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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 957 | 958 | (Page 959) | 960 | 961 | .... | 1152 | newer

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  • 02/13/19--14:00: Solskjaer gets reality check
  • Solskjaer gets reality checkSolskjaer gets reality checkMbappe stars as United stumble against PSG Paris Saint-Germain showed they still had plenty of class, despite big name absentees. Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted his side were shown how much they still have to improve after being swept aside by an injury-hit Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Tuesday.

    Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe struck in a seven-minute spell just before the hour mark, as PSG displayed their credentials to finally become champions of Europe for the first time, especially once they get the world's most expensive player Neymar and Edinson Cavani back from injury.

    After a run of 10 wins and one draw in 11 games since Solskjaer replaced the sacked Jose Mourinho in December, a first defeat for the Norwegian is a reality check for United's revival and they have a mountain to climb when the sides meet again for the second leg on 6 March.

    The English giants will also have to cope without Paul Pogba in three weeks' time as he was sent off a minute from time to round off a terrible night for the hosts.

    “Today we weren't at the level, this is a level up from what we have played against. We have had a great run, we came into this game in a great frame of mind, in great form, but it's a big step up,” said Solskjaer.

    For all the positivity of United's return to form in the past two months, they remain 14 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and Liverpool and the big rebuilding job required to make the three-time European champions contenders again for this competition was laid bare.

    “We've been taking about top four (of the Premier League). Top four is one thing but we want to be at the top,” added Solskjaer.

    “Manchester United should be at the top and this is a top team we've played against. The players are disappointed but I also think they know we need to step up our level to get to the level we want to get to.”

    Angel di Maria was roundly booed by the home support on his return to Old Trafford following an unhappy one-season spell with United after signing for a then club record £60 million in 2014.

    But the Argentine silenced his detractors by setting up both goals and also mocked the throwing of a beer bottle at him by pretending to drink from it.

    “I think the guy is very competitive, like all South American guys. If you tease him it does not make him weaker,” said PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.

    For all PSG's injury problems, a double blow also rocked United in the seconds before halftime and at the break as Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial limped off to be replaced by Alexis Sanchez and Juan Mata.

    The home side never recovered their composure as PSG produced a stunning second-half display to all but book their place in the last eight despite David de Gea's best efforts in the United goal.

    Kimpembe was left completely unmarked to side-foot home Di Maria's corner from point-blank range on 53 minutes.

    A brilliant team goal then doubled United's trouble soon after when Mbappe was again too quick for Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly to meet Di Maria's low cross.

    “The first goal is always going to be important and the way we conceded it was disappointing,” added Solskjaer.

    “The second goal was quality by them. The ground he (Mbappe) makes to get in the box, to all the strikers that want to be poachers that's how to get in the box.”

    Thereafter only De Gea stood in the visitors' way as he blocked Mbappe's attempted chip as he bore down on goal, before Juan Bernat's rising drive was then diverted wide.

    And any hope of a United comeback in Paris suffered another huge blow when Pogba was sent off for catching Dani Alves with a raised boot.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Black Caps outclass BangladeshBlack Caps outclass Bangladesh Martin Guptill returned to form with an unbeaten century as New Zealand powered to an eight-wicket win over Bangladesh in the first one-day international in Napier on Wednesday.

    Bangladesh set New Zealand a modest run chase of 233 after suffering an early collapse and the Black Caps overhauled it in 44.3 overs, finishing at 233 for two.

    It is Bangladesh's fifth tour to New Zealand and they are yet to win a match in any format, with their next chance coming in the second ODI in Christchurch on Saturday.

    Guptill and Henry Nicholls pressed their case to open the batting at the World Cup as New Zealand made light work of the target.

    Guptill, returning from injury, put a poor run of scores behind him with a commanding 117 not out.

    He had been averaging less than 10 since his last international innings of note, a big-hitting 138 against Sri Lanka in early January.

    Guptill's effort against Bangladesh was more controlled, with the batsman under no pressure and content to pick off loose deliveries.

    His 15th ODI century came off 103 balls and included six fours and three sixes.

    Nicholls looked comfortable in just his third outing since being promoted up the order, scoring 53 before a tame dismissal when the ball hit his pad and rolled onto the stumps.

    Veteran batsman Ross Taylor also contributed an unbeaten 45.

    Mohammad Mithun was the pick of Bangladesh's hitters, grinding out a hard-fought 62 after coming to the crease with Bangladesh reeling at 42 for four after a decision to bat first backfired.

    Mohammad Saifuddin provided support with a gritty 41 as Bangladesh were bowled out for 232 with seven balls of their allotted 50 overs remaining.

    Spinner Mitchell Santner and paceman Trent Boult took three wickets apiece for New Zealand.

    The Black Caps struck early when Tamim Iqbal departed for five in the second over and Liton Das soon followed, leaving Bangladesh at 19 for two. A rattled Mushfiqur Rahim was struck on the helmet by a Boult bouncer and was out for five just a few balls later.

    A defiant Soumya Sarkar smashed 30 off 22 balls before he was caught and bowled by Matt Henry.

    Sabbir Rahman summed up Bangladesh's batting woes when he was stumped trying to sweep Santner to the boundary.

    Rahman's foot slipped as he crouched for the shot and he tumbled to the ground just outside his crease as wicketkeeper Tom Latham whipped off the bails.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Wireless charging for electric vehiclesWireless charging for electric vehiclesPark and charge technology coming Industry pioneer solidifies future leadership in wireless power transfer to electric vehicles. Alex Gruzen, CEO of WiTricity: "WiTricity's wireless charging technology is key to the future of mobility which is clearly electric, and increasingly shared and autonomous." WiTricity, the industry pioneer in wireless power transfer, has announced the acquisition from Qualcomm Incorporated and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. of certain technology platform and IP assets, which will bring over 1 500 patents and patent applications related to wireless charging that WiTricity will own or control. Through the transaction, Qualcomm Incorporated will become a minority WiTricity shareholder.

    This acquisition will streamline technology development that enables automakers to deliver an electric vehicle (EV) charging experience that is seamless and efficient. By simply parking over wireless charging ground pads located at home, in garages, and public parking spots, EV drivers will be able to recharge hands-free, without the need for any bulky cables, virtually eliminating the need to ever plug in. Additionally, electrified autonomous vehicle (AV) fleets will require wireless charging since there will be no human drivers present to plug in.

    "WiTricity's wireless charging technology is key to the future of mobility which is clearly electric, and increasingly shared and autonomous," said Alex Gruzen, CEO of WiTricity. "EV drivers and fleets demand a simple, effortless charging experience. Bringing the Qualcomm Halo technology into the WiTricity portfolio will simplify global interoperability and significantly accelerate commercialization. This is an exciting day for WiTricity, for automakers, for prospective EV buyers, and ultimately for any company deploying fleets of autonomous vehicles."

    Qualcomm Incorporated and WiTricity have been working collaboratively with global standards organizations, which currently leverage reference designs from each company. This acquisition will simplify ratification of the standard and help ensure interoperability across automakers. EV drivers will be able to use any standards-compatible pad to charge their vehicles.

    "With Qualcomm technology and expertise, we have been able to deliver innovative automotive solutions, like Qualcomm Halo wireless electric vehicle charging (WEVC), not only to support the shared vision of a more efficient, safer and cleaner urban mobility, but also to transform the automotive experience," said Steve Pazol, advisor, and former vice president and general manager for wireless charging, Qualcomm Incorporated. "Qualcomm is confident that combining WEVC under WiTricity's leadership will create accessibility to and demand by customers for this exciting technology."

