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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 797 | 798 | (Page 799) | 800 | 801 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Father nabbed for daughter's rapeFather nabbed for daughter's rape A Khorixas man who allegedly raped his 20-year-old biological daughter on Saturday was denied bail in the Khorixas Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

    His name cannot be released to protect the victim.

    He has been charged with rape and domestic violence and his case has been postponed to 16 August this year for further investigations and for him to apply for Legal Aid, the public prosecutor at Khorixas, Penda Hamunyela, told Nampa.

    “The investigations will determine if there will be additional charges or not,” he added.

    The accused fled the scene after the incident and handed himself over to the Khorixas police on Monday.

    According to a crime report issued by the Namibian police, the victim arrived from Windhoek on Friday to visit her grandmother.

    While she was sleeping, her father allegedly entered her room around 01:00 and started touching her before forcefully removing her underwear and raping her.

    The victim alerted her grandmother, who reported the matter to the police.



    NAMPA

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  • 07/11/18--16:00: Food insecure decline by 68%
  • Food insecure decline by 68%Food insecure decline by 68% The number of food insecure people in Namibia has decreased by 68%, compared to the 2017/18 consumption year.

    The food insecure population for 2018/19 in the country stands at 257 383, having decreased from 798 384 in the previous year.

    This is the lowest it has been in the past five years, with the food insecure population having stood at 778 504 in 2013/14.

    The State of Food and Nutrition Insecurity and Vulnerability in Southern Africa report indicates that 39% of rural Namibians are moderately food insecure and 1.4% severely food insecure.

    In urban areas, 69.3% are food insecure and 1.1% severely food insecure.

    According to the report the number of food insecure people in SADC in the 2018/19 consumption year is 29 million people, representing 14% of the population.

    This is 13% higher, compared to 2017/18.

    “The increasing food insecure population reverses the improvement in 2017/18, when the number fell to 27 million from 38 million in 2016/2017,” the report says.

    Over the past ten years, the food insecure population in the region has remained above 22.7 million.

    The report says with increasing climate-induced shocks, there needs to be urgent action and sustained resilience building or the food insecure population is likely to grow.

    “Southern Africa is prone to climate change and variability, which adversely affects the food security and the livelihood of the population.”

    Between 2014 and 2016, the region suffered its worst drought in 35 years, caused by the El Niño phenomenon.

    “Below normal rainfall was experienced over most of the country, although floods were recorded in northern Namibia. Being an arid country, most Namibians depend on markets for their food, and staple prices are increasing.”

    The report notes that global models run by international climate forecasting institutions predict an El Niño phenomenon during the 2018/19 season.

    El Niño has historically been associated with the more frequent occurrence of below average rainfall in the central and southern parts of the region, while the north-eastern parts have historically experienced a more frequent occurrence of above average rainfall during El Niño years.

    The report stresses that considering the forecast of El Niño in the 2018/19 season, intensified preparatory interventions are needed that mitigate the potential impacts of mid-season dry spells on crop production, especially in areas traditionally affected by El Niño.

    This may include, but is not limited to, the use of drought-tolerant crop varieties, the promotion of conservation agriculture and the installation and maintenance of irrigation equipment.

    The report makes short, medium and long-term recommendations to address chronic food and nutrition insecurity and vulnerability, including building the resilience of people, communities and institutions to prevent, anticipate, prepare for, cope with, and recover from shocks.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Hoodwinked for fishing rightsHoodwinked for fishing rightsPayments collected from unsuspecting veterans It is not known how much money has been defrauded from veterans by a group that has been holding meetings countrywide, under the guise of signing them up for fishing quotas. Namibia's liberation struggle veterans have been warned against a group that is hosting meetings across the country, and illegally registering veterans for fishing quotas.

    Deputy veterans affairs minister Hilma Nicanor yesterday condemned the activities of the group that calls itself Repatriation, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RRR) and said the ministry will not tolerate it.

    According to her, the RRR group has recently called meetings with veterans in places such as Windhoek, Rundu, Ongwediva, Outapi and others.

    At these meetings veterans are said to have been requested to provide copies of their identity documents and make payments, purportedly for the purpose of registering them as beneficiaries of fishing rights. It is not known how much money has been defrauded from veterans by the group. According to Nicanor the ministry is aware of the public invitation by the fisheries ministry calling for the application of fishing rights by Namibians and said that veterans are equally eligible.

    “So veterans are expected to apply in their own individual capacities or in the manner that is tandem with the provision of the Marine Resources Act (Act no7 of 2000). Those who think they can abuse the system should be put to shame.”

    She stressed that all programmes and activities related to the welfare of veterans is and remains the responsibility of the ministry, adding that they will not tolerate any person or group interfering with the responsibilities entrusted to them.

    “The Veterans Affairs Department would like to urge all veterans to refrain from the activities of the RRR group as their agenda is unknown to us.”

    Nicanor said the department vehemently condemns the activities of the RRR group that is going around the country on the pretext of serving the interests of Namibia's veterans.

