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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 943 | 944 | (Page 945) | 946 | 947 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Visiting Zim MP wants police protectionVisiting Zim MP wants police protection
    A Zimbabwean parliamentarian currently on a visit to Namibia has appealed to the Namibian police for urgent protection, citing fears that spy agency officials from his home country have arrived in Namibia to abduct him and take him back to face treason charges.
    This afternoon, a letter hand-delivered to the office of police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga, noted that Chalton Hwende, a Zimbabwean MDC MP who is visiting family living in Namibia, has discovered members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) are around to “abduct and rendition him to Zimbabwe.”
    The letter states Hwende is wanted for treason, incitement to commit public violence and other charges and is asking the police to provide urgent protection against “what will be an unlawful abduction and possible rendition” back to Zimbabwe, with the threat of an unfair trial there, long imprisonment or even the death penalty as a result of the treason charges.
    The members of the CIO, according to the letter drafted by lawyer Norman Tjombe of Tjombe-Elago Inc, are already in Namibia, after they arrived on or before Monday.
    Ndeitunga told Namibian Sun briefly telephonically he is aware of the protection request but as he was not at the office this afternoon, he has actioned it to other officials.
    He added however that any person “who feels their life is in danger should go to the police and make a case. In our country everybody should be protected, in particularly when their lives are in danger.”
    He further suggested that under the circumstances Hwende should consider taking “his case up with central government.”
    The letter notes that Zimbabwe still carries the death penalty for treason offences which is one of the reasons Hwende has feared returning there, “especially at the time of the brutal security clampdown in response to the protests of the fuel increases.”
    Tjombe also warned his client will not receive a fair trial should he return, citing a march of hundreds of lawyers who protested the compromising of the rule of law in the country “in what is referred to as ‘fast-tracked’ criminal trials” that offer little justice.
    Tjombe further informed the police that should his client not be afforded the necessary protection they will not hesitate to approach the High Court of Namibia on an urgent basis for an appropriate order.

    JANA-MARI SMITH


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    Cathy-Scania win second Nedbank raceCathy-Scania win second Nedbank race Team Cathy-Scania once again continued their dominance at the Nedbank Namibia Windhoek Pedal Power (WPP) cycling challenge that was held in the capital on Sunday.

    They are currently leading the team standings after winning the opening two races of the season.

    The first race was held on the Dordabis road a week ago, while the second race took place at the Dobra Loops in Windhoek on Sunday.

    Jacques Celliers, who rides for Team Cathy-Scania, finished Sunday's race first in a time of two hours 24 minutes and 35 seconds (2:24:35) followed by unaffiliated rider Alex Miller.

    Junior rider Miller came second in a photo-finish, in a time of 2:24:35 while Kai Pritzen, who rides for Team Kia Elite, was third in the same time as Celliers and Miller.

    Drikus Coetzee, who rides for Hollard Life, was fourth in the photo-finish.

    With those results, Team Cathy-Scania are still top with a time of 5:15:23, while Hollard Life are second with a time of 5:15:24 and Team KIA Elite are third in a time of 5:16:24.

    Team NCCS occupies fourth position in a time of 5:17:53, with the fifth position in the elite men's teams being occupied by Hollard with a time of 5:18:49.

    In the women's category, Food Lovers Market are top of the standings with a time of 4:30:49, after their rider Genevieve Weber finished second on Sunday behind Jagau Imke, who is also unaffiliated.

    Imke won the second race of the season in a time of 2:03:46, while Weber had a time of 2:03:51.

    Veteran women rider Silke Bean, who represents MyLife powered by Hollard, finished the race third in a time of 2:03:53. Her teammate Antje Tietz was fourth.

    MyLife powered by Hollard are currently ranked second in the team standings with a time of 4:31:53, while Lumber City are third with a time of 4:36:14.

    Fourth position is occupied by Delush, with a time of 4:39:44, while Mabaruli Cycling Safaris Namibia are fifth with a time of 4:55:17.

    NAMPA

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  • 01/29/19--14:00: Clever Boys face Stars
  • Clever Boys face StarsClever Boys face StarsUnderdogs look to upset reigning champions Underdogs Unam will face powerhouse African Stars tonight at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. The Clever Boys of Unam have a date with the Samba Boys, African Stars, at 20:00 tonight in the 2018/19 MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL).

    The university club played to a 1-1 draw against Tigers last week.

    The opening goal was conceded far too early by Unam, with head coach Woody Jacobs now imploring his players to avoid this type of mistake in the future.

    “I have a young team that I'm trying to mould into a unit which can play great football. We have a few experienced players like Willem 'Dudes' Mwedihanga and captain Heini Isaacks, amongst others. However the rest are from the under-17, -20 and -23 structures.

    “The players are growing as a team, even though every coach has his own philosophy coming into a new club. We go into the match as underdogs but we will come and show what we are made of,” he added.

    Jacobs further said they want more goals and fans can expect a completely different performance from last week's encounter.

    “The match will depend on the mood of the players. The team with fewer mistakes and the one that controls the tempo will surely win the match.”

    Jacobs added that his move to Unam was purely to advance his career.

    “I didn't leave Okahandja United because I didn't like it there. Unam is the closest one can get to the national team, Brave Warriors. They have the infrastructure and the resources and it was a great opportunity for me.

    “I'm content and the only thing that will get me out of here is a move outside the country,” the outspoken coach said.

    Stars coach Bobby Samaria didn't want to give away too much about the match, but said their focus now is on the domestic league after they crashed out of CAF Confederation Cup, following their loss to Morocco's Raja Casablanca.

    “We beat Young Brazilians 2-1 in Karasburg on Saturday, now we look forward to the Unam match and expect a great result,” he said.

    African Stars are the current NPL champions.



    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Horse racing conditions in spotlightHorse racing conditions in spotlight The Namibia Horse Racing Association (NHRA) and the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) yesterday held a consultation meeting in order to discuss the way forward for the association.

    The meeting was held behind closed doors, but Namibian Sun was informed that the association has set plans in motion to improve the conditions at horse racing events in the country.

    It was also revealed that the association has its sights set on improving its relationship with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) this year.

    In September 2018, the SPCA accused the NRHA of failing to improve the conditions under which horses compete.

    The SPCA felt that the association had not been willing to implement procedures for the humane treatment of horses.

