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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 736 | 737 | (Page 738) | 739 | 740 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Battle for Ondangwa Airport tenderBattle for Ondangwa Airport tenderChinese contractor refuses to let go An application to have a Namibia Airports Company board decision overturned, finds itself defended by the Chinese contractor appointed to upgrade the Ondangwa Airport's runway. The main contractors for the construction of the Ondangwa Airport runway rehabilitation phase 2 are opposing the application of the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) to have the decision to appoint them overturned. The NAC has brought an application to the High Court to reverse the decisions and resolutions of the previous board of directors of the applicant to appoint them as main contractors to be reviewed and set aside. The previous board allegedly disregarded the procurement policies of the NAC.

    The China State Construction Engineering Corporation, in papers submitted to court during case management, argued that the NAC failed to make out a case for irregularities in the awarding of the tender by the previous board. “The previous board was authorised to and acted within its powers to authorise the Chinese Construction Engineering Corporation to continue with phase 2 of the tender,” the Chinese company stated.

    The previous NAC board on 23 June 2016 awarded the tender to the Chinese company for the rehabilitation of Ondangwa Airport's runway under phase 2.

    According to the Chinese company, in the circumstances of the present case, it would be enough for the court only to make a declaration without setting the award aside and that would be enough to redress the complaints alleged by NAC.

    The NAC in its application wants the court to declare the contract between the two parties invalid and set it aside, and order the Chinese to pay for the costs of the application. The respondents alleged the NAC launched the application to review and set aside its decision on 7 December 2017, 17 months after the decisions and resolutions were made.

    “The delay is extraordinarily long and a substantial part thereof remains unexplained, and, its effect is prejudicial to the respondents,” the Chinese company alleged.

    The works ministry further did not instruct the NAC not to proceed with the project which was already awarded, and in addition, board minutes dated 10 March 2017 stated they had N$240 million in the capital budget and that the money is sufficient to execute the project.

    “The board did not raise the alleged lack of funds with the respondents. The respondents acted in good faith and genuinely believed that the NAC had or would raise sufficient funds,” Zhou Xihua general manager and director of the China State and Construction Engineering Corporation said.

    Xihua, in sworn statement submitted on 3 April 2018, requested that the application be dismissed with costs. He stated that if the court were to find there were some irregularities or non-compliance with NAC's procurement policy that in the circumstance of the case it would be enough only to make a declaration without setting the order award aside.

    According to him it was clear as from January 2017 that the applicant asserted the existence of “procedural and substantive defects” in the award of phase 2 of the tender and that there was no need for them to wait further, and, that the applicant should not have to undertake massive detailed forensic reports as the basis to institute this application. Forensics had allegedly no terms of reference to disclose the nature and extent of the investigation in order to determine the reasonableness of the delay to institute the application.

    “They did not disclose the summary of the outcome of the forensic investigation or the conclusions of the report to the court,” he alleges.

    He stated they proceeded to implement the tender upon acceptance of the award on 29 June 2016. They further submitted a performance guarantee of N$20 million to the NAC as required by the contract.

    Xihua alleges that since August 2016 to date of the institution of the proceedings in December, they incurred total running costs in respect of the outstanding time of more than N$66 million.

    “The court must take into account the prejudice that would result were the contract between NAC and us be set aside. We will suffer severe financial prejudice if the steps taken in the implementation of the award are undone,” he submitted.

    According to him, the travelling public, the aviation directorate, and the works ministry itself will suffer severe prejudice because of the inevitable delay in providing them with a modern category four airport and the fact that they will continue utilise a dilapidated runway at Ondangwa Airport.

    “The delay to bring the application for review is unreasonable, inordinate and egregious and the court should refuse to grant it,” Xihua argued in his papers.





    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 05/01/18--16:00: Nust graduates shine
  • Nust graduates shineNust graduates shine The Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) held its first graduation ceremony for the year under the theme 'Building a World-Class University' at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek on 26 and 27 April.

    During this year's graduation season Nust witnessed 2 000 students graduating with certificates, 371 with masters degrees and 56 with doctoral degrees across six faculties.

    Higher education minister, Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi, congratulated the graduates and reminded them to be thankful to those who had scarified for them to obtain their qualifications.

    “It is truly gratifying to see more and more progress in the qualified and competitive workforce. I wish you all the success in your future endeavours,” she said.

    According to Nust vice-chancellor, Tjama Tjivikua, the university awarded its first-ever doctorates for computing and informatics two years after being renamed from the Polytechnic of Namibia.

    Maria Mbudi, who received a post-graduate certificate in informatics, walked away with the vice-chancellor's award, which is awarded to the best overall performer of the year.

    Tjivikua praised the graduates for their hard work and spoke of the significance behind the theme of the graduation.

    “Prosperity is an ever-elusive goal and it requires an appropriate economic and institutional regime, dynamic infrastructure and an efficient national innovation system, and that is one of the reasons we framed the theme,” he said

    He said further that in order to build a world-class economy, a world-class university is needed.

    “The theme helps channel our internal energy into a common goal with society, thereby helping society to understand and advance our vision,” he said.

    Kondjeni Nkandi read a speech on behalf of Esi Schimming-Chase, the chairperson of the Nust council.

    “I am pleased to report that because of its great reputation, Nust has extensive national and international networks and partnerships which benefited the institution and Namibia immensely.

    As a result, Nust has continued to feature among the top 100 universities in Africa over the past 20 years and also as the best higher education institution in Namibia, as evidenced by the PMR.africa annual reviews,” she said

    The Zone spoke to the two students who obtained PhDs in computing and informatics.

    Oskawe Jude said he is very pleased to be the first international student to obtain a PhD in computing and informatics.

    “It is a thing of joy that I am the first international student to graduate with a PhD from Nust. I am happy and I believe that this will open doors for other international students to study at the university,” he said.

    Suama Hamunyela, who is the first woman in Namibia to obtain a PhD in computing and informatics, urged young man and women who are wondering where to start, to grab any opportunity that comes their way and be willing to learn.

    “It was not an easy journey, but through hard work and perseverance we achieved and I want the next generations to say the same thing. Hence, I appeal to our leaders and all stakeholders to continue making education a priority.”



