WINDHOEK – Police in NAMIBIA have impounded a number of taxis after stopping protesting drivers from besieging the Ministry of Works and Transport.

Disgruntled taxi drivers abandon vehicles in Hosea Kutako Drive (Pic. The Namibian)

NBC News says the authorities seized the abandoned vehicles along the HOSEA KUTAKO Drive in the capital, WINDHOEK.

It says the protestors wanted to confront the Transport Ministry to demand a response to their petitions, which they had filed last month and this week.

They allegedly abandoned their vehicles on the road near the City Police Head Office, where the law-enforcement agents had intercepted them before reaching the Ministry.

NBC News says the NAMIBIA TRANSPORT AND TAXI UNION has been demanding for reduced traffic fines, a 20-percent rise in fares and for government recognition of the group.

It says Union President WERNER JANUARY has told a gathering of about 300 taxi drivers they can sue the government with help from a SOUTH AFRICAN sponsor.

The organisation had given the authorities some TWO hours to respond to its demands before the confrontation with the police and the subsequent seizure of the vehicles.

The national broadcaster quotes a media statement by Transport Minister JOHN MUTORWA as saying he is ready to engage the NAMIBIA TRANSPORT AND TAXI UNION.

However, he says the President of the labour group never wrote or spoke to him but he is ready to listen to any grievances from all stakeholders.

The Minister says the NAMIBIAN Government intends to work with people involved in the taxi industry to find amicable solutions, which are in line with relevant laws./Sabanews/cam



Health workers have cried foul for long

HARARE – The government of ZIMBABWE has dismissed at least 16-THOUSAND nurses who have been striking over poor working conditions.

THE HERALD quotes Vice President CONSTANTINO CHIWENGA as saying the Health Services Board should immediately recall retired nurses and employ jobless graduates to replace the fired strikers.

It says President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA has endorsed the dismissal after the State had released more than 17-MILLION US dollars to cover the demands by the workers.

Vice President CHIWENGA, who is the Supervisor of the Social Services Cluster, has issued a statement saying the behaviour by the nurses has been politically motivated.

He says the government has met with the Health Services Board and the Nurses’ Association to resolve the industrial action, and complied with their demands, but the industrial action has persisted.

Vice President CHIWENGA says the whole action is deplorable and shameful, because the State transferred 17-MILLION-114-THOUSAND-446 to the Ministry of Health and Child Care for on-payment to the striking nurses.

He says the move, against clear economic challenges in the nation, shows good faith on the part of the government; yet it has failed to persuade the nurses to go back to work to save lives.

Vice President CHIWENGA says the State now regards the lack of remorse as politically motivated and beyond concerns of conditions of service and worker welfare.

He says the funds originally released to meet the demands of the striking nurses will go towards the costs of effecting the new directive and arrangement, which takes immediate effect.

The government has commended all nurses who have loyally remained on duty and to the others from the ranks of the striking staff who have heeded its call for them to return to work.

Vice President CHIWENGA says their commitment to duty and patients, both pointing to a deep regard for life as required by their professional oath, is noted and much appreciated.

On the other hand, the State has appealed to people visiting public health institutions to be patient while it restores services.

ZIMBABWEANS should also practise good hygiene at home and in public places in view of sporadic cases of cholera reported in parts of the country./Sabanews/cam



The project will be located on the lagoon at Le Rocher, Les Mamelles District (Pic, Photo license)

VICTORIA – SEYCHELLES is planning to install a Floating Solar Photovoltaic system in the INDIAN Ocean, the FIRST ever utility-scale solar in AFRICA.

Energy experts say a utility-scale solar facility generates solar power and feeds it into the grid, feeding an organization supplying the community with energy.

SEYCHELLES Energy Commission Chief Executive Officer of TONY IMADUWA has told the national news agency, SNA, the project will inject clean and green energy into the national power system.

He says it should contribute about FIVE-POINT-EIGHT Gigawatts of electricity every year, help reduce fossil fuel importation as well as increase savings in foreign exchange for the country.

Mr IMADUWA says the scheme will further create green jobs during the implementation, and the construction phase will further provide opportunities to local businesses.

However, he says his country still has to work hard to achieve its targeted 15 percent of all national energy needs from renewable sources by 2030.

The planned solar power scheme will account for just ONE percent, to bring to FIVE percent the total achieved so far.

SNA says the authorities  plan to locate the Floating Solar Photovoltaic system on the lagoon at LE ROCHER in LES MAMELLES District, on the eastern coast of the main island of MAHE.