    It is for this reason that the NHRA is ready to ensure that most of the conditions related to humane horse treatment are fulfilled. The association will be focusing on humane transport, humane on- and offloading, the humane keeping of horses before, during and after a race, vet inspections, vets being present at a race and the appropriate treatment when horses are hurt injured.

    NHRA president Marthinus de Waal confirmed they held a productive meeting with the NSC.

    He said he and his delegation also met SPCA officials for further consultations.

    “As the new president, I want to build a good relationship with all stakeholders.

    “The meeting we had with the sports commission and the SPCA was productive.

    “The requirements of the SPCA are not difficult to implement and it is something we are going to do this year,” De Waal said.

    NSC chief administrator Freddy Mwiya believes the horse racing association has some good plans for 2019.

    “I do believe that there will be a positive outcomes from the meeting we held with the NHRA.

    “They have shown the desire to improve their operations and they understand the need to take the sport to another level,” Mwiya added.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 01/29/19--14:00: Boxing AGM set for March
  • Boxing AGM set for MarchBoxing AGM set for MarchSitting terms to end at KBF The Khomas Boxing Federation has urged that boxing development be spread equally across all regions. The Khomas Boxing Federation (KBF) will hold its annual general meeting (AGM) in March, where new leaders will be elected.

    The federation decided to hold the AGM after a lengthy meeting that took place on Saturday.

    The current leadership's term is due to end in 2019 and the federation felt the need to have an elective AGM.

    Amongst the issues discussed at their first meeting of the year was the need for more regional tournaments.

    The federation further wants to invite other regions, in order to give Khomas boxers national exposure.

    KBF chairman Jason Naule stressed the importance of getting their boxers to compete outside Namibia.

    “The federation is also going to look into getting a competition outside Namibia's borders to try and get our future champions exposed,” Naule said.

    He pleaded for financial assistance that will enable them to achieve their goals, given that the federation does not get any assistance from the national federation.

    The KBF has 12 registered clubs on their books and the boxers have been fighting each other over the past years.

    “We have realised that the financial troubles are not only facing Khomas but the whole country at large and it is one of contributing factors for not having regions inviting each other.

    “The leadership crisis at the mother body has also deprived the federations of many important things,” Naule said.

    The leadership of the federation is happy with the progress they have made so far, even with the financial challenges they have had to endure.

    The meeting also discussed capacity building, with the need to have administrators and coaches at the top of the agenda.

    The exact date and venue of the AGM will be communicated to all stakeholders.

    “The federation is busy with the planning of the elective sitting and all positions will be up for grabs and only the registered clubs will be able to participate at the AGM.”

    The current leadership is chaired by Naule, while Adriaan Coetzee is the vice-chairperson, Helvi Andimba the secretary-general, Kuara Tjimune the treasurer and John Amakali the PRO.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 01/29/19--14:00: Robben mulls Tokyo move
  • Robben mulls Tokyo moveRobben mulls Tokyo move Dutch superstar Arjen Robben is lining up a move to J-League outfit FC Tokyo after he leaves Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, local media reported on Tuesday.

    The 35-year-old has already confirmed he is leaving Bayern at the end of the season after a glittering career that saw him win seven Bundesliga titles and nearly 100 caps for the Netherlands.

    If confirmed, it would be the latest high-profile transfer to the Japanese league, after Spanish World Cup winner Andres Iniesta and German striker Lukas Podolski joined Vissel Kobe.

    Iniesta's World Cup winning teammate Fernando Torres is also playing at J-League rival Sagan Tosu.

    The Sports Nippon daily said there was a “rapidly emerging” chance of Robben playing in Japan next season.

    “Robben's family, who are believed to have a big say (in his decision), seem positive about coming to Japan,” it said.

    “Several Japanese clubs are interested but FC Tokyo are close to clinching his signature,” the paper quoted anonymous sources as saying.

    A spokesperson for the club declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

    The 35-year-old, in his prime considered one of the world's best wingers, told German football magazine Kicker last month he had no plans beyond the end of this season.

    “That's not entirely clear, perhaps I will stop playing; it's about waiting and seeing what possibilities there are,” he said.

    “If offers come in, I'll really consider them 100%, and if it's something nice, I'll play on, but if no ideal offers come, then that could be it. I have three children and they also must be happy... The family plays a very important role in every decision of mine.”

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Shoka tashi li oSwapo oshi li meni lyoSwapoShoka tashi li oSwapo oshi li meni lyoSwapoUupyakadhi unene owa zilile poTeam Swapo oshowo Team Harambee Onkalo yomananathano meni lyongundu yoskola otashi vulika yi ka gume iizemo yomahogololo yongundu ndjoka nuumvo, nonando ongundu ndjoka oyi na eyambidhidho enene okuza moshigwana. JEMIMA BEUKES

    Otashi ka kala oshikando shotango muule woomvula odhindji dha piti, Swapo a ye momahogololo e li metopoko enene okuza mokati kaayambidhidhi ye.

    Pahapu dhomunongononi gwonkalo yopolotika, Ndumba Kamwanyah okwa popi kutya shoka tashi li oSwapo oshi li meni lyoSwapo.

    Kamwanyah okwa popi kutya ope na woo omanyano ogendji taga ningilwa omupresidende gwoshilongo Hage Geingob pamwe nelelo lye.





    Okwa popi kutya oku wete kutya olugodhi mokati koSwapo olunene noonkondo naaleli yongundu oya pumbwa okuninga po sha meendelelo opo onkalo ndjoka kayi nayipale nayi.

    “Eeno otaya vulu okukala taya popi kutya kape na etopoko mongundu ndjoka, ihe oshili ooshoka kutya oye na uumbanda kutya oshike tashi vulu okuholoka po.”

    Nonando ongaaka Kamwanyah, okwa popi kutya ke wete aayambidhidhi yoSwapo taya ka hogolola oongundu dhompilameno nonando oya lya moonyandi na oyuuvitile nayi ongundu yawo.

    “Inaya nyanyukilwa elelo lyongundu ndyoka li li koshipundi na oya kanitha einekelo melelo ihe itaya ka hogolola ongundu yilwe.”

