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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 942 | 943 | (Page 944) | 945 | 946 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Beijing confident of keeping 2019 growth within ‘appropriate range’Beijing confident of keeping 2019 growth within ‘appropriate range’ SHANGHAI - China is fully confident that it is capable of keeping its economic growth rate within an appropriate range in 2019 in spite of challenges, state news agency Xinhua reported Chinese premier Li Keqiang as saying on

    Friday.

    "China's economy has enough resilience, potential and ample room for growth, especially with a huge domestic market and rich human resources of nearly 1.4 billion people," Li said at a discussion with some foreign experts working in China.

    "Therefore, we are fully confident and capable of keeping economic growth rate within an appropriate range in spite of multiple risks and challenges in 2019," he said.

    Economists polled by Reuters expect the Chinese economy to cool further this year to 6.3% as those pressures continue. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 01/28/19--14:00: BoN hands over bursaries
  • BoN hands over bursaries BoN hands over bursaries The Bank of Namibia (BoN) on 25 January awarded bursaries to nine young Namibians for undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Justicia Shipena

    The bursaries were awarded for studies in the fields of economics, accounting and education specialising in mathematics and science.

    This is part of the bank’s corporate social investment and responsibility policy initiatives.

    BoN human resources director Lea Namoloh said the recipients were selected from 621 applicants.

    She said the selection criteria was their final grade 12 performances, being from disadvantaged communities, a field of study which is of interest to the bank, regional representation, the economic position of the parents and whether the applicants were orphans.

    Namoloh added the students are expected to work hard and produce excellent results. She also advised the students to seek help from the bank when they encounter any difficulties.

    BoN deputy governor Ebson Uanguta said during the handing over ceremony that the bank awards bursaries to deserving students who are equally committed to pursuing their studies at various local and international institutions.

    “We have at the same time made it a point to access the skills demand at national level, in order to align the scheme to areas where it would have a meaningful impact on the country’s developmental goals and bank as well,” he said.

    According to Uanguta the fourth industrial revolution requires a total rethink of how we approach the skills development agenda in Namibia and around the world.

    He added that this requires that we make a positive proactive investment in developing fast-thinking graduates and skilled talent in Namibia.

    “Responding to the advent of this revolution does not only require private and public sector involvement, but also a paradigm shift in mindsets of students and the academic system as well,” he said.

    He said to date BoN has availed 98 undergraduate bursaries to students who have completed their studies and are now contributing to the development of the country.

    Uanguta urged the students to constantly think about how relevant they will be in this changing, dynamic place of work.

    Helena Nghipunya, a third-year economics student at the University of Namibia (Unam) spoke about her experience as bursary holder and student.

    She also congratulated the students and gave them advice on how to survive university.

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    20 APLI fellows kickstart their fellowship programme20 APLI fellows kickstart their fellowship programme OFF TO A GREAT START: The African Pathfinder Leaders Initiative’s (APLI) inaugural fellowship programme officially kicked off this month. The APLI fellowship aims to empower young Namibians who have the desire and potential to bring about significant change in their communities. Twenty young people, who are running initiatives that positively advance the wellbeing of their communities, have been selected and are currently part of this initiative. They will undergo a year-long leadership development programme, complete with three residential programmes in different regions across the country. The training is underpinned by three pillars, including leadership and community development and entrepreneurship. As part of the residential programme, the fellows will receive comprehensive interdisciplinary leadership training, which is delivered in an intensive and participatory manner. “As the year progresses, they will be required to start their initiatives or scale existing ones and provide progress reports during the following residential programmes. In this way, the APLI team is able to assist fellows to address specific challenges as the year progresses,” said Hilja Eeulu the director of APLI. PHOTOS: APLI

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    Namibia lacks vocational skillsNamibia lacks vocational skills Namibia has again been ranked as one of the worst-performing countries when it comes to vocational and technical skills.

    The country was ranked 78th on a global index of talent competitiveness, moving up two places since last year.

    In sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia was ranked sixth in terms of talent competitiveness.

    The Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), produced by INSEAD Business School, benchmarks countries in terms of employment, education, immigration and a wide range of other factors.

    Namibia received an overall score of 36.1 this year, slightly dropping from its previous score of 37 last year.

    The 2018-2019 report, which evaluated 125 countries, aims to provide decision-makers in the private and public sectors with the tools to drive talent competitiveness.

    It specifically suggests that by creating a truly diverse and inclusive corporate culture, companies can gain a competitive advantage that would enable them to not just attract and retain talent, but create a high-performing workforce.

    Ranging from collaboration within organisations and foreign direct investment to the gender pay gap, labour productivity and university rankings, these variables help determine a country's 'talent competitiveness' – the ability to attract, develop and retain skilled workers, thereby supporting productivity and prosperity.

    The report also explores the role of diversity as a source for innovation and prosperity in labour markets, finding that countries with greater diversity and inclusion will be best placed to achieve the performance and agility required to innovate, and remain competitive in the fast-paced and evolving global economy.

    In the main categories Namibia was ranked 58th for enabling skills development, 31st for attracting skills, 80th for growing skills, 97th for retaining skills, 101th for vocational and technical training skills and 79th for global knowledge skills.

    Namibia would do well to develop its vocational and technical sector, in particular with the dismal grade 10 and 12 results. For the 2018 academic year, 20 952 grade 10 learners failed, while only

    9 524 learners out of 23 594 who sat for the 2018 grade 12 examination qualified for tertiary education.

    It is therefore not surprising that Namibia ranked poorly for its tertiary enrolment at 103rd under the growing skills category, while under the vocational and technical skills category the country was also ranked poorly for ease of finding skilled employees at 109th.

    According to the index, Namibia is the sixth best performer in sub-Saharan Africa when it comes to talent competiveness. Mauritius is the top performer in the region (globally 47th), followed by Botswana (62nd), South Africa (71st), Rwanda (73) and Namibia (78th).

    Switzerland, Singapore and the USA were ranked as the top three countries globally, while Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Yemen, were ranked as the worst performers.





    ELLANIE SMIT

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    223 suspects arrested at Oshana223 suspects arrested at OshanaJust under N$900k in fines The Oshana Region's festive season operations were a great success. Oshana regional police commander, Commissioner Rauha Amwele, says a total of 223 suspects were arrested for different crimes during their festive season operations.

    The Oshana police also issued 783 tickets worth N$806 500 during the period.

