Articles on this Page
- 01/07/19--14:00: _Travellers stranded...
- 01/07/19--14:00: _Netha's family reel...
- 01/07/19--14:00: _Dam levels rise
- 01/07/19--14:00: _Base metals rise as...
- 01/07/19--14:00: _Huawei launches new...
- 01/07/19--14:00: _People, animals go ...
- 01/07/19--14:00: _Back-to-school blue...
- 01/07/19--14:00: _Southern Africa to ...
- 01/07/19--14:00: _Standard Bank reduc...
- 01/07/19--14:00: _Electric vehicles f...
- 01/07/19--14:00: _This, we can ill af...
- 01/07/19--14:00: _Spending spree at W...
- 01/07/19--14:00: _Road users more mat...
- 01/07/19--14:00: _Swapo liberation vi...
- 01/08/19--07:03: _Kahimise outcome un...
- 01/08/19--14:00: _Youth gems to shine
- 01/08/19--14:00: _Liverpool booted ou...
- 01/08/19--14:00: _Youssouf here to 'w...
- 01/08/19--14:00: _Arsenal, United to ...
- 01/08/19--14:00: _Sri Lanka whitewashed
- 01/07/19--14:00: Travellers stranded at Oshakati
- 01/07/19--14:00: Netha's family reeling in shock
- 01/07/19--14:00: Dam levels rise
- 01/07/19--14:00: Base metals rise as China spends
- 01/07/19--14:00: Huawei launches new server chipset
- 01/07/19--14:00: People, animals go hungry in Kunene
- 01/07/19--14:00: Back-to-school blues continue
- 01/07/19--14:00: Southern Africa to become drier
- 01/07/19--14:00: Standard Bank reduces bank fees
- 01/07/19--14:00: Electric vehicles for China
- 01/07/19--14:00: This, we can ill afford
- 01/07/19--14:00: Spending spree at Walvis Bay
- 01/07/19--14:00: Road users more mature
- 01/07/19--14:00: Swapo liberation victory falsified – Diescho
- 01/08/19--07:03: Kahimise outcome unknown as councillors recuse themselves
- 01/08/19--14:00: Youth gems to shine
- 01/08/19--14:00: Liverpool booted out of FA Cup
- 01/08/19--14:00: Youssouf here to 'win everything'
- 01/08/19--14:00: Arsenal, United to clash in FA Cup
- 01/08/19--14:00: Sri Lanka whitewashed
The travellers, many of whom were expected back at work yesterday, packed the Okatana Service Station and the new Aupa Indongo Open Market in Oshakati waiting to find space in any available vehicle.
Some of the stranded travellers interviewed by Nampa expressed frustration, saying they were severely inconvenienced by the lack of transport.
Some of them had to return to the coast for work or school, while others needed to be dropped off at towns along the B1 national road.
“We cannot get transport to our desired destinations on time, as the available buses and minibuses refuse to take along those who are travelling shorter distances to places such as Tsumeb and Otjiwarongo,” said one traveller.
Moreover, there are complaints that those who travel shorter distances are charged the same fare of N$350 paid by those travelling to Windhoek.
Approached for comment, the secretary-general of the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (NABTA), Pendapala Nakathingo, said he could not promise that the stranded people would be able to make it to work on time.
“It seems all hope is lost and nothing can be done for them,” he said.
NABTA is the only association that is legally mandated to regulate the public transport sector in Namibia.
Nakathingo assured travellers that NABTA was in the process of reorganising the public transport industry so as to keep track of how many long-distance buses operate on which routes, and arrange for travellers to be picked up on time in order to avoid such situations at the beginning of the year.
Netha's body washed ashore on Friday morning near Long Beach after he disappeared there on the evening of 28 December.
His aunt, Meriam Stefanus, told Namibian Sun that Netha would, in all likelihood, be buried this weekend in Windhoek.
She added the family is still in shock after hearing the news of his death last week Friday. Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu of the Erongo Region told the media that Netha had most likely drowned but added an inquest into his death has been opened.
According to Iikuyu, a member of the public found his body while walking on the beach. His body was found some 1.8 km from the site of the Sound of Summer festival, which he had attended when he disappeared.
Iikuyu told Namibian Sun the inquest to determine the cause of his death should be completed by this week.
Reports at the time of his disappearance indicated that he was wearing a white T-shirt, a dark blue denim and white and red Puma-Ferrari sneakers.
According to the police Netha, who was a student at the International University of Management (IUM), arrived in Swakopmund on 28 December with a friend.
He would have spent the night at Mondesa.
Another of Netha's aunts, Ndahafa Nghifikwa, said he reported his safe arrival at the coast at roughly 11:00 that morning and said he and a friend would attend the Sound of Summer event at Long Beach.
However, his friend could not afford the entry fee and drove back to Swakopmund, leaving Netha behind.
Following a cell phone call from another friend to collect Netha, he drove back to Long Beach. There he was told that Netha had walked off but no one could say where to. According to Iikuyu, Netha probably drowned that evening already.
Von Bach's level rose 20 percentage points, from 41.5% to 59.6%, after taking in 9 402 million cubic metres since 31 December.
By 11:00 on New Year's Day, 50.3 cubic metres per second was flowing into the dam. According to the latest dam bulletin from NamWater, Von Bach was still receiving water on Wednesday last week, at a rate of 3.9 cubic metres per second. It now stands at 59.6%.
