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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Finding a solution to corruption in tertiary institutionsFinding a solution to corruption in tertiary institutionsIt is everyone’s responsibility The Law Students’ Council of the University of Namibia (Unam) hosted a panel discussion to find out what the causes of corruption in different universities are. Tunohole Mungoba

    Last week student representatives from different tertiary institutions came together to dissect what the root cause of corruption in their institutions are. Many representatives argued that corruption in tertiary institutions serves as a lucrative business to those who easily fall victim to social pressures of seeing a colleague drive a nice car while you are still taking taxi.

    According to Webster Likando, the assistant bursary officer of Unam, corruption is not only limited to stealing. “Stealing is a component of corruption but that is a very broad term and all unethical doings that you want hidden can fall under corruption,” he said.

    Likando explained that universities in Namibia receives subsidies to contribute to the expenses of the institution, but that those subsidies do not cover everything. According to him this results in universities sourcing other financial means to cover expenses. “There are so many factors that can lead to corruption among university officials. Having a poor salary for example is one. You receive constant peer pressure about a certain lifestyle that you cannot afford so you are forced to look at other means to fund a certain way of living,” he said.

    He told the audience that internal auditors and risk and compliance officers try to ensure corruption, the mismanagement of funds and under the table payments do not take place, however, according to him “this cannot be 100% guaranteed”.

    He further explained that corruption compromises the integrity of institutions and argues that the success and productivity of the school is reduced as students will have limited resources to receive quality education.

    He is of the opinion that cultivating a spirit of integrity at a young age is crucial in combating future corruption. “We need to start teaching our children that corruption is wrong and that there are so many other ways to make a life for yourself. Only through this can we curb it before it even begins.”

    “Time to eat” syndrome

    Simon Taapopi, the Namibia National Students' Organisation’s (Nanso) secretary general, said the country is suffering from the “time to eat syndrome” and this results in high levels of corruption in tertiary intuitions. “Basically many people get into a managerial position they often lose focus on improving the quality of education and instead focus on how they can squander funds,” Taapopi said.

    He says the poor socio-economic status of many Namibians contribute to the phenomenon as “most people are not fortunate enough to have grown up in comfortable homes”. Taapopi applauded Unam for hosting the talk and added the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) and the Anti-Corruption Commission should have been part of the conversation.

    He questioned the fact that tertiary fees are being increased annually even though students do not see the justification of these increases. “Students are not getting the value for their money. We do not see any new lecture halls being built or new computers in the labs, but school fees must be increased. This does not make sense,” he said.

    Although Namibia does have a number of youth representative organisations, Taapopi said youth involvement is very limited. “They invite us to attend these meetings, but your opinions are not valued. You will be sent around to make copies and serve coffee for the ‘elders’. We should do away with this mentality and respect everyone; regardless of age,” he said.

    Poverty is not an excuse

    Marvellous Shilongo, SRC president of the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust), disagreed with Taapopi’s. “If we all blame our backgrounds for the crimes we have committed, this country would not be where it is today. As much as situations like these are tempting, we need to know the difference between right and wrong,” she said.

    Shilongo also requested that universities should have funds set aside for students who do not have NSFAF loans. “We get special cases where students apply for NSFAF loans late, then they do not receive the loan and during the semester they come crying to my office wanting to deregister. If money is made available for these students, cases like these can be avoided,” she said.

    She also warned students against paying other students to do their assignments as this can also be categorised as corruption. “Even a ‘simple thing’ like cheating on your tests is corruption. It starts that small, but you need to know when to stop,” she warned. She also added that some students deprive other students that are in dire need of the loans by just applying for the NSFAF loan to get the refunds.

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    Namibia deeply concerned over Syria crisisNamibia deeply concerned over Syria crisis Namibia said on Sunday it was deeply concerned over the political unrest in Syria, which has seen the United States, UK and France carrying out strikes against Syrian targets over the alleged use of chemical weapons.

    International relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah called on the United Nations Security Council to bring about peace in Syria.

    “As a state party to the UN Chemical Weapons Convention, Namibia welcomes the statement issued by the African Union on 15 April 2018, on the situation regarding Syria,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah. “For the sake of the people of Syria and peace in general, we call on the UN Security Council to live up to its charter obligations and find a lasting solution to bring about peace in Syria, through peaceful means.

    Unilateral action is incompatible with the UN Charter and risks undermining the effectiveness of the very institution created to resolve conflict.”

    According to international reports, the US, British and French forces struck Syria with more than 100 missiles on Saturday, targeting what they called chemical weapons sites in retaliation for a poison gas attack.

    US President Donald Trump on Saturday declared 'mission accomplished' for the US-led allied missile attack. Russia and Iran called the use of force by the US and its allies a 'military crime' and 'act of aggression'. The UN Security Council met to debate the strikes, but rejected a Russian resolution calling for condemnation of the 'aggression' by the three Western allies. The Syrian foreign ministry called on the international community 'to strongly condemn this aggression”, warning it would “pose a threat to international peace and security as a whole”.

    -Additional reporting by Nampa/Reuters/AFP



    STAFF REPORTER

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    Many injured in accidents on Erongo roadsMany injured in accidents on Erongo roads Several cases of reckless driving are being investigated by the police in the Erongo Region after a weekend marred by accidents.

    Ivan Brandt (21), the driver of a Mahindra bakkie, and two passengers were injured while travelling on a gravel road from Omaruru to Uis on Friday afternoon.

    “The driver allegedly drove into a ditch filled with water, lost control of the vehicle and it overturned about 40km from Uis. His passenger, Oscha Brandt (20), sustained very serious injuries and was taken to Omaruru State Hospital. The driver and the other passenger, Reinhold Nghiimbwasha (22), sustained slight injuries. Investigation continues,” confirmed Erongo Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu.

    A case of reckless and/or negligent driving and driving a motor vehicle without a driver's licence is being investigated in Tutaleni after a 42-year-old suspect smashed into two parked cars while driving a Toyota double-cab bakkie in Volstruis Street.

