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Consumer News August Issue 2010

Consumer News August Issue 2010

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NEWS

W E L E AV E N O S T O N E U N T U R N E D

Chinatown
Behind

Comparison Shopping
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ISSN: 2026-710X

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competitions

The Team
Publisher
Consumer News

CONSuMER
Editor’s Note

NEWS

Printed by
John Meinert Printing

There is a feast of reading, competitions and prizes to win in this month’s edition.

Being Namibia’s only independent consumer-affairs magazine, we investigate issues

Distribution by
Nampost Courier

that affect consumers and which help them to make informed decisions in their day to day spending life. This issue is packed with valuable information and expert opinions for the Namibian consumer. We examine the operations of the UKCG Church, which somehow seems to defy the core ethics of Christianity. We also look at customer service and counterfeit goods sold at ‘China town’ and investigate whether consumer rights are being infringed in any way. Our entertainment section visits the Himba

Design & Layout

Elisha Chambara E-mail: elisha@consumernewsnamibia.com Cell: 081 377 4344

fashion show held at the FNCC; how more local can we be? Many Namibian citizens and children lack birth certificates and Consumer News looks at items to be checked off when completing birth registry forms. Consumer News is establishing itself as an esteemed monthly publication and much-needed article contributions from other

The Editor

Salome Nzuma E-mail: salome@consumernewsnamibia.com Cell: 081 352 3723

consumer-awareness organisations and individuals make for an interesting and informative read. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our partners, Namibia

Journalists

Consumer Protection Group, Namibia Customer Service Institute, Namibian Standards you to join and support these organisations as their efforts pay dividends for the rest of us. Please be sure to check out our website or Facebook group for even more features the fantastic support and feedback. Your feedback propels us to excellence. info@consumernewsnamibia.com Until next month, happy reading! Salome

Tendai K E-mail: tendai@consumernewsnamibia.com Marla Chaneta E-mail: marlachaneta@yahoo.com

Institute and the Namibian Consumer Lobby for their continued support. We encourage

and exclusive web content at www.consumernewsnamibia.com. Thanks to everyone for Please email me at salome@consumernewsnamibia.com or send us your message to

Raymond Isaacs E-mail: raymond@consumernewsnamibia.com

Business Development Manager

Jacques Nieman E-mail: jnieman@consumernewsnamibia.com Cell: 081 203 7180

You deserve more ...

Photography

Norman Skrywer Email: norman4all@yahoo.com Cell: 081 430 4003 Leitago Narib E-mail: leitago@yahoo.com Cell: 081 363 2712

Our mission is to create a platform for you the Namibian consumer, who strives to see improvement in the value of goods and services and are savvy enough to spot misleading advertising and poor quality products and services. You deserve more, and together we have power in numbers, so we welcome your contributions, feedback, acknowledgements and your voice on products and services that need our investigation.

Contact details

Consumer News

PO Box 96366 Windhoek, Namibia Tel/Fax: +264 61 228 196

Namibia Consumer Protection Group: Milton Louw. E-mail: miltonlouw@gmail.com Namibia Customer Service Institute: Jon Allen. E-mail: csinstitute@iway.na website: www.namibiacsi.com Namibian Consumer Lobby: Bob Ziekenoppasser. Tel: 064-461 461 or 081 284 8000 Namibian Standards Institution: Website: www.nsi.com.na

Enquiries

info@consumernewsnamibia.com

COMPETITIONS! WIN with Shoprite Checkers and Bokomo Namibia. CN 01

contents
table of Feature
ViraKil We investigate bogus claims of miracle HIV drug

04 10 03 08 12 16 18 20 22 26 27
If you would like to comment on any of our articles, please see below. sms ‘CN’ and your comment to

Comparison Shopping
We compare cell phone prices

Editorial
NCPG (Namibia Consumer Protection Group) Private institutions – Is it money well spent NCSI (Namibia Consumer Service Institute) We pay for more than just the trolley of goods

Day of the African Child

China & U.S. A tale of two powers 100 Namibians Newspaper poll

Team Namibia Member Section
Bokomo Namibia

Entertainment
Ras Sheehama A Namibian master of music

International
IMF (International Monetary Fund) Strangers will never send you money

Sports
Rugby Success for Namibia’s National Team

1111

Short Changed...

Insurance company ripping consumers off?
By Namibia Consumer Protection Group

A

recent article in the Namibian newspaper about insurance providers in Namibia, quotes a study titled “Regulators need to up their game”. The study “expressed concern about the conduct of the industry and has warned that the reputation of the Bank of Namibia (BoN) and the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) will suffer unless they step up supervision.” In the study, mention is made of certain insurance companies that make use of misleading advertising when offering products as “free”.

This has to be a wake up call to us as consumers. As a lobby group, we have regularly been contacted by customers who do not receive the service they expected when they bought the products as advertised. A common complaint is about the legal insurance product so widely advertised in our newspapers, radio and television. In these adverts, the consumer is made to believe that a monthly premium will give them access to legal assistance should the need arise. A typical example of how this insurance company works is what happened to Marco H. Marco was a client of “legal insurance” and was not worried if something should go wrong. One morning, his employer informed him that there were suspicions of theft and the employees had to each take a lie detector test. Marco called his legal insurance company but was told that they do not cover labour issues. he then reluctantly took the lie detector test. The employer decided to lay criminal charges with the police after the tests and the whole group of employees were taken to the Windhoek central police station and charged. He called his legal insurance company, and was informed they could not assist him in a criminal case. Luckily for Marco, he was able to call up a friend that could get him bail arranged and he was thus not forced to spend the weekend in jail. On the Monday, he duly went to his legal insurance company at their big headquarters building to get some assistance. After reporting at the reception, he was rather rudely informed that his case did not meet the standards of a claim.

This was definitely a case of misleading advertising if not theft. BUT what can Marco really do? Very little. Even the institutions that are supposed to do something, cannot help. We once again point out that we need consumer laws, and consumer protection agencies that have teeth to prevent these companies for abusing the Namibian consumer. The cost of taking legal action can be prohibitive. Could you afford to claim compensation if you were injured in an accident, unfairly dismissed from work or had a dispute with a business?

A friend of mine has had legal insurance and believed he was covered. About a month ago, he was accused of being involved in a theft syndicate at his work. He immediately called his legal insurance company, but was informed they do not cover criminal cases. He was taken for a polygraph test (is that legal in Namibia), and informed that he had failed the test. This led

To comment on this article sms ‘CN’ and your comment to 1111 or email us at: info@consumernewsnamibia.com

?
editorial
Milton Louw

to him leaving the job that morning to go speak to his legal insurer. Yeah right. They do not cover the expenses for a labour case either. WHAT is it with insurance companies that do not want to pay claims? If you complain at NAMFISA they do very little to help. If I am going to buy legal insurance I expect:

Bail Assistance . Bail negotiations and applications on members’ behalf . Depositing of the bail amount/issuing of bail guarantee on behalf of arrested member Civil Law . Bank and insurance matters . Blacklisting . Building and construction matters . Contractual disputes . Debt collection . Letters of demand . Litigation . Personal injury claims, etc Criminal Law . Fraud, theft, robbery or assault . Arrests . Bail applications . Consumer issues . Driving under the influence . Reckless driving . Search warrants, etc. Family Law . Ante-nuptial contracts . Custody disputes . Divorces . Family violence matters . Interdicts . Maintenance disputes, etc.

Labour Law . Dismissals . Disciplinary proceedings . Pension payout disputes . Restraint of trade agreements . Retrenchments . Unpaid wages . Working conditions

Surely this is not too much to ask?

<<cn

CN 03

editorial

Manna from Heaven

By Raymond Isaacs

P

erhaps no Christian church has gained as much publicity in the mainstream media as the Brazilian Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.

