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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 06/07/18--16:00: Company news
  • Company newsCompany news Siemens signs pacts to deepen ties to China

    Siemens has signed more than ten cooperation agreements with Chinese companies as it seeks to benefit from deepening involvement with China’s “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiative, the German engineering group said on Wednesday.

    Siemens said the cooperation covers power generation, energy management, building technology and intelligent manufacturing and includes companies such as China National Chemical Engineering Group Corp, China Railway Construction Corp(International) Ltd and China Civil Engineering Construction Corp.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Uber jumps into Europe's crowded bike-sharing market

    Uber, the ride-hailing company which has been banned from many European cities, is about to launch its JUMP electric bicycle sharing service in Germany as it diversifies and seeks to build bridges with local authorities.

    Uber’s chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi made the announcement at a conference in Berlin as dozens of German taxi drivers outside waved placards that read “Uber go Home”.

    “I want this to signal a deep commitment to Germany,” Khosrowshahi said, arriving on stage with a bright-red JUMP bicycle.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Kenya's Mumias Sugar suspends CEO

    Kenya’s Mumias Sugar has suspended chief executive officer Nashon Aseka over “doubtful transactions” that appear to have been entered without following proper procedures.

    Mumias, which used to be the East African nation’s leading producer at more than 250 000 tonnes a year, has been beset by poor management and mounting losses in recent years.

    The company’s board said Aseka’s suspension would pave way for further investigation. It did not say how long the suspension, which takes immediate effect, would last.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Vodacom says interested in "attractive" Ethiopia

    South Africa’s Vodacom Group is interested in the Ethiopian telecoms market, it said on Wednesday, a day after the East African country opened its state-run telecoms monopoly.

    “Vodacom has said on many occasions that Ethiopia is an attractive market so it follows that there would be interest. Naturally this is dependent on what might become available and if it fits within our investment parameters,” Vodacom’s spokesman said in response to emailed questions.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Zimplats leases mining land to government

    Impala Platinum’s Zimbabwean subsidiary said on Wednesday that it had agreed to lease nearly half of its mining land to the government and that in turn it had received two mining leases valid for the life of its operations.

    The southern African nation had since 2013, under former president Robert Mugabe, unsuccessfully tried to seize the land from Zimplats, the country’s biggest platinum miner.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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  • 06/07/18--16:00: Give us Wu's plots - NEFF
  • Give us Wu's plots - NEFFGive us Wu's plots - NEFFOshakati under fire for Chinese land deal NEFF says it is an insult to them and to the entire nation that a local authority gives a vast amount of plots to a Chinese company, when Namibians should be considered first. The Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) has come out in strong opposition to the Oshakati Town Council's decision to award 200 plots to a Chinese company, saying they should instead be given the plots to develop.

    Party officials told Namibian Sun they do not accept the decision by the town council to grant First Wall Properties, owned by Stina Wu, 200 plots and have demanded that the deal be reversed.

    On Monday Namibian Sun reported the town council had rejected a proposal by controversial Chinese business Jack Huang that he be granted 100 plots, and instead handed 200 plots at the Ekuku and Ehenye townships to Wu's company, which had also submitted a proposal.

    NEFF says it is an insult to them and to the entire nation that a local authority gives a vast amount of plots to one company.

    They are arguing the allocation to Wu's company comes at the time when NEFF has also been submitting applications to local authorities, including Oshakati back in 2015.

    They say they have not received a positive response to date.

    NEFF says the plots must always be given to Namibians first, to buy and develop them.

    “We are very disappointed with the decision by the Oshakati Town Council to give a Chinese-owned company 200 plots just like that, while there are many Namibian companies capable of doing it. This is an insult to our people, because it means that us as Namibians are not capable of building houses, which is not true,” NEFF official Abraham Ndumbu said.

    Ndumbu said of all the local authorities they had applied to for plots, 11 of them responded and only the Ondangwa Town Council gave them an opportunity to do a presentation.

    On the issue of whether NEFF has the funds to take on construction projects, Ndumbu said they are still able to access N$3 billion from a donor, which they had also claimed before the 2014 general elections.

    NEFF was created as a mirror image of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party in South Africa, headed by firebrand Julius Malema, but failed dismally to make any semblance of an impact in the 2014 elections.

    Asked how many plots they want and how affordable the houses will be, should the town council reverse its decision, Ndumbu said they want at least 1 000 plots reserved for NEFF, which should be awarded 20 plots at a time.

    He said after the completion of each batch of 20 houses, they should be given another 20 plots and that the houses will cost about N$100 000 upwards each.

    “Just as much as we are against the allocation of a lot plots to individual companies, we are then saying give us 20 plots first and thereafter, based on our performance, they must give us more from the reserved ones,” Ndumbu said.

    He said government is not addressing the issue of affordable houses, adding it cannot be that people are being told a house for low-income earners costs about N$300 000.

    “We have seen the houses being constructed and low-income earners such as kapana vendors and petrol attendants cannot afford the houses, which means that something is wrong and must be corrected,” Ndumbu said.

    “The reason why houses are expensive today is not because materials are expensive, but because there are too many stakeholders and middlemen involved, which is why house prices are exorbitant. With N$100 000, one can build a decent house.”

    When contacted for comment, town council CEO Werner Iita said NEFF never applied for land from the council.

    “Our records show that they never applied for land from us,” Iita said.

    Commenting on the allocation of the 200 plots to Wu, Iita said he will reserve his comments and that everyone is entitled to express their views.

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    NamPower takes over rural electricity inNamPower takes over rural electricity in NamPower and the Khomas Regional Council have entered into an agreement for the power utility to take over the operation and maintenance of the region's rural electricity network until the Central Regional Electricity Distribution Company (Central RED) becomes operational.

    According to Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua, the regional council has been struggling to maintain and operate the regional power network.

    She said although the regional council was dedicated to the provision of electricity to rural communities, it did not have the technical capacity to run these networks.

    McLeod-Katjirua said there had been investment in the development of new electricity distribution infrastructure in Windhoek, reinforcing existing networks in built-up areas and establishing new networks in un-serviced areas.

    “The introduction of additional capacity and network reconfiguration is being done in order to improve reliability, guaranteeing system security, accommodating changes in electricity demand, population shifts and ensuring quality of power supply.”

    During the previous financial year, the City of Windhoek completed a multimillion-dollar project to provide water and sewerage connections to recently formalised plots in the low-income area of Havana.