    Justicia Shipena

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    New dining hall, matron house for KwakwasNew dining hall, matron house for Kwakwas Kwakwas Primary School, which was founded in January 1958, was blessed with a new dining hall and matron house recently.

    Kwakwas is a rural school accommodating 56 learners, of which 25 are boys and 31 are girls. It is situated approximately 80 kilometres southwest of Windhoek. The school mainly caters for children from nearby surrounding farms, as it strive towards its “education for all” agenda.

    At the official inauguration of its new facilities in early April, Khomas education director Gerard Vries emphasised the importance of various stakeholders working towards a common goal, with food, shelter and education topping the list of needs of the learners.

    The dining hall and matron's house were made possible through a donation buy Dr Michael Armbrust, Rotary Club Lohr-Marktheidenfeld in Germany, the Rotary Club of Namibia and the German-Namibian Development Association.

    The full donation incorporates the matron house, dining hall, a kitchen and cooling facility, furniture and kitchen equipment to the total value of N$4.01 million.

    The state-of- the-art building has been solar electrified, taking advantage of the Namibian sunlight and contributing towards a green planet.

    The inauguration ceremony was attended by various development partners and school principals from Khomas Region, who are fundraising to assist with a library for the school.

    Also present were regional education managers and political leadership, including Rosalia Mwashekele-Sibiya, who is the special advisor to Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua.

    Moses //Garoeb Constituency councillor Dawid Martin stood in for Windhoek Rural Constituency councillor Penina Ita.

    This donation has contributed greatly to ensuring that the school environment is conducive for the learners.

    The historical impact of pupils travelling long distances to the school from surrounding farms and the issue of cooking facilities and hostel accommodation will also now gradually be addressed.

    Mwashekele-Sibiya said in her keynote address that Vision 2030 stipulates 90% of school infrastructure should have been permanent by 2015 and the donation came in handy towards achieving this national goal.



    Michelline Nawatises

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    Dagbreek treats pupils, teachersDagbreek treats pupils, teachersOrange River rafting a bonding experience Pupils, teachers and parents from the Windhoek school for the intellectually impaired were spoilt with a canoe rafting experience on the Orange River recently. Teachers and pupils from the Dagbreek School for the intellectually impaired were treated to a canoe rafting experience on the Orange River between 20 and 24 April.

    A total of 21 learners were involved in the excursion.

    Dagbreek's goal is to provide high quality education and learning to its special learners, but the school also aims to provide interesting and fun activities for the learners to engage in.

    Principal Paul du Plessis says it is important that learners engage with each other in a different environment.

    “We are usually accompanied by four different teachers, parents and community members who want to make a difference and also devote their time to the school,” he said.

    The group consisted of learners from the ages of 13 to 18 years.

    “The learners benefited so much from this trip because they got an opportunity to engage, socialise and bond with the other learners,” Du Plessis said.

    The trip consisted of canoeing on the Orange River, swimming at /Ai-/Ais Resort and having hikes along the river banks.

    Fifteen-year-old Leander Markus enjoyed the trip as he got to make new friends.

    “I did not socialise with all the learners at my school, but during the trip, I got to know all my classmates on a different level,” he said.

    Another pupil, Charmie Fielding, who experienced the Orange River for the first time, said she enjoyed the sightseeing and did not want to go back home.

    “I want to thank my school for organising this trip, as we had so much fun and I am grateful to receive this opportunity. The canoeing was most memorable for me,” said the 16-year-old.

    The hike was hosted by Felix Unite, who provided the learners with a certificate at the end of the trip. “I also want to thank different stakeholders that chipped in to make sure that we had a good time, including Gondwana Collection, Alexander Forbes, Wimpy in Mariental, L. Barnard Auto Repairs and Gerhard Mohrmann and his family for assisting with the trip,” he said.

    Chriszell Louw, who is a teacher at the school, says the trip's objective was to help the children to experience new things.

    “The learners do not really get an opportunity to explore and try new things. It was nice to see children who do not really socialise with other children having a good time.”



    Tunohole Mungoba

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  • 05/01/18--16:00: Local harvests at risk
  • Local harvests at riskLocal harvests at risk Namibia has been identified as one of the countries that should be on the watch this year for unfavourable weather conditions and outbreaks of fall armyworm.

    This is according to Early Warning Early Action Report covering the period for April to June.

    The report says the cereal crop production in 2018 is projected to be below average in several countries in southern Africa, including Namibia, due to unfavourable weather conditions and fall armyworm. Large areas of the region have experienced below-average rainfall since October/November last year.

    In late December dry conditions intensified mainly in the southern half of the region, causing moderate to severe crop moisture stress in key growing zones.

    The most-affected areas are Lesotho, southern and central areas of Mozambique, western South Africa, northern and western Namibia, southern parts of Zambia and Malawi, eastern Zimbabwe and south-western Madagascar.

    Additionally, heavy rains in February and March localised flooding. In areas where floods did not occur, rains improved crop and pasture conditions, the report says.

    An early prediction on Namibia's crop harvest for 2017/18 indicated that despite poor rainfall received the majority of the season Namibia can still expect a good crop harvest. However, currently the Maize Triangle in the country is expected to see a 17% decrease in production. Should favourable crop growing conditions prevail for the remainder of the season, the Namibia 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 was produced. The average for the country based on a 19-year period is 121 200 tons. The report however warns that heavy rains might also result in the emergence of vector-borne livestock diseases. “Based on the risk maps prepared by the Food and Agricultural Organisation in consultation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the period October to December 2017, major potential hotspots of Rift Valley fever (RVF) vector amplification are located in north-western, central and south-western Namibia.”

    Cereal production in 2018 is forecast to fall from the high levels recorded in 2017, as a result of lower yields and a decrease in the harvested area.

    Compared with last year and the five-year average, maize prices are generally at lower levels. However, the reduction in harvests this year is likely to place an upward pressure on prices in 2018.

    Reduced harvests are predicted to exacerbate the food security and nutrition situation, thereby increasing the number of people in need of assistance in 2018 compared with last year.

