2 NEWS Wednesday, July 12 2017 | NEW ERA Low uptake of HIV counselling in Kavango East John Muyamba Rundu Kavango East Regional Governor Dr Samuel Mbambo has lamented the fact that men in the region have a low interest in health-seeking behaviour, which has resulted in their low uptake in HIV/AIDs counselling and testing. The governor was speaking in his state of the region address last Friday at the Kavango East Regional Council Auditorium in Rundu. Mbambo also noted that 223 cases of attempted suicide were recorded in 2015/16 and this figure increased to 242 during 2016/17 – the majority were male. “What is the problem with us men – are we afraid to face problems, or what is it?” Mbambo questioned. Mbambo furthermore said that Kavango East faces various infrastructure development challenges in various sectors, including health and education. “The region also has a serious shortage of qualified tutors at Namcol and learners have to walk long distances to attend classes at various Namcol centres around the region, especially in rural areas.” He further revealed the region has seen an increase in malaria. “To date we have been challenged by high malaria cases – approximately 15,000 positive cases have been recorded. This is because of a high refusal rate for indoor residual spraying. People don’t want their homes and homesteads to be sprayed and that is a challenge health workers are facing.” Another challenge highlighted is the lack of medical specialists and specialised equipment at the Rundu State Hospital, which leads to high referrals to Windhoek. “Local authorities have insufficient funds to develop municipal infrastructure as well as provide proper services to inhabitants,” Mbambo stressed. But despite these challenges, he said, 14 boreholes were surveyed in the current financial year (2017/2018). “The contractor is currently on site. These (boreholes) are to benefit from the special fund donated by the Government of the Republic of South Africa through the drought mitigation strategy.” Mbambo urged the relevant authorities in various institutions in the region to ensure all capital projects are implemented, monitored and evaluated during NDP5. “The region should adhere to the call by President Hage Geingob that this year is the year of rededication in all projects and programmes, be it government or private that need to be carried out. All stakeholders should rededicate themselves in the promotion and implementation of ‘Operation Werengendje’ for this region to become the food basket of Namibia.” He said the situation has given the region impetus to take advantage of its resources, such as availability of agricultural land and water to enhance food production to eradicate poverty and hunger, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, goals 1 and 2), and to promote food security through ‘Operation Werengendje’, as articulated in the HPP and NDP5. Questioning the behaviour of men… Kavango East Governor Dr Samuel Mbambo delivering his state of the region address. 'USED' From page 1 “It is very painful that nobody is talking about the employees, not mentioning anything about us, not even government, the main shareholder. Everybody is just talking about the missing N0 million, what about us?” he charged angrily. Another SME Bank shop steward, Renny Uiseb, revealed they were requested to resign within 24 hours from other commercial banks operating in Namibia, as SME Bank needed to fast-track its recruitment process in order to be granted a banking licence, but the employees are now left to lick their wounds. Meanwhile, SME Bank employees yesterday held a demonstration in front of the bank’s head office in Windhoek against the closure. They handed a petition to the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Gabriel Sinimbo. Nafinu general secretary Asnath Zamuee said employees in 2014 had alerted the government and the Bank of Namibia about mismanagement at the bank, which however turned out to be in vain. “Our concerns were met with silence, and now we are the ones to pay the price of the government’s inability to control foreigners in our country,” said Zamuee. The Namibian government owns 65 percent of SME Bank, while the Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe and World Eagle Properties, both from Zimbabwe, are minority shareholders. Zamuee said that at the time the union questioned why all the strategic positions in the bank were occupied by Zimbabweans while the government is the majority shareholder. She further said the union also questioned how Zimbabweans obtained work permits and requested the ministry of home affairs to revoke such permits. “We were ignored,” she added. “It is surprising and shocking to us that the government waited for N0 million to be embezzled before taking any actions, and now is using the same reason to justify closure of the bank.” “What hypocrisy and double standards,” she said. Zamuee further expressed her disappointment with the manner in which the SME Bank issue was handled. She said it was handled in an insensitive manner and without any consideration for the well-being, future and emotions of Namibian employees. “We will particularly follow closely if Air Namibia, TransNamib, NBC and other state-owned enterprises will be bailed out, and we will remember how we were treated by our own government.” END From page 1 It is not clear whether any sanctions are being lined up against those who presided over the contentious multimillion dollar investments, or whether separate charges would be brought. Judge Prinsloo yesterday issued a rule nisi (special court order) calling upon all the respondents (including the government, Namibian Financing Trust, minister of industrialisation and the minister of finance to show cause, if any, on September 15 why the court should not make a final order to close down the bank and that the costs of the application be included in the winding up. Government respondents did not oppose the application, but