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Home / Katima Urban councillor joins Redforce bandwagon

Katima Urban councillor joins Redforce bandwagon

2023-11-24  Albertina Nakale

Katima Urban councillor joins Redforce bandwagon

KATIMA MULILO – Katima Mulilo urban constituency councillor Kennedy Simasiku earlier this week came out strongly in defence of aggrieved residents over the saga involving debt collector Redforce.

He suggested that where qualifying pensioners deserve a rebate or specific treatment, due to them being senior citizens, they ought not to be forced to pay amounts they cannot afford. 

Simasiku’s reaction follows last week’s heated public meeting by angry hordes of residents regarding Redforce’s operations at the town.

“The issue of invoicing dates must be corrected and conveniently sequenced to both parties – but importantly, properly communicated to the community for clarity. Under normal circumstances, the burden of recovery should not be entirely dumped on the end-user, considering the current economic circumstances our country is faced with. We would hope that such a condition in the contract can be renegotiated or noted for correction in future,” he reasoned.

The vibrant councillor indicated that these suggestions were also made to the Katima Mulilo town council leadership by his office.

Around June this year, the town council roped in Redforce to recuperate a N$145 million debt owed to it by residents for municipal services.

However, many angry residents, including senior citizens, took to the streets last week to demand the removal of Redforce, citing that they were never consulted over its operations. 

They claim that without notice, they were surprised when water at their houses was being disconnected due to outstanding municipal bills.

Simasiku said his office remains committed to engage and/or give advice to the town council when the need arises, and remains hopeful they shall be receptive to their contributions in this regard.

Equally, the councillor reminded residents that the town council works on a cost-recovery basis, and it thus depends on the revenue collected from customers for the provision of services to the public. 

Fully aware of the demarcation of the mandate and functions for both regional and local authority councils by their relevant separate enabling Acts of Parliament, Simasiku said his office was formally informed of the said demonstration last week by members of the community.

Furthermore, he acknowledged that the same issues raised were equally relayed to his office during community engagement meetings held on 24 and 25 June this year around some suburbs and localities in Katima Mulilo Urban.

At the time, he said his office extended an invitation to the town council to join them in those engagements to hear what issues might be oppressing the people, and to come up with workable solutions in that regard. 

One item they noted with concern was the Redforce matter. 

Among the issues raised by the community members was the issue of interest charged on outstanding accounts.

 The other issue is that current invoices due were also added to outstanding balances, thus attracting interest charges. 

It furthermore came out in the meetings that some pensioners were forced to pay huge amounts as part of settlement arrangements with Redforce, while they struggled to pay such amounts.

All these issues angered the residents, who then decided to boycott Redforce last week.

Simasiku stated that a report was prepared by his office, outlining all major issues that were presented to them by the community.

This report was shared with town mayor Lister Shamalaza and the town’s CEO Raphael Liswaniso, amongst other leaders. 

“We personally engaged and proposed to the mayor and his team – on three separate occasions – for us to sit with the constituency councillor, town councillors, the CEO and a representative from Redforce. The idea was to discuss these issues, establish their authenticity and decide on the way forward. We belatedly but finally managed to sit on 18 October 2023 – being myself, the CEO, the chairperson of the Katima Mulilo town council and a Redforce representative,” he said.

Simasiku is of the opinion there are issues that require the Katima Mulilo town council to urgently engage the public through information-sharing sessions, where clarity must be provided – and where necessary, decisions made for the good of all parties. 

Although the mayor had during the heated demonstration last week informed the angry crowd they would meet on Sunday to map the way forward, the councillors did not pitch up for the meeting, despite the residents having waited for them.

This did not please them at all.

“The mayor and the councillors didn’t come on Sunday, as they promised during the demonstration. They informed us that they are attending a meeting with the governor, so that they can give us a proper answer. We are waiting. They didn’t tell us about the next date for a meeting. If the councillors and the CEO fail to get back to us, we will go and schedule a meeting with the governor ourselves to discuss this issue,” one of the community leaders involved in the matter, Gift Lishokomosi, vowed yesterday.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Liswaniso said there was a meeting between the governor, Larence Sampofu, and the mayor as well as the Urban and Rural Development minister Erastus Utoni over the issue.

“The parties had an engagement to iron out issues before any feedback could be given, based on that decision,” he said. -



Pic: Redforce


Unhappy… Chaos erupted at the Ngweze community hall last week between Katima Mulilo town council officials and residents over the issue of RedForce. 

Photo: Albertina Nakale


2023-11-24  Albertina Nakale

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