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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    NFA members urged to submit election resultsNFA members urged to submit election results Fifa normalisation committee, appointed to run the affairs of the Namibia Football Association (NFA), has called on NFA members to submit reports and the results of their leadership committee elections.

    In a statement on Friday, the committee, as per their mandate, said one of their tasks is to act as an electoral committee for the new NFA executive committee, which will be elected once elections at member level have been finalised.

    The committee is comprised of Hilda Basson-Namundjebo (chairperson), Franco Cosmos (vice-chairperson) and Gabby Ahrens, Matti Mwandingi and Vivienne Katjiuongua as ordinary members.

    In the statement, Basson-Namundjebo said they want to establish which members have conducted elections. “We want to know if those members were genuinely constituted and also see to it that we assist others to elect regional or member level leadership. This will then inform us on how we proceed in terms of getting to the association's executive committee elections, as per our mandate,” she said.

    The statement said further that the NFA Secretariat last week sent out a memorandum to NFA members to provide a list of their executive committee members, the dates of elections and an indication of their terms of office, so that the information can be verified.

    Basson-Namundjebo explained they have received some feedback and are now busy verifying this information to make sure that elections were conducted in line with the appropriate policies and procedures.

    “We call for increased transparency and due diligence during this time, to enable us to get members in good standing, which will enable us to deliver a free, fair and credible election,” Basson-Namundjebo added.


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  • 02/24/19--14:00: Hotto eyes PSL crown
  • Hotto eyes PSL crownHotto eyes PSL crownWinger happy with Bidvest Wits lead The Namibian winger is adamant that his club can lift the PSL trophy at the end of the season. Namibia's golden boy Deon Hotto is over the moon, as his side continues to dominate the (PSL) Premier Soccer League log in South Africa.

    Hotto is adamant that Bidvest Wits, which he joined in June last year, will continue to make strides in the PSL, despite teams like Orlando Pirates snapping at their heels. The club is currently at the summit with 38 points, while Pirates are second with 36 points.

    In third position is Mamelodi Sundowns, also with 36 points. Fourth spot is occupied by Cape Town City (33) and SuperSport United (32) is in fifth place.

    Hotto, who is still nursing a hamstring injury, said he is happy with the team's performance and that they are confident of holding all their challengers at bay.

    Hotto, who currently sits on three goals and six assists for his side, could not add to his tally on Saturday, as he wasted a great chance with a poorly-struck shot, resulting in them settling for a 1-1 draw against Mamelodi Sundowns. Hotto's side won the 2016/17 PSL title and MTN8 Cup in 2016, and this time around the Namibian wants to be in the mix for the title win. The Clever Boys endured a disastrous season in 2017/18, failing to finish in the top eight, but they managed to salvage their season with a Telkom Knockout triumph.

    Wits were languishing at the bottom of the log in the first half of the season, but fought their way back and survived relegation.

    Hotto is surely smiling, but the same cannot be said for national teammate Virgil Vries, who plays for Kaizer Chiefs.

    Vries has proven not to be a quick-fix for Chiefs' goalkeeping woes. He did not feature in this past weekend's match for Amakhosi, who had to share the spoils after being held to a one-all draw by Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday. Nigerian goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi displayed some dodgy goalkeeping for Chiefs, much to the disappointment of fans who wishes that club captain, Itumeleng Khune, returns sooner than later. Khune was ruled out of the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. Chiefs occupy sixth spot with 29 points.

    Mannetti unshaken

    Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti, meanwhile, is not worried or shaken by the injuries haunting some of his players ahead of their critical Afcon qualifier clash against Zambia in March.

    He said Hotto had a small knock, which does not worry him, and that Willy 'Awillo' Stephanus, who plies his trade with Lusaka Dynamos in Zambia, also picked up an ankle injury, but will be fine after a couple of weeks.

    Hendrik Somaeb, who was formerly signed with Serbian club Zemun, has returned to Namibia. It is not clear whether he has his eyes set on signing with another club. Mannetti's policy is that players who do not get regular game time at clubs will not be considered for the national team.


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  • 02/24/19--14:00: It’s too Swapo - Swanu
  • It’s too Swapo - SwanuIt’s too Swapo - Swanu ELLANIE SMIT

    Swanu has condemned the appointment of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Claims of Ancestral Land Rights by President Hage Geingob.

    According Swanu parliamentarian Usutuaije Maamberua the commission not only excludes those that did not attend the second national land conference, but members were also appointed without consultations with communities.

    Swanu therefore called on Geingob to dissolve this “stillborn commission” for better consultations with the communities that lost land.

    Maamberua said the appointment of the commission is a disappointment because all the members are either Swapo members or sympathisers.

    He said members of other political parties have deliberately been excluded.

    According to Maamberua the commission’s composition favours only those who attended the second national land conference.

    “Some of these members are from communities that never lost land.”

    Maamberua further claims that the majority of the members have never said anything on land issues, which he says is a clear indication that they have been disinterested in this matter all along.

    “The majority possesses limited knowledge on ancestral land rights matters.”

    According to him there was also no consultations with the communities who have lost land - the rightful ancestral land claimants - when these appointments were made.

    “We therefore expect nothing progressive from the outcome of the inquiry. It is rather a pathetic state of affairs that is intended to keep the status quo and to continue to appease the settler communities that continue to occupy our ancestral land, with the help of the Swapo government.”

    Maamberua said it should be made clear that this is not a general land question matter, but a specific and unique matter with a specific interest.

    He said ancestral land rights is therefore not a matter for “every Tom, Dick and Harry”.

    According to him this skewed exercise is evidence of the fiasco the land conference was. “We are exonerated by our misgivings about the intentions of the land conference, as evidence by the composition of this commission that clearly and deliberately excludes those who did not attend the second land conference.”

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  • 02/24/19--14:00: Weapons of destruction
  • Weapons of destructionWeapons of destructionGun control, disarmament in the spotlight There is correlation between the uncontrolled spread of small arms and light weapons and terrorism, armed robberies, trafficking in drugs and precious minerals, among others. ELLANIE SMIT

    Small and light arms are the weapons of daily destruction, with their use having a devastating impact on national security and social economic development.

