HONOURABLE Bennety Likukela Bushihu, Councillor for Kongola Constituency and Member of Parliament (MP) in the National Council, catalogues his achievements and challenges since he took office in December 2020.
Achievements in 2021 – 2023
In his three (3) years in office as the Councillor and Member of Parliament, he has achieved the following:
The long awaited vacant post of “Control Administrative Officer” for the Settlement was filled in, to pave the way for administrative engagement when it comes to the activities of the Settlement.
Kongola Settlement was gazetted in 2008. A vacant position of the Control Administrative Officer for the Constituency was also filled.
A temporal fabricated office structure for the settlement was constructed through Zambezi Regional Office.
A Settlement car which was procured four (4) years ago during his predecessor former Kongola Councillor David Muluti, and the vehicle which was stationed in Katima Mulilo is now at the Constituency office in order to provide easy access for Settlement activities.
“Through Zambezi Regional Council, we compensated to the affected people who are within the proximity (KONGOLA PROPER) of the Settlement, amounting to N$ 5.4 million, however we still have N$ 11.6 million which is required to compensate the rest.” Stressed Bushihu.
Other developmental projects completed so far, is phase 1, the municipal infrastructural services for water reticulation, pipes have been laid and covered, now waiting to erect the ground reservoir and a 25 meters elevated tank which shall supply water in the Settlement.
According to him “Through the Office of the Governor, we revamped Mukamba borehole (Sesheke) from solars to electricity and fitted with a new submissive pump. The solar system was struck by lightning; hence we changed the systems for inconveniences.”
He added on that “Through Katima Mulilo Rural Constituency, they bailed us with an engine pump to help the community of Izwii whose engine broke down and was irreparable for a period of two years, we give credit to the Hon Councillor Warden Simushi for Katima Rural, this is a rare situation”
Kemesi borehole at Izwii was upgraded, with the installations of a second-hand submissive pump. “We are very happy that it is still operating to date.”
Through his own pocket called BLB 5% social contributions, they have managed to restore several boreholes, at Sikwanyi it was not operational for two years consecutively, it took them one day to restore broken pipes inside, while at Kangongo borehole, they managed to buy a second-hand chain, the community were using cloth to tie the puller and rods and it was being done every after three days, at Big Mukusi borehole, they restored pipes and the chain and lastly at Gomora, they restored pipes. The total amount spent on this emergency intervention was N$ 6000 procured from his salary.
“Through BLB 5% social contributions, we managed to repairs 80 chairs at Ndoro Memorial Senior School and 80 chairs at Kongola Combined School. The total cost for repairs is amounting to N$ 10,000.00. The motive behind this is to bring back frames back in classes again. We target all schools in Kongola Constituency.”
Through his BLB 5% social contributions, they have also managed to construct a bedroom and sitting room for the oldest man in Kongola Constituency who turned102 years in Bwabwata National Park, and the house costed N$ 40,000.
“Through BLB 5% social contributions, we have managed to support Kapako Cultural Troupe to build a traditional village, procuring traditional drums and traditional attires (zipako), and the support amounted to N$ 12,000”
Through His BLB 5% social contributions, he managed to support procuring locally made traditional dancing attires called (mashamba x 10), which costed N$ 4000.
Through Ministry of Gender, his office supported a beneficiary with an amount of N$ 10,000 for IGA – Income Generating Activity at Masheshe Village. The project is on carpentry, and they have already started making chairs, beds and doors.
“Through Zambezi Regional Council, we have supported the following projects (Micro Financing – A carpentry project at NGO in Mwanzi Area with an amount of N$ 30,000 and Cash Food for work at Kahunikwa for a Kindergarten amounting to N$ 30,000 and the kindergarten has been completed to date.”
Through his BLB 5% social contributions, he sponsored a tournament for free registration in Kongola Constituency, amounting to N$ 50,000 including trophies, soccer/netballs, medals and others. The idea of the tournament was to engage the youth, identify talents within the youth and promote Kamenga 1968 which has a colourful history for liberation struggle of the country.
“Through Zambezi Regional Council- Rural Water supply, we have drilled a borehole at Kyarekuni in Bwabwata National Park, pump testing was done, we are waiting for water results, after that the installation shall continue.”
Councillor Bushihu also praised the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security that “our community were able to benefit by acquiring IDs and Full Birth Certificates, a total of 600 people benefited, and this was through extension services for 8 days in Kongola Constituency (Chetto, Kongola, Singalamwe and Choi). This intervention has served our people a significant amount of money to drive to Katima Mulilo for these services. This still remains a big challenge. However, a satellite office for Civic Affairs responsible for registration of birth from 0 – 2 years was opened at Chetto in Bwabwata National Park.”
