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Katima Council Grabs Finaughty’s Land

By Risco Lumamezi

GRAND children of the first white businessman in the Caprivi Strip Mr. William (Bill) John Finaughty, who resided at the piece of land locally known as Finaughty, are seeking for legal assistance to own the land property belonged to their late grandfather.

Mr. John Finaughty the grand son, told The Caprivi Vision that his family has devoted much efforts and time in their battle against the Katima Mulilo Town Council over the land that allegedly belonged to their grandfather who was popularly known as Finaughty, located along the boarder line of Namibia and Zambia called WENELA which has an arable land with thousands of hectares, but without any success as his family has tried their best in looking for help and their outcry has even went very far to the office of the Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba.

His family had at once approached Chief Executive Officer of Katima Mulilo Town Council, Dr Vincent Sazita, who asked them saying do you think you will get that land? The question did not leave Finaughty the junior and the family the same, according to him. He said he felt frustrated that something was happening because of Dr Sazitaa’s question. How can he be so sure that we cannot get it, if the land is for our grand father? wondered Finaughty.

However, Dr Sazita, CEO of Katima Council refuted the statement when contacted by this paper on the allegation that he said they will never get their land, I just advised this family of Finaughty to talk to Namibia Development Cooperation (NDC), since they are the one using the land and they have a letter which states that they own the property. The town council has nothing to do with that, said Sazita.
According to Dr Sanzita, I deny the statement of saying I told John that he think he will get the land.

Dr.Sazita with Mayor, John Likando did not show up at the meeting which was scheduled for March 3, 2009, which was also to be attended by Governor of Caprivi region, Leonard Mwilima, the Chairperson of the Caprivi Regional Communal Land Board, and the Regional Head of the Ministry of Land & Resettlement with Finaughty’s family to resolve this land dispute, as noted to this paper by John Finaughty.

Finaughty further alleges that a letter signed by his Royal Chief George Simasiku Mamili of the Mafwe tribe, dated 27 February 2008 confirmed (relating) that Mr. Kangulu Patrick Finaughty as an executor has been given that portion of land situated in Liselo area which is under Chief Mamili’s jurisdictions named Finaughty for residential and business purposes.

On 15 September 2008 a letter requesting for legal assistance was given to the Director of Legal Assistance Center in Windhoek Mr. Norman Tjombe to engage legal assistance so that the family could approach the Namibian Courts and legally re-possess their ancestral land.

Another letter was written to His Excellence the President of the Republic of Namibia Hifikepunyu Pohamba and the reply was that investigations would be carried out.
But nothing has been heard up to this time. For how long are we going to wait for this issue to be solved.

Finaughty’s family, which composed of eight (8) grand children who were born from the two children of Mr. (Bill) Finaughty a white man and two black grand mothers from the black community told Caprivi Vision that they had tried in different ways to get their land back but they did not get any help.

Meanwhile, the Katima Mulilo Town Council issued a paper (Document) to Finaughty’s family stating General valuation of rateable and non-rateable properties situated within the Katima Mulilo Local Authority Area. In terms of the provisions of section 66(1) of the Local Authorities Amendment Act, 2000 (Act No. 24 of 2000) that a General valuation of all rate able and non-rate able properties situated within the Katima Mulilo Local Authority Area will be carried out as from 15 May 2008, in accordance with the provisions and stipulation contained in section 67 to 72, inclusive of the Local Authorities Act, 1992 (Act No.23 of 1992).

In another letter faxed to John Finaughty from Mr. Robert Mapenzi of the Caprivi Regional Council emphasized the need to discuss the disputed land between Finaughty’s family and the Katima Mulilo Town Council.”Old and new layout plans of KMTC will add value to our discussion.”Quotes the letter.
“To all these people of the town council no one showed up. For a reason which is not known, for how long we are going to wait for this issue to be solved” asked John Finaughty.

Finaughty John Finaughty is a grandson of the late William (Bill) John Finaughty; he left Namibia in early seventies when other white people chased him since they realized that he was supporting the movements of SWAPO of Namibia during the apartheid era.

Mr.Finaughty left Caprivi to Zimbabwe where he was living until his death. He left one (1) daughter by the name, Mulela Agnes Finaughty who passed away in 2008 and one son Mr. Michael Kamwi Finaughty who also passed away in 1995.Mulela left six (6) children one of them is Patrick Katusi Kangulu the executor, while Kamwi left one (1) son Finaughty John Finaughty and a daughter Zildah Namakau Finaughty.

According to the grand children of Finaughty, they want to use this land for business purposes and for their residence, as now they are not staying together as one family; they are staying in different places. Late Michael Kamwi and his late sister Agnes Mulela they were born from different mothers. Michael’s mother is Ms.Kaungwe Kamwi (former wife of the white man) and is now staying at Kabbe.

William (Bill) John Finaughty hailed from Petersburg in the then Northern Transvaal of South Africa (RSA) and came to the Zambezi region in the early 1940s, being posted first to Kazungula and then Katima Mulilo by the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association (WENELA). After a year or two in the service of WENELA, he developed interest in trading and was granted an extensive general dealers’ site at the Katima Mulilo rapids, where Finaughty informal settlement at Katima Mulilo stand today.

His business included a large shop, butchery, workshop for repairing motor vehicles – since he was a mechanic by profession, carpentry workshop and owned many stores across eastern and western Caprivi.

Meanwhile before going for the press, Senior Special Advisor to President Pohamba, Ms.Christine //Hoabes confirmed to this paper that the president is informed about this issue and has intervened in the matter.

She said, they where still waiting for the Ministers of Regional, Local Government and Housing, Mr. Jerry Ekandjo and Dr.Hage Geingob, Minister of Trade and Industry to report to the president very soon.