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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 700 | 701 | (Page 702) | 703 | 704 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Community wants chief/Gaseb outCommunity wants chief/Gaseb out'No prospect of economic advancement' The !Oe-#Gan community said the local chief must leave by the end of this month, which will allow them to elect an interim leadership. Chief Immanuel /Gaseb of the !Oe-#Gan community in Okombahe is under pressure from his community to step down by the end of March.

    The community of the settlement in the Erongo Region on Friday handed over a document to the chief, saying they have lost confidence in him.

    The document, as seen by Nampa instructs /Gaseb to step down as they have come to the conclusion that there is no prospect of economic advancement and unity for them under his leadership.

    “Whether you resign or not, within seven days from 31 March, we shall elect an interim leadership for the community. The interim leadership shall be required within six months after its establishment to call a !Oe-#Gan general meeting to allow the community to elect a new chief,” it reads. The community alleges that the chief has failed to comply with the Traditional Authority Act and Customary Law for the past 17 years.

    /Gaseb allegedly failed to establish a Board of Trustees and submit audited financial reports to the community for this period.

    They also said he failed to establish legislative authority structures and operated in a vacuum, allegedly selling, donating and alienating portions of communal land for private investors without the consent of the community.

    “You contravened Article 14 of the Customary Law of the !Oe-#Gan traditional community by failing for the past 17 years to hold council and annual general meetings for the community as required,” states the document. Another reason, they claimed, is the “protracted absence of the chief from the community and a hands-on remote control of the traditional authority from Windhoek, which rendered ineffective service delivery to the community.”

    /Gaseb on Monday acknowledged receiving the letter and said he will meet with four of his senior councillors this week to discuss it.

    Senior councillor Josef /Narib said the majority of the community are in support of the letter and this was proven during a community meeting held on Friday.

    He also confirmed that they are waiting for the chief to inform them when is he is going to respond to the letter.



    NAMPA

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    Elders supply youth with drugs, boozeElders supply youth with drugs, booze The chief of the #Gaodaman, Petrus Ukongo, expressed his concern that instead of addressing the issue of drugs and alcohol among the youth, some elders are selling these harmful substances to the young people of the country.

    Ukongo, who was speaking at a book launch over the weekend in Windhoek, explained he has observed in the area of his jurisdiction that most children, some as young as 11, are seen in shebeens, roaming the streets and devoting their time to the use of drugs and other harmful substances.

    “It is a contradiction. Do we expect performance and high levels of improvement if we happen to find ourselves selling the drugs to our kids?” he asked.

    The chief of the #Gaodaman, a sub-group of the Damara people, further expressed concern about young girls who indulge in sexual activities with older men, resulting in teenage pregnancies.

    He urged older women to play the role of guiding young girls and educating them on the initiation process which prepares young girls for womanhood, so as to avoid them falling pregnant in their teens. “It is only then that the playing field will be levelled to compete or being considered worthy in relation to other tribes,” he said. He further expressed concern about Namibians who do not teach their children their vernacular languages.

    Referencing parents or guardians who opt rather to teach their children English and Afrikaans, Ukongo said this results in a communication breakdown between the children and the grandparents, who predominantly only know the vernacular languages.

    NAMPA

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    Govt concerned about trade union membersGovt concerned about trade union membersGeingob talks to NUNW The aim of the meeting was to consult with the different unions under the NUNW on how to better the economy and employment of the youth. We want to hold hands. All of us. – Pres. Hage Geingob President Hage Geingob said he would like the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) to know that his administration is concerned about trade union members.

    In a meeting with high ranking trade union officials at State House on Monday, Geingob said trade union members will be talking about wage increases on top of what they are already receiving, while there are young people who are unemployed.

    “We want to hold hands. All of us. To look at how you can advise us to create jobs for those young people in the street,” said Geingob.

    He also said the government would like to invite the private sector to see how they can employ the youth through apprenticeships, for the young people to get on-the-job training. The government would also would like universities to pair with industry, “so [that] you train for the job, not just for the sake of training”.

    ‘Crisis’

    Geingob said Namibia “is definitely in a financial crisis, but is getting out of the woods”.

    “I think by next year we should be doing very well,” said Geingob.

    NUNW secretary-general (SG), Job Muniaro, said the only way to improve Namibia’s economy is through education.

    “Education is crucial. There is no way that we can develop and change the status of this economy without education.”

    Muniaro said the country’s education should speak to the curriculum demands of schools and universities, adding that it should be producing people that are “absorbable” by the market.

    “If the market cannot absorb these people, then we will have thousands and millions of Namibians who are educated, but not contributing to the economy,” he stressed.

    The SG further said Namibia’s indigenous skills are poor as the country exports its timber and then imports the final product.

    “This furniture is manufactured by countries that are only using their indigenous skills. Why don’t we keep our timber and recognise our people who’ve got indigenous skills,” he asked. - Nampa

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    Govt mum on NEEEF 25% clause removalGovt mum on NEEEF 25% clause removal The government this week would neither confirm nor deny an allegation that it planned to remove a clause in the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework that would in future potentially allow previously disadvantaged Namibians to own a potential 25% stake in white-owned businesses.

    Local weekly Windhoek Observer reported last week that the government had bowed to pressure to do away with the clause on ownership and instead extend the clause to cover all Namibian communities instead of previously disadvantaged Namibians following the conclusion of a one-day cabinet workshop held to discuss modalities surrounding NEEEF.

    The chairperson of the Law Reform and Development Commission, Yvonne Dausab, would neither confirm nor deny whether the government was looking at doing away with the clause and said the cabinet was still deliberating on all aspects of NEEEF. “I am unfortunately not at liberty to say anything on that article or the correctness of its content. We are all waiting for a cabinet decision on the proposals that were made,” said Dausab.