    This is according to safety and security executive director Trephine Panduleni Kamati, who was speaking last week during a workshop on the review and development of a national strategic plan on arms control, management and disarmament.

    The five-day workshop brought together representatives from civil society, faith-based organisations and technocrats from offices and ministries, as well as local and foreign experts.

    Kamati said the misuse of small arms and light weapons, fuelled by their illicit proliferation, is responsible for terrorism, organised crime and human rights violations.

    “This is more devastating than weapons of mass destruction.”

    According to Kamati, small arms and light weapons have for the past decades, and will in the foreseeable future, continue to receive more high-profile attention globally, regionally and nationally than weapons of mass destruction.

    “This is because small arms and light weapons are the weapons of daily destruction.”

    He said there is consequently a correlation between the uncontrolled spread of small arms and light weapons and terrorism, armed robberies, trafficking in drugs and precious minerals, gender-based violence, poaching and other organised crimes.

    “The unrestricted proliferation of small arms and light weapons causes great suffering and a sense of insecurity, which undercuts development and leads to the disintegration of the social fabric.”

    Kamati said these firearms gradually destroy the well-established traditional mechanisms for socio-economic development.

    According to him small arms and light weapons are the tools of choice for criminals and aids first-degree offences such as murder, attempted murder, armed robberies, poaching and the destruction of the environment.

    “The effect of such a situation is that citizens will acquire firearms for self-defence. The demand for firearms will lead to illicit proliferation, thereby giving a fertile ground for criminal elements to commit serious crimes.”

    Kamati said a culture of survival of the fittest through guns tears apart the very fabric that holds peace and security together in Namibia.

    “Therefore the meeting must address these legitimate concerns, he said.”

    Nampol deputy inspector-general for administration, Major-General Anna-Marie Nainda, said the aim of the workshop was to ensure that Namibia has a five-year robust and forward looking strategic plan on arms control, management and disarmament.

    “This initiative will make a meaningful contribution to our efforts of maintaining peace, security, and by implication fulfilling Namibia’s obligations towards global peace locally, regionally and internationally.”

    She stressed that the unabated proliferation of illicit arms detrimentally impacts on society, both socially and economically, and therefore it is important to control arms in Namibia.

    According to her the Namibian police just launched its five-year strategic plan which was designed to appropriately direct the work of the police to the fundamental ideals of crime-prevention, public safety and investigation.

    “A customer services charter has also been developed to provide greater assurance to the public about the standard of service they should expect to receive from the police.”

    Nainda said there is a need to align the plan on the control of small arms and light weapons to the organisational plan and all other important policies of government, to ensure that all these plans are pulling in the same direction.

    According to Kamati as part of the ministry’s commitment to preventing, combatting and eradicating the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons, a directive was issued in July last year.

    The directive was to review the 2005 National Action Plan on Small Arms and Light Weapons, which ultimately resulted in a comprehensive five-year National Strategic Plan on Arms Control and Disarmament.

    The directive also included the streamlining and transformation of the institutional framework on small arms and light weapons to conform to those of the agreed international and regional examples.

    Furthermore, the reappointment of key institutional members was directed. These members will be responsible for the sustainable implementation of the new strategic plan.

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    Motor show aims to put Cape Town on global mapMotor show aims to put Cape Town on global mapThousands expected The 2019 Cape Town Motor Show (CTMS) is one of the biggest attractions in the city, and one of the premier events of its kind in Africa. We cater for the car collector, the petrol head, the bike nut, the speed demon and your general follower of all things with wheels. – Garth Rhoda, Marketing Director: CTMS On 2 and 3 March 2019, more than 25 000 petrol heads and casual motoring fans are expected to descend upon GrandWest to attend a showcase of cars, bikes, Driftkhana racing, drift rides, music, 4x4 tracks, the Dusty Rebels and the Bombshells, a Sound Off World Record attempt, a StanceWars Show and Shine competition and much more.

    The 2019 Cape Town Motor Show (CTMS) is one of the biggest attractions in the city, and one of the premier events of its kind in Africa.

    CTMS marketing director Garth Rhoda believes that the show has succeeded in delivering more than just an exhibition space with cars and bikes on display: “CTMS is a consumer experiential show featuring everything motoring-related, covering cars, bikes, trucks, drifting, 4x4 tracks, test driving, aftermarket products, sound-offs and classic cars.

    “We cater for the car collector, the petrol head, the bike nut, the speed demon and your general follower of all things with wheels. It’s a full motoring experience, and it’s for the entire family. We want to create a show that puts Africa on the map of world motoring events. And in three years I believe we’ve come a long way to achieving that.”

    Major interest

    Cape Town and the motor industry have embraced the show with open arms, with several major manufacturers and global brands committing support. Big names like BMW, Shelby, Lexus, Toyota, Suzuki, Mazda, Ford, VW, KIA, Renault, Harper Sports Cars and Lindenberg Racing are key participants this year, amongst others.

    Leading car audio brand Soundmatch is an event partner, co-hosting a world-class Show & Shine event called StanceWars, as well as a World Record Sound Off attempt at the show, monitored by IASCA.

    Cape Town Motor Show proudly welcomes Capitec as the exclusive banking partner for the 2019 event. Capitec will make payments easier on the day by offering digital banking solutions such as MasterPass, allowing visitors to pay with their phones, as well as card machines for card payments.

    Divisional director of Sun International Mervyn Naidoo is delighted with the growth and success of the CTMS at GrandWest: “The Cape Town Motor Show has grown exponentially over the last three years. Thanks to its success and popularity among Capetonians, this show has become one of the anchor events on GrandWest’s annual entertainment calendar. It is wonderful to have this show in Cape Town, proving again that our city is one of the top destinations in the world to host festivals and events.

    "This excellent event is made possible thanks to the dedication and commitment of the CTMS partners and GrandWest is honoured to join these esteemed businesses as one of those key partners. We look forward to seeing you there.”