    “In the process a pedestrian, Ileni Shikonekeni (51), was hit and seriously injured by one of the bumped cars. He was taken to Walvis Bay State Hospital and his condition was described as stable. The suspect was arrested and will appear before the Walvis Bay Magistrate's Court on Monday,” Iikuyu said.

    The driver of a Toyota Corolla with three occupants sustained serious injuries after the car smashed into a wall at Usakos.

    “The driver, Gert Bezuidenhout (63), was travelling on the B2 road from the location's direction towards the town. It is further alleged that, while trying to overtake another vehicle and in order to make a right turn to the Engen One Stop service station, the driver lost control and crashed into a wall, causing damage to the vehicle and injuries to the occupants. The investigation continues.”

    Bezuidenhout was admitted to the Usakos State Hospital in a stable condition. One passenger, Pietersen Hendrick (36), sustained serious injuries and was transferred from Usakos hospital to Katutura State Hospital in Windhoek for further treatment. Markus Goseb (31) sustained slight injuries.

    OTIS FINCK

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  • 04/16/18--16:00: China defends Namibian ties
  • China defends Namibian tiesChina defends Namibian tiesAsian giant committed to Africa The Asian giant says it is doing what is right in its dealings with African nations like Namibia. The Charge d'Affaires of China to Namibia says the era of dominating Africa is over and that African countries can decide for themselves what is good for them.

    In an exclusive interview with Namibian Sun, Li Nan said China does not want to dominate Africa.

    “African countries know what is good for them and what is bad for them. All countries have the right to forge friendly relations with African countries,” he said.

    Li further emphasised that China has never colonised Africa.

    “It is like a joke. We have provided assistance to African countries from the 60s and now that we are more developed, we can do more.”

    According to Li, China is empowering their sister countries by developing them and providing support.

    He described the term “recolonialisation” as a fabrication and ridiculous and said Namibia should never be fooled by these false accusations.

    Li was responding to recent claims by former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who cautioned African countries against taking Chinese loans. He said African countries must “carefully consider” their agreements with China, saying they force African countries into dependency and harmed growth.

    “Chinese investment does have the potential to address Africa's infrastructure gap, but its approach has led to mounting debt and Afew, if any, jobs in most countries,” Tillerson was recently quoted as saying.

    “When coupled with the political and fiscal pressure, this endangers Africa's natural resources and its long-term economic political stability.”

    Li said there are some countries making accusations against China, but said China is only doing what is right.

    “We play a constructive role,” he said. “We do not want to dominate African countries.

    “You cannot accuse a country of something because they are helping another. That is not in the Harambee spirit, as they say. It is not in the spirit of international relations,” he said.

    According to Li over the past 28 years China has provided N$6 billion in grant assistance to Namibia. He added that some concessional loans are also given interest free, however this is very limited.

    “China is not big debtor to Namibia. Our grant assistance is much bigger.”



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Building a sustainable future through local productsBuilding a sustainable future through local productsGet it started! The Zone tracked down some young Namibian entrepreneurs who produce local products and own businesses. Entrepreneurship is one of best ways tackle poverty and ensuring economic growth. Octavia Tsibes

    Team Namibia, an organisation that supports Namibian businesses and entrepreneurs is excited to see young people realise the importance of local businesses in their communities. “It is positive in every way, self-employment creates viable new businesses that provide job opportunities for fellow Namibians,” Bärbel Kirchner, account director at Team Namibia, said.

    The vision of Team Namibia is to make locally produced products and services known to consumers.

    “It is crucial that all businesses become a part of this movement and join Team Namibia in the pursuit of creating more awareness for Namibian products and services,” Kirchner says.

    Empowering young people

    Team Namibia provides entrepreneurial training that is funded by the embassy of Finland to the value of N$1.76 million.

    “The programme aims to train and mentor 25 selected small to medium-sized business owners from Katutura, by equipping them with the ability to establish successful enterprises. Therefore, economic sustainability will ultimately support the national efforts of creating employment, generating income and permanently reducing poverty,” Kirchner said.

    Team Namibia has a category designed for SME’s called Associate Members. The requirements to join include having a business that is registered in Namibia being operational for at least eight months. All they need to do is fill in the Team Namibia Application form, attach relevant supporting documents of the company submit and to Team Namibia and pay an annual membership fee of N$1000.00.

    Walking a mile in their shoes

    Shilongo Leather Works, a well-known manufacturer of leather products, shared their story with The Zone. Their traditional ‘veldskoene’ are one of their most sought after products and they have a wide variety of styles and colour to fit any fashion trend.

    Thomas Shilongo, general manager at Shilongo Leather Works further says that there is room for young entrepreneurs to successfully start and sustain their own businesses. According to him, they just have to “put their minds to it”.

    “Namibia is a developing country and there is so much to do, the opportunities are endless,” he says.

    The beard makes the man

    Another upcoming Namibian product is ByDesign Cosmetics beard products. ByDesign Cosmetics try’s to find natural skin and beard solutions through making use of natural essential oils and shea butter.

    “I wanted to create a diverse range of products for men's beards and discovered there was a gap in the market. However, I am trying to make something unique and specially since I feel like the cosmetics industry is not only focused on self-care but also the personalisation of products,” Lynn Komu, the young owner of ByDesign Cosmetics said.

    According to her, there are opportunities for young people to start their own businesses but she is of the opinion that there is not enough room for innovation or funding for innovative ideas.

    Having your cake and eating it

    Tangi’s Cakery is a small home based bakery in Windhoek. They make all types of sweet treats like cupcakes, cake pops, cookies and macaroons, but their most popular products are their beautiful novelty cakes.

    “All our products are made from scratch. We make our own cake mix which we use for our cakes and cupcakes,” Tangi Nakanduungileh, owner of Tangi’s Cakery, said.

    When she started the business she did not know how many bakers operated in the area she was working in. In the meantime she has discovered that there are many bakers in town but each with a unique style.

