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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Help needed for Raqa mass gravesHelp needed for Raqa mass graves Human Rights Watch on Tuesday urged the international community to support Syrians excavating mass graves in Raqa after US-backed fighters ousted jihadists from the city.

    Fighters backed by US-led coalition air strikes expelled the Islamic State jihadist group from the city in October, leaving the Raqa City Council to run it.

    The New York-based group said council workers with little specialised equipment or experience in forensic analysis were struggling to tackle the mammoth mission of exhuming the dead.

    “Raqa city has at least nine mass graves, each one estimated to have dozens, if not hundreds, of bodies, making exhumations a monumental task,” said HRW's Priyanka Motaparthy.

    “Without the right technical assistance, these exhumations may not provide families with the answers they have been waiting for and could damage or destroy evidence crucial to future justice efforts.”

    IS jihadists carried out public executions and detained thousands of people during their rule of the city from June 2014 to October 2017.

    But local authorities estimate thousands of people were also killed in the battle to retake the city, either buried quickly or left under the rubble.

    HRW urged the international community, including the United States, and international organisations to support local authorities in their task.

    “International organisations with forensic expertise should provide technical support, including by sending in forensic experts,” it said.

    Authorities should set up a civilian authority to liaise with the families of the missing, and create a digital database including photographs of those exhumed, HRW said.

    “Identifying missing people and preserving evidence for possible prosecutions will have implications for justice in Syria as a whole,” the rights group said.

    Last month, the Syrian team finished uncovering 553 bodies from the first of these mass graves in a football pitch near the city's central hospital, it said.

    The team - made up mostly of volunteers - then reburied them after logging information such as hair colour, clothes and shoes, as well as any identifying marks on their bodies.

    They said they believed they found the remains of air strike victims, IS fighters recognised by their clothes and perhaps patients of the nearby hospital, HRW said.

    But, it said, “the team needs far more training and technical assistance in order to exhume the bodies and collect data without losing information crucial to identifying them”.

    In April, an AFP correspondent visited the site of the mass grass in the football pitch and saw a young man step over blue body bags searching for his brother.

    Workers wearing white surgical masks and plastic gloves had retrieved around 60 bodies in a week since the grave was discovered, jotting down identifying details on a notebook.

    Ten of those remains had been recognised by relatives.


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    Al-Shabab commander surrendersAl-Shabab commander surrenders A senior al-Shabab commander surrendered to Somali government forces on Monday after eight years of insurgency, an army official said.

    The Somali National Army (SNA) said Ali Abdullahi, al-Shabab commander in charge of Hajji Muse area in Lower Juba region surrendered to the government forces during a joint operation in the town of Bar-Sanguun.

    Abdifatah Ibrahim, the division 11 army commander of the SNA, said several members of the extremist group which has waged nearly daily attacks against the internationally-backed government were also arrested during the security operation by the allied forces.

    Ibrahim said Abdullahi admitted to have been a member of the al-Qaida allied terrorist group for the past eight years. Abdullahi's security guard also surrendered.

    He said the operation was carried out jointly between AMISOM and government forces after receiving credible intelligence reports that led to the surrender of Abdullahi and his security guard.

    The militant group is yet to comment on the latest move by its senior official whose surrender comes amid increased military operations in southern Somalia, particularly Lower Shabelle region, which remains one of the strongholds of the group.


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  • 07/03/18--16:00: SHOT OF THE DAY
  • SHOT OF THE DAYSHOT OF THE DAY LIKE DRIFTWOOD: Damaged vehicles are pictured amongst debris after a landslide following heavy monsoon rain showers in Mumbai. PHOTO: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 07/03/18--16:00: A family tragedy
  • A family tragedyA family tragedy On Monday morning Namibians woke up to the sad news that five people belonging to one family were brutally murdered at Rundu, and allegedly by one of their own. This terrible and senseless tragedy occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday at Rundu's informal settlement, Ndama. According to preliminary reports, an 18-year-old man killed his grandmother, mother, as well his three nephews. This horrific tragedy has not only sent shockwaves in Kavango East and the entire nation, but it has also left many scratching their heads, especially after it emerged that such an incident would have been prevented in the first place. New Era, in its report yesterday, claimed a relative had reported the suspect to the police for violent behaviour hours before the fateful incident. However, the response from the police was not positive, with the authorities citing a lack of transport for not attending to the matter. This slack response from the police has been widely criticised by the family of the slain five as well as community members who are convinced that the tragedy would have been avoided had the cops responded positively. An investigation is now underway to determine whether the family was indeed ignored when they sought help from police hours before the fatal incident. This incident really brings to the fore the inefficiency of our police response services. It has been a pervasive concern for quite some time now and this has been aggravated by the sweeping budget cuts that have affected government agencies, ministries and offices. But there is no excuse for not reacting to violent incident that escalated into a family massacre. By their own admission, violent crime is common in poorer communities and these are the citizens who mostly need swift and decisive action from the police. It is irresponsible and contemptuous that police officers ignored the pleas of a hapless family that has now been robbed of their loved ones in the most gruesome of ways. While we recognise that police operations may be crippled by financial constraints, it can never excuse not responding to cries for help by those who need it the most.

