Saturday, November 24, 2007

Namibia Update: One Africa TV Announces Partnership; Nujoma to Chair Last SWAPO Meeting; Peace Must Not Be Disturbed

One Africa Television Announces Partnership with SA Broadcaster

Friday, 23rd of November 2007
By Staff Reporter

One Africa Television, Namibia’s private commercial, terrestrial broadcaster, has announced a major investment in the company by newly licensed South African broadcaster, Telkom Media. The announcement comes on the anniversary of One Africa’s fourth year of operations.

Announcing the deal, Paul van Schalkwyk, founder and managing director of One Africa, said he believed the investment was good for the Namibian broadcasting industry as it provided new avenues for growth for the local broadcaster.

“The transaction with Telkom Media now makes the One Africa’s dream of expanding into Africa a reality,” Van Schalkwyk said.

According to Connie Molusi, Chairman of Telkom Media, the company is extremely excited about the investment in One Africa Television.

“One Africa Television has created a ground breaking free-to-air broadcasting model which is uniquely adapted to the requirements of the continent. We have no doubt that One Africa must rate as one of the best free-to-air television stations on the African continent,” he said.

Telkom Media has acquired a 49 percent stake in the company, while the remaining 51 percent shareholding remains in Namibian hands. Local shareholders include two well known Namibian BEE investment companies, Aantu Investments and Consulting and Stimulus Investments, as well as One Africa senior management.

According to Van Schalkwyk the partnership with Telkom Media is the next logical step for the private television station.

“When we started broadcasting One Africa Television four years ago many industry observers predicted that we were doomed to fail, especially after the quick demise of our predecessor, TVAfrica. Four years later our viewers, advertisers and industry analysts agree that One Africa is definitely here to stay and growing by the day.

“Today we are probably the most popular commercial broadcaster in Namibia. Our latest research indicates that One Africa has more than 400 000 viewers watching three and a half hours of programming every evening, which makes us a very powerful advertising medium,” he said.

“There can be no doubt that our spectacular growth is due to the enormous support received from our viewers and advertisers as well as the persistence, passion and hard work of our staff, sometimes under the most trying circumstances.”

During the short span of 48 months One Africa television has grown from a small Windhoek based broadcaster to a fully fledged national private television broadcaster enjoying a huge following and popularity.

With the completion of its current expansion programme by the end of next month, One Africa expects to cover a projected 90 percent of estimated television viewers in Namibia in their national footprint.

The towns and major centres covered by the One Africa Television broadcasts include: Eenhana, Gobabis, Grootfontein, Henties Bay, Karasburg, Karibib, Katima Mulilo, Keetmanshoop, L├╝deritz, Mariental.

The station also broadcasts in Okahandja, Okakarara, Omaruru, Ondangwa, Ongwediva, Oranjemund, Oshakati, Otjiwarongo, Oshikango, Rehoboth, Rosh Pinah, Rundu, Swakopmund, Tsumeb, Usakos, Walvis Bay and Windhoek.

One Africa Television is Namibia’s only commercial free-to-air television station. Viewers do not require satellite dishes or decoders and there is no monthly subscription fee payable to receive their broadcasts.

The company notes that One Africa is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Programmes include news, live soccer and sports, popular soapies and telenovellas, as well as talk shows and movies.

Nujoma to Chair Last Meet

Friday, 23rd of November 2007
By Kuvee Kangueehi

Swapo Party President, Dr Sam Nujoma, will on Sunday chair his last meeting of the Swapo Party as president of the party.

Nujoma has been at the helm of the party since its inception in 1960. He will officially open the Central Committee meeting, which is expected to call the 4th Ordinary Congress of the Swapo Party, scheduled for November 27 to 30.

The Central Committee will discuss the final preparations for the congress as well as review candidates for the top four positions nominated by the Politburo a fortnight ago.

The Politburo nominated President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Swapo Party Chief Whip, Hage Geingob, as sole candidates for the positions of president and vice president respectively.

Although many party members believe that the two top positions are already sealed because the two nominations have the backing of most regions as well as the current party president, an insider says there could be a twist in the race for the vice president.

The insider claims that some members from the Omusati Region are still quietly pushing for the Minister of Lands, Jerry Ekandjo, and will nominate him from the floor at the congress.

The insider noted that the group decided not to nominate Ekandjo at the Politburo or upcoming Central Committee meeting to avoid early elimination by these structures pending ‘the final dice’ at the congress.

