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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 06/06/18--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day KICKING UP DUST: An Israeli army tank patrols along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip on May 29, 2018. Israel's military struck more than 30 "military targets" in the Gaza Strip in one day in response to a barrage of rocket and mortar fire from the Palestinian enclave, the army said. PHOTO: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 06/06/18--16:00: ‘Ride slow and shine’
  • ‘Ride slow and shine’‘Ride slow and shine’Unique Polo Derick Vilas is currently running the stock 1.4 engine while putting together a 2.0 8v ADY engine with dictator management. Cobie Bok - A talent is a gift; if you have one, use it to its full capacity, is the motto of Derik Vilas.

    One of the members of Namstance car enthusiast group, Vilas was born at Otjiwarongo. Vilas’ father taught him everything he knew about cars and electrics.

    “I started working on his cars at the age of six and ever since then cars and music have been a hobby to me,” says Vilas.

    He worked at an auto tuning shop in Otjiwarongo called CW Sounds & Co. The shop closed after a year.

    Vilas built up his first Mercedes from scrap with his brother, Deon Vilas. Afterward, they installed a massive sound system in the car.

    After writing off the Mercedes in an accident, Vilas bought a Golf 5 1.4 TSI, made some modifications to it and then sold it to buy a Polo Vivo 1.4 - his new pride and glory. Vilas has been driving the Polo Vivo for three months.

    Vilas’s Polo Vivo 1.4 specs

    He fitted two modified Recaro bucket seats in the front, and installed an XTC four-inch amp powering 8" landlines in the rear and the door speakers, a 10hm stable monoblock Starsound amp powering 12" Pioneer subs in the boot, and a simple Sansui head unit.

    The car has a 60mm drop coil suspension, riding on 17-inch 7.5Aj Vossen rims. The headlights are fitted with LED H7 bulbs and LED bulbs all over the exterior.

    Vilas is currently running the stock 1.4 engine while putting together a 2.0 8v ADY engine with dictator management.

    “I currently own 330c Viair compressor and a 10l air tank with wireless controlled solenoid to manage the system. Still saving up to buy the bags and front struts,” says Vilas.

    “The whole engine bay is prepared with a wire tuck for the new engine and the theme for the car was simply to keep it clean.

    “Most importantly I stance. Not everyone sees what you see so be unique, ride slow and shine,” he says.

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    Union protests against guards riding in transit vansUnion protests against guards riding in transit vans The National Security Guards Protection Union claims that security companies are transporting guards in the back of cash-in-transit (CIT) vans in contravention of transport regulations.

    This has been denied by a senior police officer, though.

    According to the union's acting secretary-general, Mekupi Kandorozu, they are registered as a trade union with the labour ministry, but the security industry is ignoring them.

    Kandorozu told Namibian Sun that security companies exposed their employees to danger in the event of accidents or robberies by having them ride in the closed vans.

    “At least two security guards are placed in the back of the CIT vehicles. There are no windows, it has two small ventilation openings, and has a huge built-in safe where money is kept for safety.

    “The two or more guards sit in the corners of these vehicles without seatbelts and without knowing where they are and where they are heading to. Imagine the situation these guards are in when they are travelling a long distance,” Kandorozu said.

    He said this is inhumane and disrespectful.

    Kandorozu reported the matter to the Oshana regional police commander, Commissioner Rauha Amwele.

    In a letter dated 31 May, Amwele informed Kandorozu that she had inspected some vehicles of the companies in question and found nothing untoward about the practice.

    “The Road Traffic and Transport Act 22/1999, Regulation 266 (a) (b) as amended, allows passengers to be transported in the back of goods vehicles with gross vehicle mass of less than 3 500 kilogrammes, as long as they should not be more than six passengers,” Amwele said.

    Kandorozu said he was not satisfied with Amwele's response and would not stop there.

    “People's lives are at risk here. I would like these companies to stop these practices with immediate effect. Our union has written to most of these companies and we have not received any communication from them, even acknowledgement of receipt.

    “This is an indication that they completely disregard and display an arrogant attitude towards the union, which is legitimately registered with the ministry of labour,” he said.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 06/06/18--16:00: Khomas unemployment at 28%
  • Khomas unemployment at 28%Khomas unemployment at 28% The unemployment rate in the Khomas Region stood at 28.4% during the 2017/18 financial year, only slightly less than the national unemployment rate of 34%.

    Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua said during her State of the Region Address (SORA) that despite enormous investment in the region, the level of unemployment continues to grow, especially among the youth.

    “One reason is that our region continues to be affluent and absorbs big numbers of people from all over Namibia, in search of better opportunities in terms of education, employment and health amenities.

    “The majority of the people flocking to or that already live in Windhoek and the Khomas Region are youth.”

    McLeod-Katjirua said throughout the 2017/18 review period, the Khomas Region maintained its leading role as the business, industrial, manufacturing, cultural, administrative and judicial hub of Namibia.

    According to her the employment-to-population ratio in the Khomas Region stood at roughly 57% during the 2017/18 financial year.

    People employed in the informal sector made up 56% of the employed population, indicating how important this sector is to the Khomas Region.

    About 12% of the employed population was considered to be in vulnerable employment, said McLeod Katjirua.

    “The majority have been unemployed for longer than a year.”

    In terms of youth unemployment, the national average stands at 43%, whereas it stands at 37.5% in the Khomas Region. The percentage of young people not in education or training, and not in employment, stands at 35%.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    N$510bn genocide claim angers NamaN$510bn genocide claim angers NamaGroup says it is not enough Representatives of the Nama communities affected by the genocide say the figure shows the government is not the right body to engage with Germany. The Namibian government is being accused of using limited sources for their analyses and calculations, which arrived at a figure of N$510 billion it wants to claim from Germany for genocide reparations.

