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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    US tops global competitiveness ­rating, despite 'worrying' trendsUS tops global competitiveness ­rating, despite 'worrying' trendsWEF uses new methodology The WEF says Pres. Donald Trump won't be able to take credit for the US' performance as most of the data used in the report was from before he came to power last year. The old index and the new index are apples and oranges. The reason the new index has been built is because we've learned so much about what drives economic growth and growth in income in the long term. - Saadia Zahidi: WEF Geneva - The United States has the world's most competitive and innovative economy, a World Economic Forum ranking showed yesterday, after a methodology shift helped unseat Switzerland after nearly a decade on top.

    A root-and-branch re­­vamp of the WEF's rank­ings, reoriented towards future technology-driven growth, pushed Switzerland into fourth place, with Singapore second and Germany third out of 140 countries, each marked on a scale from 0 to 100.

    The organisation that hosts the annual Davos pow-wow of business and political elites said it used a new methodology for the 2018 edition of its annual Global Competitiveness Report to reflect shifts in a world increasingly transformed by new, digital technologies.

    This year's report studied how economies fared when measured against 98 indicators organised into 12 pillars, including institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, business dynamism and innovation capability.

    “The United States achieves the best overall performance,” WEF said in a statement.

    “They're an innovation power house,” Saadia Zahidi, a member of the WEF's managing board, told AFP.

    “They do well in terms of labour markets, they do well in terms of market size, they do fairly well in terms of institutions,” she said.

    Trump

    When asked if President Donald Trump could take credit for the ranking, Thierry Geiger, head of analytics and quantitive research at WEF, stressed that most of the data used in the report was from before Trump came to power last year.

    “The things we capture are long-term drivers,” he told reporters.

    “The old index and the new index are apples and oranges. The reason the new index has been built is because we've learned so much about what drives economic growth and growth in income in the long term,” Zahidi said.

    The 98 indicators in the index were drawn from international organisations and a survey of company executives and largely reflected long-term policies such as investing in digital skills, she said.

    'Worrying signs'

    Zahidi meanwhile said “there are also a lot of worrying signs” for US competitiveness.

    She pointed to the country's low score in terms of participation by women in the labour force, where it ranked 37th, as well as 40th place in terms of press freedom.

    WEF also stressed the “importance of openness for competitiveness,” including low-tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade and ease of hiring foreign labour.

    “The data suggest that global economic health would be positively impacted by a return to greater openness and integration,” WEF said.

    Overall, the United States scored an average of 85.6 points when the nearly 100 indicators were measured on a scale of 0 to 100, and was followed by Singapore and Germany.

    Switzerland

    Switzerland meanwhile landed in fourth place, with a score of 82.6, after nine years at the top of the WEF ranking.

    On average, countries around the world scored 60 points on the ranking - a full 40 points away from what WEF considers the optimal conditions for a competitive economy.

    Further down the rankings, China was in 28th place, Russia was 43rd, but India was 58th, a big slide from 40th under the old methodology last year.

    Saudi Arabia came 39th, a placing that “could potentially be affected” by the unfolding story of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Zahidi said. The bottom 30 were almost exclusively African countries, although Haiti and Yemen squeezed ahead of last-placed Chad, which scored 35.5.

    Technology

    WEF founder Klaus Schwab said understanding and being open to the technologies driving the so-called “fourth industrial revolution” was vital to a country's competitiveness.

    “I foresee a new global divide between countries who understand innovative transformations and those that don't,” he said in a statement.

    Zahidi however stressed that “technology is not a silver bullet on its own.”

    “Countries must invest in people and institutions to deliver on the promise of technology.”

    – Nampa/AFP/Reuters

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    Namibia on alert for new SA poaching tacticsNamibia on alert for new SA poaching tactics A Namibian anti-poaching organisation is warning Namibian game rangers to be aware of a deadly new tactic in South Africa where poachers have reportedly begun building home-made explosive devices to combat anti-poaching rangers.

    Intelligence Support Against Poaching (ISAP) has published a warning to anti-poaching teams in Namibia “to be vigilant when out in the field. The war on poaching has taken a turn in South Africa.”

    Reports in the South African media confirmed that an anti-poaching unit conducting patrols in the south western boundary of Kruger National Park last week came across two suspected poachers hiding in a pipeline beneath a railway line.

    Inspecting the area, the rangers, with the help of their specially trained dogs, discovered a device linked to a battery and the bomb squad was called to the scene, who confirmed the device was a pipe bomb. The bomb was detonated at the scene.

    South African Parks CEO Fundislie Mketeni praised the unit's vigilance and work and said: “It is unfortunate that South Africans who are involved in such affairs do not seem to realise they are hurting their own people and their own country, and are in the process destroying their own heritage.”

    ISAP says all Namibian anti-poaching teams should be vigilant when out in the field.

    “All evidence points to this device being planted specifically to kill or maim our rangers whilst on patrol,” it says. Ministry of environment spokesperson Romeo Muyunda says the information is worrying.

    “We will engage with our counterparts in South Africa to confirm this and possibly get more details.”

    He says Namibian rangers and members of anti-poaching teams should not be too alarmed, as no such incidents have been reported in Namibia.

    “However, let's continue to be vigilant as the poachers will continue to look for new ways to poach our high-value species as security measures intensify.”

    Muyunda again urged all members of the public to become involved in the fight against poaching.

    “Namibians should shun poaching and condemn it, as it robs the nation of valuable resources that could be used for the benefit of all.”

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Billionaire playground gets green lightBillionaire playground gets green lightRussian oligarch gets special treatment Despite the national sentiment against foreign land ownership, a Russian billionaire has bought four farms and donated them to the government in exchange for a 99-year lease. Audacious moves by the land reform ministry to accommodate the Russian billionaire Rashid Sardarov have resulted in the Russian oligarch buying four farms and donating them to the Namibian government, provided that he can lease the properties for 99 years.

    The agreement, which only emerged this week, was signed 13 days before Namibia's second national land conference, which spoke out strongly against foreign ownership of land.

    Sardarov paid N$2 500 per hectare for four farms totalling around N$43.5 million.

    Farm Rainhoff, Kameelboom and Smaldeel, totalling 11 402 hectares, were sold as a unit for N$28.5 million while Farm Wolfsgrund was sold for N$14.9 million and is 5 989 hectares in size.

    Under the lease agreement Saradov pays N$160 168 in rent for the first quarter of each year in 2018/19 and thereafter the land tax paid by owners of commercial farms must be paid. Sardarov now has in his control slightly more than 45 000 hectares of land in Namibia.

    He already owns a 28 000-hectare Dordabis property on which the state-of-the-art game ranch known as Marula Game Lodge is built and he previously made his intentions clear to acquire a further 18 000 hectares of neighbouring farms.

    He intended to donate N$24 million to the government if he was able to obtain the required waiver certificates from the land owners and ministerial consent to buy the land.

    However, land reform minister Utoni Nujoma rejected his application to buy and own four farms, which total just over 17 000 hectares.