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  • 07/03/18--16:00: PDM opens its books
  • PDM opens its booksPDM opens its books The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) this week challenged government to take on political parties that fail to account for the government subsidies parties with parliamentary seats enjoy.

    When he presented his party's financial statements yesterday PDM treasurer Nico Smit said it is wrong that political parties must be forced to adhere to the country's laws when they are found to have squandered taxpayer money.

    For the 2015/16 financial year the finance ministry allocated N$116 million for political parties, money which is split according to the number of seats parties have in the National Assembly (NA).

    The ruling party, Swapo, with 101 seats in parliament, received N$96 million while the PDM, the official opposition with six seats in parliament received N$5.7 million.

    The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) and United Democratic Front (UDF), both with three seats, received N$2.8 million each. The All People's Party (APP), National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) and the Workers' Revolutionary Party (WRP), each with two seats in parliament, receive up to N$1.9 million per annum.

    Parties such as the Republican Party (RP), South West Africa National Union (Swanu) and United People's Movement, with only one seat, receive N$958 000.

    According to Smit, his party's annual budget stands at N$10 million, half of which they generate from party membership fees and generous donations from local donors.

    He, however, added that the party receives no financial support from international donors and that all their donations are locally sourced.

    “Of this budget we spend 40% on salaries for our staff members and the remainder we use for political obligations and activities.

    “PDM has no business interests, but we have a number of properties across the country. These properties are however used as office space and not to generate an income,” he said.

    When asked whether his party is contemplating to go into business to expand its financial revenue, Smit cautioned that it is not wise for a political party, especially not the ruling party, to go into business and compete with the private sector.

    “But that is my personal opinion, we have a difference in opinion on this matter,” he said.


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    No more shots of trophy animalsNo more shots of trophy animals Posting photos of dead wild animals on social media platforms could be illegal soon.

    Speaking at the launch of the revised national policy on human-wildlife conflict management on Monday, environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said the ministry is working on having the Nature Conservation Ordinance 4 of 1975 amended to prohibit and punish individuals who post photos with dead wild animals on social media.

    Shifeta said punishment will apply to everyone, including those with hunting permits as “especially those with hunting permits applaud themselves by posting pictures with dead animals on social media after conservancy hunting”.

    The minister said the photos on social media misrepresent hunting in Namibia.

    “Hunting is permitted by the Namibian constitution. However, it is morally not correct to post such pictures. People can take pictures for private use only but not to post on social media,” said Shifeta.

    He further said sustainable harvesting of natural resources is a constitutional provision for the benefit of Namibians.

    “We do not just start hunting… the constitution allows us to hunt in a sustainable manner,” the minister said. He also said there is no policy in place that allows the public to keep wild animals in captivity and people should refrain from doing so.

    “Wild animals should be allowed to live freely and develop naturally,” said Shifeta.


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    More to NEEEF than 25% clauseMore to NEEEF than 25% clausePM says the bill is still valid Amid questions over the validity of the NEEEF bill after the scrapping of the 25% clause, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has defended the legislation saying it is far more than its 25% shareholding clause. Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has rebuffed claims that the now-scrapped 25% equity clause in the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) was its essence and that without it, the policy is useless.

    Several opposition political parties have said NEEEF is useless without the clause, which would have forced white-owned businesses to sell a 25% stake to previously disadvantaged Namibians.

    The prime minister made these remarks in an interview with Nampa recently when quizzed about the empowerment and wealth redistribution framework.

    Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said NEEEF has six pillars, which are of equal importance.

    “No, NEEEF is more than the 25%. As I have indicated, NEEEF has six pillars and all those pillars are very important,” said the premier.

    The pillars are ownership, management control and employment equity, human resources and skills development, entrepreneurship development, corporate social responsibilities and value addition, technology and innovation.

    According to Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, equity can only be achieved if people are empowered in greater numbers, instead of benefitting a select few.

    “If you say 25% must go to previously disadvantaged Namibians, and you end up with ten people that have a stake in all of the companies, you will still have inequities,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

    She said in its initial format, the 25% clause would have created a situation where only a few black people are enriched alongside previously advantaged whites.

    “You will not have achieved transformation,” she said, while justifying the clause's removal.

