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Tells it All - Namibian Sun
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    Aavali ya geya omolwa ondilo yomizalo omipe dhoskolaAavali ya geya omolwa ondilo yomizalo omipe dhoskola Aavali oya popi kutya etulo miilonga lyomizalo omipe dhoskola pooskola dhimwe itali etitha iizemo iiwanawa nenge omikalo omiwanawa maanaskola.

    Oshiwike sha piti oshifokundaneki shoNamibian Sun osha yi moonkundathana nomuvali gwedhina, Paulus Kaalushu, omanga ta landa iinima yokoskola yaanona ye yatatu.

    “Omimvo dha piti aanaskola oya kala haya zala omizalo dhoskola omikulu dhoka dha kalako nale, hatu dhi kutha moostola kondando yopevi, ihe ngashiingeyi ooskola otadhi tula po omulandu gwoomizalo omipe na odhi na ondilo. Omizalo dhoka inadhi kwatelwa mo miimaliwa mbyoka ooskola hadhi mono okuza kepangelo. Omizalo dhoka mbela otadhi kwashilipaleke kutya aanona yetu otaya mono iizemo iiwanawa mooskola?” Kaalushu a popi.

    “Otaya popi kutya aavali mboka itaya vulu okulanda omizalo omipe aanano otaya vulu okuzala omizalo dhoka omikulu. Oye shi shi kutya osha hala okutya ngiini ngele okanona keli momizalo inadhi fa dha yakwawo? Ngaaka kashi shi okatongo? Oya hala okutya aanaskola naavali yawo otaya kala yuuvite nawa?”

    Uuministeli welongo omimvo dha piti owa popi kutya ooskola dhepangelo nadhi kuthe miilonga omizalo omukulu nokutulapo omizalo dhopashinanena, onga omukalo gwokugandja oompito dhiilonga kaahondji yomoshilongo.

    Aavali otaya nyenyeta kutya omizalo dhoka odhi na odhilo noonkondo.

    Aahondji yomoshilongo oya li ya pewa omadheulo kAaIndia mboka haya hondjo omizalo dhooskola, noostola dhomizalo dhooskola odha patululwa konyala miitopolwa ya yooloka moshilongo.

    Ooskola odhindji unene moondoolopa odha tula miilonga omizalo omipe ihe ndhoka dhokomikunda otadhi nana nondatu.

    Omunambelewa omupopiliko guuministeli welongo, Absalom Absalom okwa popi kutya omizalo dhooskola otadhi lundululwa nomatompelo gontumba, nomalunduluko ngoka otaga ningwa pankundathana nomalelo gooskola.

    Gumwe gwomaahondji yomizalo dhooskola monooli, Anneli Luaanda gwoAnneli Fashion Design, okwa popi kutya omizalo dhoskola omipe otadhi hondja miiyata ya kola okuyeleka nomizalo omikulu. Okwa popi kutya palongitho lyiiyata mboka aavali otaya vulu okukala uule woomvula ndatu inaya landa omizalo dhoskola.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    A tulwa miipandeko monkambadhala yokufuta ombumbo omunambelewa gwoACCA tulwa miipandeko monkambadhala yokufuta ombumbo omunambelewa gwoACCNgoka oku li omuntu omutiyali okutulwa miipandeko Okwa tulwa miipandeko omulumentu ngoka a li ta kambadhala okufuta ombumbo omunambelewa gwOkakomisi kOkukeelela Uulingilingi, mepingakanitho lyuukalata wombaanga wa gumwe gwomwaamboka ya tulwa miipandeko shi na sha nelyenge lyoFishrot. Omukomeho gwoAnti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Paulus Noa okwa lombwele oNamibia Sun kutya omunambelewa omukonaakoni gwokakomisi okwa li a lombwelwa ta pewa oshimaliwa okuza komayalulo gombaanga ga gumwe gwomaafelelwa mboka ye li mondjeedhililo omolwa oshipotha shelyenge lyefuto lyoombumbo moshikondo shoohi, mepingakanitho nuukalata wombaanga.

    Uukatala wombaanga waafelelwa mboka owa kwatwako onga oshitopolwa shomakonaakono ngoka taga ningwa moshipotha shoka.

    Oominista nale Sacky Shanghala oshowo Bernardt Esau oyeli oshitopolwa shaamboka taku popiwa ya pewa oshimaliwa shoombumbo sha thika poomiliyona 150, mepingakanitho lyookota dhokukwata oohi shepangelo.

    Yakwawo yalwe oJames Hatuikulipi, Tamson 'Fitty' Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo oshowo Pius Mwatelulo.

    Mboka oya tulwa miipandeko momasiku 27 gaNovemba omvula ya piti, na oya kala mondjeedhililo.

    Kakushiwike natango kutya olye gomwaamboka ye li mondjeedhililo a gandja elombwelo komufelekwa ngoka tulwa miipandeko ngashiingeyi opo a gandje ombumbo komunambelewa omukonaakoni gwokakomisi mepingakanitho lyuukalata wombaanga.

    “Otwa tula miipandeko omuntu gumwe onguloshi yOmaandaha sho a kambadhala okugandja ombumbo komunambelewa omukonaakoni, opo omunambeelwa ngoka a kuthemo uukalata woombaanga wa gumwe gwomaafekelewa moombelelwa dhetu,” Noa a popi.

    Omulumegu ngoka edhina lye inali vula okutumbulwa omanga ina holoka mompangu, okwa tegelelwa a holoke mompangu nena (ohela).

    Okuli omuntu omutiyali ta tulwa miipandeko sho a kambadhala okuya moshipala omakonaakono moshipotha shoka.

    Nigel van Wyk okuli mondjeedhililo konima sho a kambadhala okukutha po omaumbangi okuza megumbo lyaShanghala moKlein Windhoek.

    Aatamanekwa mboka yahamano moshipotha shoka okwa tegelelwa ya holoke mompangu momasiku 20 gaFebruali.

    Mboka oya ndopa iikando yontumba moonkambadhala opo oshipotha shawo shi ekelwehi kompangu nomaipopilo kutya inaya ninga epuko lya sha.

    Momasiku gatatu gaJanuari nuumvo oya ndopa mOmpangu yoPombandeelela moshilongo, moka ya li ya ningi eindilo lyawo, nompangu oya tokola kutya oshipotha shawo inashi endelela.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Former cop appears for internet fraudFormer cop appears for internet fraud The Walvis Bay Magistrate's Court has denied bail to a 30-year-old former policeman who made his first appearance on charges of internet fraud on Tuesday.

    Ricardo Nestor appeared before Magistrate John Findano, while prosecutor Maggy Shiyagaya-Lotto represented the State.

    It is alleged that Nestor hacked into the complainant's emails last October and replaced the victim's banking details with his own, which subsequently resulted in N$720 000 being paid into the accused's bank account. He allegedly also withdrew a portion of the stolen money and transferred it to a foreign financial institution in South Africa.

    The complainant is Walvis Bay businessman Jose Do Santos Mansinho.

    The crime allegedly took place between October and December 2019. The case was postponed to 5 March for further police investigation.

    NAMPA

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  • 01/22/20--14:00: 'Pay up Samherji'
  • 'Pay up Samherji''Pay up Samherji'Opposition demands compensation for jobless fishermen The opposition leader says his party will consider a court challenge if the company does not respond within 15 days. Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani says Icelandic fishing company Samherji should take responsibility for the thousands of Namibian fishermen who lost their jobs because of the Fishrot bribery scandal.

    Samherji last Friday announced its withdrawal from Namibia in the wake of the exposure of the scandal, which resulted in the resignation of former fisheries and justice ministers Bernardt Esau and Sacky Shanghala, and their incarceration with fellow accused Jason Hatuikulipi, Tamson 'Fitty' Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo and Pius Mwatelulo in November.

    This followed after thousands of leaked documents showed that the accused had allegedly conspired with Samherji to receive bribes estimated at N$150 million in exchange for horse-mackerel fishing quotas.

    Announcing Samherji's intention to de-invest in Namibia last week, the company's CEO Björgólfur Jóhannsson failed to give a timeframe, only saying that the process would “take some time”.

    Venaani welcomed Samherji's intention to leave Namibia, but said the company should first compensate all fishermen who had lost their jobs when local companies lost their fishing quotas and went bankrupt. Venaani demanded that Samherji pay all aggrieved fishermen a monthly salary equal to the amount they would have earned by now, taking into account inflationary escalations, as well as a pensionable lump sum calculated on that amount.

    Because some retrenched fishermen committed suicide after losing their jobs, Venaani suggested that benefits be paid out to their families.

    Venaani called on Samherji to respond to this demand within 15 working days, failing which the PDM may seek a court order to attach Samherji's assets in Namibia, including a N$400 million ship.



    Lost jobs

    Namsov Fishing Enterprises, which had been the biggest beneficiary of horse-mackerel quotas since 2004 – had sued the fisheries ministry over the allocation of the quotas, claiming that Esau had reneged on his decision to award Namsov an additional quota of 13 337 tonnes for 2014.

    It is alleged that the allocation went to, among others, Fishcor, which by proxy allegedly passed on a portion of its quota to Samherji.

    In 2014 Namsov said it had been forced to lay off 120 workers as a result.

    More job losses were to follow, allegedly because of Esau's reallocation of fishing quotas to those linked to the Fishrot scandal.

    Interim fisheries minister Albert Kawana said at a rally at Kuisebmond in Walvis Bay in December last year that he had been given a cabinet directive to ensure that all those who had lost their jobs because of the corruption are re-employed “as soon as possible”.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Struggle kid jobs anger residentsStruggle kid jobs anger residents A meeting to discuss the recent permanent appointments of nine struggle kids at public institutions at Outjo in the Kunene Region on Tuesday reached a deadlock.

    The meeting, which lasted for nearly five hours, follows a demonstration by the residents, who aired their dismay over the job placements of the struggle kids as cleaners and labourers at the Outjo State Hospital, the agriculture ministry's veterinary services division and Outjo Primary School.

    Five struggle kids have been employed at the hospital, while two each were placed at the other two public institutions.

    The residents say government is being unfair and giving preferential treatment to the struggle kids, while unemployment is high at the town.

    The meeting was held by Kunene health director Thomas Shapumba with stakeholders, including the hospital's management, Outjo Constituency councillor Johannes Antsino and police officers.

    During the meeting, the residents instructed Shapumba to freeze the posts and stop the struggle kids at the hospital from performing their cleaning duties, which the health director refused to do.

    “The five cleaner vacancies at the hospital were filled by the struggle kids as per the cabinet decision,” Shapumba said, adding struggle kids were being given equal treatment to marginalised communities in the country.

    The struggle kids, he said, will from now on be given priority when applying for entry positions in government institutions, an issue which angered the residents who attended the meeting even more.

    After the two parties had failed to agree, the matter was then referred to the Kunene governor Marius Sheya's office for an intervention.

    The group of residents vowed to continue demonstrating by camping at the entrance of the Outjo State Hospital until their demands are met by government.

    Residents of Okakarara, Okakamatapati and Coblenz in the Otjozondjupa Region in 2019 also demonstrated against government deploying 13 struggle kids to different settlements where they work as cleaners and labourers.

    NAMPA

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  • 01/22/20--14:00: A beacon of hope
  • A beacon of hopeA beacon of hopeAquaculture, gardening feeds pupils Tsintsabis Combined School produces its own food through aquaculture and gardening, including tilapia fish, maize, spinach, tomatoes, beans, onion and carrots. The Tsintsabis Combined School's feeding programme has received resounding support from stakeholders since its implementation in 2004, acting principal Christalina Narubes said.

    During an interview at the school over the weekend, Narubes applauded members of the community for volunteering to prepare meals for learners.

    She also acknowledged the contributions of government and corporates to the feeding programme.

    Narubes said government contributes maize to the school, while Namibia Free Caterers/Tulipamwe donates a weekly consignment of vegetables and Tsumeb-based Dundee Precious Metals donates a monthly food voucher worth N$800.

    “Last year, we were fortunate to receive a one-tonne donation of fish from a fishing company at the coast and we have been preparing this high protein-concentrated diet for our children,” she said.

    She added that the feeding programme encourages children from the marginalised San community to attend school.

    Tsintsabis Combined School also produces its own food through aquaculture and gardening, including tilapia fish, maize, spinach, tomatoes, beans, onion and carrots.

    In addition to helping with the preparation of meals, members of the community volunteer their labour for the school's projects.

    “Our fish farming produces enough fish for the feeding programme and to sell to the local community, which helps to generate revenue for the maintenance of project,” Narubes said, adding that the school implemented the two projects so that it does not rely solely on handouts.

    She explained that only 86 learners accommodated in the school hostel are not catered for by the feeding programme.

    “They (hostel learners) cannot benefit twice, as they receive food in the hostel,” Narubes said.

    Situated in Oshikoto's Guinas Constituency, 62 kilometres north of Tsumeb, Tsintsabis Combined School has over 795 learners from pre-primary to Grade 9, as well as 25 teachers.

    It was established inside the military barracks of the then colonial administration by current Guinas Constituency councillor Betty Kaula in 1993. Back then, it catered for 135 San children.



    Overcrowded

    The school, which caters for pre-primary to Grade 9 this year enrolled a total number of 795 learners compared to 759 in 2018 and 733 in 2019.

    Narubes told Nampa on Tuesday that the classrooms are overcrowded this year, due to the fact that it is the only school in Oshikoto that offers Khoekhoegowab as a medium of instruction.

    Khoekhoegowab, she said, is a language well-understood by the San community.

    “We used to have one group per grade previously, but now we have more groups of learners per grade, due to an increased learner population this time around,” Narubes said.

    She explained that the school this year has the following grade groups: Two groups each for pre-primary, Grade 5 and Grade 6 and three groups each for grades 1, 2, 3 and 4.

    “It is only in grades 7, 8 and 9 where we have one group per grade, but they are many in a classroom,” Narubes said, adding that there are 43 learners in Grade 7, 46 in Grade 8 and 38 in Grade 9.

    According to her, 17 learners have been placed on the waiting list for Grade 8.

    “However, we are grateful that our regional director of education has recommended that the Khoekhoegowab language be introduced at another school in the region, Tsumeb Secondary School, as from this year,” she said.

    In 2018 the school phased out Grade 10, its former highest grade, due to the ongoing implementation of the new education curriculum in the country.

    NAMPA

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    Parents fume over costly new uniformsParents fume over costly new uniforms Parents say the introduction of good-looking school uniforms does not guarantee an improvement in academic performance, behaviour or attendance.

    Last week, Namibian Sun caught up with concerned parent Paulus Kaalushu while he was doing back-to-school shopping for three of his children.

    “Over the past years, learners used to wear traditional school uniforms that used to be obtained from local stores at a cheaper price, but all of a sudden, schools are moving away from these uniforms and going for tailor-made uniforms which are expensive.

    “They are not included in the money schools get from government. Do these uniforms guarantee our children good performance?” fumed Kaalushu.

    “They are saying that parents who cannot afford new uniforms can use the old uniforms. Do they know what it means for a child to look different from the rest of the children? Is that not discrimination? Do they think such learners and parents will feel comfortable?”

    A few years ago, the education ministry issued a circular informing government schools to do away with traditional school uniforms and introduce fashionably designed ones.

    This was aimed at creating employment and empowering local tailors. However, some parents have complained that the new uniforms are too expensive.

    Local tailors were trained by Indian consultants in uniform manufacturing and design, and uniform outlets were opened in most parts of the country.

    Many schools, especially those in towns, have already introduced new uniforms. However, those at villages are still struggling.

    The uniforms introduced include school shirts, ties, jerseys or jackets, tracksuits, socks, skirts and trousers. Education ministry spokesperson Absalom Absalom said school uniforms are being changed for a number of reasons.

