KOMBAT- Otavi councillor George Garab has rubbished claims that Kombat is owned by anyone other than government, saying there is no way that any private individual could have bought and owned the settlement.
In an interview with the Otavi councillor, under which Kombat falls, he stressed that the unfortunate confusion created regarding the ownership of the Kombat settlement must be clarified without any doubt, immediately.
“Kombat was declared a settlement in 2006, and that is it. Kombat belongs to the State and that is not negotiable, period! If one for example buys a house in Otavi, does it make one the co-owner of Otavi? Absolutely not. Kombat belongs to government, full stop,” Garab said matter-of-factly.
According to him, the settlement office is fully- operational, and no entity other than the Kombat settlement office is allowed to provide services and collect rates and taxes for services rendered to community members on behalf of the regional council.
This comes after Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development Nathalia /Goagoses in 2021 expressed disappointment with Otjozondjupa region officials and the political leadership for the double ownership limbo in which Kombat finds itself.
At the time, /Goagoses slammed the previous leaders who were involved and supposed to implement the transformation of the place into a fully-fledged settlement after it was proclaimed in 2006, and subsequently gazetted in 2008.
She claimed that “some role-players slept on duty” until it fell into private hands.
Businessman Knowledge Katti supposedly bought the mining land in 2015 for N$50 million.
He bought the settlement from Manila Investments, in which his company Havana Investments and two others, Kombat Copper and Epangelo, were shareholders.
Manila Investments bought Kombat from South African company Grove Mining, which had in turn purchased it from Weatherly Mining PLC.
Garab indicated that he is fully aware of the rationale and intention of Kombat having been declared a settlement by Ongopolo mine.
“If there might be anyone collecting rates and taxes illegally through rent or whatever means, it is completely illegal. Those who might have been affected by that type of illegal practice must immediately, without any deliberate delay, report to the settlement office so that immediate action can be taken. As I said, nobody other than the regional council has the right to deliver services and collect rates and taxes. I emphasise once again that Kombat settlement is State property, period!” Garab reiterated.
As for the Otjozondjupa Regional Council, he said they cannot just fold their arms and claim that they don’t want to get involved in the settlement’s ownership issue. Garab said “that is unacceptable. We must assemble as much information as might be needed to assist Kombat by forwarding that information to the Attorney General`s office for a legal opinion.”
The urban and rural development ministry reminded the Otjozondjupa Regional Council to prioritise the settlement, and to make sure that all available resources are channelled to Kombat for the settlement to be fully- functional.
Currently, the chief administrative control officer is working at the Kombat settlement for only three days, namely Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
The remaining two days, namely Wednesdays and Thursdays, the same woman is driving to Coblenz to work there.
Garab said this is unacceptable, since the Kombat settlement positions have been approved already, and were supposed to have been advertised with immediate effect.
He urged community members with the correct qualifications to apply and be appointed to enhance service delivery, thereby assisting the settlement’s community on a daily basis. - firstname.lastname@example.org