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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 853 | 854 | (Page 855) | 856 | 857 | .... | 912 | newer

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  • 09/12/18--15:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Unilever's Dutch entity to replace parent company

    FTSE Russell said on Tuesday consumer goods giant Unilever Plc would be deleted from all its indexes by the end of the year and replaced by New Unilever NV.

    New Unilever NV will be incorporated in the Netherlands and listed on Euronext Amsterdam, FTSE Russell said in a statement.

    The exchange’s announcement comes hours after the Dove soap and Lipton tea maker provided details for its December listing of its new Dutch entity.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    LG Display struggles for footing

    The chief executive of South Korea’s LG Display, Han Sang-beom, was determined to deliver a strong message when he appeared before 1 000 employees at the firm’s main manufacturing plant last spring.

    So he donned a pair of goggles, picked up a hammer, and smashed a liquid-crystal display screen to bits.

    The symbolism was impossible to miss: LCD panels, the company’s mainstay for years, were being relegated to the industrial dustbin. The company’s future would depend on a newer technology, organic light-emitting diode, or OLED.

    “I’ve never seen him do such a thing,” said one company official who was present. “His performance showed a grim determination to weather this crisis.”

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Apple's newest iPhone could have big screen

    Apple Inc is expected to blast further past the US$1 000 price barrier when it launches new iPhones later yesterday, but Wall Street is most intrigued by how deep into its larger-than-ever lineup prices hikes may go.

    Apple’s market capitalisation has passed US$1 trillion and the company needs to sustain revenue growth from its signature product even as global demand for smart phones plateaus. One way to do that is to get people to buy more expensive phones.

    “There’s no real game changer on the table,” said Hal Eddins, chief economist at Apple shareholder Capital Investment Counsel. “It’s a matter of getting people to keep moving up.”

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Boeing 737 production rebounds

    Boeing Co bounced back from a production snarl to deliver 48 single-aisle 737s in August and extended its lead over rival Airbus for new orders.

    Boeing’s August 737 deliveries, announced on Tuesday, were an improvement from the 29 delivered in July, which was one of its lowest monthly tallies in years, due to ongoing supplier delays that caused unfinished aircraft to pile up at its Renton, Washington plant.

    The world’s biggest planemaker said it was making “good progress” toward fixing the logjam by year end.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Cadbury owner Mondelez builds Brexit chocolate stash

    Cadbury owner Mondelez International is stockpiling ingredients, chocolates and biscuits in Britain to avoid interruptions to business in the event of a hard Brexit.

    The preparations are the latest from a growing list of big companies unsettled by the lack so far of an exit deal as Britain’s planned March 29 departure from the European Union looms ever larger.

    While many manufacturers in Britain clearly desire a Brexit deal that would allow the free flow of products, Mondelez is preparing for the worst, The Times reported on Tuesday, citing the president of the company's European division.

    “We are stocking higher levels of ingredients and finished products,” Hubert Weber was quoted as saying, with the paper adding that the Mondelez contingency plans are in place because the UK is not self-sufficient in terms of food ingredients.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Alweendo ­inaugurates N$100m solar plantAlweendo ­inaugurates N$100m solar plant Namibia's first privately owned independent power producer (IPP) solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, built to the tune of nearly N$100 million, has been officially inaugurated by energy minister Tom Alweendo.

    The plant will supply power directly to Ohorongo Cement, without going through the national transmission grid.

    Alweendo was in Otavi last week to officially inaugurate the plant, which is located next to Ohorongo Cement and will provide green and clean electricity to the cement factory.

    This will contribute to a reduction of Namibia's reliance on electricity imports, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    “Mitigating our collective environmental impact and looking to more sustainable sources of power to ensure sufficient capacity and security of supply for the country, is a national imperative,” Alweendo said.

    “Government not only remains committed to supporting renewable energy technologies, but is intent on actively introducing and proliferating the use of these technologies to complement conventional energy sources.”

    Alweendo said solar projects demonstrate that one solution can have a number of benefits.

    “Solar power protects the environment.

    “It creates development and it promotes health and prosperity. More solar power means less pollution; and that will lead to cleaner air and healthier lives.”

    Ohorongo Cement supplied the land for the power plant.

    SunEQ Four Investment, an IPP and solar asset development platform, in collaboration with its Namibian partner Hungileni CC, developed, constructed and owns the solar PV plant.

    The plant is equipped with about 20 000 polycrystalline silicon modules mounted on a tracking system and has an output of five megawatts.

    Ohorongo Cement managing director, Hans-Wilhelm Schütte, reiterated that the energy produced by the solar PV plant will assist the country to reduce its reliance on electricity imports.

    “With this, Ohorongo Cement will contribute towards Namibia's efforts to reduce imports, and assist to reduce CO² emissions from electricity generated using fossil fuels,” he added.

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    PDM outraged over unsolved murdersPDM outraged over unsolved murders The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) claims that the murder of nine-year-old Cheryl Avihe Ujaha was the eighth of its kind, all of which remain unsolved, and that is an indicator of police incompetence.

    PDM member of parliament Nico Smit says these unsolved murders also point to the possibility that there is a serial killer at work in Namibia.

    “Regarding the incompetence and sheer lack of skills, energy and persistence of the Namibian police, the PDM is convinced that there are no well-trained and competent detectives in the police force who can solve cases that actually require real investigation,” says Smit.

