2 NEWS Monday, July 17 2017 | NEW ERA LEADER From page 1 stating that our clients are guilty of misappropriation of funds and that they must be prosecuted and their bank accounts should be frozen,” reads a letter from the lawyers. “We have been instructed to demand, as we hereby do, that you unconditionally and publicly retract such allegations on NBC television and in the print media and simultaneously make an unconditional apology on or before 14 July, failing which our clients shall proceed and institute legal actions against you for damages.” The law firm says such allegations were widely publicised on social media and prominently reported on NBC. “Our clients deny all allegations of criminal activities you level against them,” the letter further reads. “Our clients’ feelings, dignity and good names have gravely suffered on account of your defamatory allegations and still continue suffering, as they have since been subjected to various public insults by members of the public following your allegations,” the lawyers said. Zamuee yesterday said what preoccupied her time at present is the wellbeing of the 208 workers who had lost their jobs at the bank – and not apologising to the two officials. “I am not going to waste my time with that. My concern right now is the workers,” she said. She went on to reveal that Nafinu has started a process of instituting a class action lawsuit against the former directors of SME Bank. A class action lawsuit is one in which a group of people with the same or similar injuries caused by the same product or action sues as a group. This follows the announcement last week that all 208 staff members at the beleaguered SME Bank have lost their jobs, following the termination of their services by the bank’s provisional liquidators Bruni & McLaren. All SME Bank workers’ contracts will end on July 31. Zamuee said she is of the view that the insolvency of the bank was the result of gross negligence and carelessness on the part of those entrusted with the responsibility to ensure prudent administration of public funds deposited at the bank. “The board failed miserably in its oversight function and now innocent employees have to pay with their jobs,” Zamuee remarked. She said their fight is not against the liquidators, but against government and the former executive management, as well as the board of directors of the bank. Former SME Bank directors include Tawanda Mumvuma, Joseph Banda, Enock Kamushinda, Alec Gore, Ozias Bvute and George Simataa. She said it was extremely unfair that poor people were often locked up for lesser crimes, while politically connected and high-ranking officials never face the same treatment. “This can’t be right. The employees suffered extreme emotional breakdown when they were served with termination letters and one had to be rushed to hospital,” she said. “This country belongs to all of us and some people can’t be more powerful than others.” Those responsible for “the mess” at the bank were waiting for the dust to settle on this issue to simply move on to their next project, she charged. “This will not happen. The fight has just begun. As a country, we have been taken for a ride for too long and the SME Bank situation is an eye-opener, especially when we notice the deafening silence from government in respect of possible [criminal charges] against those responsible for the closure of the bank,” she stressed. PRETORIUS From page 1 Thereafter, he continued to serve as a member of the National Assembly from 1990 to 2005. For the first 15 years in Parliament, Pretorius represented Action Christian National until the formation of the Monitor Action Group (MAG). He served as MP on the ticket of MAG for two terms. Former president of the DTA of Namibia Katuutire Kaura, also a founding member of the Constituent Assembly with the late Pretorius, described him as someone who fully and completely stood for the protection of white minority interests. According to Kaura, who is now an advisor to Governor of the Kunene Region Angelika Muharukua, the late Pretorius was very precise and detailed when tabling motions before Parliament. “At times his motions would not be well-received by some members of the House, but he would never back off to present it, as most of time his motions were well-researched,” Kaura recalled. Burial arrangements for the late MP are yet to be announced. – Nampa OTJOZONDJUPA From page 1 He said under the Ministry of Land Reform nine farms comprising 19 farming units were allocated to 13 respective beneficiaries for resettlement purposes in the region. These include six women and seven men. Ipinge further noted that 18 resettled farmers in Otjozondjupa were upskilled during pre-settlement training held during the period under review. The purpose of the training was for beneficiaries to learn about the latest farming technologies and developments in agriculture, inclusive of policies and procedures pertaining to resettlement. The governor said the exercise cost the ministry about N1,000 and urged resettled farmers in the region to farm productively, adhere to lease agreements and pay their lease fees accordingly. “I have taken note of [the difficulties faced by] those that are in the corridors, such as Cleveland, Otavi Townlands, Grootfontein Townlands and those that have been evicted from Farm Berg Aukas and other farms. Consultations have been held and considerations are on the table to find a solution to the plight of these affected fellow Namibians,” he remarked. He also said the New Sammerau project had been fenced off and 83 hectares of land cleared to make more land available for crop farming. Government had initiated the programme of communal