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Timber trucks impounded in Zambia crippling local logistics industry

Timber trucks impounded in Zambia crippling local logistics industry

The Namibia Chamber of Commence and Industry this week said that close to 200 cargo trucks which were transporting Mukula timber from DRC to Walvis bay have been impounded by the Zambian authorities illegally and for the past 5 months business has been threatened.

According to Jacques Steenkamp a representative from the Walvis Bay Corridor Forum, a group of affected cargo truck owners, over the past 5 months around N$6.8 million to N$7.8 million has been lost as their trucks stand idle in Zambia.

Steenkamp said to make matters worse as result of the impounding, drivers have been living in deplorable and inhumane conditions in Zambia for the past 5 months.

“The impounding of our trucks has hampered our business drastically. There is currently a lot of cargo that can not be transported out of the port of Walvis Bay due to the lack of trucks because so many of them are standing idle in Zambia,” he added.

According to Tarah Shaanika, the trucks are carrying Mukula timber harvested in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which is set to be delivered to China via the Walvis Bay port.

“We understand that Mukula timber is prohibited to be harvested in Zambia but not in the DRC. Our trucks carried timber from the DRC with valid documentation and were found to be valid,” he added.

Shaanika said while harvesting of Makula timber is not permitted in Zambia, the Zambian law never disallowed such timber to be transported on Zambian roads until April 2017.

“The law was enacted and implemented retrospectively which is neither normal nor legal and the Zambian government implemented laws affecting operations on the corridor without consulting other member states,” he added.

Shaanika said that the Chamber has engaged the Zambian and Namibian authorities on several occasion to resolve the dispute diplomatically but efforts have not yet yielded results.

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.