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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 772 | 773 | (Page 774) | 775 | 776 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Botswana genocide victims caucus in NamibiaBotswana genocide victims caucus in Namibia The Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Nama Council for Dialogue (ONCD) on the 1904 genocide, which is in support of the government's negotiations for reparations has proposed an agreement to liaise with descendants of the victims living in Botswana.

    According to ONCD chairperson Gerson Katjirua the idea behind this agreement is to strengthen and expand relations and cooperation between the two parties on all issues pertaining to the Ovaherero, Ovambanderu, and Nama genocide.

    During a press conference Katjirua said their cooperation is influenced by their desire to unite descendants - both in Namibia and the diaspora - and to carry out their activities within the frameworks of their respective governments.

    He added that a delegation of traditional leaders and some members of the Technical Committee of the Botswana Society for Nama, Ovaherero and Ovambanderu met with their Namibian counterparts on Monday.

    They have also met with the vice-president, Nangolo Mbumba.

    “The purpose of our meeting was to impress upon the Namibian government to consider the involvement of representatives of our people in the diaspora in the ongoing bilateral negotiations between the German and Namibian governmentd with the representatives of the descendants of genocide victims,” said Katjirua.



    Progress

    The genocide negotiations between the two countries formally kicked off during September 2016 when Namibia's special envoy on the reparations negotiations with Germany, Zed Ngavirue, accompanied by his technical team comprising chiefs of affected communities, met with the German negotiators in Berlin.

    Namibia's strategy is based on three principles, namely that Germany should take responsibility for the genocide, unconditionally apologise, and pay reparations.

    Currently two actions are ongoing: the official government-to-government talks between Namibia and Germany, and a civil suit in New York against Germany by Nama and Ovaherero traditional leaders who accuse the Namibian government of side-lining them.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Nudo supporters say ‘goodbye Mbai’Nudo supporters say ‘goodbye Mbai’ Supporters of the newly elected National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) leadership under Esther Muinjangue as president, yesterday petitioned the mayor of the City of Windhoek Muesee Kazapua to denounce former president Asser Mbai and his team.

    The group also demanded that Mbai stop referring to himself as Nudo president.

    Mbai suspended five leaders a fortnight ago, including Muinjangue and Joseph Kauandenge, with immediate effect.

    He also announced at a press briefing that Kauandenge, together with two other councillors have also been recalled from the Windhoek, Swakopmund and Okakarara municipalities as party representatives, pending investigations.

    However, supporters of both Muinjangue and Kauandenge yesterday disputed this and denounced Mbai and former secretary-general (SG) Jahanika Meundju’s leadership.

    Kauandenge has now been elected as Nudo SG.

    The party’s third elective congress ended in chaos three weeks ago when one group declared themselves the legal leadership of the party, while the party's former leadership under Mbai insists it is still in control of the party.

    “Jahanika cannot stand up one day from his self-induced coma and proclaim to have recalled our councillors. Under whose authority did he do that? We will protect our councillors and leaders with everything at our disposal,” the petition read.

    It also took a swipe at local media for still referring to Mbai as party leader.

    “We want to make it clear that we have a new leadership in this party under president Esther Muinjangue. Asser Mbai is no longer our president. They have survived on borrowed time from February until May, which means after the congress they have become endangered species,” the petition read.

    When contacted for comment yesterday, an exhausted Mbai said he is tired of this tug-of-war.

    He however insisted that he is still the party president and that a congress never took place.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Suspected church killers appearSuspected church killers appearTwo minors among those in the dock The matter was remanded to 21 June for further police investigations and for the suspects to acquire legal representation. The four suspects, who were arrested for the murder of a 28-year-old man in a church at Odibo, have appeared in the Ohangwena Magistrate’s Court.

    The suspects, Matias Nakale and Petrus Weyulu Mweendobe, both aged 21, along with two minors aged 17, appeared before Magistrate Letta Simon on Tuesday for the death of Titus Kaluvi who was attacked and killed in the Anglican Church at Odibo over the weekend.

    The matter was remanded to 21 June for further police investigations and for the suspects to acquire legal representation.

    Nakale informed the court he will conduct his own defence while the three other suspects indicated they would apply for legal aid.

    The four were denied bail and remain in police custody at the behest of prosecutor Sakaria Mupuma.

    “Bail should not be granted, based on the seriousness of the case, and it will not be in the interest of the public. The investigation is still in its infancy stage and we fear that the suspects might interfere. The state also fears that the accused persons might abscond to Angola,” Mupumu said.

    Ohangwena police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Abner Itumba, said at around 00:45 on Saturday the four suspects allegedly entered the Anglican Church where a Student Christian Movement (SCM) was having a social evening.

    “They allegedly entered the church and Kaluvi is said to have asked them to remove their caps. The suspects apparently decided to leave, and while they were exiting, Kaluvi attempted to close the door of the church. One of the suspects pulled him by the scarf and they then allegedly attacked him,” Itumba said.

    He added that a wooden stick was also used to assault the victim.

    Kaluvi was declared dead on arrival at the St Mary’s Hospital which is just few metres from the church.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Kawana's remarks anger oppositionKawana's remarks anger opposition A debate in the National Assembly on Tuesday degenerated to a war of words between parliamentarians after attorney-general Albert Kawana said opposition parties have no mandate or voice to represent Namibians.

    Kawana premised his reasoning on the fact that the official opposition, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) only has five members in the NA.