    The report has advised that fodder, vaccinations and health treatments be provided for the livestock of the most vulnerable agro-pastoralists in Angola, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. A possible 21 to 53% yield loss in can be experienced in 12 maize producing countries. This would mean an estimated 8.3 to 20.6 million tonnes per annum loss of maize worth between USD 2.48 and 6.18 billion.

    Since the pest feeds on several crop and plant species, yield losses are likely to be even higher if its impact is quantified for the other species.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 05/01/18--16:00: Poultry import ban lifted
  • Poultry import ban liftedPoultry import ban lifted Namibia has resumed imports of live poultry and poultry products from the Netherlands after a complete ban was introduced last year.

    The ban was implemented in response to an outbreak of bird flu (H5N8) in the Netherlands.

    The agriculture ministry has announced that imports of live poultry, birds and poultry products into Namibia may resume.

    According to the chief veterinary officer in the agriculture ministry, Milton Masheke, this only pertains to products produced after 5 April this year.

    Masheke said the resumption of imports and in-transit movement of products was in response to a comprehensive report received by the agriculture ministry highlighting the effectiveness of the control measures implemented following the outbreak.

    He said all poultry at the affected facility were culled, followed by disinfection. No evidence of new infections was observed for at least three months, as required by the World Health Organisation to declare a facility disease free.

    “Importers are urged to contact the veterinary import/export office for further information on the countries currently free from bird flu,” Masheke said.

    Meanwhile the complete ban on the importation of live poultry and poultry products from South Africa is still in place. Restrictions on poultry imports from South Africa have been in place since last June.

    Industry officials warned at the beginning of this year that after being devastated by bird flu outbreaks in 2017, South Africa's poultry industry, which includes domestic fowl such as chicken, geese and ducks, could face another wave of outbreaks this winter.

    In March this year South Africa detected an outbreak of bird flu in seabirds.

    In April the North West provincial government warned of an outbreak of bird flu in two districts of the province, and urged poultry farmers to be vigilant. The first outbreak in Madibeng involved quails that were hatched, grown and slaughtered on a farm, while another outbreak involved wild ducks that were kept domestically.

    A third outbreak was detected on a semi-commercial farm in Maquassie Hills.

    Namibians consume an estimated

    2 500 tons of chicken each month. The country has only one commercial supplier that is able to supply between

    1 800 and 1 900 tons a month.

    The rest is imported, mainly from South Africa but also from Belgium, Argentina, Brazil and the Netherlands.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 05/01/18--16:00: Shaningwa goes ballistic
  • Shaningwa goes ballisticShaningwa goes ballisticAccused media of urinating on her rights A Monday press conference to clear up reports that Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa was involved in securing a tender for her brother, went horribly awry. At a press conference on Monday, originally intended to clarify reports that linked Sophia Shaningwa, Swapo's secretary-general, to the tender award process in which Omatende Trading CC was selected to construct the Swapo head office in Mariental, turned into a war of words between Shaningwa and Christian Maketo, the acting chair of Kalahari Holdings.

    Shaningwa vehemently refuted claims that she handpicked a company co-owned by her brother, Ignatius Shaningwa, to construct the party's offices in Mariental.

    Shaningwa slammed Maketo for bringing her name and integrity into disrepute.

    She also lashed out at members of the media who were present.

    “I have a question to your nonsense. Are you saying that my brother should not get any employment in the Republic of Namibia?” Shaningwa asked a journalist.

    “If my brother is not going to tender and is not going to get any work in the republic, is he coming to eat from your house?” she wanted to know.

    She refused to take calls when contacted for comment yesterday.

    Shaningwa is implicated in playing a role which saw her brother's company getting the tender to build the office for N$7 million.

    The company was, however, blocked by Kalahari Holdings' board led by Maketo from getting the tender, recent media reports suggested.

    Shaningwa said like other politicians whose children have farms, fishing quotas and land, her brother equally had the right to participate in Swapo tenders or employment opportunities in Namibia.

    She vowed to deal with anyone who threatened her integrity, which she built and protected for over two decades.

    “You have never heard that Sophia Shaningwa has taken any single penny from the coffers of the government. That should be very clear and you have to stop messing with my name,” she vented.

    However, she distanced herself from the selection process and denied knowing those involved in the process.

    “I didn't identify this project,” said the SG.

    But her tirade did not end there.

    When asked to clarify why she labelled a journalist “nonsense”, she retorted: “Do you think that when you have your rights, you must come and pee on my rights?”

    Shaningwa then took on Maketo, demanding that he explain publicly why he came to her residence at around 20:00 on Saturday, “kneeling and crying for an apology”.

    “I want you to tell the public why did you come to my house to apologise? You apologised for which damage. Why did you come to my house?” she asked, slamming her hand on the table.

    In his response, Makoto said that was a private conversation that he would not respond to in his official capacity.

    “Don't play with me. Don't talk nonsense. I want you to tell the public. Why did you come to my house and apologise,” interjected Shaningwa.

    Maketo, however, denied Shaningwa's involvement in Kalahari Holdings' tender process, maintaining that the board was not submissive to the “elite” in the party.

    “Your ties to the elite will not help,” he said.

    Kalahari Holdings is 100% owned by Swapo.

    – Additional reporting by Nampa

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 05/01/18--16:00: 500ppm diesel to go
  • 500ppm diesel to go500ppm diesel to go The ministry of energy has announced that diesel 500 ppm will be phased out by 1 January 2019, while a variant containing less sulphur - diesel 10ppm - will be phased in.

    The announcement was made by the permanent secretary in the ministry of energy, Simeon Negumbo.

    In the same release, Negumbo announced that the petrol price will remain unchanged for May but, diesel of both grades will increase by 30 cents a litre.

    “All industry players have been advised to put measures in place to ensure a smooth process that will not disadvantage the consumer in any way. Diesel 500ppm will continue to be available in the market throughout the country,” Negumbo said. Low-sulphur diesel will be introduced on 1 January 2019.

    According to Negumbo, there has been an increased demand for low-sulphur diesel because of newer vehicles in the market.

