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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    State funeral for General NambundungaState funeral for General Nambundunga President Hage Geingob has conferred the honour of a state funeral on the late army commander and one-time acting chief of the Namibian Defence Force Major-General (retired) Peter Nambundunga.

    Nambundunga passed on in a northern hospital on 14 January. He will be laid to rest at Omugulugombashe in Omusati Region this Saturday.

    A period of mourning will be observed from today until Saturday with national flags to be flown at half-mast. Nambundunga is a decorated soldier, having left Namibia in 1974 to join the liberation struggle and receiving his basic military training at Cassapa in 1975.

    After his basic training, he formed part of the first intake of trainees at Kongwa in Tanzania.

    Due to his outstanding competencies, Nambundunda was selected to become a military instructor at Kongwa.

    He rose through the ranks of the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), becoming a political commissar and eventually being appointed PLAN chief of logistics and member of the military council.

    In 1990, Nambundunga was inducted in the NDF with the rank of colonel and was appointed chief of staff for logistics. He served the Ministry of Defence and the NDF in various capacities including deputy army commander (1996), chief of staff personnel (1997), NDF chief of staff (2000), army commander (2005 – 2008) and acting NDF chief between 2009 and 2011.

    “Major-General (retired) Nambundunga also commanded the Namibian contingent in the DRC operations where he was also appointed as Deputy Force Commander of SADC Forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He participated and represented Namibia with distinction in the meetings of the Joint Verification Committee which oversaw the peace process in the DRC,” read the presidency statement.

    After his retirement from active military service, Nambundunga was appointed special advisor to the governor of the Ohangwena Region by former President Hifikepunye Pohamba - a position he held until the time of his death.


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  • 01/22/19--14:00: Land grab at Otjiwarongo
  • Land grab at OtjiwarongoLand grab at OtjiwarongoResidents stake off 'erven' at Ombili Otjiwarongo police force members, along with municipal officials had their hands full on Monday as residents, fed up of waiting, attempted to grab land. More than 100 residents of Otjiwarongo on Monday attempted to grab unserviced municipal land in the new Ombili informal settlement.

    Equipped with rakes, shovels, axes and hoes, they started demarcating and clearing land before members of the police, and municipality officials, intervened.

    Erwin Haraseb, 33, said he applied for an erf in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and has not received a convincing response yet.

    “For how long must my two children and I wait?” Haraseb asked.

    He also accused the local authority councillors of “being weak” and wasting time by fighting with each other over petty issues that do not benefit the community.

    Another community member, the 50-year-old Aquila Kandanga, said she can no longer afford the exorbitant rent she pays for herself and her five children and wants a place she can call home.

    Jeremiah Gawaseb, 33, said he hopes to see the Swapo local authority councillors at Otjiwarongo replaced with candidates of an opposition party after the elections.

    “The Swapo local authority councillors must go come 2020, they are incompetent and divisive,” Gawaseb said.

    Otjiwarongo's mayor, Bennes Haimbondi, the chairperson of the municipality's management committee, Hilda Jesaja, and Swapo's coordinator for Otjozondjupa, Susan Hikopua went to the site to attempt to calm the angry community members down.

    Haimbondi asked them write down their names and said these would be verified on the municipality database to see whether erven had already been allocated to them or whether they are listed under the new applications for land.

    “Be patient with us. We are going to service about 4 000 plots for you on this area you want to grab,” said Haimbondi.

    The residents agreed to write down their names, but urged the municipality to speed up the promise of servicing land in Ombili.

    At the same time, the governor for Otjozondjupa, Otto Ipinge, was expressing his dismay with the exorbitant prices of town land in some of the major local authority councils in the region.

    He was speaking at an annual key stakeholders meeting attended by local authority councils of Otavi, Okakarara, Okahandja, Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein and government officials at Otjiwarongo on Monday morning.

    The governor described the main purpose of the first annual meeting as a renewal of strength of each government office and all key development drivers in the region.

    “However, not much was done last year in terms of development in our towns due to the exorbitant prices of land which scared investors. Our municipalities should not only look into making money, and exclude our own people,” he said.

    The governor said the primary purpose of any local authority council in the region is to represent the wishes of the local citizens, despite their political affiliations.

    Last year, Ipinge said his office noted down numerous challenges related to poor service delivery by the local authority councils, adding that some challenges were directly triggered by the local authority leaders who failed to adhere to the country's laws, without providing specifics.

    The governor then called on the five local authority councils in the region and government offices to regularly provide copies of their monthly reports to his office to allow cooperation, smooth planning and flow of information with other key development stakeholders in the region.

    The regional head used the same platform to thank the Paresis Senior Secondary School (SSS) and Otjiwarongo SSS for working tirelessly in 2018 to produce good results in the Grade 12 Ordinary Level examinations.

    Ipinge also described Operation Hornkranz, which was launched by President Hage Geingob in December last year, as a success in the Otjozondjupa Region during the festive season, calling for increased crime prevention efforts in the future.


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    APP congress slated for FebruaryAPP congress slated for February The All People's Party (APP) is expected to hold an elective congress in the first week of February, during which delegates will elect a new party leadership.

    This is according to its secretary-general Vincent Kanyetu, who said the congress had initially been slated for November last year, but could not take place due to logistical issues at its branches.

    “The congress will be held during the first week of February, which is what has been agreed upon,” said Kanyetu.

    He said further that it could not take place in November because leadership nominations had not been received from the various APP structures.

    “Some regions were not finished with their assignments. Every region has its own problems,” said Kanyetu.

    Despite the delay, he was confident that the APP would conclude its congress next month. This, he said, would also allow the party to turn its attention to campaigning for the upcoming general elections, which will be held later this year.

    “We will make sure that everything will go to plan,” said Kanyetu. The party, according to him, was also in the process of finalising a disciplinary hearing into allegations of insubordination against three of its youth leaders.