    They also impounded six vehicles that were used in the commission of crimes in the region.

    Amwele said the region police conducted its festive season operations between 25 November and 15 January this year. They were joined by Operation Hornkranz from 20 December.

    Amwele said the aim was to conduct intensive crime-prevention operations to ensure road safety and combat crime.

    “The operations were successful and we have achieved a lot, be it in the enforcing of traffic laws and regulations and crime-prevention in communities, which led to the recording of few road accidents and criminal activities in the region during the festive season,” Amwele said.

    Among the successful achievements was the issuing of 783 tickets of which 289 (N$287 300) were for driver fitness, while 165 (N$181 750) were for driving without seatbelts.

    Among the impounded vehicles was a Nissan Note that was stolen in Windhoek. The vehicle was handed back to its owner.

    A Toyota RunX that was also stolen in Windhoek and used to commit a robbery in Oshakati was also recovered

    “We also managed to confiscate a Toyota Corolla which was used in the commission of fraud and theft under false pretences on different dates… a 60-year-old woman at Oshakati (initially) lost N$385 000, which later went up to N$405 000.”

    It was reported that a resident of Onangodhi village near Oshakati fell prey to fraudsters who pretended to be National Traffic Information System (NaTIS), Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and Namibian police officers.

    This was while she was trying to buy a learner's license.

    Amwele said they also managed to confiscate dangerous weapons, including 20 traditional knives, 28 pangas and 35 okapi knives

    “It was a good initiative by the head of state to direct the sister forces, the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) and the Namibian Correctional Service (NCS), to jointly conduct Operation Hornkranz with the Namibian police. It is recommended that the same directive should continue, especially during special operations such as the festive season, the Easter weekend, during school holidays and so on. This operation was a resounding success in the region.”

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 01/28/19--14:00: Moratorium on radio licences
  • Moratorium on radio licencesMoratorium on radio licences A 15-month moratorium has been imposed on the issuance of radio licences by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran),

    The moratorium, which became effective 22 January, was imposed because of an overcrowded FM frequency spectrum, the regulator said.

    As set out in the Frequency Band Plan of Namibia, the frequency band 87.5 – 108 MHz is the only spectrum band that may be utilised for analogue FM radio broadcasting.

    An increase in the number of broadcasting service licensees has resulted in a scarcity of available broadcasting frequencies in most parts of Namibia, particularly in towns.

    Cran CEO Festus Mbandeka says the authority intends to review the Frequency Channelling Plan for analogue FM radio broadcasting.

    The review will require a detailed spectrum analysis, coverage predictions, cross-border coordination and analysis of various transmitter power outputs to ensure maximum use of the available radio frequency spectrum.

    “The Frequency Channelling Plan review will therefore ensure that radio frequency spectrum is optimally utilised and managed in an orderly, efficient and effective manner, as contemplated in Section 99 of the Act,” Mbandeka said.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 01/28/19--14:00: UWC for a brighter tomorrow
  • UWC for a brighter tomorrowUWC for a brighter tomorrowA global educational movement with the mission United World Colleges (UWC) is making great strides as more people join what evolved into a global movement that strengthens and educates. Elizabeth Joseph





    Finding a university or any tertiary institution that can help build your future, can prove rather stressful. United World Colleges (UWC) makes it easy.

    UWC is a global educational movement with the mission to "make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future”, and can be a great first step to a fruitful future.

    Inspired by the pioneering educationalist Kurt Hahn, UWC was founded in 1962, with the aim to promote peace.

    Today, 17 UWC schools offer an inimitable educational experience to students from over 155 nationalities on four continents.

    While four of the schools educate children and young people aged two to 19, most UWC schools focus on the 16 to 19 age group and teach an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).

    Most UWC students are selected through its system of national committees, which operate in 159 countries and territories since 2018.

    The majority of selected students pursuing the IBDP at a UWC school or college receive financial assistance from UWC. This may be because of certain financial constraints.

    Every year students from all over the world are chosen and Uapingena Kandjoze (UK), who is currently in Swaziland, is on her UWC journey.

    The Zone (TZ) caught up with Kandjoze and spoke about some of her experiences, as well as some of her expectations.

    TZ: Tell us about yourself.

    UK: My name is Uapingena Kandjoze I’m 18 and I would generally describe myself as outgoing and bubbly.

    TZ: How did you hear about United World Colleges?

    UK: I first heard about UWC from family members like my cousins and sister who have also attended different UWC schools.

    TZ: Which college are you attending?

    UK: Currently I’m a student at UWCSA Waterford Kamhlaba in the Kingdom of Eswatini.

    TZ: Tell us briefly about your experiences at UWC so far?

    UK: So far I can only speak about my experiences from my first year, which have certainly been interesting and entertaining. My UWC experience has been filled with so many different surprises, socialising with many different people, which always leads to plenty of laughter and smiles.

    TZ: How do UWC schools compare to Namibian schools, with respect to levels of difficulty, exposure, culture, sport and community service activities, as well as the available resources etc?

    UK: I have been so much more exposed to the world and learned about the differences between all of our cultures, which only adds more to my learning experience in class. Due to the IB syllabus, the level of difficulty is much higher and one will receive a very well-rounded education involving activities, community service and culture.

    TZ: What schools are similar to UWC schools?

    UK: Schools like St Paul’s and St George’s are almost similar in terms of the way they teach their students to be more independent, and also in terms of their community involvement.

    TZ: Do UWC schools prepare you adequately for tertiary education and future career paths?

    That is one of their main goals, which can be seen from the manner in which the students are taught. That coupled with the heavy workload produces independent students that are more than ready for tertiary education.

    TZ: What is the distinguishing edge that UWC schools provide their students with?

    UK: The way the curriculum is set up gives you the keys to success and infinite pools of knowledge and independency, without actually giving it to you directly. They make you find your own way to the key through many trials and tribulations, but at the end of it, you will reap the rewards of knowledge and success.

    TZ: How did you cope with the responsibility of looking after yourself in a foreign setting at such a vulnerable young age?

    UK: It took a while to cope with the many responsibilities that just dropped into my lap out of nowhere. In my first year I did not look after myself very well; I was always more focused on other people’s wellbeing, making sure that I attend all the events and my extracurricular activities all the time and making friends; and also trying to cope with the stresses of school by myself. But all that taught me valuable lessons and I changed all of the bad habits in term three; only then I did I begin to cope with taking care of myself.