Commentators say Ekandjo’s election to the position of vice president could polarise the party, which is regarded by some as being dominated by people from the Omusati Region.

Another point raised is that with new political developments and the formation of the Rally for Democracy and Progress, the party does not only need a committed leader but one who will push the party to new heights and act as a unifier who appeals to minorities as well.

One of the candidates contesting the position of secretary general is expected to withdraw from the race at the upcoming Central Committee meeting. The Politburo nominated the incumbent Ngarikutuke Tjiriange, his deputy John Pandeni and Attorney General, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana.

It is expected that either Pandeni or Ithana will withdraw from the race as the duo have the same support base. It is feared that if the two go head-to-head at the congress, they will split their votes and allow Tjiriange to retain the position. Although Ithana enjoys a slight edge because of the gender aspect, some feel that the line up, if Geingob becomes vice president and Nangolo Mbumba the deputy secretary general, will be a “total Geingob line up”.

The Central Committee meeting starts on Sunday morning and ends on Monday ahead of the congress that starts on Tuesday morning.

Namibian Peace Must Not be Disturbed

Friday, 23rd of November 2007
By Tulinane O Emvula

The announcement of the breakaway party, Rally for Democracy and Progress, was received with a colourful reaction as members of the society aired their different views on the implications of the new political party that involves some key members of the ruling Swapo party.

Many brushed off any significant impact that would pose a serious political threat to the continued dominance of Swapo as the ruling party. The concern of many seems to focus on the effect of social peace and therefore, national security.

A prevailing feeling is that the Namibian masses may have difficulty to give political space and credence to those that, in effect, bring into disrespect the party to which they owe the freedom and peace they are enjoying after the defeat of the cruel apartheid colonialism. The masses have great difficulty to understand and accept that those who abandon the national liberation hero were indeed genuine members of Swapo before or they were indeed the ones who were collaborating with the enemy all along but were shielded and secured by the ambiance of their positions within the ranks of Swapo leadership.

One Swapo member recalls an incident in Luanda when President Sam Nujoma made an evident mistake and he asked one of the now top leaders of RDP why, as a member of the Politburo, he could not advise the president correctly? To which he replied: “Let the bloody old man make his blunders!” (Encouraging blunders that could adversely affect the liberation struggle?) That reply caused the member to fear that there must be something seriously wrong within the top leadership of Swapo.

The current unfolding events vindicate that all along there was something unbecoming there.

The correct attitude would have been “I/we have advised the President but he did not listen.”

Another question arises as to whether the article that appeared in the Windhoek Advertiser on July 16, 2005 where the RDP leaders claimed that a certain tribe was made to provide leadership in Namibia has not established the essentially tribal thinking underpinning the philosophy of the RDP leaders. Looking at the line-up of the RDP leadership and its following does not provide comfort to those who uphold the Swapo ideology of the unity of the Namibian people regardless of their origins.

Tribalism affronts the Namibian people. The easy peace on the Namibian streets is the reflection of the success of the Swapo Party wise polices of genuine unity and national reconciliation that the RDP seems to threaten now with its apparent tribal and planned subversive tendencies.

Members of the society are still debating among themselves as they try to unravel the ongoing political saga.

You hear them saying if what is claimed that ideas were smothered within Swapo, how cowardice were these guys not to have caused a stir within the Party on those ideas if they are so many, intelligent and powerful. Was the one Sam able to drag them into doing all the good and bad things that Swapo experienced throughout the liberation struggle and the initial years of independence?

Then Thank God that Sam was there to cause independence and freedom to come single-handedly! If their ideas were not accepted by Sam and yet we got independence then those ideas might not have been good at all.

Coming to making RDP the political home of the non-voters and others one may be reminded of the strategy of the Europeans, particularly the Germans in the 1980s that if you cannot beat Swapo join them and neutralise them from within.

Are the Namibians now experiencing the fruition of that strategy? Will that then, be to the advantage of the broad masses of the Namibian people?

Questions are free to be asked. Will there be answers to them?

Why is Sam (Nujoma) the target of those who want to do their things in Namibia? Why concentrating on what he did badly and obliterate the good he did? The problems within Swapo would better have been shed abroad and cause a row within it and then on those open and clear facts, a political party could be established. Revolutions are not planned. They arise from the people and then leaders assume positions to interpret their aspirations.

