A campaign by a hard line faction in Namibia's ruling South West Africa People's Organisation to return former president Sam Nujoma to power has taken a hit in the past week as the faction has found itself isolated from the rest of the party and accused of self-promotion.
Working closely with the Central Intelligence Organisation's directorate of counter-intelligence, Zanu-PF has been setting up secret death squads comprising members of the National Youth Service training programme. The squads petrol bomb political opponents' homes, commit acts of sabotage and torture opponents to President Robert Mugabe's regime, a former member of one such death squad said this week.
Senior members of the Italian Mafia have obtained an interest in Namibia's nascent diamond-cutting industry, using front companies to buy an existing but unused diamond-cutting and polishing licence, an 18-month-long investigation has revealed. Company documents show that the Italian criminal syndicate appears to have been aided and abetted in obtaining their licences by Sam Nujoma's youngest son.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has bought himself a few more months' financial wiggle room after Namibia granted him soft loans worth US-million last week. During Mugabe's four-day state visit to Namibia, the Namibian government announced that its power utility, Nampower, was to loan between - and -million to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority
One hundred years after diamonds were first discovered in southern Namibia, an agreement reached with De Beers at the end of last month will see local diamond production offered to local cutting plants for the first time. According to the five-year agreement, 16% of sales will be offered to a dozen local cutting plants.
Three years from now, will Namibians accept an 81-year-old Sam Nujoma as their next president, possibly for the rest of his natural life, if he so chooses? Like the proverbial 300-pound gorilla in the corner that no one wants to talk about, Sam Nujoma's ambitions to return to the office he was forced to relinquish in 2004 because of a two-term limit are casting a shadow over Namibian politics.
Joao Ndjakosoma is not talking today; since he and his friend got lost coming back from the beach and walked into a minefield by accident 20 years ago, he started suffering debilitating epileptic fits. Yesterday, he had a particularly violent one, biting through his tongue and lower lip -- but at least he is alive, unlike his friend who was killed by a mine and whose name no one in Salinas really remembers anymore.
The Namibian ministry of defence claim that armoured vehicles manufactured by its commercial subsidiary, August 26 Holdings, have only been sold to United Nations demining operations in Angola and Iraq has raised further questions about the transparency and accountability of the company.
A secretive military company belonging to the Namibian Defence Force, has come under fire from opposition parliamentarians for its lack of accountability and transparency. Among other things, opposition parties are concerned about the foreign policy implications of the company supplying armoured troop carriers to private military companies active in Iraq.
A Malaysian businessman caused confusion in the Namibian High Court this week when he claimed ownership of a diamond mine that was the focus of another wrangle. Tuesday's case was supposed to settle a dispute over a diamond claim on the Skeleton Coast.