He also brought Parliament to the people, where engagements were done with traditional leaders, women and youth. Two Parliamentary Standing Committees on Transport, Infrastructure and Housing, Standing Committee on Education, ICT and Youth Development and the office of the Chairperson – National Council, Parliament of Namibia visited his constituency.
“Am happy to report that there is a massive infrastructural development in Kongola Constituency, through Private Sector which is Metro. This shop will cut the distance of 130 kilometres when you are from Singalamwe, and 200 kilometers from Chetto.
Challenges in Kongola Constituency
“Lack of funding in the Constituency office, we have learners who want to upgrade their subjects through NAMCOL, to further their studies through UNAM, NUST, IUM and other institutions, whereas the office is failing to assist the needy learners to further their studies. I appreciate that, our Cabinet has approved the RCDF – Regional Constituency Development Fund to be tabled in two Houses of Parliament. It is my plea that it should be fast tracked to help communities.”
He also mentioned Manyeha Crocodile Leather Processing and Training which needs serious attention or else if the Government does not have allocations, it should then be given to Zambezi Regional Council to look for investors through Public Private Partnership – PPP.
“Water crisis for both human and livestock, we have an edging infrastructure which are irreparable, we can no longer spare parts for Indian made 3 boreholes. Our community has fields in the upper land and they are without water.
Livestock theft is a big challenge in the Region and particularly in Kongola Constituency, the contributing factor is our borderline. There is a need to prioritize the border to cleared, the Police Officers and community are unable to make efforts to recover their livestock. I want to give credit to LIKASTA – Liselo Kamenga Anti Stock Theft Association for the job well done in terms of communicating lost and recovered livestock. Lack of ear tags is an issue, from of the cattle cannot be identified or traced. Lack of Veterinary office affects farmers who travel longer distances to buy medicine and to seek advices on livestock husbandry.”
Other challenge facing Kongola residents is unemployment as a major challenge according to Census profile of 2001 and 2011 which both indicates that Kongola has the poorest community, with the probability of 99.9% for the next census is very high. “To solve these issues, we really need to fast track the implementation of Kongola Settlement, with this I mean a bigger budget from Central Government with infrastructural services.”
“Lack of identification documents within the community which disadvantage the vulnerable children not to get grants from Government, the reason is that, parents don’t have documentations. We therefore need to explore how do we help stateless and undocumented in Namibia.
Through Zambezi Regional Council – Directorate of Education as a delegated function, there is construction of a Pre-Primary block at Sesheke Senior Secondary School, the building is at its final stages to be completed, the construction and renovation of Mayuni Senior Secondary School Hostel, it is progressing very well, after the completion of our learners will get good shelter and ablution block.
Shortage of classrooms and lack of Grade 12 is a challenge for our learners who have to travel longer distances to Sangwali, Simataa, Mafwila and CSSS. Unless this is resolved, our learners will feel the pitch in their day-to-day learning. Lack of laboratories needs serious interventions in all schools which has subjects that requires labs.
• Our community still have a challenge to market their produce and the storage for fresh produce needs a serious intervention.”
Being an Independent Member in National Council – Parliament
According to Councillor Bushihu , who was elected as an independent candidate in November 2020 for Kongola Constituency explained that “ An Independent Member is so unique in the history of Namibia, I am the second Independent Member in NC Parliament, I love the challenge to serve my community.
What is good about Independent Member is that, you only report to the community who elected you, you speak for the people without fear, to be recalled by the structures of the Party.
Being an Independent Member, you explore possibilities to the fullest on how best you can serve the community.
Lastly, I want to appreciate the Constitutional provisions on Political Activity and also the inclusion of an Independent Candidate in the Electoral Act, it has opened doors for individuals and organizations.”
Why should the communities vote for me again, and I shall focus the following:
“I want to unlock the stumbling block which made our town Kongola static, 2008 is very far when the town was gazetted and we did nothing for a period of 14 years. I shall play the role of advocacy between the traditional leaders and all the community. The town shall pull investment in the area which shall in turn bring forth employment.
Kamenga Shrine is one of the major talking points for it to be recognized through the Heritage Council. Clearing of the borderline is quite crucial to protect our properties and for the security of our sovereign state.
Manyeha Crocodile Leather Processing and Training Centre, engagement and engagement till when we realize the value for money.
Access to National documents is quite a key, and Provision of water and electricity to our communities”