    He says the police have the services of a state-of-the art forensic science institute that can visit a crime scene, collect and process all available evidence. However, if there are no detectives with the necessary energy, perseverance and skills to use this forensic information in investigating a murder, cases will remain unsolved.

    According to Smit these unsolved murders include those of Magdalena Stoffels, Natangwe Shikoyeni, Sana

    //Garoës, Melanie Janse, Juanita Mabula and Viola Swartbooi, and there may be many others.

    “The fact that the police seem to think that their only job is to ask the public to provide information that will lead to an arrest – this should be their last resort – means that this case will probably join the aforementioned list of unresolved murders in a few months' time.”

    Smit says it is the job of the police to investigate every crime and not to simply pass the buck to the public and then go on to something easy like arresting someone who is found standing over a body with a knife in their hand. He says it is the opinion of the PDM that the very same public that is once again being asked to do the work of the police is completely disillusioned with the attitude displayed by the police regarding their safety. Smit says it is time for real and drastic action to be taken.

    “As a result I will be asking the safety and security minister, Charles Namoloh, about the state of the police force and in particular its detectives after parliament reconvenes on Tuesday.” He said there have been enough reports in the media about large numbers of criminal cases that have to be withdrawn by the courts due to poor police investigations and of dockets disappearing so that possible criminals cannot be tried.

    “All this points the finger at a lack of competence and training and it is time to do something decisive about reducing crime in Namibia and keeping our girls and women safe.”

    The police yesterday said there were still no leads in the investigation into Cheryl's death and again requested the public for information. A N$100 000 reward has been offered for information that would lead to an arrest and conviction.







    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 09/12/18--15:00: Justice for Lavinia
  • Justice for LaviniaJustice for LaviniaKilled by stray bullet Lavinia Kagola was killed by a stray bullet outside her home at the same time the police were closing a shebeen and fired shots. The family of 26-year-old Lavinia 'Kalavi' Kagola, who died in a Windhoek hospital after being hit by a stray bullet in the early hours of 1 September, is appealing to the police to bring her killer to justice.

    She was shot while police officers conducted a shebeen-closing operation in Katutura's Babylon location.

    Lavinia was laid to rest over the weekend at Omaalala village, where her parents said she was deeply loved.

    Her mother Johanna Victor and her father Patrick Kagola said their beloved daughter had assisted them with various issues.

    The shebeen-closing operation deteriorated into chaos when members of the public started throwing rocks at the police.

    Subsequently, warning shots were fired by some officers.

    Victor said on that faithful day, her daughter was talking on her cellphone and during the conversation she decided to step outside the house.

    “I heard her when she got up and I was even asking why she was going to talk outside. Just at that moment when she got outside, I could hear gunshots; just like a dream, someone came running and told us that Lavinia was shot.

    “Just after it was discovered that Lavinia was shot, the police got into their van and drove away. If they could have picked her up and taken her to the hospital on time, she might have survived,” Victor said.

    Her father said Lavinia was his pillar of strength.

    “This will remain a heavy load on my shoulders until they bring her killer to book. This world has become so evil that people are afraid of other people and will run away from them to save their lives. All I want is justice, so that my beloved daughter's killer can be brought to book,” Kagola said.

    Chief police spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi, said yesterday investigations are still ongoing.

    “The investigation is not conclusive yet. When you come to a scene, everybody has their own stories to tell. There were many stories that I cannot reveal at this stage.”

    The Khomas crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Abner Agas, told members of the media soon after the incident that the police could not say exactly what had transpired, because the officers were in one area, while the deceased was quite a distance away from where the violence broke out.

    “All we know is that she was hit by a stray bullet in the lower back. It is not clear where the stray bullet originated from and from which firearm it was fired.”







    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Nigeria's attorney general accused of exceeding powers in US$2bn tax billNigeria's attorney general accused of exceeding powers in US$2bn tax bill Nigeria’s attorney general exceeded his powers in demanding US$2 billion in taxes and charges from MTN Group, the telecoms firm said in papers filed with Nigeria’s High Court and reviewed by Reuters.

    Earlier this month, the Nigerian government handed Africa’s biggest telecoms company a US$2 billion tax bill days after the central bank, in a separate move, ordered MTN’s Lagos unit to hand over US$8.1 billion that it said was illegally sent abroad.

    Nigeria, which accounts for a third of MTN’s annual core profit, is MTN’s biggest market. Some analysts see politics as a factor in the pressure on MTN as Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who took office in 2015 on promises to push through tougher regulation, is seeking re-election in 2019.

    “The attorney-general of the federation (of Nigeria) acted illegally, unconstitutionally, and in excess of his powers” by implementing charges in a “self-assessment exercise” that related to customs, the inland revenue and import duties, the court documents state.

    The attorney general’s spokesman did not immediately respond to phone calls and a text message requesting a comment.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Namibians urged to pay attention to decline in cheques usageNamibians urged to pay attention to decline in cheques usageFNB says on same mission as customers Globally, the use of cheques is consistently declining as financial institutions and most of their customers increasingly adopt technologically advanced payment alternatives. Over the years, the growing usage of electronic payment methods, high expenses, inefficient processes and vulnerability to fraud have been key contributors to the global decline in cheques usage- Johan van der Westhuizen, FNB executive officer: business, FNB FNB executive officer: business Johan van der Westhuizen this week said that since cheques convey a written instruction to one’s bank to pay money from or into their bank account, and due to manual functionality in this process, there are substantial disadvantages that go with this option.