    “There is an increasing demand for it due to newer vehicle models available on the market. The phasing in of low-sulphur diesel is also in line with the government's policy of cleaner fuels and global initiatives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” said Negumbo.

    According to him, the introduction of low-sulphur diesel would be gradual.

    “It is possible that not all retail sites will have the cleaner diesel at the beginning, but in time 10ppm diesel will be available countrywide.” Negumbo said all relevant information would be released in due course.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 05/01/18--16:00: It's about purpose
  • It's about purposeIt's about purpose Michelline Nawatises



    We've heard the advice, “just follow your passion” again and again, as a cure to life's problems.

    This advice never felt right, but we could not figure out why. Passion often fuels new endeavours, but is not enough to sustain them.

    Here is the thing about passion: It's an easy thing to tell people to follow it. It sounds like inspiring advice when one says: “Go do what you're passionate about. Find your passion.”

    But here is the problem: It is a bad cliché. Because following your passion is dangerous. Your passion should be beneficial to you and in the same vain, you should be realistic as well.

    In life, we will face complex problems. These problems need skill, patience and understanding. In attempting to solve them, breathlessness and impetuousness and franticness are poor substitutes for discipline, mastery, strength, purpose and perseverance.

    What we really require in our ascent is purpose and realism. Purpose, you could say, is like passion with boundaries. Realism is detachment and perspective.

    When we are young, we feel so intensely and passion runs strongest; it often seems wrong that things happen at a slow pace. This is just our impatience.

    This is our inability to see that burning our­selves out or 'blowing ourselves up' is not going to hurry the journey along.

    Passion is dangerously self-centred. Your passion may be the very thing holding you back from power, influence or accomplishment. Purpose is about pursuing something outside yourself, as opposed to pleasuring yourself.

    Optimism is wonderful when it comes to our dreams. However, when it comes to what is next, the nitty-gritty actions that will get us there, optimism can kill. Infected with passion, our plans lose touch with reality.

    We overestimate our strengths and underestimate our challenges. Beyond the “real data and real-world options,” we build castles in the sky.

    Do not follow your passion, follow your effort. It will lead you to your passion and to success. You must understand what passion for life is and what it can do for you.

    The things I ended up being really good at were the things I found myself putting effort into. A lot of people talk about passion, but that is really not what you need to focus on. You really need to evaluate and say: “Okay, where am I investing my time?”

    Find things where you can reap successes quickly.

    This idea that anyone can do anything if their dream is big enough and they work hard enough is a lie. There are things we cannot do.

    There are seasons of life we cannot do them in. We have responsibilities and have made choices that limit our freedom.

    Welcome to the real world. Does that mean we cannot live passion-driven lives, even if we have kids at an inconvenient time or have a job that ties us up or we caring for an aging parent or are physically unable to climb mountains or get outside of a reasonable radius from our healthcare support team?

    In a word: “No.”

    My uncle taught me a lot of things, but perhaps the most empowering lesson is that my greatest limitations are within my own mind. There is almost always a way around the physical issues or a compromise that can be made; the key is to apply strategy to the situation and free our minds to think about things in a new way.

    Why, if you're doing all of the “right things”, does it feel like something major is missing?

    Why do you lay awake at night wondering if this is all there is?

    One of two things just happened: Either inspiration started pouring forth in the form of one and two word answers that are miles deep, or there were crickets in your head, chirping silence.

    If your brain is exploding with thoughts, get a pen and start writing down everything that comes to mind. Make lists, write paragraphs, delve into what is on your mind at that moment and explore it. Find your purpose!

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    N$4 million for Opuwo-Omakange road repairN$4 million for Opuwo-Omakange road repairDamaged by heavy rains The RA is aware of dangerous roads in the region which have claimed lives and plans are underway to upgrade such roads. Road infrastructure development in Kunene is high on the agenda of the RA. – Conrad Lutombi, CEO: Roads Authority OPUWO – A total of N$4 million has been budgeted for the repair of the road between Opuwo and Omakange in the Kunene Region, chief executive officer of the Roads Authority (RA), Conrad Lutombi, has said.

    In an interview with Nampa on Sunday, Lutombi confirmed that the money has been availed to repair the part of the road that was damaged by the heavy rains experienced in the region a few months ago.

    “Road infrastructure development in Kunene is high on the agenda of the RA,” he said.

    Lutombi further explained that the RA is aware of dangerous roads in the region which have claimed lives and plans are underway to upgrade such roads.

    “We have planned to build the culvert over Oute River and it will commerce once the money become available,” said Lutombi.

    The river is said to have claimed many lives once it is flowing.

    Other roads on the agenda of the RA in Kunene are the road from Okaoko-Otavi to Sesfontein through Otjikondavirongo of which 23 kilometres have been tarred since September last year. The process was stopped and will continue once the procurement process starts, he explained.

    Echoing Lutombi was Opuwo Urban Constituency Councillor, Weich Mupya, who is also the chairperson of the Kunene Road Board. He urged the RA to consider the construction of bridges over big rivers especially in the Epupa Constituency which, according to him, keeps contributing to the loss of lives.

    To date the RA has, according to Lutombi, improved some regional roads from two track to wide roads that meet the standards of the RA, with about 144 kilometres of upgrading work completed on road between Epupa Falls and Ruacana.

    Lutombi promised that the RA will do more assessment on the road condition in Kunene to determine the damage done in order to be able to attend to the infrastructure without delay. - Nampa

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    Impalila Islanders feel left outImpalila Islanders feel left outDepend on Botswana for everything The few thousand people living on the small island in the Chobe River say they are cut off from the rest of Namibia and they feel neglected by the government. For the 3 000 residents of Impalila Island in the Zambezi Region, a single boat is the only transport to Katima Mulilo in case of medical emergency.

    According to some residents and community activist Patrick Simaata, the community is virtually isolated from civilisation despite government promises that it will improve their living conditions.

    “We have had no doctor since independence. At the medical centre here we have only two nurses; one is Kenyan and the other Namibian. Most of the serious cases must be referred to Katima Mulilo but we do not have a bridge,” he said.

    Impalila, an island at the far eastern tip of Namibia, bound on the north by the waters of the Zambezi River and on the south by the Chobe River, forms part of Namibia.

