By Dominic Sikopo
Recently sworn in SWAPO Katima Mayor of Katima Mulilo honourable. Charles Mukaya Matengu had an exclusive interview with Caprivi Vision where he gave a brief history of his life, views on being a Mayor and his plans ahead for the town.
CVNEWS : When and where were you born and where did you attend your schooling?
Mayor Matengu: I was born on the 1st of December 1960 at Ikaba, Masamu village. I did my primary schooling in Zambia at Valley View Primary School and my Grade 8 to 12, at Kitwe Boys High School still in Zambia because that is where my parents were working.
CVNEWS : ….and your Tertiary education?
Mayor Matengu: After my matric I proceeded to study at Zambia Institute of Technology even though it was just for a few months in 1981, that very same year I came back to Namibia where I got a job as a Teacher at Bukalo Primary School (from 1982-88). I then went to pursue my academy(Junior degree, majoring in English and Psychology) from 1989 to 91. From 1992-96 I taught at Ngweze Secondary School and I was then later appointed as the Head Of Department(HOD).
From 1997-98 I was at the Zambezi Vocational Institute where I was a Principal Vocational Instructor and I was then sent to the United Kingdom at the University of Warwick to pursue further studies which I successfully completed. I was then sent for six months in my field of study to Ohio University in The United States of America By the American Embassy. I left the Vocational in 1999 and proceeded to go lecturer at the then Caprivi College of Education in language and English Communication Skills.
In the last two years I was there I served as Chairperson of the School Based Communications Skills and towards the end I went to Caprivi Regional Office where I served as a Regional School Councillor where I was heading Life Skills, Counselling and Career guidance up to date.
CVNEWS: Could you tell us more about your political career?
Mayor Matengu:Well I have been an active SWAPO member since I was very young but I really became active in politics in 1991 but I have been a SWAPO card carrying member since 1981. I have been the Chairperson of the SWAPO NHE(Mavuluma) branch and a member of the SWAPO District Branch and as a Regional Mobiliser for NANTU and as a NANTU Regional Information and Publicity Secretary.
In 2004 I stood for the Local Authority Elections where I was number 8 and did not make it. I contested again in 2010 and won and this time I was the first.I campaigned using the Manifesto which is derived from the one of the rulling party SWAPO.
CVNEWS : Your political career history ?
Mayor Matengu :I have been a Chairperson of the Katima Mulilo Management Committee for the last two years which for me is a very important engine for the council without it, the council cannot function.
CVNEWS :Your feelings on being sworn in as the 8th mayor of the town of Katima Mulilo?
Mayor Matengu :Firstly I want to give thanks to the AlmightyGod, this is happening because it is God’s plan. I believe in consultation, looking at the Local Authority Act and the SWAPO Manifesto of 2009 and NDP4(from government) as our guidance. We have achieved the struggle for independence and we have to attain Ecocomic independence, we need to provide proper taps, sanitation, decent housing for our people. We also need to improve our infrastructure and empower SMEs, because I belive these people will be able to pay for their services. We also have to look at Job creation as this will attract Investors to our town.
CVNEWS : Any successful Projects embarking on ?
Mayor Matengu :As council we have leased Katima Farm to the Ministry of Agriculture, Meatco has been given a plot so that they can be canning and packaging meat so that it lasts long. We are also looking to engage the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to have a storage facility which will bring in investors. We also want to engage the Trade and Industry Ministry to find out which other businesses can be viable in our town.But at the moment our focus is on improving our road infrastructure and streets as saying “ every long journey begins with one step”.
Mayor Matengu:I am a married man with 8 children, 3 grand children 3 sisters, 3 three brothers, my parents have both passed away.
I have lost three (3) sisters in the last ten years and I always think of them a lot and wish they were here today with me.
CVNEWS : Your final message to the people of Katima Mulilo in particular and Namibia at large ?
Mayor Matengu:The people should be patient and should persevere.