    A reliable government source informed the weekly last week that the cabinet had a robust debate during a workshop held in Windhoek three weeks ago, and in the end, the consensus was that the 25% clause should be removed in place of broad-based empowerment that will include all communities in Namibia.

    The Chamber of Mines of Namibia has also in the past voiced its concerns about the planned implementation of the framework, saying it could potentially harm Namibia's attractiveness as an investment destination.

    “The outcome of NEEEF is still uncertain, though we have it in good faith that government is cognisant of the sector's concerns with the current version of the bill. The chamber is concerned that the continued uncertainties around NEEEF will further worsen Namibia's rankings in the Fraser Institute reports as detailed in a following section,” said chamber president Kombadayedu Kapwanga.

    President Hage Geingob recently blasted those opposed to NEEEF. Taking a swipe at naysayers and detractors, Geingob said while there was opposition to NEEEF, there was seldom discussions on suitable alternatives.

    “Our response to those that try to discredit government interventions at every opportunity is: what are your solutions? Sadly, very often, the reply is a deafening silence,” Geingob said during the workshop that was held at State House on NEEEF.

    Citing Article 23 of the Namibian constitution, the president said there was provision made to enact laws that would address economic inequalities as had been the case with the Affirmative Action Act, therefore making them constitutional.

    “I have to remind you that Article 23 authorises government to enact legislation providing directly or indirectly for the advancement of persons within Namibia who have been excluded from educational opportunities and economic activity by past discriminatory laws and practices.

    “In the same vein, it also calls for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at righting social, economic or educational imbalances in our country,” added Geingob.

    Opposition to NEEEF, he said, was surprising and unwarranted given that wide consultations were still being held.

    “The final leg of the consultation is now before us. It is disturbing to note that there are some who have cast aspersions on the framework, even before consultations were concluded,” said Geingob.

    Cabinet has not said when it will pronounce itself on the outcome of the workshop or when it will release its final position on NEEEF. Questions were also sent to the prime minister, but no responses were received at the time of going to press.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 03/13/18--15:00: 'Formidable' Nora remembered
  • 'Formidable' Nora remembered'Formidable' Nora rememberedVeteran politician dies at 77 Nora Schimming-Chase is remembered as a formidable freedom fighter who played a major role in Namibian politics before and after independence. Veteran politician Nora Schimming-Chase has been remembered as a formidable freedom fighter. The former Congress of Democrats (CoD) parliamentarian died in a Windhoek hospital yesterday morning after a long illness. She was 77.

    President Hage Geingob was one of the first leaders to convey his condolences to the bereaved family.

    “I have learned with sadness about the death of family friend and outstanding Namibian servant, Comrade Nora Schimming-Chase. Cde Nora and Cde Libertine Amathila joined as brave female freedom fighters Comrade Putuse Appolus in Dar es Salaam in the 1960s. I wish the family strength,” Geingob said on his official Twitter page.

    Veteran diplomat Tuliameni Kalomoh described Schimming-Chase as an unyielding freedom fighter who pledged unconditional loyalty to Namibia.

    Schimming-Chase was Namibia's first ambassador to Germany and was regarded a steadfast legislator who set a very high standard.

    “I think while we mourn her passing we must certainly celebrate her accomplishments. She fought till the end and that defines her character. Nora had a very sharp intellect and whatever assignment she was given as a diplomat she accomplished successfully,” said Kalomoh.

    Kalomoh described the late Schimming-Chase as a very dear friend and an invaluable advisor to himself and later generations of diplomats.

    “She was a mentor to many young diplomats in the foreign affairs ministry which she had joined in 1990.”

    The late politician's daughter, Afra Schimming-Chase, remembers her mother as a very proud woman who struggled with the fact that others had to care for her during her last days when she was seriously ill.

    “She did not take it well to be in a bed and cared for by others. She has lived a full life and we could always catch up with her with the latest 'juice' on the political scene. She had the 'juice', although she was isolated,” she said.

    The late politician, who started her career as a member of South West Africa National Union (Swanu), co-founded the Congress of Democrats in 1999, a name she coined and also chose the party's slogan 'A New Beginning'.

    Her co-founder, Ben Ulenga, expressed his sadness at her passing, describing Schimming-Chase as a phenomenal champion of human rights. He added that she left deep tracks in the country's political landscape and must be remembered for her immense contribution to the freedom of the Namibian people.

    “Nora did quite a lot to uplift the fight for women's rights. She must be remembered as someone who has certainly done her bit to make Namibia a better place for women in particular,” she said.

    The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation also expressed condolences. Permanent secretary Selma Ashipala-Musavyi echoed the sentiment that the late diplomat always delivered a stellar performance in whatever job she was given.

    “Wherever Nora Schimming-Chase served, she made a difference; service with diligence was her single purpose. Loyalty to her country was her defining characteristic.

    She was a bright woman, full of life. She was a constant source of encouragement to junior staff members and sound advice for her colleagues,” she said.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 03/13/18--15:00: Teek loses payout bid
  • Teek loses payout bidTeek loses payout bid The N$6.8 million lawsuit brought by retired Supreme Court judge Pio Teek against the justice minister and the ombudsman was yesterday dismissed in the High Court in Windhoek.

    Judge Herman Oosthuizen, presiding over the lawsuit, in his dismissal stated that the summons and particulars of the claim against the three foreign judges were “bad in law and that no relief in money could be claimed with the summons and particulars of claim in this case”.