It quotes Mr IMADUWA as saying even if it is in seawater, the reclaimed land around the lagoon provides protection from waves and salt spray.

He says for small islands with limited land resources, exploring renewable energy installation in their waters is a must if they want to strengthen their energy security.

SEYCHELLES, a group of 115 islands in the INDIAN Ocean, is not new to Solar Photovoltaic, since numerous public and private buildings are generating power from the sun./Sabanews/cam



President Joao Lourenco (right) receives leaders of National Youth Council (Pic. ANGOP)

LUANDA – Young people in ANGOLA have presented to President JOAO LOURENCO a number of issues they would like addressed for their economic empowerment.

They have told the national news agency, ANGOP, their lives will problems related to housing, technical and vocational training, employment, and credit lines are fulfilled.

ANGOP says President LOURENCO has received written submissions from the Chairperson of the National Youth Council and his delegation at State House in the capital, LUANDA.

ANTÓNIO TINGÃO MATEUS says their dialogue with the Head of State aims to help the ANGOLAN Leader understand the daily concerns of young persons in his country.

He says President LOURENCO has paid attention to their worries and has pledged to scrutinise them attentively before taking appropriate action.

Mr MATEUS also says his Council supports the introduction of the National Youth Plan, because it enables young people to take part in State programs of national development.

The National Youth Development Plan launched in 2014 aims to improve the living quality of the youth.

Mr MATEUS says his group is behind the PROJOVEM Project, a credit line meant to support young entrepreneurs, although they have issues with some elements of its operationalization.

Media reports say the ANGOLAN Government last JANUARY approved the creation of the Credit Line Regulation to Support Young Entrepreneurs.

The program, worth 24-MILLION US dollars and funded by the ANGOLAN Development Bank, would finance 226 youth projects at a maximum of 200-THOUSAND US dollars per scheme.

Youth and Sports Minister ANA PAULA SACRAMENTO has witnessed the dialogue between President LOURENCO and the young delegation at State House.

The ANGOLAN Cabinet member says her Ministry works with the National Youth Council to monitor the implementation of the pro-youth credit line./Sabanews/cam



Kids trying to avoid sewerage water (Pic. Agencies)

HARARE – The new economic, political, and social system in ZIMBABWE is receiving lots of approvals abroad; but the picture at home is depressing.

President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA has pledged to hit the ground running and is proving it with his attention to both government and political business.

However, although senior civil servants, mostly in the capital, HARARE, are emulating him, urban council authorities have maintained a relaxed mood in the face of humanitarian disasters.

ONE of the major looming calamities is a serious disease outbreak due to lack of proper sanitation in the most densely populated areas of HARARE and the dormitory town of CHITUNGWIZA.

THE HERALD has carried out a survey of SAINT MARY’S Suburbs of CHITUNGWIZA following reports saying both municipalities have recorded 24 suspected cases of cholera over the past week.

The State-run newspaper says the area has over the years been experiencing erratic supplies of water, with perpetual flows of raw sewerage in front of their houses daily.

A number of residents have even given up hope of ever using the municipality sewer system and decided to dig up septic tanks in their homes.

THE HERALD has interviewed BELIEVE BEMBERE whose father died of suspected cholera this WEDNESDAY.

The young man says CHITUNGWIZA Municipality has neglected the people of SAINT MARY’S, resulting in the emergence of diarrhoeal diseases.

Mr BEMBERE says their area only receives water TWO times a week, MONDAYS and TUESDAYS; and people rely on unprotected wells, because communal boreholes no longer function.

He says his father had diarrhoea and vomiting on TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY, before his death on THURSDAY. They do not know if he really died of cholera yet, but the sanitation situation in their area worries them.

Another resident, LAYTON CHIDEMO, has accused the Municipality of what he describes as its reactionary approach to the provision of safe water and sanitation to the area.

He says the authorities only attended to the burst sewer pipes after reports of the suspected outbreak, but they still have not disinfected the spill over.

ZIMBABWE is among SADC countries that are receiving above normal rains this season; amid warnings of potential heavy flooding that causes outbreaks of water-borne diseases like cholera./Sabanews/cam



Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, SA (Pic. eNCA)

SIYENDLE – A number of people attending the funeral of a young man in the SIYENDLE area of SWAZILAND have escaped death after a petrol bomb exploded in their packed house.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND says unknown assailants attacked the mourners in the early hours of this SATURDAY.

It says the device went off and left JOYCE MASILELA, 58, a neighbour, and 12 other family members chocking in smoke.

The family say they suspect the attack was an attempt to kill them by people who may have had a hand in the death of 21-year-old NHLANHLA KUNENE, the son of Ms MASILELA.