the minority partners, the Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe and World Eagle Properties, both from Zimbabwe, have been opposed to it from the beginning. The judge further ordered that the order be served by the Deputy Sheriff of Windhoek on the SME Bank at its registered address. The Bank of Namibia approached the courts to close down SME Bank, which it said was no longer able to service its mandate, which is to help and support emerging entrepreneurs and small and medium business persons. The Bank of Namibia took over the running of the SME Bank after it emerged that several risky investments were made by the bank, which left it leaking money at an alarming rate. The winding up will now bring about a concursus creditorium, which is essentially the creation of a creditors group and the interests of the creditors as a group will enjoy preference over the interests of individual creditors. However, the claim of each creditor must be dealt with as it existed at the date of the commencement of the concursus creditorium, and no transaction can thereafter be entered into with regard to estate matters by a single creditor to the prejudice of the general body of creditors. A winding-up order will also preclude the unfair treatment of a specific creditor or group of creditors, and will enable a duly appointed liquidator to attend to the orderly winding up of the SME Bank. Once a liquidator is appointed, he or she can and must take measures within the confines of the law to protect and administer the bank’s affairs and property. Such liquidator will stand in a fiduciary position to the bank and must immediately take possession of all assets of the bank and apply them in satisfaction of the costs of the winding up and the claims of creditors, and distribute the balance among the members according to their rights and interests in the bank.
Wednesday, July 12 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 3 Court hears testimony into 2014 murder Maria Amakali Windhoek Acacia High School learner Jesaya Kaipiti, 21, who was murdered during a shooting incident three years ago was allegedly handcuffed before he died. State witness Haandjeka Venaani, who took the stand to testify in Windhoek District Court this week, informed the court that he saw the deceased in handcuffs. “When the deceased was shot he fell on the bed and he had been handcuffed,” Venaani recalled about what transpired on that fateful night. Kaipiti is alleged to have been killed by security guard Waldo Kavakundu, 52, and Gordon Visagie, 39, during a shooting incident at Kavakundu’s residence in Herero Location, Katutura in Windhoek on May 29, 2014. Venaani claims those that arrived at the scene first found the deceased handcuffed, but by the time the police got there no handcuffs were seen on the deceased. “When the police came, it was already removed by the two accused,” he said. Kavakundu and his co-accused, Visagie, have entered a not guilty plea to the murder charge. The two have told the court that Kaipiti’s death was a mistake. Kavakundu in his defence informed the court that the deceased was shot when the gun went off several times during a struggle between him and one of seven intruders, who had invaded his home while he was sleeping. Investigative officer Joseph Ndokosho told the court that from the statement he obtained from Visagie, the latter had admitted that Kavakundu took the gun from him and shot Kaipiti. Ndokosho said four spent cartridges were discovered in the room where the body was found, but the murder weapon was nowhere to be found. The murder weapon was later found on a man who had picked it up from the crime scene. Kavakundu in turn informed the court that he does not carry a firearm after work, but claimed that the men stormed into his house after they had assaulted his friend, Visagie, and started assaulting him too. In addition, Visagie was attacked and robbed of his wallet and service pistol by a group of six or seven young men. He recalls seeing one of the intruders with a gun, which was already cocked. Kavakundu and one of the men who was said to have a gun at the time started to wrestle for the gun, which apparently went off three or four times during the fight, hitting Kaipiti in the chest. More details are yet to be uncovered when the two accused return to court on July 31 for the continuation of trial. Sven Thieme NBC dismisses DTA allegations Staff Reporter Windhoek Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) board chairperson Sven Thieme has responded to accusations levelled against the national broadcaster by the DTA of Namibia over the broadcaster’s finances. During a press conference on Monday, the official opposition party in parliament, the DTA, accused NBC of mismanaging its funds and its medical aid scheme that was reportedly in jeopardy, saying the situation called for an urgent official investigation. Thieme said as much as the public have a right to share information, a balanced picture and unity were required during this time of economic crisis. Thieme, as well as the NBC director-general Stanley Similo, said they welcomed the public to review the NBC’s books as the institution maintained an opendoor policy. “NBC management has been working around the clock and has been doing its utmost best to develop people and manage funds the right way at the national broadcaster,” Thieme argued. He said the operational and capital expenditure budget was cut by over N0 million over the last two years, yet despite that the NBC was able to increase its own revenue from N million to N2 million in the current economic climate. He said there was no need to launch an investigation, as the board continued to fulfill its fiduciary duties. He further noted that NBC management had done a splendid job in ensuring that employees remained insured, despite the fact that NMC had suspended the broadcaster’s members. “Management has the full support of the board,” Thieme noted and confirmed