Damaged houses still unrepaired

Mass housing units in Rundu's Kaisosi area, which were severely damaged by a rainstorm a year ago, are yet to be repaired,

13 November 2018 | Infrastructure

It is still unclear who will take responsibility for the houses built under the government's mass housing programme in Rundu's Kaisosi area, which were severely damaged in December 2017 by a heavy rainstorm, and are yet to be repaired.

A total of 34 houses were damaged on 18 December 2017, with some having their roofs blown off, leaving residents homeless.

At the time, no one came forward to say they would fix the houses, because it had not been established whether the damage was simply the result of a natural disaster or because of shoddy work.

Namibian Sun has been reliably informed that some homeowners have opted to do repairs at their own cost.

When contacted for comment, National Housing Enterprise (NHE) spokesperson Mutonga Matali said because the project was taken away from them and placed under the care of the urban and rural development ministry, he cannot comment.

Green Circle Investment, which had constructed 318 houses at Kaisosi to the tune of N$89 million, referred all questions to the NHE.

Green Circle managing partner Ndeuli Hamutumwa said: “I cannot comment on the matter. Contact NHE because they contracted us. We signed a completion agreement.”

Namibian Sun then contacted ministry permanent secretary Nghidinua Daniel.

He said it would be best if the ministry's director of housing, planning and technical services coordination, Big-Don Kondunda, was contacted to provide answers.

Kondunda requested last Tuesday that questions be emailed to him.

However, minutes later Daniel was quoted by Nampa as saying they would investigate the matter.

“We will hold whoever is responsible for that work accountable, if it is determined that it is the contractor who is responsible,” Nghidinwa told Nampa.

Kondunda only responded to confirm receipt of Namibian Sun's email. On Thursday, he was again emailed, to no avail.

On Friday he was contacted telephonically and he referred Namibian Sun to senior ministry official Evans Maswahu.

When contacted for comment, Maswahu said the response was ready, but needed Daniel's approval. The nationwide mass housing project was launched in 2013 by former president Hifikepunye Pohamba, and was to have built 185 000 houses by 2030.

However, in 2015 the cabinet took a decision to remove the project from the NHE and place it in the hands of the urban and rural development ministry, amid allegations of corruption.

It was also said that contractors had inflated prices.

President Hage Geingob has reportedly called for an audit into the project.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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