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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 791 | 792 | (Page 793) | 794 | 795 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Oshakati yet to decide on Cheda's plotOshakati yet to decide on Cheda's plot The Oshakati town council is still to decide whether it will revoke the plot allocated to Zimbabwean-born High Court Judge Maphios Cheda.

    This follows strong objections against the transaction.

    The town council allocated erf 4035 in Extension 16 to Cheda while it was previously allocated to a Namibian, Patrick Shilongo, in 2015.

    This was not taken lightly by members of the public, including the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement, which petitioned the council by marching on 26 April to the council buildings, opposing the transaction as a collective objection.

    This week, when Namibian Sun enquired regarding the progress of the transaction and whether a decision has in fact been made, the town council spokesperson Katarina Kamari said it is still deliberating on the matter.

    “Council is currently still busy with the objections submitted,” Kamari said.

    AR is opposing the transaction on the basis that erf 4035 should not be taken away from Shilongo and given to Cheda who is a foreign national, while there a many Namibians in need of residential erven.

    Oshakati has a housing backlog of about 7 000 units.

    A 19 March council letter to Shilongo, which was seen by Namibian Sun, informs him that the plot allocation to him, made on 10 June 2015, was cancelled, because he could not pay it off in the allocated time period of eight months.

    The letter further says that Shilongo was given an extension period after the eight months lapsed but did not pay.

    However, the Shilongo family managed to secure a home loan approval from Nedbank on 20 March to commence construction, which AR says should have been considered before Cheda was given the property.

    According to the AR petition their demonstration was long overdue because local authorities look at land as business transactions, rather than as a means to help landless people.

    “What we have seen happening - especially over the past 15 years - is that towns have become crude agents of capitalism, dispossessing the masses of our people of their land.

    As agents of capitalism, towns have become the implementing agents of the ruling political and economic elites who work against the poor black people.

    “This protest action is a classic illustration of this problematic status quo,” the petition reads.

    The AR looked at four areas - procedural fairness, lack of transparency, the principles of state policy and the AR 2015 waiting list.

    They argue that after council was provided with information that the Shilongo family had secured funding, it should not have sold the land to another person.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Du Plessis takes Nedbank business banking reignsDu Plessis takes Nedbank business banking reigns In the Namibian economy, companies require knowledge and insights to take their businesses to the next level.

    Often referred to as the engine of a market economy, businesses not only enable the provision of goods and services, but also create much-needed employment opportunities in many different sectors.

    On 1 June, Nedbank Namibia appointed Britt du Plessis as head of business banking.

    “Partnering with the right bank, one that you can trust, can make a world of a difference to the ultimate success and achievement of your financial goals,” says Du Plessis.

    She is a chartered accountant with an honours degree in taxation. She has occupied various senior roles in the banking sector, and went on to join Nedbank as a result of her love for banking. Equipped with a dedicated team of banking specialists and business banking solutions to offer, Du Plessis is armed and ready to provide businesses with an exceptional banking experience and ultimately take Nedbank’s business banking to the next level.

    She requires no introduction to the banking sector, having vast prior experience; she understands the toils of the industry.

    As a matter of fact, the very challenges of the sector are what drives Du Plessis to succeed.

    She aims to transform business banking at Nedbank to ensure the bank continues to be a solid partner for businesses in Namibia, “with a strong partnership, you can build anything”.

    A passionate banking professional and mother of two, Du Plessis is inspired by challenges.

    “I love to run with something and make it successful.”

    Under her leadership, she aims to bring about change as well as exceptional level of service excellence.

    Working in a team brings her great joy, especially when she can live her passion.

    “I am very passionate about everything I do,” says Du Plessis.

    This is the driving force of her plans to optimise business banking at Nedbank.

    Supporting the needs of Namibian businesses is what she is determined to do. Through her experience and fresh vision, Nedbank Namibia is geared to turn on a whole new dimension for businesses in Namibia. With the dynamic Du Plessis at the helm of the business banking ship, the bank can only expect great things to come.

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    WBPHS shines at awards eveningWBPHS shines at awards evening The average staff member at Walvis Bay Private High School (WBPHS) works between 12 to 15 hours a day.

    Apart from the formal school day, they continue with extramural activities, which includes academic support, and they can continue until as late as 18:00.

    At the 2018 Erongo Regional Awards evening, presented by the regional educational directorate and held on 26 June, WBPHS received the award for the top performing Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Higher Level (NSSCH) school in the region.

    The award was handed to Mrs E Eigelaar by Mrs Savva, one of the main sponsors of the event. Circuit inspector Monica Gawises congratulated the senior teachers for their hard work and excellent achievements.

    The keynote speaker, Charles Kabajani, who is the deputy permanent secretary of education, said: “When we celebrate teachers, we recognise them as the engine of education, and for their commitment and hard work they have invested in the Namibian child.”

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    Kenyan protesters block Tullow oil trucksKenyan protesters block Tullow oil trucksDemand for more security There have been interruptions to the trucking of crude oil in Turkana County in Kenya. “Tullow has provisionally reduced the number of personnel in the field while operations are paused,”- Tullow Kenyans protesters demanding more security in the north of Kenya have blocked trucks carrying oil from Tullow’s fields, the British energy company said on Wednesday.

    The truck scheme aims to transport about 2 000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from northern oil fields to the coast to test oil flow rates and other technical issues before the start of full production and exports via a pipeline to be built by 2022. The pilot truck scheme was launched in June.

    “Tullow confirms that there have been interruptions to the trucking of crude oil in Turkana County. Tullow is working with the respective national government agencies, the county government, local leadership and the communities to ensure that the matter is resolved amicably,” the firm told Reuters.

    “Tullow has provisionally reduced the number of personnel in the field while operations are paused,” it said.

    Government officials were not immediately available to comment.