    With all major car manufacturers and climate-focused nations like China racing to phase out internal combustion vehicles, the global electric vehicle market is at a tipping point. It is estimated that more than 120 million EVs will be on the road by 2030 with over US$50 billion being invested in charging infrastructure. By 2040, 200 million EVs will be on the road in China alone; and globally, 559 million -- or a third of all cars. All of these could be charged simply and wirelessly with WiTricity's unique technology.

    The acquisition follows other significant recent milestones for WiTricity. The company has signed several new licensing deals including Mahle in Germany and Anjie Wireless in China. Earlier this year, Honda and WiTricity demonstrated their wireless vehicle-to-grid charging model at CES in Las Vegas, leveraging WiTricity's DRIVE 11 wireless charging system. 2018 also saw the introduction of the world's first vehicle that is factory equipped with wireless charging, the BMW 530e iPerformance sedan.

    WiTricity develops solutions to enable wireless power transfer over distance using its patented magnetic resonance technology. WiTricity works with top global carmakers and Tier 1 suppliers to deploy wireless power solutions, helping realize a future of transportation that is electrified, shared and autonomous.

    WiTricity technology licensing agreements have been announced with Toyota, Aptiv (formerly Delphi), Mahle, TDK, IHI, Shindengen, Daihen, BRUSA, and Anjie Wireless. Global corporate investors now include Qualcomm, Toyota, Intel Capital, Delta Electronics Capital, Foxconn, Haier, and Schlumberger.

    WiTricity is also collaborating directly with leading carmakers to drive global standards for wireless charging systems. Standards initiatives include the SAE International, International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), STILLE, China Automotive Technology & Research Center (CATARC), China Electricity Council and the Chinese Electric Power Research Institute (CEPRI). -Nampa/AFP

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    Fiat 500 in the spotlight in New YorkFiat 500 in the spotlight in New York The Fiat 500 Serie F, acquired by the famous Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2017, was seen by the general public for the first time this week.

    The car will be on show in the "The Value of Good Design" exhibition that tells the story of industrial design through the works of the collection of the MoMA running until June 15.

    The prestigious induction in MoMA’s galleries further certifies the historical importance and symbolic value of the Fiat 500 of the 1950s as an Italian style icon that embodies many of the typical features of modernist design of the age and connects to the themes explored by the collections on display in the museum in New York.

    The Fiat 500 on display at the MoMA is a Series F model. This was the most famous series of all and was made from 1965 to 1972. Counting the other first-generation versions (Sport, D, L, R), a total of over four million rolled off the lines from 1957 to 1975. Adding the units made since the 500 was revamped in 2007, over six million cars have been manufactured, making this one of the best-selling Fiat models of all time.

    Designed by Dante Giacosa and launched in 1957, the Fiat "Nuova" 500 was designed as an affordable car to put post-war Europe on wheels. The basic concept is that high-quality design should be accessible to all.

    In spite of its small size, Giacosa's design maximised the space inside, creating a surprisingly roomy interior able to accommodate four passengers. The standard folding soft top gave this budget car a touch of luxury, while reducing the use of steel, that was very expensive at that time, needed to make it. - Quickpic

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    Huang ta futitha ookahewa ke mongeshefaHuang ta futitha ookahewa ke mongeshefaA hala okufutwa oomiliyona dha thika pu 4 Ekenge lyaChina na okuli omutamanekwa moshipotha shi na sha nekengelelo neyando lyokufuta iishoshela yepangelo, okwa holoka ishewe mompangulilo ngashiingeyi ta futitha ookuume ke mongeshefa. Sha landula oshipotha shefutitho lyoomiliyona 3.7 shoka sha tulilwa mo omukomeh gwahengano lyaaniilonga, Petrus Nevonga, kansela nale gwoSwapo, Christian Iitope ehangano lyoJinhao Investment CC, monena ehangano lyoSun Investments, lyaHuang otali futitha ehangano lyoJinhao Investment oshimaliwa sha thika pooN$715 000.

    Huang okuli gumwe gwomaatamanekwa moshipoha sheyando lyokufuta iishoshela yepangelo ya thika poobiliyona 3.5 shoka shi li natango mompangu.

    Nevonga okwa longa uule nethimbo onga amushanga gwoNamibia Public Worker's Union (Napwu) omanga Iitope a li kansela mOndangwa. Moshipotha shoka sha tulwamo koSun Investments, Huang okwa lombwele ompangu kutya momasiku ga 3 gaKotomba momvula yo 2016, okwa gandja omukuli gwooN$550 000 kuJinhao gwanuninwa ongeshefa. Huang okwa totopo ehangano lyoJinhao pamwe naNevonga oshowo Iitope momasiku 27 Kotomba 2015. Ehangano ndyoka olya kala tali longo kohi yedhina Super Foods mOndangwa.

    Iimaliwa mbyoka inayi futwa okuya pehulilo momasiku 30 gaMay gwo 2018 ngaashi sha li shuuvathanwa, naHuang okwa pula ompangu opo a pewe iifuta yooN$715 000, kwa kwatelwa iishoshela yokomvula yoopresenda 20.

    Moombaapila dhe dhompangu, okwa tula mo ombaapila ya li ya shangwa kuIitope moka a koleke omukuli ngoka, na okwa popi kutya oya taalela uupyakadhi wopashimaliwa. Etseyitho lyokwiipopila olya tulwa mo koJinhao momasiku 28 gaJune omvula ya piti, nompangu oya gandja elombwelo opo oombaapila adhihe dhi kale dha gandjwa okuya momasiku 16 gaNovemba, ko taku tothwamo esiku oshipotha shoka tagi pulakenwa mompangu.

    Kadhila Amoomo, ngoka ta kalelepo Jinhao, okwa ningi eindilo limwe lyokufalako oombaapila kwa lata, moka Huang a popi kutya iteli pataneke. Oongundu ndhoka mbali odha tsukumwe opo dhi tegelele omalombwelo okuza kompanguli Shafimana Ueitele.

    Moshipotha shoka shaHuang, Nevonga, Iitope oshowo Jinhao, shoka sha li woo sha pulakenwa mompangu paufupi natango oshinima sha faathana osha ningwa.

    Huang okwa pula eindilo sho kwa li kwa gandjwa oondokumende inadhi shainwa omanga yakwawo yatatu ya pula eindilo mokugandja oondokumende dhawo kwa lata, natango oya tsu kumwe opo ya tegelele elombwelo okuza kOmupanguli Ueitele.

    Nevonga, Iitope oshowo Jinhao oya tula po eindilo opo yiipopile omvula ya piti, nomeindilo lyawo ndyoka ya ningi momasiku 16 gaNovemba omvula ya piti, oya popi kutya iimaliwa mbyoka ya pewa onga omukuli otayi ka vula owala okushunithwa ngele Super Foods a ningi iiyemo. Oya tindi woo okuzimina kutya Huang okwa thigi po oJinhao muFebruali gwomvula ya piti. Oya popi kutya oya ningi etsokumwe lyopakana kutya omolwa oshipotha shoka Huang a taalela, okwa pumbwa okuulikwa omuntu ngoka ta kala ta ungauga niinima pehala lye mongeshefa.

    Oya tindi kutya oya pewa oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 3.7, na oya pula Huang a gandje uumbangi. Huang okwa popi kutya okwa gandja tango oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 1.6 kuNevonga na Iitope oshowo iishoshela yooN$416 000, oshowo okwa ka gandja oomiliyona 2.016.

    Momwaalu omutiyali Huang okwa popi kutya okwa gandja oshimaliwa oshindji shooN$1 254 427.62 kehangano, shoka sha li shi na okufutwa okuya momasiku 31 gaAguste 2017.