    “You are just five. How can you speak on behalf of Namibians?” Kawana asked PDM's treasurer-general Nico Smit, who attempted to bring a halt to the ongoing fishing rights application process.

    Smit wanted to know why the fisheries ministry was conducting public consultations on the fishing rights, while requirements for these rights were already gazetted.

    He argued that the Pty (Ltd) requirement excludes the poor and vulnerable Namibians from participating in the much-sought-after rights.

    Smit's assertion was, however, rubbished by fisheries minister, Bernhardt Esau, who responded that the Pty (Ltd) requirement was to protect poor Namibians as opposed to excluding them.

    Kawana then stepped in: “For PDM to come here and represent our people when there are only five of them, the two are absent and now they want to speak on behalf of this nation.”

    This did not sit well with PDM's Vipuakuje Muharukua, who claimed that unlike Kawana, who serves in parliament at the behest of President Hage Geingob, he was elected by over 44 000 Namibians.

    “I was voted for by 44 000 Namibians. He is voted for by one person.

    He is at the mercy of the president,” said Muharukua, adding that if the AG fell out with Geingob, he would be shown the door.

    “You can brag about having the numbers.

    But what does it help to have 90 people in parliament who do not contribute meaningfully? Mr Kawana, count your words. Don't insult us, we can insult better,” said Muharukua before storming out of the NA chamber.

    On his part, Swanu parliamentarian Usutuaije Maamberua expressed that Kawana's words were tantamount to insulting the Namibian constitution.

    “Our democracy is a constitutional democracy.

    You cannot come here and insult our constitution. We are here as equal members,” demanded Maamberua.



    NAMPA

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    Farmers to involve workers in securityFarmers to involve workers in security Commercial farmers, who are faced with increasing attacks and poaching incidents, have discussed plans to increase farm security by involving their workers.

    This and other discussions relating to commercial farming were held on Monday at the Agricultural Employers' Association congress in Windhoek

    Faan Oosthuizen from Intelligence Support Against Poaching (ISAP) said farmworkers could either be involved in safeguarding farms or be a security risk.

    He said when farmers employ new workers they must select them carefully and look at their references, while applying the proper labour practices.

    According to him farmers should also look at the character of the person they want to employ.

    Oosthuizen said farmers should request a police clearance certificate from a potential worker, give the new worker a job description and inform them of what is expected.

    He added that farmers should be fair to their workers, and there should be mutual respect.

    Oosthuizen also stressed that farmers would have to safeguard their farms, adding there are four lines of defence.

    He said the first line of defence is the house itself and alarm systems.

    The second line of defence is the fencing around the house, dogs, and farmworkers' houses.

    The third line is the people on the farm, while the fourth line of defence is the people outside it.

    According to him the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) had taken the initiative some time ago to promote rural safety and he had offered two training courses already.

    Schalk Pienaar from Pupkewitz Holdings spoke about a career in agriculture and how the sector can get young people back into farming.

    “Farming is not only work but also to enjoy what you do and this is also coupled with labour, sweat and struggle. Young people today call it labour-intensive and they struggle to get skilled workers and they are far away from cities and it takes a lot of capital to start.”

    Pienaar said it was important that the farming sector continue to produce food for the country.

    “We should try and attempt to make young people interested in agriculture.

    We will have to look at what can be done to improve the status of employees and that they also feel important and have some security for the future.”

    The congress agreed that the older generation should hand their farms over to young farmers and make provision for their own future. “Financial survival and profitability in farming is important for young farmers.

    There is a world tendency that more and more farmers are farming part-time.”

    IJG Namibia managing director René Olivier said farms are businesses and a business must have sustainable and competing values.

    According to Olivier farmers do not have control over certain aspects, such as droughts, meat prices and the weather, but they do have control over the management of their farms.

    “If there is a drought, animals can be bought cheaply. Farmers should invest in their farm but also have to look at their balance sheets.”

    He also stressed if a farm stayed in a family, it must be ensured that the next generation can farm sustainably.

    The congress agreed that if farmers complained continuously, the younger generation would not be interested in farming.

    Helmut Förtsch was re-elected as AEA chairperson during the congress.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    King Elifas used for enrichmentKing Elifas used for enrichmentUnknowingly named in business deals A fishing company is trying to trace seven shareholders - including the Ondonga king - who own a 50% stake in a joint venture. An aide to Ondonga king Immanuel Kauluma Elifas has confirmed they are aware of individuals who have been using his name to enrich themselves, including by registering him as a beneficiary of business deals without his knowledge.

    This follows a letter that went viral on social media recently, dated 18 August 2016, which was addressed to fisheries permanent secretary Moses Mauhungirire.

    In the letter Oshazinga GRD Joint Venture said it was struggling to locate seven shareholders, including the king, who jointly held 50% of the shares in the JV.

    “We are not aware if the king is truly a shareholder in that company or if people are just using his name. We have been hearing such talk for a very long time that there are certain individuals who are using the king's name to enrich themselves. We are following it up to make sure the king gets what belongs to him,” King Elifas spokesperson Naeman Amalwa told Namibian Sun.

    He did not share what business activities the king is involved in or whether he holds shares in companies.

    Efforts by Namibian Sun to establish whether the JV still exists, to trace the individuals mentioned and establish whether they received dividends, proved unsuccessful.

    In the letter, Miguel Tordesillas of Oshazinga, a joint venture with the NovaNam group of companies, through its subsidiary company Gendor and local shareholders, appealed to Mauhungirire to continue awarding it fishing licences, despite the company not being able to trace seven individuals who held a 50% stake in the joint venture.