    Teek had sued the minister and ombudsman for malicious and undue lengthy delays, and the unlawful failure to speedily serve the combined summons against the South African appeal judges Piet Streicher, Kenneth Mthiyane and Fritz Brand, had grossly violated his constitutional and statutory rights. The delay had allegedly resulted in his financial loss.

    The three had heard the State's appeal against Teek's discharge by South African Judge Ronnie Bosielo in 2006 on child abduction, rape and other charges, and referred the case for retrial.

    The State claimed that Bosielo erred when he found that they did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Teek was guilty and also criticised the manner in which the police handled the investigation.

    Judge Oosthuizen said the summons against the foreign judges was issued by the registrar but was not served before its withdrawal.

    He emphasised the present case for damages instituted by Teek relied on a non-service of summons and therefore, no legal action could follow.

    The judge added that the particulars of the claim failed to plead for the jurisdiction of the court and “I find that the Namibian High Court could not assume jurisdiction in the case of the three judges”.

    “Not one of the four factors, that is, domicile of the defendants within the state, their residence, the fact that they are foreign nationals, and presence of property of defendants within the state was properly pleaded,” the judge stated.

    He emphasised that it was necessary for Teek to allege and disclose facts in his particulars of claim against the three foreign judges to show that Namibian High Court would have had effective jurisdiction.

    The attorney-general had in September 2010, in response to the request of the registrar of the High Court to facilitate the service of summons on the said judges, said it could not be processed due to non-compliance with Rule 5 of the High Court rules and in the absence of a legislative framework.

    Judge Elton Hoff on 18 June 2010 had consequently removed Teek's appeal from the roll pursuant to Rule 5.

    Teek had argued that unlawful actions, conduct and decisions were taken with the settled malicious intent to prevent him from prosecuting the action and to be compensated by the said judges.

    The unlawful conduct was the material and direct cause of his decision to withdraw and abandon his civil action against the South African judges.

    He also allegedly pleaded to the ombudsman for remedial assistance but that this was to no avail and that the latter also flagrantly ignored requests to meet him.

    When, on 10 June 2013, the ombudsman did not reply to his request to attend to his complaint, he lodged a complaint against the ombudsman before the Judicial Service Commission.

    The former judge had maintained that he had a good case against the three judges and would have succeeded in obtaining damages against them.

    Teek had argued that because of the conduct of justice minister he was never able to bring that case and hence he had lost the money he would have obtained.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 03/13/18--15:00: African briefs
  • African briefsAfrican briefs Zimbabwe gives mines, farmers six months to clear electricity bills

    HARARE - Zimbabwe’s state-owned electricity distributor has given businesses, including mines and large-scale farms, six months to clear their bills or risk being cut off and face litigation, the company said on Monday. The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDS) is owed more than US$1 billion by electricity users, including domestic households, farmers, industries and mining companies.

    ZETDC said in a public notice that businesses had six months to clear their bills because it required the money to pay for electricity imports to supplement local generation.

    Zimbabwe, which has had stable electricity supplies for more than a year, currently produces 938 megawatts and imports up to 450 megawatts from South Africa and Mozambique.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Nigeria increases excise duties on tobacco and alcohol

    ABUJA- Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has approved an increase in excise duties on tobacco and alcoholic beverages, the finance ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

    The West African country, which has Africa’s biggest economy, fell into recession in 2016 largely due to low oil prices. It emerged from recession last year, mainly as a result of higher crude prices, and is trying to raise non-oil revenues.

    In addition to a 20% tax on tobacco, the government will add an extra fixed tax per cigarette. A percentage tax on alcoholic beverages will be replaced by taxes of fixed amounts based on volume. The finance ministry said the changes will take effect from June 4 this year.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Court interdict blocks IPP signing in SA

    CAPE TOWN- The signing of 27 independent power producer contracts on Tuesday has been put on hold, after the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and Transform RSA managed to obtain a last-minute court interdict.

    In a statement on Tuesday morning, Numsa said the interdict prevents power utililty Eskom from concluding the outstanding renewable energy power purchase agreements.

    "Numsa believes that the signing of these contracts would be detrimental for the working class of Mpumalanga and the country as a whole. The signing of the IPP means that Eskom will require less coal-fired electricity," the union said in a statement.

    -Fin24

    Cape Town faces severe economic troubles over drought- Moody's

    JOHANNESBURG - Rating’s agency Moody’s warned on Monday the water crisis affecting Cape Town would cause the city’s borrowing to rise sharply and the provincial economy to shrink the longer the situation lasted. A severe drought afflicting South Africa’s Western Cape province is expected to cut agricultural output by 20% in 2018, decimating the wheat crop and reducing apple, grape and pear exports to Europe, according to national government.

    The City is bracing for“Day Zero” in late August when its taps could run dry.

    Moody’s said in a report that one of the most direct impacts would be on Cape Town’s operating revenues, as 10% of them are from water charges.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Local miners still wary of Zimbabwe’s waters

    Mark Cutifani, the CEO of Anglo American, described Chris Griffith, his counterpart at the 80%-owned listed subsidiary Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), as “keen as mustard” to explore fresh prospects in Zimbabwe, which has recently thrown its doors open to investment.

    But perhaps the mustard is only mild.

    Cutifani and Impala Platinum CEO Nico Muller are cautious about how a change of president in Zimbabwe might actually alter policy towards foreign investment.

    The initial euphoria after the toppling of former Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe has been replaced by watchfulness in the markets, especially by the mining companies, who have seen it all before.

    -Fin24

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    Invest in technology, says Desert Fruit NamibiaInvest in technology, says Desert Fruit NamibiaGround-breaking harvesting equipment The new technology enhances the company’s output and contributes towards a more effective and efficient operation. Desert Fruit Namibia, a Namibian-registered private company producing dates and bulbs on the banks of the Orange River, recently showed off new technology in the form of date cage harvesting, attached to new Manitou telehandlers.