    TZ: Could you manage to lead a balanced life?

    UK: In the beginning (first term of school) I sort of lost touch with myself in the midst of all the different people, the events and the school, and it took a while for me to find myself again; but now I can happily say that I am managing quite well.

    TZ: How did your exposure to people from completely different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds help shape your identity in the world?

    UK: It helped me tremendously to cement my own ideals and perspectives on controversial issues and topics; this is a result of having copious arguments and debates on many topics.

    Why do you recommend studying at UWC?

    Of course if you have the means to study at one of the colleges you should take the opportunity. As I was once told by a UWC graduate, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity which creates memories that will stay with you for a long time.

    TZ: What advice can you give a person planning to attend a UWC school?

    UK: The best advice that I can think of is to buckle up, because you are about to embark on the ride of your life, but do not begin your experience with any preconceived notions as any UWC will utterly surprise you.

    Applications close on the 15 February 2019. Please visit info@na.uwc.org for more information.

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    Zim scrambles to ease passengers' woes after protestsZim scrambles to ease passengers' woes after protestsFares slashed The government said the reintroduction of the state-run commuter services was to bring order to an industry dominated by kombis for decades. Prices have increased two, three times and these are the prices we see daily in the shops. - Persistence Gwanyanya, Economist Susan Njanji - An ecstatic Zimbabwean passenger Shylot Sibanda screams with joy as he boards a bus from downtown Harare to the township of Budiriro. The fare has been slashed to a third of what he paid last week.

    It's the result of government action - after nationwide demonstrations over fuel hikes earlier this month - in a country suffering from spiralling inflation and regular shortages of necessities.

    Under pressure following international criticism of its brutal put-down of the protests, the government has scrambled to revive its public transport company Zupco after years of mismanagement and corruption.

    "We are happy with what the government has done and we hope it continues," Sibanda, 40, yelled through an open window as the bus pulled out of the busy terminus.

    "Now we can afford to buy some food and pay rent and we are very happy," he added, beaming.

    Hard-pressed Zimbabweans took to the streets in several cities and towns after president Emmerson Mnangagwa announced on January 12 that fuel prices were being more than doubled.

    Rioting and looting followed before soldiers and police brutally put down the protests at the cost of at least 12 lives, according to NGOs.

    Hundreds of people were injured, including dozens from bullet wounds, and allegations of abuse and rape have been levelled at security forces.

    Zupco

    Now, the Zupco revival means passengers can pay just US$1 on a bus rather than the US$3 being charged recently by mini-buses run by private operators known as kombis.

    In recent years Zupco has run only a small number of buses, mainly on long-distance routes, having been displaced in urban areas by kombis.

    But since January 21, the government has hastily augmented Zupco's much-depleted fleet.

    An AFP team took a ride on one such bus to Budiriro. An armed soldier and an armed policeman sat in the front rows. Another stood in the aisle.

    "We just boarded the bus and paying US$3 has come to an end," said one pleased passenger, Nomatter Nyakurwa.

    Prices

    Zimbabweans have in recent months seen prices spiral - up to fourfold in some instances.

    Inflation is officially at 42%, the highest in a decade, but in reality it is far higher.

    "Prices have increased two, three times and these are the prices we see daily in the shops," said independent economist Persistence Gwanyanya.

    The cost of living has been rising at a rate unseen in the landlocked country since the meltdown in 2008 when hyperinflation forced the government to trash its own currency.

    The government said the reintroduction of the state-run commuter services was to bring order to an industry dominated by kombis for decades.

    Kombi operators complain, however, that the government has priced them out of the market, in a move seen by some critics as populist and unsustainable.

    "Our immediate concern was to make sure we control the chaos that we were now having," said transport minister Joel-Biggie Matiza, referring to the recent sharp increase in kombi fares.

    But "it's not for short term, this is real, it's going to continue, we will make sure that it's sustainable and at the same time viable", he told AFP.

    Kombi operators

    The kombi operators - notorious for reckless driving and disregard for rules of the road - complain they are being unfairly put out of business.

    "The government only subsidised fuel for the buses. They should do the same for our small commuter taxis ... so that our fares remain at US$1," said kombi driver David Muchada as he touted for passengers.

    Another kombi driver who refused to give his name for fear of being targeted by the military in the ongoing security crackdown, said he had not carried any passenger for eight hours.

    "How are we expected to look after our families? There are no other jobs in this country," he said.

    At the terminus, police and soldiers supervised the movement of buses and passengers.

    Elsewhere on the streets, security forces continue to patrol amid reports of ongoing violence, with more than 1 100 people arrested.

    Economy

    The government meanwhile faces an uphill task to lift the economy out of the doldrums. Less than 10% of the employable population have formal jobs - and most of those are in government.

    Government workers have also threatened to down tools if their demands for better salaries are not met. The deadline for government to comply expired Friday.

    Economists warn that if government bows to the civil servants' demands, the economy could suffer even more serious inflationary pressures.

    "The elephant in the room at the moment is the exchange rate," said Gwanyanya, blaming the government for excessive expenditure.

    If the exchange rate is not managed properly, "we are going to see this economy getting deeper and deeper into challenges and instability", he said.

    Ousted president Robert Mugabe in 2016 introduced a quasi currency called bond notes, which is officially pegged at the same rate as the US dollar - but in real terms is worth around a third of the US dollar. – Nampa/AFP

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    Rainy season off to bad startRainy season off to bad startHopes pinned on February The weather bureau says there may be a better chance of rain next month. Rainfall between October and December last year was less than normal but weather experts are hopeful of better rain prospects in February.

    A seasonal rainfall outlook issued this week by the Meteorological Service of Namibia states that the delayed development of El Nino, coupled with other rainfall influencing developments including a weak El Nino, “opens a window of opportunity for improved rainfall performance during the period January to February 2019 than previously anticipated.”

    This follows a suppressed start to the season.

    Between October and December most reporting stations throughout Namibia reported “suppressed rainfall activities”, the Meteorological Service found, except for pockets of areas within the triangle of Khorixas, Otjiwarongo and Otjimbingwe and areas surrounding Steinhausen in the Omaheke Region where above-normal rainfall was experienced.

    The report highlighted however that Khorixas and surrounding areas only received rain during October within one day. No rainfall was recorded in November or December.

    “The suppressed rainfall over most parts of the country implies that the rainy season ended with rainfall deficit for the first portion of the rainy season (October to December 2018),” a second report on Namibia's rainfall performance in December stated.

