WINDHOEK – Traditional authorities believe if a company they co-own, Hompa Investments, is fully supported, their financial dependence on government would significantly decline while job prospects in rural areas would increase.
Owned in equal proportion by the Namibia Traditional Authorities Trust (NTRAT) and four private individuals, Hompa targets developmental challenges in rural areas and how to best address them commercially.
Hompa is owned on equal basis by NTRAT and Omachanga CC. Omachanga is owned by private individuals Lesley Gariseb, /Oamite Gariseb, Gordon Onesmus and Enrico Gonteb.
NTRAT is chaired by Chief Immanuel /Gaseb of the !Oe-#Gan community at Okombahe, and has Chief Sam Kambazembi of the Kambazembi Royal Traditional Authority as its spokesperson.
“This is a company trying to confine itself strictly to rural development by looking at challenges that exist in those areas. It deserves the support of everyone, especially government,” Kambazembi told New Era yesterday on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders, which started in Windhoek yesterday.
“The private sector has for too long been neglecting the traditional authorities and here we have established an entity that will fill that void,” he said.
The 51 traditional leaders recognised by government receive an allowance of N$2000 per month, which leaders say is too low and has not been increased for years.
“We recognise that government can’t sustain us all the time, that’s why we feel there are other ways to support us, such as ensuring that Hompa gets supported so that in return it supports traditional leaders and their subjects,” Kambazembi said.
The company hopes to get preferential treatment when it comes to tendering for rural development contracts.
“We are happy with what government is doing and we’re prepared to meet them halfway,” Chief Immanuel /Gaseb said.
“This year, for example, government has put up N$1.5 million to host the annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders. This could be much less if traditional authorities had other sources of income,” said /Gaseb, who said government-sponsored vehicles for traditional leaders have not been replaced for years and have become a safety concern.
Daringly, the company says it is prepared to invest a large amount in rural development, but was coy on revealing its source of these enormous funds.
Hompa, which is praying and fasting for positive consideration of its fishing rights application, says it would invest heavily in rural communities as part of its corporate social responsibility.
“Traditional authorities need a proper economic base. Traditional leaders don’t need to be rich but must live a comfortable life, especially when it comes to housing. They can’t lead in poverty,” Lesley Gariseb said.
2018-09-11 09:13:09 4 months ago