    Over the years, the growing usage of electronic payment methods, high expenses, inefficient processes and vulnerability to fraud have been key contributors to the global decline in cheques usage, he said.

    In addition, cheques do not offer users the convenience and relative security provided by digital payment solutions, according to him.

    Van der Westhuizen said that Namibia’s migration away from cheques has mainly been driven by customers embracing the convenience of emerging technology. However, he says, there is a role for all financial institutions to educate customers about alternative payment methods and their added benefits.

    He points out the following benefits for using alternative payment methods:

    Digital migration - the global community is rapidly going digital, which means acceptance of digital payments is on the increase - customers and businesses are demanding instant and seamless integrated user-experience.

    Value-added incentives - financial service providers are increasingly incentivising customers for embracing digital platforms. For instance, FNB rewards individuals with Cash Back paid directly into their linked savings pocket for adopting certain digital banking behaviour.

    Save on fees - cheques still carry a higher expense for both the customer and their bank compared to digital payments which can be processed at a fraction of the cost.

    Improved safety - Cheque fraud is a global phenomenon and Namibia is not immune, whereas digital platforms are equipped to help clients mitigate fraud at a click of a button.

    “In this regard, we have innovations like smart inContact, which allows you to safely approve Online Banking transactions on the FNB Banking App, verify devices that login to your profile, and use secure messaging to immediately report any fraudulent transactions 24/7,” adds van der Westhuizen.

    Convenience – as written instruction to your bank to pay money from or into your bank account, the process in which funds move between banks is extended over several days, typically 7 days. Digital payments, which include Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Card payments enable flow of funds to be done much quicker, and with little to no reliance on visiting the nearest branch.

    “The universal shift towards digital payments is rapidly emerging across societies and in markets such as the United Kingdom, we’ve seen dedicated working groups tasked with fact-finding around the future of cheques vs digital payments. We are also on the same mission to understand our customers’ needs and how we can help in adopting alternate payment methods,” said van der Westhuizen.

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    Emerging markets threatened by US-China trade war- LagardeEmerging markets threatened by US-China trade war- LagardeCould also affect eurozone exporters The International Monetary Fund says the trade war between the world’s largest economies could weaken investor confidence. The intensifying trade war between China and the United States could "shock" emerging markets that are already in danger, the head of the International Monetary Fund said in an interview published Tuesday.

    As a result, crises in Turkey and Argentina could spread, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde told the Financial Times.

    After imposing steep tariffs on Chinese industrial goods in July, President Donald Trump is poised to slap 25% tariffs on a further US$200 billion in imports from China.

    Last week, Trump warned he was ready to impose yet more duties on all remaining US imports from that country.

    Beijing has so far imposed counter-tariffs in equal measure and has vowed to retaliate in kind, even though it exports more to the United States than it imports.

    If the world's largest two economies continue on this course, it could have a "measurable impact on growth in China" and could "trigger vulnerabilities" in neighboring Asian economies whose supply chains are closely linked to Chinese industry, Lagarde told the newspaper.

    Some emerging economies find themselves in precarious situations, with currencies weakening in part due to the strong US dollar and investors looking instead to the United States, where benchmark lending rates are steadily rising.

    Weakening emerging market currencies could also affect eurozone exporters such as Germany and Spain.

    Earlier in the year, Lagarde had already warned against the dangers of a global trade war, hammering the argument that trade in goods and services was a driver of global growth.

    She also said a key risk was weakening investor confidence.

    -Nampa/AFP

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  • 09/12/18--15:00: Easier now to make the cut
  • Easier now to make the cutEasier now to make the cut Namibia is closer than ever to achieve an Aids-free generation said the US ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson yesterday.

    She commended the country and its health minister Bernard Haufiku for making great strides in the fight against HIV and Aids and establishing itself as a global leader. “The recent Namphia data are clear testimony to this great achievement and indeed, Namibia is very close to reaching epidemic control and closer than ever to achieving an Aids-free generation,” she said. Johnson was speaking at the official opening of the New PEPFAR-funded Smartcut Clinic in Windhoek at the Katutura Health Centre, Black Chain, yesterday. However, she noted that despite this progress Namibia still sees new HIV infections year after year and needs to address this with a combination of prevention strategies. In her view voluntary male circumcision is a crucial component of this prevention combination. “To date the VMMC programme in the Khomas Region has circumcised more than 35 000 men. The VMMC coverage in the region has now increased to 45% among men aged 15 to 29 years. Statistically, this means that more than 1 000 new infections have been prevented since the programme started three years ago,” she said. These circumcisions were done through private sector engagement under the AIDSFree project, which is funded by the US government through PEPFAR and USAids. According to the Khomas regional governor, Laura McLeod-Katjirua, a total of 14 103 men and young boys have been circumcised at the Windhoek Central Hospital since the start of the voluntary medical male circumcision project in the Khomas Region in 2009. VMMC is a key intervention to reduce the risk of HIV infection in men by 60%. The PEPFAR and USAid funded AIDSFree project supports free circumcision services in Namibia's private and public health sectors in the Khomas Region to help curb the country's HIV epidemic. The new Smartcut Clinic was built at a cost of about approximately N$1.6 million. According to the governor the new facility has the capacity for 20 circumcisions daily which translates into roughly 400 men in a month. “In the first month of operation, the new clinic has already performed 69 procedures. In addition to the smart cut, men visiting the clinic can also seek other medical services such as blood sugar testing, blood pressure assessments, STI screenings, including HIV testing, as well as reproductive health counselling,” she said. The clinic is run by seven staff members which includes one clerk, two counsellors, two surgeon nurses and two assistant surgeon nurses.