    Kenyan media said the protests that began last week were to demand the deployment of more security forces in the area, which has long been plagued by banditry and cattle rustling. Turkana also lies near South Sudan, a nation torn by years of conflict.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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  • 07/05/18--16:00: Nangolo appointed Nipam boss
  • Nangolo appointed Nipam bossNangolo appointed Nipam boss Former Namibia Training Authority boss Maria Nangolo has been appointed as the executive director of the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (Nipam).

    Nangolo's appointment is effective 1 August 2018 and she will take over from the retiring Andrew Ndishishi who was seconded to act as executive director in 2016.

    The former health ministry permanent secretary turns 60 in September.

    Nipam said in a statement that Nangolo's appointment is for a period of five years.

    “Ms Nangolo is a seasoned leader and executive with over 18 years experience in diverse sectors which include regional and international bodies, government, parliament, parastatals and academia, where she consistently delivered results,” Nipam said.

    Nangolo holds among others a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the Maastricht School of Business Management, post-graduate diploma in organisational behaviour from the University of London as well as a Bachelor of Arts (honours) from the University of Namibia. She is currently a PhD trainee with the University of Stellenbosch.

    “I have tremendous confidence in Ms Nangolo's ability to drive the strategic intent and to lead Nipam into the next business cycle,” said Nipam's governing council chairperson George Simataa.

    Nipam offers training, consultancy, operational research and capacity evaluation in the field of public administration and management.



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 07/05/18--16:00: Govt failing the poor
  • Govt failing the poorGovt failing the poorPlates and pockets empty for many Namibians Government has been called out for the manner in which it is handling the plight of the poor in the country. A survey of more than 1 000 adult Namibians found that nearly half had gone without food at least once in the span of a year and 70% had gone without a cash income during the same period, and that the majority feel government is failing to address unemployment and poverty.

    The Afrobarometer survey released this week by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), further shows the majority of Namibians are critical of government's handling of tackling unemployment and poverty, which they consider the country's most pressing problems.

    Many also agreed that the defence budget should be cut and money rerouted to poverty eradication efforts, while social protection grants should be prioritised and taxes raised in favour of poverty reduction efforts. These results were captured in the latest round of the Afrobarometer national survey carried out last year, which represents a wide range of Namibian public opinion, as part of a regional research survey conducted in 37 African countries. The findings indicated that most Namibians “feel that government is handling key issues related to poverty 'fairly badly' or 'very badly'”.

    In total, 75%, rated government's handling of key issues related to poverty and unemployment, including job creation, badly.

    The results, on the topic of perceptions and experiences on poverty, unemployment and social protection, found that Namibians rate unemployment as the country's most pressing problem (66% of respondents) with poverty the second biggest problem (34%).

    The IPPR highlighted that these views are widespread “despite the Harambee Prosperity Plan prioritising these issues amongst those that require attention, with the government already increased social grants”, including the old age grant and the establishment of the food bank in recent years.

    The issue of land and the management of the economy ranked as the third and fourth most pressing problems faced by the nation according to those interviewed.

    In terms of solutions, 66% of respondents said government should increase social protection grant spending, and 64% said that the defence budget should be cut in favour of poverty eradication and development, while 53% said raising taxes could re-direct spending on poverty reduction.

    Of the 47% of rural and urban respondents who said they had gone without food at least once over the last year at the time of the survey, 50% lived in rural areas, and 44% in urban households.

    Most of the respondents in the survey, 70%, said they had gone without a cash income at least once over the past year, of which 75% lived in rural households, and 66% in urban households.

    Efforts to narrow the gaps between the poor and rich also got thumbs down; with 73% of the opinion not enough is being done to close the gap.

    Nearly 60% of respondents rated the state's effectiveness in improving living standards as bad, and 50% said government is not doing enough to ensure that “everyone has enough to eat”.

    The latest Afrobarometer results have been released over the last months, and have focused on issues unique to Namibia, including the impact and effectiveness of gender quotas, the genocide negotiations with Germany, and land issues. Other sections of the Afrobarometer survey focused on Namibians' view on the economy, service delivery, trust in various government institutions, as well as thoughts on corruption in the country. The national Afrobarometer also focused on the issue of Access to Information as well as Namibians' take on freedom of expression and association.



    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Hosea Kutako congestion under spotlightHosea Kutako congestion under spotlight The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) will hold extensive consultations around alleviating congestion at the Hosea Kutako International Airport.

    This was said by the NAC's acting CEO Albertus Aochamub at Air Namibia's annual stakeholder convention in Windhoek on Wednesday.

    Aochamub said the consultations will, amongst others, focus on the expansion of the departure and arrivals halls and increasing check-in counters to improve customer experience.

    Other improvements will include increasing security screening desks from two to four; increasing immigration seats from four to six counters; and a third carousel area for luggage.

    The improvements to the airport are estimated to cost N$240 million. Aochamub said passenger arrivals and departures at the airport grew by 33% over the last three years.

    “This growth put tremendous strain on the airport's facilities,” he said.

    The current terminal was constructed in 1985 as a facility to handle 250 000 passengers per year. Aochamub indicated that bidding documents would be put together for the improvement of the current facility, which is urgently needed.

    A safety audit will be done at the end of November this year to determine whether the airport is suitable and meets safety standards. “We know the implication of that audit and what it could potentially mean for us as a country. The audit is not of the NAC or Hosea Kutako International Airport - it is a state audit,” he said.

    The audit will look at the infrastructure and the legislative documents on safety the State has in place.

    NAMPA

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    Corruption - A social disease (Part 141): What do visionary and transformational leaders have in common?Corruption - A social disease (Part 141): What do visionary and transformational leaders have in common? Johan Coetzee - Common characteristics of some of the most visionary and transformational leaders can be applied to reduce injustices in dysfunctional societies and fight against corruption.