    Major online retailer Gumtree has partnered with the CTMS since inception, and is continuing its support in this, its third year on board. “As a partner from the outset, we are thrilled to see how the event has grown and developed each year,” says Gumtree SA General Manager Claire Cobbledick. “Capetonians are clearly passionate auto enthusiasts, and we at Gumtree Auto are looking forward to an even bigger and better CTMS in 2019.”

    Cape Town’s executive mayor Dan Plato said: “Events have the capability to bring people from all communities together who share common interests and passions. The Cape Town Motor Show is an event which does just that and also contributes towards job creation and skills development for our communities.”

    The CTMS has become a major attraction in what is globally recognised as the ‘World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination’(2018 World Travel Awards). Cape Town tourism CEO Enver Duminy believes it shows the way as far as events like these are concerned: “We are thrilled to host the Cape Town Motor Show in the city once more; it’s rapidly becoming a popular big event on Cape Town’s calendar, one that’s encouraging domestic tourism as well as getting locals to explore more.

    “It further endorses our reputation after we were named “World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination” in the World Travel Award 2018. Tourism and transport are inextricably linked, and this show promises to showcase fantastic examples of vehicles that take us on those memorable adventures.”

    The Cape Town Motor Show takes place at GrandWest, March 2 and 3. Tickets are available at Computicket.

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    AgriBusDev seeks private investorAgriBusDev seeks private investor The Agricultural Business Development Agency (AgriBusDev) will have to go into a public-private partnership to secure funds to develop the Orange River Irrigation Project (ORIP) at Aussenkehr. 

    This was said by AgriBusDev managing director Petrus Uugwanga during a meeting with employees and small-scale farmers at Aussenkehr last week.

    The ORIP is one of 11 green schemes managed and overseen by the agency. The other green schemes are situated in the Omusati, Kavango East and West, Zambezi and Hardap regions.

    “We have consulted the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and the AgriBusDev board and they have approved us acquiring a private investor to further develop the project.

    We will advertise the tenders at the beginning of March,” said Uugwanga. He said the private investor will be expected to develop the land for the project to generate income on the 600 hectares the company owns. Currently the ORIP only uses 156 hectares, where grapes, dates, butternuts and watermelons are grown. Uugwanga said central government does not have the funds to develop the project, adding that with the current economic downturn, outside assistance is needed to save it.

    He further urged ORIP employees to work hard to boost cash flow, while they look for someone to invest.  “Let us work hard, let us plant more vegetables that we can sell to increase our cash flow.

    I know it is difficult because sometimes you receive your salaries late or not on time, but in the midst of the difficulties we must find opportunities,” he urged.

    The small-scale farmers welcomed the idea as they said they struggle to manage their farms because of a lack of funds. “We can't even afford to buy fertilisers or chemicals and this compromises the quality of the produce,” said one of the farmers. 

    There are 18 small-scale farmers who grow grapes, dates and vegetables on 70 hectares at the project, while 86 hectares is used by the ORIP. 


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    Billion-dollar project comingBillion-dollar project coming Partners last week assessed and reviewed a billion-dollar environmental project, which will span from 2019 and 2023.

    The project will cost US$75.9 million (about N$1.067 billion) and is to be financed by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), with co-financing from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Namibia.

    The Namibia Integrated Landscape Approach for Enhancing Livelihoods and Environmental Governance to Eradicate Poverty (NILALEG) project is to be implemented by the environment ministry and UNDP.

    The validation and appraisal workshop for national partners was held last week in Windhoek.

    The aim of the project is to promote an integrated landscape management approach in key agricultural and forest landscapes, reduce poverty through sustainable nature-based livelihoods, protect and restore forests as carbon sinks, and promote land degradation neutrality.

    According to project documents, the GEF will fund US$10.8 million while the more than US$65.8 million will be provided through co-financing.

    The project is divided into three different components under which the first aims to strengthen institutional coordination and governance mechanisms for an integrated landscape management approach.

    In this component, intra-governmental coordination will be facilitated to guide the implementation and monitoring of Namibia's poverty reduction targets. A national system will also be put in place for monitoring land degradation and rehabilitation, and progress towards the target of land degradation neutrality. The project will also develop a nationally-tailored methodology for measuring carbon stocks. The capacity of agriculture and forestry officials at national and regional levels for integrated landscape management will be strengthened, and extension work will be done with farming communities, conservancies and resettlement farms.

    The second component will focus on enhanced sustainable land and forest management, biodiversity conservation and livelihoods in the targeted landscapes.

    Furthermore, capacitated coordination structures of approximately 20 000 hectares each will be established in five targeted landscape areas.

    The targeted areas will be selected from forested areas in the Zambezi, Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Kavango, Kunene, Otjozondjupa or Omusati regions and will also include communal land, wildlife conservancies and resettlement farms.

    An agreement will also be reached at national and regional level to demarcate two regional forest reserves (as provided for in the Forest Act), and to establish infrastructure for their sustainable management and restoration.

    “The existing forest policy, together with the recently enacted regulations, will be implemented and enforced in the target landscapes through sustainable forest management plans,” the project document says.

    With regard to component three of the project, sustainable financing for the implementation and up-scaling of the integrated landscape management approach will be provided.

    “Through this component, support will be enhanced to access finance, technical assistance and market information, to pilot and scale-up the integrated landscape management approach and sustainable enterprises.”

    The economic valuation of ecosystem services will be undertaken to make the case for public and private sector investments in integrated landscape management.

    A targeted scenario analysis will also be carried out in each landscape to value ecosystem services, comparing a business-as-usual scenario to an integrated landscape management scenario. The results will be communicated to decision-makers at national, regional and landscape level.

    The project also aims to tackle the massive problem of bush encroachment, implement a public works programme and an unemployed youth landscape restoration project, and will be piloted in commercial farming areas with three pilot areas of 1 500 hectares each.


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  • 02/24/19--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Barrick details proposal to settle Acacia dispute

    Canadian miner Barrick Gold outlined last week details of a deal it reached with the government of Tanzania to settle its disputes with Acacia Mining, including a US$300 million payment to resolve tax claims in the country.

    Barrick's announcement confirms the 2017 deal which called for the creation of a local firm in Tanzania to manage Acacia's assets, a 50-50 split of economic benefits and a US$300 million payment to resolve all outstanding tax claims in the East African country.

    Acacia, which was not allowed to negotiate for itself, and Tanzania's government have been locked in a prolonged conflict with the government tearing up mining contracts, hiking taxes and royalties, and banning exports of raw minerals.

    Sources have said initial agreement had been difficult to reach due to differing views from the government and the two companies about how the US$300 million would be paid.

    Barrick said the proposal would soon be presented to Acacia's independent directors. A source at Acacia said the company planned to meet Barrick this week to get more details. The deal is expected to be implemented by the end of March, the Tanzanian government said in a statement. – Nampa/Reuters

    Little has big plans for Africa expansion

    Kenyan ride-hailing company Little is expanding to Tanzania and Ghana by May and plans to raise about US$50 million more from investors, its chief executive officer said on Friday.

    Little, which competes with global players Uber and Taxify in Kenya, is valued at about US$70 million to US$75 million, chief executive Kamal Budhabhatti said, a minnow compared to rivals but it has aims to expand across Africa.

    The company will offer rides in Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam from this week and plans to launch in Accra by May, Budhabhatti said, adding to operations in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.

    He said Little was talking to investors to raise about US$50 million in series A funding, the financing received when a start-up opens up to outside investors for the first time. It aims to finalise this by mid-2019.

    The company, which started up in 2016, has 10 000 registered drivers in Nairobi, with about 60% of those active, and more than a million users on its platform across all markets, with more than 60% of those in Kenya, he said. Uber, which has been operating in Kenya for four years, has 6 000 active drivers. – Namapa/Reuters

    Water deal crucial for Kenya project: Tullow

    A deal with local Kenyan authorities that would allow Tullow Oil to pump water to pressurise oil wells, crucial for a final green light for the country's only oil project, may be slightly delayed to the third quarter, a Tullow executive said on Friday.

    Tullow, with partners Total and Africa Oil, is working towards a final investment decision (FID) by year-end and said last week it had hoped to conclude the deal on water supply with the authorities in the second quarter.

    Tullow estimates that Kenya's onshore fields in Turkana province hold 560 million barrels of oil and expects them to produce up to 100 000 barrels per day from 2022.

    Another milestone to pass is land acquisition for infrastructure around the oil fields and the 820 km pipeline to the Indian Ocean for which it plans to send out construction tenders within weeks. The government recently gazetted land it wants to buy in order to lease it to the oil partners.

    Having clarity on land acquisition and pipeline tariffs is crucial to reach a final investment decision on the US$2.9 billion project which Tullow wants to make money at US$50 a barrel. – Nampa/Reuters

    Kraft Heinz forecasts gloomy 2019

    Shares of Kraft Heinz Co slumped 20% on Thursday after the food company posted a quarterly loss, disclosed an SEC investigation and wrote down the value of its Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands as it highlighted the tough environment for the packaged food industry.

    The gloomy results and forecast from the company, which is one of billionaire Warren Buffett's largest investments, reflect changes in consumer trends away from processed foods to healthier alternatives.

    The US$15.4 billion write-down indicates declining fortunes of the iconic brands and other losses in asset value, meaning the company views those assets as less valuable than before the merger.

    Kraft, which owns Velveeta cheese and Heinz ketchup brands, forecast adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) between US$6.3 billion and US$6.5 billion in 2019, lower than analysts' estimates of US$7.47 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

    The company, which competes with General Mills Inc and Kellogg Co, cut its quarterly dividend to 40 US cents per share from around 63 US cents per share on Thursday. – Nampa/Reuters

    StanChart fined millions by financial watchdog

    Standard Chartered Plc said last week Britain's financial watchdog has imposed a fine of 102.2 million pound (US$133.3 million) in relation to its investigation into the bank's historical financial crime controls.

    In a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Wednesday, StanChart said it was considering its options in relation to the decision by the UK Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) Regulatory Decisions Committee.

    Standard Chartered has been under scrutiny by authorities in both the United Kingdom and United States.

    Last month, New York's financial watchdog fined the bank US$40 million for attempting to rig transactions in foreign exchange markets between 2007 and 2013.

    The bank said its fourth-quarter results will include a US$900 million provision for potential penalties arising from ongoing investigations by US authorities and the FCA's decision, as well as previous settlements. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 02/24/19--14:00: Mass housing back on radar
  • Mass housing back on radarMass housing back on radarComprehensive review commissioned There has been no movement on the project for years, which had intended to build 185 000 affordable houses by Government is currently in the process of refining its previously exorbitant mass housing project, which was put on ice in 2015, according to urban and rural development ministry executive director Nghidinua Daniel.

    The mandate for the project was taken away from the National Housing Enterprise during that year, and now resides with the ministry. However, there has been no movement on the project which had intended to build 185 000 affordable houses by 2030. The N$45 billion programme was launched by former president Hifikepunye Pohamba in late November 2013. The project was, however, put on ice by President Hage Geingob after it was discovered that some contractors involved in the project had inflated their prices. The NHE was previously mandated to manage and oversee the project, but their role was stopped and the project temporarily canned.

    “The ministry has commissioned a comprehensive review of the mass housing blueprint as well as the drafting of the ministerial implementation plan.

    The outcome policy documentation and implementation will guide the national housing development initiatives and provide clarity on the role of the state and other roleplayers going forward,” Daniel said.

    No timeline in terms of the project implementation was provided, despite a request to the ministry to provide one. Daniel explained that certain houses could not be financed by commercial banking institutions.

    To overcome this challenge, the NHE has been tasked to look into financing these houses.

    Of the total number of completed houses, only 93 were standing unoccupied, according to the ministry.

    “The timely allocation and sale of the completed houses has been negatively affected by the reluctance of financial institutions to lend to people who want to buy the said houses in some of the towns such as Khorixas, Karasburg, Outjo, and Otavi, which are declared as non-lending zones,” he said.

    “In order to overcome this challenge, government has since tasked the National Housing Enterprise to facilitate the allocation and the financing of the said houses. The NHE is performing this task,” Daniel added. The ministry was also asked what would happen in instances where it had been found that houses were not built to specification.

    “In cases where houses need to be rebuilt due to one or another (issue), the responsibility and liability is determined in terms of the provisions of the agreement or contract that has been entered into between government and the contractor,” said Daniel.

    To date, the ministry has claimed that 3 958 mass houses have been completed countrywide, while 1 107 units are still in the process of being completed. This, however, is at odds with comments made by Geingob during his 2017 State of the Nation Address, when he said over 5 000 houses had been built and delivered under the programme.

    Geingob boasted that 5 554 houses had been completed nationwide in the first year of the implementation of the Harambee Prosperity Plan, which was in 2016.

    The NHE, however, said in 2017 that not a single new house has been built by the parastatal under the mass housing project since the departure of former CEO Vinson Hailulu in August 2015. It was stripped of the mandate to construct mass houses following a cabinet directive. The enterprise is said to have built 3 500 houses under the mass housing project in about 10 to 11 months during Hailulu's tenure.

    This was in addition to 360 houses which were built and completed in Windhoek but not yet handed over.

    Following his ascendency to the presidency, Geingob promised better implementation of the project.


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  • 02/24/19--14:00: Nangolo eyes pro status
  • Nangolo eyes pro statusNangolo eyes pro statusYoungster may be the next best thing in boxing Every punch that 18-year-old Flame Nangolo lands seems like it could dismantle the bag at any moment. Youthful boxer Flame Nangolo's camp is looking to turn him into a professional this year.

    Walking into the gym, one immediately notices a sweaty figure pounding on a bag in the corner surrounded by much older boxers.

    Every punch he lands seems like it could dismantle the bag at any moment. Everything about the boxer screams hard work, power and a hunger for perfection.

    This is expected, because from a young age he was taught to do everything right the first time by his uncle and top local boxing trainer Immanuel 'AC' Moses, who also owns the AC Boxing and Fitness Gym now located in Katutura.

    Moses said he taught the young boxer how to throw jabs at the age of eight in his kitchen, and when he eventually took him to the gym, he was way more advanced than those who had been trying to box for about three years.

    “He catches on fast. So now I want to turn him into a professional. We need to avoid turning boxers professional at a much older age like 25. Also, the focus is to make him a world champion when he is 20 years old,” said Moses optimistically.

    Moses mentioned examples of boxers who jumped into big bouts at an early age.

    “If you look at American boxers like Shakur Stevenson, Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia, they all turned professional when they were 15 to 17 years of age. But for all of this to happen, I want him (Nangolo) to learn everything that he can so that I can send him to the Youth Olympics, but we are not happy with the way our amateur competitions are structured. So we have to just do things on our own,” said Moses who is inspired by legendary American trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr, who he meets regularly when he travels to the US.

    Helping hand

    As the dream unfolds slowly but surely, the 18-year-old Nangolo continues to hone his skills under the watchful eye of Moses and the rest of the more accomplished boxers at the stable.

    Pugilists like Paulus 'El Jesus' Ambunda, the current IBO bantamweight champion, as well as  Paulus 'Hitman' Moses, who is a former WBA lightweight title holder, Sakaria 'Desert Storm' Lukas, the WBO Africa featherweight champion, amateur boxer Jacob Jacob and former world champion Paulus 'Blue Machine' Indongo, are all available to share their expertise.

    Most of them had good things to say about the boxer. “He should remain humble and work hard,” said Ambunda.

    “I respect the senior boxers. They have been around and have done and accomplished a lot.

    The give me tips and I watch when they train and fight. It's my dream to become a world champion, so I have to remain disciplined and respect the sport,” Nangolo said.

    The grade 12 people at Concordia High School in Windhoek said most of his schoolmates are not aware that he is a boxer. “Most of the time I focus on school, and thereafter I head to training; it's all I do.”

    Nangolo, who is a national champion in the junior lightweight division, said he also loves fashion and would like to model men's clothing if the opportunity arises.

    The boxing stable wants to participate in tournaments like the Ringside Amateur Tournament this year, where Nangolo can showcase his skills.

    The AC Boxing and Fitness Academy has close to 40 talented junior and senior amateur boxers.

    Boxing classes for juniors take place every week. Moses plans to set up a study area where juniors, both girls and boys, can do their homework after training.


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  • 02/24/19--14:00: Africa Briefs
  • Africa BriefsAfrica Briefs Zimbabweans queue outside banks

    Queues formed outside banks in the Zimbabwean capital Harare on Friday as the central bank opened trading of a new currency, a Reuters witness said.

    Zimbabwe's central bank announced on Wednesday that it would scrap the peg between its quasi-currency bond note and the US dollar, creating a new currency from the bond notes and notional electronic dollars that will be known as RTGS dollars.

    The central bank sold banks US dollars at a rate of 2.5 RTGS dollars on Friday morning, governor John Mangudya said. – Nampa/Reuters

    Russian rocket launches Egyptian telecom satellite

    Russia successfully launched an Egyptian telecommunications satellite on Thursday, the Russian space agency Roskosmos announced.

    A Soyuz rocket took off with the Egyptsat-A satellite at 1647 GMT from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

    The satellite will take high-definition images of the Earth's surface, Roskosmos said in a statement.

    In October a Soyuz rocket carrying a Russian and US astronaut failed just minutes after blast-off, forcing the pair to make an emergency landing.

    A successful manned flight was launched in December, taking Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, Anne McClain of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency off for a six-and-a-half month mission on the International Space Station. – Nampa/AFP

    Port Sudan workers strike over terminal transfer deal

    Hundreds of workers in Port Sudan are continuing a days-long strike against the transfer of its vital container terminal to a Philippine company, a union leader said Thursday.

    "For four days now we are on strike and we expect more colleagues to join us," Osman Tahir, member of the port's labour union, told AFP by telephone from the Red Sea city.

    The strike at the vital economic hub comes amid weeks of anti-government demonstrations that began in December.

    Protesters have rallied across the country, including in Port Sudan, accusing President Omar al-Bashir's government of mismanaging the country's economy.

