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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Contractor to rebuild Oshikoto police headquartersContractor to rebuild Oshikoto police headquarters The contractor responsible for the new Oshikoto Region police headquarters at Omuthiya, which were damaged in a storm, is on site and has started with the repairs.

    China Jiangxi International Namibia is the contractor for the project which started in 2014 and was envisioned to be completed by September 2016.

    The project was finally completed last year and the buildings were expected to be inaugurated this year.

    But last month the contractor was recalled to the site after a storm damaged the three-storey administration building.

    Luckily other parts of the facility such as the charge office building, the holding cells, the accommodation facilities and the logistics block were not affected.

    According to workers at the site, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the ceilings and walls of some offices must be repaired and the entire roof has to be removed. Some walls will be demolished because of extensive damage.

    “The whole roof will need to be removed and the upper wall will need to be demolished because of the gaps you see up there,” one worker said, pointing at the top of the building.

    Asked why the new building was unable to withstand a single thunderstorm, the workers said they were shocked, as the building had been completed as per the construction plan.

    When contacted for comment, the inspector-general of the Namibian police, Sebastian Ndeitunga, said when he was informed of the incident he requested the project engineers to assess the situation and report back to him.

    “Immediately after it happened, I called in the engineers of that building to give me a report and to find out how come it was the only building that was damaged at Omuthiya and it was a new one,” Ndeitunga said.

    The police chief said he was informed that the contractor had not complied with the engineering requirements and that the company would repair it at their own cost.

    Ndeitunga said he wanted the entire building to be examined to avoid similar incidents in the future.

    The cost of the project has not been made public. The site manager, who identified himself only as Zheng, said he could not remember the cost of the project.

    Another building contractor estimated that the entire facility must have cost between N$60 and N$70 million.

    Ndeitunga said the cost of the project would be revealed when the facility was inaugurated.

    The Namibian police has not made any appointments since the start of last year due to severe budget cuts and financial constraints.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 02/08/18--14:00: Farm invasion at Mariental
  • Farm invasion at MarientalFarm invasion at Mariental In yet another farm invasion, a well-known farmer from the Hardap irrigation scheme near Mariental and his grandson were attacked in an armed robbery by five men.

    According to the police the 60-year-old Riaan de Klerk and his 12-year-old grandson, JR, arrived at his plot on the outskirts of Mariental on Wednesday night at about 20:00 and were surprised by five suspects.

    The suspects were armed with pistols and a rifle and overpowered Riaan. Both Riaan and JR were tied up with tape and one of the suspects apparently threatened Riaan by aiming a firearm at his head.

    According to the police JR in the process managed to call his uncle, Cobus de Klerk, by cellphone, who then came to their rescue.

    The suspects slapped JR and throttled him, demanding to know where the safe was.

    The suspects fled when they heard a vehicle approaching.

    Dawie de Klerk, brother of Riaan, who is also the representative of the Hardap Farmers and Agronomy Producers Association, was informed of the incident within minutes and mobilised the farming community from Windhoek to assist.

    The police were also at the scene immediately. The search for the suspects continued throughout the night but by yesterday afternoon nobody had been arrested.

    Riaan is a lucerne farmer at the Hardap scheme and also farms with livestock in the Kalkrand area.

    Farmers yesterday expressed concern about the fact that three farm invasions, including two murders, had occurred within the last three weeks.

    The farmers specifically expressed concern about the incident in which the Bothma couple were killed on their farm near Koës, saying the couple were forced to open their safe and then shot with their own firearm.

    According to some farmers a meeting must be arranged at which basic safety protocols should be discussed.

    They said farmers will have to equip themselves and their wives within their living areas to be able to react within a few seconds if something should happen.

    “This is unfortunately the difference between life and death. All of our weapons are locked up in safes and in a crisis moment you are too late,” a farmer said.

    Political party PDM and the Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU) have also expressed concern about the farm attacks.

    Earlier in the week, following the Botma murders, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) strongly condemned these types of acts.

    PDM said it was concerned about the brutal killings of commercial famers, as well as the murders and rapes of women and children in Namibia.

    “Fellow Namibians, please stop the killings, stop, stop and stop,” said PDM secretary-general Manuel Ngaringombe.

    According to him commercial farmers play an important role in the agricultural sector and the economic growth of the country.

    “They contribute immensely to the country's GDP. Namibia has become a safe haven for these brutalities and it must be condemned with the contempt it deserves.”

    Ngaringombe said these brutal activities were tarnishing Namibia's image and the killings were also diverting foreign investors and tourists to other safe destinations, at the expense of Namibia.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Bank Windhoek welcomes new employeesBank Windhoek welcomes new employees New game changers Staff Reporter

    Bank Windhoek’s Executive Management Team (EMT) members officially welcomed 22 new employees to the bank this week.

    The new staff members attended a two-day New Employee Orientation Programme held at Bank Windhoek’s People Development department in Windhoek. During the Employee Orientation Programme, the new employees expressed their passion about banking and how they plan on contributing to the bank’s future growth. Executive Officer of Human Capital and Citizenship, Stephanie Viljoen, introduced the new employees to the EMT members which included Capricorn Group’s Managing Director, Thinus Prinsloo, Bank Windhoek’s Managing Director, Baronice Hans and executives from various departments such as, Retail Banking Services, Finance and Marketing and Corporate Communication Services.

    “I hope you will enjoy your two-day New Employee Orientation Programme where you will get to know Bank Windhoek’s culture in terms of how we operate as a friendly, welcoming and fully Namibian bank,” said Viljoen.

    Prinsloo explained the core functions and structures of Capricorn Group. “Our biggest investment is you, the people in the organisation,” said Prinsloo.

    Baronice Hans emphasised the importance of customer satisfaction and urged employees to always put the customer first. “In terms of Corporate Social Investment, we want to make sure that Namibia is a better country because Bank Windhoek is here,” said Hans.

    “The orientation programme is aimed at welcoming new employees into the organisation and prepares them for their new role. The process also covers the employer and employee rights and the terms and conditions of employment,” said Bank Windhoek’s Manager of People Development, Fillimon Ngairo.

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    Five career-boosting resolutions for youFive career-boosting resolutions for you Experts say that your best chances for keeping this promise to yourself depend on your having the capability, the opportunity, and the motivation to see it through. Given these factors, it’s understandable that a whopping 80% of us fail within the first 30 days.

    It’s my personal belief then that the majority of us are making the wrong resolutions. The five suggestions ahead are, as promised, drama-free, and absolutely achievable.

    1. Learn one thing that has no practical application in your life

    When Steve Jobs studied calligraphy, he marvelled at the beauty and artistry of the technique. In a commencement address at Stanford in 2005, Jobs admitted that learning the skill wasn’t the most pragmatic thing he’s ever done. Little did he know how his experience would deeply influence his sense of design at Apple.

