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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 12/26/18--14:00: Let’s practice restraint
  • Let’s practice restraintLet’s practice restraint With the festive season in full swing, it is a time of cheer, celebration and reflection for many Namibians.

    We also welcome many visitors to our shores, who have come to experience our hospitality and the beauty of the scenery we often take for granted.

    This is also a time of immense danger on our roads, which claim many lives at this time of the year. We implore all road users to practice courteousness and restraint. Let us have good attitudes, let us not drink and drive and arrive alive to wherever we may be travelling.

    We also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the many Namibians who are still working this time of the year, in a bid to ensure our safety.

    Here we are talking about emergency service personnel, the police and other law-enforcement officers who are tirelessly striving to make the 2018 festive season a safe one.

    At the launch of Operation Hornkranz last Friday, which aims to minimise crime and road fatalities during the festive season, President Hage Geingob was at pains to explain why law enforcement is so critical this time of the year.

    Geingob said the Namibian nation has been crying out because of crime and that something has to be done.

    He also acknowledged that he knows police officers should be resting and spending time with their families during the festive season, but that some of them have to work to make sure that citizens are behaving and complying with the law.

    We also want to join the president in thanking our men and women in uniform for their sterling efforts.

    We also want to call on all citizens to take care of themselves and their families. For too long we have witnessed an unending stream of crimes taking place, which can often be prevented if we don’t overindulge in terms of alcohol consumption. Let us practice restraint in this regard as well, as we welcome a new year and its promise of a new start.

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  • 12/26/18--14:00: Geingob launches Hornkranz
  • Geingob launches Hornkranz Geingob launches Hornkranz Zero tolerance for festive crime The festive season is known for its horrendous car crashes and a myriad of crimes not the least of which includes theft and burglaries. President Hage Geingob has officially launched Operation Hornkranz, which is aimed at minimising crime and road fatalities during the festive season.

    Geingob officially launched the police-led operation on Friday, which will take place across the country.

    Speaking at the launch, acting police inspector-general, Major-General Anna-Marie Nainda, said the president directed the police on 12 December to increase law-enforcement visibility during the festive season.

    An operational plan was, therefore, compiled.

    “The plan entails the participation of not only the members of the Namibian police, but also those from other sister organisations, such as the Namibian Defence Force, Namibian Correctional Services, the City of Windhoek, the municipal police services, as well as anti-crime structures, such as police reservists, neighbourhood watches and women and men networks,” Nainda said.

    She said the operation will mainly target potential crime-prone areas in the Khomas Region, particularly in the Windhoek urban centre and its environments.

    According to her all roleplayers have keenly accepted and offered their participation in the operation.

    “They have availed both their human capital and technical and logistical means for the envisioned success of the operation.”

    Geingob said the Namibian nation has been crying out because of crime and that something has to be done.

    “We must go out and see to it that the crime rate drops.”

    He told the police officers he knows they should be resting and spending time with their families, but some of them have to work to make sure that citizens are behaving and complying with the law.

    “I know this is a precious time that you are supposed to spend with your family, but I am depriving you of that. You have to make sure that there will be no curfew in Namibia because of crimes, so I am commanding you to march on and root out crime,” he said.

    Geingob reminded the officers that the country is governed by laws and it is their duty to enforce them by patrolling crime-prone areas.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 12/26/18--14:00: Lecturer denied bail
  • Lecturer denied bailLecturer denied bail A 44-year-old University of Namibia (Unam) lecturer, who allegedly shot and wounded two brothers, was denied bail in the Rundu Magistrate's Court on Friday.

    Nelson Antonio, an employee of the Unam Rundu campus, formally applied for bail last week.

    Bail was denied by Magistrate Hellen Olaiya and the matter was remanded to 15 January 2019.

    Antonio is charged with two counts of attempted murder after he allegedly shot and wounded Moses and Gerson Batista, who are both 25 years old, on 3 December in Rundu's Kehemu location.

    The two victims are related to Antonio's ex-girlfriend and were driving her car at the time.

    Antonio is also charged with discharging a firearm in public and for malicious damage to property, as one of the victims was shot while seated in the vehicle. Prosecutor Emma Mayavero objected to bail on the grounds that the offences are serious and that it will not be in the interest of the administration of justice to release the suspect.





    She argued further that granting Antonio bail would undermine public confidence in the justice system.

    She also objected to bail on the grounds that the suspect will interfere directly or indirectly with police investigations, which are at an initial stage.

    Antonio's lawyer Ricardo Mukonda argued his client should be granted bail because he acted in self-defence.

    Antonio testified during cross-examination he was seated in his car when three men, including the two victims, pulled him out of his vehicle and threw him to the ground, before beating him up.

    He said he fired warning shots into the air, but had to shoot at the victims as one of them was on his way to their vehicle to get a panga.

    Antonio also testified he is the father of ten children, and at the time of the incident, five of them lived with him.

    He told the court he should therefore be released on bail, so he can continue to take care of his children.

    Olaiya said in her ruling the state had presented its case very well, compared to the defence.

    She indicated that Antonio had emptied the entire magazine of his gun, which had a capacity of 15 rounds, and this did not indicate self-defence.

    The magistrate was also not convinced that the suspect is taking care of five of his children, as she had presided over a maintenance matter involving Antonio last year.

    Olaiya noted that Antonio is an educator at Unam and that he was busy with research, but reiterated that the state had presented its case well and had justified its grounds for objecting to bail.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 12/26/18--14:00: Armed to the teeth
  • Armed to the teethArmed to the teeth200 000 small arms in circulation As the nation grapples with violent crime, a report has revealed that Namibians own a whopping 200 000 legal small arms. Namibia has the second highest number of registered small arms in sub-Saharan Africa, with 200 000 in circulation in the country.

    This revelation comes as police chief, Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, issued a stern warning to all firearm owners in Namibia not to discharge their guns during ongoing festive season celebrations, as this is against the law and poses a danger to the public.

    Ndeitunga said the police have noted with great concern that members of the public are shooting into the air during Christmas and wedding celebrations.

    “Such a practice is a direct contravention of the Arms and Ammunition Act, Act 7 of 1996 and anyone found in contravention of the said Act will face the full wrath of the law,” Ndeitunga said.

    According to a newly released report on small arms, titled 'Trade Update 2018 - sub-Saharan Africa in Focus', Namibia has the second highest number of registered small arms in the region, at 200 000, with South Africa topping the list with three million registered small arms.