    She said the interests of the veterans are to be taken up through the recognised channels as per the Veterans Act, which provides for the establishment of the Veterans Association.

    The only recognised body that should serve as a mouthpiece on the issues affecting the welfare of veterans is the Namibia National Liberation Veterans Association (NNLVA), said Nicanor.

    “This is the only organisation through which veterans can discuss issues pertaining to veterans.”

    The department also called on the RRR group to stop engaging veterans with immediate effect.

    Nicanor further urged veterans to remain vigilant and refrain from accepting unwarranted invitations from persons not mandated to deal with their issues.

    She said veterans should instead approach the nearest veterans' affairs offices or leaders of the NNLVA for assistance, if they need it.

    According to her the veterans' ministry has implemented several socio-economic programmes that have seen many registered and approved veterans benefiting from.

    She said this assistance is being given for the welfare of the veteran and their families and the good intentions of government are now being destroyed by the activities of the RRR.

    “I would not say veterans are not happy with government's efforts so far. They appreciate what government has done,” Nicanor said when asked why veterans would be interested in what RRR is offering.

    “What government is giving is not payment, but a mere token of appreciation and they are happy and aware of the programmes that are offered.”

    Nicanor said although engagements have taken place with the RRR even up to the vice-presidential level last year, they have not stopped with their activities. “We know the person behind it and we want to engage one-on-one with this person.”



    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 07/11/18--16:00: Women starved of land
  • Women starved of landWomen starved of landSADC customary practices among reasons As demands for land become more strident across SADC, the region's MPs say it is time to wake up, smell the coffee and ensure access for all citizens, especially women. A veteran South African lawmaker has challenged SADC member parliaments to support legislative frameworks that promote women's access to, and ownership, of land.

    Lawmaker Rosalia Morotua made the call through a motion moved during the 43rd plenary session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum (PF), which took place in Luanda last week.

    In the motion, Morotua enjoined SADC parliaments to debate the gender dimension of land ownership and agricultural industrialisation in their respective countries.

    Additionally, she encouraged the SADC PF to engage the secretariat to determine progress towards advancing women's access to land in the agricultural sector.

    “The limited sex disaggregated data for land ownership in the SADC region shows that men own most of the region's land,” she said.

    Tanzanian MP Esther Masi seconded Morotua's motion.

    “Women in most of the SADC countries simply do not own land, yet they are the ones that produce food and feed our nations,” Masi said, adding that in Tanzania it was estimated that women produced about 80% of the food.

    Malawi MP Patricia Kainga said the SADC gender protocol barometer of 2017 attributes the poor access to land by women to stringent trade facilities that most women are unable to qualify for, and customary practices that prevent them from inheriting land.

    “This region has a task to protect our women in land ownership and credit facilities,” she said.

    An MP from Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, said SADC countries could learn something from his country about the land issue.

    “As a parliament and as a people, we identified this issue and we passed the necessary laws to do away with discrimination. Today, women and men in the Seychelles have equal access to land. Women can inherit land and there are no issues,” he said.

    He encouraged national parliaments to resolve the land question at a national level.

    “Bring those motions on; fight those injustices and through that women will get their proper place in society,” Ramkalawan said.

    Botswana MP Duma Boko suggested that MPs use legislation to promote equitable access to land.

    “Land is an inelastic resource. If someone holds tracts and tracts of land, rendering such land available only to himself and his family, is there a way we can free up some of that land?”

    He warned that the writing was on the wall and enjoined his fellow lawmakers to wake up and smell the coffee.

    “This is the question that bedevils South Africa, it bedeviled Zimbabwe with all the difficulty that it brought, and it now seems to bedevil the womenfolk,” Boko said.

    He cautioned against assuming that men were the only ones denying women access to land and called for a hard look at customary law and other factors.

    “Under customary law, what are the rules that apply for the devolution and succession of land? In a lot of instances when you say the relatives of the man come and take the land, you may actually be talking about the mother of the man who has died. So, it is another woman grabbing land from a daughter-in-law. It must not appear as if all the time it is the men.”

    South African MP Shaik Emmam argued that land ownership bestows dignity on people and urged governments to help citizens acquire it.

    “I want to encourage all SADC members to at least provide serviced land to every family, particularly women,” he said.

    Lesotho MP Tsepang Mosena said land was key in the quest for self-determination and the socio-economic development of all peoples. She recalled that land was at the top of the list of grievances when many SADC member states waged liberation struggles.

    “The guns have since fallen silent in many parts of Africa. However, demands for equitable access to land are growing more and more strident. Indeed, in many of our member states, equitable land distribution remains an unfinished, emotive business,” she said.

    Mosena said very little land was in the hands of women and girls and “yet they make up the majority in many member states and bear a disproportionate burden of providing care to the sick, broke and busted”.

    She attributed their low access to land to their lower income earning capabilities, due to a plethora of factors that include lower education access, patriarchy and patriarchal lineage, propped up by deeply entrenched beliefs about inheritance and succession.

    “Strange as it might sound in the 21st century, we still have member states in which the girl child cannot inherit her father's land ahead of or alongside her male siblings.”



