OMUTHIYA – The community of Oshivelo is up in arms over what they termed discriminatory practice by the settlement office, alleging they are being sidelined in acquiring plots, jobs, as well as equitable services.
In addition, they also bemoaned high rates and taxes that can amount in thousands of dollars in a month, which they say is absurd and too expensive for a settlement. These concerns were raised in a petition meant for Oshikoto chief regional officer Frans Enkali and governor Penda Ya Ndakolo.
“The water tariff is quite high, going up to thousands of dollars – which is ridiculous for a settlement, as we feel we are being charged like we are in a city. To make matters worse, this is underground water – and which is not piped from anyway and not purified to good standards,” states the petition, read by community activist Ernesto Shipanga.
“We have been asking what the requirements are of acquiring land, as you find people who just came recently to the settlement own multiple plots, while the majority who have lived in the area for decades are still without a single plot. This is even worse, as there is no reception or alternative area where one can relocate to once they are compensated. We demand to know why only local housing applications are mainly rejected without concrete reasons,” he added.
Furthermore, the community is calling for the removal of three top officials at the settlement, arguing they have failed to serve the public’s interest. Chief control officer for Oshivelo settlement Maria Shipanga referred queries to Enkali, who in turn rubbished the claims, saying as a government institution, it provides fair employment opportunity to all qualifying individuals.
“That petition has not reached my office yet, but from what you have highlighted and knowing such existing issues, I am saying those people are misinformed and trying to peddle unfounded issues. All posts are advertised, and those who qualify are shortlisted; interviews are conducted until the best candidate is chosen. They should be mindful of their accusation, as such remarks constitutes to regionalism and tribalism,” said Enkali.
He also said land distribution is a long process, which starts with surveying, planning and development.
“Many people equally applied, including myself, long ago, but my application is not approved yet; had there been corruption or favouritism, I think as a CRO, I could have been allocated a plot. But that is not the case and I am still waiting –just like everyone else. Therefore, once I receive the petition, I will be in a better position to deliberate on the issues contained in,” stated the administrative head.