The Outapi Town Council in Omusati region is extremely concerned by the escalating number of land-grabbing incidents targeting planned and proclaimed land at the town.
Speaking to New Era, council CEO Ananias Nashilongo confirmed the town will soon demolish 148 shacks and permanent structures belonging to 148 land occupiers, saying the practice hinders development.
He explained the land in Ondjamba Nevu, Oukwa-wananyanga, Okalunga and Onamulunga village was already planned and proclaimed in April 2007.
He said people living in surrounding villages falling within the proclaimed town boundary construct permanent structures and erect ramshackle shacks without council’s approval and they claim they have been allocated those pieces of land by the village headman albeit without the approval of the Ombalantu Traditional Authority.
“This is a disaster; people have used the time during lockdown to construct their permanent structures and when we learned about it, we have tried to stop them but they are not cooperating; hence, we decided to involve the police,” said the CEO.
Nashilongo further said villages falling within the proclaimed town boundary of Outapi town have already been proclaimed and approved by the Township Board. “Extension 13 has been proclaimed; therefore, council cannot allow any development to occur at this villages without its consent,” added Nashilongo. He noted council exhausted all measures; therefore, they are going to take legal action.
“The council will meet with the lawyers next Thursday to start the process of the application to approach the court in order to get the eviction order so that we start the eviction process,” he expounded.
“They build on planned land that is already mapped. Some built in the streets, some on the edge of a certain plot and others at the drainage sewage. Therefore, we cannot allow them to be there because if we did then that means we are going to do a re-planning that will be very costly.” He emphasised that planning alone has previously cost the town more than Ṅ$2.8 million because it includes seven extensions that were proclaimed and planned. “The planning is a lengthy process; it can take two years because first, you have to do an environmental impact assessment – then if approved, you do the planning itself. And again, re-planning is a waste of government resources because we used the money from central government coffers,” he said. ‘’We have engaged the regional police that so far stopped those people from constructing further and has informed them the danger and risk involved when one builds on mapped land.” Contacted for comment, one of the headmen who sold plots of land at Onamulunga, Hosea Kavila, admitted he is aware of the issue and that traditional leaders are in the process of refunding people so they will vacate the place before their properties are demolished.
“When I allocated those plots three years ago, I did not know it was a proclaimed area, but when I was informed by the council, I informed the traditional authority. We had a meeting with the town council and suggested that if council takes action, we will refund the people,” said Kavila.
2020-05-27 10:03:16 | 1 months ago