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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Omamonitho giihuna okuza kopolisi taga londo pombanda - NamRightsOmamonitho giihuna okuza kopolisi taga londo pombanda - NamRights CATHERINE SASMAN



    Ehangano lyuuthemba womuntu moNamibia, NamRights, olya popi kutya omapopyo gomahepeko taga ningilwa aaakwashigwana kaanambelewa yopolisi otaga londo pombanda noonkondo.

    Omukomeho gwehangano ndyoka lyoNamRights, Phil ya Nangoloh, okwa popi kutya ehangano lyawo oli na omatompelo okwiitaala kutya aakwashigwana kaye li we megameno uuna ye li moondjeedhililo dhopolisi.



    NamRights okwa popi woo iikwatelela kiipotha ine mbyoka ya holoka iiwike iyali ya piti.



    Momasiku 12 gaKotomba, Zakonenua Ndiaombe okwa hulithile mendiki lyuunamiti moTsumeb omanga a li metonatelo lyopolisi.



    Ndiaombe okwa li atulwa pamwe miipandeko naafakelwa yalwe yatatu moshipotha shuukongo waaheli paveta, oshinano shookilometa dhontumba muumbugantu womweelo gwaShivelo.



    NamRights okwa popi kutya oonakutulwa miipandeko mboka oya tindilwa uunamiti nonando oya li yeehamekwa kopolisi pethimbo ya tulwa miipandeko.



    Ndiaombe okwa li a falwa koshipangelo momasiku 12 gomwedhi nguka, konima shoNamRights iidhopomo ihe okwa li kwa lata.



    NamRights natango okwa popi kutya okanona kokakadhona koomvula 15 hoka ke na uupyakadhi wopamadhilaadhilo, oka li ka kwatwa onkonga komunambelewa gwopolisi mondunda yokulala yomupolisi mosasiyona yopolisi pOshikango.

    Okakadhona hoka okali ka falwa kopolisi konima sho ka kwatwa onkonga kuhekulu.

    Omunambelewa gwopolisi ngoka ta fekelwa okwa tulwa miipandeko nokupangula. Okwa tindilwa omboloha konima sho a holoka mompangu.

    Moshipotha shimwe natango omukwashigwana gwaAngola omulumentu okwa dhengwa sigo omeso komunambelewa gwopolisi a tseyika nedhina 'Shorty' nenge 'Shaanika'.

    Omukwashigwana ngoka gwaAngola okwa li ta landitha omahooli shaaheli paveta poongamba dhiilongo mbika iyali. Omunambelewa gwopolisi okwa tulwa miipandeko na ota tamanekelwa oshipotha shedhipago na okwa tindilwa omboloha pethimbo a holoka komeho yompangu.





    Natango Ishmael Benyamen, okwa popiwa a kwatwa onkonga kelombwelo lyomupolisi omanga a li mondjeedhililo yaVenduka, sha landula etulo miipandeko lye sho a tindi okutulwa miipandeko omolwa etaaguluko lyompango yomoondjila.

    Oshiningwanima shoka osha ningwa momasiku 28 gaSepetemba notashi konaakonwa.

    Opolisi yaNamiba oya koleke iipotha mbyoka na oya popi kutya otayi konaakonwa noonakulonga iimbuluma mbyoka otaya ka taalela oshilanduli.





    Moshipotha shaNdiaombe, omupopiliko gwopolisi, Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi okwa popi kutya otaku ka ningwa omakonaakono goshiyetithi sheso opo ku monike kutya oshike sha etitha eso lye.



    Shikwambi okwa popi kutya omufekelwa moshipotha shekwatonkonga kokakadhona koomvula 17 na kashi shi 15 ngaashi sha lopotwa, okwa tulwa miipandeko na okwa holoka nale mompangu yaHangwena momasiku 12 gomedhi nguka, na okwa tindilwa omboloha. Otaka holoka natango mompangu momasiku 26 gaNovemba.



    Shikwambi okwa popi kutya opolisi oyi na ontseyo kombinga yoshipotha shekwatonkonga lya ningilwa mondjeedhililo yopolisi yaVenduka, na okwa patululwa oshipotha shomuyonena noshikondo shogender-based violence protection moKatutura.



    Okwa popi kutya otaku ningwa omakonaaakono.

    Omanga ta koleke nokuzimina iipotha mbyoka, Shikwambi okwa popi kutya aapolisi nayo aantu, na ohaya vulu okuninga omapuko gopauntu.

    Okwa gwedha po kutya aapolisi oyiitulamo mokukwathela oshigwana nokukalekapo ombinga nelandulathano, nomukomeho gwopolisi aluhe oha pula ku ningwe omakonaakono gomeni uuna aapolisi yiihumbata nayi.

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    Uumwene wiiputudhilo yimwe yepangelo inawuUumwene wiiputudhilo yimwe yepangelo inawu Ope na omalimbililo na inaku yelithwa natango kutya olye mwene gwehangano lyoStar Protection Services, ndyoka natango hali mono omayambidhidhi goshimaliwa okuza kuuministeli wiipambelele yoonakulwa aakulu. Omukanda kombinga yepangelo lyiiputudhilo yepangelo moNamibia ngoka gwa nyanyagithwa koInstitute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) ogwa holola kutya ehangano lyoStar Protection Services, ehangano emwayina lyoBricks Enterprises, oshowo omahangano gamwe ngaashi August 26 oshowo Windhoeker Maschinenfabrik oga landithwa po nooyene yomahangano ngoka ngashiingeyi kaye shiwike, nonando otashi ulike kutya omahangao ngoka oga yama natango kepangelo.

    Omahangano ngoka oge li momusholondondo gwoschedule 1 moveta yopublic Enterprises Governance Act of 2016, ihe kage li oshitopolwa shomulandu gwepangelo lyomahangano ngoka gwoNamibian public enterprises.

    Star Protection Services, ehangano egameni lyomaliko olya li nale opoloyeka yoDevelopment Brigade Corporation (DBC) ndjoka ya kuthwa ko kuuministei woonakulwa aakulu. Ehangano ndyoka olya totwa pomo 1989 kehangano lyaSwapo lyoKalahari Holdings, melongelokumwe nepangelo opo li vule okutota po oompito dhiilonga dhaakondjelimanguluko mboka inaya vula okumona iilonga mopolisi oshowo metanga lyegameno lyaNamibia.

    Oopota ndjoka yoIPPR oya holola kutya Uuministeli wIiputudhilo yEpangelo kawu na omakankameno molwaashoka ondokumende ndjoka ya holola kombinga yomulandu gwohybrid governance model oya popi kombinga yomahangano ge li 72 geli momusholondondo gwoSchedule 1, ihe mwaandjoka ompe omu na owala omahangano 67.

    Kombinga yomahangano ngaashi Star Protection Services, Namibia Bricks Enterprises, August 26 Holdings Company oshowo Windhoeker Maschinenfabrik, ondokumende ndjoka oya holola kutya omahangano gotango gaali oga landithwa poo manga lya hugunina tali kondololwa ketanga lyegameno.