    This new equipment has been designed and implemented in association with the Namibian company, Expert Mining Solutions.

    Seth Holmes, managing director of Desert Fruit Namibia says the new technology enhances the company’s output and contributes towards a more effective and efficient operation. The new cages can carry up to six people and hold more than one ton of produce before needing an offload.

    “Not only do these cages carry more weight, enabling us to harvest more with each lift, they are also equipped with lights for night harvesting to avoid the day-time heat while guaranteeing a fresher product,” Holmes says.

    Anton Ferreira, managing director of Expert Mining Solutions Namibia-Manitou/Gehl, says this technology has not been used in Namibia before.

    “Date trees can reach 20 metres in height and most trees over ten years of age cannot be reached with a ladder. Therefore, this equipment was designed to reach a maximum height of 18 metres while ensuring the safety of the operator and cage worker. Electrical and hydraulic closing operations, one of the main features, for example, guarantee that control is exercised over the speed of operation and safety of handling,” Ferreira says.

    Desert Fruit Namibia trained six operators, while all cage workers have undergone safety training and are issued with protective clothing and harness equipment.

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    Hunt for ghost teachers catches malingerersHunt for ghost teachers catches malingerersFake medical certificates submitted Some teachers have been on 'sick leave' for years, the education ministry's payroll verification exercise has found. The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has noticed cases of teachers being on prolonged sick leave from as far back as 2016, some without the proper documentation.

    This was found during the ministry's payroll verification exercise conducted in all 14 regions of the country after 19 teachers from schools in the Zambezi Region were arrested over a N$10 million salary scam involving dubious payments of allowances and bonuses.

    The ministry's spokesperson Absalom Absalom told Nampa on Tuesday that they also recently uncovered a scam in Swakopmund where teachers used fake doctor's letters to go on sick leave. “When teachers go on prolonged sick leave, the ministry has to employ temporary teachers to fill that position and this has cost implications for the ministry,” Absalom said. Another popular scam is when staff go on missions and when they return, fail to report that they are back, in order to be paid as if they are still on a mission, it was found.

    “Such tendencies are uncalled for and they negatively impact on the teaching and learning process. Ultimately, the biggest losers in this situation are the learners,” education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said recently. She said this in a statement read on her behalf during regional meetings in the Kavango East and West regions with directors, principals and inspectors of education.

    The meeting was aimed at objectively analysing shortcomings and emerging needs to draw up a region-specific action plan to address inefficiencies in the education system. Highlighting some of the administrative shortcomings discovered during the verification process, Hanse-Himarwa said they found a reluctance to act from all role players, from principals to inspectors and staff in the human resources division, when it comes to staff members who are on prolonged sick leave. “In some instances, these cases are reported through available channels for action, but then no action is forthcoming. In other instances, these cases are never reported by the principal or school management,” she said.

    The minister said the handling and recording of all types of leave require better control.

    Hanse-Himarwa said the financial management division, with the assistance of the office of the director, should implement pay sheet control as a matter of urgency.

    “The office of the director must compel all principals to return all pay sheets for the purpose of pay sheet control to be implemented and the director must be provided with a monthly pay sheet control report. In that way, we will be able to eliminate dubious salary payments in the ministry,” the minister said.



    NAMPA

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    SA bullies smaller SACU membersSA bullies smaller SACU membersComplaints about Namibian pasta exports unfair The International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC), as an interim tariff body of SACU is making it difficult for industries in BLNS countries to prosper, a local industry expert says. “They (South African industries) stated that 4 000 tonnes of Namibian pasta entered their market in 2017. South African consumption in the same period was 65 000 tonnes, therefore the imported Namibian pasta represents only 6.2% of the total pasta market in South Africa,” Koos Ferreira Ndama Nakashole - Due to its failure to establish a unified tariff board, the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is still utilising the services of the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) as the interim tariff body, which makes it difficult for other countries to have a say in the decision-making process over tariffs and rebates.

    Because ITAC only reports to the South African ministers of trade and industry and economic development, leaving other SACU ministers out of the process, industries in the BLNS countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland) have no say in reviews of duties or tariffs conducted by ITAC.

    These are some of the private-sector challenges pointed out by Namib Mills’ trade liaison specialist, Koos Ferreira, during a SACU information-sharing session on market access held in Windhoek on Monday.

    In his presentation titled ‘Challenges Facing the Private Sector In Utilising Trade Agreements Concluded With Third Parties’, Ferreira said there was lack of transparency in ITAC’s decisions.

    He said companies in the BLNS countries were at a disadvantage as they had no knowledge of any reviews or investigations before a final decision was announced.

    He cited the example of ITAC Report No 542, which was a review of the dollar-based domestic reference price and variable tariff formula for sugar.

    Ferreira said the Namibian private sector was never informed of the investigation and only received a final decision and recommendations.

    With the exception of South Africa, Namibia is the only other member state that has a harbour that serves as an entry into the SACU market.

    “This entry point is continually ignored by ITAC when calculating import parities as well as duties on products coming into the SACU market,” Ferreira said.

    He added that the common external tariff, which was aimed at protecting sensitive industries in SACU, was being used mainly to protect South African industries, which were already well established.

    Challenges

    Other challenges, according to him, are the lack of a tribunal within SACU, as well as unfair trade practices such as South Africa charging lower prices in Namibia than in South Africa, thus killing the market for local products.

    Ferreira added that national policies in smaller member states were being ignored by South Africa. He said South African industries received preference when it came to protectionism, thus impeding the BLNS countries’ industrialisation plans. He cited the example of South Africa recently complaining about pasta imports from Namibia as one such preference.