    This is the year to follow his lead. Have you always daydreamed about putting a car together from spare parts? Making your own wine? Learning graphic design? Resolve to take a course, attend a conference, read an instructional book, or find that mentor who can stoke your curiosity and teach you about something you have a burning desire to know.

    2. Have one experience that stretches you

    If you’re hoping to move up in your organisation or career, look for one experience this year that will help you do just that. Maybe that means volunteering to help put on an industry conference that will ultimately lend your company the brand exposure it’s been seeking, thereby placing you in a prime position for promotion and praise.

    Even if that’s not the end result of you trying your hand at something outside your career comfort zone, it’s likely to introduce you to new people, offer you a memorable new learning experience, and lead you to discover insight about yourself.

    3. Learn one tech skill

    Pick one tech skill you’d like to learn, and find out how to do it. Of course, no tech conversation would be complete without a mention of coding and the sheer number of beginner and intermediate classes available now as a result. As one of the biggest in-demand skills today, learning the basics can hardly do harm. Check out Lynda.com and Codecademy for more info.

    If it’s Photoshop that’s on your mind, there are plenty of ways you can get more comfortable with digital design. Consider one of the various online course sites, including classes offered by Skillshare or CreativeLive to get started. The options are almost endless, so there’s no excuse for why you can’t find one that interests you.

    4. Read 3 books that’ll push your career forward

    So, you’re not much of a reader. You don’t have time. You’re too distracted. Too busy. This year, I challenge you to read one whole book every four months. They can be straight-up business options, fiction, a biography, whatever - just make sure you’re choosing ones that will make you think, that’ll inspire you on whatever path you’re on.

    Go to your favourite independent bookstore, hop online, or get a library card (it’s easy and free!) and start making a list of things you’d like to read. My guess is you’ll quickly surpass the three you set out to read and perhaps enliven a long-lost love of reading or discover a newfound one.



    5. Plan one unplugged weekend - 48 hours Wi-Fi free

    You are reliant on technology. It rules your life in many ways, and I get it. I’m no different - always checking my email, reading important articles and tweeting about them, scoping out LinkedIn’s newest features - but I’ve gotten in the habit of disconnecting every now and then, and it feels great! Not only that, but I believe it’s helped me from reaching that point of burnout. In author Joan Borysenko’s book Fried: Why You Burn Out and How to Revive, she discusses how always being online puts you at risk for burning out on the job.

    If you’re constantly logged on, 24/7, checking your email in the middle of the night when you get up for a glass of water, for example, I challenge you to step away from your devices for one entire weekend. At the very least, it’ll stave off lassitude, but at most, it'll lead to a creative and more energised you. And who knows where your career will take you then?



    You don’t need to set a ton of resolutions this year. You simply need one good one that will have a positive and generative impact on your life and your frame of mind. Stay out of the judgment zone, and be inspired to start a year that’s all about you, in the best way possible.

    -www.themuse.com

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    Medscheme, NHP move to Kleine KuppeMedscheme, NHP move to Kleine KuppeHealth insurer, administrator next to Lady Pohamba Buying two floors in a new building demonstrates the long-term commitment to the market. Wimpie Bronner, Operations manager: Medscheme and NHP - “We provide work for Namibians. Everyone working here is a Namibian and when we do bring skills in from South Africa, we make sure the skills remain when we send the South African back.” AUGETTO GRAIG - Namibia Health Plan (NHP) and its long-term administrative partner Medscheme, giants of the Namibian health insurance landscape, have finally found a new home at the Demushuwa Suites on the corner of Grove and Ombika Streets, next to the Lady Pohamba private hospital in Windhoek’s Kleine Kuppe neighbourhood.

    On Wednesday the move was celebrated at a gala function hosted in the forecourt of their new headquarters.

    Ronnie Skolnic, the senior fund, marketing and managed care manager for NHP, said the inauguration of the new offices, which take up two floors of the complex, marked the business’s commitment to its long-term presence in Namibia.

    This is the first time that the business has bought equity in its own premises, having always rented in the past.

    Growing

    He elaborated on the business’s long history, which started with the founding of Medscheme back in 1979. Since its humble beginnings in Garten Street in the heart of the capital, the company has grown from strength to strength.

    Back then the company employed only eleven people. In the years that followed Medscheme provided administrative and related services to more and more Namibian health insurance companies including the then Namibia National Health Fund, Nasmed, Padmed and later also the Rössing corporation’s own medical aid fund.

    Skolnic recalls how the passing of the current law on medical aid funds in 1995 led to the consolidation of various funds for which Medscheme rendered services, and the formation of NHP.

    “Ours is a long-standing partnership and the relationship has only grown and strengthened over the years,” he said.

    Since 1996 the partnership has been housed in the Hidas Centre in Klein Windhoek.

    Almost 22 years later the organisation had outgrown those premises.

    Having grown exponentially, especially since 2004 when NHP membership increased by 157% to the current 30 000-plus main members, more space was needed.

    Construction

    Already in 2016 the agreements for the move to the new premises were signed. The construction of the building was to follow and by November 2017 things had progressed to the point where staff, furniture, equipment and systems could begin the great migration.

    According to Wimpie Bronner, the operations manager, particular care was taken to make use of Namibian companies and skills to facilitate the move.

    Local expert builders NMC were the contractors, Howard and Chamberlain the architects, and Bidvest Namibia group of companies the suppliers for furniture and fittings, he said.

    Bronner agreed that the new home demonstrated NHP and Medscheme’s commitment to Namibia.

    “We don’t just move around from one place to another,” he said and added that the business was a proud employment creator for the country.

    “We provide work for Namibians. Everyone working here is a Namibian and when we do bring skills in from South Africa, we make sure the skills remain when we send the South African back,” he said.

    Medscheme and NHP have already proven their knowledge and abilities in providing excellent service to the Namibian market, but the business can also draw on expertise from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Mauritius thanks to it being part of the larger Afrocentric Health Group.

    This has helped the company achieve recognition, bringing home the top honours for the PMR Diamond Awards eight years running, and looking to make it nine come March.

    For Skolnic the focus has to remain on the local market and dealing with the many changes it has recently undergone. The practices and preferences of clients change constantly and another challenge comes with the new finance bill expected to be made law sometime this year, he said.

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    Judiciary tackles court delaysJudiciary tackles court delaysOnly half of lower-court cases finalised The chief justice says solutions are being sought for backlogs created by staff and equipment shortages at magistrate's courts. The low rate of finalising cases in Namibian magistrate's courts is a major concern for Chief Justice Peter Shivute.

    At the opening of the 2018 legal year this week, Shivute said that between January and September last year, only 50% of cases were completed. A total of 38 435 cases were registered at the magistrate's courts during that period, of which 19 140 were finalised, he said.

    “This is of great concern to me because at this rate we are building up a backlog of cases.” He said magistrates have blamed the slow pace on “inadequate courtrooms, malfunctioning and not enough recording equipment, and a shortage of both judicial officers and court support staff”.

