7 months ago

New Era Newspaper Friday August 18, 2017

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12 EDITORIAL Friday, August 18 2017 | NEW ERA Indongo a winner, even without throwing a punch There have been great athletes since time immemorial, but no one goes on forever and with money now dominating many a sporting discipline, for some it’s all about national pride this weekend when Namibia’s triple world champion, Julius Indongo, takes on American Terence Crawford in Omaha, Nebraska. Apart from the astronomical amount of money at stake, Indongo has always been a faithful ambassador of the Namibian flag and pride. On his last fight against Ricky Burns in Glasgow, Scotland, he told the watching world during his widely televised post-match interview how proud he felt he made Namibia. In fact, he cited President Hage Geingob as one of the people who will be extremely proud of his exploits against the Scot. He is the epitome of a national champion, who even before throwing a punch has already won by uniting the nation as it rallies behind him. T h e N a m i b i a n b o x i n g wunderkind, plucked from obscurity in the eyes of global boxing pundits, will step into the ring to confront the equally dangerous Crawford for the multiple title unification fight of the century at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska in the United States of America (USA) in the early hours of Sunday. From humble beginnings in the amateur ranks, Indongo has built an amazing run of 22 consecutive wins, with 12 of those fights finishing within the distance since joining the paid ranks. Following in the footsteps of the legendary Harry Simon, Paulus ‘The Hitman’ Paulus and Paulus ‘The Rock’ Ambunda, Namibian boxing is without an iota of doubt on the up and Indongo is certainly up there with the very best in world boxing pound for pound. Yet, given the often-shoddy fashion in which boxing scorecards are systematically manipulated, we pray that Indongo will not find himself at the receiving end of cooked scores to help save the reputation of his opponent. The dominant view is that champions never lose easily on home turf and unless Indongo makes short work of his opponent the Namibian can expect a much harder time in the ring than expected and should at least throw twice as many punches to remain at the level on the scores. Both boxers are phenomenal fighters pound for pound, but Indongo - a southpaw - has shown maturity that belies his short stint as a professional boxer. We pin our hopes on his devastating form of late, capped by excellent displays of confidence, magnanimity and fearlessness, but often at the risk of bringing heaps of muck down on his followers. Yes, he is not the most entertaining boxer around, but he is an incredible fighter for his age –indeed for any age - but he specialises in taking his opponents’ fight away from them by plodding forward at amazing pace, like a wounded tiger. While some predict an easy payday for the American, anyone with half a brain knows for sure that Julies can bring a contest to a premature end whenever he likes and Crawford’s corner will be better advised than to underestimate the hard-hitting Namibian. Win or lose, tomorrow’s historic fight is likely to add a new dimension not only to the overall growth sport in Africa, but Namibia in particular. Victory will propel Julies and his handlers to greater heights, with their names proudly engraved in the golden pages of our national sporting archives. Not since Harry Simon became world champion at Carousel in 1998 has the sport of leather trading captured the imagination of Namibians from all walks of life to such an extent where cultural and clan affiliation, as well as tribal loyalties and sentiments are cast aside in the national interest, albeit temporarily. One thing is for sure: irrespective of the outcome, this fight is destined to define the overall lifestyle of this down-to-earth young man, who still holds an 8 to 5 job as an inspector with the Namibian police. Let’s all rally behind this son of the soil and keep him in our prayers. Go for gold Julius, make Namibia proud again! Taxpayers in January heard that a tax amnesty was to be introduced from February to July 2017. The programme ‘Tax Amnesty’ was explained through media and revenue offices around the country. A tax amnesty can be defined as a “programme that provides for a reduction in real terms of taxpayers’ declared or undeclared tax liabilities as established by law” (Le Borgne). Many countries have offered amnesties programmes during recessionary period and are designed to cover all taxpayers. The purpose of tax amnesties is to increase revenues and tax compliance. Tax amnesty may include the following: Only the penalties and interest components of the liability may be forgiven, partially or fully; the basic tax liability may be reduced; interest and penalties stop accruing together; interest may be assessed at something less than