land development to develop communal areas through infrastructure investment, with the aim of improving livelihoods through improved agricultural activities, he noted. Further, he said the development of the Integrated Regional Land Use Planning policy was concluded and verification reports for local land use planning conducted in Otjiwarongo in September 2016. He said the planning had been finalised and was ready for implementation. Ipinge emphasised the importance of access to land, saying it provides security of tenure for land claimants, their spouses and dependents, adding that it was essential that all people have a right to ownership of land, even in communal areas. He said a total of 310 customary land rights were recorded, of which 115 were in recognition of existing customary land rights and 195 new related to customary land rights. However, he admitted that the high demand for farmland remains a major challenge in the region and invited inhabitants of Otjozondjupa to prepare well in advance to contribute to the Second National Land Conference, scheduled for September. The mooted land conference will deliberate on and pass resolutions on some of the pertinent issues related to land reform in the country. Governor Otto Ipinge UN From page 1 “I have a personal stake in this. I have been pushing for such an office and I am retiring at the end of September. I came to make a last-ditch effort and perhaps for you to sort of lead friends of the UN political presence in the region,” he told the Namibian president. However, Geingob disagreed with the UN representative, arguing that the region is stable and that he did not see the urgency of such an office in SADC. The president said even though he supports the UN political presence in the region, Namibia is focused on issues affecting its people, such as poverty and the need for good governance. “It is us who decide to have good governance and peace. The UNDP [United Nations Development Programme] is already here; you must cut down on bureaucracy. There are too many UN centres. You are creating more silos. It’s not really a pressing thing for the Africans,” he said. Zerihoun in turn said the proposed office would support SADC in terms of capacity building, as well as help preempt situations that could lead to tensions within the region. He said the proposed office would also support SADC in dealing with crossborder issues, such as drug trafficking, terrorism and piracy. Geingob responded: “Terrorism, whether you are here or not, is still there. Your presence doesn’t stop it. We are campaigning for the Climate Fund. We see that as very pressing. At least we must have the headquarters here. We are fighting for our own interest, but we want to maintain peace ourselves and take care of our country.” The UN currently has a small presence in the SADC Secretariat in Gaborone, Botswana. “We really want to upgrade the partnership, as we did in other regions in West Africa and Central Africa. Of course. The SADC region is relatively more stable, but it has challenges of its own, such as the current political disagreements which lead to instability and sometimes, unfortunately, it leads to tension – whether it’s in Madagascar or Lesotho,” Zerihoun said. Geingob noted that former president Hifikepunye Pohamba played a key role to maintain peace and stability in Madagascar, while South Africa is also successfully assisting in Lesotho. He explained that when the Central African countries demanded such an office, all nine member states sent a joint letter to the UN Secretary General and the Council with the request. “This is an office which could be opened only at the express request of regions. It’s not supply-driven, it’s not decided in New York, it must be decided in the region,” Zerihoun noted, adding that about 10 or 11 SADC member states were “very enthusiastically” in support of the political office. Geingob in response told Zerihoun that Namibia is peaceful and is busy fighting a war against poverty. “The reluctance is that we have more pressing issues that we are paying attention to and nobody is listening to us. We are talking about reform of the UN Security Council and nobody is enthusiastic it seems to us. “We are hitting our heads against the wall,” he said, adding that having another UN office here would not affect the struggle for UN Security Council reform and that the country has other urgent priorities. Geingob also expressed shock and dismay that the international community has labeled Namibia as having a high rate of human trafficking cases. “It perplexes us in Namibia that we have been labeled as a country... with traffickers. Where did they get it from? Transit country, maybe, but we are made to look like we are really one of the main countries.” He said there was no point in setting up a UN office to come and see what doesn’t exist.