The Church, this year, celebrates 33 years - an amazing feat given all the reports, allegations and court cases that have followed the institution just about everywhere they’ve ever set up shop around the world, spanning 170 countries. Among these is the 2008 incident where Brazil’s largest newspaper group was served with a total of 28 lawsuits by the Church, based on claims of libel and defamation. The year before that, the Namibian weekly state-owned newspaper Southern Times, was taken to court for about N$120 000, after the church felt an article published in it aimed at painting them as a satanic sect and previously, the Zambian government had suspended the church’s operations there following riots in Lusaka over such claims. American lecturer and ‘cult’ specialist Rick Alan Ross has an extensive archive containing news articles and other information on his website, “www.rickross.com, which document a host of other instances, including charges of fraud and charlatanism that have been leveled against members of the international body. The website deals exclusively with organisations deemed suspicious by the institute. The biggest reason for everyone’s interest in the church stems from its philosophy of relentless fund-raising, as well as the

seemingly ever-ascending growth in both following and infrastructure. In the most recent news, it was announced just earlier this month that the church has been given permission to build a U$200 million replica of the ancient Solomon’s Temple in Brazil’s economic capital of Sao Paulo. Its various branches own radio stations and newspapers, run television shows and erect new church buildings regularly, while at the same time running projects like soup kitchens and other community projects. The Church’s South African website notes that it is entirely funded by charitable donations, and a recent visit to the church’s congregation in Windhoek’s Independence Avenue by Consumer News confirmed the church’s emphasis on money matters. On this particular Sunday service, the first word of the bishop to the congregation after a powerful recorded prayer is “Morning” followed by a call to bring their tithes to the front. The tithing system is 100 per cent in line with conventional Christian belief of setting aside 10 per cent of all earnings before deduction to God. This campaign is not to bless the church but those who participated,” he says, calling on all to depend on God and the belief in their sacrifice. “If you don’t believe in tithing, it is your right. But don’t come here for the anointing. I can of course, but it will do nothing. Only if you believe,” he says.

>>

04 CN

Manna from heaven cont.

Consumer News approached the Church for an interview with its bishop in early July, but is still awaiting their response.
The congregation is made up of a diverse group representing the entire spectrum of Namibian society and beyond; old, young, white, black, and from all walks of life. And nobody is forced into doing anything. In fact, members were eager to testify to the good things their faith has resulted in. “I got a promotion. I’m 23 and now just a step from management position,” says the first to testify on the day, a government employee. “My son’s contract was set to end in June. It’s been extended to the end of next year,” says the next. “I told God I want a salary of (N$) 7 000 upwards. Last week I got a contract as financial manager and I’ll be earning more than I expected,” it goes on as the rest of the church shout praises in solidarity. Just before the bishop delivers his message of human beings being ungrateful by nature and the need to show gratitude for God’s blessings, he announces the time has come for further offerings. Going to the front and contributing your offering, rewards you with the latest church bulletin, which is filled with further testimonies and teachings. The leader even addresses some of the church’s detractors. Don’t put your faith in man, he says to whoever feels they’ve been wronged by the bishop himself, by the assistants or others in the body. “People are given free will. If I decide to betray my wife, take drugs, steal, lie, kill - does that mean the church is bad?” he asks the congregation, who all seem to agree in the negative.

A first-hand account from the church itself on what it makes of all the negative sentiment around it, as well as some of the factors that internationally have damaged the Church’s name, was not possible for this article.

Consumer News approached the Church for an interview with its bishop in early July, but is still awaiting their response. Questions posed to them in a written request include its policy of transparency in financial matters and the sharing of figures with church members, the concept of monetary sacrifice and secular skepticism around this, and the church’s future plans in the country. Locally, detractors of the Church have lobbied as far as government to have it banned, but law-makers have stepped in against such a move.“We are a government guided by our constitution, which strongly emphasises the freedom of our people towards their choice of religion. Hence, anyone is free to choose the church of his or her own choice,” then Home Affairs spokesperson Kauku Hengari was quoted saying back in 2005 when the topic was still heavy on the agenda.

To comment on this article sms ‘CN’ and your comment to 1111 or email us at: info@consumernewsnamibia.com

CN 06

comparison shopping

Mom
F
EDGARS CLICKS Huggies (60) N$132.95 N$132.00 900g Lactogen Fissan Bumcream Pampers (82) N$175.95 N$81.30 N$23.55

or the August edition, Consumer News took a comparison-shopping trip to the supermarkets and came back with some helpful tips to guide Moms on their monthly baby-essential shopping excursions. Every parent is familiar with the high costs of raising a baby and most moms shop for baby necessities on a calculated budget. We visited 9 stores and compared 9 items that rank high on mom’s list of baby goodies. This comparison shopping was done Wednesday, July 28th and reflects the prices in those stores and the products available on that particular day.
PICK N PAY SHOPRITE CHECKERS

&
N$82.99 N$81.79

Baby
JET
WOERMAN BROK GAME BABY COMPANY N$129.95 N$85.49 N$79.95 N$24.95

N$111.99

N$81.99

N$159.99

N$189.95

900g Nan

Wet wipes (72) pampers Cloth Nappy (4) Breast Pads (Disposable) Earbuds

N$36.95

N$37.45

N$38.99

N$39.99

N$38.95

N$37.95

N$69.95

N$69.99

N$59.95

N$37.79

N$33.95

N$5.99

N$5.15

N$4.49

N$4.49

N$4.99

N$5.49

N$7.66

N$4.95

Birth Certificates – EVERY CHILD’S RIGHT A birth certificate is necessary for everyone. It is a crucial piece of documentation which you will always need. Parents with children born at the Katatura state hospital in Windhoek can obtain a birth certificate in the maternity ward, the main public hospital in Windhoek. This was also rolled out to other state hospitals around the country. An initiative launched last year designed to ensure that every child born at the hospital receives a birth certificate. In Namibia, 81 per cent of women deliver their babies in a hospital, yet 40 per cent of Namibian children under the age of five lack birth certificates. Children without birth certificates are more vulnerable to abuse, trafficking and early marriage, and have less access to government services and schooling. UNICEF report The procedure for obtaining a birth certificate To register the birth of a child, one or both parents must visit the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration office and fill out a birth registration form, standardised throughout the country. Moreover, one or both parents must present their own identity cards and a birth record, if the birth took place in a hospital. The following information is found on the birth certificate registry form and must be paid attention to, to avoid mistakes: • the newborn child’s identity number and the page number (folio) and book in which the registration was recorded • the year of registration • the child’s family name(s) • the child’s given name(s) • the child’s gender • the place of birth (name of the hospital, the clinic and the country)

All your baby accessories under one roof at very affordable prices.

07 CN

Contact us on: +264 61 400 720 (Tel/Fax) Email: sylviar@iway.na Visit us @ 24 Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo street, Southern Industrial Area

WIN with BOKOMO NAMIBIA
• • • • • date of the birth (day, month, year) the order of birth: first, second in the case of multiple births, for example the full names of both parents and their nationalities the place of issue of the document (hospital, the clinic) the seal and signature of the registrar

Every mother has her own unique way of making her child(ren) feel special and trying to provide for them to the best of her abilities. In light of this, Consumer News is running a competition and we are searching for Namibia’s Top Consumer Mom-of-the-Month. We want you to share your consumer ideas and tips with other mom’s out there. Email us your story in order to qualify for the Top Mom prize. The story should be about 50 words. The lucky winners will receive shopping vouchers for their babies. If you think you have what it takes to be our Top Consumer Mom, please send us your story to consumernews@iway.na. Competition closes on Wednesday, August 25, 2010. The winners will be drawn and contacted.

Pasta Perfecto Macaroni with Asparagus, Baby Tomatoes and Feta Cheese
Ingredients: 500g Pasta Perfecto Macaroni- cooked all dente 20ml olive oil 500g fresh green asparagus 250g baby tomatoes - halved 2 garlic cloves finely chopped 15ml balsamic glaze 60ml toasted sliced almonds 2 rounds feta cheese Method: Trim the woody ends off the asparagus and cut the rest into 3cm pieces. Pan-fry the asparagus, baby tomatoes and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes. The asparagus should be fresh and the baby tomatoes firm and whole. Add the balsamic glaze and mix throughly. Add the pasta and stir until warm. Transfer into serving dish and sprinkle the roasted almonds and crumbled feta on top.
ti ape to!! !

Bo

un

08 CN

Which local company produces pasta perfecto? sms your answer to 1111
Competitions ends 31 August 2010

WIN WIN WIN...Hampers!!!

terms & conditions apply sms charged at N$2

CN 21

Don't Waste a Watt!!
KETTLE
Why pay for boiling a full kettle of water if you only need a cup?

GEySER
Why pay for hot water not being used? • • • A geyser accounts for up to 40% of your electricity bill. Ensure that your thermostat is set to no more than 55 Degrees Celsius. Wrapping your geyser in an insulating blanket can cut power consumption by half.

• •

Only boil the amount of water that you need Keep your kettle’s element clean of chlorine build up by boiling vinegar.