    He also said the changes are done in consultation with the school board and management.

    A uniform manufacturer in the north, Anneli Luaanda of Anneli Fashion Design, said many of the new uniforms are made of quality materials, unlike the traditional uniforms.

    “In most cases, our material choices are of quality and suitable for the children's environments. Parents can go up to three years without buying a new uniform, unlike the others,” she said.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 01/22/20--14:00: 12.5m in SADC face hunger
  • 12.5m in SADC face hunger12.5m in SADC face hungerNamibia among devastated nations The rainy season across southern Africa in 2018/19 was one of the driest on record for nearly 40 years, including in Namibia. The number of food insecure people in southern Africa is projected to peak at 12.5 million through March 2020, an increase of 15% compared to the same time last year.

    This will be the second highest number of food insecure people on record in the sub-region after the 2015/16 El Niño weather phenomenon occurred.

    This is according to the Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) report by the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

    It provides a quarterly forward-looking analysis of major disaster risks to food security and agriculture.

    The report specifically highlights potential new emergencies resulting from imminent disaster threats and new developments in countries already affected by protracted crises, which are likely to cause a further deterioration of food insecurity.

    The report makes several recommendations also focusing on Namibia to proactively mitigate and prevent disasters before they adversely impact food security.

    “Given the ongoing depletion of food stocks and above-average prices, notable improvements in food security conditions are not expected before March 2020. Furthermore, below-average rainfall was recorded from the start of the rainy season up to December 2019.”

    The report says agriculture-related income for poor households is likely to be affected throughout the cropping season, which will affect purchasing power and access to food from markets.

    The rainy season across southern Africa in 2018/19 was one of the driest on record for nearly 40 years, particularly in southern Angola, north-western Botswana, western Madagascar, Namibia, southern Zambia and north-western Zimbabwe, according to the report.

    It says the severe drought resulted in below-average regional cereal output and increasing food insecurity across many countries, while ongoing low rainfall so far this season has considerably slowed vegetation regeneration across many countries.

    “Livestock conditions are poor across southern and central areas of the region and there are reports of unusually high numbers of drought-related livestock deaths, in particular in southern Angola, northern Namibia and southern Zimbabwe.”

    The report further pointed out that the significant deterioration in food security conditions is mainly due to reduced harvests that have cut household food stocks.

    It says a lack of casual labour opportunities and increasing food prices have further affected rural households' purchasing power to access food from markets.

    Between January and March, early action to support off-season crop production and livestock health could mitigate the impact of a forecasted second consecutive poor rainy season, and prevent further deterioration of food insecurity across southern Africa, the report advised. Priority countries include Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

    It recommended that hand and solar water pumps combined with seed distributions (vegetable and other crops) should be installed and training on water management should take place to support off-season production in vulnerable areas potentially affected by rainfall deficits. Water points that were potentially affected by rainfall deficits in the most vulnerable communities should be rehabilitated, the report further said.

    “Distribute animal feed and mineral supplements to vulnerable pastoralists and livestock keepers to protect core breeding stock, especially in Namibia and western Zimbabwe.” The report also recommended that emergency treatment and vaccinations should be provided as soon as possible before further depletion of water points and a consequent increase in risk of transboundary animal diseases due to migration.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Calls for harvesting rainwater at OkatyaliCalls for harvesting rainwater at Okatyali Farmers in the Okatyali Constituency of the Oshana Region are calling on the government to build an earthen dam in their area in order to harvest water during the rainy season.

    Okatyali receives the overflow from Lake Oponona, which is a catchment area for floodwater from the Oshana, Ohangwena and Omusati regions.

    The farmers made this call yesterday during a familiarisation visit by Oshana governor Elia Irimari, who promised to look into their request.

    Irimari and his delegation, including chief regional officer Martin Elago, visited Okatyali after receiving a report that floodwater had cut off some farmers from their farms across the Oniiwe River.

    People cross the river in a canoe provided by the constituency office.

    Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Eliud Shipena said the area benefits from floodwater for only four months, while their livestock need water year-round.

    “During the rainy season we always have water all over the place, but this water only last for four months. During the dry season farmers struggle to get water for their livestock.

    “I am therefore calling on the government through the office of the governor to excavate earthen dams in this area so that we can harvest rainwater for use during drought,” said Shipena.

    “This is the only water source we have in the area and once we get an earthen dam, we can use it until the next rainy season.

    During a year of good rain like this, this area provides grazing that can last for two years.

    “Even last year when there was a devastating drought, people were still coming to get grass here because they couldn't bring their cattle here due to the unavailability of water.”

    Irimari said his delegation was visiting the Okatyali grazing area to assess the flood situation and decide on appropriate measures.

    He said long-term solutions such as a bridge and a dam were needed.

    “We came here to do an assessment for ourselves to find out what mitigation measures we can put in place. We need to come up with long-term plans so that we cannot just be spending money every time we come here. The ideal plan would be to construct a floating bridge and an earthen dam,” Irimari said.

    “We also came to assess the canoe that is being used and we observed that it needs some repair while the crossing conditions are also unsafe.

    We therefore brought 25 life jackets to be used when people are crossing the river.”

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 01/22/20--14:00: Rich man, poor man
  • Rich man, poor manRich man, poor man For African citizens, the debates and discussions by the elite in Davos seem like a world away.

    The World Economic Forum (WEF) hosts an annual meeting at the end of January in a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland.

    The meeting brings together some 3 000 business giants, political leaders, economists, celebrities and journalists for four days to discuss global issues across 500 public and private sessions.

    Over the years, the problems of Africa and elsewhere in the developing world have often appeared more the subject of intellectual debate than pressing urgency. We hope that will change this year.

    However, the continued impoverishment of millions of people over the world has become one of the great sources of global instability, especially when it comes to uprisings and other conflicts.

    This year at the WEF, there has already been a call to end all investments in fossil fuel use, extraction and subsidies. As reported by the media, including the Financial Times, this demand is not universally popular in Africa, whose countries have made negligible contributions to global greenhouse emissions.

    In the same breath, Africa, which has largely been bypassed by previous industrialisation explosions, remains in a precarious position because of the ongoing corruption and looting by those in power, as well as its inability to value-add to its raw materials.

    The continent is, however, in a position, if managed properly, to reap the benefits of its young and growing population, vast resources and largely untapped markets, which could provide the foundations for continent-wide renewal, powered by technological innovations.

    When the bigwigs of Davos have finished their inescapable flaunting of the trappings of wealth and power, African poverty will inevitably still persist, which brings us back to what should be a concerted attempt by the citizens of this continent to get us out of our current quagmire. The question remains: How long will Africa still put out its begging bowl while exporting its raw riches to the rest of the world?

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    Learners sent home over broken potsLearners sent home over broken pots The over 1 200 learners at Max Makushe Senior Secondary School in the Kavango East Region have been sent home until further notice because of broken cooking pots and cold-storage rooms.

    Although Kavango East education director Fanuel Kapapero says the problem will be sorted out by tomorrow, a cloud of uncertainty still lingers as the procurement process has yet to be finalised.

    Kapapero however remains adamant that the matter will be resolved as soon as possible.

    The learners were released from school on Tuesday by the school's management for fear that they would either go hungry or get ill from spoilt food.

    Of the 1 206 learners enrolled at the school this year, 1 055 are accommodated in the hostel.

    Late last year, about 400 learners at the school suffered food poisoning after eating bread that had gone bad in the dysfunctional cold-storage rooms. When Namibian Sun visited the school, situated about 180 kilometres east of Rundu, the premises were deserted except for teachers.

    Principal Godfrey Mukata said the problem with the electric cooking pots started last October.

    Mukata added that the Kavango East education directorate had been informed about the situation last year.

    “The regional directorate has been informed on various occasions since last year October as well as last week Saturday.



    “We are simply waiting upon them to resolve the matter,” he said.

    Of the four industrial-size cookers in the hostel kitchen, only one is operational but it takes about six hours to come to the boil, Mukata said.

    “We have four pots but only one is working. If the pot is switched on at 03:00, it will only start to boil at 09:00, which is a long period of time. We tried to use one pot to cater for the learners but it is not working,” he said.

    When the problem started last year, they resorted to feeding learners bread with coffee or juice, Mukata said.

    Asked when the learners were likely to return to school, Mukata said once the issues had been resolved.

    He referred further questions on the matter to the Kavango East education directorate.

    When contacted for comment, Kapapero, who expressed his displeasure with what had happened, said it was an unfortunate situation but would be resolved soon.

    Kapapero said funds for the necessary repairs were available and the delay was a result of bureaucracy, as the directorate falls under the Kavango Regional Council where procedures need to be followed.

    The estimated cost to repair the cookers and cold-storage rooms is in the range of N$300 000, he said.

    “The biggest enemy is bureaucracy. This matter was supposed to be treated as an emergency.”

    He added that learners could expect to return to school this Sunday.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 01/22/20--14:00: Fishrot bribery ring widens
  • Fishrot bribery ring widensFishrot bribery ring widensNew Fishrot accused offered ACC investigator N$250k A shocking attempt to bribe an ACC investigator with N$250 000 has led to another accused being added to the growing list of those incarcerated in connection with the Fishrot scandal. While the main accused in the Fishrot bribery scandal await a hearing date in the Supreme Court to challenge their incarceration, another hanger-on, who allegedly tried to bribe an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigator, has joined them behind bars.

    Jason Iiyambo is accused of having offered an ACC investigator a bribe of N$250 000 to hand over the Investec bank cards assigned to former MD James Hatuikulipi and another bank card belonging to Pius Mwatelulo.

    Both Hatuikulipi and Mwatelulo are among the so-called Fishrot Six accused already in custody.

    Iiyambo faces charges in connection with bribing an ACC investigator. Magistrate Linus Samunzala denied Iiyambo bail during a brief appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court yesterday.

    Prosecutor Tatelo Lusepani objected to bail on the grounds that it would not be in the interest of justice for Iiyambo to be released. It was also argued that he would interfere with the unfolding investigations if granted bail.

    The case against Iyambo was postponed to February 20, when the so-called Fishrot Six will make their next court appearance. He will appear separately, the court heard.

    His lawyer, Mervin Katuvesirauina, indicated they would be bringing a formal bail application.

    ACC director-general Paulus Noa told Namibian Sun on Tuesday that an investigative officer of the commission had been offered money from the account of an unnamed Fishrot suspect in return for gaining access to the bank cards.

    “We arrested someone last night (on Monday) for attempting to bribe an investigating officer to remove the ATM cards [from our offices],” Noa said late on Tuesday.

    Former justice minister Shanghala, former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau, Hatuikulipi, suspended Investec manager Ricardo Gustavo, Esau's son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi and Hanganeni employee Pius Mwatelulo are said to have taken bribes from Icelandic fishing company Samherji in exchange for lucrative fishing quotas.





    Last week Namibian Sun reported that Nigel van Wyk, who faces a charge of obstructing the course of justice by trying to remove material believed to be evidence from the house of former justice minister Sacky Shanghala, had abandoned his bail application.

    Van Wyk is believed to be an employee of Olea Investments, a company owned by Shanghala. Olea allegedly received US$330 000 in bribes paid by Samherji.

    The original Fishrot Six are being held at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility until their next court appearance on 20 February, but following an unsuccessful bid to have the charges thrown out in the High Court, they have now launched an appeal in the Supreme Court.

    Late last year the Law Society of Namibia confirmed it was investigating lawyer Sisa Namandje's trust account in light of revelations made in the Al Jazeera 'Fishrot' documentary.

    Namandje's law firm's trust account is alleged to have channelled N$17.5 million in financial flows from public entity Fishcor.

    Also under investigation is Walvis Bay lawyer Sacky Kadhila Amoomo, who allegedly played the role of fixer between foreign business people and Esau.

    This followed after thousands of leaked documents showed that the accused had conspired with Samherji to receive bribes estimated at N$150 million in exchange for horse-mackerel fishing quotas.

    While announcing Samherji's intention to de-invest in Namibia last week, company CEO Björgólfur Jóhannsson failed to give a timeframe, only saying that the process would “take some time”.



    Govt red-faced

    Acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana announced in December that workers who had lost their jobs due to Namsov losing its fishing quota under dubious circumstances during Esau's tenure would be given jobs again.

    “I was given a directive by cabinet to make sure that all those that lost their jobs get their jobs back as soon as possible,” Kawana said in Walvis Bay, where he addressed fishing industry representatives and workers.

    “And these workers should go back to work, as this is a directive by President Hage Geingob.

    “They have suffered enough and their families have suffered enough and the time has come for them to have bread on the table.”

    Kawana added that even the workers who had taken part in an illegal strike a few years ago would be re-employed, as people cannot be punished forever for their mistakes.

    He also said that although the Fishrot scandal has angered many, everyone should allow the law to determine the final outcome.

    It has been widely reported that job losses in the fishing industry over the years were caused by Esau's reallocation of fishing quotas to those linked to the unfolding Fishrot bribery scandal.

    “What happened is before court. Let the law take its course. There are various institutions investigating the case, not only in this country but also internationally,” Kawana said.

    Kawana was tasked by Geingob late last month to undertake an assessment and an evaluation of the country's marine resources and eliminate maladministration, nepotism and corruption.

    He was also tasked to review the affairs and administration of the ministry of fisheries and Fishcor over the last ten years.

    JUSTICIA SHIPENA

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    92 000 tested for drunk driving92 000 tested for drunk driving A total of 92 589 drivers were tested for drunk driving this festive season and 273 of these drivers were arrested.

    The festive season road-safety campaign was conducted countrywide from 20 November to 15 January and involved several stakeholders such as the Namibian police, the National Road Safety Council, Windhoek City Police, Roads Authority and the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund.

    Namibian police deputy inspector-general for operations, Major-General Oscar Embubulu, yesterday said of the more than 90 000 drivers that were tested for drunk driving 79 781 were men and 12 808 were women.





    “All in all 413 drivers were arrested of which 273 arrests were for drunk driving and 140 for other traffic law violations.”

    Embubulu said 395 of the drivers arrested for drunk driving were men and 18 were women.

    A total of 12 782 traffic summons to the value of more than N$13.7 million were issued.

    Embubulu said 94 fatalities were recorded on Namibia's roads this festive season, declining by 11% from the previous year when 106 people died in road accidents.

    In terms of the number of accidents, there was a decline of 4%, with 509 accidents recorded in the 2019/2020 festive season period compared to 529 during the previous year.

    Injuries dropped by 2% from 928 in the 2018/19 festive season to 913 this festive season.

    The majority of the crashes occurred in the Khomas Region (24%), followed by Erongo (15%), Oshana (10%) and Oshikoto (10%).

    Most road fatalities were reported in Otjozondjupa (14%) while Ohangwena and Hardap recorded 13% each.

    In the previous year the majority of the crashes occurred in the Khomas Region (27%) while most fatalities were recorded in Otjozondjupa and Oshikoto regions with 21% and 10% respectively.

    Embubulu said the police were looking forward to greater improvements in road safety.

    He stressed that education was crucial in changing behaviour among road users.

    Ambrosius Tierspoor, head of communications at the National Road Safety Council, agreed that the decline in accidents and fatalities was marginal and more education among road users was needed.

    “Unless we change behaviour more lives will be lost,” Tierspoor emphasised.

    Embubulu further said that in his personal view drivers were concerned about road safety and therefore instead of all driving on the same day to their destinations rather decided to drive when roads were not that congested.

    He also highlighted the fact that there are shortcomings when it comes to enforcing traffic laws. He specially pointed out that there should be steps taken to suspend driving licences when certain traffic laws are violated.

