Thieves Vandalise Quarantine Camp

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By Chrispin Inambao RUNDU Thieves caused substantial damage amounting to N$120 000 after they stole water troughs, a 10 000-litre tank and other items from the Thomas Shiyave Quarantine Camp some 113 kilometres east of Rundu. The other items looted include water pipes, taps and a fence. Some of the plastic material stolen from the facility was turned into shoes by villagers. The culprits have already appeared before the Gciriku Tribal Authority in the Ndiyona Constituency. Other villagers also caused substantial damage at the quarantine camp that was also stripped at Mbungu in the Mukwe Constituency. Speaking to New Era yesterday, the Regional Councillor for Ndiyona, Sebastian Karupu, said Meatco spent N$2.4 million on the construction of quarantine facilities in Kavango in 2000 in order to source quality animals for slaughter. The former regional governor currently serving as one of the 26 members who are on the National Council said: “The camp contributed immensely to the economic development of the community residing in this area,” and that it had contributed towards poverty alleviation in that area as villagers generated income from the sale of cattle to the meat corporation. Karupu accused those behind the vandalism of having, what he termed an “economic sabotage agenda”. Five of those accused of stealing are from Dumushi Village – some twenty kilometres south of the camp – recently appeared before a tribal court where they were given a collective fine of fifteen head of cattle. The cattle will be sold and the proceeds from the auction will go towards replacing some of the looted property. Karupu said apart from the fines, the case of the five suspects has since been referred to the station commander in that area, Sergeant Macellius Mundumbi. And following the theft, another committee tasked with administering the facility replaced the previous one. It consists of Paulus Mukoya, the chairperson of a farmer’s union in that area, Susana Katiku the village head-woman of Kashira and Sha-rughanda villages, Elias Mambase a Meatco representative and Wilfried Mangun-du, a member of the chief’s council. Angered by the crime, the community resolved that justice should take its course and that the culprits should pay with cattle or the monetary equivalent. Plans are underway to repair the facility and Meatco has agreed to give the community a grant for repairs of the vandalised camp. At the time the alleged looters entered the camp, they apparently took advantage of the fact that the watchman had been admitted to hospital at Rundu. Yesterday the chief of the va Gciriku community, Hompa Kasian Shiyambi, Karupu and Mukoya, were expected to have a meeting with Meatco Board members to address the issue. A senior politician was expected to officially re-open the facility.