Katima Rural tired of empty promises

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Katima Rural tired of empty promises

Residents of Katima Mulilo Rural constituency have expressed their displeasure over the delay in the construction of the Bukalo-Muyako-Ibbu-Ngoma road.

The aggrieved community, which last week staged a peaceful demonstration, is concerned that the delayed road development that was promised to them over a decade ago remains a mirage.

On behalf of the community of Muyako and the Katima Mulilo Rural constituency, Induna Michael Kawana of Iseke village addressed the concerns regarding the slow pace of the road. 

The community feels that while their constituency is the second largest in terms of population after Katima Mulilo Urban, it remains the least developed compared to all the other constituencies in the Zambezi region.

“In 2020, during election campaigns, the honourable councillor [Warden Simushi] on many occasions and in various places talked about all the developments that were to be seen in the constituency. One of these was the development of the Bukalo-Muyako-Ibbu-Ngoma road, which was upgraded to a tarred road. The tender was released on  3 December 2020, and the process would have been completed by now,” Kawana charged.

Attempts to get comment from Simushi have been fruitless since Monday.

The community claims they have not been informed of progress and implementation since the tender process for the design was concluded. United, the community said the lack of progress regarding the road’s construction has angered them.

“If we fail to reach a compromise on when the project can be implemented, as a community, we regret the action that our community members may resort to,” they threatened. The community has since formed a committee that engaged Katima Rural councillor Simushi regarding the road.

That meeting yielded nothing.

After the unfavourable response from the office of the councillor, the committee said they further wrote a letter to the works and transport minister, Deputy Prime Minister John Mutorwa, calling for his intervention.

“The honourable minister’s response directed the committee back to the
honourable councillor’s office to respond to our enquiry and directed the Roads Authority to provide an update to the community regarding the status of the construction project. The community has not received
any response from either the councillor’s office or the Roads Authority,” Kawana

They said it is a fact that the constituency is strategic, with the potential to become a great economic hub for the region.

“It is on this road that you find Lake Lyambezi, which is a great source of fishing activities and rich land for cultivation. This is also where we find large deposits of quality gravel in the whole region. It has a large conservation area with potential for tourism activities,” the headman said.

Other benefits of the constituency
 include that it borders Botswana, with long-term plans to bring another dedicated port of entry between Muyako and Mahundu areas from Satau in Botswana.

It also connects more than seven government schools and clinics.

“Improving the road infrastructure improves accessibility and the livelihood of the inhabitants of Katima Mulilo
Rural,” he said. Residents likewisebemoaned water scarcity in the constituency.

They said that in 2013, the water ministry said the completion of the N$35 million Katima Mulilo/Ngoma water pipeline would bring relief to most of them.

At the time, Mutorwa said the project was to be completed by 2015 across all constituencies in the Zambezi region.

According to Kawana, the community is suffering.

He said Muyako was earmarked for the construction of a desalination borehole to make water challenges a thing of the past.

“This is currently a ghost project, and nothing is happening.We are tired of empty promises and empty words without action. As a community, we demand action. We
will not accept empty promises from politicians anymore because they now want our votes since elections are approaching. They must act now. We are unhappy. We want our road to be tarred, and accessible safe drinking water for the whole constituency,” the community petitioned. 

– anakale@nepc.com.na