    The outlook for January to March says it is likely that Namibia will receive normal to below-normal rainfall.

    For the overlapping February to April rainfall period, Namibia is likely to continue receiving “normal to below-normal rainfall except over the southern regions where below-normal to normal rainfall is anticipated.

    More specifically, the report notes that for the period February to April, the north-eastern, central and north-western parts of the country pose a 40% probability of normal rainfall in those months, a 35% probability in the below-normal category and a 25% probability in the above-normal category.

    Below-normal is defined in meteorological terms as within the driest third of rainfall amounts of the 30-year periods 1971 to 2000 and 1981 to 2010.

    The above-normal rainfall category is defined as lying within the wettest third of recorded rainfall amounts in those 30-year spans and normal is the middle third, centred on the climatological median.

    In the south, the weather experts have assigned a 40% probability in the category below-normal for the period February to April rainfall season, a 35% probability in the normal category and a 25% probability in the above-normal category.



    Rainfall patterns

    Rainfall performance statistics released by the Meteorological Service show that in December, rainy weather was mainly concentrated over the north-eastern sector of the country, with Rundu reporting the highest and heaviest rains within 24 hours, and a total of 136.5 mm of rainfall in December, 84% more than the normal average rainfall for that month for Rundu.

    Other stations that reported high and heavy rainfall were at Ombona in the Erongo Region and at Ncamagoro in the Kavango East Region, both with 40mm of rainfall on one day.

    Several December rainfall measurements showed significantly less than the normal average of rainfall received. Keetmanshoop reported no rainfall in December, compared to a relative average of 10 mm in December, and Khorixas, with zero rainfall measured in December, compared to the average normal of 15 mm.

    Grootfontein, which on average receives 65.4mm of rainfall in December, reported 19.1mm, 71% below average. Okaukuejo's rainfall for December measured 7.2 mm, down by 83% from the average normal of 42.5mm in December.

    Windhoek's average December rainfall was higher than usual, with 67.1 mm recorded compared to the 30.7 mm average rainfall for that month.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Corrupt don’t like new tender rules – SchlettweinCorrupt don’t like new tender rules – Schlettwein OGONE TLHAGE



    Finance minister Calle Schlettwein is satisfied with the new procurement policies and says the system has been built in such a way that corrupt practices can be stopped.

    According to Schlettwein, those who are opposed to the new procedures are keen on cheating the government.

    “There are those that do not like the new system but like the old system for dubious reasons.”

    Schlettwein made these comments during a staff address last week.

    He admitted there were initial problems with the new public procurement procedures but maintained that he was happy.

    “There were teething problems with the procurement system,” he said.

    Schlettwein added the ministry was working towards improving aspects of the procurement system.

    “We have started to look at the [Public Procurement] Act. We have [also] asked offices and ministries to write to us on the procurement system. I am happy with the system but not all the elements.”

    The Central Procurement Board was established in 2017 and replaced the Tender Board of Namibia. It is tasked to conduct bidding processed on behalf of public entities for the awarding of contracts for procurement or the disposal of assets that exceed the threshold prescribed for public entities.

    Central Procurement Board spokesperson Abigail Kandetu previously told The Namibian that the board had been slow to get out of the starting blocks.

    “[We] have been dealing with a number of transitional matters, which include the extension of existing contracts to enable public entities to prepare procurement bids in accordance with the Public Procurement Act,” she said.

    Public entities submitted their procurement plans, which must be approved by the board before the tenders are awarded, she added.

    “It is evident from the number of submissions and interactions with the Central Procurement Board that public entities embrace the changes, and are trying to comply with the requirements of the new Public Procurement Act,” Kandetu added.

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  • 01/28/19--14:00: Woman raped, hacked to death
  • Woman raped, hacked to deathWoman raped, hacked to death A 21-year-old man is behind bars in Tsumeb on suspicion of killing a woman with a panga on Friday, after allegedly raping her.

    The police yesterday confirmed the death of Laina Naimbundu (49), who died late on Friday night at Emanya village near Tsintsabis from injuries sustained during an attack by a man whose name has not yet been released.

    According to the police, the incident took place at around 22:00 near a shebeen.

    After allegedly sexually assaulting the woman, the man is suspected to have used a panga with which he “hacked her several times on the throat and left shoulder, and she died on the spot”, the police said.

    Enquiries to the Tsumeb Magistrate's Court did not establish whether the man made his first appearance, what his name is and whether he was granted bail.

    Meanwhile, the Gibeon police continue to hunt for Abraham Swartbooi Turuteb, who is accused of raping a 28-year-old woman on Saturday in the presence of her five-year-old son.

    It is alleged that the suspect entered the shack in which woman was sleeping in the early morning hours of Saturday, woke her up and sexually assaulted her. Her cries for help woke her son.

    Police are continuing with the investigation and Turuteb remains on the run.

    Another rape docket was opened on Saturday in Karibib, after an 11-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her 17-year-old neighbour.

    The police say the incident took place in the Harambee suburb of Karibib, and involved an 11-year-old girl who had been left home alone.

    She was allegedly approached by the suspect, who asked for sweets. After she told him she did not have any, he allegedly assaulted her.

    The unnamed suspect is in custody and was scheduled to appear in court yesterday.

    A 26-year-old woman is behind bars in Gochas in the south of Namibia, after she was arrested on suspicion of fatally stabbing her friend on Friday night.

    The deceased, Johanna Frederick (27), and the suspect, whose name has not yet been released, were allegedly quarrelling when the suspect stabbed her in the side of her neck. Frederick died on the scene.

    At least six cases of reckless and or negligent driving and several cases of culpable homicide related to vehicle accidents were opened by the police over the weekend.

    A case of culpable homicide, driving without a valid licence and driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as attempting to defeat and obstruct justice, was opened against a 36-year-old man in Karasburg, whose loss of control of a red Ford bakkie on Saturday led to two deaths.

    Quinton Adams and Andries Hendricks died on the scene of the accident, which took place after noon on Saturday about 15 km from Karasburg after the driver lost control of the vehicle.

    The police said the driver refused to provide a breath specimen or blood sample to test for alcohol. He was arrested on the spot.

    An American national (35) lost his life on the B2 highway after he lost control of the Toyota Fortuner he, another American and two Irish nationals were travelling in on Sunday afternoon.