    “When paying a fine a rich person can easily think, what is N$4 000 when he has another N$4 000, but when a licence is suspended, you will think again,” he said.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    NSSU looking forward to great yearNSSU looking forward to great year The Namibia Schools Sports Union (NSSU) will have a great year, as the sports body plans to fulfil all its obligations, its national coordinator Solly Duiker said.

    In an interview with Nampa on Wednesday after a meeting with officials from the sport ministry, Duiker said he is confident that 2020 will be a productive year.

    “During our meeting, we agreed that the Westphalia trip, which sees young footballers competing with their German counterparts, will this year be run by the NSSU instead of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) which has been running the programme,” he said.

    The NSSU, he added, will work closely with the directorate of sports as well as the NFA to select players who will travel to Germany later this year.

    “Just like we did last year with the Copa Coca-Cola football tournament, we will also have the involvement of teachers in the selection of the team,” Duiker said.

    He further revealed that the NSSU has a busy schedule in store for athletics, which will see their star athlete Beatrice Masilingi, ranked fifth in the world and second in Africa at youth level, competing at three major competitions.

    This includes the world junior championships, Region five games as well as Confederation of School Sport Associations of Southern Africa (Cossasa) Games.

    “Beatrice will not be competing at school events because she has no competition there. We want her to be in good shape for major competitions later this year, therefore, the NSSU will send her to a high-performance centre outside the country so she can improve on her time in the 400-metre sprint,” the national coordinator said.

    He added that despite financial constraints, the NSSU will try their best to send athletes out of the country to compete with their counterparts in the Cossasa Games.

    In 2019, the NSSU froze all its activities until further notice as per directive from its mother body, the sports ministry, due to a lack of funds.

    This prevented athletes competing at grass-root level from representing their country at regional and continental levels.

    NAMPA

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: KBF plans ahead
  • KBF plans aheadKBF plans aheadKBF plans ahead The Khomas Boxing Federation (KBF) is pleading with the Namibia Boxing Federation (NBF) to get its house in order to develop the sport code further. The Khomas Boxing Federation (KBF) says the increase in the number of boxing clubs in the region is a sign that the sport code is growing.

    The federation has now registered two additional members to bring the number of boxing clubs in the region to 14.

    Bright Warriors Boxing Club and Power-Power Boxing Academy are the latest editions.

    KBF chairman Jason Naule believes that the increase in boxing clubs will ensure that more talented gems are unearthed in the region.

    “The increase in the number of clubs in the region is a clear sign that the communities are receiving boxing development very well in Khomas.

    “It also presents a better opportunity to have a wider chance at producing champions and role models for the future generation,” Naule said.

    The federation recently held its first meeting of the year at the Afterschool Centre in Katutura.

    The meeting, which was attended by all affiliates, was aimed at paving the way forward for the sport code in the region.

    “Boxing development in the region was at the top of the agenda and this meeting presented a good opportunity to look at what has worked and what hasn't in 2019,” he added.

    The federation is confident that boxing development has improved in Khomas.

    Many of the boxers who made their professional debut in 2019 are believed to have come from a development programme by the KBF.

    The federation further plans to focus more on young boxers as they believe the future of the sport lies with them.

    “The young boxers can really make our country proud if they are given attention at an early age,” Naule said.

    The KBF also discussed the leadership vacuum at the mother body, the Namibian Boxing Federation (NBF). It accuses the NBF of a lack of support to regional structures, coupled with inconsistency.

    The KBF advised the NBF to initiate broader development programmes for the entire fraternity.

    “The federation remains hopeful that things may change for the better, especially because the term of the current NBF executives is ending on 23 February 2020.”

    The KBF still remains without an official sponsor for all their development programmes.

    While lauding those who supported them in 2019, they hope for companies to come on board to help the sport grow.

    “Namibian boxing has grown from strength to strength through the hard work and commitment of people who love the game,” Naule noted.

    The upcoming national youth games will be taken seriously, the KBF said.

    The federation disclosed that it will be hosting trials by the end of January to select strong youth teams to participate in the youth games slated for Swakopmund in May.

    Some of their plans for this year also include developing match officials and coaches.

    “We appeal to the leaders at the helm of sport in the country to please guard sport from becoming a sector where all non-performing or incompetent sport administrators come and rest.

    “Sport is a very important sector in the lives of many young Namibian boys and girls.

    “The Namibia Sports Commission, through the minister, should provide the much-needed support.”

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Solskjaer begs for time
  • Solskjaer begs for timeSolskjaer begs for timeMan Utd hit new low Solskjaer's side were rocked by Chris Wood's first half opener, before Jay Rodriguez scored with a superb strike after the break at Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pleaded for time to get Manchester United back on track after the beleaguered boss and his underperforming stars were booed off and labelled an 'embarrassment' following Wednesday's 2-0 defeat against Burnley.

    It was a woeful display from fifth-placed United, who are in such poor form that there will be fresh questions about Solskjaer's job security in the coming days.

    Former United defender Rio Ferdinand, a Premier League and Champions League winner with the club, slammed the performance and called for owners the Glazer family to take action to stop the rot.

    “Fans are walking out after 84 minutes! It's an embarrassment. People at the top need to look and see this and make changes,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

    “The downward spiral in this short space of time, it's only seven years, has been remarkable.”

    Solskjaer had no complaints about a result that laid bare everything wrong with a rudderless team lacking steel in defence, creativity in midfield and a cutting edge upfront.

    “We have got to hold our hands up and say it wasn't good enough. In the first half, we created some half openings but we were not sharp enough to take our chances,” Solskjaer said.

    “The boys have given everything they have got but they are experiencing this period for the first time in their lives.

    “When you are at Manchester United, you are playing at the biggest and best club in the world. Some of them have played 10, 12, 15 games and it's not easy for them.”

    United trail six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, but, given how often they've struggled this season, the only surprise is that the gap isn't bigger.

    United's tally of 34 points is their lowest after 24 matches of a top-flight season since 1989-90 and the majority of Old Trafford was on its feet when chants of “stand up if you hate Glazers” echoed around the ground.

    Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was also subjected to abusive chants in a toxic atmosphere, while those few fans who remained in the stadium booed Solskjaer and his players at full-time.

    But Solskjaer is still adamant he can turn the tide if he is given time to develop United youngsters like Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams.

    “I'm going to back them and help them get through this. The players are giving everything, they have done absolutely fantastic so far this season but they know it wasn't good enough tonight,” Solskjaer said.

    “The boys looked mentally tired towards the end, we didn't find that creativity. We can't feel sorry for ourselves.

    “Sometimes you go through periods like that and it is a test I am sure they are going to come through.”

    United must regroup to avoid more misery in the FA Cup fourth round against Watford or Tranmere on Sunday before they head to Manchester City looking to overturn a 3-1 first leg deficit in the League Cup semi-finals next Wednesday.

    If United are knocked out of both cup competitions, Solskjaer is likely to find the patience of supporters, who idolised him during his playing days, will dwindle even further.

    The gap between United and runaway leaders Liverpool stood at 30 points after Sunday's defeat at Anfield and there is no sign of Solskjaer bridging the divide any time soon.

    Aware the pressure is mounting, he's keen to make signings to bolster his injury-hit squad, with leading scorer Marcus Rashford and star midfielder Paul Pogba both sidelined.

    “We are looking to improve, we have got our targets. This is our second defeat at home and first since August. I thought we had turned that corner,” he said.

    “We have started a clear-out and now I am going to be answering these questions until the window closes. We are working on things.

    “For me, the most important thing is we have to perform on the pitch. Tonight wasn't good enough for a Manchester United team.”

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Omwaalu gwaatamanekwa moFishrot tagu londo pombandaOmwaalu gwaatamanekwa moFishrot tagu londo pombandaA hala uukalata wombaanga Oonkambadhala okufuta ombumbo omunambelewa omukonaakoni gwoACC, odha tulitha miipandeko omulumentu gwoomvula dhopokati. Omanga aatamanekwa yotango moshipotha shelyenge lyefuto lyoombumbo mepingakanitho lyookota dhokukwata oohi ya tegelelwa esiku li thikane ya pataneke etulo lyawo miipandeko mOmpangu yoPombandeelela moshilongo, omulumentu ngoka a kambadhala okufuta ombumbo omunambelewa gwoAnti-Corruption Commission (ACC) okwe ya wayimine mongali.

    Jason Iiyambo ota tamanekwa kutya okwa kambadhala okufuta omunambelewa gwoACC oshimaliwa sha thika pooN$250 000 opo omunambelewa ngoka a gandje uukatala wombaanga womukomeho nale gwoInvestec, James Hatuikulipi oshowo waPius Mwatelulo. Ayehe Hatuikulipi naMwatelulo oyeli oshitopolwa shaalumentu yahamano mboka ya tulwa miipandeko omolwa oshipotha shoFishrot. Iiyambo ota tamanekelwa oshipotha shonkambadhala yokuya moshipala iilonga yuuyuki. Mangestrata Linus Samunzala okwa tindile Iiyambo omboloha pethimbo a holoka momeho yompangu yamangestrata gwaVenduka, mEtitatu. Omufali gwiihokolola kompangu, Tatelo Lusepani okwa tindi egandjo lyomboloha netompelo kutya itashi kala muuwanawa wuuyuki opo Iiyambo a mangululwe molwaashoka otashi vulika a ka kambadhale natango okuya moshipala omakonaakono moshipotha shoka.

    Oshipotha she osha undulilwa komasiku 20 gaFebruali, hoka aatamanekwa yahamano nayo taya ka holoka mompangu, ihe ye otaka holoka mompangu oye awike.

    Hahende gwe, Mervin Katuvesirauina, okwa holola kutya otaya ka ninga eindilo lyomboloha. Omukomeho gwoAnti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Paulus Noa okwa lombwele oNamibia Sun mEtiyali, kutya omunambelewa omukonaakoni gwokakomisi okwa li a lombwelwa ta pewa oshimaliwa okuza komayalulo gombaanga ga gumwe gwomaafelelwa mboka ye li mondjeedhililo omolwa oshipotha shelyenge lyefuto lyoombumbo moshikondo shoohi, mepingakanitho nuukalata wombaanga.

    “Otwa tula miipandeko omuntu gumwe onguloshi yOmaandaha sho a kambadhala okugandja ombumbo komunambelewa omukonaakoni, opo omunambeelwa ngoka a kuthemo uukalata woombaanga wa gumwe gwomaafekelewa moombelelwa dhetu,” Noa a popi. Uukatala wombaanga waafelelwa mboka owa kwatwako onga oshitopolwa shomakonaakono ngoka taga ningwa moshipotha shoka.

    Oominista nale Sacky Shanghala oshowo Bernardt Esau, Hatuikulipi, menindjela nale mehangano lyoInvestec, Ricardo Gustavo, oshitenya shaEsau, Tamson Hatuikulipi oshowo omuniilonga gwehangano Hanganeni, Pius Mwatelulo oyeli oshitopolwa shaamboka taku popiwa ya pewa oshimaliwa shoombumbo sha thika poomiliyona 150 kehangano lyoSamherji, mepingakanitho lyookota dhokukwata oohi shepangelo.

    Oshifokundaneki shoNamibian Sun osha lopota oshiwike sha piti kutya, Nigel van Wyk, ngoka a taalela iipotha iyali ye yo moshipala iilonga yuuyuki moonkambadhala dhokuholeka uumbangi okuza megumbo lyaShanghala, okwa ndopa okuya komeho neindilo lye lyomboloha. Van Wyk okwiinekelwa kutya omuniilonga gwehangano Olea Investments, ehangano lyaShanghala. Olea otaku popiwa a yakula oshimaliwa shooUS$330 000 moombumbo okuza kuSamherji.

    Aatamanekwa yotango yahamano moshipotha shoFishrot oyeli yeedhililwa moWindhoek Central Correctional Facility sigo osho taya holoka mompangu momasiku 20 gaFebruali, ihe sho oshipotha shawo sheekelwahi mOmpangu yoPombanda moka taya pula opo etulo lyawo miipandeko li kuthwe oonkondo, mboka natango oya ningi eindilo mompangu yoPombandeelela opo oshipotha shoka taya tamanekelwa shi ekelwehi.

    Omvula ya piti, ehangano lyoLaw Society of Namibia olya koleke kutya otali ningile omakonaakono omayalulo gombaanga gehangano lyahahende Sisa Namandje, sha landula ehololo lya ningwa monkundana tayi ithanwa 'Fishrot' documentary, ndjoka ya pitithwa koshikundaneki shoAl Jazeera 'Fishrot'. Omayalulo gombaanga yehangano lyaNamandje otaku fofodholwa kwa pitile oshimaliwa sha thika oomiliyona 17.5 okuza kehangano lyepangelo lyoFishcor.

    Natango otaku ningilwa omakonaakoo hahende gwomondoolopa yaMbaye, Sacky Kadhila Amoomo, ngoka taku popiwa aniwa kutya okwa dhana onkandangala onga omupitithi pokati kaanangeshefa aazaizai naEsau. Shoka osha landula oondokumende omayovi dhoka dha ulike kutya Samherji okwa gandja oombumbo dha thika poomiliyona 150 mepingakanitho lyookota dhokukwata oohi. Omanga ya tseyitha eikutho lyawo miilonga moNamibia, Omukomeho gwehangano ndyoka lyoSamherji, Björgólfur Jóhannsson okwa ndopa okugandja kutya otaya thigipo Namibia uunake.

    Ngoka ta londo pehala lyominista yoohi, Albert Kawana okwa tseyitha muDecemba kutya aaniilonga mboka ya kanitha iilonga yawo sha landula sho omwaalu gwookota dhokukwata oohi dhehangano lyoNamsov gwa shunithwa pevi pethimbo lyelelo lyaEsau, otaya shunwa miilonga. Kawana okwa popi kutya okwa pewa elombwelo kOkabinete opo a kwashilipaleke kutya ayehe mboka ya kanitha iilonga yawo oya mona iilonga. “Aaniilonga ayehe mboka naya shune miilonga, naandika elombwelo lya gandjwa kOmupresidende Hage Geingob. Oya mona iihuna ethimbo ele pamwe noofamili dhawo nethimbo olya thikana opo ya vule ishewe okutula omboloto poshitaafula.” Kawana okwa popi kutya naaniilonga mboka ya kanitha iilonga yawo onga oshizemo shekanka lyaali paveta ndyoka ya ningi otaya ka pewa iilonga molwaashoka kehe gumwe omuntu na ita vulu okugeelwa onkalamwenyo ye ayihe omolwa omapuko e ga ningi.

    “Kape na omuntu moNamibia a pumbwa okukala a sa ondjala nenge e li moluhepo noonzo dhoshilongo shika odha pumbwa okugandja uuwanawa kAaNamibia ayehe.”

    Kawana okwa popi kutya nonando oshipotha shoFishrot osha geyitha oyendji, kehe gumwe na ethe ompango yi holole oshizemo sha hugunina.

    Osha lopotwa kutya ekanitho lyiilonga moshikondo shoohi muule woomvula dha piti, olya etithwa kuEsau ngoka a lundululile egandjo lyookota dhokukwata oohi kwaamboka taya kwatakanithwa noshipotha shoFishrot. Kawana okwa popi kutya oshipotha shoka osha geyitha oyendji ihe aantu naya ethe ompango yi ninge etokolo. Otaku popiwa kutya ekanitho lyiilonga moshikondo shoohi osha etithwa kuEsau pamwe nayakwao mboka ya ningi omalunduluko nokugandja ookota dhokukwata oohi kehangano ndyoka lye ya futu oombumbo. Kawana okwa pewa oshinakugwanithwa kOmupresidende Hage Geingob omwedhi gwa piti okutalulula oshikondo shoonzo dhomomeya mokukutha po elongitho nayi lyoonzo, uulingilingi nuukombunda. Okwa pulwa woo a talulule iilonga yuuministeli woohi oshowo ehangano lyoFishcor yuule woomvula omulongo dha piti.

