Obtain Land Properly – Kafula

WINDHOEK mayor Agnes Kafula has aised people illegally occupying land to refrain from doing so, but to acquire it through proper procedures.

Kafula was speaking yesterday in Otjomuise’s 8ste Laan settlement where the City Police demolished what they termed incomplete illegal shacks.

Kafula said she had come to the settlement to familiarise herself with the situation after the report of the demolition was aired on the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation TV on Tuesday night.

She was flanked by Windhoek chief executive officer Niilo Taapopi, deputy mayor Muesee Kazapua, Khomasdal North constituency councillor Margaret Mensah-Williams, municipality spokesperson Joshua Amukugo and other Swapo party leaders.

Kafula said government is aware that people need land, but that they should be encouraged to apply for it through the right channels and not to grab it illegally.

“They should apply. Their names will be on the list for those waiting for land,” she said, adding: “Even in our rural areas situation, we have demarcated land. You have to go through the headman to acquire the land. You do not just illegally settle on it.”

She also criticised opposition party leaders, pointing out the CoD, RDP and Nudo who tried to stop the police from demolishing the shacks.

“I know this is the time for elections, but we should not use cheap politics to instigate people,” Kafula said.

The demolitions come two days after The Namibian reported that Kafula pushed the Windhoek municipality to donate land to Big Brother Africa winner Dillish Mathews, who won N$3 million last year.

She also lobbied for former Public Service Commission chairperson Teckla Lameck to get land. Her son too – David – got land through a company he co-owns.

City Police chief Abraham Kanime said police on patrol on Saturday discovered the illegal shacks, some of which were incomplete. He said the municipality had to remove them before they increased.

“After some political leaders intervened, we could not continue with the removal otherwise the situation would have gotten out of hand,” he said, adding that now the shacks have been completed, it makes it hard for the police to remove them.

“We don’t arrest them but we fine them a fee of N$2 000 and confiscate their material,” Kanime said, adding that they now have to obtain a court order, and that they are in the process of doing so.

Mensah-Williams said people in her constituency follow procedures because they are educated. “These people are not from my constituency.”

She accused some opposition leaders of breaking the law and encouraging people to break the law. “This is irresponsible

leadership and they should be called to order.”

Some of the informal settlers said they had nowhere to go and had no money to pay rent, while others claimed that they had applied for erven in 2005. Domestic worker Rachel Ndjiharine, mother of five, said she earns N$700 per month and cannot afford rent. She also said her children go to school in the area and cannot relocate.

Nudo’s secretary general Meundju Jahanika confirmed that members of Nudo were on site, but he could not say whether they tried to stop the police, saying they are responsible citizens.

He said the problem was that most people have applied for land but have not received it, “These are people who are hungry for land. Swapo and the Windhoek municipality have failed the people.” CoD and RDP were unreachable during the time of going to print.

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Source : The Namibian