    Erongo police crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu, told Nampa the foreign nationals were driving in a convoy of five vehicles, when the 35-year-old lost control of the SUV about 45 kilometres from Usakos towards Arandis, causing the vehicle to overturn. The driver died on the scene. The accident happened around 13:30.

    The passengers sustained serious injuries and were transported to the Cottage Medi-Clinic in Swakopmund for treatment.

    The deceased's identity is known to the police, but cannot it be revealed until his next of kin are traced.

    His body has been taken to the Walvis Bay mortuary for a post-mortem to determine the exact cause of death.

    On Saturday the police received a report that a woman and her companions walking in the veld near Auas Hills had been “beaten with a panga and threatened with knives and robbed of her property”.

    It is unclear how many attackers were on the scene.

    The complainant sustained injuries to her head and was taken to hospital.

    No arrests or recovery of the stolen goods, including cellphones and personal documents, has taken place.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 01/28/19--14:00: Watering your garden
  • Watering your garden Watering your garden Elizabeth Joseph

    We are only in the first month of a brand new year and I don’t know if I am the only one having anxiety when I think about what might or might not happen this year.

    Talking about anxiety, I honestly never thought it was a real thing until I experienced it in 2018. Anxiety is your body's natural response to stress. It's a feeling of fear or apprehension about what's to come. The first day of school, going for a job interview or giving a speech may cause most people to feel fearful and nervous.

    I did not know that I would ever experience anxiety attacks or feel a strong sense of fear for the unknown until it happened. I was in the same predicament that I often frowned upon.

    I won’t lie, it has to be one of the scariest things anyone could ever go through.

    Imagine sitting in your room, moderately happy and all of a sudden you start thinking about everything, then nothing, and then you find yourself gasping, trying to breathe because the fear of what might or might not happen for you, suffocates you.

    It is literally a feeling you wouldn’t understand unless you have been there yourself.

    I trusted a family member and explained that I think I might suffer from anxiety, she laughed and asked: “What? What is anxiety even?”

    It then hit me that we are not educated enough; be it about anxiety or mental illness or anything else that places you in a box of being weird. We don’t know as much as we think we do.

    Comments like, “anxiety is a white person thing”, makes me think how we, as such a well-informed generation, have been living. It’s 2019 and we still believe that no one except white people experience this?

    I don’t have fear of social settings and so forth. I am just completely terrified of failure, the unknown and relationships. Relationships of any kind for that matter, because I am just afraid they won’t last and that I would have to make peace with not having this person around anymore.

    These are all inevitable things that everyone has a way of dealing with, not just me. I go into my room and allow myself to sit and overthink for hours, until I have to pick myself up out of this dark place, and that is honestly the hardest thing.

    I have always craved and admired the peace that some people have in the quiet of their rooms and when they are alone. I am only starting to teach myself that my silence is everything and that I need it sometimes.

    I hate being on my own because that creates more room for overthinking and worrying about the next ten years, when I really just want to say “c'est la vie” and savour every moment now.

    I hope I am making some sort of sense. Don’t worry, it gets lighter.

    My greatest wish is for all of these fears to one day disappear. I know that might be a little farfetched, but there’s hope. I want you to set goals, even though you are afraid of the outcome, or you have doubts. Push yourself.

    Allow yourself to become comfortable being alone. Breathe. That is one of the biggest ways for you to get through an attack - breathing and realising you are okay, even if you feel like you can’t seem to do anything and you are trapped in that state. And the last thing, talk to someone.

    I sat for two hours in a car with a good friend of mine, and he talked me through his struggle with anxiety and what he did to overcome it; and I can honestly say that I have never felt more calm and at ease. I felt like someone understood and that is the least you can do for yourself. Shout out to you, ‘Baewatch’.

    I always say “Be good to yourself, and others” at the end of each column. I do this because I know that there are other people going through the same, if not worse situations than myself.

    I want you to be good to yourself. I know it can be frustrating, because sometimes the body and mind are not the best of friends, but try. And remember to be good to others.

    elizabeth@myzone.com.na

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  • 01/28/19--14:00: What next for Brexit?
  • What next for Brexit?What next for Brexit? James Pheby - Despite the humiliating rejection of prime minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, Britain is no closer to knowing the end result of its vote to leave the European Union.

    A raft of amendments to be voted on by MPs today threaten to further muddy the waters as the clock ticks down to Britain's scheduled departure from the EU on March 29.

    Three ultimate scenarios remain - leaving without an official deal, leaving with a very similar deal or no Brexit at all.

    But each path is fraught with uncertainty, political volatility, constitutional logjams and an increasingly embittered electorate.

    No deal

    Britain is legally on track to leave the EU with or without a deal on March 29, unless it delays or stops the process.

    A no-deal scenario threatens to trigger a recession in Britain and markedly slow the EU's economic growth, as well as causing significant legal disruption.

    The world's fifth-biggest economy could lose preferential access to its largest export market overnight, affecting every sector, leading to rising costs and disruption at British ports.

    As D-Day looms, the government has conducted visible displays of its ramped-up no-deal preparations over the past few weeks.

    Delay

    But speculation is growing that the government, under pressure from parliament, could seek to delay the process and take no-deal off the table.

    Some amendments introduced in parliament are seeking to delay Britain's departure date, although all the other 27 EU countries would have to agree.

    A potential complication is that elections to the European Parliament are due in late May and the new chamber is set to sit on July 2. Some of Britain's 73 seats have already been reallocated.

    A delay to give May time to pass legislation enshrining her Brexit deal would likely command widespread support, said leading pollster John Curtice.

    But Brexit supporters would be deeply opposed to a delay motivated by a desire "to go away and have a referendum or a general election or softer Brexit", he added.

    Brussels also may not be so keen if the delay would simply translate into more months of political gridlock.

    Referendum

    Growing numbers of MPs are seeking a new referendum to reverse the 2016 result, when the Leave campaign won by 52% to 48%.

    But supporters admit they do not currently have the numbers in parliament to make it happen.

    No law prevents Britain from doing it all over again, but many question whether a revote would be democratic - or resolve anything.

    May has warned that another vote "would do irreparable damage to the integrity of our politics".

    It also threatens to be just as divisive as the last one, with opinion polls showing the country is still split over the issue.

    After MPs overwhelmingly rejected the deal agreed between May and Brussels, May held talks with lawmakers across parliament as well as business figures and trade unions to try to find a way through.

