Articles on this Page
- 07/30/18--16:00: _o.18-sewesrugbyspan...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _Tyre material testi...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _Reading marathon
- 07/30/18--16:00: _RCC's future still ...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _Drought persists in...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _Wanting change is o...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _Company news in brief
- 07/30/18--16:00: _Land tax constituti...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _Chinese plan metall...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _FMD outbreak no plo...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _City lifts moratori...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _Legal aid fed up wi...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _We can all search f...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _Massmart warns prof...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _Mushelenga, Zaaruka...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _Zim: Respect the wi...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _ Zim: Respect the w...
- 07/30/18--16:00: _Representation matters
- 07/30/18--16:00: _Watching the pump
- 07/30/18--16:00: _Destination everywhere
- 07/30/18--16:00: o.18-sewesrugbyspan het silwer gewen
- 07/30/18--16:00: Tyre material testing in space
- 07/30/18--16:00: Reading marathon
- 07/30/18--16:00: RCC's future still under discussion
- 07/30/18--16:00: Drought persists in Hardap, Kunene
- 07/30/18--16:00: Wanting change is our crime - APP youth
- 07/30/18--16:00: Company news in brief
- 07/30/18--16:00: Land tax constitutional
- 07/30/18--16:00: Chinese plan metallurgical complex in SA
- 07/30/18--16:00: FMD outbreak no ploy - !Naruseb
- 07/30/18--16:00: City lifts moratorium on sales of institutional land
- 07/30/18--16:00: Legal aid fed up with Thomas
- 07/30/18--16:00: We can all search for dignity in disagreement
- 07/30/18--16:00: Massmart warns profit fall
- 07/30/18--16:00: Mushelenga, Zaaruka clash at land meeting
- 07/30/18--16:00: Zim: Respect the will of the people
- 07/30/18--16:00: Zim: Respect the will of the people
- 07/30/18--16:00: Representation matters
- 07/30/18--16:00: Watching the pump
- 07/30/18--16:00: Destination everywhere
Foto Michelline Nawatises
In the microgravity environment of the space station, Goodyear will study the formation of silica particles, a common material used in consumer tyres. By gathering knowledge from this evaluation, Goodyear engineers and scientists can determine if further investigation of unique forms of precipitated silica should be considered in tyres.
“Goodyear has been a pioneer in tyre innovations related to space, with the first and only tyres on the moon, numerous projects with NASA and now this,” said Eric Mizner, Goodyear’s director of global materials science. “It underscores our passion for going to the ends of the earth – and beyond – to develop new technologies that help us deliver breakthrough products with true consumer benefits.”
Goodyear made the announcement during the ISS Research and Development Conference, held in San Francisco. Recent academic experiments in microgravity conditions have demonstrated the ability to generate unique morphologies that could show potential in delivering higher performance products.
Should a breakthrough take place with this Goodyear investigation onboard the ISS US National Laboratory (photo), it could lead to improvements in fuel efficiency and other performance factors.
The in-space evaluation is being conducted through an agreement with the Centre for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the organisation tasked by NASA to manage the ISS US National Laboratory.
“The ISS National Lab can provide companies and researchers opportunities to evaluate materials within their product line and in ways not previously possible,” said CASIS Director of Commercial Innovation Cynthia Bouthot.
“Goodyear sending an investigation to the space station further demonstrates that companies are thinking creatively to enhance their product lines, while also looking at humanitarian ways to improve the condition of our planet.”
To learn more about the on-orbit capabilities of the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, including past research initiatives and available facilities, visit www.spacestationresearch.com. - Quickpic
A grade 1 teacher from Delta Primary along with her learners
A grade 3 learner Misenga Tshibola from Havana Primary School
Elzaan de Wee and Josaphat Tjiho assisteing the learners on how to fill in their passports.
Grade 1 learners from M.H Greef Primary School
Hassimah Ibrahim reading along with Delta, M.H. Greef and Van Rhyn learners
Khomas regional education acting director Steve Kaangundue
Ministry spokesperson John Ngwedha said more work still needed to be done on the bill before it is tabled in parliament.
According to him, there are many aspects that will need to be taken into consideration before the bill is tabled; hence the delay.
He added the delay in no way meant the bill would not be tabled, which will see the RCC placed under a new manager appointed by the High Court, once the process has been concluded.
It was reported last week that works minister John Mutorwa was advised by attorney-general Albert Kawana to change aspects of the bill.
Mutorwa previously said it will still be business as usual for the RCC, as its stakeholders wait for the tabling of the bill.
Under judicial management, the board of the RCC will be disempowered.
Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste, when announcing previously that the RCC would be placed under judicial management, said: “The RCC has many creditors who will, while the company is under judicial management, have to wait to see their claims against the company settled.
