2 NEWS Friday, April 6 2018 | NEW ERA SURGERY From page 1 If claims that President Geingob went to China with a proverbial begging bowl were an April Fool’s banter, the elevation in relations between the two countries speaks volumes that this was no ordinary visit. During the third session of the Joint Commission on Bilateral Economic and Trade between Namibia and China – chaired by the two foreign ministers – it was agreed to elevate the relationship to one of China’s highest level in its international relations and engagements with other countries. And for a country whose international limelight often evades, this is no ordinary feat. This new level of engagement would allow Namibian military personnel to have a greater participation in the Chinese space programme, training of more Namibian engineering and science students in space science, and enable Namibia to expand its remote sensing and earth observation capabilities. The two countries also signed an agreement for RMB300 million, or N.6 billion, that would be used to implement the construction of a data receiving station in Namibia, build four schools and other projects that would be mutually agreed, said international relations minister Netumbo Nandi- Ndaitwah. “With these facilities Namibia would be able to monitor its seas, improve disaster management and improve urban planning and monitor its environment,” says Nandi-Ndaitwah, who herself was in China for the negotiations. Higher education minister, Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi, says currently the Namibian Defence Force and military are engaged in the control and conduct of China’s space launches to and from space, from the Chinese space tracking station command in Swakopmund. “They are doing quite well. They are involved in the control of [space missions] to and from space and as they come back to earth, during launches by China’s [Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center],” said Kandjii- Murangi yesterday. Furthermore, science and engineering students at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST)’s space science programme now have an opportunity to receiving training in environmental and pre-casting of drought and other natural disaster prevention methods. The signing of the protocol on inspection, quarantine and veterinary requirements would see Namibia become the first African country allowed to export beef, mutton, and seafood to China. Nandi-Ndaitwah, along with Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein and Attorney General Dr Albert Kawana, was yesterday at pains to point out that the elevation of the diplomatic engagement between the two countries Nandi-Ndaitwah says for Namibia the meaning of a “comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership with China will become more clear to ourselves and citizens as time goes on”. But the new engagement encompasses economic, political, cultural and other exchanges of ideas aimed at development in both countries, she says. “It is a question of cooperation between partners, a win-win between the two countries. It’s not a question of big and small, rich or poor,” she said, adding that agreements just signed would be subject to continuous strategic interventions to follow up and ensure “As time goes on we will be able to see its [new level of engagement] impact,” she says. She points out that China is a fast growing economy and soon it could become the biggest economy in the world, and that the whole world, including developed countries, are looking at China for business. “Namibia as a country has to be strategic not to be left out,” she says. industrialisation and improved productive capacity,” added Nandi- Ndaitwah. Kawana says the negative sentiments from the public is ill-informed given that Europe and the USA have long ago started trading with China, and are now the biggest trading partners of China. “There was a time when if you wanted to study Chinese at a university in because everyone was preparing for the Chinese market,” he says. Schlettwein was particularly emphatic in dismissing the public sentiments towards the state visit, especially the notion that Namibia went borrowing money from China, with some warning that too much reliance on China would result in China’s recolonisation of Africa. “China never colonised Africa, it was the Europeans, so that term is wrong,” he says. “Namibians are sometimes very negative. Who eats uranium here? Who eats uranium? We want to develop our rural areas where there is no electricity. But just talk about nuclear [power reactor], it is a taboo,” Kawana said on what he calls the public misconceptions and false information regarding Namibia and her relationship with China. CHILDREN From page 1 These are the invisible children of Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. Despite having a relatively small population of just over two million people, Namibia is grappling with the street children problem, with over 1,000 roaming the streets of the capital. With poor families struggling to make ends meet, coupled