By Risco Lumamezi
Construction of the first ever private hospital in the Caprivi Region is to start early in May this year.
This project will need financial injections of up to N$80 million and will create about 174 jobs when the hospital is finally built.
The Caprivi Medical Centre (Pty) Ltd is the brain child of Mr. Alberts Levi Mukenani (53), a former Swapo plan combatant who is now the Executive Director and Founder of the project.
In an interview with the Caprivi Vision, Mukenani intimated that the idea for the project was mooted way back in 2002 and funding for the feasibility studies were approved by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2004. He then commissioned Kerry McNamara Architects Inc to do the architectural drawing of the hospital.
The project has acquired a site of about 9.003 hectares valued at N$5.4 million located between Kizito College of Education and Katima Brick Making in the north eastern part of Katima Mulilo Town along Ngoma Road.
According to Mr. Mukenani, the Caprivi Medical Centre will offer a modern fully equipped 55–bed hospital, radiology facility, emergency and evacuation services, maternity services, a paediatric unit, general and neonatal intensive care units. Other units and services will include a theatre for surgery, a pathology laboratory, HIV/Aids Units, a pharmaceutical, a mortuary, medical aid administration offices and a gynaecology unit.
Additional future plans after the hospital has been built will include a hospice centre and Frail Care Clinic, an orphanage, a research centre, training and conference centre, an orthopaedic facility, a dental clinic and helicopter pad.
Mr. Mukenani confirmed that the Katima Mulilo Town Council welcomed the project by unanimously passing a resolution that allocated land to the project on 14 July 2006. The resolution was conveyed in a letter dated 28 /07/2006.
“ We are currently selling about 1,560 shares at a price of N$6,405.15 to those who want to become shareholders in the company, these shares are open to any group of companies, and individuals of all professions,” said Mukenani.
Though his project was still struggling for funding before it could take off, Mr. Mukenani told this paper that they are possibilities that they could acquire a loan of N$85.4 million with foreign investors.
He declined to name the foreign investor at this stage as the negotiations were still at a sensitive stage.
“They are investing in a concept to reap. There are options either they can buy equity or finance the whole project,” said Mr Mukenani.
Other future expansions of the project will include the establishment of a medical centre such as the Gobabis Medical Centre, Omuthiya, Oshikango, Nkurenkuru and Caprivi Medical Centre in Luanda in Angola.
Asked why he came up with this initiative and what knowledge and skills he possesses to render such services in the Caprivi, Mukenani answered “I was not inspired by anyone but it is an in-born vision. I am still having ambition to study and qualify as a medical Doctor and now am studying Business Management with Thomson Education in the United States of America”.
Mr. Mukenani’s dreams of becoming a Medical doctor date back to his youth in 1975, which he said was interrupted by politics, when he spent his life in exile and prison. He was in Lusaka, Zambia at an old farm called Nnyango where he said he was trained as a liberation fighter.
In 1978, he was sent to Shatotwa No 2 whereafter he was sent to wage a war from Makanda, Imusho, Sinjembela in Zambia’s Western Province and from Nukwa and Singalamwe in the Western Caprivi.
“On 4 May 1978 when our people were attacked at Cassinga, we were at Makanda area and we attacked Nukwa base with our 4 units” he said.
In 1979 he was transferred to Angola at Tobias Hainyeko Training Centre where he became a battalion secretary, second in command to Bernard Nkawa.
His ambition to become a medical doctor almost became a reality when in 1979 he was sent for training in First Aid as a Para- Medic. After this training he was attached to Jumbo Military base as Company Nine (9) commander. His other duties entailed transporting food from Lubango to Luanda in 1982.
“I was sent to the northern region of Opuwo in 1983-84. I was injured in September 1984 when I was captured by members of the South West African Territory Force (SWATF) and I was detained in a private prison at Ondangwa Airport where I was operated on in a military hospital in1984- 86 and my second operation was in Oshakati State Hospital in1986.Thereafter, I was transferred to Paraborwa in RSA and I stayed for months. I returned back to Ondangwa where we were forced to join SWATF and we refused and I was taken to a Millie Shop Base located between Omuthiya and Oshivelo in 1986 -87,” he said.
He was taken to Ondangwa military base in a sick bay where he worked for six months and after that he was transferred to the Central Hospital in Windhoek for a full course in nursing in 1987.
Mr. Alberts Levi Mukenani (53), a former Swapo plan combatant who is now the Executive Director and Founder of the project