    In response, Shivute said a range of solutions were being investigated.



    Change is needed

    A key reform under consideration by the Criminal Justice Reform Task Force was to identify and implement short-, medium- and long-term strategies to deal with the delays, Shivute said. In line with this, a training workshop for aspiring judges was held, which included 12 magistrates out of a group of 15.

    Shivute said this training enabled the candidates to be considered for appointment as acting judges. It also instructed magistrates in civil procedure, which is an area of law they rarely encounter in a magistrate's court. The Justice Reform Task Force was close to finalising draft legislation that would extend divorce jurisdiction to the regional courts, Shivute said.



    The stats on the ground

    Between January and March 2017, 20 871 old cases were brought forward within the lower courts and 5 983 new cases were registered. A total of 6 918 cases were finalised during that period. Nearly 20 000 outstanding cases were brought forward to the next months or years.

    During April and June last year, 5 635 new cases were registered, and 5 501 cases were finalised.

    After that period, 20 070 cases were brought forward.

    A further 6 371 cases were registered between July and September 2017, and 7 299 cases were finalised.

    Between October and December 2017, almost 19 200 cases were brought forward from previous months or years, and 6 805 new cases were registered in magistrate's courts across the country.

    Nearly 5 700 cases were finalised and 20 263 were brought forward into 2018.



    Some good, some bad

    Shivute said fewer new criminal cases were finalised in the High Court in 2017 than the previous year.

    “This is a worrying trend which is attributable in the main to defence lawyers being overbooked,” he said.

    In response, the office of the judge president initiated consultations with the Legal Aid Directorate and the Law Society of Namibia to address the problem. “In the interest of the administration of justice, a lasting solution must be found,” Shivute urged.

    At the Windhoek High Court main division, 20, or 23.8% of criminal trials were finalised in 2017, compared to a similar number, 19 (23.4%) in 2016. A total of 62 criminal trial cases were brought forward from the previous legal year and 22 new criminal trial cases were registered.

    In terms of criminal appeals, 26.3%, or 87 criminal appeals were finalised by the High Court last year, compared to 23% in 2016.

    Last year, 241 new criminal appeals were brought forward from the previous legal year, and 89 new appeals were lodged. Nearly 1 900 new criminal reviews were registered and 165 criminal reviews were brought forward from the 2016 to 2017 legal year.

    Ninety-three percent of criminal reviews (1 894) were finalised.

    In 2017, 3 633 or 89.8%, of civil actions were finalised at the High Court.

    In Oshakati, the northern High Court division finalised eight criminal trials (72.7%), compared to nine cases (64.2%) that were finalised in 2016. In 2017, the Supreme Court registered a total of 93 appeals, reviews and petitions, of which 46 were enrolled for hearing and 45 judgments were delivered.

    Twenty appeals lapsed, while 10 out of 16 petitions were finalised.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Plough back with your skills Plough back with your skills She is living her dream It does not matter where you are located as an entrepreneur; one should always invest back in the community you are situated in. Octavia Tsibes





    Anna-Mart Kruger was born in Namibia and she is the eldest of two girls and a boy. “I studied Human Movement Science at the University of Northwest in South Africa from 1997 to 1999. I enrolled for physiotherapy the year after at the University of the Free State in South Africa from 2000 to 2004. I am also a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner,” she says. In addition to this, she is also registered as an animal physiotherapist at the Vet Council Namibia.

    During her career, Kruger had to pay for my second degree herself. “I had three jobs and it was hard, but also worth it in the end. After that I now can appreciate the value of money,” she says.

    “Hard work pays off”- Pull Out

    Her journey as a physiotherapist

    Her love for physiotherapy started when she had an ACL Repair and Minisectoy which is a knee surgery in grade 11 after a serious hockey injury. “I got introduced to the career at that time and fell in love with it,” Kruger said.

    Kruger further says that physiotherapy covers many fields which gives one a lot of variety to specialise in. “My speciality is definitely sport and spinal physiotherapy,” she says. “In 2004, we started our first practise in Walvis Bay and in 2016 we opened seven practises all over the country within five years thereafter.”

    “During this time, I gave few individuals the opportunity to take over some of the practices. Currently our main centre is in Walvis Bay that offers indoor swimming lessons, hydrotherapy, biokinetics and cross fit functional training classes. We also offer isokinetic testing and endurance coaching,” she says. “I have 15 years of experience in my field and we had over 11500 clients since 2014 and courses done up to date are 48,” she says. The highlight for Kruger is being the physiotherapist for the Rio 2016 Olympics Namibian team.



    Kruger and her team just opened a peak performance centre where they offer techniques that were never used in Namibia. They offer wireless sensor technology, motion guidance laser rehab and much more. She managers and practices as a physiotherapist at her practice in Walvis Bay.



    She mentioned that a person should always have is the passion to work with people and to make a difference for each patient. “Always strive to increase your knowledge and stay up to date with latest technology that is in your industry,” she says. “Get involved with the school sport teams, clubs and educate children about the career that you are involved in.”

    Fact Box:

    · Physiotherapy and physical therapy is the same thing· In physiotherapy, strength-based movements are considered homework and completion of this homework has a direct impact on results.· Obesity can be managed at a physiotherapy clinic.

    · Physiotherapy is used to treat vertigo. Vertigo is caused by an infection of the vestibular system, the part of the body that contributes to balance.

    · Every major sports team has a physiotherapist on staff who may help increase stamina and endurance in these athletes

    · Physiotherapy can ease chronic pain

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    Strategies to retain high potential employeesStrategies to retain high potential employees What constitutes a “high potential employee”?Depending on who you ask, it is generally regarded as the top 3 to 5% of a company who demonstrate high levels of contribution. While every organization may have its own twist on that definition, there is consensus that this group is always in hot demand.

    So why do many companies invest a lot of effort into recruiting these employees, but then do very little by way of talent management and talent development to retain them?

    At a time when this type of talent is so crucial, organizations must put employee development strategies in place to avoid the pitfall. Below are five such strategies that you should be thinking about today.

    Pair them with effective mentors. The Odyssey of Homer introduced us to Mentor, Odysseus’ trusted advisor. Today, we commonly use that word to mean a more experienced person who can advise and teach us.

    Corporate environments have taken notice of this talent management concept and have started implementing more structured mentoring programs. These can be a very powerful tool in acclimating employees to the corporate culture and values.

    Mentoring can also be enormously valuable for those high potential employees who thrive on interaction with influential colleagues. The difficulty lies in finding that perfect match between a seasoned employee with the willingness and openness to mentor someone, and a high potential employee who respects that mentor and is eager to incorporate the knowledge. But when that is achieved, it can be a great employee retention approach.

