The authorities yesterday warned the coronavirus pandemic remains a threat even though the country is moving towards easing Covid-19 restrictions next week.
The authorities yesterday warned the coronavirus pandemic remains a threat even though the country is moving towards easing Covid-19 restrictions next week.
Walvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge yesterday welcomed President Hage Geingob’s decision to place the coastal town under tighter Covid-19 restrictions with immediate effect, saying it was a proactive and applaudable move by government. Geingob yesterday announced Walvis Bay will revert to stage one lockdown, meaning individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances, such as seeking medical care, food and medicine for seven days to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Schools will remain closed, while public gatherings should not exceed more than ten people.
Fisheries minister Albert Kawana yesterday dismissed, as untrue, a newspaper article claiming the ministry has already issued fishing rights to the same old holders at the expense of new applicants. An angry Kawana said the article, which carried in a weekly newspaper, was “political propaganda that emitted elsewhere”. “There is no truth in the article. The same newspaper wrote about me a few weeks back that I was chased out of Cabinet meeting. That was a lie and this again is blatant lies.
A man, who was arrested last year for allegedly attempting to obstruct the course of justice in the ongoing investigations of the multi-million-dollar fisheries bribery case, has denied any wrongdoing, citing that he was merely doing his job.
Police in Erongo region have cautioned women to consider their overall safety, especially when alone and seeking solitude in high-risk areas. This comes in the wake of an incident in which a 29-year-old resident of Kuisebmund was brutally raped on Monday morning while praying in the dunes at Walvis Bay.
Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi yesterday tabled a N$72.8 billion national budget, largely aimed at restarting a Namibian economy that – just as the rest of the world – has been brought to its knees by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A five-month-old baby slept outside in a tent for the past two nights with its mother after their shack was razed to the ground on Sunday. They will spend more frigid nights outside, as the mother, employed as a cleaner, is unable to immediately rebuild the shack from her meagre income. Two other children of 40-year-old Rosalia Andjelu are temporarily accommodated by their neighbours.
While economic analysts conceded that yesterday’s budget by finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi is aimed at reinvigorating a domestic economy ravaged by Covid-19, they emphasised the necessity to look beyond the financial and social effects of the pandemic and stressed the need to put more money into productive areas. This is despite the fact that the prevalence of Covid-19 has brought about considerable uncertainty on the domestic economic outlook and has induced a significant downturn on economic activities and public revenue, with elevated public debt as a consequence.
One of the men accused of conspiring with those implicated in the fisheries bribery scandal to divert N$75.6 million from the State-owned National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) for their benefit has approached the court for bail consideration.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentarian, Leon Schreiber, has called on the South African government to emulate President Hage Geingob’s decision to ban the procurement of new vehicles for government ministers and public office bearers until 2025. The DA is the South African official opposition party.
The State has accused those implicated in the multi-million-dollar fisheries bribery scandal of having contributed to the country’s economic demise.
AN arrest warrant has been issued for a 48-year-old man who yesterday failed to show up for his scheduled judgement hearing in the Windhoek High Court. Jan Moses Uamunika is charged with murder for the alleged killing of Rehoboth farmer Joseph Adriaan Shorty Barth, who was 69 years old at the time of his demise in 2017.
A massive operation by farmers and the police, aimed at eradicating stock theft in Omaheke region, is yielding results after close to 100 stolen cattle were recovered on Wednesday in the Otjombinde constituency.
The trial of a former hostel superintendent, accused of raping 10 boys at an Otjiwarongo school, is scheduled to continue in September with or without his lawyer.
As Namibia and the rest of the world have been grappling to deal with the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, the prices of certain products in the country have increased by as little as 14% while some have gone up by as much as 100%.
Higher education minister Itah Kandji-Murangi said she has asked the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) to provide further support to Namibian students studying in Ukraine amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Namibia Postal Holdings Ltd has strongly dismissed suggestions its courier service is involved in the transportation of liquor during the lockdown. Nampost spokesperson Wilson Ashikoto made these remarks following an enquiry after this publication learnt through the Oshikoto regional police that courier vehicles were among those transporting illicit alcohol and other counterfeit products.
The health ministry’s specialist physician Dr Ishmael Katjitae has dismissed fears that government might be deliberately underreporting coronavirus cases.
Namibia’s Bience Gawanas, who has been elected to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) board of trustees, said the country should continue the debate on whether abortion should be legalised or not. Gawanas was at the weekend elected to the IPPF board.