    This figure can be attributed to the impact of probable discomfort, a lack of confidence and time pressure from the German government, claimed Deodat Dirkse, chairperson of the Nama Genocide Technical Committee.

    According to Dirkse the two governments are not negotiating as equal sovereign states, which was confirmed by “Germany's dictatorial approach”.

    He said further the Namibian government's continued disturbing and irresponsible approach to the genocide proves it is not the appropriate body to engage with the German authorities on the matter.

    “They continue to deliberately undermine the Nama and Ovaherero genocide and it is becoming intolerable. We have to respect the resolution of the democratically elected National Assembly, as they debated the genocide matter before adopting the resolution,” he said.

    According Dirkse, The Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA) represents the Nama people, but not a single member of the association has been included in government's negotiation team.

    “The government must accept that the Nama people lost their political and economic lives, as a direct consequence of the genocide. The government should not negotiate on behalf of Nama, if they think like Germany's Paul Rohrbach, that there is no justification for the preservation of Nama race, because they are useless,” Dirkse said.

    Nama representatives are also disputing the number of deaths that occurred during the genocide, saying the Namibian government figure of 20 000 Nama before 1904 is bogus. They also slammed government's proposition that no Nama and Ovaherero were born from 1 January until the 1911 census as absurd.

    “How exactly this figure (the N$510 billion) was arrived at and which criteria were considered is also not clear and neither has this criteria been discussed with transparency and accountability towards the Nama and Ovaherero people,” Dirkse said.

    He was reacting on an article that was published in The Patriot weekly newspaper last Thursday which said government was looking to claim N$510 billion from Germany as genocide reparations.

    “It is clear from the article that the Namibian government is concerned, uncomfortable and lacks confidence in their negotiations with the Germans. Genocide cannot be subsumed with development assistance,” he said.

    Turning to the estimation of the indigenous population during imperial Germany's advance into Namibia, he said William Coates Palgrave, who undertook series of diplomatic missions between 1876 and 1885, said the Nama population in 1876 was 18 350, while Governor Theodor Leutwein estimated the Nama population in 1894 to be 20 000 and Captain Kurt Schwabe on 1 January 1903 gives a figure of 20 000 for the Nama.

    “These are all estimates; no census was conducted. We do not know if these figures were only focused on adults, only looking at the Nama living in Great Namaqualand and Damaraland or whether any other criteria was used,” he said.

    He maintained that natural population growth was also not provided for during the period 1876 to 1894 and again between 1894 and 1903.

    “Similarly, books like the 'Blue Book' and 'Let Us Die Fighting' put the Nama survivors at 9 781 (after the genocide), whilst 'A History of Namibia' puts the number at 14 236, although reference is made to the same 1911 census. It means census numbers cannot be compared to estimates,” he argued.

    He said the Namibian government uses the “original” 80 000 Ovaherero and 20 000 Nama, less 33 659 “survivors of these groups to conclude 66 341 lives were lost”.

    According to him, the Namibian government is this claiming that the 5 764 missing Nama were killed.

    “We know about 2 500 with Kaptein Simon Kooper in late September 1907. General Ludwig von Estorff's estimate of 1 900 Nama deaths on Shark Island and 1 500 Nama - the Bethanie people, the Witbooi clan and the Veldskoendraers - that died before reaching Shark Island. These recorded 5 900 people having died, which already exceeds 5 764,” he argued.

    Dirkse also raised the issue of those that died during their deportation to Togo and Cameroon, and others who died by being hanged and flogged on mainland, as well as women and children shot one by one, as per witness statements in the Blue Book, and slave labourers that were issued with death certificates.

    “What happened to the rest of the prisoners from other Nama tribes and those who died in the veld due to German policy of sealing waterholes - deaths that are impossible to quantify?” Dirkse wanted to know.

    He said some Nama fled to South Africa.

    “The government's suggestion that no Nama and Ovaherero were born from 1 January 1903 until the 1911 census is absurd. The estimated Nama population of 20 000 before 1904 is bogus,” Dirkse added.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 06/06/18--16:00: Company news
  • Company newsCompany news South African police seize documents from MTN

    South African police have seized documents from the offices of mobile phone operator MTN Group after Turkey’s Turkcell launched a lawsuit over a disputed Iran licence, MTN said on Tuesday.

    Turkcell alleges that the South African mobile company used bribery and wrongful influence to win a lucrative Iran license originally awarded to Turkcell. MTN rejects the allegations.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Facebook confirms data sharing with Chinese companies

    Facebook Inc said Tuesday it has data sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese companies including Huawei, the world’s third largest smartphone maker, which has come under scrutiny from US intelligence agencies on security concerns.

    The social media company said Huawei computer maker Lenovo Group and smartphone makers OPPO and TCL Corp) were among about 60 companies worldwide that received access to some user data after they signed contracts to re-create Facebook-like experiences for their users.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Microsoft expands program for women returning to work

    Microsoft Corp is expanding a program designed to increase its hiring of women seeking to rejoin the workforce, following a rash of complaints about sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the world’s largest software company.

    Such “returnship” programs, aimed at workers who had paused their careers to raise children or care for loved ones, are gaining popularity in Silicon Valley as technology companies seek to address criticism about its bias toward young male staff.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    HP sees up to 5 000 job cuts

    HP Inc now expects 4 500 to 5 000 employees to leave the company by the end of fiscal 2019 as part of an ongoing restructuring plan, the PC maker said on Tuesday.

    In October 2016, HP’s board had approved a restructuring plan to be implemented through fiscal year 2019, under which it had expected around 4 000 job cuts. In May, the company said it expected that number to increase by 1 to 2%.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    ZTE signed preliminary agreement to lift US ban

    ZTE Corp has signed an agreement in principle that would lift a US Commerce Department ban on buying from US suppliers, allowing China’s No. 2 telecommunications equipment maker to get back into business, according to sources familiar with the matter.

