14 May 2018

Namibia: Katima Residents to Protest Against Town Council

Some residents of Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi region are planning to stage a protest tomorrow against alleged corruption and lack of transparency by the town council.

One of the organisers of the demonstration, Fabian Sampaya, told Nampa on Friday that the residents will also demonstrate against pre-paid water meters that were installed without consulting the community.

This, he said, came as a surprise to many residents because the community in informal settlements cannot afford to pay for such meters.

Residents are required to pay N$2 500 per person for the pre-paid meter, plus N$833 for the card used to buy the water.

On the issue of corruption, Sampaya alleged that the town council signed an offer with a businessman from Walvis Bay in December last year for the supply of dustbins to be delivered 28 days after the signing.

Another issue is related to the construction of sewage lines in the Chotto informal settlement, which he claimed was first given to a company called Omatando, and later withdrawn and given to ABC Constructor without following the correct procedures.

In response, the chief executive officer at the Katima Mulilo Town Council, Raphael Liswaniso, explained that the whole package for the pre-paid meters is N$2 500, which the residents can settle in three instalments.

Liswaniso said residents are not required to pay for the card, but once they pay the first instalment of N$833 or N$840, they are issued with the card which enables them to purchase water.

"In any market, people will always find different prices of the same product, but the product might differ because of quality," he stated.

On the issue of the dustbins, the CEO said the offer was approved, and the supplier was given 20 days to deliver. But he did not, and thus asked for an extension to February this year, after which he also failed to deliver.

This resulted in the cancellation of that offer.

On the issue of sewage lines in Chotto, Liswaniso said Omatando did not meet the requirements, and the tender was thus offered to ABC, which has a proven record in installing sewage networks with the council.

Meanwhile, he added that Katima Mulilo residents owe the town council N$57 million in water bills.

- Nampa

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