The Omatako Dam, which was almost empty at 0.5% of capacity, had risen to 1.4% by 7 January.
South African meteorologist Professor Peet Pienaar told Namibian Sun that he expects good rains for Namibia during January and February, adding that it could exceed last year's rainfall.
Pienaar's prediction differs greatly from others who have forecast a drought year.
“I think this will not be such a dry year for Namibia. If I look at my maps, it appears that it will rain better than last year, but not 100% better,” he said. “The winds in the Cape were strong this year and this will contribute to rain in your country,” he explained.
Pienaar never comments on El Niño predictions and says he cannot explain why the rainy season started so late, or whether that will be a regular occurrence.
“Namibia relies heavily on tropical air that moves in from the north, from Angola. This is the most important factor – your rain comes from the tropics,” Pienaar said.
“Namibia's normal rain comes from the east. You do not get rain from the south or the ocean.”
He added that a good “cut-off low” can bring good rains.
“In Namibia's case, it happens when a layer of cold air moves in under a layer of tropical air coming from the north.
“There where they come together and the cold air moves in under the tropical air, good rains will fall.
“When your [daily] minimum and maximum [temperatures] differ by 10 degrees there is rain in the air. Where the difference is between 15 and 20 degrees, the air is dry.”
A climatologist from Santam in South Africa has warned farmers to prepare for a potentially disastrous year and rather be surprised should good rains fall.
“From an agricultural perspective, there is a high risk for drought for the remainder of the summer season. There is a lot of uncertainty over what this rainy season will hold,” Johan van den Berg told Namibian Sun earlier.
He added, though, that this season would be remembered as the one when it was most difficult to make weather predictions.
“Very few predictions were made that the first half of the season would be so dry.
“Conditions in the Pacific and Indian oceans have rendered the ability to predict what will happen almost impossible,” Van den Berg said.
Base metals moved higher yesterday, led by steel-linked nickel and zinc, after top metals consumer China took measures to boost lending following a contraction in industrial growth and focus shifted to its trade talks with the United States.
China's central bank on Friday said it was cutting reserve requirement ratios (RRRs) - the amount of cash that banks have to hold as reserves - for the fifth time in a year, freeing up US$116 billion for new lending as it tries to avoid a sharp economic slowdown.
Helen Lau, an analyst at Argonaut Securities in Hong Kong, said a relief rally had been triggered by the RRR cut and dovish comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
"Many metals and metal stocks have dropped a lot and reached attractive valuation," she wrote in a note, while cautioning that markets ‘should remain volatile’ before more certainty emerges.
* ZINC: The metal used to galvanise steel rose 1.5% on the Shanghai Futures Exchange to 20,545 yuan (US$3001.20) a tonne, tracking gains in Shanghai rebar on expectations looser lending would stimulate growth in industries like construction. London Metal Exchange zinc added 0.8% to US$2457.50 a tonne 0409 GMT, having touching its weakest in more than three months on Thursday.
* NICKEL: Nickel, used to make stainless steel, climbed as much as 2.5% in Shanghai to 91,100 yuan a tonne, its highest since Dec. 19. LME nickel edged up 0.5% to US$11,160 a tonne.
* COPPER: LME copper shrugged off an early dip to edge up 0.1% to US$5,921.50 a tonne after touching its weakest in around 18 months last week. ShFE copper jumped 1.3% to 47,360 yuan a tonne.
* FED: Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell on Friday sought to ease market concerns that the US central bank was ignoring signs of an economic slowdown, saying he was aware of the risks and would be patient and flexible in policy decisions this year.
* TRADE: US President Donald Trump said on Sunday talks with China were going very well and that weakness in the Chinese economy gave Beijing a reason to work toward a deal to resolve the Sino-U.S. trade row that has roiled markets.
Earlier in the week Apple cut its revenue outlook for the first time in almost two decades, citing weakness in the Chinese economy as one of the reasons.
Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish leads a delegation for trade talks with China yesterday and today, China’s commerce ministry said in a statement. It is the first face-to-face negotiations since presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce in their trade war last month.
Meanwhile, Fin24 reports that emerging-market stocks and currencies closed out the first week of 2019 on a high note. Both posted the biggest one-day gains in a month on Friday, following China’s move to loosen monetary conditions and the US Federal Reserve signalling flexibility on the outlook for rates. Optimism spread across financial markets on Friday after data showed a spike in US December hiring.
This was despite last week’s resignation by South African Reserve Bank deputy governor Francois Groepe, leaving only five people on the rate-setting panel.
Groepe resigned with effect from 31 January according to a statement from the bank. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) issued the statement on Wednesday afternoon.
Groepe had tendered his resignation in December, to pursue "outside opportunities", the statement read.
Groepe had served at the SARB for 14 years, seven of which he served as a non-executive director and the remaining seven as an executive.
Huawei Technologies yesterday launched a new chipset for use in servers, at a time when China is pushing to enhance its chip-making capabilities and reduce its heavy reliance on imports, especially from the United States.
Huawei, which gets the bulk of its revenue from the sale of telecommunications equipment and smartphones, is seeking growth avenues in cloud computing and enterprise services as its equipment business comes under increased scrutiny in the West amid worries about Chinese government influence over the firm. Huawei has repeatedly denied any such influence.