“The judicial manager will proactively seek ways to restructure the debt of the company and respond to the financial demands of the company.”
Jooste said further the judicial manager will be empowered to make far-reaching decisions on the company's business transactions, covering all aspects of its operations, human resources and financial management.
According to the recently released Crop Prospects and Food Security Report, the Hardap and Kunene regions have reported poor grazing conditions that are attributed largely to poor rainfall received this year.
Reports from the agricultural extension office in the Hardap Region indicate that there was no significant grass regrowth in the Maltahöhe, Hoachanas and Gochas areas.
“Moreover, critical grazing conditions were reported at Aranos and the eastern part of Rehoboth,” the report says.
The regional agricultural extension office is encouraging southern farmers to reduce their herds in order to avoid livestock losses.
It further reports that some farmers in the region have requested government support to start planting lucerne for livestock feed.
In the Kunene, Omaheke, //Karas and Erongo regions, grazing ranges from poor to fair following sporadic and insufficient rainfall.
The Corridor 13 and Eiseb areas in the Omaheke Region are the hardest hit, while Otjimbingwe, Spitzkoppe, Okombahe, Tubusis, Omatjete and Uis are the most affected areas in the Erongo Region.
It is further reported that some farmers have started moving their livestock in search of better grazing.
Water shortages were reported in the Hardap Region, affecting the farms Kleinfontein, Binz, Halifax and Fleyveld.
Water shortages were also reported in the //Karas Region, apparently caused by poor maintenance and slow repair of water infrastructure in communal areas.
“As a matter of urgency, the situation (repair of water infrastructure) needs to be urgently addressed as it is increasing the strain on animals,” says the report.
It says grazing conditions range between fair and good in most parts of the country following good rainfall in the last three months of the rainy season.
“However, poor to very poor grazing conditions were also reported, mainly in the south and partly central to eastern part of the country owing to poor rainfall received in the just-ended rainfall season.”
In the Omaheke, Hardap and Erongo regions, livestock body condition was reported to range between fair and poor.
Cattle in the Corridor 13 area are said to be in exceptionally poor condition because of poor grazing conditions.
The report urges farmers in areas with poor grazing conditions to de-stock before animals lose too much condition.
It also advises the agriculture ministry to provide support in terms of livestock marketing incentives in drought-stricken areas.
“We are calling for change, we want to diversify the party,” he said, while addressing a media conference last Friday.
Ntjamba, Hendrick Haikera and Kaghugongo Shingereshu are still waiting for news on when their disciplinary hearing will be held.
“When we were trying to question, they regarded it as being disrespectful. It is our right to stand up. When we stand up we are accused of being disrespectful and vulgar. Up to now we have never received any call from our leadership and that is worrying us,” Haikera said.
APP secretary-general Vincent Kanyetu is yet to start the disciplinary process, despite issuing suspension letters to the trio.
They stand accused of insulting the party's leadership, a claim they have denied.
The trio have acknowledged receiving suspension letters from Kanyetu, but said their suspensions were unfair.
“We don't know when the hearing will be. They are oppressing us,” said Ntjamba.
Kanyetu said the trio would undergo a disciplinary process in due course.
“There is a process, they need to be patient. I will be forwarding their charges to them. What is left now is for the party to appoint a committee. By the end of August everything will be done,” said Kanyetu.
He said that if he was the suspended leaders, he would not even bother holding a media conference.
“They were suspended based on their conduct, attitude and remarks towards the leadership and the party at large. They are calling the leadership of the party, including the president, useless, saying they were going to take over,” Kanyetu said at the time he announced the suspensions.
He added the “useless” remarks against the leadership were made in a public space and in front of party supporters.
“They always have a problem with the decisions taken by the president. There is no problem with differing with each other, but when you attach personal attacks to an individual, like calling your president useless in the presence of supporters, it is not acceptable,” Kanyetu added.
British travel company Thomas Cook is considering splitting off its airline and selling a stake to an outside investor to reduce debt, the Sunday Times newspaper reported. The newspaper, citing unnamed industry sources, said internal discussions were at an early stage and no change was likely imminently.
However, the sale of a stake in the airline - possibly to Chinese conglomerate Fosun, an existing 12% shareholder in the group - would make it easier for both the travel business and the airline to expand, the newspaper said.
Walmart discovers why 'last mile' is hard
Standing before an audience of 14 000 people last year, Walmart Inc executives described a radical plan to help it fend off Amazon.com Inc and other online delivery services from stealing its customers.
