2 NEWS Tuesday, June 20 2017 | NEW ERA Rundu to host memorial for ya Toivo John Muyamba Rundu Rundu will hold a memorial service for the late liberation struggle icon, Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo, who died recently at his home in Windhoek from a suspected heart attack. “I thought it would be a good idea for us as a town to have our small memorial service for our residents to get together and remember our fallen hero. After coming up with the idea I handed the organising part to the Swapo office to execute,” said Rundu Mayor Verna Sinimbo. The memorial service is planned for Tuesday at 14h00 at Dr Romanus Kampungu school hall here in Rundu and will be open to the public. “It’s being organised as a collective initiative now. The late Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo didn’t only play a role on one part of the country, he played a role in all of us. “He is someone who had a vision for all Namibians, so from the parties’ side we had a meeting and as Rundu residents we want to pay our last respect to our hero,” said the mayor. “So, let us all come together and show our last respects to our fallen hero.” Former deputy prime minister and current Swapo Party school rector Marco Hausiku is expected to narrate the late Ya Toivo’s biography during the event, she said. Sinimbo said Kavango East Governor Dr Samuel Mbambo would also be in attendance. “Some veterans from our region who will be around will also attend, as well as the public, as this is an open invitation to anyone who feels to join us,” she added. Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo FITCH From page 1 Bopoto further said the government’s commitment to addressing the fiscal deficit over the next two years “is noted, which we believe implies Fitch’s relative confidence in government ability to narrow the deficit albeit in a more conservative manner.” This, coupled with Fitch’s expectations of 2 percent growth this year underpins the investment grade ratings affirmation, says Bopoto: “A sustainable narrowing of the current account deficit will in our opinion require more focused effort to address structural challenges facing Namibia’s balance of trade.” The Namibian economy narrowly avoided a contraction in 2016 and Fitch forecasts a recovery in growth in 2017, to 2 percent, notwithstanding slow growth in the South African economy. Over the medium term, Fitch expects growth to return to around 5 percent or higher. The government’s fiscal tightening will be aided by an expected once-off increase in Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) revenues in the current financial year. Further, Namibia’s mounting deficits have in recent years substantially increased the public debt burden to 42 percent at end of 2016 from 26 percent at end of 2012 financial year, against a ‘BBB’ median of 41 percent of GDP. Fitch says it “believes that debt levels have likely plateaued”. “Over the medium term, we expect growth to return to around 5 percent or higher, similar to the 2010-2015 levels. The recovery will be supported by an end to drought conditions and associated increase in agricultural output, as well as an expected increase in uranium and gold mining. “However, tight fiscal policy and low global commodity prices have put downward pressure on growth and will continue to present downside risks,” the agency said. “We expect the Bank of Namibia to hold the policy rate at its current level through the year to support the currency peg to the South African rand. Better performance in the mining sector will narrow the current account deficit to 8.3 percent of GDP, from 10.5 percent in 2016, but the external deficit remains a weakness to the sovereign ratings,” the rating agency further said. CONGOLESE From page 1 A woman who pleaded guilty to the robbery, Elizabeth Shigwedha, was subsequently sentenced to eight years in prison for her role in the crime by Magistrate Cosmos Endjala in the Windhoek Regional Court. Wembondinga lodged two bail applications, the first in September 2009 - which was refused on the ground that it was not in the public interest and in the interest of justice - and the second bail application, which was brought seven years after the first one, but was also refused. According to Khadila Amoomo, who brought the appeal before the High Court, his client was not implicated by the complainant, who had already testified in the Magistrate’s Court. He argued that the magistrate in the bail application had erred in fact and law when he found the fact that the appellant was not implicated did not amount to a new fact, as well failing to take into account the medical condition of the appellant. Amoomo said the learned magistrate had also erred when he refused to consider the imposition of conditions to curb the fear of absconding. He further said the magistrate erred in law by not considering the fact that four of the appellant’s co-accused had already been granted bail, despite the fact that they were implicated by the complainant. Amoomo submitted that the approach of the magistrate was full of unsupported assumptions and his decision to refuse bail on the ground of new facts was wrong and thus entitles the High Court to set it aside. State Advocate Erich Moyo argued it is trite law that the High Court cannot interfere with decisions of the lower courts, unless such court or judge is satisfied the decision was wrong. He said the trial court was “not in any manner wrong when it dismissed the appellant’s application for bail and, as such, nothing warrants the interference with the magistrate’s decision by the court of appeal.” LAND From page 1 “The poverty situation of many such Namibians cannot be addressed via land reform alone, hence it is important that other avenues must be explored to meet the economic empowerment expectation of many previously disadvantaged Namibians,” it says. It notes that government spent N8 million