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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 982 | 983 | (Page 984) | 985 | 986 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Mahindra unveils the Thar Adventure SeriesMahindra unveils the Thar Adventure SeriesSpecial edition The Mahindra Thar traces its legacy directly back to the original Willys Jeep, which the company manufactured under licence more than 70 years ago. The Thar is a firm favourite among Mahindra and off-road enthusiasts alike for its 70-year pedigree and no-frills focus on off-roading. – Rajesh Gupta, CEO: Mahindra SA Mahindra’s most iconic off-roader, the Mahindra Thar, has received a major off-road boost for 2019 with the launch of the Thar Adventure Series model.

    The Thar Adventure Series is a special edition equipped with a host of off-road accessories that meet the needs of every off-road enthusiast. It is available immediately from dealers across the country for R293 999.

    The Thar Adventure Series builds on the impressive pedigree of the standard Thar 2.5 CRDe 4x4 SE specification by adding special off-road bumpers, a steel canopy, off-road ready alloy wheels and a snorkel.

    “The Thar is a firm favourite among Mahindra and off-road enthusiasts alike for its 70-year pedigree and no-frills focus on off-roading. With the Adventure Series, we have added the most popular Thar accessories at a discounted price to create a model that is sure to find favour with this group of fans,” says Rajesh Gupta, CEO of Mahindra South Africa.

    Bumpers

    Taking centre stage on the list of accessories is a complete set of new bumpers courtesy of Bundu Gear.

    The front bumper is a true off-road approach bumper with upwardly slanted sides to expose more of the tyre surface and further improve on the Thar’s standard 44-degree approach angle. It also features brightly coloured recovery points, a functional bush bashing top bar to protect the grille, and high-lift jack mounting points.

    The Bundu Gear front bumper also sports in-built LED lights and a mounting point for off-road accessories such as a front tow bar or removable winch.

    Bundu Gear’s specialists have also developed a set of hard-wearing rock sliders that can be fitted to the Adventure Series at an additional cost. These sliders have diamond plate top steps and additional high-lift jack mounting points.

    At the rear, the matching off-road steel bumper is fitted as standard. It has its own brightly coloured recovery points, jack mounts and an integrated tow bar.

    Other features

    Mahindra has further added a hardened steel canopy from Getec as standard equipment. The canopy and roof section above the front seats can be removed for an open-top driving experience, and Mahindra includes its standard canvas rear canopy as additional equipment.

    In front, Mahindra has added a heavy-duty snorkel with an air inlet mounted above the roofline to emphasise the vehicle’s off-road credentials. The snorkel has been designed to allow for safe water traverses and to allow cleaner air into the engine when driving in convoy on dirt roads.

    Lastly, Mahindra has selected stunning heavy-duty A-line alloy wheels fitted to the standard tyres. As an option, buyers can opt for more off-road focussed tyres such as the Hankook Dynapro AT wheels with their dual-purpose on- and off-road abilities and their aggressive profile for greater traction in mud and sand.

    Legacy

    The Mahindra Thar traces its legacy directly back to the original Willys Jeep, which the company manufactured under licence more than 70 years ago. In its current iteration, the Thar is fitted with Mahindra’s well-proven 2.5 TCI-CRDe turbodiesel engine, which delivers 78 kW at 3 800 rpm and 247 Nm in a flat torque curve from 1 200 rpm to 2 000 rpm.

    Under the body shell, the Thar is fitted with a ladder frame, very hardy leaf springs, a stabiliser bar and hydraulic shocks. This combination gives the Thar a ground clearance of 200 mm and allows a very impressive standard wheel travel of 194 mm.

    In the USA, the Thar has spawned the Mahindra ROXOR, which is highly popular as a side-by-side recreational vehicle. Mahindra assembles the ROXOR in Michigan and aside from its application in off-road conditions, its fitment of a Power Take-off system (PTO) has made it popular in applications such as snow ploughing and farming.

    In South Africa, all Thar models have a mechanical differential lock in the rear and auto locking front hubs. The 4x4-system was developed with Borg Warner and allows for shift on the fly between 4x2 and 4x2 and high and low range.

    While the Thar has a clear bias for off-road applications, it offers luxuries such as front cup holders, air conditioning, power steering and a 12V power socket. The Thar Adventure series can be ordered in Rocky Beige, Red Rage or DSAT Silver. - Quickpic

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  • 03/13/19--15:00: Aanaskola ya otekathana
  • Aanaskola ya otekathanaAanaskola ya otekathana Ompumbwe yomuhandjo gwoskola oshowo omahala gokuza gaakwanezimo moskola Omungwelume Senior Secondary School oya etitha aanaskola moskola ndjoka ya kale ya otekathana nokuza pamwe ya fa aahokanathani.

    “Aavali oya tuma aanona yawo koskola ihe huka oye li ko ya hokana moombashu moka haya zi. Kape na ngoka te ya kondolola molwaashoka itaya zi meni lyoskola,” kuume koskola ndjoka, Kleopas Kapweya a lombwele oNamibian Sun.

    Aavali moka ya holola omaiyuvo gawo oya popi kutya oshitopolwa shaHangwena oshi na omukundu omunene molwaashoka oskola ndjoka kayi na omuhandjo otayi tambula aanaskola okuza koombinga adhihe dhoshitopolwa, onkalo ndjoka otayi thiminike aanaskola ya kuthe omahala gokuza kehe ngoka taya mono po.

    Aanaskola yondondo ontimulongo ya za komahala ngaashi Okongo, Oshikunde, Epembe, Omundaungilo, Omauni, Ekoka oshowo omahala gamwe po otaya hiila oombashu mOmungwelume opo ya vule okuya kootundi. Oshikondo shelongo moshitopolwa shaHangwena osha popi kutya osha talelepo oskola ndjoka oshiwike sha piti, ihe omapopyo ngoka ina ga lopotwa. Kapweya okwa popi kutya okwa gandja po oshitopolwa shepya lye shimwe oomvula dha piti, opo ku vule okutungwa omuhandjao gwoskola ihe shoka inashi ningwa natango. “Omudhingoloko gwaMungwelume kagu shi ehala ewanawa lyokukala aaskola ya kale taya zi kuyoyene. Aanaskola oya za komahala ge li kokule nokuya koskola kayi na omuhandjo. Ngashiingeyi otaya zi pamwe molukanda opo ya vule okuya kootundi ihe inatu pandula omaihumbato ngoka hatu mono taya ihumbata nago.”

    Ooskola dhepangelo odha pulwa opo dhi tule tango aanaskola yondondo onti 10 momihandjo ihe shoka oshidhigu kooskola ndhoka kadhi na omihandjo. Petameko lyomvula oNamibian Sun okwa li a lopota kutya Omuprima Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila okwa gandja elombwelo komupeha minista gwelongo, Anna Nghipondoka opo a talelepo ooskola moshilongo ashihe a tale kutya ooskola otashi hupu ngiini konima sho kwa tulwa miilonga osindalongo omupe gwoondondo onti 10.

    Konyala aanaskola ye li 118 yondondo 10, 11 oshowo 12 okuza mOmungwelume Senior Secondary School otaya zi megumbo limwe lyepangelo, sha landula elombwelo ndyoka lya gandjwa konguloneya gwoshitopolwa shaHangwena Usko Nghaamwa.