HEATER
Why pay for heating rooms that are not occupied? • Electric heaters that are controlled by thermostats are more energy efficient. Oil filled heaters are the safest. Only heat rooms that are occupied.

AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINE
Why pay for full cycle when washing only 2 items? • It is a fact that a front loading washing machine uses less water and power than top loaders. Use warm and cold water settings Only use the machine to do full loads of washing.

• •

• •

ELECTRIC STOvE
• • • • • • • Use a pressure cooker when preparing food that normally takes a long time to cook. Consider buying a stove with a convection oven. The size of the pot to match the size of the stove plate. Use cooking utensils with flat bottoms and tight covers Do not use grill compartment to make toast Don’t use a stove to light a cigarette. Never use the stove or hot plate as heaters.

fRIDGE
• • • • • • Don’t open fridge doors unnecessarily Ensure that door seals are intact Switch off the fridge when it is empty or when going on holiday Let hot food cool down before placing it in the refrigerator Defrost the fridge regularly Leave space between items on shelves, this allows cool air to circulate more easily.

MICROWAvE
• • • Defrost food before cooking in microwave. Only use a microwave to cook small to medium quantities of food Compare cooking times on packaging and use the method that takes the least time and power.

DISHWASHER
• • Run it only when it is full Turn it off before the drying cycle starts and dry dishes manually. Connect the machine to the cold water supply Make sure that all the filters stay clean.

• •

for more information please visit our website at www.nampower.com.na

Don't Waste a Watt!!
fREEzER aIr-COndItIOner
Why pay for cooling/heating rooms that are not occupied? • • • • • freezers that are iced up use substantially more power, so keeping freezers frost free will save you power and money. Not overstocking your freezer means that cold air circulates easier and less power is required to keep temperature constant. Clean and inspect filters regularly Set your air conditioner to recirculate cool air instead of drawing in warm outside air. Protect outdoor cooling units from the sun.

Tv/DvD/STEREO/ COMPUTERS
Why pay for 24 hours usage?

IRON
• • • • Use a thermostastically controlled iron that switches itself off when the correct temperature is reached. Switch an iron off once it has reached the correct temperature and complete the ironing on stored energy. Use distilled water in steam irons Iron low temperature fabrics first to reduce warm-up time

• •

Standby-button consumes energy. Switch off the power button.

TUMBLE DRyER
• • • Tumble dryers are great appliances, but consume vast amounts of energy. Use correct temperature setting to minimise electricity use. Removing excess water before putting clothes into the tumble dryer saves time and power. Best of all, use sunny days to dry clothes outdoors.

CELLPHONE

• • •

Only recharge your cellphone battery when it is completely drained Never leave your cellphone charging overnight When your cellphone is fully charged, unplug the charger.

SMALL APPLIANCES
( Toasters, electric grills, slow cookers, electric pots/pans) • They use less electricity than a stove

LIGHTBULBS
• • • Replace conventional bulbs with Compact fluorescent Light (CfL) bulbs where possible. CFL bulbs give the same light while using a fifth of the power and last 10 times longer. Always switch off lights when you leave a room.

for more information please visit our website at www.nampower.com.na

editorial

Africa and the
Western Media
By Rob Parker

t is well known that the western media sees Africa through a dark lens. What can a westerner learn of Africa from the media? The short answer, probably, is not much. This is not just a problem of the electronic era of images and information moving at dizzying speed. It goes back to the age of Conrad, of Africa as the ‘Dark Continent’ and racist tropes of yesteryear.
Animal Planet Africa is often represented as largely unpopulated, wide open savannah, the Kalahari with animals migrating across the plains. If African people are pictured at all in the western media, ouside of rebels adorned with bandoliers, they are rural villagers, with customs and manners of dress which seem exotic to westerners. The Masai, or more locally, the Himba and San are a constant source of curiosity to be dissected and analysed. These ‘primitive cultures’ serve the purpose of salving western guilt of their treatment of Africa, past and present, as they advocate for the tribes and mourn the loss of their way of life. It is a fetishisation, much of the type you can also see when you go to Swakopmund and see little

I

Himba and San figurines for sale in the windows of certain curio shops. Give generously There is more to this story than just the overt or even latent racism of westerners; though, to be sure, that is a part of it. There are economic reasons for the images. Children with bellies bloated from malnutrition looking forlornly into the camera some B-rated television personality does a voice over appealing for funds. Funds which are largely tied up in administration, salaries and overhead, rather than going to help the individuals pictured on the screen. This is a business, Big Business. World Vision, a Christian NGO, rents a few hours of afternoon television programming per day in many western countries pummeling viewers with these images over and over, to drive for donations. The more shocking the image, the more donations get sent in and as there are several of these organisations competing with each other for money, so they also compete with imagery- which is bad news for Africa- with each of these organisations trying to out-sensationalise each other in a dash for cash at the expense of Africa. The problem with the news In a certain sense this is the nature of news programming in the west in general. ‘If it bleeds, it leads’ is a well-known maxim in the news business. This means that negative stories get the most prominent play and that media houses are

>>
12 CN
To comment on this article sms ‘CN’ and your comment to 1111 or email us at: info@consumernewsnamibia.com

comparison shopping

also competing with each other for the most sensational images. When these editors and journalists think of Africa, they want stories of coups, of rape, of AIDS, of cholera and violence and the more despicable the image the more it is coveted and the more it is viewed and re-viewed. Accuracy is less important to media in the west where Africa is concerned. Images and video from one country are often substituted for another country. You would never see Australian images being passed off as Canada, for example, so why is it ok to show Kenya on the screen while the story is about Zimbabwe? Why is it ok to speak of Africa as one country instead of a continent? There was much pessimism in the west over whether South Africa could host the sporting event successfully, whether it could build the infrastructure and organise all the intricate details that come with hosting such as huge happening such as the World Cup. Then there was endless speculation about whether they could be ready on time, if they could meet the deadlines? Afro-pessimism is the name often used for the phenomenon where westerners can speculate openly whether Africans can ‘govern themselves’ or organise anything. Times are changing The World Cup success proved them wrong. The event was a marked success

Children with bellies bloated from malnutrition looking forlornly into the camera some B-rated television personality does a voice over appealing for funds.

and for a few months the spotlight that shone on Africa proved the critics were mistaken. The upgrades to the airport, the influx of travelers and construction of infrastructure were all handled without major hiccups. The other place that the western media hurts with their coverage of Africa is the westerners themselves; besides the, slightly inexpensive, observation that being ignorant is not a good thing, they also miss on the economic opportunities here. The racism that allows Westeners to believe this just is a continent of coups and plagues keeps them from seeing Africa as a viable market, a place to invest and to visit and allows the balance of world power to tilt more and more towards the east as the west sleeps.

To comment on this article sms ‘CN’ and your comment to 1111 or email us at: info@consumernewsnamibia.com

CN 13

Urgent Public Notice PRESS RELEASE Urgent Public Notice
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the

Telecom Namibia fixed broadband options (WiMAX & ADSL) are complete broadband services with high-speed service, unlimited downloads, and much more. Telecom Namibia’s broadband Internet service provides you fast download at varying speeds, so you can get everything the Internet has to offer, including downloading music, videos, playing online games and doing research. Telecom Namibia provides a range of choices on various fixed broadband options, both broadband on its own or with an added service of a home phone line.

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DON’T MISS OUT ON THE EXPOSURE! DON’T MISS OUT ON THE EXPOSURE!
Our broadband Internet service is fast, reliable and affordable. You can talk and surf at the same time. Our broadband Internet service offers speeds from 192kbps to up to 8Mbps. Below are our fixed broadband packages and plans. You can Telecom Namibia wants to make the Internet accessible to choose any plan that suits your pocket. For those customers who everyone. With our latest freebees, we want to allow our prefer to have this unlimited benefit on mobile broadband, we are Internet customers to connect without fear. Whatever time they offering it for N$999 with free email. spend connected, they pay less.