    Kuugongelwa-Amadhila added: “We are not saying we no longer care about people from previously disadvantaged communities participating.

    We are saying that we want to take a broad-based approach that looks at equity that incorporates more members of the community.”

    Asked what the 25% clause was replaced with in the NEEEF pillars, she replied: “Equity and ownership will still be there. But it will have the same weight as the others.”

    Kuugongelwa-Amadhila further explained that for as long as Namibia's abundant resources leave its shores unprocessed, “we will still be in the same situation”.

    The former finance minister pointed out that Namibia's core problem is lack of value addition.

    “The core of our problem in Namibia as a rich country, but with poor people, is because the economy is commodity-based and the commodities are leaving the country without much value addition.”

    This, according to her, fails Namibians in terms of optimising on job creation through value adding processes.

    The premier could not give Nampa a tangible date as to when NEEEF will be tabled in parliament.

    Government has set aside N$700 000 for NEEEF's implementation in the 2018/19 financial year.

    Earlier, Rally for Democracy and Progress secretary-general Mike Kavekotora said NEEEF had collapsed and what is left is a mockery of the original plan.

    Popular Democratic Movement president, McHenry Venaani said NEEEF is meaningless without the 25% clause.

    Meanwhile, Swanu's Usutuaije Maamberua said government had no guts to implement NEEEF.


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  • 07/03/18--16:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Probe into Facebook's data breach broadens

    A federal investigation into Facebook Inc’s data breach with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica has broadened focus on the actions and statements of the tech giant, the Washington Post reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the inquiries.

    The investigation involves three agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Washington Post report said.

    “We are cooperating with officials in the US, UK and beyond. We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged to continue our assistance as their work continues,” a Facebook representative told Reuters.


    ADM to buy French animal nutrition business Neovia

    Archer Daniels Midland Company is in exclusive talks to take over French animal feed business Neovia for 1.5 billion euros (US$1.8 billion) as part of the US farm giant’s strategy to expand in the fast-growing animal nutrition sector.

    Neovia is majority owned by French cooperative group InVivo. Investment group Eurazeo also has a 17% stake.

    The acquisition, first reported by Reuters, would make ADM a major player in the global animal feed industry, which the company says has sales of more than US$700 billion.


    Walmart creates new executive role

    Walmart Inc has appointed a former American Express executive to the newly created role of chief customer officer, focused on attracting shoppers and offering better customer service, at a time when competition in the retail industry has made it tough to retain shoppers.

    The newly named executive, Janey Whiteside, will be responsible for both Walmart stores and its e-commerce offerings and will join the retailer on August 1, according to a memo sent to employees by Walmart US chief executive Greg Foran and e-commerce chief Marc Lore. Walmart provided a copy of the memo to Reuters.


    Boeing and Embraer close to final agreement

    Planemakers Boeing Co and Embraer SA have prepared contracts of their proposed tie-up and are expected to submit them to the Brazilian government within two weeks, Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico reported on its website Monday.

    The companies said in April they were in talks to set up a new company focused on commercial aviation, excluding Embraer’s defense division and possibly its business jet unit. The tricky work of divvying up the three business segments of Embraer had been delaying the deal.


    Dell moves to go public

    Carl O'Donnell, Munsif Vengattil

    Dell Technologies Inc said on Monday it would pay US$21.7 billion in cash and stock to buy back shares tied to its interest in software company VMware Inc, returning the computer maker to the stock market without an initial public offering.

    Dell said the agreement values its equity at between US$61.1 billion and US$70.1 billion, more than twice the value of the US$24.9 billion deal that founder and chief executive officer Michael Dell and buyout firm Silver Lake clinched to take the company private in 2013.


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    Alleged paedophile loses two lawyersAlleged paedophile loses two lawyers Two lawyers representing a South African man accused of committing sexual acts with three minor girls, have withdrawn from the case.

    The first legal aid lawyer Mese Tjituri withdrew from the case last Friday when 47-year-old Martinus Pretorius indicated he was not ready to start with the trial.

    Pretorius told the court he had only accessed the court docket a week ago and that it was then taken away by his lawyer, which meant he could not properly acquaint himself with the contents.

    The government legal aid department then appointed attorney Jan Wessels to defend Pretorius.

    However, Wessels after acquainting himself with the time schedule for the trial, informed the court he is unable to represent Pretorius as his court schedule for the year was fully booked.

    Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula remanded the matter to Friday for legal representation, so Pretorius could be assigned another lawyer.

    The judge last week set 16 July as the start date for the trial.

    This was after Pretorius' request that he needed more time to study the case docket, in preparation for his defence.