Chinese firms are also seeking to minimise the impact of a trade dispute that has seen China and the United States slap tariffs on each other's technology imports. For Huawei, the launch of the chipset - called the Kunpeng 920 and designed by subsidiary HiSilicon - boosts its credentials as a semiconductor designer, although the company said it had no intention of becoming solely a chip firm.
"It is part of our system solution and cloud servicing for clients ... We will never make our chipset business a standalone business," said Ai Wei, who is in charge of strategic planning for Huawei's chipsets and hardware technology.
The Shenzhen-based company already makes the Kirin series of smartphone chips used in its high-end phones, and the Ascend series of chipsets for artificial intelligence computing launched in October.
It said its latest 7-nanometre, 64-core central processing unit (CPU) would provide much higher computing performance for data centres and slash power consumption. It is based on the architecture of British chip design firm ARM - owned by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp - which is seeking to challenge the dominance in server CPUs of U.S. maker Intel Corp.
Huawei aims to "drive the development of the ARM ecosystem", said chief marketing officer William Xu. He said the chip has "unique advantages in performance and power consumption".
Xu also said Huawei would continue its "long-term strategic partnership" with Intel. Huawei's new ARM-based CPU is not a competitor to the U.S. company's x86 CPUs and servers, but complementary, Xu added.
Redfox Qiu, president of the intelligent computing business department at Huawei, said the company shipped 900 000 units of servers in 2018, versus 77 000 in 2012 when it started.
Huawei was seeing "good momentum for the server business in Europe and Asia Pacific" and expected the contribution from its international business to continue to rise, Qiu added.
Huawei yesterday also released its TaiShan series of servers powered by the new chipset, built for big data, distributed storage, and ARM native applications.
The firm founded chip designer HiSilicon in 2004 to help reduce its reliance on imports.
In modem chips, Huawei internally sources 54% of those in its own devices, with 22% coming from Qualcomm Inc and the remainder from elsewhere, evidence presented at an antitrust trial for Qualcomm showed.
In Namibia Huawei has been in partnership with local telecommunications giant MTC for ten years, celebrating the milestone in November of 2018.
Together the pair launched Africa’s first 4.5G demonstration locally in 2016.
Both companies reiterated their commitment to 100% cellular phone coverage for all of Namibia’s vast landscape, and bringing 5G technology to the country.
5G technology is a contentious issue between the United States of America and China, with the US media reporting claims that the Chinese government was compromising the security of Huawei technologies. The Chinese company denied these claims.
- NAMPA / REUTERS and own reporting
Regional governor Marius Sheya is advising farmers to sell some of their livestock as the prolonged drought there continues.
In an interview with Namibian Sun yesterday, Sheya said there was no sign of rain in the region yet and farmers were worried about the condition of their livestock.
“We have not yet reached a situation where many livestock are dying, but in our engagements with farmers they are all complaining about drought and when we visit their farms it is clear that the situation is not good,” Sheya said.
“This makes me fear that we might experience a serious drought. The condition of livestock is not good at all. Farmers need to sell some of their livestock in order to buy feed for the rest.”
Sheya said most farmers in the arid region are exclusively livestock producers and that is problematic.
He urged farmers to explore other farming alternatives such as crop production so that the region could become self-sustaining.
“We need to divert from the traditional way of farming and diversify in other areas of farming. We can also look at crop production as another way of living. There are plenty of opportunities in the region.
“The areas of Sesfontein and Fransfontein have a lot of groundwater and we need to establish Green Scheme projects there,” he said.
“We are experiencing hunger among livestock and human beings alike and we import everything from outside the region. There are no livestock feed producers in the region while there are many livestock.
“We are just concentrating on the number of livestock we have, but we are not looking at ways on how to maintain them,” he said.
He added that the regional government planned to meet with the prime minister to appeal for drought relief.
Sheya said the food bank programme was taking care of the needy at Opuwo and Khorixas but outside these towns people were suffering.
“Community members are really affected by drought and they are in need of food. Since our people are only in livestock farming and they are not producing food, drought relief is the only solution.
“We already have a list of people who have flocked to regional councillors' offices in need of food,” Sheya said.
“In our region we also need a project to harvest rainwater. We would like to ask the environmental fund to look at this opportunity because each year we receive good rainfall but it only lasts for a few months then we are faced with a lack of water for our livestock,” he added.
Wernhil Park was bustling with parents and guardians, school-going children in tow, with most hoping to find all the needed stationery items and uniforms.
Some of the parents Namibian Sun spoke to said they started their back-to-school shopping as early as last year but were not able to buy everything due to several shops simply not having stock at that time of the year.
“We started buying as early as last year because it is much better to get it out of the way but we still have about ten items to check off the school's list. I am starting to panic because my daughter needs to go to school with all these items and we cannot find them,” parent Petrina David said.
Other parents said the schools are not specific enough with their requirements, which makes the whole shopping experience difficult.
“I am struggling to get most of the required items. I have been in most shops but I cannot find the specific books and stationery. I am buying stationery for three children and it is really strenuous.
“The schools need to be clear on the items they want from the children,” said another parent, Natalia Nathanael.
Some parents said prices had risen since December, while others felt that the shops were exploiting the situation.
“My child is going to grade one and I am shocked at the prices. Buying school shoes is the most painful thing because they are the most expensive and yet, they easily get lost.
“I have no choice because it is my responsibility as a parent to buy my children's school items but the shops need to help us and bring these prices down,” said Klaudia Mwaamba.