    “I started baking with my aunt when I was very young. Three years ago I attended a two-day baking course that was hosted by a business savvy young woman. Her story was inspiring and she was the epitome of an independent woman which is what I strived to be. After that I started teaching myself how to decorate cakes and then in 2017 I officially started my business,” Tangi Nakanduungileh said.



    5 Key Steps to Start Your Own Small Business

    1. Do the Research

    Doing the research means learning about different industries in an attempt to identify problems or pain points that can be solved. You never know where the next business idea may originate.

    2. Build a Business Plan

    Once a problem is identified, create a business plan in such a way that it adds value and solves the problem. The business plan needs to specifically outline the problem and the proposed solution.

    3. Talk to Customers

    After identifying a problem in a specific industry and creating a business plan that can potentially solve it, validate the idea and business plan. It is possible to do this by picking up the phone and calling the types of potential customers who face the identified problem.

    4. Implement the Idea

    If the idea and business plan has been validated by speaking with customers in the industry, it is time to implement the idea and business plan. If a small business owner has followed the previous three steps, however, the overall risk should be reduced due to the fact that the idea and business plan have already been validated by potential customers.

    5. Iterate as Time Goes on

    The one constant when building any business is change. Every step can be followed to perfection and every idea can be fully validated, yet things still do not go according to plan. It is important for any small business owner to understand this possibility.

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    Millions to make roads safer Millions to make roads safer The FIA Foundation has pledged a donation of US$10 million to kick-start a new United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund that was launched by UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed last week.

    In a press statement the FIA Foundation media manager Kate Turner said the new UN Fund is intended to catalyse road safety action across the globe, using donations to help unlock new government and municipal funding and re-focus national road safety budgets towards proven ‘safe system’ interventions.

    Turner added that the foundation’s pledge will help to leverage additional support for the fund from governments, other philanthropies and the private sector to work towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of a 50% global reduction in road fatalities and injuries.

    A recent World Bank report identified that countries not investing in road safety could miss out on up to 22% in potential per capita GDP growth over a 24-year period.

    According to the FIA Foundation statement, the UN Economic Commission for Europe estimates that for every US$100 million raised and deployed by the fund, a further US$3.4 billion of country and city investment can be unlocked for infrastructure and road safety programmes, saving 64 000 lives and preventing 640 000 serious injuries. To meet the road safety sustainable development goal targets for road safety by 2030 will require at least $770 million per year in catalytic financing, so the stakes are high and the challenge great.

    According to Jean Todt, the UN secretary-general’s special envoy for road safety, the Fund has the potential to galvanise global efforts to address the road safety situation, building on the progress made and experience gained over the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 - 2020.

    Namibia’s roads

    In 2014, Namibia was ranked first in the world in terms of the number of road deaths per 100 000 residents by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Namibia is ranked first in the world in terms of the number of road deaths per 100 000 residents.

    At the time Namibia has recorded a total of 2 260 car crashes, 4 028 injuries and 470 fatalities between January and August of that year.

    In mid-February this year, the Namibian police released the official road accident statistics for the 2017 festive season, which indicate that crashes had decreased by 18%, injuries by 25% and fatalities by 5%.

    A total of 528 road accidents were recorded during the 2017/18 festive season, with 127 fatalities and 965 injuries, compared to the previous year when 645 crashes, 1 292 injuries and 134 fatalities were recorded.

    Nampol chief Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga said reducing the number of crashes was their biggest achievement, although the figures were still below expectation, given the effort that was put in.

    “We shall continue to put in more effort, until these negative statistics are reduced and are acceptable.”

    The FIA Foundation is an independent UK registered charity which supports an international programme of activities promoting road safety, the environment and sustainable mobility.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 04/16/18--16:00: Man dies in shack fire
  • Man dies in shack fire  Man dies in shack fire A man burned to death in a fire which destroyed four shacks and a storeroom in Swakopmund’s Mondesa residential area on Sunday.

    Erongo police commissioner Erastus Iikuyu confirmed the death of Peter Humphries (44) and said the deceased was living alone in a shack that burned down.

    “The fire started at about 03:00 in one of two ghettos at house number 1428 located in Danny Jacobs Street. It then spread to the neighbouring house number 1427 where another two ghettos were also destroyed without anyone injured and only loss of property occurred. The investigation continues and the cause of fire is still unknown,” he said.

    OTIS FINCK

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  • 04/16/18--16:00: Hunting season opens
  • Hunting season opensHunting season opensIndustry urged to comply The annual hunting season opens on 1 May and while it is one of the most important sectors in the country in terms of revenue and jobs, roleplayers have been warned to adhere to the rules. Namibia’s hunting season will officially open next month on game-proofed commercial farms and conservancies.

    The industry has been warned to comply with the rules and regulations within the sector that annually contributes millions to the economy.

    The 2017 hunting season - which traditionally opens on 1 May - was marked with chaos after a notice to officially open the hunting season was submitted late for placement in the Government Gazette due to an administrative mistake.

    This resulted in the unavailability of hunting permits for most of May in all the regions.

    Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta warned farm owners, lessees of farms and conservancy committees to report back to the ministry after they provided a copy of the hunting permit to a hunter.

    “Failure by farmers, lessees or committees to report back is an offence and punishable by law, and may lead to the refusal by the ministry to issue further permits to the relevant parties.”

    Shifeta explained that a hunter must receive a white copy of the permit from the farm owner or other parties and they in turn must report back to the ministry’s permit office by returning a blue copy with the required information filled in.

    He said the white copy of the permit is required for the transport and export of any venison procured from the hunt and must remain in the possession of the hunter.

    Shifeta further said that hunting permits cannot be used to take trophies such as rhino horns out of Namibia. “No such export may take place without prior permission from the ministry.”

    According to Shifeta, huntable game species may be hunted from 1 May to 31 August 2018 on commercial farms not less than 1 000 hectares which are enclosed with registered game-proof fences. During this period hunting can also take place on registered conservancies where quotas have been approved for huntable game.

    Meanwhile game species can be hunted from 1 June to 31 July 2018 on commercial farms not less than 1 000 hectares in size which are enclosed with a normal livestock fence.