    MOSES MAGADZA

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    Otjozondjupa seeks feedback on resettlement applicationsOtjozondjupa seeks feedback on resettlement applications Residents in the Otjozondjupa Region on Tuesday expressed frustration with their regional resettlement committee for allegedly not responding in writing on the status of their applications submitted for resettlement on government farming units.

    This was raised during a consultative meeting between them and the ombudsman, John Walters at Otjiwarongo.

    The ombudsman's visit was aimed at noting down people's concerns, views and personal experiences with the government's resettlement programme. He is doing this in the form of public hearings in a number of places across the country. Yesterday he was in Karibib.

    A community member, Thimotheus Mundjindjiri said he has been applying for resettlement since 1992 when Okakarara was proclaimed a local authority.

    At the moment he and other resident farmers are in conflict with the town council of Okakarara as their livestock continue to graze in the town boundaries.

    “We are about 50 landless committee members who have been applying for resettlement and not even a single communication was given back to tell us whether the regional resettlement committee received our applications or not,” he stressed.

    Another disgruntled community member, Benjamin Khairabeb said for him, any short explanation in writing pointing out where he needs to improve in his next application will do.

    “But now our committee does not respond to my applications at all, even to acknowledge receipt of the application. How will I know if the committee has received my application or someone jealous just dumped it in a rubbish bin, that's why I was not considered?”

    The residents asked Walters to take up the matter with the Ministry of Land Reform and in his response, Walters promised to do so with the regional resettlement committees, which are headed by the governors.

    The spokesperson for the lands ministry Chrispin Matongela acknowledged that his ministry does not respond to applications for resettlement as these normally exceed 3 000 applications on one farming unit, and is an expensive exercise.

    The ministry also announced that the second land conference will take place from 1 to 5 October in Windhoek.

    NAMPA

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    Defeating winter for the needy Defeating winter for the needy Justicia Shipena

    On 10 July MTC donated N$200 000 to the Round Table Namibian Area (RTNAM), to support its Winter Knights project.

    Winter Knights is a national project hosted by RTNAM. The project is aimed at raising funds in order to buy blankets and other items that will keep the marginalised and needy communities warmer during the cold winter nights.

    Speaking at the handover ceremony, Johan Steenkamp, chairman of RTNAM, said they are thankful to MTC for their contribution to the project.

    “During this time of the year, when winter is bearing down extremely on us, these funds will go a long way in bringing happy smiles to the faces of our beneficiaries,” he said.

    According to MTC chief human capital and corporate affairs officer, Tim Ekandjo, the company’s kindness knows no bounds and in the past week it has been on active drive to re-cement its values and spread love within the community.

    “Not so long ago we assisted the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia, with a donation of N$800 000 and today we are committing ourselves to support RTNAM with N$200 000. We view this as a necessary part of our make-up to support vulnerable communities and make a lasting impact. We are therefore proud to be associated with the RTNAM and the Winter Knights project,” he said.

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    Namibia competes in Collegiate Cyber Defence InvitationalNamibia competes in Collegiate Cyber Defence InvitationalHacking, blocking attacks Namibia was invited to participate in the International Collegiate Cyber Defence Invitational. At Green we feel strongly about creating awareness and educating Namibia and Namibians about cyber threats and hacking- Llewellyn le Hané , founder of Green Enterprise Solutions STAFF REPORTER

    This is a cyber-security competition, aimed at creating awareness for cyber security and at the same time teach and learn from each other. There were universities and colleges participating from the US, Namibia and Indonesia. Namibia was represented by Delta Secondary School (DSS) competing.

    The object is to get computer-users to become aware of cyber-security, hacking and how to protect themselves against real and potential threats. Getting users to be conscious of online threats as early as possible, creates savvy online users that keep themselves, their data and the organisations they work for safe. The aim is to learn, teach, help and ultimately, create better computer administrators, with knowledge of cyber threats.

    This year’s theme was all about teamwork, with a twist. Previously teams had not been allowed to assist each other in blocking the attacks coming from the RED team (hackers). Now teams could collaborate and Where this is exactly what happened. When the first attacks happened, teams started to collaborate and quickly find innovative ways to keep the RED team out. This year, the RED team had to ‘up their game’ and we spent long hours gathering information. This was truly a team effort from both sides of the game. Hackers working together (internationally with people from the USA) and the same for the defending teams.

    The set-up is as follow; universities are in defending teams. They do basic sysadmin work in the competition. This means that they get random calls to do, and tasks to finish within a certain time frame, while trying to keep the hackers out.

    The hackers are all industry experts, both private and public sector. They were tasked with gathering information and then carry out specific attacks. Hackers had to get into the system and copy certain files out of the system as evidence that they got into the system and retrieved data. In Windhoek we had participants from Delta Secondary School (DSS) as well, and DSS kept up with the best teams internationally.