    Visionary leaders are leaders with a dream of a better future. They are able to relate that dream in practical terms.

    THE EXAMPLE OF GHANDI

    Mahatma Ghandi, the spiritual leader that united Indians in enabling India’s independence and fought for oppressed Indians in South Africa in the 1920/30’s is one example of a leader that inspired people oppressed by an unjust and illegitimate British system. He is one of the greatest - if not the greatest leader ever - because he was not only visionary, transformational and moral, he was against changing any unjust system with any form of violence.

    Every time Indians resisted the British with aggression and violence, he went on a hunger strike and refused to eat until such violence ended. Numerous times he almost died due to his believe in nonviolence.

    Ghandi’s actions demonstrated that peoples' minds can be changed with peaceful resistance. Ghandi set his passbook on fire, was beaten up and jailed several times but resisted to retaliate with violence. He was in a class of his own.

    By setting the example of peaceful resistance, also known as satyagraha (the term coined and developed by Ghandi) meaning "truth" or "holding onto truth" illustrated that a remarkable leader has to do what he says to be credible and respected and that these actions are more important than words. Despite Ghandi not having any title, not wanting to be the Prime Minster, he did not represent any political party – he earned the respect of his own people and his enemy, the British. Ghandi united people and brought the British Empire to its knees.

    OUR LEADERS, MPs AND SOEs

    If we compare Ghandi with some of our most powerful Namibian leaders, some of them have said that they are committed to reduce corruption. However, do we observe such commitment in practice?

    Do we perceive our Members of Parliament (MPs) in general as humble? Given the attempt to build a new Parliamentary building for a few billion Namibian dollars: Do we perceive our MPs as trying to save costs?

    In terms of the Companies Act, that stipulates the fiduciary powers of directors (board members): Do we perceive the board members of our 98 State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) as being accountable and liable to the taxpayers? Some SOEs pay extravagant board fees of in excess of N$90 000 per meeting per board member. Do we perceive such board members as acting with care and due diligence based on a foundation of intellectual honesty?

    re board members being kept liable? If, they are, to whom? Who are the board members that have ended up in jail?

    How can SOEs pay such fees despite a Ministry of State Owned Enterprises and the State Owned Governance Council which must regulate such fees?

    Martin Luther King Jr. also used Ghandi's philosophy of no violence in transforming a dysfunctional society. He inspired the neglected black people of America to fight for their rights, such as their right to vote and to be respected. King is well known for his public speech "I have a dream".

    SERVANT LEADERSHIP

    We need leaders in Namibia such as King that people can identify with, that are humble, respectable and moral. Given the arrogance of some of our most powerful leaders: Can the poorest of the poor in Namibia identify with some of them that make derogatory remarks, like calling them "stupid"?

    Visionary leaders have dreams of a better future for their people that are struggling with enormous challenges. Such leaders have the ability to make such dreams a reality. People can relate to them, they are humble, respectable and credible. Such leaders serve their people – servant leadership.

    Transformational leaders treat all people as equals and respect all people.

    References

    Coetzee, J.J. 2012. Systemic corruption and corrective change management strategies: A study of the co-producers of systemic corruption and its negative impact on socio-economic development. Unpublished PhD dissertation. Stellenbosch: University of Stellenbosch.

    King, M.E. 2006. The Corporate Citizen. Governance for all Entities. Johannesburg: Penguin Books.

    jcoetzee@nust.na

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    FNB employee in custody over N$800 000 theftFNB employee in custody over N$800 000 theft An FNB Oshakati branch employee has been arrested for allegedly stealing N$800 000 in cash from the bank.

    George Shivute, 29, who is employed as an ATM custodian at the Oshakati main branch was arrested last week Tuesday on a charge of theft.

    He is currently being held in the Oshakati police holding cells.

    Shivute appeared before Oshakati Magistrate Cynthia Matiti last Thursday on a charge of theft and attempting to obstruct the course of justice. He was denied bail on the grounds that police investigations have not been finalised and there is fear he might interfere. He is expected to launch a formal bail application during his next appearance on 11 July, through his lawyer Marcia Amupolo.

    Michelle Jagger, who stood in for Mpule Siyomunji last week, represented the state.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Mixed bag of weather predictedMixed bag of weather predicted Following below freezing temperatures and icy winds at the start of the week in many parts of Namibia compared to hot, sandy and windy conditions at the coast, a high pressure system over Botswana is expected to result in rain showers and slightly higher temperatures over the north and north-eastern parts of Namibia today.

    Chief forecaster of the Namibia Meteorological Service (NMS) Odillo Kgobetsi explained that the expected rainfall today is a result of “a very strong high pressure system over Botswana” that is causing a “strong easterly flow that is affecting or bringing warm maritime air from the Indian Ocean”. Today's weather forecast by the NMS notes that very cold conditions will persist over the interior in the early morning and at night and showers and rain are expected to set in today in the Zambezi, Kavango, Omaheke and eastern parts of the Khomas regions.

    Kgobetsi added that the cold and wet conditions will be combined with strong north-easterly winds.

    In contrast, the coastal areas which have been battered with sandstorms and very high temperatures this week will see those conditions continue today with a slackening of the east weather expected tomorrow.

    Kgobetsi explained that his is due to the berg wind conditions weakening over the coastal areas as from Saturday. He said overall, Namibia is experiencing very mixed weather conditions this week.

    Minimum temperatures expected for today are slightly higher than yesterday, with a low of 4 degrees Celsius expected in Windhoek and Keetmanshoop, several degrees higher than the minus and freezing temperatures experienced on Monday this week in many towns.

    A low of 5 degrees Celsius is expected in Aranos and Grootfontein, with higher lows in other towns.

    Maximum temperatures will go as high as 36 in Walvis Bay, which will experience a minimum temperature today of 18. In Swakopmund the low is expected to reach 18, with a high of 32 degrees Celsius.