    “They (South African industries) stated that 4 000 tonnes of Namibian pasta entered their market in 2017. South African consumption in the same period was 65 000 tonnes, therefore the imported Namibian pasta represents only 6.2% of the total pasta market in South Africa,” he said.

    While South Africa complained about Namibian pasta, Ferreira said the southern neighbour’s sugar producers had direct investment in Namibian sugar suppliers, which forced Mamas, a Namibian sugar packer, to close its doors.

    In a speech read on his behalf, finance minister Calle Schlettwein said the private sector was the key player in positioning Namibia to benefit from SACU free-trade benefits.

    "A robust regional integration strategy needs an enterprising private sector and an active partnership between government and the private sector," said the minister.

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    NAC left with Silombela, Ell-Kalawi clean-upNAC left with Silombela, Ell-Kalawi clean-up YANNA SMITH

    The shenanigans of Courage Silombela, the Namibia Airports Company’s strategic executive for engineering, IT and special projects, and the company’s former CEO, Tamar Ell-Kalawi, have come to the fore in documents before the High Court in Windhoek.

    The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) is asking the court to set aside the decision and “purported resolution”, dated 23 June 2016, to appoint China State Construction Engineering to do rehabilitation work on the Ondangwa airport’s tarmac and apron, the work forming the third phase, known as phase two, of rehabilitation done at the airport.

    In his founding affidavit, dated 1 December 2017, the acting CEO of NAC, Lot Hafidi, told the court that Aurecon Consulting Engineers had been appointed to engage contractors on a “closed tender basis through obtaining three quotations from credible and seasoned contractors of reputable note”.

    The first phase (phase 0) of the work was completed by a different company and Aurecon recommended four names of prospective tenderers to Ell-Kalawi for phase one. Hafidi said “the four companies did not include China State”.

    It is not clear how the recommendation to include China State was arrived at, but the NAC, through the CEO and Silombela, on 5 September 2014 recommended two names to Aurecon, which included China State.

    By November, Aurecon had recommended China State be appointed for phase one and this was approved in December 2014 by the NAC board.

    Hafidi told the court that there was no indication that China State would do any other work for NAC save that listed as the scope of works for phase one. This work was completed in July 2016.

    On 27 May 2016, in an undated document, forming part of the board pack for the board meeting, Silombela asked the board to approve the re-appointment of China State as the main contractor for what he described as the “continuation” of the upgrading of the airport. He asked the board in that document to approve spending on N$200 423 355.09 in this regard.

    Hafidi wrote that phase two should, according to company documents, go out on tender but said that Silombela had, as far back as 2015, indicated to Aurecon there would be no competitive bid and further, that the scope of the contractor currently on site (China State) would be increased. He had also indicated work of roughly N$100 million was anticipated.

    “Mr Silombela appears to have set out to create a situation where he could argue to the board that there was insufficient time to go out on public tender, or, to misrepresent to the board that phase two was a continuation of phase one. It is apparent that Silombela’s motive, and indeed as supported by Ell-Kalawi, was that they wanted to keep the same team as phase one at any cost and therefore, manipulated the process to achieve this,” Hafidi stated.

    It represented a departure from the standard procurement procedures of the NAC.

    On 23 June 2016, the board approved China State’s appointment without a tender and at a cost of N$211 616 796.30.

    According to Hafidi: “It has never been made clear how the amount was arrived at and when it was escalated to this.”

    Preliminary figures had indicated costs in the region of N$159 million to N$169 million and this is consistent with the figures originally submitted to the board by Silombela in May of 2016. China State had, on 1 June of that year, requested a review of its original quote which was approved by Aurecon.

    Hafidi told the court there was no benchmark against which China State’s prices could be measured nor could it be determined whether the prices were market-related or the lowest.

    Silombela had at one point suggested the price had increased by only 1.5% but also said that certain works had been excluded from the original quote.

    “China State sought escalation of its pricing of over 26%,” Hafidi wrote.

    He told the court that the cost for the asphalt had increased by over N$7 million and the new quote had “inexplicably” included costs of N$11 million for fencing.

    “This in fact, was work to be carried out in phase three,” Hafidi said. “I point out too, that Aurecon must have known about the inclusion of parts of the phase three works into the phase two bill of quantities by China State.”

    Directly after board approval on 23 June 2106, the CEO informed China State they were appointed, which Hafidi told the court was against the procurement procedures of the company.

    “There was no expression of interest, request for proposals or tender invitation prior to the appointment of China State.

    Hafidi told the court there was no compliance in terms of urgency or any other contingency as written in the policy which could have justified the appointment without a competitive bid.

    Silombela resigned on 10 November 2017 “in the midst of a pending disciplinary hearing involving the award of phase two Ondangwa upgrades while Ell Kalawi resigned on 1 December 2017 - four days prior to his disciplinary hearing, although there is no settlement agreement signed with him by NAC. The 40-page charge sheet against Silombela includes charges of corruption, fraud and theft. However, in his resignation letter, he noted that his disciplinary measures could legally not be pursued but, added that he would gladly provide testimony in disciplinary matters pertaining to other employees.

    Hafidi wrote that Silombela had misrepresented to the board the price increase in the project and provided no explanation for the jump in cost.

    Hafidi, at the time legal officer for NAC, also at length explained to the court his difficulty is securing cooperation and documents from Ell-Kawali as the company and board tried remedial measures, including a forensic audit by Deloitte.

    He also told the court that the entire project is still off the books as NAC can effectively not afford the work, neither can it pay for the proposed Hosea Kutako upgrades.

