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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Nujoma wants Kahimemua's traditional belt backNujoma wants Kahimemua's traditional belt back Founding President Sam Nujoma has appealed to the Voigts family to hand over a belt of historical and cultural significance to the chief of the Ovambanderu people, Kilus Munjuku III Nguvauva.

    The traditional belt worn by the late chief Kahimemua Nguavua is said to have represented many important aspects within the Nguvauva clan.

    Nujoma, who made the appeal early this week during the 122nd commemoration of the battle of Otjunda at Okahandja, said giving back the belt will serve as a token of reconciliation and goodwill.

    “I am reliably informed that Gustav Voigts was the soldier who was tasked to disarm the late Chief Kahimemua and he took off from him a sacred traditional belt of historical significance, which he presented to one of the museums in Germany for safekeeping, but later went back to collect it,” said Nujoma.

    Chief Nguvavuva Nguvauva of the Ovambanderu people in Botswana concurred that the belt is of historical significance to them, appealing to whoever is in possession of it to heed the call of the founding president and return the item.

    The belt, according to the advisor to the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority, Ueriurika Nguvauva, was among many items donated to the Braunschweig Museum in Germany, but was reportedly collected after a certain time by Voigts.

    “What is significant about this particular belt of (our) grandfather is that when he was about to die, he untied all the knots except two, which represented the then Ovamboland and his son Hijatuvao Nguvauva.”

    “The knot representing Ovamboland meant that it was through this part of the country that Namibia's independence would be achieved. The one representing Hijatuvao meant that someone who will lead the Ovambanderu in Namibia will hail from Botswana.”

    Nujoma described Kahimemua as “the first person to have paid the highest sacrifice (wrought) by the brutal forces of imperial Germans, who converged on Africa in general and Namibia in particular when they decided to divide Africa amongst themselves on a silver platter at Potsdam near Berlin in 1884”.

    Chief Kahimemua, according to Nujoma, refused to give land to the German administration when they demanded it from him.

    The battle of Otjunda (Sturmfeld) took place on 6 May 1896, where the Nguvauva clan was nearly wiped out by the German colonial troops. Kahimemua, who was wounded, left the battle unnoticed. However, he was later arrested and disarmed.

    He was then forced to walk from Gobabis to Okahandja, where he was shot with 12 bullets.



    NAMPA

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    Teacher caught in alleged teen sex trystTeacher caught in alleged teen sex tryst A case in which a Keetmanshoop female teacher is being accused of abducting and committing an immoral act with a 15-year-old grade 9 schoolgirl has been postponed to 31 July for further investigation.

    Magistrate Melissa Elizabeth Mungunda did not ask the 45-year-old accused, Valery Bock, to plead.

    She is facing three counts of abduction and one of inciting the underage girl to conduct a sexual act.

    Bock, who is a Suiderlig Secondary School teacher, was granted bail of N$4 000.

    She indicated she would be applying for government legal aid.

    According to media reports Bock often took the girl to her house, allegedly to perform sexual acts, without the consent of her parents. The victim is a pupil at PK de Villiers High School, also in Keetmanshoop.

    The police acted after her parents complained of an inappropriate romantic relationship between the two since February this year.

    They also said their child has been abducted and when they searched Bock's house, they allegedly found the schoolgirl hiding in a wardrobe.

    Bock is alleged to have bought the schoolgirl cellphones, clothing and food.

    The parents allegedly do not trust the teacher and want the education ministry to dismiss her.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Shack dwellers accuse City of delaysShack dwellers accuse City of delaysWindhoek defends is support for formalisation The Shack Dwellers Federation, which has erected thousands of homes for informal settlers, says Windhoek's municipality frustrates their efforts in the city. The City of Windhoek has been accused of frustrating efforts by the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) to speed up the delivery of houses, while ensuring affordability.

    However, the municipality has strongly defended its support and commitment to the upgrading of informal settlements in Windhoek.

    It was responding to complaints that it had shut out the SDFN.

    Countrywide, the federation has helped members build a total of

    4 800 homes through the dedication and hard work of 23 000 members, belonging to 747 groups.

    In total, the groups across the country have saved over N$25 million with the help of their members, in addition to funds from private sponsors and government.

    “The City of Windhoek has not been very helpful. It looks like the Windhoek municipality prefers to do everything themselves,” Edith Mbanga of the SDFN recently told Namibian Sun.

    She said since 2005, the City of Windhoek has not come to the table to assist SDFN groups.

    The first SDFN savings group initiated an upgrade project 13 years ago and an agreement was signed with the City of Windhoek.

    “What was lacking was a strong multi-stakeholder team to maintain the momentum until the community could also build their houses,” she said.

    She emphasised that involving the community speeds up informal settlement development and improves affordability.

    According to Mbanga however, the Windhoek municipality “insists it is not according to their standards and that the municipality will do it”.

    “This is delaying all the development and the securing of tenure by groups,” Mbanga added.



    Top priority

    The City of Windhoek this week strongly defended its prioritisation of informal settlement development, and acknowledged that cooperation between the community and authorities is crucial and that “sustainability means developing with the people, and not for them”.

    Instead of being viewed as “unhelpful”, City spokesperson Lydia Amutenya this week said it is merely complying with standards as stipulated by the Town and Regional Planners' Amendment Act 32 of 1998.

    Amutenya highlighted that the City has prioritised the urgency of informal settlement upgrading in its main strategic plans and sticking to set standards “should not be perceived to be delaying development”.

    She added in the past the City did allow groups to design their own layout and services, but “due to lack of technical and qualified expertise those designs were found not to meet the required standards”.

    She added that compliance “is critical to any development to avoid developmental problems later”.

    Amutenya said the emphasis on compliance should not be regarded as a tactic to delay development, “but it is the responsibility of the City of Windhoek to ensure that development conforms”.