    It is alleged that Pretorius, a former employee of Rössing uranium mine near Arandis and who is also a former South African police officer, arranged with Johanna Lukas, currently serving a sentence for child trafficking, to recruit underage girls for him to have sex with.

    Lukas allegedly provided him with two girls - aged 13 and 14 - in April, May and June 2012.

    It is alleged Pretorius on various occasions raped them. He also allegedly raped a third girl provided to him, also in June 2012.

    After Lukas and her co-accused were arrested, Pretorius fled to South Africa, where he was later arrested in March 2016.

    This was after the Namibian government requested his extradition.


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    Illegal sub-letting of resettlement farms a concernIllegal sub-letting of resettlement farms a concern Oshikoto regional governor Henock Kankoshi is concerned by resettled farmers in his region who are sub-letting their farms to others without following the law and procedures that are in place.

    Kankoshi told Namibian Sun that his region is faced with the challenge of resettlement farms being rented out to third parties by the initial recipients, something he says must come to an end.

    We have a problem in the region where people who have been resettled on farms by government are sub-letting these farms to other people without following the procedures put in place,” Kankoshi said.

    “This is a serious concern and needs to be dealt with.”

    Illegal sub-letting of government farms remains a serious challenge in Namibia which sees resettled farmers contravening their contractual agreements by sub-letting their farms to friends and family without follow the right procedures.

    According to the Agricultural (Commercial) Land Reform Act of 1995, the renting out of resettlement farms unless the necessary procedures are followed and there is ministerial approval, is prohibited. Kankoshi attributed the practice to perpetrators who undermine the law.

    He argues that once a beneficiary is granted the farm by government they are informed about their rights as to what they are allowed and not allowed to do.

    “As much as I want to say that people might not be informed about the issue of sub-letting of these farms I know beneficiaries are well informed of their rights as to what they can do and what not to do. People are just ignorant and must change their attitude and do what is right,” Kankoshi remarked.

    Kankoshi said that once the land reform ministry officials discover that a resettled farmer has sub-leased his or her farm, a compliance letter is issued and if still not complying, the possibility of eviction exists.


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    SADC in critical need of vocational skillsSADC in critical need of vocational skillsMember states urged to revive training The lack of vocational skills in the sub-region was discussed in Angola at the SADC Parliamentary Forum. Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states have been urged to revive vocational training amid reports that preference for white-collar jobs by many of the region's youth was denying it practical skills that can support integration through industrialisation.

    Dr Johansein Rutaihwa, a senior programme officer in the areas of industrialisation and competitiveness at the SADC Secretariat, made the call at the 43rd Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, which took place in the Angolan capital of Luanda last week.

    Rutaihwa was the key speaker during a symposium organised to discuss the role of parliamentarians in deepening SADC economic integration through industrialisation.

    He said there was a disturbing phenomenon within the SADC region which sees some member states appearing bent on outdoing each other in transforming their colleges and vocational training centres into degree-awarding universities.

    “We have turned all the colleges into universities.

    We no longer get technicians. Now everyone is a graduate and wants to sit in an office to make decisions.

    No one can (unscrew) a nut. No one can fix anything in the mill. We need to go back to where we have come from and promote our technical and vocational centres,” he said to applause.

    Rutaihwa argued there is a disconnect between what the region's universities were churning out and what industries needed in term of human resources.

    “We need to revamp the whole system and find out where we messed it up,” he told the audience, which included MPs and speakers of parliament from 12 of the 14 SADC Parliamentary Forum member states.

    Turning to industrialisation in the SADC region, he explained that the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015-2063) was approved by the SADC Summit in April 2015. In March 2016, the SADC Council on Ministers approved an action plan to support its implementation.

    He provided an economic overview, covering the period 2016 to 2018 and said real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remained subdued at a growth rate of a 1.9 percent in 2017, compared to 1.4 percent in 2016.

    “Only the United Republic of Tanzania recorded real GDP growth rates above the regional target of 7%,” he said.

    “All member states except for the DRC recorded positive growth in per capita GDP in 2017, an improvement from only five member states (Botswana, DRC, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania), recording positive growth in 2016.”

    The inflation rate had generally slowed in the SADC region but remained high in some member states, where double digits still prevailed. He attributed price fluctuations in some member states to weather-related factors and weak exchange rates.

    The manufacturing sector, touted as the engine of growth towards industrialisation, grew by 2.6 percent in 2016 compared to 1.5 percent the previous year.

    Under this sector, significant growth rates had been recorded by Angola (6.9%), DRC (8.6%) and Tanzania (7.8%) in 2016. Seychelles registered a decline in this sector of 1.3% during the same period.

    “The share of the manufacturing sector to overall GDP in the SADC region has been steadily declining since 2007 from 13.6% and reached its lowest point of 10.6% in 2013,” he said.