    ZTE ceased major operations since the seven-year ban was imposed on the company in April for breaking a 2017 agreement reached after it was caught illegally shipping goods to Iran and North Korea.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Wheels, wine and biltong galoreWheels, wine and biltong galore The Standard Bank Autoshow and Biltongfees promises to be bigger and better, when it returns for its 25th instalment in August.

    Standard Bank's manager for vehicle asset financing, Cecelia Hagen-Cloete, said many budding motorists should look forward to this year's show, which will have a new look and feel to entice petrol heads.

    “We have a new name, look and feel. We have also given it a new face and created a logo that embodies a festival feel,” Hagen-Cloete said.

    Wine aficionados will also be spoilt for choice, as African Marketing, one of the sponsors, will host premium wine estates.

    “This year, African Marketing will host 13 premium wine estates at the event, allowing tasting of the best bouquets on the market, while there will be a mouth-watering selection of foods prepared by the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk, which should tantalise taste buds,” said Hagen-Cloete.

    This year's festivities will be hosted at the Trustco Sports Fields in Olympia, owing to the demand for bigger space on the expo, she explained.

    Tickets to the motor show and biltongfees are available via WebTicket. Adults can expect to pay N$80, while children pay N$40. There is even a family combo available for two adults and two children at N$200.

    The event is made possible by the support of Motovac, African Marketing, Kickstart Namibia, Arebbusch Travel Lodge, Kosmos Radio and Rent-A-Drum.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Cran hones in on spectrum strategyCran hones in on spectrum strategyEssential for effective management The spectrum assignment strategy will promote competition through minimisation of constraints on spectrum use within a service and technology neutral licence regime. The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran) hosted a public consultative meeting on its regulatory framework and spectrum assignment strategy.

    The meeting was held to map out a way for the efficient spectrum use according to Cran CEO Festus Mbandeka.

    The meeting also sought to provide clarity on how it plans to regulate the spectrum going forward.

    A spectrum allocation is the process of regulating the use of an electromagnetic spectrum for various uses like radio and the internet, amongst others.

    “Cran deems it prudent to keep abreast of the latest trends and technology developments to ensure the efficient use of and regulation of spectrum in Namibia. The authority therefore developed a spectrum assignment strategy that will set out objectives for spectrum management and provide clarity in respect of the authority's approach to efficiently control, and its plan to administer and licence radio spectrum”, said Mbandeka.

    According to him, radio frequency spectrum is a limited national resource that is the backbone for the information and communication technology (ICT) sector that offers communities and commercial entities various offerings. It therefore requires prudent management and robust regulation to ensure equitable access and efficient utilisation to meet the communication needs of all stakeholders.

    “Regulation and management of this scarce resource is achieved through a regulatory framework that is driven by the development and implementation of national strategic direction, legislation, regulations and procedures,” he said.

    Cran is responsible for the facilitation of, allocation and availability of spectrum so that it is an enabler for the socio-economic development and access to communication services and ICT infrastructure. The spectrum assignment strategy promotes competition through minimisation of constraints on spectrum use within a service and technology neutral licence regime, and allows for similar services to be offered on different technological platforms.

    Cran will ensure the fair distribution of spectrum, which in turn would provide services based on the requirements of the various category of service licences awarded. The spectrum regulatory framework aims to provide stakeholders with equitable access to spectrum resources and ensure that wide arrays of the latest technological services are made available to Namibian consumers.

    “The authority developed a spectrum assignment strategy that charts the way for planning spectrum resources, determining spectrum fees and assigning spectrum to new and existing stakeholders,” Mbandeka added.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Rubbish a serious health hazard in KhomasRubbish a serious health hazard in Khomas The inability to manage waste in the Khomas Region was the direct cause of disease outbreaks such as hepatitis E in the past financial year.

    This is according to Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua in her State of the Region Address.

    She said the high prevalence of littering in Windhoek and settlements in the Khomas Region had become a major threat to the environment and to people.

    “This situation is also a major threat to our reputation as an international tourism destination of choice.”

    According to her the cleanliness of Windhoek was something that all tourists used to admire and remark upon.

    “This is no longer the case and is an issue that requires our utmost attention. We are pleased that cabinet approved a National Solid Waste Management Strategy during the 2017/18 financial year to improve the overall management of waste so that Namibia becomes the leading country in Africa in terms of standards of waste management by 2028.”

    She said this strategy tackled the development of appropriate waste management infrastructure, increasing human resources capacity, promotion of waste minimisation and recycling, and raising awareness for behavioural change among citizens.

    On the other hand, McLeod-Katjirua said it was important that economic development not be undertaken at the expense of the environment.

    During the 2017/18 financial year, a number of cases of environmental degradation were brought to the regional government's attention.

    “We are particularly concerned about illegal sand-mining operations that are being carried out in the region, especially at Groot-Aub, or even in very sensitive areas like the one in proximity to a primary school at Aris Settlement.”

    She stressed that sand mining is a listed activity requiring an environmental clearance certificate in terms of the Environmental Management Act.

    McLeod-Katjirua urged all operators engaged in sand mining to apply for environmental clearance in order to legalise their operations and protect the environment.

    She further said illegal hunting is a crime that is very prevalent in the Khomas Region, especially at certain resettlement farms.

    “We are concerned, and the ministry has and will continue to conduct several patrols on government farms, along the corridors and mount roadblocks in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies in the Khomas Region.”

    Furthermore, she said the encroaching informal settlements around Daan Viljoen Game Park and the Von Bach resort had become a serious concern, since it resulted in increasing wildlife crimes committed within those protected areas.

    She warned present and prospective perpetrators to desist from carrying out such “selfish and misguided acts” that are tantamount to undermining the economy.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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     MTC launches customer engagement show MTC launches customer engagement showFirst episode this month MTC yesterday launched a quarterly TV show that will focus on discussions around customer experience. “We constantly encouraged to come up with new and better ways of doing things” - Tim Ekandjo, chief human capital and corporate affairs officer, MTC Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), the largest network operator in Namibia, yesterday took a new leap of faith, upping their consumer engagement strategy – with the launch of MTC Interact.

