Walvis Bay illegal occupants out on warning

04 Apr 2016 15:40pm
WALVIS BAY, 04 APR (NAMPA) - Four men charged with malicious damage to property following a violent confrontation between the police and landless residents of Walvis Bay on Saturday were Monday released on warning after their first appearance in court.
They are Immanuel Huseb, 41; Immanuel Nkuumbuli 41; Willem Shooya, 24; and Mulike Mulike, 38.
The warning came with the condition that they return to the Walvis Bay Magistrate court on the 02 June 2016 after police investigations into the matter is expected to be completed.
Namibian Police Force (NamPol) spokesperson Inspector Slogan Matheus told Nampa on Monday the fifth suspect is still in the Katutura State Hospital and in a stable condition.
“He will come before court once he is released. We are not sure when he will be out.”
The five men are part of hundreds others who illegally marked plots in Tutaleni settlement on Friday and Saturday, following their eviction last week from a property in the same settlement that belongs to Government and is earmarked for the construction of a police station.
As police tried to evict them from their marked plots at the weekend, the group became violent forcing the police to use rubber bullets to control the situation.
During the confrontation, some of the Tutaleni Police Station’s windows and about four police vehicles’ windscreens were broken when illegal land occupiers threw stones.
Shooya and Huseb opted to apply for State funded legal aid while Nkuumbuli and Mulike wish to conduct own defence.
Magistrate John Liwoyo Sindano presided on the matter with Prosecutor Eunice Nambahu representing State.
In the meantime, NamPol managed to control the situation by instructing all illegal land occupiers to remove their structures by Monday and by Monday morning, NamPol Commander for Erongo Region, Commissioner Andreas Nelumbu accompanied by about 70 police officers were guarding the land previously seized.
The situation has since returned to normal.
Responding to the question of what will happen to evicted landless currently sleeping in the streets with small children, Walvis Bay Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Muronga Haingura said the municipality Sunday started consulting on the matter.
“We met and will continue with the committee representing such evicted people to see how we can assist the people. Our waiting list has more than 10 000 applications for land but we have to address the situation, by following the land allocation plans already in place,” said Haingura.
He made it clear the committee will provide a list of those in immediate need of land, especially the ones evicted last week Tuesday and currently sleeping in the streets.
“We need to address that matter, we cannot just turn our backs on them. The rest of the people are renting somewhere and grabbed land in solidarity to those evicted.”