By Reagan Malumo
Deputy Prime Minister Dr Libertina Amathila is touring the Caprivi Region to listen to the problems affecting the various communities.
The Deputy PM will also visit the thousands of people who have been displaced by floods this year.
She arrived in the region last Friday and is expected to wind up her tour end of this week. She has so far paid a visit to flood victims and assessed floods in Kabbe constituency as well as the Katima Rural constituency.
Amathila met Chief Kisco Liswani III of the Masubia Tribal Establishment at his tribal headquarters at Bukalo on Monday.
Welcoming her, Chief Liswani expressed concern about the slow pace at which development projects such as the bio-fuel plant project – the jatropha curcas – as well as the transformation of Bukalo into the region’s second urban centre have been carried out by responsible government offices.
He said the slow implementation of these projects will frustrate investors. He appealed for the Deputy Premier’s intervention in these matters.
Other projects, which according to the chief are not forthcoming despite repeated promises, are the Kalimbeza rice project, the Lyambezi sugar plantation and the water canal project that would result in Lake Lyambezi being connected to the Zambezi River and the Katima Mulilo-Ngoma water pipeline.
The chief further condemned the recent publication of Mishake Muyongo’s message by one media house in the region, saying such statements serve to create confusion and scare away investors and tourists in the region.
“Such retrogression to the most regrettable and fateful day of 2 August 1999 should not be allowed to slowly emerge. We should preserve and jealously guard the peace that we are enjoying,” said the Chief.
He further complained about defections of individuals from one tribal grouping to the other, saying this is one of the major causes of tribal feuds in the Caprivi Region particularly where it concerns disputes over land ownership.
Chief Liswani III said while it is within an individual person’s right to choose to live under the jurisdiction of a particular chief and not under the other as provided for under the Katima Declaration of 1993, such individuals should not be allowed to continue to claim rights to communal land under their former chief as is the case.
He said those involved continue enjoying privileges in the area of the chief they no longer pay allegiance to and to whom they no longer pay tribal levies.
Liswani added that these practices lead to deterioration of customary law and its enforcement, as the traditional authorities eventually lose control over such people.
He was optimistic a solution to this problem would partly solve some of the land disputes prevailing in the region.
The Deputy Premier was expected to pay visits to the other remaining tribal chiefs and constituency representatives before proceeding to Western Caprivi where she will meet San-speaking people.