Kombat residents demonstrate against increased rent

22 Nov 2018 12:10pm
KOMBAT, 22 NOV (NAMPA) - Nearly 300 residents of Kombat on Wednesday staged a peaceful demonstration against an increase in their monthly rent for housing.
They live in houses formerly used by workers of the Kombat mine. The residents are unhappy because their monthly rent was increased from N.dollars 350 to N.dollars 1 250, and some up to N.dollars 5 500 for bigger houses, as from 01 November.
The mine has been dormant since 2007, when it flooded.
The residential area of about 280 hectares was sold to local businessman, Knowledge Katti in April 2013.
It is also where the government clinic, primary school and police station are situated, with the directorate under which each falls paying between N.dollars 40 000 and N.dollars 50 000 per month in rental fees.
The residents, most of them unemployed and some working as mine caretakers and farmworkers, marched to a house where Katti’s employees reside. They read their petition and handed over a signed copy of the petition to a member of the Kombat property town management, Lucas Mupupa who said he would forward it to the relevant office.
Residents demand to keep paying the previous N.dollars 350 or for the increase to be “fair and more affordable”.
They also called on President Hage Geingob to rescue them, saying they voted him into power.
“We demand our government’s intervention, they should make Kombat a village council,” states the petition.
They threatened to take the law into their own hands if Katti and his town management officers evict people because of non-payment of the higher rent, saying the businessman’s administration is “another form of colonialism they have to take down”.
They also called his team that manages Kombat to pack up and leave the town.
Katti is said to be out of country and his town manager at Kombat, Charlie Dawid proposed a meeting with the residents instead of demonstrations.
He told Nampa in an interview that the money collected from the tenants is used to sustain the town’s water bills, sewage and electricity supply.