    In May, Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua was quoted by Namibian Sun at a groundbreaking ceremony in the Rocky Crest suburb, saying that the next agreement he signs must be to service land in informal settlements.

    “As we know, the demand for serviced land and housing in Windhoek is overwhelming - a reality which rendered council unable to meet this demand alone.”



    Teamwork

    Mbanga cautioned that when developers are brought in prices skyrocket and “the very poor will not be catered for, and will remain poor because they cannot afford these services”.

    She added it is unlikely that without community input, developers can know what the needs are.

    “We feel that you cannot really get someone who lives in Kleine Kuppe come and formalise informal settlements without us.”

    Mbanga said the SDFN has learned that instead of solely relying on government, SDFN groups take pride in doing what they can to ensure better lives for their families.

    “Instead of government and local authorities planning for us, we want them to plan with us. Because we know what is happening in our informal settlements. We know what we want, we know what our needs are and we can prioritise.”

    Amutenya said City officials agree that “there is no room for working in silos and being non-supportive as alleged” and that it “has always regarded the SDFN as a development partner, when it comes to the development of low-income communities”.

    In addition, the City has developed its own community development programmes through which residents are “mobilised to form saving groups that are not affiliated with the SDFN”.

    More than 40 such groups have received direct technical support “and some are doing very well”.

    Furthermore, the City explained its planners conduct community surveys when upgrades are in the pipeline, to assess the affordability levels and the types of services required, on which layout and designs are based.

    Small steps

    The SDFN has identified incremental development as key to successfully address informal settlement development.

    Mbanga said incremental development allows families to “start small, and grow bit by bit”.

    “That is what the community can pay and afford.”

    The City said incremental development “cannot be disputed and as a partner in development.

    “We have been and continue to be supportive in this regard.”

    In line with this, City officials are reviewing the current Upgrading and Development Strategy of 1999, which allows for incremental development.

    Moreover, the new Flexible Land Tenure System “will allow incremental tenure systems that will permit the savings group to migrate from starter title to freehold title”.

    Nevertheless, the City emphasised that to ensure sustainability, all standards must be met in terms of design and layout, as well as services.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Construction makes dramatic comebackConstruction makes dramatic comeback The construction sector appears to have made a dramatic comeback - posting growth of 23.7% - according to first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA).

    About N$27.6 billion flowed through the Namibian economy in the first three months of 2018, which resulted in -0.12% growth.

    However, the good news is this is an improvement on the -1.5% retraction during the last quarter of 2017 and the -1.1% growth experienced during the third quarter of last year.

    “The performance is largely driven by a construction sector that posted strong growth of 23.7% in real value added, relative to the contraction of 36.9% recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2017,” the NSA said.

    Furthermore, slight improvements were observed in the wholesale and retail trade, as well as the transport and communication sectors. “The wholesale and retail trade sector posted a negative growth of 1.3%, indicating that demand for goods and services remain suppressed, however, showing signs of recovering, when compared to the same period of 2017, whereas transport and communications registered a growth of 2.5% during the period under review,” the NSA said.

    Despite the observed improvement, government activities dragged down the performance of the economy, posting contractionary growth due to fiscal consolidation, the NSA noted.

    Furthermore, decelerating growth was recorded in hotels and restaurants (5.3%), manufacturing (2.1%) and fishing (13.6%).

    “Additionally, the following sectors accordingly recorded slower growths in real value added - mining and quarrying (4.7%), financial intermediation (1.4%) and agriculture and forestry (1.4%),” the NSA said.

    It also revised its GDP growth figures for the fourth quarter of 2017. “Real GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2017 is revised downward to negative 1.5% from a contraction of 1% previously recorded. This represents a decline of 0.5 percentage points.”

    The NSA statistics further showed how the recession has loosened its grip on the economy, after taking hold in the second quarter of 2016, leading to an overall -0.4% retraction last year.

    With -13.6% growth, fishing experienced a stormy 2018 first quarter.

    The N$727 million sector contributed to GDP in the first three months of 2018 was N$114 million less than over the corresponding period last year.

    According to the NSA, weaker catches, rising petrol prices and more favourable exchange rates for the Namibian dollar contributed to the sector's headaches, as a weaker currency actually favours export earnings.

    The manufacturing sector is also officially in recession, after posting negative growth for two successive quarters. During the fourth quarter of 2017 it posted -12.5% growth, while during the first three months of the new year, growth retracted by -2.1%.

    Agriculture also experienced its worst quarter since the last three months of 2014 and only grew by 1.4%.

    It contributed N$1.4 billion to GDP in the first quarter of 2018.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Hostel caretaker denies raping boysHostel caretaker denies raping boys A former hostel caretaker at the Karundu Primary School in Otjiwarongo charged with the rape of ten boys at the school hostel over a period of three years on Wednesday denied committing the offences.

    Mervin Nguyapeua denied the offences when he entered “not guilty pleas” to 32 charges of rape and 27 alternative charges of committing sexual acts involving ten boys younger than 16 from 2013 to 2015 when he was employed as caretaker at that school hostel.

    The 48-year-old pled as per the instructions he gave his State-funded defence lawyer Milton Engelbrecht, when his trial kicked-off before High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka on Wednesday.

    Nguyapeua did not disclose anything in respect of his “not guilty pleas” to the charges, and is now challenging the prosecution to prove each and every element contained in the charges against him.

    State witness Anna Amalama Timoteus, a teacher at the school in her evidence before court gave detailed information about the boys who approached her in respect of the former hostel caretaker's behaviour.

    Timoteus continued with her testimony for the rest of Wednesday after which she will cross-examined by Engelbrecht today.

    A case of sexual molestation was opened against the former hostel caretaker at the Otjiwarongo police station in March 2016 and the accused was arrested shortly afterwards.

