4 NEWS Monday, December 18 2017 | NEW ERA New maternity shelter at Opuwo on track Nuusita Ashipala Ongwediva The construction of the new maternity shelter at Opuwo is progressing well with the expectant mothers expected to make use of the facility by February next year. The N million shelter will be constructed under the Programme for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PARMACM). The shelter will be constructed within a period of four months and is funded by the European Union. The maternity shelter will relieve the plight of expectant mothers delivering outside health care facilities and subsequently reduce the infant mortality rates. Besides Opuwo, Outapi as well as Engela District hospitals have been in the media for the same reasons. World Health Organisation (WHO) Promotion Officer and Communication Focal Point, Celia Kaunatjike, said the shelter seeks to draw expectant mothers to the hospital. The shelter will further facilitate access to professional health care and ensure safe deliveries and improved survival for mothers. In addition, Kaunatjike said the shelter will contribute immensely to saving the lives of mothers and children in the region. According to Kaunatjike, Opuwo District is marred by challenges such as extreme levels of poverty, long distances to health care facilities and low health-seeking behaviours. “This has resulted in low performance in maternal and child health care indicators. Opuwo has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and the lowest deliveries at facilities,” said Kaunatjike. The shelter is expected to house 60 mothers at a time and is being constructed on land donated by the Opuwo Town Council. The expectant mothers’ shelter is part of the European Union €10 million facility translating to over N0 million. The PARMACM programme aims to accelerate the reduction of child and maternal mortality. NASFAF to settle student debt today Kuzeeko Tjitemisa Windhoek The Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has agreed to honour all outstanding student balances by today, Namibia National Students’ Organisation (NANSO) secretary general Simon Taapopi revealed last Friday. This came days after institutions of higher learning decided to withhold student’s final academic results due to outstanding debts. The majority of these students, who are still in the dark as to whether they have passed their final November examinations, are NSFAF funded. Taapopi said NSFAF made a second commitment to honour all outstanding student balances by today. According to him, the University of Namibia (Unam) has, in writing, agreed to the second commitment made by NSFAF and has committed two staff members to be on standby to release the examination results upon receiving the outstanding balance from NSFAF today. He said the student union believes Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), International University of Management (IUM) and other institutions will also avail examination results as soon as they are paid. He said NANSO is convinced that if NSFAF, honours their commitment to pay institutions by today, students’ examination results will be accessible, on the same date. “We reaffirm our call to the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation to facilitate a high level committee between institutions of higher learning, NANSO, NSFAF and Ministry of Finance to ensure that,” he said. The student union also called upon President Hage Geingob to establish a commission to undertake a study into the feasibility of feefree higher tertiary education with student accommodation and abolishment of registration fees as terms of reference. “We make this call after realising that the annual increase of fees continues to exclude more students from accessing tertiary education,” he said. He said NANSO shall continue to advocate for access to higher education, and remain critical of the state of higher education. “The NANSO leadership has committed to rebuild, realign and reunite the revolutionary students’ movement to respond to the needs of all students across Namibia,” he said. NANSO secretary-general Simon Taapopi Villagers get proper toilets Nuusita Ashipala Ohadiwa Photo: Nuusita Ashipala Health consciousness … DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi handing over the key to a beneficiary, Lonia Kapombo. In a quest to improve sanitation and subsequently ensure that Namibia becomes open-defecation-free, Society Life Change last Friday handed over eight toilets to the community of Ohadiwa yaKapombo in Ohangwena Region. The construction of the eight toilets was funded by the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) at a cost of N 000. The toilets will benefit 56 villagers from eight households. Society Life Change is a youth project for unemployed youth in Endola Constituency, which was established in 2014 to fight unemployment. CEO of DBN, Inkumbi, said the bank is committed to fund projects aimed at uplifting the lives of rural communities and it spends close to a million dollars yearly. He said the new ablution facilities will improve the living conditions of the villagers. In addition, Inkumbi said the construction of the toilets has created temporary jobs for the local community. Constituency councillor for Endola Constituency Ferdinard Shifidi said there is an unsatisfactory number of toilet facilities at the village. “Sanitation is very crucial when it comes to the prevention of waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea,” said Shifidi. Project Coordinator, Isak Tooleni, said the project was driven by a lack of adequate sanitation facilities in the region. He added that the project further aims to provide proper sanitation facilities because sanitation remains a challenge in the rural community. Apart, from the construction of the toilets, eight members from the society received entrepreneurship training, where four of them were given start-up capital of N0 to start their own businesses. The training was funded by NamWater to the tune of N 000.
