News Snippets

September 1, 2015, 9:08am

Vets blame drivers for Oshivelo chaos

HUNDREDS of motorists were left fuming in frustration at the Oshivelo veterinary checkpoint on Sunday after they encountered a long and slow-moving queue.
The problem was blamed on scores of motorists driving almost at the same time after spending the weekend in the North. Many had driven to attend the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair and the Olufuko Cultural Festival.
When The Namibian visited the checkpoint on Sunday, the vehicle queue stretched for 40 kilometres.
The outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the northern communal regions in early May this year resulted in control measures being instituted. These include the spraying of vehicles and induviduals stepping on a chemical solution to control the spread of the disease.
Many motorists took to social media networks to express disappointment over the delay, calling it 'a horrible experience'.
People queued for up to seven hours before finally passing the checkpoint where officials inspected all the vehicles.
However, when motorists reached the checkpoint the inspection took about five minutes, leaving many asking where the delay was.
Oshikoto regional commander Anna-marrie Nainda said it was unfortunate that motorists had to wait for hours saying the delay was caused by the fact that the spraying of cars was being done at one point.
“Due to the abnormality of the traffic flow and considering that each vehicle had to be sprayed, this slowed down progress,” she said.
Officials were later forced to open another exit close to the weighbridge for cars coming from the south to speed up the exercise.
Nainda also blamed the slow movement on unruly drivers who tried to jump the queue.
She said they had to get reinforcements from Tsintsabis, King Nehale and Tsumeb police stations to contain the crowd.
Nainda said she could not say why there was only one spraying point, saying such questions should be directed to the veterinary officers.
State veterinarian Kaino David told The Namibian on Sunday night that travellers caused the delay themselves because they did not want to obey orders and refused to queue in an orderly manner.
David, who was also at Oshivelo to help control the situation, said some of the drivers didn't want to wait patiently for their turn to proceed, but instead drove away from the queue on the gravel road to both sides of the main road and made it difficult for the officials to work.
She also said many people, especially those who were using public transport as well as those holding senior positions in society, did not want to get off their vehicles and follow control procedures.
Deputy chief veterinary officer John Shoopala said the crisis was a lesson for them and they will reorganise themselves better now.
He said they plan to put up bathing facilities, where vehicles have to drive through instead of being sprayed individually.
The veterinarian denied they had run out of washing soda, saying they had enough supplies at all points countrywide.
Shoopala said they still do not know when the FMD restrictions will be lifted up, because three cases were reported in July and were confirmed through laboratory tests.
By Oswald Shivute, Tuyeimo Haidula

SOE consultancy job cancelled

A CONSULTANCY tender for the Ministry of Public Enterprises valued at N$28 million has been cancelled before being awarded after a realisation that the bids were too expensive.

The Tender Board of Namibia and public enterprises minister Leon Jooste confirmed yesterday that the tender had been cancelled.
The tender was scrapped not only because of the astronomical amounts quoted but also because top officials in the ministry formed to control state-owned business clashed on how to handle the tender with fears raised over conflicts of interest.
According to the tender invitation, the consultancy was to focus on several issues such as governance of parastatals, determine salaries of employees of state-owned companies and set each government enterprise objectives, targets and define their roles.
Deputy chairperson of the tender board Patrick Swartz told The Namibian that the tender was cancelled because the shortlisted companies quoted funds way above the public enterprises ministry's budget.
“The two companies that meet the technical requirements and compliance quoted amounts that were too high,” Swartz said.
He said the companies shortlisted by the ministry tender committee were Muadifam Enterprises and View Point and Dan Consultancy Service.
Muadifam, which submitted the highest bid of N$28 million, is owned by former Motor Vehicle Accident Fund chief executive Jerry Muadinohamba.
Besides the cancelled tender, the public enterprise ministry confirmed that Muadinohamba received another N$2 million contract last year to draw up the structure of the ministry.
The second shortlisted company, View Point and Dan Consultancy Service, which asked for N$16 million is owned by Adrianus Vugs, a consultant who provides advisory services to governments and international institutions. According to his LinkedIn account, Vugs has done development projects for the now defunct State-owned Enterprises Governance Council of Namibia.
The tender titled 'Corporate reform consultancy' attracted powerhouse accounting firms Deloitte and Touche, PricewaterhouseCoopers but they were not shortlisted.
“It's back to the drawing board for the ministry of public enterprise,” Swartz said, adding that the tender board could not just approve the tender knowing that the ministry did not have the funds to execute the project.
Even though the deputy chair of the tender board admitted that the quotations were exorbitant, he also acknowledged that the kind of professional that the public enterprise ministry wanted would require substantial funding.
Jooste told The Namibian yesterday that he miscalculated the consultancy deal.
“We had no idea what the consultants would charge. If I had known, I would have taken this decision much earlier already. It is more important to take the right decision,” he said. Jooste said he asked that the tender be withdrawn due to the high cost of the contract. He said the ministry will instead appoint the formal members of the corporate advisory reform unit, a think tank of the ministry.

By Shinovene Immanuel

Foot-and-mouth disease kills kapana business

SCORES of kapana sellers have abandoned the business in the North after the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease led to slow or very little sales.
Those who have remained to face the hardship have appealed to the government to lift the strict regulations regarding the movement of the animals north of the veterinary line.
The foot and mouth disease broke out in Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions in May and spread to other regions, such as Omusati, Oshana, Kunene and Kavango West.
The agriculture ministry put up measures to control the spread of the disease to new regions and to confine it to those regions where it was detected.
Animals can only be moved under strict regulations and permission from the department of veterinary services. This has resulted in farmers failing to sell meat to kapana sellers at Oshakati, Ondangwa, Ongwediva, Omuthiya, Eenhana, Oshikango, Outapi, Okahao, Onesi, Tsandi and Ruacana. The suspension of cattle movement has also severely affected traditional gatherings in the North such as weddings, funerals as well as other commemorations and celebrations where cattle, goats or sheep are usually slaughtered.
Many people are now forced to use either fish or chicken, sometimes against tradition.
Nangula Iyambo, one of the well-known meat sellers at the Omuthiya open market, told The Namibian that they are struggling
to get cattle for slaughter since Mangetti farmers who usually supplied them have been told by the government not to move their cattle to towns because of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.
She said some farmers would supply up to 20 kapana sellers but this has all stopped.
Those farmers are now buying cattle from commercial farmers around Grootfontein under the supervision of the officials from the Department of Veterinary Services but only slaughter one per day at Omuthiya.
“One cow per day for Omuthiya people and those who pass through the town is not enough. People are complaining about getting too little meat,” she said.
She fears that this is negatively affecting the general economy of Omuthhiya as even those who sell vegetables such as tomatoes and onions to the kapana sellers are also feeling the pinch. Iyambo's colleagues Rosalia Johannes, Agta Simon, Rosalia Petrus, Ndali Ngeno and Maria Hailenge, all from Omuthiya town, agreed with her.
The shortage of meat has forced the prices to go up with small pieces now selling for up to N$20, leading to unhappiness by customers.
“FMD has really brought hunger to all of us and if it continues like this, we and our animals will die soon, because it is now affecting our incomes,” said meat seller Ndamononghenda Shidinge from Oshakati.
She said they were already struggling with the impact of drought and FMD made it worse as animals are confined to drought-affected areas and cannot be moved out despite the shortage of pasture.
Some people told The Namibian they suspect that the outbreak of the disease might be fabricated to make the people suffer. The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Abraham Nehemia, called on the affected people to be patient while government tries to control the disease.China wheat flour mill visit
By Oswald Shivute
Courtesy: The Namibian

Courtesy: The Namibian