Rundu residents defy council orders to vacate land

26 Sep 2013 08:50
TUHINGIRENI, 26 SEP (NAMPA) - Residents of the Tuhingireni informal settlement on the outskirts of Rundu are defying the Rundu Town Council’s orders to vacate the portion of land which council says they are occupying illegally.
The town council notified the over 80 residents to vacate the land, which they are illegally occupying since 01 July this year.
It said in a letter issued to the residents that they have discovered that they were occupying a portion of land on Rundu town farmland number 1329 without its authorisation.
The people were thus cautioned to immediately vacate the land, while failure to do so would result in legal action.
The disputed land is situated alongside the Trans-Caprivi Highway on the eastern outskirts of Rundu.
Nampa visited the area on Thursday, where some illegal occupants have already set up permanent structures, while others have fenced-off portions of the land for future developments.
Some of the affected residents this reporter spoke to vowed to stay put, with some arguing that they previously had mahangu fields on the same land.
The disputed land is not serviced, with no basic services such as water, electricity and sewerages.
Included in the group are some prominent people, such as the town council’s former Congress of Democrats’ (CoD) and All People’s Party (APP) member Mathew Wakudumo.
Wakudumo confirmed today that he had received an eviction letter, but indicated that he, like the rest of the residents, will continue to stay on the land.
“We will stay on the land, and if they want to sell it, they must just evaluate it and tell us the price,” he stated.
Residents are increasingly petitioning against the Rundu Town Council, with the latest being the residents of Rundu’s Millennium suburb in Ndama Extension 1, who on Tuesday drafted a petition against the Town Council’s decision to rezone a public open space into a business area.
The residents have been complaining that the public open space is not conducive for commercial purposes, and they fear that the businesses which will be established there will only serve to invite social evils to the suburb.
The Rundu Town Council plans to construct a shopping complex on a piece of land which was previously zoned as a public open space.