with family breakdowns and neglect, many children were forced to abandon their homes and fend for themselves on Windhoek’s often unforgiving streets. One such victim is Romeo, 15, and his younger brother Jerome, 11. These two, and other kids, are living in a rundown building in Robert Mugabe Avenue, just outside the city centre. When New Era visited their abode on Wednesday evening, Romeo was preparing for bed – wrapped in a hoary blanket in a corner with his brother. The blankets have been collected from dustbins at a residential area close to the city centre and the kids rely on them to keep warm as temperatures can drop at night. “We survive by begging for money who has been living on the street since 2007. After their mother died, an aunt brought them to Windhoek from their home in Gobabis. But they were not happy with the treatment they received as well as the constant shortages of food at home and they decided to start begging for money in town to get by. “When we started we used to be in front of a shop in Klein Windhoek. But since the police and big boys always harassed us, we opted to move closer to town. Since motorists don’t like giving us money, in most cases we survive by eating leftovers from the dustbins,” Romeo narrated the harsh reality that confronts street children. He attended school up to Grade 7, while little brother Jerome dropped out of school at Grade 4. The siblings described their street living as terrible. Jerome’s challenge is more atrocious. He claims that even though he spends most of the time in most cases the big boys will come take it from him and spend it on alcohol and drugs, instead of food. “I don’t sleep very well – it’s not very comfortable. I live badly,” he says, before huddling together with about 30 other children at the back of the dirt house that they call ‘Warmbad’. To gain access inside Warmbad one has to climb through windows as the main door is still locked. “Am I allowed to enter the house?” this reporter asked Romeo. “Of course my sister, I can help you to get inside if you like,” he replied, while assisting this reporter to climb the window into the house. Inside the house it is very dark, is strewn with scrap metal that they collected with the intention to resell at scrapyards. There was an elderly man seated on a plastic container smoking tobacco, too. “Don’t be scared my sister he won’t do anything to you,” says John, one of Romeo’s housemates. They regard the old man as the father of the house and all children respect him and obey his commands, they say. Rosa was the only girl among boys at Warmbad. The 17-year-old started living on the street at the age of eight. Though born and bred in Windhoek, food, after the parents moved to Keetmanshoop, leaving her with her two sisters. “I left home because there was nothing to eat – my sisters will go for the whole day and never bring anything home,” she says. Although she encounters challenges that include sexual abuse and begging for food, she prefers life on the street she would not receive if she chose to stay home. Romeo on the other hand said the police and older street kids add to their hardship by harassing and beating them up on a daily basis. “They beat us - the police. The big boys are also punching us every day especially when they are drugs),” says John, who is about 15. All these children said they are not on the street by choice and are asking the government to give them a chance to dream and escape from their situation. “I just need a job, so that I can be able to look after myself and my brothers. I am a good dancer and if I can get money I can enrol with a dancing school as a dream of being a musician one day,” said Romeo. Rosa’s dream is to be a businesswoman one day. “I don’t want to go back to any school, I just want money so that I can start my own business,” she said. Street children have become a global concern. According to UNICEF there are up to 150 million street children in the world today. Chased from home by violence, drug and alcohol abuse, the death of a parent, family breakdown, war, natural disaster or simply socio-economic collapse, many destitute children are forced to eke out a living on the streets, scavenging, begging, hawking in the slums. abandoned buildings and sleep under bridges and in riverbeds. Government has made notable efforts to get children from the street, battle. The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare is mandated to look after these children. The ministry has established afterschool centres to accommodate this group, however most of them refuse to live there due to easy money on the street. The after-school shelter provides daily education and play activities, food, beds, baths and other basic necessities. “The after-school centre is like a house setting. There are three meals a day and still the children run away. That indicates that the issues of street kids are not about the food. Those children just want money to buy alcohol and drugs,” says Walters Kamaya, the ministry’s The ministry has made an effort together with law