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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Budget cuts almost halt testsBudget cuts almost halt testsN$55 000 for agri ministry to ensure export tests continue A cash donation to the agriculture ministry has allowed the continuation of tests for live animal exports. An amount of N$55 000 was availed to the agriculture ministry to ensure that it can carry out necessary tests for livestock and meat exports.

    According to the Meat Board, a circular from the Central Veterinary Laboratory has indicated that due the ministry’s cost-cutting measures, the laboratory is no longer in a position to carry these necessary tests for livestock and meat exports.

    An immediate amount of N$55 000 was availed for the support to continue Brucella tests for goat exports to South Africa.

    The Meat Board resumed discussions with industry organisations to find an urgent long-term solution for the financing of critical services of the directorate.

    In other news, the Meat Board has ordered ear tags for small stock at 60% cheaper.

    The Meat Board has also received recognition in a report from the College of Veterinary Medicine of the Cornell University's Animal and Human Health for the Environment and Development programme in the United States for its research work to find methods to safely export beef from foot-and-mouth disease endemic areas.

    The Meat Board, with financing from the United States Millennium Challenge Account, spearheaded the project in 2015. This project and the recommendations that followed concluded that the risk of FMD can be eliminated by different methods along the value chain. In 2017, the International Animal Health Organisation (OIE) also made amendments to international animal health standards to allow the export of beef from areas not free from foot-and-mouth disease as a result of this research.

    According to the Meat Board the review of the specifications of small stock ear tags required for the identification of small stock for exports to South Africa by the Directorate of Veterinary Services and enabled the Meat Board to obtain official ear tags at 60% cheaper than the existing ear tags. The ear tags will comprise a single set of ear tags with a barcode, where the current ear tag consists of a double set of ear tags with an electronic component. The new ear tags will be available at N$3.65 for use in the small-stock industry as soon as the current stock is sold out.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Ethiopian Airlines steps up hunt for African connectionsEthiopian Airlines steps up hunt for African connectionsCreating hubs in Chad, Malawi and Togo Ethiopia has been snapping up stakes in small carriers around the continent to pre-empt potential rivals and become the dominant pan-African airline. The task of African integration is not easy. - Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO: Ethiopian Airlines Omar Mohammed and Maggie Fick - Ethiopian Airlines is accelerating its strategy of weaving a patchwork of new African routes to soak up traffic on the continent and fly customers towards its more lucrative flights to rapidly expanding Asian markets.

    With a long-delayed African "open skies" revolution still mired in red tape, Ethiopia has been snapping up stakes in small carriers around the continent to pre-empt potential rivals and become the dominant pan-African airline.

    The carrier is in talks with Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Republic and Djibouti about either launching airlines or securing landing spots, CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told Reuters.

    He also said in May the airline was looking to set up carriers in Equatorial Guinea and Guinea through joint ventures.

    "The task of African integration is not easy," Tewolde said in an interview. "The context is the need for air transport. There is huge demand. We are responding to it."

    Ethiopian's push comes as Middle Eastern rivals who expanded heavily in Africa are feeling some pain from overcapacity, while African carriers such as South African Airways and Kenya Airways are on the back foot after losing money for years.

    Strategy

    The success or failure of Ethiopian's plan is being watched by long-haul competitors such as Turkish Airlines and suppliers led by Boeing and, more recently, Airbus.

    Ethiopian's fortunes are also important for prime minister Abiy Ahmed's government, which has said it plans to sell a minority stake in the airline to domestic and foreign investors as part of broad economic reform pledges.

    Ethiopian unveiled its 15-year expansion strategy in 2010, and started small. First it helped launch ASKY Airlines in the West African country of Togo and then acquired a 49% stake in Malawi's flag carrier in Southern Africa in 2013.

    Since May, Ethiopian has announced plans to launch an airline in Mozambique, relaunched Zambia's flag carrier, established a new airline in Chad to cover West and Central Africa and resumed flights to Somalia after a 41-year hiatus.

    Regional hubs

    The prize is growing fast. Air traffic in Africa is forecast to grow 6% a year, twice as quickly as mature markets and faster than any other region over the next two decades.

    Ethiopian is hoping to snare a greater share of capacity on flights between cities in Africa, which are already 90% controlled by African carriers, according to data firm OAG.

    In most cases so far, Ethiopian has taken minority stakes in "start-up" airlines and tried to implant its management culture, often in nations haunted by costly failures of state carriers.

    Tewolde also wants to claw back market share on routes to and from the continent, dominated by Turkish and Gulf carrier Emirates. This year, 61% of capacity to or from Africa has been controlled by non-African carriers, says OAG.

    Risks

    There are big risks.

    Ethiopian is spending tens of millions of US dollars in some of Africa's toughest markets and the strategy of buying minority stakes to get a foothold abroad has failed spectacularly for some, such as Abu Dhabi's Etihad.

    Analysts worry accelerated expansion may spread Ethiopian too thinly if traffic doesn't pick up fast enough at its new hubs in Togo, Malawi and Chad.

    The regional hubs are designed partly to channel customers to Ethiopian's main hub in Addis Ababa and so fill its direct flights to the Middle East and Asia.

    Open skies?

    There are also concerns that none is in a major African city. Lome is far smaller than west African cities such as Nigeria's economic capital Lagos, or Abidjan in Ivory Coast, while Chad's dusty desert capital is even smaller.

    "You want to build [a hub] in a place where you are going to get local traffic and connecting traffic," said Craig Jenks, president of consultancy Airline/Aircraft Projects Inc.

    Tewolde said the new airline in Chad would draw in passengers from Cameroon, Central African Republic, Niger, northern Nigeria and Sudan.

    Yamlaksira Getachew, a management professor at Loyola Marymount University, warned Zambia's relaunched flag carrier could steal traffic from Ethiopian's existing Southern African hub in neighbouring Malawi.