OMUTHIYA – Police in the Oshikoto region have confiscated counterfeit alcohol, cigarettes and drugs worth N$280 900, while 94 fines valued at N$157 300 have been issued to individuals in just one week for violating the Covid-19 state of emergency regulations.
A total of 56 individuals, including well-known musicians, were part of people arrested in Windhoek over the weekend for contravening the Covid-19 state of emergency regulations. Khomas police chief Commissioner Joseph Shikongo confirmed to New Era yesterday that some of those detained paid a fine of N$2 000.
A Chinese construction company that lost out on a lucrative tender worth N$7 billion to upgrade the Hosea Kutako International Airport had reportedly made a commitment to pay close to N$100 million into an account designated by a local law firm.
Orano Mining Namibia has made a once-off donation of 200 000 cubic metres (200 million litres) of desalinated water, valued at N$6 million, to the local authorities in the coastal area.
A 19-year-old woman from Ohepa village in the Omulonga constituency of Ohangwena says she continues to endure sexual, mental and physical abuse allegedly perpetrated by relatives and a neighbour.
The local tourism sector says it is expecting a significant number of job losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Retrenchments in the sector and job losses are simply unavoidable, the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) said this week.
The ministry of environment has started an investigation after an elephant was found dead on a farm in the Kavango East region. According to ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda, the elephant was found dead in a crop field with its tusks intact at farm Nanava within the Linena constituency over the weekend.
The police have arrested 22 people in less than a week for drug dealing. A rough New Era calculation based on information provided by the police over the last couple of days, indicates drugs worth nearly N$1 million were confiscated since Friday.
The Law Society of Namibia (LSN) says prominent lawyer Sisa Namandje’s refusal to open records to his trust account is done merely to protect himself and his conduct and not his clients as he has claimed.
Several Windhoek schools have stepped up cleaning measures to prevent the potential spread of Covid-19. Teachers and other institutional workers reported for work this past week to help prepare the classrooms for face-to-face learning, as well as to continue with alternative teaching methods.
The temporary hike in bus and taxi fares by Road Transportation Board (RTB) on Monday has triggered public outrage and protests, with some saying the increase during this time of the Coronavirus pandemic is harsh to public transport users.
A disgruntled farmer, Robbie Hoveka, residing in the Eiseb Block, a settlement in Omaheke region, has accused another farmer Barney Karuuombe for using his influence and position to break the law and do as he pleased by cutting down a fenced area meant to prevent livestock from straying to other farms in the area.
The majority of OvaHimba and San communities are saying they did not receive the N$750 emergency income grant (EIG) that government paid to people on the basis they lost income and the unemployed since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The education ministry has rejected a formal request by private schools to resume with face-to-face learning amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The request came days after government announced that face-to-face classes would only resume by 3 August later this year as part of measures to help contain the spread of Covid-19.
A farmworker, who is on trial for allegedly killing his employer on his farm in the area of Rehoboth nearly three years ago, will have to wait to hear the verdict in his case after the court postponed the ruling. Windhoek High Court Judge Eileen Rakow was scheduled to give judgement in the matter yesterday.
Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) chief electoral and referenda officer Theo Mujoro said the electoral body is closely following developments around the Covid-19 pandemic with a view to develop mitigating strategies to lessen the virus impact on the upcoming regional and local authority elections scheduled for November.
Formal bail application proceedings are not to determine if the applicant is guilty or not but rather to prove if he/she is a good candidate for bail. These were the remarks of Magistrate Shaatuna Kalla before granting bail to City police spokesperson Fabian Amukwelele (37) last week in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court.
Rising stock theft cases and alleged police inaction led to communal farmers in the Epukiro constituency of the Omaheke region to form a task force.
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula has warned that the mandatory wearing of masks should not be seen as a substitute for other measures aimed at preventing the transmission of Covid-19. Shangula urged people to continue wearing masks and observe other measures like washing of hands, frequent use of sanitisers and maintaining social distance.
While more than half a million needy Namibians were approved for the emergency income grant (EIG) of N$750, hordes of the more than 394 000 unsuccessful applicants continue to inundate the Ministry of Finance with queries as to why they have not benefited from the Covid-19 relief grant.
The African swine fever that reportedly killed over 102 pigs in the Omusati region has spread to the University of Namibia’s Ogongo Campus. As such, 23 pigs from Ogongo campus will be culled after coming into contact with infected pigs.