Walmart’s own store employees would bring online orders directly to shoppers’ homes after completing their usual shifts of up to nine hours on the sales floors. Aiming to lower the retailer’s shipping costs by tapping its massive workforce, the program was part of a multi-pronged strategy to boost its US$11.5 billion US ecommerce business and tackle one of the biggest challenges in retail: the so-called “last mile” of delivering goods to online customers.
BMW to raise prices in China
German carmaker BMW said it will raise the prices of two US-made crossover sport-utility vehicles in China to cope with the additional cost of tariffs on US car imports into the world’s biggest auto market.
In a move due to take effect on Monday, BMW said in a statement to Reuters over the weekend that it will increase maker-suggested retail prices of the popular, relatively high-margin X5 and X6 SUV models by 4% to 7%.
Apple, Amazon lead pack to US$1trn
For a long time, Apple appeared to be flying solo to a US$1 trillion market value, but Amazon is right at its heels - and experts have no fears of a tech bubble.
Apple, at US$939 billion, remains the highest-valued private company on the global markets - and could well cross the US$1 trillion finish line after it releases its quarterly results Tuesday.
But Amazon is right behind: on Friday, its market cap reached US$917 billion, before finishing at US$882 billion, thanks to quarterly figures well received by investors.
Google's parent company Alphabet (US$886 billion) and Microsoft (US$827 billion) are also on track, while Facebook (US$505 billion) is out of the race, having shed US$119 billion in value after results released Thursday.
ExxonMobil profits jump
Higher oil prices enabled US oil giant ExxonMobil to report increased profits Friday, but the results missed analyst expectations as the company cited natural gas and refining outages.
Net income jumped 18% in the second quarter to US$4 billion compared to the same period a year earlier. That translated into 92 cents a share, well below the US$1.27 expected by analysts.
The appeal by Kambazembi Guest Farm cc, trading as Waterberg Wilderness, sought to strike down sections 76 to 80 of the Act as unconstitutional, on the basis that the imposition of the tax was impermissibly delegated by the legislature to the agriculture minister as part of the executive, which is in conflict with the fundamental principle of separation of powers.
The regulations challenged set out how the land tax is to be administered. They provide for the valuation of agricultural land, the appointment, powers and duties of a valuator and the process of valuation, against values included in the provisional valuation roll.
They also provide for the establishment, powers and duties of the valuation court, appointed to consider and determine objections against the valuation roll and alterations to it. They also provide for the furnishing of returns and assessments on land tax, as well as rebates and interest on tax, its recovery and the serving of notices.
“The appellant failed to show how each of these impugned regulations offended against the constitutional provisions and principles relied upon or common law. The challenges were found to be without merit and the approach of the High Court is upheld,” the Supreme Court ruled last week.Kambazembi sought to have the legality of the regulations made under the Act, in Government Notice 120 of 18 June 2007, declared inconsistent with articles 63(2), 8, 10, 12(1)(a), 18 and 22 of the Namibian constitution declared invalid.
It argued that the provisions impermissibly delegate plenary legislative powers to the executive and that it is a wide and unlawful delegation.
The Supreme Court concurred with earlier ruling of the High Court on matter that the provisions are not in conflict with the constitutional principles of separation of powers and 63(2)(b), which accords the National Assembly its own power to provide for revenue and taxation. The Supreme Court bench consisted of judges Sylvester Mainga and Dave Smuts, as well as former South African Constitutional Court judge, Yvonne Mokgoro. The bench ruled the provisions of the Act are aimed at achieving reform and transformation in ownership and access to agricultural land. The respondents in the matter were the ministries of land reform, agriculture, water and forestry and finance, as well as the chairperson of land reform advisory commission, the inland revenue commissioner, the attorney-general and the valuation court. Kambazembi had further argued that section 76(b), which authorises the minister to grant exemptions from paying land tax, constitutes an impermissible delegation of a discretion upon the minister to execute a law enacted by the legislature and that it is also inconsistent with article 22 of the constitution.
The High Court had found that the land tax imposed under these sections satisfied the constitutional requirement. Kambazembi had appealed this finding. The Supreme Court found the statutory scheme and constitutional imperative for land reform in Namibia must be seen within the context of “the ravages of inequality brought about by Namibia's colonial past”.
It ruled there was wide consultation by government during the in the first national land conference in 1991, so much so that the resulting Act aimed to bring about reform in ownership and access to agricultural land in Namibia in 1995. Amendments to the Act in 2000 and 2001 established the Land Acquisition and Development Fund and land tax, respectively, as a means to fund the land reform and transformation process. The Supreme Court ruled further that the history of land deprivation and dispossession and the resultant profound inequality in land ownership is set out in some detail in the judgment of the High Court.
The High Court stated that the colonial dispossession by removing indigenous people from their land created farms for successive waves of first German and then South African settlers.