    Shifeta however warned that international hunters will not be allowed to import any automatic firearm or handgun by into Namibia and that these firearms may not be used for hunting.

    He said the importation of hunting rifles for game and shotguns for hunting birds will only be allowed on the presentation of a letter of invitation by the hunter from the farm owner, lessee or conservancy committee where the hunt will take place.

    According to Shifeta there are prescribed limitations regarding the number of huntable game species that may be hunted by a single hunter on a commercial farm that is enclosed with a livestock fence during a hunting season.

    These are the hunting of a total of three large game animals that may be hunted per hunter, a total of two large game animals and four small game animals, a total of one large game animals and eight small game animals or a total of 12 small game animals that may be hunted per hunter.

    Large game species include kudu, Oryx and red hartebeest, while small game species consist of springbok and warthog.

    “No person shall hunt more than one kudu during the hunting season,” said Shifeta.

    These limitations are only for the commercial farms without a registered game-proof fence.

    About N$450 million is generated from hunting every year. This excludes the net national income contribution made by the community-based natural resource management of about N$100 million of which hunting also plays a major role.

    About 15 000 jobs are created from hunting in different categories such as profession hunters, hunting guides, skinners, trackers and others.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Salmonella outbreak forces recall of 207 million eggsSalmonella outbreak forces recall of 207 million eggs About 207 million eggs supplied by a US farm are being recalled after more than 20 consumers became ill from suspected salmonella poisoning.

    The eggs from a Rose Acre Farms facility in Hyde County, North Carolina, may be contaminated with a form of salmonella, which can cause serious infection, the US Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.

    They were sold under several brand names to stores and restaurants in nine states: Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

    “Consumers with these eggs shouldn’t eat them,” FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Sunday in a Twitter message. “Throw them away or return them to place of purchase for credit or refund.”

    Twenty-two illnesses have been reported, the FDA said. The company voluntarily recalled the eggs after an investigation of illnesses on the East Coast triggered an inspection of the facility. The recall is equivalent to almost 10 days production at the farm, which produces 2.3 million eggs a day.

    The infections were first reported in early March, and a lab on April 11 confirmed that a sample from the Hyde County farm matched a strain that was spurring the illness, the FDA said.

    “The Hyde County farm has never before experienced a recall or serious safety violation,” Rose Acre Farms said in an email. “The recall was conducted in full cooperation with the FDA and look forward to getting the Hyde County farm back in operation as soon as possible.”

    The recall is the largest of eggs in the US since 2010, when more than 550 million eggs were recalled from two Iowa farms, according to the website Food Safety News.

    It comes at the same time as an advisory about an E. coli outbreak affecting 35 people in 11 states in the US, linked to chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, region.

    In that case, 22 hospitalisations have been reported, the Centers for Disease Control said in a notice posted on April 13. No common grower, supplier, distributor or brand has been identified

    - Fin24

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    Zimbabwe to sell shares in state-owned firmsZimbabwe to sell shares in state-owned firmsMove as part of new Govt’s reforms Zimbabwe is looking to sell shares in 35 state-owned firms. "The Special Economic Zones Authority will merge with three others, inlcuding the Zimbabwe Investment Authority to provide a one-stop shop for investors". - Patrick Chinamasa, finance minister, Zimbabwe Zimbabwe is planning to sell shares in 35 state-owned firms including telecoms and mining entities in the latest step to revive the economy under new political leadership, finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said on Friday.

    President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who came to power in November after a de facto military coup forced Robert Mugabe to resign, has made reviving the economy his top priority.

    Chinamasa told reporters that Mnangagwa’s cabinet had on Tuesday decided the government would partially sell some shares in a range of state-owned companies, known locally as parastatals.

    This would be done through engaging strategic partners and floating shares on the local stock exchange.

    Targeted firms include mobile carriers NetOne and Telecel, fixed line operator TelOne and savings bank POSB, all owned by the state. Shares in 17 government-run mines would also be sold.

    Like most parastatals, the mines, which mainly produce gold, have struggled over the years due to lack of capital and mismanagement, forcing some to close.

    Chinamasa said the parastatal reform was “designed to enhance peformance, improve services delivery and to bring more order, discipline and rationality to the sector as a whole.”

    Government ministries would present privatisation plans to cabinet for each entity within 100 days, Chinamasa said.

    Some state regulators will become government departments while others will merge to save costs and minimise bureaucracy.

    The Special Economic Zones Authority will merge with three others, inlcuding the Zimbabwe Investment Authority to provide a one-stop shop for investors, Chinamasa said.

    “It is the right thing to do but the government should go a step further and say ‘we are moving out altogether’ out of these companies. When government is a shareholder they are seen by investors as a source of difficulty rather than assistance,” John Robertson, a Harare-based economic analyst, said.

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    Anthrax outbreak declared overAnthrax outbreak declared over The anthrax outbreak in the western part of the Bwabwata National Park in the Kavango East Region has been contained and declared over.

    To guide the government in future outbreaks it has been resolved to develop a national action plan for the containment of anthrax outbreaks.

    The Anthrax Containment Team confirmed that the outbreak was declared over, with the last mortality caused by the disease on 3 December.

    Mass deaths of hippos had been reported on Namibia's side of the Okavango River since 1 October. The mass deaths were confirmed on 7 October by government officials who flew over the Okavango River with a helicopter. The government officially declared an anthrax outbreak on 11 October.

    According to the environment ministry a total of 242 carcasses - 155 hippos, 86 buffaloes and two impalas – were removed and disposed of during the operation that involved 37 personnel.

    “The last mortality recorded and disposed of was a buffalo on 3 December 2017,” said ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda.

    He said during the outbreak no clinical cases of anthrax were detected in people or livestock.

    The health ministry put 727 people on prophylaxis treatment against anthrax, mainly in the Mukwe Constituency. Livestock movement restrictions that were put in place before the outbreak in the Mukwe Constituency remain in place until further notice.

    A total of 3 000 cattle and 1 010 goats were vaccinated against the disease.