Monday, July 17 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 3 Shiimbi triumphs at Omusati regional conference Loide Jason Outapi Omusati Region has endorsed Helena Shiimbi, manager of NBC Oshiwambo Radio Service, as one of its candidates for the 2017 Swapo Party congress. Shiimbi and three others, including Omusati Governor Erginus Endjala, were elected during the ruling party’s regional conference in Outapi on Saturday. Shiimbi emerged top among female contestants,. She was also number two on the Swapo Party Elders Council congress the previous weekend, and number one at the district conference. The regional conference further endorsed Sacky Kayone unopposed as the regional coordinator for Omusati, a position he has held for almost six months. Regional information and mobilisation secretary Senia Uushona, who too has been serving in that position for six months, also retained her position unopposed. Kayone described the election as free and fair, adding that he was thankful that they did everything within the scope and stipulations of the party constitution. The candidates elected for the Swapo Party central committee are constituency councillor of Elim Gerhard Shiimi and former regional coordinator of Swapo Party Women’s Council Rachel Shoopala. The conferences also elected 10 other candidates as delegates to the party’s national congress slated for November. Member of Parliament and former Tsandi constituency councillor Leevi Katoma was among the candidates that lost out, while businessman Tona Amadhila – the husband of Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila – withdrew his candidature after he was initially elected regional treasurer. New Swapo coordinator for Kavango East ohn Muyamba undu he Swapo regional conference or Kavango East that was held ver the weekend elected Otilie hinduvi as the party’s new egional coordinator. Shinduvi, a senior agriculure extension officer, replaces arceline Kahare, who was oordinator since 2015. She rounced the incumbent by inning 27 votes compared to hree votes by Kahare. Bertha inyando, a teacher at Rundu econdary School, got 24 votes. Former councillor of ashare Constituency Boniantius Wakudumo replaced ngelberth Muyenga as reional information and mobilser. Muyenga was elected to hat position last year after the eath of Erick Tjandja in a car ccident. Wakudumo got 29 otes, while Muyenga got 24. Ponitianus Musore, the eduation inspector in Kambimba ircuit of Ndiyona Constituncy, emerged as a successful andidate for the regional trea- Photo: John Muyamba Newly elected… From left Bonifantius Wakudumo, Otilie Shinduvi and Pontianus Musore were elected at the Swapo Party regional conference for Kavango East over the weekend. surer’s position. The position had been vacant since last year when Engelberth Muyenga, the treasurer at the time, became regional mobiliser. Musore was running against former Rundu councillor Daniel Lilenga, who got 26 votes, while Musore collected 28 votes to narrowly secure the regional treasurer’s post. “We could not vote for our 10 delegates from the executive committee to represent our region at the upcoming Swapo Party national congress due to some technical challenges. We had to postpone it to 19 August when we will hold an extraordinary conference,” Wakudumo said. Suspects in hospital murder case denied bail Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop Seven suspects charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the stabbing to death of a young man at Keetmanshoop State Hospital were denied bail during their first court appearance on Friday. Milford Richter, 28, Hans Boois, 23, Elrico Nikodemus, 29, Edwin Kanangure, 21, Ramon Dirkse, 29, Desmond Jimmy, 22, and Wlywelen Dreyer, 36, stand accused of killing 20-year-old Johan Jansen about a week ago. During their first appearance at Keetmanshoop Magistrates Court, State Prosecutor Adriana Sangunji opposed bail, saying it was not in the interest of the public nor the administration of justice, and that the State fears the suspects might interfere with ongoing police investigations. Magistrate Murray Shikongo denied bail to all suspects and postponed the case to August 31 for further police investigations and for four of the accused to apply for legal representation, while he also informed the accused of their rights to a formal bail application. During the brief court appearance, lawyer Florian Beukes representing Nikodemus, Kanangure and Jimmy, told the court of the urgency for two of his clients to receive medical care, as they had not been treated for injuries sustained during a fight on the day of the murder. He also asked that his clients not be interrogated in his absence. The reported gang fight, which eventually cost Jansen his life, reportedly started at a bar in Tseiblaagte and continued at the hospital where injured members of the two groups were taken for medical assistance. It was at the hospital where the deceased youth was apparently stabbed several times, causing his death. The court hearing drew large crowds and the courtroom was packed to capacity, leaving some to stand due to lack of seats, while the police presence was also notable, given that emotions are running high over the murder of Jansen. Air Namibia told to find own resources for July Kuzeeko Tjitemisa Windhoek Paul Nakawa The Ministry of Works and Transport has informed Air Namibia that central government would be unable to pay any subsidy to the company this month and urged the airline to secure its own funding for key monthly expenditures, such as the leasing of planes. Works permanent secretary Willem Goeiemann wrote last week that this was due “very limited ceiling” (in terms of funds allocation) received from Treasury. A letter addressed to Air Namibia acting managing director Adv Mandi Samson confirmed government’s decision. “The ministry is unable to pay for your July government subsidy allocation. The ministry, therefore, advises Air Namibia to kindly make other financial provision to pay its lease, maintenance and fuel for July 2017,” Goeiemann wrote. He also asked the airline to provide the ministry with a table of government funding and disbursements for the financial year 2017/2018. Contacted for comment yesterday, Air Namibia spokesperson Paul Nakawa acknowledged receipt of the letter regarding the subsidy. He said the airline was engaging the line ministry on the matter. “The lack of subsidy from government can potentially affect the operations of the airline,” he said.