By Staff Reporter
Kabbe North and South Constituencies Councillor, Mr. Raphael Mbala has denied accusations of corruption by residents of Kasika and Impalila, who accusing him for not taking their concerns seriously, but only accepting bribes from investors.
Some residents at Kasika and Impalila have alleged to Caprivi Vision that he has been receiving fortunes from the local business individuals who have shown interest in investing in those areas.
Impalila and Kasika are magnets for tourists, which according to residents; they have accused councillor Mbala for corruption, and some top indunas at Bukalo for accepting monies in silencing them and the land grabbing from the poor community.
A closed source speaking on behalf of the concerned residents of Impalila and Kasika stressed that councillor Mbala has been failing to resolve conflicts of employees working in those lodges by telling the aggrieved workers not to demonstrate against their employers.
Things became sour when the aggrieved workers took to the street demanding for the removal of the management accused of ill treating workers.
“ Top managers of Zambezi queen went to Bukalo and councillor Mbala was given R16, 000 so that they should not be removed from Kasika, then (he) councillor Mbala told workers not to fight with investors and managers, then people were angry and vandalised Kasika Khuta ” he said.
Asked to hear how true were allegations, Mr. Mbala refuted that “ I don’t know Mc Donald, they just only want to tarnish my name because its time for campaigns now… I will make sure that I take them to court for that matter”
Mr.Mbala also confirmed to Caprivi Vision that the concerned dismissed workers on their fate only informed him and promised that he will follow it up with the Ministry of Labour.
Another concerned dismissed former manager of Impalila Lodge Mr. Desmond Matengu, who worked for 18 years, told this paper that about 10 workers have been waiting for their long service payment but all to no avail. He said they went up to the Ministry of Labour but they were only told to take the matter to the high court with a lawyer which they can’t afford.
“ We told councillor Mbala about our concern but he has been promising to look into our matter but nothing coming out of that” explained Mr. Matengu
He said their employer Mr. Bret Mc Donald owes them a total of more than N$200,000 for 10 workers “we are now having two years without pay ”
Contacted for comments to hear from the accused, the owner of Impalila Lodge and Zambezi Queen proved futile, as his phone was not reachable as he was jetting to South Africa.
Mr. Calvin Mubita Musole, Manager of Impalila Lodge denied the allegations of corruption saying “ that is not true … I’m the signatory I did not see such kind of money which was paid to councillor Mbala and indunas.”
The concerned resident of Impalila added that “ that’s why the Khuta of Kasika was vandalised because of corrupt practices, our traditional leaders and the councillor they like too much money… we don’t want Mc Donald and corrupt indunas in Kasika and Impalila”
Induna Crispin Masangu Mujapilu, a senior induna who represents Kasika and Impalila in Masubia Traditional Authority at Bukalo headquarter, who is also accused denied allegations of corruption “ what I do I take all concerns to Bukalo, we don’t know that allegation. Mr. Mc Donald is a faithful man he can’t do that.”
He also confirmed the incident that Kasika Tribal Court was allegedly vandalised by certain individuals during the AGM of Kasika Conservancy last month, which he said the incident was reported to the Namibian police but no culprit was arrested so far.
“ There was an AGM celebration, what happened in that previous night, people vandalised the khuta,” said Induna Mujapilu.
Induna Henry Kalonda Simobe of Impalila, who is accused by the community of that area that he received monies to halt the demonstration of concerned workers, denied the allegations “ what I can tell you here is about development, the government has constructed the office of the president and the construction of road networks in Impalila is under way” he said.
A Concerned villager warned that “we people from Kasika and Impalila we have voted in the just ended elections …SWAPO did well with 77 seats in Parliament”
He further stressed that if animosity in grabbing the land belonging to the community of Kasika and Impalila by the traditional authority without their will continue, giving it to business individuals who are not respecting the people“ we the community of Kasika and Impalila we will be taking our concerns to Mafwe Traditional Authority”
Efforts to hear from Masubia Chief Advisor Moris Muyatwa who is also a resident of Kasika on the matter proved futile as he was not reachable at the time of going to the press.