    During November last year, The Namibian reported that the then attorney-general Sacky Shanghala had been roped in during September 2017 to provide a legal opinion and had during November last year, urged then works minister Alpheus !Naruseb to use his ministerial power to compel the NAC to appoint China State in a bid to get the works completed. There was concern over the delay in the rehabilitation of the runway and apron.

    While the NAC maintains it has no contract with China State, Shanghala at the time maintained there is a legal relationship between the two entities.

    China State, through its counsel Shimue Mbudje from Lorentz Angula Incorporated, has filed an intention to defend. The matter, with NAC represented by Clive Kavendjii of Kangueehi and Kavendjii, heard by Judge Thomas Masuku yesterday, was postponed to 17 April for China State to file replying documents.

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  • 03/13/18--15:00: Housing misery
  • Housing miseryHousing miseryAffordable, secure housing remains a dream The government's housing initiatives have not been able to cope with the extensive and increasing demand for housing, a new study has found. A new study on housing provision and affordability in Namibia has delivered a scathing indictment of the government's flawed efforts to address the housing crisis in the country where an estimated 26% of citizens live in shacks.

    The comprehensive study, titled 'Housing in Namibia: Rights, Challenges and Opportunities', conducted by Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) researchers Pauline Ndhlovu and Dietrich Remmert, found that “a large proportion of citizens in the country have few or no possibilities of accessing affordable, secure and adequate housing”.

    The report notes that although many government housing initiatives “are certainly commendable” they have not been able to cope with the extensive and increasing housing demands.

    “Overall, central government and especially local authorities find themselves unable and oftentimes unwilling to effectively address the nationwide housing crisis,” Ndhlovu and Remmert write.

    “Namibia's public housing initiatives continue to underperform in terms of meeting ambitious construction targets as well as dwelling backlog estimates.”





    In addition, although most role players including the government “demonstrate a good grasp of the issues” that limit access to affordable housing and serviced land, opinions on how to tackle these issues “differ considerably”, and the lack of consensus has significantly hampered progress.

    Another finding of the report is that for many Namibians, access to land trumps access to a house.





    “At the heart of the urban housing crisis stood the issue of adequate, affordable and timely land provision as opposed to the construction of dwelling units,” it summarises.

    Ndhlovu and Remmert write that “perhaps the most crucial conclusion from this study is the near absence of a comprehensive, practical and realistic vision for Namibia's housing sector.”

    The report notes that policymakers and stakeholders “have given too little attention to how Namibia's urban settlements should broadly look.”

    While elements of such a vision are contained in the Namibia Housing Policy, they argue “these sensible elements are neither consistently implemented nor broadly endorsed.”

    A key recommendation is the development of a national integrated spatial planning framework plus the reassigning of specific town planning powers to lower levels of government, an opportunity to “review and restructure existing regulatory frameworks around housing and urban land”.

    The report further recommends that the government allocate more funds to the housing sector and urban land development, while simultaneously strengthening oversight, management and utilisation of budgets for housing initiatives and related activities.

    “While government has made the provision of adequate housing a national priority, this is not necessarily reflected in the state's budget over the years,” and the relatively minor allocations to housing budgets “neither reflects the scale of the problem the country faces in this regard, nor its often-claimed priority status.”



    Local authorities should be armed with “tangible resources and practical support” to help improve their work on a practical level, the report recommends.



    Wary about progress

    Although the Mass Housing Initiative (MHI) and Namibia Housing Enterprise (NHE) programmes were “touted as low-cost options”, many residents described these homes as unaffordable.

    The “continued mismatch between dwelling units that are supplied by the private and public market and the demand of housing” was a key finding in the report.

    Although this has been a “long-running issue … to date [it] has seen very little acknowledgment from policymakers,” the authors write.

    Housing targets have been tweaked frequently, and conclusive and reliable reports on the number of houses constructed under various programmes, including the Harambee Prosperity Plan, are difficult to pin down and verify.

    Many respondents in the study also “expressed reservations regarding the effective utilisation of funding for public housing initiatives”.

    Concerns ranged from inflated construction costs, poor quality, inefficient building plans and concepts and ineffective allocation procedures for new houses.

    “While it is difficult to pin down and quantify the extent and negative impact on housing initiatives of these problems, there is ample evidence that they are fairly prevalent and disruptive,” the report concludes.



    Barriers to proper homes

    The 13 chief findings of the report indicate that the sluggish delivery of housing is linked to a variety of problems, not all related to current poor economic conditions.

    Eight of these findings were highlighted in a similar IPPR housing study in 2011, but were never meaningfully addressed, the authors note.

    These findings include overtly bureaucratic, outdated and cumbersome regulations and laws that hamper innovation in the sector.

    Lack of capacity and know-how at local authority level, in addition to the “maladministration and poor financial control among a number of local authorities”, continue to undermine housing plans.

    The study highlights exceptions, however, and notes that towns such as Otjiwarongo, Gobabis and Walvis Bay have taken proactive approaches, with few resources, to find solutions at the local level.

    “While these strategies have not always brought success, they demonstrate that even with few resources and the current constricted regulatory framework, new solutions to the housing crisis can be pursued.”

    The study also criticises the lack of formal communication platforms to exchange ideas and discuss issues, noting that “stakeholders find it difficult to exchange information, pursue synergies and to tackle sector challenges jointly.”

    Another issue is a lack of information, which is often “fragmented, outdated, conflicting, unverified or difficult to access,” the authors note.

    A key barrier remains the lack of serviced land in urban areas.

    Another key finding is the lack of innovation and willingness to explore alternative building technologies and materials.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Namibia's first listeriosis case confirmedNamibia's first listeriosis case confirmed A 41-year-old Namibian man has been diagnosed with listeriosis after eating a vienna he bought at a butchery in Tsumeb this week and is in a critical but stable condition.