    According to a summary of substantial facts contained in the charge sheet, he allegedly committed the offences while living at the hostel of that school.

    He was regarded as a father figure by learners who stayed in the hostel at the time.

    The trial continues today.

    Nguyapeua remains in custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility's trial-awaiting section, where he has been since his arrest with no option to post bail.

    State advocate Seredine Jacobs is appearing for the prosecution.

    NAMPA

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    Accounting body charges former Eskom CFOAccounting body charges former Eskom CFO21 days to respond The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants announced on Tuesday it will start disciplinary proceedings against former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh. “[He] failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that staff under his control and persons from whom advice and assistance is obtained respected his duty of confidentiality.”- Saica This follows a period of investigation and the professional body's decision to issue charges of misconduct against the chartered accountant.

    Saica’s professional conduct committee or disciplinary committee said in a statement Singh is charged for conducting himself in a way that is “discreditable, dishonourable, dishonest, irregular or unworthy, or which is derogatory to the Institute, or tends to bring the profession of accountancy into disrepute”.

    Singh was also charged with failing to “maintain and adhere to the fundamental principles in the Saica Professional Code of Conduct for Chartered Accountants”.

    Singh has 21 days to respond to Saica with a response to the charges. The Saica secretariat will then review the responses and table it for adjudication by the professional conduct committee.

    The disciplinary hearing will take place once the details are confirmed, however these hearings are not open to the public, Saica said.

    “Accused members appearing before the Professional Conduct Committee are not permitted legal representation,” the statement read.

    If the committee is not pleased with Singh’s responses to the charges, it can impose a R250 000 fine per charge, suspend Singh from membership for not more than a year or refer a formal complaint to the Disciplinary Committee. Hearings before the disciplinary committee are open to the public at the chairperson’s discretion, Saica said.

    Singh has been a member of Saica since January 2000. Saica had investigated Singh for improper conduct after the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse had laid a complaint against him in September 2017, Fin24 previously reported.

    Ben Theron, OUTA’s COO said that the charges against Singh are a “positive step in eradicating corruption” within state-owned enterprises.

    “It shows that Saica has some teeth and is willing to take action against chartered accountants who let down their profession and their country.”

    Saica explained that in terms of the code of conduct, Singh is in contravention of several grounds - integrity, objectivity, confidentiality and professional behaviour.

    Saica said with regard to integrity, Singh failed to disclose to the Eskom board of directors the true reason for Tegeta’s request for R600million from Eskom.

    “Mr. Anoj Singh was knowingly associated with reports, returns, communications or other information where he knew or believed, or ought reasonably to have known, that the information contained a materially false or misleading statements; contained statements or information furnished recklessly; or omitted or obscured information required to be included where such omission or obscurity would be misleading.”

    After becoming aware that he is associated with such information, he also failed to take steps to disassociate from the information, Saica explained.

    With regard to objectivity, Singh compromised his professional or business judgement because of “bias, conflict of interest or the undue influence of others”. Singh was also found to have performed a professional service where “a relationship bias unduly influenced his professional judgement”.

    Thirdly, Singh was in contravention of the principle of confidentiality when he disclosed confidential information he acquired from professional and business relationships without having the proper and specific authority to do so.

    He also used the information to his personal advantage or the advantage of third parties.

    “[He] failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that staff under his control and persons from whom advice and assistance is obtained respected his duty of confidentiality.”

    Finally, Saica found that Singh’s professional behaviour was compromised when he failed to comply with relevant laws and regulations. He also failed to avoid conduct that he knew or should have known would discredit the accountancy profession.

    “This includes conduct that a reasonable third party, weighing all the specific facts and circumstances available to him at that time, would be likely to conclude adversely affects the good reputation of the profession.”

    -Fin24

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    Germany still mum on genocide apologyGermany still mum on genocide apology The German foreign ministry has confirmed the 1904-1908 massacre of the Ovaherero, Nama, Damara and San was indeed genocide, despite previous attempts to veer from a 2012 parliamentary motion that had acknowledged this.

    German foreign ministry spokesperson Martin Schäfer, while speaking to media in his country recently, would however not say whether his government was working on an apology to the descendants of the affected communities. He stressed the negotiations between the German and Namibian governments are not yet complete.

    “I tried to explain that in the end we are concerned with the construction of the future of Namibia. But to do this responsibly one has to have a common dealing with the past,” Schäfer told journalists.

    Kenneth McCallion, the legal representative for the Ovaherero and Nama in their genocide case in a New York district court, said in correspondence with Ovaherero paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro and others this was a “significant development”.

    This was especially because the German government had said previously that prior admissions by government officials were a “mistake” or unofficial.

    Schäfer acknowledged the ministry's position on the matter is “exactly” the same as the motion tabled by the Social Democrats and the Green Party in March 2012 in the Bundestag.

    Schäfer said German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had co-signed the motion.

    A passage of the motion reads: “The German parliament recognises the severe guilt, which the German colonial troops have taken upon them with the crimes committed against the Herero, Nama, Damara and the San, and emphasises, just like historians have proven a long time ago, that the war of extermination in Namibia between 1904 and 1908 was a war crime and a genocide. The German parliament emphasises the continued… responsibility for the future of Namibia.”

    Schäfer, when pressed for answers, said this was the position of the German government, adding the ongoing negotiations with the Namibian government were aimed at finding a “common understanding on what has happened”. He said the negotiations aim to agree on the vocabulary of the matter and after completion of the discussions they will produce a publication.

    On this basis the development of a collection of projects will start “with which we can answer and engage the continuously felt consequences today of the actions that were committed in the German name”.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 06/20/18--16:00: Local ARV production stalled
  • Local ARV production stalledLocal ARV production stalled Local pharmaceutical company Fabupharm is hopeful government will come to the party and clinch a deal to procure anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs from it, so it can proceed with production.

