Windhoek-One of the residents evicted by Walvis Bay Municipality, has sued the town council saying the manner in which the eviction was carried out was unlawful. The resident, Inosesia Shinovandu Shihepo, says she was in undisturbed possession of the piece of land, on which she had erected a temporary shelter for her and her minor daughter, when the town council dismantled her structure with the help of the police.
Walvis Bay Municipality obtained an interim order on July 7 against Shihepo and the other occupants to show cause by August 14 why the court should not declare that they have illegally occupied the land in Kuisebmund.
Judge Boas Usiku yesterday ordered the interim order of eviction as confirmed, except for the occupants who have opposed the application by the town council.
In reply to the application by the municipality, Shihepo’s lawyer Henry Shimutwikeni filed a countersuit asking the court to restore peaceful and undisturbed possession of the erven in question to Shihepo.
They also want the municipality to rebuild Shihepo’s housing structure on either of the erven and to order the municipality to return all her property, or in the alternative to compensate her.
They also asked the court to declare the actions of the municipality a violation of Article 8 of the Namibian Constitution, as well as her right to dignity under Article 25. According to Shihepo, she was evicted from the premises without a court order and was left destitute, in violation of Article 25 of the Constitution.
According to her, she fell on hardship after the company she worked for could not pay her salary for six months due to the economic downturn and she was thus unable to pay for rent, which led to her initial eviction.
After depending on the goodwill of others for some time she and her daughter managed to survive and when she heard that people were given permission by the municipality to reside at or near Erf 6489, Granite Street in Kuisebmund, she decided to join them since she had nowhere else to go.
After a police officer informed her that she must speak to the committee if she wants to reside on the erf, she did so and remained on the erf sleeping in the open with her child in cold, misty and windy conditions.
Shihepo continued that she then decided to erect a small structure for protection, but the police took it down while she was merely looking on. After this she again erected a tent-like structure to protect her child from the elements and again it was demolished by the police.
Yet again she put up a structure and again the police demolished it, but this time they collected the belongings of the residents, including the building materials. Shihepo said that again she and the others erected structures to keep out the elements and again the police came and demolished it with bulldozers.
Judge Usiku ordered that the municipality represented by Advocate Thabang Phatela must reply to the counter suit by tomorrow and Shimutwikeni must file his answers by Friday before postponing the case to August 22 for arguments. New Era Reporter
2017-08-15 10:37:13 | 2 years ago