A family of five people including a one-year-old baby from Goreangab informal settlement were left out in the cold on Saturday after the City of Windhoek stopped Johannes Hamukoto from re-constructing a shack he was expanding.
Hamukoto says he informed committee members that he will expand his shack to accommodate more family members but he was surprised when City Police officers arrived on the site stopping him from continuing with the construction.
As such, the officers instructed him to permanently move from the land he occupied.
“I’m not moving from here. I have been staying here for months. My neighbours and I are just waiting for a word from the City on the way forward. We hope they will be considerate,” these were the words of 29-year-old Hamukoto.
The family slept in the cold on Saturday after the City of Windhoek officers were tipped off that he was expanding his shack and rushed to the site where they told him to discontinue expanding because he had apparently encroached into another demarcated piece of land.
When New Era visited the scene yesterday morning, Hamukoto’s neighbours and sympathisers were shouting at the City Police officers that they are inhumane because they let a one-year-old child sleep in the cold just because they want to remove the shack to accommodate a planned kindergarten.
A group of people led by activists that represent the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) said they are touched by the actions of the City of Windhoek adding this is not an appropriate time to demolish the family’s shack.
Hamukoto says he has nowhere to go and that he has no job.
He is a student at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). He said he secured this plot to keep his girlfriend and the mother of his two children.
His biggest fear is the cold and without a roof over his head, all his belongings will be destroyed and stolen.
“I have cleared this place last year but now I am being told by the City Police that it is meant for the Hope project that wants to establish a kindergarten. This is unacceptable and I will not go to that place already cleared by someone,” lamented the despondent sole breadwinner of his family that is now homeless.
Neighbours and sympathisers explained they are not interested in any kindergarten to be established while there is a needy family without shelter.
“That person is a student and he has children, he cannot be accommodated by someone with a large family like that, hence he secured his place because he wants to work hard without giving people any burden,” said some of the sympathetic neighbours who implored the City to reverse its decision.
Approached for comment, the Chief of the City Police, Abraham Kanime, said Hamukoto was served with a removal notice because the place he occupied has been reserved for a home project.
“We are not the ones who demolished that shack. He demolished it himself because he wanted to extend it. However, we stopped him not to put it up again because it was already being demolished. He must just obey the rules and vacate the place,” firmly said Kanime.
He said that the shack will not be reconstructed because the City is busy with the process of registering people so that they can be allocated plots, therefore, all expansion of shacks are on hold for now.