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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 711 | 712 | (Page 713) | 714 | 715 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Workers face free trade raw dealWorkers face free trade raw dealLabour practices must be harmonised There is concern among those in-the-know about the free trade deal signed for Africa and it impact on local labour. The new Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is being met with scepticism by labour analysts in both Namibia and South Africa, who say it may lead to cheap labour flooding their markets.

    Giving his initial take on the matter, local labour expert Herbert Jauch said while the idea has been discussed and supported by trade unions, in principle, there was a need to harmonise labour practices.

    “There is a need to harmonise best labour practices and wages for the free movement of labour to work. Otherwise there is a danger that the high levels of unemployment, ­coupled with extremely low wages paid in many African countries, will lead to a situation where workers from other countries undercut local wage levels,” said Jauch.

    This was a threat to the labour markets in Namibia, South Africa and Botswana, Jauch said.

    “In Southern Africa, this is a particular threat for South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Therefore, the free movement of labour would have to be accompanied by other interventions to ensure large-scale employment as well as decent wages and working conditions.”

    Recently, a total of 44 countries signed the AfCFTA in Kigali, Rwanda, while 27 signed the protocol to the treaty, establishing the African economic community relating to the free movement of persons.

    Under the new agreement proposed by the African Union (AU), a single continental market for goods and services will be created while the free movement of business persons and investments will be encouraged. The agreement may also lead to the establishment of a continental customs union, the African Union has said of the ambitious plan.

    If fully realised, this agreement will revolutionise trade in Africa. For the first time, Kenyan manufacturers will be able to sell their products in Nigeria without paying tax at every border crossing, while a Ghanaian PR firm could open an office in Namibia without jumping through any regulatory hoops and all African citizens will have the right to live and work in any African country, the Mail and Guardian wrote of the trade agreement.

    The trade agreement was also met with scepticism in neighbouring South Africa.

    Matthew Parks, parliamentary officer of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said the neighbouring country's unions share Nigerian labour concerns that African states with weak import controls will be used by countries outside of Africa to “dump” cheap imports and destroy local industries.

    “We know what happened to the textile industry in the 1990s (and) the poultry industry,” Parks told Fin24.

    He added there are already problems within the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu), made up of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, where he claims Chinese companies set up “false warehouses” in Lesotho and bring their products into South Africa.

    “It's fantastic on paper… but a free trade area could destroy the economy overnight and would further de-industrialise the country,” Parks warned.

    Dennis George, general secretary of the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) warned that an Africa-wide free trade agreement could lead to local job losses.

    “It could easily become a situation of cheaper labour in countries with no labour standards and undercut the local labour market,” said George.

    Namibian trade expert Wallie Roux said while concerns around dumping were notable, the ambitious trade agreement made provision for trade remedies to counter any potential dumping.

    “Annexure 9 to the AfCFTA Protocol on Trade in Goods makes provision for the use of trade remedies. Trade remedies include anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguard measures,” said Roux.

    Sacu, Roux said, would also be able to mandate the International Trade Administration Commission (Itac) to counter potential dumping.

    “Namibia is a member of Sacu. In the absence of a Sacu Tariff Board, as per the Sacu 2002 agreement, the member states agreed to mandate Itac to be the investigating authority on trade remedies for all Sacu members on an interim basis,” said Roux.

    “Hence, this then also applies to Namibia. The application of Itac investigation results is anyway applicable to all Sacu member states,” he said.

    Roux was also sceptical that the trade agreement would be implemented in the foreseeable future and said it could turn out to be a watered-down agreement.

    “Only 49% of African Union member states (27 of 55) signed the agreement on the free movement of business persons; meaning for the foreseeable future this will remain an 'agreement in the making'. This would eventually be a tough nut to crack, given the preoccupation of African states with autonomy,” he said.

    Namibia Trade Forum CEO Ndiitah Nghipondoka-Robiati said Namibia had to clear a few legal processes before signing the agreement.

    “The reason why Namibia did not sign the agreement is because we have not concluded legal domestic processes needed to clear signature. Namibia is committed to finalising this process,” she said.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 04/03/18--16:00: Violent Easter weekend
  • Violent Easter weekendViolent Easter weekend The country experienced a violent Easter weekend that was marred by murders, gang fights, rapes and incidents of domestic violence.

    On Sunday a 32-year-old woman was stabbed by her boyfriend who then committed suicide, thinking that he had killed her.

    According to the police the incident took place in Wanaheda in the Ombili informal settlement.

    The woman was stabbed by her boyfriend, 32, in her right upper arm and ribs.

    The woman apparently grabbed the knife from her boyfriend after being stabbed and ran away, but collapsed. According to the police the man apparently thought that he had killed his girlfriend and ran to their room where he committed suicide by hanging himself. The victim was admitted to the Katutura State Hospital in a serious, but stable condition.

    In another incident on Saturday, at Kongola at the Lyaboloma constituency, a 31-year-old man, Sikabelezi Dickson, was killed after his throat was slit with a broken bottle. According to the police he was also stabbed in the chest with the bottle by a 29-year-old suspect. The suspect and the victim were allegedly drinking together and an argument broke out between them. The suspect has been arrested.

    In a separate incident on Sunday a man identified as 20-year-old Paulus Rikoro died at the Tsumeb State Hospital after he was stabbed with a knife by a 29-year-old suspect. It is alleged that the deceased and the suspect were involved in a gang fight on Saturday night at the Kuvukiland location. The suspect has been arrested.

    In a separate incident on Friday, a 22-year-old man was shot during a gang fight in Eveline Street in Wanaheda in the vicinity of Nikky Durban Bar and died the following day at the Katutura State Hospital. According to the police a person was also stabbed during the fight. It is alleged that two gangs started throwing stones and bottles at each other and a police officer who was in the vicinity tried to disperse the gangs by firing two warning shots in the air. In the process a bullet struck the deceased in the stomach.

    On Sunday at Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Region a 27-year-old man was found lying in a pool of blood after his right hand had been chopped off.

    According to the police the man was attacked by four unknown suspects in the Cowboy location and was admitted to the Katima Mulilo hospital. He is in a stable condition. In another incident on Sunday in Wanaheda in the Havana location a 34-year-old man was shot in the stomach by a 48-year-old man. It is not clear what the reason was for the shooting. The victim was admitted to the Katutura State Hospital in a serious condition. The suspect was arrested.