    Workers are opposing Khartoum's decision to transfer control of the port's container terminal to a Philippine company, International Container Terminal Services Inc.

    Sudan's economic woes have long caused popular frustration, but anger spilt onto the streets in December after the government tripled the price of bread. – Nampa/AFP

    Climate investment plan for Sahel region

    Heads of state of 17 countries in the Sahel region of Africa will hold a summit today in Niamey to approve a climate investment plan worth US$400 billion over 12 years, the Niger government said.

    The "ambitious" plan for the period 2018-30 will involve "17 nations from the Atlantic Ocean to the Horn of Africa" and will represent the "translation [into actions] of our nations' commitments through the Paris agreement on climate change", environment minister Almoustapha Garba told reporters.

    The plan focuses on six projects aiming to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to help people adapt to climate change, he added.

    The Sahel, home to more than 500 million people, is considered especially vulnerable to climate change.

    In many parts of the region, climate shocks have resulted in recurring droughts with devastating impacts on the region's already vulnerable populations. – Nampa/AFP

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    Kavango East’s agri potential impressesKavango East’s agri potential impresses NYANGANA – The high commissioner of South Africa to Namibia, William Whitehead, is impressed by the Kavango East Region’s potential in agricultural activities.

    Whitehead, accompanied by the governor of Kavango East, Samuel Mbambo, visited the Rundu abattoir being constructed by the ministry of agriculture, water and forestry and the various green schemes such as Ndonga Linena and Shadikongoro last week during his familiarisation visit to the region.

    On Wednesday, Whitehead said as Namibia and South Africa are both members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), it is important to look into areas of potential economic cooperation between the two countries, both in the private and public sector.

    He added that it is vital for the two countries to collaborate to form an expansion of SADC’s mandate to ensure that there is cooperation on infrastructural issues, the private sector, knowledge and experience sharing.

    He said considering the fertility of the soil in the region, there is huge potential in successful agriculture that can contribute to food security.

    “I was very impressed with the potential for agriculture in this particular province when you consider the richness of the soil. The issue is that there are projects going on as we visited the dairy farm and the abattoir which is near completion, and these are the areas where we can find some cooperation,” said the South African diplomat.

    Asked how South Africa can assist Namibia in the areas of agriculture, Whitehead said it is not a question of South Africa assisting Namibia, but a question of that abattoir functioning and serving the region.

    “It is also a question to bring Namibian and South African businesses together to ensure growth of these industries in both countries and not necessarily Namibia only, but South Africa also in order to grow and exchange expertise and skills and other related issues,” said Whitehead.

    The South African representative visited the Rundu state-of-the-art abattoir and meat processing facility, which is about 90% completed. The abattoir cost government about N$110.8 million and is expected to be finalised before September this year.

    In addition, Whitehead paid a visit to the Uvhungu-Vhungu dairy farm, which is also set for completion this year. – Nampa

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    Development of towns, villages can lower people influxDevelopment of towns, villages can lower people influxCoW to assist rural areas The City of Windhoek has signed memorandums of co-operation with towns elsewhere in the country. We have over the years witnessed the rapid and high influx of our people to urban areas in search of job opportunities and a better life. - Muesee Kazapua, Mayor: Windhoek The development of towns and villages around the country will lower the influx of people to Windhoek in search of employment and better basic services, Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua has said.

    Kazapua was speaking at the joint signing ceremony of the memorandums of co-operation between the City of Windhoek (CoW), Outjo municipality, Otavi Town council, Opuwo town council and Otjinene village council in the capital on Thursday.

    “We have over the years witnessed the rapid and high influx of our people to urban areas in search of job opportunities and a better life,” Kazapua said.

    As a result of the migration from rural to urban, he added, it has placed pressure on Windhoek as a capital city and hub for economic activities.

    He said that nevertheless, CoW still has the obligation to assist other local authorities of towns as well as villages in Namibia to promote intergovernmental relationships through capacity building initiatives, technical assistance and experience sharing.

    The cooperation agreements renewed the commitment with Otavi and Opuwo, whereas this will be the first time that Outjo and Otjinene will enter into the joint agreement with CoW.

    Speaking at the same event, Otavi mayor Martha Shipanga said as a result of the cooperation, Otavi has re-established its fire-fighting and emergency service and built a fire station which can now respond to various disasters and emergencies and is equipped with qualified personnel.

    Meanwhile, Opuwo mayor Albert Tjiuma explained that the renewal of the agreement with CoW can help his town to deal with basic service delivery obstacles limiting the town from becoming a tourism and mining hub.

    Tjiuma pointed out that there are two major challenges – the sudden increase of the town’s water bill to the Namibia Water Corporation, as well as waste management, which he hopes the agreement will assist in alleviating.

    Otavi mayor Sam !Oe-Amseb said CoW’s cooperation will also help his town with solid waste management, informal settlement service delivery strategies as well as economic and housing development. - Nampa

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  • 02/24/19--14:00: Paradise for potholes
  • Paradise for potholesParadise for potholesKatima residents up-in-arms Residents expressed their disappointment over the council not being able to maintain the town's roads. The Katima Mulilo town council has promised to rehabilitate a number of severely damaged roads at the town, but cannot say when this will happen.

    This is after some residents expressed their disappointment over the council not being able to maintain the town's roads, which they say damage their vehicles and make it difficult for motorists to manoeuvre.

    A concerned resident told Namibian Sun at the weekend that the situation had worsened due to the recent rainfall. He said humongous potholes characterise the town's roads, especially those used more frequently by motorists, adding that motorists are forced to drive in the opposite lane.

    “Our roads are in a bad state. We are now in the middle of the rainy season and it is becoming worse. The Katima Mulilo town council must do something about this issue because it is getting worse by the day,” he said.

    When contacted for comment, town council CEO Rafael Liswaniso said the council is well-aware of the situation and will address it.

    Liswaniso explained the roads in question were poorly constructed a few years ago, saying the base of the roads was not strong enough to hold the bitumen, which resulted in them being damaged.

    Instead of patching the potholed roads, the council will rehabilitate them to proper bitumen standard.

