Observer Money

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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Pressure mounts over AgriBusDev’s tender

Pressure mounts over AgriBusDev’s tender

Staff Writer Local fertilizer producers have rubbished claims by the Agricultural Business Development Agency (AgriBusDev) Managing Director, Petrus Uugwanga that the country did not have local fertilizer producers and thus had no option but to award a multimillion-dollar fertilizer supply tender to South African company, Kynoch. One company that claims to be able to provide these products is Greenfield Organic Fertilizers (GOF). Based in Okahandja, this product provider has been in operation for years. According to the company’s owner, the business has the capacity to produce over 12 tons of organic fertilizer a day. This capacity makes them more than…
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NMP claims Fishrot accused blocked phosphate mining

NMP claims Fishrot accused blocked phosphate mining

Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) spokesman Romeo Muyunda, on Wednesday dismissed claims by Namibia Phosphate Mining (NMP) that the ‘Fishrot’ files scandal and the individuals involved in it are responsible for stalling its Sandpiper phosphate mining project. The company is engaged in a protracted campaign which started over 10 years ago, to commence offshore mining for phosphates, an estimated 120km south-west of Walvis Bay. “It appears the objections to NMP’s phosphate project, as proposed and scientifically substantiated by independent environmental assessments, were spearheaded by individuals who are now implicated in, what is perhaps, Namibia’s biggest post-independence corruption scandal, the…
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SWAPO Party 2020 – A Portrait

SWAPO Party 2020 – A Portrait

Citizen Nahas Angula I have been asked to paint a portrait of SWAPO Party in 2020 for the February/March edition of the Observer Connect Magazine. At the outset I confess that I am not a good artist. In addition I am not privy to the current inner party thinking. The SWAPO Party is a legacy and heritage of all patriotic Namibians. We owe it to the Party that Namibia today is a proud nation, despite a myriad of challenges that we face. The current SWAPO Party image is best portrayed by the protagonists of the organization, especially its spokespersons. Let…
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Namibian tourism industry hit hard by virus

Namibian tourism industry hit hard by virus

Clementine Tjameya The Namibian tourism industry is experiencing an unprecedented crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The country is now in virtual lockdown following the declaration of a State of Emergency this week by President Hage Geingob. This move became necessary after two Romanian tourists entered the country two weeks ago and brought Covid-19 with them. A near comprehensive travel ban is now in effect, including restrictions on some border posts with South Africa, the country’s main trading partner. The troubles experienced by the hospitality, tourism and travel industry are due to Namibia’s pre-emptive actions to protect public health as…
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