    Okwa holola kutya pakutala kwe ope na shoka sha pumbwa okuningwa po meendelelo nongele hasho nena otashi vulika aantu ya kakale inaya ya komahogololo pehala lyokuhogolola ongundu yawo ndjoka tayi pangele, molwaashoka momapopyo gawo ihaya popi kutya oongundu dhompilameno odhi li hwepo kongundu yoSwapo.



    Nico Horn, okwa popi kutya oku na einekelo kutya ohole yaGeingob otayi ka shuna pevi, ihe ke wete ta ka mona omawi ge li pevi lyoopresenda 70.

    Ngoka natango omaiyuvo gaHenning Melber ngoka a popi kutya itaka limbililwa nenge a haluke ngele omuhogololwa gwongundu yoSwapo momahogololo guupresidende okwa mono omawi ge li pevi kwaangoka gongundu oshikando shotango.

    Uupyakadhi waSwapo

    Swapo okwa kala nokufalwa kompangu iikando oyindji konima nkene Geingob a yi koshipundi.

    Momvula yo 2016, amushanga nale gwoSwapo Party Youth League (SPYL), Elijah Ngurare, oshowo aahwahwameki yiikumungu yevi Job Amupanda, George Kambala oshowo Dimbulukeni Nauyoma oya fala ongundu kompangu konima sho ya li ya tidhwa mo mongundu.

    Osha li esithahoni enene kongundu yoSwapo, sho Ompangu yoPombanda moshilongo ya ningi etokolo muuwanawa woonakutidhwa, na oya gandja elombwelo kutya mboka naya shunwe mo mongundu, ihe inaku ningwa etokolo lya sha kombinga yoompito dhawo dhiilonga yuuleli mongundu.

    Ongundu yaakwaSwapo natango oya yi kompangu taya pataneke oshizemo shomahogololo gomutumba gwokongresa yongundu ngoka gwa ningwa mo 2017.

    Oshipotha shoka natango otashi tsikile.

    Momvula yo 2014, Geingob okwa sindanapo omahogololo guupresidede noopresenda 86.73, omanga oSwapo ya sindana po omahogololo momutumba gwopashigwana noopresenda 80.01.

    Ongundu tayi pangele oya mono iipundi 77 mOmutumba gwoPashigwana omanga iipundi 19 tayi topolwa koongundu dhompilameno.



    Kombinga yoongundu dhompilameno kaku wetike omalunduluko ngoka tadhi ningi po, opo pamwe dhi ka kale dha nana aahogololi, kakele pamwe kongundu ompe ndjoka yoLandless People’s Movement (LPM), pamwe tayi ke shi pondola okumona iipundi iishona ihe aluhe otayi ka kala ya talika kutya ongundu yaantu yomuumbugantu.

    Horn okwa popi kutya onkalo yekondjelomanguluko oyo unene tayi dhana onkandangala mokati komadhilaadhilo unene gaakokele naakalimo yoshilongo monooli yoshilongo. Okwa tsikile kutya nonando ongundu yoSwapo oyi kale tayi mono omanyano ogendji okuza koshigwana itashi hogolola ongundu yilwe yopolotika.

    Horn okwa tsikile kutya etopo ndyoka li li moSwapo ka li shi oshinima oshiwanawa.

    Okwa tsikile kutya shoka otashi etithwa sho oshilongo kashi na ongundu yompilameno yi na oonkondo , ta popi kutya onkalo yoCoD oshowo RDP, nayi kale oshiholelwa kwaamboka ya loloka, kutya ngele oya thigi po Swapo nena otaya ki iyadha pondje kaye na eyambidhidho lyasha.

    Horn okwa popi kutya ke na we etegelelo lyongundu ompe moshilongo.

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  • 01/29/19--14:00: Parents are crying - SPYL
  • Parents are crying - SPYLParents are crying - SPYLLeague concerned over curriculum The Swapo Party Youth League is of the view the new curriculum is very poorly organised. Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary for education, Hofni Iipinge, has expressed his deepening concern over the revised education curriculum that has been rolled at secondary school level.

    Iipinge, who is a teacher by profession, said parents and learners “are crying and are really disturbed by this poorly organised curriculum” that is being implemented without facilities being built at schools.

    Iipinge also said government must construct enough vocational facilities to absorb all the learners who will be exiting school at grade 9, after writing semi-external examinations.

    He said if government fails to do this, the learners “will go back to square one” and end up on the streets.

    “We need to act now.”

    Iipinge said it will not help to implement policies that are jeopardising and increasing education problems.

    He therefore called on government, through its line ministry, to listen to parents, teachers, regional governors and education directors, who are the custodians of education in their regions.

    “We must listen to each other and consultations must be considered before implementation, especially during this time of economic crisis,” Iipinge said.

    “This curriculum is supposed to be proactively equipping and training our young ones to be ready for vocational training subjects. The government is supposed to build facilities at schools, especially equipped classrooms and hostels, before approving the implementation of this curriculum.”

    Iipinge said the revised curriculum is aimed at reducing the number of school dropouts and allows more learners to take vocational subjects that will contribute significantly to Namibia's industrialisation needs.

    He said academically the curriculum is very good and as SPYL secretary for education he really commends it.

    Iipinge has requested government to make sure that the ministers of education and their technical teams go to the regions to identify challenges themselves and rectify some of the emergency issues affecting education.

    “The common problem we have now is a lack of learners' hostels and the few schools with grade 10, which forces many learners to walk abnormal distances to and from schools, which is now contradicting the education policy on distances to be travelled by each child.

    “Due to the long distances, especially in the northern regions of Omusati to Zambezi, parents have to look for rental spaces at nearby towns or villages to erect shacks for their children, while it is not safe to have a 14-year-old child renting and taking care of themselves,” Iipinge said.

    He said the consequences government has to consider include the safety of the child, the environment, challenges like sexual abuse, alcohol and drug abuse and high teenage pregnancies and HIV infections due to these children having no supervision.

    “We need to protect our future leaders from being victims of evils. Parents are crying and they are really disturbed by this poorly organised curriculum that is implemented without facilities being built at schools.”

    Iipinge added that schools are faced with the challenge of a lack of classrooms.

    “I am calling on government to act fast and provide temporary structures, such as classrooms to the needy schools. There is no way teachers can educate learners under trees. How do you attract learners to love school while the environment is not conducive?”