    Ethiopian has been forced to adopt the piecemeal approach to expansion because full air transport liberalisation has failed to materialise, despite several attempts.

    Yamoussoukro Decision

    In 1999, 44 African countries signed the Yamoussoukro Decision in Ivory Coast's capital giving airlines freedom to ferry passengers between two foreign countries.

    But the agreement was barely implemented as governments moved to protect domestic carriers.

    To try to revive the stalled process, 23 African governments signed another deal this year to forge a single aviation market.

    So far, Ethiopian's plan appears to be working. It says it has clocked average growth of 25% a year since 2010 and expects to carry nearly 10.6 million passengers this year, up from 3.7 million eight years ago.

    Unlike many African rivals, it is also making money. Net profit rose 2% to US$233 million in its 2017/18 fiscal year.

    It says Western banks are helping to fund plans to boost its fleet of 108 planes, with 66 more on order.

    Highlighting the potential riches at stake, Chinese banks are involved too, partly reflecting Beijing's drive to build a new trade corridor to the Middle East and Africa, bankers said. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 11/27/18--14:00: Shifeta calls out NWR
  • Shifeta calls out NWRShifeta calls out NWR Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has given a directive that by the end of this year, the ministry must ensure that no illegal dumping sites exist in Namibia's national parks.

    “Whoever polluted the area must clean it by the end of December and whoever brought the waste must take it out. Even if it costs millions. It is illegal. No dumpsites are allowed,” he said. The minister's statement follows a media report about the dumpsite at Sesriem, managed by Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), which sparked an investigation. The probe showed that there are nearly no environmental management programmes in place at NWR resorts across the country.

    NWR has in the meantime undertaken to ready its environmental management plan by the end of the current financial year. At the Sesriem campsite, rubbish is collected from the drums by NWR staff. It is dumped together and ends up in one giant heap in an open rubbish dump behind the staff houses.

    Shifeta said people have been illegally creating dumpsites in national parks.

    “I was shocked when I saw this. We are investigating this. This is illegal. You can only create temporary holding sites.” The minister warned that still within this year, his ministry will ensure that there are no such dumping sites in any of the parks in the country. “This is very embarrassing. We will name and shame. We cannot allow this to continue. We are degrading our parks. Parks are not public places where you can just do what you want. I have instructed the director (of parks) that all residents that live in parks must sign a letter with us. If you do not behave, you will be given a month to vacate.”

    He said in such a case the person would still be allowed to work in the park, but would not be allowed to live in the park.

    “I have the power. How can you create a dumpsite in a park? It is very embarrassing.” Shifeta further said that those who created the waste in the parks will have to remove it.

    He said that park officials who are not enforcing park regulations properly will also face disciplinary action.

    “We do not want our parks to degrade.” Shifeta said instructions were already given to Colgar Sikopo, director of parks and wildlife management that all waste must be out of the parks by the end of December. Referring to a previous situation in Etosha National Park, he said during a visit in 2016 at Namutoni and the Okaukuejo camps they also saw a dumpsite.

    “It was horrific. We found that the park had become a scrapyard with some residents who had left their old vehicles parked there.” He said Namibians must uphold the standards of parks and protect their integrity.

    According to NWR, every resort in the park will have an environmental management plan by the end of this financial year as per the provision of the Environmental Management Act No. 7 of 2007. It is also in the process to develop its waste management system which will become an integral part of the business.

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    Trio in Koës murder plead not guiltyTrio in Koës murder plead not guilty Three men accused of murdering an elderly couple at a farm near Koës earlier this year pleaded not guilty to all charges at the Keetmanshoop lower court on Monday.

    Julius Arndt, Andries Afrikaner and Johannes Christiaan are accused of murdering Giel and Sarie Botma on their farm on 2 February this year.

    They made their fifth appearance in the Keetmanshoop Magistrate's Court before Magistrate Melissa Mungunda, who postponed their case to 9 April 2019 for the prosecutor-general to make a decision on the finalisation of the charges and in which court the case will be heard.

    The State was represented by Frederick van der Colf.

    The three are each charged with two counts of murder, possession of a firearm without a licence, possession of ammunition, theft of a motor vehicle and housebreaking with intent to rob.

    Arndt faces an additional charge of housebreaking with intent to steal. Arndt is represented by Linus Samaria, Afrikaner by Lizzetta Meyer and Christiaan by Florian Beukes. The trio remain in custody at the police's holding cells at Keetmanshoop, after they were denied bail during their first court appearance on 5 February.

    Beukes told the court that he wished to file a formal bail application for his client, which the court agreed to hear on 11 December 2018.

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  • 11/27/18--14:00: Timber harvesting stopped
  • Timber harvesting stoppedTimber harvesting stoppedCabinet concerned over ‘limited compliance’ All logging and trade in slow-growing hardwoods in the northern and north-eastern parts of the country must stop immediately. The forestry directorate of the ministry of agriculture, water and forestry has officially ordered the suspension of the harvesting and trading in Namibia's timber.

    The directorate on Monday issued a memorandum in which it instructed forestry officials to suspend all issued permits with immediate effect and to stop issuing new permits until further notice. The memorandum stated that the agriculture and environment ministries were discussing how to harmonise the regulation of timber harvesting. “Please inform the clients that all timber activities are put on hold, hence they must not harvest, transport, market or export any timber products (logs, blocks, planks) to avoid confiscating their timber,” the director of forestry, Joseph Hailwa, instructed. This comes after the shocking revelation by environment minister Pohamba Shifeta last Friday that all the timber harvesting permits issued in the last three years were illegal because they had not received the requisite environmental clearance.

    Shifeta then called for all permits to be withdrawn and said his ministry wanted evidence of such withdrawal.

    Cabinet recently noted with concern “limited compliance” by government offices, ministries and agencies in terms of obtaining environmental clearance before exploiting natural resources. It directed that all government offices submit environmental management plans to the environment ministry in compliance with the Environmental Management Act of 2007. Cabinet also directed the environment ministry, as well as the ministries of justice, safety and security, and urban and rural development to ensure that sand mining and extraction of other natural resources is done procedurally.