Monday, December 18 2017 | NEW ERA 5 South African fugitive rape suspect extradited Keetmans police to intervene in Stein-Finich dispute RFA, KfW sign loan agreement WINDHOEK Road Fund Administration (RFA) and Germany’s KfW Development Bank have signed a N2 million loan agreement for the rehabilitation of the Mariental- Keetmanshoop road. This agreement, according to the RFA, stems from the agreement between the governments of Germany and Namibia on financial cooperation, specifically directed at the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) support programme for road maintenance and rehabilitation. RFA Chief Executive Officer, Ali Ipinge, during a media conference in the capital on Friday said the loan, through the Roads Authority (RA)’s administration, will be used to partially fund the rehabilitation of the trunk road between Tses and Gochas. “In line with this mandate, the RFA is committed to facilitating quality road infrastructure investment and believes that investing in projects such as these shows that the RFA is committed towards achieving its mandate,” Ipinge said. Construction work on this project is envisaged to start during the 2018/19 financial year and planned for completion in the 2020/21 financial year, with the loan repayment expected to commence in 2021. It will be fully repaid by the RFA over 10 years. Ipinge said despite Namibia’s current economic climate, which has resulted in a slowdown in overall infrastructure expenditure, the RFA and RA continue to strive to ensure road construction and maintenance. The project, among others, is expected to reduce vehicle operating costs and increase the longevity of the road, create employment for local people and contribute to local and regional trade through transportation of goods and services via the Trans-Kalahari and Kunene highways. – Nampa Eveline de Klerk Swakopmund Alleged sexual predator, the former South African police officer Marthinus Pretorius, who fled Namibia five years ago before his arrest for sexual crimes committed against three minor girls in Swakopmund in May 2012, arrived in Namibia on Thursday to stand trial for his alleged crimes. Pretorius, who was employed at Rössing uranium mine at that time, fled the country after the alleged sexual crimes were uncovered, resulting in the state successfully convicting his co-accused, Johanna Lukas, who supplied the three minor girls to him for the sexual activities. In 2012, Pretorius allegedly paid Lukas N 000 in exchange for the minors, who he raped on several occasions at his residence in Swakopmund. He was initially arrested in September last year in South Africa, but was only handed over to the Namibian Police OTJIWARONGO A 29-year-old man succumbed to a deep stab wound in the chest early yesterday morning at the Ombilli informal settlement in Otjiwarongo. The deceased has been identified as Asser ‘Rasta’ Haodom. Spokesperson of the Facing the music … Fugitive Marthinus Pretorius, who is accused of raping three minor girls in Swakopmund in 2012, being brought to court to face the law. Force last week due to the lengthy extradition process. Pretorius, who was also placed on Interpol’s most wanted list, is facing at least 19 charges, including rape, indecent assault and human trafficking. He arrived at the Walvis Bay Airport on Thursday afternoon and made his first appearance in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court On Friday morning. Magistrate Conchita Olivier immediately transferred him to the Windhoek High Court as per the Prosecutor General’s decision. He will make his first appearance in Windhoek on 23 January. He was denied bail on the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the Otjozondjupa Region, Warrant Officer Maureen Mbeha, told Nampa yesterday a 23-year-old man was arrested in connection with the alleged murder. “Haodom and the suspect allegedly had a quarrel shortly before the stabbing incident happened,” said Mbeha. basis that he is a flight risk and that it will not be in the public’s interest to grant him bail. Meanwhile, his co-accused Johanna Lukas is already serving her sentence at the Walvis Bay prison after Judge Petrus Damaseb sentenced her to 13 years imprisonment on several counts of human trafficking and rape in 2015. Lukas was convicted on four counts of trafficking in persons and four counts of rape under coercive circumstances in respect of one complainant and another count of trafficking in persons and rape without coercive circumstances in respect of a second complainant. Photo: Nampa Stunned... Members of the Namibian Police Force and members of the community gather at the murder scene in Ombili informal settlement in Otjiwarongo in the early hours of yesterday morning. Man stabbed dead at Otjiwarongo The incident occurred at approximately 00h10 yesterday. Haodom’s close relatives have been informed of his death. The suspect is expected to appear in the Otjiwarongo Magistrate’s Court today on a charge of murder. Police investigations continue. – Nampa KEETMANSHOOP The Namibian Police Force at Keetmanshoop are set to mediate in a long-running dispute between two neighbouring families in Smarties in the southern town’s Krönlein residential area. The police were approached by the family of John Stein, 62, who is accused by his neighbour, Hilda Finich, 62, of allegedly provoking and assaulting her in an attempt to possess her house. The mediation is set for this week, //Kharas Regional Crime Investigations Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Chrispin Mubebo told Nampa on Friday. At the same occasion, the police will respond to Finich, who has accused the authorities of failing to assist her and allegedly taking bribes from the Stein family to ignore charges she laid against them over the years. Mubebo said investigating officers were busy combing through records of the alleged charges to resolve the issue. Both families have reported incidents of crimen injuria (insults) to the police on several occasions over a period of more than a decade. “Early this year, there was a mediation between Finich and Stein and his wife, Elfrieda, at the Keetmanshoop Police Station, where Finich apologised to the Stein family,” Mubebo said. However, according to both families, the verbal abuse, which includes derogatory and racial slurs, continued soon after. In a meeting with local media called by the Stein family on Wednesday, following a news report by the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, the family took issue with the national broadcaster for airing a one-sided story on 10 December. In the insert, Finich requested help and protection from authorities against the alleged abuse and threats of losing her property. The Steins termed the accusations false, instead accusing Finich of fabricating “the blatant lie of us wanting her house”, as vindication for her alleged stalking and persistent verbal assault on them. They demanded that she apologise on television for the damage caused to the family through the report and to “admit to her lies”. The television report elicited wide insults from members of the public on social media. Keetmanshoop Mayor, Gaudentia Krohne, had posted the clip on her social media account, expressing sympathy towards Finich, which was followed by adverse posts against the Steins from commenters on her page. Finich insisted to reporters that she would not retract her statements. “I have been a victim for years and will never apologise,” she said. In 2012, the Stein couple laid a civil claim of N 000 against Finich “to stop her once and for all” after a bout of defamatory accusations against the pair. Finich, who to the media admitted that she uttered the insults “and also swore at the Stein’s lawyer, Percy McNally”, said she did so, because she was provoked. The civil claim was eventually settled with Finich issuing an apology. Finich told reporters she, however, eventually “realised that the claim was in fact an attempt by the Steins to get hold of her house” and she again started confronting them. Both parties said they wanted an end to the “unhealthy living environment” they are subjected to, while Mubebo also expressed hopes for closure to the matter. - Nampa