    Kanyetu in July last year suspended youth league president Sebastian Ntjamba, as well youth wing members Kaghugongo Vumbu Shingereshu and Hendrick Haikera. The trio were suspended with immediate effect from all party structures.

    Providing an update, Kanyetu was confident the disciplinary hearing will be completed by the end of this month.

    “The matter is before the disciplinary committee. They have been called in for a hearing and we are looking at speeding up the process before the end of this month,” said Kanyetu.

    According to him, the trio were informed what charges they were facing.


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    Seismic oil exploration starts offshoreSeismic oil exploration starts offshoreThe survey is scheduled to start on Friday A seismic survey in the PEL83 Offshore Licence comprises an area of around 3000 km² in Namibia’s deep-water area. Augetto Graig

    Portuguese-based energy company Galp will start with a 3D seismic research campaign in Namibia’s Deep-water Offshore Licence PEL83 in the Orange Basin on Friday.

    The survey, contracted to Polarcus UK, will cover an area of around 3 000 square kilometres and should be completed in March.

    The PEL83 licence was awarded in August 2016 by the ministry of mines and energy to a Galp-led consortium that also includes the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) and Custos Energy, a Namibian company that has been a local partner of Galp since 2012, the Namibia Economist has reported.

    The licence covers a total area of around 10 000 km². The area is located approximately 260 km from Lüderitz in what is considered a ‘Frontier Exploration Basin’.

    Galp is a publicly held Portuguese energy company, with an international presence. Its activities cover all stages of the energy sector's value chain, from prospection and extraction of oil and natural gas from reservoirs located kilometres under the sea surface, to the development of efficient and environmentally sustainable energy solutions for customers, whether large industries that seek to increase their competitiveness, or individual consumers that seek the most flexible solutions for their home and mobility needs, according to their website.

    They also claim to assist economic development of the 11 countries where Galp operates and to the social progress of those communities. Galp employs 6 389 people.

    Polarcus is a maritime and technological innovation company which has invested in the latest new-build vessel designs and the most technologically advanced seismic and navigation systems to collect a seismic fleet that is one of the most modern and advanced in the world.

    On 3 January Polarcus chief financial officer Hans-Peter Burlid announced that the utilisation of this seven-vessel fleet was at 96% for the last quarter of 2018, and at 87% for the year, up from 77%.

    By the end of December the fleet was already 90% booked for the first quarter of this year, 85% for the second and more than half for the third.

    On Tuesday MarineTraffic.com reported that the Polarcus Asima, the Polarcus Adira and the Polarcus Alima were all off the coast of Mauritania on route to an unrecognised destination designated ‘Survery Req CPA 7 NM.’ The Polarcus Alima, which had been in Walvis Bay since December, was also shown on route with its destination designation listed as ‘Towing Cables CPA 7 NM.’

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    SA smokers dodge tax, smoke fakes  SA smokers dodge tax, smoke fakes The drop in sales volumes of excise-paid tobacco products has resulted in a significant loss of revenue for the South African government as consumers move to cheaper illicit products, economic research house Econometrix said on Tuesday.

    Citing National Treasury data, Econometrix said income from tobacco excise declined by R1.94 billion between 2015/16 and 2017/18, despite the government raising excise taxes annually for several years in a bid to discourage smoking while collecting revenue.

    "As the cost of cigarettes increases, due mainly to the excise taxes being raised each year, consumers are not giving up smoking, but instead simply switching to cheaper products which yield no tax at all," said Dr Azar Jammine, director and chief economist at Econometrix.

    Econometrix said its research, commissioned by British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA), was borne out by a separate study conducted by global market research company Ipsos in 2018. The study found that the top-selling cigarette in South Africa regularly sold for R10 per pack of 20, significantly less than the R17.85 minimum tax owed on a pack.

    Cigarettes selling below this minimum price were found in three out of four non-organised shops by Ipsos, totalling 100 000 outlets, and these shops accounted for almost 80% of all tobacco sales.

    "Considering the high price elasticity for tobacco products, holding excise at current levels is the only way to prevent further erosion of the tax base, while enforcement measures are implemented to curb the illicit tobacco trade," Jammine said.

    Based on the same price elasticity of demand, Econometrix estimated that holding tobacco excise taxes in 2019/20 would result in the same excise collection as anticipated for the current financial year.

    "By contrast, Treasury will lose R1.1 billion more revenue from BATSA alone than if excise is increased by expected inflation of 5,4% and manufacturers pass on the increase to consumers, because consumers switch to illegal cigarettes," said Jammine. – Nampa/ANA

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    Ronaldo up on tax fraud chargesRonaldo up on tax fraud charges Cristiano Ronaldo has arrived in court and is expected to plead guilty to tax fraud.

    The Juventus forward, who is facing charges stemming from his days at Real Madrid, arrived in a black van and was wearing a black sports coat and black pants. He walked up some stairs leading to the court house and even stopped to sign an autograph.

    Ronaldo is expected to receive a suspended two-year sentence as part of a deal struck with Spain's state prosecutor and tax authorities last year. The agreement will cost him nearly 19 million euros (US$21.6 million) in fines.

    In Spain, a judge can suspend sentences for two years or less for first-time offenders.

    In 2017, a state prosecutor accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011-14 worth 14.7 million euros (US$16.7 million). Ronaldo was accused of having used shell companies outside Spain to hide income made from image rights. -Nampa/AP

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  • 01/22/19--14:00: Agriculture as a business
  • Agriculture as a businessAgriculture as a businessIt's time for Africa to come to the party Addressing agriculture and food security issues in Africa is critical, not only to economic development across the continent, but for the future of food production worldwide over the next generation. Much progress has been made globally in terms of extreme poverty. According to the World Bank, the population living on less than US$1.90 (N$28) a day declined from 44% in 1980 to under 10% by 2015. But we must not celebrate too soon: we are not winning the war on global hunger.