Many parents said they were really feeling the pinch even though they had not overspent during the festive season. Some have lost their jobs and are using much-needed savings to get the necessary school kits together, while others told Namibian Sun the current economic climate with high inflation has placed an added burden on parents.
Many others are unsure at which schools their children will be enrolled and will have to rush out to buy uniforms as soon as they manage to register them.
A recent outlook prepared by the Climate Centre Outlook for the first week of January said crop and livestock production throughout northern Namibia were bound to be negatively affected.
“Many consecutive weeks of below-average rainfall have strengthened rainfall deficits and could further negatively impact cropping and pastoral activities throughout southern Angola, northern Namibia, western Zambia, Botswana, western Zimbabwe, and South Africa,” the report said.
Despite the recent moisture recovery in south-western Africa, the performance of the southern African rainy season has been quite poor and has mimicked the early to mid-stages of the poor 2015-2016 season.
According to the report, many countries have experienced a pronounced delayed start of the rainy season, followed by erratic, infrequent and poorly distributed rainfall over the past three months.
“Many local areas in Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, and South Africa have experienced at least eight consecutive weeks of suppressed precipitation according to satellite estimated rainfall,” it said. “An analysis of recent remote sensing products indicates that unfavourable ground conditions have continued to worsen over southern Angola, northern Namibia, western Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and eastern South Africa,” the report added.
Professor Francois Engelbrecht, chief researcher for climate studies, modelling and environmental health at the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), confirmed the report findings in a recent interview with Farmer's Weekly.
“Southern Africa is projected to become generally drier, with more El Niño-related droughts. East Africa is projected to become generally wetter.
Oppressive temperatures and heatwave-related events are projected to occur more frequently across the southern African region,” he said. Consequently, the economic environment will be affected, as shifts in farming activities are inevitable.
“Southern Africa has been identified by the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius as one of the regions in the world where climate change will impact most negatively on economic growth, considering the widespread impact on the agriculture sector,” said Engelbrecht.
“Our annual pricing review is in line with our customer-centric approach, committed to provide Namibians with access to affordable and accessible banking services. To ensure that the benefits of technological changes are passed on to our customers, our business banking clients, including small and medium enterprises will now enjoy a 30% reduction in electronic transaction fees on our internet banking platform. We will not be increasing electronic banking fees for our retail clients on Internet Banking, Cellphone Banking and the Standard Bank APP. Monthly subscription for all our electronic channels is free of charge,” said Mercia Geises, Head of Personal and Business Banking.
As part of the pricing review, monthly management fees for pensioners were reduced to zero and an interest payment on positive current account balances held by pensioners has been introduced, said Geises.
Debit order fees will remain unchanged while penalty based fees on unpaid debit orders will be reduced by 50%. “It makes no sense to dig a deeper hole for a customer who is already finding it difficult to catch their breath,” added Geises.
Standard Bank’s Head of Personal Banking, Rejoice Itembu said, “our bundled pricing option offers unlimited electronic transactions which include domestic debit card purchases, inter- account transfers, and electronic payments. Additionally, the bundle includes funeral cover to the value of N$10000, physical impairment cover up to
N$110000 and death cover up to N$110000”.
Itembu further encouraged clients to make use of Standard Bank’s digital channels, “as we continue to digitize our services with the latest technology our Internet Banking, Cellphone Banking, the Standard Bank App and Paypulse provides you with access to banking services at your convenience, 24/7 in the palm of your hand. Through these self-service channels our customers can conveniently buy airtime, buy electricity, or send money to friends and family by issuing them with a BlueVoucher.”
Tesla boss Elon Musk said the electric car-maker would break ground yesterday on a Shanghai factory that would allow it to sell directly to Chinese consumers and avoid tariffs from the China-US trade war.
Tesla unveiled plans in July for what is Musk's biggest overseas move yet, saying the factory's eventual annual production of 500 000 vehicles would dramatically increase its output and allow more direct access to the world's biggest electric-vehicle market.
"Looking forward to breaking ground on the @Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory today!" Musk said on his official Twitter account.
"Aiming to finish initial construction this summer, start Model 3 production end of year & reach high-volume production next year."
Chinese media reports said Musk would be in Shanghai to break ground on the plant, which Bloomberg News has reported could cost US$5 billion.
Musk said the Shanghai plant would supply the "Greater China region" with "affordable versions" of the Tesla Model 3 - the carmaker's first mid-price, mass-market vehicle - and its planned Model Y. The Model S, Model X and "higher cost versions" of the 3 and Y would continue to be made in the United States for the global market, including China, he added.
Despite its relative affordability compared to other Tesla models, the price of a US-made Model 3 now starts at about US$50 000 (N$719 600), but Musk has said previously that he aims to get that down to US$35 000 (N$431 760). He provided no price figures for China-made cars.
Tesla's Shanghai venture comes as US companies face pressure from President Donald Trump to keep manufacturing jobs at home, and as Beijing and Washington persist with a trade spat that has seen both sides levy tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of products.
Analysts have said production in China would allow Tesla to avoid such tariffs, which already have caused a spike in the price of the cars that Tesla now imports to the Chinese market.
But since Tesla announced plans for the factory on land outside Shanghai's urban core, the outlook for China's consumer market has turned worrisome.
Apple sparked global alarm over the prospects for the world's second-largest economy last week when it cut its revenue forecast citing slowing demand in China and the trade war.