Windhoek mayor Fransina Kahungu has appealed to companies to come on board and assist with spring-cleaning markets around the city to enable vendors to resume trading.
Former education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, who is a teacher by profession, has suggested learners who are in critical grades, especially in grade 11 and 12 should resume classes because not every child can afford online learning.
The appointment of National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) president Utjiua Muinjangue to the position of deputy minister of health has unleashed a storm of accusations and counter-accusations between the Ovaherero paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro and some of his trusted lieutenants.
The same unity and determination that inspired Namibians to fight against colonialism and apartheid would be critical in overcoming the challenges facing the nation, President Hage Geingob said yesterday. In his Cassinga Day message, the head of state said the struggle for independence was indeed long and bitter.
An attempt by former Cabinet ministers Bernhardt Esau, Sacky Shanghala and four others implicated in the Fishrot scandal to get their warrants of arrest declared unlawful and subsequently be released from police custody was dismissed by the High Court last week.
China Harbour Engineering Company early this week extended its largess to needy communities in Windhoek Rural constituency by donating food parcels worth N$500 000 comprising maize meal, flour, tinned fish, soup and soap. The official donation handover ceremony to assist the Namibian government to provide for the less privileged was held early this week in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
ONGWEDIVA – A 57-year-old man and owner of a northern-based private school committed suicide by hanging himself on Monday morning, barely two days after parents authored a strongly-worded letter in which they complained about the state of the school as well as the continuous payment for services not rendered during the Covid-19 lockdown period.
The governor of Omusati region, Erginus Endjala, says the amended state of emergency Covid-19 regulations that allow outlets to sell liquor containing less than 3% alcohol has led to confusion among small business owners who also sell liquor such as the traditional brew tombo.
The future of City Police head Abraham Kanime appears to be hanging in the balance after municipal CEO Robert Kahimise reportedly failed to issue a notice to convene a meeting last week Thursday, where Kanime was to sign a lucrative three-year contract extension.
Health authorities in Omusati yesterday said 61 pigs have died from African swine fever following an outbreak in the region, affecting nearly 200 animals. Omusati State veterinarian Josephat Peter confirmed the outbreak, saying a local farmer reported the first case on 17 March.
Government will evacuate over 200 citizens from neighbouring South Africa, where confirmed Covid-19 cases have hit over 4 500 and 87 deaths as at yesterday afternoon. Air Namibia will carry out the mission, its spokesperson Paul Nakawa confirmed yesterday.
Child trafficking is on the increase in parts of drought-hit Opuwo and Ruacana, where some desperate parents who are not registered for any State grants are said to be swapping their daughters for money to survive. This resulted in the arrest of a South African national, Kenneth Karner (66), for human trafficking and child sex.
US Ambassador Lisa A. Johnson announced last Friday that the government of the United States of America is providing N$100 million to help Namibia fight the Covid-19 pandemic that has brought to a halt the country’s economic and social activities as it has done globally.
KEETMANSHOOP – Whilst many privileged Namibians enjoy the luxury of decent accommodation and proper nutrition, this impoverished family of five has to endure nature’s challenges on a hungry stomach most of the times.
RUNDU - Four tailors who also in the past benefited from equipment donation from the ministry of trade and industrialisation were on Friday given textile materials to enable them to sew face masks to sell to Namibians in their localities to curb the spread of Covid-19. Profit is meant for the upliftment of the beneficiaries.
Many communal farmers in northern Namibia are currently harvesting their mahangu (millet), as it is now ready for yield. With the good rains received countrywide, many communal farmers say their mahangu fields delivered good produces.
Author, entrepreneur Kennedy Liswani recently created African Millionaire, a fun and strategic family board game to encourage players and people in general, to make smart decisions and invest their money wisely.
One of the emerging artists in the country, Kaboy Kamakili, who is signed under the Mshasho production, accused the record label of contributing little to his brand.
Most small-scale farmers in Namibia are stuck with surplus of fresh produce because there is currently no market for them to sell their products as a result of Covid-19, which has led to closure of many retail businesses and restricted the movement of people.
At some point in everyone’s lives, there was that particular time we dreamt of playing sport professionally but little did we consider just how fragile a profession it is.
It has been a roller-coaster in the world of academics since the ministry decided schools resume as planned but via e-learning platforms. The worries were mostly centred on those students and parents who do not have access to the requisite means.
Namibia’s young rugby sensation Helarius Kisting, who is currently based in Romania, recently spoke to NBC Sport on how he has been coping with Covid-19 and how he continues to keep fit despite the worldwide lockdown on sporting activities.