    It is home to some 2 500 to 3 000 people in 25 small villages, including Tswanas (from Botswana) and Subia people (from Namibia).

    Impalila is usually accessed from Kasane in Botswana, on the other bank of the Chobe River. There is a Namibian customs and immigration post on the island.

    Simaata, a paramedic, says the immigration offices at Kasane close at 16:30, which means patients can only travel to Katima Mulilo the next day because the Botswana border police are very strict.

    “If a pregnant woman goes to Kasane they will charge her 3 000 pula at the state hospital. In other words, nurses on the island have to improvise, and they do not even have oxygen there. So people just die,” he says.

    Simaata says the health ministry is well aware of these problems.

    Constituency councillor John Likando says they are left out of the Harambee grand scheme, as pleas for a bridge across the Chobe and Zambezi rivers have fallen on deaf ears.

    Namibian Sun caught up with him at the Kasane immigration office in Botswana.

    According to Likando, maize for the school feeding programme is also transported from Namibia through Botswana and then loaded onto small boats to go to Impalila.

    “It is a problem because they bring the food for the whole term so halfway through the term some of the food has expired,” he says.

    According to him, nobody in the government is prepared to take responsibility for this state of affairs.

    He says there is a boat that is only used by the Office of the Prime Minister for disaster relief.

    “It came here as a means of river transport but people have no access to it,” he said.



    Hardship

    Priscilla Silobe, who takes a boat taxi every second day to buy groceries at the Botswana border town of Kasane, says elephants trample their maize fields, which produce their staple food. She also keeps a few cattle on the island.

    The community say they need a market where they can sell their produce on the island because at the moment they must transport their produce to Katima Mulilo or Kasane to sell it there.

    Kasane is the main shopping destination for Namibians from Impalila Island.

    People cross the river daily to buy basic necessities such as bread, maize meal or over-the-counter medicine.

    Dominique Sitengu, who runs a boat taxi, says they depend on Botswana for everything. She charges N$10 for a single boat trip.

    One of the boat passengers, Kaliki Ngonga, complains that they are treated “worse than beggars” because while they are on their way to Katima Mulilo the boat would dock at Kasane for hours.

    “I am a fisherman and a farmer so I need to come in to sell my fish or my meat in Katima Mulilo. Some days I may not have taken my passport and then the taxi decides to stop at Kasane, which puts me in trouble because the officials at the checkpoint - which is on the edge of the river - will arrest me as an illegal immigrant,” he says.

    The health ministry undertook to respond to Namibian Sun's enquiries but these were not received by the time of going to press.

    *Namibian Sun journalist Jemima Beukes was in Kasane, Botswana, on invitation by SADC in partnership with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. She joined journalists from Namibia, Botswana and Zambia on a tour to the Kazangula Bridge between Botswana and Zambia.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 05/01/18--16:00: New dawn for City
  • New dawn for CityNew dawn for CityReschelle assumes mantle of junior mayor The City of Windhoek is investing in youth development, and one such visible programme is the junior council. Newly inaugurated City of Windhoek junior mayor, Reschelle Beukes, who is a grade 11 pupil at Windhoek High School, was sworn in last week to assist the council with youth activities.

    The core projects during her term in office will focus on mental health among the city's youth.

    Born and raised in Windhoek, Beukes comes from a single-parent home with one younger sister.

    “I love reading and adding value to the lives of my peers. With a humble and grateful heart, I try to appreciate the small things in life,” she said. The 16-year-old has a passion to serve her school, her city and her country as a whole.

    “I am open-minded about anything that could improve the welfare of our nation, and most importantly, the youth,” said Beukes.

    The newly elected mayor is also a finalist in the Miss Windhoek High School (WHS) beauty pageant.

    “I consider this title highly as a way to represent my school. Secondly, I was inspired by the head girl and also Miss WHS of 2015, when I was only in grade 8.

    I was particularly inspired by the way she carried herself with such poise and class and her respect for others and for herself was clearly evident in the way she handled herself and spoke to the people around her,” she said.

    “To me, it is all about the learning experience and inspiring other young girls to make the most of each opportunity and to dream big.” Beukes believes in the analogy of life being like a bicycle and this has helped her juggle her different responsibilities.

    “To keep your balance, you must keep moving. Therefore, I value the quality of life and try to keep a happy balance between my academic, sport and my social life,” she explained.

    “I am quite active and participate in netball by playing for my school's under-17 first team. Netball has really brought out the competitive side of me and inspires me every day to believe in myself.”

    The junior council of 2018/19 will focus on projects that will improve the lives of children and youth in our society, according to Beukes. “Our core project will be a mental health project, targeting young people suffering from (a lack of) psychological wellbeing.”

    When the opportunity presented itself to become part of the junior council, Beukes grasped it, as “this was another platform to grow, develop and use my leadership skills to represent my school and to be an instrument in God's hand”.

    She would like to use her platform to inspire and encourage girls not to allow their gender to be an obstacle in reaching their goals.

    “I would like to collaborate with a project titled Shine Girls, with the aim of encouraging girls to reach their full potential and make them realise that their contribution is valuable to the community. I will try to involve girls from all secondary schools in Windhoek to join me at these workshops,” she explained.

    After having read the book Gifted Hands by Ben Carson, Beukes was inspired by his life story and has the dream of studying medicine.

    “Most of his profound work was in neurosurgery and this is where my passion to become a neurosurgeon started. My love for children caused me to extend this dream of mine and become a paediatric neurosurgeon,” she said. Her dream does not end there and she would like to practice as a medical doctor without borders, which will allow her to reach out to the most vulnerable parts of the world, including in Namibia. “I would like to invest my skills and abilities of being a qualified specialist in the most needed areas.”

    Beukes advises young people to have the right attitude, “because your attitude keeps you at the top”.

    “Also, be passionate and determined in everything you do. Determination with the right attitude forms the bridge between your goals and your accomplishments.”