    “We received a fax from an auditing company in 2005 where it was stated that Deon September transferred the shares of Oshazinga from himself to seven individuals.

    This is all the information we have at our disposal in terms of what constitutes 50% of this joint venture. We have been unable to find/contact these persons despite several attempts to do so over the years,” the letter read.

    The names mentioned were King Elifas, Maria Thomas, Maria Movilongo, Mirjam Geirises, Jacob Amalala, Micha Rodney Frans and Julia Neumbo.

    Tordesillas told Mauhungirire it was very important for the ministry to keep the JV alive, as the awarding of the fishing licences had provided jobs on vessels, as well as land for offloading and dispatching.

    He also indicated the JV was generating foreign revenue.

    Tordesillas's letter further said the JV was inherited when NovaNam took over the liquidated Gendor in 2002.

    Tordesillas did not respond to enquiries by Namibian Sun.

    Fisheries ministry spokesperson De Wet Siluka said he did know whether the JV still existed.

    “The ministry has introduced a new system and it is now difficult for us to know if that joint venture still exists or who the shareholders are.

    The only institution that will be able to provide you with such information is the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (Bipa).”

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    San childhood development under spotlightSan childhood development under spotlight Among a multitude of hurdles faced by San communities in Namibia in accessing education, health and other basic services are the humiliating and discriminatory treatment experienced at the hand of service providers.

    Findings in a recently launched report that assessed integrated early childhood development programmes among San communities indicate that while the delivery of integrated early childhood development (IECD) among the San is gathering momentum, many barriers remain.

    “A relatively high number of San children are not accessing some of the early childhood development (ECD) services currently available, particularly those provided by ECD centres.”

    Barriers cited by study participants include extreme poverty, long distances and inability to afford decent clothing for children, lack of nutritional support at ECD centres, and a limited awareness of the importance of the full range of ECD services in addition to alcohol abuse.

    The report also highlighted that accessing healthcare, child grants and birth registrations are hindered by discriminatory attitudes towards the San, poor quality of services, language barriers, and travel and service costs.

    In 2011, 58% of San children were not attending school and only 6% of eligible San children attended secondary school. Of those who started in Grade 1, only 1% complete their schooling, with the majority of San children dropping out before the end of the primary phase.

    “This lack of education perpetuates cycles of poverty and inequality, and continues to see low levels of representation in civic engagement and governance,” a statement released at last week's consultative meeting and the launch on the report noted.

    The report further highlighted that lack of mother-tongue instruction, limited capacity of educators, inadequate and substandard ECD facilities and infrastructure and failure to adhere to the ECD curriculum and guidelines compromise the quality of early learning in these marginalised communities.

    None of the ECD centres visited during the research had any learning material in San languages, and a majority of teachers indicated they had not completed the required minimum 12 weeks of training in ECD.



    Alarm bells

    IECD services that were taken under the loop during the research for the report, included health, education, nutritional support, child care, protection and birth registration services. The report noted that the most “alarming findings were related to access of services. Specifically health services, child protection services including child grants, civil registration services, police and domestic violence assistance and social services including access to government subsidised food parcels.”

    Among the issues that hinder access to services, participants complained that some health workers “insisted on using English, knowing that the patient did not understand this language, and cases of health workers shouting at San patients and humiliating them. Such maltreatment was said to lead to a lack of trust in the services and reluctance to seek health care.”

    A number of health facilities are described in the report as “beset by poor staff attitudes, lack of standard operating procedures, and disregard for procedures and opening hours, with limited accountability.”

    There were also complaints that “clients from other socio-economic groups” frequently received preferential treatment.

    Another issue identified found that while San communities are aware of the availability of social protection services as well as the importance of national documentation such as birth certificates, multiple barriers prevent access.

    Access to child grants is impeded amongst other issues by delayed pay-outs, abuse of grants by caregivers, poor customer services and bad attitude by staff with “lack of accountability.”

    Moreover, disability care among families with children with disabilities is nearly non-existent and cases where parents were sent home by medical staff and told “the children are well”, were reported.

    Research also found that none of the early childhood development centres attended by San had any specialist services to cater children with disabilities.

    Key recommendations based on the findings in the report include the need to train San high school graduates to be integrated into ECD centres, community, outreach and other services in their communities.

    Moreover, that educator allowances should be “paid regularly and timeously” in addition to reviewing allowances taking inflation into consideration.

    Another recommendation is investment in renovating and developing ECD infrastructure and to scale up and expand its educator training programme with a focus on marginalised communities.

    Interventions should be harmonised “to ensure consistency in the provision of nutritional support to communities, including ECD centres as an intervention point.”

    A number of other recommendations are included in the report.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 06/13/18--16:00: Africa briefs
  • Africa briefsAfrica briefs Rand slips to 6-month low

    South Africa’s rand slipped to a 6-month low against the dollar early on Wednesday, with investors waiting for local retail sales figures and the US Federal Reserve’s policy decision later in the day.

    At 0615 GMT, the rand traded at 13.3650 per dollar, 0.3% weaker than its close on Tuesday.

    The unit is trading at its weakest level since December 15, according to Thomson Reuters data.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Group mulls US$1 billion steel plant in Zimbabwe

    China’s unlisted Tsingshan Holding Group on Monday signed a US$1 billion outline agreement with Zimbabwe to build a steelmaking plant there after completing a feasibility study.

