4 NEWS Monday, February 26 2018 | NEW ERA Khorixas struggles with ageing fleet Staff Reporter Windhoek The acting Chief Executive Officer of Khorixas Town Council, Ralla //Gowaseb, says the council’s old heavy-duty vehicles – some manufactured in the 1960s – are a stumbling block to the council’s operations. “Some of the heavy-duty vehicles we have are from the 1960s and they break down often and to repair them is very expensive. The town council only picks up rubbish at the town when there is an event, funeral or wedding because the heavy-duty vehicle fleet is in bad shape,” //Gowaseb said. One of the heavy-duty vehicles broke down recently while being used on road construction works in the town. “If there is money available, we will buy new ones but there is nothing at the moment,” //Gowaseb added. Mayor Elizabeth Geises told this newspaper that they were praying for a Good Samaritan who could assist them. “I hope our prayers are answered and a Good Samaritan can buy for us heavy-duty vehicles,” Geises said. The repair of heavy-duty vehicles is very costly, as it is above N0,000. “Even a small car costs a lot for repairs - just imagine how much repairs for heavy-duty machinery will be?,” Geises said. On the littering of the town, Geises advises residents not just to criticise but to bring their side on board too. “Parents educate their children on littering at their homes but people still do it. Khorixas can be tidy if everyone can be part of keeping our town clean by not throwing away what they use publicly,” Geises said. Residents frequently criticise the town council for the litter strewn around the town from right in the middle of the business area of the town including the main roads throughout the town. The Khorixas mayor was at pains over high sky rocking debt owed by the residents of Khorixas . “I don’t know who told our people they must not pay their bills.” Geises added that she did not know of any free housing, hence every household must pay municipal rates. New Era was reliably informed that the town council is struggling financially while the staff are heavily paid. Although the north-western town struggles to buy new heavy vehicles, New Era was informed that its informal settlement of Donkerhoek is in for a treat, as N million has been set aside to provide water and sanitation for the area. “We want to bring water closer to each and every household in the informal settlement as well as look into sanitation of our residents,” //Gowaseb said. He said that the Khorixas Town Council wants to bring services closer to the people as per the broader aspirations of the Namibian government. Namibia reaffirms unwavering support for Cuba Kuzeeko Tjitemisa Windhoek Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa- Amadhila has reaffirmed Namibia’s unwavering support to and solidarity with the fraternal people of Cuba. Speaking at the wreath-laying ceremony at the Pantheon of the Internationalist Combatants of the Cuba Revolution, at the Cristobal Colon Cemetery in Havana, Cuba, last week, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said in this regard, Namibia shall continue to demand the unconditional lifting of the inhumane and out-dated blockade against Cuba. Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said Namibia understands the challenges faced by the fraternal people of Cuba, be it the adverse nature, or the hostile foreign powers. She said the resilience of the people of Cuba is a great source of inspiration to many. “Every time Cuba is devastated by a natural disaster, they always courageously rise from that and rebuild. Over the period of 57 years, Cuba and its people have been subjected to an economic and financial blockade by the United States, and they have successfully withstood that too,” she said. She said Namibia’s representation at the event is an acknowledgment of the role played by the Cuban internationalist combatants under the leadership of El Comandante-En-Jefe, Fidel Castro Ruz in turning the tide of history in Africa and particularly in Southern Africa. “Cuba under the leadership of EL Comandate-En-Jefe Fidel Castro played a decisive role both in the struggle for freedom and independence helping the people of Africa to achieve social and economic development after attainment of their independence. Hence, the history of the struggle of African people, especially Southern Africa, will be incomplete without mentioning the role played by Cuba, especially its sons and daughters whose remains are interred here and their names are inscribed in this pantheon,” she said. “We call to mind how our friendship was cemented through battles such as: Cangamba, Techipa, Calueque, Cuito Cuanavale and the rescue mission for unarmed Namibian survivors of the racist South African military raid at Cassinga,” she added. Kuugongelwa-Amadhila says these African sites and many others, are nourished with the