    “The lessee initially proposed certain donations to the government provided that [he] is given consent to acquire and own the farms on freehold basis. The land reform minister has rejected the lessee's application as a foreign national to acquire and own the four farms,” according the title deed. Utoni proposed that, in view of the development and economic benefit that would arise from investments to be made by Sardarov, the four farms should rather be acquired by the government at full cost. This included the purchase price and compensation demanded by the farm owners.

    Consent was then given for Sardarov to lease and occupy the properties for 99 years.

    The four farms are all registered to Rhino Farming and belong to Claus and Kurt Dühvel. According to the title deed documents, at the end of the lease period the government will become the owner of the four farms and also the improvements (worth millions of Namibian dollars) made on the farms.

    In addition to the purchase price Sardarov must compensate the owners of the four farms for the loss of their existing business, on condition that these properties are leased for 99 years, the document states. This price is not specified.

    It says that Sardarov may use the properties for his business of choice, including private game farming, game hunting, hospitality, tannery business, hotels, sport facilities, performance art facilities, and development of infrastructure such as roads, fences, houses, parking areas, landing strips and similar facilities.

    The treasury, in accordance with the State Finance Act, approved that the lands ministry may accept the donation from Sardarov.

    Namibian Sun previously reported that Sardarov had constructed infrastructure totalling close to N$1 billion, including houses for his employees, dams, waterholes, roads and fences, at Marula Game Ranch.

    Marula Game Ranch, located about 70km from Windhoek, boasts with the Marula Lodge, Marula Farm House and Otjimukona Lodge.

    There are also a clinic and a shop. A total of 500km of gravel roads have been built on the land.

    During a visit to the game ranch last year, general manager Johan Kotze told Namibian Sun that the five-star Marula Lodge mostly served as a residence for Sardarov, his family and friends.

    Hunters paid US$3 000 per night to stay at Marula Lodge. At the other two lodges it costs US$450 per night.

    Kotze said the ranch boasted with 7 500 species including antelope, giraffe, zebra, crocodiles, hippos, cheetah and other protected species. Elephants were also bought and in the future they want to include lions and buffalo.

    Sardarov is the chairman and founder of Comsar Energy Group and South-Ural Industrial Company (SUIC), both of which are large private companies in Russia, with a presence in several countries in Eastern Europe. The assets of the companies amount to US$2.2 billion, according to the SUIC website.

    He is described as a flamboyant Russian oligarch with an interest in energy businesses, property, aviation, hospitality and hunting wildlife for fun.

    He is among the high-profile business people who were exposed in the so-called Panama Papers leak, which revealed how the rich create offshore shell companies in tax havens to avoid paying taxes, conceal their riches and even engage in crimes such as money laundering.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 10/17/18--15:00: Africa in brief
  • Africa in briefAfrica in brief SA Treasury says recession, falling revenue hurt public finances

    Falling revenues and a recession mean South Africa will struggle to finance public services, the National Treasury said on Tuesday, as ratings agency Moody's warned of the risks of rising government debt.

    Africa's most industrialised economy tipped unexpectedly into recession in the second quarter, and the appointment of a new finance minister added to currency and financial market turmoil.

    President Cyril Ramaphosa last week made former central bank governor Tito Mboweni his fourth finance minister in two years, replacing Nhlanhla Nene who quit after admitting to meetings with the family at the centre of corruption allegations.

    Mboweni will the deliver medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) next week, which will be closely watched for details of

    Ramaphosa's stimulus plan to pull the economy out of recession and avoid further ratings downgrades.

    "The contraction of our public finances is placing tremendous stress on us and our ability to finance public services and this threatens the affordability of planned expenditure," treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane told a parliamentary committee.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Increased China-Africa trade due to US trade war

    China is likely to boost imports from African countries as it seeks new sources of commodities in the wake of a trade war with the United States, a senior executive of Standard Chartered Bank in China said.

    Trade links between the Asian economic powerhouse and African nations like Kenya have been growing robustly in recent years, offering opportunities to lenders who serve Chinese clients doing business on the continent like Standard Chartered.

    Carmen Ling, Standard Chartered's global head of the internationalisation of the Chinese currency renminbi (RMB), cautioned there would be no winners from the trade war in the short term, but added some African nations could gain in the long term.

    "We believe that countries like Kenya and Nigeria will benefit because China will look to import more from Africa; some agricultural products from Kenya, some oil products from Nigeria," she told Reuters late on Monday.

    "Trade flow patterns will change because China will need to look for new trade partners."

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Zambian mining group says tax changes will hit exploration

    Zambia's proposed mining tax increases will hit mineral exploration and production in Africa's second biggest copper producer, companies involved in exploration said on Tuesday.

    Zambia plans to introduce new mining duties, replace Value Added Tax with sales tax and increase royalties to help bring down mounting debt, its finance minister said while delivering the 2019 budget speech last month.

    The Association of Zambian Mineral Exploration Companies (AZMEC) said in a statement the measures proposed in the budget would not help the growth of the nation's mining sector.

    Mineral exploration is an inherently high cost and high risk activity, AZMEC President Geoffrey Mulenga said.

    He added that no new viable copper discoveries had been made in Zambia over the past decade.

    "Dramatically increased exploration activities are now required, more than ever, if Zambia is to remain a leading copper producing nation," he said.

    Without new mineral discoveries, Zambia's mining industry would continue to stagnate and ultimately contract, hitting tax collection, employment and export revenue, he said.

    Congo signs deal for US$14 bln Inga hydroelectric project

    Congo signed a joint deal on Tuesday to develop a US$14 billion hydroelectric project with one consortium led by China Three Gorges Corporation and a second Spanish-led one.

    The Inga 3 project is part of a US$50-US$80 billion programme to expand hydroelectric dams along the Congo River, but it has repeatedly been delayed by red tape and disagreements between Democratic Republic of Congo and its partners.

    After initially competing for the deal, the Chinese investor group and the other including Spain's ACS (Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA) were asked to submit a joint bid, which they did in June.

    The next stage requires the investors to carry out detailed studies for the project, taking into account social and environmental considerations, the state agency responsible for the project said in a statement.

    The 11 000-megawatt Inga 3 is projected to provide power for South Africa as well as mines and other consumers in Congo.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Nigeria to probe US$3.5 bln NNPC fuel subsidy fund

    Nigeria's upper house of parliament plans to investigate an alleged US$3.5 billion fuel subsidy fund at state-oil firm NNPC, lawmakers said on Tuesday.

    The Senate alleges NNPC used the fund to subside the price of imported petrol without the house's approval, the lawmakers said.

    Fuel subsidies are a contentious issue in Nigeria, where prices are kept artificially low at 145 naira (US$0.48) per litre, often as a populist tool.

    That has meant that as fuel prices increase globally, it has become unprofitable for private petrol marketers to import, forcing NNPC to step in to prevent major shortages.

    However, state oil firm money spent on subsidies is meant to be included in Nigeria's national budget, subject to approval by the national assembly.