    A similar project will follow in identified areas in Otjomuise, Katutura and Havana.

    “There is, however, a substantial cost associated with these projects and it can only be done as financial resources become available,” said McLeod-Katjirua.

    According to her the City of Windhoek is also investigating the possibility of expanding the utilisation of the Windhoek Aquifer.

    This is in line with the City's aim to deliver sufficient water of an acceptable quality to all its residents.

    McLeod-Katjirua said after the recent hepatitis E outbreak in some informal areas, emergency funding of N$50 million was provided for sanitation and better access to clean drinking water.

    “The Infrastructure, Water and Technical Services Department is busy with a project to geo-reference all standpipes. This will allow for better and more cost-effective planning and installations focusing on areas that have none to very little coverage.”

    She said the City had spent about N$4.1 million since January 2018 on the construction of more than 18 km of pipelines aimed at improving access to drinking water in the informal areas of the Moses //Garoëb and Samora Machel constituencies.

    As part of its Hepatitis E and Listeriosis Project, the City is installing 370 standpipes to provide safe drinking water, as well as providing an additional 88 toilets in these informal areas.

    Under its Strategic Funding for Financial Sustainability, the City of Windhoek had secured funding to the tune of N$40 million for its Township Development Fund.

    But because of the hepatitis E and listeriosis outbreaks, the money meant for the proposed development of informal townships (Okahandja Park A, B, C, D and Onyika) was redirected to accelerate the provision of basic services and mitigate the immediate health risks associated with the outbreak. To this end, a number of initiatives were implemented.

    “As this emergency situation is within the City's jurisdiction, curbing of the outbreak largely depends on the City to provide adequate access to sanitation, improved hygiene and safe water,” said McLeod-Katjirua.

    In response to the outbreak the City of Windhoek Hepatitis E Outbreak Emergency Response Plan was developed and is currently being implemented.

    The City Council at its meeting held on 31 January 2018 approved N$32 million for the Hepatitis E Outbreak Response Plan, with N$17 million allocated for 2017 and N$15 million allocated for 2018.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Ongwediva meat processing plant nears completionOngwediva meat processing plant nears completion Farmers in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) were relieved when the minister of agriculture, Alpheus !Naruseb, announced that the construction of the N$90.8 million Ongwediva meat processing plant was nearing completion.

    Communal farmers under the Namibian National Farmers Union (NNFU) have been complaining about the agriculture ministry's delay in establishing meat processing facilities within the NCA, which stretches from the Zambezi to the Kunene Region.

    The ministry is constructing a meat processing plant at the Agro-Marketing and Trading Agency (AMTA) at Ongwediva and according to !Naruseb it will be completed by the end of this financial year.

    According to NNFU president Jackson Emvula, the processing facility would allow processed meat products to be exported from the area.

    He said their meat products used to reach the South African market through Meatco, but since the closure of the Oshakati and Katima Mulilo Meatco abattoirs, they have had no market for their meat.

    “We are more than ready after NNFU embarked on a nationwide campaign that covered all 14 regions of the country, registering farmers based on what they produce.

    “We also established farmers' associations, cooperatives and other community-based organisations in all constituencies toward well-organised agriculture. In constituencies where these institutions already exist, we will support and empower them,” Emvula said.

    He said the union's goal was to protect and advance the interests of communal and emerging farmers and to promote the development of a viable farming industry in order to improve rural communities' standard of living. It wanted to enhance the communal farming sector's contribution to the national economy and grow internationally competitive, innovative and sustainable farming businesses.

    Emvula added that one of the NNFU's mandates was to formalise the agricultural industry, including involving all role-players, to control, advise, direct and implement diverse agricultural activities in order to uplift the living standard of rural people.

    !Naruseb said another meat processing facility would be established at Bukalo in the Zambezi Region.

    “The construction of the Ongwediva meat processing facility is 65% complete and it is expected to be completed by the end of this financial year. I am determined to see to it that the ongoing construction projects are completed according to their new schedules,” !Naruseb said.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    SRT joins in Queen's birthday celebrationSRT joins in Queen's birthday celebration In honour of Queen Elizabeth II's 92nd birthday, and as a wedding present to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the day was celebrated with the Save the Rhino Trust (SRT), focusing on the illegal trade of wildlife.

    The celebration was held in Windhoek on Tuesday.

    British high commissioner to Namibia Kate Airey said at the occasion that tackling the illegal trade in wildlife was as important to the UK as it was to Namibia and many of its international partners.

    Airey said it was important that all countries adapt and change in response to these global threats. “We now know that the gangs that traffic illegal wildlife goods are the same criminals that traffic people and smuggle drugs.”

    She said this was why the UK saw tackling the illegal trade in wildlife as a security issue first and foremost, and one that needed strong international collaboration.

    She said the UK would, therefore, for the fourth consecutive year host an international conference on international wildlife trade in October this year.

    Leone Dunn, the director of the Financial Intelligence Centre, and Colgar Sikopo, Namibia's director of wildlife and parks at the environment ministry, are travelling to Wilton Park in the UK at the end of this month to help decide what actions the international community can take to ensure that these actions will have an impact in Namibia.

    “We will also continue to work with Namibia and other partners to identify ways in which the British government and UK non-governmental organisations can provide practical help on the ground,” said Airey.

    According to her Prince Harry visited Namibia in 2015 to work with the Save the Rhino Trust. Airey said it is a charity close to his heart and has fuelled a real love for this country.

    “So we invited Save the Rino Trust to share our party with us today and talk about their work. We hope that many of you here will be inspired as Prince Harry is by what they do and support them in their difficult and often dangerous work.”

    Airey added that she had no doubt that Prince Harry would want to bring his new wife to this part of Africa that he loves so much.

    “Everyone here knows that Namibia is a fabulous destination for discerning tourists. And now, thanks to the power of the global media, everyone in the UK if not the whole world knows it too. So Namibia, be prepared.”

    Samson Uri-Khob, the CEO of the Save the Rhino Trust, said the story of SRT was a truly remarkable one.

    “It combines animals surviving at the very edge of their natural range, a small band of conservationists determined to halt the slaughter and the collaboration of local communities and the government not only to help, but ultimately to enable the rhinos to expand back into their historic home territories.”

    Uri-Khob said since 1982 the poaching of desert-adapted black rhino has been combated across the Erongo and Kunene regions of north-western Namibia.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    15 hepatitis E results pending15 hepatitis E results pendingOne dead, 11 confirmed, 52 suspected The full details of the hepatits E outbreak in Omusati are still unknown as test results are as yet unavailable. The outbreak of hepatitis E in Omusati Region remains worrisome as 15 individuals showing symptoms remain under medical observation, pending their laboratory test result.