    In the 2017 report, 'The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World', the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) points out that the number of hungry people worldwide increased from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.

    Climate change is worsening the situation, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The International Food Policy Research Institute estimates that by 2050, Africa will be home to an additional 38 million hungry people due to climate change.

    The challenges facing the world require focused and compassionate leadership. We owe it to ourselves, and to generations to come, to use every opportunity we have to make the world a better place.

    Scaling up processing

    The future of food in the world will depend on what Africa achieves in agriculture. Africa holds 65% of the uncultivated arable land left to feed nine billion people by 2050.

    Its vast savannas are the world's largest agriculture frontier, estimated at 400 million hectares. But only 10% of this is cultivated.

    Africa accounts for 75% of global cocoa production, with 65% of this coming from Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. However, the continent is a price-taker and receives only 2% of the US$100 billion (N$1.47 trillion) annual revenues from chocolate globally.

    This is because Africa exports only raw cocoa beans.

    This pattern is the same for other commodities of which Africa is a major producer. It is time for Africa to move to the top of global food value chains through agro-industrialisation and adding value to all it produces.

    The secret of the wealth of nations is clear: rich nations process what they produce, whether in agriculture, minerals, oil and gas, or services.

    Poor nations export their produce as raw materials. While demand for raw commodities is elastic, demand for processed and value-added commodities is relatively inelastic.

    Africa's reliance on exporting raw commodities exposes it to the high variability and instability of global commodity prices.

    Such external commodity price shocks have continued to negatively affect African economies, creating domestic fiscal and balance of payment deficits that have led to inflation, currency devaluations and a decline in public expenditure.

    African countries need policies to unlock the huge potential of these commodities by developing agricultural value chains and agro-allied industries that process and add value.

    This will allow them to become more competitive in global value chains and raise incomes for their farmers, instead of being stuck at the bottom of the value chain.

    Market-oriented agriculture

    There is absolutely no reason for Africa to be food insecure; it should be the breadbasket of the world. Unlocking the enormous potential of its agriculture should be at the top of the global food security agenda.

    Some may ask: will that not mean large commercial farmers? Images of ugly incidences of land grabbing may resurface in the minds of others.

    Will the smallholders lose out?

    Let's not start with the negative narratives that have held Africa back.

    To realise its agricultural potential, Africa must use all it has: smallholders, as well as medium- and large-scale commercial farms.

    African agrarian systems should support more dynamic and market-oriented agriculture with a commercial focus.

    We must stop romanticising poverty. I have never seen a self-proclaimed subsistence farmer, and I come from a rural background, with a father and grandfather who were farmers.

    What I see are poor, hard-working farm families desperately looking for opportunities to escape the indignity and pain of grinding poverty.

    In my academic work I have researched and written extensively on the efficiency of smallholder farmers, and I am pro-smallholders. But I also know that their level of efficiency depends on the constraints they operate under.

    They are 'efficiently poor'. We have to expand the production possibilities for smallholder farmers, remove the binding constraints around them, including limited access to technology, markets, infrastructure and finance, and make agriculture the source of their livelihood. It should be a wealth-creating sector, not a sector for perpetuating intergenerational poverty and misery.

    Access to new technologies

    The technology already exists to achieve a green revolution in Africa, but it is underused. Resilient and water-efficient new maize varieties allow farmers to harvest good yields in the face of moderate drought. Today's rice varieties can yield 8t/ha, and cassava varieties can yield up to 80t/ha. The problem is a lack of supportive policies for millions of farmers. There's no reason for Africa to spend US$35 billion (N$500 billion) a year importing food. All it needs to do is harness available technologies, apply the right policies and rapidly raise agricultural productivity and farm incomes. This will ensure lower food prices for consumers.

    Rural development is crucial

    The extent of rural poverty in Africa is unacceptable. Rural-to-urban migration is taking its toll, as most of the rural areas are becoming deserted in the desperate rush of millions of youth to find jobs in the cities, or worse, to migrate on perilous journeys to Europe.

    Rural economies have become zones of economic misery. I cannot think of any agenda more important in Africa today than to seriously tackle the underdevelopment in the rural areas.

    We must transform them into zones of economic prosperity. And that must start with agriculture and the food industry. It is time we changed the lenses through which we view agriculture in Africa. Agriculture is not a development activity or a social sector; it is a business and must be treated as one to unlock wealth. Think about it: the size of the food and agribusiness market in Africa will be worth a whopping US$1 trillion (N$14.7 trillion) by 2030.

    I call for a revitalised and stronger strategic alliance between the African Development Bank, the FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Food Programme to unleash the potential of agriculture as a business across Africa.

    Africa is tired of being poor. Millions of African farmers are tired of being destitute and short-changed. We have the moral obligation, duty and responsibility to rise together and end hunger in Africa.

    And we must go much further, by turning agriculture into a business for creating wealth.

    *This article is an excerpt from the recent public lecture of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), given by Dr Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, at the FAO's head office in Rome, Italy. It was first published in farmer's weekly.

    Dr Akinwumi Adesina

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    Hill falls on mine in Rwanda, kills 14Hill falls on mine in Rwanda, kills 14 At least 14 people, among them seven women, have been killed after a hill collapsed on a mine in the eastern Rwamagana district of Rwanda.

    Confirming the Monday morning incident, a local administration official, Jean Claude Rwagasana, told The East African that there were no survivors.

    "The falling of debris killed all 14 people at the mining site. Rescuers were not able to find anyone alive. It is a very unfortunate event and we send condolences to the families of the deceased," Rwagasana said.

    The bodies were taken to the Rwamagana hospital.

    British company Piran Rwanda, which has a 25-year licence for two concessions in Ntunga and Musah in the Eastern Province, is the owner of the mine.