    Palopota ndjoka ya pitithwa, onkalo ndjoka oyo yi li uupyakadhi molwaashoka uumwene womahangano ngoka inawu yelithwa ngele tashi ya kiiputudhilo yepangelo, molwaashoka iiputudhilo yepangelo ohayi kondololwa koshigwana na oya nuninwa okugandja omayakulo koshigwana na oya pumbwa okulonga yiikolelela komilandu dhepangelo, na itayi vulu okukala tayi longo onga omahangano gopaumwene.

    Ominista yIiputudhilo yEpangelo, Leon Jooste ina vula okuyelitha uumwene womahangano ngoka, ihe okwa popi kutya uuministeli owiipyakidhila nontotwaveta ompe ndjoka tayi ka kwatelwa mo iiputudhilo yepangelo.

    Okwa lombwele oNamibian Sun kutya ompangu ndjoka yi li miilonga ngashiingeyi oya hemba molwaashoka otayi pitika owala mu gwedhwe iiputudhilo momusholondondo ihe inayi pitika yi kuthwe mo.

    Ehangano lyoStar Protection Services ohali gandja omayakulo ge gameno lyomaliko, aakeleli yomaliko, egameno lyomathindikilo giimaliwa oshowo egamaneo lyaanenenetu.

    Pahapu dhomunambelewa omukuluntu gwehangano ndyoka, Veikko Peelenga, olya kuta miilonga aaniilonga yeli po 286 moshilongo ashihe.

    Peelenga okwa tindi okuholola polweela omauyelele yiiyemo nelongitho lyiimaliwa yehangano ndyoka guule woomvula ndatu dha piti, ihe okwa gwedha po kutya sha landula elundululo lyoDBC, Star Protection Services okwa tulwa kohi yekondololo lyuuministeli wiipambele yoonakulwa aakulu.

    “Ngame otandi vulu owala okuyambidhidha niinima yi na sha niilonga ihe uuyelele wulwe wa gwedhwa po, ningeni ekwatathano namushanga muuministeli woonakulwa aakulu,” Peelenga a popi.

    Omupopiliko guuministeli mboka, Edson Haufiku, ina vula okupopya oshindji kombinga yuumwene wehangano ndyoka, ta popi kutya oku na okutegelela amushanga omupe ngoka e li metalelepo lyiitopolwa moshilongo, opo a vule okuyamukula komapulo.

    Momvula yo 2015 uuministeli mboka okwa yambidhidha ehangano ndyoka lyuusekuriti opo Ii tunge oombelelwa oonene dhongushu yoomiliyona 19.8 mondoolopa yaNdangwa.

    Ehangano oli na iitayi moGrootfontein, Rundu, Katima Mulilo, Gobabis, Walvis Bay, Keetmanshoop, Okahandja, Mariental, Otjiwarongo, Ondangwa oshowo Oshakati.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 10/23/18--15:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Netflix adds to growing debt pile

    Netflix Inc announced on Monday it will tap debt markets for a second time this year, aiming to raise another US$2 billion as the streaming video pioneer invests heavily in production of original shows and content acquisition to fend off intensifying competition.

    The move, which the company said was aimed at funding a broad spread of activities including paying for new content, spurred falls in both the prices of its bonds and its shares as investors worried about the growing costs of its huge planned investments in years to come.

    Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings has been explicit about the Los Gatos, California-based company’s plan to fund content acquisition by raising debt. “We’ll continue to finance our capital needs in the high-yield market,” Hastings wrote in his second-quarter shareholder letter.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Verimark says majority shareholder intends to delist firm

    South Africa’s Verimark Holdings said on Monday its majority shareholder intended to acquire the remaining shares and delist the firm which sells direct response television products.

    The company said it had received notice from the Van Straaten Family Trust, which holds around 64% stake in Verimark, that it planned to acquire the minority interests.

    Verimark said on Monday its revenue for the six months ended 31 August 2018, fell 1% to 207.5 million rand on the back of lower consumer confidence due to the country’s recession and most retailers tightening up on stock holding.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Sony makes no concessions to EU regulators

    Sony Corp has not offered concessions to European Union antitrust regulators reviewing its US$2.3 billion offer for control of EMI to become the world’s largest music publisher, the European Commission website showed on Monday.

    EU antitrust regulators earlier this month asked rivals and users whether they think the Japanese group would use its greater market power to win better terms in digital media deals.

    The deadline for proposed concessions in the European Commission’s preliminary assessment of the deal was October 19. The EU executive’s website showed that Sony had not submitted any.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Glencore CEO to retire in 3 to 5 years

    Ivan Glasenberg, who built Glencore into a dominant force in commodities trading and became the face of the industry, told investors he plans to retire in three to five years, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Glasenberg discussed his succession plan in recent meetings and said he has started training three to four front runners as the next chief executive officer, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversations were private.

    Glasenberg, who turns 62 in January, anticipates retiring between the ages of 65 and 67, and believes the next leader should come from a younger generation, the people said. A spokesperson for Glencore declined to comment.

    The comments put a timeline on the chief executive’s exit for the first time and force investors to consider what had long seemed unthinkable: a Glencore without Glasenberg.

    The brash, workaholic South African started his career at Glencore more than three decades ago, and has held the top job since 2002. But Glasenberg’s age and the announcement earlier this year of a US investigation into Glencore’s dealings in the Democratic Republic of Congo have spurred questions on succession planning from investors and analysts.

    -Fin24

    Transnet's Gama slams dismissal

    Transnet is abusing its power by announcing his dismissal and he is considering legal steps against the entity, embattled CEO Siyabonga Gama told Fin24 on Monday evening.

    He further accused the entity of believing it was above the law.

    Speaking to Fin24 by phone on Monday evening – the day Transnet had reportedly said in a letter would be Gama's last in his position – Gama confirmed a letter had been sent to him directing him to report to work, collect his belongings and return Transnet property.

    However, Gama dismissed the letter as a "smokescreen", saying he had responded through his lawyers to say the letter and its directives were unlawful.

    "I did receive, late last night, a letter to that effect.

    "During the course of today I did inform Transnet that what they were saying was in fact unlawful and what they were asking me to do could not be done.

    "A court order on Friday indicated that parties should refer this to arbitration," Gama said.

    -Fin24

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  • 10/23/18--15:00: Desert flush with rain
  • Desert flush with rainDesert flush with rainNamibians rejoice as rivers flow The south of the country has received copious amounts of rain in the last two days with several parched areas, including traditionally dry rivers, in flood. Widespread rains across large parts of Namibia, including the Namib Desert and Sossusvlei, with reports of more than 100mm in some places on Monday, brought much-needed relief to those buckling under the heat of the past month.