    The environment ministry, with the assistance of Namibia Helicopter Services, also vaccinated 216 wild animals which included 125 sable antelope, 65 roan, 15 tsessebe, 10 hippo and one lion.

    The ministry thanked the NamParks IV Project for its assistance in providing protective gear for personnel and maintenance equipment that was used in containing the outbreak.

    “Sensitisation and awareness campaigns were conducted and the cooperation of the public was remarkable during the outbreak. We thank the members of the public for their cooperation and patience during the operation,” said Muyunda.

    The ministry further thanked the Botswana government and the Air Wing of the Namibian Police for their assistance.

    The Anthrax Containment Team consisted of representatives from the environment ministry, agriculture ministry, health ministry and fisheries ministry.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Home Affairs to close three more officesHome Affairs to close three more offices The Ministry of Home Affairs is to close three little-used local offices, minister Frans Kapofi said while motivating the ministry's budget vote in the National Assembly.

    He said it was a drain on resources to keep these offices open.

    “During the financial year 2014/15, after careful evaluation, the ministry took a decision to gradually close some of the sub-regional offices temporarily. The decision was based on a very low number of registrations and the escalating costs of maintaining the offices in comparison to the number of users,” said Kapofi. “Keeping a staff member to register one child per week did not result in value for money but also under-utilisation of staff members. Keeping some of the sub-regional offices operational up to three weeks without any registration of births is not sustainable taking into consideration the meagre resources,” he added. The ministry closed the Impalila office in 2014 and the Chetto office in 2016, both situated in the Zambezi Region. This was followed by the closures of the Talismanus office in November 2017 and the Kamanjab office in September 2017. The offices at Aminuis, Karibib and Linyanti will be closed on 1 May. Mobile teams would visit these areas instead, Kapofi indicated. “We plan to intensify rural outreach programmes during the 2018/19 financial year.”

    Outreach programmes to Talismanus, Aminuis, Rosh Pinah, Karibib, Okalongo, Uukwiyuushona, Omulonga, Ndiyona, Impalila and Sibbinda were planned, he said.

    There would also be visits to schools across the country to register pupils for identity documents.

    “School mobile registration is planned countrywide for schools in towns and in distant rural areas. A total of 11 000 learners are targeted. A general mobile registration is planned for the regions of Ohangwena, Kavango East, Kavango West, Zambezi, Omaheke, Oshana, Omusati and Kunene,” said Kapofi.

    To carry out these activities, a total of N$234 million would be required, Kapofi said.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Clear skies follow heavy rainsClear skies follow heavy rains'A very good rain year' After a week of unexpectedly heavy rainfall in most parts of Namibia, blue skies and higher temperatures will return from today although people living along the northern rivers are still facing a flood risk. Following drenching rains over widespread parts of Namibia, weather forecasters say blue skies and dry weather will return this week.

    Chief forecaster Odillo Kgobetsi at the Namibia Meteorological Service told Namibian Sun that “dry air is expected to set in gradually from the southwest from 18 April,” although rain will continue in some parts of the north. As from 20 April, dry weather is expected over the central and southern half of the country, he said.

    Over the weekend, many parts of the country received rain, and on Friday the weather bureau warned that heavy falls of more than 50mm were expected in the Karas and Hardap regions. It warned of possible flash floods in the usually dry riverbeds.

    Yesterday, the daily flood bulletin issued by the hydrological service indicated that heavy rains had continued in the Kunene River catchment area over the previous 24 hours.

    Over the weekend it was reported that authorities were mobilising to assist communities living on both sides of the flooding Kunene River.

    Yesterday's flood bulletin again warned that the Kunene River flow at Ruacana remained high at 968.40.00 cubic metres per second.

    “Strong river flows reported in the north-western part of the Kunene catchment, communities please be on alert and don't attempt to cross the rivers,” the bulletin noted.

    The hydrological report further urged authorities to put in place contingency planning for flood mitigation and recovery preparation in the Zambezi Region, along the Kunene River and in the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin. “Communities living in these flood-prone areas must take precautionary measures,” it warned.

    The Zambezi River level at Katima Mulilo continues to rise and currently stands at 6.62m.

    The Okavango River is rising too, and Nkurenkuru recorded a level of 4.29m and Rundu 6.48m.

    The good news

    Professor Kobus Botha, who runs the popular online weather service weatherphotos.co.za, told Namibian Sun yesterday that Namibia's primary rainfall months extend from January to March. He said the current high rainfall was “a little abnormal for April”. Yet that was good news for farmers, he said.

    He said reports showed that the conditions for plant growth were optimal after the higher than expected rainfall in most parts of the country.

    “It's looking very positive, when you compare the conditions to last year and the previous year,” Botha said. He said 2018 could be described as a very good rain year. “Things are looking much more positive than last year.” Botha pointed out that especially southern Namibia had received unexpected and unusually heavy rains over the past two weeks.

    But although most of Namibia received good rains, some places were not so lucky and were still battling drought. He confirmed that the rain would begin to clear up by today, and for the next week only a few places could expect rain. Temperatures would also rise today and no cold fronts were expected, yesterday's weather charts indicated.



    Dam situation

    NamWater's weekly dam bulletin shows a slight inflow of water into the Swakoppoort Dam, which is now 37.7% full compared to 36.5% on 9 April 2018. Von Bach Dam is 53.4% full, compared to 52.8% on 9 April.

    Friedenau Dam also received some inflow, and is currently at 31.4%, compared to 27.1% on 9 April.

    In the south the Naute Dam stands at 86.9%, compared to 71.7% on 9 April.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Normal is boring, set your inner weirdo freeNormal is boring, set your inner weirdo free Justicia Shipena



    When starting off in a new place full of strange people, nobody ever wants to be the weird one. Over the last few years, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that being a total and complete weirdo is solely unappreciated.

    This column was encouraged by a conservation I had with a friend I call “male person”. We spoke of when one first arrives at a place unfamiliar to them; they make every effort to come across as normal.

    They are forced to dress themselves in a certain way. They pretend to enjoy running, knitting, crafting or cats so that they could join groups making their way to being normal.