It further stated that in ending colonialism and apartheid, upon independence, the constitution's preamble recognised the need to protect the gains of the liberation struggle and constitute Namibia as a democratic unitary state, securing to all citizens justice, liberty and equality. The respondents had argued that Kambazembi's approach had failed to take into account article 63(2)(b) properly into account and the nature of the tax scheme imposed under the Act. “What was left to be determined by the minister was the rate within the formula which was to be approved by way of a resolution by the National Assembly,” Advocate Vincent Maleka, appearing for the respondents, argued.
Supreme Court ruled that section 76 does not conflict with the constitutional principle of separation of powers and article 63(2)(b), which accords the National Assembly the power “to provide for revenue and taxation”.
“The National Assembly exercised its own powers and provided for land tax in the section, which the article expressly authorised it to do so. The tax is based upon the unimproved site value of agricultural land multiplied by a rate. The minister only determines the rate in the formula, subject to approval by a resolution of the National Assembly. The unimproved site value is to be determined in accordance with a procedure set out by the minister in the regulations,” the Supreme Court emphasised.
The court concluded that parliament cannot be expected to deal with all the details of implementing legislation and involve itself in the minute details of the tax. It said there was nothing in the constitution which prohibits parliament from delegating subordinate regulatory authority to the minister to address the administration and collection of the tax.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said at a joint news conference with Xi on Tuesday that China had committed to invest US$14.7 billion in the South African economy, but neither leader mentioned the US$10 billion complex.
Ramaphosa is on a mission to kick-start economic growth after a decade of stagnation and is targeting US$100 billion in new investment over five years.
The complex, which is still in the planning stage and envisages building a stainless steel plant, a ferrochrome plant and a silicomanganese plant, is a much-needed vote of confidence in the sputtering South African economy.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Tuesday that China was considering a metallurgical project in a special economic zone (SEZ), but he did not reveal the scale of the project or timeframe.
The executive involved in the project, who did not wish to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said memoranda on the complex were signed before Xi and Ramaphosa gave news conference on Tuesday.
“The investors for the SEZ project were in the room when Ramaphosa and Xi spoke to the press,” the executive said.
Richard Zitha, a project executive at the Musina-Makhado SEZ where the complex will be based, said the project was being led by Chinese state-owned companies, but he declined to name them.
He said the Chinese investors would look for Black Economic Empowerment partners to comply with South African rules designed to address racial disparities more than two decades after the end of apartheid.
The investors were open to investors from other countries joining at a later stage, he said.
“The investors have been in South Africa for around a week and have visited mines to look for inputs for the project,” Zitha said.
The Musina-Makhado SEZ is in Limpopo province close to South Africa’s borders with Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
The SEZ plans to house plants with a capacity of 3 million tonnes per annum of stainless steel, 3 million tonnes per annum of ferrochrome and 500 000 tonnes per annum of silicomanganese. Those capacity targets are subject to change and will be finalised by the end of the year, the executive said.
A coal-fired power plant, coking plant and coal washery will be built alongside the metallurgical plants, a presentation prepared for investors showed.
Some of the steel output for the complex has been earmarked for export to China, while other products would be sold to countries in southern Africa, the executive said.
South Africa is already a major exporter of metal alloys to China.
Investors are hoping to receive the necessary environmental approvals by the end of March and would then start construction, Zitha said.
In an interview with Namibian Sun recently, NNFU president Jason Emvula said the union had conducted an investigation in both Namibia and Angola to find out where the lone buffalo that was spotted at the Okongo crush pen on 12 May 2015 came from.
Emvula said nobody said they saw the animal, which made them suspect there had in fact been no stray buffalo.
!Naruseb refuted this allegation, based on records in the ministry's possession.
He said buffaloes were sighted by the community and then traced and shot by the environment ministry.
He, however, could not say where exactly these buffaloes had come from.
“Normally buffaloes are sighted by community members and reported to the directorate of veterinary services (DVS) and the environment ministry, who start tracking and eventually shoot them once they are found; then samples are collected for laboratory analysis to test for FMD.
“It is clear from the records that several buffaloes were present in the NCA around the time of the outbreak and it is therefore not correct for the NNFU to conclude that there were no buffaloes sighted in the NCA,” !Naruseb said.
He said buffaloes are free-roaming wild animals and will move across borders, especially where there are no fences.
He said recognition, diagnosis and the control of FMD requires professional veterinary experts, who carry out scientific analysis that leads to the declaration and handling of an FMD outbreak.
!Naruseb added that due to the lack of a fence between Namibia and Angola, it is highly possible that buffaloes can move freely between northern Namibia and southern Angola.