    NGOs not convinced

    The CEO of the Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE), Dr Chris Brown, yesterday commended the suspension of the permits, but said his organisation would continue to request an independent, external investigation into the workings of the directorate of forestry in issuing the permits.

    He said he would also direct the NCE's 62 non-governmental organisations in regions particularly affected by illegal logging, transport and trade of timber to monitor how the suspension directive is being implemented. Over the past 15 months the NCE has repeatedly requested a meeting with the forestry directorate and expressed grave concern over deforestation in the Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions.

    It also expressed concern over the apparent lack of action by the forestry directorate and agriculture ministry.

    The NCE had offered its expertise and financial support garnered from the private sector to assist the forestry directorate in areas where it might not have sufficient capacity, but its attempts at an engagement with the directorate and ministry went unanswered, Brown said.

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  • 11/27/18--14:00: Africa Briefs
  • Africa BriefsAfrica Briefs Ramaphosa signs minimum wage bill into law

    South Africa's president Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law the national minimum wage bill, his office said on Monday, part of efforts by the government to tackle wage inequality in Africa's most industrialised economy.

    The National Minimum Wage Act sets South Africa's minimum wage at R20 an hour, equal to R3 500 per month. The law will come into force on a date to be determined by Ramaphosa, the presidency said.

    Supporters of the minimum wage say it will reduce inequality and stimulate economic growth as workers spend more.

    But critics say it could lead to increased unemployment, already at record highs, because some employers won't be able to afford higher wage bills.

    Thousands of union members protested against the proposed minimum wage in April, saying it was too low. – Nampa/Reuters

    Portugal to help Angola recover ‘unexplained assets’

    Portugal promised on Friday to help the government of Angola repatriate funds obtained through corruption and deposited in the Iberian country, as Luanda steps up its drive to clamp down on alleged fraud by the previous administration.

    Many rich Angolans live or own property in Portugal, its former colonial master, and president João Lourenço has approved a law to confiscate any "unexplained assets" held by Angolans abroad from January 2019.

    "We will give all collaboration to Angolan authorities to help in the fight on corruption ... and to recover capital which is wrongly obtained," Portuguese prime minister Antonio Costa said.

    A year ago, Lourenço sacked Isabel dos Santos, the former president's daughter and Africa's richest woman, from her position as head of Angolan state oil company Sonangol. She has various investments in Portugal, including in oil company Galp, telecoms firm NOS and Banco BIC Portugues. – Nampa/Reuters

    Congo approves clinical trials for Ebola treatments

    Congolese authorities have authorised clinical trials for four experimental Ebola treatments, which will allow researchers to collect valuable data about their effectiveness, the health ministry said.

    Health workers have already administered therapeutic treatments to more than 150 Ebola patients since August in an effort to contain the worst of Democratic Republic of Congo's 10 outbreaks of the hemorrhagic fever since 1976.

    But until now doctors have decided which treatment to use on a case-by-case basis. In the clinical trial, the choice of treatment will now be randomised. Treatment will still be free of charge.

    As of two weekends ago, 151 patients had received one of the four drugs. Of those, 76 had recovered, 44 had died and 31 were still hospitalised - a mortality rate of 37%.

    By contrast, among those who had not received treatment, the mortality rate was close to 80%. – Nampa/Reuters

    Tunisian union calls new national strike

    Tunisia's powerful UGTT union called another national strike for January to press its demand for higher wages after the government said on Saturday it would seek a realistic pay deal.

    About 650 000 public sector workers went on strike and thousands joined protests across Tunisia on Thursday over the government's refusal to raise wages amid threats from international lenders to stop financing Tunisia's tattered economy.

    The state Institute of Strategic Studies says real purchasing power has fallen by 40% since 2014.

    The government had said it does not have the money to pay for the increases strikers want, worth about 2 billion Tunisian dinars (US$690 million) in total.

    Under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a deepening political crisis, Tunisia is battling to cut the budget deficit to about 4.9% of GDP this year and 3.9% in 2019 from 6.2% last year. – Nampa/Reuters

    Egypt on track to achieve its financial targets

    Egypt's state revenues grew by 35.5% in the first quarter of this fiscal year, putting the government on track to achieve its targeted primary budget surplus of 2%, the finance minister said.

    Government investment rose 85% while tax collection increased by 39.8%, Finance minister Mohamed Maait said in a statement.

    Maait attributed the positive results to Egypt's economic reforms programme, part of an IMF loan deal signed in 2016.

    Under the IMF deal Egypt devalued its currency and has been gradually cutting fuel subsidies, putting the finances of tens of millions of Egyptians under strain.

    Egypt is pushing ahead with the economic reforms which it sees as essential in attracting foreign investment. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Democracy cannot be imposed by forceDemocracy cannot be imposed by force The annual elections of local authority office-bearers have always sparked major controversy over the years. Desperate councillors usually go all out to lobby their political masters in the hope of either being appointed to serve as mayors or preside over the powerful management committee on town councils. This jostling for positions has always divided opinion and to an extent it has raised eyebrows, especially given the fact that the party leaders have a tendency of imposing their preferred candidates on the councillors. The culture of imposing candidates on elected councillors not only undermines what is supposed to be a democratic process, but also compromises the quality of leadership at the end of the day. The culture of Swapo to instruct regional leaders on who should be elected as mayor, deputy mayor, management committee chairperson, or simply an ordinary councillor, does not augur well for intra-party democracy. The elections of the Swapo top four and regional coordinators cannot be the sole criteria for judging intra-party democracy. Local authority councillors should therefore be given leeway to choose who they deem competent and fit to serve in the respective council roles. Obviously this must be done with clear accountability and performance measures in place to guard against corruption and other ills. This sort of 'guided democracy' has challenges of its own and can lead to unnecessary factional infighting, which at the end of day cripples service delivery.