    An 11-year-old girl was raped on Saturday by a 34-year-old Angolan national at Uudhiya Waakiintu village near Omuthiya. The suspect was allegedly employed as a domestic worker at the house of the girl's grandmother.

    In another incident on Friday at Hoachanas in the Hardap Region a 16-year-old girl was raped by a 19-year-old boy. It is alleged that the suspect grabbed the victim on her way home from a bar. The suspect was arrested.

    Also on Saturday a 28-year-old woman was allegedly raped by a 38-year-old man at Etaneno village at Ondangwa. The suspect has been arrested.

    Meanwhile at Olukuma village in the Tsandi area an unknown suspect allegedly kicked open the door of a room and pulled out a 55-year-old woman and raped her on Sunday.

    The suspect is unknown and has not been arrested.

    At the Shamu dumpsite at Okahandja the body of an unidentified male was discovered on Saturday night. The cause of death is unknown and a post-mortem will be conducted. The police are requesting anyone who is missing a loved one to visit the Windhoek police mortuary to help identify the body. In another incident on Saturday in Wanaheda at about 12:40 at Ongwedive Street the remains of a foetus was discovered in the yard of a house. The suspect is unknown and the police are requesting the public's assistance to help trace the suspect in this matter.







    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 04/03/18--16:00: Company news
  • Company newsCompany news Absa PMI falls

    South Africa’s seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index fell sharply in March as business activity, new sales and inventories all declined, a survey showed yesterday, with the stronger rand hurting exports. The index, which is compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research and gauges manufacturing activity in Africa’s most industrialised economy, fell to 46.9 in March from 50.8 in February, its lowest reading since December.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    IDB to finance US$185m projects in Tunisia

    The Islamic Development Bank has agreed on Sunday to lend Tunisia US$185 million to finance developments including an electricity project, an official told Reuters.

    The bank agreed to finance an electricity link worth US$150 as well as the construction of hospitals in Kasserine and Kef worth US$34 million.

    The agreement will be signed on Thursday between Tunisia’s minister of development and the head of the bank, which holds its annual meeting in the country this year.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Eskom to tackle bloated workforce

    Cash-strapped power utility Eskom is finally tackling the controversial issue of its headcount.

    After a decade of unprecedented growth in staff numbers, cash-strapped Eskom is finally tackling the controversial issue of its headcount.

    The power utility, seen by Goldman Sachs as the biggest single risk to the South African economy, employed about 47 600 people as of March last year, compared with 32 600 a decade ago.

    -Fin24

    Uber-Grab deal flout rules - watchdog

    The sale of Uber's Southeast Asian business to Singapore-based rival Grab may have infringed competition rules, a Singapore watchdog said on Friday, imposing restrictions on the deal while it carries out an investigation.

    The sale announced on Monday ended a bruising battle between the ride-hailing behemoths and marked the US firm's latest retreat from international markets.

    But the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) said both companies would face interim measures as it probes concerns Grab will have a virtual monopoly on the ride-hailing market - the first time such a directive has been issued in the city-state.

    -Fin24

    Cradle Arc to boost copper output in Botswana

    Copper producer Cradle Arc is increasing output to 12 000 tonnes per year at a Botswana mine it has restarted and is seeking more mining assets in the African nation to take advantage of rising metals prices, the chief executive said.

    Production was halted at Botswana’s Mowana mine in 2015, when copper prices fell, in line with a wider commodity crash.

    Copper prices at around US$6 700 a tonne have risen more than 50% since falling to nearly US$4 300 a tonne at the start of 2016.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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  • 04/03/18--16:00: Good harvest anticipated
  • Good harvest anticipatedGood harvest anticipatedTotal cereal production estimated at 135 700 metric tons With the exception of the Zambezi Region and the commercial areas, most of the major crop producing regions are expecting a substantial improvement in cereal harvests. Despite poor rainfall received during the majority of the season, Namibia can still expect a good crop harvest.

    However, the Maize Triangle is expected to see a 17% decrease in production compared to last year.

    Should favourable crop growing conditions prevail for the remainder of the season, the country can expect a slight decrease in its cereal harvest of 1% compared to last season, but 12% above the average production.

    The total cereal production for this season is estimated at 135 700 metric tons compared to last season, when 137 500 tons were produced.

    The average for the country based on a 19-year period is 121 200 tons.

    According to the Crop Prospects and Food Security Situation Report that was just released by the agricultural ministry, despite poor rainfall that dominated the 2017/18 rainfall season, most parts of crop producing areas noted good crop germinations, signalling a good crop harvest.

    With the exception of the Zambezi Region and the commercial areas, most of the major crop producing regions are expecting a substantial improvement in cereal harvests. This is expected to be significantly higher than last season and above the average production in most regions.

    According to the report the Kavango West, Kavango East, Oshikoto and Omusati regions recorded an increase in the expected cereal harvest, compared to last season. These regions all recorded an increase higher than 20%.

    The Zambezi Region and the commercial areas recorded a significant reduction in the expected harvest.

    The expected harvest for the Zambezi Region is 7 100 tons, compared to the 7 400 tons harvested last year and an average of 8 000 tons.

    Meanwhile, for the commercial areas a harvest of 58 500 tons is predicted, compared to last year when they produced 70 900 tons. This is a decline of 17%.

    Farmers reported that the major contributing factors for the below average harvest are the general poor rainfall performance in the dry-land crop producing areas, as well as the fall armyworms in both dry-land and irrigation commercial areas.

    Furthermore, maize forecasts in the communal areas in the Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions indicated a slight reduction of 2% compared to last season's harvest, and about 7% below the average production.

    The maize harvest in the communal area is expected to be 6 100 tons, compared to last season when it stood at 6 300 tons. Maize production in the Kavango East and Kavango West regions showed an improvement of 34% compared to last season's harvest, but is still 68% below the average production of 6 600 tons.

    Maize production in the commercial areas on the other hand showed a significant reduction of about 19% (52 400 tons), compared to last season's harvest when it was 64 800 tons, but is still 41% above the average production of 41 900 tons.

    This reduction was caused by poor rainfall performance experienced this season in the dry-land maize production areas and problems of fall armyworms, which affected both the green schemes and dry-land commercial producing areas.

    Additionally, pearl millet production showed a considerable improvement of 19% (68 400 tons), compared to last season's harvest of 57 600 tons and 22% above the average production of 56 300 tons.

    This improvement is based on the good pearl millet harvest prospects reported in the Omusati, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi regions.