    “The new clinic is centrally located, easily accessible to a large population and since the health centre has long operating hours I am reliably informed that the VMMC clinic will have flexible hours including weekends to allow more men access to their services,” she said.

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    Bondelswarts dispute rages onBondelswarts dispute rages onMinister bemoans infighting Some claim that the current­ chief was illegally­ installed and that the ­traditional authority cannot­ function ­properly as a result. The Bondelswarts Traditional Authority is still embroiled in a bitter battle over the chieftainship despite clear instructions from the former minister of urban and rural development, Sophia Shaningwa.

    Shaningwa had instructed in January 2017 already that Nathanael Christiaan be installed as the chief of the Bondelswarts. In March that year the traditional authority's chairperson, Jims Christiaans, wrote back to the minister to inform her that Nathanael was to be installed as the new chief in May.

    This never happened according to Ignatius Berend, who claims that there was an unlawful inauguration of Johannes Matroos instead.

    This matter was before the Karasburg Magistrate's Court last Friday but was postponed to 5 November.

    “Because we do not have a properly instituted chief we do not have an operational trust fund. Nothing is happening in the customary court. We cannot do anything without a chief. We cannot get proper representation on the genocide negotiations and the upcoming land conference,” Berend said. The dispute started after the death of the late Kaptein Anna Katrina Christiaan in 2011. She was the first female chief of the Bondelswarts, since the community's customary law succession rule is based on patrilineal lineage.

    The dispute relates to the eligibility of Nathanael, the son of Anna Katrina, and the underaged Denzyl Christiaan, the son of the late acting chief Josef Christiaan, who died in 2015.

    Shaningwa sent an investigating team to Karasburg in 2016, which recommended that Matroos, a “non-royal person” was “inappropriately” standing in as chief for the young Denzyl, while Nathanael, who is part of the royal bloodline, was disregarded for the captaincy or as the acting captain.

    Shaningwa then declared that the royal house should agree to install Nathanael and make arrangements to revert to the Bondelswarts' patrilineal succession once Denzyl was mature enough – about 25 years of age – to take up the ruling position, if he should be interested.

    She said if the royal family were to fail to resolve the matter, they should seek assistance from the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA).



    TRADITIONAL DISPUTES

    One of the pertinent matters being discussed at the 21st annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders currently taking place in Windhoek is the constant bickering over leadership positions.

    The new urban and rural development minister, Peya Mushelenga, was supposed to address the meeting about this matter yesterday, but he apparently did not.

    He did, however, bemoan the disputes at the opening of the meeting and said the issue had resulted in stagnation in traditional authorities.

    He said this had compelled the ministry to investigate some of these issues, but these authorities' failure to honour the decisions and recommendations of such investigations wasted public resources.

    “It is our preference to allow traditional matters to be resolved in terms of customary laws. But this can only be achieved with cooperation from the members of the traditional authorities. Failure in this regard has always led to litigation where matters are put before the judiciary for adjudication. The decisions of the courts are binding and the ministry will continue to strictly observe the rulings of the courts,” Mushelenga said.

    The deputy chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders, Immanuel

    /Gâseb, said leadership disputes might be because of globalisation where traditional leaders are being used as tools to advance personal agendas.

    “[As] traditional leaders we became the shadows of those with ambitions to capitalise their interests in the name of the traditional authority,” /Gâseb said, and pleaded with other traditional leaders to respect existing customary laws and to advance good governance in traditional structures.

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    VAT refund fraud trial set for January 2019VAT refund fraud trial set for January 2019 The trial of 16 people arrested in December 2015 in connection with a value added tax (VAT) fraud scam involving about N$210 million, will begin in the High Court here on 21 January 2019.

    The trial of this matter is now set down to kick off before Acting High Court Judge Kobus Miller after an agreement reached between the accused persons' defence lawyers and prosecution representative, State Advocate Henry Muhongo, in court on Wednesday morning.The accused persons made another appearance before High Court Judge-President Petrus Damaseb on Wednesday morning when the date for the start of the trial was made public in court. Damaseb also informed the accused that his office is now busy making arrangements to obtain two court assessors to come and sit with Judge Miller and assist him during the proceedings of the trial because of the complex nature of the charges.

    The group includes two Namibians and 14 Angolans. The two Namibians in the matter are Mamsy Nuuyoma and Noah Boykie Naukosho, while the Angolan nationals are Lukau Nestor, Benvindo Momafuba, Pembele Zimutu, Paulo Kiala, Joao Manuel dos Santos, Tatiana Gonga, Carlos Eliseu, Isaac Cupessala, Paquete Jose, Malakias Rufine, Carlos Tchinduku, Miapa Nelson, Joaquim Pedro Espanhol and Lucio Cazembe.

    The accused were all arrested by investigators attached to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) at the end of December 2015 for allegedly defrauding government out of N$210 million through the finance ministry over a few years. Their arrests followed investigations by the ACC between January 2014 and December 2015 at the request of the ministry into cases where VAT receipts were forged in order to claim refunds from the Receiver of Revenue. The accused are charged with 512 counts of fraud, conspiring to commit fraud, forgery and uttering, a count of corruptly using false documents and a charge of corruptly giving a false document to an agent of the company, Aveshe Consultancy, which manages VAT refunds on behalf of the finance ministry. They are being represented by local defence lawyers Kadhila Amoomo, Bradley Basson, Kalundu Kamwi, Trevor Brockerhoff, Vetu Uanivi, Henry Shimutwikeni, George Neves, Hipura Ujaha and Appollos Shimakeleni. All the accused - except Nuuyoma, Nestor, Momafuba, Zimutu, Gonga, Cazembe, Cupessala and Naukosho - are in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility's trial-awaiting section.