    The company announced plans to manufacture the critical drugs in June 2015 and says government support is necessary if it is to push forward.

    Fabupharm managing director Fanie Badenhorst Snr says government, in line with its 'Growth at Home' strategy should come on board and conclude a purchase deal, so it can produce these drugs locally.

    “Regrettably and sadly we are yet to get new products registered for the Namibian private and public market. We are hopeful that in line with government's Growth at Home strategy and industrialisation policy that those tasked with procurement will recognise our efforts and procure locally,” said Badenhorst.

    In December 2016, the company's plans to supply the local market were delayed by the planned construction of a pharmaceutical plant in Okahandja.

    While Fabupharm had met with a government team to discuss the idea of procuring ARVs locally, not a lot of progress had been made.

    “The physical planning of such a facility and sourcing of equipment has already been done. Some of our new equipment can be utilised for the production of ARV products but it must be in a separate facility. The government's project team did meet with us, but we are not sure about their intentions to manufacture antiretroviral drugs,” Badenhorst said in a 2016 interview with Namibian Sun.

    The health ministry in 2016 ordered a large consignment of unregistered ARVs, with an approximate value of N$64 million, allegedly without going through a tendering process.

    According to the 2014 National HIV Sentinel Survey, there are about 215 000 people living with HIV/Aids in Namibia while 131 103 currently receive ARVs.

    Director of the Centres for Disease Control and the Prevention at the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Pepfar), Eric Dziuban, said this week the number of adults (aged 15 and over) living with HIV had decreased from 240 000 to 200 000 between 1991 and 2016.

    “This means one out of 10 adults are infected with HIV, with 25 new infections and 11 deaths related to HIV/Aids per day,” he said at a media briefing.

    Data suggests that 70% of people living with HIV, and who are on treatment, are virally suppressed.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 06/20/18--16:00: An endless cycle of poverty
  • An endless cycle of povertyAn endless cycle of povertyKids drop out of school to look for work The poverty many experienced while growing up is being passed down from generation to generation. The future looks grim for children growing up in poverty, as their guardians fail to provide for their needs - a situation that forces them to drop out of school, creating an endless poverty cycle.

    A Namibian Sun investigation into households in the Okaku constituency in Oshana, which depend on schoolchildren who receive N$250 monthly child grants provided by the government, revealed an endless cycle of poverty.

    Anna Sheya, 46, a resident of Oshityani village in the constituency, says she can attest to the poverty cycle in her family.

    She said she grew up with a poor grandmother, who hardly provided for her personal needs, which forced her to drop out of school with the aim of looking for employment to start supporting her family.

    However, this only worsened the poverty in her family, which has been passed down from generation to generation.

    She said fortunately the government gives a monthly social grant for to two of the school-going children in their household, which is used to buy some household items, including food.

    She added they have a mahangu field, which produces enough to feed the family.

    “Sometime after solving the household needs, there is no more money to provide for these children's personal needs. Every time they come to you to tell you about their personal needs at school, but since there is no money it becomes very stressful. Also with my own experience, it is very discouraging for them and it might force them to leave school as many others have done it already. Every day you are just praying to get Good Samaritans to assist you.”

    Alina Efraim, 35, is another unemployed young person heading a household consisting of three school-going children at Ombugayashigunda in the same constituency.

    Efraim said she started heading the house in 2005, when her mother died. Like Sheya, she said they also depend on social grants.

    “At the moment, the only kind of job I can get is working as domestic worker in a house around our village or in local shebeens as a bar lady. I cannot go far from the house because I have to take care of the children. You always try to make sure the children have food in the house and some to take in their lunch boxes for school. I also take care of their personal needs, which is not easy for me,” Efraim said.

    Anna Ndahafa Shilongo, a senior administrative officer at the Oshana regional council's Okaku constituency office, said there are number of houses in their constituency registered as headed by unemployed young people. She said whenever there is social support offered by the government, these are the people who receive first priority.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Namibia close to reaching HIV targets Namibia close to reaching HIV targets A world leader in combating the Aids epidemic Namibia is one of 13 African countries that are poised to reach the United Nations’ 90-90-90 HIV targets by 2020. JANA-MARI SMITH



    Namibia is just 8 000 people short of the 2020 target of 90% of all people living with HIV knowing their status, close to the target of 90% of all those people receiving treatment and just under 6 000 people short of 90% of those on treatment being virally suppressed.

    Statistics revealed by the Namibian team of the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) this week show that the country is inching closer to reaching the 90-90-90 global targets and that the country is increasingly lauded as a leader in its response to the epidemic.

    The country has further been identified as one of 13 African countries that are poised to reach the 90-90-90 targets by 2020.

    The 90-90-90 targets aim to diagnose 90% of all HIV-positive persons, provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 90% of those diagnosed, and achieve viral suppression for 90% of those treated by 2020.

    Nevertheless, experts warn that the last stretch may be the hardest for a number of reasons and will require continued commitment.

    “Namibia is really making major strides in controlling the epidemic. But we still have gaps remaining and that shows us where the work remains to be done,” said Dr Eric Dziuban of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Based on current data, out of a total of 220 000 adults plus an estimated 10 000 children living with HIV in Namibia, the 90% country specific target of Namibians knowing their status currently stands at 87%, or 199 999 persons who are aware of their status.

    Of those who know their status, the target number of people to be on treatment in Namibia is set at 81%, or 186 300.

    Currently, a total of 186 000 Namibians living with HIV are receiving treatment, just 300 shy of the target.

    About 73% of them are receiving treatment and 162 000, or 70%, are virally suppressed.

    Dziuban explained that a person who is virally suppressed “has every chance of living a healthy life and a greatly reduced risk of transmitting the disease.”

