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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 03/28/19--15:00: It's an invasion!
  • It's an invasion!It's an invasion! The most anticipated Reggae and Dancehall Invasion will take place tonight at Club Euphoria –doors open at 20:00, tickets will be sold at the entrance for N$100.

    It is a celebration of reggae/Dancehall music and culture and artists spread the message of love, hope and equality for all people worldwide.

    Headlining the event - Judgement Yard - is a Zimbabwean, Harare-based dancehall/reggae set comprising of music DJs. It is characterised by various live performances as well as renowned radio stations.

    They have released a number of mixtapes which feature various Zim dancehall artists and international musicians from the reggae and dancehall genres.

    They have played in various countries, including Australia, UK, South Africa, Dubai, Cyprus and Botswana, to name a few. DJ Abisha Palmer of Judgement Yard said he is happy with the response they are getting every time they stage shows in other countries and promised fireworks at the Reggae & Dancehall Invasion.

    “I'm looking forward to meet reggae and dancehall music lovers in Windhoek at Club Euphoria,” DJ Twobad added.

    The night will also see performances by local and Club Euphoria resident DJs –Paul Da Prince, Slaughter camp and DJ Taku.

    The organiser representing Club Euphoria Management, Kuda Chigama said they are working hard to ensure that they pull off a memorable event experience and are expecting a significant number of people. Gordon Jay, event spokesperson said, “many people have already shown interest and the hype is huge so we are optimistic that this will be big especially that it is rare to find an event hosted in Windhoek, with focus on reggae and dancehall music.

    “Clubs are mostly playing hip-hop, house, kwaito and pop music and are giving a little or no attention to reggae or dancehall music lovers.”

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 03/28/19--15:00: Doing it big
  • Doing it bigDoing it bigPrincess Tjozongoro shares her experience at London Fashion Week After seeing how far she got in the modelling industry in Namibia, the award-winning model Princess Tjozongoro was motivated to go bigger. Speaking to tjil about her journey, Princess Tjozongoro said she knew there was a lot more she had to do and learn in order to grow as a professional model. “I craved for the next step, the bigger platform and what's bigger and bolder than going international, to one of the capitals of fashion? With the support of Ubuntu Models I took my savings and I flew myself to London,” she said.

    She shared that the first few months were the hardest as she went to cast for a few agencies and the response she got was, sorry you are not what we are looking for. “Sometimes I would get scared and flirt with the idea of running back home and go herd cattle and drink omaere. But I did not let the rejection stop me. I finally got a response from an agency based in London called Black Afro Queens owned by Andrew Bannon.”

    She mentioned that the modelling industry in London is insanely competitive and fast. Shortly after joining Black Afro Queens, they got her a gig for London Fashion Week castings and she walked for House of iKons. “My first London Fashion Week experience was totally mind-blowing, as it was everything I thought it would be and more. It was exciting, amazing, frightening, exhausting and incredible,” she said. She added that what stood out for her was the fact that everything was amplified, and hugely so. “There were more designers, more collections, more models, more fashion people and more cameras and lights … it was insane,” she recalled.

    She told tjil that she was fortunate to walk for numerous designers including American designers Sofiya Mozely, Micheal Lombard, Trina Brown, Italian fashion designer Nadia Azumi, Philippian designer Cheri-lou Rabanoz and Chavez from Canada. “House of iKons was all about bringing fashion and creativity under one roof from all over the world, as well as diversity. There was a lot of diversity, even among the models whom I worked with. There were gay models, straight models, plus-size models and transgender models,” she shared.

    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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    Melissah Poulton on her collectionMelissah Poulton on her collection Melissa Poulton's Fashion Fiesta Collection is one of the most talked about collections in Namibia.

    Since its release last year, it continues to grow and is embraced by many fashion enthusiasts.

    In an interview with tjil, Poulton shared that the collection is inspired by different ideas and feelings which she experienced during 2018. “I saw the American phrase 'go climb a cactus' and was immediately drawn to it. It was my overall general feeling that I had towards many things.”

    She added that this collection was a collective of many elements; all she knew is she wanted to do something fun, expressive and free. She was also inspired by the whole festival feeling. “I did a dress for Reinhard Mahalie and I immediately knew what fabric and colour pallet I wanted to work with and this too inspired me,” said Poulton. She said that the new Fashion Fiesta Collection will be available as from Saturday, 30 March as she will be hosting her very first pop-up shop in Swakopkund. She said she is very excited as she will be hosting different pop-up shops at least once a month in order for people to buy exclusive House of Poulton garments. Poulton started as a fashion designer in 2012 and she maintains that her journey so far has been very challenging but a great overall experience. She added that she has learned much over the years and she always tries to keep on pushing her brand and her dream. “I try to inspire others through my work and live by the motto to never give up. One of my biggest highlights is my partnership with Lize Ehlers and Oteya as my brand ambassadors. They have done so much for the House of Poulton brand,” she said.

    She noted that other highlights include dressing presenters for the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) for the past four years and showcasing at Windhoek Fashion week for the past three years. “I also had the opportunity to showcase in Maboneng in Johannesburg.

    Another highlight for me was serving as a board member on the Fashion Council of Namibia. I believe in growth all the time, and believe in our Namibian fashion industry and will always strive for growth and opportunities for young fashion designers within our industry,” said Poulton.

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    2019 NAMAs officially launched2019 NAMAs officially launchedNamibia’s biggest night in music announces 2019 campaign The NAMAs are back this year and are bigger than ever, with entries opening on Monday. The Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) have officially set off to embark on the road to its latest edition for 2019, brought to you compliments of Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) and Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and their partners.

    Following the significant successes over the past few years, Namibia's biggest night in music is back on the road to what will undoubtedly be another stellar and world-class production hosting the best of the best in Namibian music and entertainment, all coming together for one spectacular night of music and recognition of Namibia's stars.

    NAMAs 2019 will officially open for entries on Monday, 1 April 2019 and welcomes all Namibian artists with music, either singles or albums, commercially released (made available for sale in any recognised retail trade) in Namibia between the dates of 1 December 2017 and 30 November 2018, to submit their applications by completing the printed forms or via the secure online electronic entry system. The application period starts as of Monday, 1 April 2019 and will run until Friday, 26 April 2019.

