ACC investigates Okahandja

“Just because it's being developed now doesn't mean it was recently sold,” said suspended Okahandja mayor Congo Hindjou on allegations that land was sold while a moratorium was in place.

07 October 2020 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has launched an investigation into the alleged illegal sale of land in Okahandja while a moratorium was still in place. Suspended Okahandja mayor Congo Hindjou, speaking to Namibian Sun show The Evening Review yesterday, said the land in question was sold before a land sale moratorium was effected at the town about five years ago. “It is not council's problem if land sold in 2013 started only being developed in 2019. Just because it's being developed now doesn't mean it was recently sold,” he said.

Hindjou and other councillors have been on suspension since March on instruction of former urban and rural development minister, Peya Mushelenga. In 2015, the former minister of urban and rural development, Sophia Shaningwa, placed a moratorium on selling and leasing land in the garden town due to irregularities detected. The irregularities include the double allocation of land and people being allocated land without applying. ACC director-general Paulus Noa yesterday confirmed that preliminary processes to establish whether the allegations are worth investigating have started. “The matter is with the investigating team who is now dealing with it. We want to find out whether the allegations have any truth in it,” he said.

'Blasting up nonsense'

Okahandja municipality CEO Martha Mutilifa declined to comment on the matter, referring queries to property manager Phillip Hendjala.

Hendjala dismissed the allegations and said the Promised Land activist group, which alerted ACC to the alleged dubious sale of land, are only “blasting up nonsense”.

“There was no land sale during the time of moratorium. We have already submitted a letter to the ACC to explain this,” he said. Meanwhile, Promised Land leader /Gerub Gaseb said they have collected boxes of land transactions which indicate sales took place during the moratorium.

“We do not have to prove anything. The documents are there. They must just give ACC the deeds of transfers at the deeds office and prove that the land on those deeds are still in the municipality books,” he said. He added that they would leave no stone unturned to change the status quo and to retore the dignity of the people of Okahandja.

“Land was sold to investors and the town's people were forced to go and make their homes on the garbage heaps,” he said.

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