URGENT – Katima land grabbers hold council staff, mayor hostage

KATIMA MULILO: A volatile situation is unfolding at the Katima Mulilo Town Council, where hundreds of illegal land occupants have descended to demand erven.

At the start of business this morning the hundreds of protestors – mostly those who were recently told to vacate the Macaravan east area where they had cleared plots for themselves to build houses – blocked the council gate to stop officials from leaving.

The protestors, which included pregnant women and children, demanded that Katima Mulilo mayor Charles Matengu and the council’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Charles Nawa, who were both locked in their offices, make a collective decision to allocate land to them.

The demonstrations follow a failed “meeting” involving council officials and protestors over the weekend, where the aggrieved parties demanded that they be allocated plots. Should their demands not be met, they would occupy land illegally, without fear of arrest, they said.