ONGWEDIVA – Eight northern traditional authorities have expressed frustration over local authority councils, who are taking their land without compensation.
They said their land is taken by the town councils and sold at high prices, but they do not get any share of the proceeds.
The rapid growth of towns has forced town councils to encroach on the land that belongs to traditional authorities.
The chairperson of the eighth traditional authorities in the north, chief Herman Iipumbu, expressed to New Era his disregard.
“All the benefits go to town councils,” he said.
Iipumbu has called on the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to review the situation as soon as possible.
“This will cause chaos between traditional authorities and town councils. Therefore, it is important if the ministry gets involved and finds amicable solutions to the problem,” he stated.
Also speaking to New Era, Oukwanyama spokesperson Andrew Naikaku said Oukwanyama is facing the huge challenge of its land that was taken by the town councils but they are not using it.
“We have our huge land taken by Helao Nafidi Town Council but has not yet been used. We aren’t happy about it because we also have our people in need of land to build their houses,” he lamented.
He urged town councils to always use their part of land on time as it was requested – else, they will take it back.
Speaking to New Era, Ondonga King Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo said Ondonga Traditional Authority is also unhappy about this issue.
“We had the cucashops where we used to get money from the owners – but now, those cucashops have been removed by the town councils. We are left with nothing. We no longer receive money from them,” he stressed.
Nangolo said once the towns councils acquire and service the land, it sells it at high prices, with no regard of traditional authorities who were the original custodians of such land.
He added the traditional authorities need money to keep carrying its task and also continue catering services to their people.
Approached for comment, the Minister of Urban and Rural Development Erastus Uutoni said his ministry is working on the compensation reform policy that would also cater for traditional authorities.
“I am aware of their concerns. The ministry is trying to find amicable solutions to the problem,” he added.
According to Uutoni, the ministry is going to meet with all the traditional authorities in the north in September this year to discuss this matter.
“After the discussion, I will take their concerns to parliament because all the government rules are being made at the national assembly,” he said.