    Aina Haufiku a za mOngenga okwa popi kutya okanona ke hoka ke li mondondo onti 12 oka kala taka hiila okuza omvula ya piti, ihe ina nyanyukilwa omahokololo ngoka a kala nokuuvila okanona ke.

    “Aantu yomOmungelume ohaya dhengelendje oongodhi taya lombwele ndje uuna ya mono ta ningi iinima ya puka. Kandi uvite ombili ihe uupyakadhi owu li mpaka kutya oshidhigu okuya kondolola molwaashoka oye li kuyoyene. Nuumvo okwa mono ehala megumbo ndyoka tuuvu kutya olya li lya landwa kelelo lyoshitopolwa ihe hwepo ngaa molwaashoka omu na osilishipwiyu megumbo ndyoka.”

    Omukalimo gwomOmungwelume, Johanna Undjombala okwa popi kutya oya dhidhilike nkene aanaskola haya ihumba nayi uuna ye li kuyoyene. Okwa popi kutya otaya ihumbata nayi nokulongitha nayi iikolitha.

    Omukuluntu gumwe ngoka a holola omaiyuvo ge oBoas Mwapopi, okwa popi kutya onkalo ndjoka oyi li omukundu omunene.

    “Oshikondo shelongo osha pumbwa okutalulula omusindalongo gwawo ngoka. Na ya yande okutuma aanona kooskola dhokokule ndhoka kadhi na omihandjo, yo taya kwashilipaleke kutya aanona oya mona ooskola pooskola dhopopepi noofamili,” Mwapopi a popi.

    “Omukundu gumwe natango, aanona yanangashingeeyi kaye na omikalo ngele owa kambadhala okuya popya sho taya ihumbata nayi.”

    Sho a ningilwa omapulo, omukomeho gwelongo mOhangwena, Isak Hamatwi okwa popi kutya okwa talelepo oskola nokutala aanona mboka mpoka haya zi ihe ina lombwelwa kutya otaya zi pamwe ya otekathana.

    Hamatwi okwa popi kutya Omungwelume Senior Secondary School oya taalela onkalo ngaashi owala ndjoka ya taalela konyala ooskola odhindji monooli yoshilongo.

    Okwa popi kutya iimaliwa oyo uupyakadhi uunene na itaku vulika okukandulwa po omukundu ngoka manga opo ku tungwe omihandjo, molwaashoka oshikondo oshi na oonzo dhiiyemo dha ngambekwa.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Aapolisi yamwe otaya ihumbata nayi - NamolohAapolisi yamwe otaya ihumbata nayi - NamolohTaku nyenyetwa omamonitho giihuna okuza kopolisi Ominista yoshikondo shegameno nuuhepelo, oya koleke kutya ope na aapolisi mboka haya ihumbata nayi ihe nonando ongaaka okwa popi kutya opolisi ihayi hwahwamekwa yiihumbatele nayi oshigwana ihe oyi na okwiihumbata kwikwatelelwa komilandu noompango. Minista Charles Namoloh okwa popi kutya aapolisi yamwe ohaya taagulula oompango uuna taya ningi omatulo miipandeko nenge taya ungaunga noshigwana ihe oshikondo shawo ohashi yamukula owala ngele kwa tulwa mo iipotha.

    “Oshi li po nale kutya onga omuntu oto a dha yamwe taya yi pondje oompango,” Namoloh a popi.

    Okwa popi kutya oshikondo she inashi ikolelela koolopota ndhoka tadhi tulwa komakwatathano gopamalungula, hoka haku tulwa oolopota dhomamonitho giihuna taga ningilwa oshigwana kaapolisi, ihe ohaya ningi omakonaakono gawo uuna kwa tulwa mo iipotha nomanyenyeto gopambelewa.

    Minista okwa popi kutya ope na iikondo yomakonaakono gomeni miitopolwa ayihe, uuna kwa ningilwa omanyenyeto omunambelewa gwopolisi gwontumba.

    Namoloh okwa li ta yamukula moNational Assembly komapulo ngoka ga pulwa kongundu yoPopular Democratic Movement (PDM) koshilyo shongundu ndjoka, Nico Smit kombinga yoolopota tadhi limbilike dhomamonitho giihuna taya ningilwa aakwashigwana kopolisi okuza momwedhi Desemba.

    MuJanuari okwa ningwa omanyenyeto kaalumentu naakiintu, taya nyenyeta kombinga yomadhengo nomamonitho giihuna ngoka ya ningilwa kopolisi yetanga lyowina ano Special Reserve Force moondjeedhililo dhopolisi yaKahandja.

    Momwedhi ngoka natango moSwakopo, omulumentu gumwe okwa nyenyeta kutya okwa ekelwa membamba lyopolisi nokukala a tulwa miipandeko esiku alihe ina pangulwa omolwa okuthaneka omathano pethimbo opolisi yali tayi kutha ko komukulofuta gwondoolopa ndjoka aakwati yoohi.

    MoKarasburg aalumentu yaali oya popi kutya oya dhengwa nokutulwa ohaasa kaapolisi mboka ya piti puyo pwaahena kutya oya ningi shike.

    Namoloh okwa popi kutya omanyenyeto gomaihumbato gonayi gaapolisi ohaga konaakonwa.

    Okwa tsikile kutya kwiikwatelelwa konkalo yenyenyeto ohaku ningwa nduno etokolo ngele otaku gandjwa enyenyeto ndyoka komupanguli-ndjai ye a ninge etokolo nenge otali ungaungiwa nalyo koshikondo shomakonaakono gomeni mopolisi.

    Namoloh okwa popi kutya omakonaakono oga manitha miipotha itatu yomamonitho giihuna mbyoka ya tulilwamo aapolisi. Omakonaakono ngoka oga manithwa muule woomwedhi 18 dha piti. Oshipotha shimwe oshi li mompangulilo moshitopolwa Otjozondjupa omanga moshitopolwa shaMaheke, omunambelewa gwopolisi a pewa egeelo lyokukala modholongo uule woomvula 33.

    Oshipotha oshititatu osha Ii moshitopolwa shaKhomas, moka omupolisi iidhipaga konima sho a dhipaga omukadhona gwe.

    Smit okwa li a hala okuuva kuNamoloh ngele oshi li oshimbuluma okuthaneka omathano omanga opolisi tayi longo iilonga yawo, Namoloh okwa yamukula kutya ngashiingeyi kape na ompango ndjoka tayi indike oshinima shoka ihe omahala gamwe giiningwanima oga pumbwa omakonaakono ga gwedhwa po onkene okuthaneka omathano otashi vulika shi ye moshipala omakonaakono ngoka.

    Minista okwa tsikile kutya aapolisi ihaya hwahwameka ya dhenge nenge ya ningile aakwashigwana omamonitho giihuna, ihe ohaya pulwa yiihumbate nawa ngaashi oompango dhawo tadhi holola. Opolisi oya pitikwa owala kOmpango yoCriminal Procedure Act yomo 1977, opo ya longithe oonkondo ooshona mpoka tashi pumbiwa uuna omuntu ta tindi etulo miipandeko nokwaahalongela kumwe nopolisi.

    Omiyonena dhomomagumbo

    Smit okwa holola woo omaiyuvo ge kombinga yomwaalu guli pombanda gwiipotha yomadhipago gaakiintu naaakadhona mbyoka inayi manithwa natango.