    With respect to ease of doing business, Rutaihwa said over half of SADC member states had fallen in the rankings, while some showed signs of steady improvement.

    In terms of implementation, Rutaihwa informed the MPs that a Directorate of Industrial Development and Trade had been established at the SADC Secretariat to coordinate implementation.

    “The action plan… has been rolled out in eight member states and assistance in determining the national indicative public coordination costs was provided to seven member states.”

    Development of a SADC Protocol on Industry to provide a legal framework for cooperation on industrial development among SADC Member States had begun while a Regional Mining vision was in place.

    Rutaihwa said profiling of the region's pharmaceutical and mineral sectors was done during the 2015/16 financial year and value chains with potential for development were identified.

    “Operationalisation of the SADC Pooled Procurement Strategy (SPPS) has begun by setting up the SADC Data Base on Essential Medicines, and the Republic of Tanzania has been nominated to host it,” he revealed.

    With respect to monitoring SADC protocols, Rutaihwa said an online monitoring and evaluation system had been developed to facilitate compliance and results monitoring. A study to develop a private sector engagement mechanism (PSEM) had been undertaken.

    Moses Magadza

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    Reserve Bank calls for Capitec fee probeReserve Bank calls for Capitec fee probeExcessive fees on loan product The South African Reserve Bank is investigating one of the banks for charging high fees. “The Reserve Bank is very active in doing ongoing reviews at all the banks,”- Andre du Plessis, Chief Financial Officer, Capitec The SA Reserve Bank has written to the National Credit Regulator (NCR) requesting a probe into loan-origination fees charged by Capitec Bank, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    The referral came after the issue was raised in a report by short-seller Viceroy Research in January, said the person, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The investigation is ongoing, the person said. Capitec chief financial officer Andre du Plessis said he was unaware of the central bank’s referral, or of an investigation by the Johannesburg-based NCR.

    In the report, Viceroy said Capitec’s income was boosted by excessive fees on its multi-loan product, which carried a monthly charge for allowing a previously vetted customer to extend their facility by answering some questions. While Capitec said it terminated the product in 2016, after rules introduced by the NCR meant it was no longer viable, Viceroy said the lender rebranded it and that Capitec’s methods risk over-indebting consumers.

    Capitec denied this, saying Viceroy did not understand how the product or its processes work. The NCR had previously probed the multi-loan facility and were satisfied with the fees and interest charged, Capitec said on February 8.


    Both the Johannesburg-based NCR and the central bank declined to comment.

    The central bank monitors lenders for their compliance with rules ranging from their operations and capital levels to staffing and money laundering, with the ability to fine companies or revoke their licenses. The NCR can also administer financial penalties on lenders which violate the National Credit Act, legislation aimed at protecting consumers from becoming over-indebted.

    Officials from the central bank and the NCR told lawmakers in March that many of the allegations made by Viceroy were not new and that not all of them were accurate.

    “The Reserve Bank is very active in doing ongoing reviews at all the banks,” said Du Plessis, speaking more broadly on the regulator’s oversight. “If anything bothers them, they actually contact us or ask that we report on something. That happens on an ongoing basis.”

    On Friday, Capitec announced it had reached an agreement with Summit Financial Partners, which was challenging the lender in court and before the NCR on behalf of six complainants. The cases, which mostly centered on Capitec’s now defunct multi-loan facility, were withdrawn.

    Capitec’s stock has declined 19% this year, more than any of the other lenders on the six-member FTSE/JSE Africa Banks Index, which is down 5.6%.


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    South African manufacturing activity weakens again in JuneSouth African manufacturing activity weakens again in June A closely watched survey of South African manufacturers showed a further decline in business activity in June, pointing to lingering weakness in Africa’s most industrialised economy.

    South Africa’s new President Cyril Ramaphosa is trying to reverse a decade of economic stagnation under his predecessor, Jacob Zuma.

    But recent economic data, including first quarter gross domestic product and mining output, have disappointed.

    South Africa’s seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 47.9 points last month from 49.8 in May amid declines in new orders, business activity and employment, Absa said in a statement on Monday.

    Among factors weighing on manufacturers’ minds, the statement cited controlled power outages by state utility Eskom, fears of a global trade spat and rising cost pressures linked to a weaker rand.


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    No regrets over currency swapNo regrets over currency swap The Bank of Namibia (BoN) has no regrets over the currency swap arrangement it had entered into with Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA).

    This is the impression Namibian Sun was given when it sat down briefly with central bank deputy governor Ebson Uanguta last week.

    The interview followed the conclusion of repayments linked to the currency swap arrangement undertaken by the two central banks in 2014, valued at US$426.3 million (about N$5 billion).

