NOT WANTED: The state of the art Kavango East Nored head office in Rundu.
NOT WANTED: The state of the art Kavango East Nored head office in Rundu.

Rundu threatens to cut ties with Nored

Kenya Kambowe
Disgruntled Rundu mayor Gabriel Kanyanga this week informed electricity distributor Nored that the local authority would happily cut ties with it if it does not shape up its operations.

During a stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, he said they will do away with Nored if the local authority keeps getting less in return in their relationship.

All this emanated from a public meeting held in Rundu last week where residents complained about Nored and tasked the Rundu town council to emulate Oshakati Premier Electric (OPE).

A town council team last Monday met with OPE stakeholders, which appears to have given Kanyanga and his team the belief that they can do away with Nored.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the mayor referenced Oshakati’s refusal to work with Nored and the subsequent establishment of OPE, adding that if they can do it, Rundu can too.

According to him, the Oshakati town council does not need to “sweat to get things done” as the local authority and OPE “just agree on things”.

“Being the darkest town but giving a lot of money to Nored in terms of buying power, we were sent by the community to do a benchmark with Oshakati to see how OPE are doing it,” Kanyanga said.

“We happened to learn the Oshakati town council does not do anything about electricity; OPE does everything as long as they come to the table and agree on the terms of how to expand the electricity coverage and whatever they are to do.”

Stand on our own

“I am so happy to see the CEO of Nored here as he is the first man to deny joining Nored as he was then the CEO of OPE. That is why it’s high time for the Rundu town council to pull away from Nored in order for us to stand on our own,” the mayor said.

“I know that millions are being pulled in Rundu and in the region itself. Currently, money is being made in the region and taken that side.

"When we get whatever shares we get as people who are contributing more, we get what village councils are getting,” he lamented, making reference to the electricity provider’s services in the riverside town.

“In Rundu, what we are receiving is just like a spoon of sugar into the ocean.”

Stakeholder issues

Nored CEO Fillemon Nakashole, who took the podium after Kanyanga, completely ignored the questions and concerns raised by the mayor.

Meanwhile, Nored executive Toivo Shovaleka told Namibian Sun that the concerns raised by Kanyanga were of a shareholder nature, which can be addressed at its next annual general meeting later this year.

For years, local authorities have bemoaned surcharges from Nored, saying it does not reflect the money the company makes from their residents.

Rumours have swirled that the electricity distributor has been splurging on vehicles and building state-of-the-art buildings worth millions while local authorities’ coffers are empty.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Nored was also queried on the lack of street lights in Rundu as well as claims of it failing to decentralise its customer contact centre, which is based in Ondangwa.

Issues of quotations taking months to be processed were also raised.

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Namibian Sun 2023-06-04

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