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Govt declines house construction of a war veteran

By Risco Lumamezi

NAMIBIAN Government’s Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs has declined application of the construction of the House of the former Robben Island Prisoner and War Veteran, Mr. Zakaria Kutazo Situnda at Kapani Village some 87 Kilometers away the town of Katima Mulilo.

House of the War Veteran, Mr.Zakaria Kutazo Situnda (101) at Kapani Village

Mr. Edson Haufiku, Public Relations Officer of Veterans Affairs confirmed that the contractor who was contracted to build Mr. Situnda’s house failed to construct the house in Katima Mulilo due to the reason that Mr. Situnda changed his mind saying that he wanted his house to be constructed at his Kapani Village at a short notice and was unable to construct the house as it was afar the town where it was planned.

“The ministry decided not to construct his house because of the budget” explained Mr. Haufiku.

Privy sources within the ministry told this reporter that NHE has already handed in the construction Site plan at Kapani and was wondering why the application was not considered since it has been there for quite some times.

They said that Mr. Situnda’s village is at a short distance compared with those other veterans at Kongola and Sesheke whose houses have been constructed.

A family member Mr. Crispin Samahili, the son of the elder brother for the concerned veteran Situnda lashed-out on the response of the Ministry saying that “This is not true… even the contractor did not call or inform us this is fabrication”

He said, the beneficiary Mr. Situnda opted the ministry to construct His house at his village Kapani not in the town of Katima Mulio since he is the old man.

Mr. Situnda’s family have expressed concerns that he has been neglected and discriminated as some of the veterans in the region have been given tractors, houses with electricity, cattle and projects.

Veteran Situnda turned 101 years on May 14, this year and He is the last survivor of the Pretoria High Treason Trial of the early 70s, who were charged for high treason by the then South African apartheid regime.

He was granted veteran status by the Namibian government in 2010. So far, He received a N$ 50,000 including his monthly subvention of N$2000.

Earlier this year after his birthday Mr. Situnda told Caprivi Vision that He was captured at Sesheke by the South African Defence Force soldiers in 1968, and was later taken to Linyanti where they invaded His house for His involvement of the liberation struggle in selling SWAPO Party membership tickets, and for his role in mobilising Caprivians to join forces in liberating the then South West Africa/Namibia, (SWA/Namibia).

During interview with this paper , He remembered the likes of the late Solomon Puzeli, late Society Limbo the former Ngambela of the Mafwe Royal Establishment, as compatriots who were lucky to be released from the Robben Island Maximum Prison in 1975.

His burning ambition at heart is to open and manage the butchery business once his project proposal is approved.

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