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  • 11/27/18--14:00: Green giant rises in CBD
  • Green giant rises in CBDGreen giant rises in CBDInvestment of nearly N$500 million Nedbank is aiming to achieve a five-star green rating for their new headquarters, the second highest rating possible. Staff Reporter – Almost N$700 000 will be spent every day for the next two-and-a-half years building Nedbank Namibia’s new head office at Freedom Plaza in Windhoek’s central business district.

    Construction will provide jobs to 525 people during this period.

    The groundbreaking ceremony of the almost half-a-billion-dollar Nedbank Campus was held on Friday.

    Speaking at the occasion, the managing director of Nedbank Namibia, Lionel Matthews, said “a principled decision was taken to make use of only local procurement”. The multiplier effect that this decision will inject into the local economy is estimated to the three times the bank’s upfront investment, he said.

    The mayor of Windhoek, Muesee Kazapua, said Namibia’s current economic climate suggests that organisations would cut back on expanding their expenditure on capital investment and adopt a “let’s see”-approach.

    “I am therefore happy to note that even amid the prevailing world economic turmoil, where investors are pulling back in many countries, Nedbank Namibia continues to invest in Namibia with such certainty. This equally shows that they are confident in Namibia’s future,” Kazapua said.

    Eco-friendly

    It is generally accepted that buildings consume 40% of the world’s energy and 25% of its fresh water, as well as generate 40% of waste landfill, Matthews said.

    “This is why it was critical for us to design, construct and operate a building that is energy- and resource-efficient, and environmentally responsible.”

    Namibia’s scarcity of water has offered the design team an opportunity to showcase innovative water saving strategies, with the harvesting of rainwater and greywater recycling, he said.

    The design also includes strategies to counter the urban heat island effect on the roof by shading it with a solar panel roof structure. “Which means that at all times, the energy, waste and water performance will be displayed to occupants and visitors to foster awareness,” Matthews said.

    Even in its construction phase, the Nedbank Campus will consider the environment, he added. 70% of the soil excavated at the site will be re-used on other projects rather than being diverted to a landfill. Construction steel used will consist of 90% recycled metal.

    “Energy consumption is one of the most important aspects of the green rating system and requires intense focus on the quality of the indoor environment, including the amount of fresh air, external views, thermal comfort and noise output level. These are all being considered with the construction of this building,” Matthews said.

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  • 11/27/18--14:00: Bid to halt congress fails
  • Bid to halt congress failsBid to halt congress failsDisputed extraordinary meeting to go ahead The latest attempt to stop the ruling party from holding its extraordinary congress this weekend failed in the Windhoek High Court yesterday. Swapo can continue with its extraordinary congress slated for this weekend after the Windhoek High Court yesterday ruled in favour of the ruling party, agreeing not all relevant parties were cited as respondents in the application by the two members who had approached the court to declare last year's elective congress as unconstitutional and unlawful.

    Mirjam Shituula and Selma Namboga, also acting on behalf of Swapo leaders Nambata Angula and Seth Boois, sought to have this weekend's congress cancelled, while the group also want the outcome of the top four and central committee elections of 2017 set aside.

    Judge Thomas Masuku yesterday postponed the matter to 6 December for a status hearing and will on the same day make a ruling on the issue of costs for the first part of the hearing, which is the urgent application for an interdict.

    The applicants will now have an opportunity until 5 December to bring another application citing the other relevant respondents, including the party president and members of the central committee. This is known as a joinder.

    The Swapo Party contended that not all necessary respondents were listed in the papers. Only Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa and the ruling party were cited in the application.

    Swapo's legal counsel, South African advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, told the court that the case could not proceed if those who enjoyed the benefits of the 2017 Swapo congress were not called to appear before the court.

    “Whatever the decision the court gives will affect them,” he said.

    The 2017 congress elected head of state Hage Geingob as president, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as vice-president, Shaningwa (secretary-general) and Marco Hausiku as deputy secretary-general.



    Bone of contention

    The disgruntled Swapo members had argued in their papers that the congress and CC elections of November 2017 were fundamentally flawed and unlawful.

    The two applicants, along with Angula and Boois, had earlier in the year petitioned Shaningwa by demanding an independent audit into the outcome of the party's sixth elective congress held last November.

    Shaningwa had responded that the central committee would consider the petition. However, the group argued that it was in fact the composition of the current central committee that was being disputed and therefore it could not decide on the matter.





    It suggested that the central committee elected in 2012 should deal with the issue. There was also a subsequent letter which still failed to resolve the issue, leading to the urgent court application following Shaningwa's announcement of the dates of the extraordinary congress, which will take place from 30 November to 1 December.

    In their founding affidavit, the group claimed material irregularities were unearthed during the 2017 congress, which included at least eight regional governors unlawfully participating, as well as four SPYL delegates being allowed to stand for the central committee when they were no longer eligible to be members of the youth wing as they were over 35, while governors are ex officio members of the regional executive committees.

    The applicants claim several irregularities were also unearthed during regional conferences before the congress, resulting in the replacement of some delegates by handpicked ones. They particularly highlighted the participation of Rundu mayor Verna Sinimbo in the congress who was “impermissibly delegated by the Rundu Rural District when, in fact she belongs to the Rundu Urban District”.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 11/27/18--14:00: Meatco board unlawful
  • Meatco board unlawfulMeatco board unlawful The appointment of the six-member board of Meatco by former agriculture minister John Mutorwa was unlawful.

    The High Court this week ruled that the appointment made on 16 February last year was in conflict with the Meatco Act, the Public Enterprises Governance Act and the Namibian constitution.

    The court application was brought by five farmers - Amon Ngavetene, Elia Fasa Kandjii, Peter Kazongominja, Gottfriedt Tsuseb and Tjakazapi Janson Mbunguha.

