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Iono - Behind the Bulletins

Week in Review - 22 September 2017

The biggest news story of the week, at least according to the internet, happened when US President Donald Trump mispronounced Namibia, twice! Nambia was trending with talkshow hosts and everyday Joes alike mocking the man, while some very entertaining memes were created and the old mystery of Covfefe also re-emerged.
In real news, hopes of some interest rate relief being given to us by the Bank of Namibia became a lot slimmer after the South African Reserve Bank decided to maintain their rate unchanged at 6.75%, meanwhile at a presentation by Economic Association of Namibia Executive Klaus Schade it was revealed that a total of 129 644 Namibians have lost their jobs since 2014 due to the drought and global financial recession. In other local news it was revealed that government wants Namwater to pay the N$ 600 million outstanding for the construction of the Neckertal Dam as the dam will eventually be on their books, Swakopmund is considering passing a by-law to compel shops to only stock re-usable shopping bags, the Benguela Wind Power Demonstration Plant was inaugurated in Luderitz and will supply a total rated power of 10.5 kW to the Benguela shanty housing area of !Nami#nus, and wage negotiations between the Construction Industries Federation of Namibia and the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union have deadlocked.
In South Africa, outspoken member of parliament Makhosi Khoza announced that she was revoking her ANC membership but denied that she was joining the opposition Democratic Alliance or planning to start her own party, Kwazulu Natal is being faced with a measles outbreak, fewer than 50% of Capetonians are sticking to the level 5 water restrictions that requires them to use no more than 87 litres of water a day, the right to die is back in the news as a Joburg doctor and one of her patients filed a joint application to the South Gauteng High Court, and former African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was sworn in as a member of parliament – a step many see as making it easier for her to successfully bid to become the country's next president in two years time.
There was really good news for Africa as it was announced that makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills containing state of the art medicine following a deal that will see prices being capped at just $75 (or about N$1000) per patient a year. Still in Africa, Libya's coast guard rescued over 3000 people from the Mediterranean, there are increased fears over the health of veteran Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, demonstrations are mounting in Uganda over a move to change the constitution to allow President Yoweri Museveni to serve another term, and it is reported that international traffickers have changed their tactics and are now processing rhino horns into powder and trinkets prior to export – making it harder to detect.
Internationally weather remained in the news as Hurricane Maria pummelled Dominica and Peurto Rico while Hurrican Jose continued to move north over the Atlantic, there was tragedy in Mexico as the second earthquake struck within a two week period, this time killing over 270 people, including at least 20 children in a school that collapsed due to the quake. 
The United Nations 72nd General Assembly was also in the news quite a bit this week, from Donald Trump's firebrand speech that was criticized by many, including Iran, North Korea, and even Sweden, to the fact that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe appeared to sleep through it. 
It was also reported that the annual cost of bribery alone is between 1.5 and 2 trillion US Dollars, 40 million people around the world, mostly women and girls, were the victims of modern slavery last year, and if you have debt you may want to get rid of it as it has been found that financial woes can negatively affect your physical health.

