Land grabbing headache at Walvis Bay

07 May 2017 13:20pm
WALVIS BAY, 07 MAY (NAMPA) – The police and the local authority at Walvis Bay have their hands full trying to contain the illegal occupying of municipal land.
Land grabbers on Saturday told Nampa they have no other option, adding that high rental fees and a lack of sanitation in Kuisebmond force them to occupy land.
The last land grab by members of the same community took place in April last year.
They said most of them are unemployed yet they are asked to pay N.dollars 1 000 or more for backyard shacks without toilets, forcing them to relieve themselves in the dunes, plastic bags or buckets.
On 02 May, they started erecting tents along Himalaya and Spitzkoppe streets after which the police evicted them.
The removal took place on 03 and 04 May, but they kept coming back and erected permanent shacks on Saturday.
Nehale LyaMpingana Junior, the group leader told this news agency the group consists of about 1 200 landless people, and more are expected to occupy land.
LyaMpingana said they are not violent and that was demonstrated when the police evicted them without any resistance.
He said the land they occupied has been unoccupied for a long time and they asked the municipality to allocate it to them, but there was no response.
In a letter to the municipality on 29 April this year, they asked to temporarily occupy the land.
“They have been ignoring our request, so people decided to occupy the land.”
Community activist Kennedy Iilonga, who was amongst the land grabbers, said this should be seen as their way of showing Government the community is tired and in desperate need of land.
“People are willing to move from here if land is given to them. They will never fight over this piece of land,” Iilonga said.
Municipality spokesperson, Kevin Adams on Saturday said since the occupation is illegal, the police are handling the matter.
He however said for now he cannot comment on the request for temporary land occupation by the residents.
Namibian Police Force (NamPol) regional commander, Commissioner Andreas Nelumbu confirmed the eviction, saying even if there was no eviction notice, the officers performed their duty.
He however said eviction notices will soon be issued after which the erected shacks will be demolished.
“We cannot continue going back and forth with them, this time when we act we will charge them. What they are doing is illegal,” he said.