Baby now four weeks on the streets

21 September 2018 | Social Issues

Helao Nafidi mayor Eliaser Nghipangelwa has called on a homeless family, which includes a one-year-old baby girl, to visit him so he can “provide them with options”.

Nghipangelwa said he heard about the situation but the family never visited him.

He said that as soon as the family visits his office they will be presented with options.

“If they come to my office, I will listen to them and provide them with options and it will be up to them to accept them or not; it is not solutions but options which they need to choose from,” Nghipangelwa said.

Johannes Haufiku, Saara Kamati and their two children have been living on the streets since 28 August, after the Helao Nafidi town council dismantled their two-bedroom shack and shebeen in the Ombili informal settlement at Oshikango.

The family told Namibian Sun two weeks ago they received a letter dated 20 August from town council CEO Inge Ipinge, which ordered Kamati to remove her structure by 24 August or else the council would do it.

On 28 August at around 11:00, council officials arrived in the company of police officers and dismantled their home.





According to the letter, the council's actions followed after it received complaints from Ombili residents about Kamati's bad behaviour, as well as about criminal activities happening at the premises.

“Just imagine, my one-year-old daughter sleeping in the open. Only people who are merciless can allow such a thing to happen,” Haufiku said at the time. The family is still seeking answers from the local authority, which confiscated their aluminium roof sheeting, poles and wooden doors, leaving them to brave the night cold.

When contacted for comment two weeks ago Ipinge veered from the reasons given in his 20 August letter.

He claimed because Kamati was formerly a resident of the Okatwitwi informal settlement, she was not supposed to move to Ombili, but should rather have moved to an area where Okatwitwi residents were relocated to.

The family has since turned to Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) Ohangwena regional coordinator Hidipo Hamata for assistance.

Hamata's attempt to hold a community demonstration in solidarity with the family on 13 September was unsuccessful.

Ipinge told Hamata in correspondence that in terms of the Local Authorities Act, a town CEO is not allowed to receive a petition from a political party.

Hamata said the town council is ignorant about the plight of poor Namibians.



KENYA KAMBOWE