    However, sorghum production showed a negative production outlook of 3% (2 700 tons), below last season's production of 2 800 tons and 62% below the average production of 7 200 tons. According to farmers, the reduction is due to poor rainfall performance and seed shortages, which has been experienced for two consecutive seasons.

    At the time of the assessment, the aggregate planted area for cereals was estimated at 299 200 hectares, reflecting a reduction of 7% compared to last season when 322 700 hectares was planted. It was also 12% below the average planted area of 338 100 hectares. The reduction is attributed largely to the generally poor rainfall experienced this season, as well as the fall armyworms in the commercial areas.

    The report adds that some of the green scheme farmers planted legumes (groundnuts) instead of maize this season, in order to break the lifecycle of the fall armyworms. Ploughing and planting activities in the communal crop producing regions were still ongoing at the time of the assessment; hence the area cultivated is expected to increase.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Inferno reduces wholesaler to rubbleInferno reduces wholesaler to rubble An inferno decimated the Swakopmund Metro Cash & Carry as well as the Metro Liquor branch early on Monday morning, causing damage estimated at tens of millions of dollars.

    Significant damage was also reported at Klimas Glass located next door.

    No injuries were reported.

    “It was a massive fire,” said Swakopmund fire chief Adri Goosen.

    Fire fighters were still on the scene late on Monday, as small fires continued to pop up under rubble inside the wholesaler.

    According to Goosen he received the initial call about the blaze at 04:01 on Monday morning. Shortly thereafter the fire brigade arrived on the scene, but the fire was already out of control. The entire shop was engulfed in flames reaching 20 metres into the sky.

    Swakopmund residents reported witnessing the red illuminated sky from various parts in town. By sunrise the thick black cloud of smoke was still clearly visible.

    “We had just bought a lot of stock, especially for the Easter weekend. It is very sad,” said Gieljam Visser, branch manager of Metro. He was not able to say what the exact value of the inventory was, but estimates that the stock might be worth more than N$10 million.

    “The fire brigade was on scene when I arrived and they did a good job, but the fire was so big, there was not much anyone could do,” he added. “The most important part was preventing the fire from spreading further.”

    Initial reports indicate that the fire might have started due to an electrical fault in the wholesaler.

    According to Goosen the fire was under control at about 8:00 on Monday morning. By that time, the entire stock was reduced to piles of rubble. Nothing could be saved.

    On the eastern side bordering Metro is the glass repair shop Klimas Glass. The shop sustained significant water and smoke damage, little stock was damaged though.

    Bordering Metro and Klimas Glass is a garage that is gutted, along with a vehicle parked inside.

    According to Goosen the fire brigade had used at least 20 000 litres of water by midday on Monday.



    STAFF REPORTER

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    City to dig deep for new landfillCity to dig deep for new landfill The City of Windhoek will have to dig into its own coffers to pay for the planned construction of a new landfill as the Kupferberg landfill nears the end of its productive life.

    City spokesperson Scheifert Shigwedha made this statement to Namibian Sun yesterday.

    The City currently needs between N$120 million and N$150 million for the construction of the new landfill which will be located north of the current Kupferberg site, the City's executive for urban planning and property development, Ludwig Narib, said recently.

    “In those two years, we have just enough time to be ready to extend this facility,” said Narib, while pointing to the north of Kupferberg, the identified location for the new plant.

    Upon its completion, the extended plant will cater for the capital's waste for about 10 to 15 years, Narib said.

    When asked how the City would pay for the new plant, Shigwedha said while external finances were being sought, internal cash would have to be used to build the new plant.

    “The City would seek funding from external sources, and also consider alternatives such as a concessionary loan to finance the extension of the next phase of Kupferberg,” said Shigwedha.

    “However, and considering that these negotiations and applications tend to take time one to two years, we will have no choice but to pre-finance the initial commencement phase of the project from City own budgetary process, until such time that external funding has materialised.”

    It currently costs the City around N$900 000 per month to manage the waste management site according to Uirab.

    There are currently two plants at the Kupferberg landfill site, one for general waste and the other for hazardous waste.

    The hazardous waste plant caters for dangerous waste management. These include expired food, oil, chemicals, batteries, fertilisers and anything that is not known to the experts on site.

    Ludwig said extensive studies have been carried out and mechanisms are in place to ensure that Windhoek's underground water reservoirs are not compromised.

    “The plant is run on a self-sustaining and cost-recovery model, where those who dump waste pay tariffs depending on the quantity of their waste,” Uirab said.

    - Additional reporting by Nampa





    OGONE TLHAGE

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     Air Nam, APG seal deal for West Africa sales Air Nam, APG seal deal for West Africa sales Air Namibia and APG Network this week announced the new partnership which entails Air Namibia having appointed APG Network as GSSA in Ghana and Nigeria. In accordance with the GSSA agreement entered into, APG Network will provide full sales and marketing services, as well as call centre and customer care services on behalf of Air Namibia in the two countries.

    The appointment follows Air Namibia’s decision to launch the Windhoek-Lagos-Accra route, which will commence on 29 June 2018. This new route will provide a direct and convenient service connecting Namibia to the two West African countries. The four times weekly operation (Sunday, Monday, Wednesday & Friday from Windhoek) will provide smooth and convenient connections inbound and outbound to the airline’s regional flights, connecting West Africa via Windhoek to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Luanda, Harare, Lusaka, Vic Falls, Gaborone Walvis Bay and Durban.

    “We are happy for having established this relationship with the APG Network, as through innovation and utilising their extensive experience in the field of aviation, and being a key global player in the airline distribution environment, offering outsourced services such as passenger sales and marketing, reservations, Air Namibia is positioned to make its West Africa operations a success”, said Juanita Klassen, manager for GSA and offline markets at Air Namibia.

    Air Namibia is the national airline of Namibia, and operates scheduled air passenger and cargo services in domestic points within Namibia, the immediate regional markets of South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola. The airline also offers a daily service connecting Namibia to Europe through Frankfurt in Germany.

    Air Namibia says it brings to West Africa, its award winning service, which is recognized by many and having won the “Feather Awards” as the best regional airline of Southern Africa at Johannesburg and Cape Town more than 10 times over the past 15 years, and having been recognised by Skytrax Airline Awards as Africa’s second best regional airline in 2016 and 2017.

    APG Network is the world’s leading network for Airline Distribution and Financial Services. With 111 APG network members and services partners, APG is present in 176 countries and have commercial relationships with over 200 airlines.