    Tunohole Mungoba

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    Non-banking financial institutions’ assets up N$44bnNon-banking financial institutions’ assets up N$44bnTotals nearly N$289 billion Despite a depressed economic environment, the industry’s total assets grew four times more in 2017. The large exposures to international markets is mainly due to limited investment opportunities domestically but implies exposure to significant market and exchange-rate risks, especially in economic downturns. - Financial Stability Report Ndama Nakashole - During the year 2017, the non-banking financial sector’s assets grew to N$288.9 billion, the financial stability report launched by the central bank and the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) on Friday shows.

    Despite a depressed economic environment, the industry’s total assets grew four times more in 2017, from N$244.9 billion in 2016, compared to the growth from 2015 to 2016.

    The non-banking financial institutions’ assets were led by pension funds with a total of N$152 billion, constituting 52.9% of the sector’s total assets.

    This industry was followed by long-term insurance (N$53.9 billion) and collective investment schemes (47.5 billion).

    Short-term insurance, medical aid funds, investment management, micro-lending, and friendly society assets were all worth over a billion but less than N$10 billion during 2017.

    Pension funds

    Pension funds remained exposed to the equities market, which takes up most of the pension funds’ investments. On top of that, most of the pension funds’ assets are invested abroad, with less than half invested locally.

    “The large exposures to international markets is mainly due to limited investment opportunities domestically but implies exposure to significant market and exchange-rate risks, especially in economic downturns,” the report states.

    The equities market is followed by fixed-interest income securities in terms of exposure of pension funds’ assets.

    Monitoring

    In her remarks at the launch, Namfisa’s deputy CEO for prudential supervision, Erna Motinga, welcomed the new economic growth prospects that are pointed out in the recently launched global financial stability report, as they support the domestic economic prospects.

    She said, however, that risks such as the high domestic debt level pointed out by central bank governor Ipumbu Shiimi warranted monitoring.

    “It is indeed our objective to continue to take action as and when necessary to ensure stability within the financial system,” she said.

    Industry

    The non-banking financial industry remained financially stable and sound and continued to grow its assets in 2017, despite recessionary economic conditions in the domestic economy. The industry’s asset base grew by 18% in 2017, driven mainly by a general increase in investment income due to buoyant financial markets and thus improved market returns during the period under review. Going forward, the concentration risk in the industry needs to be monitored, the report says.

    Exchange rate

    The Namibia dollar appreciated against most of the major currencies during 2017. Comparing the annual average level of the exchange rate in 2017 with that of 2016, the Namibia dollar appreciated against the US dollar, British pound and the euro.

    However, the report says it depreciated by 2.8% against the euro in December 2017 compared to December 2016, although over the same period it appreciated by 9.9% and 0.4% against the US dollar and the British pound, respectively.

    The appreciation was supported by stronger commodity prices, the narrowing current account deficit of South Africa and its partners in the Common Monetary Area (CMA), base effects and a rebound in appetite for emerging-market risks from developed markets as well as a change in leadership in South Africa during the period under review.

    The likely sustained period of low interest rates in advanced economies could further deepen financial stability risks as investors take on more risk in their search for yield, says the report.

    Developing economies

    The report states that the performance of financial markets in emerging markets and developed economies (EMDEs) improved during 2017.

    The major factors that contributed to enhanced performance in the period under review were improved world trade volumes, increased oil prices and resilient capital flows to EMDEs.

    During 2017 capital flow recovery continued and remained resilient after a significant decline at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.

    This was reflective of an increase in capital flows to China and a robust global recovery in non-resident portfolio inflows in the first two quarters of 2017 on the back of improved investor optimism with regard to the global economic outlook as well as relatively easy financial conditions.

    EMDE currencies generally strengthened relative to the US dollar, as investors’ search for yields continued. This search for yields has led to greater capital flows to low-income countries, where enhanced policy buffers in the form of higher international reserves can be beneficial for financial stability, but can also be a risk when sentiment turns around.

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    Namibia to phase out diesel 500 ppm in 2019Namibia to phase out diesel 500 ppm in 2019 Diesel 500 parts per millions (ppm) will be phased out of the Namibian market as from 1 January 2019, the ministry of mines and energy announced on Monday.

    Permanent secretary Simeon Negumbo said in a media statement the decision was taken due to newer vehicle models now on the market.

    He said this created a demand for low sulphur diesel or 10 ppm which would be introduced from 01 January 2019.

    “The phasing in of low sulphur diesel is also in line with the Namibian government’s policy of cleaner fuels and global initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions,” Negumbo said.

    He added that the low sulphur diesel would allow the introduction of advanced engine technology that requires low sulphur. However, not all retail sites would have the cleaner diesel at the beginning.

    The implementation of the phase-out of diesel 500 ppm and introduction of diesel 10 ppm sulphur diesel in Namibia would be co-ordinated by the ministry, the statement added.

    “The transparency of the campaign will be decisive of the success of the changes in the fuel grades, which means that Namibia will have two types of diesel and one type of petrol,” Negumbo said.

    Price increase

    The ministry also announced that the price of diesel will today increase by 30 cents per litre.

    The Walvis Bay price for diesel 500 ppm and diesel 50 ppm increases to N$ 12.07 per litre and N$12.08 per litre, respectively.

    The price for 95 octane unleaded petrol remains unchanged at N$11.70 per litre, according to a ministerial statement.

    Mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo said refined oils picked up in the month of April, hovering above US$80 for both petrol and diesel, which led the cost of fuel locally to escalate by a large margin and to huge under-recoveries especially on diesel grades.

    Petrol also pulled through the month of April with relatively smaller under-recoveries which the National Energy Fund would subsidise, Alweendo said.

    He added the Namibia dollar also depreciated against the US dollar in which oil is traded, therefore oil companies had to pay more to deliver fuel to the country’s shores compared to the previous month.

    Ondangwa was in April 2018 declared a “fuel pricing town” and the cost implications include the transport cost of fuel by railway to that town from Walvis Bay and the price being adjusted from the rate applicable to Tsumeb, from where all northern towns are supplied.

    The new rates applicable to Ondangwa warrant an adjustment of 9c per litre and 10 c/l for diesel and petrol, respectively from today. - Nampa

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    Meatco abattoir placed in quarantineMeatco abattoir placed in quarantine Meatco has been placed in quarantine for a month after it received cattle from the foot-and-mouth disease surveillance zone south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence.