    NAMPA

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    Old Mutual rescues eye clinicOld Mutual rescues eye clinic Following an appeal by health minister Bernard Haufiku, medicine and fund donations are now streaming in for government's referral eye clinic.

    Haufiku made the appeal last month, after the clinic was temporally closed because of a lack of supplies.

    On Tuesday Old Mutual joined the string of Good Samaritans, when it pledged N$200 000 at the Windhoek central hospital.

    The Old Mutual funds will go towards paying the invoice for the necessary medical supplies and equipment required to keep the clinic open.

    Last month Haufiku said the ministry was limping and asked Namibians to donate, even if it was just a small amount. “The PS will go to the director of finance, and see within our entire budget system where we can pick up some dollars to put into the eye clinic; it is crisis management, I must admit,” Haufiku said at the time. Old Mutual executive for marketing and customer strategy, Ndangi Katoma, said on Tuesday an invoice for identified supplies will be settled directly by the Old Mutual Foundation, to the value of the donation.

    Katoma added Old Mutual responded to the Haufiku's appeal because it resonated well with the company. “As many of the patients being provided such a public health service are our customers, we believe that this support will enable our people to live great lives and continue to do great things every time, because the time is now,” Katoma said. Ombaye Fishing Company and its owner Libolly Haufiku had previously donated N$100 000.





    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Child kidnapping suspect denied bailChild kidnapping suspect denied bail A 27-year-old Angolan man accused of kidnapping a two-year-old baby at Omuntele on Sunday made a brief appearance in the Ondangwa Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

    Oshikoto regional police commander Commissioner Armas Shivute said Faustino Hilukilwa, who is employed as a cattle herder, had become embroiled in a fight with the child's mother and later grabbed her baby and ran away.

    The incident happened at around 20:00 on Sunday evening at Ondobe yoshaale village in the Omuntele area. “It's alleged that the mother of the baby was drinking tombo at the Ehenge cuca shops in the Omuntele area, when a fight erupted between her and the suspect. The baby's mother later left the cuca shops to go home. On her way home, the suspect ambushed her and they started fighting again,” Shivute said.

    “While fighting, the child fell from the mother's back and the suspect grabbed her and ran away. The mother started screaming and a group of community members arrived and followed the shoeprints of the suspect. The suspect walked for four kilometers to his house with the baby.”

    Shivute said the community found the baby with the suspect in a room; they recovered her and handed her back to the mother.

    They also arrested the suspect and handed him over to the police.

    The suspect and the child's mother are not in a relationship.

    Hilukilwa appeared before Magistrate Toini Shilongo, who denied him bail. The State was represented by prosecutor Doreen Gowases and the matter was remanded to November.

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  • 09/12/18--15:00: Full bench for land battle
  • Full bench for land battleFull bench for land battleDavid vs Goliath court tussle set for tomorrow A businessman and an Ongwediva resident will go head-to-head in the Oshakati High Court tomorrow over a two-hectare piece of land. A full bench of the Oshakati High Court will tomorrow preside over a case involving businessman Ben Zaaruka and Ongwediva resident Lukas Johannes, who faces the possibility of having a sizeable portion of his mahangu field turned into retail space.

    This will happen should Stantoll Properties, a company owned by Zaaruka, succeed in its court bid to have Johannes evicted.

    The case will be heard by Judge President Petrus Damaseb, as well as judges Hosea Angula and Shafimana Ueitele. The full bench replaces Judge Maphios Cheda, who had previously presided over the matter.

    The court matter stems from a battle over erf 6315, which Zaaruka claims in court papers to have acquired from Johannes in 2010 for N$1.4 million.

    The High Court on 7 March ruled in favour of Stantoll Properties and allowed it to start with construction.

    “In this application, Stantoll Properties seeks, together with ancillary relief, the eviction of Lukas Johannes on an urgent basis,” Zaaruka said in his court papers.

    Johannes argues the court should not entertain Stantoll Properties' urgent application, which was lodged on the basis that the company will apparently suffer millions of dollars in damages, as it had entered into lease agreements with retailers such as Shoprite. “These brief submissions endeavour to crisply demonstrate that Stantoll Properties unduly, to the inconvenience of this honourable court (and to the prejudice of other litigants) and without sufficient cause endeavours to jump the queue and seek an urgent application in the matter in respect of relief that it is not entitled to,” Johannes said in his court papers. He maintained the two-hectare piece of land forms part of his mahangu field and that he was never compensated for it.

    Johannes had in August also summonsed Ongwediva town council CEO Damian Egumbo, Stantoll Properties, President Hage Geingob, minister of urban and rural development Peya Mushelenga, land reform minister Utoni Nujoma, the registrar of deeds, attorney-general Albert Kawana and the government of Namibia to testify in the matter.

    Wilmarie Horn is representing Stantoll, while Johannes is represented by Henry Shimutwikeni.

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    Standard Bank eyes ATM depositsStandard Bank eyes ATM deposits NDAMA NAKASHOLE

    After its recent announcement that customers’ bank statements will now be emailed, Standard Bank Namibia this week said its customers would now be able to deposit money at ATMs.