    “These budget cuts to the ministry of education need to be reviewed; some ministries are really a challenge, so you can't afford to cut their budgets. As a government we have to invest in education to get quality results. I am appealing to the ministry of finance to see education as a crucial ministry, so learners' educational needs are respected and solved,” he said.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 01/29/19--14:00: Abalone safe to eat
  • Abalone safe to eatAbalone safe to eat Shellfish aficionados are free to enjoy abalone from the Lüderitz Aquaculture Production area again after an almost two-week ban was lifted yesterday.

    The fisheries and marine resources ministry yesterday announced that it is safe to consume abalone again after the most recent test results for paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) came back negative.

    The tests were facilitated by the Namibia Standards Institute (NSI) and were guided by the National Shellfish Sanitation Programme.

    Two consecutive re-tests produced negative results, the ministry said.

    On 11 January, the ministry warned the public not to eat abalone from the Lüderitz area after a harmful algal bloom event was detected. The presence of biotoxin-producing algae was confirmed during routine testing by the NSI.

    Paralytic shellfish poison is a naturally occurring toxin which can concentrate in shellfish and, when eaten, can cause illness in humans.

    This biotoxin affects the nervous system and paralyses muscles, thus the term paralytic shellfish poison. High levels of PSP can cause severe illness and even death. It's normal for biotoxin-producing algae to be present in seawater but they are usually at very low concentrations and pose no problems.

    When the algae bloom, the concentration increases dramatically. The increased algae become a greater food source for shellfish and the more algae the shellfish eat, the more biotoxin they accumulate.

    Biotoxins don't harm shellfish, so the level in their tissue continues to climb until the bloom subsides. When the number of toxin-producing algal cells returns to normal low levels, the shellfish eventually flush the toxin from their systems.

    It can be several days to several months or longer before they're safe to eat again.

    Last week, Namibian Sun reported that the fisheries ministry had also 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 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.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Nampol in shortage of social workersNampol in shortage of social workers The Namibian police has a shortage of social workers countrywide to provide counselling to its members in events of trauma experienced while on duty, due to a lack of funds.

    This was revealed by the police chief, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, in an interview with Nampa on Monday.

    He said all police officers who attend to traumatic events can go for counselling if they feel the need and when social workers are available.

    Ndeitunga explained that the police force would like to help every member that has been traumatised by what they have experienced on duty but the lack of resources remains a stumbling block.

    “Yes, we to try to help those officers that are affected by such events, but due to the small number of social workers that we have, we only cater to cases that are urgent because the social workers we have are not enough for all the regions,” he expressed.

    Some officers, he continued, would respond to accidents where several lives are lost, attend to a decomposed body or help doctors in conducting post mortems and it is something that can disturb their minds, which is why they need professional therapy.

    “When you have an officer who attended to an accident where there are many fatalities or someone who hanged himself and the body is decomposed, you have to take the body where it is supposed to be and police officers become traumatised when they see these things,” Ndeitunga concluded.

    He did not, however, provide the number of social workers required per region nor those that are available now.

    NAMPA

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    New sales record for Fiat 500New sales record for Fiat 500Best ever annual figure in 11 years The iconic 500 continues to delight with its timeless style and its POP essence. This sales record reminds us that the 500 is a real timeless automotive icon. - Luca Napolitano, Head: EMEA Fiat and Abarth A constant symbol of Italian style and manufacturing worldwide, the timeless Fiat 500 continues to impress, by recording, in its eleventh year, its best-ever annual figures with almost 194 000 units registered in Europe in 2018.

    This is yet another record for the best-selling car in its segment, where it has also achieved its second best ever share of about 15%.

    "This sales record reminds us that the 500 is a real timeless automotive icon, and not just for the Fiat brand," says Luca Napolitano, head of EMEA Fiat and Abarth brand.

    "I am very proud of this result, which sees the 500 the best-seller in 11 European countries and in the top three in another four. Over its 11-year lifetime, the 500 has never gone out of fashion, and has been successful everywhere as a symbol of Italian and design and manufacturing,” continues Napolitano.

    “While remaining true to itself, it has been re-interpreted over time, linking its name to iconic brands - from fashion to luxury yachts and from technology to the heritage sector - to create more than 30 special series and explore unusual territories for a city car. Like its illustrious predecessor, the new 500 has ‘brightened up’ the daily lives and streets of the whole world, becoming a cool solution to international urban mobility needs.

    “Today it is the most global Fiat car, sold in more than 100 countries worldwide and with 80% of volumes generated outside Italy. Overall, from 2007 to the present, more than 2 million 110 thousand Fiat 500 cars have been built, rising to more than 6 million when added to those of the model's predecessor, produced from 1957 to 1977, making it one of the best-selling Fiat models of all time."

    Secret of success

    The iconic 500 continues to delight with its timeless style and its POP essence, which, supported by its sleek, rounded line, brings smiles to faces on roads all over the world. Without a doubt, the secrets of its success include the sequence of more than 30 special series, based on Fiat 500 and Abarth 595, which have appeared from 2007 to the present. In fact, while always remaining true to its own identity, the Fiat 500 has transformed itself to access fresh territories, such as technology, fashion and luxury yacht design, creating the opportunities to meet new targets, constantly renewing yet retaining its status as a timeless icon.

    And this strategy has confirmed its success in 2018, with the 500 Mirror, 500 Collezione and 500 Spiaggina '58 special series. To crown the achievements of 2018, a truly wonderful year, last December it was announced that on 10 February, during the “The Value of Good Design”, exhibition, the historic Fiat 500 F series car purchased by the MoMA in New York, will be put on public display for the first time, confirming its symbolic importance on the global design scene. - Quickpic

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  • 01/29/19--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Absa rules out Nigerian acquisition

    South African lender Absa will not buy a Nigerian bank, its CEO told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, clearing up a lingering question over how it will execute its aggressive growth strategy.

    Chief executive Maria Ramos said that while Nigeria is a big and exciting banking market - where the World Bank estimates 60 million people did not have a bank account in 2017 - it would build its presence there slowly and organically and did not plan to become a top lender.

    "For us to be in the top three or four would mean us going out and acquiring a Nigerian business," she said. "The Nigerian banks are big and expensive and we wouldn't be looking to do that."

    Ramos also said Absa's strategy elsewhere in Africa would be centred on organic growth rather than acquisitions.