    Give them high visibility assignments. Giving high potential employees high visibility and meaningful assignments is key to keeping them engaged. This can take on many different forms. Think about handing over stretch assignments that are pivotal to the organization’s success. While this may frighten some managers, it is important that these employees be given challenging opportunities that are outside their comfort zones. They may make mistakes along the way, but that’s a necessary part of their employee development.

    Other things you may want to explore include rotation to a supplier or partner, swapping positions, coaching/mentoring, or other creative talent development solutions that expand a high potential employee’s visibility and depth of experience.

    Openly communicate with them. This may seem like “stating the obvious,” but if a high potential employee has a concern, or an idea, it is in the organization’s best interest to listen.

    Give them the one-on-one attention they deserve with all levels of management and foster their creativity. You may also want to consider communicating that you believe they are high potential, and as such, enormously valuable to the organization. Some managers may worry that this will cause the employee to develop a sense of entitlement, but the more likely scenario is that it will boost their desire to work toward fully realizing their potential.

    Invest in their learning and development Think about other types of learning and employee development opportunities that you could offer, beyond certifications or employee training programs.

    This group yearns for dynamic and ever-changing tasks. Is there an opportunity for an employee to be sent overseas for an extended period of time? Is your organization large enough that it can implement special “tracks” for high potential employees?

    Many organizations are coming up with talent management structures that allow one employee to touch many facets of the organization, from sales, to marketing, to customer service. For those employees who thrive on constantly learning, what better opportunity than to have assignments in all of these different roles? Remember that if you implement something like this, the employee must be empowered to actively participate in the planning of his or her career development.

    Measure progress quarterly. Given that companies measure themselves on a quarterly basis, wouldn’t it make sense to take your high potential employees and measure them the same way?

    If you’re not thinking that way today, you should start. By exposing this group to mentors, new and high visibility projects, position swapping, etc, you are putting them in unfamiliar territory.

    Instead of waiting until the end of the year for the performance review, implement a proactive quarterly review that provides them with more immediate feedback. In turn, this feedback can be used to improve the employee’s performance in the short-term, thus improving overall performance and communication at all levels.

    Regardless of where your organization stands at the moment, it is imperative that deliberate talent management strategies be put into place in order to grow and retain your high potential employees. You simply need to understand the state of your particular corporate environment, and then implement those ideas that fit your corporate culture and resources.

    Source: https://hiring.monster.com

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  • 02/08/18--14:00: Economic lifeline
  • Economic lifelineEconomic lifelineAlweendo positioned to boost ailing economy Yesterday's cabinet reshuffle resulted in the country's top technocrat taking over at mines and energy, while the finance ministry, which has been at the forefront of fiscal consolidation, remains in safe hands. President Hage Geingob has signalled serious moves to boost the ailing Namibian economy by placing his top technocrat, Tom Alweendo, at the mines and energy ministry during his much-anticipated cabinet reshuffle yesterday.

    He also sent a clear signal of stability to the markets by retaining Calle Schlettwein as finance minister.

    The appointment of Alweendo, who swapped ministries with Obeth Kandjoze, has been widely welcomed by analysts, who said he is the right man for the job at the right time.

    The mining sector's contribution to GDP is targeted to reach 15.2% in 2022, from the current 12.5% under the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), while the country's electricity supply, which is still highly dependent on South Africa and other neighbouring countries, is critical for future economic growth.

    Namibia's mineral resources include diamonds, copper, lead, zinc, gold and uranium, but these are still largely in foreign hands, which is a contributor to the country's current economic woes.

    Geingob, who announced several changes to his executive yesterday at the first cabinet meeting of the year, also made a critical change in the works ministry, where former agriculture minister John Mutorwa now sits, following a straight swap with his predecessor, Alpheus !Naruseb.

    !Naruseb had been at the centre of ongoing turf battles, lawsuits and other shenanigans at parastatals residing under the works ministry, including the Namibia Airports Company (NAC).



    As expected, Nickey Iyambo was replaced as vice president, but instead of Geingob's deputy in the party, deputy prime minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, it was former Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba who was announced as his replacement.



    Geingob is also hoping that former information minister Tjekero Tweya, who was replaced by George Simataa, will be able to breathe new life into the trade and industry ministry, which is another critical arm of the government's battle to turn around the ailing economy.



    Since 2014 a total of 129 644 Namibians have lost their jobs because of drought and a global recession, a situation that has been aggravated by the poor performance of the construction sector.



    The Bank of Namibia (BoN) projects a growth rate of 2.2% for 2018.



    In an effort to cut costs, the government is limiting foreign trips for civil servants, exercising control over the use of state vehicles, and saving on paper by using email.



    Ironically, while downgrading Namibia's long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating (IDR) to 'BB+' from 'BBB-', with a stable outlook late last year, ratings agency Fitch actually predicted yesterday's cabinet reshuffle, as well as a host of government reforms aimed at boosting the economy .



    “We expect the fiscal and growth-enhancing reform drive to gain momentum after the congress. A government reshuffle seems likely, and we expect a new cabinet to initiate some major reforms - including the overhaul process of the SOE sector.



    “We also expect the government to retract the most controversial provisions of the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) draft bill and the National Investment Promotion Act (NIPA), and submit revised versions of the two bills to parliament in 2018,” Fitch said in November last year, shortly before the Swapo elective congress.



    Yesterday analysts applauded Geingob for his choice of candidates for some key ministries, while others felt he should have been more aggressive.







    Disturbed by corruption



    Geingob said he was particularly disturbed by allegations of corruption, maladministration and incompetency - mostly directed at the works, health, mines and energy ministers as well as the attorney-general's office.



    As a result, attorney-general Sacky Shanghala was moved to the ministry of justice to replace Albert Kawana, who will take up the AG position.



    Former trade and industry minister Immanuel Ngatjizeko replaces presidential affairs minister Frans Kapofi, while deputy international relations minister Peya Mushelenga will replace Sophia Shaningwa as minister of urban and rural development.



    Shaningwa is leaving the ministry to take up the fulltime post of Swapo secretary-general post.



    Deputy minister of home affairs Erastus Utoni has replaced Jerry Ekandjo as sport minister, while Kapofi will be heading the home affairs ministry left vacant by Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana. Ekandjo and Iivula-Ithana were both fired last Thursday.



    Although Geingob emphasised that people cannot just be prosecuted without due process, he warned ministers not to use this as an obstacle to take people to task.



    He warned that “some reckoning would mean the heads of big fish must roll”.



    Local constitutional expert Nico Horn was impressed by Alweendo being shifted to mines and energy, saying he might just be the man the country needed at this moment.



    “But overall there is not much of a surprise. It is interesting to see that that Shanghala was taken from the AG's office, it seems as if the president opted for the calmer and conservative choice,” Horn commented.



    Economist Omu Kakujaha-Matundu echoed Horn's sentiments that Alweendo was the right candidate for the job, but was sceptical about !Naruseb's abilities in his new portfolio.



