AR demo causes closure of public offices in Oshakati

27 Apr 2018 09:50am
OSHAKATI, 27 APR (NAMPA) – A demonstration by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) Movement brought the operations of the High Court and town council at Oshakati to a standstill on Thursday.
The entrance to the court and that of the council offices were closed from 08h00 until 12h00.
A notice on the court doors said it would be closed for business on Thursday and would open again on Friday.
The demonstration followed allegations that the Oshakati Town Council allocated a piece of land in the town to Justice Maphios Cheda of the High Court’s Northern Division, a deal which the AR has branded corrupt, saying the judge is now compromised.
They also accuse Cheda of evicting Namibians from their land in favour of rich business owners and supporting corrupt deals.
The group protested a verdict issued by Cheda against Lukas Johannes to surrender a portion of his family’s land to Stantoll Properties, a company that belongs to local businessman Ben Zaaruka.
Zaaruka intends to use the land for the expansion of Oshana Mall.
AR co-founder, Job Amupanda led the demonstration, accompanied by Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and George Kambala, who are also founding members of the movement.
The AR accused Oshakati Town Council Chief Executive Officer, Werner Iita of corruptly allocating Erf 4035 to Cheda at the expense of Patrick Shilongo, who was allocated the land before.
They argued that it is not proper for Shilongo, a Namibian, to lose land to Cheda, who is a Zimbabwean national.
According to the AR, this was done after Shilongo had already acquired a loan from the bank.
The AR said Cheda’s verdict against the Johannes family was also no surprise to them as he allegedly has ties with Zaaruka.
“This protest today is a classical illustration of this problematic status quo the judiciary has as an agent of capitalism,” said Amupanda.
They amongst others requested an urgent determination by the judiciary on the suitability of Cheda to hold office “with a history linking him to land scams”.
Iita and the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Tousy Namiseb received the AR petition and promised to forward it to the relevant authorities.