PDM labels Otjiwarongo land grab attempt 'political stunt'

22 Jan 2019 17:20pm
OTJIWARONGO, 22 JAN (NAMPA) – Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) local authority councillor at the Otjiwarongo municipality, Esmeralda !Aebes on Tuesday condemned the involvement of Swapo representatives in a land grabbing incident in the Ombili informal settlement.
The incident involves more than 100 residents at the town who on Monday attempted to grab unserviced municipal land in the new Ombili informal settlement.
In an interview with Nampa, !Aebes described the move by the Swapo leaders as a political publicity stunt.
She expressed shock that the Swapo Party’s Otjozondjupa regional coordinator, Susan Hikopua and acting Otjiwarongo District coordinator, Paulus Nekundi attended a closed-door meeting at the municipality over the incident, which also raised eyebrows among other councillors.
That meeting reportedly discussed measures on how to calm the angry community members who cleared off land, demarcated plots for themselves and camped at the site.
The PDM councillor claimed: “At the meeting, this Hikopua ordered the municipality officials to see to it that the residents are registered and their names verified with the database system within three days,” !Aebes said, adding that Hikopua “stole the whole show at the meeting”.
She furthermore accused Hikopua of turning the site in Ombili into her campaigning zone after she was seen facilitating the registrations of residents’ names and pointing out to them where to stand in queues.
“Since when did individual political parties start to get involved directly into affairs of the municipalities? These two politicians are hungry for publicity, they want to score political points and I strongly condemn their behaviour,” !Aebes said.
Hikopua on her part on Tuesday said she only wanted to see a peaceful deal materialise between the residents who were angry and the municipality.
She also said that her involvement to assist residents to queue up in groups in an orderly manner was aimed at maintaining safety at the site.
“You know she is from an opposition party, and in that meeting she was the only one who was opposing whatever I suggested. So I am not surprised by her accusations,” said Hikopua of !Aebes.
Otjiwarongo Chief Executive Officer, Ismael /Howoseb on Tuesday confirmed the presence of the two Swapo representatives at a meeting that was held at the municipality boardroom.
“Whether it is wrong or right for them to attend, for me it depends on the interpretation of each person,” said /Howoseb.
(NAMPA)
MS/EK/PS/HP