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Namibia vows to change ‘status-quo’ of white-farm ownership [ARTICLE]

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From that 2,400 square-metre rectangle of sand in the northern Otjozondjupa region, Kornelius Hamasab, 69, now produces spinach, onions and tomatoes.

Hamasab is among the 16 percent of black Namibians owning arable land in the semi-desertic southwest African nation.

White Namibians, who are descended from former colonisers Germany and South Africa and make up six percent of the population, own 70 percent of the land.

“It doesn’t seem right to me,” said Hamasab, who acquired his land as compensation five years after the farm downsized into a guesthouse in 2000 and laid off its staff.

“The government should do something about it,” he added, while his family picked and rinsed collared greens to be sold in the capital Windhoek, 150 kilometres (90 miles) away.

Namibia adopted a “willing-buyer, willing-seller” approach to land reform after independence from South Africa in 1990.

Farmers wishing to sell their business must first offer it to the state, which parcels it into smaller plots and redistributes to “previously disadvantaged Namibians”.

That strategy has done little to redress the imbalance, however, prompting President Hage Geingob to call for a more muscular approach.

“The willing-buyer, willing-seller principle has not delivered results,” Geingob told a land conference last year, adding that the “status-quo should not be allowed to continue”.

Geingob has since demanded constitutional amendments to allow for the forceful expropriation of white-owned commercial farms with “fair compensation”.

His proposal echoed controversial plans in neighbouring South Africa to expropriate land without compensation.

It also brought back memories of land seizures in Zimbabwe in 2003, when thousands of white farmers were chased off their properties.

Not like Zimbabwe

Helmut Halenke’s grandfather Otto left the German state of Bavaria in 1908 and sailed thousands of miles to Namibia, where he bought farmland.

Otto’s investment grew into a successful family-run beef farm and game hunting spot for tourists, and is now owned by his 41-year-old great grandson.

Squinting across a parched stretch of bushland seared by an ongoing drought, Halenke, 67, said he doubted Namibia’s cash-strapped government would come after the property anytime soon.

“There are a lot of farms on the market at this stage,” he said.

“The problem is the government has no money and they can’t buy these farms.”

Namibia’s commercial farmers union estimates that about eight million hectares of land have been offered to the government since independence. Only three million were purchased.

“The white community is selling their land,” said Bernardus Swartbooi, a former deputy land minister who registered his own party after a spat with government last year.

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“It’s not as if they are keeping their land as was the case in Zimbabwe.”

‘Emotive topic’

Swartbooi ran for president in a general election last month under his Landless People’s Movement (LPM), which has vowed to redress historic land ownership imbalances.

The LPM came third with 4.9 percent of the vote.

He accused the government of using land reform to empower a “small elite”.

“Most of those that they want to resettle are their friends,” Swartbooi told AFP.

“The poorest of the poor… have not been able to enjoy the full benefit of land reform.”

Namibian government representatives declined several AFP requests for an interview.

Analysts say land issues resurfaced in the run-up to the election as a way of diverting attention from economic hardship.

“It has always been a very emotive topic for Namibians,” said Dietrich Remmert from Namibia’s Institute for Public Policy Research.

“With the current economic conditions being very bad, that comes to the fore.”

‘Not for sissies’

Geingob, who has been re-elected for another five year term, has pledged to redistribute 43 percent of arable land by 2020 to previously disadvantaged Namibians.

Halenke, like many, fears this could cripple agricultural production if not “done in the right way”.

“You cannot take a man from under a tree… and put him on a farm,” said Halenke. “You must enable people first.”

He recalled the case of Ongombo West, a thriving commercial flower farm that went idle after it was redistributed to low-income families in 2005.

“Even the ministers have ..farm(s) but there is no proper production,” noted Halenke.  “They think it’s easy (but) farming is not for sissies.”

Hamasab is all too familiar with the back-breaking labour it takes to profit from Namibia’s meagre soils.

He was also supported by his former employer and received advice from German agricultural experts.

But most resettled Namibians have not been so lucky.

“The resettlement programme is not accompanied by a wholesale agrarian reform,” said Swartbooi, adding that poor farmers needed funding to mechanise production.

A few miles away from Hamasab’s garden, Absalom Mbautaenge shares a corrugated iron shack with four brothers and a young girl from a remote village.

They scrape by on firewood, which they collect in the area and sell to a broker.

“There is no rain in this area,” said Mbautaenge, 37, his clothes blackened by charcoal.

“But you just give me opportunity, training and livestock and I will do something different.”

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Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert

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By Standard Entertainment



56 minutes ago

Controversial singer Gigy Money turned WCB signee Zuchu’s concert into a fight club, hurling shoes at her lover.

On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes. 

READ ALSO: I’m not behind Diamond, Tanasha split- WCB’s Zuchu sets record straight

However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.

READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money

Peaceful arrival, later chaos

Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment.  However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.

“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.

“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.

READ ALSO: I will get a baby with your eldest son – Gigy Money warns Zari

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At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.

Addresses incident

Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas.  In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”

‘Running over Ali Kiba’

Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.

“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba.  Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.

READ ALSO: Gigy Money under fire for dirty-dancing with married singer

Dating Kiba brothers

Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.

“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.

 

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Defunct Nairobi County Council  Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government

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Defunct Nairobi County Council  Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government

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Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true

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By Diana Anyango



37 minutes ago

Jahmby Koikai is glad her dream of being a TV anchor never came true.

Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.

“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.

“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.

READ ALSO: Jahmby Koikai back in Kenya after a year of treatment abroad

According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.

“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.

“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.

READ ALSO: Why I’m walking around with a mask- Jahmby Koikai

Second audition

Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.

“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”

However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.

“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”

 

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There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11

A post shared by Jahmby Conqueror (@jahmbykoikai) on

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