Unhappy Omaruru residents demonstrate again

27 Nov 2016 12:10pm
WINDHOEK, 27 NOV (NAMPA) – Residents of Omaruru staged another demonstration on Thursday to pressure the municipality into responding to a petition they handed over last month.
Some of the issues they are unhappy about include the sale of 75 erven to Windhoek developer Ndakalimwe Investments, an alleged lack of transparency around the shortage of water and allocation of land for low-income housing.
The Omaruru Municipality in April this year introduced water restrictions as a precautionary measure in response to the drought being experienced countrywide.
The around 200 residents who demonstrated on Thursday said they have not yet received a response from the council after handing over a petition to deputy mayor Julia Kahuure on 23 October.
They attempted to hand over another petition, but no council officials were present to receive it.
Approached for comment, acting Chief Executive Officer Eliphas Amunyela said they did not receive prior notice of the demonstration. “Besides, I couldn’t receive it as the demonstrators wanted to hand over the petition to the councillors only,” Amunyela said.
Barminus Swartbooi, who represented the residents, showed Nampa their notice to demonstrate, stamped by the municipality on 20 November.
“This is the second time the mayor has refused to receive our queries even though council was notified in advance both times,” Swartbooi said. He said they will now approach the office of the regional governor and the line minister.
Omaruru Mayor Hendrina Gebhardt told this news agency in a telephonic interview on Friday all residents have a right to demonstrate.
“I have seen the first petition; but it was only just tabled for discussion by the council,” she said.
She also noted that they are seeking answers to some of the issues raised in the petition and will revert to the community as soon as possible.