    Another pioneering initiative, MTC Interact seeks to enlighten customers and stakeholders about pertinent MTC issues, such as customer services, data pricing, shareholding issues, company new business strategy and realignment efforts to be able to continue sustaining the business model and serving the divergent needs of its 2, 4 million customers.

    MTC executive management will be airing the MTC Interact Show live on national TV every quarter – starting with the first episode on 27 June 2018, once show per quarter of each year.

    The MTC Exco team will during these live TV sessions discuss, not only strategic initiatives but also everyday issues that our customers experience. It will give the 081 Nation an opportunity to directly engage the company’s top executive on pertinent matters affecting them as well as use the opportunity to ask questions to the company management.

    Enthused Tim Ekandjo, chief human capital and corporate affairs officer at MTC said: “We constantly encouraged to come up with new and better ways of doing things, that’s what earned us the title “Leading Telecommunications Company in Namibia and remaining relevant and obedient to the needs of our valued consumers is a top priority”.

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    SA economy shrinks in  first quarterSA economy shrinks in first quarter South Africa suffered its worst quarterly contraction in nine years, data showed on Tuesday, in a reminder to investors of the huge challenge President Cyril Ramaphosa faces to deliver long term economic growth.

    After Jacob Zuma was forced out as leader by the ruling party in February, Ramaphosa pledged to clean up governance, deal with high unemployment and improve basic services, igniting a wave of optimism dubbed “Ramaphoria”.

    South Africa’s economy has barely grown in the past decade with fiscal missteps and corruption contributing to weak business and consumer confidence.

    However, the poor gross domestic output (GDP) in the first three months of 2018 will erode some of the enthusiasm in Africa’s most industrialised economy. The rand weakened by more than one percent against the dollar in response.

    GDP contracted by 2.2% in the first quarter, led by a slowdown in agriculture and mining, after expanding 3.1% in the final quarter of last year, Statistics South Africa said.

    This was the largest quarter-on-quarter decline since the first quarter of 2009, when the economy contracted 6.1% , the agency said.

    Economists polled by Reuters had expected a quarter-on-quarter GDP contraction of 0.5%.

    “Today’s downbeat figure will dampen some of the enthusiasm surrounding President Cyril Ramaphosa,” Capital Economics senior emerging markets economist John Ashbourne said.

    “South Africans themselves were also optimistic; consumer confidence jumped to an all-time high in first quarter. But this ‘Ramaphoria’ does not seem to have translated into stronger spending,” he said, adding a swift turn-around was unlikely.

    The real gross domestic product expenditure fell by 2.5% in first quarter after expanding by 3.1% in the third quarter, the statistics agency said.

    The agriculture sector shrank 24.2% in the quarter due to poor horticulture output, followed by mining which fell 9.9% and manufacturing which fell 6.4%.

    GDP rose 0.8% on an unadjusted year-on-year basis in the first quarter, compared with a 1.5% expansion in the previous three months, the agency said.

    Adding to evidence that economic growth remained fragile, a survey showed South African private-sector activity was at a standstill in May, with an increase in new orders and rising employment offset by a contraction in output.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Third protest planned at KatimaThird protest planned at Katima Angry Katima Mulilo residents plan to take to the streets for the third time since April to demand that residents are refunded for expensive pre-paid water meter installations and that all sitting councillors be removed with immediate effect, among several other issues.

    Meanwhile, Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu is continuing his inquiry into the issues raised by the protesters during their demonstrations in April and May this year.

    Sampofu this week directed the town council to suspend all installations of new pre-paid water systems until further notice, and is demanding proof that councillors properly consulted with residents before the prepaid system was introduced.

    He told Namibian Sun yesterday that his decision was made based on the widespread complaints around the installation of the systems, not only during the protests but also during several community meetings he had spearheaded recently.

    Sampofu added that although the town council had told him that proper consultations were held, he had now demanded proof.

    “The town council say they did inform residents. We have now asked for the minutes of those meetings. At the two community hall meetings, the residents denied they were consulted.”

    Sampofu further underlined that he had directed a number of queries to the town council and was waiting for a response, particularly on what the way forward is in regard to water supply systems and whether there would be “compensation” for residents who had already paid the more than N$3 000 costs of installations of the new water meters.

    One of the main protest organisers, Kubwima Poniso, told Namibian Sun yesterday that while the community was “happy with the governor's response, it came a little bit too late.”

    He said thousands of water meters had already been installed despite long-standing complaints against the system.

    He said while the governor's response to the protest points was appreciated, residents would nevertheless stage another demonstration in about two weeks' time to demand that all councillors step down, not only Swapo councillors.

    “We have lost our confidence in them,” he said. Further, he said residents felt that the councillors had violated their oath of office in terms of the Local Authority Act.

    “We are all equal before the law,” Poniso said.

    Another issue that will be brought to the fore during the next demonstration is to demand a full audit of council finances for the most recent years, and to highlight the money allegedly wasted by the council.

    Sampofu said yesterday that residents had a right to demonstrate but advised that before holding demonstrations, they should consult with their councillors first.

    He further noted that the councillors were elected by the residents and “it is important to consult, communicate and coordinate” between the two parties.

    According to previous reports, residents were required to pay N$2 500 for a new prepaid water meter, plus N$800 for a card.

    In contrast, the old system cost N$450 for a new connection.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Endjala pushes Angola beef talksEndjala pushes Angola beef talksNew Outapi Abattoir opens up door to exports Omusati governor Erginus Endjala says he is ready to facilitate negotiations that will result in the entry of NCA beef into Angola. Omusati governor Erginus Endjala says he is ready to facilitate talks with neighbouring Angola, which has over the years been demanding beef exports from Namibia's Northern Communal Areas (NCAs).