While many Namibian citizens flock to ATMs countrywide to withdraw their Emergency Income Grant of N$750, it is a far-fetched dream for some residents in the Kavango West region as they experience network problem and language barrier.
WALVIS BAY - A temporary isolation facility is currently being set up in Walvis Bay to assist the government in the fight against Covid-19.
KAPAKO - Leader of the Mbunza Traditional Authority Hompa Alfons Kaundu has commended government for the emergency income grant that is being implemented nationally to cushion the impact of Covid-19 on the less privileged.
The Namibian Annual Music Awards Vetting Committee has added two more nominees to the Artist of the Decade category. The two nominees are Oteya and Mushe, bringing the total and final nominees in that category to seven.
Landless People Movement leader Bernadus Swartbooi has called for the resumption of National Assembly sessions, arguing that the work of the Legislature cannot stand idle, as this has a negative effect on the entire country and industries.
PowerCom Pty Ltd, as a passive infrastructure provider hosting cutting edge communication technologies for operators on its towers, has highlighted that concerns regarding any link between the coronavirus crisis and 5G technology, plus its alleged rollout on their towers, are completely unfounded.
Over 20 000 teachers countrywide have indicated they have access to online learning tools and can connect to platforms such as WhatsApp, education minister Anna Nghipondoka said yesterday. This forms part of modalities laid out by the ministry to ensure teaching and learning continue amid the national Covid-19 lockdown.
The Namibian Police have vowed its readiness to ensure law and order is maintained during the national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. President Hage Geingob on Tuesday announced that government has banned, with effect from today, all necessary transport and movement of people throughout the country until 4 May as part of measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
National Coordinating Committee Chairperson for the Covid-19 outbreak Dr Bernard Haufiku said he strongly suspects community transmission of Covid-19 and those spreading it are just not showing the symptoms yet.
WALVIS BAY – China National Uranium Corporation (CNUC)’s Rössing Uranium has equipped the Walvis Bay State Hospital with a N$4.5 million locally manufactured oxygen generator plant as a response mechanism for Covid-19 in the region.
No mercy… The Windhoek City Police yesterday set up a number of roadblocks in an effort to dissuade movement as part of measures to stem the spread of Covid-19. Government this week announced the current lockdown would be extended nationwide until 4 May 2020. Traffic officers dished out warnings and requested those who are essential service providers to always have their permits on them. Photo: Emmency Nuukala
Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has strongly warned some pastors who this week went viral on social media urging other Namibians not to accept the state-initiated N$750 once-off grant to cushion the recipients from the economic impact of the effects stemming from the far-reaching initial 21-day lockdown period.
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula has warned there is worse still to come before the country turns the corner against the Covid-19 outbreak. Speaking yesterday at the Covid-19 communication centre in Windhoek, Shangula reiterated even though there is a public irritation at the government’s stay-at-home advice, a full lockdown was necessary to contain the spread of the virus and save lives of Namibians.
Due to the global coronavirus pandemic that has brought the world to a standstill, regional leaders from all 14 regions are proactively engaging stakeholders on possible strategies to halt and contain the further spread of the virus across the country.
The announcement by President Hage Geingob that informal traders would be allowed to operate under strict conditions until the country emerges from the Covid-19 lockdown on 5 May has been met with appreciation. However, a small business expert has cautioned that the sector will need special assistance to operate under strict conditions.
The Covid-19 outbreak has brought the N$26 billion local tourism and hospitality industry to its knees. The sector employs thousands of people who are now forced to sit at home due to the strict lockdown regulations imposed by government. Namibia has so far 16 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
Government has banned, with effect from 18 April, all unnecessary transport and movement of people throughout the country until 4 May to combat the further spread of Covid-19. Last month, government imposed a 21-day partial lockdown of Rehoboth, Windhoek, Okahandja and Erongo regions. This lockdown was due to lapse on 17 April.
“We are receiving calls every day from people who desperately want to buy alcohol. We were sold out the first week after the lockdown. Our stock was bought out by our regular customers who were buying in bulk. We are empty,” said a bar owner selling alcohol backdoor in Eveline Street.
Failure to pay rent due to businesses closing abruptly last month because of coronavirus resulted in a family of four being evicted by their landlord from a corrugated iron sheet shack in Katutura on Thursday morning. The family failed to pay their rent of N$1 000 for March.
