By Peter Matengu
HUNDREDS of Katima Mulilo residents have jointly co-opted in a mass demonstration on Monday with chanting songs denouncing the Katima Mulilo Town Council for failing to deliver basic services.
The inhabitants of Katima Mulilo town, marched from their respective locations and suburbs to the town council premises and office of the governor of Zambezi region to hand over their petition containing details of their grievances, and to show case their dissatisfaction fueled by poor services, corruption, incompetence and favouritism.
Reading the petition on behalf of the residents was Mr. Kamwi Siseho , a former town council employee, who commenced his petition by saying the Local Authority leadership, has failed its people.
In the petition, residents expressed their concerns to some of the burning issues that they are tired of being led by disoriented leaders, the council failed to consult residents on development matters according to Local Authority Act No 23 of 1992, They are fed up of ABC Investment for scooping major tenders at the expense of locals, and the people are unhappy of paying for the refuse removal and sewer services for non existence services.
The demonstrators have given Katima Mulilo Town Council 48 hours to answer to some of the following demands; request the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Dr. Peya Mushelenga to come and respond to their grievances in person, they demand the Secretary General of SWAPO Party Ms. Sophia Shaningwa to recall the councilors due to (a) disregard of a procurement panel directive dated 21/02/2018, (b) failing to account of lost millions, of which the matter is before the Parliamentary Standing Committee, (c) failing to bring the CEO, Mr. Raphael Liswaniso to book after demolishing people’ houses without a court order, (d) their failure to work according to public interest or the people who put them in power.
The petition also demanded The Katima Mulilo CEO to resign with immediate effect due to incompetence and some of the reasons of disregard of humanity, as he stated that “town land is not for the poor people”, according to the Namibian newspaper dated 02/10/2017, giving one tender to more than one bidder, and lack of consideration towards Katima Mulilo residents.
Other demands are that, The Katima Mulilo Town Council Advisory Board to be dissolved with immediate effect, The removal of all installed prepaid meter system because they are a headache and Reimbursement of N$3333.33 (N$2500 gauge plus 833.33 for the water card) to those who paid for the prepaid meter system.
However, Ms. Sara Lwanda, a resident of Katima Mulilo had this to say” the Council must return back our conventional water system as we are not happy with the new gauges due to the following reasons, (i) the costing price of the gauge is N$300 and we are made to pay N$2500 for the same product, (ii) the new gauges have a technical fault of freezing and we remain without water for a week or so (iii) it is too costive to maintain the gauge as the Council charge N$350 to fix the technical fault. Our wishes and desires are for the CEO, his committee and the entire council to vacate their positions with immediate effect.”
Another agitated resident, who opted to be called as Ms. Ines S, shared her sentiments with Caprivi Vision that “we want the water services to be provided by NamWater as the council is incompetent, we are concerned with the imposed N$2 water bills inquiries charge, tired of fake water bills. My demand is to see to it that the President, ACC and the line ministry intervene with immediate effect, to investigate why so much preference is given to ABC Investment when it comes to tenders worth of millions”. She stressed
The Caprivi Vision observed some few placards, calling for the axing of the CEO, depicting of the CEO to the devil or Judas Iscariot, calling for new blood in Katima Mulilo Town Council, ABC tender monger at KMTC why him only etc.
Another placard called for Mr. Walter Mali a property developer to leave Macaravani East alone, as they do not want him there.
Drums, songs and dances were observed at the entrance of Katima Mulilo Town Council premises, where few hymns were heard, calling the CEO a thief.
An insider at KMTC disclosed that the council did not yet have a meeting to resolve the burning matters of the residents at heart.