• March 30th, 2020

Front Page News

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Politician heads into full-time farming

OMUTHIYA – The outgoing special advisor to the governor of Oshikoto Erwin ‘Nation’ Nashikaku whose term ended on 20 March says he would like to see the right people with the requisite skills being placed into right positions to propel the country forward.

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Separate road accidents claim 11 lives

OMUTHIYA – Eleven people perished on the country’s national roads, with two more deaths recorded in Oshikoto on Friday in addition to that of the other nine that perished in the horrendous Okahandja-Otjiwarongo road on Thursday while passengers were headed home.

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Stay home, save lives… government urges public to respect virus lockdown

The authorities yesterday once again reminded residents of affected towns in Erongo as well as Windhoek, Okahandja and Rehoboth to strictly adhere to the lockdown rules as government intensifies the fight against the Covid-19 outbreak. Government has come up with strict measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, including imposing a 21-day lockdown, which begins tomorrow.

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MPs standoff to be dealt with

Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi was evasive yesterday on what possible action the August House would take after a war of words broke out between Landless People’s Movement leader Bernadus Swartbooi and labour minister Utoni Nujoma. 

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Media essential in time of crisis – editors

In light of the 21-day lockdown starting on Friday in Khomas and Erongo regions when only essential services will be operating, New Era Publication Corporation (NEPC) CEO Christof Maletsky said whether the media are regarded as essential services or not, they should regard themselves as essential.

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NaCC warns of coronavirus price gouging 

The Namibia Competition Commission (NaCC) has warned businesses not to take advantage of consumers by price gouging during the coronavirus outbreak.  NaCC CEO Vitalis Ndalikokule has urged the general public to be vigilant and file complaints regarding price gouging related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Born-free prepares for ministerial job

Emma Theofelus was having a lazy Sunday afternoon at home when she received a surprising rare phone call from State House. The call led to a chain of events that would change her life forever as it was indeed to confirm her appointment as one of the eight presidential nominees for the National Assembly as well as to serve her nation in a deputy minister capacity.

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President takes charge

President Hage Geingob at the weekend vowed to honour his social contract with the Namibian people, with a promise to tackle youth unemployment, income disparities and inequalities, and fight against corruption, poverty and hunger. 

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Geingob launches commemorative banknote

On Namibia’s 30th independence anniversary, President Hage Geingob launched a new N$30 commemorative banknote, issued by the Bank of Namibia (BoN). The once-off print commemorative banknote is the first of its kind to be issued by BoN, with the sole purpose to celebrate Namibia’s 30th independence anniversary.   

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Members of the 7th National Assembly

The 96 members of the National Assembly, with voting powers, were sworn in on Friday for the next five years until 2025. Reappointed Vice president Nangolo Mbumba was also sworn in, but will now have to resign from parliament after he was installed as vice president on Saturday.

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The legacy awaiting Geingob

After a challenging five years, rocked by weak economic growth, unemployment and an internal rebellion within the ruling party, President Hage Geingob will be looking at securing a rock-solid legacy as he starts serving his final term tomorrow. 

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Outrage over forced removal of learners’ hair

RUNDU – In the wake of some complaints, the Executive Director in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp, has ordered schools to stop the forceful and unlawful cutting of learners’ hair along with the subjective banishment of learners from school for refusal to cut their hair.

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Onawa residents get title deeds

ONGWEDIVA – Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, the Minister of Urban and Rural Development Peya Mushelenga and the Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma handed over the first ever land hold titles to residents of Onawa Township in Oshakati, Oshana region yesterday.

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War on corona

The government yesterday announced a raft of new measures to curb the further spread of coronavirus, as President Hage Geingob declared a national emergency on the global pandemic. “As emphasised in my statement of 14 March, the health of Namibians is the priority. Covid-19 is a public health emergency, considering the threat posed to the lives of the Namibian people,” said Geingob. 

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Commentators weigh in on trimmed executive

Opposition politicians and commentators have largely welcomed the decision by President Hage Geingob to downsize the number of ministries from 26 to 19. Geingob has merged at least five ministries, while he has also elevated the Namibia Investment Promotion Development Board into the Presidency. 

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NaTIS enforces measures to battle Covid-19

Despite the uncertainty among hundreds of drivers who showed up at the NaTIS in desperate search of vehicle licences and other services, it’s offices in Windhoek managed to open its doors to the public yesterday late in the day after securing protective clothing to prevent the potential spread of the dreaded coronavirus.

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Corona mayhem

As the fear of coronavirus infections spreads across the world, local authorities yesterday decided to close down all public and private schools until 14 April as ordinary Namibians scramble for face masks and hand sanitisers to help contain the further spread of the virus after a Romanian couple in Windhoek tested positive at the weekend. 

