KEETMANSHOOP – Members of the Nossobville Housing and Multipurpose Development Club in Gobabis are legally challenging the Gobabis municipality’s intentions to remove them from a piece of land they currently occupy.
The municipality owns erf 167 on which Nossobville members are illegally occupying. Spokesperson of the group Wallace Finnies said they approached the municipality in May 2019, requesting for a piece of land.
“We then had a meeting afterwards with the local authority, where they informed us they understand our need but cannot provide us with serviced land, due to financial constraints,” explained Finnies.
In June last year, the club received a letter from the municipality, informing them to occupy the land on condition they service it at their own cost.
“This was unfair towards us since people in Epako have received serviced land previously,” he said.
Finnies then explained it was due to the local authority’s unwillingness and delaying tactics to address their plight that they decided to illegally occupy the piece of land in Nossobville. He further added they later learned the Gobabis municipality has approached the High Court to obtain an eviction order against them for illegally occupying land in the Nossobville suburb.
“The court, however, ruled during September 2019 that there was no basis for the urgency of the application since the concerned group informed the municipality well in advance of their intentions to grab land illegally if not provided with it,” he added.
“We appeared in court again early this week, whereby the matter has been postponed till 31 March 2020 to afford our new advocate ample time to prepare himself for the case, as we have fired the previous one due to a conflict of interest.” Approached for comment, municipal spokesperson Frederick Ueitele said they experienced massive land grabbing last year in Nossobville, Epako and other parts of the town.
“These erven in the townlands are already serviced and allocated to members of the business community, who want to develop it,” he explained.
The spokesperson continued, saying they informed residents to move away from the land occupied illegally, but some have refused to do so.
“It is on this basis that council approached the High Court of Namibia to obtain an urgent eviction order to remove these people illegally occupying the property of the municipality.”
He said people should be patient while the process of allocating land is in progress. He also said a media statement would be issued once the court case is finalised.