    BNA last week settled the final US$51 million (about N$600 million) tranche of the debt owed by the Angolan government to the BoN.

    The currency swap arrangement was meant to facilitate trade between the northern town of Oshikango and Angola's southern town of Santa Clara.

    Uanguta said the arrangement had served its intended purpose and was still feasible.

    “We believe that the agreement that is in place is still feasible. It will still serve the purpose for which we have intended it for,” said Uanguta.

    When asked if there was a possibility that a second currency swap could be entered into, Uanguta said time would tell.

    “What we have done now, the agreement that we have explored, is the best arrangement. I cannot speculate there could be a different agreement to what we have now, but possibly time will tell.

    “If that time comes, certainly we will explore and relook it because the world is changing. There could be some new developments which at this time we cannot anticipate,” Uanguta said.

    He also felt the deal had favoured both the BoN and BNA.

    “At this point in time we do not really foresee that we will make any changes to the agreement, but of course after some time we may review it, and then we will see, because that is a bilateral review both when we come together and then if we review and there is a need for one of the partners to change the agreement, then I think we will be more then flexible to relook at that,” he said.

    The currency conversion agreement was entered into on 22 September 2014 and was implemented on 18 June 2015. The agreement enabled the residents of the border towns of Oshikango and Santa Clara to exchange their respective national currencies, in order to facilitate the payment of goods and services.


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    Price hikes for City servicesPrice hikes for City servicesCar guards, vendors and others feel the pinch The price hikes were announced amid the recent council decision to write-off N$191 million in unpaid municipal debts. Windhoekers, including newspaper sellers, vendors, car guards and users of municipal bus services, are set to feel the pinch of price hikes for a range of municipal services.

    These include permits, water, emergencies, cremations and burials and a range of leisure activities and other consumables, effective this month. As per 15 June's Government Gazette, the basic domestic water connection tariffs are set to increase by 7%, while the cost for domestic potable water use will increase by 11%. Semi-purified water supply costs have been raised by 25%.

    Communal water point prices have been raised by 13%, from N$24.39 per month to N$27 per month.

    Smart card fees per bus trip have been raised by 8%, from N$6 to N$6.50 per trip, while the cash fare per bus trip raised from N$7 to N$7.50 per trip.

    These price hikes were announced amid the recent council decision to write-off N$191 million in unpaid municipal debts, owed by some of Windhoek's poorest residents, after they were deemed uneconomical to pursue.

    The City has further decided to convert conventional water meters to pre-paid meters to ensure pensioners and vulnerable citizens no longer fall behind on their rates and taxes.

    A carwash owner said while the hike of water prices is to be expected, the City is failing to hold all water consumers, including formal carwash operators, accountable for water wastage.

    “The waste of water is still continuing. Informal carwashes were clamped down on, and for many that was their bread and butter. Yet they are casting a blind eye on a number of formal car washes that have still not installed drainage facilities, and that water is just wasted.”

    The car wash owner, who declined to be named, warned the “water crisis is not over”.

    “So there is a need to increase water prices because unless you do, people will not start using water conservatively.”

    Industrial stalls in Katutura, Khomasdal, Menarovandu and Wanaheda will see a 30% increase in rental rates per month, while food stands, trading in the central business district, northern and southern industrial areas and other areas, are expected to pay a 25% increase on their monthly rates.

    Mobile food carts and similar operations have been hit with a 32% increase per month, from N$2 003 to N$2 645 per month.

    The annual permit fee for vendors who sell newspapers along with other wares and car guards has been hiked by 80% and will see them pay N$255 per year for their permits.

    Other vendors facing price hikes of between 22% and 40% for rental fees per month day include Post Street Mall open space renters, including individuals, SMEs and businesses, as well as markets at Pionierspark, Soweto, Oshetu, the Okuryangava municipal market, Lyeeta, Nangheda Kaduuluma and other areas where wares are traded on a daily basis.

    Taxi operators are facing a 25% hike in registration fees, due every six months, up from N$46 to N$58.

    Burial fees at Windhoek cemeteries have been raised by 10%. The cost of a grave at the Katutura cemetery is now N$1 554 for a weekend or public holiday burial, and N$1 965 at the Old Location cemetery.

    The storage of a corpse at the Windhoek mortuary has increased by 10%, from N$15 per day to N$16 per day.

    A 10% increase on cremation fees has upped the price for an adult or child above 12 years from N$822 to N$905. A 15% rate increase on domestic and business refuse removals has been imposed.

    The rental fees for several sports grounds are increasing from between 10% to 66%. The use of the Khomasdal sports ground A Field for soccer or athletics per day is being raised by 66% from N$435.60 per day to N$723 per day, whereas renting the field for music shows will cost N$7 231 per event, following a 66% increase.

