Chaos erupted on Tuesday evening when a group of people who were evicted from a Wanaheda compound allegedly resorted to vandalising the entire compound.
Shots were fired as the evictees allegedly tried to burn the property down and damage the roof and windows.
As a result, four people have been arrested, including the new owner, who evicted the residents after he fired warning shots in an attempt to stop the destruction. According to Samora Machel constituency councillor Nestor Kalola, his office did not succeed in securing a tent to accommodate the evicted people.
“I was informed that people woke up in the middle of the night as they slept in the open in the cold and destroyed the whole compound. The owner maybe was informed and rushed to the scene. He started firing warning shots and arrested two women and one man. But he was also arrested when the police arrived at the scene,” said councillor Kalola.
The councillor is now pleading with the nation to assist the evicted people with a tent as there are eight children who are sleeping in the cold.
City Police chief Abraham Kanime confirmed the matter, saying the City Police officer has bought the property procedurally from the person who sold it but it appears that the evicted persons are not happy.
“They were removed by court on Tuesday but in the middle of the night they decided to damage the property. Our member was informed and went with his personal gun to fire warning shots to stop the damage. He arrested the three residents while waiting for the members to arrive but later the residents also opened a case. He was arrested and appeared in court,” he explained.
“The officer is facing charges of assault through threatening. He was released as the docket was forwarded to the prosecutor general for decision while the trio are facing malicious damage to properties and arson charges,” said chief of investigation at City Police Eliaser Iyambo.
About 30 people were left homeless on Tuesday after they were evicted from their home of more than 30 years. The evictees were staying in a complex on Kinshasa Street, Wanaheda, when they were served with eviction notices on April this year. They are part of 300 residents who received the eviction orders in April.
However, they did not move out until yesterday, when officers from the deputy sheriff came to remove them by force, dumping their belongings in the nearby open space.
According to them, they have lived in the house and paid water and electricity bills since 1987, after they were moved from the Old Compound in Katutura before independence.
Residents of various compounds in Windhoek’s Wanaheda were adamant they will not move out of the houses with supposed collective ownership status despite having received eviction orders from apparent new owners.
Councillor Kalola’s pleas for urgent government intervention proved futile.
The councillor said the evictions are being done by those who have secretly transferred the compounds into their names without the knowledge of the other members.
The compounds are supposed to have a collective ownership status.
Kalola said there are 130 compounds in Wanaheda that were accomodating more than 600 people but close to 200 people have already been evicted, as the compounds have dubiously been sold to new owners.
Caption: (vandalised) Frustration… Evicted residents who slept out in the cold on Tuesday night allegedly vandalised the compound.