Ex-inmate homeless after shack demolition

WINDHOEK - A former inmate of the Windhoek Correctional Facility who was trying to get back on his feet claims he is destitute after the City of Windhoek property management division confiscated his corrugated-zinc shack about three weeks ago in Agste Laan.

The 47-year-old Andries Werner Kaseb stated his shack was demolished despite he having resided in the area for about three years.

His shack was demolished together with other newly erected similar structures at the plot behind a government high school in the area.

A local daily newspaper reported that the city's property management division demolished close to 30 shacks last month � which included Kaseb's shack that he shared with his four-year-old daughter.

Kaseb has been raising his daughter alone following her mother's death when she was bumped by a car two and half years ago. His corrugated-zinc sheets, clothes, pots and other belongings were confiscated by property management officials during the demolition, he alleged.

According to Kaseb he was released from the correctional facility in 2014 after spending 27 years behind bars and was in the process of getting on his feet.

But now without a roof over his head, he tells New Era he sleeps wherever sunsets finds him. He consumes rotten fruits he gets from street vendors, he said.

I just need a place over my head. A place that I can call home and live a normal life, said Kaseb, adding that his daughter has since been taken in by a friend.

At the moment, Kaseb said, he is jobless but moves around Windhoek looking for work as he was trained as panel beater at the correctional facility. He also does spray painting and fitting, he shares.

Kaseb said he has been to State House to talk to President Hage Geingob about his predicament but nobody listened and he was instead loaded into a police van and dropped off in town.

I also made an appointment with the Prime Minister [Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila] and up to now nothing came out of it, said Kaseb, who decided to approach the media about his fate.

Following his release from prison, Kaseb said, he was sleeping in a pipe close to the area where he erected his shack.

He said that when he was released he went looking for his family but things have changed and the place looks different.

Prior to his arrest before independence, he lived on a farm which is now called Goreangab � a residential area in Katutura.

He said he could not trace his mother Leena !Hannabes //Gases and his sister Hanna Mitatite after he was released from prison.

It was difficult in the beginning but everything was beautiful and nice; there was no money but when I got a job through mA�me Sarah Elago of Turning Point Namibia, I built myself a place, stated Kaseb.

Kaseb then met a girlfriend, the mother of his daughter. But unfortunately, she passed on.

On lighter note, although trying to make ends meet, Kaseb said he is enjoying food outside prison. He jokes that he loves cooldrink, chocolate and chicken. If you drink (cooldrink) you don't want to finish it because it's very nice, he said laughingly, adding that he mostly drank tea at the correctional facility.

City of Windhoek spokesperson Harold Akwenye said he would seek information from the property management division regarding the process of getting back one's confiscated corrugated-zinc sheets.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia