Mayor, CEO in shack bulldozing battle

October 6, 2014, 1:39pm

Mayor, CEO in shack bulldozing battle

Okahandja mayor Valerie Aron has launched a scathing attack on the town’s chief executive officer Frans Enkali, who she accused of keeping councillors in the dark about his plans to bulldoze illegal shacks.
Aron, who was in the company of council chairperson Simon Mieze when Namibian Sun interviewed her last week, said Enkali’s utterances about bulldozing shacks was aimed to instigate, confuse and cause havoc among the community.
“We distance ourselves from this and we view it as an individual strategy of the CEO to sabotage the progress of the council,” she said.
Aron said council members were also not aware that hundreds of shacks have been sprayed with the word “remove”, adding that no resolution was passed to mandate Enkali to forge ahead with such plans. “The council has been kept in the dark with regard to the demolition plans. Enkali did not consult the council when he made such a statement. Enkali does not stay in Okahandja and neither does he familiarise himself with the dirtiness, darkness and living conditions of Okahandja communities,” Aron said.

The mayor’s verbal attack Enkali telling Namibian Sun earlier that the illegal shacks would be demolished, as the council aims to eradicate the mushrooming of informal settlements and land invasions.
Enkali said the shack dwellers had not yet been given notice of the date of demolition and adding that the illegal structures will be removed because they were erected without council approval.
Aron told Namibian Sun plans to demolish the shacks at five informal settlements were never communicated to councillors.
“The council has been kept in the dark with regard to the demolition plans. Enkali did not consult the council when he made such a statement. Enkali does not stay in Okahandja and neither does he familiarise himself with the dirtiness, darkness and living conditions of Okahandja communities,” Aron said.
She appealed to the communities living in informal settlements to remain calm, as council puts in place a plan to address the shortage of serviced plots at the town.
“Council does not encourage residents to occupy municipal land illegally, however, council believes in proper planning and thorough consultations that will ensure everlasting solutions,” Aron added.
Recently, following a Swapo rally held at the town, some residents told Namibian Sun they would defy the demolition order, because some of them had already paid N$1 000 to be connected to water and electricity meters.
They added that the absence of municipal services at Five Rand informal settlement has left many of them living in inhumane conditions, as they have to relieve themselves in nearby bushes.
At the rally Swapo, youth wing leader Elijah Ngurare said government should allocate plots to the “landless masses”.
Ngurare urged leaders to put a moratorium on the removal of illegal shacks and to allocate each squatter a plot instead.
Aron also addressed the rally in her capacity as Swapo district coordinator, where she urged members to be weary of provocation during election campaign time.

Faith Sankwasa Namibian Sun