    President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is trying to woo foreign investors, especially in mining, as part of efforts to revive an economy that suffered in the later years of Robert Mugabe’s rule.

    Mines minister Winston Chitando, who signed the agreement with a Tsingshan official, said the plant would produce 2 million tonnes of steel a year for 25 years.

    Tsingshan will carry out the project through its local subsidiary Afrochime, which produces chrome ore.

    A flurry of foreign investors have sought opportunities since Mugabe’s downfall in November, but many appear to be avoiding committing funds until after elections next month.

    Zimbabwe’s only integrated steel plant, ZISCO, shut down in 2008 at the height of an economic crisis and China’s R&F has said it plans to invest up to US$2 billion to revive the operation.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Zimbabwe drops call for Mugabe to answer on diamond mines

    Zimbabwe’s parliament on Monday backed down from its demand for former president Robert Mugabe to answer questions related to diamond mining operations during his time in office.

    In what would have been his first public appearance since being ousted in a de facto military coup in November, parliament had wanted to question Mugabe about his pronouncements that the state had been deprived of at least US$15 billion in revenue by mining companies operating in the eastern Marange gem fields.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Tanzania orders unregistered bloggers to take down sites

    Tanzania ordered all unregistered bloggers and online forums on Monday to suspend their websites immediately or face criminal prosecution, as critics accuse the government of tightening control of internet content.

    Several sites, including popular online discussion platform Jamiiforums, said on Monday they had temporarily shut down after the state-run Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) warned it would take legal action against all unlicensed websites.

    Regulations passed in March made it compulsory for bloggers and owners of other online forums such as YouTube channels to register with the government and pay up to US$900 for a licence. Per capita income in Tanzania is slightly below US$900 a year.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Glencore unit Katanga settles DRC Congo disputeGlencore unit Katanga settles DRC Congo disputeshares surge Democratic Republic of Congo state miner Gécamines will drop legal proceedings to dissolve a copper and cobalt joint venture with a subsidiary of Glencore Plc after reaching a settlement with its partner that includes Gécamines getting a US$150 million payment. “It de-risks the situation. It shows a commercial discussion can be conducted rationally and you can come to a solution where both parties can move forward,”- Paul Gait, an analyst at Bernstein Investment Research. Glencore unit Katanga Mining Ltd said on Tuesday it had agreed a recapitalisation plan for 75%-owned Kamoto Copper Co with Gécamines, its joint venture partner, involving converting US$5.6 billion of Kamoto’s debt to equity to fix a capital shortfall.

    Katanga’s shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange jumped 23% to C$1.28.

    Investors have been watching the dispute closely, particularly for any impact on supplies of cobalt from Congo, which is by far the world’s biggest producer of the metal used in batteries for electric cars and mobile phones.

    Gécamines in April started legal proceedings to dissolve Kamoto, blaming Glencore for high debts that have weighed on the Congo mining company for more than 10 years.

    The US$150 million payment will be funded by new loans from Glencore, which owns 86% of Katanga.

    “I consider this is a small price to pay,” said Paul Gait, an analyst at Bernstein Investment Research.

    “It de-risks the situation. It shows a commercial discussion can be conducted rationally and you can come to a solution where both parties can move forward,” Gait said.

    Glencore accounts for more than a quarter of the world’s cobalt output, most of it from Congo, which itself is the source of 60% of global supplies. Any disruption could push up cobalt prices from already historic highs of near US$100 000 a tonne.

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    South Africa's Q2 business confidence falls South Africa's Q2 business confidence falls A South African business confidence index fell in the second quarter by 6 points, a survey showed on Wednesday, a sign the economy was struggling amid hopes that President Cyril Ramaphosa would help revitalise the country and attract investment.

    The Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) business confidence index compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research fell to 39 points in the second quarter from 45 points in the first quarter, falling further below the 50-mark separating the net positive and negative territories.

    However, RMB’s chief economist, Ettienne Le Roux, said that the trend in business confidence remains upwards, even if only tentatively so, despite the second-quarter decline.

    Le Roux said that it was important that the political and policy factors currently weighing down on confidence were resolved.

    First-quarter business confidence jumped 11 points, mainly because of the change in the country’s political leadership in February, when Ramaphosa was elected, RMB said in a statement.

    But South Africa suffered its worst quarterly contraction in nine years in the first quarter. Gross domestic product shrank 2.2%, led by a slowdown in agriculture and mining, after expanding 3.1% in the final quarter of last year, Statistics South Africa said.

    Earlier this month, The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry reported its monthly business confidence index fell to 94 in May from 96 in April as trade declined and consumer inflation rose after an increase in Value Added Tax .

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Acquitted man gets his money backAcquitted man gets his money backPolice did not act in bad faith The High Court has ordered the police to return a large sum of money confiscated from a foreign citizen who was subsequently acquitted of all charges. The Windhoek High Court has ordered the inspector-general of the Namibian Police to comply with an order of the Regional Court in Katutura and release close to N$700 000 seized from an Egyptian man in 2013.

    Judge Tomas Masuku also ordered the applicant, Ahmed Mohammed Rashed, to comply with the relevant laws and regulations that govern the possession of foreign currency in Namibia. Rashed was arrested at Hosea Kutako International Airport on 6 December 2013 with the equivalent of N$642 580 in several foreign currency denominations. The money was confiscated by the police and handed over to the Bank of Namibia for safekeeping.