    "To go and acquire something has to make a huge amount of sense, it has to be value-accretive," she said. – Nampa/Reuters

    Naspers takes full control of Avito

    South Africa's Naspers has taken full control of Russia's largest classified advertising platform Avito after it spent US$1.16 billion to buy the 29.1% it did not already own.

    Naspers said the deal, made through its classifieds business OLX Group, implied an enterprise value of about US$3.85 billion and would boost its holding in the company from 70.4% to 99.6%, with Avito's co-founders holding the rest.

    Online marketplaces in Russia have grown rapidly in the last few years, offering anything from food delivery and cleaning to private house construction services.

    Avito was launched by entrepreneurs Jonas Nordlander and Filip Engelbert in 2007 as Russia's answer to Craigslist and today owns and operates the country's largest online classifieds website Avito.ru.

    Naspers, which had US$8.7 billion in cash as of the end of September primarily from the sale of Flipkart and Tencent shares, said the deal was funded by its existing cash resources and closed on Friday. – Nampa/Reuters

    Petra Diamonds: Lower prices at flagship mine

    Shares of Petra Diamonds Ltd slid as much as 10% on Monday after lower diamond prices at its flagship Cullinan mine and an increase in net debt took the shine off higher half-year revenue.

    The company has been trying to keep a lid on debt after heavy investments and a stronger South African rand had burdened the miner, which pays in rands and earns in US dollars.

    Petra's net debt jumped to US$557.2 million in the six months to Dec. 31 from US$538.9 million as at Sept. 30. The company was forced to raise US$178 million last May by issuing equity to cut its debt burden.

    Rough diamond prices fell to US$96 per carat from US$140 per carat in the previous year at the Cullinan mine, which in 1905 yielded the Cullinan diamond - the largest rough gem diamond ever found and now part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

    Petra posted an 8% jump in revenue to US$207.1 million, about 10% below RBC forecasts of US$230 million, hurt by lower pricing at Cullinan. The company stuck to its production forecast 3.8 - 4.0 million carats for fiscal 2019. – Nampa/Reuters

    East African Breweries' to jumpstart growth

    East African Breweries aims to jumpstart growth in sales of bottled beer in Kenya, as its biggest market's economy recovers and the government looks set to hold off on tax increases, its chief executive said on Friday.

    The brewer, which is controlled by Britain's Diageo and is known for its Tusker beer, said sales of bottled beer were flat in the first half of the year to December after the government raised excise duty by 5.2%.

    Kenya, which contributes 70% of annual revenue, has taxed beer and cigarettes heavily to boost government coffers. The government raised excise duty on beer by 43% at the end of 2015, hitting demand for EABL's beer.

    Kenya has one of the highest rates of tax on beer on the continent. Tusker has a recommended retail price of 150 shillings (US$1.49) per bottle, with close to half going to the taxman.

    Pretax profit at EABL surged by a third in its first half, driven by a 13% jump in net sales as sales of its low-priced Senator Keg beer in Kenya made a strong recovery after demand was depressed by election jitters in 2017.

    Plans to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger

    Facebook Inc CEO Mark Zuckerberg is planning to unify the underlying messaging infrastructure of its WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger services and incorporate end-to-end encryption to these apps, the New York Times reported on Friday.

    The three services will, however, continue as stand alone apps, the report said, citing four people involved in the effort.

    Facebook said it is working on making more of its messaging products end-to-end encrypted, and considering ways to make it easier for users to connect across networks.

    After the changes, a Facebook user, for instance, will be able send an encrypted message to someone who has only a WhatsApp account, according to the NYT report.

    End-to-end encryption protects messages from being viewed by anyone except the participants in the conversation. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Swapo struggle victory not falsifiedSwapo struggle victory not falsified AMBASSADOR TULIAMENI KALOMOH



    I have noted with interest an article published in Namibian Sun on 8 January 2019 on the front page with the headline: 'Swapo liberation victory falsified - Diescho'.

    The article distorts the history of the liberation struggle of the people of Namibia led by their vanguard movement, Swapo, and I wish to put things into perspective. Swapo won a convincing political and military victory against the South African apartheid regime's illegal occupation of Namibia, and this is not “falsified”, as claimed by Professor Joseph Diescho.

    Professor Diescho was quoted in the article as having said: “The truth is there was no party that won a war. We lie when we say we defeated the white regime. We defeated nobody.

    “It was an international, peaceful negotiated settlement, with no winner no loser, Resolution 435.” Professor Diescho went on to say: “Swapo did not march in here with tanks to throw the white people out.

    “The white people who are in Namibia were part of those negotiations. As a matter of fact, Swapo lost the election in 1989 - that militates against the lie that they defeated the enemy.”

    It is not clear who Professor Diescho included when he said, “we lie when we say we defeated the white regime. We defeated nobody.”

    I must emphatically state that the word “we” used by Professor Diescho does not include the vast majority of the Namibian patriots, especially those who fought under the leadership of Swapo, some of whom paid the ultimate price with their lives and limbs for the independence of their country, and the restoration of the human dignity of its people.



    Dishonesty

    The assertion by Professor Diescho that, “as a matter of fact Swapo lost the election in 1989”, is nothing but utter sophistry - a forlorn attempt to rewrite and distort the history of the liberation struggle of the people of Namibia led by their vanguard movement, Swapo.

    How anyone, let alone an academic like Professor Diescho, can honestly claim that Swapo “lost” the independence elections in 1989, is simply beyond belief.

    As for Professor Diescho's assertion that, “Swapo did not march in here with tanks to throw the white people out”, he and others should be reminded that it has never been the policy of Swapo to “throw the white people out” of Namibia.

    The Swapo policy was to liberate all Namibians, irrespective of colour or race, from colonial oppression and not to “throw the white people out”, as propagated by the apartheid regime.

    Professor Diescho should also be reminded that it was the sustained and relentless determination of the combined Angolan, Cuban and combatants of the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) that decisively destroyed the myth of South Africa's military invincibility at the epoch-making battle of Cuito Cuanavale, which inflicted a humiliating defeat on South Africa's invading force.



    Conceding defeat

    The erstwhile South African military leaders - General Magnus Malan, General Jan Geldenhuys and General George Meiring - had conceded as much, however grudgingly.

    Thus, Swapo did not need to “march in here with tanks to throw the white people out”.