    In a notice placed on Meatco's website on Friday, the company said that its export abattoir was “under a red-cross permit” after receiving the cattle.

    The permit is effective from 19 April and will be lifted on 20 May, should the abattoir not receive any additional cattle from surveillance zones.

    “We therefore would like to strongly sensitise producers to ensure that all documentation and the 90/40 days are adhered to during this time in order for producers to avoid frustrations and financial losses in the event of cattle sent back and the establishment placed in quarantine (closed down) for 30 days,” said the company's livestock procurement coordinator for abattoirs, Louise Vermeulen.

    The Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF), also referred to as the 'Red Line', was erected in 1896 as a pragmatic disease surveillance and exclusion fence separating northern from central Namibia.





    The VCF's main purpose is to control animal and meat movement from the north of Namibia. It ensures the marketing of animals from south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence with a different disease status as those from the northern communal areas.

    From a Meatco's standpoint, the VCF is a fundamental aspect of the export business as it allows full compliance with regulations set by major international clients like the European Union, United Kingdom, and Norway.

    Meatco also warned farmers to confirm that delivery permits that have already been issued do not apply to areas in the Okakarara veterinary district placed under movement restrictions.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Alleged killer rolls 'getaway' carAlleged killer rolls 'getaway' car An Okahandja mother says her heart is broken following the murder of her youngest child at the town.

    Bina Hagen yesterday told Namibian Sun that she heard on Monday her son had been stabbed to death.

    “He was my baby and still lived in our house. It is a massive shock to me.”

    Her son, Zumario, who turned 23 a month ago, left home on Friday morning to travel to Windhoek. That was the last time she saw him.

    According to Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi of the police, a 42-year-old suspect is currently in the Okahandja state hospital under police guard.

    Shikwambi said the Okahandja police were informed of a murder at a house in Derde Laan at roughly 03:00 on Monday morning.

    According to reports, the suspect's girlfriend allegedly placed a blanket over Zumario, who was sleeping on a couch in the couple's home.





    Allegedly, the suspect then took hold of a knife and stabbed Zumario in the neck. He died immediately.

    The suspect then allegedly loaded the body into his girlfriend's silver Corsa bakkie and dumped it at the town's dumpsite near Nau-Aib. He then, allegedly without his girlfriend's permission, drove in the direction of Hochfeld. Around 40 km outside Okahandja, he lost control of the vehicle and overturned it.

    He sustained neck injuries and a passenger, who was allegedly given a lift from the Puma service station at the town, sustained minor injuries, the police said.

    Unconfirmed reports indicate that Zumario's body was discovered when the police arrived at the accident scene, while other reports state that the suspect's girlfriend sounded the alarm. Neither report has been confirmed or denied by the police.

    Bina Hagen said her family did not know the suspect.

    The police investigation continues and the suspect faces charges of murder, obstruction of justice, theft of a motor vehicle, reckless driving and driving without a driver's licence.

    DENVER KISTING

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    Last outpost of contract labourLast outpost of contract labourGrootfontein's single quarters a den of iniquity The last remaining single-quarters complex dating back to the 1950s is still inhabited despite having been condemned two years ago. People living at the country's sole remaining single-quarters complex, the pre-independence living quarters for labourers at Grootfontein in the Otjozondjupa Region, say they were happy when the Grootfontein council announced two years ago that it would provide them with decent housing.

    The complex consists of about 400 single rooms, which accommodate more than 1 800 people, including children, living in unhygienic and squalid conditions.

    The Grootfontein municipality announced in 2016 that it would demolish the single quarters as it was securing enough serviced land to allow the residents to build their own houses.





    But a source in the municipality has told Namibian Sun that only about 100 people have been relocated since then.

    The single quarters were built in the 1950s by the colonial administration as accommodation for contract labourers, who were men living there alone without their families.

    More than 60 years later, men and women are sharing common ablution facilities affording them little privacy. Wastewater is flowing all over the complex and there is clearly no rubbish removal, as refuse is scattered all over the premises.

    “Here we are not living in a conducive environment. Every unit consists of a kitchen and a bedroom, but due to the situation you find ten people living in one unit.

    “There is no privacy as parents and children are sharing a single room. Children raised here are exposed to many things that affect their wellbeing,” said resident Eino Sheya.

    Simon Frans, another resident, said many of the units are used for brewing liquor such as tombo, which is the main source of income for many of the families.

    According to him, the complex houses people of different social classes, including municipal and government employees.

    “We pay N$400 a month to the municipality, excluding water and electricity. This is little money and that is why people are opting to stay here despite the living conditions,” Frans said.

    A pensioner, Fredrick Tsueb, said he lived in the Soweto location but regularly went to the single quarters to drink homebrew and socialise.

    Contacted for comment, the municipality's acting chief executive officer, Arnold Ameb, said he could not answer any questions because he was only recently appointed to the position, despite having been a senior official in the municipality for years.

    The municipality's public relations officer, Luke Salomo, also would not respond to questions that were sent to him, saying he was on leave.

    “I was only appointed on 4 April. I am busy consulting and familiarising myself with the situation. I cannot comment now,” Ameb said.

    According to the source in the municipality, the council has failed to prioritise the relocation process in its budget.

    “There is land, but there are no funds to develop it. This is a huge investment and the municipality needs to secure enough funds. The majority of the people living in the single quarters can afford to build their own houses, all they need is the land.

    “Due to the high demand for land in the town, the municipality failed to make the single-quarters relocation a priority,” the source said.

    It is also reported that most of the people who have been relocated opted to rent their houses out and return to the single quarters.

    “Next time the municipality is going to relocate unit by unit. Once the unit is relocated, it will then be demolished to make sure that those people are not coming back,” said the source.



    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 05/02/18--16:00: Welwitschias face mauling
  • Welwitschias face maulingWelwitschias face maulingHome side to play Golden Lions on Saturday The Hage Geingob Stadium will play host to a bruising encounter between the home side and the Golden Lions on Saturday. A wounded Windhoek Draught Welwitschias side will play the Golden Lions on Saturday in their third match of the season in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge.

