Lameck’s Land Bid Blocked

BUSINESSWOMAN Teckla Lameck wants a plot as big as five football fields, and could have it if the mayor of Windhoek Agnes Kafula keeps supporting her efforts.

For now though, Lameck’s pursuit of the land measuring about five hectares (49 000 square metres), has been blocked by the council pending further consultation.

The erf R203 in question is wedged between Andries de Wet Street and Sam Nujoma Drive in the Avis area of Klein Windhoek.

Lameck, a former Public Service Commission chairperson, co-owns Naapopje Trading, which is leading the race for the plot that was one of the main topics at the council meeting. Naapopje means “let them talk” in Oshiwambo.

The other companies vying for the same plot are Green Island Construction Group and RMS Corporate Solutions. Green Island applied in 2013, while RMS Corporate Solutions made their presentation in 2012.

Lameck, who is currently facing charges of corruption, claimed to be the first applicant for the land in 2010, although the municipality said a company called Namibiese Saalperd Vereniging had applied for the plot in 2005.

Lameck, who described herself as a “hardworking previously disaantaged Namibian woman, with impeccable struggle credentials and a philanthropic history”, complained to the municipality in November last year that her application for land has been delayed by city officials.

She listed the beneficiaries of her proposed shopping centre as Tepa Investment – a woman empowerment group with 10%, Grootfontein Football Academy with 10%, the Lameck Family Trust with 20%, and Johana Lintamba, who is a former freedom fighter with 10%.

The other shares will be held by Naapopje Trading with 40% and Tsumeb HIV Family Trust with 10%, while she also promised N$1,2 million to the municipality’s Mayoral Fund.

Lameck and her partners plan to build a shopping centre called Avis Mall to cater for people in areas such as Klein Windhoek, Ludwigsdorf and the Finkenstein Estate. As part of the project, the company wants to construct 120 flats.

The mayor wanted the council to approve the sale of the plot to Lameck’s company on Thursday night, but the management committee gave two options – to give the land to Lameck’s company or put it on public auction – as per council rules, which state that a plot should be put on public tender if there are more than one applicant for the same piece of land.

Kafula publicly supported the idea that the land be given to Lameck’s company.

The mayor’s efforts, however, fell through when the majority of the councillors agreed that the item should be referred back for consultation.

Although Kafula yesterday said she could not comment because she was in a meeting, she has, in the past, denied claims that she has been pushing through deals in favour of her comrades.

“You can’t make someone wait for four years and you come tell them to tender. Why must we play with people’s feelings? Are we really serious?” she asked.

The mayor, however, grilled her management in front of the public, accusing them of losing the applications intentionally.

“I don’t believe that applications had been lost. How can there be no evidence of an application but only that of a response (from the municipality). Have they even applied?” she asked.

Kafula has, in the past, accused some of her staff members of intentionally removing the names of companies from the list of potential investors or pretending that the businesspeople were out of the country while they were, in fact, in the country.

“We do not look at who is who as long as applications meet the requirements,” Kafula said last year.

The mayor is not new to issues regarding the same piece of land after she proposed in 2008, when she was a councillor, that it should be subdivided into portions.

The mayor and Lameck have a controversial past too. The Namibian reported last year that opposition parties in the Windhoek City Council claimed that land allocations in the city were skewed in favour of Swapo Party members.

At that time, Luco Property Developers, a company co-owned by Lameck, received a portion of a controversial plot in the Southern Industrial Area.

The council agreed that a plot close to Hyper Motor City be integrated into the property of Hyper Motor City, in which Lameck was also a shareholder.

The businesswoman plans to work with architects Howard amp Chamberlain and named several South African companies that might be accommodated at the mall.

Source : The Namibian