Oshakati abattoir grinds to a halt

21 February 2020 | Agriculture

KIAT Investment, which was awarded a tender to operate the Oshakati abattoir, is unable to start slaughtering because it cannot afford to pay the electricity bill.

The abattoir was supposed to provide a market for farmers in the northern communal areas (NCAs), who have been unable to market their cattle for about four years.

The Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs were closed after the lease agreement between the agriculture ministry and Meatco expired in 2014.

Last year the ministry awarded KIAT Investment the tender to reopen and run the abattoir.

Sikunawa Tshiponga Negumbo, one of the executive directors of KIAT Investment Holdings, told Namibian Sun that they could not go ahead with the abattoir operation due to a skyrocketing electricity bill that went up to N$400 000 a month while the abattoir was not yet operational.

“The abattoir has opened but we have ceased the operation due to high electricity bills. Just during the early months when we started doing the testing the electricity bills was already going high up to N$400 000 a month.

“We decided that we cannot go ahead with such a situation because this bill might go extremely high if we start functioning fully,” Negumbo said.

“We contracted an electricity consultant to establish where the problem was, but they could not get the exact cause.

“We have reported the matter to the agriculture ministry and we are waiting for them to get back to us.”

Namibian Sun could not get comment from the agriculture ministry's executive director, Percy Misika, as he did not answer his cellphone.

Negumbo said KIAT recently secured funding to run the operation, but was waiting for the electricity issue to be sorted out.

He would not say how much money they received and from where.

Before the abattoir was handed over to KIAT, the ministry renovated it.

Inspectors from the ministry of works also visited the abattoir to ensure that everything was in order before KIAT took over.

ILENI NANDJATO

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