    Green Enterprise Solutions is a great fan of this initiative and this is the second time that it has been involved and now actually as a participant in the competition. Llewellyn le Hané , founder of Green Enterprise Solutions said; “ At Green we feel strongly about creating awareness and educating Namibia and Namibians about cyber threats and hacking. This is why Green supports this fantastic initiative. We assisted both on the hacking team and also had a well-trained judge on the judging panel.” He continued; “It especially fills us with pride to see a Namibian school, Delta Secondary School winning in the category Best Attackers Choice Team as well as getting an honourable mention for being one of the ‘Best collaborative teams’, it means that Namibia’s ICT-Security future is in safe hands.“

    This October 2018, Namibia will have their annual National cyber security competition and Green will be strongly represented, feeling its part of its corporate social responsibility to assist Colleges and Universities right here in Namibia and create future ICT professionals.

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    FNB holdings group changes investor nameFNB holdings group changes investor name First National Bank (FNB) Namibia holdings limited group has changed its investor name to FirstRand Namibia Limited.

    The holdings group announced this last week on the Namibia Stock Exchange that the company’s name was amended by the Registrar of Companies with effect from 02 July 2018.

    The group’s chief executive officer, Sarel van Zyl explained in a statement sent to Nampa on Tuesday that the name change was a natural progression for the group which had expanded over the past few years according to a multi-branded approach.

    “We found that the current naming of the listed entity is mostly likened to only the FNB brand, which does not reflect the end-to-end financial services entity that the group represents,” he said.

    The new name, FirstRand Namibia Limited, would serve as the umbrella investor name only.

    The standalone brands within the group, First National Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, WesBank, Ashburton and Outsurance will continue to operate under their existing names. - Nampa

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    Swartbooi cries foul over Shalli invitationSwartbooi cries foul over Shalli invitation The Landless People's Movement (LPM) leader Bernadus Swartbooi has questioned the invitation extended to retired army general Martin Shalli to attend the country's second national land conference slated for October.

    Swartbooi also accused the government of not only sidelining them, but also making efforts to intimidate and threaten participants to toe the line and not raise radical issues such as ancestral land.

    In June this year, the LPM announced it would boycott the conference, if the lands minister Utoni Nujoma does not resign.

    This followed statements made by Nujoma during an eNCA documentary about land reform. Nujoma was understood to have said that the poor would not receive land.

    Yesterday, Swartbooi questioned the fact that so many ministers have been invited to attend the conference, adding it is rumoured to be a tactic to intimidate and threaten attendees to behave, while their talking time would also be limited.

    “Our intelligence sources informed us that peculiar visits are being made to certain traditional authorities to toe the line of the regime on the land question. A major deployment of intelligence is planned to follow the caucus of participants at the conference. They have carefully deployed General Martin Shalli in order to send a direct message that the military will be deployed against those who wish to push ancestral land issues,” he said.

    Swartbooi also accused the government of planning to use former PLAN fighters currently in the Namibia Defence Force (NDF) to intimidate radical participants.

    When contacted for comment, Shalli said he is invited as a participant and “cannot see how his mere presence as a retired general can intimidate or threaten” participants.

    Shalli, who said he was notified of his invitation before the land conference was previously postponed, said he supposes the invitation is still valid.

    “I am a retired general. I am not on active duty. There is no reason why my mere presence must threaten people,” he said.

    The lands ministry spokesperson Chrispin Matongela said it is unthinkable that the LPM could draw such conclusions.

    “The general was invited in his capacity as the president of the veteran's association. What they (the LPM) are saying is not true at all. I do not even want to say anything more on this at all,” he said.

    Towards the end of June this year, the LPM announced it would be hosting a grassroots land conference to “ensure that the voices from grassroots level are articulated and heard”, even if they are not invited to the government-led national land conference.

    The LPM's conference was set for 8 to 10 September and would enjoy technical and advisory support from Namibian Non-Governmental Organisations Forum (Nangof).

    It is not clear whether this conference is indeed going ahead. At the time, the LPM said it would need sponsors to come on board.

    Matongela issued a press statement which said the second national land conference will deliberate on what more can be done to fast-track the implementation of the 1991 land conference resolutions and other land-related issues that have emerged during the implementation of the country's land programme.

    The statement emphasised that the government wants to ensure inclusivity in the preparation for the conference and it has therefore established a high-level coordinating committee. The committee, which was inaugurated on 29 May, is comprised of 32 members drawn from the government, farmers' unions, trade unions and academics.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Southern villages avoid power cutsSouthern villages avoid power cuts NamPower will no longer cut the electricity supply to various villages and government offices in the south.

    The power utility was due to cut the electricity supply to the Aranos town council, as well as the Tses, Koës and Berseba village councils.

    The power cuts were expected from yesterday.

    The electricity cuts were also expected to affect the Neckartal Dam, which is currently being constructed, the Kalahari experimental farm, the offices of the directorate of veterinary services in Ariamsvlei and other veterinary offices in Buitepos and Noordoewer, as well as the Orange River green scheme project, which is currently being managed by Agribusdev.

    Speaking on the development, NamPower managing director Simson Haulofu said the affected parties had made arrangements to pay what is owed to, which stands at a combined N$47 million.