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    Air Nam, APG seal deal for West Africa salesAir Nam, APG seal deal for West Africa salesAPG to sell, market airline Air Namibia and APG Network have announced a new partnership, as the airline prepares its West African route at the end of June. “We are happy for having established this relationship with the APG Network, as through innovation and utilising their extensive experience in the field of aviation, and being a key global player in the airline distribution environment, offering outsourced services such as passenger sales and marketing, reservations, Air Namibia is positioned to make its West Africa operations a success”- Juanita Klassen: Manager for GSA and offline markets at Air Namibia. Air Namibia and APG Network this week announced the new partnership which entails Air Namibia having appointed APG Network as GSSA in Ghana and Nigeria. In accordance with the GSSA agreement entered into, APG Network will provide full sales and marketing services, as well as call centre and customer care services on behalf of Air Namibia in the two countries.

    The appointment follows Air Namibia’s decision to launch the Windhoek-Lagos-Accra route, which will commence on 29 June 2018. This new route will provide a direct and convenient service connecting Namibia to the two West African countries. The four times weekly operation (Sunday, Monday, Wednesday & Friday from Windhoek) will provide smooth and convenient connections inbound and outbound to the airline’s regional flights, connecting West Africa via Windhoek to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Luanda, Harare, Lusaka, Vic Falls, Gaborone Walvis Bay and Durban.

    “We are happy for having established this relationship with the APG Network, as through innovation and utilising their extensive experience in the field of aviation, and being a key global player in the airline distribution environment, offering outsourced services such as passenger sales and marketing, reservations, Air Namibia is positioned to make its West Africa operations a success”, said Juanita Klassen, manager for GSA and offline markets at Air Namibia.

    Air Namibia is the national airline of Namibia, and operates scheduled air passenger and cargo services in domestic points within Namibia, the immediate regional markets of South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola. The airline also offers a daily service connecting Namibia to Europe through Frankfurt in Germany.

    Air Namibia says it brings to West Africa, its award winning service, which is recognized by many and having won the “Feather Awards” as the best regional airline of Southern Africa at Johannesburg and Cape Town more than 10 times over the past 15 years, and having been recognised by Skytrax Airline Awards as Africa’s second best regional airline in 2016 and 2017.

    APG Network is the world’s leading network for Airline Distribution and Financial Services. With 111 APG network members and services partners, APG is present in 176 countries and have commercial relationships with over 200 airlines.

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    Sorry isn't good enough - MTC customersSorry isn't good enough - MTC customers The country's largest mobile operator, MTC, on Easter Monday experienced a network malfunction that left customers without SMS and data services from 08:00 until 19:30.

    MTC executive Tim Ekandjo said the outage was attributed to an operating system malfunction and although MTC had implemented full redundancy on these systems, the interruption could not be avoided.

    According to Ekandjo, the malfunction was an isolated incident and he reassured customers that MTC would take every precaution to ensure that it did not happen again.

    “We are also aware of customers whose Aweh data bundles might have expired on the day without use and we will ensure that they are not disadvantaged in any way,” said Ekandjo.

    He did not say whether customers would be refunded.

    “We would once again like to extend our sincere apologies to all our customers. We are well aware that you have been inconvenienced and we thank you all for your understanding in this regard,” said Ekandjo.

    MTC customers took to the mobile operator's Facebook page to vent their frustration.

    “My customer was supposed to transact payment through online banking today but couldn't due to your poor service. Now I am in bad record with my bank. I think I need proper compensation than just an apology [sic],” one irate MTC customer wrote.

    Another customer implored MTC to use radio as a platform to inform its customers of network outages and explain what was being done to address the problem.

    “Next time announce on radio that you are experiencing technical problems, you keep quiet as if it's nothing serious,” this customer wrote.

    Another demanded that MTC reimburse customers.

    “MTC Namibia we have a contract agreement on the Aweh contracts, seven days I pay for. Today I did not use my benefits of our contract that I've paid for lawfully. You owe me an extra day on my Super Aweh weekly contract,” the customer wrote.

    The services of rival mobile operator TN Mobile were not affected by the glitch. TN Mobile even capitalised on its competitor's predicament with an advertisement saying: “Having trouble with your mobile data today? Switch to the network that's ALWAYS ON! #SwitchToTNMobile.”

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Geingob urged to 'drop empty talk'Geingob urged to 'drop empty talk'Land the focus of this year's SONA The clamour for land is reaching fever pitch ahead of next week's State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly. Land activists are adamant that President Hage Geingob's administration has been on a relentless quest of self-empowerment that has seen the poor being tossed aside, and further believe that his upcoming State of the Nation Address (Sona) will be more 'empty talk'.

    All eyes will be on Geingob when he delivers his Sona next Wednesday and local political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah believes the land issue has to be addressed, especially in light of recent happenings at home and in neighbouring South Africa.

    Kamwanyah implored the president to assure the nation that Namibia had no intention of following the South African route of expropriating property without compensation, in its pursuit to distribute land.

    “I hope the president will lay down the process of the land conference and how far government is in terms of planning it. Hopefully he will also lay down the key issues that he wants to be addressed during the conference,” he said.

    The land conference that was initially scheduled for September 2017 was postponed indefinitely and its organisation was eventually moved from lands ministry to the Office of the Prime Minister.

    The Sona is delivered during the committee stage of the debates on the annual Appropriation Bill in the National Assembly, in line with the country's constitution.

    The Landless People's Movement (LPM) said Geingob's rule has been characterised by “disappointments” because what he had promised in two previous Sonas and his Harambee Prosperity Plan differed completely in theory and practice.

    According to LPM member Henny Seibeb the Sona has become a joke.

    “The meaning and importance of Sona has been misunderstood by Geingob and the Speaker of the National Assembly. It is more like a day for Geingob to regurgitate past failures and minimal government successes.

    “He merely repeats the same old stories from Independence Day celebrations. So the Sona has become a joke in Namibia,” said Seibeb.

    Nevertheless, the movement hoped the president would provide clear guidelines and timelines with regard to the land conference and that he would announce the formation of a commission to conduct scientific research and hold inclusive community workshops beforehand.

    The LPM further implored the president to outline how he intended to clamp down on systematic corruption, ever-increasing poverty and inequality in rural communities.