    Rashed, an Egyptian national residing in Swakopmund, was charged under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and the Foreign Currency Regulations. He was acquitted on all charges on 28 March 2018.

    Rashed then filed an urgent application in the Windhoek High Court to force the police to comply with a lower court order to return the money to him within 24 hours.

    The order had been made by Regional Court Magistrate Ileni Velikoshi on 28 March 2018.

    Judge Masuku said in his ruling yesterday that international airports are zones where a high degree of surveillance, safety and security is strictly observed.

    “Hosea Kutako International Airport in Namibia is no exception in this regard,” the judge said.

    He found that there was no evidence that the respondents had acted wilfully and disobediently, or that their non-compliance with the court order was in bad faith or with intent to deceive.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 06/13/18--16:00: Totem
  • TotemTotem Quote of the day

    “We are in a position where between 2020 and 2022 we might not have any gas available,” said Luvo Makasi, chairman, Central Energy Fund of South Africa

    Stat

    9 487

    Applications for legal aid were received during the 2017/2018 financial year.

    -Ministry of Justice

    Focus

    Budget

    Over 2 times more for shack-area school

    Government has in 2018/2019 allocated N$18 million towards the construction of a secondary school in a Windhoek’s Havana informal settlement, an area where (almost) all the population live in shacks.

    -Development budget

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  • 06/13/18--16:00: Etosha's troubled fence
  • Etosha's troubled fenceEtosha's troubled fenceMinistry confirms it needs N$500m per year The environment ministry says it will in fact need N$500 million a year over the next five financial years to complete the Etosha National Park fence. The environment ministry has confirmed it will need N$500 million each year over the next five financial years to complete the elephant- and predator-proof fence around Etosha National Park.

    This is for the materials and construction associated with the mammoth project and follows previous ministry statements, which said it would need N$419 million to complete the fence over a ten-year period.

    While outlining several challenges - including limited financing over the years and contractor delays - the ministry's director of planning and technical services, Boas Erkki, also retracted a recent statement that only 112km of the fence had been completed over the past six years.

    He said it was likely that 145km of the 842km boundary fence would be completed by the end of this year.

    With regard to the N$419 million figure previously released by the ministry, he said that was only for a section of the fence.

    The boundary consists of various types of fencing at various stages. The predominant fence is a 1.8m-high, game-proof fence, and the rest is approximately 80km of stock-proof fence that is 1.2m high.

    The fence was erected in the early 1960s and has badly deteriorated in some areas.

    To improve the status of Etosha's boundary fence, the ministry has since 2010 started with the construction and electrification of an elephant- and predator-proof fence which consists of mesh and steel wire, cabling and electrification.

    According to Erkki, a total of 118km of the 370km northern boundary fence has already been upgraded, of which 70km has been electrified.

    With regard to the Karos fence in the south-western part of Etosha, he said 27km of the fence would be completed this year in two sections. At what is known as section K1, 12km of the fence is 70% complete. At K2 60% of the 15km is completed.

    However, challenges remain. According to Erkki, certain sections of the upgraded 118km fence must already be redone because of a lack of regular maintenance. Figures indicate that maintenance of the fence alone will cost N$10 million.





    Capacity issues

    He added there was also a lack of manpower to maintain the fence, adding there were only 30 ministry staff working in Etosha.

    “There is a lack of a proper dedicated fencing team to look after the fence.”

    He explained that even if a fence was repaired in the morning, migrating elephants could destroy it the very next day.

    Erkki said upgrading the Etosha fence had experienced many challenges, with delays having been caused by the government's Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (Tipeeg).

    For instance, a company was only appointed in 2016 after the Tipeeg tender had closed in 2014.

    This resulted in contractors abandoning the project, because the amount they had tendered for had escalated when they were finally appointed.

    Erkki said other problems were caused by the migration of elephants causing damage to the Karos fence that is nearing completion.

    Because the fence has not yet been handed over to government, the contractor must repair it at its own cost.

    Contributing factors resulting in slow progress at the Karos fence also included inadequate equipment, hard rock evacuation, as well as late payments by the government.

    Another challenge was a lack of adequate skills and finances, he said.

    He pointed out that for the past few years the ministry had focused resources on anti-poaching measures and that also contributed to the deteriorating condition of the fence.

    The budget allocation for the construction of the Etosha boundary over the financial years has been as follows: N$35 million in 2012/13, N$40 million in 2013/14, N$40 million in N$2014/15 and N$20 million in 2015/16.

    In the 2016/17 financial year an amount of N$29 million was allocated, while 12 million was allocated in 2017/18.

    This totals N$176 million that was allocated for construction and fencing materials for the Etosha fence, Erkki said.

    This financial year, N$23.8 million has been allocated. According to Erkki this will be for electrification, maintenance and the completion of sections K1 and K2 of the Karos fence.

    According to Erkki the ministry is looking into reducing the cost of the fence by investigating options at neighbouring farms and even at the Kruger National Park in South Africa.



    200km per year

    The ministry needed about N$500 million per financial year in order to complete the fence in five years or less, he said. According to him it would then be able to cover 200km per year.

    “There should be political and financial commitment from government and sufficient budgetary support for the construction and maintenance of the fence.”

    According to Erkki the fence is a priority, but not enough money is allocated to it.

    “It also depends on the performance of the contractors. Most contractors on the northern boundary have been performing well, although it must be added that part is sandy, where it is easy to dig, compared to the hard rock at Karos.”