    According to rainfall reports, Keerweder, north of Wolwedans in Hardap's NamibRand Nature Reserve, recorded 140mm on Monday, with other places such as Helmeringhausen receiving just over 100mm on the same day.

    Social media was awash with photos and videos showcasing the rainfall and river flooding, with particularly heavy thundershowers recorded in some parts of south-western Namibia.

    Footage shared on Namibia's most popular weather and rainfall site, Reën In Namibia, showed water coming down the Swakop River past Goanikontes and a flooding Khan River, in addition to water rushing through the mostly dry riverbeds of the Schlip and Tsondab rivers south of Solitaire.

    “What a rare sight to witness,” a tour guide familiar with the arid area commented.

    The Namib, including Sossusvlei and pans that have been dry for several rainy seasons, were shown awash with rainwater, especially in the south-western parts.

    Gondwana lodges in the south, in the areas around Klein-Aub, Klein-Aus Vista Lodge and the Namib Desert Lodge, also reported rainfall in the afternoon.

    According to Namibia Meteorological Service (NMS) chief forecaster, Odillo Kgobetsi, this weather will remain very active today over most parts of the country, except the Hardap and //Karas regions, where it is likely to begin clearing up.

    Heavy rainfall is also still expected over the Kunene, Erongo, Otjozondjupa and central areas today.

    Yesterday, the NMS issued an advisory warning of heavy “to very heavy thundershowers” expected over the north-western regions, Otjozondjupa, Khomas, Hardap and //Karas.

    Rainfall reports indicate that 46mm was recorded in Solitaire on Monday, 25mm in Karibib and around 30mm in Mariental, just 26mm less than the total recorded over the entire rainfall season last year.

    A farmer in the Erongo Region reported 75mm of rain on Monday on Farm Ombu near the Erongo Mountains.

    The NMS recorded rainfall in several places on Monday.

    In the northern areas, less than 1mm was recorded in Oshakati, Oshikango, Eenhana and elsewhere.

    In Windhoek, reports of 10mm and more than 20mm were recorded in places.

    Rehoboth recorded 31mm, while Hosea Kutako International Airport recorded 6mm.

    Gobabis received about 3mm, while Mariental recorded a minimum of 30mm and Keetmanshoop only received 3mm.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Nanso 'a shadow of its former self'Nanso 'a shadow of its former self' The Popular Democratic Movement Youth League (PDMYL) has decried the lack of leadership within the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso), and has urged it to clean up its act.

    PDMYL secretary-general, Bensen Katjirijova said the continued Nanso infighting has eroded the organisation, which had previously been the “go-to” body for students facing hurdles in their education.

    He described Nanso “as a shadow of its former self” and called on the “collective leadership of Nanso to shape up or ship out”.

    “The Nanso of today is used as a stepping stone into the Namibian political establishment by power-hungry student leaders, who go to great extents to push agendas on behalf of senior politicians in the ruling party, while compromising pertinent student issues,” Katjirijova said.

    He warned that viewed from the outside, Nanso is now divided into two separate factions, one led by the national executive committee (NEC) and the other by the organisation's Khomas regional executive committee (KREC).

    “The constant political and personal battles between the NEC and KREC has brought Nanso to its knees,” Katjirijova said.

    He further accused Nanso leaders of being “immature”, and said they use their positions to play “cat-and-mouse games”, while neglecting their core mandate, which is to genuinely represent students without any political interference.

    The lack of transparency around finances is another major concern, the PDMYL said. “Nanso receives a yearly budget from the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, but we are yet to see comprehensive financial audits of how and what the money is used for.”

    Katjirijova said Nanso leaders operate without accountability, and for this and other reasons, the PDM had initially blocked the Nanso budget vote in parliament, when it was tabled.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Pretorius trafficking trial kicks off todayPretorius trafficking trial kicks off today The trial of Martinus Pretorius, a South African national facing 19 human trafficking and rape offences committed in Namibia in 2012, is finally set to begin in the High Court in Windhoek today.

    The trial was scheduled to start before High Court Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula on Monday, but could not proceed because Pretorius had not yet consulted his new State-funded lawyer Advocate Zagrys Grobler in respect of the pleas he will enter before court.

    The case was then postponed to allow Grobler to consult his client in connection with the pleas.

    The lawyer was also directed by the court to file his client's plea statement before the Registrar of the High Court before the end of business yesterday.

    Prosecution representative Advocate Felistas Shikerete-Vendura did not raise objections to the postponement.

    The documents containing the prosecution's disclosure and a colour copy of the photo plan were already availed to Pretorius and his lawyer in order to properly prepare for their defence case.

    The 48-year-old Pretorius, a former South African police officer, also faces other charges emanating from the coercive circumstances in which the alleged rape and human trafficking offences took place.

    These include assault by threat, common assault and malicious damage to property.

    He allegedly raped three girls aged between 13 and 14 in Swakopmund in 2012, before fleeing the country in September of the same year for his native South Africa.

    Pretorius was arrested in South Africa in April 2016, after which the extradition process commenced and concluded in December 2017, when he was brought back to Namibia to face the charges. He was employed at Rössing Uranium Mine near Arandis when the alleged crimes took place.

    His co-accused, Namibian Johanna Lukas, who was accused of providing the minor girls to Pretorius on four occasions between April and May 2012, was sentenced to 13 years direct imprisonment on counts of human trafficking and rape.

    The judgment and sentence was handed down by High Court Judge President Petrus Damaseb in August 2015.

    Pretorius is alleged to have paid Lukas N$10 000.

    He remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility with no option to post bail until the start of the trial on Wednesday.

    NAMPA

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  • 10/23/18--15:00: Agribank disburses N$360m
  • Agribank disburses N$360mAgribank disburses N$360mNew loans for 2018 financial year grow In spite of a challenging environment and high levels of arrears, Agribank has managed to perform very well and also received a clean bill of health. Agribank advanced N$358 million in new loans during the financial year ended 31 March 2018, up 18% on the N$304 million in 2017. This was one of the many achievements highlighted by CEO Sakaria Nghikembua at the bank's AGM held on 26 September 2018. The bank also received a clean bill of health, receiving an unqualified audit from its external auditors for the year. This achievement followed an intensive clean-up by the bank, after a qualified audit in 2017 because of legacy issues related to collateral securities records. Agribank is one of the few public enterprises in Namibia which produces audited annual financial statements within six months of its financial year-end.

    At the occasion, Nghikembua informed stakeholders that the bank delivered on most of the promises made at the last AGM, despite a difficult operating environment. He said the bank grew its loan book by 6% year-on-year, from N$2.61 billion in 2017 to N$2.77 billion in 2018. Interest income on loan advances grew by a somewhat slower 4%, from N$167.5 million in 2017 to N$173.7 million in 2018. The slower growth in interest income, compared to the loan book growth, was as a result of the bulk of the disbursements for new loans occurring only in the last five months of the financial year. According to Nghikembua, the bank recorded a N$29.8-million overall surplus for the year. Whilst this remains a positive achievement, an increase in provisions for bad debts on loans advanced, reduced the surplus level compared to the N$99 million achieved in the prior year. This is because the level of arrears remains relatively high.