    Malawi has 12 500 registered small arms and Niger 2 000.

    According to the report, Namibia was the third largest exporter of small arms in the region, with guns to the value of US$3.4 million exported.





    The data covers the period from 2013 to 2015 and is the latest available information.

    The main importers of small arms to Namibia are Botswana (34%), South Africa (33%) and Zambia (15%).

    South Africa was the largest exporter of small arms to the value of US$62.3 million, while Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya and the Central African Republic (CAR) also made the top five list.

    The report further shows that Namibia is also the fourth largest importer of small arms in sub-Saharan Africa, at a value of U$32.2 million, for the period 2013 to 2015.

    Namibia's imports of small arms have increased from a mere US$5.4 million to US$22.6 million.

    The report noted that Namibia became a major importer for the first time in 2015.

    The small arms trade survey has been conducted since 2001.

    The main exporter of small arms to Namibia are Russia (77%), the United States (10%) and Germany (7%).

    “The Russian Federation delivered US$17.5 million worth of small arms to sub-Saharan Africa during 2013 to 15, mostly - it appears - to Namibia, which reported the import of US$16.7 million worth of small arms from the Russian Federation in 2015,” the report said.

    South Africa is the largest importer, at a value of US$126.1 million, while other countries in the top five include Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire and Malawi.

    The report further identified the challenge of determining if industrial production is under way in sub-Saharan African, saying that information on whether producers are active or dormant can be contradictory.

    “For example, the DRC, Mali, and

    Namibia informed the small arms survey that industrial production of small arms, their parts or ammunition does not take place in their state. Yet independent sources point to ammunition producers in all three states,” it said.

    Traditionally, there is a low level of openness regarding sub-Saharan African small arms production and transfers, which hampers efforts to determine the sources of supply and volume of small arms flows. Yet, with 22 sub-Saharan African states parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as of the end of December 2017, and with this number likely to increase further in coming years, it is anticipated that the ATT's requirement for states to report on their small arms imports and exports will enable significantly better monitoring.

    The Namibian police earlier this year said it issued over 50 000 firearm licences in the past nine years, with an average of more than 6 000 licences issued per year.

    Over the years there have been concerns over the number of people who are in possession of firearm licences, as this poses a security risk because firearms are used in the commission of crimes.

    The government introduced an amnesty in 2016 to allow for the surrendering of illegal weapons and ammunition.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 12/26/18--14:00: No delinking from rand
  • No delinking from randNo delinking from rand The pegging of the Namibian dollar to the South African rand is still in the best interest of Namibia and there are no plans in the near future to delink the local currency.

    This was confirmed by both finance minister Calle Schlettwein and the Bank of Namibia (BoN) in statements made over the Christmas weekend.

    Schlettwein and Ebson Uanguta, the deputy president of the central bank, were reacting to an article published on Friday by Bloomberg which stated that Namibia is considering delinking the Namibian dollar from the rand after 25 years, due to the fickleness of the currency and the economic challenges it faces.

    According to Bloomberg's article, following an interview with Schlettwein in New York, the government is considering its options to amend the currency peg agreement or plot a new way forward for the Namibian dollar.

    However, such a change will not take place in the near future because Namibia is also grappling with its first recession in 14 years, Bloomberg reported.

    Integration with South Africa, including customs agreements, are to be reassessed, Bloomberg said.

    It quotes Schlettwein as saying that the entire basket must be reassessed, in the interest of economic recovery.

    Schlettwein told Namibian Sun the journalist had probed him regarding Namibia's financial needs over the next decade.









    “We are constantly weighing up the benefits and costs of the common monetary area agreement, including the 1:1 pegging of the two currencies. Delinking is not imminent,” Schlettwein said.





    In a statement released on Monday, Uanguta said it is no secret that the BoN, from time to time, evaluates the sustainability of the currency pegging agreement. This forms part of the central bank's policy advice it provides to government, “as it relates to any future options that may be considered, if and when the peg becomes unmaintainable”.

    “These assessments have concluded that the benefits from the current fixed exchange rate outweigh the costs.”

    He added that delinking could negatively affect Namibia.



    Benefits

    Namibia's average inflation rate is generally lower than that of sub-Saharan Africa due to the pegging agreement, which allows for lower inflation imports from South Africa. Delinking could compromise this benefit and lead to higher inflation.

    Roughly 60% of all imported goods come from South Africa and 1:1 currency pegging agreement saves transaction costs. Imports are thus cheaper than they would be if the currencies were delinked.

    Tourism, travel and trade between Namibia and South Africa is boosted in both directions due to the absence of an exchange rate risk, Uanguta added.

    “The central bank is of the firm view that the peg remains in the best interest of Namibia. The bank and the finance ministry both believe that no other arrangement will deliver better,” he added.



    JO-MARE DUDDY

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  • 12/27/18--14:00: Max has a plan
  • Max has   a planMax has a planMbaeva wants a great 2019 Maximilian Mbaeva hopes for a great 2019 and promises to remain humble. Brave Warriors and Golden Arrows goalkeeper Maximilian Mbaeva says he wants to do big things next year.

    Mbaeva promised to work harder to impress his two coaches at national and club level.

    “I do not think I had a bad 2018 but I feel that I need to work harder in order to play regular football.

    “As players, we always want to be in action and do things better because football is close to our hearts.

    “I will remain committed to my country and club because these are things that are very close to my heart,” Mbaeva said.

    He further wished all his fans a good holiday and urged them to behave responsibly.

    The 29-year-old goalkeeper's highest number of appearances for Arrows was during the 2014/15 season, when he played 30 matches in league and cup competitions.

    He is a former African Stars first-choice goalkeeper and has been one of Namibia's most remarkable talents.

    Mbaeva supported the Gobabis community by donating N$10 000 to the Epako old-age home earlier this month.

    “In this life, you have to be a good person and always thank the Almighty for what he has done.

    “You have to be willing to work hard in order to provide for those who are unable to work for themselves,” he said.