    The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said parliament would set up a committee to look into the issue.

    A spokesman for NNPC said the oil company would await a decision from lawmakers and then decide how to respond.

    "We have to call for the resolution (by the Senate), analyse it and respond accordingly," he said.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Algeria hopes to have energy law ready in 2019

    Algeria wants to have a new energy law ready by the first half of 2019 and might use Mexico's legislation as inspiration, the CEO of state energy firm Sonatrach said on Tuesday.

    The North African OPEC member has been preparing changes to its hydrocarbon law in a bid to attract foreign investors that have stayed away in recent years, citing bureaucracy and tough terms.

    "A good model of an energy law is Mexico's as it allowed them to attract US$300 billion in investment ... definitely this is a good model and I will be very happy to have such a law,"

    Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour said during a visit to the Hassi Rmel gas field.

    "We will be ready by the first half of 2019," he added, without giving further details of what exactly he liked about the Mexican legislation.

    Sonatrach has hired consultancies, including US law firm Curtis Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, to help amend the law.

    Since his appointment in March 2017, Kaddour has convinced international firms that were reluctant to invest in Algeria to re-engage with the North African country after he resolved legal disputes with them.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Ombudsman studies ‘master list’Ombudsman studies ‘master list’All resettlement beneficiaries since 1992 The ombudsman is working on the full list of resettlement beneficiaries and has promised to release it next week. JEMIMA BEUKES



    Ombudsman John Walters says he needs time to collate and verify the resettlement master list handed to him by the land reform ministry.

    Walters said he will only release the list next week, adding it is comprised of six sections and includes all the farms allocated in eight regions since 1992.

    “There is no sinister reason for delaying it. We do not have a soft copy, we are in the process of scanning it and I tell you there are many pages,” Walters told Namibian Sun yesterday.

    He also pointed out he must also establish whether the list is in fact the real deal.

    Land reform ministry spokesperson Chrispin Matongela said the much-demanded list has had been handed to Walters on Tuesday in the office of ministry permanent secretary Peter Amutenya.

    Matongela could not explain why the ministry had initially released an incomplete list that only contained information from 2010 onwards, and referred questions to Amutenya, whose phone went unanswered.

    According to Walters, some of the beneficiaries were resettled before the Agricultural Land Reform Act came into existence following independence.

    “As soon as I have worked through it for my own benefit, then I will release it. I will send the complete list to all the media houses. It is of all the farms allocated in different regions,” he said.

    Civil society organisations boycotted the country’s second national land conference earlier this month because the government failed to release the controversial master list.

    Social activist Rosa Namises confronted President Hage Geingob during the conference over a so-called secret resettlement list, which allegedly features high-ranking government officials, including army generals, ministers and permanent secretaries.

    During the closing ceremony of the conference, Geingob ordered the lands ministry to conduct a full audit of the resettlement process and eventually release the master list of beneficiaries.

    Local social commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah said it was unnecessary for land reform minister Utoni Nujoma to play “hide and seek” and release an incomplete list, which had created the perception they have something to hide.

    “It looks bad for the ministry and minister that he was trying to conceal part of the list and that was probably among the factors why he has released it, because there is no way that you can hide such a list that is in the interest of the public,” he said.

    On Monday, Swanu parliamentarian Usutuaije Maamberua also demanded that the government release the list or he would table a motion in the National Assembly and ask for an audit of the whole resettlement programme.

    Calls for the list have been building up for years, but the straw that broke the camel’s back recently was the resettlement of the late Andimba Toivo ya Toivo’s widow, Vicky Erenstein ya Toivo.

    This decision was widely condemned by land activists.

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  • 10/17/18--15:00: Parents and sex education
  • Parents and sex educationParents and sex education There is a myth that sex education leads to promiscuity.

    Often it is uncomfortable for parents to talk to their young children about sex, but in this case ignorance is not bliss.

    Far from it, children are exposed to information about sex from sources such as school, friends and social media at a much earlier age than many parents expect.

    Similarly, parents should not rely on the school system to teach sex education.

    If your child is taught sex education at school, they should be asked regularly what they have learned, and this information should be reviewed by you, the parent.

    It is in this context that we applaud sections of a draft bill that make it compulsory for education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa to report those impregnating schoolgirls under the age of 16 to the relevant authorities, while staff guilty of fathering these babies will in addition be charged in accordance with the Public Service Act.

    The Basic Education Bill also stipulates that as part of the prevention and management of learner pregnancy, comprehensive sex education will be taught from grade 4 or “at an appropriate age”, while pregnant learners will also be referred to social workers.

    Critically, the education minister is also obliged to ensure that basic necessities, such as shelter, water, food, light, ventilation, sanitary facilities and access to emergency medical care are provided for in all schools.

    Anyone who discriminates against a learner on the grounds of race, ethnic origin, colour, sex, religion, creed and social and economic status will be fined up to a maximum of N$20 000 or two years in prison.

    Obviously there are contentious sections in the bill that have been raised by both parliamentarians and education experts, yet the stipulations on sex education cannot be compromised.

    Parents and guardians need to become more actively involving in teaching their children about sex.

    For too long the unscrupulous have taken advantage of young girls not understanding the consequences of experimenting with sex too early.

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    Ghana positive about Air Namibia Accra-London routeGhana positive about Air Namibia Accra-London route Air Namibia could introduce a scheduled flight from Accra, Ghana to London as from early 2019 once an agreement between the two countries has been signed.

    The national airline’s board chairperson, Gerson Tjihenuna together with a delegation from Namibia met with Ghana’s minister of aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda on Tuesday where the possibility of operating a scheduled flight to Accra was discussed.

    Tjihenuna said the national airline had the capacity to operate the Windhoek-Accra-London route and that the United Kingdom had already granted traffic rights to Air Namibia to operate flights between Accra and London.

    “That (operating the Accra-London route) will help us consolidate our position on the continent in terms of promoting intra-Africa travel as well as linking the continent to Europe and bringing in an element of competition,” he said.

    On his part, Adda welcomed the proposal, saying that the efforts of the Ghanaian government was to make aviation one of the country’s key drivers of its national development efforts.

    “Whatever we can do as partners to move people within the continent and outside the continent and bring them back will help propel development,” he said.

    The Ghanaian aviation minister added that the government intended to make Ghana a key player in the aviation industry, whereby flights would come through the country and service required for any aircraft as well as other services needed would be provided to turn the country into a hub.

    “I don’t think we have any difficulty in entering into this agreement and encouraging [Air Namibia] to come in,” he said.

    Continent boost

    Adda further expressed concern from the Ghanaian government on the difficulties that come with travelling within the African continent.

    “For you to go to Paris for a conference, you have to go around about three or four African countries before you end up in Paris. You would have to go down to Windhoek and cross over to Botswana or any other country, rather than having to go straight to Europe and coming down again,” he said.

    Therefore, the agreement between the two countries would address these concerns, Adda stated.

