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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 - 3 March 2018

Following the posting of a video that very quickly went viral, and not always for the right reason, President Hage Geingob reassured the nation that the costs for Namibia's Independence Day celebrations will be kept at reasonable levels but that the celebrations will with-out-a-doubt still take place, this year being hosted by Tsumeb. In other news the president criticized those who are seeking to block the National Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework insisting that it was going to happen and would be tabled by the end of this year. Public Enterprises Minister Leon Jooste also read the riot act to SOE's and their board members saying non-compliance to corporate governance can no longer be tolerated. Copper theft made the headlines again this week, but this time due to a prominent Windhoek-based businessman having been caught in possession of suspected stolen copper wire worth about N$ 31 660 and which belonged to Telecom Namibia. We also learnt that Namibia needs about N$ 390 billion to fight climate change, Unam could only accommodate less than 50% of qualifying med students due to a lack of accredited training hospitals, and the very sad fact that on average three children are diagnosed with cancer every week in Namibia. There was some good news though in that the One Economy Foundation this week launched the ONE Nation Fund to provide help to township entrepreneurs.
The biggest news from South Africa this week was without a doubt the fact that expropriation without compensation was passed by Parliament as well as Cyril Ramaphosa's late night Cabinet reshuffle that saw the return of some familiar and trusted names as well as the ouster of many so-called Gupta linked Ministers, one of whom, former Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, subsequently handed in her resignation as ANC MP. South Africa's Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors also referred KPMG to a disciplinary hearing following an investigation of its work for Linkway Trading, part of the Gupta owned Oakbay Group. 
The United Nations recalled a 46-member peacekeeping police unit after some members allegedly paid local women living in protection camps in South Sudan for sex, more than 80 people, including two top generals, went on trial before a military court in Burkina Faso over the failed 2015 coup, the American ambassador to Swaziland spoke out in support of banned political parties in the kingdom, and at least 14 people were feared drowned after two overcrowded boats sank in the River Congo, while 15 people died in a train collision in northern Egypt. Sadly we also learnt that a new study suggests that no African country is expected to reach the UN target of ending childhood malnutrition by 2030.
The rebel held enclave of Eastern Ghouta in Syria was in the news quite a bit with allegations the Syrian government was deploying chemical gas in their aerial bombardment, and the fact that according to the United Nations the Russian plan for a five hour pause in fighting to allow aid deliveries to enter and civilians and medical cases to leave was not enough. Chinese leader Xi Jinping moved one step closer to what some analysts say is his dream of becoming the next Mao Zedong as the Communist Party proposed scrapping term limits for the country's president, and Papua New Guinea deployed troops and rescue workers after a powerful earthquake struck the country's interior. In other international news Four people were killed in an explosion and fire at a three-storey building in the central English city of Leicester, Japanese police said they had found parts of a dismembered body believed to be of a missing woman, with local media reporting that a 26 year old American had been taken into custody, and it was reported that North Korea sent arms to both Syria and Myanmar. Turkey also accused Czech authorities of “backing terrorism” and Vladimir Putin announced new missiles he said could evade US defences.
In good news Dolly Parton handed over the 100 millionth book as part of her Imagination Library initiative.

