Eveline Kanutusa is constantly in tears because of the seemingly endless fight she is embroiled in with the Outapi Town Council and her siblings over land she says has been given to her by her late mother.
“I no longer sleep peacefully ever since I received the news that the town council wants to compensate me for my land at a very low price. My mind is working overtime, to an extent that I sometimes encounter suicidal thoughts, all because I have no idea where to go with my children once the town council acquires my land. Therefore, I have completely lost my inner peace,” she cried.
The 65-year-old Kanutusa said she obtained ownership of the land a long time ago before her mother passed away in December 2021. She lived with her mother. Her four siblings have been absent for many years and their mother, therefore, decided to give it to her because she was the only child around.
During New Era’s visit, Kanutusa said the land had been in her name long before her mother died. She further indicated that her mother has written in books that when she dies, Kanutusa should take charge.
“During my mother’s presence, the town council had approached her with the aim of buying her land. But she refused over the reason that she depends on the land for survival,” she narrated.
Kanutusa has always been thinking that the town council wants to grab her mother’s land because she is old and unable to make right choices.
She added that the mother once gave her name to the offices of the municipality for no other reason than to change the land ownership to Kanutusa.
“After my mother’s burial, my siblings went to the Outapi Town Council to convince the officials that I do not deserve the entire land, that it’s better just to sell it and share the change. Ever since my siblings confronted the town council, the officials have been refusing to change the land ownership from my mother’s name to mine,” Kanutusa explained.
She said the town council wanted to buy her land for N$100 000, but she and her children refused because the amount is too little, and she doesn’t want to move as she uses the land to make a living from.
“The town council wants to deceive me because they know for a fact that I am uneducated and have no power to defend myself. Even my own brother, who did not visit the place for a very long time, but only when my mother died, went to the offices and told them that the land was his, lying that it was given to him by our mother when she was alive,” she continued.
The sexagenarian said now, peace is absent from her heart because her siblings want to sell the land and divide the money amongst themselves.
“I am not going anywhere. This is my house; my mother left it in my name. If they want to snatch it from me, it will be over my dead body,” Kanutusa stressed.
She lives in the house with her five children and three grandchildren. They will have nowhere to go when the town council gets the land.
She is, therefore, requesting the ministry of land reform to intervene in the matter and figure out the way forward.
“If they want me to move, they firstly need to provide a secure place where my kids and I can move to. It has to be big land, exactly as this one; big enough for cultivation.
She complained that the town council only gives proper services to well-off people, and do not tackle things procedurally when it comes to the poor.
Outapi Town Council spokesperson Filipus Shililifa told New Era that Kanutusa is not cooperative with her siblings, and does not want to be compensated for the land and share the money.
He said her siblings were agreeable to the compensation, but the issue is just with Kanutusa, who wants to keep the land for herself since the mother apparently gave it to her.
Shililifa said the town council has tried several times to engage the late mother to be compensated for her land when she was alive, but all efforts were fruitless.
“We did not try to remove Kanutusa from the area forcefully. We politely informed her that the house is too close to the town and she needed to shift so that we can develop the area,” he explained.
The spokesperson added that the house is within the proclaimed town boundary, and she needs to pave the way for development.
The town council is also not siding with Kanutusa’s siblings to take their sister’s land. It is a family issue, so they do not have a say over that, he noted.
“We are just patiently waiting for them to surmount the conflict and decide to whom the land is assigned. Upon that, we will be able to pay the landowner since everyone wants to benefit from the reimbursement,” Shililifa stated.
Furthermore, the municipality is at all times ready to compensate for that land if Kanutusa agrees with her siblings.
Approached for comment, her siblings refused to say anything.