    The Namibians have not had any success since the competition kicked off, losing both their first and second matches.

    In their opening match, the Welwitschias lost 39-7 to a more organised Valke side.

    In their second match last weekend things did not improve for the Namibians, as they went down 73-20 to the Vodacom Blue Bulls in a match played in Pretoria.

    Namibia will now have to dust themselves off and attempt to make an impact on this year's competition.

    They will have to improve considerably if they want to keep attracting fans to their matches.

    Last year the team made a big effort, which went astray many times.

    They finished bottom of their pool after registering just one victory in eight matches.

    Their focus this season is to use the SuperSport tournament as a step up from club rugby towards qualification for next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

    The squad desperately needs to work on technical improvements.

    The brain's trust is using young players in these matches, in order to give them experience and exposure.

    The SuperSport Rugby Challenge is the secondary domestic rugby union competition in South Africa and the long-term successor of the Vodacom Cup.

    The competition is organised by the South African Rugby Union (Saru) and features all 14 South African provincial unions, plus the Welwitschias.

    Saturdays match starts at 15:00 at the Hage Geingob Stadium.

    The entrance fee is N$50 for adults and N$10 for children.

    Tickets are available online at www.webtickets.com.na, at Pick 'n Pay stores or at the entrance.

    Food and drinks will be on sale

    A possible Welwitschias starting line-up is as follows:

    Desiderius Sethie, Obert Nortje, AJ de Klerk, Denzil van Wyk, Ruan Ludick, Cameron Langenhoven, Max Katjijeko, Leneve Damens (captain), Eugene Jantjies, PW Steenkamp, Tuna Amutenya, Darryl de la Harpe, JC Greyling, David Philander and Mahco Prinsloo.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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  • 05/02/18--16:00: NPL concludes this weekend
  • NPL concludes this weekendNPL concludes this weekend The 2017/18 Namibia Premier League (NPL) will conclude this weekend, with various matches being played across the country.

    The final fixtures for the last two rounds of the season were made available on Monday.

    Speaking to Nampa on Monday, NPL administrator Tovey Hoebeb said the weekend matches will mark the end of the season, which he described as successful.

    “The biggest challenges we faced was the infrastructure. Teams had to share venues, and unfortunately as the NPL, our hands are tied on that front,” he said.

    The bottom three teams will automatically be relegated from the top flight league.

    “With the news in the media from Omuthiya saying that the first division will start soon, the top three in the regional leagues will be promoted to the NPL for the 2018/19 season,” Hoebeb added.

    The league's end of season awards ceremony will take place on 1 June at a venue to be announced in due course.

    African Stars, currently on 61 points, have already won the league, as they cannot be overtaken on the table

    Black Africa is currently second on 52 points and Mighty Gunners third on 48 points.



    Saturday matches:

    Chief Santos vs Unam FC at the JP Ratledge Sport Complex

    Young Chiefs vs Citizens at the Oshakati Independence Stadium

    Life Fighters vs Tura Magic at the Paresis Stadium

    Young African vs Rundu Chiefs at the Legare Stadium

    Orlando Pirates vs Tigers at the Sam Nujoma Stadium

    African Stars vs Eleven Arrows at the Unam Stadium

    Civics vs Blue Waters at the Ramblers Stadium

    Black Africa vs Mighty Gunners at the SKW Stadium



    Sunday matches:

    Chief Santos vs Citizens at the JP Ratledge Sports Complex

    Young Chiefs vs Unam at the Oshakati Independence Stadium

    Life Fighters vs Tigers at the Mokati Stadium

    Young African vs Mighty Gunners at the Legare Stadium

    Black Africa vs Rundu Chiefs at the SKW Stadium

    Civics vs Eleven Arrows at the Ramblers Stadium

    African Stars vs Blue Waters at the Sam Nujoma Stadium

    Orlando Pirates vs Tura Magic at the Unam Stadium

    All matches are expected to kick start at 15:00.

    NAMPA

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    We'll stick to rules - NaimwakaWe'll stick to rules - NaimwakaAN to follow new IAAF testosterone regulations Athletics Namibia says local athletes will abide by the IAAF's new regulations on female testosterone levels. Athletics Namibia president Erwin Naimwaka says the organisation has been notified about the controversial testosterone regulations around female classification by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and will adhere to them like everyone else.

    Naimwaka was responding to questions in the wake of the uproar around the new regulations, saying that Namibian athletes are expected to adhere to the rules as they are set to level the playing field.

    “The athletes need to adapt to this situation and adhere to them as expected.”

    The global athletics governing body announced last Thursday it had changed the conditions under which female athletes compete in the 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, 1 500m and the mile.

    Female athletes who naturally produce testosterone levels above five nanomoles per litre will be required to take medication to lower their levels, if they want to continue running in the above distances.

    If not, they will have to move up to the 5 000m or 10 000m races or compete in male races.

    The new regulations will come into effect in November, unless overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    It is believed the regulations are targeting South African athlete Caster Semenya - a recent Commonwealth double gold medallist, who smashed the 1 500m national record and won the 800m at the games.

    Semenya has a condition called hyperandrogenism, which sees her having testosterone levels three times higher than is expected in women.

    She has no womb or ovaries, but instead has internal testes because of a chromosomal abnormality. For years her condition has caused controversy, as it enables her to outshine many other female athletes.

    Naimwaka however said he is not aware of any athlete in Namibia who has the same condition as Semenya.

    A law professor from the University of Pretoria, Steve Cornelius, quit serving the IAAF disciplinary tribunal on Tuesday in support of Semenya, while bemoaning “the warped ideology behind the new regulations”.

    In his resignation letter, Cornelius says he cannot continue to associate himself with an organisation that insists on ostracising certain individuals.

    He says the adoption of new regulations for female classification is based on the same ideology that has led to some of the worst atrocities in history.

    Cornelius believes the regulations will probably be found to be unlawful.

    History will judge the IAAF council harshly, he said.

    Cornelius believes an injustice has been perpetrated against certain female athletes.

    -Additional information www.enca.com

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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