New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Katima Postpones Agricultural Fair

Katima Mulilo Management Committee Chairperson, Charles Matengu, has confirmed the postponement of the Katima Trade and Agriculture Fair from June to July/August.

But skeptics of the postponement question the new dates to which it had been postponed, claiming this could be viewed in a bad light.

The trade fair was initially scheduled to take place from June 25 to 30, but is now likely to take place from the last week of July to the first week of August.

Matengu said a management meeting to be held tomorrow (Thursday) that will be attended by him together with Georgina Mwiya-Simataa the deputy chairperson of the Management Committee and the acting CEO, Charles Nawa Nawa, will confer and decide on a the new date and venue.

Matengu said the main reason for the postponement was mainly because stakeholders requested council to postpone the trade fair.

Among the stakeholders are: Likwama Farmers' Union, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Meatco, Meatboard and Standard Bank.

"Stakeholders were a bit skeptical - they did not have enough time to prepare. We gave them the dates but they were not very much prepared - they wanted to be fully involved in whatever we are doing, they got caught up in time and they requested for a postponement," said Matengu.

But one official at the town said the timing will not go down well in some political circles as the new date will stretch over August 02, a date in 1999 when separatist attacks occurred in Caprivi.

The official that requested anonymity also said the postponement could also affect attendance because Polytechnic and Unam students currently on recess would not be able to attend then.

The trade fair is intended to promote trade and agriculture in the Caprivi and to woo investors.

At the time of its cancellation, some exhibitors were apparently not informed and they even travelled to Katima Mulilo for the fair.

Matengu says one of the reasons for the cancellation was that the initial venue of Ngweze Community Hall is right in the heart of the town and this posed a logistical challenge to transport cattle to the middle of town that could easily have disrupted the flow of traffic.

The other reason is that the hall does not have toilets at all which would have posed another challenge, as there is usually no fixed venue for this particular trade fair.

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