By Chaze Chika
KATIMA Rural Constituency Councillor Wardens Matengu Simushi has expressed concerns on illegal activities by construction companies in the region that are taking place at Liselo area some 10 kilometers west of Katima Mulilo.
This follows an outcry from community members of the area that some construction companies such as Katima Brick Making owned by Mr. Oppermann and JVV construction companies for Mr. Van Vureen were taking gravel from Induna Mr. Jackson Muyembuluko’s field at a cost of N$4.00 per cubic without the traditional authority’s consent and other members of the community who are also part of the land.
The matter was reported to the constituency office, that prompted Hon. Simushi to intervene in the issue.
In his speech that was delivered to business owners, he thanked them for showing cooperation and honouring Liselo traditional Authority request of calling them to report before their Khuta to discuss and agree on issues pertaining taking out gravel in the area without permission.
“I received some reports to my office that they are some illegal activities taking place in this area whereby normal procedures are not being followed. As a councillor elected by the community wherever they are some misunderstandings it’s where I have to intervene” he noted.
Matengu furthermore told business owners that procedures have to be followed to any company that need to take gravel or anything in other people’s land not to take laws in their own hands without even consulting traditional authorities.
It is allegedly that JVV Company for Mr. Van Vureen drafted an agreement letter between his company and Induna Muyembuluko that indicated that the company bought 11 hectares of land where they were taking gravel and because of illiteracy Induna Muyembuluko signed the letter without consulting his fellow traditional councillors and did not have any knowledge of the agreement’s context.
Constituency councillor warned business owners not to take advantages to old illiterate people. Community members of Liseli are being unfairly treated by construction companies that are buying their gravel at N$4.00 per cubic and sale it to the government at N$65.00 per cubic.
“Even now it does not mean that when you will sign for documents that allows you to take the gravel from this area you have bought the land it’s a totally ‘NO’ they are just leasing they will only give a period to use the land anytime they can take it back” he remarked.
Two companies that were taking gravel from the area without permission were given fines mounting to N$50 000 each; only WLD for Mr. Booysen did not face charges because it followed procedures and have documents that allow it to take gravel at Liselo.
Mr. Van Vureen of JVV company paid his fine of N$ 50 000 on February 6, 2018 and was given a portion of 11 hectares of land and will soon get his documents while his colleague Mr. Oppermann for Katima Brick Making still quiet up to date but he was warned not to do anything in their land if not paying his fine.
Councillor Simushi advised business owners who want to acquire land to be consulting constituency offices that will also approach traditional authorities rather than approaching certain individuals as that can bring conflicts amongst family members.
At the conclusion of discussions it was agreed that business owners who will be taking gravel at Liselo area will pay an amount of N$15.00 per cubic not N$ N$4.00 as it used to be previously.
Accompanying the constituency councillor was the Regional deputy director from the ministry of land reform Mr. Charles Musialike and Mr.Cletiues Mubita Director of Planning for Zambezi Regional Council and other government officials.