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    Man kills girlfriend, commits suicideMan kills girlfriend, commits suicide A 25-year-old man committed suicide by hanging himself with a rope in his shack after stabbing and killing his girlfriend near Karasburg in the //Karas Region on Wednesday afternoon.

    //Karas police crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Chrispin Mubebo, said the man has been identified as Henry Granual Grasveld, while his 17-year-old girlfriend has been identified as Bianca Junita Rooi.

    Mubebo said the incident took place at the Haib settlement some 40 kilometres southwest of Karasburg between 13:00 and 14:00 on Wednesday.

    “It is alleged that the boyfriend stabbed the girlfriend with a knife in the back of the neck after an argument erupted between them. When he realised that the lady was dead, he went to his shack where he hanged himself,” said Mubebo.

    The families of both deceased have been informed. Police investigations continue.

    NAMPA

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Armyworms invade regions
  • Armyworms invade regionsArmyworms invade regionsOutbreaks in Zambezi, Oshana and Oshikoto Crops in the affected areas are at different growth stages, which make them highly susceptible to invasive worms. Farmers and the general public have been warned about a fall armyworm outbreak in the Zambezi Region and an African armyworm outbreak in the Oshana and Oshikoto regions.

    The agriculture ministry yesterday issued a statement on the outbreaks to intensify awareness.

    The fall armyworm were reported on 6 January in areas such as Kongola, Ngoma and Musanga in the Zambezi Region.

    Executive director in the agriculture ministry Percy Misika said following these reports, it was confirmed that several hectares of farmland were adversely affected by the worms.

    He said crops in these areas are at different growth stages, which make them highly susceptible to these worms.

    “The fall armyworm is a pervasive agricultural pest native to south and central America that ruthlessly worked its way across the African continent after arriving in West Africa (Nigeria) in 2016.”

    It made its way to south of the Sahara and into Namibia in the 2016/17 cropping season.

    Misika said the fall armyworm have spread quickly due to its short reproductive cycle and ability to travel long distances quickly during its adult (moth) stage.

    The fall armyworm's lifespan from egg to larva to moth lasts from one to three months. It is during the larvae stage that it causes the most crop damage.

    “Controlling the fall armyworm is a challenge, because it reproduces fast and in large numbers and can migrate long distances, hide within growing leaves and is also resistant to pesticides.”

    Meanwhile, the African armyworm moth, Spodoptera exempta, is one of the most devastating crop pests in Africa. It is the caterpillar or larval stage that causes such havoc, voraciously feeding on maize, wheat, sorghum, millet, rice and pasture grasses.

    African armyworm have been reported throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

    The African armyworm has such a major impact because the adult stage (moth) is highly migratory and the location, timing and magnitude of its outbreaks are difficult to predict.

    Misika said outbreaks of African armyworm have been reported in both the Oshana and Oshikoto regions.

    “The regions with pesticides have been directed to start a spraying programme with immediate effect in order to contain the pests in areas where they have been reported.”

    Additionally, all crop-growing regions were directed to intensify awareness campaigns to educate farmers on the identification, ecology and control of the pests.

    Misika said the ministry will also continue with surveillance and using pheromone traps in areas which are not yet reported to be affected by the pests to ensure timely control of the outbreaks.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Parents urged to assist schoolsParents urged to assist schools The education ministry is urging parents to assist schools in whatever way possible although basic education is free.

    The ministry made the call while responding to a Namibian Sun article about parents complaining that the free education government had introduced was a myth.

    It said compulsory parental financial contributions towards the School Development Fund (SDF) at both primary and secondary schools were abolished following the introduction of the Universal Primary Education Grant (UPEG) and the Universal Secondary Education Grant (USEG) in 2013 and 2016.

    “This, among others, remains as one of the notable achievement by the government of the Republic of Namibia,” said Absalom Absalom, the education ministry's spokesperson.

    “The above grants are intended for providing resources required for the operation of schools. This includes textbooks and other learning materials, stationery, provision of additional classrooms and furniture.”

    But Absalom said because of the ever-increasing cost of education parents are strongly encouraged to assist the schools in whatever form possible in order to enable them to meet the educational needs of the learners.

    The ministry received nearly N$14 billion in the current 2019/20 financial year - a whopping 21% of the budget.

    However, according to previous media reports 83% of its budget, or about N$11.5 billion, was set aside for the payment of personnel, and 5% for capital expenditure.

    The ministry's other major expenses are hostel provision, the Namibia School Feeding Programme, utilities, stationery and cleaning materials.

    Concerned parents are claiming that the current education system has forced some schools to beg for donations from the business community, while others have come up with backdoor policies to charge learners money through school contributions. This has reportedly forced some poor parents to keep their children at home because they are already struggling to provide for them.

    Parents are saying government has abolished the practice of schools demanding money from parents for school development funds, and replaced it with a system of donation requests.

    The education ministry took over the responsibility of funding schools with the universal education grants.

    Per semester, primary schools were supposed to get N$300 per child, while secondary schools were supposed to get N$400 per learner from the ministry.

    These funds were supposed to take care of learners' school needs such as exercise books, notebooks, pens and pencils, calculators and the like.

    Where possible, study guides, photocopier paper and even cleaning materials and toilet paper and other classroom-related needs could be purchased from these government funds, while contributions from parents and caregivers were said to be voluntary.

    However, schools are now providing learners with stationery lists, asking parents to purchase these items, a situation that is making education even more expensive than before.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Oprah didn't want the 'commitment' of marriageOprah didn't want the 'commitment' of marriage Oprah Winfrey hasn't married her long-term partner Stedman Graham because she doesn't want the 'day in, day out' commitment' needed to make a marriage work.

    The Oprah Winfrey Show star has been in a relationship with Graham since 1986, and has said that despite pressure to marry him, the pair never tied the knot because she didn't want to make any 'sacrifices' or 'compromises' when it came to her career.

    Writing in her What I Know For Sure column in February's issue of O Magazine, she said: “For years, there were hundreds of tabloid stories, weekly, on whether we would marry. In 1993, the moment after I said yes to his proposal, I had doubts. I realised I didn't actually want a marriage. I wanted to be asked. I wanted to know he felt I was worthy of being his missus, but I didn't want the sacrifices, the compromises, the day in, day out commitment required to make a marriage work. My life with the show was my priority, and we both knew it.”

    The 65-year-old and Graham now both believe their romance would have ended long ago if they'd decided to get married, and they both enjoy their life together the way it is.

    She added: “He and I agree that had we tied the marital knot, we would not still be together. Our relationship works because he created an identity beyond being 'Oprah's man' (he teaches identity leadership around the world and has written multiple books on the subject). And because we share all the values that matter (integrity being number one). And because we relish seeing the other fulfil and manifest their destiny and purpose.”

    The media mogul took a moment to gush over her man, and said their bond is exactly what a spiritual partnership should be.

    She wrote: “Anyone who's ever met him is always amazed by what a genuine gentleman he is. He's so positive. Wants the best for me and everyone he knows. Truly wishes people well. Doesn't curse. (I've been known to). Never have I heard him gossip or say a negative thing about anyone. (I have, plenty of times).

    “He's appropriately named because he's steady as a mountain. Even-tempered, accountable, trustworthy, patient.”



    BANG SHOWBIZ

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: A passion for runways
  • A passion for runwaysA passion for runwaysNot frightened of setbacks Say hello to Namibia's representative for Miss Charm 2020, Jessica Mundie Uiras. With seven years of modelling experience, Jessica Mundie Uiras is confident she is the right person to represent Namibia at Miss Charm 2020, slated for 3 to 18 March in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

    The pageant's official website describes the event as a global-scale beauty pageant, which aims to search for the most exceptional representatives in the world to appreciate women's beauty as well as accelerate culture, education and tourism. “The judging criteria for the pageant will involve your beauty, physique, intellect as well as your ability to captivate the audience with your appeal,” reads the website.

    Even though she is exited to represent Namibia on this platform, Uiras shared she is stuck between a rock and hard place because she has to provide for her own return flight ticket to Vietnam.

    She also told tjil that the wardrobe requirements for the pageant are not within her budget. “Despite these drawbacks, I am excited. An international pageant is an eye-opener. It's like completing a degree in pageantry within two to three weeks.

    “One learns a lot and you gain skills and the experience I believe is amazing,” said Uiras.

    She looks forward to the pageant as she believes it might change her life and steer her into a different direction. During her stay in Vietnam, she hopes to learn from the diversity of the contestants taking part in this prestigious pageant. Uiras believes the aim of international pageants is to create a long lasting bond between countries all around the world and for models to be able to share their culture and heritage with one other. “I look forward to making an unforgettable statement for my country and to map Vietnam with the colours of Namibia,” she said.

    Uiras sees this as an opportunity to create a platform for the next Namibian representative to attend the pageant. She said she is aware of scams in the pageant world but urged fellow models to do thorough research before entering for a specific pageant. “Beauty pageants are not just based on glitz and glamour. You are the ambassador of Namibia in the host country of the pageant. Through you, they will get to know your country and that's one way how people from that country can one day want to visit Namibia,” she said.

    The stunner has taken part in nine local, three continental and three international pageants, and has walked away with the Miss Capital City of Namibia 2016, World Miss University of Namibia 2016 and Miss Heritage Namibia 2019 titles.

    Her five-year forecast for her life includes completing her bachelor's degree in media and communications at the Namibia University of Science and Technology. “I also see myself as a representative at one of the most prestigious international pageants such as Miss Universe and Miss Earth. I wish to continue with my contributions as the founder of the Simply Jess charity foundation and become a role model using pageantry as the medium.

    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Championing a sound
  • Championing a soundChampioning a sound Straight from Katima Mulilo, DJ Vuyo is a name you're bound to get used to. He's been putting in the work and is clearly determined to do great things in the game, which is why we decided to give this talented musician the tjil floor.

    His latest album Cousin was released during the festive season and he is impressed by how it's been received. “It was release at a time when a lot of people we're in a jovial mood and that has contributed to its positive reception. However, I would like for it to cross borders as well,” he said.

    With this project, DJ Vuyo seeks to inspire people to believe in themselves, to stay focused on their long-term goals and disregard life's hardships because they don't define who you are.

    “I want to see different countries and spread this energy on a maximum level,” DJ Vuyo added.

    “The trend of women lying about every man being their cousin and the ongoing mischief of relationships inspired me to call my album Cousin,” he added.

    He calls his style of music tramodern – traditional but modern. On every song, he tells a story relating to a real-life situation but keeps the mood aligned with modern music styles.

    DJ Vuyo said he understands that fans have different tastes in music and, as an artist, he has to cater for all of them to maintain his market base.

    On expanding his reach from Katima, the DJ said it never ceases to amaze him that a small boy from a rural area called Makanga can have such an impact countrywide and across borders. “It motivates and inspires me a lot to be a better version of myself every single time. Thanks to my fans for making all this possible,” he said.

    His manager Moses Waiganjo announced that DJ Vuyo will soon be doing collaborations across Africa. “We are already in negotiations with artists from Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.”

    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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    My album is done – DJ ShozaMy album is done – DJ ShozaStarting the year on a high note GMP signee DJ Shoza shot the music video for his third single before his album drops. DJ Shoza, real name Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma Shiimi, recently shot the music video for his third single Baksteen, off his forthcoming debut album. The song features Bra B, Blacksheep and Gazza.

    In an interview with tjil, he said the video will serve as a teaser of what fans can expect from his album. “I have released three singles now and this is going to be my second music video. We are done with shooting, we are just waiting for the editing process to finish and we should release it by end of January or early February.

    “The main theme of the video is that crime doesn't pay. We had a storyline but we did not want it to come out super-planned and strategic. I just wanted to show off where I come from,” he shared.

    He announced that the album is done and will be released in a few months' time. On the album making process, the DJ, back-up singer and dancer admitted that it was quite challenging but fun at the same time. He believes that music changes with every song.

    It is for this reason that it becomes challenging for artists who take their time to complete a body of work.

    “It is good to take time so you can perfect your craft, but also vibes and trends change rapidly in music so how I dealt with that challenge just by being myself and not letting what is trending out there dictate my sound,” DJ Shoza said.

    Even though he would not disclose the title of his album and the exact release date, he promised an enjoyable and diverse project that caters to different music fans. DJ Shoza revealed that at the GMP camp, they let vibes be the compass to their creativity, stressing that they do not like forcing things.

    “The same principle applies to our collaborations. We want our collaborations to be as organic as possible. Music just comes out better that way,” he said.

    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Back with a bang
  • Back with a bangBack with a bangA diverse line-up of comedians Uno Boy is back with his sixth studio album, Back By Popular Demand. Nam Comedy Circle ended with a bang last year, leaving the Kalabar packed with comedy devotees spilling into the passage leading to the stairs and Ekipa restaurant.

    The organisers hoped that, despite the perennial januworries, such enthusiasm will be carried over into the new year. It is, after all the last year of the decade.

    Comedy does not rest, has no holidays. Too many things have happened that may not remain untold. As such, Nam Comedy Circle returns to Hilton Hotel's Kalabar on Wednesday, 29 January.

    MC Mark Kariahuua is back from Okakarara, filled with new vigour that only weeks of peace of mind in the countryside can instil. A fresh face at Kalabar but well-known among comedy circles is Hildegard Titus, the awkward feminist. Another new guy with old demeanour is Marvtown, and finally, Funny Lip's alter ego Lloyd is back.

    Titus was born in Otjiwarongo but grew up in Cuba, Windhoek and Washington DC. While Oshiwambo is her mother tongue, she admits she can't really speak it. “I'm what they call a mbwiti – the linguistically challenged,” she said. The artist, curator and photo journalist had her comedy debut at the Free Your Mind all-women show in 2015. She draws her material from an unlimited repertoire of blunders and misadventures.

    Let the truth be told. Marvtown is not a previously unheard of comedian, but rather a new character: Invented, developed and assumed by none other than Clerance Mervin Claasen.

    Veteran comedian Lloyd has not been resting either. He offers brand new material under the theme 'you have to know where you are coming from to know where you are going'. Lloyd will also share some secrets and revelations, like: Why there are fewer stray dogs in Katutura during January?

    On top of the comedy, Kalabar gives away prizes and invites the lucky winners to test its Hilton Breeze Spa, D'Vine Wine and Sushi Bar and Ekipa Restaurant.

    The show starts at 20:00 and entrance is free.



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: The lone ranger of music
  • The lone ranger of musicThe lone ranger of musicWhere are they now? Uno Boy is back with his sixth studio album, Back By Popular Demand. Names like TKB, MIG and M-Gee form the fabric of music from Kavango; woven into the rich and colourful tapestry that is the Namibian sound. While these names seem like the most important figures – at least for the younger audience –those who have studied music from Kavango will know the name Uno Boy surpasses any other from that region.

    He may not have had the same impact as Capitol-K, and while he doesn't have a discography laden with number one radio hits like TKB does at the moment, but in pure, undiluted essence, not many artists from Kavango can top Uno Boy.

    For tjil's new segment, Where Are They Now?, we got an exclusive with the man himself to find out about his forthcoming album and what has been keeping him busy the last few years.

    Uno Boy's last album was released in 2014, and after sailing that ship, he became scarce in music circles. But worry not, he is back with a new offering due for release at the end of this month.

    During his absence from mainstream music, he pursued studies in boiler-making at Nirvana Academy and Johannesburg Engineering.