    Speaking to Nampa on the sidelines of the meeting on Tuesday, Tjihenuna said a proper feasibility study would be done to look at what is justifiable in working with Ghana and to put in a formal request with the authorities in Ghana to operate the route.

    He indicated that the Windhoek-Accra-London route would have potential of carrying an estimated 209 000 passengers per annum, which was better than the Windhoek-Frankfurt route that carries approximately 120 000 passengers per annum.

    -Nampa

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    NamRights to sue over OlufukoNamRights to sue over OlufukoFestival branded a 'strip show' for rich men The human rights organisation says the cultural festival is more like a strip show where young girls are put on display for men with money. NamRights is preparing a lawsuit to stop the Olufuko festival and other cultural practices that it considers harmful sexual initiations.

    It intends to lodge the legal challenge before the end of the year, and argues Olufuko is unconstitutional because it seeks to convert young children into adult, child-bearing women.

    It says the festival deprives and robs children of their normal and natural childhood-to-adulthood mental and physical development, and that it is simply illegal, both in terms of international customary, humanitarian and human rights laws.

    NamRights says the Olufuko festival is also contrary to Namibia's contemporary, civil, cultural, political and social customs and practices, and parades poor, bare-breasted girls in public without their consent to attract economic investments for affluent families.

    The organisation says further that the festival is criminal enterprise, which constitutes indecent exposure, and holds nothing positive in terms of culture and tradition.





    “It is children being taken to a trade fair where they are paraded in what can only be described as a strip show. It is against the law and promotes patriarchy and is used to make women submissive,” said NamRights executive director Phil ya Nangoloh.

    Ya Nangoloh said the original Olufuko initiation practice was to avoid girl children being burned alive for getting pregnant before marriage.

    Now, he said, this heinous practice has been outlawed by statutory and constitutional law.

    “NamRights is not at all concerned with Olufuko for adult women above the age of 18, as long as this is done with their consent. We are only against Olufuko for children younger than the age of 18,” Ya Nangoloh said.

    “We are very confident and certain about the victorious outcome of the imminent legal battle. The defendants can hire the best legal minds they know in this country or even beyond, but that will not save them from a legal blow. We will show them their folly and buffoonery,” Ya Nangoloh said.

    NamRights has called on anyone with a substantial and direct interest in the matter to join its legal challenge.

    The principal defenders of the lawsuit will be the Outapi town council, the Omusati regional council, the Ombalantu traditional authority, Founding President Sam Nujoma, the Sam Nujoma Foundation, the ministers of justice and safety and security, the attorney-general, the ombudsman, and a number of leading Namibian women.



    'Captured women'

    Ya Nangoloh said the sustained silence of some leading local female figures on the matter can only be construed as complicity in the harmful practice.

    Among others, he singled out First Lady Monica Geingos, gender minister Doreen Sioka, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, National Assembly deputy Speaker Loide Kasingo, culture minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa and veteran ruling party politicians Dr Libertina Amathila and Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana.

    “They either actively or passively promote or glamorise and/or tolerate the Olufuko festival,” Ya Nangoloh charged.

    “Their silence demonstrates moral bankruptcy or political corruption and shows they are captured women, who are not free to speak out against such legal, moral and social outrages.”

    To this, First Lady Geingos responded: “Objective test: would I subject my daughter or any adolescent girl under my influence to Olufuko? My answer: No. I, however, believe in respecting the non-harmful practices of others and not viewing my belief system as superior.”

    The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (Elcin) has ordered its congregation not to attend the festival.

    It holds the view that the Olufuko event promotes sexual activity or early marriages among young girls.

    Nujoma, on the other hand, is on record as saying the festival is about cultural heritage and should be celebrated without fear.

    Nujoma said at a gala dinner for the seventh edition of the Olufuko festival earlier this year that its critics promote cultural enslavement.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Two-year-old kidnapped, rapedTwo-year-old kidnapped, raped A 20-year-old man is behind bars after he allegedly kidnapped and raped his two-year-old niece, who was discovered alive following an extensive police manhunt.

    She was found seriously injured on the outskirts of Outjo yesterday morning.

    The police launched a search at midnight after the girl's family had reported her missing.

    The suspect had allegedly kidnapped the girl as well as two boys, aged two and four, on Tuesday morning, but the two boys returned home later that day.



    Covered with blood

    After the search was launched, the police traced the suspect, who was “covered with blood on some parts of his body” and he was immediately taken in for questioning.

    The search continued and at around 07:00 yesterday morning, the girl was discovered in bushes on the outskirts of the town.

    She was seriously injured and was taken to the Outjo hospital.

    A medical examination confirmed she had been raped, the police said.

    She remains in a stable condition, police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Kaunapawa Shikwambi, confirmed.

    The suspect is set to make his first court appearance before the Outjo Magistrate's Court today.



    Dagga bust

    Meanwhile, Shikwambi also confirmed that the police had arrested two suspects on Tuesday afternoon in Khomasdal, who were allegedly found in possession of two blocks of dagga, ten dagga parcels as well as loose dagga valued at N$96 000.

    The two accused are scheduled to appear before the Katutura Magistrate's Court today.

    The suspects are a 38-year-old Tanzanian man and a 24-year-old Namibian woman.

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    219 arrested, N$4.5m in fines 219 arrested, N$4.5m in fines JANA-MARI SMITH

    A two-month safety campaign targeting two of the most notorious national road stretches in the country resulted in fines totalling N$4.5 million and 219 people being arrested for drunk driving.

    A total of 34 373 drivers and vehicles were screened for alcohol and roadworthiness during the operation, with 24 457 being screened during August and 9 916 in September.

    Launched in August, and concluding in September, the B1 and B2 joint law-enforcement operation cost around N$3.5 million.

    It consisted of 64 additional officers and other stakeholders deployed to monitor, screen and educate drivers between Noordoewer and Oshikango on the B1 road and Okahandja and Walvis Bay on the B2.

    In total, 259 arrests took place over the two-month period, with 248 men being taken into custody and nine women.

    A police spokesperson, Chief inspector Kauna Shikwambi, confirmed that 4 350 summonses were issued over the period, with 3 112 issued in August and 1 238 in September.

    In August, the value of the admission-of-guilt fines totalled more than N$3.1 million.

    In September alone, admission-of-guilt fines totalling N$1.3 million were issued.

    The total suspension notices issued were 235, while the courtesy notifications amounted to 301.

    Over the two-month period, the police recorded 940 accidents, 28 deaths, 85 serious injuries and 151 slight injuries.

    Deadliest roads

    The Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund confirmed this week that since January, up to 11 October, 2 871 crashes were recorded on the country’s roads.

    As a result of these crashes, 4 629 people were injured and 411 deaths were recorded.

    The fund confirmed that, as in previous years, more males, 72% or 295, lost their lives in vehicle crashes than females, who accounted for 115 or 28% of all fatalities.

    Moreover, the statistics show that young people between the ages of 16 and 35 were the most affected group in terms of overall fatalities.