    Lüderitz will have a low of 12 degrees Celsius and a maximum temperature today of 32.

    Elsewhere, in the far north-east, Katima Mulilo can expect a low of 6 degrees Celsius and a high of 27, while Windhoek will reach an expected maximum of 20 degrees Celsius.



    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Haufiku calls for calm over fluHaufiku calls for calm over fluUrges Namibians with symptoms to seek medical care Sixteen laboratory confirmed cases have been reported since the first one was diagnosed on 22 June. Health minister Bernard Haufiku has urged Namibians to seek medical attention only if they have severe flu-like illness, especially at this time with the occurrence of the seasonal H1N1 flu which has already claimed two lives.

    Haufiku added that to date, 16 laboratory confirmed cases have been reported since the first case was diagnosed on 22 June.

    He explained the influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 strain originally emerged in 2009 as an emerging virus. However, this strain is now a recognised as a seasonal influenza virus which has been circulating over the past nine years globally including in the southern African region.

    “It is no longer referred to as 'swine flu', but influenza A (H1N1) pdm09. The strain is included in the seasonal flu vaccine which is available in Namibia. Cases peak during the winter season and thus it is expected that there will be people getting ill with flu from this particular strain,” said Haufiku.

    According to him the country is currently in the process of establishing an influenza sentinel surveillance to enable it to determine its endemic levels, thresholds and the detection of circulating and emerging strains.



    Hepatitis E

    Since its outbreak in December last year, 17 people have already succumbed to hepatitis while 147 cases have been confirmed by a laboratory and there are 1 867 suspected cases.

    According to Haufiku the latest outbreak of Hepatitis E occurred in Swakopmund's DRC informal settlement this week.

    In the Khomas Region, 116 cases were confirmed, while there were 16 in the Omusati Region with 11 of these linked to Windhoek, 23 in Erongo, two in Oshana, four in Otjozondjupa, two in Ohangwena and Hardap each, and in Oshikoto and //Karas, one case each.

    “The main drivers identified for the Windhoek Hepatitis E outbreak include open defecation and poor sanitation and hygiene practices. This calls for behavioural change of affected community members. Epidemiological studies determined the areas within the affected informal settlements with inadequate water and sanitation infrastructure such as communal taps, public toilets and latrines were hardest hit by the outbreak,” he said.

    According to Haufiku the ongoing vandalism and theft of implemented water and sanitation infrastructure are also some of the major challenges that are preventing the effective containment of the Hepatitis E outbreak in Windhoek.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Nigeria to offer 12.7 bn naira mining contractNigeria to offer 12.7 bn naira mining contractEight firms to benefit Nigeria will offer a 12.7 billion naira ($41.6 million) mining contract to eight companies in exploration and consultancy. “Our major challenge is the bankable data, most mining companies will not want to come into your country when they are not sure of what they are going to meet.”- Abubakar Bawa Bwari, Minister of State for Solid Minerals, Nigeria This was revealed by the junior mining minister said on Wednesday, who added that both foreign and local firms were encouraged to participate.

    Nigeria’s economy, one of Africa’s largest, has been built largely on its rich crude oil reserves, leaving other sectors to stagnate. In an attempt to diversify, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is now seeking to build up other sectors, including mining, though results have been mixed, according to economic data.

    “Today the Federal Executive Council (Nigeria’s cabinet) approved the contract for exploration and consultancy on some of our targeted minerals - like gold, industrial minerals, earth metals, iron ore - for four companies in exploration and four companies in consultancy,” Abubakar Bawa Bwari, the minister of state for solid minerals, told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

    Bwari said the exploration and consultancy work would result in data that would encourage potential mining firms to invest in Nigeria.

    “Our major challenge is the bankable data, most mining companies will not want to come into your country when they are not sure of what they are going to meet,” he said.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Control over farms questionedControl over farms questionedZungu proposes alternative development The N‡aJaqna conservancy says the establishment of nine farming units will not improve the livelihoods of legal San residents in Tsumkwe West. Chairperson of the N‡aJaqna conservancy in Tsumkwe West Sarah Zungu in a recent statement said the Namibian authorities should inspect the area to ascertain if a 2016 High Court order calling for the removal of illegal fences has been complied with.

    She said the conservancy has been struggling unsuccessfully for years to get the authorities to respond to illegal fencing and illegal settlement in the area and should make a concerted effort to remove all illegal fencing during such an investigation.

    Zungu has earlier expressed her objection to the envisaged establishment of nine farming units in the Aasvoëlnes area and now says that these will only benefit a few.

    “Instead of creating farms for a select few, the alternative and preferred solution should be to install donor-funded solar water infrastructure in local San villages. At the moment they are struggling to create gardens and farm livestock due to poor unsustainable water infrastructure,” Zungu said.

    The establishment of these farms, each to measure 2 500 hectares, is a N$20 million project of the Ministry of Land Reform for agricultural commercialisation under its Programme for Communal Land Development (PCLD).

    It is envisaged that eight of the farms will be kept unfenced and be rented out for the first five years as an income for the San communities who are then to take over the units at a later stage. One of the farms will be fenced in and used as a model farm. Other projects related to this include a community tourism project and a community garden.

    Zungu says it is a fallacy to think that these farms will be rented out successfully, arguing that there are no mechanisms to ensure that rent will be paid and no guarantee that the lessees will not erect more illegal fences.

    “Who will ensure that they do not start grazing on conservancy land when [the rented] farms are over-grazed? None of these basic issues have been thought about,” Zungu maintains.

    The N‡aJaqna conservancy said the PCLD project should instead consider investing N$10 million for ten new boreholes in ten San villages, that N$2.6 million rather be spent on solar infrastructure in the San villages and assistance be given to them to set up their own gardens.