    “I did not announce that I quit music. In the last five years or so, I went to study and while doing so, I was still recording music. Some of that material will be featured on my next album, which consists of 17 songs,” Uno Boy said.

    Before pursuing his studies, Uno Boy had nine years in the music industry under his belt.

    His decision to go back to school was inspired by the need to have something to fall back on, he said. “I am an entertainer and I like to dance. God forbid, if I broke my leg, for example, I would not have had something to fall back on besides the music,” he said, adding that education is important for musicians because it helps them become better songwriters and understand the business better.

    His new album is about encouraging the youth to live a positive life and stay away from bad habits like drugs and abusing alcohol, he said.

    “This album will also serve as a reminder for young people to not forget where they come from. It is a fusion of house, kwaito and traditional music.”

    Back By Popular Demand features Lady May Africa, TKB and Kid Tino, with production credits by DJ Cronic, MJ and Elvo. Uno Boy added that this album is more personal than his previous project.

    “My last album had so many features, but since I am trying to introduce a new style of music, I figured it would make sense to make it more personal,” he said.

    On the roll-out plan, Uno Boy said the album will be available at the end of this month and he will officwially launch it at Walvis Bay and Windhoek's Chez Ntemba on 28 and 29 February respectively. “I also intend to take it to all corners of the country, thus on 21 and 22 March, I will be performing in Rundu. There will be a Kavango Music Awards show and I will be performing there as well so my fans can look forward to me performing songs from the new album,” he said.

    While he was on his hiatus, he also attempted to rebrand from Uno Boy to Uno Man, however, he admits it was not entirely successful. “There are those who still call me Uno Boy so I have just left it in the hands of my fans. You may call me whatever suits you,” he said.

    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: No skipping required
  • No skipping requiredNo skipping requiredNew singer to look out for She may be relatively new to the game, but Zikii's sound is mature. STAFF REPORTER

    Up-and-coming Afro-pop artist Zikizee Hangero, better known as Zikii, shines on her debut album Spread The Love, which is dominated by matters of the heart.

    Conscious and ambitious, Zikii composes an excellent blend of Afro-pop and R&B sounds with sharp, modern writing full of soul and passion, yet vividly presented through strong musicianship.

    Zikii’s voice and persona are endearing in ways not often found, let alone in a young performer. She is an example of an independent artist stepping out on her own, sounding fresh and bold, and this adds up to an extremely satisfying musical treat.

    Released at the end of last year, Spread The Love breathes new life into the Afro-pop genre. This album features tracks that are socially aware and simultaneously catchy, which is testament to the strength of the album.

    Embrace Yourself is the celebrating-yourself anthem of the album. It's so catchy that it'll be on repeat in your head for the next week, which can't be bad for your self-esteem.

    On Kanangui (This Person), the singer warns against the people we let into our lives who don’t have good intentions, those who are ready to celebrate our downfalls. This track counsels that sometimes you just need to embrace following your own path, and do away with the negativity that might come from past relationships.

    There's something really powerful in celebrating life and declaring that you deserve better. Iimunduuandje is the song for these moments. It’s perfect for those dark days when you're your own worst enemy and you need to shake off some negativity. By the time the chorus hits, you'll be in full-blown purification mode.

    With minimal effort, on Old School Love, Zikii impressively delivers the kind of love that is rare. The kind of love that still makes you tingle when that special someone touches you. The rhythm of the tune sets a slow and hypnotic pace, pulling the listener in.

    Rituapehi is honest when it comes to love – Zikii won’t surrender until she and bae give it another chance and make things work.

    How Do They Feel pays tribute to fallen heroes and heroines and questions whether they wish us well or are laughing at us. She asks for mercy on Forgive Me, and this one will ease you into feeling better, knowing that God will ride with you, irrespective of your situation.

    At first listen, the album might sound like another old-fashioned Afro-pop offering, but the more you listen, the more complex it becomes.

    The album is available online and from Itunua Mbasuva at 085 6453083.

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Do It Yourself
  • Do It Yourself  Do It Yourself KALISTU MUKOROLI



    In 2020, take control of your brand. Only you can make it a success – your team is just there to assist.

    A lot of artists tend to think they need to sit back and let their manager, management or personal assistant to run the show.Nah, B… You need to take control – from bookings to media management and everything that has to do with your brand.

    Be part of the planning and execution thereof.Your team needs to account to you and regular feedback sessions need to be had.

    Something that’s becoming a mess is allowing any person or multiple people to pretend to be your manager.This is where you lose potential work and contacts. Get one person and grow with them, but you don’t need a manager or team. Do it yourself.

    Don’t work in isolation and also don’t get a ‘yes man’, get someone who will be honest with you. They need to tell you the good and the bad without you catching feelings.Get people you trust and who are loyal to you and your brand.

    The most important thing you need to take into 2020 is being honest to yourself. Don’t ever lie to yourself. You are a brand and you need to behave like one.

    Being strategic about your brand means, you know what you want and what you need to do to get it. Media won’t come run looking for you, brands won’t come looking for you and the bag surely won’t come looking for you. You need to get out of your comfort zone and meet everyone half way, at times you need to go them so that they know who you. Trust me, not all journalists know about you. And lastly before I conclude, you need to start having introductory meetings with stakeholders in your industry. Have introductory meetings with journalists, editors, advertising executives, events management companies and also with booking agents, this is the only way to get on their radar. If you don’t do it, you will be on no one’s radar and you keep on complaining that everyone except yourself is against you or unfair towards you. It’s easy to take control of your brand; it all starts with you and you only, with a positive attitude. The right attitude plays a role in becoming a brand that attracts the right mutual beneficial relationships. You are a brand and you need to behave like one, the wallet is watching…

    Kalistu Mukoroli is a brand strategist.

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    Sustainability within the fashion industrySustainability within the fashion industryCross-sector collaboration Chenesai launches Fashion Futures in partnership with the British Council and Nataal Media. Fashion Futures, a collaborative project led by Chenesai in partnership with the British Council and Nataal Media, debuted last Thursday. The new body of work will be simulcast in four countries – Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and the UK – with unique installations simultaneously showcased live from each country.

    Over the past year, four diverse storytellers – Zimbabwean visual artist Lucia Nhamo, British-Ghanaian writer, curator and visual anthropologist Adjoa Armah, Malawian beauty and wellness expert Thokozani Phiri and Namibian design and fashion creative Leah Misika – carried out groundbreaking research on sustainability within the fashion industry.

    Each of them produced stories for a country other than their own – Nhamo for the UK, Armah for Zimbabwe, Phiri for Namibia and Misika for Malawi. Following research trips, they worked closely with global media brand Nataal to produce compelling multimedia reports. These new narratives explore emerging fashion sectors across southern Africa and the UK in order to successfully uplift and connect these fledgling ecosystems.

    For the launch, Namibia hosted a Fashion Futures cocktail night which included a presentation and a small exhibition that showed the evolution of Misika's findings. Her work will also be presented in Katima Mulilo, as the journey has inspired a new direction for her fashion brand.

    Zimbabwe will host a Fashion Futures mixed live installation that will celebrate the articles of Nhamo and Armah. Incorporating a traditional braai, spoken word poetry and a model presentation, the installation will be led by Zimbabwean fashion houses Natai Natai, Soul'd Dreams, Chenesai Brand and creative consortium Domane.

    The Fashion Futures launch in Malawi will include a fashion showcase at the British Council offices in the Lilongwe city centre. It will include a discussion on second-hand clothing as well as a display of local designers who are creating sustainable fashion in the country.

    The multinational launch of Fashion Futures reflects the nature of the project, which aims to build capacities in fashion sectors across the continent and beyond. The final works are published on Nataal's website, together with a project overview written by Tatenda Kanengoni, who was part of the project documentation team in Zimbabwe.

    “Fashion Futures puts into perspective the trading value of the fashion sector, which is often overlooked, particularly on the African continent. We are excited about the multinational launch because it is reflective of the future of work, a future that acknowledges cross-sector collaboration in order to harness and advance talent,” says Chenesai.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Has music lost its soul?
  • Has music lost its soul?Has music lost its soul? It seems many artists have moved away from making music with a message to just endorsing a fake lavish lifestyle. Today, music needs videos for you to get the story and the messages are mostly about money, cars and five-star living.

    Frankly, the champagne living and swag dripping is long played out, especially for musicians who do not have it. It's upsetting that artists are more concerned with creating a buzz than creating a legacy. This is evident in the choice of songs they choose to shoot music videos for.

    An artist could have a touching and encouraging song on their album but there is always a chance that such a song won't be given the attention it deserves. It is for this reason I applaud Lioness and Top Cheri for promoting Meme and Calling Heaven last year as singles. Those moves for me proved that they are not caught up in materialism and have indeed created a legacy for themselves.

    Music is a meaningful form of expression which is supposed to address issues of social concern. There is a lot of things going on that are worthy of being spoken about, but artists would rather write songs screaming that they have the best outfit or they have the best woman or man, whatever the case maybe. Musicians would rather make songs about sex instead of addressing relevant issues.

    I'm no hater whatsoever; I support talent when I feel it's worth the support. I understand that some genres of music are about bragging and all that, but don't just jump on a beat and start screaming 'money' without saying anything relevant.

    'Drip', as the young ones like to refer to it, is the death of our music culture. It has brought nothing but weak lines.

    Music plays a very important role in people's lives, you can even say that it can mould your life. People's behaviour is dependent upon the type of music they hear. What behaviour do we expect young people to have if they are always exposed to music that promotes materialism? Yes, we need music to party to, but there needs to be balance. There are more party songs than tracks with meaning that are uplifting, and that needs to change.

    To the gatekeepers of the music space, it is high time we prioritise songs that are uplifting. It has become boring to listen to radio because certain radio slots that are supposed to play mellow music fill their time with up-tempo music. Why are you playing high-tempo music on a Sunday morning on radio, bro?



    michael@namibiansun.com; @MichaelMKAY on twitter

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Steward of the anchor
  • Steward of the anchor Steward of the anchor Smith’s passion for trade and transport

    Clive Smith is ready to head Africa Union Cargo with the dedication that drives growth.

    Recently appointed as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Africa Union Cargo, Clive Smith has 20 years of commercial and senior management roles in the banking, fishing and transport and logistics sectors.

    He will head operations in Namibia and the region.

    His duties entail focusing on developing synergies across the Africa Union Holdings global portfolio in the fields of agriculture, mining, commodity trading, financial services, ICT, health and logistics.

    Formerly, he was employed as the acting CEO of Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) for a year and eight months while fulfilling his role as a project manager for Namibia Logistics Hub, a position he held since 2013.

    During his stay at WBCG, Smith was responsible for leading the establishment and the implementation of the Namibia Logistics Hub Project, which is a national programme to position Namibia as an efficient and effective trade route for SADC through the ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz.

    “Under this programme, Namibia developed its National Logistics Master Plan, completed in 2015.”

    Throughout his tenure at WBCG, Smith also directed and coordinated the development of Namibia's very first State of Logistics Report, which was launched last year.

    Since 2017, Smith has also served as a board member of the Roads Authority of Namibia as well as a director at Namibia Trade Forum, in addition to holding various roles in a number of national committees in the areas of transport and trade.

    He also served on the technical committee for the Namibia National Single Window Project.

    Moreover, Smith has played an integral regional and continental role by contributing towards the dialogue and implementation of integration programmes, and also held the position of temporary chairperson of the board of the Africa Corridor Management Alliance (ACMA) as well as its acting CEO.

    He also served as temporary secretary general for the Walvis Bay Ndola Lubumbashi Development Corridor Secretariat.

    Smith said he is excited to contribute towards the developing Namibia logistics sector while leveraging the activities of the group's various business units to identify opportunities for investment and job creation in the country.

    He added that Namibia has over the past decade made immense strides to develop a robust transport and logistics sector that not only has the potential to greatly contribute to its own economic development agendas, but also support the SADC communities by providing alternative trade routes, which would ultimately lead to reduced business costs in the region.

    “I am proud to have been part of the journey thus far and look forward to continue exploring opportunities to support our government's initiatives, through offering a host of services and solutions in different sectors under the Africa Union Holdings portfolio," he said.

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Blazing hot videos
  • Blazing hot videos Blazing hot videos New year, more visuals for Adora The songstress aims to reach urban masses with diverse collaborations. MICHAEL KAYUNDE







    With three music videos under her belt just 24 days into the new year, Adora is definitely rising to the occasion. On a chilled Tuesday afternoon, tjil caught up with the singer to find out about her ‘20-Plenty’ plans, which entail a music video spree.

    Determined to put out the best visual material, we can expect her new videos to be easy to access on various television channels as well as YouTube. Last week, the energetic singer released the music video to Pirikiti off her second studio album, Rise, released last year. The video has been received quite well, garnering about 8 000 views on YouTube in four days.

    On top of that, she released another video with Jayden on Wednesday, and is also featured on Kaptein Tswazi’s I Do, which drops today.

    “January is my birthday month so I would like to think that it is my lucky month as well.

    “We are putting out more visuals this year because it is about stepping up and becoming better at what we do,” she said.

    For Adora, visual artistry is important because it is an investment in her brand. Through music videos, she is able to show what she wants people to see about her brand, as well as who she is.

    She told tjil her audience is very visually inclined, and she has come to accept that. Adora mentioned that the promotion of the video with Kaptein Tswazi created big hype, which is what they were aiming for.

    “Music videos help people to pay a little more attention to the brand and as an artist, you will have something to show in the end,” she said.

    Besides making music, Adora is also an excellent live performer – an element that makes her stand out among other musicians. She is known to entertain crowds and command attention on stage with her amazing team of dancers. Next month, she is booked to perform at a beer garden event in Swakopmund – the second year in a row – and the musician promises a fire set.

    Adora revealed that, for this performance, she has decided to not use dancers but rather instrumentalists this time around because she wants to give people a different experience. She will be backed by a keyboardist and a bassist. “I think it’s time to show a little more dynamics and not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone because that is when you know you can start to grow as an artist.”

    Laying down her musical plans this year, she described 2020 as a year of collaborative work and expanding her reach. She looks forward to spending time in studio with artists she never thought she would work with. She also aims to keep learning and mastering her craft.

    “I look forward to a big project. I can’t say now because it is still very under wraps but I can tell you it is going to be explosive,” she teased.

    Despite thriving musically, she admitted that there are a few things she still doesn’t have a handle on, like maintaining a work-life balance in her relationship with her boyfriend, who also happens to be her manager.

    “That dynamic can push you to the edge sometimes but I am grateful that he is so supportive and understanding. And because he has his own experience in the music industry and showbiz, he sorts of guides me through it as well,” she said.

    Adora said one of her resolutions this year is to live an honest life and be frank with her community of fans. She said because artists are in the limelight, there is a misconception that they always live lavish lifestyles. “That is not always the case and I want to be honest with those who look up to us so that they may know the realities of the life they want to get themselves into.

    “It’s not always glitz and glamour and I think it’s important that we do not sell these kids dreams,” she said.

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Investing in the people
  • Investing in the peopleInvesting in the people CAN’s message for 2020 Mariselle Stofberg

    “A new decade signals a time for reflection and focus on new opportunities that lie untapped before us. A decade passed teaches of victories, challenges, mistakes made and corrections to those mistakes that make us stronger and better in what we do,” says the chief executive officer of the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN), Rolf Hansen.

    Hansen addressed some of their stakeholders and the media at a briefing in Windhoek on Wednesday.

    During the previous decade CAN was able to assist 28 038 newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families. Hansen emphasised the importance of recognising the contributions of those individuals who support patients through their diagnosis and treatment and assist them in their journey.

    “Greater investment in workforce training and delivery models throughout the country is needed urgently to achieve lasting change and deliver on the promise of universal health coverage,” Hansen said.