enforcement agencies to round up street kinds and place them in shelters. But Kamaya blames the public, especially motorists, that are sympathetic to street kids by giving them money, saying it is major obstacle to the government efforts to get rid of children from the street. “We have a programme where we remove children from the street, rehabilitate them and reunite them with their families. Some families are far from Windhoek but there are those good Samaritans that continue to assist the children with transport and money to get to Windhoek,” he said. “They are not helping the situation, they make our work very challenging they just run away and go back to the streets.” MINISTER From page 1 “Your Worship, I am writing to you to reiterate my support for the effective implementation of the Public Private Partnership between the Rundu Town Council and Armstrong Construction cc and further strengthening my stance as it was communicated earlier to you in the letter dated February 07, 2018,” the minister said in the letter he sent to Rundu Mayor Verna Sinimbo. by Sinimbo this week. On February 7, 2018, the then Urban and instructed by the council to continue with the project but the council did not listen to her directive and they went ahead and cancelled the PPP deal as they knew she was on her way out as minister. Mushelenga said: “It is however disturbing was issued as a remedial measure and also opted to cancel the agreement despite the advice of the Attorney General during a meeting with Council, Armstrong and the ministry held on December 14, 2017, where Rundu Town Council was advised to iron out the differences and continue with the project.” They opted not to take the advice and cancelled the PPP agreement, which led Armstrong to take the matter to the High Court to sue the council for N7 million for cancelling the PPP. Armstrong lodged its case with the High Court against the Rundu Town Council over the botched land deal on Friday, March 2. “The Council’s action has consequently put the lieu of the above, I am hereby directing Council to adhere to my predecessor’s directive issued on February 07, 2018 and the advice of the Attorney General as per your meeting held on December 14, 2017,” said Mushelenga. “Furthermore, Council should retract your decision that cancelled the Agreement and resume the negotiations with your development partners in consultations with MURD,” he continued. “Yes we have received the letter and there is nothing that I can say at the moment as we will only sit tomorrow (Friday) as management of the council to decide on the letter. But you can speak to the mayor on that,” said Rundu Town Council’s chairperson of the management committee, Annastasia Antonio, when approached for comment on the issue. DEBTS From page 1 that are better than the normal loans”. with Chinese money.” In fact, Schlettwein said, China is by far the biggest foreign country with the smallest loan amount towards Namibia’s debt stock. More than 50 percent of Namibia’s debts come from domestic borrowing, said Schlettwein yesterday. According to Treasury documents, domestic debt stock now stands at N.92 billion, compared to N.8 billion of the estimated The previous year, the domestic debt stock stood at N.6 billion compared to the foreign debt stock of N.9 billion. As a percentage of the GDP the foreign debt stock only comprise about 16 percent, a percentage trend that virtually has remained, and is expected to remain stagnant Schlettwein explained that the foreign debts are borrowed in the open market in Europe and from development institutions elsewhere, including the African Development Bank (AfDB), the German Development Fund KfW, as well as from Japan and a whole lot of other that part of foreign loans,” assured Schlettwein. When the Fitch rating agency downgraded Namibia’s sovereign rating in November 2017, there were local and foreign institutions holding Namibia’s N.8 billion in bonds and notes. Schlettwein said during the trip part of the discussion with his Chinese counterparts centred on the perception of borrowing money from China. “We did discuss the perception that states. China assured us that it is up to the state to decide what to do with the funds, they simply extend the loans,” he said. Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi- cautioned against the negative perception and hype surrounding the level of public debt, and borrowing from China in particular, saying successful business people pin their operations on borrowed money. “As a country you cannot live in isolation, in order to expand one would need to borrow money,” she said, citing the old business adage ‘use other people’s money.’ “I do not think there is any country that does not have foreign loans,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