He said the Angolan authorities had admitted that buffaloes were present on the eastern side of the Cuando River and could possibly stray into Namibia.
“The first reports of salivating and limping cattle were received from farmers at Ondamayomunghete in the Okongo constituency of the Ohangwena Region. On 11 May 2015, the veterinary officials went to do the investigation and collected the samples, which were dispatched to the central veterinary laboratory (CVL) for analysis.
“The first positive laboratory results were received from the CVL, the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (OVI) in South Africa and the Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI) from 12 to 15 May 2015.
“An outbreak of FMD was then declared based on those results, because according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) terrestrial code, an outbreak is constituted by a case or more based on clinical signs and the presence of viral antigens,” !Naruseb said.
He further explained that subsequent outbreaks were detected on 12 May 2015 at the Okalupalona and Onehanga crush pens in the Okongo constituency of Ohangwena and then on 13 May 2015 at the Egolo crush pen at Okakango village in the Okankolo constituency of Oshikoto, while the last case of FMD was detected in the Etayi constituency on 22 July 2015 in the Omusati Region, which is also in a protection zone.
He said the outbreak was resolved by January 2016.
“In recognition of the 40 years of uninterrupted FMD freedom in the NCA, Namibia submitted a strategy for eventual recognition of its FMD-free status by the OIE. However, during the endorsement of this strategy document, which is an official FMD control programme, an outbreak occurred on 11 May 2015 at Ondamayomunghete.
“We are continuing with the implementation of the official control programme for FMD, which entails the construction of the Namibia-Angola border fence and intensive disease surveillance. It is very difficult to ascertain the origin of any buffalo without an identification mark on it, therefore any sighting of buffaloes is treated as a potential risk for FMD viral infection and eventually an FMD outbreak, until proven otherwise,” !Naruseb added.
This was approved at the council's seventh ordinary meeting.
City of Windhoek spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said the moratorium was imposed about five years ago so that the City could consult and consider measures towards effective and efficient allocation of institutional land.
“With approval granted, churches and institutions that need to apply for institutional land are now able to submit their applications for council consideration and per required land allocation criteria,” Amutenya said.
The policy pertains to places of worship, government schools, private schools, welfare organisations and non-profit companies registered under section 21 of the Companies Act.
“As part of the policy the City will continue to subsidise institutional land for places of worship, but as part of the new amendments places of worship have a two-year window period to develop the land accorded to them, and land should be paid for in cash or by bank guarantee,” said Amutenya.
Places of worship that cannot afford to pay for land can lease it for no longer than five years with an option to buy the land.
Plots zoned as institutional land must be used for the approved purpose, but the City will accommodate those that intend to make use of 30% of the land for commercial gain.
Furthermore, the City has limited such land ownership to one plot per church.
The policy also makes provision for private schools, which will benefit from the land subsidy regardless of their commercial nature.
Amutenya said the lifting of the moratorium would help fuel the development of Windhoek, and was testimony to the City's willingness to ensure continued development in neighbourhoods.
The monthly council meeting also approved twinning agreements with the cities of Kingston and St. Andrew in Jamaica.
The agreements will cover areas of cooperation such as urban planning, municipal police and public safety, water security and management systems, tourism and cultural heritage, environmental and waste management and training.
“We have been constrained by changes in lawyers in this matter. We afforded you a number of lawyers of your choice. However, it appears most of the lawyers withdrew because of unattainable instructions from you,” legal aid director Moses Ndjarakana said in a letter to Thomas that was presented to the High Court yesterday.
“That makes it difficult to assist the court and you.”
Thomas and fellow American Kevin Donnell Townsend are on trial for allegedly murdering Andre Heckmair in Windhoek in 2011.
Henry Shimitwikeni, who was the fourth lawyer appointed for Thomas recently, told the court before the start of the proceedings that he would not be available on the dates set down for the trial.
Thomas claimed there were no conflicting instructions.
“It was only conflict of available dates for the trial. I will personally contact the director of legal aid to sort out the issue,” he assured the court.
Last Monday, his previous lawyer, Kadhila Amoomo, informed the court that he could not represent Thomas because he was representing Ashley Hendricks, one of the State witnesses in the Heckmair murder trial.
Gilroy Kasper, who was appointed after Amoomo, told the court he was unavailable for the period in which the trial is scheduled to run, as he had other engagements at the same time.
Trevor Brockerhoff, who was thereafter appointed by the legal aid directorate, also informed the court that the trial dates conflicted with his other engagements.
Meanwhile, Judge Christie Liebenberg ordered the Khomas regional crime investigations coordinator to approach Townsend at the Windhoek correctional facility for him to lay a complaint against the prison.