Others believe that the promises of anything good cannot be true if the same persons were not doing those things over the many years while they occupied well placed positions in Swapo. Were they then saboteurs? If so who were they for all along?

There are many examples of intellectuals who broke from Swapo because of the “uneducated leadership”. They went on to establish a string of their political parties.

They even established a history of abandoning their members as other ideas made them to form new parties.

They ran from the uneducated and continued to run up to now. Nature has it that when one starts something you would own it up. When one starts running s/he will continue running.

In their analysis of the situation Namibians are well advised to remember that the struggle is far from being over. United Africa is the only assurance of the African people to free themselves from foreign domination. So no letting up until that goal is achieved.

Nothing much has in fact changed in the Namibian equation of things as far as the balance of forces is concerned.

Only open verbal abuse has subsided or is being done less loudly. On the whole things continue to be as they were and no one in his right mind can ignore the fact that the Swapo Party ideology must be pursued to ensure that Namibia remains a shining star on the African continent and in the world at large. We are doing well.

The peace must not be disturbed.

All involved in politics must take the Namibian peace established by the Swapo Party as sacred.

The SWAPO Youth League on the whole seems to have taken a very mature position in that they accept people are free to create or belong to political parties of their choice, yet they take exception to people with a leaning to RDP continuing to remain in Swapo possibly to carry out acts of sabotage from within. Hence, they call for the verification of genuine membership by reaffirming membership by an oath before the upcoming congress. Practically nothing is wrong with that.

It would also be entirely correct for the Swapo Party to insist that all those who are in any employment position on the card of Swapo membership should be striped of such positions and, however, be allowed to re-apply and be re-appointed on personal basis. That is entirely fair. The qualification would now become the only criteria, not political vetting. Certainly it would be unfair for the ruling party to house individual people who would work against its interests in disguise. Transparency must prevail, yet no political victimisation on the ground of political difference should be allowed.

More exposed members of society bemoan the fact that such fellows with seemingly broad understanding could indeed risk to drag Namibia down the road of the known African tragedy. Will Namibia become just another African country to sink into the morass of selfish, short-sighted and tribalistic leadership?

Shall Namibians risk annulling something so beautiful, established in the short seventeen years of independence?

Our peace is so beautiful and God-given, and the God that has so well directed the Namibian liberation struggle to its marvellous conclusion will also accomplish His will for generations to come.

The Lord says to His Namibian children that “no weapon fashioned against them shall prosper!”

Is the pie in the sky so enticing? No evil shall prosper!

Hidipo Must Be Dreaming

Friday, 23rd of November 2007

Who is fooling who?

I need to register my views on the newly formed political party, Rally for Democracy and Progress. Much has been said by various interested Namibians expressing their respected views on the above. Mr Hidipo Hamutenya’s curriculum vitae is known to us all and this I thought cannot go unchallenged.

Firstly, we learnt from your CV that you were in the ranks of the mighty SWAPO for almost 46 years. You gained a lot of experience from our leaders that are referred to you and your allies as having failed to produce for the Namibian people 17 years down the line.

From 1990 up to 2004, when your underground actions were revealed to the nation, you served as a minister in different portfolios. Given a breath, you were called in back to serve as a parliamentarian till two weeks ago when you voluntarily called it a day.

If I may refresh your mind, in 2004 after you were relieved from your official duties as Cabinet minister you attracted the media’s attention that asked you on the possibility of you joining a new party which I will presume is what has produced the RDP.

Your response to this was a big NO, and you further went on saying you will never join a party of imperialist and stupid people. Have you become an imperialist today?

Two weeks ago, you resigned from the mighty SWAPO and deviated the questions from the media as to whether you will be part of RDP.

Last week, we were not surprised to learn from you as being the interim party president. In reality this is self-defeat coupled with cowardice.

Given this picture, do you still dispute that the father of this nation Dr Sam Nujoma had a just cause to relieve you from your ministerial duties?

Your reasons for forming and joining RDP must simply be that it is your constitutional and democratic right as enshrined in this land’s supreme law which is the Constitution if you were man enough.

But painting a red and sour picture of our respectful trusted leaders is viewed as a serious insult to them and to those fallen heroes and heroines.

Shame on you, you 100% contributed to the alleged failure and remained mute and mum.

You were one of the legislators that drafted the Namibian Constitution whereby your fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression were highlighted and respected, but today you want to fool us around by serving your own interests.