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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  • 12/27/18--14:00: Chelsea on the move
  • Chelsea on the moveChelsea on the move Hazard hits Chelsea hundred in win at Watford Eden Hazard scored his 100th and 101st Chelsea goals as Maurizio Sarri's men moved back into the Premier League top four by grinding out a 2-1 win at Watford on Boxing Day. Two of the three goals came in first-half stoppage time as the Belgian's opener was quickly cancelled out by Roberto Pereyra's spectacular strike.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 12/27/18--14:00: A memorable sporting year
  • A memorable sporting yearA memorable sporting yearFrance's Fifa World Cup triumph among the highlights It was a memorable year for sport in 2018, with the Fifa World Cup in Russia, a cricketing controversy and Serena Williams' bizarre outburst grabbing the headlines. France's World Cup win

    France won the Fifa World Cup on 15 July in Moscow, beating Croatia 4-2 in the highest-scoring final for 52 years. Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann all hit the target. Mbappe was not even born when France claimed the World Cup on home soil in 1998, their only previous win.



    Thomas takes Tour de France

    Welshman Geraint Thomas savoured the sweetest of Tour de France victories on 29 July, eclipsing all challengers including Sky teammate Chris Froome, a four-time former winner, in the showcase Champs-Elysees finish to win his maiden Grand Tour title.



    Mourinho's jinx

    Jose Mourinho's third-season jinx struck again when he was fired by Manchester United on 18 December after a lengthy slump in fortunes at Old Trafford. He was sacked from his two previous jobs, at Chelsea and Real Madrid, following similar third-season slumps.



    Serena Williams at the US Open

    Serena Williams' bid for a 24th Grand Slam title imploded in a furious tirade against umpire Carlos Ramos in the US Open final on 8 September. Williams called him a thief after he docked her a point for two code violations. Her explosion then earned her a game penalty, prompting a further outburst and putting Japan's Naomi Osaka within one game of victory. Osaka went on to win her first Grand Slam 6-2, 6-4.



    Real Madrid do the triple

    Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 in Kiev on 26 May to win the Champions League for the third time in a row under coach Zinedine Zidane - the 13th win in total for the Spanish giants.

    It proved to be Zidane's last game at the club, who were also weakened by the departure of star striker Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus.



    Hamilton makes it five

    Lewis Hamilton dominated the 2018 Formula One season, winning 11 Grand Prix races in a fault-free year and taking his fifth drivers' championship, as the challenge from Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari faded in the second half of the year.

    The 33-year-old Briton, who drives for Mercedes, says he is now ready to compete for a sixth title.

    Cricket's crisis

    Australian cricket was engulfed in a cheating scandal that triggered national soul-searching about sport and fair play. Test captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft were banned, while coach Darren Lehmann resigned after ball-tampering was caught by cameras during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.



    Korean Olympic thaw

    The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February produced a thaw in ties with nuclear-armed North Korea, which sent a team to take part in the games, as well as cheerleaders and the highest-ranking diplomatic delegation ever to venture south of the heavily defended inter-Korean border.



    Ireland beat the All Blacks

    Less than one year out from the Rugby World Cup, Ireland ended a 100-year wait on 17 November, beating world champions New Zealand for the first time on Irish soil. The 16-9 victory marked a memorable end to an outstanding year for the Irish who won 11 out of 12 Tests, claiming the Six Nations Grand Slam, winning their three-Test series against Australia 2-1 and establishing themselves as genuine World Cup contenders in 2019.



    Ledecka's Olympic first

    Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic sealed the first ski-snowboard double in Olympic history at the Pyeongchang Winter Games. The snowboard world champion and favourite performed brilliantly to win the women's snowboard parallel giant slalom on 24 February, a week after stunning the alpine skiing world by capturing gold in the Super-G.



    NAMPA/AFP

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    GMO kashi shi oshinima oshipe - BokomoGMO kashi shi oshinima oshipe - Bokomo Ehangano lyoBokomo Namibia olimwe lyomomahangano gotango moshilongo okuninga omaindilo guuthemba kohi yOmpango tayi ithanwa Biosafety yomomvula yo 2006, opo li vule okweeta moshilongo epungu lya longululwa. Eindilo ndyoka olya ningwa momasiku 17 gaDesemba nuumvo.

    Ompango ndjoka otayi tameke okulonga momasiku ga 6 gaFebruali omvula twa taalela, nelalakano lyompango ndjoka okukondolola elongitho genetically modified organisms (GMO) meni lyoongamba dhaNamibia.

    Pahapu dhaGabriel Badenhorst, Omunambelewa Omukuluntu gwIilonga moBokomo, okwa popi kutya eindilo ndyoka oye li pumbwa mokweeta moshilongo iilongomwa mbyoka, onkene oya gandja koshigwana sigo omasiku 17 gomweedhi twa taalela, okupitila miikundaneki opo shi vule okutya sha kombinga lyiilandithomwa mbyoka.

    “Iilongomwa yi na GMO oya kala ya pitikwa momalanditho gaNamibia uule woomvula ngashiingeyi ihe ngashiingeyi omilandu omipe otadhi utha ekalepo lyawo pehala lyoku yi indika,” Badenhorst a popi.

    Pahapu dhomilandu ndhoka, iilongomwa yo GMO nenge ya tulwa oGMO oya pumbwa okutulwa omadhidhiliko.

    Ngashiingeyi iilongomwa ayihe yaSouth Afrika mbyoka ya tulwa oGMO oshowo ya za puushiinda oya tulwa omadhidhiliko.

    Aalandi oye na uuthemba okutseya kutya iilongomwa yini po ya tulwa oGMO, nenge ya longululwa ano mokugwedhwa iinima yilwe yopaunongononi.

    Badenhorst okwa gwedha po kutya iipumbiwa yilwe ya tulwa po komulandu ngoka ongashii kutya Bokomo okwa pumbwa okuninga eindilo koNational Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) nokukala e na omulandu gwopaulumomhumbwe uuna epungu ndyoka lya gu pethimbo tali ndalasipotwa.

    Badenhorst okwa yelitha kutya ehangano lyawo olyo lyotango okuninga eindilo ndyoka moNamibia opo ya vule okweeta moshilongo iilongomwa yo GMO.

    Okwa holola omukumo gwe kutya eindilo lyawo otali ka ziminwa.

    “Nonando otashi kala kala shotango moNamibia okupewa omukandapitiko ngoka, ope na nale iilongomwa yoGMO moshilongo, na kashi shi oshinima oshipe okulanditha iilongomwa mbyoka. Shoka osha kala tashi ningwa nale uule woomvula odhindji moshilongo.”

    Omunambelewa ngoka okwa tsikile kutya otashi vulika pe na mboka taya ka kala taya pataneke eindilo lyawo ndyoka, ihe oye na omukumo kutya olutu ndoka lu na oshinakugwanithwa otalu ka zimina eindilo lyawo, nomilandu dhoCartagena Protocol otadhi ka landulwa.