In an attempt to assist government efforts to fight Covid-19 effects on learning, Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has pledged to pay N$10 000 per student for non-tuition fees to ensure they equip themselves with internet connectivity related tools for e-learning.
REHOBOTH - From humble beginnings in the remote town of Rehoboth, locked approximately 90 kilometres south of Namibia’s commercial capital Windhoek, young 'Henna' was subjected to tradition as a learner of the revered rugby-mad Dr Lemmer High School in his native Rehoboth.
While commending government for the recently announced N$8.1 billion economic stimulus package to offset the effects of dealing with Covid-19, local economists have proposed additional grants. These special grants would address the most vulnerable in society and infrastructure investment.
The care and maintenance announcement by the Skorpion Zinc mine and refinery in southern Namibia, which will inevitably affect a total of about 1 500 employees, has started to trickle down to the mine’s contractors who have confirmed retrenchments.
South African rugby giants Cheetahs, who campaign in the highly-competitive Pro14 Championship comprising of professional clubs from Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa and Wales, has extended the contract of Namibian international prop Aranos Coetzee until 2022.
Ohangwena regional councillor of Engela constituency and National Council member, Jason Ndakunda tendered an unconditional apology to the nation following the circulation of a video showing him gleefully drinking in public while driving his vehicle on Monday.
Former Swapo Party Youth League spokesperson Neville Andre was yesterday appointed as the governor of Erongo, as President Hage Geingob named eight new regional heads yesterday. Apart from replacing Cleopas Mutjavikua at Erongo, Geingob also dropped the governors of Oshikoto, //Kharas, Omaheke, Kavango East, Ohangwena, Otjozondjupa and Hardap regions, while reappointing six of them.
For newly sworn-in member of parliament Gotthard Kandume, the classic tale of rags to riches is a reality, which he endured after sleeping in the back seat of a sedan over the past five years.
President Hage Geingob has called on Namibians to observe tomorrow as a national day of prayer against the threat of Covid-19, which has so far claimed the lives of 70 000 people around the world.
About 246 people without shelter from Khomas region were temporarily relocated to makeshift accommodation at Katutura Youth Complex and Khomasdal Soccer Stadium during the duration of the entire lockdown affecting Khomas and the Erongo regions.
A decision by several countries to institute bans on the exports of crucial medical supplies will have a devastating effect on Namibia and other African countries that still do not have adequate healthcare infrastructures to confront the Covid-19 pandemic.
OMUTHIYA/ONGWEDIVA – The strict regulations imposed by authorities to help curb the spread of Covid-19 has not only crippled major businesses but tombo brewers in the north of the country are also feeling the heat. Many enjoy the traditional home-brewed beer, despite its considerably high volume of alcohol.
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula has appealed to Namibians to adhere to the partial lockdown as well as regulations imposed by government to fight Covid-19. Shangula yesterday encouraged individuals to take responsibility for measures, such as regular hygiene practises, self-isolation and social distancing.
Chaos nearly erupted yesterday, as social distancing measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 for hundreds of the elderly and vulnerable individuals in zigzag queues for social grants at Moses Garoeb constituency councillor offices in Havana proved tricky.
OSHAKATI – Oshakati residents, who were relocated to Ehenye after their houses were flooded, are in dire need of food since the Covid-19 lockdown was announced, Oshakati East constituency councillor Abner Shikongo has said.
RUNDU – Due to the ever-increasing number of learners at Rundu, schools at the town have over the years faced overcrowding, as a result, education officials have resorted to erect makeshift schools in order to accommodate more learners.
Our Star of the Week is the Namibian government that on Wednesday authorised the stimulus package of N$8.1 billion that will help qualifying households, formal and informal businesses, the tourism sector, travel, aviation and construction sectors to prevail during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Government has prepared an economic stimulus package totalling a massive N$8.1 billion to confront the expected coronavirus economic fallout. The much-anticipated announcement was made by finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi at State House yesterday.
RUNDU – Agribusdev managing director Petrus Uugwanga said the agency is happy with the production levels at all its projects despite the dreadful time of Covid-19, which is a wake-up call for them to work even harder and produce for the country.
KEETMANSHOOP – //Kharas regional governor Lucia Basson opines there is a need for all stakeholders to mobilise and coordinate efforts and put in place proper strategies to constantly comply with guiding regulations to combat further spread of the coronavirus.
The Ministry of Finance has communicated that it will ensure the continuity of essential tax services during the Covid-19 lockdown period and has confirmed that the deadline to submit annual Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) reconciliations has been extended from 31 March 2020 to 30 May 2020.