    Namoloh okwa zimine kutya okutameka omvula yo 2014 sigo 2018 omapeko giipotha yi li 733 oga shunwa ko opo iipotha mbyoka yi ka konaakonwe nawa.

    Namoloh okwa popi kutya shoka itashi ti omakonaakono oga ndopa, ihe omolwaashoka opo epangulo li pule komeho okwa pumbiwa okukala pe na uumbangi wa yela.

    Okwa popi kutya ngashiingeyi opolisi oshowo ombelewa yomupanguli-ndjai oya tula po omilandu dhomakonaakono opo ku kwashilipalekwe kutya omakonaakono agehe oga ningwa kwiikwatelela kiipumbiwa yompangu.

    Namoloh okwa popi woo kombinga yomapopyo gomapeko taga kana, ta popi kutya omapeko gamwe ohaga kala ga tulwa pomahala gapuka pakathimbo, ta popi kutya onkalo ndjoka otayi ka lunduluka uuna kwa tulwa omulandu gwo e-policing database.



    Iipotha tayi katekwa

    Namoloh okwa popi kutya kombinga yoshipotha shoAndre Heckmair ngoka taku popiwa a dhipagwa kaaakwashigwana yaali yaAmerika, Kevin Townsend oshowo Marcus Tomas, oshi li mompangu uule wethimbo ele omolwa aatamanekewa mboka taya kutu nokutidha aakalelipo yawo yopaveya.

    Kombinga yekateko moshipotha shuukulo moCaprivi, otashi katekwa omolwa omatompelo ga yooloka.

    Etompelo limwe omikalo tadhi longithwa kaatamanekewa mboka ya popi kutya kaye shi AaNamibia onkene itaya vulu okupangulwa koompangulilo dhaNamibia.



    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 03/13/19--15:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief African Bank appoints ex-Liberty Holdings CEO as chairman

    African Bank, a small South African lender which is trying to rebuild after nearly collapsing under the weight of bad debts, said it has appointed Thabo Dloti, former CEO of insurer Liberty Holdings, as its chairman.

    Dloti, who is also an ex-CEO of Old Mutual Investment Group and Liberty Holdings' asset management subsidiary Stanlib, will be a permanent replacement for Louis von Zeuner, who left African Bank last July.

    African Bank was bailed out with a R10-billion capital injection from a consortium of lenders in 2014, when the South African Reserve Bank stepped in to arrange a rescue after the lender said it would need to raise US$800 million to cover bad loans. The central bank still owns a 50% stake in African Bank.

    The lender said Dloti had a record of driving strategy and transformation within blue chip companies. He spearheaded an acquisition-fuelled expansion drive at Liberty but left abruptly two years ago after a clash over that strategy.

    Liberty Holdings is owned by big four lender Standard Bank. – Nampa/Reuters

    Boeing shares take another hit

    Boeing Co's stock took another beating on Tuesday, knocking off more than US$25 billion from the planemaker's market value over the past two days, as more countries lined up to ground its 737 MAX 8 aircraft following Sunday's deadly crash in Ethiopia.

    Britain joined China, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and other countries in banning the 737 MAX planes, squeezing the shares, which had been one of best performing stocks so far this year on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

    The stock fell 7% to US$372 in midday trade on Tuesday, adding to a 5% decline on Monday. The losses set the stock for its biggest two-day percentage drop since June 2009.

    At least seven of the 24 analysts covering the stock have reviewed their ratings over the last two days, with two downgrades and one price target cut so far, according to Refinitiv data.

    DZ Bank became the first brokerage in nearly two years to place a "sell" rating on the stock, while setting a price target of US$333 - the lowest on Wall Street. – Nampa/Reuters

    Safaricom secures deal to use M-Pesa payments

    Kenya's Safaricom said on Tuesday it had secured a deal to use its M-Pesa mobile payment service for online shopping on one of Alibaba's platforms, part of a move to expand its most profitable product beyond Kenya.

    AliExpress.com, run by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, will allow Kenyan shoppers to buy goods on the site using M-Pesa in a matter of weeks.

    M-Pesa was launched more than a decade ago to offer Kenyans without bank accounts a network to transfer cash via mobile phones. It now offers a range of payment services, loans and savings to more than 21 million people in Kenya and has been copied abroad.

    Safaricom, Kenya's largest operator that is partly owned by South Africa's Vodacom and Britain's Vodafone, said the deal was part of an effort to transform M-Pesa into a global payments platform. M-Pesa has become a major profit driver for Safaricom.

    In November the company agreed a deal with Western Union to allow M-Pesa users to send money around the world using their mobile phones. – Nampa/Reuters

    VW warns on jobs as margins slip

    Volkswagen will cut jobs as it speeds up the rollout of less labour-intensive electric cars and will review its sprawling portfolio of brands as it battles to reverse a slide in profit margins, the German carmaker said on Tuesday.

    The company said it planned to launch almost 70 new electric models by 2028, aiming to put itself at the forefront of the industry's shift to zero-emissions driving following the 2015 scandal over its cheating of US diesel emissions tests.

    However, it said investments to retool factories, as well as adverse currency moves and a sales slowdown triggered by new emissions certification tests, led to a fall in operating margins at its VW, Skoda, Audi and Porsche marques last year.

    The margin at its top-selling VW brand slipped to 3.8% in 2018 from 4.2% in 2017.

    The group said it would respond by aligning management pay and bonuses more closely with profitability, cutting manufacturing complexity and reducing headcount by an unspecified amount. – Nampa/Reuters

    Adidas says supply chain problems to rein in sales growth

    Adidas expects supply chain shortages to hit its sales growth in the first half of the year, particularly in North America, while it hopes to return to growth in Europe, where Nike is challenging the German sportswear brand.

    Adidas said currency-neutral sales growth would slow to between 5% and 8% in 2019, from 8% in 2018, with a 1-2% reduction coming from the supply issues that mean it is struggling to meet strong demand for mid-priced apparel.

    Fourth-quarter sales rose by a currency-adjusted 5% to 5.234 billion euros (US$5.91 billion), versus average analyst forecasts for 5.2 billion, while attributable net profit came in at 108 million, versus consensus for 88 million. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Throw the book at PSEMAS fraudsters - VenaaniThrow the book at PSEMAS fraudsters - Venaani JEMIMA BEUKES

    The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has demanded that government decisively deal with fraudsters implicated in the Public Service Employee Medical Aid Scheme (PSEMAS) corruption saga.

    An International Monetary Fund (IMF) report in 2018 revealed that PSEMAS has lost over N$900 million a year to fraudsters, with the aid of unscrupulous private medical practitioners.

    Finance minister Calle Schlettwein told parliament last week that N$13 million paid to healthcare service providers since June 2018, for which claims had been submitted incorrectly, had been recovered following a forensic investigation.

    He added a further N$23 million is expected to be recovered.

    According to PDM leader McHenry Venaani the N$13 million is only a tip of an iceberg, judging from the enormous funds that had been defrauded.

    The ministry has since opened a number of criminal cased, while agreements with some medical practices were suspended.

    According to Schlettwein the investigation found that some general practices submitted claims for services not performed and issued prescriptions for patients not seen by a doctor.

    A criminal case was opened with the police with CR number 159/11/2018.

    Some general practitioners were found to have abused non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and cortisone injections, as well as IVs, nebulisations, aspiration of joints and drainage of abscess codes.

    There were also claims identified for services performed on Sundays, while practices were closed.