    Speaking during the handing over ceremony of the Outapi Abattoir this week, Endjala said beef exports had failed to take off in the past, because of the lack of a proper beef value chain in the northern regions.

    The growing Angolan demand for NCA beef was exacerbated by the closure of the Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs, which used to be operated by Meatco.

    “Since Meatco closed its operations we have had an issue of a market. My office have been approached several times by our Angolan counterparts demanding for Namibian beef to enter into their market, but for too long we were not having facilities in the NCA to pursue this deal.

    “With the opening of this abattoir, it is now an opportunity for Namibian beef to enter the Angolan market. I am ready to facilitate these negotiations,” Endjala said.

    He said the handover and operationalisation of the Outapi Abattoir comes as a great relief to farmers of the catchment area.

    This included farmers in the Omusati and Oshana regions, as well as those in some parts of Kunene north, Oshikoto west and the Ohangwena regions, Endjala said.

    “This is because, NCA farmers in general, could not formally market their cattle for slaughter purposes for the last four years or so, due to the closure of the Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs, which was occasioned by the 2015 outbreak of foot-and-mouth-disease in the FMD protection zone of the NCA.”

    Angolan meat agents also attended the Outapi event, which was officiated by the agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb.

    From 2011, the ministry embarked on a multimillion-dollar beef value chain development project in the NCAs.

    The project is aimed at developing and upgrading beef development infrastructure to serve as a marketing mechanism.

    The project includes the establishment of auction kraals at Omuntele, Onyuulaye, Ompundja, Opuwo, Nepera, Lusese and Ncaute.

    It also entails the upgrading of the Oshakati, Outapi and Katima Mulilo abattoirs, the construction of a new abattoir at Rundu and meat processing facilities at Bukalo and Ongwediva.

    Endjala urged companies contracted to supply catering services to government institutions in the northern regions to make sure they supply beef produced by northern abattoirs, saying these regions must be able to consume what they produce.

    He therefore urged the operators to share good farming practices with local farmers, in order to improve the quality of the beef to a standard where it can be consumed anywhere in the world.

    !Naruseb welcomed Endjala's statements and said government has done its part by investing in the beef value chain development facilities in the NCAs, and the onus is now on operators and farmers to make sure the facilities are put to good use, for the benefit of all stakeholders.

    “One of the main objectives of the beef value chain development project for the NCA is to create diversified marketing opportunities, both in the domestic and export markets, for meat originating in the NCAs, through the value chain. Farmers need to commit to produce and market quality animals, while the facility operators need to actively devise strategies to support the farmers and make it attractive for them to market their animals, by developing rewarding markets, both with local distributors and export markets in neighboring countries,” !Naruseb said.

    !Naruseb said further that these facilities will not guarantee the attainment of the ultimate desired impact of improved livelihoods and standards of living for the farmers, unless there are deliberate and concerted efforts by all stakeholders involved.

    Destocking

    It was reported that the NCAs has roughly 1.6 million cattle, which is too much for its grazing areas.

    !Naruseb said this is because NCA farmers could not formally market their livestock for slaughtering purposes for the past four years, due to the closure of the Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs.

    Endjala said he would like to see the facilities used for destocking local livestock.

    “I do not want these facilities to be used to slaughter or sell livestock from the other side of the veterinary cordon fence (Red Line). As a regional governor for Omusati, from time to time I will be engaging the operators to comply with a quota system. Our farmers must get their share, because it is always a problem, as the price that is given to farmers on the other side of the cordon fence is not the same as the price given to local farmers for the same quality of products,” Endjala said.

    He also urged farmers to sell their livestock. Namibia National Farmers' Union (NNFU) president Jason Emvula also urged farmers to sell some of their animals, in order to reduce numbers, saying a failure to do so will result in losses due to drought, because recent rainfall was not good enough.

    Emvula also advised operators to train and capacitate local farmers on good farming practices, in order to produce the best beef products.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Meatco not affected by EU blacklistingMeatco not affected by EU blacklisting Meatco has dismissed reports that its accounts in the United Kingdom have been frozen because of the blacklisting of Namibia as a non-compliant tax jurisdiction by the European Union.

    “We wish to confirm that there are no tax-related issues of which we are aware concerning either Meatco or Namibia. We can also confirm that no accounts have been frozen,” Meatco spokesperson Rosa Katjivena told Namibian Sun.

    Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president McHenry Venaani on Tuesday told the National Assembly that Meatco's accounts had been frozen because Namibia was blacklisted as a tax haven by the European Union.

    According to Katjivena, Meatco has had a banking relationship with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in the United Kingdom for over ten years.

    “In line with the documented strategic developments within RBS they have decided to withdraw from international banking activities and concentrate their efforts on their core markets of the United Kingdom and Ireland.”

    Katjivena said the reasons for this change related to the costs and complexities of the bank's current global footprint.

    “This development has an impact on all RBS customers not resident in the core geographic locations and is therefore not unique to Meatco or Namibia.”

    According to her RBS has committed to support the existing banking arrangements while alternatives are put in place.

    She said Meatco was implementing alternative arrangements with another international bank that had the infrastructure to manage cross-border complexities and as such there would be no disruption to business during the transition.

    Meatco exports to the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK), Norway and South Africa, and new markets in the United States, China and Hong Kong have recently been cleared. The EU, UK and Norwegian markets account for 43.2% of Meatco's sales by volume, while South Africa and Namibia make up 55.72%.

    The company generated N$795 million in foreign sales during the 2017/18 financial year in comparison to N$1.2 billion the previous year.

    Namibia was one of 17 countries and territories on the EU blacklist of states and jurisdictions that failed to cooperate or deal effectively with tax-related matters and illicit financial flows.