    He called for more accountability within the healthcare sector to ensure that no one is left behind and every person has the opportunity to receive quality healthcare.

    “We need to change the will of the politicians for them to also understand. In 2020 we are going to push for that accountability within the healthcare sector that is still lacking in our country,” he said.

    The association further discussed some of its projects lined up for this year. These will include the well-known Spray-athon, Cancer Walk and Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

    Hansen also mentioned that Namibia will host the African Cancer Registry Network Meeting from 16 to 20 March. This year the focus will be on Southern Africa, and to extensively focus on the political, economic, social and medical challenges that these countries face and what can be done to address them and to become more sustainable.

    “Members of the corporate community can become a part of this conference, whether it is with branding, sponsoring or coming on board to pull off this amazing event,” Hansen added.

    The Bank Windhoek Cancer Apple Project will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.

    “We are in the planning phases for this 20th anniversary of the project and we want to make sure that this year will be impactful and be one to remember,” said Bronwyn Moody, the head of corporate social investment, sponsorship and events at Bank Windhoek.

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Namcol awards scholarships
  • Namcol awards scholarshipsNamcol awards scholarshipsCollaboration with regional councils Namcol has awarded scholarships to the value of N$300 000 to Namibian citizens, including inmates of the Windhoek Correctional Facility. Tunohole Mungoba

    Last week Friday, the Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) granted young people, including inmates of the Windhoek Correctional Facility, scholarships to study at the institution.

    The scholarship covers tuition, examination fees for up to three subjects, study materials, tutor-marked assignments with feedback, SMS services, radio and video lessons and the Notes Master, an interactive Namcol platform that supplements materials. The scholarships are allocated through the regional councils.

    “Part of our social corporate responsibility programme is the offering of scholarships for needy learners. This strategy addresses increased access to our programmes for secondary education and is awarded on a one year basis,” says Jan Nitschke, acting director of Namcol.

    “This time, we give to you to make a positive impact on your life. Use the opportunity to place yourself in a position to give one.

    “Namcol is one of the few state-owned institutions, and perhaps the only public institution in the education arena, with representation in all political regions of Namibia,” says Rachel Jacob, chairperson of the Khomas Regional Council.

    “I would like to encourage you to work hard this year. You are the only ones who can make the conscious decision to achieve your dreams.”

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: 100 pints saves 300 lives
  • 100 pints saves 300 lives100 pints saves 300 livesGeorge van Straten has dedicated his life to ensuring that someone else’s life is touched, through blood donation. Lifesaver celebrates major milestone Elizabeth Joseph



    George van Straten, who recently made his 100th blood donation, has donated blood for more than 30 years and says he will continue doing so for as long as he is able.

    While serving as a paramedic, Van Straten saw how much blood donations mean to someone who is in dire need.

    “On many occasions, I saw that people needed blood and knowing that someone else’s life is being saved with the little leaving your body is big for me,” he says.

    He also mentions that it can be very beneficial to your health because new blood cells are generated every 56 days, so that way he stays healthy while still doing a good deed.

    The Blood Transfusion Service of Namibia (NamBTS) says an increased demand for blood products and fewer donations during the holiday season have depleted its blood bank, with only two days’ supply of blood type O available for the entire country.

    NamBTS requires a minimum of 2 000 blood donations before the end of January to bolster the blood supply.

    There is usually a blood shortage at the beginning of the year, as many donors go on holiday in December while the number of car accidents increases during the festive season.

    “Currently, there is a shortage of group O blood,” says Zita Tobin of NamBTS.

    “The supply is very low. A healthy level should be six days and higher and we are on two days for group O, which is totally inadequate. This has resulted in rationing of group O positive and O negative blood to hospitals.

    “The stock levels of the other blood groups - A, B and AB - are still sufficient, hence we are making an urgent appeal to the public to donate blood, especially blood group O donors,” Tobin says.

    For everyone out there who is afraid to donate blood, for whatever reason, Van Straten says that going with someone who has donated blood before can help you overcome the fear that is preventing you from giving this precious gift of life.

    “It does hurt to draw blood. However, the reward is so much more worth it,” he says.

    The only way to give patients access to this precious life-saving resource is through the selfless act of blood donation. There has never been a better time to donate than now, and a lifesaving donation only takes 30 minutes of your time.

    Donors in Windhoek, North and at the Coast can donate at:

    35 Tal Street – 07h00-16h00, Windhoek. Tuesday and Thursday 07h00-18h00 United House Building, Independence Avenue from 08h30-16h00 Swakopmund Centre 10:00-18:00 (Monday only) Walvis Bay Centre 10:00-18:00 (Tuesday only) Oshakati Centre 10:00-18:00 (Thursday only)

    The basic blood donor criteria require one to:

    Be older than 16. Weigh more than 50 kg. Be healthy and feel well on the day of donation. Lead a sexually safe lifestyle.

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    Fishrot Six challenge search warrantsFishrot Six challenge search warrants The so-called Fishrot Six have filed an urgent High Court application in a frantic attempt to overturn two sets of search warrants on their immovable properties issued by the magistrate's courts in Windhoek and Gobabis.

    In a separate court application they are also challenging the freezing and/or blocking of their various personal and business bank accounts at the behest of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC).

    The six – former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau, former justice minister Sackey Shanghala, co-accused James Hatuikulipi, Tamson Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo, and Pius Mwatelulo – are challenging the process followed in applying for the search warrants, the actual searches, the search warrants themselves, and the alleged conduct of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Namibian police.

    The two courts individually issued search warrants on 23 November and 9 December last year.

    The accused are objecting to searches for large sums of cash, desktop computers, laptops, iPads, memory sticks and other electronic devices such as cellphones.

    They claim there is not a single allegation that large amounts of cash were given to any one of them, or that their communications devices contain any information relevant to the investigation into the Fishrot scandal.

    Furthermore, they claim that the search warrants did not specify the specific electronic devices that may be searched for.

    They also object to an attempt to conduct searches at the business premises of Olea Investments, a company in which Shanghala and James Hatuikulipi hold shares.

    Another objection is against a search conducted at a rental property of Tamson Hatuikulipi in Cimbebasia, where they claim tenants were harassed to hand over rental agreements to officials.



    'Vague, overboard and unintelligible'

    The accused claim that the search warrants are “vague, overboard and unintelligible”, and “fall short of nothing more than being a fishing expedition”.

    They accuse the ACC of having seized firearms, rifles and ammunition from Esau's farm, as well as from Farm Dixie, in the presence of Shanghala and James Hatuikulipi. Farm Dixie is owned by Olea Investments.

    Esau further claims that during a search carried out at Farm Dakota on 12 December, N$60 000 belonging to his son and about N$18 000 belonging to the farm were seized. He claimed that salaries and wages books were also seized.

    He said during the same raid the keys to a double-cab bakkie were seized.

    Esau claims that Shanghala's cars - a Range Rover Vogue and a Mercedes-Benz E400 - and Gustavo's vehicles have been seized, and that there are plans to seize James Hatuikulipi's vehicle.

    Esau further complains that the search warrants made “fair game” of any bank deposit slips, financial statements, VAT returns, documents related to the acquisition or sales of properties or assets of the accused.

    “It [the search warrants] authorises a blanket invasion and does not set down a basis why such a blanket invasion of rights would be authorised,” the accused state in their founding affidavit.

    They further claim the search warrants grant law-enforcement officers “unlimited discretion”, and that they therefore can “do as they wish and seize whatever they determine in their opinion to be relevant”.

    Privileged and confidential documents of Investec Asset Management Namibia, James Hatuikulipi's former employer, were allegedly also wrongfully seized.

    The application will be heard by the High Court on 4 February.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Harambee transparency target missedHarambee transparency target missed The latest corruption perception rankings by an international graft watchdog show that Namibia has missed the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) target of being the most transparent country in Africa, as measured by Transparency International, by 2020.

    This is according to the executive director of the Institute for Public Policy Research in Namibia (IPPR), Graham Hopwood, with regard to Namibia's ranking on the 2019 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International.

    A total of 180 countries were ranked on how corrupt their governments and public services appear to be. The ratings are based on findings by experts and public opinion studies. A score of 100 is “very clean” and 0 is highly corrupt.

    Namibia fared slightly worse than the previous year, ranking 56th globally with a score of 52. In Africa, Namibia was tied in fifth place with Mauritius.

    In the 2018 index Namibia was ranked 52nd globally, with a score of 53, and fifth in Africa.

    Hopwood said the country's failure to improve its ranking is an indication that much of the government's concern about corruption has been rhetorical rather than based on action.

    “In fact, Namibia is now ranked as the joint fifth least corrupt country in Africa after Seychelles, Botswana, Cape Verde and Rwanda. We are joint fifth with Mauritius - a worse position than at the outset of the Harambee period when we were fourth in Africa,” Hopwood said.

    According to him the IPPR has set out an eight-point plan through which President Hage Geingob and his cabinet can tackle corruption more effectively.

    “If even some of these actions were taken, we believe it would lead to Namibia rising on the Transparency International rankings.”

    Some of the eight points are: removing all those convicted of corruption from the Swapo list; instituting an official inquiry into the allocation of fishing quotas and rights headed by a judge or senior lawyer; and making public the ministers' declarations of interests and assets (at the moment they are made privately to the president).

    Other points include implementing the Whistleblower Protection Act, which was passed more than two years ago but never operationalised; committing to establishing a public beneficial ownership register for all extractive industries such as mining, oil, gas and fisheries; and committing Namibia to joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which is the global standard for good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources.

    According to Hopwood the IPPR also suggested that a world-class access to information (ATI) law should be tabled in parliament soon and that Geingob should again publicly declare his assets and interests, as he did in 2015.

    Namibia's corruption score has stagnated since 2015, when it scored 53 points on the index. The country averaged 48.21 points from 1998 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 57 points in 2002 and a record low of 41 points in 2004.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Jooste handed battle-axe
  • Jooste handed battle-axeJooste handed battle-axeFar-reaching new powers to fight SOE looting Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste now has extensive powers to take the battle to those who continue to loot the country's state-owned enterprises. The public enterprises minister has officially been handed the power to direct special investigations into the activities of state-owned enterprises if it is suspected that any corruption or other criminal activities are taking place.

    This is one of the critical impacts of the activation of the Public Enterprises Governance Act of 2019 that was announced by the incumbent minister, Leon Jooste, this week, amid some SOEs being linked to continued allegations of board members and executives enriching themselves through criminal activities while being in cahoots with ministers.

    Former fisheries and justice ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhardt Esau, who resigned last year amid the Fishrot scandal, stand accused of using state-owned fishing company Fishcor, with the help of its former board chairperson James Hatuikulipi and others, to enrich themselves through bribes.

    The two ministers, Hatuikulipi, Pius Mwatelulo, Ricardo Gustavo and Esau's son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi, who are in custody on charges of having received over N$150 million in bribes from an Icelandic seafood company in exchange for facilitating Namibian fishing quotas, will be back in court on 20 February.

    Jooste had tweeted last year that he was devastated by the scandal.

    “I am personally devastated when I consider the social, financial and reputational consequences of these actions.

    “Our ministry will be implementing the new Act very soon and we shall expose and deal with all corruption in public enterprises by appointing highly skilled people in the ministry with the ability to identify and investigate corruption,” Jooste said at the time.

    The special investigations Jooste can now institute at SOEs can be in relation to any matter concerning the business, trade, dealings, affairs, assets or liabilities of a public enterprise.

    In terms of Section 29(4) of the Act, if the minister thinks, after studying a report submitted in terms of this section, that there is reason to suspect that any corrupt activity has occurred, he must refer the report to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

    If the minister suspects other criminal activity he must refer the report to the police inspector-general.

    Any person who fails to cooperate with a special investigator appointed by the minister, or without lawful reason refuses or fails to produce documents or answer questions, hinders or obstructs the investigation or wilfully destroys or alters any document or any other thing relevant to an investigation, will now be committing a crime.

    On conviction, a maximum fine of N$100 000, imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or both may be imposed.



    Board members personally liable

    Jooste has also been given the teeth to go after board members who enrich themselves through corruption and who do not exercise a reasonable degree of care and diligence in the performance of their duties.

    After their term, board members may also not make improper use of information acquired during their time at a parastatal to gain, directly or indirectly, an advantage for themselves or any other person or to cause detriment to the public enterprise.

    The minister now also has the power to recover monies in a competent court if a board member, or any other person, made a profit as a result of any contravention of the performance agreement, or if the public enterprise has suffered any damage or loss.

    This does not preclude the SOE from instituting any other criminal or civil proceedings.

    Jooste said the successful reform of the country's public enterprises is a non-negotiable element that has become critical to ensure that the current economic downturn is countered as soon as possible.

    “I believe that economic recovery will be all but impossible without calculated but expedited public enterprise reforms to increase profitability, contain and minimise subsidies and entirely cease bailouts as soon as practical,” he said.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    More than one chip on his shoulderMore than one chip on his shoulder Gathering life and work experience reaps success Elizabeth Joseph



    Kristof Lerch has been a financial intermediary since early 2019. After completing his school career at the DHPS in Windhoek, he developed a passion for various sport activities, especially soccer and fistball, in which he had the privilege to represent Namibia internationally.

    Lerch then moved to South Africa, where he completed a Bachelor of Accounting degree at the University of Stellenbosch; an honours degree in financial analysis and portfolio management at the University of Cape Town, and a postgraduate diploma in financial planning at the Stellenbosch Business School.

    “In July 2018 I worked as a junior portfolio analyst at Crystal Water Investment Management, but soon learned that I missed the interaction with other people,” he told Careers.

    “Therefore, in 2019, I started working as a financial planner for Simeka Wealth in Cape Town. After gathering life and work experience abroad for eight years, the increased longing for my home led me to move back to Namibia at the end of 2019.”

    The Job

    As a financial intermediary, he provides client-specific advice to individuals and groups on the most efficient way to manage their wealth and insure them against risks based on their needs and preferences.

    Trials and Tribulations

    “In 2019 I started working as a financial planner although I had only just started a part-time postgraduate diploma in financial planning. This forced me to take the initiative and gather knowledge through practical experience rather than academics.

    “I was lucky to have had a great mentor who supported me while also pushing me to achieve my full potential.

    “Successfully balancing the workload of my new full-time job and my part-time postgraduate diploma and taking full advantage of both opportunities has been the greatest accomplishment in my career so far,” he says.

    Lerch says the best piece of advice he has received was to budget. “Always start with a budget. It is a simple but efficient way to manage one’s expenses effectively and achieve one’s goals,” he says.

    More than work

    His biggest passion outside work is being physically active. He took advantage of the time spent in Cape Town by learning surfing. Lerch also looks forward to resuming playing soccer and fistball.

    The Future

    “I would like to reinforce my position as a financial intermediary advisor at Retirement Fund Solutions by continuously improving my skills and building a solid client network. Hopefully this will enable me to build a simple but happy life for me and my family,” he says.

    Pull Quote: The best piece of advice I have ever received: “Always start with a budget.” It is a simple but efficient way to manage one’s expenses effectively and achieve one’s goals. - Kristof Lerch, financial intermediary at Retirement Fund Solutions.

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Attitude determines altitude
  • Attitude determines altitudeAttitude determines altitudeBanking the GREEN way Bank Windhoek’s manager of sustainable investments and deal origination, Ruan Bestbier, hopes to inspire purpose and influence others through his actions, work ethic and passion for sustainability and the environment. Mariselle Stofberg

    Pull quote: The urgency to act on climate change is growing, and financial institutions play a crucial role in providing financing to Green projects.

    When someone’s biggest fears include being unremarkable, one immediately knows that this individual has a drive and determination to be the change he wishes to see in the world.