    This is a deliberate and wilful distortion of the policy of Swapo and the history of the liberation struggle, designed to mislead young and future generations of Namibians. The core and ultimate objective of Swapo and its military wing (PLAN) was to defeat the political, ideological and economic foundations that underpinned the illegal apartheid occupation of our country.

    Our struggle was “the continuation of politics by other means”, to quote Carl von Clausewitz, a renowned German military strategist.

    As a direct result of this multi-pronged Swapo strategy to wage the struggle at three mutually re-enforcing fronts - popular political mobilisation at home, an extensive and concerted diplomatic campaign abroad and sustained and effective military operations at the battlefront - the apartheid ideology was declared a crime against humanity by the international community. Similarly, the apartheid regime was suspended from the United Nations and from many international sporting organisations.

    Importantly, the apartheid economy was crippled by international economic sanctions and an arms embargo.

    Swapo was recognised by the United Nations and progressive governments the world over as the sole and authentic representative of the Namibian people.

    This recognition was resoundingly confirmed during the 1989 independence elections, when Swapo won 41 out of 72 seats in the Constituent Assembly or 57% of the votes.

    These are indisputable and immutable historical facts. Attempts to deny or distort that victory can only be aimed at the desecration of the memories of the Namibian heroines and heroes who paid with their lives.



    Namibia is free

    Namibian citizens have the constitutionally guaranteed right of freedom of expression, including the right to criticise the policies and perceived deficiencies in the governance of the country.

    And I for one will always fiercely defend the unfettered exercise of such rights. But neither anger at nor frustration with the governance of the country by the Swapo-led government should lead any Namibian citizen, including Professor Diescho, to call into question the glorious history of the Namibian people.

    That Namibia is free, sovereign and independent from the daily humiliation of apartheid oppression should be the pride of every Namibian citizen, irrespective of their party political affiliation.

    Those who fought bravely under the Swapo flag have the moral, historical and political obligation to steadfastly defend the gains of the struggle.

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  • 01/29/19--14:00: Addicted to social media
  • Addicted to social mediaAddicted to social media VITALIO ANGULA



    Notifications are triggers that sell you on the need to check out your news feed. What you read is hardly of any relevance but you keep scrolling regardless, thinking you may miss out on something if you skip the depraved experience of social media that has seriously got you hooked.

    By the time you have finished scrolling you have been occupied for 30 minutes or an hour, time that could have been spent attending to what your employer actually pays you to do.

    The virtual experience of social media functions as a reward system of likes, comments and shares.

    Showcasing a quintessential version of ourselves, we rely on the external validation of our peers by posting how good we feel about our newfound love for exercise and how much weight we've lost. Breakfast in bed, with the proverbial self-indulgence of eggs, bacon, crisp toast and freshly squeezed orange juice appeases our followers.

    A picture speaks a thousand words and the effort it takes to wake up, prepare the perfect English breakfast, get back into bed and have your significant other snap the perfect pic for you to upload onto your account, just in time for your audience's morning scrolls, speaks of an underlying need for relevance, significance, affirmation and a connection with others - a connection we crave but certainly cannot get from our virtual existence on Facebook.

    That is why we can never be satisfied and we keep coming back for more and more to fill this void of loneliness, boredom and frustration. A habit then becomes a compulsion and eventually an addiction.

    The dark spiral of addiction reveals our most sadistic and narcissistic character traits.

    We compare ourselves to others by tallying the amount of likes or comments our status updates generate. We value subconscious confrontation because it makes us feel powerful; we're superior because we always come out on top. As our likes begin to dwindle, we become aggressive, edgy or downright outrageous - an attention-grabber - which is a justified response to the attention economy.

    It is easier said than done, deleting our Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts, as cold turkey plunges us into withdrawal, characterised by anxiety, the feeling of missing out, not being part of the in-crowd, desolation and despondency, requiring a quick-fix attainable by simply logging on.

    Ask a born-free whose phone has been confiscated by their parents and wait for an honest response beyond the tirade of their right to use their property as they see fit.

    It's real; being separated from your Instagram can really leave you feeling doom and gloom.

    Parents are warned that separating your kids from their phones can lead to a separation of your kids from you. They will not speak to you and the parent/child bond will suffer.

    Addiction to social media is real. It has a set of symptoms, causes and effects.

    The diagnosis is somewhat obscure because it is relatively a new field of inquiry, but science might soon come up with an effective treatment programme, so do not despair.

    If you want to know whether you are showing symptoms of addiction to social media ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Do you crave for social media?

    2. Have you tried to quit social media but couldn't?

    3. Have you ever been inconvenienced by your use of social media?

    4. Has social media caused you to neglect your friends, family and loved ones?

    If you have answered yes to all four of these questions, you are definitely a drama queen.

    Whether you are addicted to social media or not requires diagnosis from a trained professional. Google one in your hometown and make that appointment.

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    Angola heads to markets after IMF dealAngola heads to markets after IMF dealPreparing to issue bonds Angola’s financing needs in 2019 is around US$11 billion. The central bank wants to change foreign exchange law and create a buffer. – Vera Daves, Treasury Secretary: Angola Marc Jones - Angola is readying a return to bond markets after securing an IMF deal and hopes to kick-off a three-year privatisation programme this year, treasury secretary Vera Daves told Reuters on Monday.

    Angola, Africa's second-largest oil producer, secured US$3.7 billion of International Monetary Fund aid in December having been pushed towards an economic crisis by the fall in crude prices since mid-2014.

    Its currency, the kwanza, dropped more than 40% last year making it the second worst performing in the world after Argentina's peso, while its debts jumped and international reserves fell to a seven-year low of US$11.1 billion in December.

    Daves said the country had financing needs of around 3.5 trillion kwanza (US$11.32 billion) this year compared to the nearly 5 trillion kwanza it spent in 2018, and was hoping to tap international markets to secure some of the money.

    "We are ready because we have been through the procedure recently," she told Reuters in an interview. Angola sold a US$1.75 billion 10-year bond at a yield of 8.25% last year.

    Asked how soon it could happen, she said it would depend on investor appetite. "Probably next month we will have a better idea," Daves said, adding that "hopefully" it would be a 10-year bond. "We are always trying to elongate our debt maturities."

