Observer

2362 Posts
Rent pressure mounts

Rent pressure mounts

Staff Writer A rent default crisis is looming come month-end. A number of individuals and businesses have been negatively affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus. They will struggle to meet their monthly rent payments. The country’s precarious position will also cause a bulk of homeowners to struggle to service their monthly home repayments. This comes amid mounting job losses due to the government-imposed lockdown to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation is compounded by an already weak economy. Financial services company, Cirrus Capital estimates the country could lose as much as N$2 billion per week. This is due to…
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Namibia lags in Covid 19 testing

Namibia lags in Covid 19 testing

Staff Writer Former Health Minister and National Coordinator of the Covid-19 task team, Bernard Haufiku says with the current low number of Covid-19 tests conducted in relation to the population and disappointingly high level of people movement, the country cannot confidently say it’s on top of the pandemic in Namibia. According to Haufiku the country should have carried out 5,000-10,000 tests by now, more than a month since the country announced its first positive case in March. “The less than 500 tests we have carried out so far is nothing in relation to our population. We should at least have…
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Tabling of national budget postponed

Tabling of national budget postponed

Newly appointed finance minister Ipumbu Shiimi has confirmed that the 2020 Appropriation Bill will be delayed until further notice. The decision is a direct result of the state of emergency declared by president Hage Geingob on 18 March 2020 in response to the deadly and fast-spreading COVID-19 virus. Meanwhile, the finance ministry has requested all government entities to comply strictly and to continue utilizing proper authorisation procedures, as well as to continue applying prudent financial management measures during the state of emergency and beyond. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 analysts have been calling for a massive stimulus package to mitigate…
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Pinehas new chief of the NDF

Pinehas new chief of the NDF

President Hage Geingob this week appointed Air Marshall Martin Kambulu Pinehas as the new chief of the Namibia Defence Force (NDF). Former commander of the Namibian Air Force (NAF) Pinehas’ appointment became effective on Wednesday, 1 April as he replaces Lieutenant General John Mutwa. “President Hage Geingob appoints Air Marshall Martin Kambulu Pinehas as chief of the Namibian Defence Force in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Namibian Defence Force and by virtue of the power vested in him by the country’s constitution,” a statement from the presidency read. According to the statement as CDF, Pinegas will be called upon…
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Free water will cost CoW millions

Free water will cost CoW millions

The reconnection of running water for many cash-strapped Windhoek residents, especially those living in the burgeoning informal settlements surrounding the capital, is expected to cost the city an estimated N$8.9 million, according to the Chief Executive Officer, Robert Kahimise. Kahimise made the announcement this week during a media conference in the council chambers. He said the council approved an emergency response plan to help mitigate the risks associated with the virus. The measure will also benefit about 1 200 taps or households of clients who were disconnected for non-payment. Around 18 water tanks have been deployed strategically at various locations…
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Presidency defends virtual media briefings

Presidency defends virtual media briefings

Staff Writer The presidency has reacted strongly to a statement issued by the Namibia Media Trust accusing government of undermining media freedom over its decision to hold virtual media briefings, with a handful of selected media outlets. Presidential spokesperson, Alfredo Hengari, said government remained committed to media freedom and the measures taken were in line with guidelines on social distancing. “To fight the propagation of COVID-19 in Namibia, and in compliance with the preventative guidelines of social distancing and avoidance of crowds in one place, the presidency elected, (logically that is) that the 1 April 2020 Presidential Update on COVID-19…
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Okahandja councillors demand immediate reinstatement

Okahandja councillors demand immediate reinstatement

Lawyers representing the recently ousted Okahandja councillors demand their immediate reinstatement or the incoming Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni, will face a further legal challenge. The entire municipal council was ousted at the behest of the former Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga, just a little over two weeks ago. The grounds for the removal of the local leadership included allegations of mismanagement and failure to comply with ministerial directives, as well as the non-submission of minutes of the proceedings of the council. The Okahandja town council has been under increasing pressure to resign based…
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Unions reject proposed wage cuts

Unions reject proposed wage cuts

Staff Writer Government is setting itself up for a fight with unions if it moves ahead to implement any wage cuts for its 100 000 strong civil service as proposed by Finance Minister Iipumbu Shiimi, when he announced the COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package this week. According to the proposal put forward by Shiimi, government and business owners will be allowed to negotiate a temporary 20 percent reduction of salaries and wages during the crisis period, and 40 percent for the worst-hit industries, such as the tourism, hospitality, travel and aviation sectors, as part of efforts to avoid major retrenchments and…
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Business welcomes govt bailout

Business welcomes govt bailout

Staff Writer The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) says government’s N$8.1 billion stimulus package will provide vital support to keep businesses afloat in the wake of the damaging effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which follows four consecutive years of an economic slowdown. The package according to NCCI Chief Executive Officer, Charity Mwiya, will help ease the cashflow hardships many businesses are experiencing in order to pay bills and to pay staff. “As the minister of finance Ipumbu Shiimi recognised in his announcement yesterday, businesses keep people in jobs and during these tough times it is vital that businesses…
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Couch Kitten: Maybe locking down isn’t so bad

Thandizo Kawerama Life as we know it has changed completely. Things that were once normal and part of our everyday routines have been taken away from us. Going to school, commuting to work and grocery shopping amongst other things have suddenly become activities you need to think twice about. The lockdown has changed everyone’s routine and has forced us all to slow down. This means our priorities have changed and things that were once at the top of the list have suddenly shifted or disappeared. Though it might be unfamiliar and even a bit scary, I don’t necessarily think that…
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