    According to Rwagasana the company had installed all the necessary safety precautions. The last mining accident in the area took place in 2017 but there were no casualties.

    Rwanda’s Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board last year introduced stringent laws to ban artisanal mining and to attract "serious" investors who can afford modern practices that protect both miners while avoiding harm to the environment.

    The minerals cassiterite, coltan and wolfram generate US$373 million for Rwanda annually. – Nampa/ANA

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    Tweya invites Indian businessTweya invites Indian businessIndia/Africa trade increasing Namibia’s trade minister has attended an international business summit in India. Tjekero Tweya, Minister of industrialisation, trade and SME development: “India and Namibia’s bilateral relations should intensify strategic alliances to yield strategic outcomes fast-tracking industrialisation and prosperity for the two countries.” Augetto Graig

    The minister of industrialisation, trade and SME development, Tjekero Tweya, spoke at the Vibrant Gujarat ninth global summit in Gandhinagar, India, on Friday.

    The weekend event brought together more than 20 000 delegates from around the world and at least five heads of state: from Uzbekistan, Rwanda, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Malta. Fifteen countries partnered in staging the event, while 26 380 international and local companies registered to participate.

    Minister Tweya spoke of Namibia’s historic relationship to India, saying: “India has uninterruptedly pursued capacity-building initiatives through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme as well as other bilateral agreements to benefit the people of Namibia.”

    In recent times the subcontinent has also been increasing its trade interaction with Africa as a whole. India's External Affairs Minister Swaraj recently said India-Africa bilateral trade in 2018 was US$62.66 billion, up 22% from 2017.

    India's US$54 billion investments in Africa make that country Africa's fifth largest investor, now with 189 projects in 42 African countries, according to economist and author James Hall.

    Tweya noted the growth in trade between India and Namibia.

    “Namibia’s bilateral trade recorded a steady increase over the past years. Indian companies have invested in Namibia through sectors such as mining, infrastructure development, agriculture and manufacturing,” he told the gathering aimed at facilitating knowledge sharing and forging effective partnerships on agendas of global socio-economic development.

    “We have adopted the Special Economic Zones policy which offers great incentives for foreign direct investment; and we invite potential investors to come and explore investment opportunities in Namibia. We have peace and tranquillity, we have high regard for our rule of law; we have plenty of state land to offer investors in sectors such as energy, manufacturing, health, tourism, agro-processing, blue-economy, amongst others,” he said.

    The trade minister elaborated on Namibia’s growing responsibilities in the Southern Africa region.

    “Namibia was elected as the chair of SADC at the 38th SADC Summit in August 2018 in Windhoek. One of our key priorities during our term of office as SADC chair is to ensure peace and security in the region through engagements, dialogue, mediation and other peaceful means in order to attract investors to the region,” he said.

    He also informed the attendees of continental trade developments.

    “Namibia ratified the African Continental Free Trade Agreement in November last year to expose its 2.4 million people to a bigger market of 300 million in SADC.

    “With the doors of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement opening very soon, Africa will allow for the free movement of African products, African services and African people to increase intra-continental trade with a big single market of 1.2 billion instantly,” he said.

    “It is against this background of global integration that India and Namibia’s bilateral relations should intensify strategic alliances to yield strategic outcomes fast-tracking industrialisation and prosperity for the two countries,” he said.

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    Oysters now safe, mussels notOysters now safe, mussels not The fisheries ministry has given the green light to the public to eat oysters from Walvis Bay Aquaculture Production Area 1, although mussels from the same area are still considered unsafe.

    A little less than two weeks ago, a public warning was issued after oyster and mussel samples from the production area tested positive for diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP), making them unsafe for consumption.

    Yesterday the ministry said it is safe again to eat oysters from the area, which tested negative after repeated testing and “may therefore be harvested for direct human consumption”.

    However, the latest results for the mussel samples collected from the area, which were submitted for sampling and testing to the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI), as guided by the national shellfish sanitation programme, indicate that the presence of DSP is still above the maximum permissible levels.

    The ministry therefore said the production area remains closed for the harvesting of mussels for direct human consumption, depuration or relaying.

    DSP is one of the four recognised symptom types of shellfish poisoning.

    The syndrome manifests itself as intense diarrhoea and severe abdominal pains. Nausea and vomiting may sometimes also occur.

    DSP and its symptoms usually set in within 30 minutes after ingesting infected shellfish and last for about a day.

    The causative poison is okadaic acid, which inhibits intestinal cellular de-phosphorylation.

    This causes the cells to become very permeable to water and causes profuse, intense diarrhoea with a high risk of dehydration.

    As no life-threatening symptoms generally emerge from this, no fatalities from DSP have ever been recorded.


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  • 01/22/19--14:00: Buchters demand transparency
  • Buchters demand transparencyBuchters demand transparencyManganese dust refuses to settle Lüderitz needs development, but not at the cost of the health and safety of its residents. More than 200 Lüderitz residents met on Monday night at the first public meeting called following the widespread outcry over the manganese ore that was dumped illegally at the town earlier this month.

    One of the primary outcomes of the meeting was that residents agreed that they welcome development, but not if business dealings flout the law or come at the cost of the health and safety of residents.

    “The big thing is the community is not against development, but it should be done in the correct way,” town resident Reginald Hercules told Namibian Sun yesterday.

    Another resident who attended the meeting said a clear takeaway was that “Lüderitz needs and wants development, but this needs to be done transparently and involve the community”.

    Hercules added that residents seem to have agreed to petition the relevant authorities to take the necessary steps to address the fact that a South African company, registered in Namibia as TradePort Namibia CC, had dumped manganese ore without the necessary permits and without the necessary precautions required when handling hazardous material.

    The company was in early January ordered to stop the offloading of the 650 tonnes of manganese ore until an investigation by the environment ministry and an application for an environmental clearance certificate is completed and processed.

