Nurses evicted from Govt. houses

WINDHOEK: Three nurses were evicted from Government houses along Florence Nightingale Street in the Windhoek North residential area through a court order here on Wednesday.

They were removed to apparently make way for foreign doctors, nurses and pharmacists employed by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

One of the victims, Selma Amakali said they have been receiving letters from the courts to vacate the houses for the past three years, and since they do not have anywhere else to stay they requested the line ministry to find them alternative accommodation while they are looking for houses to live in, but received no response.

She told Nampa during the eviction process that she was very surprised to be evicted, because she is a State nurse and those houses are meant for nurses.

Amakali, who has stayed in that house since 2008, was not impressed with the manner in which those who came to push them out just jumped their fences into their yards.

“Some of our furniture broke during the process of eviction,” she said while expressing frustration with the decision by the ministry and court to kick them out.

The evicted nurses were visibly emotional as they watched their possessions being removed form the houses.

They wanted to know why they are suffering in their own country – the country they fought for during the liberation struggle.

“We had sleepless nights, what did we fight for? Why are we not enjoying the fruits of the country that we fought for,” said the evictees out loud with tears in their eyes.

Amakali, who works at the Katutura Intermediate Hospital, said some Health Ministry employees other than nurses who live on the same street, were spared from eviction, while those who deserve to stay in the houses became the victims.

Some of the victims had stayed in the houses since 2005, paying water, electricity and rent of about N.dollars 1 900.

Amakali stressed that she is a Cassinga survivor and a war veteran, and fought for the country’s independence since she was 18 years old.

The 53-year-old mother said such treatment is really unacceptable as they have been asking for help from the ministry, but nothing materialised.

“This is inhumane. This is not fair from our government; where will I go and stay now with my adopted baby and other children,” she asked, adding that her possessions got spoiled by rain.

The victims requested the government to address the matter quickly, and also urged those who have places for them to stay to assist as soon as possible.

“We are really in need of places to stay; if the public can help we will appreciate their efforts,” said the evictees.

The assistant Sheriff/Messenger of the Court, Carlos Freygang who was sent to oversee the eviction, said the nurses are not allowed to stay in the houses because they receive government housing subsidies.

“They have money to buy houses because they are permanent employees,” he said.

Freygang noted that similar evictions took place on the same day from the Nurses’ Home at the Windhoek Central Hospital, where two Health Ministry administrative workers were illegally staying with university students.

Efforts to get comment from the ministry’s spokesperson Ester Paulus proved futile, as her telephones went unanswered.