    NAMAs 2019 will have a total of 25 categories, and one new additional category added on namely 'Artist of the Year'. The other categories are: Afrikaans, Damara Punch, Oviritje, Soukous/Kwasa, Afro Pop, Gospel, Kwaito, R&B, Rap/Hip Hop, House, Reggae, Traditional, Collaboration, Single, Newcomer, Music video, Song of the Year, Pan-African Artist, Best Album, Best Group, Producer and Lifetime Achiever.

    The new category Artist of the Year will now see the best talent in Namibia, male or female, compete in this category on an equal platform for the accolade of the overall best in Namibia. The winner of Artist of the Year will be decided by the highest score recorded from the judges' votes awarded to the winners of the Best Male and Best Female categories.

    An amendment has also been made to the Best Producer category. Moving forward the Best Producer nominees will be decided by the top five overall best scores received from the judges' votes for musical entries nominates within the Best Male, Best Female and Group/Duo of the Year categories.

    Entries for the Best Music Video category will now only allow one entry per artist, and only music videos produced from a master recording (master original song) that was released within the entry qualifying period will be allowed. If a new music video was produced using an old recording (song) for which the song was released outside of this year's entry eligibility period, those music videos will not quality for entry, and will no longer be accepted.

    The date of the NAMAs 2019 awards ceremony will be announced in the next few weeks. Applicants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the rules and regulations before applying.

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  • 03/28/19--15:00: Trust the process
  • Trust the processTrust the process Sometimes I wonder if anybody ever reads this page. Personally, when I open Namibian Sun on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays the first piece I usually finish reading is the column, because I want to be enticed by the motivation the columnist has decided to splurge on the page to create some sort of emotional connection with the content and the readers.

    Here is the thing; being in this position makes me realise that these columns aren't just slick motivations to sell the content of the publication to readers. Sadly, I do not have a profound underlying principle for this edition. What I will tell you is that it was a tad bit stressful to put it to bed. Because when you are not trying to maintain, but trying to take things to the next level, much of the process is experimental. Meaning there are a lot more glitches than usual and it is a lot more time consuming.

    The process of putting together a weekly publication presents the journalist with the time to experiment with a lot of things. Through this process, if the work is beyond the paycheque one gets attached. The end product is basically a depiction of you on paper. The eight pages do not precisely symbolise the arguments, research, yelling, hours of writing and subbing. In the end, it is just ink on paper. Is this getting too weird? Okay, let me get straight to the point and brief you on what to expect in this edition.

    This issue pays special attention to the contribution of new talent to Namibian entertainment scene. Not because I believe there should be a distinction between established artists and newcomers, but because the absence of any big group of people in any industry means that some people will not be represented. Do not get me wrong - I am not saying new artists aren't represented, however they are shunned by many music fans for being different.

    By virtue of being young artists, there are just certain things King Elegant and Top Cheri for example can say on songs that the more established artists never can. That is why it is important to put a spotlight on this remarkable growth. And speaking of remarkable, MTC and NBC have added a new category to the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) called Artist of the Year. With this addition, they have pushed all boundaries to elevate standards and celebrate music throughout Namibia.

    The new talent featured in this edition include; LMPC, Princess Tjozongoro, King Elegant and more. Our guest writer for this week is also a young creative who trades in the media and fashion space and simply goes by Disney Andreas. So that is something else to look out for throughout this issue.

    The first quarter of 2019 is steadily coming to an end, and we have witnessed how certain artists have solidified their brands within the culture. So in a way this edition is putting a shine on those who have given the Namibian entertainment scene the impression that they are ahead of their competition. So take a walk with us as we ponder on the phenomenal contributions by the exciting young artists who are championing a new era of Namibian music.



    michael@namibiansun.com

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    Tafel strengthens national prideTafel strengthens national prideThe Beat of Namibia – a collaborative project This year's independence celebrations were coloured with a golden hue. Independence Day has always been deeply entrenched in Namibia. Every year on the 21st of March, Namibia with its 12 ethnic groups, more than 10 major languages and a medley of cultures come together as one to celebrate who we are as a nation.

    As the most loved beer brand in Namibia, this is the space that Tafel Lager contributes to, national pride. Namibians have an affinity to the brand - it’s the beer that creates a sense of togetherness, nationalism and pride. These national traits speak so well to Namibia’s Independence Day celebrations and Tafel Lager intended to harness this conversation.

    So, when Tafel Lager asked its advertising and marketing agency, Weathermen & Co. for an Independence Day campaign, they had no idea that Tafel Lager would be the brand that will play a pivotal role in amplifying Independence Day celebrations in Namibia. “For a brand this loved, we had to come up with an idea loved by the country,” read a statement from Weathermen & Co.

    Tafel Lager believes in the sentiment that there is more that connects us than divides us and this is the foundation of the Beat of Namibia campaign. What better way to honour this unity than by giving it a platform through music - the universal language everyone in the world understands? “We launched one of the biggest collaborative projects ever taken on, on the African continent, using music as the vehicle to bring cultures together and create a sense of patriotism,” read a statement from Tafel Lager.

    Every single Namibian was invited to help create the Beat of Namibia. The campaign wanted Namibians from all walks of life to be a part of creating this song - from playing drums on an empty paint can, to showing off your secret dance moves. Participants entered by using a first-of its kind entry mechanism, a platform we are all so familiar with – WhatsApp. By connecting on WhatsApp, Tafel Lager was able to engage personally with consumers; find out who they are, their geographical locations and have targeted conversations to prompt more entries. The brand added a humane layer to engage with its consumers and became more than just a beer. Namibians were asked to send in 15-second video clips of their beats, tunes and moves to be featured in the biggest song ever made in this country. The campaign received thousands of entries from all over Namibia. All of the entries created a cultural melting pot that Namibia has to offer.