Ms MASILELA says they found NHLANHLA lying dead on his bed, and suspected he had been poisoned during a night out with unknown people.

She says although his body still had a pulse, he could not provide answers to many questions because he had lost his speech by the time he was discovered.

Ms MASILELA has been reluctant to discuss the suspects or the discord between them and her son; saying the family members have a slight idea but they have left everything to the police.

She also says the petrol bombers attacked as the family were mourning and making preparations for the burial of the deceased, which is scheduled for this SUNDAY.

In another development, the case of the murdered prominent businessman, VICTOR GAMEDZE, has taken a new twist.

The TIMES says the TWO SOUTH AFRICANS suspected of the killing are now challenging the jurisdiction of the magistrate presiding over their extradition from the neighbouring country.

It says the accused, MBUSI ‘NCAZA’ NKOSI and SIMPHIWE NGUBANE, are currently detained in SOUTH AFRICA following their arrest almost TWO months ago.

They made their SECOND appearance at the JOHANNESBURG Magistrates Court last THURSDAY, when they argued they should appear before a SOWETO-based magistrate instead.

Advocate DEON VAN VYK from the National Prosecuting Authority of SOUTH AFRICA is representing the SWAZI authorities, while a lawyer from Legal Aid SOUTH AFRICA stands for the suspects.

The accused SOUTH AFRICANS argue their matter should be heard in SOWETO, where they were arrested in connection with the murder of the SWAZI businessman and football administrator.

The SWAZI delegation now has to prove why the suspects should be extradited, and whether the JOHANNESBURG Magistrate does have jurisdiction to preside over the matter./Sabanews/cam



Electoral Commission Chairperson Priscilla Chigumba

HARARE – The government of ZIMBABWE has once again assured the international community it is dedicate to hold fair, free, and credible elections this year.

President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA has posted on FACEBOOK saying the whole world is welcome to witness the ballots that are due in JULY.

THE HERALD says the SADC country has invited delegations from 46 countries to observe the forthcoming elections, the FIRST ever without ROBERT MUGABE who ruled for 37 years until last year.

It says the call by President MNANGAGWA for free and fair elections comes amid efforts to amend the Electoral Act, which is already before Parliament.

The ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission has therefore advised political parties to make their proposed changes to the Electoral Act in the National Assembly.

The opposition MDC Alliance has recently been threatening to boycott the ballots if their demands for electoral reforms are not met.

However, Electoral Commission Chairperson PRISCILLA CHIGUMBA says her team has notified political parties to make their inputs.

She says the Commission is an independent body that does not make laws, but just makes recommendations to lawmakers; and parties should propose the changes they want in Parliament.

On the other hand, Justice CHIGUMBA says her Commission has no evidence of any of its permanent workers still serving in the military; and anyone with such proof should bring it forward.

She has been responding to allegations of military involvement in the organisation, saying all their employees go through interviews and the law does not stop the Commission from hiring retired soldiers either.

Meanwhile, the government has also invited a number international organisations to observe the 2018 General Elections.

The SADC Parliamentary Forum, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern AFRICA, the COMMONWEALTH, and Non-Aligned Movement are some of the key institutions invited.

The AFRICAN UNION Commission, the Pan AFRICAN Parliament, the EUROPEAN UNION Commission, and the EUROPEAN UNION Parliament will also send their observers.

They will join other groups like the AFRICAN, CARIBBEAN AND PACIFIC GROUP as well as the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

THE HERALD says diplomats accredited to ZIMBABWE will observe the elections on request, unlike in the 2013 ballots when diplomats accredited on full-time basis could do so.

ZIMBABWE has also invited to the elections liberation movements such as the ANC of SOUTH AFRICA, the CCM of TANZANIA, the FRELIMO of MOZAMBIQUE, the BDP of BOTSWANA, and the MPLA of ANGOLA./Sabanews/cam



Poaching, a growing disease in North-eastern Namibia (Pic. New Era)

RUNDU – Police in North-eastern NAMIBIA have shot and killed a suspected poacher in the BWABWATA National Park.

Inspector General SEBASTIAN NDEITUNGA has confirmed the incident to the national news agency, NAMPA.

He says the deceased was among a group of more than FIVE suspected poachers thought to have crossed over into neighbouring BOTSWANA via the vast BWABWATA nature reserve.

Lieutenant NDEITUNGA says the accused persons engaged and exchanged fire with the police officer who spotted them as they retreated with their loot.