    A person is considered virally suppressed if the HIV viral load drops to an undetectable level, which is possible through continued treatment.

    Dziuban cautioned that critical gaps remained in achieving overall epidemic control, which means fewer new HIV infections than the number of people dying of HIV.

    He said reaching the last 5% to 10% of the targets often presented the most difficult barriers to success.

    He said the remaining HIV-positive people who have not yet been diagnosed are often the hardest to reach for multiple reasons, including personal resistance to finding out their status, or lack of access to services.

    “So there is more effort needed to help get them there.”

    Moreover, data show that men and young people remain less likely to be on treatment, a global issue that many HIV/Aids programmes seek to tackle.

    Milestones

    Nevertheless, since Pepfar joined hands with the Namibian government to tackle the epidemic, the number of people becoming infected with HIV has dropped from more than 15 000 to fewer than 8 000 per year.

    Moreover, the number of people dying from HIV has more than halved, from 10 000 to fewer than 4 000 per year. This was described as a milestone by Pepfar / USAID team leader Dr Abeje Zegeye.

    Moreover, the percentage of HIV-positive babies born to HIV-infected mothers has dropped from 30% to below 5%.

    Zegeye said 21 Pepfar-supported sites last year achieved zero HIV-positive babies born to HIV-positive mothers.

    United States ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson yesterday announced that for the next annual funding cycle starting in October, Pepfar will provide Namibia with US$73.6 million, the equivalent of nearly N$1 billion.

    This is a slight increase from the current year’s funding of US$72.3 million, she said.

    Johnson highlighted the close working relationship between Pepfar and the Namibian government since 2004.

    When Pepfar stepped in, Namibia was facing increasing numbers of new infections each year, coupled with a steep upward trend of deaths.

    Since 2004, the country has seen a steep drop in HIV deaths and new infections.

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  • 06/20/18--16:00: Totem
  • TotemTotem Quote of the day

    “[Anoj Singh] failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that staff under his control and persons from whom advice and assistance is obtained respected his duty of confidentiality" - South African Institute of Chartered Accountants

    Stat

    N$4.2 billion

    Is the total value of diamonds, jewellery and precious metals exported from Namibia during the first quarter of 2018.

    -Namibia Statistics Agency

    Focus

    Budget

    Almost half less for resettlement

    The ongoing resettlement sub-programme of the land reform ministry got a N$5 million allocation in 2018/2019 compared to N$9 million allocated during the previous year.

    -Development budget

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    Namibians own 396 000 firearmsNamibians own 396 000 firearmsArmed and dangerous At 15.4 guns per 100 people, Namibia has the second highest per capita civilian possession of firearms in Africa. Namibia has 396 000 privately owned guns in circulation, which, when compared to its small population, far outweighs per capita firearm possession in other African countries.

    At 15.4 guns per 100 people, Namibia has the second highest per capita civil possession of firearms in Africa.

    Weapons watchdog the Small Arms Survey has released its latest report on gun ownership around the world, which indicates that of the close to 400 000 guns owned by civilians in Namibia, 195 990 are illegal and 200 010 are legal firearms.

    Only the island of Réunion has a higher civilian ownership of firearms per capita on the continent at 19.61 firearms per 100 people, with 171 000 firearms being in civil hands in that country.

    Although there are more than 5.3 million guns owed by civilians in neighbouring South Africa, this equates to only 9.65 firearms per 100 people.

    The Small Arms Survey estimates there are 97 000 guns in civilian possession in Botswana, which equals 4.3 firearms per 100 people.

    Furthermore, Angola has 11.19 civilian firearms per 100 people, with more than 2.89 million firearms in civil society.

    The survey includes statistics from over 230 countries and is based on the ownership of revolvers and self-loading pistols, rifles, carbines, assault rifles and sub- and light machineguns held by civilians, the military and law-enforcement groups.

    It says Namibia has a total of 11 880 military firearms and 15 000 law-enforcement firearms for its 12 438 active members.

    Private gun ownership in Namibia has more than doubled from 2004 to 2017, with handguns dominating new licence applications and self-defence cited as the number-one reason to own a firearm.





    Concern has been expressed over the fact that it is too easy for people to obtain a firearm licence in Namibia.

    A recent briefing paper on gun ownership and gun crime by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) shows that the number of registered firearms has increased from around 97 000 to more than 200 000 since 2004; up from five guns per 100 000 citizens to nine guns per 100 citizens last year.

    The IPPR made a call for the fast-tracking of amendments on the Arms and Ammunition Act of 1996.

    Some amendments are expected to make it harder to acquire a firearm licence, especially for small arms like pistols. Among other things, the new amendments will require background checks and will raise the minimum age for acquiring a firearm licence from 18 to 25 years.

    On average, 6 653 gun licences are issued annually.

    Although quite an extensive debate took place on this issue in the National Assembly in 2016, no amendments have been made.

    The 'Global Violent Deaths' report released earlier this year indicated that at a rate of 24 violent deaths per 100 000 in Namibia, this is more than double the global rate. Countries with the highest rates of lethal violence typically had a higher proportion of firearm-related killings and Namibia was no exception. In 2016 data indicated that in Namibia at least three deaths per 100 000 were committed with firearms. Namibia was also among the countries with the highest death rate by use of firearm globally, ranking 14th.



    In an effort to clamp down on illegal weapons in Namibia, the government in August 2016 declared an amnesty for the surrender of illegal weapons, which lasted until 1 February 2017.



    During those months a large number of illegal weapons were surrendered to the police. By the end of January 2017, a total of 1 170 firearms, 95 824 rounds of ammunition and 81 explosives had been surrendered.



    According to the Small Arms Survey, there are over a billion firearms in the world today and the global stockpile has increased over the past decade, largely due to civilian gun ownership, which grew from 650 million in 2006 to 857 million in 2017.



