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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 915 | 916 | (Page 917) | 918 | 919 | .... | 938 | newer

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  • 12/19/18--14:00: Haufiku sacked as minister
  • Haufiku sacked as ministerHaufiku sacked as minister President Hage Geingob has fired health minister Bernard Haufiku and replaced him with Dr Kalumbi Shangula.

    In a statement released late yesterday afternoon, the presidency announced that Dr Haufiku will now serve as a special advisor for health and social services in the presidency, in the office of the vice-president.

    “The appointment as special advisor is of mutual accord,” the statement, sent out by press secretary Alfredo Hengari, read.

    The swearing in ceremony of Dr Shangula as a member of parliament will take place today at 09:00 at parliament.

    “He will take his oath of office immediately thereafter at State House at 10:00."

    Earlier in November, Haufiku, in a frank interview with Namibian Sun said that the president was interfering in his ministry

    Following donations from the corporate sector to the eye clinic, Haufiku told Namibian Sun: “When it became known that the private sector had helped, I was berated by my superior in cabinet. 'You are [giving the] government a bad name. What are these private people now doing? They have billions of money and they are giving N$200 and you are showing them on television'."

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 12/19/18--14:00: 20 000 fail grade 10
  • 20 000 fail grade 1020 000 fail grade 10English, science the main bugbears This year's grade 10 pass rate has dropped to 53.3%. Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa says it is back to the drawing board after a dismal grade 10 performance by the class of 2018.

    This year's pass rate dropped to 53.3%, compared to last year's 55.3%.

    Hanse-Himarwa yesterday announced that out of the 44 863 candidates who sat for the Junior Secondary Certificate examination this year, only 23 911 qualified for grade 11, meaning close to 21 000 failed to make the grade.

    “Although we worked tirelessly, especially the grade 10 results were not what I expected as a minister. I was expecting much better performance seeing that grade 10 is phasing out. We will interrogate what really went wrong,” she said.

    “If the quality of the answer of a learner is not to the expected standard, it speaks to the quality that is transferred in the classroom. It speaks to whether the children are properly prepared in the classroom, and to the preparedness, the readiness and ability and competencies of the educators,” she said.

    She added that self-study also remained a serious challenge and said it was unacceptable that learners could not use resources such as the internet to prepare for exams.

    “If others can perform the way they do, surely we can also. I believe no Namibian child is put in a space where they cannot perform. No poverty, no homelessness, no hunger can really be a reason for us not to perform to the best of our ability.

    “Those conditions must be motivating factors and used as stepping stones to improve your own life to emerge beyond your circumstances,” she said.

    The ministry had kept the maximum points at 23 and an F grade as a minimum symbol in English for admission to grade 11.

    Compared to 2017, the results show an average drop of 0.4% for grades A to E whereas increases of 0.1% and 1.0% were recorded at grades F and G, respectively.

    “The ungraded entries increased by 0.8% while 96.1% candidates were graded throughout the nine subjects.”

    According to yesterday's results the Erongo and Khomas regions performed the best in English second language, with a 51.4% pass rate.

    Erongo has a 37.5% pass rate in physical science and 47.7% in mathematics. Oshikoto is the top performer in mathematics at 54.3%, dropping from 60.8% in 2017.

    The best performers in physical science were Oshikoto and Kavango West with 49.3%.

    Omusati took the top spot for life science with 50.1% while Oshikoto once again led with geography at 48.9% and history with 49.2%.

    Oshikoto education director Lameck Kafidi said a lack of funding played a critical role in the delivering of quality equation.

    “People must know the real circumstances that are affecting the grade 10 results. In the past we had the school development fund but now the money from government was transferred to the schools late.

    “It should not come as a surprise that the global economic downturn has affected the education sector as well,” he said.

    The newly appointed education director for Erongo, Erenfriede Stephanus, said the foundation must be fixed.

    According to her learners are often neglected in the primary grades and promoted until they reach grade 10 where they cannot make the grade.

    “I believe once we have good readers and learners in the lower grades who understand mathematics well, then we won't have this kind of result. Transferring of learners is a problem and it creates a breakdown. As a result you end up with learners in grade 10 who could not pass the lower grades,” she said.

    She, too, believes self-study must be encouraged, adding that it does not make sense that regions like Erongo produce a good grade in English but they drop out in other subjects.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 12/20/18--14:00: Stars fired up
  • Stars fired upStars fired upBuccaneers confident ahead of CAF clash The Sam Nujoma Stadium will create a fierce atmosphere for South African football giants Orlando Pirates, when they clash with African Stars tomorrow. African Stars aim to overcome favourites Orlando Pirates at the Sam Nujoma Stadium tomorrow, in the return leg of their Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League preliminary round match.

    The match kicks off at 16:00 and Stars will be hoping to make football history by dispatching their more fancied rivals.

    The two teams played to a goalless draw in South Africa, setting up a grand finale in Windhoek.

    Orlando Pirates are 8/10 favourites among punters to end African Stars journey in the competition.

    The odds definitely favour the Buccaneers, given their professional set-up and the fact that they have been tormenting teams in South Africa's Premier Soccer League (PSL).

    Stars will, however, feel they have the nation behind them, which could be the proverbial 12th man on the field for the Namibian club.

    The Reds will certainly be brimming with confidence after their first-leg performance against a team that many feared would tear them asunder.

    It is for this reason that many believe that African Stars can cause a huge upset on home soil.

    Stars coach Bobby Samaria says his boys will play a fearless match.

    “We are not there just to make up the numbers; I am positive that the boys are fired up and ready to prove a point.

    “Stars are looking forward to this match and I can tell you that the whole nation is excited at the moment,” Samaria said.

    Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele is optimistic that they can get the job done in Namibia.

    “Ideally, we would have preferred to win the match at home convincingly, but we played against a good defensive side.

    They were compact and well-organised at the back,” Jele told kickoff.com.

    “It is true we missed a lot of chances and that is regrettable, but the flip side of that is that we played positive attacking football despite the defensive block we had to contend with.

    “The fact that we were able to create chances tells us that it is possible to penetrate their defence and that is what we are preparing for,” the Pirates captain added.

