Swakop Land Grabbers in No Show

The Swakopmund residents whose self-proclaimed leader this week said would start building houses on illegally occupied land into the resort town yesterday did not do so as the police in the area vowed not to tolerate lawlessness.

The Namibian Police Deputy Commissioner for the Erongo region, Andreas Nelumbu warned the illegal land occupiers that those caught breakimg the law would be firmly dealt with.

In December last year approximately 600 residents began marking plots for themselves and had planned to start buiding on the disputed land yesterday, according to Gothard Kandume, the leader of the Christian Democratic Voice (C). The land is located between Hanganeni Primary School and the Democratic Resettlement Community (DRC) informal settlement in Swakopmund.

Yesteday Nelumbu said that Nampol would not allow anyone to disturb the country’s peace and stability.

However, Kandume yesterday told New Era that he was mobilising more Swakopmund residents through radio. He insisted that they would now start erecting structures today.

However, Nelumbu said that laws are made to maintain peace and every citizen is obliged to act within those laws.

“If you overstep these laws, be prepared to face the wrath of the law as we are ready to deal with anyone that wants to disturb national peace,” Nelumbu told New Era yesterday.

He, however said the police could not act until someone tried to build on the contested land.

“We must also take into account that this issue is complex. Although a case of trespassing was registered, one cannot really be charged for trespassing a public area. However, the council and municipality are being aised on how to tackle the issue,” Nelumbu explained.

His suspicion was that the potential land grabbers were aware about the legal consequences related to illegal land occupation, hence the aparent cat and mouse game.

“They are aware of all the legal jargon and play cat and mouse. They know that they will legally be in trouble if they start building,” Nelumbu explained.

He added that the illegal occupiers should also take in consideration that everyone wants land.

“Now if they take ownership of that piece of land for 600 people, what happens to the rest of the people that also need land? These are all situations they need to consider before resorting to such action,” he said.

When contacted for comment, the Mayor of Swakopmund, Juuso Kambueshe, said the land issue was a serious matter as it threatened national security.

“I cannot really comment on the matter as the Governor, Cleophas Mutjavikua, is the right person to speak to,” he told New Era yesterday.

Although Mutjavikua could not be reached yesterday, he earlier this week told Nampa that the about 600 people who had illegally occupied land at Swakopmund would not be allowed to erect structures on the invaded land.

The Governor also said that any attempt to put up shacks on the land would result in forceful removal.

Mutjavikua told Nampa that Kandume’s ‘publicity stunt’ would not be tolerated.

“This is someone who lost the elections and wants to remain visible. It is just a publicity stunt he is busy with. The truth is that they will never be allowed to illegally settle on that land,” he said then.

Source : New Era