    This number includes legal and illegal firearms in civilian hands, ranging from improvised craft weapons to factory-made handguns, rifles, shotguns, and in some countries, even machineguns.



    The estimate of over 1 billion firearms worldwide at the end of 2017 also includes 133 million such weapons held by government military forces and 22.7 million by law-enforcement agencies.



    The survey stressed that the more important number is the estimated rate of civilian-owned firearms per 100 residents.



    At the top of that ranking are Americans, who own 121 firearms for every 100 residents. They are followed by Yemenis at 53 and Montenegro and Serbian citizens with 39.



    Civilian ownership does not only mean weapons owned by individuals but also those possessed by private security firms, non-state armed groups and gangs. While these groups own a small fraction of the civilian total, their weapons can be disproportionately used in armed violence.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Doornboom evictees dumped in corridorDoornboom evictees dumped in corridor The 27 households evicted from Portion B of Farm Doornboom 316 in the Hardap Region are destitute and without water, after they were dumped in a corridor along the reserve of proclaimed road D1282.

    They were given eviction notices in November last year and were removed from the farm on 4 June and dropped off next to the main road.

    It is understood that neighbouring farmers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the situation and the group has in the meantime been instructed by Roads Authority to remove their livestock from the side of the road.

    “But where do we go?” wondered spokesperson of the group, Willem Katuna.

    He said since their eviction they have been able to access water from Doornboom but have since been unable to collect water there since the owner of an adjacent farm through which they have to travel has closed his gates.

    The evictees consultated with the office of the Hardap governor, Esme Isaack, at the end of May and met with Edward Wambo, a regional councillor, who Katuna said was instructed by the governor to deal with the matter.

    Katuna said neither the governor's office nor the regional council has so far intervened on their behalf.

    He said officials from the prime minister's office were also supposed to have met them this week, but this has not happened.

    According to Katuma, Wambo had said assistance would not be easy and that only a handful of them might be helped.

    Wambo would not give a comment on the matter when contacted on Wednesday.

    In May all 27 households were offered pieces of land for free by Victoria Kauluma on her 20 000 hectare Farm Lahnstein No 193, but Katuna said they do not have the means to get there.



    Although the group had accepted Kauluma's offer in May they now say they view the Farm Lahnstein offer as a “last resort”.



    Representatives of the households have now sought an audience with the Khomas governor, Laura Mcleod-Katjirua for consideration to be resettled somewhere in her region.



    BACKGROUND



    The group had first moved onto Doornboom in April 2016 after, according to Katuna, they were told by former land reform minister, Alpheus !Naruseb, to find empty farms to settle on and to apply for resettlement, or to request farmers with more than one farm to offer land for sale to the government.



    Katuna said after they found Doornboom to be empty and decided to settle on it, the 4 000-hectare government farm was advertised for resettlement purposes and in October 2016 it was allotted to another resettlement beneficiary, Hermann !Garus-Oab.



    “The farm was advertised for resettlement while we were sitting there. I want those who made us promises to stand up and take responsibility,” Katuna said.



    A government official involved in the eviction process preferring anonymity expressed a personal opinion that the government, since Doornboom is a government farm, could have been more lenient towards the 27 households and could have arranged for a co-habitation with the resettlement beneficiary.



    The households have been applying as a group to be resettled since 2014 to no avail.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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     Phosphate mining back to drawing board Phosphate mining back to drawing board Minister Pohamba Shifeta has cancelled the environmental clearance certificate granted to Namibia Marine Phosphate in September 2016. The environment minister instructed that all interested parties must finalise their inputs within three months and the consultation process must be completed within six months starting today. “The order is with immediate effect and binds all parties directly or indirectly affected,” he said. Pohamba made the ruling this morning following a public hearing on Monday where the minister heard submissions from NMP and community activist Michael Gawaseb, who had appealed against the clearance. The environmental clearance for the Sandpiper Project, located about 120km southwest of Walvis Bay, was issued by the ministry’s environmental commissioner, Theofillius Nghitila, on 5 September 2016. In November that year the clearance was withdrawn following a public outcry, court applications and an appeal lodged by Gawaseb. A court case this year ruled that NMP did not have a fair hearing when the clearance was withdrawn and therefore Shifeta decided to hold a public hearing on the matter.
    Ellanie Smit


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  • 06/21/18--16:00: NIP rot exposed
  • NIP rot exposedNIP rot exposedN$11m for Italian furniture, massive Publically admired as a beacon for SOEs in the country, the Namibia Institute of Pathology, which last year recorded revenues of N$635.3 million, appears to have been hiding a sinister nest of irregularities. Irregular activities at the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) are being laid bare in a series of document leaks, which include details of lavish expenditure, massive salary hikes, the blocking of an audit investigation and excessive overseas travelling.

    At the centre is suspended CEO Augustinus Katiti.

    The NIP, which came into existence in 2000 by grouping 23 health ministry laboratories into a corporate entity, has previously been seen as the poster child for state-owned enterprises in the country. According to 2017 figures, the NIP employs 450 people and manages 40 laboratories.

    For the financial year ended 31 March 2017, it recorded revenues of N$635.3 million and profit of N$121 million, while total assets were valued at N$550.8 million.

    However, this belies the shocking management that has been exposed in documentation seen by Namibian Sun.

    The serious allegations against the CEO include overspending on subsistence and travel by over N$1 million after being already awarded a N$2.5 million budget.

    Katiti is said to have undertaken trips to the US, Sweden, Austria and South Africa.

    Also under scrutiny is a trip to Italy undertaken by Katiti and five of his executives, which cost the SOE N$400 000.

    The NIP top brass went to Italy to purchase lavish office furniture to the tune of N$11 million, according to an insider privy to the affairs of the parastatal.

    It is also alleged the NIP, despite having a fulltime business development executive, went ahead and spent N$1.4 million on consulting services.





