Kapika will not block Govt's plans for Baynes project

04 Apr 2014 10:30am
OPUWO, 04 APR (NAMPA) – Kapika Royal House chief Hikuminue Kapika says he is no longer going to stand in the way of Government’s plans to construct the Baynes hydro-power plant.
Members of the Epupa community under the leadership of the Kapika Royal House last Saturday held a demonstration to have him removed as chief as they are not happy about his alleged conduct towards them, and about allegations that he had allowed work on the hydro-power plant to go ahead.
At the time, he told this news agency that he ‘did not sign for the construction of Baynes’, adding that attempts to have him removed now will fail like it did when the community tried to have him removed three times before.
Speaking at his home village of Omuramba - about 20 kilometres south of Epupa last Saturday - Chief Kapika said he is no longer going to stand in the way of Government’s plans for the construction of the hydro-power plant on the Kunene River.
This meeting was attended by community members who are against his removal.
The chief said his decision was prompted by the fact that the community of Epupa is accusing him of preventing development in the area. He will thus excuse himself from future discussions on the Baynes Hydro-power plant.
“When I was refusing the construction, I did it with the support of and in consultation with the community.
But behind my back, my traditional senior councillors were telling people that I was preventing development,” Chief Kapika charged.
He said he has become tired of being portrayed as a controversial chief by Government and by his own community which he thought he was working for, but which is now turning against him.
“Let other people now speak against the construction of Baynes, but not Chief Kapika again,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Namibia needs a second dam to generate electricity, as the supply from the Ruacana hydro-power station is not sufficient.
The Governments of Namibia and Angola intend building a hydro-power station and a dam at Orokawe or Baynes on the Kunene River.
The plans have, however, been met with strong resistance by some residents of the affected areas in the Epupa constituency, as they say there are ‘holy’ mountains and graves belonging to their ancestors.