    Venaani demanded that Schlettwein file criminal charges against the perpetrators and that they be subjected to harsh punishments.

    Venaani emphasised this must start with perpetrators who are seemingly powerful and untouchable.

    He added that these fraudsters, who call themselves doctors, should not escape with mere slaps on their wrist, and that the punishment meted out must act as a deterrent to others contemplating the same crime.

    “Their fraud, waste and abuse of state funds is already a financial burden, contributing to the overall cost of private healthcare in Namibia. Let us not forget that the fund relies on taxpayer money and taxpayer money should be used wisely, and not succumb to such losses. Since these fraudsters are medical practitioners that have made false claims, they can easily be detected because they are registered in government systems,” Venaani said.

    He added this is the only way to reduce graft in Namibia.

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    Cheetah pounces on local clinkerCheetah pounces on local clinker Chinese-backed cement factory Whale Rock Cement, the maker of Cheetah Cement, has started to source clinker locally for its products, after initially importing it from Egypt.

    The company says it is also in the process of sorting out its quality accreditation, which when finalised will see it stand toe-to-toe with major cement producers including Ohorongo Cement.

    This is according to Whale Rock Cement chairman Zedekias Gowaseb.

    “The clinker we import was from Egypt; that is no secret,” he said. According to him, clinker was also now being sourced locally.

    “From the December 2018 we have already started to produce clinker from the Whale Rock mine,” Gowaseb said.

    Mining commissioner Erasmus Shivolo confirmed that Whale Rock's mine was operating legally.

    “Of course yes, that is why they are mining legally,” he said when approached for comment.

    Cheetah's cement products currently do not carry the Namibia Standards Institute (NSI) seal of approval or that of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), which indicates that its products have undergone rigorous stress testing.

    “The Namibia Standards Institute and the South African Bureau of Standards are currently busy with the audit. We are busy with the process; the testing of samples will take another 45 working days. Therefore, we can only share that information after the testing,” Gowaseb said.

    Gowaseb said despite these standards of approval their cement is accepted as a quality product by local contractors and brickmakers, who have been using the products.

    Once its accreditation is finalised, Cheetah Cement will set its sets on exporting to several countries.

    “We are looking at the southern Africa market; currently we busy expanding to Mozambique, Congo and Ivory Coast,” Gowaseb said.

    This, he said, was bolstered by the market reaction Cheetah Cement is currently experiencing.

    “So far the market has received us very well.”

    Namibian Sun understands that new standards will gazetted soon for the cement industry.

    “We sent them for gazetting. The NSI then becomes the implementer,” a source with insight on the matter said.

    Production at Whale Rock Cement, which produces the Cheetah Cement brand, is 1.2 million tonnes per year, bringing the country's cement production capacity to 2.2 million tonnes per annum.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 03/13/19--15:00: Deadly bird flu spreads
  • Deadly bird flu spreadsDeadly bird flu spreadsDozens more endangered birds die There seems to be no halting the deadly outbreak of bird flu off the coast of Lüderitz. JANA-MARI SMITH

    The deadly bird flu virus that has wreaked havoc on the vulnerable African penguin population on Halifax Island off Lüderitz has spread to a nearby island, killing dozens more.

    Scientists based at Lüderitz last week confirmed that the deadly virus had spread to Ichaboe Island, 40 km north of Halifax.

    About 30 dead adult penguins have been found on Ichaboe Island since last week, adding to the confirmed death toll of more than 370 on Halifax Island since December.

    In total, it is estimated that more than 500 adult penguins have died since the outbreak was first detected in December.

    All carcasses are burnt by the ministry of fisheries and marine resources in an effort to contain the virus.

    In addition, salt has been spread on wet guano patches in another attempt to thwart the virus, which thrives in damp and wet environments but doesn’t survive in a saline environment.

    Scientists have expressed concern about the virus spreading to Ichaboe Island, where other vulnerable species breed alongside the penguins at this time of the year, including the critically endangered Cape gannet and the endangered Cape cormorant.

    Last week, the fisheries ministry dispatched a research vessel to Halifax Island for the second time in two weeks to monitor the situation there.

    Twenty-seven dead adult penguins were found on the island, in addition to three sick penguins. This indicated a slight reduction in the infection rate but was still a significant mortality, indicating the outbreak was not yet under control, Namibian Sun was told.

    Worried observers say in addition to continued monitoring and incinerating carcasses as often as possible, it is crucial to keep sick birds away from breeding areas.

    Further, strict biosafety protocols must be followed when people visit the island in order to prevent the virus from spreading to the mainland.

    Local observers first noticed that something was wrong in mid-December, when dead penguins started washing up on beaches and were spotted in the sea by tour boat operators. Carcasses were then discovered on Halifax Island itself.

    By mid-January it had become clear that the African penguins were facing a “major and unprecedented mortality event”, with at least 200 estimated to have died.

    Ministry officials were accused of dragging their feet in identifying the cause of death, and it was only on 13 February that the ministry confirmed an outbreak of the deadly H5N8 strain of bird flu.

    One of the most devastating aspects of the outbreak, according to scientists, is the impact of the disease on breeding birds.

    Scientists say Halifax Island is one of the few African penguin sites where numbers had been increasing over the last few years, and not declining as elsewhere.

    Before the bird flu outbreak, the island was home to about 7 000 adult penguins, including roughly 1 400 breeding pairs.

    It is suspected that most of the dead birds were breeding birds, which could be disastrous for the local population as the birds only start breeding at five years of age and are monogamous.

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    Brexit defeat leaves May's authority in tattersBrexit defeat leaves May's authority in tatters‘PM has lost all control’ The PM's office indicated she had no intention of resigning after Tuesday's vote. For a government not to be able to whip its MPs on one of its absolutely central policies is not exactly ... normal. - Alice Lilly, Senior researche: Institute for Government. Alice Ritchie - British prime minister Theresa May staked everything on getting her Brexit deal, and its rejection on Tuesday has left her authority severely damaged.

    The Conservative leader had already sparked anger and frustration at home and in Brussels for taking the Brexit talks down to the wire.

    These have now been shown to have failed, with dozens of her own MPs voting for a second time to reject her EU withdrawal agreement.

    "The PM has lost all control. If she had an ounce of decency she'd resign," said opposition Labour lawmaker Lou Haigh.

    After her defeat, May continued to insist that her deal was the best option, but said she would - as promised - allow MPs now to vote on whether to leave the EU with no deal.

    But faced with the prospect of another rebellion, she said Conservative MPs can vote as they choose - a move that commentators said showed how little authority she had over her party.

    "For a government not to be able to whip its MPs on one of its absolutely central policies is not exactly ... normal," noted Alice Lilly, senior researcher at the Institute for Government.

    ‘Bloody difficult woman’

    May has made much of her reputation for toughness, gleefully adopting a colleague's description of her as a "bloody difficult woman".

    But her efforts to seek changes to her own divorce deal just weeks before exit day on March 29, and despite EU warnings that her demands were impossible, has tested MPs' patience.

    Pro-European ministers staged a revolt, demanding May offer a vote on delaying Brexit rather than allow Britain to leave with no deal at all.

    Meanwhile many eurosceptics are livid at her failure to deliver the decisive divorce she had promised.

    "This is a total failure of leadership," said leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage after Tuesday's vote.