    Year-to-date regional statistics released by the MVA Fund show that the Khomas Region recorded the highest number of crashes, 1 101 or 38%, followed by Erongo, where 318 crashes (33%) were recorded, and Oshana with 289 crashes.

    The highest number of fatalities between January and last week were recorded in Otjozondjupa, where 229 crashes resulted in 44 deaths.

    In Erongo, 42 people died in car accidents, while 40 each were killed in the Khomas, Oshana and Hardap regions.

    Overall, pedestrian crashes were most prominent, with 841 of these crashes reported that led to the deaths of 117 people, and 781 injuries.

    Accidents as a result of collisions numbered 784, in which 87 people died and 1 564 were injured.

    There were 754 rollover crashes during the period, which led to 148 fatalities and 1 598 injuries.

    Ten people were killed in collisions with animals, with a total of 87 such accidents also resulting in 156 injuries.

    Led by Nampol, the joint task force included the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), the MVA Fund, the Roads Authority (RA), the Private Sector Road Safety Forum, municipal traffic departments in Windhoek, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Henties Bay, Keetmanshoop and Otjiwarongo, and the transport ministry.

    The campaign not only focused on catching traffic offenders, but also on education.

    With an average 700 deaths each year, Namibia's roads are among the top 10 most dangerous in the world.

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    Women Super League action continuesWomen Super League action continues Round three of the Skorpion Zinc Women Super League will take place tomorrow at the NFA Technical Field in Windhoek, Gobabis and Swakopmund.

    In the first round, which took place on 6 October, a total of 17 goals were scored.

    In the second round, which took place on 13 October, 23 goals were recorded.

    Right Way coach Immanuel Hamutenya said since the kickoff everything has been running smoothly. “We have a tough match this weekend against Tura Magic, so we are preparing for that. We will try to toughen the backline, but will also attack with every opportunity that we get, as we wasted too many opportunities last weekend,” he said.

    Right Way were held to a 3-3 draw by Swakopmund-based Namib Daughters last weekend.

    Crowd favourites, Tura Magic, are known for their scoring prowess and currently lead the goal-scoring stakes with six points followed by V Power Angels, Khomas Nampol, Namibia Daughters and Right Way with four goals each.

    Six rounds remain before the first leg of the league ends in December.



    Tomorrow's fixtures are as follows:

    Girls Football Academy vs Khomas Nampol (NFA Technical Field, Windhoek at 9:00)

    Right Way vs Tura Magic (NFA Technical Field, Windhoek at 10:30)

    V Power Angels vs Galz & Goals (NFA Technical Field, Windhoek at 12:30)

    Nust Babes vs Namib Daughters (12:30 at the Vineta Stadium in Swakopmund)

    Unam Bokkies vs Omaheke Queens (13:00 at the Legare Stadium in Gobabis).

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    We don't owe bonuses - Okahandja UnitedWe don't owe bonuses - Okahandja United Okahandja United FC says they do not owe any players winning bonuses.

    This follows allegations that the team fired at least 16 players after they demanded bonuses for helping the team gain promotion to the Namibia Premier League (NPL) this year, when the side was still known as Okahandja Military School.

    In response to the allegations, the club's head of operations, Wenie Meroro, said the players were given a fair chance to impress new coach Woody Jacobs.

    Meroro feels the players just want to sabotage the club's operations because of not being selected for the team.

    “It is the prerogative of the coach to select whoever he deems fit for his squad.

    “The issue of bonuses that are owed to the players who got the team promoted to the premier league is not our administrative duty as Okahandja United, but the sole responsibility of the Okahandja Military School.

    “I can assure you that we do not have such an agreement in place with any player or any other person,” Meroro said.

    The club felt that people are unhappy because Jacobs has brought in players not originally from Okahandja, and that is why there is an outcry.

    Okahandja United also rebuffed allegations that they still have ties with the Namibian Defence Force (NDF).

    The only reason why the club ultimately gained promotion was through a deal that saw former Brave Warriors and Okahandja mayor Johannes 'Congo' Hindjou taking over the side.

    This was because two NDF clubs would not have been allowed to play in the NPL, with Mighty Gunners already active in the league.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 10/18/18--15:00: On the brink
  • On the brinkOn the brink'Executioner' 100% ready to shock the world Walter 'Executioner' Kautondokwa says he is “100% ready” to face Demetrius 'Boo Boo' Andrade and claim the vacant WBO middleweight title. Unbeaten Walter 'Executioner' Kautondokwa is confident of registering his 18th successive knockout, when he clashes with Demetrius 'Boo Boo' Andrade tomorrow in Boston, United States for the WBO middleweight world crown.

    The Namibian was handed the fight two weeks ago, following a Massachusetts State Athletic Commission decision not to licence Billy Joe Saunders, due to a failed Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (Vada) test in August.

    With the title fight tossed out, Saunders was stripped of his belt, allowing the WBO number two, Kautondokwa, to grab the opportunity.

    The Namibian hard-hitter, who will clash with Andrade inside the TD Garden arena, said he is fit and ready to take on his opponent.

    He vowed to shock the world when he crosses swords with the 30-year-old 'Boo Boo'.

    The 'Executioner' is undefeated but enters the fight as a significant underdog, as Andrade is a well-known in world boxing circles, and also has a flawless record.

    Kautondokwa is undefeated after 17 professional fights and has knocked out all his opponents.

    His last fight was in March against Argentinean boxer Billy Godoy, whom he dispatched in the fifth round of their bout inside the Ramatex complex.

    Andrade has fought 25 fights, with 16 of his flawless victories coming by way of knockout.

    His previous fight saw him record a unanimous points' victory over Alantez Fox in 2017.

    “I've been in the gym and I'm 100% ready to add Demetrius to my knockout record. I've earned my spot as the number-two challenger in the division. I fear no man. Demetrius is a great fighter, but I know that I can KO any 160-pounder in the world, and that includes him,” the 33-year-old Kautondokwa said.

    He feels that Andrade preparing for a completely different opponent will work in his favour, and that he will return from Boston with the world title belt.

    “He's been preparing for Billy Joe, who is a technical guy who doesn't have power.

    “I'm going to be a nightmare for him and I'm ready to become a major player in the middleweight division,” Kautondokwa said, according to Sporting News.

    Kautondokwa's promoter, Nestor Tobias, said it has been an incredibly worthwhile journey.

    “Being a promoter in Namibia is totally different than in the US or elsewhere,” he told Boxing Scene.

    “Boxing is an expensive sport and there are no sources of revenue for huge investment in Namibia; the promoter must pay for everything, and invest heavily to build boxers over a long period of time. I would like to thank our sponsor, MTC, for all the support and the loyal Namibian fans for keeping us going.”

    Tobias added they have a huge task ahead of them, and it was great to meet a legend like Freddie Roach, an American boxing trainer and former professional boxer.