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Kindly be informed that Telecom Namibia is compiling its new Kindly be informed that Telecom Namibia is compiling its new 2009/10 directory. 2009/10 directory. In order to ensure the accuracy of entries in the new directory, In order to ensure the accuracy of entries in the new directory, Telecom Namibia requests all Medical Service Providers, as well Telecom Namibia requests all Medical Service Providers, as well as Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments to provide a as Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments to provide a correct and complete list of all telephone, facsimile, cellular phone correct and complete list of all telephone, facsimile, cellular phone entries or any other relevant information they would like printed in entries or any other relevant information they would like printed in the new directory. the new directory.
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WIFI, USB, 1x ISDN, DECT 1536k

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1

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50 1x Data, 1
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100 4x Data, 3x POTS, 2
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2x POTS 1 1

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WIFI, USB, 1x ISDN, 1

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1

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1 4x Data, 3x POTS, 100 WIFI, USB, 1x 1 ISDN 3 1 100 1
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200 4x Data, 2x POTS, 5
3

WIFI, USB, 1x ISDN, DECT 1

1

1 4x Data, 2x POTS, 200 WIFI, USB, 1x ISDN, 1 DECT 5 1 200 1
3 Unlimited

50 1

50 1

50 1

100 1

200 1

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Number of Voice/Fax Numbers
On-net voice minutes

Number of concurrent voice calls
Monthly Charge (12 months) Data Volume Monthly Charge (24 months) Uplink (kbps) Monthly Charge (36 months) On-net voice minutes
Rates are VAT exclusive

30 1 N$ 499 Unlimited N$ 399 128 N$ 349 30 N$ 499

1

128

30 1 N$ 749 Unlimited N$ 599 128 N$ 549 30 N$ 749 N$ 599

2

128

30 1 N$ 899 Unlimited N$ 699 128 N$ 649 30 N$ 899 N$ 699

2

128

50 1 N$ 999 Unlimited N$ 849 192 N$ 749 50 N$ 999 N$ 849

2

192

50 2 N$ 1,199 Unlimited N$ 999 256 N$ 949 50 N$ 1,199 N$ 999

3

256

50 3 N$ 1,449 Unlimited N$ 1,199 384 N$ 1,149 50 N$ 1,449

5

384

100 3 N$ 1,949 Unlimited N$ 1,649 512 N$ 1,599 100 N$ 1,949

5

512

100 3 N$ 2,399 Unlimited N$ 2,049 512 N$ 1,949 100 N$ 2,399 N$ 2,049

5

512

Notes: Monthly CPE included Charge (12 months)

Monthly With WiMAX only 3 data Ports are available Charge (24 months) N$ 399 Monthly Charge (36 months) N$ 349

Installation charges: N$222 within MRA and N$ 333 outside MRA

N$ 1,199

N$ 1,649

N$ 549

N$ 649

N$ 749

N$ 949

N$ 1,149

N$ 1,599

N$ 1,949

Notes: CPE included Rates are VAT exclusive With WiMAX only 3 data Ports are available Installation charges: N$222 within MRA and N$ 333 outside MRA

Uncapped Packages

*SME 192k

Entry 192k

256k

384k

512k

768k

1024k

1536k

2048k

CPE

1x Data,
*SME 192k

4x Data, 3x POTS, WIFI, USB, 1x ISDN
Entry 192k

4x Data, 3x POTS, WIFI, USB, 1x
256k

4x Data, 3x POTS, WIFI, USB, 1x
384k

4x Data, 3x POTS, WIFI, USB, 1x
512k

4x Data, 3x POTS, WIFI, USB, 1x
768k

4x Data, 2x POTS, WIFI, USB, 1x ISDN,
1024k

4x Data, 2x POTS, WIFI, USB, 1x ISDN,
1536k

4x Data, 2x POTS, WIFI, USB, 1x ISDN,
2048k

2x POTS 2

Uncapped Packages Number of email addresses
Web space (MB) CPE Fax2Email Numbers Number of Voice/Fax Numbers Number of email addresses Number of concurrent voice calls Web space (MB) Fax2Email Numbers
Uplink (kbps) Data Volume

ISDN 2

ISDN 2

ISDN 2

ISDN 2

DECT 2

DECT 2

DECT 2

2

50 1x Data, 2 2x POTS 2 1
1

100 4x Data, 3x POTS, 2 WIFI, USB, 1x ISDN 2 2
1

4x Data, 3x POTS, 100 WIFI, USB, 1x 2 ISDN 2 2 100 2
1

4x Data, 3x POTS, 100 WIFI, USB, 1x 2 ISDN 2 2 100 2
1

4x Data, 3x POTS, 100 WIFI, USB, 1x 2 ISDN 3 2 100 2
2

4x Data, 3x POTS, 100 WIFI, USB, 1x 2 ISDN 3 2 100 2
2

4x Data, 2x POTS, 200 WIFI, USB, 1x ISDN, 2 DECT 5 2 200 2
3

4x Data, 2x POTS, 200 WIFI, USB, 1x ISDN, 2 DECT 5 2 200 2
3

4x Data, 2x POTS, 200 WIFI, USB, 1x ISDN, 2 DECT 5 2 200 2
3

Please contact us on or before 20 March on the following numbers: Please contact us on or before 20 March on the following numbers: Ms Gille (061) 201 2660 Ms Gille (061) 201 2660 Ms Mathys (061) 20 12231 Ms Mathys (061) 20 12231 Ms Beukes (061) 201 2451 GET a Telecom Namibia broadband Internet service and be assured (061) 201 2451 Ms Beukes for a fast, reliable
Unlimited

50 2

Unlimited

100 2

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Number of Voice/Fax Numbers
On-net voice minutes

1

128 50

2

128 60

2

128 60

2

192 60

3

256 60

3

384 100

5

512 100

5

768 100

5

768 200

Number of concurrent voice calls Monthly Charge (12 months)
Data Volume Monthly Charge (24 months) Uplink (kbps) Monthly Charge (36 months) On-net voice minutes

1 N$ 649 Unlimited N$ 599 128 549 N$ 50 N$ 649

1 N$ 849 Unlimited N$ 799 128 699 N$ 60 N$ 849

1 N$ 1,099 Unlimited N$ 899 128 849 N$ 60 N$ 1,099 N$ 899

1 N$ 1,349 Unlimited N$ 1,099 192 N$ 1,049 60 N$ 1,349

2 N$ 1,549 Unlimited N$ 1,349 256 N$ 1,249 60 N$ 1,549

2 N$ 2,049 Unlimited N$ 1,799 384 N$1,699 100 N$ 2,049 N$ 1,799 N$1,699

3 N$ 2,549 Unlimited N$ 2,199 512 N$ 2,149 100 N$ 2,549

3 N$ 3,549 Unlimited N$ 3,099 768 N$ 2,999 100 N$ 3,549

3 N$ 4,599 Unlimited N$ 3,999 768 N$ 3,949 200 N$ 4,599

Monthly Charge (12 months) Rates are VAT exclusive Monthly Charge (36 months)

Notes: CPE included

Monthly Charge (24 months) N$222 within MRA and N$ 333 799 N$ 599 N$ outside MRA Installation charges: N$ 549 N$ 699

With WiMAX only 3 data Ports are available

N$ 1,099

N$ 1,349

N$ 2,199

N$ 3,099

N$ 3,999

* Free Standard website Template - Monthly charges for web hosting as well as development of websites are charged additionally

N$ 849

N$ 1,049

N$ 1,249

N$ 2,149

N$ 2,999

N$ 3,949

Notes: CPE included Rates are VAT exclusive With WiMAX only 3 data Ports are available Installation charges: N$222 within MRA and N$ 333 outside MRA * Free Standard website Template - Monthly charges for web hosting as well as development of websites are charged additionally

and secure internet experience! Call us now toll free on 1100.

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editorial

Our Service Problem. Is There Hope for Us?
By Jon Allen

Mugg and Bean Maerua Mall, do not put bagels on the menu if you are unable to stock it. ‘Eggs benedict’ with normal bread toast, IS NOt ‘Eggs benedict’. this should have a different name. Also, you shouldn’t be filling the Mrs Balls chutney bottles with cheap bulk catering replacement chutney. Surely that can’t be legal? I think that’s enough…we won’t go to the tardiness of the general service recently. Perhaps next time. Ster Kinekor, I am quite confident that I speak for many when I say that we are tired of inferior quality. It is 2010. We are quite a sophisticated market. Why can we not have the best in picture and sound quality? Please take some of the exorbitant profit made from your pop-corn sales (for which you ran out of salt on Saturday 17 July, at 17h15) and upgrade the quality of your total offering – product as well as service. Is there any hope for our efforts at trying to uplift the quality of service in the country? I have been forced to ask myself daily since our last issue? the answer quite simply, is…YES. We don’t have a choice! If we lose hope, then those who ARE attempting to uplift the quality; their efforts are lost. And we cannot allow that to happen. there was some light in my life, though. I had some very enriching service experiences too. thank you to Bibi’s Halaal in Khomasdal, for consistently offering outstanding customer service. Perhaps we can approach you to share with our readers the secrets of your service offering in the next issue? thank you too, to the team at Auas game Lodge, just outside Windhoek to the south, for a reminder that great teamwork does result in excellent service output. It was a pleasure visiting your establishment recently. thank you both for reminding me why we’re in this fight to change the customer service status

I

n preparation of this issue’s article I wanted to be positive and motivating, but some recent negative experiences have left me temporarily sombre.

quo. It’s no menial task, this crusade. Speak to me. Join us. Share with us your thoughts and ideas. Let us make use of this platform offered by Consumer News to engage in discussion about our service problems and let us be solutions-oriented, offering ideas for improvement and long-term quality upliftment.