    They studied when everybody else studied, went to the common places that everybody else went to and got drunk when everybody else got drunk.

    During our conversation I have come to conclusion that being that normal all the time is exhausting. It is easy to waste a lot of time and energy trying to fit in; you have to constantly monitor your surroundings to know the right thing to say or do.

    I spent many of my years worried that my new friends would find out exactly how much of an oddball I am, and I put a lot of work into being part of the group.

    According to my parents, independence has always been my defining characteristic. As a toddler, I would wriggle out of my mom’s grasp to explore the nearest swing-set or play park, just because it was there.

    I once climbed out of a bathroom window to reach a jungle gym, because it seemed like the most practical route at the time. But senior year, you wouldn’t catch me climbing through any windows unless it is for a very good reason.

    But pretending to be someone you are not, never works out well (haven’t you seen Mean Girls or The Little Mermaid?). I found myself acting like the kind of person I normally disliked, but I did not want to act differently for fear of losing my new friends.

    Eventually, the effort I made to be ‘normal’ started to slip through the cracks and I was surprised to find out that it did not scare people away.

    That small bit of encouragement made me more comfortable in my own skin and helped me realise that everyone is a little bit weird in their own way. That is what makes life interesting. Would you ever want to be described as the most normal person around? Nope, that person sounds super boring.

    Find the friends that you can be your realest, strangest self with. The kind of people that will not only go to an awkward festival with you but also dress up and get way too excited about the contest.

    The people that will sing along to the “Grandson” songs as if it were performed by cats. The people that will stay up until 3 am, reading about grizzly bears to cheer you up after a bad night.

    These are the people and the stories that will stay in your mind. Until you embrace your quirks for what they are, you won’t be able to find the people whose personalities overlap with yours in the strangest, most unexpected, but best way. Don’t be afraid to be weird.

    The people that will judge you for that aren’t important. The people that really matter are the ones who will not only accept your oddities but also hear your llama noises and raise you a seal clap.

    Windhoek is a bigger city than you think, and you might be surprised by the ways that other people’s individualities complement your own. After all, it is been said that love is just compatible weirdness.

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    NYS’ N$7m in fainted slips- commissionerNYS’ N$7m in fainted slips- commissionerWrote to Auditor General The National Youth Service on Friday said there is no missing money at their organisation. “It was therefore impossible to go back to all the fuel stations and request replacements of the fuel slips."- Onesmus Upindi, commissioner, NYS Ndama Nakashole - The National Youth services on Friday denied media reports that it failed to account for N$7 million in fuel expenses.

    Local media last week reported that the NYS has failed to account for millions of dollars for the 2015 and 2016 financial years, quoting a report from the Office of the Auditor General (AG).

    The report which was presented in Parliament by deputy minister of finance Natangwe Ithete recently says that the NYS failed to account for over N$7 million in fuel expenses, in which an amount of N$3 958 611 and N$3 606 067 for the financial year ended 31 March 2015 and 2016 respectively, could not be verified.

    The NYS did not provide supporting documents to the auditors with regards to the missing millions, according to the report. In response to that, NYS commissioner Onesmus Upindi on Friday told the media that the fuel slips, which were provided to the auditors have fainted and were unreadable , because it had been a long time since the slips were issued, at the time of the audit.

    He added that NYS had explained the situation to the auditors and had also written a letter to the office of the Auditor General to seek the attention of the seniors to explain the situation. Upindi said no response has been received yet up until the report was tabled in parliament.

    Explanation

    Upindi explained that the NYS uses Stannic Petrol cards through Standard bank for its fleet where each vehicle is allocated one fuel card and has its unique log book.

    “All NYS drivers are required to fill in log books every time they are assigned to drive a particular vehicle. When the drivers refuel NYS vehicles at various fuel stations, they use a fuel card assigned to that particular vehicle and at the same time enter details in the respective log books assigned to each particular vehicle,” he said.

    He added that a receipt is given to a driver from a fuel station and attached in the log book.

    When each vehicle is being refuelled at any particular time, Upindi said a report is immediately transmitted to his office, to Standard Bank as well as to the NYS’ heads of finance and human resources, operations and logistics and transport, respectively.

    Upindi said this has been the practice since the NYS establishment and according to him, it has never been questioned by the Office of the Auditor General, who had been NYS external auditors since the establishment.

    “The auditors who came to audit the 2015/16 annual report requested for fuel slips which were given to them, he said.

    However, most of the slips have fainted and were unreadable as a long time has lapsed since the slips were issued and the time of audit, he said.

    “It was therefore impossible to go back to all the fuel stations and request replacements of the fuel slips,” he said.

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    Witness bungles serial rape caseWitness bungles serial rape caseCame to court to testify in another matter A witness called to testify in the serial rape and murder trial of Piet Nakanene told the court he thought he was testifying in another, unrelated matter. FRED GOEIEMAN



    A defence witness in the trial of a 33-year-old man facing a murder charge and a number of rape and attempted rape charges told the High Court he had come to testify in an assault case the accused had filed against another person.

    Edward Hirongua testified yesterday before the High Court at the premises of the Windhoek Correctional Facility that the accused, Piet Kondjeje Nakanene, who is his friend, was on 8 March 2014 involved in a fight with a person only known to him as Lion of Otjituoo, who beat him up.

    Nakanene allegedly requested him to be a witness as a person who observed how he was beaten and added that Nakanene’s mother had also requested him to be witness for her son.

    “I volunteered to testify on his behalf in that case. I do not know about the other charges he is facing,” Hirongua said.

    Nakanene is accused of raping and killing Benedine Letesia Baumgarten between 12 and 13 March 2014 in Walvis Bay.

    He is further accused of housebreaking with intent to rape and attempted to rape another woman on 3 September 2006 at house no. 63 in Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay.

    Nakanene is accused of raping and attempting to murder another woman on 6 April 2013 at house number 79/1770 in Sitrien Street in Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay.

    It is also alleged that he attempted to rape another woman on 15 October 2013 in Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay and further attempted to murder that victim by strangling her with his bare hands.