    The board members were Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun (chairperson), Ronald Kubas, Sophia Kasheeta, Ismael Ngangane, Fanie Oosthuizen and Mushokobanji Mwilima. Oostuizen is not on the board anymore.

    The respondents in the matter were Meatco, the Meatco board members, Mutorwa and public enterprises minister Leon Jooste.

    Judge Hosea Angula ordered the respondents to pay the applicants' costs.

    The five livestock farmers argued that Mutorwa had no power in terms of the Meatco Act or the Public Enterprises Governance Act to appoint a new board on 16 February last year, while in law there was an existing board.





    According to the court papers, Mutorwa in his capacity as agriculture minister contravened the provisions of the Meatco Act, Public Enterprises Governance Act and Article 18 of the Namibian constitution when he appointed the Meatco board in February 2017.

    According to the farmers, Mutorwa on 4 October 2013 appointed members to the Meatco board for a three-year term.

    Then, on 27 September 2016, Mutorwa extended their term by three months to 4 January 2017. He did that after a reminder had been sent to him to call a meeting where Meatco members could nominate board members. No such meeting was called.

    On 21 December 2016 Mutorwa appointed the six board members as a “temporary” board for a period of six months with effect from 4 January 2017.

    On 15 February 2017 Meatco and the livestock producers brought an urgent High Court application seeking an order to set aside the minister's decision and declare the board illegal.

    Mutorwa settled the matter and agreed that his appointment of the temporary board be set aside.

    Although the matter was settled on 17 February last year, Mutorwa had already appointed the same board permanently on 16 February.

    The farmers argued that the court order regarding the matter was only issued on 15 March last year.

    “It accordingly follows that Mutorwa had no power in terms of the Meatco Act, read together with the Public Enterprises Act, to take the decision to appoint a new board on 16 February 2017, while there was an existing board which still held office until 15 March 2017.”

    The farmers also argued that Mutorwa had ignored their statutory role as members of Meatco when it came to the nomination of board members, while the Meatco board ignored the farmers' request that the board should resign as it was illegally appointed.

    They said the Meatco Act expressly stipulates that all livestock producers registered with Meatco are automatically members and therefore also have a say in the composition of its board. They are legally authorised to nominate possible members of the board and to protect their interests in the company.

    According to them Mutorwa was required to select board members from these nominees.

    He disregarded that provision by first arbitrarily extending the term of the previous board and then appointing a new board without consultation with the livestock producers.

    “Further, if the minister was entitled to appoint a new board on 16 February 2017 (which is denied), in so doing the minister was required to comply with the provisions of the Meatco Act in seeking nominations from interest groups,” the applicants argued.

    According to the farmers no nominations were sought and they only heard about the appointment of the board in early March.

    They said their dissatisfaction stemmed from the fact that a meeting had been called in August 2016 where Meatco members would have nominated people to represent them on the board.

    The meeting was cancelled at short notice by the minister.

    The former CEO of Meatco, Vekuii Rukoro, went ahead with a special members' meeting at which new board members were nominated.

    Mutorwa rejected these nominations on the grounds that the term of office of the board had not yet lapsed.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 11/28/18--14:00: Shonena wants an early night
  • Shonena wants an early nightShonena wants an early night The much-anticipated MTC Sunshine Boxing Fiesta is set to deliver some great boxing, with Mike 'Silent Assassin' Shonena set to defend his WBO Africa welterweight title against Tanzanian fighter Mfaume Mfaume tomorrow at the Windhoek Country Club Resort.

    There are also a number of other tantalising match-ups on the card.

    At a face-off held at the Post Street Mall yesterday, Shonena vowed to end the fight by the fifth round and urged boxing lovers to get to the venue early. Mfaume said he did not come to Namibia to be a walkover.

    The boxer, who spoke through a translator, said he has a job to do on the night. Shonena has so far fought 12 undefeated fights, while his opponent has a record of 17 fights, 12 wins, three losses and two draws.

    Other bouts on the night are as follows:

    Middleweight - Paulinus vs Bright Mdoka

    Flyweight - Jacob 'Jay Jay' Jacob vs Fillemon Nghutenyi

    Featherweight - Onesmus Nekundi vs Niikoti Johannes

    Junior middleweight - Max Ipinge vs Andreas Nghinaunye

    Super welterweight - Charles Shimina vs Steven Shimbonde

    Lightweight - Usko Rehebiam vs Sheehama Sakaria

    Super bantamweight - Filipus Nghitumbwa vs Festus Matias

    Super Bantamweight - Sam Mathews vs Petrus Gustavo

    Super bantamweight - Mathias 'The Beast' Haita vs Elifas Kambungu

    Bantamweight - Andreas Mwenyo vs Gabriel Jamba

    Super bantamweight - Philip Shaanika vs Nelson Hango

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  • 11/28/18--14:00: Captain courageous
  • Captain courageousCaptain courageousDe la Harpe promises first World Cup win Captain Darryl de le Harpe has promised the nation its first win at a Rugby World Cup, when his side takes part in the 2019 edition of the tournament, which will be hosted by Japan. Namibia's senior national team will once again go hunting for the first Rugby World Cup win ever, when they travel to Japan next year for the Japan edition of the global showpiece.

    The tournament is slated for September.

    Speaking at a media conference yesterday, centre and team captain Darryl de le Harpe promised they would return from Japan with a win.

    The team has just returned from an end-of-year European tour in which they won against Portugal and lost against Russia and Spain.

    Namibia is drawn in Pool B at japan 2019, together with rugby powerhouses New Zealand and South Africa, as well as Italy and Canada.

    They hope to overcome Canada and Italy in their group.

    “Canada qualified after beating Kenya, so now we are focusing on beating them and Italy. It is possible, considering our scores during the European tour,” De la Harpe said confidently.

    He said they picked up some valuable lessons from their tour matches and achieved some of their goals.

