Sports Ministry, Opuwo in a Tiff Over Land

The Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service and Opuwo Town Council are at each other’s throats after it emerged that a piece of land in the town on which the ministry plans to build a sports stadium might be sold to an investor who wants to put up a shopping mall.

Sports minister Jerry Ekandjo revealed this in the National Assembly last Thursday while responding to questions during the budget vote of his ministry, where some law makers proposed for more sports stadiums to be constructed across the country.

“We will not move from that plot, we already have a structure on the plot and now they want to say we should get another plot. The businessman must get a plot somewhere else, this is the central government we are talking about,” said Ekandjo.

Yesterday Ekandjo told New Era that the ministry’s sports directorate is investigating the matter before briefing him. The town council on Friday told New Era that the plot is yet to be sold and that it is waiting for a directive from the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development as to whom it should sell the plot. Opuwo Mayor Tuarungua Kavari confirmed that an investor and the sports ministry have both applied to buy the land.

“The plot belongs to the town council, therefore we can sell it. We already submitted a request to the minister to sell the plot,” he said.

Kavari refused to disclose the council’s preferred buyer and the value of the land in question, saying: “The sale of land is confidential and it is done at the discretion of the town council but we are aware that we cannot sell land without approval from the minister.”

Ekandjo also stated that the country should start considering making it compulsory for all school leavers to undergo civic training in order to cultivate better citizens.

During the debate, DTA of Namibia president McHenry Venaani proposed that young entrepreneurs be given collateral-free loans to grow their businesses and called on young people in business to work together.

“Our people do not want to share skills because we are trying to be too individualistic and that is one thing that is killing us. That is why foreign companies come here and take tenders, simply because we do not work together,” lamented Venaani. Venaani also called on government to address the issue of state companies having requirements that continue to side-line young Namibians.

“We continue to cry that our youth are unemployed yet you have some parastatals setting requirements such as 10-12 years of experience required, in essence young graduates are already excluded. It does not help. We train our young people but we do not give them the economic benefits,” Venaani said.

Deputy minister of National Planning Commission Lucia Ipumbu proposed that the state compels state-owned enterprises to absorb youth from the National Youth Service.

Source : New Era