Omatando land-grabbing continues

17 Dec 2014 13:20pm
ONGWEDIVA, 17 DEC (NAMPA) – The town of Ongwediva is beset with a serious land grabbing problem in its Omatando section, where residents are putting up makeshift housing structures haphazardly without permission from the town council.
The town’s Public Relations Officer, Andreas Utoni confirmed the grabbing of land and the setting-up of illegal housing structures at Omatando during an interview with Nampa on Monday.
“They are putting up structures without the blessing of the council,” said Utoni.
A few years ago, the Ongwediva Town Council resolved to deal with the unauthorised construction of houses at Omatando by demolishing all the illegal structures there.
However, the council’s decision was met with great resistance by a group of Omatando residents who, at the same time, threatened town council officials with physical injury if they attempt to break down their houses.
Some residents even threatened to take legal action against the town council if the demolishing were to go ahead.
The Omatando area was previously occupied by traditional homesteads before the Ongwediva Town Council declared it part of the town a few years ago, as it wanted to expand the town’s boundaries.
Utoni said the town council has not given up on the idea of including Omatando in the town’s boundaries, and they have in fact set aside funds in the 2014/15 financial year for the formalisation of that area.
“We will start with the formalisation of Omatando soon, and all those who have put up illegal structures there will regret it,” he said, when asked whether the town council has finally surrendered Omatando area to members of the community.
The residents of Omatando are putting up their housing structures without any consideration for the construction of streets and sewer lines.