    Omilandu dhoka odha kwatelamo oondokumende dhopauyuni ndhoka tadhi kondolola elongitho megameno lyiilongomwa mbyoka oshowo omilandu dhokundalasipota iilongomwa mbyoka dhoka dhi na okulandulwa.

    Okwa tsikile kutya omalanditho gomoshilongo oga pumbwa iilongomwa mbyoka molwaashoka mbyoka hayi longwa moshilongo inayi gwana okuthitika omwakwa gwompumbwe ngoka gu lipo.

    ELVIRA HATTINGH

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  • 12/27/18--14:00: Ya homata nokomayego
  • Ya homata nokomayegoYa homata nokomayegoOmwaalu gwiilwitho moshigwana onkene tagu londo pombanda Sho oshigwana tashi lopota oonkundana dhiimbuluma moshilongo kehe ethimbo, olopota ompe ya ningwa oya holola kutya Namibia oku na iilwitho iishona inayi pitikwa ya thika po 200 000. Okwa lopotwa kutya Namibia okuli shimwe shomiilongo mbyoka yi na omwaalu guli pombanda gwiilwitho inayi pitikwa, sho e li ponomola ontiyali momusholondondo gwiilongo mbyoka yi li mongundu ndjoka.

    Uuyelele mboka owa hololwa pethimbo mpoka omukomeho gwopolisi yaNamibia, Ndjai Sebastian Ndeitunga, gandja ekunkililo po aakwashigwana kaya longithe oondjembo dhawo pethimbo lyiituthi yomatango omanene, nenge iituthi yontumba, ta popi kutya osha nika oshiponga noonkondo, na oshi li epogolo lyoveta.

    Ndeitunga okwa popi kutya opolisi oya ndhindhilika kutya aantu otaya umbu oondjembo pethimbo lyiituthi yomatango omanene nenge pethimbo taya tyapula oohango.

    “Omukalo ngoka otagu yi pondje Oveta yIilwitho Ontiheyali yomOmvula yo 1996, nakehe ngoka taka monika ondjo mepogolo lyoveta ndjoka, otaka taalela oshilanduli,” Ndeitunga a popi.

    Olopota ompe ndjoka ya pitithwa kombinga yiilwitho iishona tayi ithanwa 'Trade Update 2018 - sub-Saharan Africa in Focus', Namibia oku li ponomola ontiyali momusholondondo gwiilongo mbyoka yi na omwaalu gwiilwitho yi li pombanda noonkondo sho e na iilwitho yi li po 200 000, omanga South Africa e li ponomola yotango sho e na iilwitho mbyoka ya shangithwa yi li poomiliyona ndatu. Malawi okwa lopotwa e na iilwitho yi li po 12 500, sho oye e li pevi lyomusholondondo ngoka.

    Olopota ndjoka oya holola kutya Namibia oku li shimwe shomiilongo mbyoka hayi e ta moshilongo omwaalu guli pombanda gwiilwitho, sho eeta moshilongo iilwitho yongushu yoomiliyona shaUS$3.4.

    Uuyelele mboka owomvula yo 2013 sigo 2015.

    Aalandithi yiilwitho iishona kuNamibia oya hololwa kutya Botswana (34%), South Africa (33%) oshowo Zambia (15%).

    South Africa oye omulandithi gwiilwitho oyindji yongushu yoomiliyona yooUS$62.3, omanga Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya oshowo Central African Republic (CAR) yeli momusholondondo gwiilongo itano yi li pombanda.

    Olopota oya holola kutya Namibia okuli ponomola ontine momusholondondo gwiilongo mbyoka ya landa iilwitho iishona oyindji mosub-Saharan Africa kongushu yoomiliyona dhaU$32.2 moshikako shomvula yo2013 okuya mo 2015.

    Elando lyiilwitho moNamibia okuza pondje yoshilongo olya londo okuza poomiliyona dhaUS$5.4 okuya poomiliyona dhaUS$22.6.

    Olopota oya holola kutya Namibia okwa ningi omulandi lwotango gwiilwitho iishona omunene momvula yo 2015.

    Aalandithi aanene yiilwitho kuNamibia oya hololwa kutya Russia (77%), United States (10%) oshowo Germany (7%).

    Russian Federation okwa landitha iilwitho yongushu yoomiliyona dhaUS$17.5 kusub-Saharan Africa momvula yo 2013 okuya mo 2015.

    South Africa oye omulandi omunene sho a landa iilwitho yongushu yoomiliyona dhaUS$126.1 omanga iilongo yimwe mbyoka yi li pamwe naye momusholondondo ongaashi Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire oshowo Malawi.

    Uuyelele ngele iilwitho mbyoka ya landwa miilongo mbyoka ohayi longo tuu, inawu monika wu li mondjila.

    Oshiholelwa ongaashi kutya DRC, Mali oshowo Namibia oya lombwee aaningi yomapekaapeko kutya iilongo yawo ihayi longo ooholo nenge iipangelitho yoondjembo ndhoka ihe oonzo dhimwe odha holola kutya ohaku longwa iikuti yoondjembo miilongo mbyoka iyali.

    Pamuthigululwakalo inaku mangulukwa okupopiwa kombinga yiilwitho menenevi lyasub-Saharan Africa.

    Opolisi yaNamibia oya li ya gandja uuyelele kuyele nuumvo kutya oya gandja omikanda dhokukala noondjembo dhi li po 50 000 muule woomvula omugoyi dha piti, nomikanda dhi li po 6 000 ohadhi gandjwa kehe omwedhi.

    Oomvula dhika okwa holola omaipulo nomalimbililo kombinga yaantu mboka ye na oondjembo na osha holola uutile kombinga yegameno lyoshigwana.

    Opolisi oya li ya ningi eindilo nokugandja ompito yesilohenda opo mboka ye na oondjembo kadhi oombaapila yedhi gandje kopolisi momvula yo 2016.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Indonesia hikes danger level for deadly tsunami volcanoIndonesia hikes danger level for deadly tsunami volcano Indonesia yesterday raised the danger alert level for an erupting volcano that sparked a killer tsunami at the weekend, after previously warning that fresh activity at the crater threatened to trigger another deadly wave.

    Authorities also widened a no-go zone around rumbling Anak Krakatoa to five kilometres - up from a previous two kilometres - and warned shell-shocked residents to stay away from the coast, after more than 400 were killed by Saturday night's killer wave.