    Chief executive Vetumbuavi Mungunda made the announcement in Windhoek on Tuesday when he released the bank’s Sustainability Report for 2017.

    “A month from now, customers will now be able to deposit money at our ATMs,” Mungunda said.

    Standard Bank will be the second Namibian bank to offer that feature.

    Mungunda said Standard Bank had been on a drive to improve its technology in the past few months and would continue with that.

    Referring to the Sustainability Report, Mungunda said his bank was happy that it could assure the Bank of Namibia of its compliance.

    It also gave the bank’s customers the assurance that their money was safe with the bank, he said.

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    Traditional feuding must fall!Traditional feuding must fall! There is no doubt that our traditional leaders play an important role in a democratic society. From resolving longstanding leadership disputes and faction fights, traditional leaders are source of wisdom, as they are the custodians of culture and tradition. More than ever we need our traditional leaders to be at the forefront of fighting not only moral decay in our society, but also other evils such as rural poverty, disease, escalating crime levels as well as other challenges facing our communities. However, our traditional authorities have been rocked by sustained and vicious infighting among leaders. The same leaders who are supposed to be at the forefront of resolving disagreements within their areas of jurisdiction are now turning on each other in bitter struggles for power. The much-publicised Ondonga leadership dispute is a case in a point and continues to threaten the integrity of traditional authorities. The once highly respected traditional authority is clearly in a mess now and it will take great resolve, if the kingdom to retain its credibility. The ongoing dispute pits the Ondonga royal family against the once top aides of King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, whom he fired in July last year.

    Despite their dismissals, these leaders remain officially gazetted and enjoy the full recognition of government. Over the years the Ondonga authority has become a law unto itself, with various senior leaders who tried to mediate the internal leadership dispute being sent from pillar to post. This impasse could lead to dangerous consequences, which peace-loving Namibians can ill-afford. It must be said that anarchy does not have a place within the traditional spectrum and community leaders must channel their energies into advising on matters relevant to traditions, instead of sowing division among their subjects. As President Hage Geingob highlighted at the official opening of the 21st annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders, “in no way do these incidences of infighting contribute towards the promotion and preservation of unity and the interest of the community”.

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  • 09/12/18--15:00: City rehabilitates roads
  • City rehabilitates roadsCity rehabilitates roads32km to be repaired in coming months Many sections of the City's 820km network of roads and streets have passed their original design life. The City of Windhoek has signed a contract that will see more than 32 kilometres of its most in need roads being repaired in the coming months.

    This is out of the City's approximately 820km of surfaced roads and streets.

    In a media statement, the municipality noted that the recently signed contract with Tau Pele Namibia Construction was designed around stiff budgetary constraints and will focus on roads most in need of maintenance.

    “The contract will mainly focus on the higher order roads and 1.2 kilometres will be in-situ recycled and sealed with a 19mm Cape seal. A further 31.5 kilometres will be resealed by means of a 13mm single seal and blinding layer,” the municipality said.

    The decision on which roads to work on was based on annual visual assessments conducted on all the roads by a team of specialised engineers.

    “The actual quantity of work to be put out on tender was also subject to budgetary constraints and only the highest priorities could be accommodated.”

    The City highlighted the steep costs involved, which has prevented work on a more frequent basis.

    “Under ideal conditions, preventative maintenance will be done on a regular basis to ensure the integrity of the waterproof seal, but this is basically impossible to do due to financial constraints.”

    The type of sealing layer to be placed on top of the surfaced roads will depend on the type and volume of traffic, as well as whether there are a lot of turning movements.

    The cost ranges from approximately N$454 000 per km for a 6.7mm single seal to N$1.64mil per km for a 35mm premix overlay.

    In cases where the upper foundation layers of the road have deformed, either due to the ingress of water or continuous heavy traffic, or needs to be strengthened, the material can be recycled and cement added to increase the strength, and bitumen added to increase the resistance to water.

    The cost to recycle the upper layer amounts to approximately N$2.65 million per km and then a new surfacing layer still needs to be placed on top of it.

    In cases where the road has been allowed to fail completely, the only option is to reconstruct it completely at a cost of at least N$7.18 million per km.

    The statement noted that the 820km network of roads and streets is ageing and many roads “have passed their original design life”.

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    Lubowski family waits for 'deathbed confession'Lubowski family waits for 'deathbed confession' Almo Lubowski, the son of slain Swapo stalwart Anton Lubowski, says the only way his family will get justice is if someone was to come forward with critical information.

    “I believe it will take somebody that was directly involved coming forward and talking. Perhaps on his or her deathbed,” Almo said on Tuesday, a day before the anniversary of his father's death. The 37-year-old anti-apartheid activist was shot by a group of assailants in front of his house in Sanderburg Street in central Windhoek 29 years ago, on 12 September 1989. He was hit by several shots fired from an AK-47 automatic rifle and died from a bullet wound to the head. Almo said his family does not believe that revelations contained in a recent book, detailing the events leading up to his father's death, are enough to reopen the murder case. The book by investigative journalist Evelyn Groenink, titled 'Incorruptible - The Story of the Murders of Dulcie September, Anton Lubowski and Chris Hani', fingers former South African foreign affairs minister Pik Botha for having played a key role in Lubowksi's death. Almo said while the book gave his family some insight into “why” his father was killed, he felt the revelations were not damaging enough to prompt a relook at the case.

