CoW to reverse purchase of Howard after family eviction

22 Sep 2019 19:30pm
WINDHOEK, 22 SEP (NAMPA) – The City of Windhoek (CoW) Council has instructed attorneys to reverse the purchase of Erf 3259 on Philadelphia Street in 8ste Laan near Otjomuise by Desmond Howard after a family of 13 was evicted from their house last Wednesday.
Speaking at a media conference here on Friday, CoW Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Robert Kahimise said the council has instructed attorneys to ensure this transaction is reversed and the sale of the property to Howard set aside.
Kahimise also said CoW has noticed the increasing trend of fraudulent evictions of senior and vulnerable residents through dubious land dealings.
“We would like to warn culprits out there that should CoW council discover similar dealings, all possible legal decisions would be taken against them,” said Kahimise.
Howard, who was the employer of Fistorine Garises, evicted her and the family from a 10-bedroom house after she fell ill and could no longer work.
According to the family’s version, Howard saw the family as vulnerable and Garises was one of his long serving employees. Although Howard gave the house to Garises, the deed of sale was in Joel Araob’s name.
Explaining how the alleged fraudulent dealing happened, Kahimise said on 03 September 2011, Howard concluded a purchase agreement of the immovable property which was earmarked as part of a low-cost housing scheme, which is illegal according to municipal laws that dictate that a property cannot be sold or transferred into the name of a third party within the first seven years from its purchase date.
Despite the statutes dictating otherwise, the property in question was transferred from the Araob family to Howard’s name within 11 days.
To this situation, Kahimise concluded that the intention of the parties in the first agreement was never to pass transfer of ownership of the property to the Araob couple.
“The purchaser (Howard) had at all material times the intention to acquire ownership of the erf to construct not one but many dwellings and/or apartments,” Kahimise explained.
The family, which consists of three adults and 10 children, had been without shelter for nine days before being temporarily set to stay in two tents that can accommodate 10 persons by CoW, and were also provided with a water token as well as two chemical toilets to use.
In an interview with Nampa, Araob said he was relieved and happy about the tents, however, he is still aggrieved as the family lost their food during the eviction and have been scraping around for food.
Howard refused to comment on the matter.