    Pauyelele mboka wa gandjwa moombaapila dhompangu, ehangano olya li mehalakano. Opwa li uupyakadhi wu na sha nefuto lyaagandji yomayakulo kehangano.

    Mokukutha ehangano monkugo yi na onkambe moka li li, Huang okwa holola kutya okwa gandja oshimaliwa sha thika pooN$300 000 mokufuta aagandji yomayakulo mboka yali inaya futwa.

    Natango okwa hololwa kutya omolwa uupyakadhi woshimaliwa ehangano olya kala tali landa ostoka okuza kaalandithi mboka inaya shangithwa na osha etitha iishoshela yokongulu yi ye pombanda. Natango aaniilonga oya kala taya longo itaya mono omagwedhelo goondjambi, omauwanawa gopenzela nenge guunamiti, na oya kala taya longo mOosoondaha nomafudho gopashigwana pwaahena iifuta.

    Natango okwa popiwa eyalulo lyombaanga yoNedbank lyehangano ndyoka lya mwenekwa noondjambi dhaaniilonga ngashiingeyi otadhi futwa kuHuang, nongele eyalulo ndyoka lya shunwa natango miilonga nena Huang otaka shunithwa iimaliwa ye.

    Meindilo lye etiyali, Huang ota pula iifuta yooN$1 376 734.31, pamwe niishoshela okuza muAguste gwo 2017.

    Meindilo etitatu ota pula N$300 000, pamwe niishoshela yooN$26 000. Omwaalu gwe aguhe kumwe ngoka ta pula okuza kuNevonga oshowo Iitope oguli pooN$3 718 734.31. Huang ota pula woo a pewe iishoshela yoopresenda 20 komvula.

    Huang okwa kalelwa po kuAppolos Shikameni omanga Kadhila Amoomo a kalela po Nevonga naItope.

    YANNA SMITH

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  • 02/13/19--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Heineken sees 2019 profit growth at similar pace to last year

    Heineken, the world's second-largest beer maker, forecast its operating profit to grow at nearly the same rate in 2019 as last year, when beer sales increased in all its markets.

    The Dutch brewer of Heineken, Tiger and Sol lagers and Strongbow cider, said it expected continued economic volatility, but improved revenue, driven by increased beer sales, higher prices and consumers trading up to more expensive drinks.

    "Going into 2019, we expect the environment to remain uncertain and volatile. Overall, we anticipate our operating profit (beia) to grow by mid-single digit on an organic basis," chief executive Jean-Francois Boxmeer said in a statement.

    The brewer's operating profit before one-offs rose 6.4% on a like-for-like basis in 2018 to 3.87 billion euros (US$4.39 billion), just above the average forecast of 3.85 billion euros in a Reuters poll. – Nampa/Reuters

    Sibanye may restructure loss-making gold shafts

    South Africa's Sibanye-Stillwater said on Tuesday it was considering measures, including restructuring if alternative solutions could not be found to bring loss making gold shafts back to profitability.

    Gold producers in Africa's most industrialised economy, which have some of the world's deepest mines, have seen profits squeezed by rising costs, labour unrest and declining grades.

    Sibanye said it was in regular talks with key stakeholders, including the unions, through forums where it highlighted the challenges facing its bullion operations to solicit cooperation to address these challenges.

    Sibanye has signalled to unions that it may cut up to 5 000 jobs at its struggling Driefontein operation, according to digital publication Miningmx, which cited three unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter on Monday.

    Sibanye flagged last month that its 2018 bullion production would miss guidance and come in at 1.1 million ounces, despite plans being implemented to curb losses after workers downed tools in mid-November. – Nampa/Reuters

    Tullow Oil returns to post-tax profit

    Africa-focused Tullow Oil yesterday posted its first annual post-tax profit in five years and said it would resume dividends with a 4.8 cent per share payout as it sets its sights on East African projects and drilling in Guyana.

    As flagged in November, Tullow will pay out at least US$100 million to shareholders from this year while aiming to shrink its US$3.1 billion debt pile and ramp up spending to US$570 million at the same time.

    The largest chunk of that money will help boost output in Ghana which in turn sets Tullow on course to raise output to 102 000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) this year from 90 000 boed.

    Tullow made a post-tax profit of US$85 million on US$1.9 billion in revenue last year buoyed by higher oil prices and cost discipline.

    It hedged just under 60 000 bopd for 2019 at a floor price of US$56.24 per barrel and 25,000 bopd of its 2020 production $59.00 per barrel. – Nampa/Reuters

    Pernod is no takeover target, says CEO

    Pernod Ricard has held "cordial and constructive" talks with the activist investor agitating for change at the French drinks group, CEO Alexandre Ricard said on Tuesday before dismissing speculation that it could become a takeover target.

    The world's second-biggest spirits group behind Diageo last week vowed to lift margins and shareholder returns in a three-year strategic plan announced soon after New York hedge fund Elliott Management called for a shake-up at the company.

    Ricard, grandson of the company's founder, said talks with Elliott centred around corporate governance and margin improvement.

    Speaking to reporters in London, he also emphasised that Pernod is a consolidator rather than a takeover target. – Nampa/Reuters

    Nissan slashes outlook, unveils Ghosn-related charge

    Nissan Motor warned its annual profit will plumb six-year lows on waning global sales, underlining the challenges it faces as it also grapples with the fallout from the shocking arrest and ouster of its former chairman Carlos Ghosn.

    The Japanese automaker, in its first results since Ghosn was detained in November, unveiled an US$84 million charge linked to deferred compensation for the executive who has been indicted for under-reporting his salary at Nissan over 2010-2018.

    The dour outlook indicates an urgent need for Nissan and Renault to strengthen their partnership, but ties have been strained since the Japanese automaker moved first to remove Ghosn as chairman after his November 19 arrest in Tokyo.

    Japan's second-biggest automaker projected an operating profit of 450 billion yen (US$4 billion) for the year to March, down 22% from the previous year and 17% below an earlier forecast, hurt by a slowdown in global sales.

    This would be Nissan's lowest operating profit since 2013. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Sluggish economy haunts Nigerian president at ballot boxSluggish economy haunts Nigerian president at ballot boxBuhari vs Abubakar Nearly a quarter of Nigeria’s workforce has no jobs. I know lots of people whose companies shut and laid people off. – Timi Soleye, Businessman: Nigeria Alexis Akwagyiram - Timi Soleye returned home to Nigeria from the United States to set up a gas logistics business six years ago, encouraged by predictions of growth and an expanding middle class.

    Three years later, Nigeria plunged into its first recession in a generation following a sharp fall in the price of oil, which accounts for 90% of its foreign exchange earnings.

    Infrastructure projects on which Soleye's business relied were shelved. He kept afloat by doing consultancy work, but others weren't so lucky.

    "I know lots of people whose companies shut and laid people off," said Soleye, a 31-year-old Harvard graduate and president of CRYO Gas and Power.

    Soleye didn't bother to vote in 2015. But this year, he says he has a reason to do so: he doesn't want President Muhammadu Buhari to win a second term on Saturday. "Enough is enough," he said.

    Critics

    Buhari's critics accuse him of failing on a number of issues, including promises to tackle corruption and defeat an Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands since he took the helm of Africa's most populous nation. But his handling of the economy could cost Buhari more votes than any other issue.

    Although Nigeria returned to growth in 2017, the economy expanded by 1.9% in 2018, compared with 5.5% when Soleye returned to Nigeria in 2013.