    “The fact is they acted incorrectly and illegally. There are laws in our country which require that certain actions and consequences take place if someone acts illegally,” Hercules added. He said the petition will ask that the authorities hold those who broke the law accountable.

    He said the public meeting highlighted the community's agreement that they are in favour of business development, but that their input is a legal and much-needed requirement.

    “We all agreed and extended an open invitation that when things take place in future, let it be transparent,” he said.

    A third topic of concern addressed on Monday night was the requirements around the necessary and correct infrastructure and system that needed to be in place to ensure public health and safety when hazardous materials are dealt with.

    “The long and short of it is if they had bagged the product or put it in safe containers made for hazardous products, then the pollution would have been basically non-existent,” Hercules emphasised.

    “So there is a right way to do this. But we oppose the fact that the manganese was dumped in the open without the necessary papers or safety measures in place.”

    Another resident who attended the meeting, and who preferred to remain anonymous, said while the meeting is a step in the right direction, many concerns remain.

    “I think the meeting went reasonably well. Everyone agrees and will stand together to insist that the way forward is engagement with the relevant authorities, who have been mainly missing in action until now. This includes Namport, the environment authorities and others.”

    Namibian Sun was also informed that another South Africa company, Geo Pollution Technologies, which was appointed by Pektranam Logistics to conduct an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and prepare an environmental management plan for the proposed handling, storage and export of manganese via the port of Lüderitz, has called a public meeting scheduled for next week.


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  • 01/22/19--14:00: Where is the youth vehicle?
  • Where is the youth vehicle?Where is the youth vehicle? It is an election year and a major component of campaigning is likely to hone in on the so-called youth vote.

    As in other countries where liberation movements now govern, Namibia’s youth are unlikely to be swayed by historical reminiscing. The stark reality is that nearly 45% of youth are unemployed in Namibia. This effectively means that every second young person you see is without the ability to earn an income in the formal sector. Even more shocking is that the majority of political parties are being run by the so-called old-guard. Dissenting voices are out of favour and are replaced with pliant youth voices that simply praise and bow in respect to ‘elders’.

    Statistics released by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) in March 2014, ahead of the general elections later that year, revealed that a total of 1 158 925 voters registered to cast their ballots.

    The largest percentage of registered voters (44%) fell in the age group 18 to 31 years, with the so-called born-frees making up 19.73% of registered voters, the National Youth Council said at the time.

    When calculated against the total youth population at the time of around 600 000, it was worked out that 85% of eligible youth had registered to vote.

    However, as with this time around, in 2014 the youth did not see a viable alternative to Swapo, as the main opposition to the ruling party is - for all to see - inside its very own house.

    The formation of the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement may have created the hope that it could become a vehicle for the political aspirations of disgruntled ruling party youth, but this has given way to the reality that its leaders are simply biding their time to launch an onslaught to take power in Swapo at some stage.

    There is therefore a real possibility that youth voters may not see themselves mirrored in any of the contenders this year and apathy is likely to follow.

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    PDM leader, 400 others join APPPDM leader, 400 others join APPOfficial opposition 'unaware' of defection A Popular Democratic Movement central committee member in the north has joined the All People's Party. The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) coordinator for Oshana Region and central committee member Vincent Asser has defected to the All People's Party (APP).

    The APP announced that Asser was among 400 new members from Oshana, Omusati, Oshikoto and Ohangwena.

    Asser yesterday confirmed his resignation from the PDM at a media conference at Ondangwa, which was also attended by APP vice-president Reinhold Madala Nauyoma and acting secretary-general Vincent Kanyetu.

    Asser said he decided to leave the PDM because it had failed to recognise him after having worked so hard during the 2014 general election as well as during the 2015 regional and local authority elections.

    “I have been the Oshana acting coordinator for PDM for the past five years, but now I am joining APP for a good cause. PDM does not care about what we have been doing for them and they only care for us when it comes to elections.

    “They do not even recognise the effort you put in their party to gain votes,” Asser claimed.

    “During elections PDM look at us as their leaders, but after they gain votes they treat us like dustbins. I am now joining APP for the benefit of my people.”

    Asser said he had helped the party to gain a seat in the local authority elections at Oshakati and Ondangwa.

    He said now that he has joined APP he would take along all the people he had recruited for PDM.

    The PDM deputy secretary-general and local authority councillor for Oshakati, Linus Tobias, said he was not aware of Asser's move.

    Yesterday Asser was accompanied by other PDM members who had also joined APP.

    “I know all three members, but I am not aware of their move. On the other hand, I am not really surprised because those are troublesome people who are not really committed to the party's work,” Tobias said.

    Kanyetu said they have been mobilising support in the four northern regions and managed to attract over 400 new members to the party. He said the majority of them came from the PDM.

    “The main purpose of this press conference is to celebrate the achievement of our party in the four northern regions. In a few weeks' time we are coming to establish party structures in the four northern regions and this is our first time doing that,” Kanyetu said.


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  • 01/22/19--14:00: Air Namibia assets attached
  • Air Namibia assets attachedAir Namibia assets attachedNational airline could be grounded over N$400m debt A liquidated Belgian company has started attaching Air Namibia assets in Europe over a cancelled lease dating back to 1998. Liquidated Belgian aircraft-leasing company Challenge Air SA has started attaching Air Namibia's assets in Europe.

    Since the beginning of the year, the Belgian company has managed to extract over N$10 million from Air Namibia's European bank account, according to documents seen by Namibian Sun.

    This follows a judgment on 12 January 2015 brought by the liquidator in the Challenge Air matter, Belgian attorney Anicet Baum, against Air Namibia and TransNamib, at the time the holding company of the airline.

    The Munich Regional Appeal Court ruled on several payments Air Namibia had to make in respect of monies owed to Challenge Air, totalling, at today's exchange rate, in the region of N$360 million, with an added daily payment of US$1 335 in respect of unpaid maintenance.

