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Vol. 22 No. 137 Windhoek, Namibia Friday, February 17 2017 Inside Today Immigration officers could be liable Immigration officers that were involved in the arrest and detention of 47 suspected illegal immigrants are at risk of being held accountable in their own personal capacity by the courts. Page 3 FNB Namibia Holdings halfyear results impacted by increased cost of funding FNB Namibia Holdings’s half-year results up to December 31, 2016, were released yesterday in the context of an embattled economy. Page 17 Esme Konstantinus Windhoek Staff Reporter Windhoek The Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sofia Shaningwa has called on members of the public to stop blaming President Hage Geingob and Cabinet members for the current economic crisis the country is facing. Shaningwa, who made the call during her annual staff address yesterday, said: “It is not the president but a trend that is Highest inflation in seven years Despite the recently announced decrease in the prices of basic food, the reality is that for the next few months Namibian households would be short of money, especially households with meagre incomes. This is because according to the latest inflationary figures January recorded the highest annual inflation in the last seven years. The last time the prices of essential goods and services went up that high was in October 2009. It did not help that it is earnings from tourism and wholesale and retail activities that entirely sustained Namibia’s economic growth for 2016. And yet these two sectors still registered low growth figures compared to those of 2015. Other economic activities, including construction and mining – particularly diamond mining and metal ores – as well as agriculture, did very badly. When compared to the price increases experienced in December, the inflationary figure for January is quite a significant leap. Annual inflation for January came in at 8.2 percent, up from the 7.3 percent Price is king Affordable insurance that DECREASES monthly recorded in December 2016. Even though the Bank of Namibia Governor Iipumbu Shiimi says they are “not too concerned” about the high inflation because of the expected slowdown in food prices, analysts do not share such an optimistic view. In fact, analysts are now cautioning that the pressure on consumers’ pockets could last for the next few months because the spare change provided by the decrease in food prices would be gobbled up by other expenses, especially transportation costs as well as electricity and water bills. INFLATION on page 2 Exposure to PSEMAS becomes increasingly risky for health care providers Edgar Brandt Windhoek Public servants in need of medical attention are stuck between a rock and a hard place as most health professionals in the country are still refusing to service them due to long payment delays by the Public around the world. This message should be clear. Some people are making fuss and confusing the communities.” There is therefore a need for the public to understand where the finances of the country come from and what the money is used for, such as taking care of orphans and vulnerable children, pensioners who get a monthly allowance from the government, and on drought relief and education, amongst others, she noted. “The government is taking care of this Service Employees Medical Aid Scheme (PSEMAS). According to the Namibia Private Practitioners Forum (NPPF), which is a section 21 company (not for profit) with over 300 members who are all health care providers, the PSEMAS contract with private health care providers stipulates that the scheme will pay for services and products within 30 business days after receipt of a claim. However, a debtors age analysis amongst NPPF members shows that PSEMAS does not honour this obligation, with as much as 40 percent of claims being older than 60 days. This means that the exposure to Stop blaming Geingob for economic crisis – Shaningwa country,” she stressed, adding that money should be generated through revenue collection from various sectors of the economy by the minister of finance, to enable its distribution across the whole country. She further called on heads of directorates in her ministry to constantly monitor and ensure timely execution of planned and budget activities through the use of the limited resources allocated towards core functions and activities. SHANINGWA on page 2 Attack poverty, not personalities - Kameeta Matheus Hamutenya Berseba Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Minister Zephania Kameeta says political leaders should refrain from personal fights and rather focus their energy on fighting poverty. Addressing residents of Berseba who were affected by the rainstorms last week that damaged several shacks, leaving many residents homeless, Kameeta indicated that although such natural disasters cannot be avoided, leaders should work PSEMAS is becoming an increasing risk for health care providers. “Many health care providers cannot pay their own monthly expenses because of this cash flow problem created by government. Those providers that carry stock (such as medicines, dental products, optical frames, etc.) Sophia Shaningwa KAMEETA on page 2 PSEMAS on page 2 SMS ‘king’ to 44000 Standard SMS rates apply Licence no. 16/ST/31 | Terms and conditions apply New Era Newspaper @NewEraNewspaper #NewEraNewspaper • •

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New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167