Oshakati Open Market vendors protest high rental

23 May 2017 15:50pm
OSHAKATI, 23 MAY (NAMPA) – More than 50 vendors at the Oshakati Open Market (omatala) disagree with the monthly rental fee and on Tuesday staged a peaceful march to demand a reduction.
They gave the town council until 16 June to respond.
“We want Open Market but Not Rental,” read one of the placards carried by the protesting vendors during the march from Oshakati West to the town council offices complex in Oshakati East.
Spokesperson of the group, Martha Lukolo handed their petition to Oshakati Town Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Werner Iita, in front of the complex.
“Oshakati Open Market is too expensive, we cannot afford to pay. We want affordable price please,” Lukolo read their petition letter, adding “rental prices must be reduced”.
They demand the highest monthly rental fee of N.dollars 200 for one of the open market’s large business areas and the least fee of N.dollars 10 for the smaller area where mostly sweets are sold.
The disgruntled vendors claim they pay a monthly rental fee from N.dollar 45 to N.dollars 1 200, on top of the fitness fee that ranges from N.dollars 80 to N.dollars 102 per annum.
“Do you want us to go with empty hands to our children? Are we in an Open Market for poor people or is it municipality business?” the vendors asked the Town Council in the petition.
Iita told the vendors that their protest is a surprise.
“You were supposed first to register your problem with us here before marching, so that the Council will sit, discuss your problem and give you feedback,” he explained after receiving the petition.
Iita promised to present their grievances to the Town Council for consideration.
President Hage Geingob in March 2016 officially inaugurated the Frans Aupa Indongo Oshakati Open Market, where about 250 vendors from the old Open Market were relocated to for the old one to be developed into a modern business facility.
The new omatala is named after prominent business tycoon, Frans Aupa Indongo, who is also from Oshakati.
The Council had invested more than N.dollars 80 million in the construction of the new omatala.