Mushrooming of shebeens a concern at Outjo

Some Outjo residents on Thursday expressed their frustration with the fast increasing number of shebeens in the informal settlements at the town.

A group of concerned residents told Nampa in an interview on Thursday that these shebeens are allegedly all illegal and only operate at night.

A 39-year-old Wilbard Jason said an informal settlement known as Ohangwena at the town has more than 60 illegal shebeens built with zinc sheet materials and hard to identify as a shebeen as most of them only operates at night and looks like the normal shack made houses for the residential purposes found in the area.

Jason said over 50 other illegal shebeens built with the zinc sheets are also operating in Camp Four and Camp Five informal settlements at the town.

We have five others in Soweto just to mention a few. We cannot sleep at night and our children cannot study either due to the heavy noise coming from all over the informal settlements, he said.

Another concerned resident, Abraham Debruin, 50, said in his street in Camp Five every second shack made house has a shebeen.

We cannot go on like this. We cannot take it anymore. The crime mostly stabbings and the use of drug substances are also high at these illegal shebeens. We need an urgent help from our Government systems, he said.

Margret Peiter, a former local authority councillor at the Outjo Municipality said most of the illegal shebeens in her area are owned by police officers, a case which makes it difficult for the law enforcement officers to regulate or control these businesses.

Outjo Municipality Public Relations' Officer, Bokkas Mazenge on his part on Thursday said the municipality is fully aware of these shebeens in the informal areas.

We are now busy to identify owners of these plots where these illegal shebeens are, so that we officially order them to demolish such businesses, said Mazenge.

He further added that all plots in the informal areas were created and allocated for residential purposes only, not for the construction of a shebeen or a cucashop.

Mazenge said in January this year his office took stock of these illegal shebeens and more than 80 shack made building houses were identified to be operating as liquor outlets.

He said the Ohangwena, Soweto, Camp Four and Camp Five informal settlements has a population over 3 000 people mostly pensioners and children who needs protection.

Source: Namibia Press Agency