    With the conditions vastly different away from home, Pirates will have to adjust to the artificial turf, as well as the hot weather expected for the afternoon kickoff.

    “We know it won't be a walk in the park, but we are prepared to fight and do whatever it takes to come out tops there.

    “We have been training at the Nike Centre in Soweto this week in order to acclimatise to the conditions, because we know the match will be played on astro turf and in extremely hot conditions.

    “We have done all we can to prepare adequately and now all that is left is to go and get the job done,” Jele added.

    A win for the Namibian side against Pirates will guarantee them a place in the CAF Champions League group stages.

    -Additional info by kickoff.com

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 12/20/18--14:00: Mweya to officiate in Ghana
  • Mweya to officiate in GhanaMweya to officiate in Ghana Namibian boxing referee Fillemon Mweya will travel to Ghana on Monday to referee and judge bouts in that country.

    “This is just the start of my trip. I have high hopes to get opportunities in Asia, Europe and even America from next year. It's my dream,” he said.

    Mweya will leave for Accra on Monday, where he will act as a referee and judge at an evening of professional boxing.

    It is his first such assignment outside the country.

    The 33-year-old Mweya gained his qualification as a referee and judge from the World Boxing Council (WBC) in October when he attended their World Convention in Kiev, Ukraine.

    Mweya will officiate at a Box Office Sports event this coming Wednesday.

    The main bout is a World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa middleweight title fight between Obodai Sai of Ghana and South Africa's France Ramabolu.

    This belt had until recently been around Namibian boxer Walter Kautondokwa's waist.

    Mweya says doors are opening for him, thanks to the sponsors who made it possible for him to travel to the Ukraine earlier this year.

    These include Air Namibia, Solitaire Press, Green Enterprise Solution, Embalangandja Investment, Scorpion Upholstery and Lingua College.

    Mweya was previously an amateur boxer in Ondangwa. He hung up his gloves in 2010 and attended his first course for referees and judges the following year.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 12/20/18--14:00: Team Namibia below par
  • Team Namibia below parTeam Namibia below parFinish eighth at Region Five youth games Team Namibia performed below par as they only managed to collect three gold medals, ten silver and 16 bronze. Namibia ended eighth overall with 29 medals at the 2018 African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region Five Under-20 Youth Games held in Gaborone, Botswana from 6 to 16 December.

    The team of 152 athletes competed in football (men and women), track and field, athletics visually impaired, boxing, basketball, netball, swimming, judo, volleyball (men and women) and tennis against nine other southern African countries. The team, selected at the National Youth Games (NYG) held in Windhoek in May this year, performed below par as they only managed to collect three gold medals, ten silver and 16 bronze. South Africa were the overall winners with 145 medals, of which 70 are gold, followed by Angola with 47 medals (16 gold), Botswana third with 69 medals (12 gold), Zambia fourth with 26 medals (12 gold) and Zimbabwe fifth with 51 medals (nine gold). Mozambique ended sixth with 22 medals (eight gold), Lesotho seventh with 13 medals (four gold), Malawi ninth with six medals (no golds) and Swaziland tenth with one bronze medal. Namibian athletes with disabilities won five medals (two gold, one silver, two bronze) in track and field. Immanuel 'The Bullet' Bernardo won two gold medals in the T11 100m and 200m.



    Swimming

    Namibia collected two silver and five bronze medals. Female swimmers Heleni Stergiadis, Tiana Esslinger, Ju-Ane Oberholzer and Zune Weber won two silver medals in the 4x100m freestyle and medley relay events, respectively.



    Boxing

    Namibia's young boxers were tourists at this year's event after their dismal performances in the ring. Only one boxer managed to win a fight at the competition to reach the semi-finals, while two other boxers reached the semi-finals without fighting in the knockout stages due to the limited number of boxers who showed up.

    Namibia collected three bronze medals after three of their boxers were knocked out in their semi-final fights.



    Basketball

    Namibia's basketball team failed to win a match at this competition. They found the competition tough but had good ball control in their match against Botswana.

    Namibia were totally outplayed by Angola and South Africa.



    Track and field

    This year athletes competing in the track and field events did exceptionally well as they collected most of Team Namibia's medals at the competition. Natalie Louw won gold in the long jump and backed it up with a silver in the high jump.

    Chantell du Toit and Sandro Diergaardt won silver medals in the long jump events for women and men, respectively. Warren Goreb also won a silver medal in the 400m hurdles. Zurial April also added silver in 100m hurdles. Bernhard Wessels won a silver medal in the men's javelin event, while Wilmé Els also added a silver medal in javelin to Team Namibia's haul. Apart from the one gold and seven silvers, the track and field athletes also raked in four bronze medals for a tally of 12 medals.



    Football

    The national u-20 women's football team finished the competition in fourth place after losing to Zimbabwe. The women's team could have reached the final, but due to a lack of consistency by their goalkeeper, they lost their semi-final against Botswana after conceding silly goals from the centreline.

    The men's football team were an eyesore, after failing to score a single goal in their three matches in which the conceded seven goals. All the players were selected from the NYG, but had no preparation before the Region Five games.



    Judo

    This was the first time Namibia took a judo team to the games and they were rewarded with a bronze medal. Juan Johnson won Namibia's first medal in the 91kg-plus category in the men's event.



    Volleyball

    This was also the first time Namibia took a volleyball team to the competition and the men's team won a bronze medal after finishing behind Botswana and South Africa, respectively. The female volleyball team finished fourth at the competition but showed character and room to grow. Both volleyball teams set a good example.



    Netball

    Namibia ended fifth in a group of seven teams. South Africa won gold, Malawi silver and Zimbabwe bronze. Zambia finished fourth, while Lesotho was sixth and the host country Botswana ended seventh.



    Tennis

    The tennis team missed out on medals in the singles matches and failed to qualify for the doubles matches.

    NAMPA

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    Arrows part ways with ShipangaArrows part ways with Shipanga Eleven Arrows FC have parted ways with head coach Lucky Shipanga.

    This was confirmed by Killa Samaria, an Arrows executive committee member, on Tuesday.

    He said the coach had asked to be released from his contract.

    “Shipanga told us he feels he can no longer carry the team forward. We accepted his explanation and his request to relinquish his post. There is no bad blood between us,” Samaria said. He added the club will always be indebted to Shipanga and he will remain an advisor. Dankie Hipunjwa, Shipanga's assistant, will be in charge of the club until further notice. Shipanga said he was leaving “with a clean heart” as football is a sport which requires results.

    “I take responsibility for the team's results. No one should be blamed, but let us respect the management's decision. The parting of ways was amicable. I do not know what will happen to other members of the technical team,” he said.

    The coach also wrote a heartfelt letter on social media addressing the club, supporters and fellow technical team members, saying his departure is not the end of the road for everyone associated with the team. “Thanks a million to the management of Eleven Arrows, the medic, the chef, coach Dankie and the players and to all the supporters. You have been fantastic. Please remember your job now is to stand by our new coach. That is important. I wish you every success in the future,” he wrote. Shipanga also addressed other coaches in his letter saying: “This is the game we choose with passion and love it, and I am always ready to be hired and fired. As coaches you must always be ready to protect our players.” Arrows have played six matches this season, winning one, drawing four and losing one, leaving them in eighth position with seven points.

    NAMPA

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  • 12/20/18--14:00: DRC may delay vote
  • DRC may delay voteDRC may delay voteEVMs destroyed in arson attack The long-awaited elections in the DRC may not take place on Sunday. Elections in Democratic Republic of Congo - due to take place on Sunday - may be postponed for a week, a senior electoral official has told AFP, after electronic voting machines were destroyed in a suspected arson attack on a warehouse last week.

    The official, from the Independent National Election Commission (CENI) but speaking on condition of anonymity, said that both the presidential and legislative polls could be delayed.

    President Joseph Kabila is scheduled to step down after nearly 18 years in power following the elections - which are already two years overdue.

    Nearly 8 000 of some 10 000 voting terminals for the capital Kinshasa were destroyed in the warehouse blaze last Wednesday, according to the CENI.

    Around 11% of the country's 44 million registered voters live in the city.

    Opposition candidates last week suggested the government could have been behind the fire, to use as a pretext to again delay the vote. A “seven-day postponement” is being discussed, the CENI official said on Wednesday, as efforts are made to obtain replacement machines.

    “We are not going to ask for anyone's opinion, even that of the head of state,” the source insisted, adding that a formal decision may be announced yesterday.



    'Extremists are prepared'

    The possible election postponement comes as problems have piled up ahead of the 23 December vote, with violence at electoral rallies, inter-ethnic conflict, militia attacks in the east and an Ebola outbreak. The governor of Kinshasa on Wednesday announced a ban on all public rallies due to security concerns - as opposition hopeful Martin Fayulu said he had been blocked from entering the city.

    “Extremists are prepared and are preparing for confrontations in the streets of the city of Kinshasa during election campaigning,” governor Andre Kimbuta said in a statement. The statement, which was confirmed by the Kinshasa police, said the ban would not apply to “use of media” to convey campaign messages.

    The ban applies to “all presidential candidates, without exception”, Kimbuta said, giving no details as to how long the measure would last.

    Fayulu had been due to hold a meeting in the city.

    The opposition candidate said on Twitter that the government had “prevented (him) from returning” to Kinshasa and that his motorcade had been attacked in Masinimba, east of the capital.

    “What are they are afraid of?” he asked. Police blocked the N1 highway on the city's outskirts, which Fayulu's motorcade would have used, and fired teargas to disperse several hundred supporters who had come to greet him, an AFP reporter saw. Hundreds of supporters also gathered in Saint-Therese Square in the Ndjili district where the rally was to take place, another AFP reporter said.

    Fayulu has repeatedly accused the authorities of trying to thwart regional campaign appearances in the sprawling country.



    Crucial vote

    More than 40 million people are eligible to cast their vote on Sunday. The elections are a huge challenge for DRC, which has never known a peaceful transition of power since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

    Kabila, 47, came to power after his father was assassinated in 2001.

    He is at the helm of a government that critics say is notorious for corruption, incompetence and rights abuses.

    Kabila should have stepped down as president at the end of 2016 when he reached a two-term limit.

    He stayed on, invoking a caretaker clause in the constitution, but at the cost of protests that were bloodily repressed. Twenty-one candidates are vying to replace him.

    The pack is led by Kabila's hand-picked successor Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, a hardline former interior minister linked to the crackdown, and opposition leaders Fayulu and Felix Tshisekedi.

    Fayulu, 62, was a little-known legislator from a minority party who was thrust into the limelight on 11 November when opposition leaders named him their choice as a consensus candidate.

    His nomination was initially backed by six other opposition leaders, including two political heavyweights - ex-warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba and businessman Moise Katumbi, an exiled former provincial governor, both of whom were blocked from running.

    But the deal swiftly fell apart as Tshisekedi, who heads the UDPS - the country's oldest and biggest opposition party - insisted he would take his own tilt at the presidency.

    Adding to political tensions is the logistical hurdle of organising the elections.

    Parts of eastern DRC are in the grip of militia violence and an Ebola epidemic, raising many questions about whether an orderly ballot can take place there.



    NAMPA/AFP

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    Young people in SADC not unitedYoung people in SADC not united Youth minister Erastus Uutoni says although it was his impression that youth were committed to their own development, there was also a distinct lack of unity among young people in SADC.

    Uutoni was speaking at the two-day Southern African Development Community (SADC) Youth Forum held recently at the Safari Court Hotel in Windhoek.

    The National Youth Council (NYC), in conjunction with the SADC secretariat, hosted the forum.

    “Our steps are very slow and this is the reason why we see some people coming from all the corners into our region,” Uutoni said.

    “Innovation is key, let's move.”

    City of Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua said the municipality has been active when it comes to youth matters, as they established a platform called the Junior Council in 2002, where high school learners work with the City and advocate when it comes to the needs of the youth.

    “There is no way others can plan for us as young people we should plan for ourselves,” Kazapua said.

    The purpose of the forum was to facilitate consultations and planning on youth development and empowerment in SADC region.

    One of the objectives was to develop recommendations for youth action to operationalise the 2018 SADC summit theme, 'Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development'.

    It also aimed to provide recommendations for the SADC conference of youth ministers to be held in 2019.

    It also drew up regional youth empowerment priority areas to be recommended for consideration during the next meeting of the SADC ministers responsible for youth.

    The forum also reviewed and drew up priority actions for youth participation and leadership, while developing a conceptual framework for youth innovation and entrepreneurship.

    It also drew up a plan of action for youth participation in implementing the SADC Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (MER) Framework for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and Youth.

    More expected outputs were recommendations for a proposed regional mechanism for youth participation, leadership and action in terms of a regional programme on youth innovation and entrepreneurship.



    Michelline Nawatises

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    Government debt expected to pass 50%Government debt expected to pass 50%Very careful management needed Government has been urged to be prudent and conservative with the uptake of new debt. The government's uptake of debt is not expected to slow anytime soon, with stockbrokers Simonis Storm predicting that total government debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will exceed 50% by the year 2021.

    It warns that Namibia's debt uptake also potentially means that it may have to approach the International Monetary Fund for a rescue package if it does not manage its precarious debt situation.

    “We expect public-sector debt to increase to N$107 billion and debt to GDP to 51.9% by the end of 2020/21. This is above the estimated peak of 48.7% in 2020/21 [as] indicated in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF),” says Simonis Storm.

    “Escalating debt levels for a small open economy with little revenue generation capacity is a recipe for disaster.”

    It warns that Namibia faces the possibility of having its debt stock rated at junk level.

    The Bank of Namibia this week forecast a 0.2 decline in economic growth for the 2018/19 financial year, indicating low productivity.

    “If the high debt level is not addressed, the 10- to 15-year permutations could be IMF or China bailout or even being forced to delink from the peg with the South African rand,” Simonis Storm says.

    PSG Konsult says the government's external debt is expected to surge again in 2019 due to further currency depreciation and another disbursement of the African Development Bank loan agreement.

    The ministry of finance recently said that Namibia would not tap the Eurobond market again soon and would rather opt to issue rand-denominated bonds or bid for more concessionary loans such as the recent AfDB loans.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 12/20/18--14:00: ‘Danger to society’
  • ‘Danger to society’‘Danger to society’Child rape suspect again denied bail A child rape suspect has again been denied bail on several grounds, including that he is a danger to society. The 24-year-old man, who stands accused of raping and mutilating a nine-year-old girl, was again denied bail by the Katutura Magistrate’s Court this week.

    Gewen Gawa-nab appeared in court on Tuesday for the alleged rape that occurred in October.

    The matter was postponed to 12 March next year for his Legal Aid application and further police investigations.

    He is in custody for rape and the intention to cause grievous bodily harm.

    He appeared before Magistrate Atutala Shikalepo, who denied his request for bail.

    According to Nampa, Gawa-nab previously appeared in connection with the matter on 5 December. The case was postponed for additional instructions from the Office of the Prosecutor-General (PG).

    The court has already received nine instructions from the PG, including those regarding Gawa-nab’s other pending matters.

    The court denied him bail because he has other pending matters of the same nature, is a danger to society and it will not be in the interest of justice to release him.

    There is also a fear he will interfere with witnesses in his other pending cases, Shikalepo added.

    Gawa-nab was arrested on 29 October after he allegedly raped the nine-year-old girl at Farm Satan Locht in the Khomas Region. It is alleged that Gawa-nab cut the girl’s genitals with a knife before raping her.

    It was initially alleged by the police that the girl and three other children were left in Gawa-nab’s care.

    However, the victim’s father gave a different version to Namibian Sun.

    He said the children - three girls and a boy - were playing and walking toward the farm. According to him, Gawa-nab followed the children and attacked them. He said the other children managed to run away, but Gawa-nab pulled his daughter into the bushes and allegedly raped her.

    The police said Gawa-nab apparently got hold of a knife and tried to rape the girl, but penetration could not take place. He then cut her genitals and raped her.

    After fleeing into the mountains he was arrested inside a Havana shack following a manhunt.

    Gawa-nab has a string of former rape and an attempted rape cases pending against him that date back to 2013.

    He has also faced previous gender violence and assault charges, which were withdrawn against him due to incomplete investigations and missing dockets.

    He has been charged with three cases in which he is facing counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Complacency robs Namibia of investmentComplacency robs Namibia of investment The government needs to do more now than ever before if it wants to attract private-sector investment, a financial expert says.

    This an appeal by finance minister Calle Schlettwein to the private sector to assist the government.

    Independent analyst Klaus Schade says Namibia is bearing the brunt of the government’s complacency.

    “Because of complacency and indecisiveness on the part of officials Namibia has lost out on potential foreign direct investment and so far none of the investments announced at the Investor Conference have materialised,” Schade says.

    He feels that policy interventions such as the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework should be finalised as a matter of urgency.

    “Our policies, such as the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework, the Namibia Investment Promotion Act and the Special Economic Zone Act, need to be in line with international best practice in order to attract private-sector investment,” Schade says.

    He also advises the government to hold regular meetings with the private sector if it wants to convince them to invest.

    “Overall, the government could consider introducing regular, structured meetings at the highest level with the private sector to discuss the business environment, challenges and opportunities for both the private and public sector and agree on steps to address the shortcomings.

    “The prevailing dichotomy whereby foreign direct investment finds investible opportunities in the domestic economy on the one hand, while domestic savings perpetually flow out of the country, should be addressed in the spirit of partnerships,” Schade says.

    While Schlettwein has urged businesses to invest in the economy, the ease of doing business in Namibia has not improved.

    In fact, Namibia has dropped on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.

    Namibia has dropped to 107th out of 190 countries in the 2018 World Bank Ease of Doing Business index, down from 106th place last year.

    In terms of starting a business, Namibia is now ranked 172nd. The report shows it takes ten procedures to register a business in Namibia, a process which takes 66 days.

    In terms of dealing with construction permits, Namibia was ranked 83rd: the process involves 12 procedures and takes 160 days, according to the report.

    With the government calling for more private-sector involvement in the economy, Schade notes that no progress has been made to encourage investment in the economy.

    “Namibia's ranking in the latest competitiveness reports clearly indicates that next to no progress has been made over the past years in improving the country's competitiveness although it has been one of the national development priorities,” Schade points out.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 12/20/18--14:00: Spar sues for N$17m
  • Spar sues for N$17mSpar sues for N$17mAlleges Rundu businessman defaulted In papers before the court, Spar Group Limited says Rundu Spar's payments bounced over seven years to the tune of N$48 million. The Spar Group Limited has brought an urgent application before Judge Collins Parker in the Windhoek High Court against Rundu-based businessman Adalberto Felisberto.

    Their application, Spar says, is urgent because of the possibility that an application for the sequestration of Felisberto “may be made at any moment”. In her founding affidavit, Jeannette Botha, the credit manager for Spar Western Cape and Namibia, adds that should Felisberto be sequestrated, Spar's “ability to implement its clear rights to perfect its security is likely to be finally and irreparably lost”. Furthermore, Botha said it was of critical importance to prevent job losses, should the Rundu Spar close its doors, causing damage also to other creditors.

    According to Botha, Felisberto is indebted to Spar in the amount of more than N$17 million, “having ordered supplies of stock from Spar on a credit account”, and not making payment or undertaking to make payment, or having the payments bounced by his bank. She told the court that Felisberto had repeatedly told her he was trying to raise finance and had attempted to sell his building at the town, a sale which fell through.

    “This does not fit in with his purported ownership of farms and property, and of being a man of significant financial substance,” she said.

    Moreover, Botha said although Felisberto had historically owned the Kavango Shell Garage, renamed to Kavango Shell, as well as Kavango Tyres, he had never informed her that he no longer owns these businesses.

    Her knowledge, she said, indicates that he does own them and this will constitute movables for the Spar Group under their notarial bond.

    Felisberto had, according to Botha, applied for credit from the group in November 2000 and began to trade, following approval, on 17 January 2001. Botha explained to the court how the system works. Felisberto, in his agreement with Spar, ordered from what is known as drop-shipment suppliers on credit. These accounts would be settled by Spar and Felisberto, in turn, would be invoiced.

    His overall indebtedness to Spar at 14 December this year stood at N$10 816 316.70 and his conventional arrears amounted to N$7 445 208.69.

    Botha said his arrears had accelerated in the last year, growing from roughly N$1 million to N$7.5 million.

    Spar, she said, continued its support, as it was informed that Felisberto's Spar store would be sold for N$5 million and the building for N$10 million, which reassured them at the time. The sale, however, fell through in October this year.

    Upon enquiry as to why the debts were not settled, as the stock was selling in-store, Botha said Felisberto told here “no funds at all were available”.

    Having accrued a whopping N$1.8 million in debt in November this year, Botha said Spar stopped the credit line at drop-shipment suppliers. She and Felisberto had a heated conversation and she told the court he said he would make no further payments and wanted nothing to do with the group anymore.

    “He advised that we can proceed with legal action against him.”

    Botha told the court that since November 2011, Felisberto's account had bounced payments to the tune of N$48 million, of which 31 to the value of just over N$13 million, were recorded from January this year.

    Botha asked the court for a perfection order allowing the Spar Group to take control of the store and to continue to conduct business, in a bid to protect the jobs and the store as a going concern. The store can then be sold and Botha said they believed Felisberto would cooperate in this regard.

    “I point out that such a sale would probably also benefit Felisberto, as it is likely to minimise Spar's claims against him.”

    Botha asked the court for an order to attach both movable and immovable assets belonging to Felisberto, for as long as he is indebted to Spar, and also asked for costs.

    Tobias Louw of Theunissen Louw and Partners appeared for Spar Group Limited.

    YANNA SMITH

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  • 12/20/18--14:00: Cuban doctor gets bail
  • Cuban doctor gets bailCuban doctor gets bail The Cuban doctor, who stands accused of raping his colleague at the doctors' residential flats at the Windhoek Central Hospital, has been granted bail of N$10 000.

    The 47-year-old Pedro Luis Viera was given bail on Tuesday in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court by Magistrate Gerrit van Pletzen.

    His bail application kicked off last week Thursday after he was arrested for the rape of a fellow doctor on the Tuesday.

    The court ruled that once the bail amount is paid, Viera may be released from custody, but he must then relocate to Keetmanshoop, where the Cuban medical programme in Namibia offered to accommodate him.

    Nampa reported that his lawyer Kadhila Amoomo managed to get him out of jail on Tuesday this week.

    The police told Namibian Sun that Pedro visited the victim who is a colleague of his last Wednesday at the Windhoek Central Hospital doctors' flats. According to sources the victim is apparently an intern doctor and works under Viera, who supervises the interns. He apparently made sexual advances towards the intern doctor during his visit and when she refused, he allegedly threatened to kill her. He ultimately raped her, according to the police. The victim told one of her colleagues at work what had happened, who advised her to report the matter to the police.

    Nampa further reported that the victim claimed that when Viera made sexual advances at her on an earlier occasion, she refused.

    She said he instructed her to take a bath after the incident to get rid of the evidence and threatened to kill her.

    Viera, however, maintains it was consensual intercourse and denied ever threatening the victim.

    Sources claimed that he apparently has a habit of targeting intern doctors for sexual favours.

    The State was represented by Palmer Kumalo.

    Viera has to make his next court appearance on 21 January.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Shangula needs ‘unquestionable backing’ Shangula needs ‘unquestionable backing’ JEMIMA BEUKES

    The incoming health minister needs not only the support of his senior staff but the unquestionable backing of the head of state and his cabinet colleagues, former health minister Dr Richard Kamwi said yesterday.

    He was reacting the appointment of Dr Kalumbi Shangula as replacement for Dr Bernard Haufiku, who was fired from cabinet by President Hage Geingob this week following a fallout that has been intensifying since the beginning of the year.

    Haufiku now occupies the newly created position of health adviser to the presidency.

    “As minister of health, Dr Shangula will not only need the support of his senior staff. He will need unquestionable support from the president, the prime minister and cabinet ministers, especially the minister of finance,” said Kamwi, who had served in the position for many years until 2015.

    During part of Kamwi’s stint, Shangula had served as his permanent secretary.

    Kamwi said he was in fact the one who encouraged Shangula, who was still studying in the United Kingdom at the time, to apply for the position of PS, while not knowing that he (Kamwi) would later be appointed as health minister.

    Kamwi emphasised that the health ministry is very complex and should not be treated like other ministries, as it deals with life and death.

    He also believes that the ministry should be exempted from budget cuts amid the current economic hardships.

    Kamwi is optimistic that Shangula will succeed in his new role if he performs with the same vigour as when he was PS.

    “I worked with Dr Shangula, he was my technical adviser during his time as health director for the northwest health region until he took up the PS position.

    “I did not work with Dr Bernard Haufiku, but for the short time that he was there all I can say is that he is a good medical doctor. And we saw what he was trying to achieve and do,” said Kamwi.

    Former deputy health PS Dr Norbert Foster also spoke highly of Shangula, saying he has tremendous insight into the health sector.

    “I think he is probably the most experienced public servant in terms of health and has worked throughout the system, from district level, director, up to PS. He has tremendous insight into the health sector and a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities this ministry faces,” Foster said.

    Shangula, who was first sworn in as member of parliament yesterday before taking his oath of office at State House, believes the problems at the health ministry cannot be solved at once.

    He too emphasised that the issue of funding is critical.

    “You must have the means to deliver a service and you need people to deliver these services. And you must have money to pay their salaries,” he said.

    Shangula until recently served as the deputy associate dean of the University of Namibia (Unam) School of Medicine.

    He had served as environment ministry PS before his retirement from the public service.

    Shangula has also served as the executive chairperson of Swapo business arm, Kalahari Holdings. He is also the chairperson of the ruling party’s think tank.

    He was married to state pathologist Dr Elizabeth Shangula, who died in 2008.

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    Passengers blast Air Namibia Passengers blast Air Namibia Cops pull dissatisfied customers off plane The national airline remains in the news for all the wrong reasons this week – this time for getting heavy handed with passengers who complained about a nine-hour delay. ELLANIE SMIT

    Angry Air Namibia passengers have taken to social media to expose flight delays of more than nine hours and shabby treatment by cabin crew.

    Following Monday’s embarrassing incident in which four Air Namibia’s crew members were too intoxicated to fly an aircraft from Johannesburg to Windhoek, passengers on Air Namibia flight SW728 had to endure a flight delay of several hours on Tuesday.

    The flight, which was scheduled to depart Johannesburg for Windhoek at 11:20, only took off at 21:00, according to passengers.

    Police officers were eventually called in to calm down the unruly passengers.

    Three passengers, whom the crew described as a threat, were removed from the aircraft.

    According to one of the passengers, Oluwademilade Fayemiwo, she was removed because people were expressing their displeasure about how they were treated.

    She posted their entire ordeal on Facebook and also tweeted regular updates about the delayed flight.

    “The police came on board and two guys were handpicked, even though almost everyone had expressed their anger.

    “While this was going on, I started speaking to one of the cabin crew members named Xavier. In the calmest tone I could muster, I told him their attitude was just wrong.

    "Guess what? He told the police to take me off the plane! [He] said I was inciting violence! The police took me off the plane with the two men, [and] said they were trying to calm the situation, but it was up to the crew to decide if we would be let on board again,” Fayemiwo said.

    According to her, by that time it was 20:30, while the flight was supposed to have taken off at 11:20.

    “I said nothing to the police; I simply stood there like a statue. Eventually, the head of the cabin crew came to the police to tell them I did nothing wrong, so they should let me go,” Fayemiwo added.

    The flight eventually took off at 21:00.

    During the wait, passengers complained about not being informed about the cause of the delay and it was apparently only after further uproar that the crew eventually brought water on board for the children on the flight.

    Air Namibia spokesperson Paul Nakawa said airport staff are mandated to make announcements from time to time, in order to keep passengers informed about their flights.

    “If this was not done; then it’s very unfortunate from the colleagues who were on duty, but we will look at the reports.”

    Nakawa said a media release was issued on Tuesday to apologise to the flying public and affected passengers inconvenienced by delays.

    According to Nakawa the flight in question was delayed for only two hours and 17 minutes.

    “I must make it clear that this very flight was supposed to leave Johannesburg at 11:20, but it was cancelled due to various reasons. One of the reasons was that the flight had already arrived in Johannesburg an hour late, but it had time to turn around.”

    Nakawa said one passenger checked in luggage but never showed up for boarding.

    “As per procedures, we cannot release an aircraft to the skies without all the passengers who have checked in, so this led to having to search for the checked-in luggage for an absent passenger, in order (for it) to be offloaded from the aircraft.”

    Another reason for the delay was that the A319 aircraft sent from Windhoek to pick up the Johannesburg passengers had to undergo a four-to five-hour maintenance inspection.

    “If a delay is expected for hours, passengers will be served with snacks and refreshments at the expense of the airline, while waiting for their departure time to be announced,” said Nakawa.

    He said as per the security manual, the decision on whether or not to fly passengers rests with the captain.

    “If the cabin controller decided to carry the passenger, the captain may overrule the recommendation where he/she considers the risks involved are unacceptable.”

    The security manual further stipulates that the police should be called whenever a passenger’s behaviour is beyond the control of airline staff or their actions are outside the law.

    Brendan Dawson posted on Facebook that over the past two weeks, four Air Namibia flights he had been on had been delayed.

    “Every flight has been delayed for some or other reason, including not arranging a co-pilot, and other personnel problems it would seem. A very poor performance, I am very disappointed! I have lost so much time because of your delays these past few weeks - including spending six hours at the airport on Monday,” Dawson wrote.

    Marlize Rautenbach wrote on 15 December that she had been in Johannesburg for 23 hours but her luggage had not yet arrived.

    “Half of the passengers did not receive their luggage and it should have arrived this morning. Every time I phone, the answer I get is 'the flight is delayed' and now they still can't give me a straight answer as to what time I can expect my luggage... RIDICULOUS!!!!!!” she wrote on social media.

    Elmarie Wilkinson’s honeymoon was ruined when Air Namibia cancelled her and her husband’s flight to Johannesburg, costing them two nights’ stay in Mauritius.

    “This was the only way you helped us, flying to Frankfurt during the night (we don't have visas, so we'll be stuck at the airport for the whole day!!). Now our honeymoon will consist of two full days only waiting on airports and flying at night. And we will eventually spend only four nights in Mauritius!” she wrote.

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  • 12/20/18--14:00: Can Geingob handle dissent?
  • Can Geingob handle dissent?Can Geingob handle dissent? The firing of Bernhard Haufiku as health minister this week confirms our assertions that all is not well in President Hage Geingob's cabinet. Details of a strained relationship between Geingob and his subordinate started showing earlier this year when the head of state reprimanded the health minister over comments made regarding the planned, controversial northern referral hospital, which will be built in Ondangwa. Geingob had criticised Haufiku over his handling of the contentious project, by questioning why he was insistent on visiting proposed northern sites, while a decision had already been taken by cabinet to construct the facility at Ondangwa. It was also at this stage when Haufiku fumed that he had only learned that the cabinet committee had already met and deliberated on the issue without his input. The fallout continued when Haufiku lashed out at his superiors in a Namibian Sun article recently. Obviously the president has broad power and can revoke the appointments of ministers at any time since they serve at his mercy. He has done the same with the likes of former deputy minister Bernadus Swartbooi and ministers Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana and Jerry Ekandjo in the past, although some may argue that these leaders undermined the president's authority by openly questioning him in public. To be quite frank, it is natural and almost unavoidable for a sitting president to be subjected to criticism. The political climate and dynamics have vastly shifted and are no longer the same as they were between 1990 and 2005. The question still remains whether the president simply expects to be surrounded by yes-men and yes-women or whether he can indeed accommodate constructive dissent when it comes to the way he is running the country. With executive authority also comes the responsibility to include a broad spectrum of views and opinions, for the betterment of the nation and its people, who are growing more impatient by the day and deserve better.

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  • 12/20/18--14:00: Geingob 'wants yes-men'
  • Geingob 'wants yes-men'Geingob 'wants yes-men'President seen as stifling dissent in cabinet The removal of the hands-on and outspoken Dr Bernard Haufiku as health minister has been questioned by political analysts. Analysts say President Hage Geingob's stifling of dissent in government is troubling and it appears as if the president wants to be surrounded by yes-men.

    Geingob yesterday said some ministers forget that they took an oath not to divulge anything discussed in cabinet meetings.

    He said this when he appointed Dr Kalumbi Shangula as the new health minster to replace Dr Bernard Haufiku.

    Haufiku has now been appointed as special advisor on health and social services in the office of the vice-president.

    Haufiku and Geingob had clashed a number of times and at one point Geingob called Haufiku to order for interfering with a government decision regarding the site of a new referral hospital in the north.

    “This hospital saga apparently created bad blood between the two and Haufiku told Namibian Sun that he did not want to be involved in the political mess surrounding that hospital.

    In a recent interview with Namibian Sun Haufiku complained of political interference and said “his superior in cabinet” had berated him for giving the government a bad name when he had reached out to the private sector for help.

    On a number of occasions Haufiku had publicly expressed his frustration with the way things are done in the public sector, saying that “some of the people must make a rotation in the private sector before they can go to the public sector”.

    Yesterday political analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah said Haufiku's appointment as health advisor made no sense.

    “It makes no sense to fire a health minister and appoint him as an advisor in the same area. That tells me that the system in government somehow does not work as it should, especially if we look at the cost of firing a person and replacing that person but keeping that fired person in the same area.”

    Kamwanyah also questioned the timing of the president's action, saying there was a need for a closer look behind the scenes to see what exactly was going on between the former minister and the president.

    “If you look at the articles quoted in the press release from the presidency then it shows that they did it in a hurry. They were in a hurry to fire him. I am not saying he cannot be fired; it is the prerogative of the president to fire if he wants to fire.” Meanwhile, the Landless People's Movement (LPM) says it is puzzled by Haufiku's dismissal while retaining lands minister Utoni Nujoma, whose head had been demanded by many activists including the LPM.

    “LPM as a matter of fact calls for the dismissal of [all] cabinet ministers and their deputies for incompetence, lack of creativity, and for lack of innovation to revive our economy, which is sliding backwards into depression.

    “Namibians continue to be trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, inequality and unemployment,” the LPM said in a statement yesterday.





    Geingob has also been criticised for dismissing former deputy lands minister Bernadus Swartbooi for comments he had made at a festival at Hoachanas.

    Earlier this year Geingob also fired former home affairs minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana and former sports minister Jerry Ekandjo for being too vocal during their campaign against Geingob's slate for the top four positions at the 2017 Swapo congress.

    This trend is “troubling”, argues political analyst Fredericko Links.

    “It is clear that anybody with a strong opinion and willing to express this opinion is seemingly not welcome. Most people are reading it that way and that is troubling,” says Links.

    Links also believes Haufiku's situation could have been handled differently.

    “If you have a capable person who is willing change things, why not keep that person?” he asks.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Nurse charged with hospital rapeNurse charged with hospital rape KENYA KAMBOWE

    A nurse at the Rundu state hospital was denied bail this week after he was arrested for allegedly drugging a patient (56), and then raping her.

    The accused, Shintango Mbambi (35), on Tuesday appeared before Assistant Magistrate Rufinus Hikerwa, charged with drugging and raping a patient at the hospital on 6 December.

    Mbambi was arrested last week Friday.

    Namibian Sun was reliably informed that the alleged victim was receiving treatment in the tuberculosis (TB) ward, where Mbambi was working.

    Mbambi was denied bail and remains in police custody.

    The matter was postponed to 26 February 2019 for further police investigation and for the accused to obtain legal representation.

    Mbambi indicated to the court that he would apply for legal aid.

    The court was informed that Mbambi had submitted a formal bail application, which the State was opposing.

    The case was opened after the alleged victim complained to other hospital staff, who called the police.