blood of some of the heroes interred here. “It is, therefore, fitting to say that this place symbolizes the fraternal bonds of the people of Cuba and Africa,” she added. She said these martyrs have earned a special place in the hearts of the African people and a noble golden page in the annals of our history. “Our presence here today is to pay tribute to them for their acts of fortitude,” she said. “We devote ourselves to the task of strengthening and deepening the bonds of friendship and solidarity between our countries and our people. In doing so, we assure them that their sacrifice has been and shall never be in vain,” she added. Firewood sustains Hakahana families Loide Jason Windhoek A number of unemployed people from Hakahana informal settlement in Katutura survive from selling firewood. They say they refuse to accept a lifestyle of poverty, but endeavour to make ends meet despite having to travel 25 kilometres to fetch the firewood. Foibe Kazali, Linda Mundundu, Penehafo Aipanda, Andew Nghipangelwa and Sackaria Hailaula narrated to New Era on Sunday from their selling site that people should never underestimate a person’s will to live the life they want. Kazali said she started selling firewood in 1996, which she collected from nearby farms in order to support her family. However, now because the city has expanded rapidly Kazali and her colleagues have to walk up to 28 kilometres to collect the firewood. The group of mostly elderly women said it has become unsafe to fetch firewood in the bush and they have thus invited men to escort them and protect them during the process. “Although we are committed to working hard in order to sustain our families, now the field has become very dangerous. Also, we get suspected of stealing animals when we only have a mission to get firewood,” she said. Supporting Kazali was Nghipangelwa, who said there is now growing suspicion of their activities on the farms. “Now our business is ruined by the criminal activities happening around the areas where we collect firewood. If the criminals see us around, they will think we will interrupt their mission. They’d try to get rid of us from the areas,” said Nghipangelwa. Mundundu said criminals are also now targeting their firewood. “We collect our firewood and drop it somewhere close by and go and collect some more. However, when we return we find the wood stolen. That is what makes our firewood business a bit challenging,” said Mundundu. They are now requesting permission from the government to harvest and collect firewood from nearby farms so that their business would not die. “If there is a little we need to pay it will be fine as long as we are protected rather than taking a risk and be implicated in things that we did not do,” suggested Nghipangelwa. They have also urged local farmers who want to assist them to collect their wood within their premises to come forth. They said they are willing to get identification cards that they will be using to enter in their field if permission is granted.
Monday, February 26 2018| NEW ERA NEWS 5 Swapo and APP to square off in Ncuncuni by-election Swapo candidate Ritha Sindjanga John Muyamba Rundu The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) says only two political parties – Swapo and All People’s Party (APP) - have registered candidates to contest the Ncuncuni by-election, which is slated for March 28. The by-election was necessitated by the death, on January 2, of Swapo councillor Rosa Kavara. Ncuncuni Constituency is in the Kavango West Region. “Only Swapo and All People’s Party managed to register their nominated candidates by Friday, 16 February,” said Maurus Kamati, whom ECN entrusted with spearheading and coordinating the by-election activities for Ncuncuni. Election campaigns have already started in Ncuncuni for both parties. For Swapo, incumbent Ncuncuni branch coordinator Ritha Sindjanga will stand for election, while APP has fielded Paulus Mangundu, a teacher at Bunya Combined School. Kamati told New Era that training of election officials which will kick off on March 23 and end on March 26. “There were 4,864 registered eligible voters in Ncuncuni constituency and during the supplementary registration, which took place between 24 and 27 January, 379 more were registered, which now brings the number of eligible voters in that constituency to 5,243. Those are the people who are expected to vote during the scheduled by-election,” Kamati noted. APP candidate Paulus Mangundu UDF moves into Zambezi, targets southern regions Clemans Miyanicwe Windhoek UDF Secretary-General Hage Gawaseb says his party, whose biggest base is in the Kunene Region, is fast penetrating the Zambezi and southern regions ahead of next year’s general elections. “We are mobilising our members in the Zambezi Region and hope to get more votes from there. This shows UDF is not a party for a certain tribe as some people see it