    Plumes of ash burst into the sky as pyroclastic flows - hot gas and other volcanic material - flowed down the crater, threatening anyone too close to the volcano and raising the risk of rough seas for boats in the vicinity.

    “There is a danger of more eruptions,” said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

    “People (near the volcano) could be hit by hot rocks, pyroclastic flows and thick ash.”

    Authorities raised the crater's status to high alert, the second-highest warning on the country's four-point danger scale, while aviation officials ordered flights to be redirected away from the area.

    “We've raised the status of (the volcano) since this morning because there's been a change in the eruption pattern,” Kus Hendratno, a senior official at the Krakatoa observatory, told AFP Thursday.

    The new flows posed no immediate danger to area towns as the volcano sits in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands.

    But the status change sparked new fears with many residents already scared and refusing to return to their communities over fears of another tsunami.

    “This worries me,” said Ugi Sugiarti, a cook at the Augusta Hotel in hard-hit Carita. “I've already left.”

    Sukma, a security guard at the shattered Mutiara Carita Cottages, added: “Just please pray for us and that everything will be okay.”

    A section of the crater - which emerged at the site of the Krakatoa volcano, whose massive 1883 eruption killed at least 36 000 people - collapsed after an eruption and slid into the ocean, triggering Saturday night's killer wave.

    At least 430 people were killed, with 1 495 people injured and another 159 were missing.

    Nearly 22 000 people have been evacuated and are living in shelters.

    On Wednesday evening, the disaster agency said that wind was blowing “ash and sand” from the volcano to the nearby towns of Cilegon and Serang on Java, and advised residents to wear masks and glasses if they had to venture outdoors. Torrential rains have sparked flooding in some areas, hampering the relief effort and heaping more misery on the stricken region, as thousands cram emergency shelters.

    Medical workers have warned that clean water and medicine supplies were running low - stoking fears of a public health crisis.

    Indonesia, a vast southeast Asian archipelago, is one of the most disaster-hit nations on earth due to its position straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide.

    The tsunami was Indonesia's third major natural disaster in six months, following a series of powerful earthquakes on the island of Lombok in July and August and a quake-tsunami in September that killed around 2 200 people in Palu on Sulawesi island, with thousands more missing and presumed dead.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    DRC further delays Sunday's pollDRC further delays Sunday's pollConfusion, anger grow as DRC faces Sunday's election The DRC has again extended the elections, this time in two regions, to March next year citing Ebola and terrorism as the causes. DR Congo on Wednesday announced that key elections due to take place nationwide on December 30 would be postponed to March in two regions troubled by violence.

    But those delays will not affect the timetable for the presidential ballot, which is being held alongside legislative and provincial elections, the national election commission CENI said.

    Already postponed three times, the elections are due to bring the curtain down on the era of President Joseph Kabila, in charge of the vast mineral-rich country for nearly 18 turbulent years.

    “The elections in the Beni region and the cities of Beni and Butembo in North Kivu province as well as Yumbi in the (southwest) Mai-Ndombe province initially scheduled for 30 December will now be held in March,” CENI said.

    The “final results” of the presidential vote will still be published on January 15, and the next president will be sworn in on January 18, CENI said.

    It did not explain how this would dovetail with the outcome of the vote in the troubled regions, which would take place much later.

    Opposition figures reacted furiously to the latest electoral setback.

    “This latest intrigue shows the regime wants to extend its stay in power to continue its plundering,” Moise Katumbi, a former governor of Katanga province who is backing opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, said on Twitter.

    Roughly three percent of some 40 million registered voters will be affected by the delay.

    The elections were due to have been held on December 23 after a long period of blood-stained turbulence.

    But CENI ordered a week-long postponement, blaming a warehouse fire that destroyed voting machines and ballot papers earmarked for Kinshasa.

    At a regional summit Wednesday in Brazzaville, the capital of the neighbouring Republic of Congo, five African heads of state expressed “strong concern over acts of violence” during DRC's campaign. President Hage Geingob attended the one-day meeting.

    The leaders of the Republic of Congo, Angola, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia said in a statement that the violence in some regions was enough “to compromise voters' peace of mind”.

    There was no DRC envoy at the gathering of eight southern and central African countries, but they said a delegation of foreign ministers would be sent to Kinshasa to present Kabila with the summit's conclusions.

    The CENI statement pointed in particular to parts of North Kivu province, affected by “a terrorist threat” and “a dangerous, ongoing epidemic of the Ebola virus” in the areas of Beni and Butembo. More than 350 people have died from the disease since August.

    On the other side of the country, inter-communal clashes erupted this month in the southwestern province of Mai-Ndombe, causing at least 80 deaths and prompting thousands to flee to the neighbouring Republic of Congo.

    Kabila took office in 2001 at the age of just 29 after succeeding his assassinated father, Laurent-Desire Kabila. His long spell has been sharply criticised by rights and anti-corruption watchdogs, and his final years were marked by protests that were bloodily quelled.

    He was due to step down at the end of 2016 after reaching his constitution-limited two terms in office.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Russia waiting on new 'event' from UkraineRussia waiting on new 'event' from Ukraine Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced the end of martial law in the country's border regions imposed last month after Russia seized Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea.

    Poroshenko said he had reached the decision “based on an analysis of all the components of the security situation in the country.”

    However, Ukraine will maintain its ban on entry into the country for male Russian citizens aged 16 to 60.

    More than 1 600 Russian men have been denied entry into Ukraine since the ban was imposed in late November.

    The Kremlin has come under fire following the 25 November incident in the Azov Sea where the Russian coastguard confiscated two Ukrainian gunboats and a tugboat in the Kerch Strait and detained 24 crew members.

    Poroshenko managed to secure the month-long martial law. He had also asked NATO to send warships to the Black Sea in response to the incident but international experts are concerned that he is trying to drag Western powers into a war.

    Sigmar Gabriel, a former German foreign minister described the Kerch Strait incident as an attempt by Kiev to draw Germany into a war over Ukraine.

    “I think that we by no means should allow Ukraine to drag us into the war,” he said, adding that Ukraine had tried to do so in the past.

    He also urged US President Donald Trump not to distance himself from the Kerch Strait row, saying it wouldn't deter further escalation and criticised Poroshenko for calling on NATO, as well as the closure of international ports for Russian ships coming from the Sea of Azov.