    “NamPower will no longer suspend power supply to the local authorities, government departments and other customers that it was due to disconnect yesterday, due to long outstanding accounts, after most of them responded positively by paying their accounts and making the necessary arrangements to settle them,” Haulofu said.

    He added that NamPower would monitor adherence to pay by the parties.

    “Those who fail to honour their agreements going forward will be disconnected,” he said.

    While announcing the intended power cuts last week, NamPower encouraged the affected parties to make use of power generators to contend with the blackouts. It came to the decision to cut power, after continuous engagements with the affected parties to settle their outstanding accounts did not yield positive results.

    “Institutions that provide critical services are kindly advised to ensure that standby generators are used or alternative arrangements are made,” NamPower said at the time.

    Berseba village council CEO Charles Vries said efforts were made to ensure that power would not be cut.

    His council currently owes NamPower N$1 million.

    “There were such talks that power would be cut but we made arrangements to pay off the electricity we will be consuming while the other portion of existing debt will be paid off on a monthly basis,” Vries said last week.

    Tses councillor Josef Awasman said they had made arrangements and were still looking to engage NamPower further.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Cellphone admitted in sex trialCellphone admitted in sex trialAccusers say they watched porn on it Evidence led in the High Court yesterday centred around a cellphone on which the children say they watched pornographic videos to 'know what to do'. A Samsung Galaxy cellphone has been handed in as an exhibit in the trial of a former hostel father, who is charged with the rape of ten Karundu Primary School boys at Otjiwarongo.

    Mervin Nguyapeua, who is standing trial in the Windhoek High Court, is alleged to have raped the boys over a period of three years, after showing them porn videos on his phone.

    Forensic expert, Dr Paul Ludik, testified yesterday that the 48-year-old accused was the only person in possession of the cellphone's pin code, unless he had given it someone else.

    Nguyapeua testified earlier that he had received the phone in December 2015.

    Ludik explained further that the transfer of data or images from the phone to another device could only have been done through Bluetooth.

    “You will not be able to determine when the videos were viewed, simply because they were erased,” Ludik said.

    Some of the victims, who testified in the case, said they regarded Nguyapeua as a father figure.

    They alleged they watched pornographic videos on his phone in the presence of his children.

    “In in terms of the provisions of the Convention on Prohibition of Child Pornography the accused under such circumstances would be criminally liable,” Ludik emphasised.

    Nguyapeua is facing 32 counts of rape.

    The victims allege he had sexually violated them on different occasions.

    It is alleged he committed the offences while living at a hostel at the school.

    The accused had earlier pleaded not guilty to 32 charges of rape and 27 alternative charges of committing sexual acts involving ten boys younger than 16, from 2013 to 2015, when he was employed as caretaker at the school hostel.

    Some of the victims who testified could not be named, as they are underage.

    They alleged the accused would ask if they had ever seen sex between men and women, and if they said no, he would call them to his room and give them a cellphone containing pornography. He would allegedly then have sex with them and even kissed some of them on their ears.

    “While I was watching, he started undressing himself and thereafter unzipped my pants. He then took body lotion and rubbed it on my penis and took some lotion and rubbed it between his bottoms (sic),” one boy had testified.

    It was further said Nguyapeua would then bend down and instruct him to do what he saw in the video, which the boy did.

    The trial is continuing before Judge Alfred Siboleka.

    Serendine Jacobs the prosecutor, while Milton Engelbrecht appears for the defence.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Tax net should not choke familiesTax net should not choke families Considering the massive job losses that continue to haunt the formal employment sector, the informal sector has become even more critical for the survival of Namibian families.

    A Namibia Statistics Agency report, released in 2016, showed that Namibia has 589 787 households, of which 53.6% were headed by males and 46.4% by females.

    It goes without saying that many households are dependent on those who make their money from the informal sector, so any attempt to broaden the tax net to scoop more from them, besides indirect taxes like VAT, will be viewed with suspicion and trepidation.

    Undeterred, the finance ministry's pamphlet campaign, calling for informal traders to honour their tax obligations or face the consequences, on the presumption that they earn more than N$50 000 a year, is showing a head of steam.

    The pamphlet warns explicitly that hair salons, whether operated in a city centre, town, informal market, incubator centre or at home, are subject to tax.

    The same applies to taxi and bus transport businesses, as well as hawkers, whether they sell their products door-to-door, at an open market, on the side of the road, under a tree, in a neighbourhood, or from the boot of a car.

    Also among those targeted are plumbing services and kapana sellers, who were informed “if you roast meat and sell it, you are required to pay tax on such income”.

    While it may be government's right to broaden its tax base, we are concerned about the impacts on already vulnerable Namibians, who have had little or nothing to do with the pillaging and looting contests that have been the order of the day in government ministries.

    Also, it is beyond comprehension that government spending, mostly on wages, pomp and ceremony, continues to siphon the fiscus dry.