    Inflation has been in double digits for the last three years, rising to a seven month high of 11.4% in December. And nearly a quarter of the workforce - 23.1% – is unemployed, up from 18.1% a year earlier.

    "People are still worse off after four years in power," said Charles Robertson, chief economist at Renaissance Capital.

    "It's not all Buhari's fault. It's mainly to do with oil. But nonetheless, it's made it difficult for people to be positive about the economy."

    For Clement Nweke, who sells electrical appliances in a Lagos street market, the last few years have been hard.

    Inflation and a weaker currency mean 100 000 naira (US$330) will only buy one of his air conditioning units, compared with three back in 2015.

    "The purchasing power from the public is lower," he said. "It affects my own business because I don't push out the many [units] I used to."

    Rival

    Buhari's main rival, businessman and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, has zeroed in on the issue.

    "Get Nigeria working again," is his campaign slogan.

    He has vowed to double the size of the economy to US$900 billion by 2025, mainly by giving a larger role to the private sector.

    Buhari argues that the way to bigger growth is through infrastructure development, touting railway and road construction.

    But many business leaders doubt he can fix the economy, saying their companies have been hurt by government efforts to help the poor.

    "In their quest for what they call affordability, they have essentially price regulated a huge bevy of things, and they do not see that, ironically, it makes things more expensive," said Soleye.

    He said a decision to fix energy tariffs for three years meant that while customers were getting cheap electricity, crippling debts were piling up in Nigeria's power sector.

    Those debts have held up construction of new plants for which Soleye's company would have provided gas storage and pipelines.

    Import restrictions

    Another often-cited example is the government's decision to ban rice imports through its land borders in 2015. Instead, the government subsidised tractors, mills and fertiliser and arranged cheaper loans to boost domestic rice production.

    But farmers struggled to meet demand, hampered by poor roads to bring their harvest to market and inadequate power for storage facilities. Prices soared.

    The only people who did well were smugglers, said Rotimi Williams, who owns a rice farm in the central state of Nasarawa.

    "The cost of production of local rice has increased, which means that people are going for cheaper imported rice," he said.

    He blames protectionist policies for Nigeria's galloping inflation.

    The government says it is trying to wean the economy off its reliance on oil sales by encouraging domestic production of everything from wheat to cars.

    Some local businesses have profited. Etop Ikpe, CEO of Cars45, an online marketplace for used vehicles, said a decision to increase a tariff on imported vehicles from 20 to 70% in 2015 "provided an opportunity".

    "People couldn't afford brand new cars or imported used cars," he said.

    But as with rice, the Nigerian ports authority reported a surge in car smuggling from neighbouring Benin, and local assembly did not pick up.

    Good term?

    Buhari's supporters point out that Nigeria rose 24 places to 145 in the World Bank's ease of doing business ranking in 2017, largely due to government efforts to cut red tape, including issuing visas on arrival and establishing a centralised electronic system to pay federal taxes.

    "One good term deserves another," says an electronic billboard for Buhari in the Lagos business district of Victoria Island.

    How voters respond may depend on whether they believe they will be better off with Atiku, who as vice president from 1999 to 2007 oversaw the liberalisation of Nigeria's telecommunications industry.

    Foreign investors have welcomed his pledges to float the naira, overhaul the central bank, privatise the state oil company and create a US$25 billion fund to support private sector infrastructure investment.

    The central bank, with Buhari's backing, imposed currency restrictions in 2015 to defend the naira, rejecting bankers' advice to float the currency as some other oil exporters had done. The following year, the naira lost a third of its value, and many investors fled.

    Capital imports into Nigeria, which stood at US$21.32 billion in 2013, fell to US$5.12 billion in 2016, before rising to US$12.2 billion as the country emerged from recession in 2017.

    "If we want to see the unemployment rates coming down and certain initiatives that will boost growth, primarily it will be private sector driven," said Boye Olawoye, group managing director of investment bank Primera Africa. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Epukiro farmers encouraged by good rainsEpukiro farmers encouraged by good rains Heavy rains that fell in many parts of Epukiro constituency, which forms part of the drought-stricken Omaheke Region, have given farmers renewed hopes.

    In various interviews with Nampa on Tuesday, farmers said they can now breathe a sigh of relief as the recent showers will go a long way to ease their situation.

    Tiree Muundjua from Okatuuo was grateful that it had finally started raining, and hoped for better livestock prices as a result.

    He advised fellow farmers to save livestock fodder while the veld is in good condition, so as to have plenty to feed their livestock during the dry period.

    “The rain will obviously bring good things and people's lives will progress and change for the better,” Muundjua said.

    Echoing similar sentiments was Urioukuao Kaheeke, a part-time farmer from Okomumbonde, who hopes that the veld will recover in time as he was worried that the rain came a bit late.

    “This rain has encouraged me to pull up my socks and make sure I don't lose any of my livestock this year,” said Kaaheke.

    He added that the local earthen dam at his village was full to capacity as a result of the rain, urging fellow villagers to come up with innovative ways to save such water for later use.

    On her part, Kauri Matundu said that they have waited for the rain for too long, almost losing hope.

    “The good news is that our dam is full and the condition of our livestock is improving after months of drought in our area,” Matundu said.

    A business woman from Otjozondjima, Patricia Murangi said she was inspired by the good showers to pay attention to her garden.

    “Indeed one has to work hard this time and I believe the rain is still coming so I must put seeds in the ground,” she said.

    Farmers in the Epukiro constituency of the Omaheke Region have been pleading for assistance from government as severe drought has taken its toll on livestock in the area.

    Among the places that received rainfall over the weekend in Epukiro include Okomumbonde which recorded 86 mm, 52 mm at Omaueuozonjanda while Ozombouvapa recorded 72 mm, Okatuuo recorded 34 mm, Otjimanagombe had 27 mm and Okozondje recorded 60 mm.

    NAMPA

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    Plotting against landlessnessPlotting against landlessnessThe burning question of land, social justice and the economy There is immense pressure on the Namibian government, especially after neighbouring South Africa's parliament voted last year to change that country's constitution so that land can be expropriated without compensation. Namibia finds itself at a very important juncture. Following the land conference held towards the end of last year, interpreting and implementing its resolutions optimally remains a challenge.

    Land is a contentious and emotional issue, specifically so because of our past and the dispossession of indigenous peoples' land in favour of settlers of European descent.

    Namibia faces a multitude of social and economic challenges, not the least of which are very high levels of poverty, lack of access to proper housing, sanitation, healthcare and education, and gross unemployment. According to the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), joblessness stood at 37.3% in 2017 and of that figure, 43.4% are the youth.

    The country's agricultural sector has remained one of the mainstays of the economy and, by its very nature, is labour intensive, creating more jobs than most other industries. Its multiplier effect is said to stand somewhere between N$3 and N$4 per N$1 invested.

    But pressure has been mounting on the sector. Its contribution to GDP has declined since 1991. According to figures provided by the NSA, the sector contributed 5.7% from 1991 to 1996. This figure declined to 4.7% from 2007 to 2011 and then showed a further decline to 3.9% from 2012 to 2017.

    The importance of agriculture to Namibia's economy cannot be overemphasised. The sector invests in rural areas and keeps rural economies alive in a variety of ways.

    Jobs created by tourism and agriculture are immense. According to World Bank figures, in 2017 agriculture supported just over 20% of the workforce in the country, down from just over 31% in 2010. In the same year, tourism supported 14% of the workforce. Many, if not most, of these jobs are in rural Namibia.

    But, after three decades of independence, many have grown impatient with the slow pace of change. Radicalism has increased and calls for radical change are growing louder, more so following the South African parliament last year voting to change that country's constitution, so that land can be expropriated without compensation.

