By Risco Lumamezi
THE envisaged Crocodile farm at Kongola is in a war of words by community members, amid accusations of corruption and infighting on who owns the project.
At the Centre stage is Mr. Barry Sikubo, Project Manager of Bangwena Project and Honourable Councillor David Muluti of Kongola Constituency. Mr. Sikubo who is accusing the Councilor for conflict of interest alleged to Caprivi Vision that after submitting his project proposal, his ideas were stolen by honourable Muluti who started initiating the project in his own capacity.
When approached for comment Hon. Muluti, confirmed knowing the project of Crocodile and he denied that his office was organising another project which he said the official handover site for constructions was supposed to be launched on May 2, this year and this was kept on hold due to the misunderstandings of some community members.
This is the brainchild project of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, implemented by Namibia Development Corporation, which is earmarked to set a crocodile farm in Kongola Constituency.
“ We have a problem with the land, because they are alleging that the land belongs to Mayuni Conservancy” Councillor Muluti revealed to Caprivi Vision.When asked on some of the achievements and development that are taking place in his Constituency since he took office as a Councillor in 2010.
He said that residents of his Constituency are divided as some they belong to Chief Simasiku Mamili of the Mafwe Tribe and others they belong to Chief Tembwe Mayuni of the Mashi.
Hon. Muluti pointed out that negotiations are underway with the traditional leaders on how they will reach an agreement to the matter.
He said, these are some of the projects supposed to bring development in his Constituency, which stretches from Mpacha Airport (now renamed as Katima Mulilo Airport) to Chetto in the West and then branches to Singalamwe boarder.
“ The problem is the government, who am I ? ” quashed Hon. Muluti who raised the issue of jurisdictions and boundaries of his Constituency.
An official at the Namibia Development Cooperation explained that the right channel was used and that everyone was consulted and were still waiting for the Regional leaders give them a go ahead so that they can continue with the implementation of the project.
Into another bone of contention, Mr. John Kamwi, Chairperson of the Mayuni Conservancy has his views that the community was not informed about the project and this was called off, as the community needs to benefit from the project first.
“ The procedure was not followed, the site is in the conservancy…. We agreed with Kayuwo and Choi Sub Khutas that we have to sign agreement,” stressed Mr. Kamwi.
He added that the community would only accept the project if the contract is signed by Chief Bornface Tembwe Mayuni of The Mashi Community who is the patron of Mayuni Conservancy.
Mr. Kamwi explained that, the Ministry of Trade and Industry was told to meet the needs of Mayuni Conservancy as it was told to answer to their requests on how many jobs will be created and other benefits of the community of Mayuni.
“ We have a user right, they (MIT) never consulted us and they went to the Land Board. We want people to be employed; they are the one who are creating problems ” he concluded. Asked to hear how much money is earmarked to bring the project off the ground, Mr. Godfrey Kuyonisa Director of Administration and Projects in the Ministry of Trade and Industry confirmed to Caprivi Vision that, about N$19 million has been allocated for the constructions of the project.“It is a long term project, we are not involved on the land dispute” he said.
He further warned that if the people will continue squibbing the project, government would take away funds to other regions that want development.The project will be the magnet for tourists as it will be located at the bridge called Kongola checkpoint on the banks of the Kwando River some 110 kilometers west of the region.