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  • 07/11/18--16:00: Recover Avid money - SPYL
  • Recover Avid money - SPYLRecover Avid money - SPYLSSC urged to launch civil suit The ruling party's youth wing says it was the workers who suffered most when the Social Security Commission lost millions. The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) has called on the Social Security Commission (SSC) to lodge a civil suit in order to recover the millions lost in the Avid corruption scandal.

    In a statement issued this week, SPYL information secretary Gerson Lineekela Dumeni said the High Court “missed a crucial part of the Criminal Procedure Act”, when it decided to fine some of those convicted in the Avid case, while imprisoning only one accused, Nico Josea.

    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 Investment Corporation in 2005.

    Ralph Blaauw and his wife Sharon, former deputy works minister Paulus Kapia and accountant Inez /Gâses received fines and suspended sentences for their part in the scandal.

    Ralph, /Gâses and Kapia received a N$60 000 fine each or three years imprisonment, while Sharon who was convicted of reckless business conduct, was slapped with a meagre N$8 000 fine or six months imprisonment.

    “He (Josea) 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 (Josea) transferred to an account held by (Lazarus) Kandara and monies paid back by his church,” Judge Christie Liebenberg said while sentencing Josea to an effective 17 years in prison.

    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.

    Dumeni said this week “it is true that the unjust can go unpunished and enjoy the fruits of injustice”.

    He said the SPYL was urging the SSC to apply for a compensation from the court, especially since the Avid offence had caused damage or loss of property.

    “The SSC suffered a loss. That is not money for the commission but for the people - the workers,” he said.

    The youth league emphasised it is important for the country's citizens to have trust and confidence in the justice system.

    “Thus, the SPYL feels legal practitioners need to present concrete arguments that touch on all aspects of the case. It does not serve society to put a person in prison or fine them and the lost money remains unrecovered,” said Dumeni.



    Interest of society

    During the sentencing proceedings, Judge Liebenberg said it was not difficult to understand the feelings and emotions of a society which was no longer prepared to put up with criminals in its midst.

    He said people have voiced the anger and frustration by way of public demonstrations 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 not 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.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Armas accused of project theftArmas accused of project theftBusinessman says Swapo leader stole their tobacco idea The Swapo Oshikoto regional coordinator has rubbished claims that he stole a controversial N$14 billion tobacco project from a northern businessman and his partner. Northern businessman Naeman Amalwa, who is also Ondonga king Immanuel Kauluma Elifas' spokesperson, is claiming Swapo Oshikoto regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu stole a controversial N$14 billion tobacco plantation project from him and his business partner.

    Amalwa told Namibian Sun he is very disappointed, saying Amukwiyu betrayed them after they trusted and included him in the project, because of his political influence and connections.

    He also accused Amukwiyu of later kicking them out of the project, which he has since made his own.

    Amukwiyu, however, refuted the allegations, saying Amalwa and his alleged partner are “ghosts” and that he does not know them.

    “Everybody is now saying Amukwiyu spent six months in China looking for Chinese investors to set up a tobacco plantation project in the Zambezi Region. This is not true. The truth is that five years ago the Chinese investors approached me and my business partner to help them get a permit to grow tobacco in Namibia,” Amalwa told Namibian Sun this week.

    “Because we were not so selfish, we decided to include him (Amukwiyu) in the project, for him to benefit as a comrade, and also to help our project to get the political will, since he is politically-connected and has influence.”

    Amalwa, who owns Salina Motor Spares, which does panel beating and trades in vehicle parts at Oniipa, said the three of them partnered with the Chinese to establish Namibia Oriental Tobacco cc, which acquired 10 000 hectares in Zambezi to grow tobacco.

    “From there we obtained the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) permit and the Chinese started giving us an allowance, while we were waiting for the operation to start,” he said.

    “Towards the end of 2015 the allowance stopped and when we enquired from the Chinese, they told us that they do not need me and my partner anymore, because they now have Amukwiyu who is the key person.

    “Since then we have been trying to get hold of Amukwiyu, but he have been avoiding us until today. In the process we heard that he sold our interests to the Chinese for US$5 million that he did not even share (the money) with us.”

    He said all their efforts to get hold of Amukwiyu failed and that is why he decided to approach Namibian Sun, so the nation can know the truth about the planned tobacco plantation.





    In 2014, the environment ministry awarded an environmental clearance certificate to the project, after an environmental assessment was conducted on the proposed site.

    Last month, lands minister Utoni Nujoma reportedly facilitated a cabinet presentation by Namibia Oriental Tobacco cc, which was done by the Chinese investors who are seeking cabinet approval for the project.



    'Unfounded'

    When contacted for comment, Amukwiyu said all Amalwa's allegations are unfounded and that he does not know him.

    He said the project is his own initiative.

    “That is rubbish and I do not entertain them. This project started about five years ago and it has been my project from the beginning, but they are only coming out now when they heard that the project was presented to cabinet? Where have they been? I do not know them and to me they are just ghosts coming from nowhere,” Amukwiyu stressed.

    He said the project is his brainchild and before he initiated it, he spent a good number of years in China looking for potential investors.