    The term these monies were outstanding is not known. The court however added that the amount in dispute was in the region of 25 million euros, just short of N$400 million.

    Air Namibia had 30 days to lodge an appeal but did not do so.

    The attachment of Air Namibia's assets stems from this judgment.

    Air Namibia signed a lease for a Boeing 767 aircraft from Challenge Air in 1998.

    Last year, Air Namibia spokesperson Paul Nakawa told The Namibian that the leased aircraft was “defective”.

    “Air Namibia subsequently discovered that the aircraft was defective in material respects, and Challenge Air was unable to rectify the defects. Air Namibia cancelled the agreement on 27 July 1998,” he told the newspaper.

    Challenge Air was then placed in liquidation and the liquidators are now seeking the reported damages from Air Namibia.

    Just this week Monday, Challenge Air was able to extract N$3.1 million from Air Namibia's European account, in addition to an amount of N$8.3 million that it managed to extract on 4 January 2019.

    Air Namibia had been instructed by lawyers representing Challenge Air, Axel Clerens and Xacier Claesen, to negotiate a settlement with its local representative, Wilhelm Shali.

    To this end, the airline appointed Shikongo Law Chambers, who wrote to Baum, Clerens and Claesen in December last year.

    “Our client (Air Namibia) is currently in the process of considering various options at its disposal as regards the aforementioned arbitration award, with a view to mitigating against liquidation as may be occasioned by your proposed attachment of assets.”

    The airline asked for a meeting with Challenge Air in Brussels or Germany during the first week of February 2019 and furthermore, added that it did not own any aircraft operating on its international routes.

    On 13 December, Clerens and Claesen responded.

    “Having duly informed the respondents of the freezing of bank accounts, the process of execution of the judgment will continue unless the appointed agent in Namibia (Wilhelm Shali) receives a substantial settlement proposal and or, unless a meeting is convened with my said authorised agents, where a substantial settlement proposal from the judgment debtors is tabled,” they said.

    Air Namibia was warned that Challenge Air could attach its assets.

    “Your assertion that Air Namibia does not have assets in Europe does not absolve Air Namibia of its legal obligations arising from the Munich Regional Court of Appeal judgment,” Clerens and Claesen wrote.

    Moreover, Air Namibia was warned that its actions could potentially be catastrophic for the airline.

    “The judgment execution process currently under way is likely to affect Air Namibia passengers destined for Europe and cause embarrassment to Namibia,” Clerens and Cleasen wrote.

    Challenge Air, through its lawyers, also told Air Namibia that it would seek further legal remedies to get the debt settled.

    “I take it that you concede that your client is unable to meet the obligations arising from the appeal judgment. If this assertion is correct, we seek further legal remedies in this regard,” Clerens and Cleasen wrote.

    While the airline faces the possibility of having its assets attached, its Frankfurt-bound flights stopped, and money being extracted from its account until the debt is settled, the government does not appear to be approaching the matter with any sense of urgency.

    Challenge Air, in correspondence seen by Namibian Sun, had escalated to the matter to transport minister John Mutorwa, finance minister Calle Schlettwein and public enterprises minister Leon Jooste, seeking a conclusion to the matter.

    Mutorwa said upon enquiry that a meeting to discuss the Air Namibia issue was scheduled in due course.

    “Has the court pronounced itself?” asked Mutorwa when quizzed. “Discussions are going to happen very soon. Ask Air Namibia to give you the facts,” he said.

    Jooste for his part said: “A meeting has been scheduled for Monday where this issue will be discussed with the minister of transport, the minister of finance and the attorney-general. I will only be able to share an informed opinion after that discussion.”

    Schlettwein did not respond to a phone message asking for comment.

    Air Namibia spokesperson Twaku Kayofa too did not respond to a query before the time of going to press. “We are planning to release a statement on the matter,” he said.

    Challenge Air local representative Shali was also not available for comment when approached, as he was said to be out of the country.


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    'We would rather die in Namibia''We would rather die in Namibia' A group of Zimbabwean nationals living in Namibia, who were initially excited about the toppling of long-time president Robert Mugabe in 2017, say they have given up all hope and are “ready to die” in a foreign country.

    Zimbabwe has been beset by social and political unrest over the past couple of weeks after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a sharp rise in fuel prices.

    Zimbabweans immediately took to the streets to protest, and a dozen people have so far been killed in a subsequent government crackdown.

    One of the Zimbabwean nationals living in Namibia, who refused to identify himself, said he was disappointed by the lack of intervention by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU).

    “Look at SADC and the African Union; they are doing nothing. We can just die like that. You are coming here every time and writing about our lives, but nothing is changing. We have given up, we are ready to die,” he said.

    Ironically, exactly a year ago in January 2018, this same 36-year-old marketing professional, who is making a living as a bus driver in Namibia, was a “happy man” when Mnangagwa took over as president.

    At that time he shared with Namibian Sun how he would have loved for his late father to witness the regime change.

    “I would have loved for my dad to have been here now… he died with a broken heart because all his children are scattered across the continent in pursuit of greener pastures, which we didn't even find,” he said.

    However, today he has lost all hope of ever returning to the country of his birth.

    One of his friends, who identified himself only as John, said it is very painful to think about his country.

    “All I want to say is 'President Mnangagwa and Constantino Chiwenga (vice-president), do not abuse people. Do not play with people's minds and lives. Organise yourselves'.”

    Another Zimbabwean national, Damuza Chindori, who is a vendor of broomsticks and pesticides in Namibia, returned from his home country about three weeks ago. He said the situation is “very pathetic”.

    According to Chindori the Zimbabwean economy is in freefall.

    “I think it is because the people that we have in power do not understand how the economy operates. They are military men. They have no idea what it means to grow the economy or restore confidence in the economy,” he said.