    The region has recorded one death among the 11 confirmed hepatitis E cases. There have been 52 suspected cases.

    Regional heath director Alfons Amoomo told Namibian Sun that the other confirmed cases reported last month remain stable and the region is busy with efforts to prevent further spreading through public health education.

    “Confirmed cases remain stable, except the pregnant woman who passed away on 16 May 2018 at Oshakati Hospital from Okando village in Oshikuku district.

    “Currently no case is hospitalised. We have embarked on screening all pregnant women who are in the second and third trimester for HEV [hepatitis E virus]. We are also busy sensitising the community through public health education, distribution of water purification tablets and soap for hand washing,” Amoomo said

    He said five cases were confirmed at Tsandi, two at Oshikuku, one at Outapi and three at Okahao. He said 26 individuals tested negative, while 15 results are still pending.

    “Hepatitis E is spread by oral-faecal transmission. Therefore, we are encouraging washing of hands with soap under running water after using a toilet, before preparing food, before eating and after changing baby nappies.

    “Use water from safe water points, boil or treat all water before drinking, carry and store water in clean, covered containers. Also, use toilets and dispose faeces properly,” he said.

    Two of Windhoek's informal settlements, Havana and Goreangab, experienced the same outbreak, first reported on 13 October last year. By March this year, the death toll stood at ten: four men and six maternal deaths.

    The health ministry at the time said that roughly three-quarters of those infected were between the ages of 20 and 39. Havana reported 524 cases and Goreangab 242.

    Typical signs and symptoms of hepatitis include an initial phase of mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting lasting a few days. Some patients may experience abdominal pain, itching (without skin lesions), skin rashes, or joint pain.

    To combat the disease, the World Health Organisation recommends the improvement of access to safe water and proper sanitation through different methods, including at-home water purification techniques.

    The water quality should be regularly monitored in affected areas. The number of latrines should be increased to address the issue of open defecation. In addition, waste management and overall hygiene practices should be improved.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Oceana could lose fishing rights in NamibiaOceana could lose fishing rights in NamibiaLocal ownership push Africa’s largest fishing company Oceana Group faces a battle to hold onto its fishing rights in Namibia after the southern African country said listed firms would no longer be awarded quotas. “Ownership and hence citizenship in a company listed on a stock exchange changes by the hour, hence this legal requirement cannot be met by listed companies,”- Bernhard Esau, minister, fisheries Bidvest Namibia, which is listed on Namibia’s stock exchange, could also lose its local fishing rights after the policy shift outlined in a government document reviewed by Reuters on Wednesday.

    Oceana, which is listed on South African and Namibian exchanges and also operates in Angola and the United States, said it hoped its investments in Namibia would be safe as they were structured to include local shareholders.

    Bidvest Namibia’s chief executive officer Sebby Kankondi did not respond to a request for comment.

    Fishing is the third-biggest contributor to Namibia’s gross domestic product, after mining and agriculture. It contributes around N$10 billion (US$783 million) in foreign-currency earnings annually.

    Namibia’s fisheries minister Bernhard Esau said the government wanted to bar listed firms from applying for fishing rights because it could not easily monitor whether they were owned by Namibian citizens, as required by law.

    “Ownership and hence citizenship in a company listed on a stock exchange changes by the hour, hence this legal requirement cannot be met by listed companies,” Esau said in the government document seen by Reuters.

    Zaida Adams, an investor relations executive at Oceana, said the company’s Namibian partners would apply for fishing rights and that therefore the government’s new approach was not a major risk. Bidvest Namibia had already announced plans to exit fishing locally after the government cut its quota three years ago.

    The government has set July 31 as the deadline for applications for fishing rights.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Namdeb recognised for equity commitmentNamdeb recognised for equity commitment On the evening of the 5th June 2018, Namdeb received the prestigious Gender is My Agenda

    Campaign (GIMAC) award for the Private Sector category, through the ministry of gender equality and child welfare. The award is in recognition for the company’s continued contribution in achieving equity and gender equality in Namibia.

    Riaan Burger, Namdeb CEO said that “it comes to show that our efforts over the years, such as

    providing bursaries, supporting the Women in Mining agenda, promoting females in leadership and technical roles, Unconscious Bias training and collaboration with the De Beers Group UN Women Partnership (HeForShe campaign) continue to help Namdeb set benchmarks across industries.”

    The award, which was received by Namdeb’s CEO, Riaan Burger, was presented at a State Banquet in Windhoek, at the same occasion where Namibia was recognised and presented with the award for being the top performing country in Africa on the promotion of gender equality.

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    Air Nam not yet paid for Sochi tripAir Nam not yet paid for Sochi trip Air Namibia has yet to be paid for the National Youth Council's (NYC) chartered flight to Sochi, Russia, last October.

    The airline's spokesperson, Paulus Nakawa, would not divulge how much it is owed, but acknowledged that “some money” was owed to it.

    “In 2017 Air Namibia gladly transported the youth under the umbrella of the NYC to Sochi, Russia. It was not the first time the Namibian youths have made use of their own national carrier – Air Namibia – they have proudly and patriotically done so many times in the past,” Nakawa said.

    “In short, the NYC is one of our very proud and satisfied clients. Our relationship with them is lasting and cordial.”

    As for the payment for the chartered flight, Nakawa said the airline would not divulge the amount due because it was “abiding by the terms of the signed agreement”.

    “[And] there is nothing peculiar about the money owed to date. Our relationship [with the NYC] is enduring and we know beyond any doubt the NYC will settle their bill in due course to honour the service rendered to them,” Nakawa said.

    The Air Namibia Airbus A330 was chartered to take about 172 NYC members - primarily Swapo Youth League (SPYL) members - to the 2017 World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi.

    At the time Air Namibia would not say how much the flight cost, describing it as a “confidential business deal”.

    It said the flight was chartered at the full operational cost, including its margin. The cost included the flight from Sochi to Frankfurt in Germany, from where it resumed a scheduled flight.

    A member of the Namibian Cabin Crew Union (NCCU), speaking on condition of anonymity, said there were other “hidden costs” involved, since the plane was delayed for six hours at the Sochi airport on arrival.

    The Airbus was also chartered for the delegation's return to Namibia.



