Two Swapo councillors physically fight over land in Rundu

28 May 2013 09:40
By Olavi Haikera
NDAMA, 28 MAY (NAMPA) - The ongoing land disputes in the Kavango Region have now entered the physical realm after two Swapo-Party councillors here were allegedly embroiled in a heated altercation over a piece of land at Rundu over the weekend.
The squabble happened at the Swapo-Party Kavango regional office while the party?s extra-ordinary conference was being addressed by Minister of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture Jerry Ekandjo on Saturday.
The disputed plot is situated at the Ndama informal settlement on the outskirts of Rundu, and is being ?fought? over by Rundu Rural East Constituency Councillor Michael Shikongo and Nkurenkuru Town Councillor Damian Nakambare.
Nakambare told Nampa on Tuesday taht the dispute started after Shikongo allegedly told neighbours around the disputed plot to tell him (Nakambare) that the plot was going to be sold.
Nakambare said he then approached his Swapo comrade on Saturday during the party?s extra-ordinary conference, which elected a new regional co-ordinator.
According to Nakambare, Shikongo apparently became furious when questioned over the plot, and allegedly grabbed him by his shirt, threatened to beat him up and also insulted him.
Shikongo was the chairperson of the Ndama Village Development Committee (VDC) before becoming a councillor in the early 1990s.
Nakambare indicated that he bought the plot in 1999 at a prize of N.dollars 1 200. In 2007, he decided to put up water pipes, which he paid the town council for, and also erected poles around the area.
Nakambare further accused Shikongo of allegedly stealing two of his poles from his plot, adding that he suspects that the Rundu Rural East Constituency councillor is desperate to sell the plot to some wealthy individuals so that he could allegedly receive kickbacks.
?I fail to understand why a Swapo-Party councillor wants to grab my land and sell it to rich people, and I don?t even know who gave him the mandate to preside over plot allocations while the VDC members are there,? Nakambare stressed.
Meanwhile, an administrator at the Kavango regional Swapo office, Konrad Sitarara said they heard the commotion while they were busy counting ballots at the extra-ordinary conference.
He is not sure whether the Youth Minister heard the altercation since it happened ?right under his nose?.
Sitarara said although the incident happened at the party?s office, it was however personal, and had nothing to do with the party.
On his part, Shikongo told this agency that Nakambare went to his house and told his worker and his children that he had sold his plot without personally approaching him (Shikongo) first.
Shikongo stated that he confronted Nakambare at the extra-ordinary conference why he had gone to his house and told his children and domestic worker that he had sold his plot.
The Rundu Rural East councillor neither denied nor confirmed grabbing Nakambare by his shirt, only saying that he fails to understand what Nakambare?s problem is.
He said Nakambare failed to name the person he sold the plot to, adding that the plot in question still belongs to him (Nakambare), and is not occupied by anyone.
?He still owns the plot, he is just confused and should have approached me first to confirm whether the rumours he is hearing that I sold his plot were true or not,? lamented the Rundu Rural East councillor.