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Jobs back to centre of agenda… as panel recommends free land allocation in informal settlements

The creation of a national employment task force, a national internship programme, the allocation of free land in urban areas, the adequate leveraging of public assets and the appointment of a government-owned holding company to run affairs of commercial parastatals are but some of the recommendations made by President Hage Geingob’s High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy (HLPE). 

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Journalists win media award for exposing Fishrot 

Four Icelandic journalists who uncovered what is now known as the Fishrot scandal and which led to the arrest and detention of former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau, his justice counterpart Sacky Shanghala and five others have been awarded the Union of Icelandic Journalists’ 2019 Bladamannaverðlaun for Best Investigative Reporting for their coverage of the bribery saga. 

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Invoices worth N$2 billion presented to Aveshe Consulting

Karel Cloete, the Anti-Corruption Commission senior investigator in the tax fraud investigation said that during their investigations it came to light at least N$2 billion worth of invoices were presented to Aveshe Consulting – the firm contracted by government to pay out tax refunds on purchases made for export – by several Angolans with the help of unscrupulous Namibians.

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Unam Wi-Fi service offline aggrieves students

Many students at the University of Namibia (Unam) have expressed their disappointment towards management for allegedly failing to pay the service provider for the internet connection on campus. This, the students argue, is despite the fact they have paid their internet connectivity fee of N$500 during registration.

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Namibia observes Commonwealth Day

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi, hosted the commemoration of Commonwealth Day at the Namibian parliament yesterday. In line with outlined commonwealth protocol, the Speaker, read the Queen’s statement that called for a common future through a united front. 

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Main supply dams fill up

NamWater CEO Abraham Nehemia has declared that with the recent good rainfall received in the three main supply dams feeding water to the central areas including Windhoek, Gobabis and Karirib - the drought experienced over the past few years is over for now.

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Geingob pays tribute to iconic diplomat

Tributes poured in yesterday for Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, the former United Nations secretary general who mediated Namibian independence from South Africa.  De Cuéllar, who died Wednesday at the age of 100, considered the 1990 independence of Namibia as his greatest accomplishment as secretary general. 

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Himarwa farm up for auction

 Agribank has started auctioning off farms belonging to previously disadvantaged Namibians, with the property belonging to businessman Andreas ‘Ghenno’ Himarwa set to go under the hammer next week Thursday.

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Nghiwete drags NSFAF to court

The dismissed CEO of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NASFAF), Hilya Nghiwete, has filed an urgent application with the Windhoek High Court to interdict the Fund’s board from implementing its decision to fire her pending the finalisation of a labour complaint she lodged with the Labour Commissioner and ordering that the status quo remains in respect of her employment contract prior to the decision to fire her.

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Girl (12) quits school to take care of destitute family

OMADHIYA – A 12-year-old girl has abandoned school in order to take care of her younger siblings.  Esther Haimbodi from Omadhiya village in Oshikoto region decided not to go back to her paternal grandmother’s house where she was living, after she discovered that her mother had abandoned her six siblings between the ages of two and 16.

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ACC accused of abusing its power

The lawyers, who are instructing a South African advocate in an urgent court application matter involving former cabinet minister Bernhard Esau and his co-accused in the unfolding Fishrot scandal, have accused the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of abusing its power and acting above the law. 

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Malema, OPM enter Fishcor fray 

Secretary to Cabinet George Simataa yesterday explained that the reported N$50 000 paid to South African lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi was for his services during the 2018 second national land conference, where the charismatic public speaker and activist delivered a research paper. 

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Samherji closes Saga Seafood

WALVIS BAY - Samherji-owned Saga Seafood yesterday announced it would cease operations in the country end of next month. Samherji, through Saga Seafood and the Geysir vessel, employed about 210 fishermen who are now left jobless. 

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Swapo vows to  deal with Amunyela

ONGWEDIVA - The Swapo top brass in Oshana will convene today to deliberate on the actions of a local businessman who locked the regional headquarters offices at the weekend in an apparent protest move against the party’s regional coordinator. 

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1 200 homes to get electricity

Electricity is no longer a luxury but a necessity, said Windhoek mayor Fransina Kahungu. She said this during a ceremony marking the electrification of 1 200 homes in Otjomuise extension 6 and 7 and the Havana informal settlement extension 1 and 3. 

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Hautoni realises her dream

OMUTHIYA – It only took less than 30 minutes for Namibians to pool resources together for 19-year-old Lavinia Hautoni who was languishing at home without support to further her studies, despite achieving 38 points in grade 12 last year.

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Russia praises Geingob for role in international affairs

The Russian government applauded President Hage Geingob for the constructive role and the respect he enjoys in Africa and international affairs. Chairperson of the Federal Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Valentina Matvienko said this yesterday during a courtesy call to Geingob at State House.

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Fishrot court case postponed to April

The case of former Cabinet ministers Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala and four of their co-accused was postponed yesterday to 23 April for further investigations when they made a very short appearance before Windhoek magistrate Philanda Christiaan, in a filled to the brim B court.

