Ukwangali residents in land dispute with Kandjimi Murangi school

27 Mar 2015 11:20am
NANKUDU, 27 MAR (NAMPA)- A land dispute that evolved between some Ukwangali residents and the Kandjimi Murangi Secondary School is now in the hands of the traditional and regional authorities.
The school is situated some 120km west of Rundu in the Kavango West Region’s newly created Tondoro Constituency.
About three residents who have been staying on a plot adjacent to the school are claiming ownership of the land saying, the late leader of the Ukwangali Traditional Authority, Chief Sitentu Mpasi, legally allocated it to them.
The school’s management claims that the concerned residents settled in an area that forms part of the school’s premises.
One of the affected residents, who has set up a temporary structure on the disputed piece of land, Toivo Hausiku, told this agency on Thursday that he was a learner at the school since 1983 and thus knows for a fact that the land in question does belong to the school but also that he together with others were legally allocated the piece of land by the late leader noting, “We settled adjacent to the school fence but not inside the school.”
The employee of NamWater indicated that he would only be ready to relocate and pave way for development of the school when he is compensated for his infrastructure.
Effort by this agency to obtain comments from the other affected residents were fruitless but it was however established that some have already erected permanent structures soon after they were allegedly allocated the piece of land.
Approached for comment on Thursday, the secondary school Principal Alberth Mutesi said school management visited the late traditional authority leader last year in order to find an amicable solution to the dispute when the late Mpasi promised to look into the problem but that never happened.
Mutesi said the school would soon erect a fence around its premises, which will subsequently place the three residents inside the school’s property.
The disputed piece of land was a farming unit for the school before independence, but it became redundant after independence in 1990. The affected residents in their counter claims however are alleging that soldiers before independence previously used the disputed area as a military camp.
Ukwangali Chiefs’ Council member, Mbandu Hawanga, told this agency on Thursday that the traditional authority is aware of the dispute as they already had two meetings with the school board to discuss the problem.
Hawanga stated that the piece of land in question legitimately belongs to the school and that the traditional authority had never allocated it to any individuals. The disputed area apparently previously had more that 30 squatters but most of them obeyed their eviction and relocated.
“We went from house to house telling them to vacate from the area and some obeyed to vacate but a few didn’t agree,” he said.
Hawanga noted that soon after the coronation of the new Ukwangali Chief, this land dispute was set as a priority on the agenda of the Chief’s Council. He could not specify when the next meeting to address the land dispute is scheduled for.
Meanwhile, renovations on the dilapidated Kandjimi Murangi Secondary School that was established in the early 1970s finally got underway after many years of neglect.
A N.dollars 70,7 million tender was awarded to Kayofa Investment Company, a Namibian company.
The renovations that will be done in three phases and are expected to be completed in about 30 months, include repairing the school’s accommodation facilities and classrooms, and erecting a new fence.
The Kandjimi Murangi Secondary School runs from Grade Eight to 12, and has 479 learners.