    He also mentioned that since 2014, fuel prices had steadily increased and contractors were struggling to hire, while the government paid on performance.

    “Whatever a contractor earns from a previous job, he has to put it into hiring for his next job.”

    He added the ministry had budgeted N$100 million to mitigate wildlife conflict during the current financial year. This will be used to construct kraals, fencing and water points.





    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Tender board needs 1 000 professionalsTender board needs 1 000 professionals The Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) says it needs about 1 000 professionals to serve on its ad hoc bid evaluation committees.

    The new tender board also revealed that it was in the process of increasing its current staff by 50% in order to expand its operations since its establishment 15 months ago.

    “However, to strengthen and enlarge this capacity of the CPBN to evaluate bids across the spectrum of procurement required, we require a pool of approximately 1 000 professionals from where the board could collect the desired mixture of skills and appoint them as an ad hoc evaluation committee,” CPBN chairperson Patrick Swartz said.





    He said the staff complement had been sufficient for its workload so far, but that the current influx of individual procurement plans (IPPs) necessitated revisiting its recruitment strategy and accelerating the recruitment process.

    Swartz said the specific areas in which the organisation would require manpower were in its core functional areas - the procurement and certain technical fields.

    The first round of advertisements closed on 8 June, and more are to follow, Swartz said.

    He said the CPBN required a pool of experts to evaluate bids on behalf of public entities.

    According to the new Public Procurement Act, board members may not form part of an evaluation committee.

    The company so far has 67 professionals, but Swartz said because of the rapid increase of individual procurement plans (IPPs) and the requirement for between three and seven evaluators, the organisation called for more professionals to apply. It has so far received 80 more applications.

    The CPBN is appealing for applications from engineers, quantity surveyors, architects, pharmacists, accountants, lawyers, IT professionals, geologists and aviation experts, among others.

    Interested people can access the registration forms on the CPBN's website and forward them to its offices.



    Procurement

    Over the last 15 months the CPBN has issued only one tender - for anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

    But this tender was cancelled to ensure that the CPBN had complied with the provisions of the new Public Procurement Act, and that the 13 bidders were given an opportunity to participate in a fair, transparent and competitive bidding process, Swartz said.

    He said the ARV tender would be awarded soon.

    “The revised documents have not yet been issued. The board needs to vet the changes in the document that was made,” Swartz said yesterday at a press briefing where he reported on the progress the CPBN has made so far.

    Since March last year the CPBN has approved 17 IPPs to the value of N$2.5 billion and awarded 28 tender extensions, variation orders, price increases, as well as new procurement awards valued at about N$1.46 billion at its 29 meetings.

    It approved 18 extensions of contracts to the value of N$848 million, three variation orders amounting to N$21 million, two price increases amount to over N$15 million, and five procurement awards were made to the value of over N$572 million.

    One of these five awards concluded by the board is a N$111 million tender awarded by the Roads Authority (RA) and is currently being challenged in the High Court by one of the bidders, after the review panel had set aside the CPBN's tender award decision aside.

    A court ruling in this matter is expected in the next financial year.



    IPPs

    Public entities are responsible for preparing IPPs according to their own strategic plans and budgets. After this, they prepare the bidding documents with the specifications and the evaluation criteria.

    The CPBN, as procuring agent, then considers whether the specifications and evaluation criteria encourage fair competition and comply with the Public Procurement Act.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    There will be power – NampowerThere will be power – Nampower
    Nampower has assured the public that there will be no power outage tomorrow, as was stated in a widely circulated WhatsApp message.
    The message read: “Please note that there won’t be electricity tomorrow from 06:00 to 12:00 throughout the whole of Namibia. Please pass this message and make everyone aware.”
    Nampower dismissed the message as a hoax.
    “Nampower would hereby like to inform its customers and the Namibian nation at large that the message was not issued by the utility, and that it is a hoax. Nampower would like to assure the nation that there will be no power outage as alleged in the message.
    “The nation should be informed that all written communication from Nampower is always on the company’s official letterhead and contains contact details of the corporate communication department,” it said.
    In South Africa, Eskom’s employees went on strike yesterday but the power utility activated contingency measures to ensure continued power supply.
    Eskom and Nampower have a five-year power purchasing agreement that was signed last year.
    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Eskom says full recovery of power system to take 10 daysEskom says full recovery of power system to take 10 daysElectricity outages remained high State power utility Eskom expects full recovery of South Africa’s power system to take approximately 10 days. “The power system remains constrained with the risk of stage 1 load-shedding remaining high for this evening due to a shortage of capacity from the effects of the recent industrial action,” Eskom The company also said the possibility of limited, localised electricity outages on Sunday remained high.

    Eskom, which produces more than 90% of South Africa’s power, is grappling with labour unrest over a wage dispute. Last Thursday it implemented power outages for the first time since 2015.

    “The power system remains constrained with the risk of stage 1 load-shedding remaining high for this evening due to a shortage of capacity from the effects of the recent industrial action,” Eskom said in a statement.

    Should power outages occur, they would take place between 1500 GMT to 1900 GMT, it said.

    Stage 1 power outages are localised outages which involve a load shed of up to 1 000 megawatts.

    “Eskom’s prognosis is that the power system will take up to approximately 10 days to recover from the effects of the recent industrial action, once all staff return to work on Monday,” it said.

    Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan said late on Friday that Eskom and workers’ unions had agreed to resume talks on Tuesday on conditions that include Eskom making a pay increase offer and provided that operations return to normal.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    UAE to give Ethiopia US$3 billionUAE to give Ethiopia US$3 billion The United Arab Emirates pledged a total of US$3 billion in aid and investments to Ethiopia on Friday, an Ethiopian official said, a major show of support for the new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed.

    No officials from the oil-rich Gulf state briefed journalists, but the UAE and its Gulf allies, in particular Saudi Arabia, regularly give large sums to cooperative governments in the broader region.

    In 2013, the UAE was one of three Gulf monarchies that pledged a total UD$12 billion to the new government after the military ousted a president from the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Abiy, a 41-year-old former intelligence officer, took up his position office in April after three years of unrest that had threatened the EPRDF coalition’s hold on power.

    The coalition’s choice of Abiy, from an ethnic group that has long been marginalised, signalled its willingness to allow some political reforms, but he has already gone farther and faster than most had expected.

    Two weeks ago the government said it would sell stakes in its lucrative telecoms monopoly and other assets including the national airline.

    It also pledged to end a war with long-time enemy Eritrea, offering to implement a peace deal signed in 2000.

    DAM DISPUTE

    Last weekend Abiy visited the UAE’s ally, Egypt, and offered a newly conciliatory tone in a long and bitter row over a dam Ethiopia is building on the Nile, which Egypt fears threatens its water supplies.

    Abiy had travelled to both Abu Dhabi and Riyadh shortly after taking office.

    Shide said the UAE’s pledges would have a “significant impact” on Ethiopia’s foreign currency shortage.

    Despite showing the fastest growth in Africa for the past decade, the landlocked country of 100 million people is heavily dependent on imports.

    A hard currency crunch caused partly by spending on big infrastructure projects has reduced foreign currency reserves to less than one month’s worth of imports, according to analysts’ estimates. Foreign investors and local businesses say all sectors of the economy have been hit.

    Abiy said in April that the government’s plans to continue expanding its infrastructure and the nascent manufacturing sector meant the currency crisis might last for 15 or 20 years.

    A Ethiopian foreign ministry official said the other US$2 billion from Abu Dhabi would be invested in tourism, renewable energy and agriculture.

    On Friday afternoon, Abiy got behind the wheel of a white car and personally gave Sheikh Mohamed, the de facto leader of the United Arab Emirates, sitting in the passenger seat, a tour of Addis Ababa.

    Shide said the crown prince’s delegation included investors interested in real estate and hospitals.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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  • 06/18/18--16:00: New study buddy on the way
  • New study buddy on the way New study buddy on the way Using technology to improve study methods Pupils from various schools are curious to use the Study-Pal application, which will help them with their studies. “Programming could bring about change and innovation in the country and with our country going through an economic crisis, innovation should be encouraged." Herman Mutalya, application developer and high school learner. Justicia Shipena



    Carmen Thobias, a grade 12 learner at Windhoek Technical High School, said that she thinks the application is going to help a lot of learners because not everyone has the means to attend afternoon classes. They can download the application and use it because some teaching methods are not that effective.

    “I would encourage my fellow learners to use the application once it’s launched as most of them work best with technology, so they are more likely to study through their phones than textbooks that are outdated and you can have the information anywhere at any time,” she said

    Grace Anti, a grade 12 learner at Mweshipandeka High School, thinks it is a great idea since the world is changing to an advanced stage, which it can make studying easier. She further said the government will not have to spend a lot of money on textbooks.

    “I believe that most of the youth have smartphones and can easily get access to the study application once it is launched,” she said.

    Study-Pal is an application created by Herman Mutalya, a grade 12 learner at Windhoek Technical High School.

    He is in the final stages of developing the mobile application. Mutalya said Study-Pal will make studying easier for grade 12 learners in Namibia.

    Speaking to The Zone last Wednesday, Mutalya said as part of continuous assessment at his school, his computer studies teacher asked the class to come up with a project that will solve a certain issue in the community, and that was how the idea came about.

    He further said Study-Pal will make use of the Namibian syllabus. The application finds out what the Namibian government want pupils to learn and it gives them the basic terminologies, making it easier for them to understand.

    The app also includes study tips and interesting facts relating to all the subjects that learners study.

    “Study-Pal will be available for download on Android and iOS and will be compatible to be used on laptops,” he said.

    Mutalya says the application does not only target people with access to expensive phones.

    “Students could go to an internet hub and use the computers there to use it, even though one has to walk a few miles. Where there is a will, there is a way,” he said.

    According to Mutalya being a member of the programing club at his school made him develop a keen interest in coding and programming.

    He said for him coding is not just about communicating with a computer, but it is also a way of creating something new.

    “Programming could bring about change and innovation in the country and with our country going through an economic crisis, innovation should be encouraged,” he said.

    Mutalya said it was difficult to work on his project, as the school computer lab has no computers available. The only fear he has about the application is the lack of memory or resources.

    “The future for this project is too see it as an international recognised application, helping people to study and it to give people an eased mind when going to write exams,” he said.

    Jessica Upani, Mutalya’s computer studies teacher, said when he explained his idea to her it did not come as a surprise because she has high expectations of him.

    “When your learner creates an alarm clock of his own after one year of programming, you quickly raise the standards so that you push him to greater heights,” she said.

    Upani said Herman is one of the most hardworking learners she knows, who is also committed and very reliable.

    “He started programming in 2016 with another group of 20 learners and he is one of the five who persisted from that group. Today he has created numerous applications, he now tutors his fellow schoolmates and he gives talks at conferences,” she said.

