ReconAfrica revives ‘Kavangos’ dreams to be rich’

19 March 2021 | Local News

Kenya Kambowe



RUNDU

Reconnaissance Energy Africa (ReconAfrica) liaison officer Alois Ngende says those against the exploration of oil and gas in the Kavango East Region are hampering the dreams of residents who want to become rich.

Whether people in the affected areas were consulted or not, it’s none of the media’s business, he said.

Ngende, who claims he was a awarded a contract by the Canadian company early this year, has labelled journalists and stakeholders questioning the manner in which ReconAfrica is conducting its affairs as ‘stupid people’ influenced by journalists from western countries.

He further said those concerned with the company’s affairs want to keep Kavango residents in poverty.

“You don’t want Kavangos to realise their dreams to become rich one day,” he fumed.

“What you journalists are doing is that you are trying to kill development in this area.”

Conflict of interests

Ngende made these remarks and many more when contacted regarding allegations of conflict of interest, given that he represents both ReconAfrica and the Shambyu traditional authority.

He clarified that he is not serving on the traditional authority, but only helps out when his services are requested.

Ngende was married to the late leader of the traditional authority, Queen Angelina Matumbo Ribebe, who died in 2015. Claims have been made that his former title has afforded him power over the community.

He has been at ReconAfrica’s public engagements and has in the past assured stakeholders that the company did everything by the book to acquire its licence to drill and complete its Environmental Impact Assessment.

Some members of the community have described his employment at the company as a move to shut down their concerns.

When contacted for comment, ReconAfrica spokesperson Claire Preece confirmed that Ngende does work for the company, however, he is not directly employed by ReconAfrica but through a third-party company, she said.

Preece could not reveal which company recruited Ngende on their behalf.

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