    The key sticking point is the deal's "backstop" solution to keep the Irish border open, which has the potential to leave Britain indefinitely tied to some form of EU customs union.

    Influential Brexit supporters say that with changes to the backstop, they could support the agreement.

    EU leaders have said they are willing to talk further, including on plans for the future trading relationship, but have repeatedly said they do not want to reopen the deal itself.

    Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sought to oust May's government by calling a confidence vote after her Brexit deal was defeated, but she won.

    There is a risk that her Conservative party and their Northern Irish allies, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), could turn against her if she pursues either a "softer" or a no-deal Brexit.

    But if not, the only other way to force an election is for the prime minister herself to gamble and call a snap vote to break the impasse.

    Some lawmakers favour the nuclear option of cancelling Brexit altogether, despite the threat of widespread public rage.

    Finance minister Philip Hammond even told business leaders last week that Article 50 could be rescinded. – Nampa/AFP

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    Paid internships the way to goPaid internships the way to go The jobless rate among young Namibians has fast degenerated into a crisis, given the fact that almost half of the country's youth are without jobs.

    The sad reality is that a university degree or diploma no longer holds the promise of landing that much-needed job. Many unemployed graduates are drowning in their own miseries and only have desperate tales to tell at the moment.

    While it is true that the economic downturn has resulted in an employment crisis, we are yet to see a substantive plan to get our economy growing and ultimately creating much-needed jobs. A huge proportion of young Namibians can simply not find employment or earn a living, given the current economic conditions and the lack of a substantive plan to create sustainable jobs. However, we must be thankful to organisations like MTC who have initiated an internship programme to assist graduates with placements across various sectors of our economy. The MTC Namibia National Internship Programme will see the telecommunications company getting at least 160 students placed on job attachments.

    The interns will get N$3 000 per month over a period of three months to cover essentials such as transport and living expenses.

    “It will be impossible for MTC to accommodate 160 students per year at our workplace and we are thus looking for likeminded Namibian corporates to take in some students by providing them with three-month internships,” MTC executive Tim Ekandjo was quoted as saying. MTC surely must be commended for taking the lead and for portraying a caring attitude.

    Our sincere hope is that corporate Namibia will heed this call and follow suit, by also committing to help the less-privileged in society.

    Although times are tough everywhere, young students see these jobs as their livelihood and local companies should be proud to offer them paid internships. We should all help and chip in where we can, because it makes absolutely no sense to have productive young people sitting idle and leading miserable lives in our communities.

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    Workplace shooting in city centreWorkplace shooting in city centreOne woman dead, one critical An employee of the Global Fund opened fire on two female colleagues in Windhoek yesterday. A man, 33, stormed the eighth floor of the City Centre building in Windhoek just before 12:00 yesterday and shot two female colleagues, killing one and wounding the other critically with his 9mm Makarov. Sarah Mwilima died at the scene and her colleague, Ester Nepolo, was transported to hospital.

    According to the deputy executive director of the health ministry, Petronella Masabane, both women were employed at the Global Fund, under the ministry of health.

    “The man was also in the ministry's employ, in the same office. However, his contract came to an end and he was moved down to the second floor. All three of them were colleagues and worked together,” she said.

    According to a security guard working on the floor where the shooting took place, the man entered and shortly after the first two shots rang out.

    “I heard two shots and looked inside the office, seeing Sarah on the floor. Then two more shots rang out. Some people hid in their offices and others ran away,” he said.

    Commissioner Silvanus Nghishidimbwa, the regional police commander, said the suspect handed himself over at the Wanaheda police station and was arrested.

    Masabane said Mwilima supervised millions of dollars for the special programme unit of the fund, focusing on areas such as malaria and HIV/Aids.

    “She was a brilliant employee and made very few mistakes,” Masabane added.



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 01/28/19--14:00: Leading with confidence
  • Leading with confidenceLeading with confidenceSome want it to happen, Aron makes it happen Present-day leadership trends are built around the ability to engage people and coach your team, and 18-year-old Petrina Aron has been doing just that. Justicia Shipena



    Petrina Aron was born in August 2000 at Otindi - a small village in the north of Namibia.

    In 2006 she moved to Windhoek and started her pre-primary education.

    She enrolled at Namutoni Primary School for her grade one then later moved to People's Primary School for grades four to seven.

    In 2014 Aron enrolled at Centaurus High School, where she is currently a grade 12 learner. She was raised by her aunt, Ndahekelekwa Hainyanyula.

    Aron said the biggest challenge she has faced during her high school life was failing grade 10.

    She felt like the world was coming to an end, but with the encouragement of her coach, Ramah Mumba, she managed to make it through the second time and she is thankful to them.



    Her journey with BAS

    Aron joined the Basketball Artists School (BAS) in 2011 and her coaches during that time were Frank Albin (head coach), Ramah Mumba (co-ordinator) and Pondo Nailenge (life skills coach). According to Aron, BAS is driven by the motto 'School first, basketball second'.

    “When I joined the programme, we were a group of 12 girls and 12 boys from different primary schools in Katutura,” she said.

    She said BAS changed her life in many areas. She added that it helped her grow and taught her life skills. It has become her second home.

    “BAS brought out the best in me, all the hidden talents and gifts God blessed me with. I grew into a beautiful young lady with morals and values,” she said.

    She is currently a BAS and Namibia Basketball Federation (NBF) volunteer.

    At BAS she tutors the smaller ones (the Rookies) in English on Mondays and Wednesdays.

    She also coaches the Rookies and assists as a life skills teacher.

    At NBF she helps with the organisation of the high school league and is also an official and treasurer for the primary and high school leagues.

    In 2017 she participated in the Young Lions Cup in Botswana with her team, Young Beast, was awarded a silver medal. She recently participated in the same tournament with a new team and ended fourth.

    “What I enjoyed about this tourney is the life skills workshop we had every morning, which was based on communication, sexual education, ­financial literacy and many more,” she said.

    Aron added that it taught her how to communicate with people better, about the consequences of practising unsafe sex and how to earn and spend money wisely.

    During the recent tourney in Botswana, Aron said the challenges she faced was that some people could not speak English, hence it made it hard to communicate with them.

    Aron was chosen to be an ambassador for the prestigious tourney. During the last day she was tasked to deliver a speech of appreciation and share her experiences during the tourney.

    Her speech resulted in her being awarded an International Basketball Federation (IBF) leadership award.

