Massive water debt swamps Katima

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Big plans… Katima Mulilo Mayor Georgina Mwiya-Simataa during her swearing-in ceremony, pictured with Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu.

Katima Mulilo

Katima Mulilo Town Council pays a whopping N$380 000 each week and an additional amount of N$300 000 towards the combined monthly instalment of N$1.5 million to redeem its historic debt of N$48 million that it owes the water utility NamWater.

The irony is that the Zambezi River from which NamWater draws its water for bulk resale to the town council is not located far away from the perennially indebted town.

Speaking at the ceremony where she was sworn in after being recently re-elected as Katima Mulilo mayor, Georgina Mwiya-Simataa said they often have to dig deep into their pockets to ensure that residents are supplied with water.
She said the NamWater debt dates back to the pre-independence period.

“Last year or the year before we signed an agreement with Namwater – we inherited a debt of N$43 million, so we have to pay this debt as well as buy water for our daily consumption, which is a huge amount for the town council,” lamented the town mayor.

She said she is committed to ensuring the town moves forward and as such Katima Mulilo signed several public-private partnerships to build houses in the town.

“We have entered into seven public-private partnerships – three of them have received ministerial approval and others will follow suit to develop houses in our town,” she said.

She added that the only challenge the council currently faces is that they don’t have a chief executive officer following the resignation of Charles Nawa, who jumped ship on grounds he was pressured to do so by the mayor, an allegation that she denied.

She however revealed that by January they will have a new CEO.

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