    He noted that the bank had made good progress in slowing down the rate of increase in operational expenses over the past three years, moving from an annual increase of 17% in FY 2015/16 to 11.3% in FY 2016/17 and 7.5% in FY 2017/18.

    According to Nghikembua, the biggest portion of the new loans went to farmland purchases, followed by large stock loans, consolidation of debt and seasonal production loans. Khomas received the highest allocation of loans at N$61 million, closely followed by Otjozondjupa (N$60 million), Hardap (N$40 million), Omaheke (N$39 million), with Oshikoto (N$31 million) completing the top five regions for collateral-backed loan disbursements. In contrast, the Zambezi Region received the highest disbursements for the newly introduced no-collateral loan product at N$6.5 million, followed by Omaheke (N$3.9 million), Kavango (N$2.7 million), Oshana (N$2.6 million) and Ohangwena (N$2.4 million) respectively. In total, N$26 million worth of no-collateral loans were disbursed during the financial year. The bank has experienced more impressive growth in this loan product subsequent to the financial year-end.

    Statistics revealed at the AGM further show that the youth (up to age 40) received 27% of the total new loan funding from Agribank, while 36% of the funding went to people within the age group 41 to 60. The balance went to either clients above the age of 60 years or to registered legal entities.

    “As a member of the Association of African Development and Finance Institutions, we rate ourselves in three core areas of governance guidelines, financial prudential standards and operational guidelines and I am pleased to announce that Agribank obtained an overall score of 78.4% in 2018, compared to 77.2% in 2017”, Nghikembua stated, adding, “this score is reviewed annually by our external auditor and has significantly improved from 64% in 2015/16 to current levels. The improvement means that the bank has been consistently enhancing its operational efficiencies, governance standards and financial management policies and practices.”

    Nghikembua was also upbeat because the bank continues to make a consistent developmental impact in up-skilling and building the capacity of farmers, noting that more than 5 000 farmers benefitted from the bank's advisory services during the year, through training, mentorship, lectures and farmer information days. “We need to assist more emerging farmers to gain skills and knowledge to improve their productivity, increase production, employ more people and contribute to economic expansion,” Nghikembua enthused.

    Meanwhile, he reiterated that the bank has to manage a tight liquidity situation because of the high level of arrears and declining treasury transfers, specifically over the past three years.

    The high cost of funding when raising capital in the market is another challenge that is likely to impact on the developmental mandate of the bank as its interest rates will require ongoing upward reviews. Nghikembua, however, expressed confidence that these challenges can be addressed through a prudent mix of funding sources to keep Agribank lending rates affordable and sustainable in the long-term.

    On his part, finance minister Calle Schlettwein commended the bank for its efforts to diversify its loan book, noting that the bank plays an important role in the land reform process. According to the minister, Agribank's role is to service the agricultural sector in order to realise its optimal potential to create jobs, improve productive capacity and create wealth.

    Whilst commending the introduction of the agro-processing loan product, Schlettwein also encouraged the bank to further develop financial products that will create value chains other than livestock and horticulture. He further pledged his support to the bank, as it strives to fulfil its mandate in the land reform process in the country.

    The Agribank AGM was attended by the shareholding minister, Agribank board members and management, as well as senior officials from the ministries of finance and public enterprises.



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 10/23/18--15:00: Earning your bonus
  • Earning your bonusEarning your bonusGoing beyond expectations Providing excellent customer service, fulfilling processes to the best of one's abilities and reaching and exceeding your sales targets all require the right tools and right management structures in place. JAN COETZEE



    The end of another year is rapidly approaching and all thoughts are on December and the festive season, which is the season of giving.

    This means bonuses and 13th cheques are on the way and some employers even give a 14th cheque, which certainly comes as a God-send, as Christmas, the endless school holiday and the year has been very expensive.

    The 13th cheque or any form of bonus paid out at the end of the year is basically a bonus for hard work, dedication, good performance and possibly going above and beyond your normal duties as an employee.

    It was conceived as a way of rewarding employees who had performed above and beyond what was expected of them and their job description. Whether it was exceeding their sales targets or performing their duties in a manner that went beyond expectations.

    This would be rewarded with a bonus of some kind. A 13th cheque, perhaps a Christmas hamper, or something to that extent. Times have now changed and everyone expects and receives a bonus.

    They almost demand it; it is part of the renumeration package in most ­organisations.



    Working for it

    However, if we examine it closely and honestly, does everyone really deserve a bonus? Has every ­employee really gone above and beyond their job description all year and provided 'excellent' customer-service or exceeded their expected annual sales-target by 20% or more? We in Namibia like to complain about service delivery, from the service we receive at restaurants, shops and from service providers to governmental institutions.

    Knowing that often when we ask for service we are met with eye-rolling and disdain, as well as being faced with enormous bureaucracy at every turn and slow-moving processes in most cases.

    Does this seem like the perfect environment to achieve high levels of service excellence, or maximising sales? Remember, we are talking about earning your bonus here, not simply fulfilling your job requirements.

    Providing excellent customer service, fulfilling processes to the best of one's abilities and reaching and exceeding your sales targets all require the right tools and right management structures in place.

    If Namibia and Namibians want to deliver and expect good service delivery, processes need to be in place. If the application process for a new driver's licence takes too long, people will perceive it as bad customer service. However, with the digitalisation of the process, perhaps even being able to apply through an application on your smartphone or from your computer, will provide a much better experience.



    Effort

    Namibia is focused on creating a knowledge-based society where technology, innovation, entrepreneurship at every socio-economic level becomes the norm.

    Being able to see and act upon potential opportunities and possibilities for change through innovation is the only path to success.

    This means that the business environment needs to change.

    It can only survive if Namibia can successfully compete and even flourish in the face of the range of emerging adverse and fluctuating business and economic conditions. By becoming truly ­service-orientated through streamlining processes, using proven technology and implementing best practises from around the world, but adapted to be relevant to our environment, will allow the Namibian employee to truly go above and beyond their remit and really earn that bonus.

    Namibia can engage and implement best practices and adapt them for our own needs and circumstances.

    We will engage and implement the best possibly solutions, hardware and people to continue to improve. Which will create a win-win scenario, if Namibia becomes a truly service orientated society and improves service delivery and production and people feel great because they know they truly earned their bonus.

    • Jan Coetzee is the MD of Headway Consulting

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    Katima in refuse collection bindKatima in refuse collection bind The Katima Mulilo town council will no longer be able to provide its residents with refuse removal services, owing to the re-advertisement of a tender.

    Acting town council CEO Lifasi Lilungwe said the delay in providing this essential service was caused by the lengthy process of appointing a contractor.