    The IBF will also show an exclusive video of her around the world.

    “I thank God for this achievement. So many people told me that I will never become anything and told me that I was a bad leader and I cannot lead by example. I am glad I proved them wrong,” she said.

    Aron has represented Namibia in Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho and Turkey.

    Apart from basketball, Aron is also an up-and-coming model and has worked with Maila Kalipi and Meriam Kaxuxwena and looks forward to working with many more.

    Her last fashion show was held at the University of Namibia (Unam) and raised money for charity. Her first modelling competition was taking part in the Miss People's Primary School pageant, which she won, and that is where love for

    modelling began.

    Aron also played netball and received a medal for the best player while in primary school, as well as various certificates at Centaurus High School.



    Aron's achievements:

    • She was a prefect in primary school.

    • She is a peer promoter for blood donation at her current school.

    • She was captain of the netball team.

    • She is the captain of the BAS Falcons.

    • She was captain of the Young Beast team.

    • She is a treasurer for the primary and high school leagues.

    • She is an IBF ambassador.

    • She is the coordinator for the girls' empowerment programme at BAS.

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  • 01/28/19--14:00: NAC sued for millions
  • NAC sued for millionsNAC sued for millions Consulting engineering firm Aurecon Namibia is suing the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) for millions of dollars it says it is owed for upgrades completed at the Ondangwa and Hosea Kutako International airports.

    According to Aurecon, it is still owed more than N$15.7 million, which includes about N$3 million in outstanding VAT for services rendered at the two airports.

    Aurecon originally sued the NAC for about N$21 million at the beginning of last year, but since then the airports company has made a payment of N$7.4 million. The lawsuit relates to consulting services provided by Aurecon in relation to phases zero and one of the northern airport upgrades, for which the firm says it is owed more than N$3.17 million in respect of VAT for services rendered during 2015 and 2016.

    In the second claim, Aurecon wants the NAC to pay N$477 283 for additional consulting services on phases zero and one, and the Pavement Classification Number (PCN) calculation for Hosea Kutako, as well as interest calculated in terms of the agreement reached on 14 November 2016.

    In its third claim, the engineering firm alleges it provided design work and supervisory services to the value of more than N$19.4 million, including VAT, for phases two and three of the Ondangwa facility.

    The NAC made a payment of N$7.4 million to the company on 3 May last year, bringing the outstanding total to about N$12 million, plus interest that it is still owed.

    Aurecon was contracted by the NAC to provide consulting services for the detailed design, site supervision and contract administration of the Ondangwa Airport pavement rehabilitation and upgrades.





    The legal matter, which has been dragging on since last year, was scheduled before Judge Herman Oosthuizen for a pre-trial hearing.

    Aurecon, in its particulars of claim, alleged that they entered into a written “contract for consulting services” with the NAC, which was represented by its former CEO Tamer El-Kallawi.

    The NAC allegedly agreed to pay Aurecon for the services rendered, amounting to 10% of the project's construction costs, excluding VAT. The amount accrued interest at the prime lending rate determined by the Bank of Namibia (BoN).

    Aurecon director Johan Kaber said in his witness statement the parties agreed that Aurecon would provide consulting services for the detailed design, site supervisions and contract administration of the Ondangwa Airport pavement rehabilitation and upgrades.

    Kaber says the NAC had not applied for a VAT exemption and “not once did the NAC object or indicate that VAT should not be added” to their invoices.

    Aurecon maintained the NAC is obliged to pay them on the presentation of invoices within 30 days of the receipt of each invoice, and that a failure to do so would accrue interest at the prime rate.

    “The NAC did not obtain an exemption from VAT for this project and consequently VAT is payable on the amount,” Aurecon argued in terms of the over N$3 million being claimed as a VAT payment. The consulting services for the Hosea Kutako airport were reportedly at a special instance and on request by the NAC during March 2015 to October 2016.

    “Despite demand, the NAC has neglected to pay Aurecon the said amount, which is due and payable,” the engineering firm alleged.

    Aurecon further said it had complied with all its obligations under the agreement.

    According to the firm, the NAC was represented by its former engineering executive, Courage Silombela, who on 7 June 2017 acknowledged in writing the parastatal's indebtedness to Aurecon in the amount of N$20 434 986.

    Meanwhile, the NAC said in its plea document that it agreed to pay Aurecon 10% of the construction costs, which amounts to about N$21 million. However, the NAC denied that the amount would be excluding VAT.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 01/28/19--14:00: The enemy within
  • The enemy withinThe enemy withinSwapo faces huge election test from its 'internal opposition' Despite vicious factional differences between comrades, it remains to be seen whether this will significantly hurt Swapo at this year's polls. For the first time in many years Swapo will be heading to the elections deeply divided and in a state of internal factional turmoil.

    According to political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah the ruling party is being “eaten from inside”.

    Kamwanyah added there is a growing dissent against the President Hage Geingob administration.

    He also believes that Swapo's internal wars are so serious that its leaders are scampering around in a bid to avoid them getting out of hand.

    “Of course they will play it down and say there is no disunity, but the reality is that they are nervous of what may happen,” he said.

    Kamwanyah added that the real dynamics of the two different factions - Team Swapo and Team Harambee - will really play itself out once members are elected for the “Swapo pot”. Kamwanyah, however, does not see how Swapo loyalists will vote for the opposition, despite their frustrations.

    “They do not really have a vibe with the current leadership and they have lost confidence in the current leadership, but they cannot vote for any other party,” he said.

    He added that judging from what some seniors say publicly, some serious intervention may need to occur for them to vote for Swapo or they may very well stay away from the polls.

    “You have seen that they have been treading very carefully not to say the opposition is better than Swapo. That obviously shows that many of them will not vote for the opposition, but are waiting for that re-emergence of their own people back again into the system. And if they succeed, most likely they will vote for the party and the president,” he said.





    Another commentator, Nico Horn, believes Geingob's popularity will take a dive in the upcoming polls, but does not think it will be to less than 70% of the vote.

    This is also the viewpoint of commentator Henning Melber who said he would not be surprised if in the upcoming polls Swapo's presidential candidate gets less votes than the party for the first time.

    “It would indeed be one form of criticism people could express. I am also curious to see if there is a decline of voter participation in the elections. There might be a growing number of people who abstain, in the absence of having any acceptable alternative,” he said.



    Swapo's troubles

    Swapo has been inundated with court cases since Geingob took over the leadership of the country.