    The second land conference was held last year to address these needs. The resolutions adopted at the conference appear to respond more to the emotional needs of the landless and are vague at best.

    According to independent agricultural expert Wallie Roux, “most of these resolutions were accepted in line with the expectations of the landless,” adding that the resolutions are designed to meet socio-economic needs and are not considerate of true economic principles.

    Economists are also worried, saying that without property rights secured, investors will be scared off. There is also concern about a decline in agricultural production.

    The expropriation of land without compensation, essentially the nationalisation of large tracts of farmland, has been shown to prove disastrous to the economies of nations who employed it. Research performed by leading economist Dr Roelof Botha for the South African scenario lists examples of gross economic failures in Portugal, Spain, Romania, Vietnam, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

    In all these countries, the ratio of capital formation, (net capital accumulation during a financial year in a country), to gross domestic product (GDP) declined sharply and those which reversed these policies showed an increase in the ratio, which occurs after the incentive for productive economic activity, inherent in private property ownership, is restored.

    While expropriation without compensation is all but impossible in Namibia with the protection offered, even to amendments to Chapter 3 of our constitution, the matter of 'just compensation' in the case of expropriation, is a concept that brings concern. It is also yet a concept that requires defining.

    It implies that farmland can only be owned for as long as the government deems it fit and moreover, the land will not have an open market price with the government's regulation of land prices. Economists agree that the primary incentive for production, entrepreneurship and economic initiatives is based on economic systems where private property ownership is guaranteed and protected by law.

    The Fraser Institute, which conducts economic freedom surveys globally, ranked Namibia 113th (out of 167) in its 2018 report with data from 2016.

    The institute underlines private property ownership and individual choice above government decision-making as a pillar of economic freedom and thus, economic growth.

    “Protection of persons and their rightfully acquired property is a central element of both economic freedom and civil society. Indeed, it is the most important function of government,” the institute says.

    As it stands, the resolutions of the land conference seek to replace the willing-seller, willing-buyer principle with 'alternatives'. The only alternative discussed is the expropriation of land with just compensation. It is not clear whether the first right of refusal by government will still apply, parallel to expropriation.

    The conference also resolved to “regulate agricultural land prices”. The impact of this on financing from commercial banks, the value of collateral to those banks, could deal a heavy blow to those indebted at market prices.

    Economists have also expressed their concern.

    Says Robert McGregor, an economist of Cirrus Capital: “In order to attract investment, which would revive growth and see job creation, a business-friendly environment needs to be nurtured. In this case of Namibia, this requires entrenched and secure property rights.”

    He continues by saying that the “wider policy environment and uncertainty are not doing much to attract investment. Rather, uncertainty and insecurity around property rights (not just land but private ownership as well) … and the rhetoric around land expropriation without compensation drive away investment.”

    Namibia's capital formation (referred to locally as Gross Fixed Capital Formation) was a meagre 16% in 2017, falling from 22% in 2016 and 33% in 2015.

    “In the absence of adequate levels of capital formation, current and economic growth is curtailed, which compromises fiscal stability via below-optimum taxation revenues. Furthermore, employment growth is also restricted and the government's ability to provide basic services to a growing population and to maintain infrastructure is diminished,” says Botha.

    “Foreign investors would rather invest elsewhere that does not threaten to erode property rights and offers a better return. We must remember that they are under no obligation to invest in Namibia, we are competing with other nations to attract investment,” says McGregor.

    “The lack of economic principles as a basis for the conference's resolutions sends out a negative message in terms of investment into agriculture where the economic principle of 'return on investment' determines whether or not the risk is worth it or not,” Roux argues.

    Experts agree that empirical research is required to assess and evaluate our situation, and plan our path to achieve our national goals.

    The priority must be to increase agricultural production, they say.

    “Capital, which is an indispensable prerequisite for economic development, job creation, and growth, acts like a gazelle in the African bush - if you scare it, it runs away,” says Botha.

    There is no doubt that Namibians need dignity and security, but maybe, as one farmer suggested, there is not really a hunger to farm per se, but rather a need for access to a piece of land with a title deed which brings security and can be traded or passed on to the next generation, a home on that piece of land, running, potable water with proper sanitation, an opportunity to work or do something entrepreneurial, and access to good medical care, education and affordable transport.





    YANNA SMITH

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    Oneeya parents withdraw children from schoolOneeya parents withdraw children from school Parents of Oneeya Combined School learners on Tuesday withdrew their children from classes until further notice, following the removal of grade 10 classes from the school at the beginning of the academic year.

    This means that all lessons have been suspended, with the parents promising to return the learners only once they have received a satisfactory answer.

    Spokesperson of the parents' committee, Joshua Nghishiikoh, said the parents withdrew their children from the school, because the regional education director is refusing to meet with them on the matter.

    “The issue is that we want grade 10 to remain at Oneeya, as our children are currently travelling a long distance of 20 kilometres to Uuhua Combined School, the nearest school with grade 10,” Nghishiikoh narrated.

    He said parents last month petitioned the offices of the local inspector of education and the regional director to revoke the decision to remove grade 10 classes from Oneeya.

    “We also asked the regional director to sit and talk with him, but he rejected our request and keeps ignoring our demand for him to come and discuss the matter with us,” Nghishiikoh explained.

    He reiterated that the children will go back to classes only after a satisfactory answer is provided.

    Omusati education director Laban Shapange said he could not respond to the parents' petition because it was addressed to the education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa.

    Shapange, however, promised to meet with the parents at the school on Wednesday to explain and give them the reasons why grade 10 classes were removed from Oneeya.

    “It is in the hands of the school principals to inform the parents on any change taking place in our education system, but it seems this was not the case,” said Shapange.

    Oneeya CS previously offered classes from grades 0 to 10.

    Grade 10 classes have been removed from some schools with the rollout of the revised curriculum at secondary school level.

    NAMPA

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    Abenteuer Afrika offers unforgettable travelAbenteuer Afrika offers unforgettable travel Abenteuer Afrika Safari believes that visiting Namibia provides a unique wellness to the soul.

    This is the secret that not only attracts new people yearly, but makes them come back time after time.

    Founded in 1993, Abenteuer Afrika Safari pioneered incentive travel in Namibia, and has since become Namibia's leading destination management company.

    Their expertise in incentive travel, conferences, specialised group tours, event management, private luxury travel, cruise-ship shore excursions, fly-in safaris and luxury tented camps is enhanced by the quality and unity of their staff.

    Their goal is to deliver professional, unique and unforgettable travel experiences that exceed the expectations of guests.

    During a recent sustainability assessment by Eco Awards Namibia, Abenteuer Afrika Safari achieved an excellent score against internationally benchmarked criteria.

    The outstanding assessment score enabled Abenteuer Afrika Safari to qualify for entering the 2019 Responsible Tourism Awards (RTA), hosted by Namibia Media Holdings.

    This year's RTA finalists will be announced in March, and the winners will be announced during the official opening of the 2019 Namibia Tourism Expo in June.

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    Global oil supply to swamp demand despite output cutsGlobal oil supply to swamp demand despite output cuts Oil prices have not increased alarmingly because the market is still working off the surpluses built up in the second half of 2018. - IEA Amanda Cooper - The global oil market will struggle this year to absorb fast growing crude supply from outside OPEC, even with the group's production cuts and US sanctions on Venezuela and Iran, the International Energy Agency said in a report yesterday.

    The IEA left its demand growth forecast for 2019 unchanged from its last report in January at 1.4 million barrels per day.

    "It is supported by lower prices and the start-up of petrochemical projects in China and the US. Slowing economic growth will, however, limit any upside," the agency said.