    Upani further said the public and private sectors should invest in such upcoming talent, as there is a great need for computers throughout the country for computer studies’ learners.

    She further said as a nation we should work harder to fix this problem, because it holds back our children from unleashing their true potential. Once the public and private sectors start using software products created locally, instead of buying software internationally, this will bring about a competent team of Namibian software developers.

    “We lose the small group of great programmers that we have to other countries, because they are more appreciated and paid better internationally than they are locally,” she said.

    Indileni Haikiyata, a grade 12 learner at Academia Secondary School, said the Study-Pal application is a great platform for matric learners and it will be an effective study method. She also thinks it will be beneficial in the long run, depending on how determined and committed the individual is who comes across the platform.

    Ted-Kevin Nathinge a grade 12 learner from Windhoek Technical High School, thinks it’s a good initiative. “Herman tutors us at school and it has been helpful, so I think Study-Pal would be beneficial to many,” he said.

    Clark Seibeb, the head boy of S.I Gobs Secondary School, said he is eager to use Study-Pal and he thinks it is a fantastic initiative which will be beneficial to many learners.

    “Even though not every student owns a smartphone, they could go to the public library to access the application via computers,” he said.

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    Education joins two nations Education joins two nations Justicia Shipena



    On 7 June the British High Commission in Namibia and the Bank of Namibia (BoN) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for joint Chevening scholarship funding in Windhoek.

    The scholarship funding will cover the 2019, 2020 and 2021 academic years and is expected to expire on 30 June 2021, but there is a possibility that it will be renewed.

    Namibian students pursing one-year masters’ degree programmes in the fields of economics, banking, finance and international trade at any accredited university in the United Kingdom qualify for these scholarships.

    According to BoN governor Ipumbu Shiimi, the scholarships come at a time when the financial sector is obstructed by technological changes, new governance frameworks, as well as competition.

    Shiimi continued said new organisational forms, the increasing demand from consumers and issues of financial exclusion are among the others reasons why the scholarships are critical.

    “The bank has therefore prioritised skills development as a necessary intervention to help Namibia gain the relevant skills in these emerging and highly critical areas,” he said.

    Shiimi further stated the BoN takes pride in its beneficial collaboration in the human development venture.

    “Through this programme, our capacity-building efforts will indeed reach more Namibian citizens,” he said.

    British High Commissioner to Namibia, Kate Airey, said she is very excited about the joint scholarship programme and is pleased it is strengthening ties between the two nations.

    “I am grateful the Bank of Namibia chose to partner with us and we are confident that the scholars will have a first-class experience,” she said.

    Speaking to The Zone on Thursday, Chevening officer, Hans-Christian Mahnke, from the British High Commission in Namibia, said they decided to sign the MoU with the BoN to offer Namibians the opportunity to have access to a Chevening scholarships.

    “The moment I realised that BoN is also giving scholarships to Namibian students in the banking and finance sector, I realised we have a winning match here,” he said.

    Mahnke further added that usually Chevening scholarships are offered to between five to ten students.

    Beneficiaries are expected to rise to top leadership positions and make significant contributions to their sector and the country at large.

    Applications for this year are expected to open on 6 August and close on 6 November.

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  • 06/18/18--16:00: Suffer the children
  • Suffer the childrenSuffer the childrenLittle to celebrate on Day of the African Child Hungry, desperate and pained, two brothers had little, if anything, to celebrate on the Day of the African Child. On the fringes of Windhoek, in the Okahandja Park informal settlement, lives two brothers who had little to celebrate on the Day of the African Child this past Saturday.

    Namibian Sun found the two little boys tired and hungry, waiting for their father to return, so he could open their shack.

    Their mother died in December last year, leaving them with only their father and pensioner grandparents.

    The boys stay with their father but go to their grandmother for food.

    According to the older brother 10-year-old Joseph* (not his real name) their father spends his days at local shebeens and only returns home late at night.

    Joseph's brother is nine.

    “When we tell him we are hungry, he would beat us and say go and sleep. He doesn't even buy us a half a loaf of bread. He does not even want to listen when we tell him we haven't eaten for the day,” Joseph said.

    Their 65-year-old grandmother said she is desperate and already takes care of unemployed children and six other grandchildren with just her monthly pension grant.

    “They come here 07:30 in the mornings hungry and crying. By that time they should already be at school and not be knocking at my door. I have called around to get people who can adopt them or take them to a shelter, but no one wants to take them because they are attending school,” she said.

    According to her their father is drunk most of the time and abuses them.

    “Even now you will find him at one of the shebeens. He is never at home when the children look for him. They basically take care of themselves,” she said.

    Namibian Sun found the father, who identified himself as Dolam, at a shebeen a few shacks away from where he lives.

    He, however, denied any wrongdoing.

    According to him, he always sees to it that his children have something to eat.

    “These children eat. I make sure that they eat. These little boys are lying. They like to lie,” he insisted.

    He said he had told them earlier in the day they must go home and change their clothes.

    “These boys are lying, and the social workers said they cannot stay with their grandparents who are pensioners. They must just be put in my custody,” he said.

    One of the boys, in tears, told his grandmother he does not want to stay with his father.

    “My heart is breaking for them, but there is only so much I can do for them. I make sure that they have something to eat every night. But that N$250 that government gives them is not enough for everything that they need. They need school uniform, they need shoes, everything,” she added.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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