market rates. The Ministry of Finance initiated a programme called tax amnesty intended to raise revenue during economic crisis and increase compliance. Tax amnesty are intended to meet the fiscal needs as seen around the world as the best way to raise revenue which is still outstanding. As a matter of fact, tax amnesty gives taxpayers the opportunity to repay all taxes (capital amount, interest and penalties) on a reduced percentages or parts of unpaid taxes without being subject to prosecution and penalties. The Ministry of Finance offered 80 percent of interest to be written off and taxpayers to pay 20 percent. However, not all amnesties raise considerable tax revenues around the world. During economic crisis revenue is needed in Benefits of tax amnesty order to close the budget deficit. Short-term revenues to be raised during amnesties depend on whether a significant amount of taxpayers choose to take part in amnesties or not. It is not yet clear how many taxpayers participated in the tax amnesty in Namibia. Tax amnesties “provide delinquent taxpayers with a one-time opportunity and many opportunities to clear their debt without being subject to criminal or civil penalties” as stated by Parle and Hirlinger. The one-time opportunity may not come again if taxpayers wait in anticipation of the prolonged tax amnesty. Ministry of Finance has done a great job to provide tax amnesty or immunity for limited period to individual taxpayers, small businesses, medium and large businesses for non-compliance without being subjected to additional tax, interest, penalties or prosecution. It is possible that offering tax amnesties might not generate additional revenue, as non-compliant taxpayers will continue in anticipation of additional future amnesty. Therefore this anticipation may cause taxpayers not to participate. Non-compliance may lead to a short fall. The psychological part of tax is that nobody likes paying taxes and amnesties are needed to entice taxpayers to pay. Extension is needed to bring all taxpayers into participation but this may not happen sometimes. Many times Tax amnesties focuses on economic variable and forget the psychological variables. The benefits of tax amnesties for Namibia are to raise revenue on the short of time and provide for the opportunities for the tax evaders to comply. This benefit is intended for all taxpayers as an opportunity to participate. NIPA called for an extension on the tax amnesty for a period of one year. The issue surrounding the tax amnesty is that when taxpayers anticipate further amnesties, they may lower their tax compliance and honest taxpayers could consider it unfair when tax evaders get away without punishment. It is better to start paying than to wait for the second chance. * Oscar Matengu holds an MPhil in Taxation from the University of Pretoria. Zambezi is an integral part of Namibia I am disappointed by the brutality of Mishake Muyongo. Many people who participated in the so-called Caprivi Liberation Army were misled by his barbaric methods of getting rich by using naïve people who did not know him properly. We must not listen to their barbaric defence for killing innocent people on the pretext of cutting Caprivi from the main land – our beautiful Namibia. We, the PLAN combatants and the almighty Swapo Party liberated Namibia, while Muyongo ran to join the DTA. What a coward! I am therefore calling upon the international community not to waste their resources supporting [him] with the hope of cutting Namibia in pieces. Forget it, Caprivi ( or Zambezi as it’s now known) will remain part of the main land forever. If anybody disputes this fact, you are free to approach me personally, I will give you proper information. The people who participated in Muyongo’s army have a case to answer and those on trial should be sentenced accordingly, if found guilty. We request all the people not to follow the story of colonial powers, who met in Berlin in 1884 and 1885 to negotiate on the issue of access to the Zambezi River. In 1890 the Helgoland-Zanzibar Treaty between Germany and Great Britain, which gave Germany a right of access over the strip that leads Zambezi Region, should not be a defense for committing murder. Long live the Republic of Namibia, long live the heroes and heroines of the Republic of Namibia. Long live! * Prince Gilbert Muhongo Mutwa