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Ruling on disputed recordings in Mbok case ‘complicated’

Windhoek High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo postponed the ruling in a trial within a trial regarding disputed recordings obtained by the Anti-Corruption Commission of conversations between former acting MD of Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Daniel Nghiwilepo and a former registry clerk at the finance ministry to 15 June because of the complexity of issues raised. 

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Fishrot axe falls on Tate Mike

Suspended CEO of the embattled State-owned fishing company Fishcor Mike Nghipunya was arrested yesterday in connection with the unfolding Fishrot bribery scandal. Nghipunya was taken in after questioning by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). 

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Impossible to evacuate Namibians from Wuhan now - Govt

In response to widespread concerns by hordes of Namibian students studying in China who feel they have been abandoned by the government, international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has at this stage not recommended mass evacuations of foreign nationals from China. 

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Social grants spent on booze

It has emerged that some San people in the Aminuis constituency are misusing their children’s monthly social grants given by the government as safety nets in eradicating extreme poverty and reducing inequality.

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Nudo backs proposed Genocide Day

Following the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement’s declaration to have 2 October as Genocide Remembrance Day in honour of the Ovaherero and Nama who died at the hands of German colonial forces between 1904-1908, Nudo has also come on board in support of the idea.

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Parents shy away from sex talk

Parents are too embarrassed to talk about sex with their children, while low levels of education, limited information and access to contraceptives, as well as traditional norms were some of the contributing factors to high rates of teenage pregnancy in Namibia. 

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Lawyer’s absence delays Conradie trial 

The unavailability of Vas Soni, the senior counsel representing prominent Windhoek lawyer Dirk Conradie and his long-time friend Sara Ngenohani Damases slightly delayed the resumption of their high profile corruption trial in the Windhoek High Court before Judge Thomas Masuku

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Contractor dumps construction site

ONANDJOKWE - Following the widely circulated video depicting the deplorable conditions of the Onandjokwe hospital’s maternity ward, the executive director in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe says a new contractor will be appointed to complete the work of the maternity ward.

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Banks must help farmers restock - NNFU

ONGWEDIVA - Following the devastating drought that led to the loss of thousands of livestock, the president of the Namibian National Farmers Union (NNFU), Jason Emvula, has appealed to financial institutions to extend their repayment grace period and drop their interest charges to allow farmers to restock.

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Returning Chinese advised to stay home

WINDHOEK – Chinese Ambassador to Namibia Zhang Yiming yesterday confirmed that a “few” Chinese nationals had returned to Namibia after the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, but appealed to Namibians to remain calm, reaffirming his country’s commitment to stop the virus from spreading.

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Desal plant cost could hit N$10bn

WINDHOEK – The formulation of a long-term solution for Namibia’s unending water woes through the construction of a desalination plant to serve the coastal and central regions is likely to require an investment of no less than N$10 billion. 

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SA workers lose N$60m invested in SME Bank

WINDHOEK - While corruption inhibits economic growth, affects business operations, employment and investments and seriously jeopardises infrastructure development, it is more often ordinary working people who suffer the brunt of this dishonest and greedy conduct. 

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Rittmann seeks leave to appeal sentence

WINDHOEK - Rachel Rittmann, who was sentenced to life imprisonment last year by Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg for the murder of her husband, 35-year-old Rudolph Henry Rittmann, is seeking leave to appeal the sentence in the Supreme Court. 

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No bail for Fishrot bribe accused

WINDHOEK – The man arrested this week for allegedly trying to bribe one of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigators in the Fishrot scandal, was denied bail when he made his first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday. 

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Namibia remains top tourist destination

WINDHOEK - Namibia remains a tourist destination of choice for many foreign visitors. Over 1.5 million tourists visited Namibia in 2018, compared to roughly 1.49 million visitors who arrived in the country in 2017, the minister of tourism Pohamba Shifeta announced yesterday. 

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Venaani threatens Samherji ovear exit plans 

WINDHOEK - Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani yesterday threatened legal action against Icelandic fishing company Samherji should it cease operations in Namibia without reimbursing over 1 000 fishermen who lost their jobs in October 2015 following an illegal strike.

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All eyes on election court challenge 

WINDHOEK – Independent presidential candidate Dr Panduleni Itula and four others will have to provide strong evidence of electoral manipulation in their bid to have the results of the November 2019 presidential election overturned, say commentators.

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Zambezi veld fires cause havoc

WINDHOEK - Veld fires continue to destroy grazing for livestock and game in the Zambezi region. Regional governor Lawrence Sampofu told New Era yesterday the little grass, which most farmers relied on for the survival of their livestock, have been severely affected, especially in Kabbe North constituency.

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Court challenge could cost Itula N$600 000

WINDHOEK- Independent presidential candidate Dr Panduleni Itula would need N$600 000 to take the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) to the Supreme Court to challenge the results of the recent presidential election which saw President Hage Geingob emerge victorious with the lion’s share of votes.