FORMER CAPRIVI PARLIAMENT ON THE HAMMER

FORMER PARLIAMENT BUILDING OF THE THEN ADMINISTRATION FOR CAPRIVIANS

By Clemence Tashaya

IN what appears to be a contradiction of the Caprivi residents, the Katima Mulilo Town Council has finally decided to sell the former Caprivians’ Parliament plot. The Caprivi Vision can now exclusively reveal that the former parliament is up for grabs.
It has been established that the Katima Mulilo Town Council under the leadership of the demoted Chairperson, Mr Michael Mudabeti decided to sell the Parliament plot which is currently houses Vantage Enterprises without the consent and approval of the tax payers in the region. This has brought internal protests and disapproval from concerned rate payers in the region.
The Parliament plot was sold to an Egyptian business man named Ahmad Hisham who also runs the popular Cash and Carry supermarket which is juxtaposed to the former parliament.
Already there are workers who are busy working on the site to prove that part of the plot was sold to the business tycoon.
The former Parliament was used as the local Caprivi regional National Assembly for the chiefs and Members of Parliament of the region during the colonial period. Both white colonizers and the splitter of both black chiefs of both Masubia and Mafwe used to assemble and enact laws and regulations for the Caprivi before they were adopted by the now independent Namibia in 1990.
Sources privy to this issue suggested that the memorial building was supposed to be kept and preserved as a historical heritage site of the region instead of selling it to business people.
“This is part of history and sovereignty for the Caprivi region and it was supposed to be preserved for history sake of the region. It was better if it was used as a historic parliamentary museum for residents, tourists and school children so that they can learn the otherwise deminishing history of the Caprivi region. It’s a very big shame that they are selling it because of greed and corruption by our town council leaders,” explained an agitated Caprivi resident who requested anonymity.
A former Member of Parliament in the Caprivi region during the colonial era, Hon. Wilson Sakutiya also expressed his deep concern about the sale of the plot in an in-depth interview with the Caprivi Vision recently. He explained that the whole plot was not supposed to be sold because it represented the interests of the people.
“How can they sell such a plot while there are many places in this town? Apart from that there is no parking space for the vehicles coming to do business at the place and even those big trucks which will be delivering goods have no parking space at all,” he said
However, he explained that during their hey days as MPs, they used to have both whites and blacks sitting in the parliament enacting the laws for the Caprivians. It was not a region by then.
He went on to show the Caprivi Vision some of the books which they used in that Parliament which were written as the “Caprivi Administrative Laws and Regulations”. Some of the books have some budgets and recordings of proceedings of meetings and sittings in the Parliament. The list of former local Caprivian MPs is also included in these books.
“We used to have our own interior Minister, Francis Munduba who can divulge more information but still as former MPs, we are not happy about the move of selling part of this building and plot because it’s like money going in their pockets but with no developments in town,” he further explained.
He was concerned that if they wanted to sell the building and plots, there were many places in town.
However,  Caprivi Vision had an exclusive interview with the local business person who purchased part of the plot, Mr Hisham. He explained that the plot was sold to him in a transparent, open and fair manner since he applied for the plot in 2008.
“I feel like the old parliament plot was not being used and I thought of applying if I could get approval to get a piece and a portion. It took me a long process for the Town Council to approve and sub divide the plot of 6500m². I was instructed to compile a motivational letter. The approval was done by the Minister responsible in Windhoek to get the Township Board Certificate. The plot was registered in my company business and the plan was approved. Since I applied initially, it took almost one and half years. We also advertised in the local newspapers for three weeks for objections. This means, it was done in an open manner and finally I bought the plot. It is not like the process was done corruptly,” he explained.
“I will not use it myself. I’m renting parts of it. Big branded companies are coming in to invest and these are KFC, Clicks, CNA and Cymot and other who want to create business opportunities in Katima Mulilo. I will appreciate doing business here because it is my town and it has become home for me. I have been here for the past 18 years and I’m grateful of that. Small offices will also be available for professional people in the new building. The total amount of the plot was N $120m² x 2080,” he explained
So far the local business man explained that this move will create employment for the town much to the benefits of the local unemployed youths in town. The business man has the vision of the town by bringing in some well established brands in town.
“Katima Mulilo is developing for the better. You can see a lot of cars, new businesses opening around town and I encourage business people in town to focus more on Katima Mulilo town since it is growing for the better. The people of Caprivi are very good and there is no way I can go and invest somewhere except in this town,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Katima Mulilo Town Council, Dr Vincent Sazita defended the council’s move saying that part of the parliament plot was sold as an expansion of business to the town and advised that still some more of such developments are coming soon in town.
“This is part of the infrastructural developments for the town and that part of LA Parliament Hall will be a shopping mall for the town soon. The shopping mall will be the first of its kind in town and will accommodate many businesses such as lawyers and organisations such as Old Mutual and KFC will be some of those attractive businesses at the mall. This is a positive development and what else do residents want? Instead, they should be proud of these new developments taking place in our resort town,” he explained
Meanwhile, it was also established by the Caprivi Vision that the Katima Town Council did not only sell part of the LA Hall Parliament. Another recreational place, Ngweze Community Hall was also sold. Reliable sources confirmed that a certain Boer bought the community hall for an undisclosed sum of money. Again this has been done without going to tender in a case that raises corruption suspicion.
ENDS


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