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Govt must inject funds to Katima Abattoir

Caprivi Vision editor, Risco Mashete Lumamezi

THE doubts by the government in not allocating funds to the envisaged project, that has been transformed into a company called Zambezi Meat Company (ZAMCO) which took over from Meatco in Katima Mulilo serving as the vehicle that would boost the local economy and contribute much to the GDP of Namibia should be seen as a slap to all Caprivians.

We feel that this state of the art once is operational should be taken carefully with open arms to help livestock farmers in the region, and  for job creation  which will be for the benefit of everyone to make a meaningful living  in this erratic drought.

The current economic headwinds that Namibia is facing at the moment should not be taken as an armour to deprive local producers and farmers not to otherwise make a living from their own wealth. But this is an outcome that has been developed because of the inability to utilize measures in place.

Here I will agree with the Namibian Minister of Finance Mr.Calle Schlettwein who once said in his budget speech of 2019 that “inequalities remain high relative to aggregate income levels.”

Often we cannot leave the stone unturned to have this gap widely open without doing anything to find the solution. Less not blame the apartheid colonial regime that has left the scars,which we inherited but we should blame ourselves for not undoing our mistakes.

Look here, We cannot talk of reform policies while ignoring the environment affecting us without addressing these problems by finding solutions to them that should address our failures. For instance,the dismantling of the former First National Development Corporation into ARMCOM and later today into NDC this entity was geared to support the indigenous business community but with our own re-branded entities assumed to be the hot cakes all succumbed to failures, for example SME Bank was doomed into soft loans of the political well connected elites.

Those, our own Anti-Corruption Commission failed to bite, these practices has also replicated into a despair while accountability and transparency have deemed into a verge of crook public enterprises failing at last into bail out.

Given that, ZAMCO’s operations is still hanging on the balance to be officially handed over to the local farmers whom we know have credentials to manage it by serving in the board, we entrust this will be efficiently sustainable.

Before this project is handed over officially to the private under Public Private Partnership (PPP) we would like to caution that, this should not turn out to be like those many failed projects that were started by Government working together with private investors that later fizzled out or never even took off the ground at all.

In fact, if this project is handled properly ZAMCO would eradicate poverty and unemployment in the region as mentioned earlier, beef will be exported to other countries and this would make dream a reality for “food basket” to feed the entire country.

However, livestock or cattle farming is regarded as the most important source of income that eventually helps farmers to eke-out a living out of themselves, as traditionally we use cattle to pay dowry (lobola) and tuition fees for our children,ploughing and selling to others including beef.

We are hoping in tossing positively that, Katima Abattoir would assist the local people to sell their cattle at an affordable exorbitant price at a profitable market that value for money.

 

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