    “Tweya is not new in trade; he was the deputy of Geingob when he was the trade minister. Perhaps the president is convinced that he can aggressively drive the vision of industrialisation. The other thing is, we are struggling with energy. Alweendo is a go-getter. He is a guy who can make it happen. And is he is passionate about development,” he said.



    Political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah believes there is nothing “impressive” about the reshuffling.



    But Kamwanyah is certain that the president's decision to stick with Calle Schlettwein as finance minister sends a strong message to the markets.



    “Calle has proven to be responsible and he has been stopping all the questionable deals,” he said.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Cuca shops halt dual carriagewayCuca shops halt dual carriageway A lack of sufficient space to expand the Omuthiya-Oshivelo B1 road into a dual carriageway, along with a firm rejection by members of the elite business community of Oshikoto and Omuthiya towns to construct a new bypass road, caused the Roads Authority (RA) to opt to rather construct a 'two-plus-one' carriageway.

    The RA's Timotheus Hatuikulipi said that the road design has been completed and will be the same as the Okahandja-Karibib B2 route which was completed in 2010. The route will provide a passing lane in a bid to reduce road accidents due to speeding and overtaking.

    Hatwiikulipi was speaking at the RA's public meeting on the road safety audit for the Trans-Kunene and Windhoek-Luanda corridors on Wednesday at Ondangwa. He said that the RA is focusing on high mobility on national routes while at the same time reducing accident rates.





    “Like on the Okahandja-Karibib road, after a very two kilometres, drivers will be given an opportunity to pass slower-moving vehicles by means of an additional lane – instead of overtaking into the oncoming traffic's lane. We believe this will reduce accidents while increasing mobility.”



    The new project is also aimed at relieving pressure on the congested Ondangwa-Oshakati road.



    The RA was embroiled in a dispute with traditional leaders over their subjects who are building too close to the main road between Oshivelo and Ongwediva.



    Some of the builders were issued with letters ordering them to demolish their structures, but they refused and accused the RA of failing to embark on a public awareness campaign to avoid the current situation.



    The RA had planned to expand the Oshivelo-Ongwediva road into a dual carriageway. The authority was however met with a series of challenges of which not the least was the many cuca shops established within the road reserve. According to the authority, it is prohibited to erect a permanent structure within 100 metres from the road.



    The two-plus-one route will start 15 kilometres south of Omuthiya, and will follow the current alignment up to Onethindi. From Onethindi it will bypass Ondangwa, Ongwediva and Oshakati in the south and will join the main road just after Oshakati.



    Hatuikulipi said that all the designs are completed and they are waiting for the funds.



    “We will not allow cuca shops along the Onethindi-Oshakati bypass as the road will be fenced off and there will no access to cuca shops, only to towns. This will be a high mobility road.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Vocational skills are underratedVocational skills are underrated Namibia has been ranked one of the worst performing countries in the world when it comes to vocational and technical skills.

    The country was ranked 80th on a global index of talent competitiveness, moving down four places since last year.

    In sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia was ranked fifth in terms of talent competitiveness in this regard.

    The fifth Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), produced by INSEAD Business School, benchmarks countries in terms of employment, education, immigration and a wide range of other factors.

    Namibia received an overall score of 37 this year, dropping back from its previous score of 40.2.

    The 2017-2018 report, which evaluates 119 countries, aims to provide decision-makers across business and government with the tools to drive talent competitiveness. It specifically suggests that by creating a truly diverse and inclusive corporate culture, companies can gain a competitive advantage that will enable them to not just better attract and retain talent, but create a high-performing workforce.

    Ranging from collaboration within organisations and foreign direct investment to the gender pay gap, labour productivity and university rankings, these variables help determine a country's 'talent competitiveness' – the ability to attract, develop and retain skilled workers, thereby supporting productivity and prosperity.

    The report also explores the role of diversity as a source for innovation and prosperity in labour markets, finding that countries with greater diversity and inclusion will be best placed to achieve the performance and agility required to innovate, and remain competitive in the fast paced and evolving global economy.



    In the main categories Namibia was ranked 55th for enabling skill development, 31st for attracting skills, 78th for growing skills, 95th for retaining skills, 109th for vocational and technical training skills and 86th for global knowledge skills.



    Namibia would do well to develop its vocational and technical sector, in particular with the dismal Grade 10 and 12 results. For the 2017 academic year, more than 18 000 children failed Grade 10 and 34.2% of the Grade 12s did not achieve access to university. Further to this, more than 18 000 students did not secure a spot to improve English results to ensure access to tertiary institutions. Here, vocational training is key.



    According to the index, in sub-Saharan Africa four upper-middle-income countries dominated the five top places of the region. These were Mauritius (globally 46th), Botswana (62nd), South Africa (63rd), and Namibia (80th). The other country in the top five of the region is Rwanda (76th).



    Switzerland, Singapore and the USA were ranked as the top three countries, while Yemen, Madagascar and Mozambique were ranked as the worst performers.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Potential players, but no deals yetPotential players, but no deals yetWhat's next after Chan? Panduleni Nekundi, Petrus Shitembi, Charles Hambira and Riaan !Hanamub are among the talented Namibian footballers still seeking lucrative deals with foreign clubs. Namibian players who recently returned from Chan 2018, where they put up a brilliant display, are now gearing to take part in the Namibian Premier League (NPL).

    These four players are among many trying to break out of the domestic league, where they play for local clubs African Stars, Tura Magic and Orlando Pirates, as they seek international stardom in professional football, which has become a multibillion-dollar industry.

    These players join football academies or clubs, hoping to get exposure and eventually play in the South African premier league or any lucrative league in Africa.

    However, out of the thousands of football hopefuls, only a tiny fraction gets a chance to play professionally.

    In that fortunate group, only a few make it to clubs topping their respective leagues.



    Players' thoughts

    Nekundi, who plays for African Stars and who is topping the log with goals, says Namibian clubs are not developing players well enough because they are not at the professional level.

    “You have to be a standout player locally and in order to catch the eye of scouts when playing for the national team,” he says.

    According to him, it takes more than just the club to push players out of the country. The entire league has to be more attractive in order for scouts and outside teams to even look your way.

    Asked if players are allowed to see agents themselves, he says he believes there should be provision for that.

    “Each club has their own way of dealing with transfers of players, but what is paramount is communication between the club and the player. Most players are firstly approached by an agent; it is then the responsibility of the player to inform the club that he or she has ambition of moving abroad.”

    The Stars forward says he was in communication with someone before Chan but is currently focused on the league with his club.

    “Depending on how well I do, anything can happen. But I'm not moving during this window,” he said.

    Another player who has showed incredible skill on the ball for a couple of years is Shitembi, who plays for Stars as well. Shitembi argues that the league alone cannot help players to secure contracts abroad.

    “Our league does not broadcast or market the league well. Agents always ask for clips whenever they approach a player to see how he or she performs. It is difficult when that is not available,” he says.