    A consultancy firm, Rubiem, had been appointed to conduct business development services for NIP even though the SOE had a dedicated unit headed by Jennifer Kauapirura.

    A board member raised the alarm, saying she found the appointment of Kauapirura strange, given a recommendation that an existing staff member should be appointed to the post.

    The Katiti-headed management is said to have ignored the recommendation and proceeded to incur an extra cost of nearly N$500 000 for the company.

    Kauapirura also needed N$50 000 to start her research for business development.

    Business development costs are said to have escalated from N$505 906 in March 2015 to N$1.2 million in 2016, while N$3.6 million was budgeted in the 2016/17 financial year.

    “On top of that, was it necessary to get Rubiem, a business transformation consultant to do the business development at N$700 000 (per year). We should not allow this as it is an unproductive waste of money, seeing that the private share is down 22% against the budget,” the board member said.

    The NIP management is also accused of blocking a forensic investigation into its affairs, despite board approval granted by then chairperson Mandela Kapere.

    The audit committee had suggested a budget of N$150 000 for this investigation.

    Huge spending on advertising and marketing services was also questioned by some members of the board.



    European sojourn

    Meanwhile, the trip to Italy further raised the ire of the board.

    “A trip to Italy for senior NIP staff to evaluate furniture for the new head office at N$400 000 is unacceptable and cannot be justified,” the board member said.

    The lavish new N$45 million NIP offices were inaugurated by President Hage Geingob in August last year.

    While a board recommendation indicated that salary increases for NIP staff be capped at 8%, Katiti and his team received 11% hikes from 2014 to 2016.

    “Personnel costs are now approaching 80% of operating costs and bonuses are paid without objective evaluation criteria being met,” the former board member said.

    It was also claimed that despite year-end profits under Katiti's management, the suspended CEO refused to pay over dividends to government.

    “I read in newspapers daily how they waste money. Why should they waste our money?” he allegedly told an NIP board member.

    Other alleged irregularities include overspending on staff training, while it was observed that NIP had poached well-trained staff members from private pathology laboratory, Pathcare.

    NIP had budgeted N$3.2 million for training purposes, remarkably up from the budgeted N$2 million in March 2014, despite no in-house training programme being observed.

    The former board member also said board packs, which included key information, were often submitted late for scrutiny, giving the board little time to question financials and leaving it with no option but to rubber-stamp decisions already taken by Katiti.

    A former board member said both the health and public enterprises ministers were informed of the alleged irregularities at NIP.

    When contacted for comment yesterday, health minister Bernhard Haufiku declined to speak on the matter, referring questions to the NIP board chair.

    Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste also declined to comment, and instead said Haufiku should be approached.

    Board chair Diina Shuuluka, while acknowledging Namibian Sun enquiries, said a statement would be released soon.

    Katiti this week pleaded his innocence in a letter to Shuuluka, which was reported in The Namibian.

    According to the report, Katiti castigated the board for focusing on issues like buying furniture from Italy and writing to politicians, while the organisation is struggling to handle basic blood tests.

    “In terms of this resolution, all transactions must be approved by at least two authorised signatories, which even includes maximum withdrawals of up to N$50 million in a single day,” he said.

    Katiti said the furniture was bought when there was no board, since the term of the previous one had expired.

    The furniture was not bought from Italy, he said, but from R Navarra Shopfitters and Joiners in South Africa.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Skyrocketing World Cup prices hit Nam studentsSkyrocketing World Cup prices hit Nam students About 200 medical students who were sponsored by the ministry of health to go and study in Russia claim the ministry is neglecting them, while the prices of food and services are currently skyrocketing due to the ongoing 2018 Fifa World Cup in that country.

    The students, who are all in Moscow, claim that they are owed student stipends dating back to May.

    According to one student, only about 50 students have received their stipends.

    “We are currently left stranded without any living allowance from the ministry for almost two months. Upon enquiry about our living allowance, we were simply told to wait as the money would eventually come,” said the student, who did not want to be named.

    The student described the situation as disheartening and frustrating.

    “We have had to go to school on an empty stomach, write exams without adequate resources and in some scenarios some students have ceased to go to school due to a lack of transportation funds. We are constantly told that there are delays due to the system.”

    The student also said the price of basic goods had gone up because of the Fifa World Cup tournament under way in Russia.

    “Prices of food and services are currently skyrocketing due to the World Cup here in Moscow and we are left with no means to support ourselves.

    “We are constantly kept in the dark about issues that directly affect us. As of late our barely sufficient living allowance got cut without prior notification,” the student said.

    “We were told to simply wait as the money will eventually come. This is a very vague and insignificant answer to give students who are in despair. We are almost 200 students here in Moscow, only a handful of students received their funds last week while the vast majority is still waiting in uncertainty,” the student said.

    A message from a ministry official to the affected students read: “It will eventually come. I am trying my best to give an indication as to when. The exact date is unpredictable for everyone as some might get sooner, some later, but it is almost there.”





    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 06/21/18--16:00: Totem
  • TotemTotem Quote of the day

    “South African maize farmers are expected to harvest in ‘full swing’ the next couple of weeks,” - Warren Langridge, Grain Option Market trader

    Stat

    N$99 million

    Fish exports dropped by N$99 million in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the first quarter of 2017.

    -Namibia Statistics Agency

    Focus

    Budget

    Tourism budget to switch up

    Government plans to switch up the 2018/2019 development budget for environment and tourism from N$64.2 million to N$102.4 million in 2019/2020.

    -MTEF

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    Bank Windhoek finances Bel EspritBank Windhoek finances Bel Esprit Bank Windhoek Corporate and Institutional Banking is proud to have financed of the newly built Bel Esprit Mental Health Clinic, a 69-bed mental healthcare facility situated on the corner of Mosé Tjitendero and Henry Kaltenbrun Street, Olympia, Windhoek, which officially opened its doors on 12 June 2018.

