By Simon Liseli and Chaze Chika
HUNDREDS of angry residents of Katima Mulilo held a peaceful demonstration on Thursday, rejecting botched installations of prepaid water meters and demanding SWAPO Katima Councillors to be recalled and CEO to resign.
The demonstrators who were mostly from Choto location were joined by other residents of the town, took to the streets of the town handing over their three petitions to Katima Council (CEO), Regional governor’s office and SWAPO regional office.
Residents are accusing the Katima Mulilo Town Council for the installations of the pre-paid meters in the town without consultations.
Reading the petition before handing it over to the Chief Executive Officer of Katima Mulilo Town Council was Mr. Fabian Sampaya. In the petition, concerned residents rejected the new system of prepaid water meters that is being installed by ABC investment CC, owned by Mr.Quo Yun Hai, commonly known as Hans a Chinese businessman.
The new prepaid water meters worth N$2,500.00 plus N$800 for a card totaling N$ 3300.00 is very expensive compared to the old system which cost them N$450.00 for the new connection of water.
They also seriously demanded the Katima Council CEO Mr. Raphael Liswaniso to resign with immediate effect as he has failed to manage to residents of the town together with the local authority councilors.
Angry and concerned residents requested the Minister of Urban and Rural Development Hon. Dr. Peya Mushelenga to visit Katima Mulilo with the matter of urgent to solve problems that are affecting local residents of Katima.
Residents also claim that Katima Mulilo has been captured by ABC Investment a Chinese owned company and which has more than 10 tenders around the town whilst local companies are left behind without valid reasons.
“We were not consulted on these prepaid water meters either by the CEO or local authority councilors. We don’t want leaders who are leading people like chickens in this town enough is enough as for now because we are tired with leaders who have lost sight and vision of our township especially Choto, leaders fails to consult residents on developmental issues” said Mr. Sampaya.
Demonstrators claims that the town council of Katima Mulilo is failing to improve the road infrastructure within the town after opening revolving accounts in all locations of Katima and have given an example of Choto revolving account as 2000226749 bank Windhoek cheque account that had over N$ 2 million and N$150 million had already disappeared in the account.
They called on the council to provide sewer and sanitation in Choto Township. Mr.Sampaya, the group spokesman mentioned out that the council is failing to collect municipal wastes for refuse removal service which residents are paying monthly. He also stressed that the council failed to provide storm drainage in the town and failed to resolve plot conflicts which they have created.
“As am speaking now there is a hope of refusal at my house for last year August if you don’t believe drive even now to my house you will found some plastics full of refusal at my house but am paying every month” he noted.
Residents also demand the Secretary General of the SWAPO Party, Sophia Shaningwa to recall off all local authority councilors with immediate effect. The petition also demands the advisory board of the Katima Mulilo Town Council to be dissolved with immediate effect for advicing local authority wrongly.
Receiving the petition KMTC CEO,Mr. Liswaniso said the town council recognizes demonstrators as residents of the town saying they are treated as such that he was not in position to respond to their demands and grievances as he is not authorized to say anything.
“I will give this to the council that you have elected because we are appointed not elected so the council that you have elected will receive this petition and they will revert back to you” he concluded.
The same petition was handed over to Zambezi Regional Governor’s Special Advisor Mr. Ignatius Nkunga on behalf of the governor who was out on other official duties, and lastly the petition was handed over to SWAPO Regional Coordinator office for Mr. Moffat Sileze.