Oshakati residents grab land without authorisation

25 Oct 2013 13:00pm
OSHAKATI, 25 OCT (NAMPA) – Some residents of Oshakati, especially at the Uupindi informal settlement, have grabbed unoccupied town land and illegally allocated themselves portions of land since August this year.
Spokesperson of the Oshakati Town Council, Jackson Muma told Nampa on Thursday that the council has thus far identified 10 shacks illegally erected on town land at the Uupindi settlement.
The council detected this illegal occupation of land on Wednesday.
“The council is appealing on the people to remove their shacks before Monday. Failure to do so, the council will be forced to remove them and at the same time charge them with the removal costs,” said Muma.
He also asked the residents to refrain from occupying town land without the consent of the council as this is a violation of the local authority rules.
The council wants every resident in need of a plot to approach its office instead of illegal squatting.
A reception area for new residents, Muma said, has been identified at the Onawa village in the north-east of the town recently.
The land illegally taken at Uupindi is in a flood-prone zone.
A member of the Namibian Police at Oshakati is said to be one of those who have illegally occupied the town council land at Uupindi.
Some of the illegal occupiers Nampa spoke to on Thursday afternoon said they took the land without authorization as they have nowhere to obtain accommodation at the town, while the town council has failed to make residential plots available for them for many years.
Hafeni Imalwa charged that he has been applying for a plot at Oshakati for the past 20 years.
He was supported by an employee of the Cash Build company at the town, Mbahono Raraeua, who claimed that he applied for a plot in 2010 and again last year without a response from the town council up to now.
Raraeua said he became employed at Oshakati some six years ago, and has been renting a room in a flat at the town since then.
“It is painful to pay a monthly rental fee of N.dollars 1 700 for six years. Therefore, I am prepared to pay even N.dollars 10 000 for the portion of land which you say I have occupied illegally here,” Raraeua told the town council officials during their visit to the settlement on Thursday.
The land-grabbing residents have also complained that the council has failed to give them enough time to remove their structures.
“The three days they gave us to remove our structures before the Monday deadline is not appropriate. It is a short notice. They must give us at least a month period,” the illegal occupiers narrated.