    “Geingob must also take swift action on corruption and not just sugar-coat it. If Geingob is serious, by this time he would have fired Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, Sacky Shanghala, Penda ya Ndakolo, Pohamba Shifeta, Bernhardt Esau, Alpheus !Naruseb, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Frans Kapofi for perceived corruption and the embezzlement of funds.

    “These are all highly compromised individuals in one way or another.

    It seems Geingob believes in patronage, rent-seeking and crony capitalism,” Seibeb claimed.

    Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani said recently in parliament that the state of the nation must be thoroughly considered and that there could no longer be excuses why inequalities exist in Namibia.

    “Land reform policies have mostly benefited well-off elites rather than the intended targets, the poor. The majority of our people live in informal settlements and in shacks, some are in substandard housing and occupying land illegally at the same time,” he said.

    Land activist Apes Kaibeb said there was very little hope among the landless communities, as over the years only the politically connected had benefited from land reform.

    He warned that Namibians would be driven to a point where they would grab land if the president did not drastically address the issue of landlessness.

    “What else must people do if a business owner is given large tracts of land to build 60 and more plots, but a landless Namibian who wishes for just a small plot to build a house is denied this right?” asked Kaibeb.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Ally faces off with Nedbank over loanAlly faces off with Nedbank over loan A personal loan of just short of N$5 million has turned sour for businesswoman Ally Angula, who, along with her husband, is being sued for breaching contract conditions.

    Angula, listed as first defendant, and her husband, Manna Blessing Jonah Matswetu, to whom she is married in community of property, are allegedly in arrears to the sum of N$1 250 249.34 and remain in default of such payment. This, the applicant in the matter, Nedbank Namibia, says is in breach of the agreement they signed.

    Angula had taken out a personal loan of N$4 742 184.95

    Nedbank, in its particulars, claims that notwithstanding written letters of demand dated 14 November 2017 calling upon Angula to pay back the amount, she remained in default.

    “In the circumstances she is indebted to Nedbank in the amount of N$1 250 249.34 as well as interest at the rate of 13.75% per annum compounded from 10 November 2017 to date of payment,” Nedbank said.

    Patrick Kauta from Weder, Kauta & Hoveka law firm, acting on behalf of Nedbank, had notified Angula about the demand for the payment of the amount.

    Angula is the CEO of Leap Holdings and the owner of the Namibian retail store My Republik. The store earned her a 'Best Woman-Owned Business' award at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015.

    Last week, she quit her position as chairperson and board member of Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings (NPTH) amid allegations of disagreements.

    In its claim, Nedbank says a certificate of indebtedness issued to Angula and her husband on 10 November 2017 indicated that they owed the bank N$1 250 249.34 plus the agreed interest of 13.75%.

    The original N$4.7 million personal loan, signed on 14 December 2012, the bank says, was to be repaid with a lump sum of N$650 000 on 21 December of that year and thereafter, N$45 000 annually on 30 November until the debt was settled.

    At the end of the each calendar month, Angula also agreed to pay a structured commitment fee and payments were to be made by debit order from her account held at Nedbank. On 9 March, the couple, through their lawyer Sisa Namandje, filed a notice of their intention to defend. No further papers were filed before the court save the proposed joint case plan where Nedbank indicated it would move for a summary judgement on 12 April.

    The matter is currently before Judge Shafimana Ueitele and is still in case management.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 04/03/18--16:00: Africa briefs
  • Africa briefsAfrica briefs Zim mining execs, Govt in cat and mouse game

    Zimbabwe mining executives and government officials deliberate over fiscal, industry, and macro issues inside the Elephant Hills Resort in Victoria Falls while birds chirp and chirrup outside, helicopters hover above and some warthogs roam the sprawling lawn in front of the hotel.

    Winston Chitando, executive chairperson of Mimosa, which is jointly owned by Impala Platinum and Sibanye Gold said more than US$3billion in fresh capital is required to boost platinum mining in Zimbabwe. Other executives talked about the need by government to address the ease of doing business, policy inconsistencies and other macro-economic issues.

    -Fin24

    New president to wean Botswana off diamonds

    Botswana’s new president, sworn in on Sunday as the landlocked country’s fifth post-colonial leader, said he would give priority to tackling youth unemployment and diversifying its economy.

    Retired teacher Mokgweetsi Masisi, who takes over from former army general Ian Khama, inherits a state with a reputation as one of Africa’s rare political and economic success stories.

    But he faces a huge task in attempting to reduce its dependence on the diamond trade while creating more jobs after collapsing commodity prices tipped it into recession in 2015.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Nigeria's FX reserves up

    Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves stood at US$46.2 billion as of March 28, up 8.8% from a month earlier, central bank data showed on Saturday. Successful debt sales, including a eurobond offering last month, have helped the government accrue billions of dollars in foreign reserves, although they remain far from the peak of US$64 billion in August 2008.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Africa needs to extract more value from mining- SADC adviser

    Africa’s heavy reliance on extractive mining is bad news for development as it does not play a part in the prices of the minerals it extracts.

    This is according to Seth Akweshie, Southern African Development Community industrialisation adviser, when delivering his keynote address at the Cross-Border Mining Services Indaba at the Johannesburg Country Club last week.

    “Our reliance on the mining sector for our development has been skewed almost exclusively towards a heavy dependence on our extractive activities and consequently our economic fortunes continue to be dictated largely by fluctuations in the commodities market over which we have absolutely no control,” Akweshie said.

    -Fin24

    Egypt foreign reserves rise to US$42.6b

    Egypt’s net foreign reserves rose slightly to US$42.611 billion at the end of March from US$42.524 billion at the end of February, the central bank said on Monday. Cairo’s foreign reserves have been climbing since the country secured a US$12 billion three-year International Monetary Fund loan programme in 2016 as part of efforts to woo foreign investors and revive its ailing economy.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Grabbing of church land irks ShifetaGrabbing of church land irks ShifetaMinister warns authorities The environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has instructed local and regional authorities to ensure that churches get their land back. Environment and tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta has urged traditional, local and regional authorities to return land to churches that has been seized by individuals.

    Shifeta made this remark following a report by Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (Elcin) Bishop Shekutamba Nambala that certain individuals are confiscating church land.

    Nambala was speaking at the signing of a 20-year agreement between the Oniipa town council and Elcin, which will see the local authority developing two museum sites into flourishing tourist destinations. He did not specify which church land had been confiscated or seized, but said that churches have lost their land to individuals.