The court postponed the matter until today for Thomas to consider his options.
Advocate Antonia Verhoef appeared for the State, while Mbanga Siyomuinji appeared for Townsend.
Serving on different titles to different people and having to socialise with different people from various backgrounds has taught me one thing - it is that people in Namibia love to disagree.
As a journalist, I enjoy getting the chance to expand and elevate discourse about issues that matter most to me. Unfortunately, I have also found that when people disagree, we struggle to form a civil discourse.
At best reasoned arguments fall on deaf ears. At worst, our callous comments cut down those brave enough to act as vanguards. Either way, we lose out on the most valuable part of disagreement: getting an opportunity to rethink our values.
This is not a question of expression per se, but rather it is a question of how we value expression in our community. While we may not always realise it, the big mouths in our surroundings and the ‘trolls’ who aggressively comment on situations are actually adding something to our lives.
These passionate, perhaps bored, people who call out others force us to re-examine the beliefs people hold self-righteously. Disagreement is a vibrant part of any intellectual community, and debate helps us to explore, redefine and reimagine our values and opinions. However, these benefits can only be felt if we simultaneously foster a vibrant culture of respect for every Namibian.
Years along the line, I have experienced first-hand not just official barriers to expression, but also community backlashes for often the silliest reasons.
In response to a photo uploaded on social media, I learned that some people would rather attack an image and its creators, rather than engage them and the feelings they stirred.
Twisted approaches to disagreement have obvious consequences beyond the reactions to images.
Powerful collaborations and events that people have worked on have been threatened because of a belief that if two sets of people disagree on a certain overarching idea, then they cannot learn anything from one another.
Our community itself is allowed to remain fractured. This is not to say it should remain this way, but there is benefit to being forced to thoughtfully engage and re-evaluate beliefs that I held dearly. I know I have benefited from those kind engagements.
Some time ago I truly had to wrestle with the fact that a set of beliefs and fears I had developed surrounding a certain population were just flat out wrong.
That experience encouraged me to intentionally pull in friends who had different faiths, politics and personalities from my own. I later learned that this is what Jesuits practice when in leadership positions and seeking advisers.
Humanising and understanding those so different from ourselves is not just important for our own growth, it also respects the humanity of the people behind those values with which we disagree.
I know that many of the online comments posted on the web would never have been posted if they had to remain attached to the posters’ names, but I sometimes wonder how many of those commenters have truly stopped to think about how their words would affect those they referenced.
As a community, we must learn to agree on one thing: Disagreeing should never involve the denigration of another person, or their values or their work. Never!
Not in an online comment on a website, not in a post on any platform and not by destroying the work of our colleagues.
It expects headline earning per share (HEPS) excluding costs for restructuring at Massdiscounters and Masscash of 124.7-141.5 cents per share for the six months to June 30, down from a restated 168.5 cents a year earlier.
HEPS strips out certain one-off items and is the main profit measure in South Africa.
Massmart this month reported a 1.9% rise in sales while comparable store sales rose just 0.2% for the 26 weeks to July 1.
Its Massdiscounters unit includes general merchandise discounter Game and high-tech retailer DionWired. Its Masscash unit comprises CBW, Jumbo and Shield.
A two-day Oshana regional consultative meeting, ahead of the country’s second national land conference in October, was temporarily overshadowed by a walkout by businessman Ben Zaaruka and some young people battling to get their contributions heard.
Urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga clashed with Zaaruka, saying the businessman’s views were not superior to those of others.
In the end, the delegates adopted resolutions that will be presented at the national conference, scheduled to take place from 1 to 5 October in Windhoek.
Among the resolutions were that farmland owned by foreigners and absentee farmers should be expropriated without compensation.
The region also resolved that the national resettlement policy needed to be reviewed to include special categories, such as for war veterans, young people and people living with disabilities.
It also wanted the land conference to place a high priority on food production and security.
On Friday, the second day of the meeting, Zaaruka walked out after disagreeing with the facilitators, as well as Mushelenga.
The drama started when Zaaruka sought clarity on why delegates were not presented with a copy of the region’s position paper, prepared during an in-house meeting about two weeks ago.
“The region has prepared a position paper, but we do not have a copy of it. Most of us can also not see on the board and there are decisions which the people at the front are endorsing. Some of us are sitting here for the first time and we want to give our input,” Zaaruka said.
He also questioned why issues were not being debated, before decisions were made.
While Zaaruka was having a conversation with facilitator Erastus Negonga, a number of attendees indicated non-verbally that the altercation should be stopped.
Shortly thereafter, Mushelenga rose and addressed Zaaruka, denying the allegation that people were not being allowed to give their input.