Domestic and foreign automakers have been racing to grab a share of the electric-vehicle sector, which is expected to continue to grow rapidly as the Chinese government pushes cleaner technologies, partly to help combat chronic air pollution.
China typically requires foreign automakers to set up joint ventures with domestic firms when establishing manufacturing plants, which entails the sharing of profits and technology with local partners. But Tesla has said its Shanghai plant would be "wholly owned" by the company.
It is postulated by some that the dependency ratio in Namibia is somewhere between eight and ten per wage earner.
Let’s do a sum. We have 200 workers supporting somewhere between 1 600 and 2 000 people. On a project which has proven itself to be viable, albeit under difficult circumstances.
And now, that project has been abandoned and the people left jobless. The trees are dying and the little fruit that they had, was taken by the community.
We can ill afford this kind of failure in Namibia.
With our poverty levels, the massive number of unemployed, in particular in our rural areas, and the hunger this country’s citizens experience, the state orchards were a fantastic project.
Exactly what we needed.
And now, for reasons unknown as the ministry is yet to respond, the project has been abandoned. Literally, left to die.
It boggles the mind.
We can only assume but let us suggest that possibly budget cuts have led the dismissal of the workers. Could the orchards not be handed to the local authorities, or the traditional authorities in the area? Was there truly no one who could be a caretaker for these orchards?
It is much like the chaos with AMTA and mahangu purchases. Promises are made and not kept. While farmers invest and work hard to create bountiful harvests which are then left in storage. From last year. While the people are hungry.
Senior Walvis Bay officials have been caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar as documents show irregular use of the town council’s credit card, including a cash withdrawal of N$86 220 by Ngdishoshili Nghilumbwa.
In a letter dated 4 October 2018 the council’s financial manager, Frans Gonteb, alerted the CEO, Muronga Haingura, to cash withdrawals with the council’s credit cards.
Gonteb informed Haingura that he had requested detailed transaction statements from the bank for the period December 2015 to September 2018.
He added that the two cards in question had been issued to the mayor and the chairperson of the management committee.
Simson Nghilumbwa is the chairperson of the management committee while Immanuel Wilfred is the mayor of Walvis Bay.
In his letter Gonteb pointed out that the bank statement for the period December 2015 to September 2018 revealed that Wilfred had made speed-point payments to the tune of N$152 533 while Tobias Nambala had made speed-point payments of N$30 486.
Ngdishoshili Nghilumbwa made a cash withdrawal of N$86 220 and a speed-point payment of N$5 860.
When contacted for comment yesterday Haingura pleaded ignorance and said he had not received this information.
He did say, however, that he was aware of other credit-card irregularities reported late last year.
“I am not in the office now, can you forward the information to our PRO please? I am not aware of what you are specifically referring to. I am aware of the other incidents that were reported by New Era newspaper,” he said.
Wilfred wanted to know where Namibian Sun had got the documents and asked whether it was indeed his name that appeared in the documents.
“Go ask the CEO of the Walvis Bay, Mr Haingura, he is the one who is running the administration of this town. Go directly to him and ask him those questions,” he said.
When asked whether he was aware of the transactions and whether he had indeed used the council credit card to make payments, he asked: “To whom was the council credit card allocated?”
Another document shows that Wilfred used the council credit card assigned to him to buy a cellphone for N$12 707 while he was attending the 32nd Trade Expo in 2017.
According to bank statements this cellphone was bought at a duty-free shop in Dubai.
In a letter to Gonteb dated 7 November, Wilfred asked that this money be deducted from his salary in two instalments.
However it appears from a bold inscription on the letter that this money was not deducted.
New Era newspaper reported in October that an ongoing investigation of credit-card abuse at the Walvis Bay council had unearthed various irregularities and resulted in the suspension of councillor Simson Nghilumbwa.
Affirmative Repositioning movement (AR) activist Irvin Summers said Haingura was lying and must do the honourable thing and resign.
Another AR activist, Kasie Shikongo, said everyone in the municipality was aware of the irregularities.
“I was in the council meeting when they suspended councillor Nghilumbwa because of this issue. The mayor chaired the meeting where this took place. If they are denying it then they must step down,” he said.
Another Walvis Bay AR leader, Andre Eugene Gunther von Broen, said they would approach the courts if the councillors were not brought to book.
Road-safety advocates agree that the festive season coming to an end this week has seen a drastic improvement in road user behaviour, with fewer accidents and fatalities reported than previous seasons and a 30% reduction overall in fatalities for 2018.
Preliminary crash statistics from the road-safety campaign between 25 November and 3 January show a 29% reduction in fatalities, 18% reduction in injuries and a 14% reduction in accidents.
In total, 385 crashes caused 665 injuries and 74 fatalities, Namibian Sun was informed, though these numbers could change as additional information flows in until the official end of the festive season.
In comparison, the accident statistics for 28 November 2017 to 18 January 2018 showed a total of 528 crashes, 965 injuries and 127 fatalities over the festive season, though those numbers were also significantly lower than the previous festive season.
“This year we saw more maturity from holidaymakers on the road. They were more responsible and safety conscious,” Aubrey Oosthuizen, the West Coast Safety Initiative's co-ordinator, told Namibian Sun.
Horst Heimstadt of the Private Sector Road Safety Forum (PSRSF) agreed, noting that “comparing the behaviour to previous years we are very happy to report a drastic improvement in the behaviour of road users”.