    “Churches have lost their land due to individuals confiscating it, thinking that church land belongs to everybody. We are trying by all means to preserve the land for future national developments, however, individuals are taking the land and when pastors are fighting for such land people think they are mad,” Nambala said.

    He said churches do not have a problem with availing land to the government for development.

    Nambala said in the past they had already allocated land for the construction of government properties, such as local and regional authority offices, clinics, schools and much more.

    Shifeta said these reports were very disturbing and urged local, traditional and regional authorities to take action to make sure that the church land is returned.

    “Things need to be done according to the law and in a proper way. As government we would like to preserve these areas and we need to develop them, but only if churches allow us,” Shifeta said.

    He said no one has the right to take anyone's property.

    “Authorities need to protect properties. These are focal areas with potential to attract tourists from all over the world, but if there are no facilities it will be difficult to attract them,” he said.

    In 2015, while officiating at a black and white photo exhibition at the Olukonda's Nakambale Museum, former President Hifikepunye Pohamba said the history of Namibia from the late 19th to early 20th century is intertwined with the spread of the Christian gospel, carried by missionaries from Europe.

    He said many of today's towns were missionary stations, where missionaries established churches, health facilities and carried out activities to teach communities the art of reading and writing.

    The Olukonda area and the Oniipa town council, where the Elcin head offices are situated, are faced with challenges from influential members of the Ondonga Traditional Authority, who have been accused of confiscating land and who are reportedly also grabbing municipal land.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Angolan pay TV illegal in NamibiaAngolan pay TV illegal in NamibiaCran clamps down on Zap TV The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia on Thursday warned the public that it is illegal to use Zap A Minha TV decoders in the country. “We did not know we were committing a crime because we saw a business opportunity and started to sell decoders and other stuff. This was just a shop, not a service provider.”- David Pedro, shop owner NDAMA NAKASHOLE

    A Windhoek shop that sold digital satellite television equipment for an Angolan pay TV service has been shut down by the communications regulator.

    The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran) issued a public notice last week warning the public not to subscribe to the broadcasting services offered by Angolan digital satellite TV provider Zap A Minha TV.

    The shop owners who sold the Angolan TV equipment told Market Watch yesterday that they never offered subscription services but only sold equipment for the digital satellite television provider, which serves Portuguese-speaking countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Zap was launched in Angola in 2010.

    In its statement on Thursday, Cran said Zap was not licensed to provide broadcasting services in Namibia and thus was directly contravening the Communications Act.

    Cran also accused Zap of selling telecommunications equipment that had not been type approved for use in Namibia, which further contravened the Act.

    The regulator warned Zap’s existing clients to cancel their subscriptions immediately.

    When Market Watch visited the formerly Zap-branded shop in Windhoek West yesterday, the shop was displaying the branding of another popular satellite TV service whose decoders it also sells.

    The owner, David Pedro, said Zap TV customers subscribed to the service in Angola and watched it in Namibia. He said he saw a business opportunity because Zap viewers had to travel abroad when they needed to replace equipment such as decoders or remote controls.

    “We did not know we were committing a crime because we saw a business opportunity and started to sell decoders and other stuff. This was just a shop, not a service provider,” he insisted, adding that all subscriptions were done in Angola.

    “A lot of people here in Namibia watch Zap TV. They use it and we thought we should come in and sell, as an opportunity to make money,” he said.

    “Myself, I watch Zap at home. But if I want to subscribe, I call my brother in Angola, he does it for me, and I can watch here,” he added.

    Pedro said about two weeks ago when Cran informed them that they were not supposed to sell Zap decoders, they got rid of all their stock and they did not intend applying for Cran approval of the equipment.

    Zap Angola has no official representative in Namibia, as it is not licensed to broadcast here.

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    Kwanza deal: Angola to cough up N$605 million Kwanza deal: Angola to cough up N$605 million OGONE TLHAGE

    The Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA) is making steady progress towards honouring a currency conversion agreement it signed with the Bank of Namibia (BoN) in September 2014, and will make a final payment of US$51.1 million (N$605.49 million at the current exchange rate) by June.

    This comes as the Angolan central bank sees US$500 million (N$5.92 billion at the current exchange rate) return to its coffers after British authorities released the money it had previously blocked, believing the cash to be the proceeds of theft.

    Speaking to Namibian Sun this week, central bank spokesperson Kazembire Zemburuka said there was never any doubt that BNA would honour its obligations to the BoN.

    The two central banks entered into a currency swap arrangement to the tune of approximately US$426.3 million in 2014.

    Giving an update on the matter, Zemburuka said a final payment was expected in the next two months.

    “The Bank of Namibia expects the final payment at the end of the second quarter, at the end of June 2018, as per the signed agreement between the two central banks which continues to be honoured,” said Zemburuka.

    According to him, BNA had recently made a payment of US$51.3 million, steadily reducing its obligations to the BoN.

    “As of now, BNA owes US$51.1 million after a payment of US$51.3 million was made on 28 March 2018, in line with the signed agreement,” said Zemburuka.

    Reuters reported that Angolan prosecutors had charged the former head of the central bank, Valter Filipe da Silva, in connection with the alleged fraud.

    Da Silva is the most high-profile person to be charged and publicly named since Angolan President João Lourenço took power last September, vowing to combat years of endemic graft.

    Angolan state media report that da Silva has been questioned by prosecutors and is prohibited from leaving the country.

    Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said it welcomed the cooperation with Angolan authorities.

    “The necessary authority has now been provided for the monies to be returned to the Angolan authorities,” an emailed response to Reuters said.

    The NCA added that it had prevented the money from being transferred in December and January using new provisions within the Criminal Finances Act of 2017.

    Last year, the Angolan central bank promised to accelerate payments and honour its obligations to Namibia earlier.

    Zemburuka said at the time that BNA had paid US$20 million, which left the total debt outstanding at US$306 million (approximately N$3.8 billion).

    “The Bank of Namibia believes that BNA will honour this obligation agreed between the two institutions as it has done thus far,” Zemburuka told Nampa in 2015.

    The Angolan economic meltdown, precipitated by plunging by oil prices, negatively affected trade with Namibia generally, and specifically at the border town of Oshikango, which had been a hub of trade between the two countries.

    Once a bustling town with a dependency on foreign nationals, mostly Angolans, to support businesses activities, Oshikango is now a shadow of its former self.

    The currency swap agreement paved way for kwanza exchange at Namibian banks, but the deal was short-lived, as it was halted six months after it was signed.