    ‘Brexit means Brexit’

    May took office after the 2016 referendum, and despite having campaigned to stay in the EU, embraced the cause with the mantra "Brexit means Brexit".

    Her promise to leave the EU's institutions and end free movement of workers delighted eurosceptic MPs, but caused dismay among many pro-Europeans.

    The splits in her Conservative party became a serious problem after a snap election in June 2017, when May lost her parliamentary majority.

    She was forced to strike a deal with Northern Ireland's pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and since then has struggled to keep her party and its allies together.

    "At first she appeared to be a unifier, but she turned out to have too little courage, imagination or skill to lead the Brexit negotiations," said the Conservative-backing Spectator magazine.

    ‘Maybot’

    Naturally reserved and reliant on her husband Philip and a few close aides, May often says she is just quietly "getting on with the job".

    But in the last election, she struggled to engage with voters and was dubbed the "Maybot" after churning out the same answers and speeches over and over again.

    Critics complain of similar difficulties in communicating during the Brexit talks.

    Matthew Parris, an anti-Brexit former Conservative MP who now writes for The Times, described her as "the living embodiment of the closed door".

    Survivor

    But May has been written off before.

    She survived the resignations of a string of high-profile Brexit supporters, notably former foreign secretary Boris Johnson.

    May also won a confidence vote in her Conservative party over Brexit in December, making her immune from a similar challenge within a year.

    She was forced to promise to quit before the next scheduled election in 2022, however, and even then, one third of her MPs voted to unseat her.

    May's office indicated she had no intention of resigning after Tuesday's vote.

    James Cleverly, deputy chairman of her Conservative party, said she was driven by her commitment to delivering Brexit.

    "The prime minister is having to navigate a very, very difficult course through the unique set of circumstances we are being presented with," he told the BBC. – Nampa/AFP

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    World Bank assesses workplace equalityWorld Bank assesses workplace equality Namibia has achieved a respectable score in a global study that measured gender equality in laws affecting the workplace.

    The report, titled 'Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform', was released by the World Bank shortly before International Women's Day, which was celebrated last week.

    The study focused on how women must navigate discriminatory laws and regulations at every point in their careers.

    The report ranked Namibia 55th out of 187 countries with a score of 86.25.

    Although Namibia lags behind other African countries such as Mauritius (34th) South Africa (49th) and Zimbabwe (51st), it outranked countries such as Kenya (63rd) and Malawi (64th).

    The index assessed eight indicators that influence the economic decisions women make during their working lives.

    The eight indicators are Going Places, Starting a Job, Getting Paid, Getting Married, Having Children, Running a Business, Managing Assets and Getting a Pension.

    It took into account factors such as sexual harassment in the workplace, paid parental leave, women's rights to divorce their husbands, and women's rights to property ownership.

    Each country was scored and ranked, with a score of 100 indicating the most equal opportunities. Only six countries were given full marks for all indicators.

    Namibia received a score of 100 for Going Places, Starting a Job, Getting Paid, Getting Married and Managing Assets.

    But it scored only 75 in the categories Getting a Pension and Running a Business, and 40 in the category Having Children.

    The report found that if you are a woman and want to be on an equal footing with men, it's best to live and work in Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg or Sweden.

    The World Bank, which has tracked legal changes for the past decade, found these were the only countries in the world to enshrine gender equality in laws affecting work. It found that, a decade ago, no country gave women and men equal legal rights.

    The country with the worst score when it comes to women's rights was Saudi Arabia.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Livestock sector is worth N$4.6bnLivestock sector is worth N$4.6bnFor every N$23 produced, N$1 comes from livestock While Namibia is buckling under drought, the Meat Board has shed light on the critical importance of the livestock sector to the country. Namibia's livestock industry is valued at an estimated N$4.6 billion, which equates to 4.3% of all goods and services annually produced by the country.

    Stated differently, of every N$23 produced by Namibia in goods and services every year, N$1 originates from livestock farming.

    This is according to the latest statistics released by the Meat Board.

    The total value of meat and livestock exports has consistently increased over the past few years, most notably by 77.3% between 2017 and 2018, and totalled N$4.6 billion in 2018. Beef and lamb dominate the industry and collectively account for 86% of all meat production.

    According to the Meat Board 84% of Namibia's beef production, 77% of its mutton and lamb, and 97% of its goat meat are exported every year, the bulk of it to South Africa. No pork is exported.

    “This makes Namibia a net exporter of beef, sheep and goats,” the Meat Board says.

    More specifically, Namibia produced a net trade surplus of 6 700 tonnes of beef and 2 900 tonnes of mutton in 2018.

    In addition, Namibia exported more than 305 000 live cattle, more than 450 000 live sheep and more than 145 000 live goats in 2018.

    Besides South Africa, Hong Kong, Botswana, Norway and the UK are important export destinations.

    “The livestock exports of last year far exceeded that of 2016 and 2017 for each of the months from January to December,” the Meat Board says.

    For instance, the total value of meat exports in January 2016 was N$0.25 billion, in 2017 it was N$0.21 billion and last year it increased to N$0.40 billion. The December figures were N$0.09 billion in 2016, N$0.21 billion in 2017 and N$0.50 billion in 2018. In 2017, Namibia was the world's 26th largest exporter of beef, up from 38th position in 2016.

    “Given the significant increase in exports in recent years, Namibia is expected to maintain, and perhaps even improve on, this position for the foreseeable future,” the Meat Board says.

    According to the latest data Namibia maintains more than seven million head of livestock: 2.8 million cattle, two million sheep, 1.9 million goats and 300 000 pigs.

    The Meat Board says it is evaluating the competitiveness of Namibian abattoirs compared to live exports of livestock. “During the past years, the industry experienced a decrease in local slaughter numbers, while exports of livestock to South Africa gained momentum,” it says.

    This was mainly because of local abattoirs becoming less productive due to reduced slaughter numbers and low meat prices.

    “Namibia, as a predominantly livestock- and meat-exporting country, must maintain a healthy slaughter industry operating in an optimum environment,” the Meat Board says.

    According to the Meat Board the Namibian livestock export market has been developed over many years and must be preserved at all costs.

    It says all components of the value chain, including potential export destinations such as the Middle East, will be incorporated in its competitiveness report, which is expected to be completed by April 2019.

    Meanwhile, the recent management meeting of the Livestock Producers Organisation (LPO) was dominated by discussions about the critical situation many livestock producers find themselves in due to the ongoing drought.

    The Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) says according to its regional representatives there are few parts in the country that have received good rain and whose pasture conditions are sufficient to carry livestock through the winter.

    “In all regions most producers are busy with emergency marketing. Auctions are under pressure and feedlots and slaughter allocations are fully booked,” says the union.

    The LPO management invited Meatco representatives to attend the meeting so that they could ascertain how Meatco could assist farmers.

    Meatco promised to slaughter at maximum capacity from this month onwards.

    “The abattoir is fully booked and there is a waiting list. They are considering slaughtering on the remaining Saturdays and also Sundays to accommodate the additional animals,” says the NAU.

    There is concern about the deteriorating condition of livestock.

    Meatco has requested farmers to have all documentation in order so that animals can be slaughtered as quickly as possible without delays.

    The company has also committed itself to keeping the producer price as stable as possible.







    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Namibian dads show their true coloursNamibian dads show their true colours A unique exhibition that opened yesterday intends to highlight the crucial role fathers play in the lives of their children, and recognise those dads who take their parental roles seriously, and who are breaking out of the stereotypical distant fatherhood moulds.