    “The matches were good as they offered players game time; we got a chance to play new opponents and not our usual neighbours. From here onwards we won't back down from the challenges and work on our strategies. Nothing will derail us from playing rugby,” said De le Harpe.

    He said five players earned international caps during the tour and that with the support of the nation, they will continue to reach new heights.

    Johann Tromp said the tour helped them bond, as they only see each other at training.

    “We just train together; after that every guy goes his own way, but it was different because we shared rooms and this gave an opportunity for us to get to know each other and learn about each other's strengths and weaknesses.”

    Tromp said there are many young players in the squad, who are teaching him new things. “It's never too late to learn. The more experienced players bring the brains to the team, whereas the younger players bring flair. They are full of energy and this boosts us a lot,” he said.

    Team manager Irvin Newman said the squad would have won more matches if they had been better prepared. “The results would have been different if we had better preparation, but we made use of the situation in any case. We are in the pool of death; we are not going to Japan to participate, but to win.”

    He added that as the festive season approaches every player has a gym schedule to follow.

    “We are monitoring each player and they know the targets set for the nation.” Newman added that so far 20 World Cup tickets have already been purchased by 20 people from the Hardap Region, who will be travelling to watch the team play. Others interested in purchasing tickets t can contact Namibia Rugby Limited.

    Namibia will not lay idle and wait for next year, but will use the SuperSport Rugby Challenge that starts in April, as well as the Nations Cup, to prepare for the Japan Rugby World Cup. They will also play South African teams like the Griquas and Blue Bulls home and away.

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  • 11/28/18--14:00: Calling all gamers
  • Calling all gamersCalling all gamers The Namibian Electronic Sports Association (NESA) has invited all Namibian gamers to participate in a competition that will take place from today until Sunday at the University of Namibia (Unam) main campus in Windhoek inside the gym hall.

    NESA will host a variety of games such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Tekken 7, FIFA 18 and Assetto Corsa.

    Gamers will have the chance to prove their skills by competing against some of the best Namibia has to offer. Cash prizes are on offer for the winners. A N$300 entrance fee is required to participate in all games and registration can still take place at the venue today. This annual event is a highlight for many Namibian gamers, as it gives them the chance to meet other E-sports enthusiasts in a fun and competitive environment made possible by NESA.

    “If you are a gamer, professional or amateur, this is surely an event not to be missed,” the organisers said. NamLAN 2018 is made possible by the dedicated sponsorship and support from KIA Motors, Monster Energy, Radio Energy, Future CC, RocoMamas, BDO and Link Media.

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  • 11/28/18--14:00: 100 Champions League wins
  • 100 Champions League wins100 Champions League winsRonaldo sets mark, as Juventus soar into last 16 Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has hailed the impact of Cristiano Ronaldo on the Italian champions. Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first player to achieve 100 Champions League wins, via Juventus' 1-0 success over Valencia that clinched their passage to the knockout rounds on Tuesday.

    “Ronaldo gives us a sense of security and confidence,” said Allegri of the beaten finalists in two of the last four editions of the elite European competition.

    “The team is essentially the same as last season. We've grown, become faster in playing the ball, but then of course, there is Cristiano Ronaldo. This team is constantly improving - they're passing and putting plays together more quickly.”

    Ronaldo, who joined Juventus last summer from Real Madrid, is targeting a sixth Champions League title to add to his four with the Spanish team and one with Manchester United.

    The Italian team are looking for their third European title and first since 1995.

    Last season they exited in the quarterfinals to Ronaldo's Real Madrid.

    The 33-year-old played a key role against Valencia, providing the assist on 59 minutes that Croatian Mario Mandzukic tapped in for his third goal in as many matches.

    Juventus had needed just a point to ensure qualification.

    Their win, combined with Manchester United's late 1-0 win over Young Boys at Old Trafford, means Valencia crash out of the competition.

    Allegri's side will now have to wait to see whether they top Group H, when they play their final group game in mid-December in Bern against Young Boys.

    Ronaldo came out firing on all cylinders after his controversial red card during his first Champions League game for Juventus in Valencia back in September, which Allegri's side still won 2-0.

    The five-time Ballon d'Or winner had two chances within the first three minutes to add to his record tally of 121 Champions League goals.

    Valencia had their best chance before the break when Mouctar Diakhaby's header off a corner was punched out with one hand by Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

    Just before the hour mark, Ronaldo broke free of Valencia defender Gabriel and with some fancy footwork fired low across the face of the goal, leaving Mandzukic to finish off.

    Valencia thought they had scored the equaliser two minutes later, but Diakhaby's header was ruled to have come off his hand.

    Valenica goalkeeper Neto kept out a late goal-bound header from Ronaldo, who rose to meet Paulo Dybala's out-swinging corner.

    “You can see how united we are, including the forwards,” said Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini.

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    Rehoboth cop caught with drugsRehoboth cop caught with drugs A 24-year-old constable stationed at the Rehoboth police station was arrested on Monday for allegedly being in possession of three cannabis cigarettes and one mandrax tablet with a combined value of N$150.

    Hardap crime investigations coordinator Eric Clay said yesterday the officer was arrested at about 21:45.

    “A member of the force was caught with the drugs after a body search was conducted on him when he reported for duty, after a tip-off was received,” Clay said.

    The drugs were confiscated.

    The suspect was set to appear at the Rehoboth Magistrate's Court yesterday, while investigations into the matter continue.

    NAMPA

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  • 11/28/18--14:00: GBV used for 'discipline'
  • GBV used for 'discipline'GBV used for 'discipline'Tradition trumps law in Kavango regions The shocking belief that a husband is allowed to beat his wife continues to flourish in the Kavango regions. Due to traditional beliefs, gender-based violence (GBV) is being used to 'discipline' women in the Kavango regions.

    Generally, it is accepted in these communities that it is right when a man beats his wife.

    A phrase has also been coined in Rukwangali - 'mungwa gepata' - referring to this as a form of discipline.

    These were part of discussions at the close of last week during the launch of the annual 16 Days of Activism against GBV held at Mpezo village in the Mankupi constituency, where residents discussed the causes of GBV, how it happens and who it affects.

    The discussion was attended by about 300 residents.

    Speaking to Nampa on the outcome of those discussions, constituency councillor and member of the National Council, Lukas Muha, who facilitated the talks, said the majority of people noted that women are mostly victims of GBV followed by children and men, to a lesser extent.

    “I started the discussions by asking the group who they think victims of gender-based violence are, and then posed a question to find out what it is women do to become victims of GBV, as their rights cannot just be violated without them perhaps also contributing to the violence,” he said.

    In response, participants, including women, said “women talk too much and appear to be dominant towards their husbands or partners on things that need to happen in their households, which most men do not like”.

    Women who consume too much alcohol were also identified as contributing to GBV, as their spouses feel respect is lost when women use derogatory language or insult them.

    “The residents went further and said in some cases one will find men having children outside of the matrimonial household. The men would then decide to bring these children into the marital home for all the children to be raised together,” explained Muha.

    What then happens is that the wife would treat her stepchildren different from her own, which in turn angers the husband, added the councillor.

    The participants said further that in a contemporary world, women are subjected to polygamy, and also want to have affairs.

    “When the husband finds out about the affairs, he no longer can control his anger and resorts to murder or violence.”

    In other cases, woman is the breadwinners and do not accept supporting her partner or husband. This belittles the power of the man and in the end leads to violence.

    “I encouraged the residents that if there is any suspicion of GBV occurring in the neighbourhood, it should be their responsibility to report it,” Muha added.

    NAMPA

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  • 11/28/18--14:00: Shifeta cracks the whip
  • Shifeta cracks the whipShifeta cracks the whipWarns officials dishing out permits without environmental clearance The environment minister says it is critical that the policies, plans and programmes of government do not have significant adverse impacts on environment health. Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta says all invalid licences, permits or authorisations granted without an environmental clearance certificate (ECC) must be withdrawn by 1 December.

    Shifeta said proof of withdrawal must be submitted to the office of the environmental commissioner by Saturday. He said this gives officers who have violated the law by permitting activities without proof of an ECC a last chance. Shifeta was speaking in parliament this week on the challenges associated with implementing the Environmental Management Act.

    He stressed that the process for acquiring an ECC is very important, in terms of ensuring the protection of the environment.

    He said the undertaking of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) or scoping allows for the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social and other relevant effects of development proposals, prior to major decisions being taken and commitments being made. He said it is very important that this process is carried out, as it allows for the ministry to better plan and put in place mitigation measures to minimise impacts.

    “If in the past, sand mining companies and operators had applied for environmental clearance certificates, it would have been possible to restrict that industry to certain areas and avoid it infringing on people's homesteads and crop fields, as well as damaging the environment.”

    Shifeta said it would also have been possible to impose conditions on ECCs that would have compelled companies to undertake some rehabilitation measures once they had exhausted the resource.

    The location of a number of green scheme farms in elephant migratory routes is another challenge that could have been avoided, he said.

    According to Shifeta this could have been flagged, had a proper EIA been done. He said the recent cases of severe damage being caused by elephants to these farms are regrettable and a considerable setback to the efforts to enhance food security and boost socio-economic development through the green schemes. Shifeta said another example is small farming units in communal areas, where human-wildlife conflict could have been avoided, had the land reform ministry first obtained ECCs for all these activities.

    “Furthermore, we are also aware of the exploitation of our forest resources in the Kavango West, Kavango East, Zambezi and lately the Ohangwena Region, from where high value timber is being exported with almost no local level value-addition or beneficiation.”Shifeta said his ministry called an urgent meeting with the agriculture ministry to address the issue and informed it to withdraw all timber harvesting licences granted without ECCs. “I am happy to announce that the agriculture ministry complied and all timber harvesting licenses have been withdrawn as of 26 November.” Shifeta said it is critical that the policies, plans and programmes of government do not have significant adverse impacts on the health of the environment.

    “In order to enforce the Environmental Management Act and compliance with its regulations, the environment ministry, as part of its mandate, has to take serious measures to protect the environment from further damage”. He said one of the measures will be to name and shame those officers who granted invalid authorisations on behalf of competent authorities. He therefore called on all organs of state that have granted invalid licences, permits or authorisations to withdraw them with immediate effect.

    “Failure to withdraw such authorisations is tantamount to furtherance of the commission of crime by those proponents who are in position of invalid documents.” He further said to date no organ of state had submitted an environmental management plan to the environmental commissioner.

    However, the ministry is now working with focal persons from the different listed organs of state to address this situation. “Capacity of staff, lack of awareness among stakeholders of the Act and systemic inefficiencies are other challenges faced in the implementation of this Act.” According to Shifeta the ministry continues to take measures to address these challenges, but the lack of capacity to enforce the Act through on-the-ground inspections in the regions remains a concern.

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    Xmas cheer for vulnerable kidsXmas cheer for vulnerable kids Twenty-two children from the Havana-based Family of Hope Services enjoyed a fun-filled day out at the Haven Zoo in Kleine Kuppe last week, alongside a group of changemakers from the Capricorn Group.

    The day was marked by festive cheer, as the kids received Christmas presents based on their personal wish lists.

    The group of changemakers, who have long been avid supporters of the Family of Hope Services, said for many of these children, Christmas is not the same as it is for more fortunate kids.

    Before the outing, the children were asked about their desired gifts and video recordings were made.

    Capricorn's executive leadership each selected a lucky recipient, whose wish they made a reality.

    “It was a heart-warming experience for me seeing the overwhelming joy shared between the kids. Our giving was nothing compared to the immense satisfaction and fulfilment we received from them,” said Marlize Horn, Capricorn group executive for branding and corporate affairs.