The power of a will

The right to life shall be respected and protected. This statement is enshrined in the Constitution of The Republic of Namibia’s Chapter 3, Article 6. When it comes to life and death decisions or when individuals feel that they still want their decisions to be respected, a will or a living will drafted and signed by the individual, gives their final wishes legal authority.
A will
Life is unpredictable and therefore drafting a will is essential. People accumulate assets during their lifetime with their hard earned money. These assets may have sentimental value to their families, friends and themselves. It is therefore important that they leave a valid will to ensure that these assets are distributed correctly after their passing.
“A will is a legal document in which a person, 16 years and older nominates, his/her heirs and instruct how his/her assets should be distributed after his/her death. It is very important that a person/company with the necessary expertise assist you in drafting a will as it will ensure that your last wishes are fulfilled,” said Bank Windhoek’s Trust and Estates department wills administrator, Glenda du Toit.
A living will
When a person is critically ill and foresees that they might not be able to make sound decisions for themselves at a certain time, they have the right to draft a document known as a living will. It’s a written, legal document that spells out medical treatments they would, or would not want to be administered to keep them alive, as well as other decisions such as pain management or organ donation.
“It must be signed by the creator and witnesses. Power of attorney must be granted to an individual who signs the necessary documents on behalf of the creator once he/she is unable to do so,” said Du Toit,
Bank Windhoek’s Trust and Estates department specialises in drafting and safekeeping of wills, administration of estates and testamentary trusts. The department has over have 30 years’ experience in the fiduciary field and employs some of the most qualified staff in Namibia.
In a living will a person declares that they have carefully considered all necessary factors and were of sound-mind when they made the decision. “Their declaration will stand as a directive when they cannot take part in the decision-making of their future,” added du Toit.
Possible end-of-life care decisions that are mainly included in a living will are, namely, resuscitation, mechanical ventilation, tube feeding, dialysis, antibiotics or antiviral medications, comfort care, organ and tissue donations.
Du Toit further said that in a will a person can make provision for a trust to ensure that their loved ones who cannot take care of themselves will be financially cared for. “The trust will then care financially for minor children providing proper care and maintenance, education and general well-being of the beneficiaries,” she said.
The administrator of a trust, for instance Bank Windhoek’s Trust and Estate department, is responsible for the correct management of the assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries. When a trust terminates the assets it is then distributed to the beneficiaries according to the will. “To have a will allows peace of mind,” concluded du Toit.

Week in Review - 16 September 2017

Government's financial woes were once again highlighted this week as it was revealed that the Italian company heading up the construction of the Neckertal Dam were cutting shifts and exploring other money saving mechanisms following government's failure to pay them some N$ 396 million. Later in the week Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Forestry John Mutorwa said that the Cabinet Committee on Finance had met to address the matter, that the company would be paid by next week, and that they would ensure that payment for the remaining 10% of the project is forthcoming to ensure the successful completion of what will become Namibia's biggest dam. 
One of the ways that government is hoping to migitate the financial difficulties they are in is of course through the collection of outstanding tax amounts during the second tax amnesty that began on Monday and will run for the next 6 months with the option of tax payers setting up payment plans for their outstanding amounts. The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry is not so sure the amnesty will be effective though, pointing out that most businesses are in a downturn and have a diminished capacity to pay outstanding amounts. The NCCI suggests that the Ministry of Finance rather look at widening the tax base and improve collection through hunting down businesses which hide income.
In other local news the Bank of Namibia stated that virtual currencies such as Bitcoin are not legal tender in Namibia and cautioned people wishing to trade in them that they do so at their own risk, and applications opened for the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship which sees selected Namibians between the age of 25 and 35 get to spend 6 weeks at a US university or college furthering their education in the fields of public service, business and entrepreneurship, or civic engagement.
In South Africa Standard Bank appointed Sim Tshabalala as sole chief executive officer, ending a dual role that he had shared with Ben Kruger, and making him the first black person to lead Africa's largest lender alone. In other good news former Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana was convicted of three counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after he pleaded guilty. There was bad news for the country though as it was revealed that the South African Revenue Service missed its first quarter revenue target by R13.1 billion, pointing out that if the trend continues the overall target would be missed by about R50 billion.
Elsewhere in Africa, a South African company was granted one of only two licenses for the cultivation, processing, and sale of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes in Lesotho, Tanzania confiscated diamonds worth nearly $30 million after accusing British company Petra Diamonds of undervaluing an export shipment, Nigeria declared a curfew in the southeast following brewing tensions between pro-Biafra supporters and the military while other parts of the country braced for flood waters from the rising Niger River. Political tensions continued in both Kenya and Zimbabwe with Kenya's opposition refusing to accept the terms and date for the re-run of the recent election which was nullified by the court, and in Zimbabwe the opposition coalition lead a court challenge against the President's declaration of voter registration dates, while at the same time facing internal divisions and power struggles.
Internationally condemnation continued to mount against Myanmar's treatment of the Rohingya Muslim minority, it was reported that more than half of the world's refugee children – some 3.5 million altogether – do not attend school, Facebook was fined 1.2 million Euros for breaching Spain's privacy rules, Norway went to the polls, and a contentious postal survey on same-sex marriage kicked off in Australia.