    Health minister Bernhard Haufiku has been one of the most vocal opponents of the tobacco project and has called on all Namibians to stand up together and fight the evils of tobacco and alcohol abuse in the country.



    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 07/11/18--16:00: Anti-poaching unit in limbo
  • Anti-poaching unit in limboAnti-poaching unit in limbo The environment ministry's anti-poaching unit has been in limbo for four years, awaiting budget allocations for appointments.

    Ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda confirmed yesterday there have been no new recruitments to the unit since retired police commissioner Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa was officially appointed as its head on 1 August last year.

    At that stage Kashihakumwa and seven other members were appointed to the vital unit.

    Muyunda said due financial constraints the ministry has been unable to recruit anyone else to the unit, which will eventually consist of nearly 500 members.

    According to him, the budget for this financial year has also not made provision for any further recruitments.

    Muyunda said the ministry is therefore engaging other line ministries in an effort to address the problem and see how the situation can be remedied.

    “This is not the situation we desire. Poaching is a huge challenge for the country and the ministry is doing everything possible to eliminate it.”

    He stressed if the ministry can start recruiting in phases, as money becomes available, it will already make a huge difference, as there are currently no rangers or “ground people” for the anti-poaching unit.





    Muyunda was unable to confirm what the total cost will be for the recruitment of 500 unit members.

    Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta said in 2015 that as soon as the 2015/16 ministry budget was approved the anti-poaching unit will be finalised and set up.

    Cabinet had previously approved the reorganisation of existing ministry staff, so a dedicated anti-poaching unit could be set up.

    Particularly, the Directorate of Wildlife and National Parks was reorganised to create the anti-poaching unit.

    This was approved by the Public Service Commission, with a staff structure consisting of 495 staff members.

    This anti-poaching unit, referred to as the Division: Wildlife Protection Services, was established to provide active patrols, surveillance, investigations, on-the-job training and retraining, communication and adaptive management.

    Specific functions of the division include protecting wildlife, mainly rhino and elephant, from poaching. It also promotes the enforcement of wildlife laws in the country and with neighbouring states. It will also strengthens law-enforcement and better prepares the ministry to deal with wildlife poaching syndicates.

    The division further conducts arrests, seizures and facilitates the proper collection of crime scene evidence, in collaboration with other law-enforcement agencies.

    Meanwhile, the Draft National Strategy on Wildlife Protection and Law Enforcement 2016 to 2020 has highlighted the fact that Namibia lacks at least half the resources required to effectively face the serious and escalating poaching threat. This includes financial resources, manpower and equipment.

    It said Namibia needs to be well-prepared to deal with threats to its rhino and elephant populations and other wildlife species, in the light of recent trends elsewhere in Africa, and particularly those in neighbouring countries.

    “Wildlife crime in Namibia has reached a new quality of violence and an enhanced frequency of incidences. Well-organised gangs enter vulnerable areas and crime syndicates organise the trafficking of horns and tusks through complex networks, leading to foreign markets.”

    Poaching statistics provided by the ministry indicated that by April this year a total of 14 rhinos and 23 elephants have already been poached.

    Last year 35 rhinos and 23 elephants were killed by poachers. In 2016 a total of 60 rhino were poached, while in 95 rhino were poached in 2015 and 56 rhino in 2014.

    In 2016, a total of 101 elephants were poached, while 49 elephants were poached in 2015 and 78 in 2014.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Fuel shifts inflation into higher gearFuel shifts inflation into higher gear A spike in annual transport inflation increased overall annual inflation in June to 4%, up from 3.8% the previous month.
    Data released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) this morning shows transport inflation rose from 5.6% in May to 7.2% last month.

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    Ongwediva crash kills girl, 8Ongwediva crash kills girl, 8 The Oshana police are investigating a case of culpable homicide after a car crash late on Wednesday evening in Ongwediva killed an 8-year-old girl and injured two others.
    According to Oshana’s police spokesperson, Inspector Petrus Iimbili, the accident involving two Toyota Corollas occurred at around 23:10 at the traffic lights opposite the Highway fuelling station.
    One vechile was traveling from Oshakati in the direction of Ongwediva while the other was coming from Ongwediva.
    The 28-year-old male driver travelling from Oshakati to Ongwediva was alone in the vehicle and sustained injuries on his left leg and arm.
    The 34-year-old male driver of the other Toyota was travelling with two passengers, a 40-year-old man and his daughter who was killed instantly. Both men sustained injuries.
    The deceased has been identified as Meke Jordan Halweendo.
    A case of culpable homicide has been opened and police investigations continue.

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    Bidvest Nam widens acquisition net, disposes of BidFishBidvest Nam widens acquisition net, disposes of BidFish Bidvest Namibia Property Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of locally listed Bidvest Namibia, has acquired the remaining shares in Namsov Industrial Properties and United Fishing Enterprises, the company said in an announcement on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX).
    Bidvest Namibia now owns 100% of both companies.
    Bidvest Namibia has also disposed of the entire issued share capital of Bidvest Namibia Fisheries Holdings to Tunacor Fisheries, it said.
    Bidvest Namibia ended at N$7.77 per share on the Local Index of the NSX this afternoon.