    A diplomatic source in Brussels told Sputnik that France, Germany and several other EU members had rejected calls to toughen sanctions against Russia over the Kerch Strait incident.

    The Kremlin is of the view that Poroshenko is deliberately provoking Russia in a bid to declare martial law across the country and in that way, delay elections set for March next year.

    This would make sense, taking into consideration that his current ratings stand at a meagre 8%.

    Moreover, having not succeeded to pass the required martial law through his parliament, he would need another incident.

    And this appears to be happening. Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told media that Kiev is in fact deploying major offensive components to Donbass.

    “Unfortunately, information about the Ukrainian Armed Forces' active preparations for possible military actions in Donbass have been emerging. Considerable offensive components are being deployed to the region, which then are being relocated along the entire contact line,” she said.

    She added that the imposition of martial law “served to camouflage the Poroshenko regime's intention of staging a new provocation in Donbass”.

    Moscow called on the Organisation of Security and Cooperation (OSCE) monitoring mission to intensify observational activities in the Donbass region as it does not rule out that Kiev might start new provocations in the region with the use of toxic substances.

    The OSCE has had a special monitoring mission in Ukraine since March 2014.

    Some analysts are of the view that had the Minsk agreement of 11 February 2015, commonly referred to as Minsk II, been implemented correctly and in full, this would not have happened. Kiev, it appears, must arrange these provocations from time to time, to justify non-implementation.

    Put simply, in the 'circumstances of Russian aggression' Minsk cannot be implemented.

    According to the Russian defence ministry, the Russian coast guard repeatedly asked the Ukrainian vessels to leave what they referred to as 'Russian territorial waters'. They said that the vessels had not followed the formal procedure for passage through the strait, that the Ukrainian ships had been manoeuvring dangerously, and that they were not responding to radio communications.

    The Russians tried to halt the Ukrainian ships, but they continued moving in the direction of the bridge.

    As they neared the bridge, the Russians authorities placed a large cargo ship under it, blocking their passage into the Azov Sea.

    The Ukrainian ships remained moored in the strait for eight hours, before turning back to return to a port in Odessa. The Russian coast guard pursued them and seized the vessels in international waters off the coast of Crimea.

    The Ukrainian government then characterised the incident as a potential precursor to a Russian invasion, and declared martial law.

    According to the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, the events in the Kerch Strait were a “border incident, nothing more”.

    “As for the incident in the Black Sea, this is certainly a provocation organised by the current government including the current president, on the eve of presidential elections in Ukraine in March next year.

    “The current president is about fifth in presidential ratings, and there is a chance he won't make it to the second round, so he needs to do something to aggravate the situation and create insurmountable obstacles for his competitors.”

    Putin questioned the imposition of martial law after such a “minor incident” adding that in 2014, when there was full-scale violence and war, no martial law was imposed.

    “This is obviously being done on the eve of the presidential election,” he said.

    SPUTNIK

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  • 12/27/18--14:00: Shocking crashes claim lives
  • Shocking crashes claim livesShocking crashes claim lives Early on Sunday morning, three people died in a horror crash that involved a staggering 31 people.

    About 23 kilometres north of Otjiwarongo, a minibus crashed into a bakkie killing eight-month-old Panduleni Walter, her 23-year-old mother Ndeshihafela Ruben and Mutumbulwa Hangula, aged 20.

    The three were thrown out of the bakkie and died instantly. The minibus had been travelling behind the bakkie.

    According to Nampa, Chief Inspector Hendrik Kharuchab said there were six people travelling in the small bakkie. Of these, a 20-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman are in a critical condition and were transferred from Otjiwarongo to the Katutura intermediate hospital.

    All 22 passengers in the minibus survived the crash and a case of culpable homicide has been opened against the 39-year-old driver.

    Earlier at the weekend, three people were killed in a head-on crash on the road between Oshakati and Omungwelume on Friday night. The police report said the head-on collision occurred between Toyota and Nissan bakkies near Oshikuyu at about 20:40.

    Two passengers of one of the bakkies were killed immediately and another from the other bakkie died on the way to the Oshakati state hospital.

    The next of kin of Elikana Nghinyenavali (38) Tadeus Haihambo (41) and Peter Nghishidimbwa (43) were informed of their deaths.

    On Saturday there was another crash on the same road, this time near Onambedi village. It involved six people in two sedans. There were no fatalities recorded, but five people were treated at the Oshakati state hospital for various injuries.

    Another head-on collision occurred on Friday at about 02:00 between Okahandja and Otjiwarongo.

    The two vehicles collided about 70 km north of Okahandja. Gift Kahale (33) and Julia Namaela Kalumbu (54), who were travelling in the sedan that was en route to Otjiwarongo, were killed. Three passengers in the minibus, which was travelling in a southerly direction, were injured.

    Police spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner Hophni Hamufungu, said they are worried about the increasing number of crashes, especially on smaller and more isolated roads. He added that in areas such as Okalongo and those surrounding Okahao, drivers without licences were making use of the routes.

    “They take the risk because the area is more isolated, but they are still taking chances with their own lives and that of others,” he said.

    Hamufungu added that at the end of the holiday season, the police will release a full report on the accidents that occurred over the festive period.

    AUGETTO GRAIG

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  • 12/27/18--14:00: New tax system applauded
  • New tax system applaudedNew tax system applauded The introduction of the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS), which will replace the existing Taxlive legacy system, has been applauded by economist Klaus Schade.

    ITAS, which becomes operational from 17 January, will allow taxpayers to submit their returns online and also file requests.

    Speaking on the development, Schade praised government for the initiative and said it will cut costs and time for businesses.

    “The ministry of finance should be commended for implementing the Integrated Tax Administration System that will cut costs and save time for businesses in terms of filing their tax returns; and hence, it should contribute to a more conducive environment for private sector growth,” he said.

    Schade, however, encouraged government to engage the private sector on the new planned tax proposals it wants to implement.

    “It is also commendable to engage the private sector in discussions about the proposed income tax reforms,” he said.

    Finance ministry permanent secretary Ericah Shafudah recently advised taxpayers to sort out their outstanding issues while the new system is being introduced.

    “There will be a two-week downtime for all individual and business transactions before the new system comes into operation, starting from 31 December 2018 until 16 January 2019. This means no processing of any transaction will take place during this period,” she said.

    Shafudah also advised that the issuing of good standing certificates and taxpayer registrations will also not be done during the transition period.