    'Spyl must pay'

    The director of the NYC, Calista Gowases, said it was not the NYC that should foot the bill but the SPYL, since the trip to Sochi was planned by the ruling party's youth wing.

    She said the NYC merely facilitated the arrangements on behalf of the SPYL.

    Gowases said the trip was coordinated by a tripartite preparatory committee consisting of the NYC, SPYL and the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service. This committee was chaired by Neville Andre, a former spokesperson of the SPYL.

    “We were just coordinating the event; we are not the sponsors,” Gowases said, adding that Andre had signed off on all operational matters.

    Andre, who is no longer in the leadership of the SPYL since its congress in August last year, said he was only answerable to the institutions involved and did not have the authority to speak to the media.

    The new SPYL secretary, Ephraim Nekongo, acknowledged that the SPYL was responsible for paying the chartered flight, but was not prepared to answer any questions on the matter.

    “The issue at hand is one between the SPYL, NYC and Air Namibia. We have the capacity to deal with it,” Nekongo said.

    He said the SPYL would say more on the matter “at a suitable time”, adding that a meeting was proposed between the three parties where the matter would be discussed.

    Nekongo said when the SPYL sent members to Ecuador in 2013, for which the Namibian government had coughed up N$5.8 million, they also flew with Air Namibia and the airline was then duly paid, as it would now.

    “If we had not paid Air Namibia [for the Ecuador trip], Air Namibia would have known what to do [for the Sochi trip],” Nekongo said yesterday.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Man guilty of stabbing pregnant girlfriendMan guilty of stabbing pregnant girlfriend A 24-year-old resident of Mariental, who stabbed his minor pregnant girlfriend to death, was found guilty of murder with direct intent.

    Charles Michael Swartz was also convicted of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm as well as assault by threat on the dead girl's grandmother.

    On the evening of 3 September 2012, Swartz went to the home of his girlfriend, Sara van der Westhuizen's parents and killed her by stabbing her seven times.

    “It is clear from the prosecution witnesses that Swartz regularly assaulted Van der Westhuizen. He did not halt his tendency, even when he noticed that she was pregnant with his own child, he instead intensified the onslaught on her for jealous reasons,” Judge Alfred Siboleka stated in his judgement yesterday.

    Swartz had repeatedly also been warned by the police to stop assaulting Van der Westhuizen, the records show.

    Siboleka said when Swartz gave evidence in relation to how and what caused Van der Westhuizen's death, he framed a story saying the girl's mother, her husband and others had in fact assaulted him at his uncle's house.

    He testified that a certain Klaas Willemse held him down while the mother of the deceased and another woman jointly beat him with a hosepipe.

    He had alleged that he successfully scared them off with a knife, left them at his uncle's place and went to his girlfriend's house to confront her about her family members.

    He said a fight ensued, she denying all allegations and told the court she had fetched a knife, wanting to stab him. He grabbed the knife, he said, and stabbed her once.

    After the first blow he said he released her and she ran into the house but he stabbed her twice in the back and ran away.

    “The accused's account of what happened is so unreasonable that it fails right away in addition to the fact that the prosecution witnesses credibly displaced the said evidence,” the judge said.

    Siboleka emphasised that the prosecution has proved the allegation that it has preferred against the accused beyond reasonable doubt and in the result convicted Swartz of murder with direct intent, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and assault by threat.

    Dominic Lisulo appeared for the State while Mbanga Siyomunji defended.

    Swartz will be sentenced on 27 June.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 06/07/18--16:00: N$6.7m was for Chinese vase
  • N$6.7m was for Chinese vaseN$6.7m was for Chinese vaseSpranger denies receiving Olenga money A Swakopmund estate agent sued by a Congolese army general over a property deal has denied receiving US$900 000 from the general. Local estate agent Erwin Spranger has claimed in the Windhoek High Court that the N$6 785 318.76 paid into the business account of Kintscher Estate Agents & Auctioneers, had not originated from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) army general Francois Olenga, but had instead been paid by a third-party for an antique Chinese Qianlong Dynasty vase.

    Spranger has denied receiving the US$900 000 Olenga says he paid into his trust or business bank account.

    Spranger told the Windhoek High Court on Wednesday the N$6 785 318.76 was paid by a third-party into the business account of Kintscher Estate Agents & Auctioneers, and not by Olenga.

    Spranger is an estate agent practising at Kintscher.

    He said on instruction from his lawyer, he requested Jacomina Frederika Hugo of First National Bank (FNB) to trace exactly from whom the monies had been paid.

    “It became clear that the monies were paid in by a third-party, Breadfield Trade Ltd, 32 Loockerman Square 101D, 19904 Dover, Delaware, USA,” Spranger said.

    According to him his lawyer Phillip Swanepoel, on his instruction, contacted Breadfield and was provided with company documents, which were forwarded by Parcel Inc.

    “It does not state anywhere that the corporation or the company is a bank. I deny that it is a bank at which Olenga holds a bank account,” he argued. According to Spranger, there was a mutual interest in the DRC shared between him and Olenga, as he was born in the then Zaire.

    Following the purchase of two Swakopmund properties, Olenga visited and contacted him sporadically and they got to know each other personally.

    It was during these informal visits that Olenga told Spranger that as a hobby, and due to his extensive travelling and connections, the general was an informal dealer or agent in antiques and valuables.

    Spranger then told him that he owns an antique Chinese vase from the Qianlong Dynasty period.

    The general showed immediate interest and told him he knows dealers or buyers that might be interested in such an item and that he is willing to act as an agent, should Spranger be interested in selling the vase.

    He said the general took photos and also made video of the vase. On 9 December 2009, when Olenga called Spranger confirmed he still had the vase and the general told him he has a buyer who made an offer of US$1 250 000, which included a commission. Olenga told him the buyer wants to stay anonymous and N$1 million was the commission to be paid to the general.

    “Olenga acted as agent in the sale of the antique Chinese Qianlong vase to an undisclosed overseas buyer,” Spranger maintained.

    The buyer undertook to pay at least US$450 000 by mid-March 2010, by means of a bank transfer from the United States into Spranger's account.

    The buyer had also indicated that he would collect the vase after the remaining US$900 000 had been paid. Spranger told the court he emailed his banking details to Olenga, who was saying at the Hyatt Regency Kyiv hotel in Ukraine.

    In the months thereafter, he said he received N$6 785 318.76 from Breadfield Trade Ltd in Namibian dollars.