Creating Opportunity, Changing the Face of Customer Service
Contact: Jon Allen t: +264 61 400 910 f: +264 61 400 912 c: +264 81 448 6032 e: csinstitute@iway.na
Jon Allen

16 CN

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editorial

Know your rights
Interview – Bob Ziekenoppasser: Consumer rights need to be secured in Namibia

Founder: Bob Ziekenoppasser

T

he Namibian consumer is trapped in many ways on a daily basis through counterfeit goods, credit agreements, quality and warranties on goods, debt collecting, advertising with no form of recourse on the ground. With that in mind, NCL was founded to defend consumers’ rights through the provision of an advocacy platform that would make consumers’ voices heard, raise awareness of their rights, build consumer’s ability to claim their rights and make markets accountable and more responsive to consumer’s needs and interests. Bob Ziekenoppasser is the founder of the Namibian Consumer Lobby. A brief history and background of NCL The Namibian Consumer Lobby has its origins deeply rooted in a great and noble cause of protecting and empowering the consumers by monitoring product quality and service to ensure total adherence to reasonably accepted standards. The organisation justifiably stemmed from the need to watch against profiteering at the expense of the consumer. It all began in 1988 when the first positive steps were taken to institute the formation of the vigilant consumer activists, which was aimed at meeting protective needs of the consumer and produce better understanding between producers and consumers. The present day Namibian Consumer Lobby (NCL) has expanded and restructured its policies to meet the needs of today’s consumers.

Final words It is the responsibility of consumers to organise themselves into powerful groups and develop the strength and influence to protect and promote their interests. Consumer rights defined A framework of eight basic rights has been developed over the years to protect consumer welfare. These form the basis of legislation and advocacy worldwide. Every year on March 15, groups use World Consumer Rights Day to advocate these principles. • The right to the satisfaction of basic needs: To have access to basic, essential goods and services, adequate and nutritious food, clothing, shelter, health care, education and sanitation. The right to safety To be protected against products, production processes and services that are hazardous to health or life. The right to be informed To be given the facts needed to make an informed choice and to be protected against dishonest or misleading advertising and labeling. The right to choose To be able to select from a range of products and services offered at competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality. The right to redress To receive a fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services. The right to consumer education To acquire the knowledge and skills needed to make informed, confident choices about goods and services while being aware of basic consumer rights and responsibilities and how to act on them. The right to healthy and sustainable environment To live and work in an environment that is non-threatening to the well-being of present and future generations.

• • • • •

The vision of NCL To spearhead consumers’ rights through sustainable consumer awareness and protection in the country. What are main objectives of Namibian Consumer Lobby To lobby and advocate for effective consumer protection, legislation and policies To improve consumer rights awareness through education, communication and advice To provide research-based and focused services and information To increase the membership-base and focused services and information To upgrade the human resource skills base through relevant in-house and external training To improve the revenue base through targeted fund raising and related activities What are the functions and services of the Namibian Consumer Lobby Lobby and advocacy NCL provides a platform for consumer input into policies that are put in place by the government and other authorities. It strives to ensure that terms enacted in lobbying and advocacy are fair to the consumer, thereby creating fair trading practices.
Complaints

The NCL handles a wide range of complaints between consumers and traders with a view to ascertain amicable solutions to the interest of all parties involved. Monitoring the price trends through shopping basket surveys and advising consumers accordingly. Advocating for favourable price structures on basic commodities, with the government and producers.
Education

The organisation plays a pivotal role in educating consumers on their rights and responsibilities, it disseminates information through print media, electronic media, panel discussions, workshops, seminars and meetings. We monitor the quality of goods and services available to the public. Advise, educate and inform consumers on their rights.
Referral services

The organisation also plays a pivotal role in referring consumers to the right places were they can be assisted. This is done for areas which do not fall into the organisation’s jurisdiction.
Advice and counseling

The organisation gives advice and to some extent, counseling on a number of cases as well as monitoring unethical advertising techniques. Create a strong stakeholder base, grouping them into segments thus making them activists in lobbying and advocacy.
What is the status of Consumer protection and the Namibian Law

CONTACT Bob Ziekenoppasser t: +264 64 461 461 c: +264 81 284 8000

There is no single statute that deals exclusively with matters pertaining to consumer protection. There is a mixture of wide ranging statutes dealing with specific issues and the common law as its pertains to guarantees and warranties. Most of the legislation on given issues fall under the domain of specific line ministries i.e Agriculture and Trade and Industry.

NAMIBIAN CONSUMER LOBBY

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CN 17

feature

A consumer’s experience
in

Chinatown

By Raymond Isaac

I

t is Saturday afternoon at Windhoek’s bustling China Town complex. A few customers are still rushing to get inside the security gates, much like at any random shop when closing time is just announced. Entering one of the many trinket shops on the premises, Consumer News grabs a pack of dolls laying in a basket marked at N$10. A bargain, given that we’re looking at a mother doll and her two proportionally smaller daughters with accessories. The shop owner, a middle-aged Chinese man is sharing a joke with his female Namibian employee. He moves in behind the till as he sees the pending sale.

DVDs to fake washing powder and cigarettes. As current as May this year, former Veterans Affairs minister Ngarikutuke Tjiriange went on a public tirade in a local weekly over an apparent argument with security guards at China Town’s gates. They had apparently refused to let him drive his car onto the premises to load some items he’d bought from there. The retired former minister said he’d wanted to lay a complaint with an authority figure at the complex, but could find no official channel to vent to, leading to strong words of ‘our own people being paid by the Chinese to harass us’. Are all these complaints just an indication of Namibians’ intolerance for outsiders? A xenophobic culture specifically targeting Chinese nationals? Is resentment brewing in many parts of the SADC region, as suggested by human rights watchdogs like the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR)’s director Phil ya Nangoloh? After all, it has long been held that, and confirmed in a 2008 Polytechnic of Namibia (Public Management Department) study, that Chinese shops cater for a section of the public not often kept in mind by pricier western chains. And that Chinese construction companies, another thorn in the flesh for local competitors, often tender 15 to 20 per cent lower than local companies, while further slashing prices by importing construction material like steel for cheaper from China. Or is all this indication of a need for stronger regulations to keep Chinese businesses, the majority of whom don’t have any agreements with trade unions, in check and in line with global consumer standards? “Relations are improving. Obviously there have been some instances of traders being rude to customers and the customers have fought back with the law so to speak,” says Bruce Lee, whose family are the landlords of China Town in Windhoek. He notes that, while a contact with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce referred the magazine to him, the family in fact has no business ties with their tenants as is often assumed by complainants

He takes the N$20 note handed to him, and fiddles with the cash register until it pops open. “Receipt please?”, he is reminded as he hands over the change, and laughs at his obvious forgetfulness. He tears off the slip, squints at it quickly, and grabs a pen on the counter to scribble a few notes before he hands it over with a smile. It’s all there - the price of the goods, the amount tendered and the change he owed, in blue pen over an inkless print-out. Chinese businesses in Namibia and controversy have seemingly gone hand-in-hand since their very entry into the local market. If not for the quality of the often cheap and bootleg versions of international brands sold at complexes such as China Town and corner shops across the country, then for reported short-cuts in service provision, of rude behaviour towards their clientele, and in some cases even because of police raids that have uncovered everything from pirated

