RUNDU – Meatco has been roped in to operate the Katima Mulilo abattoir for the next five years on behalf of the Zambezi Meat Corporation (Zamco), which failed to get the project off the ground.
The trial slaughter is expected to take place next week Wednesday. Agriculture ministry executive director Percy Misika confirmed the new developments. “Government awarded Zamco the rights to operate the slaughterhouse after the closure of Meatco in Zambezi over four years ago.
However, the abattoir remained closed to date as Zamco struggled to get it off the ground,” he said. Early last month, farmers in Zambezi complained of a lack of market for their cattle. In response to the concerns raised by the farmers, Misika said Zamco has since entered into an agreement with Meatco to assist it in operating the abattoir for a period of five years. This will allow Zamco to build its technical, administrative, logistical and financial capacity to eventually take over the operations in five years time.
Misika further said government would be left with no choice but to terminate the contract and allow Meatco to run the abattoir should Zamco not demonstrate its readiness to operate the facility.
“The agreement between Zamco and government to operate the Katima Mulilo abattoir is still active,” Misika said. He added that the abattoir needed major renovations, which government could not undertake due to budgetary constraints. In 2018, the ministry of agriculture awared the contract for the renovations of the abattoir, however, the contract was terminated because of shoddy work.
“Subsequently, the ministry of agriculture engaged the Meat Board of Namibia for assistance with completion of the remaining renovation works and re-commissioning,” said Misika. “Activities to complete the remaining renovation and re-commissioning resumed mid-November 2019.
The renovations have been progressing satisfactorily and the trial slaughter is expected to take place by 26 February 2020, after which the abattoir will be re-commissioned and handed over to Zamco and Meatco for operation.”