    He says most players who secure international contracts are scouted through the national team and not their clubs.

    The trickster adds that he received calls before and after Chan from various clubs showing interest in his skills. “It's now up to me to assess what is best for me personally and to take it from there.”

    Soft-spoken !Hanamub, who plays for Pirates locally, says he performed above par for the national team in Chan.

    “I did my best but I also do not think the clubs do much to push us out of the country to get the needed experience. At the moment I have not received any calls from interested clubs, maybe they are communicating with my agent so I have to wait and see,” he says.

    Despite agreeing that local clubs are not doing enough, Charles Hambira, who has been giving strikers a tough time in defence, says he is always talking to his manager about developments regarding his football career. “My club is on the lookout for opportunities for me,” he says.



    From the expert

    Collin April, a local agent, explains that agents work for players, not the clubs.

    “Agents manage the players and their welfare, which includes signing fees, flight tickets and player salaries. Clubs come in when there is an interest from another club and then they agree on a transfer fee.”

    He believes that clubs are sometimes selfish in letting players go as they only think about winning the domestic league.

    He advises players to think about their future and to decide what is best for them in the long run.

    April also believes the market value of players should be looked at.

    “A player playing locally can be of much worth playing outside the country,” he says.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Emanitho lyiipotha tali ende kashonaEmanitho lyiipotha tali ende kashonaOompangulilo dha taalela omukundu Etata owala lyiipotha moompangu dhopevi moshilongo lya manithwa omolwa ompumbwe yaaniilonga niikwanitho miilonga. Emanitho lyiipotha tali ende kashona oshimwe shomukundu omunene tagu e ta omaipulo komukomeho guuyuuki moshilongo, Chief Justice Peter Shivute.

    Shivute okwa popi ngaaka pethimbo lyoshiwike shiikwaveta sho 2018. Okwa popi kutya pokati komwedhi Januari sigo Sepetemba omvula ya piti, oopresenda owala omi 50 dhiipotha mbyoka ya manithwa.

    Iipotha yi li 38 435, oya shangithwa moompangulilo shoomangestrata muule wethimbo ndyoka iipotha owala 19 140 yomiipotha mbyoka ya shangithwa ya manithwa.

    Okwa popi kutya aapanguli otaya gandja uusama kutya onkalo ndjoka otayi etithwa kompumbwe yoompangulilo, iilongitho inayi gwana oshowo ompumbwe yaanambelewa moompangulilo. Shivute okwa popi kuta onkalo ndjoka otayi konaakonwa.

    Shivute okwa popi kutya okwa tulwa miilonga oCriminal Justice Reform Task Force ndjoka tayi ka tala nokutula miilonga omakandulepo gomukundu guule wethimbo efupi nenge ele. Okwa ningwa woo iigongiilonga yaamboka ye na ohokwe okuninga aapanguli moka omu 12 yomaapanguli 15 ya kutha ombinga.

    Pokati kaJanuari sigo oMaalitsa gwo 2017, iipotha iikulu 20 871 oya falwa moompangulilo dhopevi na okwa shangithwa iipotha iipe yi li 5 983. Iipotha owala 6 918 ya manithwa muule wethimbo ndyoka. Iipotha iikulu ya thika po 20 000 ya undulilwa koomweedhi nenge koomvula dha landula.

    Pokati kaApilili naJuni iipotha 5 635 iipe oya shangithwa niipotha 5 501 oya manithwa. Lwanima iipotha ya thika po 20 070 oya falwa moompangulilo.

    Iipotha 6 371 oya shangithwa pokati Juli naSepetemba niipotha 7 299 oya manithwa.

    Pokati kaKotomba naDecemba iipotha konyala 19 200 oya falwa koompangu niipotha iipe yi li 6 805 oya shangithwa. Konyala iipotha 5 700 yomiipotha o 20 263 yomiipotha ya falwa moompangulilo dhoomangestrata mo 2018 oya manithwa.

    Shivute okwa tsikile kutya iipotha iishona yomiipotha mbyoka ya shangithwa moompangulilo dhopombanda moshilongo oya manithwa mo 2017. Okwa popi kutya onkalo ndjoka otayi limbilike molwaashoka aapanguli oye na iipotha oyindji komapepe.

    Onga oonkambadhala okukandula po omukundu ngoka, ombelewa yomupanguli presidende otayi ningi oonkundathana noLegal Aid Directorate oshowo Law Society of Namibia opo ku vule okukandulwa po omukundu ngoka. Mompangulilo yopombanda mOvenduka, iipotha 20 nenge oopresenda 23.8 dhiipotha yomiyonena oya manithwa mo 2017, okuyeleka niipotha 19 nenge oopresenda 23.4 dhiipotha ya manithwa mo 2016.

    Iipotha 62 oya falwa mompangu ndjoka okuza koomvula dha piti, omanga iipotha iipe 22 ya shangithwa. Omvula ya piti, etalululo lyiipotha 241 oya shangithwa omanga iipotha iipe 89 ya shangithwa. Konyala iipotha yomiyonena 1 900 oya shangithwa omanga 165 ya talululwa nokufalwa mompangulilo ndjoka okuza momvula yo 2016 no 2017.

    Oopresenda 93 dhiipotha mboka odha manithwa.

    Mompangulilo yoPombanda mOshakati, iipotha omugoyi oya manithwa okuyeleka kiipotha 8 mbyoka ya manithwa mo 2016. Ompangu yopombandanda moshilongo ano oSupreme Court oya shangitha iipotha 93 mbyoka tayi talululwa.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Venus, Vandeweghe put US up 2-0 in Fed CupVenus, Vandeweghe put US up 2-0 in Fed Cup1 000th career match since 1999 Venus Williams got the defending champion United States off to a winning start in their Fed Cup first-round tie against the Netherlands on Saturday before CoCo Vandeweghe survived a scare to extend the lead to 2-0. Cheered on by her younger sister Serena, who is poised to make her own comeback to the sport after a year away and the birth of her daughter, seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams made relatively light work of 124th-ranked Arantxa Rus, winning 6-1, 6-4.

    The 37-year-old, who enjoyed a renaissance year in 2017 when she reached two Grand Slam finals, showed some signs of tiring towards the end of the second set even as her clear advantage in skill and raw power were on display.

    It was her 1 000th career match and her 22nd singles appearance in a tournament she first played in 1999, but Williams insisted milestones were far from her mind.

    “I don't really know about these milestones when they happen,” she said. “It's just great to be playing the game that I love not really going for milestones, but then they happen.”

    In front of a packed and roaring home crowd in mountainous Asheville, North Carolina, Williams won the toss and served first, closing out the opening game with a searing ace in an early show of intent.

    Her Dutch opponent was unable to hold her own and later admitted she had let her nerves get to her as the first set slipped away.

    “I didn't start good. I was a bit nervous. Also because you play against such a great player,” said the 27-year-old.

