Daily Archives: November 20, 2012

Young girl calls for safer roads

OTJOWARONGO: A 10-year-old Grade Four pupil on Tuesday appealed to African governments to pass stricter laws to curb the loss of human lives through road accidents.

Alicia Namases, a learner of the Donatus Primary School here, said this in a petition handed over to Otjozondjupa Regional Governor, Rapama Kamehozu during the Otjozondjupa regional commemoration of the first-ever Africa Road Safety Day here.

Africa Road Safety Day was also observed in Swakopmund and Ongwediva on Sunday. Hundreds of Otjozondjupa residents marched through the streets of Otjiwarongo to remember those that lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents over the years.

Otjozondjupa Region is notorious for many serious crashes between Otjiwarongo and Okahandja, and Otjiwarongo and Otavi. Whilst reading out her petition, Namases called on the Namibian and other African governments to pass stiffer and stricter laws aimed at preventing road accidents.

“We are tired of road accidents on our national roads. Please African governments help us in saving our people’s lives. We do not want to lose our loved ones anymore,” she said. Namases said African governments should put in place strict road measures to apprehend reckless drivers, and must see to it that no driver sits behind a steering wheel under the influence of liquor.

“We have already lost a lot of precious lives on these national and international roads and now it is our time to stop these crashes on these roads,” she said, adding that the youth and other Namibians are prepared to work together with their government to ensure that their roads are safe at all times. On receiving the petition, Kamehozu promised to channel it to the relevant authorities.

Jeaneth Kuhanga, the Otjozondjupa chief regional officer who doubles as chairperson of Otjozondjupa Regional Road Safety Forum, also attended the occasion, while the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Dr Peingeondjabi Shipoh.

Correcting last para. It should read that qwe qwe and the two namibians were granted Bail And Not Three Namibians Were Granted Bail.

KEETMANSHOOP: Two more people were arrested in Karasburg on Monday in connection with 10 kilogrammes of marijuana seized here on Saturday.

It is the biggest amount of the illegal drug ever seized in the Karas Region. Karasburg is located some 200 kilometres south of Keetmanshoop. The Namibian Police Force (NamPol) arrested South African citizen Lizzy Qwe Qwe, 53, and Piet Dandi, a 75-year-old Namibian, and charged them with illegal drug-dealing.

On Tuesday, NamPol’s Crime Investigations’ Coordinator in Karas, Deputy Commissioner Rudolf Isaak told Nampa that another South African woman, Namhobo Mtonga, 63, and Namibian citizen George Kambinda, 41, were added to the charge on Monday.

Both are linked to the confiscated 10 kilogrammes of marijuana, also known as cannabis or dagga, with a street value of about N.dollars 30 252. It was confiscated at a house in Karasburg’s Westerkim residential area after a tip-off from a member of the public. The incident took place at around 11h30, when the police followed the lead from the informer and came across three 25-litre buckets full of dagga.

The first two suspects – Qwe Qwe and Dandi – were expected to appear in the Karasburg District Court on Monday, but the case was postponed to Tuesday when they appeared together with Mtonga and Kambinda. Their case was then postponed to 05 February 2013 when they have to appear in the Keetmanshoop Magistrate’s Court. Qwe Qwe and the two Namibians were granted bail of N.dollars 1 000 each, while Mtonga remains in police custody because she is a South African citizen and has no fixed residential address in Namibia.

NamPower strike comes to an end

WINDHOEK: The strike at the national power utility, NamPower, ended on Tuesday after six days. NamPower Managing Director Paulinus Shilamba said during a media conference on Tuesday afternoon that NamPower management and the Mine Workers’ Union of Namibia (MUN) did not reach an agreement yet on the union’s demand for a 100 per cent medical cover for employees post-retirement.

The bone of contention in the negotiations was the extension of the 100 per cent medical subsidy benefit to all employees post-retirement. “The parties agreed to continue pursuing discussions in this regard. A committee comprising of representatives from the company and the union will be formed to look extensively into the matter,” said Shilamba.

He then announced a 9 per cent wage adjustment for all employees across the board within the bargaining unit (Grades 10 to 18). On housing, employees in Grades 10 to 12 received 11 per cent increase, while those in Grades 13 to 17 received a 15 per cent increase. Employees in Grade 18 received a 35 per cent adjustment.

Employees outside the bargaining unit for Grade 2 to 6 received a 6.5 per cent, while employees in Grade 7 to 9 received a 7.5 per cent adjustment on their total packages. Shilamba said the salary adjustments are effective as from 01 July 2012.

“NamPower must find ways to sustain its operations. This is additional costs and are not budgeted for,” he bemoaned. It is likely that electricity consumers will foot the bill next year as the wage increments will cost NamPower between N.dollars 5 and N.dollars 10 million.

The strike did not have a serious impact on the power supply in the country, said Shilamba. Speaking at the same occasion, MUN Acting General Secretary, Jackie Karumbo commended the NamPower management for finding a solution to end the industrial action.

Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Alpheus Muheua, who witnessed the signing of the agreement, said it is regrettable that the more than 300 workers took part in the strike after no agreement between the two parties could be reached. “It is regrettable that the industrial action took place, but the lessons learned will guide us in the near future,” added Muheua.