    On or about 17 July 2010, two Chinese men, who claimed they were sent by Olenga for the vase, visited Spranger's office in Swakopmund.

    According to Spranger, the two men inspected the vase and indicated they were happy with the item and left with it.

    Spranger said he met Olenga at the beginning of June 2003, when he showed interest in an erf for sale in Swakopmund.

    He said Olenga bought two properties, Erf 4120 in Extension 12 in Swakopmund, for which the registered owner was R Wood One CC, and Erf 4136 in the same extension, for which the registered owner was Bee and Mouse Investments CC.

    The payments for the properties were made into the Kintscher trust account and Kinghorn & Associates law firm was the attorneys for the transfers.

    “Olenga was registered as the sole member of both closed corporations around September and October 2003 and the original title deeds in respect of the properties were handed over by me to him on 23 September 2003 and he signed for it,” Spranger told the court.

    However, during September 2005 he said Olenga instructed him to sell the properties and on 26 October 2005 he provided the general with a deed of sale, but he never materialised and no monies were paid to him.

    On 23 August 2011, in a letter written by Olenga's lawyers to Spranger, the general demanded the delivery of certain CC documents and the original title deeds for erf 4136 and erf 4120, and also payment of US$900 000.

    The civil lawsuit continues before Judge Thomas Masuku.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Katjivena makes strides at Meatco Katjivena makes strides at Meatco Do what you love and it will yield results Francois Katjivena is captivated by the study of biology. As a microbiologist, he tests meat samples for various bacteria, using qualitative and quantitative methods. Gabby Tjiroze

    Francois Katjivena has spent the past eight years working as a microbiological laboratory technician at Meatco.

    He performs testing on samples, as well as reporting and record-keeping. He also tests meat samples that are then exported to European Union (EU) markets by Meatco.

    “The results need to be accurate, precise and reliable during testing and reporting; that is expected of me. At Meatco, only standard methods are used, meaning methods validated by AOAC International. A quality assurance officer selects the sample submission for the testing required and we report back in the fastest turnaround time, so the product can be released for export,” said Katjivena.

    A microbiologist is a scientist who studies microscopic organisms, including bacteria, algae and fungi.

    Katjivena, who exudes confidence, speaks persuasively and with deep interest about what his job entails.

    “I record the temperature of the equipment, the room temperature, verify balances and the pipette, before any work can commence. I will then prepare the sample for qualitative and quantitative testing. I incubate these samples at each specific optimal growth temperature in the incubator. Samples are taken out the next day to do a direct counting of bacteria, confirmations and the calculation of results. DNA is extracted and tested using the BAX® System Q7. I prepare the reports and verify, before sending the reports to clients,” he said.

    Like any other profession, his also comes with challenges.

    “Since the labs have been upgraded to higher standards, we needed to keep up with the programme and work even harder to be able to work on the machines. One has to be very competent, work faster and learn new skills, as technology evolves,” explained Katjivena.

    He holds a BSc degree in Molecular & Physiological Environmental Biology from the University of Namibia (Unam), and says he is always ready to take on new tasks, as required by the industry.

    “I think the time I have worked here has really taught me a lot. I gained experience in a short span of time and it has really put me at the forefront. I am now able to audit the lab operations and I have to work on one of the most complex machines and I can do that by myself,” he said.

    Katjivena encourages students to study something they love, which has helped him to forge a path towards discovering answers.

    “Study something that you are interested in, because passion will push you to be a top performer in your field.”

    He hopes study towards a Master of Microbiology degree at Unam in the future.

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    New ­banking product for ­businesswomenNew ­banking product for ­businesswomenA first for Namibia Bank Windhoek has launched a new product offering that focuses on investment in women-owned businesses. “This feature allows you to save to one or more savings purses and you can name each of them according to your goals, instead of having one big savings account and battling to keep track of how much you have put away for whatever you are saving for,” Riaan van Rooyen, head of sales, Bank Windhoek NDAMA ­NAKASHOLE



    Dubbed 'Women in Business', the offering was launched at the bank's headquarters in Windhoek on Wednesday evening.

    Women in Business customers will have access to both a personal current account and a business current account.

    The bank's head of sales, Riaan van Rooyen, whose department will oversee the implementation of the new product, said some of the features of the personal current account include a specially designed Women in Business Visa debit card and free monthly access to internet banking, the bank's mobile app and cellphone banking.

    Others include free life insurance cover, access to wills and estate planning and free basic travel insurance when buying plane tickets with the card.

    Clients also have a choice of a bundled fee option or pay-as-you-go for banking charges.

    Business side

    The business current account is used for transactional banking. It allows access to internet banking and bureau services such as bulk electronic fund transfers and salary payments, access to business insurance, point-of-sale devices, access to savings and investments, as well as opportunities to connect with a network of women in business.



    Unique purse

    The new product offering will also offer a Savings Purse feature.

    “This feature allows you to save to one or more savings purses and you can name each of them according to your goals, instead of having one big savings account and battling to keep track of how much you have put away for whatever you are saving for,” said Van Rooyen.

    He said with the Savings Purse, customers will know exactly what they have saved for, whether it is school fees for January 2019 or a holiday, because they will have a savings purse dedicated to just that goal.

    “Transferring to these savings purses from your personal or business current account is easy, immediate and efficient, using our electronic channels,” he added.



    Customer ­experience

    Ryan Geyser, the Capricorn Group's chief customer officer, said since customer experience goes beyond just products and services, how these products and services are delivered was a key consideration when the bank first had the idea for the new offering.

    “So in ideating this offering, instead of trying to figure out what would make a difference by ourselves, we asked the women in business in Namibia,” he said.

    According to him, the bank ran focus groups in the central region, in the north and at the coast, talking to women who had business interests in diverse sectors, including wholesale and trade, law and construction and financial services.

    Some of the key insights of the research included a strong move towards using digital channels, the importance of a single point of contact for personal and business banking, and the option of a bundled monthly fee.

    “We have taken these insights and we have designed an offering that responds to these needs,” he said.

    Bank Windhoek MD Baronice Hans quoted a World Bank report that 30 to 37% of SMEs have female owners.

    “As a proud member of the Capricorn Group, Bank Windhoek takes women in business seriously and their need for a loyal, engaged, attentive banking partner is heard,” she said.

    At the same event, Bank Windhoek customer Claudia Mbura spoke of how the bank helped her when she had nothing, and now she is apparently a millionaire who is raking in some of the country's biggest catering tenders nationwide.

