Walvis CEO blamed for land grabbing

05 Apr 2016 10:50am
WALVIS BAY, 05 APR (NAMPA) – The AR movement is blaming the eviction of about 100 people at Walvis Bay on the town council’s Chief Executive Officer Muronga Haingura, saying the situation could have been avoided by temporarily allocating land.
Before the illegal mass occupation last Friday that turned violent on Saturday, about 100 landless residents were evicted from a plot in front of the !Nara Primary School in Tutaleni last week Tuesday.
They illegally erected their shacks on the land belonging to the Ministry of Works and Transport as they said they have nowhere to live.
This group and a number of others started occupying land behind Tutaleni on Saturday, which led to the clash with the police who tried to evict them.
Some informed Nampa last Tuesday they want the municipality and the police to stop the eviction and give them enough time to discuss a request for land with the municipality to settle on, as they have nowhere to go.
Youth activist Job Amupanda at the weekend posted on Facebook that the situation could have been avoided if Haingura had listened to advice from the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) coordinators that they must not evict people, but instead pre-allocate land to them or settle them somewhere temporarily.
“Our coordinators in Walvis Bay advised the CEO not to evict people, but they never listened. Politicians learn to listen and stop ‘zigzagging’, otherwise you will be responsible when this country burns. We already told them to pre-allocate land. Is this Harambee?” he asked, referring to the Harambee Prosperity Plan that is aimed at significantly reducing poverty levels in the country.
Amupanda confirmed his statements to Nampa on Sunday.
Haingura on Monday acknowledged that the AR coordinators spoke to him but said this was last year and not recently; the illegal land occupiers started erecting their structures in December 2015.
“I informed Amupanda that the land occupied belongs to the Ministry of Works and Transport, but he asked what the municipality can do to help the people. I said he must speak to the owners of the land because it is not our land.”
Haingura added that in terms of the eviction, the law was followed.
The CEO further explained the land occupied on Saturday is also not municipal land but belongs to the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) and Elgin Brown and Hamer Namibia (EBH).
After a violent confrontation between the police and the illegal land occupiers on Saturday, which resulted in injuries and damaged property, the group removed their structures on Monday following instructions by the police.
On the question of what will happen to the evicted landless currently sleeping on the street with small children, 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.”
He made it clear the committee will provide the list of those in immediate need of land, especially the ones evicted last Tuesday.
“We need to address the matter, we cannot just turn our backs on them. The rest of the people are already renting places somewhere and just grabbed land in solidarity with those evicted.”