    The conservancy further proposes that N$6.8 million be spent on a rigorous analysis of a proposed living museum and campsite.

    It said the two existing living museums have failed and the Omatako campsite was abandoned.

    Namibia Premier Research Solutions (NPRS), which was commissioned by the lands ministry to facilitate consultations with the local San communities, the !Kung traditional authority and the N‡aJaqna conservancy, has earlier expressed surprise at Zungu's apparent “change of heart” concerning the proposed farming units.

    The NPRS in a report said Zungu had at first supported the establishment of farming units but that the conservancy and “by extension” the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), which offers legal advice to the conservancy, now holds the process at ransom.

    Team leader of NPRS, George Eiseb, this week said the lands ministry has given the go-ahead for the farming units, but said the conservancy would be given another opportunity to give its input at a meeting on 20 July.

    Eiseb said conservancy members have not attended a crucial meeting on 29 June held at Grootfontein.

    He said more meetings will be held where eligibility criteria for the farming units will be discussed.

    “We are asking the conservancy members to come to meetings to give their ideas; they must engage in the process. They must return to the planning process,” Eiseb urged.



    Catherine Sasman

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    Most Namibian families can’t own landMost Namibian families can’t own land Sixty-four percent or two out of three Namibian families can not own the land on which they live. The figure of 64% is based on data collected during the 2016 Inter-Censal Demographic Survey and 2011 Population & Housing Census. Thirty-eight percent of these families live in communal areas where the law forbids the ownership of land. The other 26% are in urban informal settlements where local authorities seldom make land available which is affordable to lower income groups. These families therefore occupy land that belongs to local authorities, while those in communal areas occupy land that de facto belongs to traditional authorities.

    What are the impacts on families unable to own land? How is the economy of Namibia affected by these laws and regulations? Before considering those questions it is useful to note that the legal and governance procedures which prevent land ownership in communal areas and towns were adopted after independence, and that they generally benefit the upper class. By 2018 the total number of families not able to own land will have risen to about 371,000, about 60 times more than all the commercial farms in Namibia. The scale of the problem thus goes way beyond questions of land distribution. Moreover, this is a matter of ownership and not access.

    Major beneficiaries of the status quo are traditional authorities who can dispossess families of the land they occupy, sell and lease properties, and donate land to political patrons. In urban areas, local authorities limit the supply of residential land. This inflates prices so much that only relatively expensive housing and services can be developed. That provides handsome profits to property developers and their allies.

    Returning to the question of impacts, families that can’t own property lack access to a combination of benefits. These are significant. Property can be used as a long-term investment in its own right, and to create short-term options that are not easily available to people without investments. Ownership provides a fixed address, credentials, greater permanence of tenure and the confidence to build a future and a home (as opposed to a house), it provides greater access to services as well as to collateral. Aspects of these benefits will be described in a forthcoming essay on property rights.

    Increased property ownership would benefit Namibia’s economy in several ways. Public revenue would increase because more property owners would be available to pay rates and taxes, and property addresses will increase the traceability of defaulters. Investments in property would grow the overall wealth base of Namibia, thus creating more taxable revenue and capital. The opportunities to invest in properties would reduce spending on luxury imports and reduce the flow of revenue leaving Namibia. Imagine a family that owns a house on a small plot. Any surplus income could be saved and invested in the house: to add an extra room, give the house a coat of paint, fix a leaking roof, or to pay off more on a mortgage. The family gains a potential return on every dollar thus spent, unlike disposing of the same dollar on an imported car, or sunglasses or shoes.

    Surely the time is right and ripe for Namibians to replace the discriminatory conditions that preclude many people from land ownership with ones that allow every family the choice of owning land or not. And if families so choose, they must be able to stay in their present physical and social environment.

    The key is choice, creating options and allowing opportunities now closed to most Namibian families. These are needed increasingly as society evolves from a predominant focus on communal networks and customary leadership to socio-economic conditions in which nuclear families and accountable governance prevail. Besides, it is morally right for all Namibians to enjoy equal opportunities.

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  • 07/05/18--16:00: Josea takes the fall
  • Josea takes the fallJosea takes the fallWhile co-accused celebrate suspended sentences Nico Josea was effectively been left holding the baby at the end of the marathon Avid fraud trial and will serve 17 years in prison, while his four co-accused get to go home after paying fines. Contrasting scenes played out in the Windhoek High Court yesterday as convicted Avid kingpin Nico Josea sat isolated and forlorn while his co-accused celebrated their suspended sentences after a marathon trial.

    Even as Josea was whisked away to start his 17-year sentence, Ralph Blaauw and his wife Sharon, former deputy works minister Paulus Kapia, accountant Inez /Gâses and their loved ones celebrated following Judge Christie Liebenberg sentencing proceedings.

    /Gâses, who with Ralph Blaauw and Kapia received a N$60 000 fine or three years imprisonment, first fell to her knees in prayer as tears streamed down her cheeks, before embracing her father for what seemed like minutes.

    “I am overwhelmed and can't express my joy in words,” /Gâses told Namibian Sun shortly after the sentencing.

    “I thank God for how everything ended. I think the sentencing was fair.”

    The Blaauw couple also embraced with relief visible on both their faces.

    Sharon Blaauw, who was convicted for reckless business conduct, was slapped with a meagre N$8 000 fine or six months imprisonment.

    In the other corner Kapia, who had thrown himself at the mercy of the court and pleaded for a suspended sentence, said he was relieved man.

    “Last night I prayed to God. I never touched Social Security Commission money. I never collaborated with anyone who stole the money,” he said while surrounded by family members.

    “From this struggle I will go home. Shame to those reactionaries on Facebook.”

    Earlier Liebenberg had given an indication of what may follow by explaining that the Blaauw couple, Kapia and /Gâses did not know the N$30 million SSC funds transferred to Avid Investment Corporation in 2005 would be stolen.