    President João Lourenço, who took over in September 2017 after 38 years of rule by José Eduardo dos Santos, has said he wants to revive Angola's fortunes by tackling corruption, opening it up to foreign investment and diversifying away from oil, which accounts for more than 90% of exports.

    The IMF programme is aimed at bringing stability to the country and fostering a return of economic growth, especially in the second half of the year, when Daves expects an expansion of around 2.8%.

    It could struggle to reach that if oil stays below the US$68 a barrel the treasury had as its average forecast for the year.

    It could also require more budget cuts by the government, although education and healthcare spending as well as key infrastructure projects needed to be protected, Daves said.

    Privatisation plans

    Privatisation is also part of the country's plans and the IMF's. Banks, oil and mining firms, telecoms and agriculture companies are all on what is likely to be a "staggered" agenda over three years.

    "Hopefully we will see the first ones this year," Daves added. A bank will "probably be first because they have history of reporting", which makes the privatisation process easier.

    Angola's depleted foreign exchange reserves remain a problem and can't afford to go much lower, Daves acknowledged.

    The country scrapped the kwanza's peg to the US dollar at the start of last year, but reserves have continued to fall as the central bank has gradually worked through a backlog of what were effectively unpaid bills.

    Daves estimated that around 1.2 trillion kwanza (US$3.88 billion) was still snarled up, although around 300 billion kwanza of that was still being scrutinised.

    She also expects the central bank to announce far-reaching changes to try and prevent backlogs building up in the future.

    "They [the central bank] want to change foreign exchange law and create a buffer", and make it easier to move money in and out of Angola, she said.

    "I know they want to come in first semester and come with very clear proposal on this," she said, but did not have more details. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Kahimise fends off another suspensionKahimise fends off another suspensionHigh Court grants stay The High Court yesterday put on hold a third attempt by the City of Windhoek to suspend its CEO on disciplinary charges. City of Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise yesterday won a stay in suspension proceedings after bringing an urgent application before High Court Judge Claudine Claasen.

    The judge ruled that yesterday afternoon's pre-suspension hearing, and any further action, was stayed until the outcome of his court application was made.

    She instructed the City to file answering affidavits by 1 February. Kahimise was instructed to respond on or before 7 February and the matter was postponed to 8 February.

    In his founding affidavit, Kahimise said he sought relief from repeated proceedings against him by the city council “pending the finalisation of the labour dispute” between him and the City.

    He explained at length the “grave damage to (his) image as a member of society” that the stigma of his repeated suspensions had brought.

    The City had twice suspended him and then reinstated him, only to launch new suspension procedures following alleged irregularities with a study loan, special leave and an overseas trip.

    Yesterday the City, after reinstating him on 25 January, sought to suspend him for a third time, but the meeting was stayed by the High Court order.

    Kahimise detailed the process of his application for tuition fees under the City's Private Study Aid Scheme, which he said was approved by the mayor and the chairperson of the management committee and “supported by a senior human resource officer”.

    He said he also applied for special leave of 11 calendar days to attend seminars related to his studies.

    As a staff member of the City, Kahimise asserted that he was eligible for the tuition monies.

    The suspension of City Police chief Abraham Kanime is also discussed in some detail by Kahimise. He said after he had informed council member Moses Shikwa, who had posed several questions regarding the police chief's suspension, of the details of the matter, a motion was still made by him to seek an independent legal opinion on the matter.

    This was followed by several other management committee meetings which purportedly probed his study aid as well as allegations that he had concealed the issue for six months.

    In his documents before the court, Kahimise filed his application for study aid, which form was fully completed and approved as per the requirements.

    However, the committee found against him.

    “This was done despite the fact the council had already started deducting, and continues to date, to deduct the repayment instalments.”

    Moreover, he said, the management committee recommended 'special leave' while the council recommended 'suspension'.

    “While [the] council resolved to suspend me on 17 October 2018, it acted unfairly in that it never sought any representation from me” in terms of the conditions of service, Kahimise told the court.

    Following this, Kahimise was reinstated only to be suspended again on 5 November last year. On 8 November, he laid a complaint at the labour commissioner's office. A first conciliation meeting on 17 December did not materialise and subsequently took place on 11 January. These “proceedings were postponed to a further date” for the City to obtain further instructions.

    However, Kahimise told the court, on 25 January he was informed that council had on 24 January resolved to set aside his suspension and that he was to report for duty on the 25th.

    Then, he was informed in yet another letter that he should make representations on 29 January at 14:30 why he should not be suspended.

    “I say I was surprised because the proceedings which are pending before the labour commissioner have not yet been concluded.”

    Patrick Kauta from Weder, Kauta and Hoveka act for Kahimise while Willem van Greunen from Köpplinger Boltman appears for the City.

    YANNA SMITH

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    Oncologist granted N$50 000 bailOncologist granted N$50 000 bail A Windhoek oncologist has been granted N$50 000 bail by the Windhoek Magistrate's Court after he was arrested at the weekend for the illegal possession of three elephant tusks.

    Dr Thomas John Brown van Wyk (44), known as Tommy, appeared before court yesterday on a charge of possession of controlled wildlife products.

    A police spokesperson told Namibian Sun that Van Wyk's house at Auas View, south of Windhoek, was searched on Saturday afternoon after the police had received a tip-off.

    Three tusks were found in the house, for which Van Wyk did not have permits.

    The regional crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Abner Agas, said Van Wyk was at work when the house was searched and he was not arrested that day.

    According to Agas, Van Wyk surrendered to the police on Monday after consultations with his lawyer. Agas said the tusks were not fresh, but were complete tusks and not ornaments.

    State prosecutor Sylvia Kauluma said in court that the value of the tusks had not been determined and the investigation was continuing.

    According to her an agreement had been reached with the defence that bail would be set at N$50 000.

    Van Wyk must hand in his passport to the investigating officer, and must report to the Windhoek police Mondays to Fridays between 08:00 and 17:00. Van Wyk is also not allowed to leave Windhoek without the permission of the investigating officer.

    Defence lawyer Evert Gous confirmed that he was appearing on behalf of Van Wyk and that an agreement had been reached with the State on bail.

    Magistrate Mwilima Mwilima then postponed the case to 27 March.

    A spokesperson for the environment ministry could not confirm whether the elephant tusks found at Van Wyk's house were fresh or merely ornaments. He said the ministry was consulting with the police but had not received an official report on the matter yet.