>>
20 CN

There are trained officers at Customs who check that counterfeits don’t seep into the country, but our capacity to act is very limited.
against some of the traders. “As long as they’re not giving us trouble, we don’t bother them,” he says, adding that even his family has had heated arguments with some of the traders when buying from them. Nevertheless, Lee insists Namibians should look at the cultural aspects that brought many of these Chinese traders to Namibia in the first place, as well as the current trend when considering solutions. “There’s a misconception that most Chinese who come to Namibia reside in Windhoek. That’s not the case. In fact, many of our tenants have started to move out and now live around Oshikango (near the Angolan border). That’s actually where the biggest concentration of Chinese in Namibia is currently,” he says. This is explained by the more preferred trade in US dollars at the border and specifically with Angolan nationals, as well as increased investment in Namibia’s northern border since its emergence from civil war in 2002. One example is the Chinese Exim Bank’s approval in 2004 of a N$2 billion line of credit to Angola to rebuild its infrastructure, and which has had the added spin-off of buildings housing and more Chinese businesses in that part of the country and further up north. “Many of our tenants are from the same part of China, from (the city of) Fujin, and as such look out for one another while being very closed off from everyone else,” Lee says further. “I do think relations have improved with time though, especially between the owners and employees,” he says noting to some of the complaints raised in the past, including ill treatment of workers and workers being paid below minimum wage rates. Attempts to gain comment from the Chinese Chamber of Commerce on what channels of recourse customers to Chinese businesses have when confronted with bad service, or when trying to return goods found to be non-satisfactory, were unsuccessful. Consumer News sent questions to spokesperson Angela Feng, but after a week of waiting on a reply, she said the chamber would not have time to respond. in Beijing, renowned for battles with intellectual property defenders. Asked about Namibia’s stance on the sale of counterfeit goods, Edward Kamboua, Under Secretary for Trade and Commerce in the Trade ministry, was adamant it is not condoned. Namibia has a number of own laws, and is also signatory to a number of international protocols which outlaw counterfeits such as is being sold at the China shops, he says. “But the trouble is in enforcing these laws. There are trained officers at Customs who check that counterfeits don’t seep into the country, but our capacity to act is very limited. Of course, anyone who takes offense against such counterfeit goods, like the registered trademark holder, is welcome to sue in order to get compensation,” he says. Another problem for authorities, he says, is that sometimes the counterfeit goods appear to be produced inside of the country’s borders, making searches at the border ineffective and warranting raids.

Your Number One Department Store

Lies or Levi’s?

Besides the service complaints, Chinese retail businesses are also notorious for stocking knock-offs of big international retail brands. When the Consumer News visited China Town recently, we found ample examples - ranging from Levi’s and Nike jeans and sneakers to Diesel, Ray-Ban and Gucci sunglasses priced at N$20 each. Adidas and Puma track suits are also on proud display at about N$100 a piece, among others. Internationally, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have it that the share of counterfeit and pirated goods in world trade stands at 1.95 per cent, or a figure of U$ 250 billion. Locally though, accurate statistics on not only counterfeit goods, but Chinese investment overall are not available. Most China shops operating in the country are owned and run by private business people, and, according to a study done by the Labour Resource and Research Centre (LaRRI), many are not registered with the Ministry of Trade and Industry. “Some set up their shops after obtaining a work permit for Namibia and have little contact with the Chinese Embassy, which does not encourage the setting up of small Chinese shops as they have little impact on employment creation,” the study reads. These traders usually buy from China, either from large wholesalers or directly from factories there, including the notorious Silk Street

Mon - Fri / 08:00 - 17:30 Sat / 08:00 - 13:00 Sun / 09:00 - 13:00
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Opening Hours

TEL+264 61 377 000
THE ORIGINAL LEVI AVAILABLE AT WECKE & VOIGTS.

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CN 21

FNB Consumer Watch!

CruelCopycats
IN THE NEW BUSINESS REALITY YOU NEED A BANK THAT GIVES YOU MORE Cyber fraud is on the increase – and online banking users are its prime focus.
FNB Namibia warns customers to be vigilant about 'Phishing' scams. “Phishing is a form of fraud where criminals attempt to access your confidential information. This is done via an email request, by luring customers to a fake website or by infecting their personal computers with criminal software. A typical example: From: First National Bank <incontact.customer@fnb.co.za> a clear representative's name would be given Date: April 3, 2010 6:03:40 PM GMT+02:00 To: aticraft@iway.na Subject: FNB :-) Account Reference: (0x3d.0x38.0x4e.0xcf)... Reply-To: First National Bank <incontact.customer@fnb.co.za> We offer personalized service and Dear Value Customer: make it a point to know our client's names grammatical and text spacing errors must instantly ring warning bells!

Thanks

for

banking

with

us

IMPORTANT Be aware of the “PROCEED” link that you our customers need to check as this link diverts you to the “Phishing site” which is different from the real/valid site. When a link appears hold your “mouse device” over this link and you will notice a totally different site than that of the valid bank site. NOTE Fraud attempts of this sort are only successful once online banking users respond to the (typically) email messages as illustrated above and thereby compromise their sensitive information in the process. We constantly introduce new security measures that are aimed at curbing the threat of “identity theft”. We however still advises that to further counter these threats, our customers should not to interact with the sender of the email. “We are a reputable and responsible financial service provider and we adopted 'zero tolerance' to fraud and crime in our business”. If you suspect that your confidential information has been compromised, don't hesitate to immediately contact our 24 hour fraud line at (061) 299 7266 for assistance – do not wait a minute longer.

Following a request we received online, by ?? phone or at a FNB branch We Therefore has placed your account on restricted access. Due to wrong information provided during interrogation we had all rights to believe that your account has been authorized by a third-party user. In other to protect you which is our utmost concern we have blocked your account. Click On Proceed to FNB Online to retrieve and unlock

[*PROCEED*] Failure to secure your online account with FNB online Banking security, will lead to suspension of your account.
clientele This will never happen; WE do not issue threats to its

Account Reference: (0x3d.0x38.0x4e.0xcf)

Media Statement
FNB NAMIBIA offers innovative free online security
While certain banking security systems offer protection only while logged onto an online banking site, Prevx SafeOnline™ constantly monitors and protects user information on all websites from being stolen by phishing or malware. The software can also determine if the user has logged onto a hoax banking site used for phishing. This is the first time that this software will be offered in Africa. The system requires a small initial download of less than 1MB and takes less than 1 minute to install, following which the user is fully protected. The software updates itself automatically to ensure that the latest protection measures are applied. The download is offered to FNB Online Banking and Online Banking Enterprise™ users once they login with easy-to-follow guidelines. The service is available to both our personal banking and our commercial banking clients. For more information call FNB today on 061 299 2222 or visit www.fnbnamibia.com.na the past, FNB Namibia has sought to address this

O

ngoing email scams such as phishing remain a

problem for all internet and online banking users. In

issue with customer education and to offer protection with behind-the-scenes software. The problem will always remain that should an online banking customer give away their user names, logon codes and other information, they will expose themselves to fraud. The number of customers who do this is relatively small and we can see that education drives by FNB, other industry groups and other banks have achieved a great deal. We have, however, noted the early signs of a new and more important threat. Malware designed to steal a user's confidential banking information may be embedded in unsolicited email and may be triggered by simply opening an email. In addition, malware may also be hidden on websites. In partnership with Prevx, a UK-based security company, FNB Online Banking is now offering Prevx SafeOnline™, for phishing, malware and spyware protection across all online activities.

editorial

VultureCapitalists
By Rob Parker

ow does commodity speculation in New York and London affect us here in Windhoek or Oshakati? Does the deregulation of financial services in the west contribute to the high cost of maize meal? In the past decade we have seen many major bubbles caused by speculators and heinous investment banks such as Goldman Sachs; The real estate, the internet, oil and the mortgage bubbles. All of these bubbles have their root in the deregulation of the financial services industry, in other words, removing all the rules. Investment banks, for example, were able to leverage themselves in ways never previously possible. Many did not have the assets to back up the money they lent out, some were leveraged 33 to 1 as the ratio of their liabilities to their assets. Simple common sense will tell you that this is a bad idea, but this is what happens when fundamentalism meets logic. Logic loses. The mortgage bubble illustrates this very well. Banks had always been careful whom they allowed to take out a mortgage and the mortgage market had always included checks and balances. These were basic underwriting procedures that were for the protection of everyone, you had to produce a down payment of 10 percent or more, show a steady income and good credit rating, and possess a real first and last name. This was so that banks would not be stuck with bad loans on their own books. The advent of CDOs, collateralised debt obligations meant that those mortgages could now be chopped up into bits and repackaged as investment vehicles. This opened the doors to rampant abuse, as the banks and mortgage companies had someone further down the line to pass on their dodgy mortgages to. Companies like Goldman Sachs went further than just selling toxic mortgages to unsuspecting ‘clients’. They also bet against those same mortgages to fail. Goldman was selling products they knew were defective and then betting against them. This is at the very heart of securities fraud.

