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News Blog

A collection of longer form stories, submitted, sourced, or written by our team, that would not make sense to cover in a traditional broadcast news format, but which we wanted to share with you anyway.

(please note that views and opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of Radiowave).

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Iono - Behind the Bulletins

Week in Review - 09 December 2017

This week we learnt that Namibia is a tax haven, which came as a shock to many people, not least those of us who have tax deducted from our salaries each month. The Minister of Finance was also understandably upset by the development. It turns out that it was all semantics though and the EU doesn't actually see us as a tax haven but rather as a non-tax compliant country due to us not having signed off on four agreements that Minister Schlettwein stressed were unilaterally created by the EU. The head of the European Delegation later in the week stressed that they would do everything they could to resolve the issue and have Namibia de-listed. Still with that story, the Finance Minister from South Korea, which is also on the list, also criticized the EU saying that they may be infringing on countries' tax sovereignty.
Still in Namibia, the country signed two loans of N$ 1 billion each with the African Development Bank for education and agricultural projects, following a weekend of horror on Namibia's roads police were calling on the public to assist in the identification of 10 people who died in one accident and whose bodies were burnt beyond recognition, and in slightly better though not quite the news many were hoping for in time for the festive season, the Bank of Namibia chose to keep the Repo rate unchanged at 6.75%.
In South Africa some of the biggest news was the collapse of retail giant Steinhof amid allegations of “accounting irregularities” and the resignation of long-time CEO Marcus Jooste. Also in South Africa, the so-called 'Sugar Tax' was passed and is planned to come into effect on 1 April 2018 imposing a tax of 2.1 cents per gram of sugar on all sweetened drinks. Sticking with taxes it was reported that Cape Town household could soon be paying between R45 and R60 a month as part of a drought levy to shore up the city's finances and pay for planned drought relief measures, Johannesburg was battling an outbreak of Listeriosis – a severe form of food poisoning, and the country found out just how bad the literacy crisis is when it was revealed that 78% of grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning. About the only good news for the country was that the economy was said to have recorded growth of 2% in the third quarter of the year.
Looking to Africa the secessionist crisis in Cameroon is deepening, angry aids activists urged Western and Central Africa to step up the fight against the disease, and activists expressed their dismay that despite the “mega-crisis” of forced migration in the DRC international aid has been slow to materialize. In some good news Switzerland announced that it will return US$321 million is assets seized from the family of former military ruler Sani Abacha, and Zimbabwe unveiled a new budget that contained a raft of cost cutting measures as well as many business and investor friendly proposals including the removal of the Mugabe-era indigenisation  law.
Internationally there was outrage at US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his announcement that the US Embassy in the country would be moved to that city, the ex-President of Yemen was killed in the capital, further complicating and already complex war, Venezuela announced the creation of a new virtual currency, Honduras' President finally said that he was open to a review of the contested recent election, and Britain the the EU were said to have reached a breakthrough in Brexit negotiations.
In other news TIME magazine named The Silence Breakers, the individuals that helped give traction to the #MeToo campaign as its 'Person of the Year' for 2017, and Australia's parliament voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex marriage.