    Ralph, Kapia and /Gâses were convicted of fraud, while Josea was found guilty of theft by conversion and reckless business conduct. It became very clear that Josea, who was the only one left alive who had personally benefitted from the crime, would receive the stiffest sentence.

    “He personally benefitted from the crime and besides the amount of N$3.2 million that was initially kept by him, a further N$14.9 million was paid in his personal bank account. Mention was made about the amount of N$4 million he transferred to an account held by (Lazarus) Kandara and monies paid back by his church,” Liebenberg said.

    “As mentioned the accused, upon receipt of the money, paid his debts and that of others, while squandering the rest. The extravagance of these handouts, while knowing it involved stolen money, significantly increases his blameworthiness.”





    Liebenberg also confirmed that N$11 million of the money transferred to Namangol had been recovered following the company's liquidation and Josea's sequestration.

    Yesterday's sentencing proceedings brought the curtain down on a fraud saga that had included political connections and name-dropping to defraud the SSC. Josea's company, Namangol Investments, received N$29.5 million of the SSC funds shortly after the full amount of N$30 million was transferred to Avid.

    Liebenberg found that Josea and South African investment broker Alan Rosenberg had been in cahoots with the swanky businessman, the late Lazarus Kandara, who concocted the scheme to swindle money out of the SCC. Kapia, /Gâses and former Swapo youth leader Ralph Blaauw received an option of a fine.

    However, the court suspended two of their three-year sentence on condition that they are not found guilty of a similar offence during the period of suspension.

    Sharon on the other hand, would have been forgiven for feeling slightly aggrieved for wasting 13 years of her life on the Avid saga, after she was given a measly fine.



    Interest of society

    Liebenberg also said during sentencing that it was not difficult to understand the feelings and emotions of society who are no longer prepared to put up with criminals in their midst, and who voiced the anger and frustration by way of public demonstration or showing a keen interest in the outcome of criminal cases.

    “The courts have the duty to serve the interest of society and though cognisant of their feelings and expectations, it should blindly adhered thereto, but it has decide what sentence in the circumstances of the particular case, will do justice to society as well as the accused,” he said.

    Pedri Theron, who appeared on behalf of /Gâses, said he was satisfied with the outcome.

    “It is a properly considered sentence,” he said.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Inmates trade sexual favours for bath soapInmates trade sexual favours for bath soap San inmates at the Windhoek prison have revealed how some of them have had to exchange sex for soap.

    Some of them spoke openly about their plight during a handing over ceremony of toiletries at the prison by the marginalised communities' division of the Office of the Vice-President this week.

    The donation, which was received by 38 San inmates, was an effort to show them they are not simply seen as social misfits, but that they are loved and supported, deputy director in the marginalised communities' division Gerson Kamatuka, said.

    The inmates expressed their gratitude, saying they will no longer have to offer themselves up for sex just to acquire toiletries in the prison.

    “I feel happy for my San community members that we all got these things because they do not have to make like they are ladies anymore in these facilities. The little help we get from the government is good because now they will not need a man to get these things,” said one inmate.

    Kamatuka said they wanted to show the San inmates they are appreciated by offering them a helping hand.

    “We want you to know that you are not alone. Some of you come from far as Tsumkwe and your families cannot afford to come and visit you. We have taken it upon ourselves to make sure you know you are part of a community and we are here for you,” he said.

    Namibian Correctional Service commissioner Sam Shaalulange said he was not aware of any incidents where inmates exchange sexual favours with each other for basic necessities.





    “When they say they have to sell their bodies it is not with our consent because it is not allowed. Also, sodomy is against the law. If someone is selling themselves it is out of their own willingness and it is also happening in secret or when we are all at home, or during the night or when the cells are locked.”

    Shaalulange said the inmates could be lying about the sex taking place in prisons, because they want to get a response from the media.

    “It is very difficult to determine whether it is happening or whether it is somebody giving statements to the media so that it can pique the interest of the journalist.”

    However, this is not the first time allegations of sexual relations among prisoners have surfaced.

    In January 2012, a prisoner was stabbed to death in a bathroom inside the Windhoek correctional facility.

    It was subsequently claimed he was a sex pest and a violent bully during evidence delivered in the High Court by one of the three men charged with his murder.

    Herman Rukero testified before Judge Dinnah Usiku that he and the late Eddy Gomxob (33) had a sexual relationship in prison for about a month during 2009, and Gomxob continued to pester him over the two years that followed, after he ended the relationship.



    26, 27 and 28 number gangs

    The gang-driven prison violence in the Windhoek prison, which features notorious gangs like the 26s, 27s and 28s, was also laid bare in the High Court a decade ago in a case where inmates were suing the state for being beaten up in jail.

    In his judgment Judge Gerhard Maritz said: “Sadly, the harsh realities of life in the captive environment of prisons too often produce a different result. This is especially true in correctional facilities where the pervasive subculture of prison gangs lure prisoners under the guise of 'protection' even further into the darker reaches of criminal conduct - often violent - as the disturbing facts of this case evidence.”

    In an article written for South Africa's Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Jonny Steinberg, who later went on to write the widely acclaimed book on prison gangs called The Number - described the immense cruelty within prison walls, perpetrated by the so-called number gangs.

    “We know, too, that the world of the number gangs is one of staggering brutality. Its self-styled judiciaries sentence inmates to death, to gang rape, to beatings with prison mugs, padlocks and bars of soap. Among the prerequisites of joining the 'soldier lines' of the gangs is the taking of a warder's or a non-gangster's blood; leaving a prison gang, sharing a gang's secrets with a warder or talking casually about the gang's workings to the non-initiated are all punishable crimes.”

    Shaalulange said this week that all inmates receive toiletries and that they prioritise all the inmates' well-being.