    “Incorruptible gave more insight into possible theories and most importantly answered some of the 'why' about his assassination, but I don't think it is enough yet to reopen any case,” he said. In his testimony before South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 1996, Lubowski's father, Wilfried Franz Lubowski, said it is clear that the investigation into the assassination was plagued by misinformation, obfuscation, subterfuge and lies.





    This, he said, was in order to conceal the fact that the assassination was planned and executed under direct orders from the apartheid government's Civil Cooperation Bureau (CCB).

    The CCB was the secret military hit squad generally believed to have killed Lubowski.

    While giving testing at the same TRC hearing, his mother Molly Lubowski said the hardest thing for the family to swallow was that as taxpayers they had effectively paid to have their son killed.

    “The instruction for the assassination was given to (CCB members) Staal Burger, Chappie Marais, Ferdi Barnard, Kalla Botha, Slang van Zyl and Wouter Basson, and Donald Acheson, a professional hit man,” she said.

    The TRC report presented to former South African president Nelson Mandela in 1998 said Derrick Nielsen had sent a letter to the commission dated 4 December 1996, in which he alleged he supplied an AK-47 to Barnard for “a hit”.

    He added that three days later Barnard had “bragged that they had got rid of a kafferboetie”.

    The commission paid several visits to Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town, where Nielsen was serving a sentence for a traffic offence in 1997, but he refused to discuss his TRC application and divulged no further details. His main interest seemed to be to bargain information for a speedy release, the TRC report said.

    Acheson, who had previously served in the Rhodesian army, was connected to the killing through the car he allegedly rented for the operation.

    He was arrested and subsequently released.





    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 09/12/18--15:00: One millionNamibians hungry
  • One millionNamibians hungryOne millionNamibians hungryQuarter of Namibians severely food insecure The number of Namibians facing food insecurity has doubled since 2006, a new report shows. Global statistics released this week indicate that food insecurity affected one million Namibians by last year, compared to 500 000 in 2006.

    Almost a quarter of Namibia's population were severely food insecure by 2017, with an overall food insecure prevalence of 39.8% among the country's population. The prevalence of undernourishment in Namibia is also higher than the African average and stands at 25.4%, affecting 600 000 people. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 report also indicated that Africa remains the continent with highest prevalence of undernourishment, affecting 21% of its population, which is more than 256 million people.

    It said that for the third year in a row, there had been a rise in world hunger. The absolute number of undernourished people - those facing chronic food deprivations - increased to nearly 821 million by 2017, from around 804 million in 2016.

    “These are levels from almost a decade ago,” By 2017, 7.5% of children under five in the world - about 50.5 million - were affected by wasting (low weight compared to height), consequently putting them at a higher risk of mortality.

    The statistics indicate that in Namibia 7.1% of children under five were affected by wasting - about 100 000. Concern was also expressed over the fact that overweight children and especially adult obesity is on the increase. In Namibia, the prevalence of obesity in adults was 15% and affects 200 000 people, while in children the prevalence rate was 12.9%, affecting less than 100 000 children.





    According to the report new evidence highlights that climate variability and extremes are a key force behind the rise in global hunger. This also among the leading causes of severe food crises.

    The number of extreme climate-related disasters, including extreme heat, droughts, floods and storms, have doubled since the early 1990s, with an average of 213 of these events occurring every year during the period of 1990 to 2016.

    “These harm agricultural productivity, contributing to shortfalls in food availability, with knock-on effects causing food price hikes and income losses that reduce people's access to food.”

    The report says that in many areas, climate extremes have increased in number and intensity, particularly where average temperatures are shifting upwards.

    It says very hot days are becoming more frequent and the hottest days are becoming hotter. Extreme heat is associated with increased mortality, lower labour capacity, lower crop yields and other consequences that undermine food security and nutrition.

    In addition to increasing temperatures and changes in rainfall, the nature of rainy seasons is also changing, specifically the timing of seasonal climate events.

    The report notes that food insecurity and nutrition indicators can clearly be associated with an extreme climate event, such as severe drought, which critically challenges agriculture and food production.

    It adds that of all natural hazards, floods, droughts and tropical storms affect food production the most. Drought, in particular, causes more than 80% of the total damage and losses in agriculture, especially for the livestock and crop production subsectors.

    “Severe droughts are worsening global hunger and reversing progress already made.”

    However, hunger is significantly worse in countries with agricultural systems that are highly sensitive to rainfall and temperature variability and severe drought, where the livelihood of a high proportion of the population depends on agriculture and where the country does not have in place sufficient support measures to counter the fallout.

    “In other words, for almost 36% of the countries that experienced a rise in undernourishment since 2005, this coincided with the occurrence of severe agricultural drought.”



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Moody’s warns against rising debtMoody’s warns against rising debtExpects moderate growth Both Moody’s and Fitch think government will fail to reach its debt-to-GDP ratio target of 45% by 2020/21. Finance has not been especially good at forecasting deficits which does not instil much confidence in their expectations for reduced deficits going forward. – Eric van Zyl, Research Chief: IJG Securities Jo-Maré Duddy – The international credit rating agency Moody’s expects government’s debt to continue rising and reach 50% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020.

    Moody’s latest report on Namibia, which has a junk credit rating with the agency, says Namibia's fiscal strength has weakened in recent years.

    “Although government debt to GDP, at slightly more than 40% in the 2017/18 financial year, remains moderate relative to its regional peers, the pace of debt accumulation has been rapid in recent years,” Moody’s said.