    Sam-E Lee Jones, Namibia’s most renowned music producer, was on board to help Tafel Lager create the song. Other contributing artists include Sunny Boy, Treza, Adora, Bertholdt, TheFuturelsGiggz, Kp Illest and Top Cheri. With Sam-E Lee Jones at the helm and the artists bringing their own flair, this beautiful chemistry of co-creation encapsulated the Beat of Namibia.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 03/28/19--15:00: Built to take over
  • Built to take overBuilt to take overLeader of the new school Gracing this week's tjil cover is the versatile LMPC who keeps making big moves and big bangers! The artist and song writer is proving that he is not a benchwarmer and even though he refers to himself as the underdog, the mainstream seems to have embraced his musical offerings with open arms. LMPC basically represents the new wave of emerging artists in Namibia. Being the leader of the new school doesn't discredit his understanding of the music and this is why he has a tjil spotlight.

    Dubbed as the king of streams with over 200 000 streams on Sound Cloud, LMPC's latest music video titled 4 Call is one of the most talked-about Namibian videos at the moment for its pristine visuals. His involvement as the co-director proves that he has that cunning, creative and out-of-the-box mindset which enabled him and music video director Reggie Undjee to translate 4 Call into a cinematic experience.

    “Reggie and I put our minds together and really created something special. I am going to be co-directing all of my music videos from now on; I feel like it is important for me to be that involved because I make the music thus I need to translate it visually,” said LMPC. He shared that he is grateful for the support he has received for his latest EP Safe and promised to follow it up with something just as good. “I did not release Safe with a lot of expectations but I am grateful for the overwhelming support it has received.”







    Safe garnered 10 000 streams on Sound Cloud in a month, but despite the success of this body of work he feels like he disappointed a lot of people who were rooting for him last year. “I feel like I did not put out a lot of songs and music videos last year but I am rectifying that mistake now.”

    LMPC mentioned that the radio tour he did recently was successful and provided him with the opportunity to bond with his fans. He added that the radio tour was necessary because he has limited using social media to engage with his fans like he used to. “I do not tweet a lot anymore; my focus now is putting out great work, so it was really amazing connecting with my fans through those platforms,” he said.

    Even though he has been on the music scene for quite some time now and has released a lot of mixtapes, LMPC maintains that he is not ready to release a fully fledged album yet. “The hype does not get to me. I know I am doing big numbers online but I will not be releasing my debut album anytime soon. I cannot drop an album if I can walk in the mall and not cause a frenzy. I want my album to be impactful so until then I will be packaging my music in the form of mixtapes and EPs,” he said.

    A lot of artists get into music because it's cool but with time they attach meaning to creating music and start making music for a certain purpose. Asked what purpose he is making music for, LMPC told tjil that he is doing it to represent the younger generation. “I am the one, and I say this humbly. I feel like in the music business those with resources but substandard talent always get the most recognition but I want to demonstrate to my generation that they too can have a piece of the pie if they have the talent and are dedicated.”

    “Apart from me loving music and music being my outlet, I am doing it for people who grew up in sub-standard circumstances, for my neighbourhood and my country,” he added.

    Speaking about his dreams and ambitions, he said his goal is to export Namibian music globally. He believes he has the same talent level as global superstars like Wiz Kid, Drake and AKA. “A lot of people think I am just a dreamer when I say these things but as far as making it globally is concerned in my line of work, I am going to be like Harry Simon and Frank Fredericks. People will understand when the new music comes out,” he shared.

    He revealed that his biggest assignment now is making great music that will not be ignored by the masses. He plans on doing this by channelling his energy into things that matter and not be fazed by the hype that comes with the victories of his music. “There is this belief that Namibian people do not support musicians, which is not true because if the music is good people will react and support it. Artists should just focus on making good music rather than doing things to please their industry peers,” he said.

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    Put discomfort aside to tackle issuesPut discomfort aside to tackle issues Unsafe and illegal abortion pills flooding Namibian streets and schools are just one of the many worrying consequences of limited family planning services and the country’s reluctance to tackle difficult topics related to ensuring the equal and inclusive sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and girls in Namibia.

    An investigation launched by the Office of the First Lady, in conjunction with the Namibian police, uncovered the ease in which women, including adolescent girls, are able to access dangerous abortion pills, which are openly, and without consequence, advertised on Namibian social media platforms.

    According to the police, a network distributes the pills in Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and other African countries, and school principals have reported the pills are also increasingly being sold on school grounds.

    “The volumes of pills they are pushing into this country are unbelievable. We know about it because we see it often on Facebook, and they are shameless,” youth advocate and #BeFree founder Monica Geingos said on Monday.

    Geingos was speaking on Monday at the launch of a roundtable discussion on equality and inclusion understood in the context of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Namibia which was hosted by the Office of the Ombudsman, with support from the Commonwealth Secretariat.

    Geingos warned that the supply of abortion pills meet the demand being created in the absence of comprehensive family planning services in Namibia.

    “Anywhere there is a void, it’s going to be filled and filled in a dangerous way.”

    She urged Namibians to undertake the “difficult discussions around what does it mean when we speak about the full range of services about family planning”.

    She said one of the most pivotal lessons she has learned through working with young Namibians, “in a nutshell”, is that “whatever we are relying on, if it doesn’t stop the problem, then it shouldn’t be used to stop the solutions. Then we must all evaluate our unconscious biases”.

    She said every Namibian, “from family level, to health providers, teachers, and police officers … we must each examine our attitudes and our judgements, before we will get anything right on this topic”.

    Geingos added that overall, “we are way too judgemental and we are entirely out of touch.”

    She also urged Namibians to rethink and cast aside language used to describe chronic issues such as murder of domestic partners, and infanticide.

    She said the terms ‘passion killing’ – “there is nothing passionate about killing another human being”, and ‘baby dumping’ – “all of us visualise someone basically just throwing their baby on the ground, and walking off, as if they are a cold and heartless person,” are unhelpful descriptions that worsen an already significant problem.

    “We use judgemental language to describe issues. And people are then forced to keep quiet and to themselves.”

    Speak up

    She said the time has come to articulate “our position” on troubling issues for which their currently aren’t any real social consequences, such as men preying on young, economically vulnerable woman, which compromises their rights and abilities to choose.

    “Society accepts you. It’s normal. We must tell people it is not normal to prey on young girls who are still school-going.”

    Geingos proposed that, while not many may agree, access to expansive and wide-ranging family planning services could play a key role in eradicating poverty in Namibia.

