Youth Speak On Their Agony Over Land

Many young Namibians who participated in the land demonstration at the Windhoek Municipality spoke painfully of how they are priced out of reach of land and houses in Windhoek and urged authorities to find remedy soon.

New Era spoke to some landless youths on the sidelines of the mass application for houses and plots on Friday when thousands gathered to submit applications for land under the ‘Affirmative Repositioning’ movement, led by former Swapo Party Youth League spokesperson Job Amupanda.

One of them, 31-year-old Zembi Mbakunguna, said he joined the mass demonstration and application for housing because although he is employed he cannot afford to buy a house because of the skyrocketing housing prices in the country.

Mbakunguna said he tried on two occasions to buy a plot at a Windhoek municipal auction recently but his dream of owning a home was shattered by the high prices the plots went for.

“I only qualify for N$480 000 to buy a house,” he said. But at a recent auction that he attended the cheapest plot was sold for N$860 000 and the highest for N$1.3 million.

“Imagine these were plots meant for people with low income. I work for government and yet I can’t afford a plot -how about other youth who are not as privileged as I am?” he queried.

Another young man, 29-year-old Petrus Fillipus said he applied for land in 2009 but had not received any favourable response. He adds that he enquired about his application twice this year.

“Whenever I come and enquire they just say there is no serviced land,” said Fillipus.

Naftali Ninda, 27, said he has not applied for land through the municipality.

Instead, he opted to buy a house through real estate agents but it was unsuccessful because the prices were too high, he explained. He said the municipality should take the land issue seriously.

“It’s a big issue and it cannot be compromised. It has to be taken seriously. At least they should service land for the people because when poor people erect illegal shacks they demolish them which is not fair,” he said.

People came from all walks of life to hand in applications for plots with hopes that they would get a favourable response.

Veronica Ainima said she took part in the mass demonstration and application on behalf of her children who could not be there. “I have children who are youths. They need land and that is why I came to support the youth,” said Ainima.

Demonstrators chanted “we want land, we want land”. Some jokingly demanded to see City of Windhoek Mayor, Agnes Kafula, saying: “I want to see MeeKafula so that my application can be processed first,” said one demonstrator.

Source : New Era