Shikesho Warns High-Ranking Officials On Land Grabs

WINDHOEK City Police’s senior superintendent Gerry Shikesho says there are number of high-ranking officials and businesspeople in the city organising students and unemployed people to grab land on their behalf.

Shikesho said this during the media briefing called by the City of Windhoek last week, after the recent squatting on Erf R4008, Kitchener Street in Otjomuise.

The affected land is zoned a ‘public open space’ and is of about 1,47 hectares in size. A total of 18 squatters who attempted to settle on the land were removed on Monday.

“At one stage I gathered 70 people who are claiming not to have land and I asked them, ‘how many have structures there?’ Only 25 had their own shacks while most of the illegal structures belonged to the big fish, who in turn let them out to students and homeless people,” he said.

He warned such people to stop the practice.

He said police will further investigate the matter with the help of the public and the media.

Speaking at the same occasion, the municipality’s spokesperson Joshua Amukugo discouraged residents from grabbing land and to instead follow the correct procedures to acquire it. He said illegal practices delay land delivery in the city.

Amukugo said the municipality understands the predicament people find themselves in due to the lack of serviced land in the city.

He said because the municipality cannot allocate unserviced land, this puts a lot of pressure on the city council to service land.

Amukugo said the municipality’s by-laws are clear and anyone who is found contravening them will be dealt with accordingly, adding it is illegal to settle on municipal land without authorisation.

“We are not denying the housing need in the city but we need to follow proper procedures on how to acquire land and not illegally settle just anywhere,” Amukugo said.

He said the Ministries of urban and rural development and land reform are tasked with helping local authorities throughout the country, and facilitate the introduction of a practical, affordable and flexible land tenure system.

– Nampa

Source : The Namibian