OMUTHIYA - Since the establishment of Omuthiya as regional capital for Oshikoto more than a decade ago, land disputes have been rife, mostly pertaining to plot allocation, as well as displeasure with the compensation process.
Nearly 13 years into the Omuthiya town’s existence, these issues remain a matter of contestation. The council has, therefore, resolved to allow residents to register all their disputes so that they can be addressed individually and timeously. A week ago, council placed an advert in the media in which it invited residents to submit their displeasure on land matters. The residents have until 5 May to air their grievances.
“It’s time we put these issues of land to bed, because it’s something that is long overdue. That is why we have asked the residents to put their concerns in writing so that we can revisit the matter based on their concerns,” said town mayor John Ndeutepo.
He pleaded with the community to submit their concerns, and to ignore the notion that their issues will not be adequately addressed because the acting chief executive officer (CEO) is implicated in a land grab.
The residents have indicated their unhappiness over the fact that the same implicated official will be the one receiving the grievances.
“There will be no compromise whatsoever. Whether the grievances include that of our acting CEO, the fact is that it’s an administration office that will deal with the matter. It will be an open book objection, where matters are recorded in a transparent manner and then dealt with as such,” he stated. The residents have accused acting CEO Simon Nghuulondo of having grabbed a portion of land at the Onakasino village, an area that falls within the town boundaries, with the alleged motive to benefit in the near future when the town expands.
Contacted for his version, Nghuulondo said he will not comment on the matter, neither would he admit or deny that he had grabbed land in the area. “The land dispute matter is addressed through the mayor, so I will not comment on such. Rather wait for the outcome,” he said.
The mayor advised the residents to avoid personalising administrative matters, and to instead observe processes.