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Kongola wants ‘fraudster’ councillors back in prison

2024-02-01  Albertina Nakale

Kongola wants ‘fraudster’ councillors back in prison

KATIMA MULILO - Following previous court appearances of six senior officials implicated in the alleged N$4.7 million fraud at the Zambezi Regional Council, the aggrieved Kongola community protested, demanding the revocation of the accused’s bail with immediate effect pending finalisation of their case. 

The alleged stolen funds from the council were earmarked for struggling Kongola settlement developmental projects such as water, power, and sewerage networks among other issues. Many residents to date still drink from unhygienic underground water drawn from wells which they largely share with livestock and wild animals that invade their villages as they are adjacent to Bwabwata National Park. 

Yesterday, the Katima Mulilo Magistrate’s Court postponed the matter to 9 September.

The unhappy community staged a peaceful demonstration yesterday in front of the court before the accused made their appearance. 

“This is really a paramount slap in the face of justice and to the people of Kongola, given the magnitude of the case. We, the people of Kongola, feel this case is the same as the Fishrot scandal case and so the group must be treated the same,” said Linus Naha on behalf of the protesters. The infamous Fishrot corruption case involves former Cabinet ministers and businessmen accused of
corruptly benefitting from about N$300 million from the fishing industry.

The group further said they were disappointed with the prosecution as certain persons are given “golden spoon judgments” while others get the hard end of the stick with hefty sentences without options of fines.

“Your Lordship, the recent N$4.7 million corruptly misused money could really have saved the lives of the people of Kongola. People in Kongola are challenged every day due to distance from essential services such as district hospitals, total darkness of the road as people are bumped by traffic as they share the road with oncoming traffic,” bemoaned Naha in their petition to the court.

The group handed the petition to control prosecutor Brohan Mukoya who promised to channel it to the right offices for attention. 

They bitterly complained that the residents of Kongola travel long distances for drinking water which mostly is polluted water from wells
and lakes, risking their lives to dangerous animals. 

“Human-wildlife conflict has become a norm as people are caught by crocodiles daily, as they try to make a living through fishing and cutting reeds.” 

The six implicated officials are Regina Ndopu-Lubinda, who has been serving as CRO since 2011; Beaven Walubita, who is head of planning and rural development; deputy director of planning Cletius Mubita; chief planner Daniel Mbala; deputy director of administration Abraham Shikoyeni; as well as chief accountant Nimrod Lichela. They appeared on charges of corruptly using their position or office for gratification. All suspects paid bail of N$50 000 each and resumed work last October after their first court appearance where bail was granted.

The community expressed that if the revenue could have been correctly shared as stated under Article 108 section (c), the lives of the people of Kongola could be uplifted.

“Kongola is today still undeveloped, and this is due to the N$4.7 million dubiously misused,” the group complained. Additionally, they say social ills such as crime, prostitution, and alcohol and drug abuse could have been reduced.

Therefore, the community feels justice is not being served as the accused are free on bail without any conditions attached and have also resumed work where the corrupt activities occurred. 


2024-02-01  Albertina Nakale

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