Delays In Recognising Mohembo East Frustrates Residents

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Kauxwi-Xakao, councilor Television France has expressed frustration over the ministry of local government’s continued delay in recognising Mohembo East settlement as a village.

Mohembo East is adjacent to the iconic Mohembo River Bridge which is the gateway to the eastern panhandle of the Okavango Delta. According to the 2022 population and housing census, the settlement has around 785 dwellers with 369 being males and 416 being females.

Speaking during the Okavango District full council meeting this week, France argued that the settlement has the required population, for it to be recognised as a village. He reminded that a settlement can be fully recognized as a village if it has 500 people.

“In 2011 Mohembo East had a total of 550 people and the number has since increased to 785, so I need to know why the settlement has not yet been gazetted though it has long met the minimum requirement. Some gazzeted areas have numbers below that of Mohembo East but they have long been recognised,” France said.

France complained that government has turned a blind eye to the rights of Mohembo East residents of access to clean drinking water, other basic necessities as well as government initiatives which they would easily have access to if their area is recognised as a village.

The councilor indicated that though water pipes and electricity power cables have already been installed across the settlement residents living in the area are unable to access them as they do not have land certificates.    

He stressed that people Mohembo East residents have interests in the government’s development initiatives for self-reliance however it is impossible for them to acquire such as most of them require one to have land ownership.

France noted that Shakawe Land Board had indicated to them that they are only awaiting council to give them the go ahead to allocate land ownership certificates to the residents for them to be able to connect water and electricity.

Meanwhile ODC Council Chairperson Gaopalelwe Ronald revealed that the Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Mabuse Pule has during his recent visit to Okavango informed them that they are in the process of recognising Mohembo East as a village.

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