Friday, August 18 2017| NEW ERA 13 thought leaders Explaining the ugly face of tribalism (Part 1) >> P14 Chief Hosea Kutako, the titans of Tanga and our collective future The sculpture of Chief Hosea Komombumbi Kutako radiates calm authority at the main entrance of the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Chief Kutako, commander and prisoner of war, Herero royal and arguably the most consequential Namibian of the past century, died on 18 July 1970. Today, Chief Kutako is worth convocation for two reasons. First, at a moment when morbid symptoms are attempting to shake into dysfunction the foundations of our Republic. Second, as we head into a phase of invoking the memory at different shrines to pay tribute and to measure the gravity of our past, the legacy of Chief Kutako ought to illuminate our actions. The Herero people congregated this week in Okahandja for the 11 August 1904 Battle of Hamakari, and the Republic will convene in a specific region of our land to pay tribute to 26 August 1966 – the homonym for the Battle of Ongulumbashe. Both events bear meaning for Chief Kutako. First, he was a commander, and survivor of the first genocide of the 20 th century. Second, as the first Namibian to openly appeal and to organise for selfdetermination, Chief Kutako located the building blocks for the secondary phase of our liberation struggle. Irrespective of how you look at it, Chief Kutako sits inimitably in our nation’s historical firmament as an exit point for the primary resistance phase as we fought valiantly against a genocidal Germany – and as a noteworthy entry-point as Namibians converged and cohered in their struggle for independence from the Apartheid regime. Chief Kutako’s role in our history becomes - with the benefit of hindsight - transformational and transitional. The first of Tanga, Founding President Sam Nujoma, Father of the Namibian Nation, led our liberation struggle as an outstanding student and alumnus of Chief Kutako. I shall not linger on that emotional trajectory here. The Founding President’s autobiography ‘Where Other’s Wavered’ evokes a poignant voyage with Chief Kutako as his travelling icon, and not companion. Over two years ago, we fêted on March 21, 25 years of freedom with an orderly transition from the second of Tanga, President Lucas Pohamba to the third and last of Tanga, President Hage Geingob. Last implies that we are at a dangerous interregnum, at the crossroads - witnessing the passing into history of the last of the titans of Tanga at the command of our Republic. This is a frightful moment, but also of hope about what the next seven years could leave behind. On the interregnum, Antonio Gramsci, the Italian philosopher writing in his Prison Notebooks demonstrates that if the old is dying and the new cannot be born, an assortment of morbid symptoms appear. Freedom can be threatened, not always through political violence – but by the macabre demoralising nature of a lack of opportunities, corruption, a culture of impunity, media misinformation and unhealthy divisions. Poor governance and corruption can lead to a democratic recession. It can fuel the morbid symptoms of decay and instability. Oddly, it can also be our finest hour as citizens as we graft a post-Kutako and post-Tanga heritage and future. As guest of the Namibian government in March 2015, the President of Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keita defined the Tanga crop as ‘men of faith and men of mission’. These men and women of Tanga pushed back against one of the ghastliest ills of our times, Apartheid colonialism. Correspondingly, the leadership and constituencies of our nation must push back against corruption, divisions, demagoguery and cynicism. It is what Chief Kutako would plead. As one of the architects of our constitution, President Geingob has demonstrated commitment to the rule of law. Rules and not momentary impulses toward arbitrary actions ought to matter more than outcomes in a constitutional democracy. This can be irritating at times – but it is just how a democracy ought to function. Our noise as civil society should guard against anger submerging the democratic institutions whose raison d’être is to protect and to act on behalf of the people. The majority of Namibians intuit that this is their government and it must work for them. For the most part, they are silent. They are not taking part in the sorry spectacle and orgy of antirepublican rants towards symbols and institutions of our democracy, including the values of tolerance that we committed to at our founding as a republic. No society is guaranteed of a successful future. Each society must work hard to win the future. To win, we should deal with the catalogue of morbid symptoms. The uninspiring bickering about power deflects attention f r o m t h e a g e n d a o f prosperity that will win the future. Even established democracies agree on a Presidential candidate by approbation. It is dishonest to say that consensus is anti-democratic. Moreover, the smallness of our public spats are not at par with the transformational promise of this Presidency. Chairman Mao spoke about the ‘Great Leap Forward’, Deng Xiaoping allowed China’s take-off with his ‘three modernisations’, and Xi Jinping’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ seeks to catapult China ahead of the United States. There are analogues here, even if small. Prosperity, as a gigantesque transformational task was theorised by this Presidency after a conceptual framing of what the Nujoma and Pohamba Presidencies meant. The