Headmen in cash-for-favours row

25 September 2018 | Cultural

Well-known northern businessman Tobias Kuutumbeni says he paid three Oukwanyama Traditional Authority councillors so he could acquire a community earthen dam and the surrounding Ohakweenyanga village land, in order to establish an irrigation project.

Kuutumbeni, who owns Toppy's Workshop, said he paid Ohakweenyanga village headman Daniel Kayili, Oneleiwa village headman Silas Ndakolonghoshi and Onamutayi district senior headman Amon Shipanga.

“In 2013, I bought that piece of land from Oneleiwa headman Ndakolonghoshi. This is not town land and I just did what others do who want communal land in villages. I do not understand why Oshana governor Clemens Kashuupulwa is saying that I am supposed to inform the regional council. How many people who bought communal land in villages have informed his office?” Kuutumbeni said.

“I paid Ndakolonghoshi N$22 000,

Kayili N$11 000 and N$5 000 to Shipanga in cash and I also assisted to excavate a dam for Shipanga at his homestead at Onamutayi costing N$195 000, in order to get this earthen dam. Afterwards, I took a N$2.5 million loan from a local bank to finance the project.”

Kuutumbeni said the total cost he incurred in order to acquire the land was N$452 500, which excludes development costs.

Namibian Sun is in possession of copies of proof of all his payments.

Kuutumbeni is currently under fire from Kashuupulwa, who invited Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila to intervene in the dispute.

The businessman has fenced off the community earthen dam at Ohakweenyanga near the Ongwediva roadblock, denying local livestock access to water.

Kashuupulwa said Kuutumbeni was supposed to engage the regional council and also follow the right procedures to acquire the land and establish the project.

Kuutumbeni said he was very disappointed about the governot inviting the prime minister to his project.

He also said Shipanga had betrayed him, because he was now saying the project is illegal.

He said he had already used half of the money he borrowed from a local bank to pay for infrastructure development at the site.

Shipanga admitted receiving N$5 000 from Kuutumbeni.

“When he first bought a house at Ohakweenyanga village, the headman refused to authorise the deal. As a senior headman, I therefore assisted him to get the authority to own a house and that is what he thanked me for,” Shipanga said.

“The issue of the community earthen dam is different. I approached him a long time ago to advise him to stop building all the structures he is currently having on-site but, he could not be bothered. Now that he is under fire from the government, he is coming up with many excuses.”

Ndakolonghoshi, who is currently suspended from the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, confessed to Kuugongelwa-Amadhila that he had sold the community earthen dam to Kuutumbeni, but countered this by saying the dam is situated in his village.

Despite a receipt of N$11 000 issued to Kuutumbeni by Kayili, he said he had not received money from the businessman for the earthen dam.

He said the earthen dam belongs to the community and their livestock used to drink from there. However, it is now private property, which has been fenced off.

“We did not give you any permission to occupy the dam or portion of the oshana. Remember that on several occasions we warned you to stop all activities around the dam, including fencing and the illegal construction of structures, but you continued to ignore us; the situation forced us to take your matter to a higher authority at Onamutayi,” Kayili said.

Kuutumbeni said he is currently consulting his legal representative, something which Kayili has welcomed.

Kashuupulwa told Kuugongelwa-Amadhila he had enquired from all the relevant ministries and stakeholders to find out what was going on, but nobody could tell him what sort of development was happening, and that is why he decided to approach her office.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said she is going to inform all the ministries involved to intervene, in a bid to resolve the issue.

“Now that I have familiarised myself with the situation, I will go and ask all those involved to speed up the process to see how we can find an amicable solution,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.


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