Govt. attorneys called in to push for farm evictions

18 Dec 2014 17:10pm
KATIMA MULILO, 18 DEC (NAMPA) – The Zambezi Regional Council has turned to Government attorneys to evict about 80 families who have defied an order to vacate Farm Katima in the Wenela area.
This was confirmed by the chairperson of the council’s management committee, Raphael Mbala on Thursday when Nampa contacted the council to establish the current situation of the farm’s residents who have defied several eviction orders issued to them between January and June this year.
The eviction orders were served on the residents, who are illegally occupying the farm’s dilapidated houses, storerooms and warehouses, as the council is paving way for a green scheme project earmarked to start in 2015. The project is to be known as the Liselo Green Scheme.
Mbala told this agency that the continued defiance of the orders resulted in the council roping in the help of Government attorneys and the Windhoek High Court to evict the residents, because they are delaying the start of phase one of the project.
He said feasibility studies of the multi-million dollar project under the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry have been concluded, including the land surveying of the area to build new houses for the green scheme staff and managers.
“The continued defiance is not just in bad faith for the region, but bad for the country as this is a national project meant to benefit all Namibian citizens. The project is part of government’s development agenda,” Mbala said.
He added that the residents are also taking advantage of the dispute between the regional council and Katima Mulilo Town Council under whose jurisdiction the area falls.
However, Mbala remained adamant that the regional council has the title deeds of the 2 500-hectare plot.
“The fight over who legally owns the area has been going on for years. The local authority is aware that the title deed of the area belongs with the regional council.
In recent months, we have noted that the town council is in support of the residents defying our legal request that they move from the farm, but all this will be a thing of the past soon,” he said confidently.
According to the ministry’s plans, N.dollars 8 million is budgeted for the feasibility study and the redesigning of the farm. The project is aimed at promoting food security for the country and will consist of maize, wheat and vegetables, depending on the weather patterns of the region.
When Nampa visited the farm on Wednesday, some residents said they will not vacate as they want to be incorporated as employees in the green scheme project.
They have since appealed to the town council to provide them with access to water and electricity which has been cut off since 2010.
“We will not move. If the project kicks off while we are still occupying these houses, chances are we will be given preference for employment. It is a chance we are willing to see through.
Currently, we are still awaiting response to be connected to municipal services. We live under inhumane circumstances with no water purification tablets and mosquito nets, and continue to draw water directly from the Zambezi River,” said Mutinta Mowa.