    The second set began more evenly, as the players found themselves locked in long rallies and the first five games resulted in service breaks.

    They were level at 2-2 before Venus eventually began to pull away.

    Williams acknowledged the second half was tighter than it could have been.

    “It's never a win until it's over,” she said. “On paper I looked like I should win the match but it was a battle and I'm glad the USA won the battle.

    “I was trying to find the balance between going big and going too big. I think that today's match hopefully will help me for tomorrow.”

    Williams had a slow start to the year, losing in the first round of the Australian Open last month to Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, but insisted she had plenty of time to turn things around.

    “I think I'm playing well. I just had some bad luck, I played players who just were on fire,” she said. “Sometimes that happens, (it's) just the beginning of the year.”

    In the second singles, Vandeweghe rallied from a set down, winning the second intense tie-breaker before finding her range against Richel Hogenkamp in a 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 victory. Vandeweghe's early frustration came to a head when at 2-0 down in the second set and having lost six consecutive games, she smashed her racket in the latest tantrum of her mercurial career.

    The final scoreline was far closer than the players' rankings, 17 and 108 respectively, had suggested it should be.



    NAMPA / AFP

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    Oshipangelo shaShakati tashi yambulwapoOshipangelo shaShakati tashi yambulwapo Oshipangelo shepangelo mOshakati otashi ka mona ewalanda epe lyointensive care unit (ICU) oshowo oshitandelo

    Ngoka ta longo pehala lyomukomeho guunamiti moshipangelo shoka, Dr Vizkaya Amutenya, okwa ningi etseyitho ndyoka mEtitatu lyoshiwike sha piti, pethimbo kwa patululwa pambelewa ewalanda lyoobstetric theatre. Uuministeli wuundjolowele owa longulula nokunenepeka ewalanda lyokanyothi moshipangelo shoka oshowo oshitandelo oshipe kongushu yoomiliyona 3.

    Amutenya okwa popi kutya aakiintu mboka taya pulumutha itaya falwa we koshitandelo shomoshipangelo shoka hashi kala shuudha noonkondo ihe otaya ka longitha oshitandelo shoka, naashoka otashi ka shunitha pevi onkalo yomaupyakadhi taga holoka pethimbo lyokupulumutha.

    “Otwa li tu na ompumbwe yoshitandelo onkene otwa tokola opo oshipangelo shi longululwe tse tu ningepo ehala lyoshitandelo. Omayakulo agehe ge na sha nepulumutho otaga kala taya gandjelwa mewalanda lyokanyothi.”

    Okwa popi kutya oshitandelo shoka oshipe otashi ka kutha po omukundu gwendumbalala lyiilonga moshitandelo shoka oshinene.

    Kehe esiku aakiintu yeli pokati ko 27 no 30 ohaya pulumutha moshipangelo shaShakati.

    Amutenya okwa popi kutya oshitopolwa shoka tashi landulako okuwapalekwa nokutungululwa oshitandelo oshinene oshowo central supply department (CSD) no ICU.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Ofaalama yoNDF ya e ta omaipuloOfaalama yoNDF ya e ta omaipuloOmuleli ke na ontseyo melando lyofaalama ndjoka Okwa holoka omapulo kutya otashi ende ngiini uuministeli wegameno mboka wa taalela ompumbwe yoshimaliwa wu lande ofaalama yongushu yoomiliyona 45. Aakonaakoni yonkalo oye wete kutya Omupresidende Hage Gengob, otaka ungaunga nominista yegameno, Penda yaNdakolo omolwa okulanda ofaalama yoomiliyona 45 ndjoka yi na egumbo lyaayenda omanga oshilongo sha taalela onkalo yopaliko ya piyagana.Iikundaneki oya lopota oshiwike sha piti kutya uuministeli wegameno owa landa ofaalama ndjoka tayi ka longithwa onga ehala lyokudheula aakwaita ya vule okukala pamwe niiyamakuti nokwiidheula okuumba kwawo oondjembo.

    Oropoko Lodge ya tungwa kugumwe gwomaapunguli yaNamibia a za pondje yoshilongo na oku li kuume kOmupresidende nale Sam Nujoma, Sam Nujoma, Kurt Steinhausen.

    Egumbo lyaayenda ndyoka oli na oondunda dhokulala dha thika po 30.

    Elando lyofaalama ndjoka olya ningwa pethimbo mpoka uuministeli wa tumu komagumbo aakwiita ya thika pe 1 000 molwaashoka aniwa itawu vulu okupalutha aakwiita mboka, oshowo okufuta omeya nolusheno mookamba dhaakwiita moshilongo. Omuleli gwoshilongo ota ulike ke na ontseyo yelando lyofaalama ndjoka pethimbo a patulula pambelewa omutumba gwotango gwokomvula gwokabinete koshilongo.

    Pahapu dhomupresidende, okwa dhengele aniwa ongodhi minista yaNdakolo ihe ongodhi ye oya dhima.

    “Indiinekela kashi shi oshili. Nena onda lesha kutya uuministeli wegameno owa landa ofaalama yoomiliyona 45 omanga taya tumu aakwiita komagumbo. Kandi shi ngele osha ningwa omvula ya piti. Minista otwa pumbwa okupopya molwaashoka kandi wete pe na ompumbwe yokutuma aakwiita komagumbo,” Geingob ta ti.

    Omunogononi gwonkalo yopaliko, Dr Omu Kakujaha-Matundu okwa popi kutya oku na einekelo kutya omuleli otaka katuka oonkatu ihe okwa holola omaiyuvo ge omolwa ompumbwe yekondololo moshilongo. Okwa popi kutya oshilongo kashi na omuthigululwakalo gwokugeela mboka taya pogola.

    “Ethimbo olya thikana opo tumone aantu taya pewa omageelo, nda hala okutya taya tidhwa miilonga. Ngele otatu tsikile nokugamena aapogoli nena uulingilingi itawu hulu moshilongo.”

    Omutseyinawa gwekotampango, Professor Nico Horn oku na einekelo kutya otaku ka gandjwa egeelo. Nonando ongaaka okwa popi kutya elando enene otali piti ngiini inali monika.

    “Ondi wete kutya oomiliyona 45 itadhi vulu okulongithwa inaku gandjwa ezimino kokabinete. Kandi wete ngele uuministeli kehe otawu vulu okuninga ngaaka inaku gandjwa epitiko okuza kokabinete.”

    Ndumba Kamwanyah, okwa popi kutya otashi ulike omupresidende ke na oonkondo sho ta nyenyeta pehala lyokukatuka oonkatu.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Omadheulo guungomba moNamibia geli peviOmadheulo guungomba moNamibia geli pevi Namibia okwa tulwa momusholondondo gwiilongo itayi shi enditha nawa momadheulo gopaungonga. Oshilongo osha tulwa ponomola onti 80 moglobal index of talent competitiveness, na osha shuna pevi oonkatu 4 okuyeleka nomvula ya piti.