He added that the preliminary results do indicate a slight increase in average monthly fatalities, from 1.4 to 1.8 fatalities per day, but the overall 29% reduction is a noteworthy achievement.
Highest in Africa
He added that it is estimated that 2018 has seen a total 30% reduction in the road death toll, with unofficial indicators showing the total number of fatalities was around 556 for 2018.
The steep decrease in fatalities could be the highest in Africa, according to preliminary research, he said.
Heimstadt said while lack of funding hampers exact evaluations to determine which initiatives can be linked to better road behaviour, it is clear “that the general behaviour of road users has changed and we hope it will continue to change even more”.
As a participant in the Decade of Action for Road Safety, which concludes in 2020, Heimstadt said it is possible that annual road fatalities, which in 2011 were 492, could be halved by 2020.
“If we remain at a 30% reduction per year with an estimated death toll of 556 for 2018, we should reach 272 fatalities in the year 2020.”
He said this would require commitment from all parties, including road users and authorities.
Bad apples remain
Both Heimstadt and Oosthuizen said despite improved road behaviour, erratic and irresponsible drivers continued to put the lives of others at risk.
“Unfortunately we still have a minority of road users who believe it is their right to speed, overtake on blind spots and drive under the influence of alcohol,” Heimstadt warned.
Heimstadt said roll-overs, the number-one cause of the crashes, are attributed mainly to speeding and to faulty tyres.
He said driving under the influence has reduced in the central and western regions of Namibia, but remains “a major problem” in the northern regions of Namibia.
Oosthuizen concurred that the improved behaviour of motorists did not exclude several incidents of reckless driving, but underlined that compared to previous years; drunken driving and other incidents were “definitely less”.
Several factors contributed to better safety and fewer accidents, he said, including better planning by motorists, and several road-safety initiatives by authorities.
“From our side, it was definitely a quieter season, although there were a lot of people here. People planned better, and there were a lot of special operations ongoing between the regions that brought the message across that we won’t allow you to do what you want on the roads.”
He added that the rush to and from the coast was more spread out this season, with people leaving on different days.
Nevertheless, while many observers pointed out the coast was quieter this year, Oosthuizen said the statistics prove otherwise.
The West Coast Safety Initiative annually hands out safety awareness packs to arriving motorists – never to locals from Swakopmund and Walvis Bay – and on one day in December handed out a total of 4 500 packs in one day to new arrivals at the coast.
Professor Joseph Diescho believes that Swapo has lost its idealism and has been captured by a political elite who are tenderpreneurs and “corrupt warlords in the making”.
According to Diescho this climate makes people lie about who they are and where they are, at the expense of the true history.
Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa said: “It is fine. That is his opinion and his right.”
Diescho also demanded that President Hage Geingob implement a lifestyle audit and an academic qualifications audit to clean up the public sector.
“Politicians who are abusing the history of Swapo in pursuit of quick wealth need to be jailed to defend the narrative of the liberation struggle that so many people lost their lives for. People appointed to serve must be on merit and not falsified stories. We are free and independent and no longer at war,” he said.
Diescho emphasised that Namibians must understand their identity is not wrapped up in the politics of who fought against whom, but must be based upon the truth.
“The truth is there was no party that won a war. We lie when we say we defeated the white regime. We defeated nobody. It was an international peaceful negotiated settlement, with no winner, no loser. Resolution 435.
“Swapo did not march in here with tanks to throw the white people out. The white people who are in Namibia were part of those negotiations. As a matter of fact, Swapo lost the election in 1989 - that mitigates against the lie that they defeated the enemy,” he said.
He added that credit was due to Swapo for bringing Namibia so far and other political parties who participated and abdicated their right in the constituent assembly to give Swapo the power to rule.
Diescho believes that the rot in Namibian politics began when the purpose of governance was reduced to friendship and comradeship and not competency or merit.
“If you can claim that your father or uncle was in Lubango and was fighting, you are legitimate to lead whether you are competent or not,” he said.
He added that the political opposition needs to help Namibians understand the purpose of governing an independent Namibia and not liberating the country.
“We are not fighting a war any longer. In other words, the opposition needs to recalibrate that citizenship in Namibia is the most and most fundamental principle,” he said.
He further urged Namibians to demand that the president take action in order to hold office-bearers accountable.
According to him President Hage Geingob must make the government bureaucracy size commensurate with the size of the Namibian nation.
“[A nation of] 2.3 million people cannot afford to have a president, vice-president, prime minister and all the ministers and deputy ministers. Now we have the special advisors and two governors per region.
“We have a governor and an advisor – two governors and both appointed by the president. So we are admitting that a governor is a titular head and the advisor is the functional head. Can we afford that?” he asked.
He added that there is no need for two education ministers and no need for a gender affairs minister, nor a safety and security minister when there is a home affairs minister.
“When you cut that out, like South African president Cyril Ramaphosa is doing now, you save more money for education, healthcare and infrastructure development,” he said.
Diescho also questioned why Geingob has failed to introduce a lifestyle audit after announcing it.
“If the president says zero tolerance of corruption, how come not one member of parliament has been jailed? In fact you can say Sam Nujoma appointed more than 13 commissions of investigations into corrupt practices and none of them have seen the light of day.
“The only presidential commission of inquiry that was published was health under Richard Kamwi. If the taxpayers are paying for the investigations why are they are not told of the outcomes?” he asked.