    “The Katima Mulilo town council would like to inform its residents that we are unable to provide efficient refuse collection within the town, due to the re-advertisement of the 'refuse removal' tender. This process is likely to take three to four months, considering the public procurement processes,” Lilungwe said in a statement.

    “Residents are however informed that in the meantime, some local entrepreneurs have volunteered to assist council in collecting refuse while the process is running.”

    Town council spokesperson Chrispin Muyoba confirmed to Namibian Sun that refuse removal services had been suspended. Local businesspeople, he said, had already started the process of voluntarily assisting the town council.

    “There are businesspeople that have started assisting council already. We might also hire trucks as an emergency measure. We have been asked to re-advertise the tender by the Central Procurement Board. The tender will be re-advertised,” Muyoba said.

    Katima Mulilo mayor, Georgina Mwiya-Simataa, had earlier in the year urged residents of the town to change their attitudes and put an end to littering.

    “Katima Mulilo is now rated as one of the dirtiest towns in Namibia, which is not a good thing for us. Therefore, we should change our attitudes of not caring about our environment, and keep it clean. If we insist on being so careless with our environment, we will chase away potential investors, as no one likes to invest in a dirty town. This also has a negative impact on our health,” she said.

    Mwiya-Simataa said the town council has also had several meetings with bar owners to properly manage the disposal of empty beer bottles because people throw empties everywhere, and that is not good for the image of the town.

    “We, as council, are trying our best to collect and dispose of the waste from the businesses around town every day, so we would like the business owners to keep the waste in secure places, until it is collected.”

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Procurement remains too secretiveProcurement remains too secretiveState tenders vulnerable to corruption A research report slams government agencies, particularly the finance ministry as regulator, for not making information about public tenders available on their websites as required by law. The integrity of Namibia's public procurement system is undercut by a widespread lack of transparency and accountability, leading to serious concerns that state tenders remain vulnerable to corruption.

    The third issue of the Procurement Tracker Namibia (PTN), an initiative of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), released yesterday, concluded that a survey of government websites found that “most government ministries do not appear to be making an effort to be transparent with contracting, as evidenced by what information is available through their websites,” a direct flouting of the public procurement law.

    According to Act, public entities must produce and publicly share annual procurement plans online, and the finance ministry's procurement policy unit is tasked to duplicate those plans on the ministry's website.

    The PTN cautions that while the law “is heavy in spirit on transparency and accountability, in practice it is increasingly clear that these principles are not yet valued in the emergency procurement system”.

    A survey found that 29 ministries invited bids on 245 procurement initiatives for the 2018/19 financial year online, in line with the law, and of those, the bulk, 165 tenders, belonged to the health and social services ministry.

    Moreover, for 11 out of the 29 ministries and offices surveyed, “there is simply no procurement information available on their websites or through other sources, such as the Market Namibia and Tender Bulletin,” IPPR research associate Frederico Links, who compiled the PTN, states in the report.

    He adds that while the education ministry “appears to have issued seven procurement calls for the financial year, none of these appear on their website”, and while at least three calls resulted in contracts being awarded, there is no information about when the call was announced, whether the contract was awarded, and what the bid value was.

    Even the finance ministry, as the custodian of the procurement system, does not have such information available on its website.

    “The ministry appears to have listed three procurement initiatives this financial year, but the information is not available on its website and was only traceable in Market Namibia and Tender Bulletin.”

    One of the main culprits is the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN), which has been “struggling to establish itself on the intent”, the PTN team found.

    Although a second website was launched, there has been no improvement in terms of information, the PTN notes. This is problematic, Links said, as the institution should lead by example and the fact that its own website contains incomplete information “is not conducive to engendering openness, and certainly does not meet the standards proposed by the procurement law in terms of transparency and accountability.” This trend, Links says, is widespread.



    Non-compliance

    The PTN notes that the lack of information matters because no one, including the public or potential contractors, is able to get an accurate idea of what's happening in the public procurement system and while ministerial websites should be the first port of call, they are often of no use. The issue of lack of information could be “symptomatic of a system which is significantly dysfunctional and indicates that government ministries and offices still have not adopted the principles of transparency and accountability in public procurement in how they manage internal processes.”

    The mishandling of procurement plans should raise “serious red flags”, Links states.

    He says this is “immensely worrying and an accountability threat to the entire procurement system, as well as substantially undermining the transparency principles of the Public Procurement Act”.

    A part of the problem, the researchers note, is the lack of regulations stipulating timeframes in which procurement plans have to be submitted to the procurement policy unit in the finance ministry.

    Overall, the lack of oversight and stricter regulations leads to a situation “where nobody can truly be held accountable for not producing or submitting such plans”.

    Nevertheless, the stated aim of the Act, which is “ostensibly to establish and enhance good governance and integrity in public procurement in order to ensure effective and efficient management of government resources and assets,” is undermined by those continually ignoring the law, with little fear of being held accountable.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    GIPF beneficiaries wait in abject povertyGIPF beneficiaries wait in abject poverty An Omusati family from Ombwata village in Okahao are living in abject poverty, despite being entitled to a Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) death benefit that dates back to 2006.

    Selma Nekulilo Shoombe (48), who lives with her five children and grandchildren, said they were only made of the GIPF benefit last year.

    She also shared her ordeal with Namibian Sun, which has unfolded since her husband, Uushona Isak Shigwedha, passed away 12 years ago.

    Shoombe said they had been married “traditionally” and when her husband passed away, his family inherited all of his possessions, including beds, pots and other household items, leaving her with nothing but the children.

    A teary Shoombe said she has had to eke out a living for her and the kids.

    She said four of her children left school because she could not afford to buy them school uniforms and educational materials, as well as feed them on a daily basis. She says her late husband's family “do not care”.

    Shoombe said she was made aware last year that her late husband had stipulated that his five children should benefit from his GIPF death benefit. In February she went to GIPF and put in a claim for the money. She was then asked to provide the necessary documents.

    Shoombe, however, feels the process is taking too long and that it is unfair for the family to endure extreme poverty, when her late husband had made provision for his kids.

    She said she needs the funds urgently and also questioned why GIPF had never contacted her about the money for over a decade.

    “What we are going through is terrible. Seeing your children leaving school because of the situation is really bad. We went through a lot and our lives could have turned out differently, if we had the means to survive,” Shoombe said.

    “I have been going to GIPF's offices and they requested documents, which I have provided to them. However, I still have not received a solid answer as to when we will receive the money.” When contacted for comment, GIPF spokesperson Robyn Nakaambo confirmed that Shoombe had visited their offices and she and her children were indeed her late husband's beneficiaries. “It is indeed regrettable to hear that a family had to go through so many years without an income, due to unclaimed benefits,” Nakaambo said.

    When asked why the family had not received their benefits since 2006, Nakaambo said the family only visited the GIPF office earlier this year.

    “The above-queried death-before-retirement claim of the late Mr Uushona Isak Shigwedha was received for the first time at our office in Oshakati on the 21 February, and after scrutiny it was discovered that some documents were outstanding on the claim and were than requested,” Nakaambo said.