H

So now, with this no-rules casino capitalism, there was a situation where mortgages were being pushed on people who could not possibly afford to pay for them, who having always been told that real estate is a sound investment, jumped at the chance to own a home. These ‘toxic mortgages’ were pushed by firms with zero ethics such as Countrywide, and then packaged into investment vehicles called CDO’s. Investors were sold on the idea that, because some of the mortgages were above board - there was no reason to fret about the sketchy ones and thus bound-to-fail garbage loans were sold as AAA-rated investments. Goldman used AIG to insure these toxic funds which, fully aware, knew these were bound to fail. This was to the detriment and eventual downfall of AIG. So Goldman made money both when selling the crap mortgages and collecting the insurance when the funds inevitably imploded, taking a good chunk of the economy with it. Those debts from AIG were eventually paid to Goldman by the taxpayer at 100 cents on the dollar. By the second term of silver spoon trust fund baby-cum cowboy George Walker Bush, Wall Street, led by business crimminals such as AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns and Goldman Sachs, were no longer involved in things like investing in legitimate businesses or contributing to an actual economy or, say, employment; they were too busy creating new asset-stripping scams and ponzi schemes, and generally doing their level best to eradicate the middle class. Innovations like credit default swaps and collateralised debt obligations were invented to create revenue streams where none existed and since the, once famed, American manufacturing sector was shipped off to China and Mexico in search of nimblefingered children in sweatshops, it was one final way for the already affluent to bleed the rest of us. The effects of the mortgage bubble were huge and this soon spiralled further out into the global economy. Titans such as Bear Sterns, AIG and Lehman Brothers were among the casualties when the bubble finally burst. These giants took with them the portfolios of millions of Americans, pension funds, teachers’ unions retirements and wiping out jobs across the country.

26 CN

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Commodity bubble After the real estate, the Internet and the mortgage bubbles burst, Wall Street, with Goldman Sachs once again at the center of the action, wasted little time in moving on to their next abomination which was commodity speculation. After having blown up these markets, there was precious little left to speculate on so they moved on to actual physical commodities. The commodities market was originally created to help farmers; it ensured he could sell his crops by allowing him to make a contract to sell his produce for a certain price in the future. A middleman could store the grain and sell it later, ensuring there was a place where the farmer could always sell his goods. The CFTC (The Commodity Future Trading Commission) was created. This functioning system changed in 1991 when a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, J.Aron, lobbied regulators fort an exemption because, kamma, speculators need protection too. As a result of the heady Ayn Rand-ism of the time this specious argument gained some traction and fifty years of stability vanished overnight. The law was originally intended to protect farmers against exactly this kind of speculation, but this singular piece of sanity in the regulatory framework was also tossed, opening the door to manipulation and speculation of commodities once again. Do you remember when the price of petrol suddenly began to rise and then kept going and going? A barrel of oil was being traded as many as 27 times before it was finally sold and any relationship to actual oil had been severed.

unchecked Wall Street speculation (keeping in mind of course that if his opponents had won the election, America would be carpetbombing Canada right now and would be using shiny buttons as currency) . How does this trickle down to Africa. Suddenly, if you are Joe teacher or Jane doctor in the USA and your pension fund has been wiped out overnight by a few dozen lantern-jawed alpha males in Italian loafers and headsets, that African safari holiday you were planning gets put on the back burner and seems unaffordable now. In times of uncertainty, people invest in things with intrinsic value, potatoes and maybe some oonyama, but a car or house will be the extent of investments. Suddenly a diamond becomes just a stone from the ground or a stage name for a stripper. All of this hurts Namibia as foreign exchange dries up and suddenly large companies start laying people off, tourism operators go quiet, taxi drivers struggle to make their daily coin, hotels are empty, others start slashing their advertising budgets and everyone from media outlets on down the line start to feel the crunch. When the white man from that side comes to rob you, eish, let’s just say; he is not the kind of guy who will let you keep your sim card. The mainstream media in the U.S. is hopelessly inadequate in conveying anything more complex than a sub-plot on Shades of Sin, especially when one recalls the tea-cup rattling fear that accompanies the thought they may miss an opportunity to polish the cojones of the Barons of Short Selling with padded questions and a sympathetic ear. Sycophants like CNBC and The Economist are busy doing linguistic back-flips trying to pin the blame on the poor shmuck who bought a home, which will shortly be foreclosed upon by their buddies at the bank, while forgetting that they have been the cheerleaders for deregulation all along. The cause of this nightmare is simple: Pure unfettered capitalism. I am not trying to be all Karl Marx here but capitalism needs rules and regulation. Decency, Tsotsi, decency. The average consumer needs some protection to the voracious appetite of the super-rich who want to own…Everything…ever. And in the immortal words of Thomas Hobbes, without the state to intervene against the powerful life would be “solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.” *Source material: Matt Taibbi, Elliot Spitzer, CNBC, Zero Hedge, The Economist.

“By the summer of 2008, in fact, commodities speculators had bought and stockpiled enough oil futures to fill 1.1 billion barrels of crude, which meant that speculators owned more future oil on paper than there was real, physical oil stored in all of the country’s commercial storage tanks and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve combined.” Matt Taibbi, The Great American Bubble Machine, Rolling Stone. Price had nothing to do with supply and demand. You would have never known this watching the politicians in America respond to the crisis, the decrepit John McCain and moose-hunting moron Sarah Palin went around, chanting ‘drill baby drill’, as if drilling new wells in the gulf of Mexico would bring any new supply online within years, as if oil supply had even decreased, as if this wasn’t just another Republican sop to the oil companies or consider the equally useless response of, then candidate, Barack Obama who touted hybrid cars as the answer to

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CN 27

Understanding the MVA Fund
What is the MVA Fund? The Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA Fund) is a statutory body established to design, develop, promote and implement motor vehicle accident and injury prevention measures. The Fund provides assistance and benefits to all people injured and dependants of those killed in motor vehicle accidents in accordance with the MVA Fund Act 10 of 2007. What is the process of reporting motor vehicle accidents? All motor vehicle accidents should be reported via the MVA Fund Accident Response Number, which is 0819682. How does the Fund respond to motor vehicle accidents? Upon the Fund’s call centre receiving a report of a motor vehicle accident, the Fund will take reasonable steps to ensure that: • • • An ambulance is dispatched to the accident scene without delay. The injured person or persons are conveyed to a hospital or other medical treatment facility. The injured person or persons are stabilized and out of immediate danger before determining liability. • • • What can be claimed for? The following benefits may be claimed for: • Medical Benefits: Any person involved in a motor vehicle accident is entitled to an undertaking amounting to N$ 1,500,000.00 which provides for medical treatment, injury management, rehabilitation and life enhancement. Please take note that any payments made by the Fund in respect of treatment will be paid directly to the service provider. Injury grant The Fund provides an injury grant of up to the value of N$100 000.00. This is a cash grant that serves as compensation for injury in respect of any one injured person. Funeral Grant The Fund pays a funeral benefit to the value of N$ 7500.00 in respect of any person who died in a motor vehicle accident on Namibian roads. Loss of Income The Fund pays out Loss of Income to the value to N$ 100 000.00 per year in respect of any one injured person where there is proof that the person paid income tax for the year prior to the injury or for most of a five year period immediately preced ing the injury. Loss of support Loss of Support may be claimed by a depended of a deceased in the case where there is proof that the deceased paid tax on income for the tax year preceding the injury or a five year pe riod immediately preceding death, to a share calculated on in come assured to be no more than N$ 100 000.00 per annum – in all other cases, a share calculated on income assumed to be no more than the amount set as a tax threshold per annum.