    Commenting on Moody’s opinion, IJG Securities research chief Eric van Zyl said the agency would not have mention the level of 50% of GDP had they not modelled the expected increase in public debt against the growth prospects for Namibia.

    “Government continues to run large budget deficits and year after year the forecast for future periods sees the deficits for the outer MTEF [medium-term expenditure framework] years grow. In other words, finance has not been especially good at forecasting deficits which does not instil much confidence in their expectations for reduced deficits going forward,” Van Zyl said.

    In his budget in March, finance minister projected total debt to reach more than N$99 billion in 2020/21 – up from an estimated N$83.7 billion the current fiscal year. According to his forecast, this would mean that debt will be 45% of GDP in 2020/21. Government’s own threshold is 35%.

    In its report last month, Fitch Ratings, who also view Namibia’s credit rating as junk, projected that debt will reach 51% of GDP.

    “The fiscal consolidation measures set forth by the government will not be sufficient to achieve the official goal of stabilising and eventually reducing public debt/GDP, in Fitch's view,” the report stated.

    Releasing its latest Fixed Income and Economics Report last week, Simonis Storm (SS) said Fitch reaffirming Namibia’s junk status “did not come as a surprise as the fiscal consolidation measures are not sufficient to reduce public debt/GDP”.

    “The macroeconomic environment has deteriorated, which will negatively affect tax collection. We do not see the above reverting in the near future,” SS said.

    Growth

    Van Zyl said larger deficits will lead to the use of larger amounts of debt to finance expenditure leading to a higher debt-to-GDP ratio than currently expected by ministry of finance, provided GDP growth materialises as expected.

    Schlettwein’s budget growth forecast for this year is about 1.2%. Moody’s expects 0.9% and Fitch 0.6%.

    Van Zyl said IJG does not see much in terms of growth drivers for the Namibian economy at present, and the threat of external shocks may derail growth expectations. “Should growth falter it would lead to a higher debt-to-GDP ratio than is expected,” he said.

    Moody’s said moderate average real GDP growth and a high level of wealth are counterbalanced by growth volatility linked to commodity exports. “The economic recovery hinges on continuing growth in agriculture and mining, as well as gradually improving manufacturing, which should offset contraction in the construction sector,” it said.

    Moody’s added that government is also susceptible to a further tightening of domestic funding conditions, which could be related to persistent fiscal slippages and would raise debt servicing costs.

    SS pointed out that government debt has increased by 714% over the last decade. “We remain concerned over escalating debt levels given the skewed bond maturity profile at the short end. This will put pressure on government’s ability to repay debt,” the analysts said.

    Outlook

    Moody's said it could change its outlook for Namibia from negative to stable if the government were to “demonstrate commitment to fiscal consolidation that results in a deceleration of debt accumulation and an eventual decline in debt levels”.

    It would likely downgrade the rating if fiscal consolidation were to fail to contain rapid public sector debt accumulation, Moody’s said.

    “A sustained decline in foreign-currency reserves to below three months of import cover, increased funding pressure reflecting reduced market appetite for government securities, leading to a material increase in borrowing costs, or both, would also put downward pressure on the rating,” the agency said.

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    Successful oil well will be ‘transformational’Successful oil well will be ‘transformational’ Jo-Maré Duddy – The scale of Chariot Oil & Gas’ Prospect S oil well offshore Namibia will be “transformational” to the company in itself if it is successful, the AIM-listed group said yesterday.

    “But it is the fact that this, and every other asset within Chariot's portfolio, has considerable follow-on potential which makes the upside in Chariot's offering particularly unique. Whilst Chariot's share of the well is fully funded, we continue to seek a partner that would liberate the company's funds, depending on the outcome of the well, for a subsequent appraisal programme or additional exploration drilling,” Chariot said in its latest half-year results.

    “Datarooms are open across the matured portfolio and we look forward to the drilling of a safe, efficient and cost effective well in Prospect S, which has the potential, in the success case, to realise substantial value and expose shareholders to additional upside from the additional resource in the inventory of prospects within the licence. Concurrently, we will continue refining our broader prospect inventory and remain vigilant to value accretive opportunities," Larry Bottomley, chief executive officer of Chariot, said.

    Chariot’s equity fund-raise, completed in the first quarter of this year, raised an additional net US$16.5 million providing funding for the drilling of Prospect S.

    Prospect S

    Independent estimates by Netherland Sewell Associated Inc. indicate Prospect S has a gross mean prospective resource of 459 million barrels (mmbbls) and a probability of geologic success of 29%.

    Chariot, an Atlantic margins focused oil and gas exploration company, recently announced that it secured the Ocean Rig Poseidon to drill Prospect S in the fourth quarter of 2018.

    The company yesterday said Prospect S is one of five dip-closed structural traps, totalling 1,758mmbbls gross mean prospective resources, that have been identified in the Upper Cretaceous turbidite clastic play fairway in the Central Blocks, Namibia.

    Chariot’s latest results show the Group is debt free and had a cash balance of US$28.4 million at 30 June 2018, up nearly 31% compared to the same half-year in 2017.

    As at 30 June 2018 the net book values of Chariot’s Central Blocks offshore Namibia were US$51.1 million, up from US$50.5 million at the end of December 2017.

    Chariot is the operator of the Central Blocks licence offshore Namibia. It has a 65% interest, followed by AziNam with 20%, Namcor with 10% and Ignitus with 5%.

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