Otjozondjupa governor James Uerikua has promised the residents of Okahandja that President Hage Geingob’s administration has taken a decision to deal with the thorny land issue at the Garden Town.
Addressing residents at a packed Nau-Aib stadium yesterday, Uerikua said the ministry of urban and rural development has already been instructed to start surveying land where landless residents of Okahandja could be relocated.
The governor’s address comes hot on the heels of a protest march, organised by landless residents of the town last weekend. The community members protested at the municipality offices, where they demanded the removal of the entire town’s leadership. The residents have, over the years,
been accusing the municipality of selling land to developers for peanuts and allocating land to Windhoek residents and Chinese nationals at their expense.
“Government is committed to providing housing to the people because housing provides dignity to the people. This is a done deal; there are no negotiations on that,” Uerikua told the crowd at the stadium.
The governor was accompanied by urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni and representatives from the Okahandja municipality and the regional council. Uerikua warned residents to be wary of some politicians claiming they will give them land, saying this was “cheap politicking” aimed at confusing electorates ahead of the regional council and local authority elections in November this year.
“Don’t allow yourselves to be used as political tools. The land belongs to the municipality and government. It does not belong to them,” he said. According to Uerikua, government has plans to relocate landless residents to serviced land. “We need to work and start talking,” he said. New Era understands the gathering was disrupted following the arrival of Landless People Movement (LPM) leaders. The LPM delegation was led by its national coordinator for logistics and events Ivan Skrywer, who yesterday told this reporter his party will continue disrupting all government meetings with its people, saying government is lying to them. Tension has been mounting at Okahandja over the last couple of weeks. Representatives of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) also visited the protesting residents last week.