    This was announced by health minister Bernard Haufiku in parliament yesterday.

    The bacterial infection, so far mainly spread by processed meat, broke out in South Africa in January and has killed 180 people there. In Australia, at least four people have died in an outbreak of listeriosis linked to contaminated melons. Haufiku told the National Assembly that the ministry was prepared for an outbreak, as surveillance measures were activated in January already, and these would be sharpened now.

    He especially warned the people of Tsumeb, where the 28th Independence celebrations will be held, not to eat processed cold meats such as viennas and russians.

    “Our inspectors will be going from shop to shop to remove all meat products identified as sources of the disease in Tsumeb and all other towns in the country.”

    Haufiku warned that although imports of certain implicated brands from South Africa had been stopped, a blanket ban on similar products could not be instituted.

    Cold meats produced by Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Chicken in South Africa were identified as a source of the disease.

    The deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Loide Kasingo, reminded the minister that the majority of people buy russians and viennas from street vendors, especially in the rural areas.

    Speaker Peter Katjavivi also urged the minister to ensure that his staff reach all remote areas in the country so that there is no “hiding place for this disease”.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Tax arrears programme extendedTax arrears programme extended
    The finance ministry has just announced that it will extend the deadline of the Tax Arrear Recovery Incentive Programme to 3 April 2018.
    This marks the third extension of the programme.
    “As part of the Tax Arrear Recovery Incentive Programme, the ministry of finance will waive the penalties levied on tax payments and submission of tax returns and write off 70% of the interest on all tax accounts for taxpayers who pay the capital tax amount in full and 30% of the interest balance,” it said in a statement.
    The ministry further encouraged tax payers to enquire on any potential defaults.
    “Taxpayers are encouraged to update all their respective tax accounts by filing all the tax returns at offices where their accounts are registered and obtain the most recent statements of account with the correct balance,” the ministry said.
    Finance minister Calle Schlettwein has previously said the amount government is owed has ballooned to N$19 billion from N$4 billion because of interest and penalties over the past 20 years. This means that government will have to write off about N$15 billion in penalties and interest once the amnesty is put in place.
    STAFF REPORTER

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    Employers don’t believe in local graduatesEmployers don’t believe in local graduates 52% of employers interviewed in a new study launched today, believe that Namibian graduates are poorly or very poorly trained for the job market. Only 6% of the employers surveyed think that the local graduates are well or very well equipped for the job market, while 42% believe they are averagely ready for the market.
    The survey was done by the Business Intelligence Africa (BIA) on orders of Namibia Employers Federation, in partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

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     State funeral for Schimming-Chase State funeral for Schimming-Chase Veteran politician Nora Schimming-Chase will be accorded a state funeral this coming weekend, the presidency has announced. A memorial service will be held this Friday at the Parliament Gardens in Windhoek, while the burial will take place on the family farm De Rust, situated in the Khomas Hochland area. Schimming-Chase, who is also a former diplomat and CoD parliamentarian, died this week in a Windhoek hospital after a long illness.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 03/14/18--15:00: NPL awaits marketing boost
  • NPL awaits marketing boostNPL awaits marketing boost The MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) is likely to have a marketing department before the beginning of next season, league administrator Tovey //Hoebeb says.

    The league announced this week that it had appointed Irvine Ndjavera as its new CEO.

    But the league has been without a marketing officer since sacking Ivan Tshabalala in June 2016.

    Tshabalala lost his position as marketing officer after he went on leave for almost a month without notifying his superiors.

    “It is indeed a very important position which needs to be filled as soon as possible.

    “The NPL has to strengthen its marketing in order to attract more sponsors and also fans to the stadiums.

    “However, now that we have a new CEO, I bet that the position will be occupied,” //Hoebeb said.

    The NPL administrator also disclosed that there would be many other vacant positions in the league.

    //Hoebeb said although these positions must be filled urgently, they would have to wait for the CEO to settle in before more appointments were made.

    “I do believe that the 2018/19 season will come with many new programmes that will benefit the league, clubs and the players.

    “There are indeed exciting times ahead for the league and everyone should be looking forward to great things.”

    Among other recruitments, the league has appointed committee chairpersons.

    Lucas Nanyemba will be responsible for the finance committee, while Niklaas Kisipile heads the audit and compliance committee.

    Paulus Ngolombe has been appointed as head of the organisation committee for NPL competitions, while Cyril Isaacs heads the technical and development committee.

    The legal department is headed by Franco Cosmos, who will spearhead the legal committee, while Evaristus Evaristus will oversee the medical committee.

    Ricardo /Uirab has accepted the responsibility to lead the youth football committee.

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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    Godoy vows to beat KautondokwaGodoy vows to beat KautondokwaLegacy fight to bring out true champions Argentinean boxer Billi Godoy has warned that he will destroy Namibia's WBO/IBF Africa middleweight champion Walter 'The Executioner' Kautondokwa when they clash in Windhoek on 20 March. The two pugilists will headline the Independence boxing celebration titled 'The Legacy Fight' at the Ramatex complex in what will be a firecracker of a fight.

    The 33-year-old undefeated Kautondokwa boasts an impressive record of 15 knockouts from his 16 fights while Godoy holds 36 wins, 17 knockouts and three losses.

    The hard-hitting Kautondokwa is expected to defend his World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa middleweight title; whereas Godoy has vowed to snatch it from him as Argentinean boxers are increasingly being seen as dangerous fighters.

    Speaking through a translator, Godoy said the hospitality in Namibia was great, but that he was here to win the title.