    Chindori said the Zimbabwean leadership believes that the saving grace of the country is foreign investment.

    “Foreigners can only invest in a country when they see citizens are confident and prospering in that economy. So we have a mismatch where the local businesspeople are finding it hard to operate in Zimbabwe. So how do you expect a foreign investor to invest in a country where even its owners are failing to operate?” he asked.

    According to Chindori the situation on the ground is unbearable, with the price of bread varying between US$2 and US$3 at various locations.

    This translates to roughly N$28 to N$42 per loaf.

    “The American dollar is now in critically short supply so people are using bond notes. Money is critically in short supply, businesspeople cannot operate well because they need foreign currency and it is nowhere to be found,” he said.

    He added when a person imports a car they are expected to pay import levies in foreign currency.

    “Where do you get it from? Meanwhile the people that are trading in foreign currencies are arrested on a daily basis in the streets, so it is a very sad situation for everyone.”

    Chindori added that schools in the country have applied to raise their fees because of the escalating fuel prices.

    According to him the situation has become so bad that most Zimbabwean nationals are scrambling to leave the country.

    “What is happening in our country? When I was in Zimbabwe every young person was asking me what the opportunities in Namibia are. They asked, 'Can I just come and do anything?' Those that have gotten their degrees just want to get their passports and leave,” he said.

    Mnangagwa this week cut short an overseas trip to attend to the chaos in Zimbabwe.

    According to international media he has called for national dialogue and promised an investigation into the widespread violence by his security forces over the past few days.

    The government had also ordered an internet shutdown.


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  • 01/23/19--14:00: Into the lion's den
  • Into the lion's denInto the lion's denPirates face NPL pace-setters Orlando Pirates will have no place to hide this coming Saturday, when they clash with NPL log leaders, Black Africa. Dolam outfit, Orlando Pirates, who currently warming the bottom of the 2018/19 Namibia Premier League (NPL) log, are facing a heavy storm when they meet log leaders Black Africa (BA) in Saturday's Katutura derby.

    Black Africa, from the Gemeente location, while be hoping to extend their lead at the top, while Pirates, who have a youthful squad, have been without any luck this season and need a win to turn their fortunes around before it is too late.

    Pirates have only accumulated five points, compared to BA's 20 points, and there is massive doubt whether this weekend's game will see them collect any points, despite their assistant coach Geoffrey Roman saying they are eyeing a pleasant result.

    “BA is the best side in the league. We are facing a team with depth and experience, but we will come out with nothing but a win,” Roman said.

    He also explained that the current results being produced by the club was also due to the fact that a lot has changed internally.

    “The technical team has changed and we have young players who are growing and changing mentally and physically.

    “This derby is a motivation in itself for the players to work hard,” the Pirates coach added.

    Pirates' vice-captain Zico Gaseb said they have been underdogs for the entire season so far.

    “BA is a powerhouse at the moment and even though we respect BA the match has 90 minutes and we will come out to fight,” Gaseb said.

    Black Africa head coach Paul Shipanga said they will not disrespect or take Pirates lightly. “We won't take this match lightly because Pirates occupy the bottom spot. This is a derby and our players are motivated.”

    Most NPL matches seem like a cemetery as fans do not turn up in their numbers to support their respective clubs.

    However, BA captain Dynamo Fredericks urged local fans to come out in numbers to watch the Dolam vs Gemeente derby unfold in front of their eyes.

    In order to enforce control and ensure safety for those who will attend the match, Pirates chief executive Niklaas Kasilipile said they have beefed up security at the stadium.

    “We have arranged for security to be tightened. Although it is not an international match, we urged the police to increase security,” he said.

    The NPL fixtures will further see Tura Magic facing Civics at 20:00 tomorrow at the same venue.

    On Friday in Walvis Bay, Eleven Arrows will battle Citizens at 19:00 at the Kuisebmond Stadium.

    Soon after, Blue Waters will meet Julinho Sporting at 21:00 at the same venue.

    On Saturday, Life Fighters will face Tigers at the Mokati Stadium in Otjiwarongo at 16:00.

    The Karasburg Combined School Stadium will see Young Brazilians go toe-to-toe with African Stars in a match scheduled for 16:00.

    Unam will play Young African at 14:00 at the Unam Stadium.

    On Sunday at the Kuisebmond Stadium, Eleven Arrows will face Julinho Sporting at 13:00, while Mighty Gunners and Okahandja United will end the weekend fixtures at the Mokati Stadium in Otjiwarongo at 15:00.


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    Referee was not wrong – MufetiReferee was not wrong – Mufeti Namibia Football Association (NFA) referees' technical instructor/assessor, Arvo Mufeti, has responded to an article written about the contentious Tigers and Young African match that took place last weekend.

    Mufeti claims that the events did not unfold as published and that Young African, who lost 0-1, were not robbed off a penalty.

    The article was written by Nampa and published in Namibian Sun on Monday under the headline 'Chaos mars Tigers victory over Young African'. It was reported the referee denied Young African a clear penalty kick in the last minute of the match and that “everyone was expecting the referee to award a penalty”.

    Mufeti said the referee had acted correctly and in accordance with the laws of the game, “and this was further confirmed when the clip was further critically analysed”.

    He said handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with the hand or arm. Considerations include the movement of the hand towards the ball and not the ball towards the hand.

    Mufeti said the position of the hand does not necessarily mean there is an offence.

    “Given the aforementioned, none of the elements of an offence has been met during the incident in question. Therefore, it was not an offence and the correct decision was applied - no penalty!” Mufeti said.

    He said the referee's decision should be respected by everyone, when commenting about players and team officials running onto the field of play to protest.