President Hage Geingob yesterday appointed Air Marshal Martin Kambulu Pinehas, the commander of the Namibian Air Force, as the new chief of the defence force (CDF) with effect from today. Pinehas replaces Lieutenant General John Mutwa, who has been beset by ill-health since the beginning of last year.
Several large families in the informal settlement said practising social distancing is not possible to enforce in some poor houses occupied by several people.
WALVIS BAY – A flotilla of six Chinese vessels, seized and initially accused of illegal fishing in the fishing in the vicinity of Henties Bay, were cleared of any illegality and were given clearance to leave the country and continue with their voyage to China.
KEETMANSHOOP – A French tourist who recently visited !Nami#Nus constituency was officially announced as the first person to have tested positive for Covd-19 in the //Kharas region. Dr Refanus Kooper the acting //Kharas regional health director announced this while addressing stakeholders at an urgent meeting to discuss the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula yesterday said the State has so far only conducted about 40 Covid-19 tests, despite criticism that limited testing could leave cases undetected. “I don’t have the exact number but I think we have so far tested just over 40 people for Covid-19,” Shangula told New Era upon enquiry yesterday.
Health advisor in the Office of the President Dr Bernhard Haufiku said in light of the Covid-19 crisis, Namibia should not forget Hepatitis E, which infects millions of people.
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula yesterday said the State has so far only conducted about 40 Covid-19 tests, despite criticism that limited testing could leave cases undetected. “I don’t have the exact number but I think we have so far tested just over 40 people for Covid-19,” Shangula told New Era upon enquiry yesterday.
RUNDU – The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, says national parks are open for business despite the Covid-19, which prompted President Hage Geingob to issue a directive to all government workers and the private sector to operate from home for the next 14 days, except those providing essential services such as food retail shops.
Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) executive director Graham Hopwood yesterday said government needs to initiate an economic relief package to shield the poor during the far-reaching coronavirus crisis.
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.
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.
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.
Chairperson of the Editors’ Forum of Namibia (EFN) Frank Steffen has welcomed the media being classified as an essential service by health advisor in the presidency Dr Bernard Haufiku – during the 21-day lockdown starting midnight today. Previously media was not regarded as an essential service.
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.
President Hage Geingob yesterday thanked world leaders for their congratulatory messages after the country’s Pear Jubilee Independence celebration and his inauguration, saying that Namibians appreciate the kind words and thoughts of the international community.
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.
MANGETTI - In its efforts to boost the much-needed security at the conservancy, N≠a Jaqna conservancy management committee member Lara Diez said they have added 12 new guards to help curb poaching that of late has seen a rapid increase at the park.
Law enforcement officers will be deployed at critical roadblocks and on the streets as government yesterday announced a lockdown of Erongo and Khomas regions from midnight 27 March until 16 April in order to curb the further spread of the coronavirus after positive cases hit seven.
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.
The National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) says the party leadership was consulted before the appointment of its president, Esther Muinjangue, as deputy health minister. Muinjangue was on Sunday named as deputy health minister by President Hage Geingob.
Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Petrus Unengu last week admitted the confessions of two of the remaining people still on trial in the long-running high treason trial at the High Court situated at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.
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.
A 19-year-old Namibian man who arrived in the country on 18 March tested positive for Covid-19, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula confirmed late yesterday. “Specimens were taken and sent to a laboratory, and the results returned positive.
Despite much speculation, Air Namibia has set the record straight regarding its operations and interpretation of Cabinet resolutions on measures to strengthen Namibia’s preparedness and response to the Covid-19. The national airline has reiterated it is in full conformity with government’s resolutions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
President Hage Geingob has given the clearest indication yet that he will not consider appointing members of the opposition to his Cabinet, while admitting he was finding it difficult who to name in his new executive for the next five years.
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.
All the lawyers for the accused in the massive tax refund fraud trial in the Windhoek High Court indicated to Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Kobus Miller Tuesday that they will bring a section 174 discharge application on behalf of their clients.
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.
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.
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.
President Hage Geingob has done away with several ministerial positions in a reshaped executive aimed at cutting costs. The new cabinet will include 19 ministries, while two ministers will serve under the Presidency. Geingob yesterday said he was trimming the structure to achieve better alignment among sectors.
NKURENKURU – There was a huge sigh of relief for Sikarosompo Primary School in Kavango West as the school officially received temporary accommodation and cooking structures constructed by Good Samaritans who reacted to the plight of learners.
