Outgoing chairperson of Zambezi council reflects on progress

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Katima Mulilo

The outgoing chairperson of Zambezi Regional Council, who until recently was also the constituency councillor for Kabbe, Raphael Mbala, highlighted some of the region’s achievements when he recently delivered his farewell address to regional council staff and senior officials.

Mbala, who lost in the hotly contested Swapo Party primaries in the recently divided Kabbe North Constituency, said the regional leadership has been committed to bettering the welfare of residents, as can be attested by improved service delivery and infrastructure development.

“The regional council is busy constructing a regional rural development centre at Masokotwane. We have constructed more than 55 classrooms at various schools and established five primary schools in the region. Hostels will be constructed for Luhonono and Ndoro Memorial.

Villages, such as Nakabolelwa, Ivilivinzi, Luhonono, Malindi, Muyako, Batubaja, Malengalenga, Sangwali, Sikubi, Sachinga, Lusu, Mazoba and Bitto, have been electrified,” boasted the veteran politician.
He further noted that improved rural water supply has been one of the major achievements with regard to alleviating water shortages in the vast and sparsely populated region. Despite a considerable number of boreholes drilled in the region, underground water in most areas is not suitable for human consumption, an anomaly Mbala believes will be corrected by the ongoing construction of the water pipeline at Katima-Ngoma and Katima-Kongola.

“In terms of rural water supply, we are happy to note the construction of the Katima-Ngoma pipeline and the Katima-Kongola pipeline. The provision of water to our rural people has made a remarkable difference to their livelihood,” Mbala stated.

Road infrastructure has been one of the regional council’s greatest accomplishments, with the completion of the MR125 road project that involved the tarring of a stretch of road from Liselo on the western periphery of Katima Mulilo through Linyanti, Sangwali, Kongola to Singalamwe.

Other new road infrastructure includes the ongoing Namalubi-Isize-Luhonono and the Izimwe-Nakabolelwa roads. The regional council, under the chairmanship of Mbala, is further credited with having facilitated the upgrading of Bukalo from a settlement to its proclamation as a village council.

Key infrastructure has already been erected at Bukalo, including village council offices, street lights, formal housing and servicing of land. Mbala stressed that with the aim to expand access to services, the regional council – through the delimitation commission – proposed increasing the number of constituencies from six to eight. This resulted in the new constituencies of Kabbe South and Judea Lyabolloma. Sites for the construction of constituency offices have already been handed over to contractors.

What, however, seemed to have agitated a few individuals – according to Mbala – was the renaming of the region from Caprivi to Zambezi. “We had to change the colonial name.
This resulted in the change from Caprivi to Zambezi Region, as well as Schuckmansburg to Luhonono. Of course this caused discomfort for a few individuals. However, for the majority of the inhabitants of the region, this is a welcome and long-awaited change,” Mbala contended.

Mbala commended and thanked the entire regional council, the governor and senior government officials, traditional leaders, members of staff and the public for their cooperation and assistance during his tenure.
An acclaimed Silozi author Mbala hinted at retiring to his village of Ikaba in the eastern flood plains of Zambezi, where he is already an accomplished farmer.

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