but we are across tribal lines,” Gawaseb told New Era last week. Eveline Sitali, regional mobiliser for UDF in Zambezi Region said: “We trust the party (UDF) and thus we have joined it.” Sitali, who has been a UDF member for about 15 years, said the party has received more than 300 members since last year in addition to the 600 members, which the party already had in the region. She also revealed that most of these members are in Katima Mulilo, while others are scattered around villages in the region. Sitali is optimistic that UDF will get a seat in the Katima Mulilo Town Council in the near future, saying: “Yes, I am prepared to mobilise more members to at least gain one seat.” UDF needs an office in Zambezi Region to function more efficiently, Sitali said. On southern regions, Gawaseb said that UDF has been working on branches in Gibeon, Mariental and Rehoboth. “We are busy working on our branches in the south and we want to gain seats there as this will be very fruitful to us. We will be united and get more votes from that side,” Gawaseb said confidently. The top UDF leadership plans to visit branches in the south in the coming months although dates have not been set yet. New Era was also informed that UDF leaders were scheduled to visit areas in northern Kunene Region last weekend to mobilise its members. The party has more than 10 branches in northern Kunene Region. Gawaseb said his party wants to have more candidates for local authority and regional elections in next year’s elections. UDF used to have one seat in Windhoek but lost it and its strong influence was battered by Swapo in Kunene Region, where it was dominating since independence. Albertina Nakale Windhoek Namibia to produce its own anaesthetists In its drive to improve academic development, the University of Namibia (Unam) has introduced a new course that would transform medical care to produce its own specialist anaesthetists for the first time in Namibia. An anaesthetist is a medical specialist who administers drugs to induce sleep or insensitivity to pain on patients before surgery. The university’s spokesperson Simon Namesho explained that the life-saving medical care would be transformed in Namibia by a new postgraduate course to dramatically increase the number of state anaesthetists. Namesho noted that the training would help address the acute shortage of anaesthetists, which leaves patients facing long waiting lists for surgery and a lack of specialist care during emergency operations. He said the first six students have just started the university’s new Masters in Anaesthesia, supported by the highly successful Phoenix Project partnership with Cardiff University in Wales, United Kingdom. They will be the first specialist anaesthetists trained in the country. The students will transform the number of dedicated anaesthetists available, building self-sufficiency for the training of specialist anaesthetists in Namibia and improving the quality of patient care. Professor Frednard Gideon, Pro- Vice Chancellor: Academic Affairs at Unam said the start of the training of the anaesthetists is a huge relief to the healthcare and pain management delivery in the public hospitals in Namibia. “It is also key for a sustainable system of a training programme for doctors as anaesthetists in the country,” Gideon said. According to a student on the master’s programme in anaesthesia, Ebba Shaanika, both in private and public health sector, Namibia currently does not have enough anaesthetists. “We are happy to be part of the first group on the master’s programme to specialise in the field, as it is an important part when patients undergo an operation or surgery,” she expressed. Phoenix Project leader Professor Judith Hall, of Cardiff University, who is herself a anaesthetist consultant, came up with the idea for the new anaesthesia course and worked with partners at Unam to develop it. She said surgery can save lives but one cannot have surgery without anaesthesia, and Namibia has very few state anaesthetists. She feels this masters programme will create a new body of professional anaesthetics doctors in Namibia in sufficient numbers to truly transform care. The six students from across Namibia are the first to take the course, which will equip them with specialist anaesthesia training and skills not currently provided in Namibia. The training will lead to improved support for surgical care and provide leadership for specialist anaesthetic care throughout the country. The Phoenix Project, a mutually beneficial collaboration between Cardiff University and Unam, has previously provided intensive crash courses in anaesthesia and critical care skills for students and doctors around the country. A helping hand… Minister of Health and Social Services, Bernard Haufiku (right) and two health personnel preparing to remove the tonsils of a patient at the Khorixas District Hospital in 2015