    Ruan Bestbier tackles everything in life with great enthusiasm, whether it is skydiving, researching Green things, or mastering his Frisbee skills.

    “I tackle everything I do with zeal and ambition. I am always willing to learn and to try new things and I live by my late father-in-law’s mantra, ‘beproef alles en behou die goeie,’ which translates to testing everything, but holding onto what is good.”

    Bestbier was born in Pretoria and grew up in a small town called Ceres in the Western Cape.

    “Obviously, I became a proud Stormers fan and, to my parents’ dismay, an avid skateboarder,” he says.

    Reflecting on the moment he realised that support is not always easily accessible, Bestbier says: “I clearly remember my high school maths teacher saying to me, you cannot make a racehorse out of a donkey. With that comment, school clearly took a backseat on my list of priorities.”

    To his mathematics teacher’s dismay, he went on to attain a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in agricultural economic analysis and management at the Stellenbosch University despite staying in a rowdy men’s residence where he made lifelong friends with a bunch of wonderful Namibians.

    “These Namibians were the ones who introduced me to my lovely Namibian wife. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I studied towards a Master of Science (MSc) in Agricultural Economics part-time whilst I started my first job as an agricultural economist at a deciduous-fruit-exporting company.”

    As part of his personal development plan at Bank Windhoek, and to enhance his skill set, he completed his ACI Dealing Certificate through the Financial Markets Association (ACIFMA) and is currently completing the ACI Advanced Dealing Diploma and other online short courses.

    “This diploma will enable me to acquire a comprehensive theoretical and practical knowledge of the foreign-exchange and money markets, their related instruments, environment and applications, as well as the links that exist between those markets and the practice of risk management,” he says.

    In 2016, Bestbier started his career at Bank Windhoek as the treasury middle office officer in the enterprise risk management department.

    “I progressed to treasury middle office analyst, where I was responsible for daily liquidity and market risk management, stress testing, limit monitoring and control activities for Bank Windhoek. I perform the same functions for Bank Gaborone (Botswana) and Cavmont Bank (Zambia), which are also members of Capricorn Group,” he adds.

    “When the opportunity arose, I took my career to the next level and joined the treasury department, also known as the ‘heart of the bank.' It is here that I became the treasury sales and sustainability analyst as the sustainable investment portfolio moved to the treasury department. This position allowed me to initiate and manage the issuance of Namibia and Southern Africa’s first award-winning Green Bond, a move that led to my current role as manager of sustainable investments and deal origination.”

    Throughout his career Bestbier has shown that actions speak louder than words. He strives to be a connector of positive change and unlock sustainable opportunities as a member of the Capricorn Group’s first NextGen Board. The Board serves as a formal body where Millennials and Generation Zs engage with the group’s executive management and give input that lead to creating an organisation for the future by sharing ideas, especially regarding bringing multiple perspectives to the table, building a unique culture, marketing, and business model development.

    “I aim to inspire by showcasing how banking and a passion for sustainability can assist in transforming the economy to build a sustainable future for our people and the planet.”

    His current role and responsibilities involve driving sustainable or impact investments by raising and managing funds to finance projects which contribute to a climate-resilient and low-carbon environment for future generations.

    “The urgency to act on climate change is growing, and financial institutions play a crucial role in providing favourable financing to Green projects. The banking environment dynamics are ever-changing, and part of my job is to conduct continuous research around new industry trends and disruptive technologies, which might come our way in the near future.”

    His goal is to make a lasting positive impact on the environment by turning Green and sustainable concepts into reality by identifying and providing them with the needed funding through the Green Bond and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF).

    “I encourage others to never fall into a comfort zone; be ambitious; be a go-getter. Never wait for someone to tell you what to do.”

    Bestbier believes that a man’s true integrity is revealed on the golf course and when he submits an insurance claim.

    “I enjoy a good read, non-fiction mainly, watching documentaries, training in the gym, playing squash, trail running, spending quality time with my wife, and a round or two of casual golf. I am an attentive listener, as I believe it opens your world to greater opportunities and insights.”

    Bestbier would like to one day drive a supercar around the Nürburgring racetrack and the Autobahn in Germany and believes his best advice ever given was to never overcomplicate things.

    “Any fool can complicate a matter; it takes a touch of genius to simplify it.”

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: The struggle kids conundrum
  • The struggle kids conundrumThe struggle kids conundrum The issue of struggle kids being prioritised for cleaner and labourer jobs has again reared its ugly head in the form of ongoing protests at Outjo.

    A five-hour meeting earlier this week reached deadlock on the issue of nine struggle kids being appointed at the town at public institutions, while residents say the jobless rate at Outjo is sky-high and local young people are battling to secure any form of employment.

    The matter was referred to the Kunene governor Marius Sheya’s office for an intervention.

    This is not the first time that local residents have complained about struggle kids being favoured when it comes to public-sector jobs.

    Residents of Okakarara, Okamatapati and Coblenz in the Otjozondjupa Region last year demonstrated against government deploying 13 struggle kids in different settlements where they work as cleaners and labourers.

    In 2018 it was announced that the education ministry had reserved 143 positions for cleaners within its directorates across all regions for struggle kids.

    The directive sparked protests by 100 young people at Tses, who demanded that the positions be frozen and that appropriate requirements be attached for local residents to apply and also get a fair chance.

    At the marathon meeting at Outjo earlier this week, Kunene health director Thomas Shapumba said five cleaner vacancies at the local hospital, which formed part of the nine public-sector jobs that caused all the furore, were filled by the struggle kids as per a cabinet decision. He added that struggle kids were being given equal treatment to marginalised communities in the country.

    However, this may be difficult to swallow for other young people who are also unemployed and who want to be given a fair shake at applying for these posts. It is highly inflammatory to suggest that because of history one young person deserves an opportunity over another. This powder keg needs to be dealt with by those in power as a matter of urgency.

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: The value of the journey
  • The value of the journeyThe value of the journeyContinuously under construction Rhodda Lambert, the customer service officer at Pick n Pay, believes in the value of personal growth, determination and perseverance. Mariselle Stofberg

    “So many times I focused on what I wanted to become, neglecting the process required to get there. As I matured, I realised the value of the journey.”

    Growing up in the streets of Khomasdal, Rhodda Lambert was thrilled with making mud pies and leaf salads to ensure that all her cousins and friends had something to eat when they came to ‘her’ playground.

    “Soon mud pies turned into activity books, then into assignments as I completed my bachelor’s degree in marketing at the then Polytechnic of Namibia,” Lambert says.

    Lambert also completed a business certificate course and topped it off by learning German as an extra language.

    “In my final year, I decided to be a part-time student and start the journey towards my desired career of being a marketing manager. Application upon application was my routine. I then got the offer to be a teacher, and I thought it would be an interesting, and convenient, twist to my life.”

    Lambert loved working with children and being part of their ‘polishing’ process. A year went by and she became comfortable in her position, which made her forget her dream.

    “As time flew I became discontent with where I was at, not because I didn’t enjoy or appreciate the occupation, but because I had to defer from convenience and move towards vision. Convenience harvests stagnation, and no one wants to be at a standstill.”

    Lambert started at Pick n Pay (PnP) in 2017 as part of company’s talent-attraction programme where people fresh out of university receive on-the-job training.

    “It was an awesome experience because I got to explore the majority of the O&L group. I had job rotation and I got a vast exposure to the whole O&L group,” she says.

    Coming straight out of school into this corporate environment where one has to be involved in meetings and making decisions about things that one only reads about in books was quite a shock for Lambert at first, but she has never shied away from a challenge.

    “I am grateful for all the opportunities in my life which came much earlier than expected. I had to overcome the fear of failure. In my first two years, this was especially hard because mistakes get made all the time. You can learn things on paper, but the execution in the real world is different. I can truly say I overcame it. I’m in a space where taking initiative is the in thing now. You have to explore new opportunities.”

    Today Lambert is the customer-service officer at PnP.

    “I facilitate customer-service training for all of our 22 stores. I developed the programme and train them, as well as managing our customer feedback on all platforms. I’m also involved in the execution of campaigns and competitions in our stores,” Lambert says.

    “If you have happy customers, you have a happy business, happy employees, happy families and, most of all, a happy economy. If all businesses could strive towards having happy customers, the picture of Namibia’s economy would drastically improve.”

    Lambert believes that what attracts people to one another is experience.

    “It’s the glue holding an economy together. Serving someone is personal. If we can redirect the concept of customer service to focus more on customer experience, I think it would improve the way business is done in our nation. If you understand the expectations of customers, and know what type of experience they want, you would know how to serve them.”

    Apart from thriving in her workplace, Lambert is currently learning to play the guitar.

    “I love the outdoors and I’m fascinated by strange creatures. I want to be a part of helping those around me and to help them achieve their purpose. Dreams make us who we are and I love encouraging people and seeing them move forward in life,” Lambert says.

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Commit to be fit
  • Commit to be fitCommit to be fitFitness and Food Season loading Jonathan Mweneni Mwafangeo has decided to merge his passion for fitness and economics to start a new and exciting fitness and food event. Mariselle Stofberg



    It takes exceptional perseverance and determination to continue to chase your dreams despite adversity and complications that may arise. Jonathan Mweneni Mwafangeo has proven that he has what it takes to turn his dream into reality.

    Mwafangeo has learned the hard way that nothing in life comes easy. This has, however, not stopped him from pursing his dreams, even when life tried to knock him down. Currently, he is planning and preparing for an exciting event that will take place in March this year, called the Fitness and Food Season, even though the journey towards this has been filled with ups and downs which have only made him stronger, more determined and more focused.

    Mwafangeo is currently employed at First National Bank (FNB) in Windhoek in the Legal and Credit Risk (LARC) department where he works as a guarantees custodian. He has occupied this position for two years, after having worked as a multi-skilled consultant and deciding to move into different areas within FNB.

    “The bank is a place that offers one different career opportunities. In my free time I move about the different departments, because I’m always trying to listen and learn and broaden my skill set,” he says.

    Mwafangeo has the ability to grasp concepts quickly and this has allowed him the opportunity to expand his knowledge by simply investing time in getting to know the people he works with and understanding the work they do.

    “I’ve been able to understand the work done at FNB Points of Presence and the relevance of data in the bank.”

    After finishing grade 12, he enrolled for a diploma in accounting and auditing, but quickly realised that this career path was not for him.

    This year he has registered at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) as a part-time student towards a bachelor’s degree in economics.

    “I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts on how businesses are not showing growth at the required rate because they lack the necessary support they need in order to grow. I wanted to understand the scope of business dealing and understanding what an entrepreneur is required to have and understand,” Mwafangeo says.

    Mwafangeo is an entrepreneur with a great sense of identifying a niche within the market and hopes to utilise the skills he gained in the bank, alongside his degree, to someday assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to use data as a way to maximise their profits and economic growth.

    Another one of Mwafangeo’s passions is his love for coffee, and he is in the process of opening his own coffee shop.

    “We still need to sort out some logistics in terms of a venue and so forth, but one day I will be able to make this dream a reality.”

    Currently Mwafangeo is planning a vibrant and exciting event that will be taking place on 3 March in Windhoek at the Goethe-Institut.

    He hopes to eventually have at least 20 stalls present at the Fitness and Food Seasons event. The overall aim of the festival is to celebrate fitness and wellness by showcasing different demonstrations and stalls offering anything from smoothies to Crossfit, meal preparations, workouts and much more.

    Related to the event, they will also have a weight watchers programme where individuals who would like to lose weight can participate from mid-February until the day of the event to see who is able to lose the most weight.

    Also included in the event will be runs of 5 km, 7 km, 10 km and 15 km.

    Mwafangeo wakes up every day at 04:00 to complete his affirmations, exercise and prepare for the day. After work, he has to attend to his studies and the planning for the event. Mwafangeo is able to prioritise his time, and with the help of his girlfriend’s unending support, he has proven that no amount of effort is too much for something you are determined to achieve.

    Mwafangeo is in the process of securing sponsors and stalls and hopes to create a spontaneous and energy-packed event to excite Namibians to join in this event of great food, fitness and a celebration of wellness.

    Fort any enquiries on the event, Mwafangeo can be reached at m8heritage@gmail.com.

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Investing in the people
  • Investing in the peopleInvesting in the people CAN’s message for 2020 Mariselle Stofberg

    “A new decade signals a time for reflection and focus on new opportunities that lie untapped before us. A decade passed teaches of victories, challenges, mistakes made and corrections to those mistakes that make us stronger and better in what we do,” says the chief executive officer of the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN), Rolf Hansen.

    Hansen addressed some of their stakeholders and the media at a briefing in Windhoek on Wednesday.

    During the previous decade CAN was able to assist 28 038 newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families. Hansen emphasised the importance of recognising the contributions of those individuals who support patients through their diagnosis and treatment and assist them in their journey.

    “Greater investment in workforce training and delivery models throughout the country is needed urgently to achieve lasting change and deliver on the promise of universal health coverage,” Hansen said.

    He called for more accountability within the healthcare sector to ensure that no one is left behind and every person has the opportunity to receive quality healthcare.

    “We need to change the will of the politicians for them to also understand. In 2020 we are going to push for that accountability within the healthcare sector that is still lacking in our country,” he said.

    The association further discussed some of its projects lined up for this year. These will include the well-known Spray-athon, Cancer Walk and Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

    Hansen also mentioned that Namibia will host the African Cancer Registry Network Meeting from 16 to 20 March. This year the focus will be on Southern Africa, and to extensively focus on the political, economic, social and medical challenges that these countries face and what can be done to address them and to become more sustainable.

    “Members of the corporate community can become a part of this conference, whether it is with branding, sponsoring or coming on board to pull off this amazing event,” Hansen added.

    The Bank Windhoek Cancer Apple Project will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.

    “We are in the planning phases for this 20th anniversary of the project and we want to make sure that this year will be impactful and be one to remember,” said Bronwyn Moody, the head of corporate social investment, sponsorship and events at Bank Windhoek.

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    Bank Windhoek assigns Muukua with CSI and Stakeholder Engagement roleBank Windhoek assigns Muukua with CSI and Stakeholder Engagement role Bank Windhoek has appointed Veripura Muukua as its new Communication Practitioner, tasked with Corporate Social Investment (CSI) and Stakeholder Engagement, effective Wednesday, 15 January 2020.

    In her new role, Muukua will be responsible for the administration and the coordination of the Bank’s Social Investment Fund (SIF) and its Stakeholder Engagement function.

    “We are delighted to welcome Muukua in our team. With her passion for building relationships and community development, we believe that Muukua’s drive and enthusiasm will contribute to Bank Windhoek’s strategic objectives,” said Bank Windhoek’s Executive Officer of Marketing and Corporate Communication Services, Jacquiline Pack.

    Prior to joining Bank Windhoek, Muukua was a Communication Officer of the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF), a leading conservation and sustainable development organisation. She held that position for a period of three years and was responsible for the NNF’s internal and external communication activities, including digital marketing and management.

    Veripura holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Media Studies, majoring in Public Relations and Political Studies, obtained from the University of Namibia (UNAM). Her career and academic skills have imparted her with knowledge and skills in building internal and external relationships; events management; engaging with vast stakeholders such as international bodies, donors and government ministries; coordinating and supporting rural community projects for sustainable development and organising numerous Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects.

    “We wish Muukua the best and trust that her professional journey with Bank Windhoek will be rewarding,” concluded Pack.

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    N$60m in SA worker funds looted in SME Bank heistN$60m in SA worker funds looted in SME Bank heist A whopping N$60 million belonging to the South African Municipal Workers Union National Provident Fund was among the so-called investments that have gone missing as part of the SME Bank loot.