    Omusholondondo omuti 5 gwoGlobal Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), ngoka gwa ningwa koINSEAD Business School, ohagu tala konkalo yoompito dhiilonga, elongo omatembukilo miilongo niinima yilye.

    Molopota yo 2017,/2018 ndjoka ya tala kiilongo 119 oya tala kokuninga omatokolo gopangeshefa nepangelo opo ku yambulwepo onkalo pakutala komalongelo kumwe niilongo, omapungulo, iilonga, elongo lypauniversiti oshowo iinima yilwe. Olopota oya holola kutya Namibia ota vulu oku pondola momadheulo gopaungomba unene omolwa iizemo itayi shambula yondondo onti 10 no 12.

    Patseyitho lyiizemo yo 2017, aanona ya thika po 18 000 oya ndopa ondondo onti 10 omanga oopresenda 34.2 mondondo onti 12 inaya mona iizemo tayi vulu okuya falitha kiiputudhilo yoombanda.

    Natango aanona ya thika po 18 000, inaya vula okumona omahala ya vule okuyambulapo iitsa yawo melaka lyOshiingilisa yo ya vule okutaambulwa miiputudhilo yopombanda.

    Momusholondondo Mauritius okuli ponomola onti 46, Botswana (62), South Africa (63), oshowo Namibia (80). Iilongo yilwe oRwanda mbyoka yi li ponomola onti 76.

    Iilongo ngaashi Switzerland, Singapore oshowo USA oyi li momusholondondo gwiilongodhingi itatu muuyuni, omanga Yemen, Madagascar oshowo Mozambique yeli pevi lyomusholondondo gwiilongo mbyoka itayi shi enditha nawa muuyuni.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Coleman dominates 60 metres but not close to world recordColeman dominates 60 metres but not close to world record World outdoor silver medallist Christian Coleman stumbled slightly in his start then slowed before the finish, as he missed setting a world record in the 60m, clocking 6.46 seconds at the Boston Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday.

    The race was Coleman's first since he ran a blazing 6.37 seconds last month, 0.02 seconds faster than the existing world record, but that time will not be ratified because electronic starting blocks were not present.

    “I just wanted to come out here and execute and make sure everything is going well for next week,” the young American said.

    He will compete in the US indoor championships/world trials next weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the rarefied air aids sprinters.

    That should give Coleman an even better chance of eclipsing compatriot Maurice Greene's 20-year-old record of 6.39 seconds.

    “I'm just looking forward to the competition,” said the 21-year-old Coleman, who also has an eye on March's IAAF world indoor championships in Birmingham, England.

    Although the fast-starting American quickly pulled away from the field at Boston, he appeared to stumble a couple of steps into his race as he had in last month's eye-catching race in Clemson, South Carolina.

    While he ran all the way to the finish in last month's race, on Saturday he backed off the final 10 metres to save himself for the national championships next weekend.

    China's Xie Zhenye finished second in 6.54 seconds with US world 300 metres record holder Noah Lyles third in a personal best 6.57 seconds.

    Britain's Chris O'Hare, preparing for the Commonwealth Games in April, set a Scottish national indoor record in winning the 1 500 in 3:37.03 and Trinidad and Tobago's Jereem Richards ran the seventh fastest 300 metres, 32.10 seconds.

    Kenyan Edward Cheserek took the men's 3 000m in 7:38.74, a day after running the second fastest indoor mile, 3:49.44.

    NAMPA / REUTERS

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    Ireland thrash Italy to make it two wins from twoIreland thrash Italy to make it two wins from two Ireland crushed Italy 56-19 on Saturday to make it two Six Nations wins out of two, running in eight tries to secure their first bonus point of the championship.

    After Johnny Sexton's last-gasp drop goal rescued a win in Paris a week ago, Joe Schmidt's side could not have asked for an easier afternoon but the eight-try victory could have come at a cost through the loss of prop Tadhg Furlong and centre Robbie Henshaw to injury.

    “After getting out of jail last week we were looking forward to coming home and putting on a show. We'll be disappointed with the 19 points we conceded but that'll kick start our campaign. It's exactly where we want to be,” scrumhalf Conor Murray said in a pitchside interview.

    Ireland, who ran in nine tries against Italy in each of their last two meetings, looked to keep ball in hand throughout and despite a couple of early handling errors, they were three tries to the good after just 20 minutes

    Henshaw and centre partner Bundee Aki grabbed the first and third from close range following intense forward pressure while Murray got the pick in between, finishing off a slick touchline move neatly assisted by Six Nations debutant Jack Conan.

    Italy, coached by former Ireland fullback Conor O'Shea, also tried to run what little ball they had but, starved of opportunity, they never came close to hurting Ireland early on.

    Aki, whose earlier try was his first for his adopted nation, showed off his pace to set up the fourth as he sucked in the Italian defence to put winger Keith Earls clear to secure the extra point before halftime.

    The rout continued early in the second as Henshaw ran in a smart interception try but the celebrations were short-lived as he left the pitch in a sling following the grounding, joining Furlong who went off with a leg injury in the first half.

    The yawning gap meant Ireland could afford to rest Sexton and Murray on 50 minutes and count on more forward superiority, handing Rory Best and Jacob Stockdale a try each before the Ulster winger sprinted through for a second late on.

    However, emptying the bench so early also left the hosts disjointed and Italy grabbed three consolation tries through Tomasso Allan, Edoardo Gori and Matteo Minozzi and could have had a bonus point of their own were it not for a try-saving tackle from Earls.

    The Italians equalled their worst ever run in the tournament with a 14th consecutive defeat.

    NAMPA / REUTERS

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    Top-four finish still priority for WengerTop-four finish still priority for Wenger Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said qualifying for next seasons Champions League via a Premier League top-four finish remained his priority after Arsenal slipped to a third league defeat in five games at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

    Harry Kanes second-half header gave Tottenham a 1-0 victory over their neighbours that left Arsenal five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea having played a game more.

    Manchester United secured a return to the Champions League by winning last year's Europa League and Arsenal are through to the last 32 of Europe's second-tier club competition.

    “The priority remains being in the Champions League (qualification places) through the Premier League,” Wenger told reporters.

    “I am not a great fan of the Europa League winner qualifying for the Champions League - I think it is not right. If it is an opportunity we have to try to take it as well, but the priority remains the Premier League.”

    Arsenal struggled to create real openings against Spurs at Wembley, mustering one shot on target all match and Wenger pointed to their poor record of 15 goals on the road this season as an area of concern.

    “Today was a game we couldn't afford to lose Wenger added. It makes it much more difficult now (finishing in top four), but we have to fight. There was more at stake in this game than just the derby, that's why it is so disappointing.

    “Our away record is very poor. Football is about scoring goals, and if you look at the numbers, compared to the top six, we do not score enough goals away from home.”

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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