    “Because when we bring children into the world where we cannot protect them from harm, and look after their most basic needs, we make that the responsibility of a government that is itself struggling to provide access to basic services.”

    She underlined that young people most often “bear the brunt of inequality, unemployment as this compromises their access to economic autonomy, access to education, and healthcare”.

    This in turn, weakens the negotiating powers and infringes on their ability to access services and their rights.

    She underlined the importance of speaking to the youth in a language they understand and use; stressed the importance of providing non-judgemental platforms, as well as reaching out to where they are, including nightclubs and schools.

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  • 03/28/19--15:00: Bridge for those in exile
  • Bridge for those in exileBridge for those in exileBridge for those in exile Holder of a diplomatic passport, King Elifas used this to the benefit of the struggle for freedom. Veteran politician Kanana Nghishoono has described King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas as a freedom fighter, who assisted Swapo leaders in exile to reach out to those inside the country.

    Nghishoono said Elifas, the king of the Ondonga who died earlier this week, used his free-ticket visa to the United Kingdom to meet Swapo leaders in exile.

    He said Elifas used to come back with documents for Swapo mobilisers inside the country, without this being picked up because of his diplomatic passport.

    Elifas was a recognised veteran of the liberation struggle. Elifas ascended to the Ondonga throne in August 1975 following the death of his brother Fillemon Shuumbwa, affectionately known as Fillemon Shuumbwa yaElifas lyaShindondola

    Nghishoono said that unlike his brother, who was in an alliance with the South African apartheid government, when King Elifas took over he made sure that all his chiefs were Swapo supporters.

    “When politics started in the northern parts of the country, many of the traditional authorities aligned themselves with the then government.

    “When King Elifas took the throne he encouraged all his chiefs to support Swapo. He had a good understanding of Swapo because he was a good friend of the later Peter Shimweefeleni Kauluma, who was the founder of the Ovambo People's Congress, which later become Swapo,” said Nghishoono.

    “King Elifas appointed Kauluma as the senior headman for Ongulayanetanga and the chairperson of the Ondonga Traditional Authority. He was an intellectual and they used to travel together abroad and he would translate for the king and teach him politics.”

    Nghishoono said it all started with church leaders, who used to go to European countries with open-ticket visas, and would end up meeting Swapo leaders in exile in African countries.

    He said Kauluma and King Elifas had diplomatic passports and were allowed to travel with open visas that had no specific return dates.

    “They would just leave the country saying they are going to the UK. Once they arrived in UK, they would make a U-turn to Lusaka in Zambia or Tanzania. There they would get Swapo passports to go to Luanda in Angola.

    “They were then given boxes of correspondence for Swapo mobilisers inside the country. Their luggage could not be searched because they were diplomats. That is how we managed to communicate with our people inside the country,” said Nghishoono.

    He said he remembers in 1987 Elifas and Kauluma visited the Swapo camp in Luanda, as well as those in Lubango, Kwanza-Sul and N'dalatando, just to observe how people were doing in exile and to give them messages from home.

    Urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga, who visited Onamungundo on Wednesday, said that Elifas was a great leader with a unique character, who was admired by other traditional leaders in Namibia, and it was because of this that he was appointed the chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders.

    “Omukwaniilwa Elifas was a unifying leader and a caring man who could talk and listen to people from all walks of life, irrespective of their social standing in communities. That is what it takes to be a leader.

    “It was for that reason that other traditional leaders recognised his abilities and he became the Council of Traditional Leaders in Namibia's chairperson, a task and duty he executed with excellence,” Mushelenga said.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    PSEMAS, wage bill, S&Ts under firePSEMAS, wage bill, S&Ts under fire Public Service Employees Medical Aid Scheme (PSEMAS) member contributions will be doubled from N$410 million to N$820 million year, effective April 2019.

    This was among the immediate targeted interventions announced by finance minister Calle Schlettwein in his budget speech on Wednesday.

    Also coming in for some stick was the civil service wage bill, which currently stands at 51% of the government's non-interest operational expenditure, and 15.5% of GDP, and which has increased by 110% in the past five years.

    Schlettwein said significant reductions in non-core expenditure had been achieved since the adoption of targeted consolidation measures in 2015/16. He said total spending on subsistence and travel allowances (S&Ts), for instance, had dropped by 62.3% over the past three years, from N$634.3 million in 2015/16 to N$221.8 million in 2018/19.

    He said hiring restraint in the public sector called for job creation in the private sector. “We would expect that all accounting officers continue to prevent public spending that is non-core and non-compliant with the cost-saving measures issued by the Office of the Prime Minister. “Policy space for rapid adjustments in the economy is limited and the fiscal stance is constrained on all fronts.

    At 49.2 % of GDP, total debt will not allow for further aggressive debt financing as this is not a sustainable option.

    He called on the private sector, as the envisaged engine of growth and job creation, to play a bigger role in the economy. He said his ministry would continue to spearhead consultations with the private sector, professional bodies and the newly formed high-level panel on the economy for effective partnerships. While honing in on PSEMAS, Schlettwein said the medical aid scheme covered 95 % of public servants' medical expenses. It received an allocation of N$2.8 billion for 2019/20 and covers 130 000 members and 155 000 dependants. He said to reduce costs and improve efficiency, a peer review mechanism was introduced. The outcome was revealing, the finance minister said.“

    During the first round, 82 service providers, including general health practitioners, dentists, hospitals, pharmacists, dental technicians and the medical aid administrator were flagged for suspicious transactions.

    “Also, membership and member card fraud were highlighted as a significant cost driver. As a follow-up, a forensic investigation was launched to verify the findings of the peer review and the outcomes were by and large confirmed.

    “These findings indicate that PSEMAS suffered from a fraudulent assault launched by stakeholders across the board; service providers, members, administrators, civil servants, everyone had a hand in the till. This investigation is now coming to finality and the culprits are being brought to book. Recovery of N$23 million is envisaged, of which N$13 million has been recovered,” Schlettwein added.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 03/28/19--15:00: One third without jobs
  • One third without jobsOne third without jobs More than 364 000 people in Namibia were unemployed last year, most of them young people between 20 and 24 years old.

