By Simon Liseli
LISELO Sub-Khuta has charged an amount of fifty thousand Namibia dollars (N$50 000) each to two Construction Company owners, for illegal digging of the gravel sand without a consent from the traditional authority.
This was revealed at the meeting discussion on the procedures of getting into the area and lease agreement of payments when scavenging, between the accused bosses, Liselo Traditional Councilors and Katima Rural Constituency Councillor Wardens Matengu Simushi who was accompanied by Mr. Charles Musialike Regional Deputy Director of the Ministry of Land Reform and Mr. Cletius Mubita, Director for Planning at Zambezi Regional Council on Tuesday.
Liselo Area is under the jurisdiction of the Mafwe Royal Establishment under Chief George Simasiku Mamili, which is near the town of Katima Mulilo some 7 kilometers.
This follows recent concerns from community members of Liselo that some construction companies such as Katima Brick making and JVV construction company were taking gravel for constructing gravel roads, covering lower areas for building purposes and making other things without consulting the traditional authority of Liselo Sub-Khuta or residents who own the land where the resources are being exploited.
The accused company owners have been buying gravel from Induna Ngambela Jackson Muyembuluko who owns the land where the gravel is being taken at N$4.00 per cubic and sales it to the government on a tender ticket at N$ 65.00 per cubic which they claim to be much more when compared to the buying price.
The two companies were given fines amounting to N$ 50 000 each for illegal practices in Liselo area by traditional councilors of the said court.
However, Mr. Van Vureen of JVV company paid the amount in cash on the following day,Wednesday and was given a portion of 11 hectares of land where he will be taking gravel and his colleague Mr. Oppermann for Katima Brick Making is still quiet up to date, but was warned by the traditional court not to do anything in their land if not paying his fine.
Mr. Van Vureen will soon be given his consent letter that will indicate the period he will scavenge gravel and will be allowed to renew it if his work will still need some gravel.
Mr. Booysen, owner of WLD was also present and did not face any charge because he has documents that allow his company to take gravel at Liselo.
Earlier on it has been alleged that Mr. Van Vureen drafted an agreement letter between him and Induna Muyembuluko where he indicated that he bought the above hectares already and Induna Muyembuluko signed the agreement without consulting other Indunas or having knowledge for the letter’s content.
The traditional court refused and cancelled it and the companies were called to meet with the Khuta for discussions and agreeing on how they will work together.
After the meeting it was agreed that they will be paying N$15.00 per cubic instead of N$4.00.
In his keynote speech delivered to business owners Katima Councillor Simushi thanked them for showing cooperation and honoring Liselo Traditional Authority’s request of calling them to report before the court to discuss and agree on issues pertaining taking out gravel in the area without the khuta’s consent.
He warned on illegal activities by some construction companies in the region that are taking place at Liselo area that was reported to his office where normal procedures are not followed.
“It was reported to my office that they are some illegal activities that are taking place at Liselo area whereby normal procedures are not followed and as a constituency councilor, wherever they are some misunderstandings its where I have to intervene thats why the community elected me” noted Simushi.
Caprivi Vision has also established that natural recourses of Liselo Area have been unfairly depleted by some of the companies in recent years who have been awarded several tenders by government, without benefiting the indigenous community.