during the 2015/2016 financial year to acquire 22 farms, measuring 141 million hectares for the resettlement of landless Namibians, compared to the 98,000 hectares that would be acquired for resettlement in the 2017/2018 financial year. Addressing staff earlier this year, Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma said 78 families had been resettled on 22 farms acquired by government last year. He said three farms, measuring just over 10,000 hectares, were awaiting final purchase by the ministry at a cost of just over N million. Further, Nujoma announced that at the time 167,034 communal land right claims had been mapped and digitised, representing 83 percent of 196,000 communal land right claims registered nationally. According to Nujoma, a total of 103,336 customary land right claims had been registered and 92,780 certificates issued countrywide, meaning 62 percent of communal land rights had been digitised, while 90 percent of registered land rights owners had received their certificates. He said this contributed to security of tenure of Namibians living in communal areas, which represents the majority of the Namibian people. On top of that, Nujoma said it was the ministry’s aim to increase the registration of communal land rights, adding that efforts have been made to educate the community, in the course of which 342 communal land rights registration awareness campaigns were conducted at village level. This awareness, he said, resulted in 8,325 communal land rights applications being received by the ministry countrywide between April and December 2016. Additionally, he said, during the same period 11,202 applications were displayed on village maps and 14,351 communal land rights were registered. Nujoma said in line with the ministry’s quest to provide secure tenure to all resettled farmers, a total of 36 resettlement lease agreements had been signed in the Hardap, //Karas, Omaheke, Erongo and Otjozondjupa regions. He said to ensure sustainability in the utilisation of land resources, the ministry had developed an Integrated Regional Land Use Plan (IRLUP) for various regions. In the current financial year the ministry plans to develop the IRLUPs for Omaheke, Omusati and Oshana regions, he said.
Tuesday, June 20 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 3 Rundu without water since Saturday John Muyamba Rundu Residents of Rundu – mainly at Ndama, Kehemu and Millennium Park – had no water over the weekend and taps in Rundu were dry yesterday after the water utility NamWater cut off bulk water provision due to an outstanding water debt. “I was informed the council went to pay N0,000 and they said they will reconnect by the end of the day,” said Rundu mayor Verna Sinimbo when asked on the town’s water status. Since May NamWater has been installing a prepaid water system at the town, meaning the town council must always buy water units that are distributed to each prepaid meter and if the units are used up no water will be available, which seems to be the case. “We are not informed on time when our units are getting depleted or when a few are left, which is why we didn’t pay for or buy units on time,” she said. Just like with poor road conditions, the town of Rundu is not new to water shortages. Even before the town was connected to the prepaid system, residents endured water shortages. Last year and early in 2017 water cuts seemed the norm particularly over weekends, more so at Millennium Park, Kehemu and Ndama which left residents extremely frustrated. Staff reporter Windhoek SSC eases disabled’s plight As the plight of people with disabilities intensifies, the Social Security Commission (SSC) remains committed to assist through their special disability benefits, fulfilling its mandate under the Employees Compensation Act which resulted in disability payments exceeding N million being paid over the past five years. One such person who has benefited is Cecil Katire, who in 2004 was injured while on duty working for TransNamib as a railway construction worker. Katire lost his leg when a crane fell on his leg and he spent over a month in hospital. SSC came to his rescue and covered his entire hospital bills and bought him a prosthetic leg. Apart from that, he has been receiving a monthly pay-out of N0 every month in compensation. “The SSC changed my life – I was scared I would not be able to manage with my hospital bills but they covered everything. I am very grateful,” Katire says. Current figures show that over 300 disabled persons are receiving disability benefits from the SSC, with 73 employed by the government and 221 by private companies as the country last week commemorated National Disability Day in Nkurenkuru, Kavango West Region, under the theme ‘Take action and implement disability monitoring report.’ In the past, persons with disabilities were highly dependent on old-age pensions as a source of income, followed by wages and salaries while only 33 percent of people living with disabilities received disability grants from the government. According to the National Disability Council head of Department in Research and Development, Tjiueza Tjombumbi, the plight of people with disabilities is improving as organisations such as the SSC comes to their plight. He said the community and the nation at large are realising the value of people with disabilities in society and how they need to take part in decision-making. “There needs to be improvement especially in the education sector. People with disabilities are part of society therefore they should be involved on different platforms and various committees so as [for others] to hear their aspirations,” he said. Statistics released by the Namibian Statistics Agency (NSA) last year indicated over four percent (98,000) of the Namibian population is living with one or more disabilities, with Omusati, Ohangwena, Kavango and Oshikoto recording the highest numbers. The SSC