Mushelenga then told Zaaruka he should not think his views are superior to those of others.
He said prior consultations were done in the various towns and constituencies, and people had given their views.
Mushelenga said Zaaruka should not make it a problem for other people, if he did not attend those meetings.
“It does not mean if you disagree with others your views are superior views. We all have rights and our rights end where the rights of others start. Let us proceed with the meeting procedures,” Mushelenga said.
In an attempt to calm the situation, Great Wings Promotions owner, Ben Mulongeni, said Zaaruka should be given a chance to express his views. This was agreed upon unanimously by the gathering.
Zaaruka then starting talking about the issue of amending the constitution before looking at expropriating land without compensation.
The moment Zaaruka completed his sentence, some attendees immediately raised points of order, while calling on Negonga not to entertain Zaaruka’s comments.
They demanded that the microphone be taken from him.
Minutes after the microphone was taken away from him, Zaaruka left the hall.
As the meeting proceeded, further chaotic moments arose during the discussions, as young people started calling on Negonga to recognise them and give them a chance to speak.
In 2015, Taati, the Namibian doll was born. This was after co-founder Christy Shakuyungwa spent some time shopping for a doll for her goddaughter, and she was not satisfied with what she found in stores.
“I could not find a proper African looking doll on the shelves in Windhoek. At the time, I was attending the US embassy-funded social entrepreneurship boot camp. I pitched the idea of Taati & Friends and I walked away with the first prize,” she said.
After some time, Shakuyungwa met up with Taati honorary founder, Onena Shivute.
The name Taati comes from the Oshiwambo phrase 'Tate a ti', which loosely translated means 'my father said', because she is dressed in an Owambo dress.
“My father said… I am enough, I am worthy, I am precious, whether it is my actual father or my heavenly father, the name resonates greatly with all of us,” said Shakuyungwa.
“The inspiration behind Taati is to bring forth a black, African doll that our children can relate to. A doll we wish we had growing up. To a little girl, Taati reinforces the message that we are beautiful just as we are and we are worthy.”
There are currently five dolls in the Taati & Friends range, after Shakuyungwa and Shivute realised they cannot just have Taati on her own.
“We introduced her to friends from different cultures as well, so she has /Khomes, her Nama friend; Mbahimua, her Ovaherero friend; Alicia, the Afrocentric friend; Ntelamo, her Kavango friend and Lesedi, the Tswana princess. Taati's friendship range will grow to include more friends,” Shakuyungwa explained.
The two ladies are also planning on introducing a male doll to the range. “Probably a Tangeni.”
Like any other start-ups, the duo experienced a few challenges, such as market access, for one.
“We also experienced logistical challenges at times, such as clients abroad who are interested in the dolls and being bogged down by couriers. In addition, we also struggled with deciding on whether we should outsource production or whether they should be self-made,” Shakuyungwa said.
According to the duo, Taati is important as she reinforces the lesson of self-love to young girls, who grow up feeling validated in their own beauty and self-worth.
“We want girls to grow up to become young women with a sense of self-confidence that is second to none. Taati believes she can become anything she sets her heart on.
“Also, Taati and Friends contribute to the conversation of culture and heritage, raising a nation of young people with a strong sense of culture and belonging that will surely take us far.”
The adjustment in TransNamib’s bulk fuel rail rate by between 10 cents and 29 cents per litre during the month of July pushed fuel prices to levels last seen in the second quarter of 2014.
The mines and energy ministry granted the request by TransNamib to adjust its bulk fuel rail rate effective 4 July 2018.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says in its July 2018 Economy Watch publication that motorists can expect more fuel hikes.
In a press release on 28 June, the ministry of mines and energy announced an increase in fuel prices which became effective on 4 July.
“Since fuel prices account for 9% of the consumption basket that determines the inflation rate, the current fuel price increases will result in a higher inflation rate,” the IPPR says.
The ministry said the July increase was based on the fact that oil companies paid more for importing fuel the previous month.
Motorists have been spared steeper price increases because the government decided to use the National Energy Fund to absorb under-recoveries that ranged between 45.3 cents per litre for diesel 50ppm and 52.6 cents per litre for petrol.
“Times are tough and mindful of the fact that the oil price is the cornerstone of the global economy, in that it is not just a cost at the pump for motorists, but also a cost factor in the price of numerous other commodities from the food on our tables to flight tickets, the National Energy Fund will subsidise for every cent due to oil companies that would otherwise have triggered a price increase,” the ministry said.
The IPPR agrees, saying that it is not only the direct impact of fuel price rises that is felt by the consumer, but also second-round effects through producers that face higher input costs.
“According to information from the Social Accounting Matrix 2013, the fishing sector is most affected by rising fuel prices, since fuel accounts on average for 29% of input costs.