    In 2016 former secretary of the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL), Elijah Ngurare, and land activists Job Amupanda, George Kambala and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma dragged the party to court after they were unceremoniously expelled.

    Much to the embarrassment of Swapo, the High Court ruled in their favour and ordered that they be reinstated in the party. However, they did not return to their respective leadership positions.

    A group of disgruntled Swapo members also turned to the courts in 2018 to dispute the outcome of the 2017 elective congress.

    This case is still under way.

    In 2014, while riding a wave of popularity, Geingob received 86.73% of the votes in the presidential race, while Swapo received 80.01% of the National Assembly votes. The ruling party currently boasts 77 seats in the National Assembly out of the 96 directly elected during the 2014 polls, while a mere 19 seats are shared among the opposition.



    'Swapo Lite'

    According to Horn, the official political opposition, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), formerly the DTA, has not really loosened themselves from the past. “There is no specific indication of what they will change. Some people in parliament recently referred to them as Swapo Lite; in other words, just another version of an old liberation movement, but one that stood on the other side of the political spectrum at that stage,” he said. Horn also predicted that the new kid on the block, the Landless People's Movement (LPM) may manage to secure a few seats, but will be judged as a regional party from the south.



    Stranglehold

    Melber said Namibia is a very peculiar case of “competitive authoritarianism” and can also be qualified as a form of “authoritarian democracy”.

    He added that this argument is rooted in the comparative advantage Swapo gained during the liberation struggle days after the decision to take up arms.

    According to Melber this promoted a unique recognition and the struggle slogan “Swapo is the nation and the nation is Swapo”.

    “Given the overwhelming support in the northern home regions and considerable support in any other regions of the country, this equation has remained alive until now, even among a considerable part of the born-frees,” he said

    As a result Swapo enjoys a degree of leverage which renders opposition parties virtually unable to compete with it.

    “Swapo is in control of society's commanding heights in politics, administration and even the economy, given the central role the state plays in employment, public service and the economy (tenders). This means there is no level playing field when it comes to the competition for votes among the electorate.” Horn also believes that pre-independence politics remains the problem in Namibia.

    “Most of the elderly people and especially the people the north still see Swapo as the conquerors, also as the liberator, and therefore no matter how badly it goes in the county, and no matter what kind of criticism they have against Swapo, they will never vote for an opposition party,” Horn argued.

    Both Horn and Melber are convinced that this situation is exacerbated by the fact that most opposition parties pursue very particularistic agendas and have failed to produce an alternative. Particularism is the exclusive or special devotion to a particular interest.

    According to Melber opposition parties are often motivated by ethnic-regional identities and interests, and because the electoral system is an incentive - even for leaders of small parties - there is a scattered landscape of smaller parties.



    Opposition perks

    This produces a situation in which this handful of opposition members in parliament simply enjoy the privileges without doing any sound work in terms of meaningful political opposition.

    “But even the few opposition parties taking the challenge seriously battle with the lack of finances and person power in their organisations. This means that the dominant party has little to be afraid of. The former breakaway parties, as a result of Swapo internal splits, never managed to overcome the mantra that Swapo is the nation, and as long as no other party is able to make significant inroads into the northern electorate this will, even if their support overall declines, make it almost impossible to replace the government,” said Melber. Melber is also not convinced that the factions and rifts within Swapo will affect its performance at the polls significantly.

    “As regards the internal conflicts, they existed before and the party always managed to close ranks, even when the breakaways took place. I therefore do not expect too obvious public battles, but the party's electoral congress might still offer some surprises, just as the last one did.”



    A desert outside Swapo

    Horn is also not convinced that the divisions in Swapo are necessarily unhealthy.

    “Look the reason for division in Swapo is obviously partly the result of the fact that we do not have real opposition, so the opposition in now rather within Swapo than outside. However the experience of the CoD and RDP is a warning for disgruntled people that they should not leave Swapo, because outside they suddenly find themselves in a desert without support,” he said.

    “So I also do not expect any more new parties. A real vibrant alternative government is not on the horizon. I am not expecting much excitement. A lot of politics will play itself out when the Swapo (MP) list needs to be drafted and the different groups will play their different roles.”

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Global corruption index: Nam improves slightlyGlobal corruption index: Nam improves slightly Namibia was ranked 52nd out of 180 countries worldwide on Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI), released today.
    Last year, the country was ranked 53rd.
    Namibia scored 53 out of 100 possible points on the 2018 CPI, up 2 points from last year. Zero on the CPI score slide means a country is highly corrupt, while 100 indicates a country is “very clean”.
    Read the full report tomorrow in Market Watch.

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    Geingob and City of Windhoek address slum emergency Geingob and City of Windhoek address slum emergency
    President Hage Geingob and top government officials today met with City of Windhoek leaders to tackle the national crisis of informal settlements and in particular, the fact that more than 130 000 Windhoekers are living in slum-like conditions.
    Research by the City of Windhoek shows that informal settlement growth in Windhoek exceeds that of other residential areas, and it is estimated that the population of 131 000 is set to double within the next nine-and-a-half years unless urgent interventions are made.
    The City yesterday also noted that the lack of basic services and the general conditions of the 87 identified informal settlements are forcing the residents living there into slum-like living conditions.
    Geingob emphasised the need for government, the City and other stakeholders to join hands to address the national crisis.
    He said the issue of informal settlements in urban areas are part and parcel of the actions agreed on at the second land conference last year.
    He repeated that following last year’s land conference, government described the issue of informal settlements and the conditions faced by those living there as an “a national humanitarian crisis”, and that “government should declare it as a human disaster, so to speak”.
    He underlined informal settlements have not been declared a national emergency but “it is a disaster and therefore we should address that to get rid of these informal settlements”,
    Other speakers at yesterday’s meeting included top government ministers including Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga, in addition to Khomas regional governor Laura Mcleod, Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise and mayor Muesee Kazapua.
    McLeod said the issue of those living in informal settlements is a serious concern but said the “challenges are so overwhelming that we are unable to manage in terms of the lack of resources” and other problems.
    City representatives presented Geingob with an extensive overview of the current situation and the short- and long-term plans and challenges to address rapid informal settlement growth and to bring the number of informal homes to zero.
    The meeting was part and parcel of government’s post land conference planning strategy to pave the way forward in addressing the resolutions taken there.
    JANA-MARI SMITH

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