    The EU blacklist was published last December after several revelations of widespread tax-avoidance schemes used by corporations and wealthy individuals to lower their tax bills.

    Blacklisted jurisdictions could face reputational damage and stricter controls on their financial transactions with the EU, although no sanctions have been agreed by EU states yet.

    The EU in January removed eight countries from its tax haven blacklist after they took measures to remedy EU concerns about their approaches to tax dodging.

    Finance minister Calle Schlettwein has maintained that Namibia is not a tax haven, as suggested by the latest list published by the European Union.

    According to him, Namibia is being unfairly labelled as a tax haven while it is well-known that Namibia's tax rates are high compared to the rest of the Southern African Development Community.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 06/06/18--16:00: Africa briefs
  • Africa briefsAfrica briefs Rwanda mineral export earnings more than doubles

    Earnings from Rwanda’s mineral exports more than doubled to US$373 million last year from the previous 12 months, supported by a rebound in global prices of commodities, a top official said.

    After meeting sector players in the capital Kigali on Tuesday, Francis Gatare, chief executive at Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB), told journalists last year’s earnings were “fantastic”.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Ivory Coast banks struggle with fallout from cocoa crisis

    Banks in Ivory Coast are struggling to secure repayment on up to 200 billion CFA francs (US$348 million) in outstanding loans made to cocoa exporters during the country’s crisis-hit 2016/17 season, bank officials said.

    The banks have already restricted the flow of financing to some cocoa firms this season as a result, and the loans, if not repaid, could cause problems for the West African country’s banking sector, they said.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Egypt to begin importing rice

    Egypt will begin importing rice, a crop it has typically had in surplus, to increase stocks and “control the market,” Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said on Tuesday, months after a campaign to cut local production.

    Egypt slashed cultivation of rice, a water-intensive crop, this year to conserve vital Nile river resources as Ethiopia prepares to fill the reservoir behind a colossal US$4 billion dam it is building upstream and which Cairo worries could threaten its water stocks.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Congo mining revenues triple in Q1

    Democratic Republic of Congo’s revenues from its mining sector tripled year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018 to US$397.86 million, finance ministry data showed.

    Revenues from the oil and gas sector dropped 10.87% year-on-year in the first quarter to US$29.45 million, according to the data.

    Congo is Africa’s top copper producer and the world’s leading miner of cobalt. It also produces about 25 000 barrels per day of oil along its Atlantic coast.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Nigeria stocks rise second day

    Nigerian stocks gained for the second day on Tuesday, climbing 2.46%, after shares of banking and consumer goods firms rallied.

    Nigeria’s stock market rose 16% in the first quarter, helped by rising oil prices, but it has seen a sell-off and is down 3.4% on the year as rising US interest rates hit emerging markets.

    Stocks fell to six-month lows on Friday.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    WRP presses self-destruct buttonWRP presses self-destruct buttonMaletzky denies parliamentary ambitions The battle for the heart and soul of the Workers' Revolutionary Party has thrown it into complete disarray. Along with revelations that more than N$2 million in public funds were withdrawn from the party's bank account over seven months, which is being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission ACC), the Workers' Revolutionary Party (WRP) is also facing a mushrooming battle over the recall of its MPs from parliament.

    WRP national chairperson August Maletzky, whose position is also unclear amid the chaos, has defended his letter to National Assembly speaker Professor Peter Katjavivi, in which he recalled the MPs.

    Maletzky dismissed suggestions he wants to fill one of the WRP parliamentary seats, after the removal of WRP president Benson Kaapala and Salmon Fleermuys.

    Allegations have been laid at Maletzky's door that he wants to take up one of the posts.

    “I have no need to go to parliament; I am not hungry for parliament,” Maletzky countered yesterday.

    “August Maletzky does not want to go to parliament. The rightful persons to go to parliament are Attie Beukes [president of the Communist Party] and his followers.”

    He also denied ever having been removed as national chairperson and emphasised he acted strictly on the instructions of an April WRP central committee meeting.

    Maletzky said both Kaapala and Fleermuys were informed they would have to appear before a disciplinary hearing and were dismissed from the party when they failed to show up. He said the two were duly informed of the charges against them prior to the meeting.

    Maletzky further dismissed claims the signatures on the resolution were forged, saying the CC members that did sign “are prepared to go to parliament live and evict” Kaapala and Fleermuys.

    “We had every right to expel them, but we availed to them all the procedures allowed to them in the constitution,” Maletzky said.

    He accused Kaapala of running the party like his “individual property”, saying Kaapala had “handpicked” Klaus Weichhaus to act as secretary-general, while the party had elected Heidi Beukes at its 2015 congress.

    Maletzky wrote to Katjavivi on 17 May saying the CC meeting held on 28 April had resolved that the two MPs are no longer members of the WRP and “must vacate” their parliamentary seats “with immediate effect”.

    This letter was received by Katjavivi's office on 23 May.

    Parliament's public relations officer, David Nahongandja, could not confirm if the MPs have indeed been asked to vacate their seats, but said the two have not received their parliamentary salaries last month.

    According to documents seen by Namibian Sun, the 28 April CC meeting was held at Maletzky's African Labour & Human Rights Centre office, where Kaapala and Fleermuys were to have answered questions relating to party funding received from parliament.

    They were also due to answer questions about the opening of the WRP's FNB account, as well as the appointment of Fleermuys and Weichhaus as the vice-president and acting secretary-general respectively.

    Kaapala and Fleermuys did not attend the meeting.

    According to the CC resolution, attached to the letter to Katjavivi, the two MPs were then suspended with immediate effect and given five days to react.

    The resolution further said they would be expelled from the party if they do not give notice to oppose their suspensions.

    The resolution bears the signatures of 16 of the 19 CC members.

    Kaapala - elected as the WRP's president at a contested congress held op 17 May 2015 - claimed the signatories on the resolution are forged and said the meeting was not properly held, because the top four leaders (president, vice-president, SG, and treasurer) were not present.