“Fuel contributes about 24% to the total input costs of the transport sector, 20% to base-metal (copper, zinc, etc.) mining, 16% to electricity generation and 11% to uranium mining.
“It can be expected that increasing input and transportation costs will be passed on to the consumer,” says the research institute.
Motorists in Windhoek pay N$12.72 per litre for petrol, which amounts to an increase by 12.4% compared to a year ago and exceeds petrol prices in 2014 when they stood at N$12.51 per litre. Diesel prices in-creased to N$13.11 per litre for 50ppm resulting in an increase by 22.4% com-pared to July 2017. They, however remained slightly below prices between March and June 2014 of N$13.15 per litre.
The leaked documents catalogue frequent trips between Windhoek and Harare, often via Johannesburg; jaunts to the Victoria Falls; and expensive trips to Dubai, Singapore, India, the Seychelles and Mauritius.
These trips, booked through Rennies Travel Namibia, which handled the bank's travel account between 2013 and 2017, cost more than N$5 million.
It is understood that many other trips were booked through other travel agencies, which included former non-executive board member Enoch Kamushinda's company, Crown Finance Corporation.
Travel was not part of the executives' employment benefits.
The frequent flyers
Judging from monthly statements between 2013 and 2017, the most frequent flyers on the SME Bank account were Zimbabwean nationals Tawanda Mumvuma (former CEO), former non-executive director turned Zanu-PF candidate Ozias Bvute, former ICT managers Takura Mapfumo and Nomore Beremauro, and businessman Lyndon Gaidzanwa.
Preferring business-class travel, Mumvuma alone ran up a travel bill of more than N$1 million. This included a bill of N$202 201.60 for a family trip to Dubai during December 2015 and January 2016.
He was accompanied by his wife and two children.
The SME Bank spent N$973 158.70 on air travel and accommodation for Bvute, who is also the group CEO of Metropolitan Holdings and a board member of Metbank.
Like most executives, Bvute preferred to travel business class and frequently travelled from Harare to Windhoek via Johannesburg, which costs much more than a direct flight.
Bvute often stayed at luxury Johannesburg hotels like the Palazzo Montecasino Hotel, costing over N$2 000 per night, or at the Intercontinental Hotel at Oliver Tambo International Airport, costing no less than N$3 000 per night for a deluxe room.
The SME Bank also footed a bill of more than N$600 000 for Zimbabwean businessman Lyndon Gaidzanwa, who on occasion travelled with his wife. He would often rent cars for days on the bank's account. His wife once rented a car for three days at the SME Bank's expense.
According to the leaked documents, Gaidzanwa travelled to Dubai a number of times on the bank's account. On one occasion he was accompanied by Namibian businessman Jeremiah Iyaloo Nangolo. On another occasion he was accompanied by Johannesburg lawyer Ovid Chitsiku.
Chitsiku flew at least ten times on the SME Bank's account, costing the bank N$117 007.77.
While Chitsiku had no dealings with the SME Bank, he is a corporate lawyer of Kamushinda's Malaysian-based group of companies, Asia Corporate Services.
Mapfumo's and Beremauro's airfares cost the bank N$320 000 and N$170 000 respectively.
The airfares of former finance manager Joseph Banda amounted about N$156 118.
Former general manager for lending, business development and support services Joseph Nyamunda's travel bill was comparatively moderate at N$107 353.
Surprisingly, Kamushinda's airfare was not more than N$90 000.
Since Tania Hangula became the board chairperson of the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) in 2016 she became a regular flyer at the SME Bank's expense.
From the statements it appears that Hangula travelled 13 times on the SME Bank's account, at a cost of more than N$170 000. Two of these flights were to Dubai.
Hangula would not comment on this, saying the ongoing court case pertaining to the SME Bank did not allow her, as a responsible citizen, to comment in a matter that is sub judice. She did, however, say that she would be available for comment after the case is finalised.
Wilson Manase, former chairperson at Metbank, travelled mostly between Windhoek and Harare via Johannesburg at the bank's expense, costing it close to N$80 000.
Two Chinese nationals, Zhao Shuming and Wenxiang Xin (or variously spelled Xiang Xinwen), were flown to Ondangwa and Rundu on several occasions and ate at an airport hotel on the bank's account.
Rennies Travel Namibia would neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of the travel documents, citing a confidentiality agreement it had signed with the SME Bank.
Kamushinda declined to answer questions sent to him because the SME Bank matter is still before the court. Others said clarity should be sought from the SME Bank.
Gaidzamwa said his commercial services agreement with the SME Bank included professional travel.
Bvute and others did respond to questions.