Friday, April 6 2018 | NEW ERA NEWS 3 Namsov donates N0,000 to each region Alvine Kapitako Windhoek Namsov Fishing Enterprises (NFE), through the Namsov Community Trust (NCT), on Wednesday donated N0,000 to the governors of the country’s 14 regions, as part of its corporate social responsibility. The funds will be used for community development projects in all the regions. In 2014, NCT embarked on a development programme in partnership with Namibia’s 14 regional governors and created the Governor’s Regional Development programme. To date, NCT has disbursed N million towards the Governors Regional Development programme. This funding has been spread over a four-year period and divided equally across the regions. The Governors’ Regional Development programme serves to encourage the regional structures to identify their own needs, prioritise them and intervene at their point of need. This, in turn, builds capacity for social and economic development in the regions of Namibia. From left: Special Advisor to the Governor of the Khomas Region, Rosalia Mwashekele-Sibiya, Governor of the Khomas Region, Laura McLeod-Katjirua, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhard Esau, Namsov Fishing Enterprises Managing Director, Gerrie Hough and chairperson of the Namsov Fishing Enterprises and Trustee of Namsov Community Trust, Sebulon Kankondi. Photo: Contributed The handover was done at a gala dinner where various speakers spoke of the impact the NCT programme has had on the communities in all regions. Among other projects, food production and education, especially at higher level, was made possible for vulnerable communities, who could otherwise not assist themselves, thanks to the funding from the Governors’ Regional Development programme. Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhard Esau, commended Namsov Fishing Enterprises for its commitment towards corporate social responsibility, particularly by committing to the Governors’ Regional Development programme for the past four years. Esau was also pleased that the in corporate social responsibility. “This is positively impacting the lives of our people,” added Esau. Since taking up the ministerial position, Esau has been encouraging in corporate social responsibility. However, he was quick to point known to make cosmetic donations. “Prosperity that is not shared is not sustainable. The wealth Namibians and corporate social responsibility is one of the vehicles through which it can be realised,” said Esau, stressing that corporate social responsibility is an essential development too. poverty,” he reiterated. The chairperson of the NFE and Trustee of NCT, Sebulon Kankondi, said it is possible to build partnerships with communities and that the governors have allowed the organisation to build this partnership. “You cannot fight poverty without reducing or eliminating ignorance because ignorance is the major contributor to poverty,” said Kankondi. Through the NCT many proj- lished successfully, Kankondi said. “Also somewhere we failed but failure is part of success,” said Kankondi, adding that there are still projects in the pipeline “Governors understand the needs of their constituents much better than us,” he said, adding that the governors showed enthusiasm during their partnership over the last four years. Also speaking on that occasion, the NCT Chief Sustainability Willem added that social responsibilities should not just be left to Namsov and other corporates. “We must all be asked how we are giving back,” she added. In a media statement, Willem said it is no longer enough for the organisation to do charity work. “We need to empower our constituencies to be able to understand social responsibility and engage on it as a daily way of life,” said Willem. Killer of trainee pastor jailed for life Roland Routh Windhoek Andre Friedel Castri Dausab, 33, who was convicted of killing his former girlfriend by stabbing her 27 times with three knives, was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday by High Court Judge Naomi Shivute. On July 25 last year, Dausab was convicted for killing his former girlfriend, who was a trainee pastor at the time she lost her life. Dausab was found guilty of slitting the throat of 33-year-old Gofaone Motlamme at the United Lutheran Theological Paulinum College in Pioneerspark Extension One on February 22, 2014. According to Judge Shivute, Dausab did not show remorse, but was simply sorry for the deceased’s loss of life and furthermore he did not accept responsibility for taking another person’s life. “The accused played victim instead of accepting the consequences of his actions,” noted the judge. offender and has spent four years of his trial, the interest of society far outweighs his personal circumstances, stressed the judge. She further said Dausab is unwilling to accept that the offence he committed was serious and that he Andre Friedel Castro Dausab appeared to trivialise a serious situation by suggesting the court should impose a term of imprisonment not exceeding 15 years. During his arguments in mitigation of sentence, Dausab argued that a sentence in excess of 15 years would be inhumane and degrading. He told the judge that if she should sentence him as such, she might as well deliver the death sentence. According to Judge Shivute, this showed Dausab has no