2 NEWS Thursday, July 27 2017 | NEW ERA City Police arrest close to 40 suspects WINDHOEK The City Police have arrested close to 40 suspected criminals over the past three weeks. City Police Chief Abraham Kanime told Nampa on Tuesday the suspects were arrested for crimes relating to housebreaking, theft out of motor vehicles, automated teller machine theft and card cloning, amongst others. He said criminals in Namibia no longer specialise in one kind of crime, which requires help from the community to curb and solve. “It is up to the community and the police to see how we can make our operations more successful. You should not wait until a crime is committed; just call the police if you are suspicious of some activity,” Kanime urged. He said housebreaking and robbery also occur during the day. The police chief described one incident in which two suspects were arrested during a break-in in Windhoek West on Tuesday. One suspect got away. He said a member of the public alerted the police to the suspicious activity. “When we arrested them, we found a suspected stolen laptop, which we later confirmed was robbed from a student, whom we are still looking for.” Kanime urged members of the public to refrain from carrying electronic gadgets in a visible manner as it attracts unwanted attention, adding everybody should know the police’s contact details. “When you call us, within five minutes we will always try our level best to be there and this will eliminate the chance of someone committing a crime and getting away with it.” – Nampa City Police Chief Abraham Kanime PERMIT From page 1 Another fisherman who is affectionately known by coastal residents as the ‘bicycle fisherman’ also said that he is deeply concerned about the increment that “disadvantages all anglers”. He said he simply stopped fishing after learning about the increase last week. “There is no way I can afford a permit of N,500. They must really look into this issue as they are plunging us, who rely on recreational fishing to feed our families, more into poverty instead of sharing the resources with us,” he said. He added that only tourists and well-off fishermen would be able to pay for the N,500 permit. When contacted for comment yesterday the public relations officer in the fisheries ministry, De Wet Siluka, said they are aware of the complaints about the increase but the ministry was “busy consulting” and would issue a statement today. Siluka said the ministry has never increased its recreational fishing tariffs since its inception. He added that despite the increase to N,500, recreational fishing permits are still cheap “compared to countries such as South Africa”. He added that the ministry is currently also working on a policy that will “identify recreational fishing in different criteria” whereby for registration purposes subsistence fishermen will be exempted from certain fees. He however said that a detailed press statement on the issue would be released today. SWAPO From page 1 Just this week, Omusati Governor Erginus Endjala had to issue a public apology regarding tribally-charged remarks he made – in a secretlyrecorded audio clip – against Aandonga people, politicians and youth activists. His Omaheke counterpart Festus Ueitele was also made to apologise last year after he was heard in another secret recording making tribal remarks against Ovaherero people in that region. Mbumba warned that consequences, either through elections or decisions taken by the party, would follow against those guilty of advancing tribalism. “It’s not a question of whether you are a member of the politburo, a governor or a regional coordinator – if you are doing wrong things… you are doing wrong things contrary to the constitution of the Republic and the constitution of the party,” he told journalists. He said those who think they are comfortable hiding behind public apologies are gravely mistaken about the consequences lined up against them. He explained that matters would be handled one at a time and action taken after thorough consideration and discussions. Mbumba said he did not have to explain himself about Swartbooi. “I don’t want to be here analysing a person. You know what Comrade Swartbooi says and does. The issue of fairness will always continue to guide us.” Mbumba said anyone who is familiar with the Swapo Party constitution will know that the party leadership considers all things such as tribal remarks about other people’s culture, language and history, adding that such utterances are not allowed. He said the decision to recall Swartbooi was taken during a politburo meeting on Monday in terms of Article 4 of Schedule 4 of the Namibian constitution. Paula Kooper, a senior private secretary-chief whip at Swapo Party Parliamentary Caucus, is next on the Swapo parliamentary list and will join the National Assembly if Swapo elects to expel Swartbooi. Swartbooi yesterday refused to comment, saying he will address the matter this morning during his press briefing. Last weekend he said people from the north of Namibia must keep their “damn hands” off the land belonging to people in the south. “The north has no authority to lecture us about land – the north did not lose any land and they must keep their damn hands off our land,” he said. Swartbooi was referring to recent media reports that people in the north have rejected ancestral land claims, and said the northern people have their own interests to protect. Mbumba said the reasons for Swartbooi’s withdrawal are “selfevident” in his conduct, utterances and general attitude expressed in the pubic towards Swapo, its functionaries and government on diverse occasions and on various matters. Mbumba cited as an example Swartbooi’s remark that he [Swartbooi] is “99.9% not Swapo”. “The moment they withdraw me from the National Assembly, in 30 seconds I will resign from Swapo,” he was quoted as saying. Mbumba said Swartbooi was notified of both the decision of the party and the action taken consequent to that as a courtesy. He said Swapo is not worried that Swartbooi has a lot of followers and that the party might lose votes, as alleged by some. Swapo would not allow itself to be destroyed from within under the false pretext of unity, he said. KAZENAMBO From page 1 Yesterday Kazenambo, who himself was removed as minister after an avalanche of high-profile public utterances and confrontations, tore into the Swapo leadership for its supposed disregard for party rules and for treating members differently for similar offences. He believes Swapo has enough legal instruments to use when disciplining party members, but charged these are often ignored in order to purge perceived intra-party opponents. He cited as an example how the governors of Omaheke and Omusati regions, who are on record uttering tribal remarks in widely circulated audio clips, faced no real action from the party leadership while Swartbooi, a regular utterer of similar remarks, has now been suspended. But it is the alleged rule of man, rather than of law, that Kazenambo took exception to. He said the politburo, which took the decision to suspend Swartbooi, did not have the authority to do so. “Swartbooi is an elected member of parliament and cannot be removed just like that. The politburo that took this decision was an impromptu one, to which many members such as myself were not invited,” he said. “All politburo decisions are to be approved by the central committee and this did not take place. It’s abuse of power.” Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba yesterday said the politburo relied on Article 4 of Schedule 4 of the Namibian constitution to withdraw Swartbooi from parliament. Article 4 deals with citizenship, but in the Swapo constitution Article 4 states that a party member may lose their membership through resignation or expulsion. Kazenambo said Swartbooi, who has been daring the party to fire him, is being victimised for the debate he is advancing on land. “He is advancing the debate around the plight of the people south of the red line. Why can’t government publish the list of people who got land? Let’s prove him wrong. In journalism it’s called silencing the messenger,” Kazenambo, a former journalist, said. Asked if planning to make the LPM a political party was not reason enough for Swapo to act, Kazenambo said the party is pregnant with legal tools to deal with the situation, but ignored that path. “The party has a code conduct approved by congress. The judgement [in the Swartbooi case] is predetermined.” He said Swapo seems to have not learned anything from its expulsion of four youth league members in 2015, which was later overruled by the High Court that procedures were not followed. “I sit in politburo meetings and what is discussed there all the time is personalities instead of issues. I distance myself from the decision to recall Swartbooi.” When Swartbooi made the remarks that he made, Swapo should have simply followed its constitution and code of conduct to discipline him, he added. “There was an easy and legal way of dealing with this matter, even if the conclusion is the same. I am going to campaign for Swapo but justice must prevail within the party,” he said.
Thursday, July 27 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 3 Photo: Loide Jason Left to starve... Natalia Sheendelwako, 81, and her grandchildren have for several months eaten nothing but porridge with saltwater, while her daughter reportedly claims Natalia’s monthly pension grant. Woman squanders mother’s pension Loide Jason Oshiputu An 81-year-old pensioner survives on water and salt served with the porridge that she prepares from the maize flour she received as part of the government’s drought relief programme, as her daughter takes her N,100 monthly state pension grant for own use. “We use the saltwater to soften the porridge to make swallowing easy. I also resorted to smoking because after smoking I hardly get hungry,” said 81-year-old Natalia Sheendelwako. Sheendelwako, who hails from Oshiputu village in the Anamulenge Constituency of Omusati Region, lives with her four grandchildren, including one who lives with a disability. When the drought relief food is finished, she has to rely on the kindness of her neighbours to assist her with mahangu grain. She said her grandchildren are now used to the situation, because they do not know any relish other than salt mixed with water. According to the 2011 Housing and Population Census, poverty levels at Anumulenge stood at 27.5 percent locally and 50 percent in the entire region of Omusati. Sheeendelwako said she was rather disappointed with her daughter, because she rarely visits them or buys any food or groceries. “If I send my grandchildren to her house where she is married, she will not give them money. She rather sends us a little bag of maize, which is not enough for the children,” she lamented. Sheendelwako said two months ago she insisted that her daughter at least buy her some steel wire to make a fence, so that the pensioner can start cultivating mahangu during the next rainy season, but the daughter instead asked someone to drop it off, without sending them any food. “It is really painful. The government has done its part to provide us with income, but I still go to bed on an empty stomach. Councillor [of Anamulenge Constituency], please do something. I want my money, so that I can feed my grandchildren that are taking care of me,” she said tearfully. She recalled that in years past she was eager to cultivate mahangu, but said her daughter insisted she was now too old to continue. The octogenarian’s body now looks frail and the skin is dry and cracked. She says she cannot remember the last time she could afford some skin lotion. Anamulenge Constituency Councillor Werner Kalipi said he would convene a meeting and address the issue of people receiving pensioners’ grants and squandering it on personal needs. “I will engage this woman and I will make sure there will be an improvement. These people need to start cultivating mahangu, because they cannot just depend on drought relief food. The world is now facing a financial crisis. Who said the drought relief food will be there forever?” Namibia targets 180 open defecation-free villages Nuusita Ashipala Ondingwanyama While Namibia’s sanitation status is a thorn in the flesh, with only half the population having access to proper sanitation, government is striving towards declaring at least 180 villages in Ohangwena, Kavango West and East and Zambezi free from open defecation by December. The programme will be rolled out by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) and its implementing partners, the United Nations Children’ Fund (Unicef) and Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS), to declare at least 180 villages free from open defecation. Currently, the Ondigwanyama village in Ohangwena Region was declared the first free from open defecation village in the country after constructing toilets at all 68 households in the village. “A village is declared defecation-free when every household in the village has a toilet, with superstructure