He says the law-enforcement agents found the suspects carrying EIGHT elephant tusks, and it appeared they were on their way to ANGOLA.

A MARCH 2017 report by the NEW ERA newspaper says armed clashes between the Police Anti-Poaching Unit and poachers have been increasing, and at least FIVE suspects had been killed by that time.

BWABWATA National Park is a 2007 amalgamation of the CAPRIVI Game Park in the then CAPRIVI Region and the MAHANGO Game Reserve in the then KAVANGO Region.

It stretches across the ZAMBEZI and KAVANGO EAST regions, extending along the CAPRIVI Strip; bounded by the KAVANGO River to the west and the KWANDO River to the east.

BWABWATA National Park is a vital migration route for elephant and some other game species from BOTSWANA in the south to ANGOLA in the north.

The NAMIBIAN authorities say it is an unusual, protected area and home to about FIVE-THOUSAND-500 people; while the government involves the residents and neighbours to plan and manage the park./Sabanews/cam



Muhimbili National Hospital patients (Pic. The Citizen)

DAR ES SALAAM – The TANZANIA Ports Authority has this week marked its 13TH Anniversary by helping ONE of the busiest medical institutions in the country.

The DAILY NEWS says the firm has donated 20 wheelchairs and 40 digital thermometers to MUHIMBILI National Hospital Paediatric Unit to boost medical service delivery to children.

It says apart from the FOUR-THOUSAND-400 US dollars’ worth of the items, workers of the Ports Authority have also donated blood to save lives of the needy patients.

The Paediatric Unit has 13 divisions covering pulmonology and critical care, neurology, nephrology, adolescent, acute care, infectious or diarrhoea, malnutrition, oncology or hematology, neonatal, gastroenterology, dermatology, diabetes and endocrinology.

The DAILY NEWS says Ports Authority Acting Director General NURU MHANDO has handed over the donation during a ceremony held at the medical centre in the commercial capital, DAR ES SALAAM.

She says her company recognises and values government initiatives to improve medical services; and as a parastatal, the agency has a duty to support delivery of basic community services.

Ms MHANDO says the equipment will ease treatment of children admitted for different ailments, and the Ports Authority will contribute especially to improve services like education, health, development and during natural disasters.

She has expressed hope the support provided will help serve many children who visit the MUHIMBILI National Hospital Paediatric Unit because they are the future, and it is vital the country values their good health.

Ms MHANDO says her company also respects the health of people living around where it operates and of its employees, which is why they have staged a health screening and blood donation exercise to cater for the needy.

The TANZANIA Ports Authority acting boss describes good health as an asset, saying it is important to have knowledge about one’s health and donate blood to save lives in need./Sabanews/cam



Mental health patients need attention just like other people (Pic. Doctors Without Borders)

GOROMONZI – The ZIMBABWE National Association for Mental Health has launched a campaign to reach out to people suffering from mental disorders in the country.

ZBC News says hundreds of people have today (WEDNESDAY) gathered at CHINYIKA Clinic in the eastern area of GOROMONZI for a community outreach programme on psychosis.

Medical experts say psychosis is a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.

The condition results in difficulties telling what is real and what is not, with symptoms like false beliefs and seeing or hearing things that others do not see or hear; as well as confused speech and behaviour that is not suitable for the situation.

ZBC News quotes the Public Engagement Officer of the ZIMBABWE Early Intervention in Psychosis, NEFASI MLAMBO, as saying psychosis can be treated just like other condition if detected early.

It says 12 drama groups from CHINYIKA Ward 16 and RUSIKE Ward 18 have performed before the gathering to raise awareness on mental health.

The national broadcaster says they have been focusing their plays on ways to combat stigma as well as giving communities the platform to discuss methods of dealing with mental conditions.

It says the ZIMBABWE National Association for Mental Health has organised the just ended community mental health outreach program with the help of the WELLCOME TRUST, amid scaring reports.

A 2017 story by the FINANCIAL GAZETTE weekly newspaper says some 20 percent of the country’s 14-MILLION people are mental patients.

It blames the situation on the 20 years of what it calls an economic free-fall that has had a devastating mental, emotional, and physical toll on the generality of the people facing the meltdown.

The paper quotes the World Health Organisation as saying at least ONE-MILLION-300-THOUSAND suffer from mental problems, compared to just more than 600-THOUSAND in 1999.

On the other hand, the WHO says ZIMBABWE only has 14 psychiatric experts to attend to the ONE-POINT-THREE-MILLION patients, which means there are ZERO-POINT-ZERO-EIGHT doctors per 100-THOUSAND sufferers./Sabanews/cam