regard for the deceased’s right to life and instead is more concerned about his own wellbeing. “The accused committed a heinous offence. He viciously attacked the deceased and stabbed her with knives 27 times. Although the accused professed to have loved the deceased, his actions were obviously not consistent with a loving and caring partner,” she stated. She went on to say one cannot intentionally harm the person they love. The judge narrated how Dausab went to the extent of locking the deceased inside the room after he stabbed her even though she was still alive. “He did not want other people to reach her and render assistance,” she said, adding: “Locking her in a room is a clear indication that he intended her to succumb to the multiple injuries he caused her.” According to Judge Shivute, the accused’s actions towards the deceased were inhumane, cruel and degrading. “He subjected the deceased to torture and one can only imagine the pain she had to endure,” the judge said and stressed that it is high time men in relationships with women understand that once a woman tells them they are no longer interested in continuing with the relationship, she means just that and her views and feelings should be understood and respected. The judge further said Dausab has deprived the deceased of her precious life and has made her children orphans as well as seriously impacting on the lives of her family. Both her parents developed hypertension while her two brothers have turned to substance abuse and dropped out of school, the judge said. “The deceased’s children were seriously affected, especially the youngest child who continued to ask whether she would be able to reunite with her mother,” the judge said. Judge Shivute said the killing was not done in the heat of the moment, but was premeditated. “The to the deceased that he would do all those things including murder,” she said. She said members of society need to be protected from dangerous individuals like the accused, who behave irrationally. “I am convinced that the accused is a danger to society, who needs to be removed from society for a period of time,” Judge Shivute further stated. Dausab appeared on his own behalf after his legal aid lawyer, Bronell Uirab withdrew from the trial and State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu prosecuted. Oshikuku Ext 7 plots selling fast Helvy Shaanika Oshikuku There are only about 40 vacant housing units out of the 260 housing erven planned for Extension 7 in Oshikuku. John Shilongo, the co-developer of the planned new extension, has revealed this. Extension 7 is the new township, whose construction is scheduled to start before next month. The residential project is due for completion within 19 months. According to Shilongo, over 200 prospective house owners have already arranged with the estate agents and the majority have their home loans pre-approved by the banks. In an interview with New Era, Shilongo said the new suburb would consist of 346 plots divided into residential, general residential, municipal plots and public space. Out of the 346 plots, 274 plots are earmarked for low-and-middleincome houses. buyers will get preference, people that already own properties are also encouraged to purchase, as they too will not be discriminated against. His company, Easy United, in partnership with Paralo Investment under the leadership of another local businessman Parastus Nepolo, will not only sell erven but housing plans too and will also build the houses. “We are targeting mostly teach- middle-income earners, as prices will range between N0,000 and N0,000. The sizes of the erven will range between 600 square metres and 800 square metres,” said Shilongo. This development will also bring services to the town of Oshikuku, which currently lacks most basic services. A modern shopping mall will also be part of Extension 7. The mall will house grocery and clothing stores, banks, doctors’ consulting It will be built at a cost of N million. According to Shilongo, the project will also create employment for locals, 200 of them directly during the construction phase. Small business owners will also be subcontracted for various disciplines of construction. Shilongo said, prospective owners could contact Esteem Properties or Tuyeni Real Estate, as they are the main estate agents for the project. “We, however, need to spread the cake. There will be also three other agents attached to the project. Such agents are Combo, Northern Real Estate and ENK Properties,” he said. “But of course, by the completion of the project, a number of people will be employed in the of local economic development,” Shilongo maintained. The ground-breaking ceremony Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga, two weeks ago. with uniformity housing. “This project will make Oshikuku a different town. It will boost the local economic development of this town. If all of us, including the town council – which has been very helpful – and the clients work together, this project will be a success,” Nepolo, owner of Paralo Investment adds.