'Land or death'

• Rundu squatters refuse to move

06 May 2020 | Infrastructure

Kenya Kambowe


At Rundu's Sauyemwa Extension 1, squatters are demanding that the local authority provide them with land.

They further said the town council must “forget” about evicting them, adding they will not be moved.

This is according to a letter dated 20 April from a committee representing the thousands of squatters.

The letter, addressed to the urban and rural development minister's council representative, Sebastian Kantema, emphasised that blood will be shed if their demands are not met.

“The land belongs to the people and we are no exception. We equally need land and shelter,” the letter said.

“Given that we are law-abiding citizens, we would have obeyed to move if the land was not ours. As it stands, we are informing you [about] our final stand, which is land or death. We are not moving [from] this land.”

The letter further demanded the allocation of erf numbers to the squatters' “as the sole owners of the land” or Kantema will “watch bloodshed” during his reign.

“It will be on record,” the letter ominously warned.

The land in question is situated at Rundu's Sauyemwa Extension 1, which the over 3 000 squatters refuse to leave despite an eviction court order obtained by the developers, who bought the land from the town council in 2016.

In February, police attempted to enforce the order but failed after the illegal residents rebelled.

The squatters argue that the local authority must provide the developer with another piece of land.

Unable to deliberate

When contacted for comment, town council acting CEO Sam Nekaro said they have received the letter.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the state of emergency regulations, the council has been unable to deliberate on the matter, he said.

Nekaro added that the council will look into the matter and consider all aspects before making a decision.