Namoloh Intervenes in Okahandja Saga

– The Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development has intervened in the shenanigans at the Okahandja Town Council, with instructions to the Governor of Otjozondjupa Region, Samuel Nuuyoma, to investigate complaints and allegations made against Okahandja councillors. The minister, (Rtd) Major General Charles Namoloh said the town council has been given three months to give feedback on issues affecting the running of the town.

“We will leave no stone unturned, like in the Omaruru Town Council case. It may take time, but we won’t tolerate unruly behaviour,” said the minister this week. Namoloh suspended the Omaruru council last December for failing to follow directives from his office after several irregularities were unearthed.

Governor Nuuyoma, Nampol’s Otjozondjupa Regional Commander, Commissioner Joseph Anghuwo, Okahandja Police Chief Inspector Wuugulu, the Okahandja Mayor Valerie Aron, Okahandja Regional Councillor Steven Bantu Boois, other town councillors and the Okahandja Community Committee held protracted meetings on Tuesday to iron out issues affecting the town council.

Staff members of the municipality were also asked to list their grievances. Namoloh said ministerial staff who also attended the meeting were to brief him on what is really going on in the town.

He however questioned why the community did not forward their complaints to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). “There are many complaints and petitions. We do not know who is telling the truth,” he said, cautioning that sometimes it could be individual or personal feuds with the one party wanting to take revenge against the other.

But the Okahandja Community Committee maintains the ACC is in possession of various reports of their pleas for remedy of the “unsavoury state of affairs in Okahandja”.

“At best the highest legislative authority of our country ignores the reports of the community,” read the statement of the community committee.

Allegations against the municipality include the alleged sale of Okahandja riverbed sand to Chinese businessmen without any proper municipal procedure and the erven saga, which involves the suspicious rezoning of the Okahandja mayor’s erven that is allegedly public property.

Other issues include the alleged illegal allocation of unserviced land to councillor Andries Bezuidenhout, the real value of a plot sold to Tura Properties for N$551 350.67, alleged favouritism and nepotism in the municipality, misuse of municipal property and many more.

The community of Okahandja are demanding that councillors vacate their offices voluntarily and that a forensic investigation be conducted of the allegations made.

The community want to see an integrated development plan for the local authority and a land audit report. They also demand land for the people of Okahandja and a price determination for all erven and land sold to individuals, contractors and developers.

Johannes Venter, chairperson of the Okahandja Community Committee, said they would continue with protests against irregularities at the town.

Last week disgruntled residents of Okahandja took to the streets to protest the Okahandja Town Council’s alleged unfairness when it comes to land allocation and the slow pace at which development is taking place in the small town.

The residents, many whom have been complaining about the same issues over the past years, reiterated their dissatisfaction over servicing of land, which they say is taking too long.

They complained that erven were being sold to developers, while some councillors were being given priority to buy land, only to build houses that they sell for exorbitant prices.

Source : New Era