Week in Review - 24 February 2018

Namibia could be at least a little bit proud as we found out that we remain one of the least corrupt nations in Africa according to Transparency International. We ranked 53rd out of 180 countries and in sub-Saharan Africa were beaten by only Botswana and The Seychelles. In other local news Minister of Health Bernard Haufiku seemed keen to reignite the abortion debate as he spoke about young people needing to be empowered on the use of family planning, the Namibian War Veterans Trust, representing ex SWATF and Koevoet soldiers once again postponed their march to state house, there was also new debate about whether all victims and survivors of bomb blasts which took place during the war for liberation should be commemorated on the same day, and we learnt that last week Namibia had experience two minor earth tremors. Further to that President Hage Geingob relieved Immanuel Ngatjizeko from his duties as Minister of Presidential Affairs due to ill health, and Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta hinted that Namibia could move to ban plastic bags within two years.
Things got quite a bit tougher for South Africans this week as Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba delivered his 2018 budget which included increases in the fuel levy, taxes on luxury goods, and a 1 percentage point increase in the VAT rate, responding to new president Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation address on Friday night, Julius Malema warned him not to bluff about following through on his promise of expropriation without compensation, while both Malema and DA leader Mmusi Maimane during the SONA debate told the president that he must fire errant ministers from his cabinet. Still in South Africa the Finance Minister confirmed that there is no way that South Africa can afford nuclear at this point in time and the nation reeled following news of the execution style killing of five police officers and an off-duty soldier in the Ngcobo police station in the Eastern Cape.
Gambia took a step closer to outlawing the death penalty after new president Adama Barrow declared a moratorium on the use of it as the first step towards abolition, Sudan released dozens of opposition activists and the government of Togo and the opposition began talks to resolve the months-long political crisis triggered by proposed Constitutional changes. Elsewhere in Africa Cholera cases have more than doubled in Malawi, 17 people died in Mozambique after a rubbish dump collapsed on nearby houses, there were fears of a repeat of the 'Chibok girls' incident as Boko Haram kidnapped 111 girls from a state-run boarding school in Yobe state. We also learnt that babies born in the world's poorest countries, most of them in Africa, still face 'alarming' risks of death that can be 50 times higher than those in rich countries.
China this week launched an ambitious plan to pull 400 000 people out of dire poverty this year, New Zealand was pounded by Hurricane Gita, with seven provinces declaring a state of emergency, the United Nations, and later in the week German Chancellor Angela Merkel, called for an end to hostilities in Syria's rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta that has seen at least 400 people die this week alone, and the United States' Southern Plains and Midwest braced for more flooding that could last past Sunday. More pressure was put on American lawmakers to change gun laws following the latest deadly school shooting, and a British led expedition set off to study a rare Antarctic ecosystem that had lain hidden under an ice shelf for up to 120 000 years.
Finally, in some really good news the tropical island nation of The Seychelles is to create two new marine parks in return for a large amount of its national debt being written off.

Week in Review - 17 February 2018

As the saying goes, it happens slowly and then all at once and this week definitely seemed to be one of those weeks. It was the week Jacob Zuma finally buckled and resigned as president of South Africa, being swiftly replaced by his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, it was also the week that Africa lost one of its bravest and long-fought politicians as Zimbabwe's Morgan Tsvangirai died of cancer in a hospital in South Africa. It was also the week the United States witnessed yet another deadly school shooting as 19 year old Nikolas Cruz killed seventeen people when he opened fire with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 
Locally there was praise for Namibia's road infrastructure as the Roads Authority revealed that according to the World Economic Forum our country has the best roads in Africa, the Bank of Namibia left the Repo rate unchanged at 6.75%, local investment firm Eos Capital acquired the majority of the ordinary share capital of water firms Heat Exchange Products and Namibia Aqua Mechanica, the country's inflation rate was far lower in January 2018 compared to the same period last year, while Minister of Public Enterprises Leon Jooste announced that parastatal boards will from now on only be paid for 4 meetings per year. Minister of Health Bernard Haufiku also appeared intent on setting the cat amongst the pigeons as he stated that there is an urgent need for public dialogue on the legalisation of abortion.
Despite Zuma taking up most of the column inches this week there was still other news from South Africa including that a suspected poacher had been eaten by lions close to the Kruger National Park, another mine worker died in one of Sibanye-Stillwater's mines, South African 5000m athletic star Thabang Mosiako was hospitalized following an alleged racist attack on him and his friends in Potchefstroom, and in a blow for freedom of speech award winning local film Inxeba The Wound was given an X18 rating by the Film and Publication Board's Appeal Tribunal. South Africa's unemployment rate also declined slightly, while Cape Town's Day Zero was once again pushed back – this time to June 4th.
Ex-Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was awarded the Mo Ibrahim prize for African Leadership while in Ethiopia the Prime Minister resigned amid a political crisis and lingering unrest in the country. Elsewhere in Africa 5 civilians lost their lives and another 18 were injured when their passenger vehicle hit a landmine in Mali and in Libya a truck carrying over 300 migrants crashed resulting in the death of at least 23 people. Equatorial Guinea's public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty in the trial of 147 opposition activists, Zanzibar is once again trying to break from Tanzania while the president of the mainland country was quoted this week as encouraging polygamy as a way to reduce prostitution. Rwanda's media watchdog also ordered the closure of a Christian radio station after it broadcast a sermon calling women dangerous, evil, and against the plans of God.
Elsewhere in the world Russians were mourning following the crash of a Russian aircraft carrying 71 people and the death of everyone on board, international aid agencies continued to have the spotlight shone on them following revelations that Oxfam staff had paid for prostitutes, some of them under age, while on deployment in Haiti, and in France the question of instituting an age of consent was again thrust to the fore due to a court case involving a 29 year old man who had sex with an 11 year old girl.