that NBC employees did indeed have medical aid coverage since July 1. On his part, NBC director general Similo emphasised that the broadcaster was not looking for a “bail-out”. He explained that the corporation had merely disclosed the cost of doing business at any given time of the year. Linked to that, he said, the NBC had also committed to bringing to the table N$126 million in own revenue during the current financial year – the outstanding funds would have to come from the shareholder, the government. Similo added that the board had highlighted the fact that the allocated subsidy was insufficient to cover the cost of operations and that the board had informed the shareholder accordingly. He further pointed out that the current state of affairs at the NBC was not about funds that were depleted due to mismanagement, but rather that the corporation’s appeal to the shareholder had been a cry for help, which had been highlighted as matters became critical. “If the NBC was given funds from a subsidy perspective, and that amount was depleted before the end of the financial year, we as management would have taken full responsibility and accepted the accusations from DTA MP Nico Smith,” the NBC’s director general noted. “However, making statements without the full information is defamatory and extremely dangerous. These statements are touching on the personal integrity of the individuals accused. Smith could have called me – and the invite stands – to view the broadcaster’s books,” Similo said. “The current funding model does not work for the NBC, hence we are very sure to say that where we are now, we are still on the right track. In terms of the medical aid, we had guns to our heads to say, ‘Pay the full amount now’. “Already last Friday, when the NMC medical aid cover ended, we had a new service provider on board, the Renaissance Health medical aid fund. This demonstrates that management is taking care of its employees and will never leave them destitute,” he said. Similo underscored that the corporation was determined to further grow its own income by 24 percent. Initially the corporation had calculated that the cost of doing business during the current financial year would amount to N9 million. However, when the NBC had become aware of government’s financial challenges in terms of fully subsidising the corporation, NBC management had of its own volition cut operational costs from N9 to N5 million. “That cut indicates that we are also serious about making the business work,” Similo emphasised. Thieme reiterated that the NBC’s doors remain open and said the right to information was a constitutional right, but noted that “it costs money to have towers in place and get information out to the masses.” The NBC leadership team concluded by reassuring the wider public that the broadcaster was ready to tackle future challenges with the full support of the board and in an effort to move the corporation forward. Defence lawyer asks for acquittal Roland Routh Windhoek The defense counsel of the alleged killer of the mother of his elevenmonth-old baby told Judge Dinah Usiku there is no direct evidence linking his client to the brutal murder. State-funded lawyer Milton Engelbrecht of Windhoek based law firm Engelbrecht Attorneys yesterday said the State failed miserably to prove his client, Eben Cloete, 39, was guilty of the murder of Anna Nadia Coetzee with whom he was in a domestic relationship. The State alleges Cloete broke into the room of the deceased and stabbed her eight times in the back with a knife. According to the State he unlawfully and intentionally broke open the bedroom door of Coetzee at her father’s house at the Neudamm Experimental farm with the intent to murder her and then intentionally killed Coetzee on Thursday, August 13, 2009 by stabbing her at least eight times with a sharp object in her chest where after he fled the scene. Cloete is charged with one count of housebreaking with the intent to murder and murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act 4 of 2003. Engelbrecht told the judge in no uncertain terms the State’s case is based on purely circumstantial evidence that warrants the court to make the finding whether or not the proved facts should be such that they exclude every reasonable inference from them, save for the one to be drawn. Eben Cloete According to him the State witnesses materially contradicted each other and could be seen as lying through their teeth. He made mention of the father of the deceased who testified that he heard the accused from 50m away muttering “Today you people will see, today you will see.” According to him the State’s star witness, Patricia Muvarure, is another one who made serious contradictions in her evidence and during cross-examination. None of the State witnesses could agree on anything they saw or did that day, except for them saying they saw the accused at the house, Engelbrecht said. He further said his client denies he made any of the admissions allegedly made by him and that he blankly denies being at the residence of the deceased or stabbing her. He asked the court to acquit his client on the charges he faces. State Advocate Palmer Khumalo told the court the contradictions in the testimonies of the State witnesses are not an issue, “in fact, he said, it is a non-issue.” All of the State witnesses concurred on one thing, he said, and that was that they saw him entering the house of the deceased’s father shortly before she was found dead. He further argued in this instance all the evidence points directly at Cloete as the person who committed this ghastly deed. According to Khumalo, there is no question about the identity of the accused because he is well known in the community and it was broad daylight. He said although the State’s case is based on circumstantial evidence, it is substantial and enough for a conviction of murder with direct intent. The trial was postponed to September 07 for the judgment. Cloete remains in custody.