Diescho also challenged Geingob to do as Tanzanian President John Magufuli by demanding that all senior public servants provide evidence of the qualifications they claim to have.
According to the BBC, Magufuli in 2017 fired nearly 10 000 civil servants, including the head of the government’s anti-graft body, the tax chief, a senior rail official and the head of the port authority for having fake education certificates.
“That is how you clean the system. That would you help us define honesty and integrity in the Namibian nation,” Diescho said.
Lack of leadership
Diescho emphasised that Namibia needs a new leadership to redefine Namibians beyond party identity.
“Political parties are by nature divisive and in our context as a diverse nation all political parties are tribalistic, they all have an ethnic base. There is no political leader in Namibia right now that stands out and stands up and says ‘forget tribe, we are a nation’. None,” said Diescho.
Questions sent to the office of the presidency are yet to be answered.
The three-month rollercoaster ride of in-fighting among councillors and management committee members amidst allegations of gross misconduct against Kahimise continued this week, with new plans to suspend Kahimise based on the view that an investigation into alleged misconduct will not be completed before his return in February.
A 17 December council document, containing recommendations discussed at a meeting held this afternoon, notes that “the current investigation by external auditors (KPMG) into the alleged transgressions of the CEO is anticipated to be finalised by mid-February 2019, and as such council may wish to request the minister for more time, beyond the three months granted”.
The recommendation to withdraw his suspension, according to the documents, comes “in light of his allegations that his suspension was effected without a pre-suspension hearing, a valid reason and/or approval of the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, and that the meeting of 5 November 2018 at which he was suspended was not properly constituted.”
The recommendations state that if council agrees to set aside the suspension instituted on 5 November “then council should consider whether to suspend Mr Kahimise for a period of no longer than a total of 180 days, inclusive of any period of suspension that he may have already served.”
It is believed however that legal advisors have cautioned against this move.
Further, the document notes that withdrawing the suspension, of which he has served two months, “seeks to address the perception that the CEO was not granted a fair opportunity for a pre-suspension hearing before council took a decision to suspend him on the 5th of November 2018.”
These claims were made multiple times by Kahimise and his legal team following his suspension last year and in court, when he launched a failed attempt to have his case heard on an urgent basis in an effort to be reinstated.
Reasons for the suspension are linked “but are not limited to alleged acts of dishonesty and deceit”, including allegations Kahimise participated in a private study scheme without prior approval from the management committee, and unauthorised expenditures for personal benefit, among several other claims.
The notes recommend that council should consider written representations by Kahimise “in respect of his possible suspension”.
The final outcome of the meeting could not be confirmed.
Opposition councillors Brunhilde Cornelius (RDP), Josef Kauandenge (Nudo) and Ignatius Semba (PDM), initially attended the meeting but later recused themselves from the meeting this afternoon for a number of unspecified reasons.
Subsequently they issued a media invitation where they plan to announce their intention to introduce a motion of no-confidence in the management committee.
The trio has long criticised the way in which the allegations against Kahimise have been handled, and have questioned whether the move to out him from his post were in fact linked to ulterior motives, recused themselves from the discussions and announced they would hold a press conference tomorrow.
City of Windhoek councillors indicated that since the “ever-increasing infighting” at the city around Kahimise’s suspension, an “alarming and increasing maladministration in the City" is crippling the office’s work.
KBF chairman Jason Naule says it is important that the federation takes youth boxing to another level.
“This year we want to put more focus on the junior boxers because it is the only way Khomas will remain relevant when it comes to boxing development.
“The government has really been helpful, even though we believe it could do more, especially in terms of amateur boxing, because boxing remains one of the sport codes that always bring home medals when the country participates at regional and world events,” Naule said.
He stressed that the region faces a number of challenges when it comes to planning boxing events.
The former boxer is however hopeful that they will get a sponsor this year.
The federation had a successful 2018, winning the sixth edition of the MTC Sunshine Cup that was held from the 29 November to 1 December in Windhoek.
The Khomas Region came out on top, followed by Nampol and the Erongo Region.
The KBF also had a very busy year, hosting nine development tournaments in 2018.
“Development is our key mandate; we must make sure that we nurture the upcoming boxers for them to accomplish their dreams of becoming world champions. They must put the country's name at the top, when it comes to boxing; this is a priority,” Naule said.
The federation also lauded the various stakeholders that play a role in supporting their development agenda.
“We would like to thank John Hayes of Ready Bites Meat Market, Nestor Tobias of the Sunshine Boxing Academy and Kinda Nangolo of Kinda Promotions for always being ready to lend us a helping hand.
“We also want to wish all boxing lovers and supporters, as well our young boxers a prosperous 2019,” Naule added.
The federation remains without a sponsor and is appealing to corporate Namibia to come on board and support its development agenda.
They believe that keeping young people busy with positive activities helps the development of the country.
“In 2019 we are planning to have a very aggressive development programme, because boxing has really been well-received by the communities around Khomas and the demand for more tournaments is coming in daily.”
Jesse Jackson Kauraisa
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp showed where the competition ranked on the current English Premier League leaders' list of priorities by leaving star forwards Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino on the bench until the 70th minute, and they failed to have an impact after coming on.
“I changed a lot because I thought we had to, not because I wanted to,” said Klopp, who justified fielding a weakened team by saying some of key players were absent because of illness or “little problems”.