KEETMANSHOOP – Water minister Alpheus !Naruseb said it was only through key negotiation strategies and the unreserved commitment by the line ministry, contractor and engineer that the successful completion of the Neckartal Dam could have been realised.
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.
The Shambyu circuit in Kavango East recently held its annual teacher’s award ceremony at Shambyu Secondary School. Over 50 teachers from various schools in the circuit were recognised and celebrated for scoring over 70% for the 2019 academic year.
ONANDJOKWE – Expectant mothers at the Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital in the Oshikoto region are calling on the authorities to provide them with a more habitable shelter.
Despite the World Health Organisation (WHO) this week declaring coronavirus a global pandemic, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula says securing the country’s borders will not stop the spread of the virus.
One of the many recommendations made by President Hage Geingob’s High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy (HLPE) is that Namibia implements its comprehensive national policy on climate change released in 2011.
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).
The two newly elected regional councillors for Otjiwarongo and Opuwo Rural have promised to serve the electorate and improve service delivery in their respective constituencies.
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.
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.
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.
Swapo vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has condemned in strongest terms the latest insults hurled at President Hage Geingob saying that such insults are aimed inciting public hatred, tribalism, hostility and violence against the President.
Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has said although sub-Saharan Africa as a whole has not experienced rapid rates decline of malaria to equal with the global progress, the SADC region has registered stronger progress in the prevention and control of malaria.
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.
Nurses and patients at Katutura State Hospital on Friday described President Hage Geingob’s surprise visit as a “shock” but said they knew something big was coming when they were asked to thoroughly clean the medical facility as early as 05h00.
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.
After the Hardap Dam level decreased, several faulty aspects needing attention in terms of rehabilitation were recently identified.
As Namibia joined the rest of the world to commemorate International Women’s Day, President Hage Geingob took the lead and lauded Namibian women for undertaking a courageous journey towards gender equality, urging more urgency and action.
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.
The public have been warned about an email circulating under the name of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, regarding the alleged distribution of funds from the European Development Fund.
To avert utility services being cut off at public schools, the acting minister of education Martin Andjaba says they have engaged service providers, specifically the City of Windhoek, to install pre-paid meters for water and electricity usage at public schools.
An irate High Court Acting Judge Kobus Miller yesterday issued a warrant of arrest for Anti-Corruption Commission senior investigator Karel Cloete for failing to show up for his scheduled witness testimony in the tax fraud trial underway in the Windhoek High Court.
A total of 73 cases of alleged unprofessional conduct were reported against law enforcement officers during the now-ceased ‘Operation Kalahari.’
Pan African Women’s Organisations (PAWO)’s new president Eunice Iipinge says the 10th congress has decided Namibia will no longer host its regional office. The office will instead move to Angola and the headquarters will remain in South Africa.
ONGWEDIVA – Flood-hit areas in northern Namibia are bracing for further downpours, while a hydrologist has advised people to prepare for the worst as water levels continue to rise.
City of Windhoek Mayor Fransina Kahungu yesterday confirmed that the city council had agreed to extend the employment contract of the City Police chief Abraham Kanime, a decision she said was taken at an extraordinary council meeting last Thursday.
While some countries in sub-Saharan Africa are finally taking steps to repatriate citizens from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula yesterday said Namibia would not evacuate its nationals.
RUNDU – The Rundu Intermediate Hospital is making arrangements to conduct a pauper burial this month to get rid of some of the corpses that have not been identified and remained uncollected and unburied in the hospital mortuary for over five years.
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.
Namibia and Botswana last week signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will enable Impalila Island and Kasika residents in the Zambezi region to use border passes to enter Botswana.
ONAMBANGO – The leader of the Ondonga Traditional Authority Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo has urged Namibians to give their full support to allow President Hage Geingob to serve his two full terms as head of state.
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.
With cases of coronavirus rising worldwide, former minister of health Bernard Haufiku has advised Namibians against travelling to Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe unless absolutely necessary.
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.
OKAPUKU – A mother of a 17-year-old boy living with disability has expressed shocked that her child is being abused and harassed by some of the teachers at a local school, resulting in the teenager taking a break from school.
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.
Information deputy minister Engel Nawatiseb has criticised those calling on Namibians to boycott the Independence Day celebrations, saying it is “tantamount to treason”.