    When asked when the family is likely to receive the money, Nakaambo said a claim is only paid out 12 months after all the documents are submitted.

    “As per the Pension Funds Act 24 of 1956, the turnaround time for a death claim is a 12-month waiting period, if everything is submitted. Kindly note that the time allocated to this period is to ensure GIPF does due diligence in paying out the benefits to the beneficiaries and to ensure that all beneficiaries receive what is due to them,” she said.

    Nakaambo said the family's claim will be tabled at the next benefits and administration (BAC) meeting and will be paid out shortly after approval. She also used the opportunity to call on families who have lost loved ones to come forward and claim the benefits due to them.

    “With GIPF's efforts to engage our members through our member education roadshows and radio campaigns, we would like to appeal to all families who have lost loved ones, and that have not claimed benefits due to them, to come forward and ensure that their documentation is in order, to ensure the timely payment of benefits.”

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 10/23/18--15:00: Africa news in briefs
  • Africa news in briefsAfrica news in briefs Author of critical book on Egypt's economy arrested

    Egyptian police on Sunday arrested the author of a book about Egypt’s economy on charges of publishing false news, security sources and the author’s wife said.

    Abdul Khalik Farouk’s detention came days after local media reported that draft copies of his book, “Is Egypt Really a Poor Country?”, which includes criticism of the government’s economic policies, were seized by authorities from a publisher.

    A spokesman for Egypt’s interior ministry could not immediately be reached for comment. Two security sources said Farouk was arrested on orders of the public prosecutor. The public prosecutor’s office and the book’s publisher could not immediately be reached for comment late on Sunday.

    Farouk’s wife told Reuters that three policemen who took him from their home in a Cairo suburb told her they were detaining him in connection with the book.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    South Africa's latest finance minister walks budget tightrope

    South Africa’s new finance minister will target spending on agriculture, infrastructure and job creation projects in his inaugural budget speech on Wednesday in a bid to haul the economy out of a recession.

    With the government facing a ballooning debt, stubbornly high unemployment, struggling state companies, and dwindling coffers, Tito Mboweni, a former central banker only two weeks in the top finance job, will have to walk a tightrope to breath new life into Africa’s most industrialised economy.

    Mboweni’s budget speech comes as President Cyril Ramaphosa tries to woo investors after years of weak economic growth and analysts are also watching to see if the budget will include concessions to attract investors.

    Agriculture will be a key focus for the government, BNP Paribas South Africa senior economist Jeff Schultz said.

    “Agriculture economy in South Africa has shrunk quite significantly over the last decade or so and there is a big push to try and improve that side of the economy because it is employment enhancing,” Schultz said.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Ivory Coast rubber output to reach 2 mln T

    Ivory Coast’s natural rubber output will reach 2 million tonnes by 2023, the minister of agriculture said on Monday, a more than three-fold rise in production as plantations spread to new parts of the country.

    Ivory Coast is Africa’s top natural rubber exporter and the seventh largest producer in the world. New plantations have proliferated as farmers switch from cocoa to rubber in search of more stable incomes.

    “This trend will allow us to consolidate our position in Africa and in the world,” agriculture minister Mamadou Sagafowa Coulibaly said during an international rubber conference in the commercial capital Abidjan.

    The country’s natural rubber association (APROMAC) increased it 2020 forecast to 750 000 tonnes in January after the previous 600 000 tonne target was met in 2017.

    APROMAC President Eugene Kremien said on Monday about 165,000 farmers were planting rubber on around 600 000 hectares of land and that turnover for the sector was 495 billion CFA francs (US$880 million) in 2017.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Morocco inflation drops

    Morocco’s annual consumer price inflation dropped to 1.1% in September from 1.7% in August as food price rises slowed from last year, the High Planning Commission said on Monday.

    Annual food inflation dropped to 0.6% in September, down from 1.1% in August, while non-food inflation increased to 2.1% from 1.9%.

    Inflation of goods and miscellaneous services eased to 6.3% in September from 6.5% in the previous month. Communication costs remained flat at 0.3%.

    On a month-on-month basis, the consumer price index rose to 0.3% in September from 0.1% in August as food price inflation increased to 0.5% from 0.2%.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Young businessman a vital cog in Namibia’s logistics machineYoung businessman a vital cog in Namibia’s logistics machineLoading and unloading With Namibia’s role as a logistics hub in the southern Africa region becoming more apparent, business and job opportunities increased exponentially in Namibia’s harbours and transport sector. Our approach in working with SMEs goes beyond new products, services and processes- Nelson Simasiku, Head of SME Business, Nedbank Namibia Andreas Armas of Andreas Armas Stevedoring CC and Misty Bay CC says he runs successful businesses in this tough sector.

    “I started my stevedoring company in 2004, a year after I resigned from Cadilu Fishing. Since I had experience in the fishing industry and there were opportunities at fishing factories I decided to open my company to create job opportunities for the young people in Namibia to meet the government halfway,” says Armas.

    Stevedoring is the act or practice of loading or unloading a ship's cargo.

    Armas, who hails from Omalala in the Oshana Region, employs 185 people, 80% of who are formerly disadvantaged youth.

    “Job creation is very important and is the main objective for my company,” says Armas.

    I gained experience working at Cadilu Fishing as a shore foreman for 15 years.

    Armas, who describes himself as results-driven says, “I am experienced in leading and growing all sectors of a business to make it a dynamic and progressive organisation.

    Namibia wants to become a leader in logistics and distribution in southern Africa and has identified logistics as an economic priority.

    The country has started to establish itself as the logistics hub for the southern Africa region with the expansion of the Walvis Bay harbour and investment in upgrading and growing road infrastructure all over the country. In addition, as a hub, Namibia will also gain appeal from global investors.

    The geographical location, superior transport and communications networks and growing port infrastructure give Namibia an advantage over competitors.

    Businesspeople like Walvis Bay-based Armas, who also transports cargo, are important cogs in this machine.

    However, it’s not all plain sailing. Especially if you start from scratch.

    “At the start capital was a major issue.

    “We are still facing some challenges. The market is full and a lot of competitors are penetrating the market. The resources are scarce and you might not always have enough funds to extend the business by adding new equipment,” says Armas.

    He says he relied on his “excellent communication skills” to establish sustainable and profitable relationships with customers, suppliers, local partners such as Nedbank and even stakeholders across the world.

    “Organising and planning is second nature to me and I take great pride in the detail of tasks,” says Armas who recently started learning new languages.

    “I won clients by delivering on time. This helped me to gain more funds, which I ploughed back into the business,” says Armas.

    The businessman, who enjoys playing golf, sponsors an annual tournament at Ondangwa.

    He relishes the interaction with the youth.

    Armas encourages young Namibians to participate in business activities and to take it seriously.

    He says they shouldn’t only aim to enrich themselves but they must try and create job opportunities to reduce the country’s unemployment rate and to help eradicate poverty.

