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Published on April 13th, 2016 | by admin

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Month In Review March 2016

Business

> Oryx Properties’ revenue totalled N$147 million in the six months ending December 31 2015. Revenue was N$128 million in the same period in 2014. Oryx’s property portfolio includes Maerua Mall shopping centre and the Gustav Voigts Centre in Windhoek.

> The strike at Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation (RPZC) continued throughout March. Workers are demanding a 12.5 percent wage increase, 100 percent medical aid cover, underground allowances of N$2,300 and a standard production bonus. RPZC initially offered a 5.5 percent increase.

> The Skorpion Zinc mine and the Mineworkers’ Union of Namibia agreed on a wage increase. Continuous operation employees will receive a 4 percent increment and an increase in their housing allowances, while administration staff and engineers will receive 6 percent and 5 percent increases respectively.

> The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation launched the first bond by a non-resident issuer in Namibia’s capital markets, raising N$180 million (US$12 million). The money will be used to support private sector development in Namibia.

> The SME Bank produced its first audited financial statements after four years – posting losses of N$72 million in 2015. The SME Bank is a joint venture between the government, the Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe and controversial Zimbabwean businessman Enoch Kamushinda.

> The National Equitable Economic Empowerment Bill was criticised at a meeting organised by the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry for being potentially disruptive for business growth in Namibia.

> The new Oshakati market, also known as Omatala, was inaugurated by President Hage Geingob.

> The Frans Indongo Group donated N$1 million to government’s drought relief efforts as long as the funds were spent at a discounted rate at the Group’s shopping outlets.

POLITICS

• A panel of experts reporting to the UN Security Council (UNSC) found that Namibia’s military connections with North Korea contravened UN sanctions. Government denied it was in breach of the UNSC resolutions. It was unclear if Namibia will face sanctions or other forms of punishment.

• Government refused to back down on a plan to build a new parliament building despite the costs shooting up from N$640 million to N$2.2 billion in the latest budget.

• Namibia marked 26 years of independence with Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita attending celebrations in Windhoek as government’s guest of honour. (right)

• In his Independence Day address, President Hage Geingob condemned critics who claimed that his government had its priorities wrong. The comment came in the wake of some analysts’ claims that his first year in office had been a disappointment. (above)

• President Geingob used his Independence Day address to make it clear he would no longer accept visits from business people seeking to gain his backing for gaining government tenders.

• President Geingob approved a 6 percent salary increase for MPs, a few months after he gave the green light for major increases in subsidies for parliamentarians’ water and electricity bills.

• President Geingob convened the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council which consists of former presidents Hifikepunye Pohamba and Sam Nujoma.

• President Geingob consulted with various groups including the private sector and the labour movement ahead of the launch of the Harambee prosperity plan in April.

• Political parties decided not to disclose the identities of donors of their funds when they release their accounts later this year under the terms of the electoral law.

• The Ministry of Environment and Tourism said it was not informed that the Kora All Africa Music Awards had been cancelled or postponed. It is also not clear what had happened to N$21 million that the Namibia Tourism Board gave to the organisers for advertising purposes.

• Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta appointed a new board for Namibia Wildlife Resorts made up predominantly of people with experience in the hospitality industry. They included Janet Wilson-Moore, general manager at the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre, Avani Windhoek Hotel and Casino general manager Rudie Putterhas, and Bernd Schneider, who owns and runs a tour operator and travel agency.

• Namibia’s ambassador to Germany, Andreas Guibeb, requested opposition parties in the German Bundestag to withdraw their different draft resolutions on genocide reparations in an apparent attempt to have a joint motion adopted.

• Ovaherero paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro condemned Guibeb’s interference and called for the direct representatives of communities affected by the genocide to be involved in negotiations with the German government.

• The National Assembly could not reach agreement on whether direct descendants of the 1904-08 genocide should be represented in reparation negotiations with the German government.

• Justice Minister Albert Kawana told the National Assembly that his ministry was experiencing a severe shortage of experienced legal drafters which was slowing down the tabling of new laws in parliament.

SOCIETY AND SPORT

#Namibia’s first-ever kidney transplant was performed at Ongwediva Medipark hospital.Bernhard Maswahu (59) from Katima Mulilo received a kidney from his son with doctors from South Africa and Namibia carrying out the operation.

#Deputy health minister Juliet Kavetuna told a World TB Day gathering that 9,953 Namibians were diagnosed with the disease in 2015, making the country the fourth-highest in the world in terms TB prevalence.

#The return of 730 Namibian refugees who have been living at Dukwe camp in Botswana was postponed.The refugees say they fear arrest, detention and torture in Namibia.

#About 50,000 crimes related to gender-based violence were reported over the past three years, with the Khomas region being the ‘capital’ of such crime, according to the police.

#The National Housing Enterprise said its waiting list had dramatically increased from 18,000 in 2013 to 76,800 now.

#Members of the Kambazembi royal family suspended their traditional leader, chief Sam Kambazembi over accusations of abuse of power and inappropriate behaviour.

#Retired Bishop of the Anglican Diocese in Namibia, Nathaniel Ndaxuma Nakwatumbah, passed away.

#Namibia hopes of qualifying for the African Cup of Nations dimmed after the Brave Warriors beat Burundi 3-1 away from home but then lost by the same margin in the return leg played in Windhoek.

#Namibia’s Under-21 women’s hockey team narrowly missed out on a place in the world championships in Chile, coming third in the African U-21 qualifier tournament played in Windhoek.The Namibian men’s team finished in a disappointing fourth place.

ECONOMY

-Namibia’s annual inflation rate in February was 6.1 percent, up from 5.3 percent in January, according to the Namibia Statistics Agency.

-The liquidity position of the banking industry increased to N$2.1 billion in February from N$948.1 million recorded in January, figures released by the Bank of Namibia showed.

-Namibia’s trade deficit in 2015 was the highest in 10 years, widening by 43 percent from 2014 to N$39.2 billion.


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