Week in Review - 02 December 2017

We learned on Monday that President Hage Geingob and his Team Harambee had won in a clean sweep at the Swapo party congress elections that took place on Sunday, following which the President called for unity among the party and expressed the wish that never again would a congress see the level of animosity and resentment experienced this time round. A Norwegian scientist confirmed that pilchard numbers have decreased in Namibian waters, which he said was no doubt due to over-fishing in the past, meanwhile the Namibian Professional Hunters Association strongly condemned a decision by their South African counterparts to allow the hunting of so-called 'canned lions' calling the decision unethical.
In other local news, Windhoek residents were informed that the City of Windhoek will not be taking water meter readings between December 27th and January 15th and encouraged people to self-read and submit their readings via SMS – for details on how to do this visit the Radiowave Network News Facebook page. The Ombudsman also released a report showing that racism was rife in Namibia, and seemingly at the same time lost his patience with ministries, saying that he would take them to court if they failed to act on his recommendations.
In South Africa, President Jacob Zuma, reacting to the latest ratings downgrade to junk status by Standards & Poor's on Friday, called on a committee to show him progress on plans to cut government spending and raise taxes, two independent South African aviation groups, Airlink and Safair, have applied to the Competition Commission for approval to merge, Eskom distanced itself from a seeming rush to nuclear power, allegations surfaced that MultiChoice, apart from making a questionable payment to the Gupta family, was involved in a controversial deal with the SABC and paid kickbacks to influence government policy in its favour – allegations the company has strongly denied. Also in South Africa fathers had cause to celebrate as Parliament approved a new bill that will among other things give them the right to 10 days' paid paternity leave.
News from Africa was dominated by the EU-Africa Business Forum that opened in Côte d'Ivoire on Monday and was intended to focus on job creation and investment in young people, though the forum was threatened to be overshadowed by talk of the slave markets uncovered in Lybia. During the Forum it was announced that France would set up a billion euro fund for small and medium-sized African businesses, and the African Development Bank launched the Presidential Youth Advisory Group made of nine members under the age of 40 who have made significant contributions to the creation of employment opportunities for African youth. In other big news from the continent, Zimbabwean protest pastor Evan Mawarire was found not guilty of subversion in a case stemming from ex-President Robert Mugabe's time in office, Amnesty International claimed to have documents pointing to complicity by Royal Dutch Shell in crimes committed by the Nigerian military in the 1990s, and French President Emmanuel Macron promised to declassify secret French files on Burkina Faso's assassinated leader Thomas Sankara.
Further afield we spent the week anxiously watching Bali's Mount Agung volcano as it continued to threaten imminent eruption, Pope Francis visited Myanmar where he called for unity but avoided upsetting the government by using the term Rohingya to describe the persecuted Muslim minority, meanwhile the country's de facto leader Aun San Suu Kyi was stripped of the “Freedom of Oxford” award over her failure to speak out on the abuse, the largest genetic study of mosquitoes has found that they are rapidly developing resistance to insecticide – threatening the fight against malaria, in rather bizarre news a Bosnian Croat accused of war crimes drank poison in court at the Hague after learning that his 20 year sentence was to be upheld, and finally in good news, the Australian state of Victoria has voted to legalise assisted dying within certain caveats. 

Week in Review - 18 November 2017

It's been all about Zimbabwe this week as the army staged a coup that wasn't a coup, Grace Mugabe fled the country to Namibia and was put up at Hage Geingob's house but also wasn't because she was firmly under house arrest in Harare, Robert Mugabe agreed to step down and was going to announce his resignation on Thursday but then didn't and it turned out he wasn't actually prepared to let go of power just yet. The only thing that we know for sure at the moment when it comes to Zimbabwe is that we know nothing for sure and that while everything carries on it is best to question whatever we read on the internet as Zanu-PF and even the Zimbabwe Government itself seem to be being represented by various different Twitter handles all saying different things and ALL claiming that they are the official one.
Coming back to Namibia, while the Russians are being accused of funding an army of fake news creators and bots to influence elections in various countries across the planet Namibians were on Thursday given a stark reminder to not immediately believe everything you hear as a mob formed outside of the house of a man accused of participating in child-trafficking activities. Police were called in to calm the situation, and presumably to save the man's life and in the end it turned out that there were no bodies inside the house, that the man was not involved in any abductions, and that the entire story had been made up by young boys who had been caught throwing stones at the man's house earlier in the day.
In other local news involving the police, a gang of criminals from South Africa and Zimbabwe found out the hard way that Namibia's police force is not to be taken lightly when they were arrested shortly after their brazen day light robbery at the Westlane shopping centre in Pioneerspark Ext. 1. Well done Nampol!
Still in Namibia the Ministry of Environment and Tourism said that the lions which killed 86 goats and sheep in the Torra conservatory will be moved, a Chinese individual was robbed of at least N$ 500 000 cash and other valuables and the very next day Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein berated tax evaders and defaulters, sadly we also learnt that a Potuguese tourist was hit and killed on the road to the Hosea Kutako airport after she, her husband, and her father had stopped to look at a tortoise they had seen crossing the road.
In South Africa there was speculation that President Jacob Zuma was going to strong-arm a fee-free education model but instead he released the Heher commission report which stated that there was no money available for fee-free higher education, among other things, as water remained a hot topic in the Western Cape the regional government first denied that the town of Beaufort West had run dry and then explained that while water savings undertaken had pushed Cape Town's so-called 'Day Zero' back only half of Capetonians were actually saving water. There was also a shock announcement that three South African universities, including UCT, were set to lose their law qualification accreditations.
Angola proved this week that Zimbabwe was not the only SADC country seeing changes as new president Joao Lourenco fired Isabel dos Santos as chair of the state oil company Sonangol, while we also learnt that UN-backed peacekeepers have lost enough guns and ammunition in sub-Saharan Africa over the past two decades to arm and army.
Australia deserved all the praise this week as the results of a non-binding postal vote on allowing gay marriage returned a resounding yes, but there was sad news too as more than 300 people were killed and thousands injured in an earthquake that hit near the Iran/Iraq border, and in Brazil thousands of women had to march to protest congress wanting to make abortion illegal without exception.