    Van Wyk is a licensed doctor with over 15 years' experience in oncology, general medicine, emergency medicine, aesthetic medicine and surgery.

    He is currently working as a radiation oncologist at the Namibian Oncology Centre in Windhoek. Van Wyk performed the first stem-cell transplant in Namibia in July last year.

    He is not the first medical professional in Namibia to have been accused of wildlife crimes. Gerson Uakaerera Kandjii, a chiropractor and former Brave Warriors football team medic, is on trial in several rhino poaching cases and a case of murder and robbery.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 01/29/19--14:00: No gimmicks, please
  • No gimmicks, pleaseNo gimmicks, please In its transformational strategic plan for 2017-2022, the City of Windhoek unveiled grand plans, including addressing the perennial issue of the lack of sanitation in informal settlements, among many others.

    Many towns, settlements and village councils are confronted by similar challenges and this often sparks an avalanche of frustration and action by those mostly affected. Service delivery protests may not be the order of the day in Namibia, compared to our neighbour’s south of the Orange River, but the glaring truth is that many of our people living in so-called informal settlements lead dejected lives. Some have lost all hope for a better future, as the authorities continuously overlook their problems. It is not only the poor infrastructure found in these areas that are prone to floods and stormwater, but the situation in informal settlements provides an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, increasing the risk of diseases, including the highly publicised hepatitis E outbreak, which claimed over 14 lives. So many people live on the same land in these settlements and it should be noted that inadequate access to water and clean toilets lead to major problems such as cholera, diarrhoea and other airborne and waterborne infections. These are the awful conditions that the poor of this nation have been subjected to for far too long. It is obvious that rapid urban growth has resulted in many problems such as inadequate housing, water, sanitation and healthcare services. However, government - as a collective - has shown that it lacks the urgency to address profound social problems, especially those associated with people living in informal settlements, due to poor planning and to an extent sheer incompetence on the part of those in charge. Therefore, there must be the political will and action to tackle the myriad of problems being experienced by our fellow Namibians, who are not catered for in the greater scheme of things, instead of just making the right noise during an election year. What we need is real solutions, not gimmicks.

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    US drops out of top 20 in global corruption indexUS drops out of top 20 in global corruption index‘Wake-up call’ Transparency International says its analysis showed a clear link between having a healthy democracy and fighting public sector corruption. People don't see us as having adequate mechanisms in place to fight corruption and ensure the accountability of our elected officials. – Zoe Reiter: TI Andrea Shalal - The United States slid four points lower on a global corruption index in 2018, dropping out of the top 20 countries for the first time since 2011, watchdog Transparency International said in a report that cited growing threats to democracy worldwide.

    The group said its latest report on business leaders' perceptions of corruption put the United States at 71, down from 75, on a scale of 0-100.

    That sounds a "wake-up call" about the need to tackle conflicts of interest, undue influence of the private sector and widening gaps between rich and poor, said Zoe Reiter, the watchdog's acting representative to the United States.

    "This is a red flag because it's really part of a pattern that we've seen since the 2008 global financial crisis of a loss of trust ... in our public institutions," she told Reuters.

    "People don't see us as having adequate mechanisms in place to fight corruption and ensure the accountability of our elected officials."

    Concerns were already mounting before the election of Donald Trump, although they have been highlighted by the actions of a rich president who defied precedent to keep his personal tax affairs secret and retain his business holdings in office.

    "Concerns around the Trump administration are quite serious, but this has been stewing for several years," she said. "Conflict of interest wasn't a new problem, but it was illuminated in its glory when you have someone who is basically breaking norms."

    "Trump is a symptom not a cause. His presidency is illuminating some of the problems."

    Rest of the world

    Denmark and New Zealand had the best scores on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) again in 2018, scoring 88 and 87, while Somalia, Syria and South Sudan remained at the bottom, with scores of 10, 13 and 13, TI said.

    Overall, more than two-thirds of countries scored below 50 on the 2018 index, and the average was 43, said TI, which has more than 100 chapters worldwide.

    The group said only 20 countries had significantly improved their scores since 2012, including Argentina and Ivory Coast. Sixteen others, including Australia, Chile and Malta, declined significantly in the same period.

    The average score for EU and western European countries held steady at 66, while sub-Saharan Africa scored just 32, TI said. A score of 100 is considered "very clean", while a score of zero is highly corrupt.

    Link

    TI said its analysis showed a clear link between having a healthy democracy and fighting public sector corruption, and cited declining scores for Turkey and Hungary, in connection with challenges to the rule of law and press freedoms.

    Hungary's score dropped by eight points to 46 over the past five years, amid troubling developments including the forced departure of the Open Society Foundation and Central European University, founded by philanthropist George Soros, TI said.

    Turkey's score dropped by nine points in the same period to a score of 41, as the country was downgraded to 'not free' on a democracy ranking, TI said.

    "Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and ... where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage," said Delia Ferreira Rubio, who chairs the global civil society group. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 01/29/19--14:00: Namibia backs Maduro
  • Namibia backs MaduroNamibia backs MaduroForeign powers interfere in Venezuela – Netumbo Namibia's foreign minister has slammed 'foreign interference' in the political crisis in Venezuela. The Namibian government is concerned about political developments in Venezuela and has called on the international community to allow the people of Venezuela to handle their own affairs.

    In a media statement issued following an inquiry from Namibian Sun, the minister of international relations and cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, said Namibia stood in solidarity with the people of Venezuela.

    “The concern is that the political developments are arising from the unwarranted interference in the domestic affairs of Venezuela by foreign powers.

    “It is further noted that the elections were conducted in accordance with the domestic laws of Venezuela without any external interference. The domestic electoral laws of Venezuela provide mechanisms in which electoral disputes are to be addressed,” she said.

    The crisis in Venezuela has escalated after opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself acting president, challenging President Nicolás Maduro.

    This prompted the United Nations to call for an intervention. This week UN secretary-general (SG) Antonio Guterres urged parties to “lower tensions” in Venezuela and called for all relevant actors to commit to inclusive and credible political dialogue.

    This situation has now been worsened by sanctions imposed by the United States.

    On Friday, Britain gave Maduro an ultimatum, warning him that it would support self-appointed leader Guaidó if an election was not called by Monday.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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