    She, however, noted that tax payments could still be made during the transition period via electronic fund transfers and direct bank deposits.

    Taxpayers will be required to register on the new system once it becomes operational, Shafudah advised.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 12/27/18--14:00: Key populations count
  • Key populations countKey populations countHIV and Aids treatment to include prisoners, LGBTI community and more SADC MPs have adopted minimum standards to protect the LGBTI community, drug addicts and prisoners in the fight against HIV and Aids. SADC Members of Parliament have adopted minimum standards that have been developed for the protection of key populations in the context of HIV and Aids.

    Key populations are people who face much higher rates of HIV and Aids than the general population and are most at risk for contracting HIV. They include, but are not limited to, people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, transgender persons, sex workers and prisoners. However, often stigma, discrimination and sometimes violence drive them underground, far from essential services.

    The adoption happened after an intense, highly polarised and lengthy debate during the 44th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum that took place in Maputo. The plenary is the highest decision-making organ of the body that brings together 14 national parliaments of the SADC region.



    Namibian drove motion

    Namibian lawmaker Sebastiaan Karupu spearheaded the debate for the adoption of the minimum standards that many people hope would ensure that no one is left behind as southern Africa, in tandem with the rest of the world, strives to overcome HIV and Aids.

    For years the forum has worked towards the protection of all in the context of HIV and Aids and has stood firmly in favour of adoption of SRHR, HIV and Aids norms, which holistically capture the desire to legislate aspects of HIV responses at domestic level.

    Karupu argued that the SADC Model Law on HIV in southern Africa which SADC PF developed in 2008, and other initiatives, show the forum's commitment to making a difference, notably under its SRHR, HIV and Aids Governance Project funded by the Embassy of Sweden in Lusaka, Zambia.

    He contended that comprehensively responding to HIV and Aids requires, also, protecting key populations through targeted interventions.

    “HIV prevalence in key populations can be as much as five times higher than the general population. This may well be the tip of an iceberg,” he said.



    Need protection

    The minimum standards are the first such in the SADC region and contain key policy and legal directives from a parliamentary perspective for the protection of key populations.

    “The minimum standards are designed to act as a guiding resource for parliaments as they enact their own legislation pertaining to key populations and have been crafted based on international best practices but customised to the southern African region,” said Karupu, who is also the vice-chairperson of the SADC PF's Human, Social Development and Special Programme Committee.

    Additionally, he said, the minimum standards reinforce the SADC Regional Strategy for HIV and Aids Prevention, Treatment and Care and SRHR among Key Populations endorsed in November, 2017 by SADC ministers responsible for health and HIV and Aids.

    “They will thus ensure that the executive arm and the legislative arm of the state are adequately capacitated and equipped to protect key populations,” he said.

    He said the minimum standards seek to provide comprehensive protection underpinned by principles of equality under the law and non-discrimination.

    “These principles address different levels of governance including executive action which ensures access to medicine and treatment for people, populations and their systematic inclusion in national HIV programmes.”

    An MP from Lesotho, Tsepang Tsita-Mosena seconded the motion.

    “The minimum standards act as a benchmark for member parliaments and policymakers, and facilitate the legislative drafting process as member states adapt them to the local context,” she said.



    Barriers

    Issues related to key populations remain highly polarising within the SADC region where in some instances national constitutions, attitudinal and other barriers are stacked against hard-to-reach populations.

    The motion was vigorously debated, with some MPs expressing reservations and citing provisions in their national constitutions while others felt that the issue of key populations was a 'hot' one which might jeopardise their chances of being re-elected to parliament.

    However, the chairperson of the Human, Social Development and Special Programme Committee of the forum, Robina Jadoo-Jaunbocus from Mauritius, was on hand to allay fears and dispel myths and misconceptions.

    “It is important not to get lost in the complexity of the issues … minimum standards are about the protection of key populations in the context of HIV in southern Africa,” Jadoo-Jaunbocus said.

    She said in Mauritius HIV prevalence is concentrated in key populations.

    “I believe the situation is the same across southern Africa where segments of key populations are disproportionately exposed to HIV.”

    Botswana MP Duma Boko said it was incontestable that key populations need targeted interventions and called for boldness.



    All agree

    “We all agree that these people need protection. Now that we are in agreement that they exist, let us also be in agreement about the fact that there must be a certain minimum level of protection that must be extended to them as well. Since we now embrace the fact that they exist, let us embrace the fact of their entitlement as a fundamental human right to treatment, to access health facilities,” he said before the motion was adopted.

    Dr Catherine Sozi, director of the UNAids Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa, saluted the MPs and pledged willingness provide direct support to as well as mobilise other technical partners to support SADC PF to implement the minimum standards.

    Sozi said the response to the HIV epidemic at all levels had shown that an effective response is one that meets the needs and reduces vulnerabilities of the most marginalised and fragile communities.

    Calling for thinking outside the box, Sozi warned: “We will not reach the end if we don't change the way we approach marginalised communities.”

    Sozi said developing minimum standards for key populations was not only the right approach for the HIV response, but also the right approach for health, for human rights, and for inclusive societies.

    “It is the right approach to reach HIV targets, and the right approach to reach the sustainable development goals.”

    Sozi concluded: “UNAids applauds the region's Members of Parliament who have taken this decision, showing how southern Africa can lead in a human rights-based, evidence-informed HIV response that can serve as a model across the world.”

    Amitrajit Saha, team leader for HIV, Health and Development in Africa at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), also hailed the MPs.

    Saha said the minimum standards provide a solid foundation for parliamentarians to oversee and advocate for an attitudinal change and the reform of policies and legislation to ensure that key populations are treated equally in the provision of HIV treatment, care and support.

    “UNDP is committed to continue working with parliamentarians and the SADC Parliamentary Forum on this important transformative agenda and other issues of common concern to the region,” she said.

    Boemo Sekgoma, the acting secretary-general of the SADC PF, said the adoption of the minimum standards was a huge step forward for the SADC region where there is a lack of harmonisation of administrative and legal provisions protecting key populations in the context of HIV.

    “SADC national parliaments will henceforth have a benchmark to assess their domestic provisions on KPs and this will greatly facilitate relevant policy recommendations and legislative drafting processes,” she said.

    Signe Rotberga, the regional programme coordinator with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said the adoption of the minimum standards was significant as the world marks 70 years since the adoption of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    “SADC Members of Parliament have made a decision that will bring us closer to the implementation of the Article 1 of the declaration which recognises that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” she said.