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    Galz & Girls gets major boostGalz & Girls gets major boostNFA, Unicef launch five-year strategic plan Young girls who take part in the Galz & Gals programme show improved self-confidence, leadership skills, improved school performance and also acquire life-changing knowledge of HIV/Aids. The Namibian Football Association (NFA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) on Tuesday launched a five-year strategic plan for their Galz & Goals programme at Football House in Windhoek.

    The plan will see the programme increase the percentage of young girls aged between ten and 20 playing football through mass participation from 13% to 50% by 2022 in the regions where the project is currently running.

    The programme has reached close to 22 000 adolescent girls and provides them with the opportunity to play football. It also empowers them to make good choices on and off the field.

    Deputy sports minister Agnes Tjongarero commended the partnership between the two entities and called on other sport codes to adopt similar approaches to develop sport, especially for children.

    “I hereby instruct the Namibia Sports Commission to take this strategic plan to other sport codes, so as to build not only the girl child, but all Namibian children, from an early age,” she said.

    Tjongarero also criticised those “who hide behind culture as a way of suppressing the girl child”, saying the time has come for the girl child to be treated equally to her male counterparts.

    “Within ten to 15 years such excuses must be phased out. Our children must not go through things we went through. It must end,” she said.

    She further called on neighbouring countries to adopt the strategy used by the NFA, saying it will cultivate the good leadership of tomorrow.

    Unicef representative Rachel Odede applauded the NFA for championing sport development in Namibia, by making it possible for girls to have fun while playing football, while ensuring they benefit from life skills.

    “Since 2009, Unicef has been supporting the NFA through the Galz & Goals programme, to use the medium of sport to promote good health, prevent diseases, encourage positive education outcomes and foster social inclusion to prevent and respond to violence against girls.

    “We can proudly say that we are happy with the growth of the programme, which now reaches 4 000 girls from 13 regions on an annual basis,” Odede said.

    She encouraged the NFA to strengthen linkages with the education ministry, because the bulk of the girls in the programme spend long hours in school, and this provides the opportunity to strengthen the life skills education component of the programme.

    The Unicef representative further said the strategic plan was developed to provide guidance, in order to ensure the effective and sustainable growth of the project.

    Odede added that an impact evaluation study published in 2016 shows young girls who took part in the programme showed improved self-confidence, leadership skills, improved school performance and had acquired life-changing knowledge of HIV/Aids.

    Mbitjita Mungunda (18), who is a beneficiary of the programme and a football player for the under-20 national team, was eager and excited to share her story.

    “When I started at the centre, I was 12 years old and was still trying to develop my skills as a footballer. The pressure of being a girl playing football wasn't easy. We are bullied a lot and often called names, but with the help of the programme I managed to deal with bullies, and stand up for my rights and what I believe in.

    “As a young girl uttering the words 'no' isn't easy, as you are forced to keep up the appearance of being cool, but at the centre we were taught that not being cool is also okay,” said Mungunda.

    She added that being a part of the programme allowed her to travel to China for the Youth Olympic Games in 2014, which is an experience she will never forget.

    -Additional info by the NFA and Nampa

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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  • 07/12/18--16:00: Build It football goes north
  • Build It football goes northBuild It football goes north The Namibia Football Association (NFA) and Build It this week announced a youth development partnership that will see seven-a -side football tournaments for under-13 players taking place in the northern parts of the country.

    The first phase of the initiative was completed last year when a one-day soccer tournament for 16 Windhoek primary schools was held at the NFA Technical Centre in March.

    Tobias Hainyeko Primary School was crowned the overall winners of the tournament and received makeover materials worth of N$20 000, courtesy of Crown Build It Namibia.

    The initiative has now branched out to the Oshana Region, where 16 schools are expected to take part in a seven-a-side tournament, exclusively for u-13 players of all sexes.

    Herman van Schalkwyk, retail operational manager of Build It, said he is looking forward to the involvement of the association in this year's event.

    “We have been hosting these tournaments for a number of years now without the involvement of the association and last year when we attended the Crown Build It tournament held in Windhoek we saw the need of involving the NFA.

    “The tournament was a huge success and we plan on using the ideas that were implemented last year to improve this year, especially in terms of involving the different media houses to attend and publicise the event,” Van Schalkwyk said.

    The tournament will be held on the 14 July, with the opening ceremony commencing at Oshana Hardware at 07:00, followed by a parade to the Eluwa Special School, where the action will kick off from 08:00.

    In addition to a guaranteed shopping voucher worth N$5 000 for their school, the winning team will also receive soccer kit and a trophy.

    The runner-ups will receive a N$2 000 voucher, while the school hosting the tournament will get N$3 000 and the player of the tournament will walk away with N$1 000 in cash.

    Oshakati and Ongwediva are scheduled to host the next Build It tournaments in the near future.

    Sport Reporter

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