    The IEA raised its estimate of growth in crude supply from outside the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to 1.8 million bpd in 2019, from 1.6 million bpd previously.

    The agency also lowered its forecast for demand for OPEC crude, production of which the group has pledged to cut by 800 000 bpd this year as part of an agreement with Russia and other non-OPEC producers such as Oman and Kazakhstan.

    The "call" on OPEC crude is now forecast at 30.7 million bpd in 2019, down from the IEA's last estimate of 31.6 million bpd in January.

    Sanctions

    US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela have choked off supply of the heavier, more sour crude that tends to yield larger volumes of higher-value distillates, as opposed to gasoline. The move has created disruption for some refiners, but has not led to a dramatic increase in the oil price in 2019.

    "In terms of crude oil quantity, markets may be able to adjust after initial logistical dislocations [from Venezuela sanctions]", the Paris-based IEA said.

    "Stocks in most markets are currently ample and ... there is more spare production capacity available."

    Venezuela's production has almost halved in two years to 1.17 million bpd, as an economic crisis decimated its energy industry and US sanctions have now crippled its exports.

    Brent crude futures have risen 20% in 2019 to around US$63 a barrel, but most of that increase took place in early January. The price has largely plateaued since then, in spite of the subsequent imposition of US sanctions.

    "Oil prices have not increased alarmingly because the market is still working off the surpluses built up in the second half of 2018," the IEA said.

    "In quantity terms, in 2019, the US alone will grow its crude oil production by more than Venezuela's current output. In quality terms, it is more complicated. Quality matters."– Nampa/Reuters

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    Bird flu kills hundreds of penguinsBird flu kills hundreds of penguins Endangered African penguins on Halifax Island off Lüderitz are under threat from the H5N8 strain of avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu.

    The acting chief veterinary officer in the agriculture ministry, Dr Albertina Shilongo, says the disease was detected on 2 February.

    According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) it was informed about the outbreak on Tuesday.

    “Over 200 penguins have been reported dead so far from an estimated population of about

    7 000 penguins. No other birds on the island seem to be affected by the disease at the moment,” said Shilongo.

    Information provided by the OIE indicates that a total of 7 002 penguins are susceptible to the disease and that 225 penguins have already died, while eight birds have been killed and disposed of.

    According to Shilongo the dead penguins are burnt and buried on the island. “So far no cases in domestic birds have been detected.”

    The OIE said African (jackass) penguins at a breeding site on Halifax Island, which is a small rocky island near Lüderitz, showed suspected bird flu signs.

    These included neurological signs such as head tilting, twitching, incoordination, corneal opacity, and comatose behaviour.

    “The disease is currently limited to African penguins only and no other wild birds are affected at Halifax Island,” according to the OIE.

    Avian influenza is an infectious disease and all birds are thought to be susceptible to it, although some birds are more resistant to infection.

    Highly pathogenic avian influenza is characterised by sudden onset, severe illness and rapid death, with a mortality rate that can approach 100%.

    Common clinical signs can include swelling and purple discoloration of the head, comb and wattle, swelling and red discoloration of the feet, bleeding of internal organs and muscles, greenish diarrhoea, twisting of the neck, staggering movement and paralysis of the wings and neck.

    Shilongo said wild birds play a major role in the spread of avian influenza viruses. According to her infected birds and poultry can shed avian influenza A viruses in their saliva, nasal secretions and faeces.

    Susceptible birds become infected when they have contact with the viruses. Domesticated birds such as chickens and turkeys may become infected through direct contact with infected wild birds, other infected poultry or through contact with surfaces that have been contaminated with the viruses.

    Although H5N8 is not known to infect humans, other bird flu strains such as H5N1 and H7N9 can be transmitted to humans.

    “Humans can be infected with the virus via the eyes, nose and mouth, when handling and coming into contact with infected poultry or birds and through the handling and consumption of their infected products,” Shilongo said. She said because of the stability of bird flu viruses in the environment and their highly contagious nature, strict biosecurity measures and good hygiene are essential in preventing outbreaks.

    Therefore farmers and the public should immediately report any suspicion of bird flu in domestic or wild birds to the nearest state veterinary office.

    Shilongo also warned that poultry should be kept away from areas that are frequented by wild birds and that nothing should be kept on a poultry farm that might attract wild birds, including poultry feed that is placed outside a building.

    The African penguin is only found on the south-western coast of Africa, living in colonies on 24 islands between Namibia and Algoa Bay, near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It is the only penguin species that breeds in Africa and it is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Businessman acquitted of rapeBusinessman acquitted of rape The Oshakati Regional Court has acquitted 39-year-old businessman Sindano Hango of rape.

    The court found there was not enough evidence to convict Hango, who was accused of raping his cousin at a relative's house at Otuwala village in the Oshana Region on 10 October 2014.

    Magistrate Leopold Hangalo delivered his verdict yesterday.

    Hango did not deny having intercourse with the complainant, but argued through his lawyer Frieda Kishi that they were in a sexual relationship and that she fabricated the rape story after he failed to give her all the transport money he had promised her.

    Hangalo said apart from the alleged victim, no State witnesses had corroborated that a rape had taken place, while a defence witness had testified about a relationship between Hango and the complainant.

    The complainant testified that between 10:00 and 11:00 on the morning of 10 October 2014, Hango came into the house where she was staying and found her in the bathroom.

    She said while she was in the toilet she saw Hango standing at the door, which was open as she was alone at home. When she saw him, she closed the door, and after finishing, she went to the sitting room where she was busy cleaning.

    She was wearing a shirt and a tight pair of jeans. She said Hango followed her into the sitting room.

    After they chatted she served him meat. According to the complainant Hango then grabbed her hands and pushed her onto the couch. He then jumped on her and removed her jeans and underwear, before starting to rape her, she testified, adding he had used a condom.

    She said she fell to the ground and ran away naked. She said Hango followed her into one of the rooms, where he raped her.

    Hango testified he told the complainant that he had a hangover from his mother's birthday party the previous night. He said the complainant warmed up some meat and gave it to him to eat and later they went into a room where they had sex.

    Hango also told the court that prior to this, the complaint had asked him for transport money to travel to the south, and on that day he brought her some money and a gift.

    He said the complaint asked for N$1 000, but he had only given her N$420 and promised to give her the remaining N$580 at Oshakati.

    Hango was arrested on 28 October 2014 and released on bail of N$6 000 on 12 November in the same year.

    Nelao Ya France prosecuted.


    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Rabies sparks mass vaccinationsRabies sparks mass vaccinationsDonkey bites man A man in the Omusati Region had a lucky escape after being bitten by a rabid donkey, as the animal's teeth did not break the skin. A 22-year-old man from Omayuuda village in the Ogongo area of the Omusati Region is under medical observation after being bitten by a donkey infected with rabies.

    The Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) has offered free vaccinations for livestock and pets in the area, in an effort to prevent the virus from spreading.

    The DVS vaccinated 246 donkeys, 412 cattle, 68 dogs and 35 cats at Omayuuda on Tuesday.

    Unfortunately 18 donkeys from the infected kraal were not taken for vaccination by the owner. Josef Kamati was bitten on the evening of 22 January while walking from the Omayuuda cuca shops to his home.

    Kamati told Namibian Sun on Tuesday that it was around 20:00 when he found a donkey eating grass. It attacked and bit him.

    “Just when I passed the donkey it followed me and bit me on the right thigh. I fell down and it came again trying to bite me in the stomach. I took out my pocket knife and stabbed it several times so it could leave me, but it just continued attacking me. I started screaming and people from the cuca shop came to my rescue,” Kamati said.