    This was due to alleged irregularities at the Oshikango border post and heavy criticism by local economists and businesspeople, who argued that the deal had effectively driven Namibia’s economy into a liquidity crisis within the first five months of its implementation.

    Helao Nafidi mayor Eliaser Nghipangelwa recently told Namibian Sun that Oshikango, historically dependent on business with foreign nationals as well as exports, was now being sustained by locals from all corners of the country.

    He also agreed with the public perception that Oshikango would bounce back once the Angolan economy normalised.

    “Angola is our neighbour and it is just across the border. Once they are okay they will come back and support our businesses,” he said.

    -additional reporting by Reuters

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    Jooste, Mutorwa in RCC bun fightJooste, Mutorwa in RCC bun fight The ministry of works and transport, under newly appointed minister John Mutorwa, is of the view that the Roads Contractor Company's operations can be revived and that there is no need to place the beleaguered state-owned enterprise under judicial management.

    Minister of public enterprises Leon Jooste last year announced that the RCC would be placed under judicial management as a means to try and revive its operations.

    Under judicial management, a moratorium is placed on debt payments and a manager is appointed to oversee the business.

    The judicial manager proactively seeks ways to restructure the company's debt and respond to the financial demands on the company.

    Providing an update on the matter, ministry of works spokesperson Julius Ngwedha said: “Cabinet has authorised the RCC to seek solutions so that it can get out of its current situation. The RCC has also been requested to look for funding so that the entity can be run without government support.”



    According to him, the RCC's role was important, while job losses would not be desirable in the current state of the economy.



    “The ministry has acknowledged that the RCC is vital in terms of the stimulation of the economy,” he said.



    Ngwedha added that Mutorwa had visited several SOEs and that discussions held with the RCC board and management had been generally positive.



    “Since the arrival of the new transport minister he has taken familiarisation visits to state-owned enterprises and the RCC was one of them and he had good discussions with the board and the management,” said Ngwedha.



    “If other construction firms are making money, one wonders why the RCC cannot make profit. The RCC is a strategic state-owned enterprise; it has to be returned to full operations.”



    According to him, the issue of judicial management was now under review, adding that the RCC had secured funding from commercial banks.



    “The judicial management process is under review, the judicial management matter must be relooked at. The RCC has got funds to support itself,” he said.



    With the tabling of the national budget, the RCC was allocated N$21 million for its operations for a three-month period. The RCC's wage bill is N$7 million a month.



    Ministry of public enterprises spokesperson Jonathan Swartz told the media last week that there was no going back on the decision to place the RCC under judicial management.



    “The decision to approach the High Court to place the RCC under judicial management was a cabinet decision and can only change if the decision is rescinded by cabinet. This has not happened, and the decision still stands,” he said.



    As the RCC's line minister, Mutorwa will have to table a bill to place the RCC under judicial management, the public enterprises ministry has repeatedly stressed.



    Jooste initiated the process in September 2017 because of the company's inability to make profit and always requiring bailouts.



    If approved, the current RCC board would be disempowered.



    The duration of the period of judicial management, if approved, could not be predicted, Jooste said.



    Jooste also said that the 393 RCC employees would not be affected if the company was placed under judicial management, because the move would try to prevent the company from closing down.



    “The RCC has many creditors who will, while the company is under judicial management, have to wait to see their claims against the company settled. The judicial manager will proactively seek ways to restructure the debt of the company and respond to the financial demands of the company,” Jooste said.



    Furthermore, Jooste said that the judicial manager, if appointed, would be empowered to make far-reaching decisions on the company's business transactions, covering all aspects of operations, human resources and financial management.



    He said the decision to appoint a judicial manager was the “formal final decision from stakeholders” and if the current board wanted to protest the move, it would be replaced.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 04/03/18--16:00: Job throws more dirt
  • Job throws more dirtJob throws more dirtExplosive claims against Shanghala In his bid to defend himself against a N$500 000 defamation claim, the outspoken youth activist is claiming in court papers that the former attorney-general tried to corrupt him. Youth activist Job Amupanda has come forward with shocking new claims against former attorney-general Sacky Shanghala in his ongoing court battle with the now justice minister.

    If the contents of the plea by Amupanda are anything to go by, this matter will pique the interest of the wider public for some time.

    On 4 December last year, Shanghala filed a claim for defamation, asking for N$500 000 in damages from Amupanda.

    Shanghala, in his particulars, told the court that Amupanda had defamed him, calling him corrupt, accusing him of receiving kickbacks, engaging in criminal activities and having no moral fibre.

    Amupanda, who filed his intention to defend on 4 February this year, filed his plea on 27 March.

    The document makes for explosive reading.

    One particular paragraph raises eyebrows as Amupanda alludes to the fact that Shanghala may have attempted to use Amupanda's position as Unam SRC president to conclude a deal for a private hostel.

    The state-of-the-art hostel facility opened its doors in January 2014 and offers communal recreational lounges, bathrooms and kitchen facilities.

    Shortly after construction students forked out between N$2 500 and N$3 000 per month to live in the hostel, according to information on its website.

    Amupanda states that Shanghala, “for his own economic interest, during 2009 corruptly sought to entice and abet [him] to corruptly influence and gain favour in a contractual matter between Hanganeni Emona and the University of Namibia.”

    Hanganeni Emona, comprised of high-level officials in government, including Shanghala who was economic affairs director in the Office of the President at the time, clinched the N$80 million contract for the private hostel at Unam in 2009.

    Amupanda yesterday insisted that Shanghala was the “epitome of corruption” and that he (Amupanda) would be able to prove his claims in court.



    “At this stage I can only assure you that I absolutely have enough evidence to support the claims that I make against Shanghala. But because this is now sub judice I cannot say anything else.”



    Shanghala could not be reached for comment and his counsel, Maren de Klerk, would not comment as the matter is still in court.



    But the allegations do not stop there.



    Amupanda alleges that Shanghala, while he was the chairperson of the Law Reform and Development Commission, had, in contravention of the applicable Act, been involved in 'remunerative work' outside of the ambit of his employment in the public service – allegedly through Namibia Liquid Fuel (Pty) Limited.



    “The remunerative work at the time, without the requisite statutory consent, was on its own corrupt, irregular and unlawful,” Amupanda wrote.



    His tenure as attorney-general, Amupanda claims, was marred by “direct, persistent and serious allegations of corruption and maladministration by the media, members of the public and public commentators”.