You have served in the following key strategic ministries: Information and Broadcasting, Trade and Industry and lastly Foreign affairs.

My conviction tells me you are the one to be held accountable for the alleged government failures. In my own view both Mr Hamutenya and Mr Nyamu equally owe this nation a big price regarding the collapse and failures of Amcom, Namibia Development Corporation (NDC), Pidico in the Caprivi and lastly Ramatex.

Now tell the nation which of the said projects would not be your babies, hence you all share the same blemished state of mind.

Please stop buying political votes by criticizing the Government unnecessarily. Use the experience you have learnt at the helm of the mighty SWAPO mentors in exile and in the Government.

To call a spade a spade, your actions and that of your allies are as a result of a power struggle backed up by greed (which I would term Mafunjo ni mucho mubi in my vernacular language).

You and your allies are failures who do not want to accept your actions. I strongly support what some other concerned Namibian has said about you regarding your failures to produce for this nation.

When you were sworn in as Cabinet minister in 1990, you took an oath to serve this nation and now you have breached that oath by opting to divide and confuse this nation.

You all know as we all know, Namibian people were for too long a time oppressed and SWAPO liberated them. I would need to refresh your brains by displaying the following classic examples.

The DTA under Mishake Muyongo, Katuutire Kaura, Kuaima Riruako, Dirk Mudge and company has tried this and the outcomes were the painful results, where are they today?

Muyongo is in Denmark; Riruako revived Nudo; Mudge’s son formed RP; Kaura has lost political vision and is dreaming of becoming the next state president come 2009 elections, shame on him too.

Ben Ulenga went on the rampage by giving birth to the CoD whereas Shixwameni, Tsudao Gurirab, and company followed but today they are in a court of law due to power struggles and greediness.

News from the media is that Shixwameni wants to form his own party too called NPP. This is not a discouragement, dear Namibians, but the only truth at all. This in fact is from hero to zero.

Jesaya Nyamu publicly announced this when notes that gave birth to RDP were found in his office while still a minister and you were quiet and even totally denied this.

Today you are the interim president; do you think Jesaya Nyamu would allow you to be his boss? I doubt very much sir.

Maybe I am wrong but I personally foresee a possibility of another breakaway and split from you people, presumably a formation of another political party in the name of NAPO.

My personal perception is based on your curriculum vitae, of which I am quite convinced that you are all power hungry and do not really mean business when we come to political leadership and leading this peaceful nation.

You all are former ministers, law makers, CEOs, town clerks, political coordinators and organizers, etc, that have failed beyond reasonable doubt to produce for this nation and do you think you will convince 1,8 million people to join your party when your curricula vitae are in their hands?

Unfortunately not, due to the well deserved price that the SWAPO party has paid to its people by liberating this motherland and bringing the peace we all enjoy today and forever.

There is a saying “Rome was not built in a day”, so equally was Namibia’s liberation struggle.

Given this scenario you cannot expect the SWAPO-led Government to meet the entire strategic plan as per its manifesto, NDP2 and vision 2030 seventeen years down the line.

You were party to all this but today a bended finger is pointed at Dr Nujoma and the SWAPO-led Government. Where were you when the education system was declining? Where were you when the health facilities were draining? Were you not parliamentarians when the crime rate was escalating?

I would suggest the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Namibia State Security launch an extensive investigation and possibly formulate charges against you for taking Government time and money by falsely concentrating on private business and overseas trips instead of doing the job you were elected and paid for, as I suspect you were concentrating on the formation of RDP from 1990.

In fact all the blame must be shared by you people and nobody else or else you are fooling us.

To those of you who are criticizing the SWAPO-led Government and its leadership, may I request you to abstain from this as the organization is on the right track in its dealings.

To Mr Hamutenya, Jesaya Nyamu and company, please you may cheat an ordinary layman in the street but not our people that believe and know what SWAPO and its Government have done for them. SWAPO is here to rule us forever, believe me or not.

Mr Hamutenya, at the age of 68, I believe you are daydreaming when you talk about becoming president of this peaceful republic come 2009.

ZANU-PF is there in Zimbabwe for 28 years, MPLA in Angola for 30 years and FRELIMO in Mozambique – the list is endless, and who are you to take over from SWAPO in 2009?

These were the DTA’s dreams. Tell me how many seats do they have today in Parliament?

Swapo United, Swapo Victorious, Now Hard Work.

George Matali
Karas Region

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