An exclusive interview was recently held with newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO)of Katima Mulilo Town Council, which was without a CEO for over ten months.He had been in Acting capacity and was formally appointed to take over the helms of the council.Caprivi Vision’s Reporter Dominic Sikopo , caught –up with Mr. Nawa on different topics to try and establish his future plans of leading the town council as a strong entity.
CV: Mr. Nawa, following your lengthy stint as Acting CEO of the town council, which has been marred by controversy of financial irregularities, how does it feel to be now formally appointed in the executive seat?
Mr Nawa: Well I feel burdened by the council`s challenges and projects that started in the last ten months. The residents’ expectations are high but I want to maintain it by developing our beautiful town.
CV: Could you please give us an overview of your appointment letter as the Acting CEO, as you took over shortly after you and your predecessor Dr Vincent Sazita were suspended?
Mr Nawa: Suspension is a process everyone has to go through. I feel happy because I went through it. I was vindicated of all charges and my appointment as the CEO is what the residents are witnessing today.
CV: Can you please explain to us how the interview process went, when and how many candidates applied for this post?
Mr Nawa: It’s something you will have to consult H.R and the Ministry as I was not part of the process, I just applied as an ordinary person.
CV: As the new CEO, what are your plans for the Katima Mulilo Town Council and the town at large in terms of moving forward in bringing development?
Mr Nawa: As the CEO, I will have to work according to the strategic plan to make sure that development of our town is much to the people`s expectations in terms of the approved budget.
In order to fulfil the strategic plans, we have divided it into four phases which are that of strengthening the revenue base of Katima Mulilo Town council, and secondly is the ability to deliver services such as land delivery and affordable water, the third is the aim to attract more investors to our town in order to create employment for the youth, and lastly to make sure that the service delivery is up to standard as people must feel proud to pay for services as that are satisfactory.
CV: How do you plan on addressing the town`s constant water cuts and many complaints of the poor roads infrastructure that are all in a poor state and despair.
Mr Nawa: For the past four years I have been working for Katima Mulilo town council, addressing water shortage problem one of the council s main priorities, as we have been in negotiation with Nam water despite the debt which we are paying on a monthly instalment to avoid water cuts. The council has also revamped the water network of the town, as it was old and outdated; we now use PVC pipes that are durable.
Our roads are not of standard but we have embarked on a major project of tarring the streets with our limited resources. There are plans to extend some lanes on Hage Geingob Drive as to reduce traffic congestion during peak hours. We are also busy creating new gravel standard roads and revamping other gravel roads in town.
CV: Who will take over your previous position as the new Finance Manager?
Mr Nawa: The position will be advertised at the discretion of the Human Resource Department and when council sees fit to advertise it.
CV: Looking back to your predecessor, Dr Sazita, with regard to service delivery, what are the major challenges and dilemmas of your council at the moment?
Mr Nawa: I am going to continue delivering good services as expected of me and positively execute these services, if not better, from where my predecessor left off.
CV: A lot has been said and written regarding the hefty water debts owed to Nam water, how did you solve this issue and how much of the balance is still outstanding?
Mr Nawa: The balance is not meant for public consumption but the outstanding amount the residents owe to council is currently standing at N$ 48 million dollars. N$25 million is owed to Namwater, but the people must understand and consider that the council also operates like a business, there are creditor and debtor departments. People should not look at debt as a management issue if they as residents do not pay the municipal council tariffs.
CV: Since you took office as the Acting CEO what other successful projects did you embark on and where they are successful?
Mr Nawa: We embarked on projects such as revamping of the Revenue Office at KMTC. We addressed the state of our roads by having them tarred and maintained the gravelling to bituminous standard. As a collective team effort, the council also managed to buy our very own heavy machinery or equipment to utilise of the roads infrastructures.
The council has also managed to service 226 residential plots, which will soon be available to the public for construction.
The council is alleviating water-shortages and sewerage drainage system.
A town council website has been created, www.kmtc.org.na
The council is planning to open a fire station very soon and we are currently in the process of constructing a Council complex at plot 326 as we have already secured an investor at a tune of N$ 25 million.
CV: What are your final remarks to the residents of Katima Mulilo?
Mr Nawa: Thank you very much for your support. The council belongs to you and we are the servants of the residents of Katima Mulilo. Let us work together in bringing development to our town and customer service to the people.