    The latest labour force survey, released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) yesterday, shows that the unemployment rate in 2018 stood at 33.4%.

    This is slightly lower than the 34% contained in the same survey in 2016. In 2014 the unemployment rate stood at 27.9%.

    According to the NSA the slight decrease in the unemployment rate last year, despite the continuing recession, could be ascribed to retrenched workers who managed to find new jobs or became self-employed.

    But the actual numbers tell a less optimistic story: 364 411 people were jobless last year, which was 15 028 more than in 2016.

    According to the latest data, 34.3% of the female workforce is unemployed. The unemployment rate for men is 32.5%.

    In urban areas there were 107 691 unemployed women last year, compared to 82 816 in the rural areas.

    A total of 100 552 men in urban areas were unemployed, against 73 352 in rural areas.

    Kavango East and Kunene were the regions with the highest unemployment rates, at 48.2% en 41.6% respectively. Omusati, at 24%, had the lowest rate. In the Khomas Region the unemployment rate stood at 31.5% last year.

    Youth

    The youth was the demographic group hardest hit by unemployment. A total of 265 770 people between 15 and 24 years old were without work last year – 19 508 more than in 2016.

    Among them were 140 564 women, including 79 992 in urban areas. The youth unemployment rate for last year stood at 30.3%.

    A total number of 305 981 young people were neither employed, nor students. Most of them – 47.5% - were in the Omaheke Region. The figure for the Khomas Region was 34.4%.

    About 37.5% of unemployed young people had only primary-school education, compared to 33.3% who had high-school education.

    Among young people with university degrees or diplomas, 18.3% were unemployed.

    JO-MARÉ DUDDY

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  • 03/28/19--15:00: Starvation looms
  • Starvation loomsStarvation loomsCrops fried in dry summer heat Farmers in the Kavango East will get no relief from their fields this year, saying they can only be used for fodder. Due to the continuing lack of rainfall and crops being destroyed by the blazing sun, Kavango East subsistence farmers have given up any hope of harvesting this year, saying what is currently in their fields will be used as livestock feed.

    In Ncaute village and the surrounding areas, Namibian Sun observed crops turning yellow as a result of heat exposure and no rain.

    The farmers said even if good rains fall soon, it is unlikely that their crops will be revived.

    Ncaute village headman Mukunga Kangora said the majority of subsistence farmers will starve this year, especially those who do not benefit from a monthly pension grant.

    Speaking while seated under a tree, as he surveyed his sunburnt crops, Kangora said it will be a tough year, unless government intervenes.

    “This year is going to be tough for all of us in Ncaute. Look at this field, the crops are dead,” Kangora said.

    “Some of us are lucky; we receive a monthly pension grant, but what about those who do not get it. What will they eat? Our people do not have jobs, we only rely on our crop fields. However, looking at this year's drought situation, it's going to difficult to survive.”

    Kangora said his biggest concern is how parents are going to feed their children before they go to school and when they return in the evenings.

    Schools are situated about seven kilometres away.

    “The children are innocent and that's why I am concerned about how they will survive if their parents are unable to harvest anything this year. The only way people will survive is if government provides people with drought relief food,” he said.

    A Sapirama village farmer told Namibian Sun the crops in his field are currently only fit for livestock consumption.

    “My crops have burnt, as you can see. I am poor already and without maize and mahangu it has worsened the situation. At least our livestock will eat these burnt crops,” the farmer said.

    Namibian Sun also observed some good-looking crops in floodplain areas.

    This Kangora explained by saying the soil in these areas is clay, which means water does not dry up easily after it rains.

    He, however, said although the crops look green, the mahangu plant seeds have not germinated.

    Cabinet recently announced a N$572.7 million drought relief package for 2019 to 2020.

    The money is set to cover food assistance, water tankers, livestock management incentives, transport subsidies for farmers to and from grazing areas, as well as the transport of fodder to stricken areas.

    Moreover, it will also cover the leasing of grazing areas on behalf of farmers, who are unable to pay, and subsidies for crop farmers.

    New emergency relief interventions include a lick subsidy for stock herds and a fodder subsidy for core herds.

    The plan was submitted by the agriculture ministry to cabinet.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 03/28/19--15:00: Surveying her way to success
  • Surveying her way to successSurveying her way to success As Namdeb continues creating a positive legacy, its employees were featured under the theme of mining and inclusivity during March, which is the month Namibia gained its independence.

    Meet Ndeshipanda Nghipandulwa (NN), a Namdeb employee, who started her career at the company in 2015 as a surveyor. This is what she had to say Careers (C) when asked about her views on mining and inclusivity in an independent Namibia.

    C: Tell us about your educational and career path background and the path that led to your current role at Namdeb?

    NN: I have a diploma in surveying and a Bachelor of Science degree in geomatics from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust). I started my career at a private surveying firm, Strydom & Associates Land Surveyors, in Windhoek. Thereafter I joined Namdeb.

    C: Mining is predominantly a male-dominated environment. What are your views on how mining can be more inclusive?

    NN: It is important to equip everybody with the necessary tools and assist in skills development for those that are willing to learn. Namdeb needs to continue actively seeking interventions to empower and develop women as a means of grooming them as they take on roles previously seen as male-dominated positions.

    C: Employee wellness is an important aspect for the Namdeb business. How do you create a balance between work requirements and your personal life?

    NN: It’s difficult but I have learned to list my priorities and make a schedule. I have developed a lifestyle that tries to incorporate physical activities that enable me to have a balanced mental well-being. I am also part of a fitness group that helps me to be fit, particularly as the nature of my work requires me to be out in the field most of the time.

    C: As a surveyor what are your key priorities at Namdeb?

    NN: Surveyors provide services through performing mining- and engineering-related topographical and hydrographical survey activities. In doing so, I also have to ensure I deliver quality service to my stakeholders and return home safely.

    C: What does one need to become a surveyor?

    A recognised tertiary (NQF level) qualification in land surveying, geomatics, hydrographic surveying, a Chamber of Mines advanced certificate or a Chamber of Mines certificate of competency. One will also needs post-qualification experience in engineering and topographical surveying, experience in modelling and volumetric survey software and you have to be computer literate in MS Office. You also need a Code 08/BE driver’s licence.

