KATIMA MULILO - The inhabitants of Kabbe North and Kabbe South constituencies usually stranded during the rainy season at settlements along the Zambezi, will continue with their transport hardships as plans to revive the river transport that has been inactive for years remains in limbo.
This is after plans by the regional council to revive the Kapelwa Kabajani ferry - named after the late liberation struggle hero Richard Kapelwa Kabajani - seem to have hit yet another snug.
The ferry procured from neighbouring Botswana at great cost to Treasury, was to ease the transport woes of residents of Kabbe North and Kabbe South but had virtually become a white elephant because it spent more time docked than transporting passengers in Kabbe North and Kabbe South.
This was because the officials were locked in a tug-of-war apparently trying to decide the tariffs for the 360-horsepower barge that can also transport vehicles. The other version was that the Zambezi River needed to be dredged. This bickering has been going on for more than four years.
In February, the councillor for Kabbe South Constituency John Likando told this reporter that the sedentary river ferry will “soon” start to transport both goods and passengers from Kasika, Impalila, Muzii, Nankuntwe, Namiyundu, Luhonono, and Imukusi all the way to Katima Mulilo but this has become another empty political promise that will frustrate Kabbe South and Kabbe North residents.
Likando also stated at the time that the ferry was repaired and had already been taken for testing. However about four months down the line, the ferry is still inactive. Approached for clarity, Likando could not confirm when the ferry will start operating.
“The level of the river is very low, because there was not enough flood this year, as a result, the ferry cannot operate as some parts of the Zambezi are shallow and dry,” he said.
When asked about plans to deepen the Zambezi River, Likando remained tight lipped and hinted that among others, negotiations with their Zambian counterparts to deepen the river, as some areas which need deepening are at the Zambian side have not been fruitful.
2019-06-18 09:57:45 3 months ago