By Risco Lumamezi at Masokotwani
RURAL Villagers at Masokotwani some 38 kilometers, South of Katima Mulilo have opened their doors for the newly envisaged Zambezi Rural Development Centre and have co-opted government to deliver services in that remote area urgently.
In a recent visit by the Caprivi Vision at the centre, Mr. Risco Mate a Village Development Committee (VDC) member at Masokotwani, who is also serving as a Community activist in the area, shared sentiments that “the main purpose of this development centre is to help eradicate poverty in rural area and also for the tourists not to travel long distance from Katima Mulilo to Liashulu Lodge before they get rest”.
According to Mr. Mate, the development Centre started off the ground with some constructions since 2009 after the community accepted the proposal from the then Caprivi Regional Council.
“What has been built so far here is a conference room which carries almost 150 people, and then they will be another conference room which will take almost about 200 people, including a library whereby people can read books and get access to internet”
“We are also going to have an administration block, a hotel which is not yet built and also blocks whereby small business enterprises can come and rent”.
He expressed satisfaction to the government for what has been done, though he said they are still some delays on the current constructions.
“The only thing that I can say now is that since 2009, we just only have one building which is the conference room otherwise thanks to the region for giving us this development center although it’s not yet completed, but we are still appealing to the government to make other buildings as specified on the plan not only to build just one building in one year or two years”
A village headman, Mr. Joseph Sanimombo whose village has been affected due to the site for the development has this to say “I am the headman of Sanimombo Village, this development affected us, we almost wanted to reject it but there is nothing we can do. We can evacuate our land; because we cannot refuse development it’s important for poverty eradication and unemployment reduction for our children and the region at large. The government came to us to negotiate on our affected land, so they promised us to pay money in compensation of the land for the construction of our new houses where we are going.”
“They gave us an amount of One Hundred and Thirty Thousand Namibia dollars (N$130,000.00) in total which is not enough to cover the damages for constructing our new homes and bush clearing. We wanted them to give us N$500,000 but they refused. We are going to move to this place in November to our new place, because they gave us only three months to construct our new homes and shift”.
Efforts to hear from the Zambezi Regional Council on the latest development of this project before going for press proved futile, watch our next edition for more official information from Zambezi Regional Council.