    “There is no wound where it bit me but my thigh is swollen until today. I went to the hospital the following day and until today I am under doctor's care.”

    A state veterinarian from Outapi, Dr Laina Hango, said the incident was reported to them on 23 January and when they visited the area they ordered that the donkey be put to death, as it was displaying rabies symptoms.

    “We sent the head to a laboratory in Windhoek for testing. On 24 January we were informed that the donkey tested positive. We communicated that to the owner and informed her to buy anti-rabies vaccine, so that we come help her vaccinate her donkeys, but she never did that,” Hango said.

    “Since the owner did not obey our instruction we decided to come vaccinate all the cattle, goats, cats and dogs in the village. The community responded, but to our disappointment the owner of the donkey failed to bring her donkeys.”

    Hango said rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease that affects mammals and can be transmitted to people. It can be deadly if not treated early.

    She said in the past, dogs were the main source of human rabies deaths until the rabies elimination programme was introduced, and now cattle and goats are the most prominent carriers.

    She said usually government does not offer free vaccination of livestock, only for cats and dogs. She said since the issue at Ogongo was of concern they decided to respond.

    “We do not know where that donkey got the virus from and how many other donkeys it had bitten. We have to protect the area, people and animals. The owner has 18 donkeys, but did not bring them for vaccination. We communicated to her and informed her how important it is to have her donkeys vaccinated. We will, however, make sure they are vaccinated,” Hango said.

    During an education programme, which took place alongside the vaccinations, Hango informed the community that people bitten by rabies-infected animals must receive medical attention soonest.

    She said the incubation period for rabies is typically two to three months.

    “Initial symptoms of rabies include a fever with pain and unusual or unexplained tingling, pricking or a burning sensation (paraesthesia) at the wound site. As the virus spreads to the central nervous system, progressive and fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord develop,” she said.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 02/13/19--14:00: Beware the juggernaut
  • Beware the juggernautBeware the juggernaut The opposition in Namibia have their work cut out for them.

    As in other election years, there is nothing on the horizon that makes one believe that they will be up to the task of trimming Swapo’s support levels significantly. Having said that, there are opportunities to exploit, given there are signs that all is not well within the ruling party. The unfolding pockets of defiance at local authority level and a court case challenging the outcome of the 2017 Swapo elective congress are among the flanks of attack that are available to the opposition. So too are the unfolding battles over access to government coffers and positions in the state. But besides the politics there is a need to engage constructively around the challenges of the day. It is wholesale in the interest of opposition politicians to turn their election campaigns into platforms on which they grapple with the major battles faced by ordinary Namibians every day. They must, in fact, do more than that - they must present solutions or at least raise debate when it comes to solving these issues. It remains to be seen whether the opposition in Namibia can move the political terrain away from so-called struggle credentials to a playing field on which they force Swapo to engage in an issue-based battle. The other worrying issue for opposition parties remains funding. When the Swapo juggernaut, probably funded with Chinese, Russian and other funds, kicks into gear, money will be needed to compete in the same space. That is why it is critical that the opposition re-raise the debate around the disclosure of political funders and donors, so that the electorate is informed about who are actually the lobbyists that give money, especially to the ruling party. The public may be very surprised if they ever get their hands on a list of those actually funding Swapo and others ahead of polls; this veil needs to be pierced so that we understand whose interest parties are actually representing, while claiming to represent us.

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    Heat turned up in vetkoek fight Heat turned up in vetkoek fight YANNA SMITH



    Following an application brought before the High Court on 6 December last year against Bokomo Namibia, Namib Mills has filed a supplementary affidavit to amplify its complaint.

    The December matter pertained to the packaging of Bokomo’s vetkoek wheat flour product, which Namib Mills says is uncompetitive in that it is too similar to Namib Mills’ packaging, using mustard yellow.

    Namib Mills now seeks an interdict restricting Bokomo not only from selling its vetkoek flour in its current packaging, but also all its cake and bread flour products in their new packaging.

    The matter was heard yesterday by Judge Hosea Angula.

    Last year the court granted Namib Mills permission to file the supplementary affidavit, in which it seeks to amplify its claim against Bokomo.

    In his papers, Namib Mills commercial manager Pieter van Niekerk told the court that “in addition to the appropriation by Bokomo of the get-up of the Bakpro vetkoek flour product, Bokomo is now also using a very recently introduced get-up in respect of its remaining products in its flour range”.

    This new packaging, he said, is “markedly different” from that previously used.

    “The respondent’s appropriation of the applicant’s pack architecture can only be explained by an intention to appropriate benefit from the existing reputation vesting in the get-up of the Bakpro flour products, or to cause confusion in the market, or both.”

    The intention, he said, is for Bokomo to garner sales at the expense of Namib Mills.

    Van Niekerk explained that Namib Mills’ Bakpro packaging has a distinct look and feel. The top two-thirds of the product is white, along with the brand name and a picture of the flour product. The bottom third has a slash or band in a particular colour.

    “We deliberately use the same packaging architecture across the range in order to ensure that the products all convey the same message to consumers regarding not only the quality but their common source, Namib Mills. It allows purchasers to easily identify and distinguish a Bakpro product from other products on the shelf.”

    The current packaging has been in use since October 2016 and Van Niekerk said that considerable time, effort and resources went into generating a good reputation for its Bakpro range of products.

    He detailed the advertising and marketing undertaken on various platforms since the 2016/17 financial year, totalling in the region of N$9.3 million. This money was spent to create and maintain brand equity for Bakpro, he said.

    According to Van Niekerk, Namib Mills had objected to Bokomo’s rebranding and after the application for the interdict restraining Bokomo from selling its vetkoek flour in the current packaging was filed, Bokomo “nevertheless persisted with its rebranding exercise” and products in the new packaging started appearing on the shelves around 21 November last year.

    He told the court there was “no need” for Bokomo to have changed its packaging architecture to one which “mimics and adopts the essential elements of the Bakpro range”.

    He said they believe this “change was intentional with a view at least to appropriate benefit from the reputation and goodwill vesting in the Bakpro products”.

    Namib Mills, he said, believes the adoption of the new packaging by Bokomo is in contravention of the Industrial Property Act because its conduct is outside the “parameters of fair and honest competition”.

    In his affidavit, Van Niekerk added several annexures demonstrating that “no manufacturer uses the pack architecture of a competitor in the same way Bokomo does”, showing packaging of the same products of Knorr and Royco, yoghurt packaging of Nammilk, Danone and Parmalat, juice products, rusks, rice, oats, sugar, milk, pasta, laundry detergent, nappies and more.

    “In short, practices in the trade are clearly not to copy and appropriate each other’s brand equities.”

    In his answering affidavit, Hubertus Hamm, CEO of Bokomo Namibia, told the court that the company had launched new packaging in 2015, but due to the specific design, the picture of the flour printed grey.

    “This had dismal consequences for Bokomo because the grey flour did not represent pureness” and consumers turned to their competitors. “Significant losses of sales of Bokomo wheat flour occurred,” Hamm explained.

    A decision was then taken to change the packaging in phases, which began in 2017. He explained that research indicated that a consumer was more likely to purchase a flour product with a picture of the final product on the packaging, and they essentially cleaned up the lines of the design to make it more ‘crisp’. A logo change was also on the cards.

    At this point, Hamm explained, a vetkoek mix was not yet a consideration and did not feature in the design plans.

    “Bokomo would not have introduced a vetkoek flour product had it not been that (Namib Mills), as market leader, did so.”