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  • 10/18/18--15:00: Unleash the beast
  • Unleash the beastUnleash the beast'Hitman' says Ghanaian will face 'his worst nightmare' Paulus 'Hitman' Moses will be looking to shake off nine months of ring rust, when he clashes with a Ghanaian tomorrow. Paulus 'Hitman' Moses has vowed to display all his years of experience, when he comes up against Ghanaian pugilist Emmanuel Tagoe for the vacant WBO Africa lightweight title on Saturday.

    Moses arrived in Ghana on Monday and has been preparing to face a man who is regarded as one of his country's best boxers to date.

    The Namibian is, however, not taken aback by the Ghanaian's abilities, saying Tagoe is about to face “his worst nightmare”.

    “Tagoe has never fought a world-class fighter like me. He is undefeated but this will be his first defeat. However, he will have nothing to be ashamed of, for losing against a former world champion and a classy fighter,” Moses said.

    'Hitman' last fought on 16 February, when he lost to Raymundo Beltran in a WBO lightweight world title fight in the United States.

    He is now ready to redeem himself with the clash against Tagoe, who has an impressive record of 28 wins and one defeat in 29 professional career bouts.

    The Namibian has a wealth of experience, given that he has fought 45 times, while losing only four fights since he turned professional in 2002.

    Tagoe is currently ranked 10th in the world by boxrec.com, while Moses is rated 37th.

    “I have been preparing very hard for this fight and I feel like I am in the best shape I can possibly be.

    “I am not even nervous about this fight, given that I have fought so many fights before.

    “The only person who is nervous at the moment is my opponent, because he knows he is facing a beast,” Moses added.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Bolt rejects Malta football offerBolt rejects Malta football offer Sprint superstar Usain Bolt has turned down a contract from Maltese champions, Valletta, and will remain in Australia to pursue his dream of becoming a professional footballer, his agent said yesterday.

    The eight-time Olympic champion has been on trial with A-League club, Central Coast Mariners, since arriving Down Under in August.

    He scored two goals in a preseason friendly last Friday, but is yet to be offered a deal, with cashed-up Valletta dangling a two-year trial-free contract to entice him away earlier this week. But Bolt's agent Ricky Simms said he had opted against a move to the Maltese Premier League team, which is backed by a group of investors from the Sanban Group in the United Arab Emirates.

    “There is a lot of interest in Usain playing football,” he told ESPN.

    “We regularly receive similar approaches. I can confirm Usain does not wish to pursue this opportunity in Malta.”

    Valletta chief executive Ghasston Slimen told the broadcaster: “We wish Usain Bolt all the best with his football career. The Valletta FC offer is always on the table.”

    Australia's domestic A-League season starts this weekend, with the Mariners in action on Sunday away to Brisbane Roar. With no contract, Bolt is not eligible for selection.

    Club chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said this week the Jamaican “will continue his indefinite training period... until further notice”.

    Reports suggest the Mariners are waiting for Football Federation Australia to decide whether it will contribute to a potential US$2.1 million offer to the 100m world record holder.

    Sydney's Daily Telegraph reported yesterday that Bolt and Mielekamp sat down for a coffee in the wake of the Malta offer, for clarity on his future.

    It said the 32-year-old, who regards Australia as a second home, might consider accepting less money if it means locking in a contract.

    Coach Mike Mulvey was reluctant yesterday to talk about Bolt, saying he was not involved in the contract negotiations.

    “I'm really not interested in it (contract speculation), to tell you the truth,” he told reporters.

    “He's been great among the guys and I was very happy for him last week, with the two goals he scored, but we move on.”

    Mariners captain Matt Simon dismissed suggestions the chronicles of Bolt were distracting the squad ahead of their A-League opener.

    “He's been here for a couple of months now, so everywhere we go with Usain, everyone's talking about him,” Simon said.

    “We've just been down to business, concentrating on the season and putting into practice what we've been doing at training for the last 12 weeks.”

    Bolt, who retired from athletics last year, has previously tried out with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway, to no avail.



    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 10/18/18--15:00: NamRights ita popile olufuko
  • NamRights ita popile olufukoNamRights ita popile olufukoOlufuko otalu yi pondje uuthemba waanona Ehangano lyuuthemba womuntu moNamibia olya popi kutya oshituthi shopamuthigululwakalo shOlufuko shoka hashi ningwa, osha fa oshituthi shokuulika aanona yaakadhona, taya ulikila aalumentu aanashimaliwa. NamRights ota longekidha oku katuka oonkatu dhopaveta mokupataneka oshituthi shoka, opo kashi shi tsikile we nokuningwa, ta popi kutya omukalo ngoka ogu li eshundulo lyuuntu unene aanona.

    Ehangano olya popi kutya oshituthi shoka otashi yeke aanona yaakadhona ongushu yawo yuunona sho taya longekidhilwa okuninga aakiintu aakuluntu naashoka kashi li mondjila pamilandu dhuuntu dhopauyuni, oshowo pamlandu dhuuthemba womuntu.

    NamRights natango okwa tsikile kutya olufuko oshili e yo pondje lyuuthemba moNamibia, omolwa aanona mboka haya kala inaya zala oombindja taya ulikilwa oshigwana onga omukalo gwokulikola iimaliwa okuza moshigwana.

    Oya popi kutya Olufuko natango olu li oshimbuluma tashi ningwa medhina lyomidhigululwakalo.

    “Aanona mboka haya falwa komauliko hoka nokukala taya ulikwa inaya zala oombindja. Otashi yi pondje oveta nokushundula uuntu waakiintu.” Ndhoka odha popiwa kOmukomeho gwoNamRights, Phil ya Nangoloh. Ya Nangoloh okwa popi kutya Olufuko lwolyene ndoka lwa li halu ningwa nale, olwa li lya nuninwa okuyanda aanona yaakadhona ya hwikwepo ngele oya ningi omategelelo omanga inaya hokanwa. “NamRights ke li ompinge nOlufuko talu ningilwa aakiintu yoomvula dhi li pombanda 18 ngele otashi ningwa okuza kezimino lyawo, ihe otu li ompinge nOlufuko talu ningilwa aanona yoomvula dhi li kohi yo 18. Otu na omukumo kombinga yoshizemo sholugodhi ndoka. Oonakwiipoila otaya vulu okulongitha oohahende dhingi moshilongo nenge okuzilila pondje ihe itaya ka sindana,” Ya Nangoloh a popi.

    Ehangano olya pula ayehe mboka itaya popile oshituthi shoka opo ye ya wayimine molugodhi lyokukondjitha oshituthi shomauliko ngoka.

    Oonakufalwa kompangu ya tumbulwa kutya Outapi town council, Omusati regional council, Ombalantu traditional authority, Founding President Sam Nujoma, Sam Nujoma Foundation, Ominista yUuyuki oshowo Ominista yEgameno, Omupanguli-ndjai, ombudsman, oshowo omwaalu gwaakiintu yontumba.