Can foreigners claim from the Fund? Any person who is in Namibia in accordance with a valid permit under the Immigration Control Act, and Section 14 of the Namibia Refugees Act, is limited to providing medical treatment and injury management for the period such person is in Namibia. In respect of a person killed in a motor vehicle accident and who is not granted right of residence in Namibia or either has the right to remain in Namibia in accordance with the Namibia Refugees Act, assistance is limited to providing the funeral benefit of N$ 7500.00. •

MVA Fund Service Centre Ongwediva ERF: 6325, 6326, P.O. BOX 3669 Tel: +264 65 234 060/1, Fax: +264 65 231 613

MVA Fund Service Centre Windhoek 8495 Church Street, P.O. BOX 25158, Tel: +264 61 289 7000, Fax: +264 61 241142 Visit our website: www.mvafund.com.na

MVA Fund Service Centre Rundu Eugene Kakukuru Road, North Gate Building, Shop No.11 P.O. BOX 899, Tel: +264 66 255 826, Fax: +264 66 256 859

entertainment

H
“The idea is broad. We want to preserve and educate people about indigegeous fashion and culture” explains Ringo

Photograph: Leitago Narib

HIMBA
Ms.Tendai Karonga

Behind The Mix
"Well, one of our objectives for the event was to blend cultural and modern elements. If you look at the Himba themselves you can see that their culture does not remain stagnant. There is a large copper bracelet that women wear only after menopause. Generations back that was not the case - culture evolves."

Independent Media Professional

In The Beginning This story began in 2007, in the minds of two University of Namibia graduates by the names of Rhingo Mutamba and Jonathan Swartz. Although Pambili, well-known local fashion gurus, helped them polish up the idea for "Himba in the Mix", for two years the struggle of realising their dream ensued: "sponsors want to sponsor existing projects," explains Rhingo in a functionary conference room with plush black leather chairs, "we lacked that. You submit your proposal and people reject it or just keep quiet." Luckily, a friend told them that the National Arts Council was sponsoring different artists and they applied. They were able to secure half the funds needed and the rest, as well as various other forms of assistance, came from the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre. They had a place to rehearse and they also managed to engage up-and-coming designers; and with all this, inspired them to put together a very unique show. The Journey Once the funding was secured, word reached many designers. The ones whose sketches were approved had a few meetings where they were told about the show and exhibition concept. "We prepared a powerpoint presentation for the designers to give them some background on the Himba" says Rhingo. "We [the designers] didn't know a lot about Himba culture," said Nicoline, one of the event's designers, "so they gave us inspiration. We drew sketches and took them back to them so we could see if we were on the right track." In addition, the designers were given materials to work with as well as extra cash to source whatever else they needed for their individual designs. For Nicoline and Meresia the event has been a blessing. "Seeing the models on the catwalk wearing my creations and for me receiving recognition for my work, was the best feeling ever!" exclaims Meresia. The two designers, who are business partners, appreciated the media coverage and exposure they have been receiving. In fact, they had both received some media attention prior to this, but " not like this. This has been overwhelming." I am assured by both ladies. Evolving Culture "The idea is broad. We want to preserve and educate people about indigenous fashion and culture", explains Rhingo in response to what the inspiration behind the event was. I was curious to know, considering the gap between modern fashion trends which tends to be dominated by West-

ern influence. And indigenous fashion is quite large; not to mention that, especially on our continent, fashion has not so much to do with fabric as it is with jewellery, body paint, tribal markings and ornamental hairstyling. In today's world, how could the two be bridged without the loss of culture? "Well, one of our objectives for the event was to blend cultural and modern elements. If you look at the Himba themselves you can see that their culture does not remain stagnant. There is a large copper bracelet that women wear only after menopause. Generations back that was not the case - culture evolves." And he is right. Culture is a fluid concept that tends to reflect what members of a society hold true at the time. Besides, in the last decade we have witnessed an explosion of African fashion all over the continent with world-class labels like Jewel By Lisa and Tiffany Amber (Nigeria), and talented designers like David Tlale (South Africa) and Mustafa Hassanali (Tanzania). Why not promote unknown talent in Namibia to help redefine and re-examine culture and create pride and a new understanding for younger generations? "From the coverage and interest we received, it is clear that the event spoke to many Namibians. It has tickled their fancy." He says with a smile. Fashion Forward At present our fashion industry is quite small. A unique event like this struck a chord because every aspect of it was home-grown. "A lot of information went out and hopefully many a consumer got word. The response helped us see that it had an impact." Indeed it helped to highlight culture and the fact that there is unsung talent; and with continued support, great things can be achieved. In fact, as fate would have it, a German crew filming in Namibia got wind of the event and recorded the whole process from rehearsals to the final show. With all the local coverage, positive response from Namibians abroad and the footage captured by the German crew, there has to be more to come. What is next? I ask. "It is part of our plan to make this a reoccurring event", enthuses Rhingo. "The sponsors were impressed and now other organisations want to work with us. We want to create a brand." What is to stop them? After all, they are contributing to the developing of Namibia's image in a way. "We want to make it bigger." Concludes Rhingo and I have a good feeling they will. See more pictures and extras on consumernewsnamibia.com

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CN 31

Boxing

By Staff Reporter

NAMIBIAN BOXING COMES OF AGE
NAMIBIA is patiently but confidently producing boxers who have the potential to become world champions in the near future. This has been demonstrated in recent performances by some boxers who are already occupying African titles and are slowly moving up the world boxing rankings in the different categories. They all want a shot at the biggest title of them all - the world title and it will just be a matter of time. The recent performance by Namibian bantamweight pugilist, Paulus 'The Rock' Ambunda, who dismissed his South African counterpart, Klaas Mbuyane on points in their continental battle a few weeks ago, is one of the boxers destined for the big time. He is now ranked in the top 10 on the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) rankings and is eligible for a world title. If a boxer is ranked in the top 10, he is eligible to challenge for the world title against the champion who is ranked number one and Ambunda seem to have what it takes to do just that. Testimony is that Ambunda holds the WBO bantamweight African title and is undefeated in 13 pro-fights. That is a prolific record for the man who serves as a police officer and has never thought of boxing since his childhood and only joined the sport at the age of 20. He defended the title twice thus far and hopes to get a bigger chance than fighting his African opponents, who are just no match for him. Ambunda (29) is a clinical campaigner and his height does not stop him from taking out even the biggest and tallest of characters. His trainer and boxing promoter, Nestor Tobias, said that Ambunda was now ready for the world title. " His record in the pro ranks does not speak volumes as many think that he lacks experience, but I am very sure that he is ready for the world title. He has done a lot of rounds in the amateur ranks and that is a plus point for him" Tobias told Consumer News. All these promising fighters and prospective world title contenders follow in the Ambunda has fought just over 250 matches in the amateur ranks and has represented his country on all levels before he turned pro under the guidence of Nestor Sunshine Boxing and Fitness Academy.Tobias believes that Ambunda is one of his secret weapons to claim a world title in the next year or so, but he also boast with other credible names in his stable. His middleweight campaigner, Vikapita Meroro is another prospect who is destined for greater heights after he also dispatched a Russian opponent in a non-title fight in Germany recently. The muscular but extremely tactical Meroro will footsteps of Namibia's current prime boxer, Paulus 'The Hitman' Moses and former super middleweight world champion Harry Simon. Despite losing the title to Miquel Acosta of Venezuela in their fight in Windhoek earlier this year, Moses is still Namibia's most-prized asset in this discipline and is expected to make a come-back to reclaim his World Boxing Association (WBA) Lightweight world title. With that, a new generation of fighters are lining up for world titles and it is just a matter of time.
<< CN

always serves as another attraction for the fans whenever he fights. He is known for his powerful punches that can send any opponent to the canvas when given the chance. Meroro, who appeared rather shy and reserved in entering the pro-ranks has now gained a lot of confidence and that is evident in the manner he moves around the ring and the well-calculated punches which he lands. Meroro is known as the 'Beast Master' in the ring and that has clearly been demonstrated by often ruthless displays he puts up even if he finds himself under pressure. Betuel 'Tyson' Uushona is also another celebrated Namibian fighter who does duty in the welterweight category. He is currently the WBO Pan African and WBA African welterweight champion and is ranked number eight in the world. The stocky Uushona has proven that he can do the job in the ring despite many seeing him as an introvert when he is not at office - in this case the ring.He is known for quick combinations and many opponents who squared up against him in the past were floored via multiple blows as his pace is just too superior. He is undefeated in 21 fights. Another big prospect to make it far is Immanuel Naindjala, who is also known as the 'Prince' of Namibian boxing. The youngster has won all of his six fights in the paid ranks and it looks unlikely that he will put his foot wrong in the subsequent fights. He won his last bout against Alfred Kashiri of Zimbabwe to extend his prolific record as one of the youngest Namibian fighters at the age of 24. He will, according to Tobias, have his chance to vie for the world title when the time is right. "For now, he will need to build on his record. We need a bit more experience and confidence from him. He already has the killer instinct and the right attitude. It will just be a matter of time before he makes a name for himself on the international stage," said Tobias.

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