    The State further alleges that Nakanene defeated or obstruct the course of justice by removing Baumgarten’s body from her room and dumping it. He also removed evidence from the property at 79/1770 Sitrien Street in Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay, and disposed of the clothes he had worn during one alleged assault.

    Hirongua in his testimony maintained the request to be a witness was made after he was discharged from a hospital in Grootfontein following a motor vehicle accident either on 19 or 20 February this year.

    Hirongua told the court that while he was in the hospital, people visited him and that some of them told him that Nakanene was arrested and was in custody.

    After he was discharged about three weeks later, he visited his friend who made the request to him to be witness in his case.

    Hirongua said he could not testify in a case that he knew nothing about.

    The trial continues before Judge Dinnah Usiku. Lawyer Mpokiseng Dube is appearing on behalf of Nakanene. Innocentia Nyoni is prosecuting.

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    An artistic ‘Master Mind’An artistic ‘Master Mind’A closer look at printmaking and art Lok Kandjengo, a young Namibian artist and College of the Arts (Cota) graduate, opened his exhibition ‘Master Minds’ at the National Art Gallery on 5 April. The Zone sat down with him to find out more about his exhibition, his work and his plans for the future. Elizabeth Joseph



    Lok Kandjengo is a young, vibrant Namibian visual artist, specialises in cardboard and linoleum block prints. He is inspired by his environment, culture and origin. Kandjengo wants to use his talent and passion to communicate and educate his viewers. He completed a three year applied arts diploma in 2011 where he was introduced to drawing, painting, and textile and printmaking. In his third year he specialised in cardboard print. Anna Veijo, junior exhibition curator at the National Art Gallery, says she is excited to see that Kandjengo had a successful opening. “His exhibition was the best I have seen thus far. The passion in his work is evident. I don’t think I have ever been more intrigued and fascinated,” says Veijo. She further added that when she started working at the gallery in September, he was already one of the shortlisted artists to qualify for an exhibition. “He met all the criteria we look at before approving an exhibition,” she said. According to her, he had a clear concept and vision for what he wanted his exhibition to be like and his art embodies the marriage between traditional and urban elements. She says that on the opening night of the exhibition, Kandjengo had some tricks up his sleeve. Not only did he integrate musical performances to the event but he also had a demonstration on printmaking. According to her combining musical elements as well as a practical demonstration in the exhibition served as a great way to engage with the audience. “He is very eager to interact with his audience and viewers. Everyone can learn something from Lok Kandjengo,” she added.

    The Dream

    The ‘Master Minds’ exhibition includes interesting pieces like the ‘Beetle Car’ and the ‘Rooster’. Asked which one he considers his personal favourite, he said that he prefers the ‘Beetle Car’. It signifies his accomplishments in the industry and thus he says it means a lot to him. “’The Beetle Car’ was my first success-story that I earned through my hardwork in the art industry. It was a car I admired since I was a young boy and since then I had set myself a goal to one day buy myself a beetle,” says the young artist. According to him another significant piece of art is named after his late father, Gabriel Kandjengo. This is the most sentimental work of art to him. When he is not busy making magic with his art, he loves going to the cinema or just enjoying a night in with loved ones. He also considers himself a master chef and says he loves locally produced food.

    Fast facts on Lok:

    · Lok Kandjengo graduated from the College of the Arts in 2011.

    · ‘Master Minds’ is his third solo exhibition.

    · He loves loud music and fast cars.

    · Kapana is his favourite food.

    · His short term goal is to buy himself a Beetle.



    Facts on Lino printing

    · Lino printing is a form of fine art printmaking where the printing plate is cut into lino.

    · The lino is then inked, a piece of paper placed over it, and then run through a printing press or pressure applied by hand to transfer the ink to the paper.

    · The result, a linocut print. Because it's a smooth surface, the lino itself doesn't add texture to the print.

    · Linoleum was invented in 1860 by a British rubber manufacturer, Fredrick Walton, looking for a cheaper product.

    · Lino is made from linseed oil and Walton got the idea "by observing the skin produced by oxidized linseed oil that forms on paint."

    · It didn't take long after the invention of lino for artists to decide it was a cheap and easy material for

    printmaking.

    · A single color linocut inspired by Van Gogh's famous painting of his bedroom.

    · The use of lino to create art is "primarily attributed to German Expressionists such as Erich Heckel (1883-1944) and Gabriele Munter (1877-1962)

    · Picasso is known to have produced his first linocuts in 1939 and continued doing so into the early 1960s.

    · Matisse also made linocuts. Another artist famous for his linocuts is Namibian John Ndevasia Muafangejo. His prints often contain explanatory words



    or narratives in English on them.

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    Nghiwete suspended pending probeNghiwete suspended pending probeSeriousness and seniority in institution considered Though the charges have not been formalised yet, the NSFAF CEO is accused of maladministration or administrative corruption. The CEO and head of the secretariat of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), Hilya Nghiwete, has been suspended with immediate effect by the new board under the chairpersonship of Jerome Mutumba.

    The suspension was announced yesterday and Nghiwete was reportedly told at a board meeting.

    Mutumba said the board would formalise charges against Nghiwete within 14 days after a “targeted investigation” was completed. He would not be drawn into any further comment at this stage.

    According to the NSFAF announcement, the suspension was on account of “serious allegations” that had come to the attention of the board.

    “The concerned allegations border on the centrality of maladministration and/or administrative corruption, amongst other misconducts, which upon preliminary review by the board presented prima facie reasons justifying, that in the interest of the institution and public at large, certain disciplinary actions be considered against her,” Mutumba said in his announcement.

    He said having considered the seriousness of the allegations, the seniority of Nghiwete's position and in keeping with the board's fiduciary duties, board members at special meeting on 9 April made the decision to suspend her.

    Nghiwete will receive her full salary during the suspension period but the board made it clear that she was for the duration stripped of all her powers and duties at the NSFAF.