    “The plan of council is that to remove the entire road; you cannot patch the potholes, they are too big. The base was not strong enough to hold the bitumen. “We cannot waste money on patching such potholes. We are patching roads where necessary. The process started a long time ago,” Liswaniso said. When asked when the roads would be rehabilitated, Liswaniso said they were still in the planning process and no timeframe had been attached to the project. He explained that the economic headwinds had not only affected central government, but also local authorities and this was why all challenges cannot be addressed at once.


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    Ministry back-peddles on NabtaMinistry back-peddles on Nabta The transport ministry has rescinded a press release dating back to 2013, in which it announced that the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) is the legally recognised taxi association that regulates and deals with the public transport sector.

    The October 2013 press release urged all village councils, town councils, city councils, municipalities and other relevant authorities to engage Nabta and to ensure that land for loading terminals, taxi ranks and other public transport related services are provided to Nabta, “as the only recognised (legally mandated) association dealing and regulating public transport in Namibia”.

    This press release was issued by the then transport minister Erkki Nghimtina on 15 October 2013.

    The statement caused some uproar within the sector and resulted in the Namibia Public Passenger Association (NPPA) dragging Nabta as well as the ministry to court to reverse the statement. The matter was, however, dismissed with costs.

    NPPA argued the press release violated the rights of their members and that all people have the right to freedom of association and to join any association or union, including a trade union.

    Current minister John Mutorwa rescinded the 2013 press release last week, saying this decision was taken after due and diligent consideration of provisions of the Namibian Constitution, the Labour Act and the Local Authorities Act.

    “Article 21(1)(e) of the Namibian Constitution provides for the rights of freedom of association which includes the freedom to form and join associations or unions, including trade unions and political parties,” the statement by Mutorwa said.

    He said there are currently three registered bus and taxi associations and a trade union registered within the provisions of the Labour Act.

    He said the ministry is mandated to oversee issues pertaining to all transportation in Namibia.

    “Public transport is regulated by the ministry, by means of powers derived from the Road Transportation Act. Inter alia this includes the appointment of the Road Transportation Board that has a legal mandate to issue public carrier permits, which one would need to carry out public transport operations in Namibia.”

    Mutorwa said public transport services within the boundaries of the local authorities are the responsibility of the local authority concerned, as it relates to the regulation of public transport operations and the management of loading animals, providing taxi ranks and other public services.

    Last September Nabta again issued a media release saying it wishes to inform all its members and the public that it is holding its position as the only recognised association in the transport sector.


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    Fall armyworm outbreak hits ZambeziFall armyworm outbreak hits Zambezi The already struggling agriculture sector is facing another challenge, with an outbreak of fall armyworms confirmed in the Zambezi Region.

    The outbreak has already affected at least 100 hectares of maize crop farmland in the region.

    Agriculture executive director Percy Misika said the outbreak was reported on 14 February in Sacona, Kongola, Bukalo, Kasheshe and Musanga.

    Following reports the ministry undertook assessment missions to the affected areas last week, which confirmed that over 100 hectares of farmland was adversely affected by the worms.

    The maize crop in these areas is at different growth stages, from vegetable to flowering, which is highly susceptible to fall armyworms.

    “In Namibia fall armyworms pose a significant threat to smallholder crop farmers, mainly maize farmers, and has become a threat to food security. In the 2016/17 cropping season approximately 50 000 hectares of maize and millet were estimated to have been damaged by the pest, which adversely affected 27 000 households,” said Misika.

    According to the ministry, the fall armyworm is a pervasive agriculture pest that is native to South and Central America, which worked its way across the African continent after arriving in West Africa in 2016. It made its way south of the Sahara and into Namibia during the 2016/17 cropping season.

    The fall armyworms spread quickly during their adult or moth stage.

    According to the ministry their lifespan, from egg to larva to moth, lasts from about one to three months.

    “Controlling fall armyworms is a challenge, because they reproduce fast and in large numbers and can migrate long distances, hide within growing leaves and are also resistant to several pesticides,” said Misika.

    He said females produce huge numbers of eggs - between 50 and 200 per batch - and can have up to 10 batches within a lifespan.

    Also, the moth can be carried by winds across vast distances and some spread up to 1 000 kilometres, while the numbers of fall armyworms cannot be reduced by natural enemies and therefore they can multiply uninhibited.

    According to Misika fall armyworms is one of the most difficult pests to control in fields of maize crop. They cause serious leaf feed damage and can damage plants in nearly all stages of development.

    He said farmers should avoid late planting, staggering planting and increase plant diversity.

    Furthermore, he advised farmers to monitor their fields at least once or twice a week when the fall armyworm population is high, and look for damage on the leaves. Farmers should inspect 25 plants and count how many have new damage, this will determine the percentage of plants infested in the fields.

    Should plants be infected, farmers should handpick and destroy the egg masses and young caterpillars on leaves.

    “Apply ash, sand or soil to whorls with damaged leaves - this kills the larvae,” said Misika.

    It is also advised the use of botanical pesticides and that farmers should report any pest and insect occurrence on their farms and fields to the offices of the directorates of agriculture production and extension engineering services in the regions.


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  • 02/24/19--14:00: Bird flu alarm bells
  • Bird flu alarm bellsBird flu alarm bellsPoultry industry sounds warning Fears are rife that if an outbreak of bird flu on Halifax Island reaches poultry farms inland, it will totally destroy the poultry industry. Poultry producers say if the outbreak of avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, among Halifax Island penguins' spreads inland, it will be disastrous for the sector.

    The H5N8 outbreak was discussed at a recent management meeting of the Poultry Producers Association (PPA).

    According to the Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU), the PPA management emphasised that it is of utmost importance that the Directorate of Veterinary Services implement all possible actions to prevent the disease from spreading from the island near Lüderitz. “If the disease reaches poultry farms inland it will totally destroy the poultry industry,” said the NAU.

    The disease was detected on 2 February. According to the According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), a total of 7 002 penguins are susceptible to the disease and that 225 penguins have already died, while eight birds were killed and disposed of.