Employee Compensation Act provides for the payment of benefits on a generous scale to an employee injured as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of his/her employment, with over N.7 million paid annually by the SSC. According to SSC manager: communications and marketing, Unomengi Kauapirura, compensation is paid in respect of temporary disablement, permanent disablement (according to the degree of disablement) and death. “Reasonable medical expenses are payable if further medical or surgical treatment may reduce the extent of the disablement,” she said. Liability for the payment of benefits under the Act vests in the Accident Fund and only covers employees whose employers are registered, but in the event of a compensable accident to an employee in the service of an employer who has not registered, the Commission may impose on the employer a penalty not exceeding the total cost of the accident. /Kharas to honour Ya Toivo Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop Friends, family and ruling Swapo Party comrades will gather at Keetmanshoop today to pay their last respects to Namibian liberation icon Andimba Toivo ya Toivo. The memorial service is expected to attract huge crowds from all over the region, with many wanting to be part of the service celebrating the life of the former Robben Island prisoner. //Kharas regional governor Lucia Basson said the memorial service is of great importance, not only to the people of Keetmanshoop and //Kharas but Namibia at large. She said history informs us that Ya Toivo was deported from Cape Town, South Africa to Keetmanshoop after he sent a petition to the United Nations in December 1958, and thus it is significant that the people of Keetmanshoop and the region at large pay their last respects. “It is very important for us to celebrate his life and legacy – his footsteps were here during the struggle and I know it was for a purpose, so it is significant that we hold this memorial service to honour him,” she said. Basson added that the service is not only for //Kharas but for all Namibians who wish to celebrate the life of Ya Toivo, and she thanked the family for accepting that a memorial service in honour of Ya Toivo be held at Keetmanshoop. Swapo //Kharas regional coordinator Matheus Mumbala also stressed the significance of the service, saying it means a lot for the people, especially those who were in jail with Ya Toivo on Robben Island who will not be able to travel to attend his funeral in Windhoek this Saturday.“Those who will not be able to go to the funeral will be able to celebrate his life here – so his old friends will be able to pay their tributes and last respects to him,” he stated. Mumbala said Ya Toivo was a selfless man who fought to liberate Namibians from oppression, and Namibians should take a good example from his life, not to fight for personal gain but for the good of the country. He also cautioned Namibians, especially the youth, that if Namibia is to be free and independent, discipline and unity would be required. “We should learn from a man of his calibre and young people should be disciplined if we want to keep our freedom and peace,” he said. The late Ya Toivo’s wife, Vicky ya Toivo, is expected to attend the service, with the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse Himarwa, expected to deliver a message from the government of Namibia. The memorial service will be held at Suiderlig High School hall “Those who will not be able to go to the funeral will be able to celebrate his life here – so his old friends will be able to pay their tributes and last respects to him.” –Matheus Mumbala Namibian liberation icon Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Supreme Court allows judge's recusal from Teko trial WINDHOEK The Supreme Court yesterday allowed Acting High Court Judge Maphios Cheda to recuse himself from the trial of three people arrested in 2009 for alleged fraud worth over N20 million at the Ministry of Finance. Supreme Court Deputy Chief Justice Petrus Damaseb, with Judges of Appeal Elton Hoff and Dave Smuts concurring, allowed the recusal of the judge in a ruling delivered here yesterday. The matter was then sent back to the Windhoek High Court for their trial to start afresh before another judge. Damaseb, in agreement with the other two judges, said the apprehension of bias by the appellants was that of reasonable individuals and that such apprehension was based on reasonable grounds. He said Cheda, in his view, should have recused himself from presiding over the trial. “The ruling of the High Court of dismissing the first application for the judge’s recusal is set aside,” said Damaseb. The three appellants are Namibians Teckla Lameck, 48, and Jerobeam Mokaxwa, 30, and Chinese national Yang Fan, 39. On 14 November 2014, Ch da dismissed the trio’s application for his recusal. Not happy with this ruling, the trio’s privately instructed defence lawyer, Sisa Namandje, approached the Supreme Court with an urgent appeal against the dismissal of his clients’ application for Cheda to be recused from the trial. All three accused face 18 charges of fraud. Lameck, a former Public Service Commission member; Mokaxwa, Lameck’s business partner in the Teko Trading company; and Yang have denied all 18 charges of fraud with not guilty pleas at the beginning of their trial in April 2014. The two Namibians are free on bail of N,000 each, while Yang is free on bail of N million. They were arrested on 8 and 9 July 2009 by officials of the Anti-Corruption Commission in connection with a scam through which the Ministry of Finance bought securityscanning equipment from a Chinese company. Advocate Raymond Heathcote with Gerson Narib represented the three appellants on the instructions of Sisa Namandje law firm. Retired senior public prosecutor Danie Small and Jack Eixab appeared for the respondents - being the Office of the Prosecutor-General. – Nampa