Church locks out tenants at Okahao

01 Oct 2015 19:50pm
OKAHAO, 01 OCT (NAMPA) – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN)’s local administrator, Auguste Shikalepo locked out residents of ELCIN houses at Okahao in the Omusati Region on Monday and Tuesday.
The lockout is a result of outstanding rent by these tenants since March this year.
The residents, who are police officers, teachers, nurses, cleaners and shopkeepers, found new locks on the doors of their houses when they returned from work on Monday afternoon.
Spokesperson of the residents, Loide Shikongo said they were locked out until Tuesday afternoon.
They were allowed access to their houses after they approached the local commander of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) to intervene.
“The medicine of some of us was locked in the houses, hence our decision to approach the local NamPol commander to ask them to open the houses,” Shikongo explained.
She noted that the church’s leadership allowed them access to the houses, provided that a meeting between residents and the local ELCIN leadership is arranged.
More than 70 residents have been affected by the lockout, with the reason being that all of them declined to pay the rental fee of N.dollars 500 per month from March this year, up from N.dollars 190 per month.
The residents refused to pay the increased fee, because they first want the houses renovated and for them to be provided with proper toilet and bathing facilities.
“The buildings that we are living in are in a bad state and we share the toilets and bathrooms, which are even dilapidated,” the residents told journalists.
They claimed the church was last November asked to improve the situation, but nothing was done.
“We decided not to pay the increased rental fee before they meet our demands for the houses to be renovated and provision of proper bathrooms made,” said Shikongo.
Shikalepo declined to comment on the matter when Nampa contacted her telephonically on Wednesday.
“I am not the spokesperson,” she said and hung up the phone. She continues to ignore phone calls from this agency.