    The Swedish embassy in South Africa, in collaboration with Sonke Gender Justice, have partnered with local organisations, the White Ribbon Campaign Namibia and Lifeline/Childline, to bring a photo exhibition celebrating fathers caring for their children.

    The photo exhibition, showcasing fathers closely interacting with their offspring, intends to tell the stories of childcare through the eyes of dads.

    The exhibition forms part of a broader southern African project, which is also being staged in Botswana and South Africa.

    Titled 'Namibian Dads', the exhibition opened yesterday at the Okuryangava Disability Centre, and will exhibit photos taken by partners of the fathers who agreed to take part in the project to explore and recognise how modern Namibian dads are stepping “out of the stereotype of the distant father and are becoming more actively involved as caregivers in the home environment”.

    While child-rearing has traditionally been the preserve of women globally, this trend is changing as fathers begin to take advantage of parental leave to develop closer bonds with their children early on.

    In Namibia, many men are also increasingly getting involved in caregiving to their children and see their role as key to the development and health of their child.

    This is in a society where men are often seen and assumed to be absent from this space, a press release issued by the White Ribbon Campaign and Lifeline/Childline, noted. The exhibition will examine why the fathers portrayed in the exhibition chose to stay at home with their children, what the experience of being hands-on dads gives them and how their relationships with their partners and children have changed as a result.

    Close bonds with both parents have been shown to carry many positive benefits for the cognitive development of children and maternal health.

    The exhibition was launched by gender equality and child welfare minister Doreen Siyoka and includes a panel discussion on the positive effects of generous parental benefit systems and the effects of gender equality in parenting on both individuals and society.

    The exhibition closes on 17 March.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Windhoek ‘low’ on quality of livingWindhoek ‘low’ on quality of livingVienna best city in the world In Africa, Port Louis is the city of choice when it comes to quality of living. The quality of living is an essential component of a city’s attractiveness for businesses and mobile talent. - Mercer Windhoek is the 131st city with the best quality of living out of 231 worldwide, according to a new international survey.

    The Mercer 2019 Quality of Living Index, released yesterday, placed Vienna at the top for the 10th consecutive year.

    The survey, designed as a tool to help international organisations determine salary levels for expatriate employees, is based on 39 criteria.

    These include housing, political stability, crime, leisure, air pollution, infrastructure, the health system, education and the economy.

    In Africa, Port Louis (83) was the city with the best quality of living and also the safest (59). It was closely followed for overall quality of living by the South African cities of Durban (88), Cape Town (95) and Johannesburg (96), though these cities still rank low for personal safety, and issues around water scarcity contributed to Cape Town falling one place this year.

    Conversely, Bangui (230) scored the lowest for the continent and also ranked lowest for personal safety (230).

    Gambia’s progress toward a democratic political system and improved international relations and human rights meant that Banjul (179) had the most improved quality of living in Africa, but also in the world, rising six places this year.

    Rest of the world

    Vienna was one of eight European cities in the top 10 in the survey by Mercer, a human-resources consultancy.

    In second place was Zurich, followed in joint third place by Munich, Vancouver and Auckland, New Zealand.

    Duesseldorf in Germany took sixth followed by Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Geneva and Basel.

    London was ranked 41st and Paris was 39th, although the study, carried out between September and November 2018, did not take into account France's “yellow vest” anti-government protests.

    Mercer said all US cities covered in the analysis fell in the rankings this year, with the exception of New York, which rose one place to 44 as crime rates there continue to fall. San Fransisco was the top-ranked US city at 34.

    In Asia, Singapore has the highest quality of living at 25th place, followed by Tokyo and Kobe (joint 49th). Hong Kong was ranked 71st and Seoul 77nd.

    At the other end of the table, the lowest ranked city was Baghdad at 231. Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, and Sanaa in Yemen were 230th and 229th respectively.

    “Mercer’s 21st annual Quality of Living survey shows that many cities around the world still offer attractive environments in which to do business, and the best understand that the quality of living is an essential component of a city’s attractiveness for businesses and mobile talent,” the survey states. – Own report and Nampa/AFP

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  • 03/13/19--15:00: No SA bailout for Zimbabwe
  • No SA bailout for ZimbabweNo SA bailout for Zimbabwe Fanuel Jongwe - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa concluded a much-anticipated visit to Zimbabwe on Tuesday, dashing any lingering hopes that his country would bail out its economically-troubled neighbour.

    Ramaphosa commended the new administration of Emmerson Mnangagwa for its bid to revive the economy and promised to explore a number of options of financial help.

    But otherwise he made no concrete offer of help, voicing a "commitment to work with Zimbabwe in addressing the socio-economic challenges."

    "South Africa stands ready to render support to Zimbabwe within our means in your quest for economic renewal," he said, during the talks held at a Harare hotel.

    Last year Zimbabwe requested US$1.2 billion in emergency credit from South Africa, the most advanced economy south of the Sahara, but Pretoria indicated it did not have the funds.

    In a joint statement issued after the 24-hour visit, the two governments said they were exploring ways to help Zimbabwe financially.

    One of them would be a loan facility from South African private banks to the Zimbabwe private businesses.

    The loans will be guaranteed "by the South African government with an appropriate counter-guarantee from the Zimbabwe government", said the statement.

    An almost similar deal was struck last month with the diamond-rich Botswana, involving a US$100-million credit from private banks in both countries but available to Botswana private companies doing business in Zimbabwe.

    "We not giving them a single loan," president Mokgweetsi Masisi said in Gaborone after a visit to Harare, dismissing media reports that the credit was being made available by the state.

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    No job losses expected at OhorongoNo job losses expected at Ohorongo Ohorongo Cement says it cannot guarantee that there won't be significant structural changes once it is acquired by a Singaporean group, International Cement Group (ICG).

    Ohorongo Cement's majority shareholder, Schwenk Zement International GmbH, entered into a conditional agreement to sell a 100% stake in Schwenk Namibia for US$104.4 million.

    This equates to approximately N$1.5 billion. Ohorongo Cement MD Hans-Wilhelm Schütte could not guarantee job security after the sale, but said International Cement had indicated that there would be no changes.

    “We cannot speak on behalf of the buyer but, based on the press release issued by International Cement, it states that the acquisition will not affect the operational business of Ohorongo Cement and its related companies, nor its business partners,” Schütte said. Schütte had previously told Namibian Sun that the deal was still some way from being approved by the regulatory authorities.

    “It is a proposed share transaction.

    It still needs to be authorised. Discussions are taking place at holding company level. It will take time before all the necessary approvals are given,” he said.

    “It is a key requirement for this transaction to be submitted to and approved by the relevant authorities.

    It is the responsibility of the potential buyer, ICG, and the potential seller, Schwenk Zement International GmbH, to obtain this and other relevant approvals,” he added. Ohorongo's current shareholders include the Development Bank of Namibia, the Development Bank of South Africa, the Industrial Development Co-operation South Africa and Schwenk Zement international.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Kahimise turns to Supreme CourtKahimise turns to Supreme CourtSupports Kanime's return, fights for his own job City of Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise has made a renewed legal attempt to stave off another suspension and wants the Supreme Court to bar the council from instituting disciplinary measures against him. Embattled City of Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise has endorsed the reinstatement and dropping of all charges against suspended City Police chief Abraham Kanime, but his own future remains murky.