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  • 06/07/18--16:00: Bold, brave and resilient
  • Bold, brave and resilient Bold, brave and resilient Kahorongo makes an impact that matters Kapurua Kahorongo does everything she can to make sure she makes an impact that matters.

    Elizabeth Joseph

    Kapurua Kahorongo is the governance, risk and regulatory manager at Deloitte.

    She says she has many dreams to achieve, so there’s no stopping her now.

    After matriculating in 1998, Kahorongo went to university and completed a Bachelor of Accounting degree at the University of Namibia (Unam).

    She also obtained a BCompt Honours from the University of South Africa (Unisa).

    In 2005 Kahorongo was inspired to study further and completed a management development programme at the University of Witwatersrand. This programme helped her broaden her managerial horizons.

    Kapurua Kahorongo also pursued a Masters in Risk Management on a fulltime basis with the DeMontfort University in the United Kingdom, which she completed in 2017.

    Later that year she embarked on and completed a certificate in compliance management through the University of Cape Town (UCT).

    Kahorongo started her career at Deloitte, where she completed her articles. After that she worked for the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) as an accountant for accounts receivables.

    She also held a compliance role at the Bank of Namibia (BoN) for nearly eight years and rejoined Deloitte in 2017.

    The job

    When asked what her job entails, Kahorongo gave some interesting, in-depth explanations of what it takes to be a governance, risk and regulatory manager at Deloitte.

    “The role is one that incorporates diverse functions. On the risk end, I am responsible for the identification of pertinent risks for entities, in consultation with the management and board members. After identification of risks, we also identify controls/actions that should be implemented to mitigate and manage the identified risks,” she says.

    Her role further involves drafting risk policies and frameworks, depending on the maturity of the risk function at the entity.

    “Sometimes it also involves conducting training on risk management,” Kahorongo said.

    She also assesses whether entities are complying with the laws and the Corporate Governance Code for Namibia (NamCode).

    “The last aspect involves reviewing internal audit work and presenting reports to management. I also perform other managerial functions, such as planning, budgeting etc.

    “The role is a very unique one. It requires flexibility and very good interpersonal and communication skills, because one works with a diverse group of people,” she says.

    Inspiration

    “I am inspired by people who are bold, brave and resilient and stand up for what they believe, in against all odds,” Kahorongo said.

    She is further inspired by seeing things change for the better - at work, in her personal life and society at large.

    Kahorongo is passionate about helping other people, and seeing the progress or betterment in the lives of other people, especially the youth.

    She describes herself as a very inquisitive person, when it comes to the work environment, and says there’s no better place to stimulate this trait than in her workplace.

    “I am inspired by optimistic and selfless people; they certainly make the world a better place - we need more of them,” she adds.

    Kahorongo sees herself becoming an expert in her field within the next two years. She is also excited about making a greater impact than anticipated.

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    Risky overtaking blamed for crashRisky overtaking blamed for crashBus driver tried to avoid collision The bus driver involved in Tuesday's accident near Mariental had braked so hard to avoid crashing into an overtaking bakkie that a tyre burst. Preliminary investigations indicate that the head-on collision between a bus and a double-cab bakkie between Mariental and Keetmanshoop on Tuesday, which killed four people, could be linked to risky overtaking.

    Ronnie Coleman of Coleman Transport told Namibian Sun yesterday that an initial investigation by accident scene examiners, in addition to witness accounts, indicate that the bus suffered a tyre burst after the driver had to suddenly brake hard when he realised an oncoming bakkie that was overtaking a vehicle would not be able to avoid colliding into it.

    The bus was transporting 32 contract workers from a Rosh Pinah mine, driving in the direction of Mariental, while the double cab bakkie, with four occupants, was driving towards Keetmanshoop.

    Coleman said the company had flown in an accident examiner from South Africa yesterday to examine the scene and determine the cause of the accident.

    He said the skid marks left by the bus indicate that it had skidded for about 30 metres, causing the right front tyre to lose its tread and burst.

    Despite the driver's attempt to avoid a collision with the oncoming car, the vehicles crashed into each other, causing the bakkie to be ripped apart while the bus landed on its side. According to the police, the impact was so severe that the bakkie was torn apart, instantly killing the four occupants.

    According to Coleman, of the 32 persons on board the bus, two sustained serious injuries requiring them to be transported on an emergency flight to Windhoek's Lady Pohamba Private Hospital.

    The rest of the passengers were immediately examined by E-Med Rescue and other medics on the scene and transported to Mariental for further examination.

    One of the two most seriously injured, the bus driver, is scheduled to be discharged from hospital today, Coleman said. Another seriously injured person was one of the mine workers, and both are stable.

    Coleman yesterday praised the response of medical personnel from E-Med Rescue, Lady Pohamba Private Hospital, the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund and state hospital personnel from nearby towns who attended to the scene, located approximately 120km from Mariental towards Keetmanshoop.

    “As tragic as this scene was, with the loss of four lives, all there handled it extremely professionally and well,” he said.

    He said the service of E-Med and Lady Pohamba Hospital was “exceptional”.

    “The accident scene had been cleaned and cleared within three to four hours after the crash. Everyone was examined at the Mariental state hospital and released.”

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Managing in a contracting economyManaging in a contracting economy Grafton Whyte - After 26 years of growth Namibia is facing its first extended period of economic contraction.

    This trend of low or zero growth looks due to continue for at least two or three years.

    In this environment high-quality management skills are a real differentiator. This is true in the private sector, but even more so in the public sector. When times were good and the economy was growing at 5 or 6% per annum, management incompetence, poor service delivery and blatant dishonesty were mollified by the general feeling that the economic cake was getting larger.

    In these difficult conditions poor management should have nowhere to hide. Managers who were previously feted for simply spending their bloated budgets (and many failed to even do this), now need to demonstrate that their expenditure is having the desired impact on their citizens.

    To manage in this environment requires real competency and courage. The emphasis has to be on high-quality management practices, if we are to navigate our way out of these difficult times.

    What management practices?

    The easy answer is that managers provide direction for their staff, make decisions to solve problems, take action or implement what they have decided and reflect on their actions to see if they have achieved the desired results, and improve in future. However, life is not so simple.

    Organisations are complex entities with problems that are multifaceted, which defy simple one-dimensional solutions.

    This challenging environment in Namibia has given rise to four broad categories of managers, illustrated in the two-by-two matrix in Figure 1.

    These four types of managers are classified by their experience (on the horizontal axis), the number of years of relevant managerial experience and their knowledge (on the vertical axis), formal training and education in management disciplines.