    “The effect of this is essentially that the suspended CEO shall refrain from acting or posturing to act in any way that creates the impression that she remains an agent of NSFAF,” the statement reads.

    It states that any member of the public, natural or juristic, should in the period not enter into any transaction with Nghiwete in her capacity as the head of NSFAF.

    Mutumba said the suspension would not have an impact on service delivery.

    NSFAF senior manager Kennedy Kandume is acting as the CEO in the interim.

    Nghiwete could not be reached for comment.

    Mutumba said no other staff member of NSFAF was being suspended or investigated.

    He said Kandume was selected to act because he was a long-standing employee of NSFAF and had served as an executive member of the institution for four years before the “second generation” of executive members.

    NSFAF has been in the news for a while, and for all the wrong reasons. After failing to appear before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts last year, its management and board did make an eventual appearance in early March during which it was grilled over an unaccounted N$1.7 billion that had been disbursed in student loans.





    At the hearing the NSFAF claimed that it could account for N$1.5 billion in disbursed funds and that it had commissioned a joint venture arrangement between Namibian company Tribesmen and South African-based New Integrated Credit Solutions (NICS) to recover monies not repaid yet.



    Parastatal status

    The government is still contemplating plans to return NSFAFto the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation.

    This announcement was first made by higher education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi during last year's final media briefing hosted by the presidency.

    Kandjii-Murangi was quoted saying that although the institution had yielded some benefits, its existence had become questionable.

    “The negative publicity in the last few months called for introspection on how we needed to function better and it eventually came out that it is better to revert to the ministry,” she said at the time.

    The situation at the institution has become so dire that in 2016 the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Ministry of Public Enterprises were prompted to investigate its procurement procedures.

    NSFAF was established in January 1997 to provide financial assistance to students at approved institutions of higher education.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Dukwe repatriation plans in full swingDukwe repatriation plans in full swing Efforts to repatriate 916 Namibians from the Dukwe refugee camp in Botswana are at an advanced stage, home affairs minister Frans Kapofi said during the delivery of his ministry's budget in the National Assembly recently.

    According to him, the Namibian government is working closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Botswana government to guarantee the safe return of the group.

    “The remaining number of Namibian refugees in the Dukwe refugee camp stands at 916.

    Government is committed to the principle of voluntary repatriation as a durable solution; hence we are working together with the government of Botswana and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to ensure their return in a dignified manner,” Kapofi said.

    According to Kapofi, consultations on a tripartite commission on the matter are at an advanced stage.

    “Twenty Namibian refugees from the Dukwe refugee camp in Botswana were repatriated in dignity and safety and are now with their family members in Namibia,” Kapofi said.

    Botswana president Mokgwetsi Masisi said during a visit to State House last week that his government was exploring all options to ensure that the Namibians at Dukwe are returned home.

    He said they no longer had refugee status and Botswana regarded them as illegal immigrants.

    “There are laws that govern what you do and how you conduct thebusiness of illegal immigrants and that will follow.

    “If there are Batwana who are in Namibia as illegal immigrants, I am sure the laws of Namibia will also result in them being assisted to go home.

    “So, we await the outcome of possible engagement but we want to make this clear,” Masisi was quoted as saying.

    The group fled to Botswana after a failed attempt to secede the then Caprivi Region from Namibia.

    The Botswana government initially planned to deport the remaining Namibians living at Dukwe by 31 December 2015.

    But in January 2016 the Botswana High Court halted the planned deportation of the remaining 880 refugees.





    Recently, 13 Namibians living at the Dukwe refugee camp arrived in Namibia on a 'come and see, go and tell' mission but were immediately sent back.

    The mission, which was supposed to last four days, was brought to an abrupt halt after the group started spreading secessionist ideas and campaigned for people to join the banned United Democratic Party (UDP).

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    City sits on request to honour WinnieCity sits on request to honour Winnie A proposal to have a Windhoek street named after late South African liberation stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is still being considered a good 12 years since the idea was first mooted by former Swapo Party Youth League secretary Elijah Ngurare.

    The SPYL at the time had written to the City of Windhoek top brass in 2006 to have a street named after Madikizela-Mandela. The anti-apartheid icon died on 2 April this year and was laid to rest at the weekend in her native South Africa.

    Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua agreed with those calling for a Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Street, saying the idea would have to go through a special committee that deals with the renaming of streets.

    “It can happen but that request needs to be forwarded. Any organisation or person has a right to request to have a street named in honour of someone. I am in agreement with the request to have a street named after Madikizela-Mandela because of her contribution to independence,” said Kazapua.

    Ngurare had in 2006 first raised the idea of naming a street after the liberation struggle stalwart. In 2014 the SPYL had reminded City of Windhoek leadership on the 2006 proposal, including renaming Bismarck Street in Windhoek West after Namibian struggle stalwart Simeon Kambo Shixungileni.





    Shixungileni was second-in-command when Swapo PLAN fighters engaged apartheid South African forces at Ongulumbashe on August 26, 1966, thereby unleashing the protracted armed liberation struggle that ended in 1989.

    Both proposals were addressed to the then City of Windhoek CEO Niilo Taapopi.

    “When we requested the renaming of a street after Madikizela-Mandela, they said it would go to a committee that deals with that. They are saying that they are still discussing it. It took a long time and we followed up intermittently. Last year we followed up with the new council. They kept saying that they will be working on it,” Ngurare said yesterday.

    “It is very unfortunate that she could not see a street renamed after her. It is very sad that we cannot invite her.”

    According to Ngurare, the late Madikizela-Mandela embodied the spirit of Pan-Africanism and was a mother figure. Secretary of the Swapo Party Women's Council Eunice Iipinge also recently said plans were underway to have a street named after Madikizela-Mandela following a directive by President Hage Geingob in 2015.

    Madikizela-Mandela was bestowed the award of the Most Brilliant Order of the Sun, First Class in recognition of her contribution towards Namibia's independence by Geingob in 2015. The late Madikizela-Mandela could not attend the ceremony, and Geingob used her funeral to invite her children to Namibia in order to receive the award bestowed on their mother.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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