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Women's retreat empowers

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THE Twapewa Kadhikwa Annual Women's Retreat weekend, which aimed to activate the faith of women, as well as renew their mindsets for a more productive and prosperous future, will be remembered by those who attended as a life changer.


'Ompata' Headed to Big Screen

THE gritty reality of township life is often overlooked or ignored, but young film-maker Roger Rafael has found a way to creatively tell these stories through a YouTube series titled 'Ompata'.



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Average house prices edge up

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AT the end of March this year, the average price of a house in Namibia was N$1,2 million – about N$100 000 more than during the same time last year.


Namibians show interest in US trade

Elijah Mukubonda

SEVERAL Namibian entrepreneurs have shown interest in pursuing business opportunities in the United States after making contacts at the Namibia-US trade summit held in Namibia early this month.


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      Grootfontein Fights a Disgrace

      EIGHT years ago, then Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba listed Grootfontein as one of the towns that was a pain in the neck.

      The others were Okahandja and Omaruru.

      Mbumba said fights based on tribe, language and economic competition had become the order of the day.

      Nothing has changed. Up until today, these towns remain problematic with power struggles rife among officials meant to be working to alleviate the struggles of residents.

      Of these towns, Grootfontein, in the north-east, stands out as a seething hotbed of political infighting.

      Alleged corruption and dirty land deals, never-ending disciplinary hearings, and suspension after suspension are the norm.

      That there is bad blood between the local authority and the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development does not serve the situation well.

      A few years ago, former urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga ordered a thorough investigation into the affairs of the Grootfontein municipality.

      This year, the public has witnessed a public fight between Grootfontein mayor Talitha Garises and Kisco Sinvula, who was suspended as Grootfontein chief executive officer.

      Urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni intervened in the stand-off, but the Grootfontein councillors told Uutoni to back off.

      Surely something should be done about these debilitating fights that, at the end of the day, erode service delivery to its residents and affect their general well-being. The people are being sold short.

      It's now up to Uutoni and Grootfontein residents to push for a solution. However, Uutoni should bear in mind that Grootfontein has been problematic for years and new strategies may need to include introducing independent conflict resolution techniques.

      Institutions such as the Association of Local Authorities Namibia should also be proactive and help resolve the stand-off, instead of being a platform to demand better perks for councillors.

      This at a time when many Namibians are struggling to survive from day to day, meal to meal.

      It's a pity that towns like Grootfontein, Okahandja, and now the capital Windhoek continue to be hotbeds of infighting and political grandstanding.

      In Windhoek, politicians are fiddling while Rome burns.

      Both short-term and long-term issues are being neglected, from basic municipal services to housing, as long-suffering residents labour under the burden of the increased cost of living.

      Politicians such as former Windhoek mayor Job Amupanda have been fighting tooth and nail over the recruitment process of the City of Windhoek chief executive officer (CEO) position for the past year and a half.

      City executives have long carried a reputation of alleged questionable dealings, but there is a need to ensure politicians do not dictate the competency of the CEO of the municipality.

      After five years without one, Tsumeb has finally appointed Victoria Kapenda as its CEO.

      At Okahandja, more than 300 community members from the town's informal settlements this week demonstrated to demand land and better service delivery.

      “We want land now when we are alive, not when we are dead,” community activist Belinda Goëses said.

      These elected officials should be reminded that time is not on their side to fulfil the promises they made two years ago.

      Do they even care?

      Officials also need to appreciate that the very essence of contesting for local authority positions is based on serving the people in their communities, on making the daily lives of residents better, and on the efficient delivery of basic services.

      Instead, to all intents and purposes, they appear to be treating their positions as side hustles and personal playgrounds.

      The constant bickering and insidious personal vendettas in these local authorities are unacceptable.

      Not only are they leaving their communities high and dry, it is a betrayal of the trust voters have placed in them.

      Their behaviour is beyond a disgrace. Have they no shame?


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