    He makes specific mention of the genocide lawyers based in the United Kingdom incurring millions in legal fees, as well as the N$10 million Government Institutions Pension Fund matter in South Africa.



    Amupanda denied that any of his statements as posted on his social media platforms were defamatory and asked the court to dismiss the matter, with costs.



    Shanghala is expected to file his response to Amupanda's plea on 11 April.



    Kadhila Amoomo appears for Amupanda and the matter is under case management with Judge Shafimana Ueitele.

    YANNA SMITH

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    Andjaba new presidential affairs ministerAndjaba new presidential affairs minister President Hage Geingob has announced the appointment of former Namibia’s ambassador to the USA Martin Andjaba as presidential affairs minister. Andjaba was recently sworn in as a member of parliament. He will take over from Immanuel Ngatjizeko who stepped down as presidential affairs minister due ill-health recently.
    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 04/04/18--16:00: Government's stepchild
  • Government's stepchildGovernment's stepchildSporting fraternity looks to Geingob for hope Namibian sport continues to face immense challenges, amid persistent evidence that it is not a priority for government, evidenced by continued budget cuts. With a few days to go before President Hage Geingob delivers his State of the Nation Address (Sona), it remains to be seen whether sport will even get a mention, let alone enjoy priority status amid an economic slump.

    From the days of Founding President Sam Nujoma, to Hage Geingob's unfolding first term as head of state, Sona's have focused less and less on the sporting fraternity.

    Accompanying this lack of political will to identify sport as a means to lift people out of poverty and the lack of funding needed to accomplish this, sport codes are persistently hampered by funding woes.

    With the Namibian economy hanging on life support, sport was further ground into the dust when its line ministry received N$97 million less from finance minister Calle Schlettwein during his 2018/19 budget statement, compared to the previous financial year.

    The budget was reduced from N$385 million to a devastating N$288 million.

    The ministry also suffered a huge cut in the 2017/18 financial year, as the budget was cut by N$106 million from the year before.

    Prominent boxing promoter Nestor Tobias says sport development in Namibia faces an ever-steeper uphill battle.

    “It is a combination of factors. Firstly, we need a strong foundation and vision for sports, and this needs to be driven by our government through the sports ministry. If everybody knows that sport is a priority for the country, then everybody will respect and invest,” Tobias said.

    He feels the sporting community is unable to call on the private sector to invest, due to the fact that sport is not a priority for government and the country, while saying government still sees sport as just leisure activity and not a unifier and employment creator.

    “The lack of vision and seriousness attached to sport is huge, compared to other African countries like South Africa. In this other countries, sport is a respected intervention and it's properly funded.”

    Tobias admitted that other the other problems sport codes face are the result of poor administrators and poor facilities at their disposal.

    Conspicuously, in the past many talented young people excelled at football, athletics and many other sport codes.

    Today, many of them have not reached the standard and level of becoming stars.

    Commentators felt the reason for this is because they did not have the right mentorship and financial muscle required.

    Drugs and alcohol also continue to play a role in the slow development of sport.

    Many had hoped that the current president would revive and redeem the situation, given the affection he has shown in the past towards sport.

    However, just like his predecessors, many feel that he has not awakened the hopes and dreams of sport fanatics in the way they expected him to do.

    Prominent sport commentator Isack Hamata feels it all boils down to the people administrating sport codes.

    “The biggest problem stunting progress in sport is funding and sport leadership capacity. It is the lack of fulltime administrators, infighting and a lack of accountability,” Hamata said.

    Boxing sensation Jeremiah Nakathila felt that the lack of proper facilities has been one of the major challenges.

    “I can tell you that many people want to participate in sport activities but the setback is that we do not have enough stadiums and proper gyms. Some other people struggle with the distances between where they live and where the proper facilities are.

    “I also feel that some sport federations have not been able to groom talent well enough,” Nakathila said.

    Meanwhile, the new sports minister Erastus Uutoni remains adamant that the country can progress in the sector, with the help of corporate Namibia.

    Uutoni last month warned federations and sport stakeholders not to try and operate without consultation with the line ministry.

    He said this was something that has dragged sport into deeper doldrums, because of a lack in communication between the government and stakeholders.

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  • 04/04/18--16:00: We have to win - Coleman
  • We have to win - ColemanWe have to win - Coleman Brave Gladiators will play Zimbabwe in a 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations first round qualifier match at Sam Nujoma Stadium this afternoon.

    Gladiator's poster girl, Zenatha Coleman, said the team has come a long way and they need to achieve something.

    “We had a great experience at the tournament in 2014, but now we need to push for qualification. We have to win and then travel to Harare with a chance, because they will be tough over there with their supporters cheering them on,” Coleman said.

    She will be among three foreign-based players who are expected to rally the team to victory when they face the visitors.

    Coleman, who plies her trade at Real Zaragoza in Spain, Veweziwa Kotjipati, who is based in Germany and plays for Tus Lipperode, and Annoushka Kordom, who is doing exceptionally well for Corbon Warriors in United States, are expected to lead from the front.

    Captain Mamie Kasaona said it is up to the players to make the nation proud as their preparations went well. She further urged football lovers to fill the stadium.

    Coach Brian Isaacs said the competition for places is healthy, despite the fact that he did not have a broad base to select from, due to the absence of a competitive league.

    He further stressed he has a core group of players who will form part of the stating 11, but they will continue looking at the rest of the group to assess who will make it into the starting line-up.

    Gladiators will jet out to Zimbabwe immediately after the match today to prepare for the Sunday clash.

    The winner will advance to the second round, where either Tanzania or Zambia awaits. The eventual winner will book their ticket for the finals in Ghana, which takes place between 17 November and 1 December.

    This tournament doubles as the African qualifiers for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. The top three teams will qualify for the World Cup in France.

    The squad is as follows: Melissa Matheus, Agnes Kauzuu, Uerikondjera Kasaona, Ndapewa Katuta, Ester Amukwaya, Lovisa Mulunga, Eddelsisingh Naris, Stacey Naris, Lorraine Jossob, Elmarie Fredericks, Tomalina Adams, Juliana Blou, Anna-Marie Shikusho, Annoushka Kordom, Beverly Uueziua, Veweziwa Kotjipati, Millicent Hikuam, Zenatha Coleman, Memory Ngonda, and Twelikondjela Amukoto.

    The match kicks off at 18:00 and entrance is N$10.

    -Additional reporting NAMPA

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