    “The team captain has no special status or privileges, but rather has the responsibility for the behaviour of his team. So it was an act of misconduct that happened during that match. “This clearly shows how the team officials are in arrears in terms of the knowledge of the laws of the game. As a result they are making comments that are tarnishing the name and image of referees, where correct decisions were applied in accordance with the laws of the game.”

    He said it was a false allegation that referees did not receive training this season and that the referee of the Tigers vs Young African clash was from “Wambo location”.

    “The course for elite referees was conducted during the first week of October in 2018 in Windhoek. This is a member association of Fifa course conducted by local instructors under the observation of international Instructors sent by Fifa. It was attended by Namibian Fifa and Namibia Premier League referees and they went through fitness tests and new amendments to the laws of the game 2018/19.

    “The referee of that match was Willem Haitembu who is from Nkurenkuru, Kavango West. The other match officials were from the Kunene and Otjozondjupa regions. None of the match officials are from Windhoek.

    “It is very regrettable that there are people who go to the media without facts and the media goes ahead to print the news without verifying the allegations with the relevant authorities. All these clarifications can be proved beyond any reasonable doubt,” Mufeti added.

    Staff Reporter

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    Osaka reaches Melbourne semisOsaka reaches Melbourne semisUS Open champion in dominant form Naomi Osaka dominated Elina Svitolina to win in straight sets and advance to the semi-finals of the Australian Open. US Open champion Naomi Osaka managed to keep a lid on her simmering temper and powered to a 6-4 6-1 win over Elina Svitolina yesterday to book a spot in the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time.

    The 21-year-old, who will play Karolina Pliskova for a place in the final, committed a string of unforced errors but still proved too strong for the sixth-seeded Ukrainian.

    Osaka wrapped up the win in an hour and 12 minutes to become the first Japanese woman to reach the last four at Melbourne Park since Kimiko Date in 1994.

    Osaka's first Grand Slam triumph at the US Open last year was overshadowed by a row between Serena Williams and umpire Carlos Ramos, but there will be no rematch of that match at Melbourne Park.

    Williams, a 23-times major winner, squandered four match points and blew a 5-1 lead in the decider to fall to seventh seed Pliskova 6-4 4-6 and 7-5 in the last quarterfinal of the women's draw. “I have played her (Pliskova) a couple times already. She's really tough to play,” said Osaka.

    “I can barely read her serve, so it's very difficult for me. I see now that she doesn't hit too many unforced errors, which is a little bit dangerous.”

    Osaka said Pliskova always seemed to stay calm on court, something she struggles with.

    “For me, today, I had one goal - it was to try as hard as I can and not get angry. I didn't do that well in the past two rounds, but I played well today,” she added.

    Inconsistent first set

    Osaka's power was on full display against WTA Finals champion Svitolina, with the Japanese thumping 31 winners to her opponent's 11. But she was also sloppy at times, committing 25 unforced errors, nine more than Svitolina. “Everyone knows my backhand was a little bit inconsistent in the first set,” Osaka said.

    “I think I was making too many unforced errors on the serve. So in the second set I just tried to play more and see if she's gonna hit winners or not.”

    Ukrainian Svitolina, 24, kept her errors in check to get two service breaks back and stay in the opening set at 4-5.

    Osaka blew three set-point opportunities on Svitolina's next serve with three embarrassing errors, berating herself with angry slaps on the thigh.

    However, the Japanese gathered herself and hit a crisp backhand to set up a fourth chance, and converted it when Svitolina thumped a return into the net.

    Svitolina took a medical timeout in the second set for neck and shoulder problems with Osaka up 3-0, but she was broken again after returning to the court.

    “I felt pain from the beginning of the tournament here and there. It was going and coming back,” Svitolina said.

    “Unfortunately today was a little bit worse than I expected. It's normal to have some tension during the Grand Slam and it happens, but unfortunately I couldn't handle it today.”

    Fourth seed Osaka served her eighth ace then converted her first match point with an overhead winner to seal the win.


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    Ba returns to Turkey for the third timeBa returns to Turkey for the third time Former Senegal and Chelsea striker Demba Ba seems to have a penchant for playing his football in Turkey.

    News has just emerged that Ba is going back to that country for the third time in his career to play for Istanbul Basaksehir.

    Ba, who was born in France and is now 34, has joined a team who are leading the League and is on loan from his Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

    His connections with Turkey started when he joined Besiktas and was then transferred to Goztepe.

    As far as his international career is concerned, Ba has not played for Senegal since a friendly in 2015, after he had missed out on that year's Africa Cup of Nations squad.

    At his new Turkish club, Ba will have a familiar face beside him in the attack in the enigmatic Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor, another former English Premier League player.


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    Reputations count for nothing - PollardReputations count for nothing - Pollard Reputations count for nothing in Super Rugby, Bulls flyhalf Handre Pollard has warned on the back of two major signings for the Pretoria franchise before the start of this year's competition.

    Springboks Schalk Brits and Duane Vermeulen have been added to the squad after stints at clubs in Europe, adding considerable experience to an already generous tally of internationals in the squad.

    Pollard said this was no guarantee of success in the annual southern hemisphere competition.

    “Of course it helps to have Duane and Schalk with us,” he told reporters.

    “But it doesn't matter how many Springboks you have in your team, Super Rugby is the toughest competition in the world and reputations count for nothing.

    “Teams have to pitch up at their best every weekend,” he added.

    The South Africa flyhalf is arguably the key player for the Bulls amid heightened expectations this year, after they ended bottom of their conference with six wins and 10 defeats last year.

    Pollard steered clear of any predictions for the three-time former champions, though.

    “There were some positives last season and we want to improve on that,” he said.

    The Bulls have lost coach John Mitchell to the England set-up with Pote Human taking over.

    “There are always challenges because each coach has his own ideas,” Pollard added.

    “But we are taking a lot over from last year with a few changes here and there.”

    The Bulls begin their campaign at home to the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld on 16 February.


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