Illegal construction continues at Tuhingireni

24 Jul 2014 16:40pm
TUHINGIRENI, 24 JUL (NAMPA) - Another resident of the Tuhingireni informal settlement on the eastern outskirts of Rundu has disobeyed a council notice ordering residents to stop constructing permanent structures here.
Kaghuyu Shikerete has started erecting permanent structures in the area, although the Rundu Town Council has repeatedly warned residents to desist from doing so as they are occupying a portion of land on the town’s farmland number 1329 without its authorisation.
Four officials from the Rundu Town Council were dispatched to the disputed construction site on Tuesday to issue a notice to Shikerete, compelling him to stop constructing a boundary wall around a plot he allegedly settled on without the council’s authorisation.
The officials included the council’s building inspector Karel Wakatuku, law-enforcement officer Paulus Ndingo and firefighters Philip Hausiku and Paulus Mario.
Shikerete, however, refused to accept or sign the notice.
He instead chased the officials away, telling them not to return to “his premises”.
Ndingo told Nampa on Thursday that they returned to the office with the notice, and it has since been forwarded to the council for further action.
Hausiku also confirmed the incident, saying Shikerete told them to move out of ‘his’ area.
The alleged illegal settler told this news agency today that he is not an illegal settler as the land he occupies was apparently legally obtained.
Shikerete, who is a former Rundu town councillor for the Congress of Democrats (CoD), stated that his construction will not be interrupted by anyone.
He added that the land in question is not even serviced and does not have basic services such as water, electricity and sewerage. Thus, the council cannot claim it as theirs.
“If they are ready to kill me, they can do so, but I will never move away from this area. I am a senior citizen of this town as I was born here,” he charged.
He said if the council has any grievances regarding the plot, they should forward such grievances to his lawyer and not to him.
Shikerete further explained that he is busy erecting a boundary wall around the piece of land he claims to own, and intends to construct a retail shop and accommodation facilities to serve the Tuhingireni residents.
The Rundu Town Council’s acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Athanasius Maghumbo, who issued the notice, noted that the council will soon take further action against Shikerete, but refused to specify the nature of such action.
Earlier this month, disgruntled Tuhingireni residents issued demands to the town council to withdraw the court case it had instituted against 13 residents for allegedly illegally settling in the area, and building permanent structures there.
According to documents in possession of this agency, the Rundu Town Council sued the residents, and the case is currently pending in the High Court.
In July last year, the Rundu Town Council notified residents that they were occupying the land without its authorisation.
In May this year, the council again ordered the residents settled in the Tuhingireni area along the Trans-Caprivi Highway to stop erecting permanent structures.
The group further called on the town council to survey the area and sell it to those who reside there, or alternatively to sell the unserviced land to the current occupants at a rate of N.dollars 5 per square metre, similar to the sale of land to a Chinese investor at Rundu.
That investor, Stina Wu, bought 3 517 square metres of land from the Rundu Town Council at a cost of N.dollars 5 per square metre as that land was not serviced.