Couple exchanges alcohol for maize meal

13 Nov 2013 17:40pm
LIKWATERERA, 13 NOV (NAMPA) – A couple from a village in the Kavango East Region’s Matapi area was named and shamed on Tuesday for exchanging traditional brew for maize meal being distributed under the drought relief programme, with vulnerable San people.
The San community members from the Likwaterera area in the Rundu Rural East Constituency apparently got 25 millilitres of a traditional brew known as ‘kasipembe’ per cup of maize meal each from the couple.
The small San community was relocated to the Likwaterera area in November 2010, and it has since been declared a resettlement area by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
The 125 San community members last Friday each received a 12,5 kilogramme (kg) bag of maize meal as part of their drought relief food aid.
On Monday night, the couple were caught red-handed whilst busy trading ‘kasipembe’ with the San community members in exchange for maize meal.
The couple apparently travelled by donkey-cart with 25 litres of the traditional brew from their village, which is about eight kilometres from Likwaterera, after hearing that the resettled community members had received their drought relief food aid on Friday.
Nampa understands that the couple have been preying on the community in this manner for a while now, which prompted Likwaterera resettlement committee chairperson Paulus Marungu to report the shenanigans to Rundu Rural East Constituency Councillor Michael Shikongo this time around.
The exchanges are said to occur at night - under the cover of darkness - to avoid it being witnessed by others.
The accused couple, whose names are known by this news agency, are aged 35 and 28, respectively.
On Tuesday morning, they admitted to swapping alcohol for maize meal in front of community members here.
Shikongo warned those in attendance not to exchange their food for alcohol as the drought relief food is not meant for commercial purposes.
He added that they can only exchange the maize meal for other foodstuffs to supplement their meals, and not alcohol.
The Rundu Rural East Councillor also cautioned that the selling of any type of alcohol within the resettlement area is not allowed, and anyone found doing so would be dealt with accordingly.
After the couple admitted to bartering with the San community members, the councillor forced them to pour out the remaining ‘kasipembe’, which was confiscated the previous night.
Like other villages in the area, Likwaterera has been hit hard by the drought this year, and had a poor harvest.