City of Windhoek councillors are expected to meet today to extend the employment contract of City Police chief Abraham Kanime until such time a suitable candidate is found. Talk about a contract extension comes weeks after Kanime had formally asked to go on early retirement on 30 April. Kanime turns 60 on 19 May this year.
President Hage Geingob is of the view men should play prominent roles in tackling the epidemic of domestic violence. He also said there is a need to re-educate the boy child that being told culturally to be strong does not mean they must kill women.
The Namibian anti-graft agency yesterday issued a summons against the charismatic South African lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi over a reported N$50 000 that was paid to him in October 2018 from State-owned National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor).
SWAKOPMUND – Southern African Customs Union (SACU) executive secretary Paulina Elago says African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries will have to acquire new investments in the transformation of production processes that utilise environment-friendly technologies.
New Swapo parliamentarian Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun has called on fellow legislators to end the blame game and work hand-in-hand as lawmakers to improve the current status of the country’s ailing economy.
WALVIS BAY - Industrialisation minister Tjekero Tweya on Monday lashed out “at the powers that be” for enforcing restrictive government policies that do not inspire investor confidence.
In order to ensure Namibia’s natural resources wealth benefits all, the High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy has identified there is a need for a framework to regulate such proceeds to benefit the majority and not individuals.
The Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has defended its decision to only fund students who got admitted through mature entry at public institutions of higher learning while leaving out those pursuing studies at private universities.
Namibia yesterday welcomed a decision by the European Union to ease sanctions imposed by the powerful bloc on four Zimbabwean officials, including vice president Constantino Chiwenga.
The Popular Democratic Movement Youth League (PDMYL) has called on Namibians to boycott the 30th Independence Day celebrations, saying the ruling party has failed to deliver on the promises it made in 1989.
High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg said that there is currently an alarming increase of ‘white-collar’ crime in Namibia and that in sentencing, courts are entitled to take judicial notice of the increasing prevalence of such offences in its jurisdiction.
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.
Minister of international relations Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has explained the planned launch of the genocide history mobile exhibition, saying it was a response to concerns that many Namibians are ignorant to the atrocities committed by the Germans, especially to the Ovaherero and Nama people at the beginning of the 20th century.
WALVIS BAY – Vena Makena, a skipper of one of the Hangana Seafood fishing vessels that assisted in the 24-hour search of the Resplendent captain Carlo Gordon after the vessel sunk on Tuesday afternoon, said going fishing feels like going to war.
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.
WALVIS BAY – Captain of the Resplendent hake trawler Carlo Gordon that sunk on Tuesday afternoon off the Namibian coast was hailed as a selfless hero by his crew members, family and friends yesterday.
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.
The Windhoek City Council is to provide a total of 20 000 heads of households in Windhoek’s informal settlements with acknowledgment of occupation certificates and lease agreements this year.
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.
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.
WALVIS BAY – Visibly traumatised crew members of the Hangana Seafood-owned Resplendent yesterday struggled to hold back tears as they recalled the final moments of the hake trawler, which sank off the Namibian coast on Tuesday.
The Namibian government has acquired two farms measuring 7 587 hectares for over 1 500 Batswana of Namibian descent who have shown a willingness to return to their native country, the land reform minister Utoni Nujoma announced yesterday.
Ovaherero Paramount Chief Vekuii Rukoro on Tuesday met President Hage Geingob to raise his concerns over a number of issues including what he termed the marginalisation of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority allegedly by the government.
The two men who were arrested for allegedly trying to bribe one of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigators in the Fishrot scandal abandoned their application to be released on bail yesterday due to “classified developments”.
ONDANGWA – The US embassy yesterday extended its food assistance programme to six more regions that will see over 46 000 drought-stricken Namibians benefiting in the coming months.
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).
A supervisor at the Olof Palme community garden at Goreangab, Nestor Kalola, has called on the City of Windhoek to avail more land to the residents, saying it will help improve the living standard of inhabitants in the informal settlements.
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.
OSHAKATI - Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has teared into disrespectful youth who resort to social media to insult national leaders.
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.
President Hage Geingob yesterday assured Namibians that no member of Cabinet or the Legislature would be allowed to meddle in the affairs of the Judiciary.
Namibia is among the ‘low risk’ countries in Africa to contracting the coronavirus disease, World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses said yesterday.
Independent presidential candidate Dr Panduleni Itula, who last week declared President Hage Geingob as a legitimate head of state, has once again launched another legal bid to have the Supreme Court review its judgement of last week, which upheld the results of last year’s presidential vote.