    Various uses of the UN Plaza, including for sports, music shows or other events will cost 10% more.

    The Sam Nujoma Stadium rentals for soccer will increase from N$3 630.01 per event to N$4 937 per event. Windhoekers who use municipal pools will pay more this coming summer, with admission rates to the Olympia swimming pool raised by 150%, from N$8 per day to N$20.00.

    Daily entry rates for children to the Olympia pool was raised by 100%, from N$5 per day to N$10.

    Day tickets for the Western Suburbs swimming pool have been raised from N$8 to N$10 for adults, and from N$5 to N$7 for children.

    Consumers at Helao Nafidi, Nkurenkuru, Ruacana, Oshikuku, and Lüderitz will also pay price increases on numerous municipal services as from this month.


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    Brothers demand apology for bogus murder claimBrothers demand apology for bogus murder claim Two Oshakati brothers are demanding an explanation and an apology from the police, amid a bogus claim that one of them had murdered a woman and hid her body in their home at Evululuko location.

    Home owner Nauyala Nehemia, 34, told Namibian Sun that on 25 June, while at Onaanda village in the Omusati Region, the Oshakati police called him and urged him to come home, because somebody had been murdered and the body was hidden in his house.

    “I was so shocked and I rushed to Oshakati. Upon arriving at the house, I found it surrounded by a mob of serious crime officers. They started confronting me and demanding that I open the house.

    “I told them that I had been at the village for the past few days and that I will go with them to fetch my brother, whom I left in the house and who was at a school in Ongwediva at the time. Some of them escorted me to Ongwediva, while others remained at the house,” Nehemia says. He said when he left the village, his parents were infuriated by the news of the supposed murder, and when he was arrived in Oshakati he was greeted by a “serious scene”.

    The entire location came to witness the events, anticipating seeing the body of a murder victim being discovered hidden in his house.

    Nehemia's younger brother, Wilhelm Ileka, 29, said when the police came to get him at school, they claimed he was the one who murdered the lady, and had then hidden her body in the house.

    “They started alleging there were even bloodstains on my T-shirt, which they forced me to remove, so that it can go for forensic testing. All of this was done in full view of my colleagues. I was so shocked and embarrassed,” Ileka says.

    The brothers said they were transported in a heavily-guarded police van, which made them look like hardened criminals.

    Nehemia said when they arrived at his home, he opened the front door and the police started searching.

    “Some rooms in the house, I rent them out, and the tenants were not there but the police broke the doors to gain access, so they can search the whole house. During the searches they found nothing and they told us to meet them at the police station.

    “We went to the station and we were told to come back the following day. The following day we were told that the person who was allegedly murdered was found alive,” Nehemia said.

    He said the police did not tell him what had triggered the whole fiasco, which led to their reputation being damaged.

    He said his neighbours and others in the location had really believed that someone had been murdered.

    Nehemia is now demanding an explanation and an apology from the police.

    Oshana regional crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Hilja Haipumbu, and Oshana police spokesperson, Inspector Petrus Iimbili, told Namibian Sun they were not aware of the incident.

    Iimbili urged the two brothers to meet with Haipumbu.


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    Haufiku shoots down swine flu panicHaufiku shoots down swine flu panicConfirms four seasonal flu cases in Erongo There is no swine flu outbreak in Namibia, only a seasonal strain of the H1N1 flu virus. Health minister Bernard Haufiku announced yesterday in the National Assembly that four cases of hepatitis E have been confirmed in the DRC informal settlement of Swakopmund, while 22 cases are still awaiting laboratory confirmation.

    The minister also cautioned against spreading panic regarding H1N1, saying the recent outbreak, which has already claimed the life of a 45-year-old Rehoboth man, is not swine flu, only a seasonal occurrence of H1N1.

    He cautioned Namibians to be vigilant and report any suspected symptoms to their nearest health facility.

    Early last week health permanent secretary Petronella Masabane said in a statement that the first case of the H1N1 influenza virus was confirmed in a six-month-old baby boy on 22 June by a private health facility in Windhoek.

    People who are most at risk of contracting H1N1 include children under five years, elderly people over 65, pregnant women, people whose immune systems are compromised, such as those with HIV, tuberculosis and diabetes, and those with chronic underlying medical conditions.

    In a statement yesterday the ministry said to date five laboratory cases of H1N1 have been reported.

    The signs and symptoms of H1N1 include fever above 38 degrees, cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, watery red eyes, body aches, headaches, fatigue, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.

    Masabane said Namibians should take preventative measures, including getting vaccinated against the H1N1 strain, which is the best protection against the disease.