to provide privacy and a handwashing facility with water and soap or ash available,” explained Unicef country representative Micaela Maques de Sousa. The pit latrines were constructed using local materials, including used tyres, sticks and plastic bags – with blankets to shield them, but the villagers want to be assisted financially to put up permanent structures, because many are not durable. Meanwhile, 64 villages where people were trained to implement the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme are also expected to be declared free from open defecation in due course. The CLTS programme will next be rolled out to 60 villages in Mpungu in Kavango West, four in Kavango East in Mashare and 58 others in Zambezi. According to statistics presented, only 17 percent of the rural community has access to proper toilet facilities, while 74 percent lack any toilet facilities. About 19 percent of the people in informal settlements also relieve themselves in the open. According to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Anna Shiweda, around half of all cases of under-five child death and sickness were attributed to poor hygiene and sanitation. She also noted that 24 percent of those under the age of five years are stunted and said this was due to poor water, sanitation and hygiene. Poor feeding practices, poor maternal nutrition and poor sanitation are known to be the main causes of stunting in children. De Sousa said the celebration at Ondingwanyama was important as it helped to demystify such important topics of conversation. She said the problem had been neglected for too long, because people are not comfortable to talk it. “Having this candid discussion about defecation will help all of us to see the value of ensuring that the health, safety and dignity of the people maintained when open defecation is eliminated,” said de Sousa. “Sadly, as we remain quiet about it, families, particularly those in the poor areas in the country, have difficulty in maintaining good levels of domestic hygiene and sanitation,” de Soussa said. She urged the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to lead sanitation talks in parliament, whereupon the deputy minister replied that government is hard at work to address sanitation and hygiene in the country. “To this end, access to potable water supply and sanitation services have been enshrined in key policies, developmental plans and strategies,” Shiweda noted. Also speaking at the event, former minister of environment and tourism Uahekua Herunga said Ondingwanyama bears testimony that community-led commitment and determination can achieve the impossible and elevate people to greater heights. Khorixas owed N million by ministries Clemans Miyanicwe Khorixas Khorixas Town Council’s strategic executive officer for human resources and economic affairs, Eben Xoagub, says the N million owed by residents and government institutions for water and other services is hampering development at the town, where unemployment is very high. “Due to non-payment of services we are in a financial crisis,” Xoagub says, adding that government institutions that are in arrears have put the municipality in a huge dilemma. New Era was told Khorixas Town Council pays heavily for underground water leakages and that municipal officers took up the issue with Rural and Urban Development Minister Sophia Shaningwa during her visit to the town in December 2015. Shaningwa assured them at the time that she would try to source funds to address the problem of subterranean leakage that is reportedly draining the council’s finances, but it appears to date the funds are not yet forthcoming. At present the Ministry of Health and Social Services reportedly owes over N million to Khorixas Town Council for rates and services, while the directorate of forestry in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MWAF) owes N,559 to the municipality and N,160 to NamWater. The rural water supply division of MWAF owes the town council N1,284 and NamWater N8,113. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism owes N,229, while the Ministry of Youth and Sports’ directorate of youth owes N5,193 to the town council. Herbert Conradie Stadium, which falls under the youth ministry, owes N3,680. The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare owes the council N,888, while the Ministry of Labour and Employment Creation owes N,560. The Ministry of Justice owes N0,405 and the Safety and Security Ministry owes N,553 to the council and some more to Namwater. Xoagub said a meeting was held recently with various ministry representatives where an intervention agreement was discussed. He said non-payment of services by government offices delays development at the town and that President Hage Geingob’s Harambee Prosperity Plan cannot be achieved with huge unpaid arrears. ”We know unemployment is a challenge and that drought has affected us, but we are giving services and we need cost-recovery for our services,” Xoagub said. He said the delay in payments by ministries at the town was due to late payments from the head office. Xoagub wondered why the Ministry of Health and Social Services was reluctant to pay on time and praised the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, as their best clients who settle their municipal bills on time. To address the issue of unpaid arrears and other concerns, the town was divided into seven wards to create awareness of the problem, Xoagub said, adding that the committees appointed would have a policing role to look after infrastructure, detect water theft, and identify other issues of concern. Khorixas State Hospital’s water supply was suspended last week due to unpaid bills, but was restored later the same week. New Era was informed by Khorixas police station commander Hiskia Nuuyoma that the water there was also cut off last week and that 27 inmates had to be transferred to Kamanjab police station as the 360 litres of water supplied to the police station ran out last Friday. Nuuyoma said the Kunene regional police were aware of the closure of the water, but payments are made from the head offices and it might take time to process. As a result, police officers that reside at the police barracks here had to beg their neighbours for water. In email correspondence with Namwater employees, dated July 20 and seen by New Era, Ministry of Justice officials claimed the ministry owed Khorixas Town Council only N,235 and not N0,405, as per the billing statement issued by the council. The issue is as yet unresolved.