Namibia

Newborn twins born to gay parents, in maze over Namibian citizenship

The Namibian high court has ruled that it cannot order the government to issue emergency travel documents for newborn twins to come into the country. The babies were born to a South African surrogate mother. Their fathers, married in South Africa, are a Namibian and a Mexican. The babies have birth certificates, issued by the SA authorities, indicating that the Namibian is the father of the children. However, the Namibian minister of home affairs and immigration is insisting on a DNA test before any official documents will be issued for the twins.

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From Namibia’s high court comes a story, rather like The Terminal, a movie in which a man is stuck in an airport for months, refused entry into the USA yet unable to return to his home country because of a coup there.

Is 'sting' of saluting former subordinates sufficient punishment, high court asked

When a formerly high-ranking Namibian prison official won a high court battle over his salary it was a wake-up call for governments keen to ensure that corruption and other crime is properly punished within the ranks of the civil service. The message is: check your legislation because it might not be as water-tight as you thought. In this case, the assistant commissioner of correctional services pleaded guilty to the theft of a mobile phone at a disciplinary inquiry and was demoted to the rank of senior superintendent as a punishment.

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The facts of the matter were not in dispute: the assistant commissioner of correctional services in Namibia, Tjiuovioje Kahimise, was found by a disciplinary inquiry to have stolen a mobile phone, after he admitted doing so. As punishment, he was demoted from his position as assistant commissioner to the rank of a mere senior superintendent.

Court finds award of two Namibian farms, aimed at land reform, tainted by corruption and irregularities

An official decision awarding two farms to a business venture that had not even applied to be allotted them, has been set aside by Namibia’s high court. Judge Harold Geier said that the original decision had to be scrapped because one of the decision-makers had not recused himself even though he had an interest in the matter, being a manager of one of the business entities under consideration. It was an offence not to declare one’s interest in such a case, and recuse oneself, and could result in a fine and prison sentence.

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The facts that emerged from Judge Harald Geier’s decision read like a good governance nightmare.

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