    In the lower left quadrant, the absent manager is typified by a low number of years as a manager (less than 15) and low levels of management knowledge (perhaps educated to undergrad degree or diploma level). These managers may find themselves ill-equipped to handle the complexity of the working environment and therefore abdicate some or all of their core practices. In a real sense they are absent from their role.

    Another prevalent category of manager is the accidental manager. They lack professional management qualifications but do possess years of experience. Typically, at some point in their career this category of manager experienced some success. Unfortunately, from that point on they spend the rest of their career looking for opportunities to reprise that success. To this class of manager every problem can be solved with their solution, in much the same way hammers treat every problem, as if it were a nail. We would suggest that without a mind shift and appropriate management development training, these managers are totally ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of the contracting economic conditions.

    Refreshingly, the Namibian picture is far from bleak. The new class of emerging managers are young, hungry and ambitious. They are short on experience but recognise that the working environment is complex and uncertain, requiring novel solutions; so they are busy occupying our business schools seeking to professionalise their managerial practice with an MBA or other higher management qualifications. Our emerging managers are positioning themselves to become tomorrow's professionals.

    Management development programmes (MDPs)

    In fact, the positive news is that business schools and management training institutions have never been so busy. Astute supervisors and managers (both existing and aspiring) are approaching our business schools daily, enquiring how they might enhance their management skills. One recent case is typical, a well-known business approached the Namibian Business School (NBS) at the University of Namibia (Unam) to enquire on behalf of its staff whether our range of management development programmes (MDPs) are accredited. The point underlying this enquiry is that companies and individuals do not want to waste money on training for which your record of achievement is merely a certificate of attendance. They want courses that have practical application and an academic basis, that provide students with credits that can contribute towards a university undergraduate, honours or masters degrees. Unfortunately, many academic institutions make a rigid distinction between academic and development programmes, failing to understand that their customers want both! At NBS we are attempting to respond to those voices.

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  • 06/07/18--16:00: New chapter for Ngwangwama
  • New chapter for NgwangwamaNew chapter for NgwangwamaAims to take NWR to greater heights After rising through the ranks at Namibia Wildlife Resorts, Dr Matthias Mpareke Ngwangwama is set to write a new chapter. Gabby Tjiroze - After working for five years at Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), Dr Matthias Mpareke Ngwangwama has been appointed as chief officer for strategy and projects, and hopes to elevate the parastatal to greater heights.

    His new role comes with expectations and prospects and he believes the team will rally behind the set objectives.

    “My new role as chief officer means applying the theoretical and philosophical knowledge into a real-life business management context and translating business theory into business practice. With regard to growing NWR, organisations, including NWR, have hierarchies, structures and departments. This means that my contribution to the growth of NWR is about ensuring that NWR implements the organisational strategy it has developed; ensuring that progress is made in implementing and executing strategy within my sphere of influence,” Ngwangwama said.

    He is no stranger to the financial world where he has been employed at various levels, both non-managerial and managerial. He also served as a chief financial officer (CFO) at NWR prior to being appointed to his new position.

    “Being the CFO was stimulating in the sense that one was fully engaged 24-7 (always differing aspects to be attended to). Especially the cash flow management function demanded discipline and inventiveness. From that perspective, I enjoyed being CFO and made specific contributions in that context and period of time in NWR’s history and evolution.

    “One of the things that preoccupied my mind during my time as CFO was managing the cash flow of the organisation. From that perspective, we ensured that operational obligations were met and that all salaries of our employees were paid on time. I am also glad that at no time was I embroiled in any scandals or controversies, as I was also the chairperson of the tender committee,” said Ngwangwama.

    Seeking new opportunities

    Ngwangwama brings extensive experience and is ready to raise up NWR to be a leader in accommodation provision on the African continent within the next five years.

    He worked for the National Youth Service (NYS) as a finance and human resources executive and prior to that he was the manager for operations at Nampost. He is also a business academic and practitioner, with over 24 years’ experience in the Namibian business and corporate arena.

    He said he expects some challenges in his new role.

    “Challenges can be overcome through good interpersonal capabilities and networking competencies between departments and team members. Also, they can be overcome by designing and implementing effective monitoring systems, to provide feedback and ensure that all the key NWR departments are executing the key deliverables, as stipulated in the strategic plan,” Ngwangwama said.

    Educational background

    He holds a PhD in Business Management and Administration from the University of Stellenbosch Business School and also attained an MBA in Business Management and Administration from the Management College of Southern Africa (Mancosa).

    “I am part of an organisation that plays a key role in the Namibian economy in providing tourism and hospitality services to Namibians and international clientele, which in a way means an organisation that performs an ambassadorial role of portraying Namibia to international visitors,” Ngwangwama added.

    Leisure activities

    When he’s not in the office, he enjoys reading books, hiking and going to the gym.

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  • 06/07/18--16:00: Totem
  • TotemTotem Quote of the day

    “Ownership and hence citizenship in a company listed on a stock exchange changes by the hour, hence this legal requirement cannot be met by listed companies,”- Bernhard Esau, minister, fisheries

    Stat

    160

    Is the number of maintenance defaults at Katima Mulilo’s 5500 active maintenance cases in 2017/2018, making the place to have an exceptional collection rate.

    -2018/2019 Budget Vote

    Focus

    Budget

    Over N$8mln for labour projects

    After not getting any allocation the previous year, development projects in the labour ministry got an N$8.7 million allocation in 2018/2019 financial year.

    -Development budget

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    Six times more for Windhoek landSix times more for Windhoek land Windhoek land can be sold by its municipality for six times more than the average price you would pay for the same sized land in Keetmanshoop.

    On average local authorities in both Windhoek and Swakopmund could sell a 375-square-metre piece of land for N$95 000, while in other towns it could be sold for N$23 000.

    It also costs N$74 000 more to construct a three-bedroom 76-square-metre standard house in Windhoek and Swakopmund than in other major towns in the country.

    A report by First Capital, which monitors trends in terms of building a house in Namibia, collected the construction costs involved at Windhoek, Keetmanshoop, Swakopmund, Ondangwa, Rundu and Katima Mulilo.

    On average, building materials for a three-bedroom house could cost N$240 300 in Windhoek and Swakopmund, while in other towns similar building materials could cost, N$242 570, indicating that materials remain cheaper in Windhoek and Swakopmund. Using prices from March this year, the report found the cost of building a standard three-bedroom residential house of 76 square meters can range from N$376 298 in towns such as Keetmanshoop, Ondangwa, Rundu and Katima Mulilo, while the same house with similar specifications can cost N$449 926 to build in Windhoek and Swakopmund.

