01 Sep 2016 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 01 SEP (NAMPA) Disputed Erf 1755 in Okahandja belongs to the Okahandja Municipality, its CEO has indicated.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Martha Mutilifa told Nampa on enquiry Thursday afternoon: For now, just follow what the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development is saying (about the ownership of the land).
She said this when approached for comment on who owns the plot after the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) recently claimed it bought the land in December 2014 from the Okahandja Municipality.
However, Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa on 26 August 2016 said the municipality is still the rightful owner of the land used in the past by both the OTA and Maharero Royal House Traditional Authority as the venue to commemorate their fallen heroes and heroines.
The Maharero Royal House termed the alleged sale of the land as immoral, unprocedural and dubious.
It said in a media statement issued on Thursday the land belongs to all Ovaherero people as a collective heritage site.
Spokesperson of the Maharero Royal House, Hirukeri Kaapama alleged that no consultations were held prior to the sale of Erf 1755.
Lawful procedures such as the advertisement for the sale of land for 27 days for concerned parties to raise their objections were never done. How did the municipality of Okahandja sell land to a third party without consulting the Otjiserandu members who have been occupying this piece of land? How do you sell land to a third party at which there are existing structures of the person to whom you have leased the land for 20 years? he asked.
Kaapama further said they need the Commando and the sacred place where the 'holy fire' was located on that erf to continue with their commemorations in future.
He further appealed to Government to come to their rescue, claiming that they are being threatened with violence by members of the OTA should they attempt to commemorate events on Erf 1755.
Kaapama added that all Commandos throughout Namibia never belonged to a particular traditional authority, but to all the Otjiserandu (Red Flag) regiments under the custodianship of its General Field Marshalls.
Commemorations which were planned by the Maharero Royal House for 26 August 2016 on that plot were cancelled after the OTA claimed ownership of the land.
The OTA subsequently started erecting a fence around Erf 1755 to keep out invaders.