Landless Oshakati residents live on the dead

06 Aug 2016 10:10am
OSHAKATI, 06 AUG (NAMPA) – Landless residents at Oshakati have defied traditional norms and beliefs by erecting their dwellings in the graveyard of the Omahenene informal settlement.
Besides illegally erecting shacks in the graveyard, several residents have put up poles with the intention to fence-off portions of the graveyard land for their own use.
Although the unauthorised squatting and fencing-off of graveyard land is said to be taking place during the night, concerned residents at Omahenene informal settlement told Nampa on Wednesday that a few individuals were spotted illegally demarcating their plots during the day.
A group of five unidentified young men were also found erecting a shack when Nampa visited the graveyard on Wednesday.
Concerned residents this agency spoke to believe that the dire need for residential plots for low-income earners has taken the fear out of building their dwellings in the graveyard.
Asked on Thursday if the Oshakati Town Council is aware of this unauthorised activity, Oshakati Mayor Katrina Shimbulu said the council has passed a resolution banning illegal squatting at the town.
“Our department of planning has been tasked to control illegal squatting and to ensure that those who are making themselves guilty of occupying town land unauthorised are dealt with accordingly,” Shimbulu explained.
She referred Nampa to the head of the planning department, Orestus Shilunga who declined to comment on the matter.
“I am not authorised to comment on queries from the media. Maybe you can talk to the town’s chief executive officer (CEO),” Shilunga replied.
The CEO of Oshakati, Werner Iita was not immediately available for comment as he was in a meeting when contacted on Thursday.