Swapo Threatens to Recall City Councillors – Party Rolls Out Probe Into Land Dealings

The government and the ruling party Swapo yesterday issued separate warnings to the leadership of the City of Windhoek to refrain from dodgy land dealings and to apply wisdom when dealing with land grabbing by desperate landless masses.

Swapo, which said it has instituted a probe into land dealings in Windhoek, went as far as stating that it will recall councillors who fail to serve Namibians with dignity.

The party says it will not sit idle while councillors drag its name through the mud.

Swapo Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba yesterday called an urgent press conference to communicate the ruling party’s stance regarding reports implicating Windhoek mayor Agnes Kafula in a string of questionable land deals.

Although no specific mention of Kafula’s name was made, Mbumba warned that Swapo “will not associate itself with irresponsible people with their irresponsible actions”.

Kafula dominated headlines this week amid reports that her son David Kafula – aged 26 – has acquired land from the Windhoek Municipality for N$5 million. The land was worth about N$8 million, reports say.

Kafula is also reported to have aocated a free donation of prime land to Dillish Matthews – Namibia’s winner of last season’s Big Brother Africa (BBA) reality television show.

The mayor was also said to have campainged vigorously for the allocation of large tracts of land to an entity owned by, among others, Teckla Lameck.

In sharp contrast, seven illegal shacks were demolished by the Windhoek Municipality this week in the Otjomuise area. Several families were left homeless, a situation that provoked the wrath of Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob yesterday.

Geingob issued a statement yesterday in which he questioned the timing of the municipality’s decision to demolish the shacks.

Mbumba yesterday issued a stern warning to councillors representing the ruling party on the Windhoek City Council to desist from implicating themselves in dodgy land deals.

“If one is not prepared to serve the people of this country with dignity, I urge them not to avail themselves for political office,” said Mbumba.

“City councillors must conduct themselves in a dignified manner, especially in the manner they handle land-related issues, the application and allocation thereof.

“There are certain senior officials in the City of Windhoek who are hell-bent on bringing Swapo Party down,” he said without mentioning names.

Those who are not prepared to serve people with dignity should not bother availing themselves for political office, Mbumba urged.

He charged that these individuals plan and authorise the demolition of people’s houses without consultation of the authority under which they serve.

Mbumba also used the opportunity to condemn the suspected involvement of certain opposition politicians in the Otjomuise land grabs.

“I am referring especially to leaders from the CoD, APP and other opposition parties who have been frequenting the area, where the purported demolition took place,” he said.

In a separate statement Geingob expressed disappointment with the “hostile” decision taken by the City Police to remove shacks in Otjomuise.

Geingob said although he does not condone illegal occupation of land, the timing of this action is ill-aised and highly premature.

“After all, these squatters are not the only ones that exist, so the question is why now,” the PM said, adding that the issue of squatting is a longstanding one and will take a principled decision to solve.

“As I have said on countless occasions, government is hard pressed to find a solution to the issue of land and housing in Namibia,” he said.

The issue of land is complicated more by pressure caused by urban migration, the PM said.

To solve the land puzzle, said Geingob, the country needs a holistic and comprehensive approach devoid of political opportunists and unproductive rhetoric and bickering.

Geingob said as a country in a developmental stage, Namibia is committed to addressing the plight of the needy and disenfranchised.

He cautioned those who are taking dodgy actions, inaertently or otherwise, that they will have an unfortunate consequence of pitting government against the poor at a time when the country should be pulling in one direction.

Source : New Era