    “We were never invited to that meeting. How can I as the president be dismembered from the party? That can only be done at an extraordinary congress or conference.

    “This is forgery; it was fraudulently done. It is a crime of its own order. Maletzky should be arrested. This is really bad for the country,” Kaapala said.

    He said parliament has also made a mockery of itself by acting on Maletzky's orders.

    “Professor Katjavivi knows the party is fighting. Where did he get the instructions from? Professor Katjavivi has accepted the so-called recall.”

    He said his legal representative, Slysken Makando, has already written letters to parliament to challenge their recall.

    Katjavivi said he does not endorse the removals of MPs, but acknowledged having received the letter.

    Kaapala further said Maletzky had landed the position of national chairperson at the 2015 congress purely because the party needed a legal advisor at the time.

    He said Maletzky has since been removed as legal advisor and could therefore no longer serve as the national chairperson.

    “He [Maletzky] is not part of us; the people who participated in the 2014 [national] elections were former SWATF and Koevoet soldiers. It is shocking that he can recall me from the party,” said Kaapala.

    Kaapala said Maletzky is “just a dreamer” who “cannot call a disciplinary hearing if the whole party is in conflict”.

    Catherine Sasman

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    NHE defies N$500 000 govt price capNHE defies N$500 000 govt price cap The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) has defied a verbal ministerial directive, given by former housing minister Sophia Shaningwa and reiterated by her successor Peya Mushelenga, that its houses should cost less than N$500 000.

    In January during a groundbreaking ceremony for 200 houses being constructed by NHE at Oshakati, Shaningwa, who has since taken up her Swapo secretary-general post, publically intimated to NHE that its houses should not cost more than N$500 000.

    In April, at a groundbreaking ceremony at Okahao in Omusati, Mushelenga reiterated this, saying the cost of NHE houses should not exceed that amount.

    However, this week during a media briefing at Ekuku in Oshakati, where the 200 houses are being constructed, NHE spokesperson Eric Libongani told journalists that some of the houses under construction will cost as much as N$625 000.

    He said further NHE is not only limited to constructing houses for low and middle-income earners, but that it could also cater for high-income earners.

    When contacted for comment, Mushelenga said the directive was clear and NHE should partner with contractors who are willing and able to build houses for less than N$500 000.

    “That is not what we have asked them to do. If there are companies that were given instructions to build houses above N$500 000, that is against the directive of the ministry.”

    We would like to be informed where those houses are and why they are above N$500 000,” Mushelenga said.

    “If a developer cannot build a house within the region of N$500 000, they should look for other developers. There are so many other developers that can build at cheaper prices.”



    When asked about the directive, Libongani said it was impractical, in the sense that the money to construct is being borrowed, and NHE and the developer will need to recoup their funds. Therefore the directive is not good for business.



    He added if it was government money being used to construct the houses, it would not be a problem for NHE comply with the directive.



    “How practical is that if the money is being borrowed? If government was giving us money, maybe then,” Libongani said.



    He said when Mushelenga made the remark about the directive in Okahao, it was the first time he had heard about it and he has never seen a document to that effect.



    Libongani directed further questions to NHE CEO Gisbertus Mukulu.



    Mukulu told Namibian Sun there was just a verbal directive given by Mushelenga and consultations still need to take place, adding it is not applicable to the public-private partnership in Oshakati.



    “I think that one was just a verbal directive, so to say. I think they are yet to communicate to us. I don't think it is applicable to the PPP project, because this is private money and they use their money for the cost of capital and they need to recoup their investment.”



    On the issue of finding other developers that can construct houses for less than N$500 000, Mukulu said it depends on the type of the houses being built.



    “Of course if you look at our project, we do have houses that are under N$500 000, but if the house is bigger it will also attract more costs,” Mukulu said.



    When asked why they have not informed Mushelenga it is impractical to limit the price to N$500 000, Mukulu said they are waiting for the right moment.



    “When a correct platform is made available, we will be able to appraise the minister on what factors are at play in terms of determining the prices.”



    NHE's core business is providing for the housing needs of low and middle-income inhabitants, as well as financing housing for them.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Top dentist tells Haufiku to quitTop dentist tells Haufiku to quitForeign doctor's qualifications also questioned Namibia's top dentist has accused the health ministry of failing to plan for its human resources needs. While admitting his frustrations with the health ministry are coming on for over a decade, the country's former chief dentist, Dr Panduleni Itula, has called on the current minister, Dr Bernhard Haufiku, to resign, if he does not heed his advice.

    In a scathing letter Itula wrote to Haufiku, prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, justice minister Sacky Shanghala and attorney-general Albert Kawana, he accused Haufiku of acting outside his jurisdiction by appointing an interim Health Professions Council.

    Itula also believes the ministry's dental internship programme is a flop.

    This follows the announcement by Haufiku a fortnight ago that his ministry has scraped together N$3.7 million to arrange internships for 27 dentistry graduates.

    At the same event Haufiku also announced he has appointed an interim Health Professions Council of Namibia, until the Health Professions Bill is approved and signed into law.

    According to Itula, this is unlawful and said he has warned the health ministry for many years now, even before Haufiku took office, that the Medical and Dental Act of 2004 does not make provision for this.

    “An interim measure of an entity as yet not promulgated into law is unlawful and lawmakers can't be lawbreakers.

    The (health) ministers, by failing to provide relevant secondary laws in time since 2004, have left the entire health professionals unregulated in an unprecedented manner.”



    At some institutions providing continuing professional development in this, clearly heralds a loss of earnings for these institutions,” he said.

    According to Itula, there is no single dental institution in Namibia with all the necessary dental departments to provide the full range of undergraduate clinical skills and competence training for students, who never extracted or filed a tooth throughout their five years in foreign training.