Klopp, who also used the wind as a reason for his team's below-par display at Molineux, has yet to progress beyond the fourth round of the FA Cup in his four seasons in charge of Liverpool.
Wolves went in front through striker Raul Jimenez in the 38th minute after James Milner lost possession in central midfield, but Liverpool equalised when Divock Origi scored from the edge of the area in the 51st.
Neves regained the lead for Wolves four minutes later, striking a low and fierce shot inside the near-post past the initially unsighted Simon Mignolet.
Klopp started midfielders Rafael Camacho and Curtis Jones - aged 18 and 17 respectively - and sent on another debutant, 16-year-old Dutchman Ki-Jana Hoever in the sixth minute, after centre-back Dejan Lovren sustained a hamstring injury.
Hoever, at 16 years and 354 days, became the youngest Liverpool player in FA Cup history and the third-youngest player to make a senior appearance for the team.
His introduction meant Liverpool played the majority of the match with the 16-year-old debutant and Brazil midfielder Fabinho as its central-defensive partnership.
Youssouf joined 'The Reds' from Comoros club Volcano de Moroni last week, after impressive performances when the two teams clashed in a two-leg CAF Champions League preliminary late last year.
“I am here to win everything with African Stars and I do believe I will help this team, with God's grace.
“I decided to join African Stars because as a footballer one will have to travel and explore other countries.
“The language barrier will not be a difficult thing for me because football is a universal game,” Youssouf said.
He scored 19 goals last season, while providing 35 assists for his former club.
Stars revealed that Youssouf could be in doubt for this weekend's CAF Confederations Cup game against Morocco's Raja Casablanca, depending on the finalisation of his paperwork.
Stars will be able to confirm his participation in the crucial first-leg match by today.
The match will be played on Saturday at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, with the kickoff scheduled for 16:00.
Tickets are on sale at Webtickets outlets situated inside Pick n Pay shops countrywide. They cost N$50 for general entrance and N$500 for VIP seats.
African Stars assistant coach Andrew Tjahikika said his team is ready for the big clash, given that they have been preparing since last Monday.
Stars chairman Patrick Kauta said the team is using their African experience to facilitate a professional setup, which has started with the appointment of a professional technical team.
The team announced they also intend to pave the way for more fresh players to join their ranks.
Jesse Jackson Kauraisa
Premier League champions Manchester City are at home to Burnley, while Tottenham face a tough trip to Crystal Palace.
Holders Chelsea have an easier task with Sheffield Wednesday or Luton to travel to Stamford Bridge.
Wolves' reward for beating Liverpool 2-1 on Monday is a trip to either Shrewsbury or Stoke.
The ties will be played between 25 and 28 January.
The full draw is as follows:
Swansea vs Gillingham
AFC Wimbledon vs West Ham
Shrewsbury or Stoke vs Wolves
Millwall vs Everton
Brighton vs West Brom
Bristol City vs Bolton
Accrington vs Derby or Southampton
Doncaster vs Oldham
Chelsea vs Sheffield Wednesday or Luton
Newcastle or Blackburn vs Watford
Middlesbrough vs Newport
Manchester City vs Burnley
Barnet vs Brentford
Portsmouth vs QPR
Arsenal vs Manchester United
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham
Taylor top-scored with 137 and Nicholls was unbeaten on 124 off just 80 balls, lifting the hosts to 364 for four after they lost the toss and were sent in to bat.
It was a record ODI score at Nelson's Saxton Oval, where the average is just 275, and Sri Lanka never looked like reaching the mammoth total.
They were all out for 249 in the 42nd over, throwing away their final four wickets without scoring a run as the series ended with a whimper.
Thisara Perera, who scored a blistering 140 in the second ODI, was again the tourists' standout performer, racing to 80 in 63 balls.
With the series already decided, Nicholls and Taylor used the dead rubber to send a message to the New Zealand selectors ahead of this year's World Cup.
It was Nicholls' maiden ODI ton and the 27-year-old will hope his strong Test form is finally transferring to the limited overs format.
Taylor's 20th ODI century tightened the 34-year-old's grip on the New Zealand record he already holds for one-day centuries.
“I'm getting old and hopefully I've got a few more left in me,” he said. In his last 11 ODI innings Taylor has scored three centuries and six half-centuries.
He came to the crease with New Zealand struggling at 31 for two, but combined with skipper Kane Williamson for a 116-run partnership to steady the innings.
When Williamson departed on 55, Taylor and Nicholls plundered the Sri Lanka attack with an aggressive 154-run stand.
Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga had ousted openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro cheaply but was expensive in the long run, leaking 93 runs from his 10 overs.
Sri Lanka's senior bowlers were all wayward, particularly at the death, as the tourists conceded 57 runs in the final three overs.
Sri Lanka made a bright start to their run chase, scoring freely before Tim Southee trapped Dhananjaya de Silva lbw on 36.
The run rate then slowed to a crawl when the tourists lost three wickets for 10 runs to slump to 117 for four, with Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Mendis departing within the space of two balls.
Worse was to come after Perera fell to a spectacular one-handed catch from Guptill, triggering a tail-end collapse.
Dushmantha Chameera went with Sri Lanka on 249, only for Danushka Gunathilaka, Malinga and Nuwan Pradeep to all depart without adding to the score.
Sri Lanka, who lost a two-Test series against New Zealand 1-0, wrap up their tour with a one-off Twenty20 match against the Black Caps in Auckland on Friday.