Magistrates’ Court Act to Be Amended

SENIOR citizens like Petrina Sikela of Single Quarters in Katutura, Windhoek, stand to benefit, if the Magistrates’ Court Act 32 of 1944, which authorises executions against people who fail to settle debts, including the sale of immovable properties, is amended.

Section 66 of this Act gives the court the power to pass judgement and an order to seize and sell property as settlement for a debt. Katutura Central councillor Ambrosius Kandjii has moved a motion in the National Council, pushing for the amendment of the Act, which he described as a colonial piece of legislation. Kandjii said people are losing houses because of the implementation of this Act. The councillor singled out municipalities and some banks as institutions that were traumatising people, especially senior citizens.

“We are warning municipalities and some banks to stop this practice, otherwise we are coming for you. Our people cannot suffer like this at the hands of their own people. We are pushing for this Act to be amended so that this painful exercise stops,” Kandjii said.

Sikela (67), said she was very happy to hear that there are moves to amend the Act.

“I was almost evicted last year by the municipality because my water and electricity bills were in arrears. I am a grandmother of 10. They all live with me. Some of them are orphans. I still work because the pension is not adequate.

“Last year, I managed to pay the outstanding amount at the municipality, but I started this year on a bad note. My municipality bill is back to where it was. I have been receiving letters saying if I don’t pay, they will evict me,” Sikela said.

Windhoek Municipality spokesperson Joshua Amukugo said there is nothing they can do if they are to recover what is due to them.

“What else can we do if we need to recover the money owed to the municipality? If everyone fails to pay their bills, we, as the municipality, will be in debt,” Amukugo said.

Source : The Namibian