    Noting that UNODC was working with SADC to implement a programme to make the SADC region safer from crime and drugs, Rotberga said UNODC “will be pleased to continue the collaboration for development of the new standards that will support the work of parliamentarians”.



    MOSES MAGADZA

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    Oranjemund keen to attract touristsOranjemund keen to attract tourists The town of Oranjemund, which had long been isolated, wants to attract more visitors during 2019, its town council announced in a recent newsletter.

    Until recently, Oranjemund was a restricted mining town and visitors had to apply for police clearance and a permit to visit.

    “During 2019 we intend to work with local, regional and national organisations and people already involved in the tourism industry to promote our local and regional attractions,” the town council said.

    “We also would like to assist local people who wish to become involved with tourism to establish successful businesses offering accommodation or providing goods and services to our potential visitors.

    “To this end, we hope to facilitate some training and education events next year,” it added.

    “The activities listed include preparing a local strategy to attract more tourists to the town, the formalisation of a regional task force, the preparation of materials on how to set up a local tourism business and the establishment of a tourism information centre,” it said.

    The council will also erect signage so that visitors can easily find their way around the town.

    The plan is to award tourism concessions for guided tours in the Tsau//Khaeb National Park.

    These will include a concession for the Chamais Road connecting Oranjemund and Lüderitz.

    The existing Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park could be extended to the Sperrgebiet National Park, a Gondwana Collection news item reported recently.

    A market will also be established where visitors will be able to buy local products.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 12/27/18--14:00: No help for storm-hit family
  • No help for storm-hit familyNo help for storm-hit familyPleas fall on deaf ears Following the loss of their home and belongings, no one has come to the rescue of a pensioner and his family from Mayana. The family of ten from Mayana village in the Kavango East Region, who were left homeless after a heavy storm destroyed their home last week, is still seeking assistance.

    Last Monday a heavy storm destroyed the two-bedroom home of 75-year-old pensioner Johannes Nangombe.

    The roof was blown off and the family's belongings and food items exposed to the rain.

    Some of the house's top-layer bricks also tumbled to the ground, but luckily there were no injuries.

    Namibian Sun revisited Nangombe and his family yesterday and was informed that no assistance has been forthcoming.

    The family is pleading for assistance, because they rely on Nangombe's monthly pension grant, which has been budgeted for the hiring of a tractor that will plough their crop field, as the rainy season has arrived.

    Nangombe, his wife Loide and their children are currently sleeping in overcrowded temporary structures they erected after the disaster.

    “We are still waiting on Good Samaritans for assistance. People from the community just show up and offer sympathy, and then they go,” Nangombe said.

    He said apart from their neighbours, who have only expressed their sympathies, Rundu rural constituency councillor Michael Sikongo also paid them a visit, but did not assist.

    Nangombe said Sikongo only assessed the situation and referred them to the village headman.

    When contacted for comment, Sikongo confirmed he visited the family. When asked why his office did not provide any aid to the affected family, Sikongo said currently there is nothing at the constituency office which they can provide Nangombe and his family.

    He explained there are currently three families in the constituency affected by disasters, but his office has nothing to provide them.

    “Unfortunately we do not have anything at the office. I only went to the family to assess the situation,” Sikongo said.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 12/27/18--14:00: New push for paper trail
  • New push for paper trailNew push for paper trail Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani has asked government to consider adopting an audited paper trail to complement the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the country's elections.

    Speaking recently at the memorial service of Petrus Iilonga, which was held at the Parliament Gardens, Venaani said it was time for a dialogue on the use of EVMs.

    “EVMs should have a paper trail. We need to create a fair playing field,” Venaani said.

    Namibia became the first African country to adopt the use of EVMs in its general elections in 2014. The use of EVMs has, however, been a contentious issue, particularly for the opposition who are against the use of these machines without a paper trail.

    In June this year, Swapo parliamentarians defended the use of EVMs during a motion introduced by the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) to have the use of the machines abolished.

    Speaking in the National Assembly, RDP parliamentarian Mike Kavekotora called for the abolishment of the EVMs and the reintroduction of the manual ballot paper voting system.

    “These machines are unreliable, untrustworthy and unsecure and they have in actual fact slowed down the voting, the counting process and the release of election results in Namibia,” he said.

    According to Kavekotora, voters are unable to verify if their votes are allocated to the party for which they cast their ballots.

    “Above all, EVMs lack evidence in case of a court challenge,” he said.

    Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) chief election officer, Theo Mujoro, in a recent interview with Namibian Sun said that EVMs enhance the voting process and that the use of a paper trail would come with its problems.

    “From our standpoint, the EVMs have really enhanced the voting process,” he said.

    Mujoro also argued that there too many problems associated with the use of a voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) or verifiable paper record (VPR). Mujoro also argued that the kinds of problems faced in India may not be applicable in Namibia.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 12/27/18--14:00: The year of accountability
  • The year of accountabilityThe year of accountability The year 2018 will be remembered by many as an inglorious one.

    Many households suffered immensely under the yoke of economic hardship and thousands of breadwinners lost their jobs. The suffering and pain was tangible, as many Namibians turned their frustration towards the political elite, while latching onto President Hage Geingob's travelling adventures and the perks still being enjoyed by higher-ups in government, as scapegoats.

    For many, seeing the back of 2018 will not result in much gleeful reminiscing about how wonderful the year was.

    Namibia remains, chiefly, a supplier of raw materials to developed countries, with very little or no value-addition.

    We remain a country that needs loans to finance massive infrastructure projects and the contentious issue of Chinese financing has divided many citizens.

    But as we see the back of 2018, we must begin to draw on our resilience as a nation - one that has overcome many pains and obstacles in the past. Our history is laden with the sacrifices of many Namibians, who pulled this country from the edge of the abyss and set it on a democratic path.

    That is the beauty of Namibia's citizenry - they are willing and able to embrace unity and strength for the sake of surviving and thriving.

    With 2019 being an election year, we must all be mindful of the promises - from various quarters - that will descend upon our ears.

    More than ever, politicians need to be held accountable for the things they spew during election campaigns. We have faced one of the toughest years in our country's history and our economy is still faltering, while families struggle to put food on their tables.

    Let 2019 be the year of accountability, when civil society and other citizen-based pressure groups demand the best leadership and strategies to take this nation forward.

    We can ill-afford to stumble around, rudderless and without viable strategies for real growth and job-creation in the new year.

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