remained jailed as police investigated him on multiple counts of attempted murder with the aggravating circumstance of “racial hatred” for the Saturday night attacks in the Italian city of Macerata.

    The five men and one woman were wounded in the two-hour drive-by shooting spree were from Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia and Mali, according to RAI state television.

    Italian authorities said they seized Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, other publications linked to Nazism and a flag with a Celtic cross, a symbol commonly used by white supremacists, from Traini's home Sunday.

    Traini, who is Italian, was an unsuccessful candidate last year in a local election for the anti-migrant Northern League political party. Italy's ANSA news agency quoted acquaintances saying he previously had ties with the neo-fascist Forza Nuova and CasaPound parties.

    Photographs released by police showed Traini with a neo-Nazi tattoo prominently on his forehead and an Italian flag tied around his neck.

    Murdered teen

    Colonel Michele Roberti, the Carabinieri commander in Macerata, told Sky TG24 that Traini demonstrated no remorse for the two-hour rampage and “it's likely that he carried out this crazy gesture as a sort of retaliation, a sort of vendetta” for the gruesome slaying of a teenager a few days earlier.

    A Nigerian man has been arrested in the death of Pamela Mastropietro, 18. Mastropietro's dismembered remains were found in two suitcases days after she walked away from a drug rehab community.

    Police said her bloody clothes, a receipt from a pharmacy where she bought a syringe and knives consistent with the crime were found in the Nigerian suspect's apartment. Roberti ruled out any personal connection between Traini and the slain woman.

    One of the people wounded on Saturday, a 29-year-old woman identified only as Jennifer, told Italian daily newspaper La Stampa from her hospital bed that she no longer feels free to walk around the city “with peace of mind”.

    “I never hurt anyone. I was talking and laughing with three other people” when she was struck by the bullet, she told the Turin-based newspaper.

    One of the six victims was treated and released on Saturday. The remaining patients were all in stable condition, with one in intensive care and Jennifer facing surgery on her shoulder, doctors said on Sunday.

    Her boyfriend told La Repubblica they were waiting at a bus station when he saw a man pointing something at them from a black car. He realized then that it was a gun.

    “I gave Jennifer a push to get her out of the way and threw myself down. And I heard a shot: Boom!” said Ogie Igbinowania.

    Jennifer told the newspaper she arrived in Italy seven months ago and joined her boyfriend in Macerata.

    “I have always been comfortable here. People are friendly. I don't know why that guy fired at us,” she said.

    A Nigerian community leader in Macerata, Sammy Kunoun, said he heard the shots as he was going to meet with cultural mediators about organizing a sit-in to support Mastropietro's family. They called off the event after the shootings for fear of further racist attacks.

    “Now, we are all victims in this story,” said Kunoun, adding that the immigrant community has been well-integrated in Macerata. Official statistics put the population of foreigners in the city at 9.2% of the 43 000 residents.

    Election campaign

    The shooting spree also came amid a heated electoral campaign in Italy where anti-foreigner sentiment has become a key theme.

    Italy has struggled with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants in the last few years coming across the Mediterranean Sea in smugglers' boats.

    Italy has a general election scheduled for 4 March and the head of the rebranded League party, Matteo Salvini, had capitalized on the teen's killing in campaign appearances even before the shooting Saturday.

    Salvini is pledging to deport 150 000 migrants in his first year in office if his party wins control of parliament — drawing sharp rebukes that he is using the migrant crisis to foment xenophobia for political gain.

    Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni warned in Rome after the attack that “the state will be particularly severe against whoever thinks of feeding the spiral of violence.”


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    Saddam's daughter most wantedSaddam's daughter most wanted The Iraqi government has placed the name of late Saddam Hussein's daughter, Raghad, on the most wanted list, together with 59 other individuals.

    The 60 people are wanted on suspicion of belonging to ISIS, Al-Qaeda or the Baath Party.

    The list, seen by AFP, includes the name of Saddam's daughter, Raghad, who lives in Jordan.

    It also features 28 suspected ISIS fighters, 12 from Al-Qaeda and 20 from the Baath party, giving details of the roles they allegedly play in their organisations, the alleged crimes of which they are suspected, and, in most cases, photographs.

    All are Iraqis, apart from Maan Bashour, a Lebanese man accused of recruiting fellow citizens to fight in Iraq.

    The list includes senior members of the group, among them Fawaz Mohammad Mutlaq, a former officer in Saddam's Fedayeen paramilitary organisation who later became a member of the ISIL military council.

    The name of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, is absent from the list. A senior security official contacted by AFP declined to explain why.

    “These are the terrorists most wanted by the judicial authorities and the security services,” the official said. “This is the first time we publish these names which, until now, were secret.”

    The ISIS fighters the document lists are accused of fighting in Iraq's second city, Mosul, and the surrounding province of Nineveh, as well as in the provinces of Kirkuk, Diyala and Anbar.

    ISIS took a third of Iraq's territory during a lightning advance in 2014, before being beaten back by Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition.


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