    She also cautioned Namibians to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, instead of using their hands.

    “Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Wash your hands often with soap and water; if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; germs spread that way,” said Masabane.


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  • 07/03/18--16:00: Totem
  • TotemTotem Quote of the day

    “The Reserve Bank is very active in doing ongoing reviews at all the banks”- Andre du Plessis, Chief Financial Officer, Capitec Bank



    South Africa accounts for over 40% of the value of all imports into Namibia in the first quarter of 2018.

    -Namibia Statistics Agency



    N$15m more planned for youth projects

    The government plans to allocate N$40.8 million in the next financial year (2019/20) towards the development projects of the ministry of sport, youth and national service.

    -Ministry of Finance

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    Personal loans, credit card debt thrivePersonal loans, credit card debt thriveOverdrafts taper off Private sector credit extension growth has been struggling for the past ten months to reach growth of 7% year-on-year and above, IJG Securities says. It has been 19 months since private sector credit extension last recorded double-digit growth. – IJG Securities Jo-Maré Duddy – The annual increase in loans and other advances, the credit category which allows for personal loans and credit cards at local commercial banks, continue to register double-digit growth for both businesses and households as the private sector struggles to stay afloat in tough economic times.

    The latest stats released by the Bank of Namibia (BoN) show loans and other advances to individuals rose by nearly N$740 million to more than N$5.6 billion in the year ended May 2018. For businesses, the increase over the 12 months under review is nearly N$651 million. At the end of May, this sector owed commercial banks about N$5.2 billion in other loans and advances in total.

    May’s annual growth of 15.2% in other loans and advances to households outstrips overall individual credit growth of 6.3% by far. Equally, the 14.3% of business dwarfs the overall corporate credit growth of 4.3%.


    After rigorous growth last year, overdrafts for both households and businesses continue to show single-digit annual increases. Annual growth for individuals in May came in at 2%, slightly up from 1.3% the previous month. Last May, the annual growth was 13.9%. For business, May’s annual figure was 4.1%, up from 3.3% in April. In May 2017, annual growth was 18.6%.

    At the end of May, households owed banks nearly N$3.2 billion in overdrafts, about N$40.7 million more than a year ago. Business’ total overdraft debt was nearly N$8.98 billion, up N$287.4 million compared to May 2017.

    For households, growth in other categories was: mortgage loans 6.7% (May 2017: 8.8%) and instalment credit -3.9% (3%). For business, mortgage loans grew by 10.2% compared to 4.8% in May 2017, while instalment credit grew by -7.9% (-1%).

    Commenting on the latest figures, IJG Securities said the persistent contraction in instalment credit to corporates since February 2017 suggests that businesses are financing fewer and fewer capital goods, and as such are not expanding operations. This is testament of the current recessionary environment, IJG says.

    At the end of May, total household debt to commercial banks stood at nearly N$54.2 billion, up nearly N$3.6 billion compared to May 2017. Business debt totalled N$37.3 billion, an increase of nearly N$1.5 billion.

    IJG says private sector credit extension (PSCE) growth has been struggling for the past ten months to reach growth of 7% year-on-year and above. It has been 19 months since PSCE last recorded double digit growth, it says.

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    Rundu family massacre suspect appearsRundu family massacre suspect appears A 20-year-old suspect, who faces five counts of murder after he allegedly murdered his grandmother, mother and three nephews in Rundu's Ndama location on Sunday, appeared in the Rundu Magistrate's Court yesterday.

    Jesaya Gabriel Chuhunda appeared before Magistrate Vivian Ndlovu.

    The case was remanded to 20 August for further investigation, for him to apply for legal aid and for mental observation.

    Chuhunda was arrested on Sunday afternoon after he allegedly killed his grandmother Ndongo Ntumba (77), his mother Ndara Elizabeth Mpande (46), and his three nephews Musenge Petrus Muruti (6), Hausiku Daniel Kapumburu (4) and Musenge Elias Tjingelesu (3).

    According to the police crime report, Chuhunda allegedly carried out the horrific acts out of frustration, after his sister refused to give him money.

    “The motive behind the suspect's actions is allegedly that he demanded to be given money earlier during the day. However, the money was not given to him and as a result he assaulted the sister. The sister went to report the matter to the police and that agitated the suspect, who then assaulted his family, killing them instantly with a stick,” the crime report reads.

    It is further alleged that Chuhunda is a drug user and could be mentally challenged.

    Meanwhile, the police said there were allegations on social media that the sister had reported the incident twice to the police. However, they could not assist due to a lack of transport.

    “These allegations are deemed very serious and the inspector-general of the police has directed the internal investigation directorate to investigate any form of negligence from the police at the Rundu police station,” a police spokesperson said.


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