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    New curriculum brings challengesNew curriculum brings challenges When 2020 rolls around, the number of grade 11 learners in Namibian schools will almost double.

    However, with high schools that are forced to cope with free education and limitations to fundraising, in accordance with regulations, coupled with the current economic climate, there have been mixed reactions to the curriculum changes.

    According to Patrick Simalumba of the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED), this is the biggest curriculum change since grade 11 learners started with the Cambridge HIGSCE and IGSCE courses in 1994.

    The planned changes to the curriculum began in 2012, following the 2011 National Conference on Education.

    The grade 10 results released on Wednesday indicate that 20 000 learners will not be promoted to grade 11, but in 2020 these learners could, based on the results of internal examinations, be promoted.

    According to available documents on the new curriculum, the pass mark for grade 10 will be 40% or an E in five subjects, including English. This is higher than the current requirements. Learners will potentially be held back in both grades 8 and 9, and once more in grade 10. Pressure in those classes will increase greatly if large numbers of learners are held back in grade 10.



    Bottlenecks

    Simalumba admits there are challenges. “It is an inevitable valley of pain we must walk through; we must take hands for a better future.”

    According to him, the transition period will take some time, but the lack of classroom space, staff and resources are worrisome.

    Moreover, more than 100 junior secondary schools across the country will have to take in grade 11 learners in 2020.

    Currently, the available figures for these schools, per region, are as follows: Erongo five, Hardap five, Kavango East four, Kavango West seven, //Karas four, Khomas three, Kunene seven, Omaheke two, Omusati 19, Oshana 15, Oshikoto 31, Otjozondjupa six and Zambezi seven.





    This implies that extra classrooms and teachers will be needed.

    According to a principal some construction and preparation has begun at certain schools, but the scope of this work is still unknown.

    Simalumba said that in areas where schools are near each other, they will work together to fill the gaps and meet the needs of the learners.

    “To secure qualified teachers for the fields of study is a challenge,” he said, adding that it was one that could last for several years.

    At the announcement of the grade 10 results this week, education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said everyone should embrace the changes as a positive challenge.



    Why the changes?

    According to both Simalumba and Clementine Garises, the director of examinations and evaluation, the current NSSCH or higher level qualification for grade 12 is no longer coupled to the Cambridge system and this brings challenges when it comes to admission to international universities.

    Garises added that the changes also bring an internationally recognised qualification to those who leave school after grade 10.

    “Our syllabi must adhere to international standards,” Simalumba said.

    “We are part of the global community, so all the stakeholders will have to work harder and redouble their efforts.”



    Training

    According to a Windhoek principal, his teachers are already trained for the new NSSCO syllabus. Training for vocational subjects will take place in January and February.



    According to Simalumba, 595 facilitators have been trained by NIED in order to train 4 232 teachers in the regions.

    One teacher per subject and school is already trained and they have been instructed to share their knowledge with their colleagues.

    During October and November, 80 principals and inspectors were trained and they will train others in their respective regions.

    Refresher courses will take place once the results of a needs study are available and the first academic results of 2020 are published.

    There is a budget for training teachers who are appointed in 2019.

    Textbooks have already been ordered and one principal said he was sure the stock and supply would be adequate.

    The education ministry has also announced that its budget would be sufficient to meet the requirements of the new syllabus.



    New higher level

    To pass to grade 11 on the advanced subsidiary level of NSSCAS, a learner must have a C in at least three of the NSSCO subjects.

    A sample taken of the current available data indicates that by 2021 there will be 12 000 grade 12s. This year there were almost 17 000 fulltime candidates.

    Certain schools in each region will act as a hub for the NSSCAS, but the list is not yet available.

    Grade 12s will be able to take three to five subjects in their final year. Simalumba says that globally, according to Cambridge, only 0.00002% of learners can complete six subjects on the advanced level.

    DANI BOOYSEN

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  • 12/18/18--14:00: Africa Briefs
  • Africa BriefsAfrica Briefs Ethiopian Airlines reopens Moscow route

    Ethiopian Airlines on Monday resumed flights to Moscow after a gap of 27 years stretching back to the demise of the Soviet Union, which saw relations with Moscow dive.

    "Moscow is a vital addition to our European service, a very important region. It's going to take our total number of weekly flights to European destinations to reach 54 passenger flights a week," said the carrier's executive director Tewolde Gebremariam as the first flight took off from Addis Ababa.

    Ethiopian Airlines which is 100% state-owned, is Africa's largest carrier.

    Addis Ababa airport has recently undergone a large-scale revamp as a major continental aviation hub in a country run until 1991 by a communist military junta - a regime which received substantial Soviet support in the 1970s and 80s.

    Earlier this year saw a wing of a new US$345 million passenger terminal at the airport, which is one of Africa's busiest.

    After the fall of the Soviet Union, ties between the two nations slid. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Ethiopia last March and cooperation in several sectors, nuclear power included, has been discussed. – Nampa/AFP

    Malawi VP takes leadership of opposition

    Malawi vice president Saulos Chilima was elected head of the United Transformation Movement (UTM) party on Monday, paving way for him to challenge president Peter Mutharika in May elections.

    Chilima was handpicked by Mutharika to run alongside him in the 2014 elections on the Democratic People's Party (DPP) ticket.

    But Chilima quit the DPP in June to form the UTM, citing corruption, nepotism and cronyism in the ruling party.

    Under the constitution, the vice president cannot be sacked by the president.

    Chilima, 45, is seen as a young challenger to Mutharika, 79, who won the election in 2014, two years after his brother, Bingu wa Mutharika, died while serving as president. – Nampa/AFP

    Libya's NOC declares force majeure

    Libya's National Oil Company (NOC) has declared force majeure on operations at El Sharara oilfield, it said late on Monday, a week after the company declared force majeure on the field's exports.

    NOC said in a statement that oil production from Libya's biggest oilfield will only restart after "alternative security arrangements are put in place".

    The NOC last week declared force majeure on exports from the 315 000-barrels-per-day oilfield located in the south of the North African country after the field was earlier seized by a local militia group. – Nampa/Reuters

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