    “We provide soap to the inmates as long as the budget allows us. We have budgetary constraints, but when it comes to basics, we do not compromise.”

    He also clarified that all prisoners are treated fairly and equally and there is no favouritism when it comes to the distribution of toiletries.

    “When we give soap we do not look at who we give the soap to. We give everyone the toiletries. We give to inmates from every community and all tribes, whether they are serious crime offenders or not,” he said.



    Call for condoms

    Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) director Toni Hancox disputed Shaalulange's statement that there was no sexual relations happening inside prisons and suggested that condoms should be provided.

    “It is a reality and we know that sodomy is criminalised, but it is happening. The issue should be addressed in any event. I know that there is some evidence that inmates have sex with plastic (as protection) in prison,” she stressed.

    In 2016 Out-Right Namibia (ORN) applauded health minister Bernard Haufiku's call for the distribution of condoms in prisons.

    The organisation's director, Linda Baumann, said a nation that ensures that all people are treated equally and are free from discrimination leads to a better and more sustainable healthy nation.

    “The right to health should not carry any form of restriction, irrespective of the political landscape. Haufiku's comments clearly indicate the importance for such a progressive dialogue to advance the well-being of all persons as outlined in a number of national structural documents,” she said.

    This week the San inmates showed their gratitude for the donation by performing a play that showcased how they hunt and gather their food in their natural habitat. They also assured the donors they will not trade their donations for other goods from inmates.

    Kamatuka further encouraged the inmates to make use of the opportunities granted to them in the facility, such as attending literacy classes in order for them to learn how to write their names.



    JUNE SHIMUOSHILI

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    Sport personalities excited by windfallsSport personalities excited by windfallsUrged to work harder, perform better Athletes have been urged to work harder in order for them to cash in on big grants from the government. Many athletes and sport individuals are happy with the new reward policy which was approved by the cabinet last week.

    This is after the minister of information Stanley Simataa announced that the cabinet has taken the resolution to reward athletes faster following cabinet resolutions taken last week.

    The policy covers preparation by athletes, participation, and rewards for athletes who win medals.

    In the past, it took longer periods for athletes to be rewarded for their victories in international competitions, while some athletes received minimum reward after winning major competitions.

    “I believe that I will be motivated to perform much better now because there is hope that we will be rewarded better and faster if we win medals at major competitions.

    “I am grateful for everyone who made this possible because we know Namibian athletes have been lacking motivation for many years.

    “I want to encourage fellow athletes to work harder in order for their lives to change for the better,” Paralympic athlete Ananias Shikongo said.

    Namibia Football Association (NFA) President Frans Mbidi also welcomed the policy approval, stating that it can motivate the country's football.

    Mbidi urges football administrators and coaches to make the most from of the reward policy.

    “I think this should serve as an encouragement for national team players in order for them to work harder.

    “I believe that the players have received this news and it is time that they do not just compete for the sake of competing, but to compete for the sake of winning medals.

    “As an association, we will do our best to ensure that more preparations are done before we enter football competitions,” Mbidi said.

    It was announced that individual athletes who win gold medals in Olympic and Paralympic games will receive N$200 000.

    The silver medallists will receive N$150 000, while bronze medallists take home N$100 000.

    The coaches of these athletes in the two categories will get N$80 000 (gold), N$60 000 (silver) and N$40 000 (bronze).

    Team sports will also be awarded accordingly.

    Those that win gold medals will receive N$800 000, with the coaches receiving N$400 000.

    Silver medallists will receive N$500 000, while the coaches get N$200 000.

    Bronze medallists will get N$350 000, with the coaches getting N$100 000.

    For preparation, teams will get as much as N$120 000, while the coaches will receive N$24 000 a month. Individuals will get N$60 000 for preparation, with coaches getting N$12 000 a month.

    “This is good news really. I see many people improving on their performance and being more motivated to take part in sport competitions.

    “I think passion, combined with monetary reward can elevate many athletes in this country,” local boxing coach Imms Moses said.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Rakitic dreaming of going furtherRakitic dreaming of going further Ivan Rakitic is hoping this Croatia team can go a step further after matching the country's heroes of 1998 by making it to the semi-finals of the World Cup.

    Barcelona midfielder Rakitic scored the decisive spot-kick as Croatia beat Russia 4-3 on penalties after a dramatic quarter-final in Sochi on Saturday finished 2-2 at the end of extra-time.

    “We worked so hard and gave everything we had to get through to the semis. I think for a country like Croatia it is impressive and we want to keep going further,” said Rakitic.

    “We want to enjoy this victory and not put more pressure on ourselves with what happened in 1998. What they did was impressive but we want to keep writing our own history and enjoy what we are doing which is very positive.”

    Croatia will play England in the last four in Moscow on Wednesday, as they aim to outdo the team of 20 years ago. Back then they lost to hosts France in the last four.

    “I hope we can outdo them. Their generation are more than heroes for us,” added Rakitic.

    Croatia came from behind in Sochi with Andrej Kramaric cancelling out Denis Cheryshev's opener as the tie ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.

    Domagoj Vida then headed Zlatko Dalic's side in front in extra time, only for Mario Fernandes to make it 2-2 in the 115th minute.

    However, Rakitic ensured that Croatia prevailed in the shoot-out, their second in a row after beating Denmark on penalties in the last round. They must recover quickly from a draining night before facing England, who were 2-0 winners over Sweden earlier on Saturday.

    “We enjoy playing against big teams as we showed against Argentina,” insisted defender Dejan Lovren.

    “England are one of the favourites to win the World Cup and you need to respect that, but we have nothing to lose. We will enjoy this game and hopefully we can make history.”