    Mokati kaakiintu mboka omwa kwatelwa Omunyekadhi Monica Geingos, Ominista yUuthikepamwe Doreen Sioka, Omuprima Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Omupeha Omuprima Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Omupopi mEgumbo lyoPashigwana Loide Kasingo, Ominista yElongo Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, Amushanga-ndjai gwoSwapo Sophia Shaningwa, omunapolotika Dr Libertina Amathila oshowo Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana.

    Ya Nangoloh okwa popi kutya aakiintu mboka otaya yambidhidha olufuko meimweneneno. Onkalo sho yamwe itaya nyana oshituthi shoka otashi ulike kutya oya kwatwako papolotika na itaya vulu we okupopya yeli ompinge nomikalo dhoka tadhi yi pondje ongushu yaakiintu moshigwana.

    Sho a yamukula , Geingos okwa popi kutya ye ita pitika okanona ke kokakadhona nenge okanona kehe kokakadhona keli metonatelo lye opo ka kuthe ombinga mOlufuko, ihe natango okwiinekela mesimaneko lyomaitaalo gaantu yalwe mboka yiitaala momikalo ndhoka itadhi ehameke aantu yakwawo.

    Ongongahangano yoEvangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (Elcin) oya Ii ya indike aakwanegongalo yawo opo kaya kuthe ombinga moshituthi shoka.

    Otaya popi kutya Olufuko otalu hwahwameke evyo miihulo noondjokana mokati kaanona aashona.

    Nujoma, okwa popi kutya Olufuko olu li omukalo gwopamuthigululwakalo, nomithigululwakalo odha pumbwa okusimanekwa pwaahena uumbanda.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Omalimbililo kombinga yoshizemo shomakonaakono gokapale kaHosea KutakoOmalimbililo kombinga yoshizemo shomakonaakono gokapale kaHosea Kutako Aatseyinawa oya holola omaiyuvo kutya ngele okapale komatukodhila kaHosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) oka tulwa pandondo yopevi koInternational Civil Aviation Organisation ICAO, shoka otashi ka etitha ekanitho lyoompito dhiilonga unene moshikondo shomatalelepo.

    Omalimbililo gamwe oongoka kutya otashi ka guma noonkondo onklao yopaliko yaNamibia.

    ICAO kwa tegelelwa a ka ninge omakonaakono muNovemba noshizemo shomakonaakono ngoka oshi na ondjundo onene kokapale hoka. Omakonakono ngoka oga etitha ku pitithwe oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 95 sha nuninwa okuninga omawapaleko mokapale hoka. Omutseyinawa mwiikwaliko, Klaus Schade okwa popi kutya oshikondo shomatalelepo otashi ka dhengwa nodhimbo onene ngele okapale hoka oka kanitha ondondo yopauyuni. Ekanitho lyondondo yopauyuni kokapale hoka itali ka guma owala oshikondo shaataleleipo ihe iikondo ayihe noongeshefa adhihe ndhoka hadhi gandja omayakulo koshikondo shoka. ICAO okwa li tula ongushu yoHKIA pevi momvula yo 2014, nokweetitha ehangano lyoAir Namibia li nambelithe odhila yawo yo Airbus 330 ndjoka hayi longithwa momalweendo pokati kaVenduka naFrankfurt moGaborone, Botswana.

    Omahangano galwe gomatukodhila ngaashi Qatar, KLM oshowo Ethiopian Airlines oga tameke okulongitha okapale hoka, neshunitho pevi otali etitha omahangano ngoka ga ninguluke melongitho lyokapale hoka.

    “Nonando air Namibia ota vulu okuninga omalongekidho galwe noku longitha okapale kaGaborone hoka aafaalelwa taya kala taya kuthwa ko noodhila ndhoka ooshona, omahangano gamwe ope na ompito onene ga hulithepo omalweendo gaVenduka sigo okapale hoka ka tulwa ishewe pondondo yopauyuni.”

    Omutseyinawa ngoka okwa tsikile kutya shoka itashi gandja owala edhina ewinayi ihe otashi etitha woo ekanitho lyopaliko oshikondo shomatalelepo, naashoka osha nika oshiponga pethimbo ndika oshilongo shi li nale monkugo yina onkambe.

    Omutseyinawa momatukodhila, Linden Birns, ngoka e li Omukomeho gwoPlane Talking, okwa popi kutya eshunitho pevi lyondondo yokapale hoka otali kala li na oshilanduli oshiwinayi keliko lyoshilongo. Nonando Namibia okwa tumbula okutya okwa hala okukala elila enene lyomangeshefelo mUumbugantu waAfrika, moNational Development Plan ye onti ne, eshuno pevi lyondondo yokapale hoka otali ka ya moshipala ondjodhi ndjoka. Air Namibia ina holola uumbanda washa nenge omalimbililo sho a ningilwa omapulaapulo okupitila mOmupopiliko gwehangano ndyoka, Paul Nakawa. Nakawa okwa popi kutya oye na omukumo kutya onkalo otayi ka kala yi li muuwanawa molwaashoka andola oya tseyithilwa nale ngele oshizemo otashika kala eshunitho pevi lyondondo yokapale hoka na oye na omukumo kutya okapale hoka otaka pika otutsa ndjoka tayi ka ningwa.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Crimes against tourists remain a concernCrimes against tourists remain a concern Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta has expressed concern over recent violent attacks on tourists, saying crime has the potential to ruin Namibia's reputation as a preferred tourism destination.

    Shifeta said tourism is Namibia's economic safety net and therefore crimes against tourism should be regarded as serious economic crimes.

    “No one should be allowed to commit such crime with impunity.”

    Shifeta said his goal is to finalise a tourism sector safety and security strategy this year.

    According to him the safety of tourists is the primary concern of every host country, because tourists will only visit areas where their lives and property are protected.

    “The government, in particular the tourism ministry as custodian of the sector, values our visitors who make Namibia a destination of choice and come from across the world to see and experience our beautiful country and its people,” he says.

    Given the tremendous growth of tourism and equally the increase of safety and security concerns globally, every country is trying to gain a competitive advantage in order to attract tourists.

    According to Shifeta tourism is a significant sector that generates revenue that is injected into the country's developmental needs and keeps the economy afloat.

    “We are cognisant that the success or failure for Namibia to remain a tourism destination of choice depends on being able to provide a safe and secure environment for travellers.”

    He therefore welcomed the news that a suspect who committed a crime against a tourist was sentenced to one year's imprisonment in Walvis Bay last week and that three more suspects who robbed tourists of N$24 000 were found guilty on Monday and are awaiting sentencing.

    Shifeta said the ministry, together with other role players such as the police, was committed to ensure that no single act of crime against tourists would be condoned.

    “Impunity is unacceptable.”

    He further thanked the police, in particular the police in the Erongo Region, for their vigilance and hard work and commended them on the positive achievements in the drive to curb crime against tourists.

    He also thanked the tourism industry for its continued support in this quest.

    “It is difficult to ... achieve a successful conviction in any crime incident without information and assistance from the public. I would therefore also like to sincerely thank the public at large for embracing and making tourism their business.”

    Shifeta emphasised that a lot remained to be done, adding that curbing crime against tourists was a matter of priority to the ministry.

