• November 18th, 2018
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City Police demolish 26 shacks

Front Page News
Front Page News

Selma Ikela Windhoek-A mother and her two-month-old boy slept in the open on Sunday evening after the City Police demolished her shack and those of others in Okuryangava. The unemployed mother, Viola Kasavi is part of over 50 people who occupied 26 shacks demolished by City Police Sunday afternoon after they illegally occupied a piece of land in the area. Corrugated iron sheets belonging to six other people were allegedly confiscated by the municipality property department. The group vowed to stay put claiming they have no other place to go to and they called on municipality to avail land to the poor. Kasavi, 24, lives with both her parents and four school-going siblings. They moved to the piece of land last year September when her father lost his job as a security guard. He was the only breadwinner in the family. The father, Andreas Kasavi, 49, said he moved from the place he was renting in Okahandja Park after he lost his job as he could not afford to pay rent anymore. He came to occupy land illegally in Okuryangava with his wife, children and grandson. The place is under high voltage power lines. “I came here because I had nowhere to go. I couldn’t stay where I was renting as I couldn’t afford rent,” stated Andreas. The family fetches water some 500 metres away and cook on an open fire. Yesterday the children went to school without bathing or eating. “I feel bad and I just want to cry. We are really struggling,” added Andreas. A 36-year-old man employed as a security guard found his shack demolished and his belongings confiscated by the municipality property division, upon his return from work. The man, Kauiyu Amos, said he was shocked to find his shack gone. “They took my zinc, bed, clothes, pots and everything. I got the shirt I am wearing from a friend and the short pants were under my uniform,” he narrated to New Era. He moved to the piece of land in October after his previous landlord sold his erf. Amos has to pay N$2,000 for contravening municipality by-laws by erecting a shack in an unauthorised area so that he can get his belongings back. Speaking in unison the group members claim they have nowhere to go and called on municipality to avail land that is not already designated. They claimed they applied for land across the road from where they are, but it is now being cleared for construction. “They claim we are here illegally but then why do they bring voting centres here during elections?” asked one man among the crowd. City Police superintendent Gerry Shikesho refuted the group’s allegations saying they are only enforcing the law. Shikesho explained that the City of Windhoek contracts a company to remove shacks and only calls in contractors when the shack owner refuses to remove their shack as requested. He added that it is impossible for the contractor to just take down structures of an occupant while they are present. Shikesho said they demolished incomplete structures that were partially built or in the process of being built. “If property was removed, there are two reasons, that the structure was busy being constructed or half built and there was no occupation. The reason I got from my area commander is that the people are saying they don’t have the means to take back their property somewhere and they need until end of the month to hire a car to help transport their belongings,” said Shikesho. He added that they are waiting on the municipality property department to advise them on what to do next. “We would advise property department to tell those people to move because they are inviting other people to come.”
New Era Reporter
2018-01-30 08:51:47 9 months ago

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