    The report indicates the cost of building materials is more expensive in Katima Mulilo (N$242 200) and Rundu (N$242 100), mainly due to transport costs.





    “Despite the building materials cost advantage in Swakopmund and Windhoek, the high cost of both land and labour makes the cost to build a house in these two cities is expensive, compared to other towns that continue to benefit from cheaper land costs,” says the report.

    The price of land and labour is more expensive in Windhoek and Swakopmund than anywhere elsewhere in the country.

    Due to the high cost of the price of land in most upper locations both in Windhoek and Swakopmund, the report only considered the middle and low-income residential locations for the prices of land, which could be a reflection of the cost to an average household.

    An average 375 square metres of land costs N$110 000 in Windhoek and in Swakopmund it costs N$75 000.

    Land remains cheaper in Keetmanshoop, followed by Katima Mulilo.

    The average price of land measuring 375 square meters will cost you N$18 200 in Keetmanshoop.

    Both Rundu, Ondangwa and Katima Mulilo sells land measuring 375 square meters at no more than N$24 100, which is 4.5 times less than the price of land in Windhoek.

    “Land prices remain higher in Windhoek than in other town in the country, due to the high cost of servicing land which is transferred to households when buying land,” says the report.

    Equally, labour in Windhoek and Swakopmund could cost 2% more than in other towns, the report says.

    In the presented scenario, where the average building materials cost to build a three-bedroom standard residential house is N$241 331, labour could cost N$100 926 on average in both Windhoek and Swakopmund, while in other towns it costs N$97 028.

    According to the report the higher labour cost in Windhoek is explained by the extra workload due to excavation of rock surface ground, to create a foundation for construction, compared to soft surface foundation excavation in other towns.

    The report adds that it was 4.3% more expensive to build a standard house in March 2018, compared to March 2017. On average the price of land increased by 4.8% in March 2018 compared to a year ago.

    Land remains the subcomponent of building cost which recorded the highest price increase, relative to other cost components such as labour and building materials.

    Building materials prices were 4% higher in March 2018, compared to the same month a year ago.

    Labour costs, which is also inclusive of the profit margin for contractors, increased by 4.4% in March 2018 compared to the previous year. Overall all residential building costs increased moderately by 4.3% higher in March 2018, compared to the same month a year ago.

    The report used for comparison purposes a standard three-bedroom residential house structure measuring 76 square meters, with among other 220cm (double brick) external walls, 110cm (single brick) internal walls, an average wall plate height of three metres with a ceiling height of 2.7 metres and a corrugated pitch roof.

    The building material prices collected covers a list of raw construction materials identified to satisfy the construction needs of a standard house.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 06/07/18--16:00: 9 and on the pill
  • 9 and on the pill9 and on the pillMPs shocked by child sex revelations Health workers say they cannot deny children access to reproductive services, while countrywide hearings revealed that in Kavango alone 83 girls under the age of 15 fell pregnant in one year. Girls as young as nine are accessing contraceptives at public health clinics without being accompanied by parents or guardians, while 10-year-olds are giving birth.

    These were just some of the shocking revelations heard recently during public hearings conducted throughout the country by the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Resources and Community Development.

    Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) parliamentarian Elma Dienda, who was among those who attended, said she was shocked.

    Dienda added health workers simply said they cannot deny children access to reproductive services, when confronted about the legality of giving contraceptives to minors.

    “The first question we asked them was where the parents were. And they could not answer. Imagine a nine-year old! That is not a teenager that is a child,” she said.

    Dienda added in the Kavango alone, 83 girls under the age of 15 fell pregnant in one year.

    “And these cases are not reported to the police. Not by the teacher, not by the doctor or anyone. That is rape, nothing but rape. We have not seen one rape case opened in this regard,” she exclaimed.

    Swapo MP Gotthard Kasuto said they were informed that girls as young as 16 are already pregnant with their second child.

    “In one region we came across a case where a uniformed servant or a senior government official was seen dating a minor and nobody said anything. It is as if this blesser, blessee story is becoming a norm. People do not report it,” he said.



    Abortion pills

    Kasuto added that while there is no concrete evidence, there were rumours that abortion pills are readily available in rural areas.

    “Somewhere in the Kunene Region we heard people talking about these pills that girls can buy from the street. And this can endanger their lives,” said Kasuto.

    He added parents also shared that in some cultures it is taboo for adults to talk to children about sex, which makes it difficult for parents to educate their children.

    These public hearings followed a motion tabled by Dienda in the National Assembly last year.

    In her motion Dienda highlighted the worryingly high rate of teenage pregnancies in the country and suggested that the education ministry's Revised Education Sector Policy for the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy be reviewed.

    She raised the spectre that this policy may be doing more harm than good, adding it would appear that pregnant girls do not learn from their mistakes, but rather abuse the system.

    “The numbers do not lie. Something is seriously wrong. Either the policy the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has implemented to reduce and control teenage pregnancies is not being implemented properly or even when implemented properly they do not have the desired effect and need to be changed,” she said.





    Dienda also questioned whether school staff, including teachers and most importantly school principals, are properly trained to implement this policy.

    A report compiled by the National Council Women's Caucus Outreach, following visits to pregnancy hotspot regions //Karas, Hardap, Ohangwena, Zambezi and Kavango West, highlighted that “many people are against the school policy on teenage pregnancy, because it seems it is contributing to more pregnancies among learners”.

    “It has become like a fashion among the learners to get pregnant while at school, because pregnant learners are freely walking around, majestically in the corridors of schools.”

    Kasuto concurred with this statement, saying that some parents condemned the policy saying it has contributed to an increase in teenage pregnancies.

    “The parents also asked why is it that we only deal with teachers, but other high-ranking government officials are not taken to task when they impregnate minors. They also wanted to know why it must only be the girl that stays at home and the father, who is sometimes also a learner, is allowed to continue his education,” he said.



    Health policy

    Director of primary healthcare services Maria Kavezembi said the ministry has guidelines that stipulate when a person is sexually active they can access reproductive health services.

    However, those that cannot make their own decisions are required to be accompanied by their parents or guardians.

    “Children are not supposed to be sent back but it must be done with counselling. You know sometimes you send the child back and then you sit with a teenage pregnancy,” she said.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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