    The Mail & Guardian this week reported that the N$60 million payment was made into an SME Bank account without written permission from the retirement fund. According to affidavits before the Namibian High Court, former SME Bank CEO, Zimbabwean Tawanda Mumvuma, on 12 October 2016 wrote to the managing director of JM Busha Asset Managers with an instruction to transfer N$60 million into the Namibian bank.

    This amount was duly transferred from an account held at the VBS Mutual Bank one day later. That same day, Mumvuma signed a promissory note in favour of JM Busha, thus creating a liability of N$60 million for the SME Bank to JM Busha Asset Managers.

    The Mail & Guardian reported that despite the SME Bank now being in liquidation, Joseph Busha, CEO of the investment fund, remains adamant that the N$60 million can be recovered, with interest.





    In an interview with the SME Bank liquidators David Bruni and Ian McLaren last October, Busha contended that he may have been defrauded by Mumvuma.

    Principal officer of the South African pension fund Themba Mfeka is quoted by the Mail & Guardia that part of the fund's 'investment' in the SME Bank is guaranteed by the Namibian government and directors of the fund.

    Mfeka further claimed that there is litigation against the SME Bank's directors.

    An anonymous source in Namibia denied Mfeka's claims.



    The ruse

    Tania Pearson, former SME Bank legal advisor, retained to assist in the liquidation process in court documents, states that the JM Busha 'investment' and others were attempts to cover up the loot.





    Financial records and bank statements show that between December 2013 and January 2017 at least N$247.6 million was transferred out of the SME Bank's accounts held at Standard Bank and FNB Namibia to alleged recipients of the stolen funds.

    A lot of these illicit payments were concealed as either for computer hardware or building costs, and when excessive amounts became difficult to justify, the fraudsters started to call the payments 'investments'.



    The cover-up

    During June 2016, the SME Bank's external auditor, BDO Namibia, questioned a number of transactions and requested copies of investment agreements.

    Bank of Namibia (BoN) governor Iipumbu Shiimi also started to make enquiries, but received no feedback from the SME Bank.

    Pressure on the bank, however, was mounting, at which point Mumvuma, Mauwane Kotane of Mamepe Capital (to which SME Bank allegedly made a number of investments), as well as Andile Ramavhunga, CEO of the [also looted] South African VBS Mutual Bank, 'devised' a scheme to pull funds from elsewhere back into the SME Bank accounts.

    This led to the milking of – amongst others – the N$60 million from the South African municipal pension fund.

    Pearson stated that Mumvuma, Kotane and Ramavhunga created documents in November 2016 to represent “to all and sundry”, including the BoN and BDO, that N$57 million was repaid to the SME Bank from a so-called investment held at VBS Mutual Bank.

    “[They] had by then in fact created a further liability for the SME Bank,” Pearson declared.





    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Fishrot bail strategy revealedFishrot bail strategy revealed The six men accused of accepting bribes worth N$150 million in the so-called Fishrot scandal have so far avoided applying for bail to protect details of their alleged criminal deeds, legal experts have said.

    Another possible strategy, observers say, is to wait for public anger to subside because it would be nearly impossible to grant them bail at the height of the ongoing public furore.

    Since their arrest on 27 November, the so-called Fishrot Six, including former cabinet ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhardt Esau, have not yet exercised their constitutional right to apply for bail.

    Yet, many attempts have been made to secure their release from custody – but through other means than bail.

    So far the six men – the other four being Esau's son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi, his cousin James Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo and Pius Mwatelulo – have launched legal attacks on the validity of their arrest and incarceration.

    Esau, who was the first to be arrested, had secured temporary release after it was ruled that his arrest was not procedural, but authorities went back to the drawing board to follow the correct procedures and rearrested him together with his cohorts.



    Curiosity over the accused's reluctance to apply for bail intensified a fortnight ago when Shanghala's employee, Nigel van Wyk, who also faces charges related to the Fishrot corruption case, abandoned his bail application that had been scheduled for 10 January.



    The reason given to the court was that Van Wyk could not afford a lawyer to argue his case.



    In December, the six accused approached the High Court with an application to have their case thrown out on an urgent basis. The court ruled that their matter was not urgent, prompting the six to approach the Supreme Court.



    Legal experts this week told Namibian Sun that not applying for bail was a strategy by the six to protect details related to their alleged crimes.



    “A bail application means that they have to stand in the dock and be actually questioned about the charges and the allegations by the prosecutor,” said a local lawyer, who preferred anonymity.



    “That would be about two to three weeks of examination and cross-examination. It would bring out facts and allegations that would be good food for the media, which they are trying avoid.



    “The evidence they give there [in court] remains on record and even if they get bail, they can never move away from what was said at bail application during trial. So they first want to see if they can exhaust all other avenues before a bail application,” the lawyer added.



    Another lawyer said: “They may have skeletons that they don't want to expose. It is really bad.”



    Another legal expert said the six men were delaying the bail application to allow public anger to wane.



    “Given the heightened public attention, the prosecution may argue against bail. So they did well to wait for things to cool down, public protests to subside and investigations to be completed,” he said.



    “So they want to challenge the basis of the arrests and conduct; all these technicalities that would not only secure their release but also undermine the charges. It also distracts the ACC and prosecution from the merits of the case if they have to deal with all these applications.”

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: Same old, same old
  • Same old, same oldSame old, same oldNo school furniture Discomfort is a fact of life for learners at Nkurenkuru Combined School in Kavango West, where a lack of furniture means they either have to stand or sit on the ground during classes. At Nkurenkuru Combined School in Kavango West Region, learners are being taught under trees, seated on the floor or standing for hours due to a lack of furniture.

    During a visit to the school, Namibian Sun observed a newly completed four-classroom block without a single piece of furniture.

    At around 09:00, learners appeared tired and uncomfortable and demanded that the education ministry look into the situation with urgency.

    Namibian Sun established that the few learners with chairs brought them from home.

    “When you come to school, you suffer by sitting on the floor, and walking back home, you think about the suffering.



    The next morning on your way to school, you are thinking about how you are going to suffer again,” a learner said. Some of the learners travel about 15 kilometres to school.



    One of the teachers said it is difficult to teach learners in such an environment.



    “The learners are forever tired and their concentration levels are very low. They don't want to take notes, not because they are rebelling but they are not in a comfortable situation. We are appealing that our government looks into our situation.”



    Another teacher, who instructs learners under a tree, said they really need the situation to be addressed as they are exposed to a number of distractions, including rain.



    “The reason why we are outside is because there is no classroom that is vacant and now imagine what will happen if the rain starts to pour. We will be forced to seek hiding wherever we can and the class will be interrupted. Now tell me, is it fair?” the teacher asked.



    According to principal Frans Ngoma, enrolment of learners is still ongoing. The school has, thus far, enrolled a total of 1 310 learners.



    The school has 40 teachers, while the learner-teacher ratio stands at 50 to 60 learners per teacher.



    Ngoma, who described the situation as 'unfortunate', said these issues have plagued the school for many years and worsen each year.



    He attributed the challenges to the increase in population in Nkurenkuru, saying that each year, the number of learners enrolled increases because of the demand for school placement.



    “Nkurenkuru Combined School is at the centre of town and with the population increasing, it makes it worse for our school. People are coming to town either after having secured employment or seeking for jobs and in the process, they bring their children with. We also cannot deny a child access to education,” he said.



    Ngoma added that their concerns are known by the Kavango West Region education directorate.



    “All these years, we have been submitting our needs to the regional office and they have assisted where they can, I must say, but our challenges remain a stumbling block to providing quality education,” he said.



    Ngoma pointed out that the school needs four classrooms, an administration block, 701 chairs, 702 desks, teaching and learning materials as well as stationery.



    In an interview with Namibian Sun, Kavango West Region education director Teopolina Hamutumwa said she will not deny what is happening at the school.



    She however pointed out that these challenges are not “as critical” as those experienced at several schools in the region.



    Hamutumwa said that for the 2019/2020 financial year, the Kavango West East Region education received a budget of N$55 million, of which N$11 376 000 was directed towards the development budget.



    She said N$2.5 million will be used for renovations while N$8.9 million will be used for basic facilities.



    Hamutumwa said only schools in dire need were prioritised.



    “As for Nkurenkuru Combined School, we know of their situation but because of the limited funds, the focus was on schools which are in dire need. It is unfortunate that the situation is like that,” she said.

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: A peek into the HR world
  • A peek into the HR worldA peek into the HR world Julia Mushellenga

    There are a few initiatives one can use to empower employees, but my main preference is through engagement. It’s important to create engagement platforms where employees can share their ideas or provide suggestions on a certain topic, celebrate wins and open discussions on how we can positively adjust or correct our shortcomings and actions to address them.

    This not only retains employees because they feel engaged but empowers them to an extent of self-realization.

    The more you communicate, whether through engagement websites, one-on-one talks or monthly group discussions, the more you learn and the more you challenge and enlighten yourself. This creates trust among employees and fosters remarkable loyalty and tenacity.

    HR has evolved over the years, from being reactive to being proactive, meaning we have moved from being admin-centric to the task of more critical thinking.

    This includes creating an alignment between the HR strategy and the overall business strategy to suit the company’s business model.

    For HR to stay relevant within the business, our focus is on talent acquisition, which is recruiting individuals who show similar drive and alignment toward the organisation’s goals. We also focus on retaining talent, as well as putting measures in place that celebrate our employees.

    Creating growth opportunities is also a critical priority for HR, whether through offering study bursaries, role swaps, mentoring or coaching opportunities, compensation and benefits, policy formulation and risk management (employee and labour relations).

    The first hours are essential. Have you heard the quote ‘”first impressions count”? Well, a similar approach should be utilised when onboarding new employees. Firstly, introduce the employee to the organisation, walk the floors and introduce the employee to each division and what they are responsible for.

    This will give the employee an understanding of the organisation itself. Ensure the employee’s station is sorted out and, most importantly, assign the employee to a work buddy. The buddy is responsible for helping the new employee adjust to the new environment.

    How one manages to keep the work environment happy for employees? With consistent engagement. Here at MultiChoice Namibia, we have a Friday Funday every week. This is basically a set time for employees to relax and engage with one another.

    What I like least about the world of human resources is the conversation HR does when it involves a dismissal or an employee’s separation from the company. I believe every action has consequences and as an individual, if you made a certain decision, whether good or bad, you need to be able to acknowledge and handle the consequences the same way you took on that action that led to that outcome. But in very few instances, it becomes a sensitive situation and should always be treated delicately.

    We are moving towards an era of aligning talent and business, and digitisation within HR. This involves making use of technology to make HR processes more efficient, effective and future fit. Many people believe that this digitisation will have a negative effect on managing the one-on-one people’s expectations of HR, however, I believe these platforms would greatly align to individual responsibility, whereby employees would need to take ownership of their growth, performance recognition of one another and being more involved.

    Over the years, HR has created more laidback employees, but as we are moving towards a new era, we need to empower our employees to be more involved and equip them for the final stretch on the industrial revolution.

    Julia Mushellenga is a HR practitioner at MultiChoice Namibia.

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  • 01/23/20--14:00: The rose among the thorns
  • The rose among the thorns The rose among the thorns Knowing how to PLANT Gone are the days when begin vegan meant only eating leaves and twiggy salads, because now the bubbly Alexa Rack has taken matters into her own hands. Justicia Shipena



    It would be difficult to meet anyone who is as passionate about food and educating people about a vegan diet than 25-year-old Alexa Rack, the owner of PLANT’D restaurant in Windhoek at The Village, which opened mid-July last year.

    Passion will only get you so far, and keeping a vegan restaurant afloat with the majority people uneducated about veganism has taken a huge amount of courage, determination and hard graft.

    Rack was born in South Africa’s ‘Mother City’, Cape Town. Growing up in Namibia, her diet consisted mostly of biltong, chips and Coke.

    “I had a fast metabolism but I was always sick as a dog,” she says.

    Rack says the words diet, health and nutrition were something she did not know much about, until 2010 when she caught measles, meningitis and German measles all in the same year. In the same year she was also told that she is wheat and gluten intolerant.

    Two years after Rack was diagnosed with gastritis, she moved to Johannesburg to further her equestrian career.

    “Unfortunately I did not enjoy my life there. My life revolved only around my horses and my dog, Baloo. Little did I know that my body was not coping either,” she says.

    In 2014 she suddenly gained 12 kilograms in five months and started spending her money on protein shakes and other things trying to lose weight. Rack adds that she became extremely insecure, unhappy and couldn’t figure out what was happening.

    In the same year she came to Namibia for a horse show to surprise her parents. They saw something was not right and eventually her doctor sent her to an endocrinologist in Sandton, Johannesburg. At that stage her hormones were all over the show, her sugar and cholesterol where sky-high and she now had type two diabetes.

    “I was sent to a few dieticians where I spent a lot of money, but nothing helped. I started losing myself in this whole process, my performance in the showjumping arena started to drop and my confidence was nowhere to be found either,” she says.

    Rack then decided to do some research and ultimately, after spending many nights on the internet, she decided to go vegan. Within two months of following a vegan diet, she lost weight and her blood glucose levels went down.

    “My endocrinologist couldn’t believe it because I should only be eating animal protein and no carbs. It just goes to show how uneducated a lot of us are about a healthy, balanced vegan diet,” she says.

    In June 2018 things went downhill for her as a professional horse rider. She needed her health and a fit body to perform but after a hernia operation she was unable to sit on a horse.

    When she came home in January she was ready to head back to Cape Town but she slipped and broke her ankle. This once again put her career on hold. Rack knew she had to do something else with her life, seeing she wouldn’t be able to get back on a horse for a long time.

    Often when her friends and family would ask her to go out for lunch, the question was where, as she is wheat and gluten intolerant, has type two diabetes and is a vegan.

    “I got sick of paying a fortune for lettuce and having to explain myself at restaurants. So I decided to open up PLANT’D. I had to accept that my riding career has to come to a pause and focus on something else,” she says.

    Rack then decided to fly to Cape Town wearing a moon boot and using crutches to pack up and get some ideas and inspiration at vegan restaurants. On the third night in Cape Town she ended up in the emergency room because she had developed a blood clot in her lung and in her calf.

    She was unable to do everything as planned, so she began writing a menu in her hospital bed.

    “When I opened up PLANT’D a lady wrote ‘All roads lead to PLANT’D’. In my situation, all injuries led to PLANT’D”

    Rack believes that climate change is something serious and people need to take action. She wants Namibia to grow and have more “healthier” options.

    According to her she would like to turn PLANT’D into something special that Namibia is yet to see. She lives by the motto ‘Make Namibia Great’.

    She further said Namibia is special, but still has much room for improvement and she wants PLANT’D to be the magical vibe where people can hang out, have her talented friends play some tunes in the back, throw pizzas into the oven and enjoy an ice-cold draught. For now she wants everyone to enjoy the beautiful setting at The Village.

    “We have our local birds chirping away the whole morning, fresh, healthy and tasty plant-based food and probably the best coffee in town made by our legendary Simone. I am an absolute control freak and in the kitchen with the chef at all times.”

    She emphasises that PLANT’D is her life and she wants people to celebrate alternative healthy food. She points out that one does not need to be vegan to visit PLANT’D.

    While establishing the first Namibian vegan restaurant, she trained three staff members to be knowledgeable about venanism.

    Her aim is not really to convince people to change their diet but to at least give people an alternative to what they are used to.

    “I have witnessed so many people that have changed not only their diet but their way of thinking when it comes to eating vegan. This has given me absolute delight knowing that we as a team at PLANT’D have impacted people’s eating ways.”

    Some of Rack’s future plans involve getting her horse back to Namibia, to pay more attention to climate change and create awareness about this serious issue.

    Fun Facts about Alexa