By: Frans Sinengela.
Former deputy minister of works and transport James Sankwasa says he has revived his old crop and livestock farming skills after retiring.
Sankwasa says that farmers in the Zambezi region are being deliberately left out when accessing the country’s beef market.
According to Sankwansa, farmers in the Zambezi region are not allowed to sell their beef beyond Kongola.
“Farmers from Oshikoto, Ohangwena and other northern areas can sell their meat to us in the Zambezi. Why are we not allowed to sell our meat in those regions if our cattle have the same quality; there was foot and mouth disease in those regions too, but they have not restricted the way we are. Why is that?” he argues.
Sankwasa further says that he raised this concern to the prime minister last year, but nothing has been done.
He says Meatcor is also under-pricing their meat compared to their counterparts in the southern side of the redline.” Here Meatcor buys our meat at N$37 per kg, while in the south they buy at N$67; why do we have different pricing if the quality of cattle in the south is the same quality we have here?” he questioned.
Sankwasa further criticized the directorate of veterinary service for what he terms:” unscientific restrictions” on the sale of beef products in the Zambezi.
“There were meat carcasses destined for the factory in Okahandja, but they stopped the process and ordered that the meat should be consumed locally; what does that tell you, we are in one country, but we are treated differently; what have the people of the Zambezi done to deserve this discrimination??” he lamented.
However, Sankwasa told the Villager that he has several projects that he initiated while at the helm of the ministry of works and transport as a deputy minister and were completed, now serving as his footprints.
Sankwasa said, his first task when he was just two weeks in the office was to facilitate the gaveling of the show swamp area, connecting places such as Mbalasinte school and clinic, Ikaba and Kasika school and clinic north-east of the swamp.” These places were inaccessible during rainy and flood seasons” he added.
Not only in the Zambezi region, but he also managed to get a contractor to construct classrooms at Niigambo combined school, a few kilometres from Omuthiya in the Oshikoto region.
“I went there to inspect the road being constructed there, and I saw children being taught under trees and zinc structures.” He said.