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AR gives City ultimatum

2019-03-19  Selma Ikela

AR gives City ultimatum

Selma Ikela

WINDHOEK - Affirmative Repositioning (AR) yesterday threatened that if the City of Windhoek continued demolishing houses of poor people, the movement and its supporters would retaliate.

AR also gave the City six months to respond to the mass application submitted to its offices five years ago.  In a statement read by AR activist Ajeshe Mbadhi during their march in Windhoek yesterday, the movement says failure to respond to the applications will result in mass land occupations across the city.

“It has now been close to five years that the landless people submitted their application in communicating a simple message to show that they need a place to call home,” said Mbadhi.

“Although the municipality has responded by giving acknowledgement letters, 90 percent of its applicants still await a positive response from the City.”

AR facilitated 14 000 applications for land in Windhoek five years ago, amid pomp and fanfare at the time. AR demanded that the mass houses in Otjomuise be disbursed for occupation in six months, or they would be forcefully occupied.

City of Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise told AR that its demands are already in transformation.  “It is just that you don’t have access to the transformation strategies council have already planned since last year to even explore social housing to accommodate people who are paying more privately, specifically in those areas that you are referring to,” he told the crowd of demonstrators.

“Because we do have  land in those areas, it is unfortunate that good strategies and plans take time,” stated Kahimise. 
Kahimise added that council last year allocated hectares of land to the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation for construction of a student village.  “It is currently out of our hands,” he said.
AR also led demonstrations to the National Assembly, where a draft bill on regulation of land ownership by foreigners was submitted for consideration.

Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi promised the demonstrators that the draft bill was in good hands.
“I wish that when you were doing this work you had liaised with parliament and its committees. We could have given you some hints as to the way you should proceed,” he remarked.

2019-03-19  Selma Ikela

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