SMEs building Oshandi-Eembahu-Oshiweda Road

EEMBAHU: A 40-kilometre feeder gravel road is to be constructed in the Ohangwena Region to serve as the link between the rural communities of Ondobe and Omulonga constituencies in the Ohangwena Region for the next 15 months.

It is a N.dollars 53 million-worth project, fully financed by the Namibian government. Works and Transport Minister Erkki Nghimtina performed the groundbreaking, which demonstrated the official commencement of the construction of that road, at Eembahu village on Tuesday.

The road is to be known as district road (DR) 3670 Oshandi-Eembahu-Oshiweda. “The construction of this road will bring much needed development to the people of Ohangwena Region, as it will provide easier access from the surrounding villages of Oshandi, Eembahu and Oshiweda,” Nghimtina told those attended the groundbreaking event.

Nghimtina went on to say that the road will also give the local farmers access to the market where they can sell their produce to improve their income earnings, better their living standards and reduce poverty. According to Nghimtina, the Oshandi-Eembahu-Oshiweda Road will be constructed to gravel standard by means of labour-based methods and it will create approximately 380 jobs for people living in the area.

The Works and Transport Minister used the groundbreaking occasion also to appeal to the contractor, KL Construction, no to discriminate against anyone, including women, in its recruitment of workers for the project. Nghimtina also pointed out that about 30 percent of the total cost of the Oshandi-Eembahu-Oshiweda Road project will be paid to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) contractors.

The KL Construction is to execute the project work in partnership with five SME contractors such as Omuve Construction Technologies, Niilenge Construction, Eponga Trading, Epafras & Mathilde Civil and Building Construction and Omupondo Construction.

(edited)EEMBAHU: Construction commenced here on Tuesday of a 40-kilometre feeder gravel road to serve as link between the rural communities of the Ondobe and Omulonga constituencies in the Ohangwena Region.

The construction of the road worth N.dollars 53 million will take place over the next 15 months, and is fully financed by the Namibian Government.

Works and Transport Minister Erkki Nghimtina performed the groundbreaking ceremony, demonstrating the official commencement of construction work on the road, at the Eembahu village on Tuesday.

The road is to be known as district road (DR) 3670 Oshandi-Eembahu-Oshiweda. “The construction of this road will bring much needed development to the people of the Ohangwena Region, as it will provide easier access from the surrounding villages of Oshandi, Eembahu and Oshiweda,” Nghimtina told those who attended the groundbreaking event.

He said the road will also give the local farmers access to the market where they can sell their produce to improve their income earnings, better their living standards and reduce poverty.

According to Nghimtina, the Oshandi-Eembahu-Oshiweda road will be constructed to gravel standard by means of labour-based methods, and it will create approximately 380 jobs for people living in the area.

The Works and Transport Minister then appealed to the contractor, KL Construction, not to discriminate against anyone, including women, in its recruitment of workers for the project.

Nghimtina pointed out that about 30 per cent of the total cost of the Oshandi-Eembahu-Oshiweda Road project will go towards remunerating small and medium enterprise (SME) contractors.

The KL Construction is to execute the project in partnership with five SME contractors – Omuve Construction Technologies; Niilenge Construction; Eponga Trading; Epafras & Mathilde Civil and Building Construction; and Omupondo Construction.

Two more people were arrested in Karasburg yesterday in connection with 10 kilogrammes of marijuana seized here on Saturday

KEETMANSHOOP: Two more people were arrested in Karasburg yesterday in connection with 10 kilogrammes of marijuana seized here on Saturday. The Namibian Police Force (NamPol) arrested South African citizen Lizzy Qwe Qwe, 53, and Piet Dandi, a 75-year-old Namibian, and charged them with illegal drug-dealing. Today, NamPol’s Crime Investigations’ Coordinator in Karas, Deputy Commissioner Rudolf Isaak told Nampa that another South African woman, Namhobo Mtonga, 63, and Namibian citizen George Kambinda, 41, were added to the charge yesterday.

Both are linked to the confiscated 10 kilogrammes of marijuana, also known as cannabis or dagga, with a street value of about N.dollars 30 252. Their case was then postponed to 05 February 2013 when they have to appear in the Keetmanshoop Magistrate’s Court. Qwe Qwe and the two Namibians were granted bail of N.dollars 1 000 each, while Mtonga remains in police custody because she is a South African citizen and has no fixed residential address in Namibia.

WINDHOEK: The strike at the national power utility, NamPower, ended today after six days. NamPower Managing Director Paulinus Shilamba said during a media conference today afternoon that NamPower management and the Mine Workers’ Union of Namibia (MUN) did not reach an agreement yet on the union’s demand for a 100 per cent medical cover for employees post-retirement.

Shilamba said the parties agreed to continue pursuing discussions in this regard, adding that a committee comprising of representatives from the company and the union will be formed to look extensively into the matter. He then announced a 9 per cent wage adjustment for all employees across the board within the bargaining unit (Grades 10 to 18), effective 01 July 2012.

On housing, employees in Grades 10 to 12 received 11 per cent increase, while those in Grades 13 to 17 received a 15 per cent increase. Employees in Grade 18 received a 35 per cent adjustment. Employees outside the bargaining unit for Grade 2 to 6 received a 6.5 per cent, while employees in Grade 7 to 9 received a 7.5 per cent adjustment on their total packages.