    “This is how we support our brand promise of being 'Connectors of Positive Change', by planting seeds that will grow into sustainable change. I will most certainly give my time and energy again in support of something that is making a difference.” Instead of wishing for fancy toys, most of the children requested essential items that other children often take for granted.

    The example set by the executive leadership encouraged many other Capricorn employees to join in the spirit of giving.

    “As the Capricorn Group, we are continuously looking for opportunities to be connectors of positive change in our communities and to provide a platform for our employees to make a difference in the lives of others.” Thinus Prinsloo, managing director of the Capricorn Group, said. Weekly activities at the Family of Hope Services include a remedial school programme for the 22 children, aged between seven and 17, most of whom have never been in school.

    The school also hosts a weekday feeding scheme for 260 children.

    The Family of Hope Services also acts as a centre where afterschool activities are hosted for children from the community.

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  • 11/28/18--14:00: Appeal denied in Koch case
  • Appeal denied in Koch caseAppeal denied in Koch caseRape charges not proven beyond reasonable doubt The Windhoek High Court has denied the State leave to appeal against the acquittal of convicted child trafficker Bertus Koch on rape charges. An application by the State to appeal High Court Judge Petrus Damaseb's decision to acquit convicted child trafficker Bertus Koch on rape charges and to argue for a longer prison sentence was refused yesterday.

    In their grounds for leave to appeal, deputy prosecutor-general Innocentia Nyoni Innocentia, who led the case against Koch, said Damaseb's sentence was “shockingly lenient”.

    Damaseb in September convicted Koch on charges of child trafficking and committing sexually immoral acts, which he said had been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    However, he acquitted Koch of the rape charges, citing insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Koch had committed rape.

    Koch was arrested in 2016 and charged with raping and sexually exploiting five girls, aged between 9 and 13 years, in Swakopmund.

    He had lured them into his shack with promises of food and money over a period of five months.

    The State argued that Damaseb, in imposing the prison sentence, had “erred in law and/or the facts” by paying too much attention to Koch's circumstances, and “paying no regard and/or paying insufficient regard” to the seriousness of the offences, the interests of society and the interests of the children.

    They said Damaseb had erred by accepting evidence that Koch had lured the children into his house and sexually exploited them, but “then finding the same children were not credible in their evidence on the rape charges.”

    Damaseb dismissed the application for leave to appeal, saying that in his judgment he had emphasised three particular points which guided his final decision.

    He said any indication of reasonable doubt as to the accused's guilt entitled him to the benefit of doubt and thus, an acquittal.

    He said Namibian law requires a judge adopt a cautionary approach to the evidence of children and it was crucial, in that process, not to “take an armchair approach”.

    “I had to look for circumstances and factors in the evidence which excluded the possibility of improper influence on the children and pointed to his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”

    He said the State had proven beyond reasonable doubt that Koch was guilty of human trafficking and immoral practices. But the rape charges “were an entirely different matter”.

    Damaseb said there was reasonable doubt that rape had been committed.

    “The law required me to acquit in those circumstances.”

    Damaseb said he was struck by inconsistencies in the girls' versions, “which remain unexplained by the State, whose duty it was to explain them as I pointed out in my judgment.” In his judgment in September, he said the different versions given by the minors were “most confusing even to the seasoned and hardened judicial mind”.

    He described their testimony as “sketchy and so generalised that it would be difficult for an accused even with abundance with resources to offer exculpatory evidence”.

    He said based on the contradictory versions put before court it was “most improbable that the rapes could have happened as described”.

    He criticised the police for a sloppy investigation, “as no serious attempt was made after the allegations surfaced to try and garner additional evidence that would add greater weight to the complainants' allegations”.

    Yesterday Damaseb said he was satisfied that another court would not come to a different conclusion to the one he had reached on the rape charges. Regarding Koch's sentence, he said there were no legal grounds for the suggestion that the individual sentences were too lenient and ought not to have been made concurrent.

    On the contrary, he said, the law requires a sentencing court to mitigate the overall harshness of sentences by making them run concurrently in appropriate cases.

    Damaseb said while this was a case that called for a term of direct imprisonment, it should be “tempered by mercy”.

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  • 11/28/18--14:00: Land grabs soar at Ondangwa
  • Land grabs soar at OndangwaLand grabs soar at Ondangwa The Ondangwa town council has urged residents to refrain from grabbing land and to follow the available procedures.

    Council spokesperson Petrina Shitalangaho said a number of illegal structures were being put up around the town, almost on a daily basis.

    Shitalangaho said residents can get plots by applying directly at the council or through established organisations such as the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN).

    “Land grabbing is not really a main concern to us, but we are always observing a number of illegal structures being erected almost on a daily basis. We are therefore warning residents to refrain from occupying land illegally or erecting unauthorised structures,” Shitalangaho said.

    “We will make sure that all the residents comply with the town council's rules and regulations. Such illegal structures have to be removed.”

    Shitalangaho said the town council always notifies residents about unauthorised activities as soon as they are detected. This is done in order for residents not to waste their resources on constructing unauthorised structures that have to be removed or demolished. She added that some comply, while others defy the council orders and either carry on building illegally or continue to occupy land that is not theirs. “We are urging town residents to always cooperate with the town council's regulations. If they are notified to remove or stop constructing their illegal structures, they must do so as soon as possible. It will not be a good thing if the council is forced to use its own power to remove such structures or demolish them,” she said. The SDFN has 2 479 members in Ondangwa and has built 128 houses.

    Outgoing Oshana governor Clemens Kashuupulwa has called on local authorities to support the SDFN by giving them land in order to avoid land grabbing. He said the federation was trying to provide decent houses for the poor. “I applaud the Ondangwa town council for creating a public-private partnership (PPP) with the SDFN to build houses for the poor and needy. This initiative is highly recommended for all local authorities in Namibia, to make sure that they provide affordable houses for their people,” Kashuupulwa added.

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