    A first of its kind in Namibia, the Bel Esprit Mental Health Clinic will offer specialised private inpatient care, with psychiatric nursing staff providing 24-hour support to clients, seven days a week. Clients will also be monitored, evaluated and treated by medical and allied health professionals including psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers.

    A state of the art network-based software programme and security system will ensure that clients receive the highest level of care during their stay.

    “It is a privilege to be involved in this project as we believe that smart partnerships ultimately lead to sustainable opportunities and act as catalysts of positive healthy change,” said Bank Windhoek’s executive officer of corporate and institutional banking, Lukas Nanyemba.

    For more information, please contact Personal Assistant to Bel Esprit Mental Health Clinic’s Directors, Michelle van Heerden at Cell: 081 148 1038 or send an email at pa@belesprit.com.na.

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    Ship-buying spree in the Bahamas Ship-buying spree in the Bahamas Island nation among Namibia’s top import markets The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) released the trade statistics for the first quarter of 2018 this week. “This is a sign that the Bahamas has risen in popularity among Namibian ship buyers” NDAMA NAKASHOLE

    One of the most interesting statistics was unusually high import volumes from the Bahamas, an archipelago of about 700 tropical islands that is mainly known as a tourist destination.

    The Bahamas made it to the top five Namibian import markets during the period under review, with the value of imports from there increasing by a whopping 14 612%.

    Imports from Bahamas rose by N$3.54 billion to N$3.56 billion in the first quarter of this year, compared to N$24 million in the first quarter of 2017.

    The huge increase was because of purchases of vessels from that country.

    The Bahamas, together with the other four top import markets – China, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia – accounted for almost 80% of all Namibian imports.

    With South Africa unsurprisingly accounting for most (40%) of the domestic economy’s imports, the Bahamas followed on its heels with 13.1% of Namibia’s imports for the first quarter of 2018.

    In the first quarter of 2017 the Bahamas accounted for just 0.1% of Namibian imports with a one-off shipment of a vessel from that country.

    A boom of vessels

    Vessels were among the top five import products by value during the first quarter of 2018.

    The value of vessels imported to Namibia went up by 14 897%, making it the largest increase of all the top import products, the others being copper cathodes, mineral fuels and oils, boilers and vehicles.

    The import volume of vehicles dropped during the period under review.

    In contrast, the import value of vessels rose sharply to N$3.74 billion, with 95% of that amount spent on vessels from the Bahamas.

    Vessels accounted for 13.8% of total imports in the first quarter of 2018, topping the list of Namibian imports.

    This is a huge increase from the N$530 million and N$25 million recorded for that import product in the fourth and first quarters of 2017, when it accounted for only 2.2% and 0.1% of Namibia’s total imports.

    Attracting Namibian ship owners

    While 95% of Namibia’s spend on vessels went to the Bahamas, Spain (3.9%) and other countries (1%) accounted for the rest.

    According to the NSA statistics, N$145 million was spent on vessels from Spain during that period, while N$29 million was spent on vessels from other countries.

    This is a sign that the Bahamas has risen in popularity among Namibian ship buyers. During the previous quarter (fourth quarter of 2017), 82% of vessel imports were from other countries, with Spain accounting for 17.8%.

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    Nored engages Headway to improve IT service delivery Nored engages Headway to improve IT service delivery STAFF REPORTER

    Nored Electricity (Nored) engaged Headway Consulting to ensure a consistently high standard of service delivery for its customers. Being an electricity provider is fraught with potential challenges and issues. To be better prepared for these challenges the organisation sent its staff to be trained in service delivery. It is part of an ongoing process to improve their quality of service streamlining it for their stakeholders, improve business processes and leveraging technology solutions to realise real improvements. Admitting and knowing that service delivery is essential to your business is the starting point.

    Information Technology Infrastructure Library(ITIL) is the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world. This does require investment and automating processes, but through standardised systems like ITIL, a detailed set of practices for IT Service Management (ITSM) comes into its own, as it focuses on aligning IT Services with the needs of business. Nored sought out the ITIL foundation training as they realised that implementing service delivery and customer relationship management based upon ITIL would stimulate business change, transformation and growth. This tried and tested framework has been adopted by thousands of organizations worldwide, including NASA, Microsoft and HSBC across the globe, so Nored was in good company.

    The training began with unpacking and explaining that key to survival for organisations large and small is that implementing technology is essential.

    It’s not always just about the bottom line and Nored was keen to focus on managing business risk and service disruption or failure; improving and developing positive relationships with its customers by delivering efficient services that meet their needs; establishing cost-effective systems for managing demand for Nored’s service as well as support business change whilst maintaining a stable service environment.

    The foundation training that Headway offered and delivered tackled these issues and started Nored on a customer service engagement and improvement trajectory where checks and balances have been put in place. Process-driven systems that are managed by technology will improve quality of service measurably.

    Keeping proper records, being available online, answering email queries and leveraging technology to improve service delivery is at the very basis of improved service delivery and managing the aspects Nored wanted to improve and focus on. Managing service disruption as well as the other issues that Nored identified becomes much easier with ITI training.

    Jan Coetzee, MD of Headway Consulting said; “ It’s great to see Namibian companies and organisations taking service delivery and business and management improvement seriously as this has been an Achilles heel in the past. Being trained in ITIL and leveraging technology to support the organisation on their road to improve their service delivery makes perfect sense for Nored.” With the next step for Nored being the ITIL practitioner training course for a selection of its employees the IT Manager of Nored stated: “There’s nothing more important that high quality service delivery to our valued stakeholders. It is at the very basis of any business development and growth we may want to pursue. Using innovative practises and ITIL will form the basis of our growth and service-delivery.”

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