    The graduates who have to go undergo a six-month remedial course, in order to be approved for internship, studied in Russia, Ukraine, China and Belarus.

    “Various students, especially from Ukraine, attested to the fact that they do not treat any Ukrainian patient at all during the five-year course in dentistry. The qualifications obtained by these students do not allow them to be registered in Ukraine, specifically, nor allows them to practice such a profession in those countries, as the Medical and Dental Act of 2004 stipulates,” said Itula.

    Itula also took a swipe at the ministry's chief dentist Dr John Ruta, saying he is not qualified.

    According to him Ruta is also not qualified for the post in his home country of Tanzania, and has he reportedly never trained a single undergraduate dentist in his entire life.

    “The minister continues to rely on dental advice from a Tanzanian chief dentist, who with a basic dental undergraduate bachelor's degree is not even appropriately qualified to be a chief dentist in his own country, when there are Namibians more qualified and experienced,” Itula charged.

    He also accused the ministry of failing to plan for its human resources needs.

    “Thirty undergraduate students will complete their training this year, from the listed countries and 55 will do so in 2019, with 50 coming from Cuba in three to four years. In four years' time we will have 230 qualified dentists, excluding those being trained at Unam. That does not show a ministry that is planning for the human resource needs of Namibia,” said Itula.

    He added that self-determination was the goal of the country's liberation struggle and not determination by foreign nationals, who have no interest in the Namibian people.

    “Should the minister ignore this advice I shall and am calling for his resignation in the public interest? It is time the honourable minister is advised he as a civil responsibility and that he failed the dental profession and should consider throwing in the towel,” he said.

    Haufiku refused to comment.

    Ruta said he cannot comment on Itula's allegations, because the letter was not written to him.

    “I cannot start a dialogue with him, you can speak to the ministry, who as my employer can explain my appointment,” he said.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Namibia psyched up for Pent SeriesNamibia psyched up for Pent Series The senior national netball team is geared up to take part in the second edition of the Debmarine Namibia Pent Series.

    The competition will start tomorrow at the Israel Patrick Iyambo Police College in Windhoek.

    The five-nation netball tournament will be hosted by Netball Namibia and will see Namibia, Uganda, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe competing for top honours.

    Zimbabwe won the series last year and will encounter tough competition this year, as participating countries want to win in order to improve their rankings.

    Namibia will face Botswana in the opening match on Saturday at 10:30. They will face Zimbabwe on Sunday at 17:00 and Monday they will play Uganda, before tackling Zambia on Tuesday.



    The Namibian squad is as follows:

    Shooters - Anna Kaspar, Dorkas Tjipetekera, Vendjihonga Katjaimo and Eve Kamutushi.

    Midfielders - Uehengisa Tjozongoro, Delilah Keja, Zaja Uatjiua and Maria Shipulolo.

    Defenders - Glynetthe Kazonganga, Cherlyn Muesee, Diana Tjejamba and Melissa Neis.

    Manuelle Tjivera is the head coach of the team.

    Tjivera said there is a positive spirit within the camp. “I put a lot of work on our defence and attacking as well as shooting components. The players have worked hard throughout the training sessions and have shown commitment.”

    Tjivera further said that they focused on court fitness in order to increase speed power, stability and flexibility.

    “Each and every player understands their role and need to take full ownership as we look to better our ranking and play against the best in Africa,” he concluded.



    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Depleted Welwitschias face maulingDepleted Welwitschias face maulingKey players unavailable for Lions clash The Windhoek Draught Welwitschias will go into today's SuperSport Rugby Challenge match without some of their key players. The Windhoek Draught Welwitschias are in for another tough test against Xerox Golden Lions this afternoon at the Wits Rugby Stadium.

    The team will be without some key players, as they have been called up for national duty, further disrupting preparations for the SuperSport Rugby Challenge match, according to Welwitschias coach Lyn Jones.

    “About 15 Welwitschias are included in the national training camp that started on Monday and which is being held in Stellenbosch in South Africa in preparation for the Rugby Africa Gold Cup.

    “The Namibia national side coach Phil Davies would have selected his first-choice players (about 26), with some players to be released for duty against the Lions.

    “Those players will fly to Johannesburg to join up with whoever will be selected, leaving no proper training time together,” said Jones.

    The Welwitschias hopes of securing a win are minimal without their core players, giving the Lions the opportunity to yet again shred the Welwitschias into pieces. The team sits last on the log with seven points and will play Lions who are third on the log, with 13 points in the northern group of the rugby challenge.

    It has not been an easy ride for the Namibians, who have won only one match this season, against Valke, after beating them 34-24. The results of the rest of their matches have made for dismal reading, with last weekend's encounter against the second-placed Vodacom Blue Bulls ending in a 47-31 defeat for the Welwitschias.



    Welwitschias squad is as follows:

    Mahco Prinsloo, Russell van Wyk, Janry du Toit, Francois Wiese, Nikin Cloete, Aurelio Plato, JC Winkler, James Marx, Winmar Rust, Thomasau Forbes (capt), Max Katjijeko, Mahepisa Tjeriko, Hauta Veii, Roderique Victor, Hans Breedt



    Reserves

    Niël van Vuuren, Herman Grobler, Jason Benade, Denzil van Wyk, Ngumee Nguaiko, Dirk von Weidts AND Justin Nel





    The Lions squad:

    Jeanluc Cilliers, Selom Gavor, Wayne van der Bank, Eduard Fouché, Anthony Volmink, Siya Masuku, Morné (Krappie) van den Berg, Len Massyn, Vincent Tshituka, James Venter, Rhyno Herbst (captain), Robert Kruger, Chergin Fillies, HP van Schoor, and Stephen Bhasera.



    Reserves: Pieter Jansen, Leo Kruger, Conor Brockschmidt, Phumzile Maqondwana, Bradley Thain, Inny Radebe and Austin Davids.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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