    C: What does Namibia’s independence mean to you?

    NN: Freedom. Freedom for everybody to express themselves, but most importantly, using the freedom to improve and learn continuously.

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    A captain on and off the fieldA captain on and off the fieldBurger relishes King Price role The former Welwitschias captain said he is loving his role at King Price. Pull Quote: “I love what I do, and knowing that I am apart of such a prestigious brand that is growing every day, makes me happy.”- Jacques Burger, manager for King Price Insurance southern region. Elizabeth Joseph





    Jacques Burger, who is well known for his skills on the rugby field, has now joined the corporate world and is the manager of King Price Insurance for the southern region of Namibia.

    Having been the captain of Namibia’s national rugby team, the leadership position came easy for him.

    Burger made his international debut against Zambia in 2004.

    He participated in the 2007, 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups, and has left an indelible mark on the hearts of Namibians with his bravery and skill.

    At the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the then International Rugby Board’s Rugby News Service listed Jacques Burger as one of the top five players of the tournament.

    It said he was "consistently the shining light in his side" and that "even as opposition scores mounted, the 28-year-old continued to tirelessly throw himself into the tackle and threaten turnover ball in the rucks".

    Following a concussion versus Georgia in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Burger announced his retirement from international rugby.

    He then joined the King Price family in the south.

    Among other things, Burger is also a farmer and says that one of the biggest challenges he has faced thus far has been the drought that continually looms over all the farms and farm owners’ heads.

    Burger’s job is to take care of the King Price Insurance brand and to make sure it grows and flourishes.

    “There is not a day that I am not in the field, so I wouldn’t say that I have a typical day in the office. I love what I do, and knowing that I am apart of such a prestigious brand that is growing every day, makes me happy,” Burger said.

    He said all the injuries he experienced on the rugby field were challenges that came with the job, and at King Price Insurance the only challenge is making sure the brand grows to its full capacity.

    “Everyone here at King Price have a common goal and they are diverse, so there is nothing that really sets me apart from my colleagues.”

    Burger is inspired by his family, whom he loves spending time with. He also loves being a farmer and seeing the fruit of his labours, both in the office and in the field.

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  • 03/28/19--15:00: Heart, mind and soul
  • Heart, mind and soul Heart, mind and soul Kurz puts everything into human connections Leandré Kurz says her personal struggles have been a source of wisdom and growth. Justicia Shipena



    Leandré Kurz was born in Swakopmund and raised in Omaruru, but completed her secondary, tertiary and post-graduate education in Windhoek.

    Kurz has always had questions related to why we behave in certain ways.

    This extended to a curiosity about psychology, which became her career path.

    She is currently preparing to undergo her Health Professions Council of Namibia (HPCNA) board evaluation in order to register as a clinical psychologist.

    She is registered as a clinical psychologist intern at Let’s Talk Psychology.

    Her role includes offering others a sounding board as well as a shoulder of support to help them work through personal truths, which may be difficult to handle independently.

    These may range from clinical symptoms of mental illness to the unfolding of unfortunate life events. However, it is more than a job involving checklists, diagnosis and textbook interventions.

    It is about human connections, empathy and genuine respect for the reality of an individual who seeks assistance.

    The job is about continuously learning from others and evolving in one’s own paradigm and lifestyle.

    Kurz told Careers that psychology is not unique in its presentation of career-related challenges.

    It demanded late nights, early mornings and neglecting countless social and family commitments.

    “There have been moments of emotional and financial ruin during the period of four years of undergraduate training, my six-month internship, two years postgraduate training and finally a one-year internship,” she said.

    She added these challenges, for her, have enabled the strengthening of humility and gratitude. She learned how to depend on others, as mentorship, support and guidance have been made available in abundance.

    Her typical day in the office requires her to have face-to-face consultations with individual clients and consultations with other medical practitioners about client management plans.

    She also does research on different therapy modalities or treatment aids.

    Some days of the week are also dedicated to administrative work, such as writing reports, doing more comprehensive research and continuous professional development by means of supervision.

    Kurz encouraged young people by saying it is not always our end goal that is impossible. It is often tolerating the ups and downs of the journey that makes us stumble and doubt.

    “Prepare for your journey by doing research. Persevere through the struggles. Be kind to others you find along the way. Be patient and kind towards yourself when you struggle,” she said.

    She added that one should ask for help when in need and take care of yourself.

    “You can’t pour from and empty glass. Don’t stop setting new goals,” she said.

    Her future plans include becoming a certified cognitive behavioural therapist, completing her PhD, getting more involved in community psychology projects that empower the socially oppressed and settling down to start her own family.

    Kurz said her personal struggles have been a source of wisdom and growth. They have taught her kindness, compassion and respect for her own pain and the pain of others.

    Balance is one of the many things that are important to her.

    “Adventure, travelling, fun, food, leisure and socialising have their place, but so do hard work, goal-setting, perseverance and ambition,” she said.

    She loves spending quality time with her significant other and her family. She enjoys engaging in sport and other outdoor activities.

    The sound of music, the ocean and the rain nourish her soul. Drawing from the experience and knowledge of her personal and career predecessors keeps her inspired.

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  • 03/28/19--15:00: What about housing?
  • What about housing?What about housing? Finance minister Calle Schlettwein may have managed to strike a fine balancing act in his national budget delivered this week, but we are not convinced that there is a sharper focus on bread-and-butter issues.

    A major highlight from the budget is that fiscal policy has been adjusted to move away from years of austerity due to a poor-performing economy. There is no doubt the N$66.5 billion budget also keeps an eye on the upcoming general election, and aims to please youth voters.

    Schlettwein said in the National Assembly on Wednesday the budget provides for a growth stimulus package, centred on the increased magnitude of the development budget, an enhanced resource allocation to the agricultural sector and youth and SME support.

    The development budget allocation was increased by 42%, “with greater emphasis on economic growth enhancing infrastructure investment and crowding in private sector participation”, Schlettwein said. Despite an increased allocation to basic education, among others, the budget did not address funding concerns with regard to the new education curriculum. The health's ministry's budget was increased by over 5%, while safety and security got a 7.3% shot in the arm.