    While the city council has dragged its feet on saying whether Kahimise will face another suspension while allegations against him are being investigated, his legal team filed a notice of appeal at the Supreme Court on Friday.

    The appeal is a renewed legal attempt to stave off another suspension and wants the court to bar the council from instituting disciplinary measures against him, pending the finalisation of the labour dispute he filed last year against the City.

    Kahimise is appealing against the High Court ruling which determined that since his suspension was lifted in January his labour case has become null and void, and that the High Court has no jurisdiction in the labour dispute.

    Meanwhile, two special council meetings were called, and then cancelled, on Thursday and Friday last week, on the topic of Kahimise's fate as the head of the municipality.

    Documents seen by Namibian Sun show that a special council meeting was scheduled for 18:00 last Thursday, and then rescheduled for the next day at 13:00. That meeting was eventually cancelled until further notice.

    The special council meetings were called to “discuss the way forward” on the Kahimise matter after the High Court struck Kahimise's urgent application from the roll in February.The meeting was set to continue on the “urgent matter arising from the special council meeting held on 24 January 2019”, which had resolved to invite Kahimise to a pre-suspension hearing on 29 January - before that hearing was cancelled as per a court order - while the urgent application was being considered.



    Called back

    Although the council has not yet discussed Kahimise's future, as per a January presidential directive, city councillors did discuss suspended City Police chief Kanime's reinstatement at the 28 February monthly council meeting.

    The agenda item, which was discussed behind closed doors, included a letter of endorsement, penned by Kahimise, in which he supports the lifting of Kanime's suspension and the dropping all pending charges against the City Police chief.

    The document, seen by Namibian Sun, which was listed as 'Gov.5 staff matter', also included a legal opinion written as per a 6 February council request, following President Hage Geingob's directive to drop all charges, and reinstate not only Kanime, but Kahimise too, after the president noted his displeasure with the longstanding infighting at the City, which he said was impeding service delivery.

    The documents show that the council requested “an urgent but detailed [legal] opinion as to the exact powers of council in so far as internal disciplinary procedures are concerned, including the lifting of suspensions put in place as a result of disciplinary action and the withdrawing of charges”.

    The request notes that the legal opinion is directly related to charges against “the head (of the) City Police, the chief executive officer, and other staff members of council”.

    As a result of the agenda item nevertheless dealing solely with the issue of Kanime, two opposition councillors reportedly recused themselves in protest of the item not also addressing Kahimise's situation, and other staff to which the presidential directive applied.



    A CEO's call

    Kahimise's letter, included in the agenda, stated that was willing to “reinstate Chief Abraham K Kanime, Head; City Police, and to withdraw all pending charges, pending a directive from council”.





    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 03/13/19--15:00: World turns on Boeing
  • World turns on BoeingWorld turns on Boeing Namibia has joined the growing list of countries that have banned Boeing's B737 MAX 8 aircraft from landing at their airports following a crash in Ethiopia on Sunday that claimed 157 lives.

    By yesterday morning, 46 countries, including Namibia, had instituted bans.

    However, a commercial flight by the South African airline Comair, which operates British Airways in Southern Africa, still landed its MAX 8 aircraft at Hosea Kutako International Airport on Tuesday afternoon. It also managed to take off from the airport after special permission was apparently granted.

    After the crash of the Boeing B737 aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines, many countries and jurisdictions grounded it over growing concerns about its safety.

    It was the second accident involving this type of aircraft in less than six months. In both instances, the passenger jet crashed shortly after take-off. “In consideration of the primary role of the Namibian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to protect aircraft passengers and persons on the ground from any aviation safety and security incident, we have decided to take precautionary action to ban the arrival or departure of any Boeing B737 series aircraft from Namibian airports at this time,” said Angelina Simana, the executive director of Namibian Civil Aviation.

    Simana said the decision to ban the aircraft was in reaction to the two fatal crashes of the MAX 8 since October 2018 under circumstances that were disturbingly similar, but have not yet been confirmed by accident investigations.

    The first crash killed 189 people in Indonesia, while the second crash on Sunday killed 157 passengers and crew in Ethiopia.

    “However, Namibia as a Contracting State to the Chicago Convention still observes the mandate under Article 10 of the aforementioned convention to grant all aircraft permission to cross Namibian territory without landing,” said Simana.

    The spokesperson of the Namibian Airports Company (NAC), Dan Kamati, confirmed to Namibian Sun that Ethiopian Airlines and British Airways (Comair) operated this type of aircraft in and out of Namibia.

    “The measure to suspend the operations of this type of aircraft is purely a decision made by the NCAA as the regulator of civil aviation and air traffic services for Namibia. NAC will continue to cooperate with all stakeholders on the matter for the safety and security of all passengers,” said Kamati. He said it was now up to the airlines that operated these aircraft to make all necessary arrangements to continue their service to the passengers.

    Ethiopian Airlines, which has been flying to and from Namibia since 2016, on Monday grounded its Boeing B737 MAX 8 fleet.

    Comair also announced at the weekend that it would remove the Boeing B737 Max 8 from its flight schedule. However despite that Comair still flew its aircraft to Namibia on Tuesday.

    The airline said neither South African regulatory authorities nor the manufacturer had required it to ground the aircraft.

    Comair owns the only Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane currently in operation in South Africa. The plane only started carrying passengers last week after arriving in the country at the end of last month.

    Simana yesterday confirmed the landing of the Comair Boeing in Windhoek, but said it was possible that the pilots were unaware of the ban, since it usually took 24 hours for a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) to take effect. The flight data recorder from the Ethiopian wreckage will be sent overseas for analysis, but no country has been chosen, an Ethiopian Airlines spokesman has said.

    In an interview with The AssociateELLANIE SMIT

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  • 03/13/19--15:00: What a mess!
  • What a mess!What a mess! Much has been written and said about the new national education curriculum, which has massively impacted learning at many schools countrywide. It must be stated from the outset that we are in agreement with the guiding principles for the curriculum change, more so considering the fact that government wants to make it easier for learners to access technical or vocational training opportunities at an early age.

    The importance of this training cannot be overemphasised, as it is critical for economic advancement and implementing value-added processes across various sectors of our economy.

    To its credit, the Namibian government has made a resounding commitment, with over N$1.4 billion pledged by the Namibian Training Authority (NTA) for a period of four years to support technical and vocational education and training. This is a serious statement of intent. However, there are serious bottlenecks affecting the successful implementation of this important curriculum.

    According to the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED), the new curriculum is the biggest change since the introduction of the Cambridge HIGSCE and IGSCE courses in 1994. Government last year abolished external grade 10 examinations, meaning grade 9 learners will now write semi-external exams, while grade 10 forms part of the senior secondary phase. Secondary school is now divided into three phases, the junior secondary phase comprised of grade 8 and 9, the senior secondary phase, comprised of grade 10 and 11, and the grade 12 advanced subsidiary level.

    A well-developed school curriculum should serve the purpose of addressing problems within the system, as well improving the way things are done.

    This is currently not the case, as poor learners and teachers are now paying the price for poor implementation, which has led to serious concerns such overcrowded classes and learners cohabiting like husband and wife, among other challenges. Government must admit there was no well-thought-out implementation plan and address the challenges head-on. We are running out of time, while the situation on the ground continues to worsen.

