LINYANTI – A businessman’s seemingly selfish actions to divert floodwater and starve the rest of the village have left the Linyanti community in the Zambezi region fuming.
Well-known businessman Walter Mali, who hails from the area, allegedly blocked floodwater flowing into the Sampisi channel from the Linyanti River.
The decision to block the water was reportedly taken by Mali to prevent the water from reaching his field, where he wanted to construct a culvert passage to give him access to his field.
However, deputy headman Robert Mwala blasted the businessman whilst addressing the media, accusing him of not consulting and respecting the traditional court and the community at large.
“We are not happy about what happened regarding the blocking of the water. We were not consulted, meaning the community and the khuta. We were only informed by cattle herders that the channel had been blocked,” stated Mwala.
He added that the channel had not received water for the past 16 years, so it came as a relief to community members that the channel now got water.
Blocking the water is thus simply uncalled for.
“This is unacceptable. It has been many years without us receiving water in this channel. We have been suffering together with our livestock, and this channel does not belong to anyone.
It is a natural resource which belongs to everyone,” he reiterated.
Another headman, Muyaukwa Sipula, shared similar sentiments.
“The floodwater came at the right time, and will serve as a source of drinking water for community members and their livestock.”
He also revealed that the khuta tried to engage the local businessman, but to no avail.
Contacted for comment, the agitated Mali declined to answer.
“Go and ask the person who gave you the information, not me,” he said briefly before cutting the call.
The manager of Halutusane Construction Company, which had blocked the water, was identified as Julian Masule.
He, however, claimed not be the manager, and said it might be a case of mistaken identity when approached for comment.
“I don’t have a clue what you are talking about; maybe you are mistaking me for someone else. I am not even in Katima Mulilo, I work in Swakopmund,” he stated.
Water flow has thus far been restored after the community took the decision to unblock the channel.