    He called upon all Namibians to ensure the safety of all visitors to Namibia.

    “The Namibian police alone will not succeed without public cooperation and the full support of all of us. Let us all safeguard our economy by reporting every suspicious act towards our tourists to our law-enforcement agencies.”

    He also called on the judiciary to use its discretion to impose heavy penalties on all perpetrators to deter others from committing similar crimes against tourists.

    Shifeta concluded by saying that Namibians should remain vigilant and rededicate themselves to protecting the country's industry and economy.

    “Until reduced to zero, crime and violence against tourists remain a challenge and probably one of the single biggest threats to the tourism industry.”

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Health faces multiple lawsuitsHealth faces multiple lawsuitsMore than dozen medical negligence cases Negligence cases are piling up in the local high court pertaining particularly to maternal healthcare. Lawsuits against the health ministry, alleging gross and often fatal medical negligence, continue to flood Namibian courts and a non-profit organisation that has stepped up to help hold the ministry accountable for the past decade says there are likely more cases that don't make it before a judge.

    Moreover, cases tackled by the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) over the past years have shown that the most vulnerable of Namibians, women and children, are most often the victims of medical negligence.

    The LAC currently has 13 cases pending before court, nine of which are vaccine related, says Corinna van Wyk, a lawyer at the LAC.

    Earlier this month, Namibian Sun reported that the Health Professions Councils of Namibia (HPCN) currently have 30 pending cases of unprofessional conduct, the majority of which are related to maternal healthcare.

    But cases of negligence are reported more often than lawyers can take on, Van Wyk says.

    “We have clients walking in daily with issues of medical negligence, but due to the costs involved to obtain medical opinions and due to issues such as prescription and lack of standing, we are not always able to take on each and every matter.”



    Protocol and care

    Although many cases on the LAC's books are related to vaccines, Van Wyk says there are many factors that contribute to babies' deaths and they may not be vaccine related at all.

    “It is not the LAC's intention to take these matters on because we are against vaccines. In fact, we advocate for the right to health, but this includes the pre-administration procedures that are required to be above average in order to ensure that the vaccines administered are safe for humans, especially for infants who generally have weaker immune systems than older children or adults.”

    The most pertinent issues revolve around what happens before immunisation.

    This includes storage and transport of vaccines, their expiry dates and what underlying health conditions infants or children present with.

    Other cases have involved mothers who lose infants during labour, and often involve uncaring or negligent attitudes by nurses, who have been accused of refusing to assist the women or to call doctors. “The reasons for medical negligence cases are endless, each case bearing its own merit of course. There are many scenarios to each case,” Van Wyk says.



    Be aware

    She emphasises that it is all about public awareness and knowledge.

    “I think the public requires much education to empower them to make informed decisions, which they often do not have at the time the vaccinations are due.”

    She referred to routine vaccination campaigns, where members of the public were immunised against measles and rubella although they had been vaccinated already.

    “The proper thing to have done was to inform the public better, but more specifically that every individual must be given proper information by the staff administering the vaccines and in a language sufficient to inform the patient before consenting to any service.”

    Track record

    The LAC's support in medical negligence cases dates back to 2008 and 2009, when it successfully sued the government for forceful sterilisation of HIV-positive women without their informed consent.

    “We could only deal with 15 at the time, although there were many more...” Van Wyk says.

    Although she adds that it is difficult to comment on the general attitudes of medical staff at state health facilities, it is common knowledge that there are serious concerns about shortages of facilities and medicines, as well as staff competence.

    “I see no reduction in cases of medical negligence in our state facilities,” Van Wyk says.

    In 2012, a presidential commission of inquiry was set up following alarming reports of negligence, often deadly, in the public health sector.

    The commission highlighted serious concerns about staff attitudes, particularly among nurses, who complained of being overworked and undertrained.

    Namibian Sun reported in March that the World Health Organisation recommends an ideal ratio of one health professional for every 435 people (1:435), the current ratio of medical officers to the population in Namibia is 1:4 234. The ratio of registered nurses in the public sector is 1:761.

    A health ministry spokesperson said the current challenges were compounded by dwindling financial resources.

    Although there may be health professionals who are ready to join the job market, a lack of money prevents the ministry from recruiting them.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 10/18/18--15:00: It's about them, and you
  • It's about them, and youIt's about them, and youStunning theatre production comes to the NTN A new play, Three Women and You, will take the audience right into their own hearts. Theatre lovers are in for a treat… tonight and tomorrow only, the National Theatre of Namibia brings you 'Three Women and You', directed by David Ndjavera and Dierdra Weston. The play is based on a book by Brenda Daniel and was adapted by Obed Emvula, who co-produces along with Brenda Daniels.

    The three women are played by Lizl Jankowski as Sam/Samaritan woman, Carol Semedo as Elizabeth and Abigail Goliath who plays Abigil.

    They are supported by a stellar cast.

    The show opens tonight at 20:00 and tomorrow, theatre lovers can see it at 19:00.

    You are about to journey into the lives of three women whose situation and circumstances were significant enough that they would be recorded in the canon scriptures. The Bible tells us that… “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that we may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work,” II Timothy 3:16-17. There are many examples of great women in the Bible, but I believe these three you are about to encounter will be used as a mirror, to help you gain insight and understanding during the unpleasant episodes in your own life. Three Women and You has a universal revelation that speaks to the life of every woman's past, present or future. You will discover through the lives of the three women that regardless of why we face hard places, why things happened the way they did last time, or why the thing you desire has yet to come to pass… we have a God who is able to help us and restore us. If you will dare to put your trust in Him, He will never disappoint you.

    The three women whose lives we will explore are Abigail, Elizabeth and the Samaritan woman. Although the journey into each individual life will be unique with very different circumstances, you will notice commonalities within the experiences of these women. You will see that the experiences of the three women parallel the experiences of women today. As you move through their stories keep in mind that these are women who are thousands of years removed from today's contemporary woman; yet women today will find they can identify with the challenges faced by the three women during given seasons of their own lives. Many times the devil will try to convince you that what you are going through is isolated or uncommon. More likely than not, at least five other women or your row at church are in the same place, fighting the same battle, only in different scenarios! The Bible teaches us there is nothing new under the sun, but our enemy is clever enough to manipulate circumstances to make them appear outstanding or unusual. In reality, the same tactics he used to gain entrance into the lives of women living thousands of years ago are the same one he employs to gain entrance into our lives today.

    For some, this story will bring revelation and insight to help you where you are in your process right now. For others, you will find clarity and understanding for what you have already come through so that you can be released from your past. Either way, you are in for a great blessing.

    In an effort to capture the lives of these three women from a more contemporary perspective, their stories are presented in the first person. This simply means that the interpretation of the Biblical account is dramatised through the imagination of their humanness.

    Three unique women, Elizabeth, the Samaritan woman, and Abigail… leading very different lives in very different times, and 'you', who will find yourself, or your story, within theirs.

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