    Lovren added that he was confident right-back Sime Vrsaljko would recover from the muscle injury that forced him off in extra-time against Russia.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 07/08/18--16:00: From Russia, with love
  • From Russia, with loveFrom Russia, with loveCarnival must continue The World Cup journey for the Russians might have ended, but they have been urged to still continue with the World Cup Festival. Despite the pre-World Cup barbs and snipes regarding Russia's quality, and the politically-charged commentary related to the hosts, they bowed out in style, having exceeded expectations and injected the tournament with a healthy dose of enthusiasm.

    The Russians as hosts did not need to qualify for the World Cup and their ranking of 70 in the world was the lowest among all teams in Russia, even lower than international football minnows Saudi Arabia.

    That mattered little though for battling coach Stanislav Cherchesov who assembled a team that defied all forecasts and made the home nation proud.

    Their quarter-final exit on penalties to Croatia, among the most skilled teams at the cup on Saturday, was further proof that Russia never intended to just playing along.

    The Russians lost only once over 90 or 120 minutes of football and that was in their final group match against Uruguay when they had already qualified for the knockout stage. “We trusted ourselves. We could only prove our worth by working hard,” Cherchesov said. “I believe that people did not only start trusting us but they are in love with us.

    “From the first second I put together this team, I knew where it was heading,” he said. “We have succeeded I believe, but it is time to take a step forward.”



    Opening salvo

    Russia had delivered the perfect opening salvo, firing five goals past the Saudis in the World Cup opening match that instantly gave the home crowd a reason to turn their attention to football. This was quickly followed up with a 3-1 win over Egypt and Cherchesov's team punching their ticket for the Round of 16. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia had never managed to go past the group stage and their defeat to Uruguay that did expose some of the qualities they were missing, including in attack, mattered little at that point.

    Cherchesov then devised a clever game plan to counter Spain's passing game, which allowed Russia to eventually squeeze past the 2010 world champions and into the last eight.

    They handed them possession and despite playing four times fewer passes than Spain's 1 137 over 120 minutes, they successfully shut them out of their box.

    Spain had a staggering 75% possession but found no way past Russia's hard-working defence, bowing out when keeper Igor Akinfeev saved two spot kicks in the shoot-out.

    This tactic was turned on its head against Croatia, with Russia going all out and scoring first but conceding two more before an equaliser deep in the second half of extra time reignited their hopes of a last four spot, the first since the Soviet Union's 1966 run.

    But it was not meant to be as Croatia won 4-3 on penalties to advance to a semi-final against England, leaving many of the 48 000 fans at Sochi's Fisht Stadium in tears. But their performances gave Russian players instant national hero status and the country the right to be proud of a run no one had expected less than a month ago.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 07/08/18--16:00: All eyes on Tham Luang
  • All eyes on Tham LuangAll eyes on Tham LuangWorld holds its breath as rescue mission starts In a story that has gripped the world, the official rescue mission of 12 young boys and their football coach kicked off yesterday. Thai authorities began on Sunday a dramatic operation to rescue 12 boys and their football coach from the flooded Tham Luang cave in Thailand, where they have been trapped for more than two weeks.

    The group was found on Monday, 2 July after having been reported missing on 23 June.

    The find followed two earlier attempts which had to be abandoned. On Sunday, a team of 13 international specialist divers along with five Thai SEAL divers launched the rescue of the soccer team, trapped for 15 days.

    With fresh monsoon rains due, rescuers warned the window of opportunity to evacuate the boys is “limited”. The youngsters, aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach of the 'Wild Boars' soccer team, entered the Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand during heavy rains after football practice.

    The story has gripped the world and vigils have been set up outside the cave with thousands of media houses reporting from the site.

    Shortly after their disappearance, Thai Navy SEAL divers entered the cave searching for the boys.

    Divers reached a T-junction several kilometres inside the cave but were forced back by rushing floodwaters that clog a narrow crevice near an elevated air pocket called “Pattaya Beach”, where the boys were believed to have retreated.

    A team of more than 30 American military personnel from the US Pacific Command arrived, including pararescue and survival specialists. They were joined by three British diving experts who entered the cave but once again, quickly retreated in the face of heavy flooding. The underwater rescue was temporarily halted after downpours brought fast-moving floods inside the cave.

    Water pumps were shipped in to drain the rising, murky floodwaters and drones were dispatched to help find new vents in the cave roof. A break in the rain allowed divers to reach further inside the cave but they were still a long distance from where the boys were believed to be. An operating base was set up inside and hundreds of air tanks and other supplies were pulleyed in. The boys were finally found late on the evening of 2 July, roughly 400 metres beyond Pattaya Beach. Crowds at the teeming rescue site cheered the good news, but attention soon turned to the difficult task of getting the boys out safely. Much-needed food and medical supplies - including high-calorie gels and paracetamol were sent in to the boys as rescuers prepared for the possibility that they may remain in the cave for some time. At the time, officials said the group were being taught how to use diving masks and breathing apparatus. Teams were still pumping out water around the clock as more rain was forecast for the days ahead. In a sign of increased urgency, authorities said expected rains may force a complex rescue quicker than first thought. A team of bird's nest collectors scoured the mountainside in search of new openings into the cave roof.

    A senior Thai SEAL Saman Kunan then died on Friday due to a lack of oxygen after returning from the chamber. His death raised serious doubts over the safety of attempting a rescue through the cave's cramped and waterlogged passageways. To further compound matters, Thailand's Navy SEAL commander announced oxygen levels inside the cave had dropped. He warned the window of opportunity to free the youngsters is “limited”, in the first official admission that the rescue cannot wait out the monsoon rains.

    The head of the rescue mission said more than 100 vents were being drilled into the mountainside in a frantic bid to reach the boys.

    On Sunday morning, authorities announced that, with more heavy rain expected soon, the extraction operation had begun.

    The boys were to be removed one by one and the operation was expected to take several days. Reports indicate that one rescue mission could take around 11 hours and the first boy was expected to be out and safe sometime during Sunday evening.

    NAMPA/AFP

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