    The poverty eradication ministry also received an increase of 4.5%. However, there were cuts for higher education and urban and rural development, whose budgets were scaled down by 2.9% and 7.8%, respectively. The huge cuts, particularly in the urban and rural development ministry, are not encouraging, considering the pressing housing crisis, which has seen the nation grappling with a backlog of over 300 000 units.

    It is a shame that thousands of Namibians still don't have access to formal housing. We should be at a point where housing should be considered a priority, in order to enhance human life and dignity. This critical basic right should not be undermined, and therefore government must ensure that more and more land is made available and serviced, so ordinary Namibians can build their houses at their own pace.

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    Education ministry to the rescueEducation ministry to the rescue Did you lose your original grade 10 or 12 certificate? Keep calm, the education ministry has your best interests at heart. The ministry has come up with four easy steps to follow if you find yourself in a situation where you either lost your certificates or they were stolen or damaged.

    Many people worry there may not be any way to renew these documents or that they have to wait too long.

    Here are four stress-free steps to follow to make sure that there are no hiccups when it comes to applying for a job or at a tertiary institution:

    1. You can apply for a duplicate certificate. All you need to do is get an application form at the education directorate in your region. Wherever you may find yourself, there will be forms in all 14 regions of Namibia. However, in Windhoek, you can obtain the form from the directorate of national examinations and assessment at the head office, not the regional office.

    2. Thereafter, you will be required to pay a small fee of N$40 for an application form for a grade 10 duplicate certificate and an amount of N$50 for a grade 12 duplicate certificate. These payments are required for the renewal of all certificates, regardless of how you lost them or the amount of damage.

    3. After making the payment at your nearest education directorate and filling in the application forms, submit your application to the examination centre in your respective region.

    4. The processing of the certificate takes about six weeks (or the specified time given during application process).

    It is important to remain patient with the people to whom you submit these forms, because hundreds of people go to them on a daily basis. They will do their best to ensure that everyone receives their duplicates during the processing time.

    Education is the greatest equaliser and thus no one should be left out. Go now and renew your individual certificates. Invest in your future now, and reap the fruits later.

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  • 03/28/19--15:00: No more manna for SOEs
  • No more manna for SOEsNo more manna for SOEs In what has become a yearly occurrence, the government has yet again decided to give the lion's share of the budget for state-owned enterprises to Air Namibia.
    This year's N$500 million allocation is notably less than last year's N$740 million though. The only SOE to receive anything close to what was allocated to Air Namibia was the NBC, which was allocated N$140 million. Other allocations include the Development Bank of Namibia (N$50 million), the Financial Intelligence Centre (N$26 million), the Namibia Standards Institute (N$18 million), the Environment Investment Fund (N$14 million) and state mining company Epangelo (N$7 million). The Roads Contractor Company, whose future remains uncertain, was allocated N$20 million, while a further N$16 million and N$17 million are earmarked for the financial years 2020/21 and 2021/22. Finance minister Calle Schlettwein said SOEs' budget allocations were gradually being reduced. “Transfers to commercial public enterprises are budgeted at N$836.5 million, reducing to N$815.6 million in the financial year 2020/21 and reaching about N$838.3 million by financial year 2021/22.
    This reflects a reduction from historical levels,” he said.
    “Public enterprises need to demonstrate that they are delivering value for money in the delivery of good services to the public, who are effectively paying taxes to subsidise these organisations,” he said.
    The National Youth Service and the National Youth Council received N$35 million and N$24.5 million respectively.
    State media organisations New Era Public Corporation and the Namibia Press Agency received N$10 million and N$15 million respectively while Namzim, the publisher of the regional weekly Southern Times, received N$5 million.
    Schlettwein also warned that governance at SOEs would be significantly improved.
    “The Public Enterprises Governance Bill was approved by the National Assembly and reviewed by the National Council. Its passing will enable a wholesale review of many of the current public enterprises, with the objective of making them into economically viable enterprises,” Schlettwein said.
    The ministry of higher education, training and innovation received N$3.1 billion, of which N$911.9 million is for the University of Namibia, N$500 million for the Namibia University of Science and Technology, and N$1.1 billion for NSFAF. The Namibia College of Open Learning was allocated N$100 million, and the Namibia Qualification Authority N$30 million.
    “Such resource outlay reflects government's commitment to invest in the youth and human capital development as the central driver of sustainable development and poverty reduction over time,” said Schlettwein.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    43 000 youth sent away untrained43 000 youth sent away untrained The shocking desperation among the country's youth has been laid bare in a research paper which indicates that 43 878 young people were turned away from vocational training centres in 2017 and 2018.

    According to local researcher Tuyeni Kandume this indicates there is lots of interest in training, but there seems to be no money. “The (Namibia Training Authority) levy does not cover running costs and this is a serious shortcoming. Our companies have to pay the monthly levy to the NTA and they no longer support the Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) directly.

    It serves no purpose to build more centres and their sustainability is not guaranteed,” she said. The higher education ministry received a N$3.1 billion budget allocation for 2019/20, about N$500 million less than the previous financial year.





    An additional N$15 million was allocated for youth entrepreneurship projects, on top of the N$9.5 million to support youth employment and self-employment under the National Youth Council (NYC).

    According to finance minister Calle Schlettwein, who announced the national budget on Wednesday in the National Assembly, this is in addition to youth-related projects under the youth ministry, as well as support facilities at the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) and the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development.



    Commenting on the N$500 million reduction in the higher education budget, Kandume said: “So with this substantial reduction, how do we deal with the plight and demand of government, which said in the past five years that artisans are the backbone of the economy and they need to develop the country and strive for entrepreneurship?”



    She added on the other hand the private sector has done its part and complemented government initiatives through levies used for skills development.



    “However this (budget) reduction is so severe that it affects other strategic initiatives aimed at supporting the sector. It is also imperative to highlight that NIMT is underfunded and presently financially unable to survive. The subsidy amount for the training of NIMT trainees is not sufficient and NIMT will have to consider its sustainability seriously,” she said.



    The private sector levy per trainee is N$22 850, she added.



