Khomas governor Laura Mcleod-Katjirua has discouraged Windhoek residents from illegally occupying land, saying such acts will jeopardise service delivery efforts.
McLeod-Katjirua told New Era on Saturday that while she acknowledged that land delivery is slow, that should not lead to the grabbing of land. On Friday, scores of residents flocked to the Tobias Hainyeko constituency as early as 06h00 to occupy the land.
“Land must not be grabbed. The danger in land grabbing is that people are settling on land that has no services and later they will come and demand services,” she said. “We acknowledge that land delivery is slow but that does not mean people must grab land. It puts service delivery in jeopardy.”
The governor emphasised land in Windhoek belongs to the city, hence residents must give the city time to deliver services without jeopardising the process. “The City of Windhoek must come to the table so that we will see how the land issue can be resolved. People must wait to be given land in a rightful and orderly manner, hence there is a need to find the strategies to address the land issue,” she pleaded.
She discouraged residents who are grabbing land for profit, saying no one has the right to sell unserviced land in the city other than the local municipality. The Tobias Hainyeko constituency councillor, Christopher Likuwa, who is accused of instigating some land grabbers, dismissed the accusation, saying he never encouraged anyone to get involved in illegal activities. “Those people are many, based on the list I received from the Mukwanangombe location, there are more than 2 000 people involved in land grabbing. How am I going to encourage all those people to grab land? I do not have any intentions to do that. I have always encouraged them to refrain from doing so. Through you, I challenge them to come forth with evidence,” said Likuwa. Furthermore, Likuwa used the opportunity to register his disappointment in community members grabbing land instead of using the right channels to obtain it. “This is not a solution to the land problem. If you are grabbing land, there is always consequences,” he cautioned. He further urged the city to act swiftly to resolve the land issue. “The city must come forward and attend to the people. People lost hope and the city has no control. The city must act to seek help from the security cluster to resolve the matter of stopping the grabbing,” he added. Residents who spoke to New Era claimed they have no place to sleep, forcing them to grab land. “We want land, if the city will not give us land, we will not stop until 6 August,” said a resident who refused to be named. Windhoek mayor Job Amupanda recently announced that the city will convene a meeting in August to discuss land issues within the city.