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  • 03/13/19--15:00: Water crisis at Lüderitz
  • Water crisis at Lüderitz Water crisis at Lüderitz Reservoir running on empty The southern harbour town has experienced a partial shutdown of water services since Monday and its supply is running low. JANA-MARI SMITH


    Lüderitz residents and businesses were scrambling for water and information yesterday, nearly two days after most of the town’s taps had run dry because of complications during a NamWater installation on Monday afternoon.
    By yesterday morning the town council was sending out council vehicles, including the town’s fire truck, to deliver water.
    The town council said yesterday afternoon they were experiencing supply problems linked to a technical problem with a NamPower transformer, which the power utility and NamWater were working on.
    “There was a partial shutdown since Monday afternoon, but by Tuesday afternoon NamWater started pumping 80 cubic metres per hour, which is below the normal or usual flow of 200 cubic metres per hour. It is important to note that the Lüderitz reservoir is currently empty and the priority is to refill it to 60% for the normalisation of the water provision,” acting Lüderitz CEO Otto Shipanga said.
    Water has reached the lower areas of the town.
    “Council has dedicated points for water supply in the town, where residents are getting water at the higher areas (via tanks and trucks)… we have put up plans to provide water to hospitals, prisons, schools and pensioners’ homes and we are in constant engagement with local economic players like the fishing and tourism sectors,” Shipanga added.
    Early yesterday, in the Nautilus residential area, people were queuing at the last two operational water points.
    Shipanga issued a public notice yesterday morning following a public meeting. He said the council would implement an action plan to deliver water to residents until the situation was resolved.
    “There are some technical problems with the transformer and pumps, which NamPower and NamWater are busy working on,” Shipanga explained.
    He said the town council would ration water for the duration of the crisis.
    Shipanga said once the situation was resolved the higher-lying areas would still experience lower water pressure than the lower parts of the town.
    By the time of going to print, NamWater had not responded to questions.

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  • 03/13/19--15:00: Going, going, gone
  • Going, going, goneGoing, going, goneLooted SME Bank millions funnelled through dodgy SA firm A Centurion-based company, which had a single person acting as director, CEO and “kitchen lady”, received “investments” through its accounts, which were then funnelled to the receivers of the SME Bank loot. The sole director of Transparency.com, which was housed in a non-descript office in Centurion, Johannesburg, has given a first-hand account of how the millions raided from the SME Bank were funnelled through his company. Software engineer Carl Edem Honu (37), who is a South African citizen originally from Ghana, in his witness account to a commission of inquiry in December 2017 held in South Africa, said he was the “director, the CEO, the kitchen lady, then everything” of Transparency.com when he first appeared on the radar of the SME Bank raiders.

    At the time, he said, he was working for another company, Amadeus IT, because Transparency.com was then not “in full flight”.

    During the investigation into the missing millions it was uncovered that companies linked to Transparency.com had received as much as N$67 million directly from SME Bank.

    Honu said he first met former SME Bank IT systems manager, Zimbabwean Takura Mapfumo, at a seminar in Sandton, through a “mutual friend”, Ovid Chitsiku.

    Chitsiku is a Zimbabwean lawyer and one of the people “entrenched” in the businesses of Enock Kamushinda, who is described as the “mastermind” behind the looting at SME Bank.





    Honu testified he was first invited to do IT-related work for SME Bank, for which he was supposed to be paid about N$1.8 million.

    Although liquidators David Bruni and Ian McLaren found that SME Bank never used Honu's services, he [Honu] insisted that he had done the work, but was never paid.

    Honu also gave testimony about how he got ensnared into the inner workings of the alleged “investments” he was to funnel for the bank robbers.

    Modus operandi

    Honu said when he did not get paid for the work he had done for SME Bank, Mapfumo and former CEO Tawanda Mumvuma suggested signing him up as a “proxy for their investments in South Africa”, and in that way he would get paid for his IT work.

    Asked what he understood this to mean, Honu responded: “I understood that I would get … they would send money to me and whoever they are supposed to be, who they are investing to I don't know. I would like distribute to them and then my invoices would be paid that way (sic).”

    Honu said Mumvuma and Mapfumo told him that they would send money to Transparency.com, which he in turn was to then “invest” in a number of companies.

    “[Then] they tell me these are the companies of the investment that needed to be paid and they will tell me how much of my invoice will be paid and that's how I was then paid (sic),” the transcript of the interview with Honu stated.

    “They told me they were going to create a company. I would be a director on the company. We are investing in South Africa. My role was to receive the money, get the instructions to pay the different companies, pay them and they would let me know how much I will be paid from my original invoices (sic).”

    Honu said there were no companies created, but he would instead receive an SMS from his bank informing him of the millions paid into Transparency.com's bank account.

    Thereafter he would meet up with Mumvuma or Mapfumo in Johannesburg, who would provide him with a “payment schedule” - the people who needed to be paid, and so on.

    “I'll do that. This is my account, gone, done (sic),” Honu said, while describing the transactions. Honu said although he got 5% from each of the “investments” made through his account, in total it never amounted to the N$1.8 million owed to him by SME Bank, and that he only got about N$500 000.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 03/13/19--15:00: Pupils face eviction
  • Pupils face evictionPupils face eviction Ohangwena chief regional officer Fillipus Shilongo has tasked regional education director Isak Hamatwi to find suitable alternative accommodation for 94 Omungwelume Senior Secondary School learners before they are evicted from a council property that is being used as a hostel.

    Shilongo told Namibian Sun yesterday that the rundown property at Omungwelume, for which the government had paid N$6 million, was not bought so it could be used as a school hostel.

    He said last month that the regional council would not be evicting the learners.

    But Shilongo said yesterday that the 94 pupils were being accommodated without council authorisation and would be evicted.

    “We are having a resolution passed by the regional council that the house cannot be occupied, because it is uninhabitable. Learners, with assistance from their parents, occupied this house last year on their own, even though they are alleging that they were instructed by the regional governor,” Shilongo said.

    “I think the regional council and the governor's office need to clear up the issue completely. I have to implement the council resolution.”

    Grade 10, 11 and 12 pupils from Omungwelume Senior Secondary School are living at the property, reportedly following an instruction from Ohangwena governor Usko Nghaamwa.

    Last year, after Nghaamwa visited Omungwelume, he said the situation was worrisome and that he could not stand seeing learners being accommodated in shacks while there was a public property standing vacant. The regional council was not happy with Nghaamwa's decision to accommodate the pupils without following the proper procedures.





    After the council was informed by the Omungwelume settlement office that pupils from Omungwelume Senior Secondary School were occupying the house, the council conducted an inspection and found that the property was dilapidated and that the pupils were living in harsh conditions without water and electricity.

    A resolution was then passed that the house is uninhabitable.

    The learners' parents raised money to renovate the house and get the electricity connected, but there is no water connection, as the regional council has refused to connect the property.

    Council management committee chairperson Ericson Ndawanifa said when they met last month they decided they were not going to evict the learners, because they had nowhere else to go.

    Shilongo said last month that he had sent Hamatwi and council officials to assess the situation and come back with recommendations.

    “The recommendation that the director came back with is for us to establish a temporary hostel for them, either within the school premises or at any suitable place near their school. This has already been communicated to the executive director for the ministry of education, Sanet Steenkamp.

    “Through the director and the school, they have to find an appropriate way of assisting the learners. We fully agree that there is a need for hostel, but we need to follow the proper channels,” Shilongo said.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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