    According to Kandume in 2017 and 2018 between 1 500 to 2 000 NIMT trainees reached artisan status and more than 90% are employed, while many proceeded with their training and further education in South Africa.



    Kandume further questioned government's sincerity when it said that artisans are the backbone of the country, yet money is not directed to train them.



    She also pleaded with government to ensure that the higher education budget allocation is geared towards technical and vocational training.



    “The sector has gone beyond and has trained 183 128 students in critical skills and out of 128 unemployed youth, 66 have become employers,” she said.



    Kandume added that the NYC plays a pivotal role in keeping the Namibian youth engaged.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 03/28/19--15:00: Making a killing
  • Making a killingMaking a killingShocking logging activity in Kavango before permits expire There is frantic logging activity in the northeastern regions as the deadline approaches for the suspension of timber transport and export permits. A Namibian Sun investigation in Kavango, where it is alleged Chinese national Hou 'Josy' Xuecheng and others are continuing with logging, has revealed frenetic activity before transport and export permits expire this Sunday.

    Hou has, however, again denied that he is continuing to harvest trees in the Kavango East Region.

    Sources close to his operation have made the claim that his company, New Force Logistics CC, is still harvesting trees for export via the Walvis Bay harbour.

    “I am mainly in the transportation business,” Hou reiterated.

    “So far no one has been logging [since the moratorium on tree harvesting]. The police, forest department patrol every day and the new cut wood, it is easy to see, will be confiscated and fined!”

    However, a recent trip to the Kavango area showed frenetic activity before transport and export permits expire on 31 March.

    Between the Mururani Veterinary Gate and Rundu, several trucks could be seen loading logs along the B8 road. After the suspension of timber harvesting licences on 26 November last year, all permits – including transport and exporting permits – were cancelled and according to the ministry of forestry no new logging permits have been issued.

    However, on 6 February the forestry ministry announced that the environment ministry had authorised it to lift the moratorium on the transport of timber cut in the Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi regions before 26 November.

    The issuing of transport and export permits for “already cut” timber resumed from 8 February and will cease on 31 March.

    The forestry ministry has so far neglected to provide reasons why the transport and export permits were reissued for timber harvested illegally, since – with only two exceptions – all trees were felled without environmental clearance certificates.



    Ongoing activities

    Logging of slow-growing hardwood trees protected under Namibian law continues at fever pitch while the window for transport and export remains open.





    Evidence of these activities can be seen north of the Mururani Gate and elsewhere.

    During the weekend of 16 and 17 March, about 32 kilometres from the Mururani Gate and at the turn-off to the Rooidag Gate, a huge stockpile of timber marked 'OPO' was lying on the side of the road, presumably ready for pick-up.

    Ten kilometres further, a truck belonging to New Force Logistics CC was parked, fully loaded with timber. Next to it were some logs lying under a tree, presumably because the truck was filled to capacity.

    A short distance from there, a group of men were standing around a small sedan car with a big pile of planks, which they said they had retrieved “from the bush” and were selling locally.

    Yet another short drive from there – about 15 kilometres or so – another unidentified truck was being loaded with timber by a group of men who appeared angry when they were photographed.

    By early evening, more trucks loaded with timber were lined up outside Rundu, presumably waiting for nightfall, the preferred time for the transport of timber to either Walvis Bay or “straight to South Africa”, as one veterinary officer at the Rooidag Gate in the Tsumkwe West area said.

    By the weekend the area in the Ncaute Community Forest along the D3401 road between Ncaute and Taratara was a hive of activity.

    From Ncaute, the first activity was at Hou's “camp” – an unfenced area next to the main gravel road – where timber was being processed for transport. On one side there was a large pile of unprocessed and fresh-looking tree trunks; on the other, cut logs were being piled up.

    Men operating a large front loader, chainsaws, a forklift and at least five large, yellow trucks were working there.

    One of the trucks drove off towards the Taratara area, where it is alleged harvesting is continuing in dense forest along sandy roads that are becoming impassable because of the truck traffic.

    Despite the evidence that stockpiles are not getting any smaller since the November harvesting moratorium, Hou remains adamant: “Namibia's forest ministry is heavily regulated. Confiscation, fine. No one breaks the law!”

    He adds: “We take advantage of our machines and equipment to buy their wood. If they think the price is unreasonable, they can find a better buyer.”

    He also has advice for the government: “Reasonable logging and strict regulation. That is what the government needs to do. Public opinion cannot replace the law [and] cannot improve the living standards of the poor.”

    Hou insists that he is merely “assisting” Namibian small-scale farmers: “I have invested a lot of sawing machines to do supporting services, so it is easier to help them [the farmers] increase the sales price.”

    Still further down the D3401 at Vikota village, a Namibian was loading trees for a Chinese client, a certain Mr Fong, who is said to live at Rundu's Rainbow Village. Mr Fong could not be traced. The Namibian logger, Tony Vimbala, admitted to having harvested trees as late as January this year.

    The most commonly used road out of Kavango East is through the Mururani Gate. However, some transport operators, like the truck Vimbala was loading, prefer to take a roundabout route past Tsintsabis and via Tsumeb to Walvis Bay.



    Rooidag Gate connection

    At the Rooidag veterinary gate, state veterinary officer Romanus Nyangana said that many of the timber trucks driving through the Tsumkwe West area came from farms along the border with Kavango East.



    Nyangana said he found it puzzling that most of the transport permits for trees harvested in the Rundu area were issued at the Katima Mulilo forestry office.



    Despite earlier denials by Hou, Nyangana said “some Chinese” were participating in tree harvesting.



    Nyangana said trucks passing through the Rooidag Gate were searched for prohibited wildlife products such as elephant tusks, rhino horns or hides.



    In Tsumkwe West, he said, only camelthorn trees were being cut, possibly unsustainably, to be used locally for fencing.



    While the customs and excise department in the finance ministry is yet to provide statistics on the number of timber trucks that have recently crossed the border from Katwitwi, most of the trucks seen on the road between the northern regions carried wood originating from Namibia.



    Tree experts, preferring anonymity, say a proper assessment of the logging frenzy in the two Kavango regions and Zambezi could only be done once the dust has settled.

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