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

    Highly pathogenic, avian influenza is characterised by its 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 the red discoloration of the feet, internal muscle and organ bleeding, greenish diarrhoea, twisting of the neck, staggering and paralysis of the wings and neck.

    The poultry industry also expressed concern over the apparent lack of vaccination programmes for birds by producers. The absence of good communication between producers was also discussed. A need was identified for the Directorate of Veterinary Services to monitor that poultry producers implement vaccination programmes.


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    Community interests must come firstCommunity interests must come first The dust clearly refuses to settle in the ongoing standoff pitting various communities against traditional authorities over illegal sand mining activities. The issue has been simmering for many years now and government has been forced to intervene in the ongoing disputes, especially in northern Namibia where once pristine grazing areas have been destroyed and damaged, thanks to the illegal mining of sand for commercial purposes. According to the Environmental Management Act of 2007, a person cannot undertake sand mining without obtaining an environmental clearance certificate from the authorities. It seems this has not been the standard in the past, considering the dozens of complaints against traditional authorities. They are being accused of fuelling illegal sand mining by reportedly not consulting their respective communities before allowing businesspeople to extract sand from pit burrows. Some community members have even complained of not benefitting at all from the proceeds of such activities. It is so sad that hapless community members have had to endure the sight of dozens of trucks carrying tons of sand, ready to supply the construction markets, while at the same time destroying the livelihoods of thousands of communal farmers who use the land for grazing, among others. Interestingly, the traditional authorities are aggressively defending the notion that they are selling off land against the wishes of their communities. Surprisingly, the very same authorities seem to find no fault with sand mining practices which have ruined the natural beauty of many environments. While environment minister Pohamba Shifeta must be applauded for presiding over sand mining hearings, which are clearly in the public interest, the ministry must carry out comprehensive investigations to determine whether the traditional authorities are indeed serving the interests of their communities. Surely the interest of communities must come first, ahead of the interests of businesspeople, who absolutely have no consideration for the environment and are simply there to make a quick buck.

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  • 02/24/19--14:00: Pronk makes history in Dubai
  • Pronk makes history in DubaiPronk makes history in Dubai Local karateka Suzelle Pronk participated in a K1 Premier League event held in Dubai from 14 to 17 February, becoming the first Namibian to compete in this competition, despite her first round exit.

    According to a statement by the Namibia Karate Union (NAKU), leading up to the event Pronk was ranked 94th in the world and trained under the watchful eye of Sensei Valdemar Swart, as well as Namibian national coach Llewellyn Manale and Morgan Moss from South Africa.

    Pronk drew a tough opponent - Norwegian, Lotte Andersen ranked 44th - in the first round. She indicated in the statement that the level of competition at the tournament and its organisation were of the highest order.

    “Most athletes at this level are all elite professionals with full sponsorships for karate; so it's like competing against the Ronaldo's and Messi's of karate, which is a pretty amazing experience in itself,” she was quoted as saying.

    NAKU congratulated Pronk on her incredible achievement and for inspiring other Namibian athletes to pursue their dreams.

    This year NAKU hopes to provide numerous opportunities for Namibian karatekas to participate internationally, in order for them to gather the necessary experience and develop their skills, as financial constraints are often still a deciding factor when it comes to international participation.

    In 2018, Pronk represented Namibia at numerous international events including the Region 5 Karate Championships in Botswana, the Africa Karate Championships in Kigali, Rwanda, and The World Karate Championships in Madrid, Spain.

    She was also one of seven Namibian karatekas to win medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Karate Championships in Durban, South Africa and ended the year by participating in her first Karate Series A event in Japan.


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    Sand mining: Villagers cry foulSand mining: Villagers cry foulShifeta to rule on Uukwambi community court battle The Uukwambi Traditional Authority has been accused of not consulting villagers and benefiting exclusively from sand mining activities. Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has heard that the Uukwambi Traditional Authority is benefitting from sand mining activities, and that it had obtained environmental clearance certificates without consulting residents.

    Shifeta is presiding over a sand mining matter that is being heard in the traditional authority's community court.

    Residents of Onanime and Ekamba outside Oshakati are accusing the traditional authority of obtaining clearance certificates to burrow pits in their villages without following proper procedures.

    They have appealed the granting of the certificates and Shifeta presided over the hearing last week. He is yet to deliver his ruling.

    The residents said no public consultations were held before the certificates were issued and the traditional authority is now generating money from the sand mining activities and damaging environment, at the expense of the two villages.

    Ekamba community representative Lukas Nantanga argued they were not consulted and the clearance certificate for burrow pit at Iiheke yaNakele was obtained unprocedurally.

    “If the community was consulted, we need the minutes of those consultation meetings, the signatures of the people who attended and their comments. We do not want the comments from one person, but from all the people who attended the meeting, because if they were consulted they must have said something,” Nantanga said.

    “Iiheke yaNakele is a cultural and heritage site, therefore proper consultation is needed and the proper environmental impact assessment (EIA) needs to be conducted.'

    The traditional authority was represented by its spokesperson Reinhold Iita, who said the community and the Oshana and Omusati regional councils were consulted. He could, however, not provide any proof. He then amended his statement.

    “Those burrow pits were already in existence, therefore there was no need to consult the public or conduct the EIA, as if we were establishing new pits,” Iita said.

    “For the past 25 years the traditional authority has observed some members of the community interfering in its affairs. Claims that the clearance certificates were obtained through the back door and by unethical means is not true. They are just aimed at tarnishing the good image of the Uukwambi Traditional Authority.”

    Nantanga argued that the burrow pits are being extended and therefore public consultations and a proper EIA must be conducted.

    The community of Onanime, represented by Susan Herman, said they are not benefitting from the money being generated from the burrow pits in their communities.

    Iita claimed the community has a bank account where all the money generated was being deposited into.

    “I would like to know how that money is being used and also how the traditional authority accounts for those accounts. That money is supposed to be for the community and was supposed to be under control of the traditional authority and not under the control of some individuals,” Shifeta said.

    Shifeta requested that the traditional authority submits reports on the community bank account, as well as the documents requested by Nantanga, before he rules on the matter.


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