    “It is a big fight and I will show how prepared I'm. If he is not ready, then he will be in big trouble,” he said about Kautondokwa.

    He further said there was limited video footage of the Namibian boxer available, which disadvantaged him because he could not study his style.

    “There is only one video which we saw of him. I have many, but that's not a problem, because I'm a professional and will not talk much about that.”

    Godoy added that fighting outside his home country would not disadvantage him as long as the referees were fair.

    “If everything is fair and I win, I will invite him to my country for a rematch,” he said.

    Nestor Tobias, Kautondokwa's manager, said even though the Argentinean wanted to shock the world, Kautondokwa had nothing to fear because he was a champion and wanted to improve his rank and get a chance at a world title fight.

    The two boxers will face off today at Post Street Mall, giving them an opportunity to size each other up.

    Kautodonkwa had previously said that Godoy had no respect, as he dared to threaten him in his country. “So many of them have come here to say the same thing and I always refer them back to my 94% knockout ratio.

    “I take Godoy very seriously as an opponent. I'm now rated number three and a win might see me contend for the world title, so this fight is important to me and perhaps the most important fight of my career so far.

    “I promise the fans another win, and as for Godoy, I do my talking in the ring,” Kautondokwa said.

    Kautondokwa and Godoy's fight will honour the legacy of the country's former and current presidents, and the smooth and transparent transfer of power from founding president Sam Nujoma to second president Hifikepunye Pohamba and then to current head of state Hage Geingob.

    The Legacy Fight will also see three WBO Africa title contentions.

    WBO number five Jeremiah 'Low-Key' Nakathila will take on Ghana's Patrick Okine for the WBO Africa Jr lightweight title, while WBO number 14 Mike Shonena goes head to head with Idd Pialari of Tanzania for the WBO Africa welterweight crown.

    There will be 11 exciting undercards, which include Harry Simon Jr. General tickets sell for N$50 while VIP tickets go for N$500.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    NPL to impose dress code for matchesNPL to impose dress code for matches Namibia Premier League (NPL) chairperson Patrick Kauta says the league will this week send out a circular to all clubs informing them of the dress code coaches and players should adhere to at matches.

    Kauta said this on Tuesday during the NPL's weekly media briefing session at the Sam Nujoma Stadium boardroom.

    Since the start of the 2017/18 NPL season, teams in the NPL have not allocated individual jersey numbers to players, while certain coaches go to games wearing shorts and sandals.

    Kauta said the NPL made a decision during an executive meeting on what dress code teams should follow and a communication would be issued to all Premier League teams.

    “A coach, being a representative of a club, should dress up in the club's attire, which is a tracksuit or should secondly wear long trousers, a shirt and shoes.

    “We also addressed an issue on clubs using different jersey numbers on a single player. We have warned all clubs to start allocating a single number to a player for the whole season,” Kauta said.

    The league chairperson said clubs receive N$650 000 from the league in 10 months and can thus afford to buy jerseys with each individual player allocated their own number.

    NAMPA

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  • 03/14/18--15:00: NTTA annual cup a success
  • NTTA annual cup a successNTTA annual cup a successTable tennis draws large crowd The seventh annual Master's Cup, hosted by the Namibian Table Tennis Association (NTTA) in association with Wernhil Park, Broll Namibia and Paco Engineering, was a massive success and crowd pleaser. The event, which took place on 10 March, set high standards and met high expectations. The matches between Namibia's top eight ranked senior players had hundreds of people in Windhoek's Wernhil Park in amazement throughout the day.

    Most people stopped on their way through the mall to catch a glimpse of the six senior and two junior players, including a junior lady, in action.

    According to the NTTA, the tournament is always a test of sportsmanship and technique as the playing space is small and there is also the added hype from the large crowd.

    The Master's Cup is a promotional event, aimed at generating awareness for the sport. The NTTA this year decided to add an 'Open to the Public' event to its Master Cup Programme where members from the public could tests their skills.

    This addition was a massive hit and will definitely become part of future Master Cups.

    As per NTTA rules and regulations, the eight best-placed senior players of the previous season (2017), went head-to-head to determine the Masters Cup Champion for 2018. The matches were played in a three-game must-play system, the winner being determined by the highest number of games won.

    Heiko Fleidl, now four-time Master Cup Champion and 2017 number-one ranked player, managed to outclass all of his rivals, winning all his seven matches. He accumulated 18 out of a possible 21 championship points.

    Runner up, Reinolt Schurz (SKW TT Club) was a mere one point behind the champion. Fleidl beat Schurz two games to one in their encounter.

    According to Fleidl, “The Masters Cup is one of the highlights of the Table Tennis season and the most enjoyable event to participate in.

    “The public and spectators inspire a player to play at his or her best level. The enjoyment and amazement on the faces of the on watchers tells the whole story.”

    Fabian Tait finished third overall with a total of 16 points, two points ahead of fourth placed Wayne Green. Both Reinolt and Fabian are veterans, testimony to the fact that this sport is truly for all ages.

    Fifth place was shared by three players, Reese Saunderson (junior), Patrick Beggs and senior national men's team member, Zwantile Kooper, who all finished on six points.

    Eighth and final position was sealed by Ashley Julius.

    Previous winners of the NTTA Masters Cup: 2012 – Colin Wang Yuqing, 2013 – Ramon Hansen, 2014 – Heiko Fleidl, 2015 – Heiko Fleidl, 2016 – Rudi Saunderson and 2017 – Heiko Fleidl.

    Anyone interested in taking up table tennis may contact the NTTA via their website, namtta.leaguerepublic.com, via email info.ntta@gmail.com or Facebook (Namibia Table tennis Association – NTTA).

    SPORTS REPORTER

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