No Progress With Swakop ‘Land Grab’

NO structures have been erected, nor was any of the Swakopmund ‘land grabbers’ in sight on Wednesday, leaving a growing impression on political and police leaders and the general public that the movement was ‘more talk than walk’.

Since 17 December 2014 Christian Democratic Voice president Gotthard Kandume threatened on various occasions that he and hundreds of desperate residents who have allegedly applied for land from the municipality more than a decade ago (without receiving any) would start building their houses on their grabbed erven. The last date that this would have happened was yesterday.

When The Namibian visited the site, there was neither a single grabber, nor a single structure – just lines drawn on the ground and cornered off with stacked stones and wooden signs where the ‘erven’ were claimed.

Acting Chief of Erongo Police, deputy Commissioner Andreas Nelumbu said it was not considered illegal occupation (land grab) yet, because “they are just drawing on the ground and saying these are their erven”.

“They are just playing games. No structures have been erected. We are monitoring [the situation] though. It is when they start erecting structures that we will step in,” he said.

Nelumbu’s comments echo Erongo governor Cleopas Mutjavikua’s comments carried in reports yesterday when he said: “There is and was no land grab. No land grabbing exercise occurred in Swakopmund.”

Mutjavikua previously told The Namibian that if the grabbers are serious, they must act serious: not just stones, and poles and lines on the ground. The law will take its course on those who break it.

Kandume claims that they are tired of talking and that the only authority they would listen to is President-elect Hage Geingob.

He told this newspaper that the grabbers would have their houses up before the schools start next week, and that the municipality must service the land they claimed.

“We will not pay for the land, but we will pay for the services,” he had said.

Source : The Namibian