    Thus, he continued, the “new Bokomo pack design was quite evidently independent to any pack design of Namib Mills and aimed particularly at differentiating the Bokomo brand from that of Namib Mills.”

    Hamm concurs with Van Niekerk’s assertion in his founding affidavit that their white bread flour sales took a knock when the vetkoek flour was launched by Namib Mills, but asserts the Namib Mills’ product is “nothing but white bread flour packed in its vetkoek pack”.

    Bokomo’s sales dropped by 41%. For Bokomo to remain competitive, Hamm said, it had to launch its own vetkoek flour.

    “As the Bokomo rebranding exercise was under way, it was decided the vetkoek flour packaging should be in keeping with the focus of the to-be-adopted rebranding.” Market research, he said, indicated that consumers preferred the yellow colour.

    He went on to list differences in the packaging of the vetkoek flour of Bokomo and Namib Mills.

    He further explained that as the vetkoek flour was a new entrant into the market, there was no need to first run out of old packaging and that it made sense to launch it in the soon-to-be changed packaging of the other Bokomo products.

    He also denied the ‘uniqueness’ of Namib Mills’ vetkoek flour, saying it is simply white bread flour. He added photographs of the nutritional value of the two Namib Mills products, showing they are the same, and added that Bokomo’s values between the two products differ.

    His lengthy and explanatory affidavit covered many varied aspects including denying that Bokomo spends “little or nothing” on marketing. The company spent N$5.8 million between the 2015/16 and 2017/18 financial years, he said.

    Bokomo yesterday asked the court for condonation for late filing. Its answering affidavit was to have been filed by 24 January, but was only filed on 4 February. The reason for this was the late completion of marketing research, which was initiated as a result of Namib Mills’ founding affidavit. Namib Mills has objected to the condonation, saying that their heads of argument must be filed by 7 February and this prejudices their case. Technical arguments were heard before Judge Angula yesterday and Namib Mills will request interim relief in court today.

    Tobias Louw from Theunissen, Louw and Partners appears for Namib Mills, while Daneale Beukes from Engling, Stritter and Partners appears for Bokomo Namibia.

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    Recalled ‘rebels’ threaten SwapoRecalled ‘rebels’ threaten SwapoFired Rundu councillors say they will approach the courts The ruling party, under the administration of SG Sophia Shaningwa, has sent a clear signal that it will not tolerate the pockets of dissent that have been set aflame at local authority level. Kenya Kambowe

    Three recalled Swapo councillors say they will be approaching the courts.

    Swapo recalled three of its Rundu councillors, including newly elected mayor Isack Kandingu, for defying a directive that the town’s office-bearers structure should remain the same.

    The other recalled councillors are deputy mayor Toini Hausiku, who is the wife of Swapo deputy secretary-general Marco Hausiku, and Anastacia Shinduvi-Foya.

    The trio said yesterday they have decided that their dismissal from their positions will be challenged in court.

    They told Namibian Sun they have already consulted their lawyers.

    “We have received the letter from the party and we will definitely take the matter to court. We were advised by our lawyers not to say more at this stage as it could jeopardise our case,” they said.

    According to a letter dated 12 February and signed by Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa the three councillors were recalled because they defied the party’s directive last Thursday during the election and swearing-in ceremony of office-bearers for the Rundu town council.

    Shaningwa’s directive was that Verna Sinimbo retains her position as mayor and that she should again be deputised by Ralph Ihemba.

    The SG said in her letter addressed to Swapo Kavango East regional coordinator Ottilie Shinduvi that the party is disappointed by the fact that the three recalled councillors did not only defy her directive, they also nominated and elected an opposition councillor to serve on the management committee.

    Shaningwa also stated that Johanna Kakondo, Ngondo Johannes and Sarafina Kandere will replace the recalled councillors. The letter does not indicate when their swearing-in ceremony will take place.

    Meanwhile, Rundu residents who spoke on condition of anonymity have questioned why Swapo did not recall all five councillors at the town.

    They argued that in November 2018 all six of Swapo’s Oshakati councillors were recalled when they defied Shaningwa’s directive by electing Katrina Shimbulu as chairperson of the management committee instead of Onesmus Shilunga.

    “This is pure victimisation of the Kavango people. When it happened in Oshakati, all councillors were recalled and disciplined to rectify the issue, but in Rundu’s case only three were recalled and replaced without being disciplined. Swapo has rules and procedures as well as a code of conduct on how to deal with these issues,” one resident said.

    When contacted for comment yesterday, Shaningwa refused to entertain any questions.

    Last week lawyer Silas-Kishi Shakumu told Namibian Sun political parties have no legal basis to force councillors to maintain or change the status quo when it comes to the election and swearing-in of office-bearers.

    Drama

    In a dramatic twist last week, Kandingu was elected and sworn in as Rundu mayor, replacing Sinimbo, while Hausiku was elected as deputy mayor, replacing Ihemba.

    Shinduvi-Foya and Matheus Wakudumo from the All People’s Party (APP) were elected onto the management committee, while a third member of the committee was still to be elected.

    Sinimbo, Ihemba and Reginald Ndara would have served as ordinary members of the town council, but this was before Shaningwa threw the cat among the pigeons.

    Both the Rundu and Okahandja councils were given an ultimatum by the party last Monday to have their swearing-in ceremonies on 7 February, after Shaningwa’s earlier directives were defied in November last year.

    In the case of Rundu, Shaningwa had said there should be no changes to the office-bearers structure, while in Okahandja she instructed that mayor Johannes ‘Congo’ Hindjou be demoted to an ordinary council member.

    Only the Rundu town council went ahead last week with its election and swearing-in ceremony, while in Okahandja there was postponement because of the unavailability of a magistrate.


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    ‘SOEs maintain clean audit reports’‘SOEs maintain clean audit reports’ Auditor-general Junias Kandjeke has praised state-owned enterprises (SOEs) for continuously submitting clean financial reports for the past five years.

    Speaking during a meeting with SOE representatives in Windhoek Tuesday, Kandjeke said the majority of SOEs were also doing well in terms of audit opinions.

    The meeting was aimed at discussing challenges with regard to financial reporting and expectations of SOEs from the AG’s office.

    Kandjeke said some SOEs do however not have acceptable reporting and accounting standards as public interest entities, while some fail to meet deadlines as per the SOE Act.

    “Late submission of financial statements is a concern and it is a violation of the law, therefore the requests for extensions should be discouraged,” he stressed.

    He urged stakeholders to promptly follow up on issues, adding that clean or bad audit opinion do not depend on the AG, but depend on the management of the entity concerned.

    “If SOEs want clean reports, they should solve problems that are indicated as reasons for bad audit opinions,” Kandjeke said.

    The AG further stated that citing lack of funds as reasons in audit reports may not be enough because resources will never be enough.

    He therefore advised that SOEs come up with resolutions based on the available resources given the current financial resources.

    SOEs and the AG’s office have been having dialogues since 2013 under the theme ‘Strengthening Public Finance Management’. - Nampa

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    Better half-year for FirstRand NamibiaBetter half-year for FirstRand Namibia FirstRand Namibia, previously FNB Namibia Holdings, made a profit of nearly N$552.7 million for the six months ended 31 December 2018 – an increase of about 5.2% compared to the same half-year in 2017.
    The locally listed group this morning released its latest interim results on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX).
    Earnings per share (EPS) increased by nearly 5.5% to 208.9c, while headline earnings per share (HEPS) came in at 208.5c, up 4.8% from the same half-year in 2017.
    An interim dividend of 91c per ordinary share was declared, the same as the comparable period in 2017.
    Read the full report tomorrow in Market Watch.

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