    Having worked with Nedbank Namibia for 25 years Armas only has plaudits for the bank.

    Nelson Simasiku, the head of SME Business at Nedbank Namibia says SME’s are a prime engine for economic growth and employment creation.

    “Our approach in working with SMEs goes beyond new products, services and processes. Our SME approach streamlines a future looking growth strategy which includes mentorship, seminars and financial planning solutions to add value to business owners who are pushing to remain relevant in the market.” Says Simasiku.

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  • 10/23/18--15:00: City intrigue a big yawn
  • City intrigue a big yawnCity intrigue a big yawn The City of Windhoek, which has not exactly covered itself in glory when it comes to handling its finances and delivering services to residents, including the poorest of the poor, is now a theatre stage for a political drama of epic proportions.

    Urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga has now moved centre-stage, giving the green light for the suspension of City CEO Robert Kahimise, over a study loan of all things.

    The council had written to Mushelenga seeking his approval for Kahimise's suspension.

    The intrigue in the corridors of power has escalated over months, with those close to the matter alleging a tribal war being played out, which is somehow linked to the suspension of City Police chief Abraham Kanime.

    This is the same municipality that has been making the news for all the wrong reasons over the years.

    With about 2 300 employees and an annual budget of about N$6 billion, the City announced as recently as January it will soon run out of funds to finance basic daily operations, if current financial trends continue.

    At the end of December 2017, the City was owed around N$634 million by both private and business residents.

    This is the same City which has chosen to dish out land to property developers, amid allegations of political manoeuvring, at the expense of making partially serviced land available to residents, so they can build their homes incrementally, at a much cheaper cost.

    It was reported last month that the City plans to construct 1 200 low-cost houses from next year for low-income-earners at an estimated cost of N$148 million.

    However, the current housing backlog for low-cost or affordable housing in Windhoek stands at 55 000, according to the affordable housing plan.

    It goes without saying that palace intrigue and petty politics will not help Windhoek residents a single iota.

    What is required from the City is competency and the political will to tackle the massive service delivery challenges that have been allowed to mushroom into mountains over the years.

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  • 10/23/18--15:00: Progress on revenue agency
  • Progress on revenue agencyProgress on revenue agencyOperational by next March The finance ministry is confident that the new tax-collection agency will be up and running by the beginning of the next financial year. The ministry of finance is positive that the new Namibia Revenue Agency (Namra) will become operational at the beginning of the next fiscal year. The revenue agency will be a semi-autonomous tax-collection agency.

    “There is a good progress towards the establishment of the Namibia Revenue Agency. As you may be aware, advertisements for expression of interest for board members and the position of commissioner for Namra were published in the local and international media,” tax commissioner Justus Mwafonge told Namibian Sun in an interview recently.

    According to him, the Namra task team is continuing with its activities according to the schedule. “Both Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise officials across the country are continuously being updated on the progress,” Mwafonge said.

    When finance minister Calle Schlettwein tabled the Namibia Revenue Agency Bill in the National Assembly, he said the revenue agency was expected to be operational by March 2019.

    Meanwhile, the ministry of finance has conducted a skills audit to identify what the agency's personnel needs will be.

    “This memorandum is to kindly inform you that the ministry will now commence with the skills audit for the Inland Revenue Department and Customs and Excise staff in line with the Namibia Revenue Agency reform programme,” permanent secretary Ericah Shafudah informed ministerial staff recently.

    The audit started on 24 September and ends today. All Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise staff had to complete an electronic questionnaire.

    Schlettwein previously said that 730 officials from the Inland Revenue Department and 650 from the Directorate of Customs and Excise would have to reapply for their jobs once the agency is established.

    He said existing staff would be given the first opportunity to apply for jobs at the agency.

    Those who fail to get jobs at the agency will be transferred to other workstations within the public service.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Supreme Court upholds SME Bank liquidationSupreme Court upholds SME Bank liquidation The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed an appeal by Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe and World Eagle Properties against a High Court order for the final liquidation of the SME Bank and struck the matter from the roll.

    The two entities, which are minority shareholders in the SME Bank holding 30% and 5% respectively, argued that the bank was to serve SMEs, which are underserved by the existing commercial banking sector, and to uplift previously marginalised and disadvantaged communities.

    They further argued that the Bank of Namibia's winding-up High Court application should have been a last resort and that the BoN was obliged to exhaust less far-reaching remedies first.

    The Supreme Court judges, however, said that the final liquidation order was in fact preceded by a number of steps by the BoN spanning several months, and that MetBank and Eagle Properties at each step had failed to provide satisfactory responses, which eventually led to the BoN's winding-up application. Judges Sylvester Mainga, Dave Smuts and Elton Hoff held that the Banking Institutions Act vests extensive supervisory and regulatory powers in the BoN, including a wide range of powers directed at remedial action, as well as to apply for the winding-up of any banking institution. They further held that the BoN has a statutory duty to perform its supervisory functions and exercise its wide-ranging powers in respect of banks, and that the High Court was correct to find that the SME Bank was insolvent.





    Background

    The High Court on 29 November 2017 ordered the final liquidation of the SME Bank on an application brought by the BoN.

    High Court Judge Hannelie Prinsloo found that the SME Bank was commercially and factually insolvent and unable to honour its commitments to its investors and creditors.

    Prinsloo also found that the opposition to the application on constitutional grounds was unfounded and dismissed the opposition.

    During August 2016 the SME Bank's external auditors had concerns about investments of N$196 million by the SME Bank with Mamepe Capital, the South African company of Mauwane Kotane.

    This concern was raised with the BoN's banking supervision department, which then sought and obtained documentation from the SME Bank relating to these investments.

    The Supreme Court stated that indications were initially that these investments were placed by Mamepe with VBS Mutual Bank.

    Moreover, it said, the investment not only exceeded the approval limit of the SME Bank's CEO Tawanda Mumvuma, but the explanations by the SME Bank's management of the further placement to VBS Mutual were also unsatisfactory. Further investigations revealed liquidity challenges and a targeted inspection from September 2016 to December 2016 found no confirmation of the investments made with Mamepe and VBS. The BoN calculated that the investments were lost and the SME Bank was insolvent, or likely to become insolvent on the strength of capital adequacy returns filed by the SME Bank.

    The central bank assumed control of the SME Bank from 1 March 2017 and continued with its enquiries concerning the investments, which showed that earlier information provided by the SME Bank management had been “contradictory and questionable”.

    The investigation found that only N$32.7 million had been invested with Mamepe and N$167 million had been paid into accounts of other beneficiaries and not placed with VBS.

    Despite demand for payment after the maturation dates of investments exceeding N$88 million, no amounts were returned by Mamepe until the provisional winding-up application was lodged in July 2017.

    Before the BoN applied for the winding-up of the SME Bank, it had asked the latter's shareholders to acquire more capital to restore its liquidity.