daily management of economic problems notwithstanding, the Geingob Presidency sits (just like Chief Kutako) with the dual task of transformation and transition. While ambitioning to live up to its modernising promise of prosperity as transformation, it must in the same vein prepare our post-Tanga transition. For this dyad to occur, we as citizens, the media and civil society should raise our game. More importantly, we should let Hage get on with the job! * Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari is a visiting fellow at Sciences Po Paris. He holds a PhD in political science from the Sorbonne. Setting the stage for the UK’s post-Brexit trade relations with southern Africa Throughout my visit to South Africa and Namibia last month, I was struck by the bonds that link the UK and the southern African region. Our historical, commercial, educational and Commonwealth links all help underpin our longstanding and mutually beneficial relationship. For me this relationship has a personal significance. Over nearly two decades during my career at British supermarket chain Waitrose I made regular visits to South Africa, visiting suppliers who exported excellent food and wine. I was there to support the work of the Waitrose Foundation, a scheme which sees a percentage of profits reinvested directly back into the farming communities of the Western Cape. I saw how over 50,000 farmworkers and their families benefited because of the Foundation and its partners. This visit I was delighted to be able to make my first trip to Namibia and to not only hear about, but taste some or your excellent products – including Namibian beef of course which is one of the most important exports to the UK. British business has a long-held commitment to supporting Southern Africa’s economic growth and development. My purpose in visiting the region was to make that message clear: the UK’s withdrawal from the EU does not signify a withdrawal from the world, but an increased openness, and that longheld commitment remains steadfast. Trade is now back at the heart of the UK government’s policy agenda, and for the first time in over 30 years, the UK has a dedicated department for international trade. It is the job of my department to help build a Global Britain – the most passionate advocate of open, free and fair trade anywhere in the world. Lord Price We will strengthen and revive trading arrangements with some of the world’s most dynamic economies. Post-Brexit, we will be able to take advantage of the 90% of global growth that is projected to occur beyond the borders of Europe – with a key focus on Africa. Our priority is to ensure continuity and avoid any disruption to trade with our African partners. That’s why at the G20 Summit Prime Minister Theresa May announced a new partnership with Africa, focused more strongly on supporting African aspirations for trade, investment and growth. It’s also why I agreed with my southern African counterparts to ensure that there is no disruption to our trading relationship under the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) as the UK leaves the EU. That was the key purpose of my visit to Southern Africa – meeting with trade ministers and representatives from Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, to discuss how we can work together on an arrangement that replicates the effects of the EPA once the UK has left the EU. I’m pleased that we’re like-minded on this: we agreed that this should be a straightforward task in our mutual interest. As a development-focused trade agreement first and foremost, the EPA provides a high degree of market access. This will continue. More than this, however, the EPA aims to increase development, support regional integration around trade, help develop regional value chains, and ultimately create a stable business climate so UK and African businesses can trade with confidence. None of these aims change when the UK leaves the EU. We will continue to support African economies by offering a high degree of market access for their goods. A swift and straightforward replication of the current trading arrangement should provide certainty to traders and businesses – small and large, all across the region. This is not simply about avoiding any disruption to the status quo, but about securing a foundation enabling us to work together to strengthen and deepen our trading relationship in the future. We are counting on your support throughout. Underpinning all of this is our recognition that the UK’s relationship with our African partners represents an exciting and enhanced trading opportunity into the future. Our common values, s h a r e d h i s t o r y, a n d commercial confidence in each other’s economies mean we have a strong base from which to build. I look forward to seeing what more we can achieve together. * Lord Price is the UK minister of state for trade policy.

New Era

New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167