    The Namibian government, the majority shareholder (65%), declined to recapitalise the SME Bank.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 10/23/18--15:00: Utoni fights back
  • Utoni fights backUtoni fights backBut experts fear Russian deal creates dangerous precedent Government acting as conduit to facilitate a 99-year land lease deal for a Russian billionaire has effectively opened up the floodgates for other rich foreigners to enjoy the same benefits, a constitutional expert has warned. Land reform minister Utoni Nujoma has defended a 99-year land leasing deal to a Russian billionaire, saying everything was done in a transparent manner and that cabinet, treasury and the attorney-general's office had been informed and engaged.

    Nujoma also said as line minister he has the power to give consent to any person to lease land, including commercial properties.

    He also claimed the farms in question were not suitable for resettlement and that government had explicitly rejected their sale to a foreigner.

    He also revealed during a media conference yesterday that Comsar Properties SA - a company owned by Russian billionaire Rashid Sardarov – had first approached government in November 2017 seeking consent to buy the four farms in the Dordabis area where he already owns a 28 000-hectare property on which the state-of-the-art Marula Game Lodge is built.

    Nujoma said Comsar had proposed to invest billions in the hospitality sector and also wanted to donate N$25 million towards sports development, the purchasing of two resettlement farms and the renovation of two rural schools.

    Government rejected the initial proposal, Nujoma said yesterday.

    At the end of the day it was decided Comsar could donate the money to government to purchase the four farms in exchange for a 99-year leasing deal.

    Nujoma had personally signed the transfer deeds and the farms are now registered as government property.

    According to documents already in the media, Sardarov paid

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

    Farms 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 fire

    Several questions have been raised around the Comsar cash donation, used to purchase the four farms.

    Among these questions is whether, after government bought the four farms, they should have been handled in terms of the country's resettlement policy, which is supposed to benefit poor and landless Namibians.

    Another question is why Nujoma used his executive power to give the Russian a lease that exceeds the prescribed period of ten years for foreigners by a whopping 89 years.



    At risk of litigation

    According to constitutional law expert, Professor Nico Horn, the deal will not only cast a shadow over the integrity of the Swapo-led government, but has the potential to open Namibia up to litigation from foreigners interested in owning land in Namibia.

    Horn also said a 99-year lease “can very much be regarded as a sale of land”, as it will benefit three to four generations.

    “I think the repercussions for the government are huge and for many of us who considered the land conference as a positive happening in Namibian history, it is sad to see that the whole bona fides of government are going to be questioned because of this deal that went through. And even if the Russian is going to invest in the country, it is so contrary to the spirit of the land conference,” Horn said

    He also believes white Namibian farmers may also demand the same treatment as was bestowed on the Russian.

    Horn also said the constitution protects property rights and the leased land cannot be taken away from the Russian for now.





    “We still have the rule of law in this country and we cannot take away land from somebody who has gone through all the legal processes and attained the land.”

    Horn added it would be best to wait until the recommendations of the country's second land conference become law.

    The leasing document, crafted by Sardarov's lawyer Sisa Namandje, who is also President Hage Geingob's private attorney, makes a bold case for why government should lease the Russian the land, with tenure equal to what Namibians enjoy under the resettlement policy.

    “The minister, in view of the developmental and economic benefit that will arise from the investment to be made by the lessee [Sardarov], has proposed that the four farms should rather be acquired by the government at the full cost and account of the lessee (including both the purchase price and compensation demanded by the farm owners), and the latter to lease the four farms on a 99-year lease in accordance with this agreement,” Namandje's document states.

    But this argument around economic benefit essentially creates a precedent which would force government's hand if it receives similar proposals from rich foreigners in future.

    The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) said last week it is busy preparing a court application to have the Sardarov transaction declared null and void.

    PDM parliamentarian Nico Smit said this week they have been advised by three different top lawyers that their case is solid.

    “Our legal representative advised that the said agreement between Comsar SA and the minister constitutes a scheme designed to circumvent and avoid the peremptory provisions of the Act. Such a scheme is unlawful and liable to be set aside,” said Smit.



    It's illegal – Tjombe

    Local human rights lawyer Norman Tjombe concurs with the PDM that the land deal was illegal.

    “The arrangement of the complex purchase (of land) by a foreign national or entity, and donated to the state, only to be leased back to the foreign entity or national, is illegal and a circumvention of the laws of the land,” said Tjombe.

    Former Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary Elijah Ngurare said it is very difficult for this deal to be defended, and that a lot of grey areas exist which government must fill in.

    Ngurare urged government to come out and explain the terms and conditions of the deal to Namibians.

    “To defend the 99-year lease agreement is to be willingly in the same WhatsApp group as those who argued that colonialism and apartheid were legally correct.

    “Russia will never accept a businessman from Okalongo or Katjinakatji leasing land for 99 years in Russia.

    “China will never allow a Japanese billionaire to lease land for 99 years in China; it won't happen.

    “Sustainable development is never a principle that plans for the well-being of children of Russians, at the expense of future children of Namibians. The lease agreement, forged or unforged, remains wrong and unpatriotic,” Ngurare said.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    BoN leaves repo rate unchangedBoN leaves repo rate unchanged The Bank of Namibia (BoN) decided to keep its repo rate unchanged at 6.75%.
    This means the prime lending rate of commercial banks will remain 10.5%.
    The BoN said its decision was taken to maintain the one-to-one link between the Namibia dollar and the South Africa rand and to support economic growth.

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  • 10/24/18--04:32: Chopper crashes at Eros
  • Chopper crashes at ErosChopper crashes at Eros The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) has confirmed that a private helicopter crashed at about 10:00 this morning at Eros Airport. According to the NAC, the helicopter took off from the airport’s northern hangar and it appears it did not gather sufficient power. As a result it landed in a riverbed near the hangar.
    No injuries were reported and the Directorate of Aircraft Accident Investigation is currently investigating the incident.

    ELLANIE SMIT



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     Local firms allowed to tender for airport road Local firms allowed to tender for airport road Local companies will now be allowed to submit tenders for the construction of the second phase of the new airport road
    Work on the first phase of the project has already started.
    Namibian companies will also be allowed to submit bids for the Walvis Bay-Kranzberg railway line upgrade project.
    Local companies were previously unable to bid owing to stringent tender requirements on the part of African Development Bank (AfDB), the financier of the project.
    Finance minister Calle Schlettwein announced this afternoon during the delivery of his mid-term budget statement in the National Assembly.
    “The engagements with AfDB have also been completed to achieve optimal local participation and sourcing of goods and services. This intervention will inject about N$2 billion annually over the next two years, to be scaled-up by a further N$4 billion from domestic co-funding,” Schlettwein said.
    The finance minister had travelled to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, where the bank’s head office is situated to lobby for the inclusion of local contractors.
    The AfDB initially required companies to have an average turnover of N$631 million, which effectively excluded local firms.
    Companies were also required to have a monthly cash flow of N$53 million.

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