Huge win for Okahandja squatters

11 September 2019 | Local News

The residents of the illegal Vergenoeg settlement at Okahandja have achieved a victory after several community meetings and pressure, driven mostly by the Okahandja Residents' Damage Control Committee.

The Roads Authority (RA) will now “realign the route of the new (bypass) road to minimise the impact on the community that has illegally settled on the portion of freeway proclaimed road”.

According to the RA, with the new realignment, only approximately 20 families will be affected. In its original design, the route would have caused the relocation of roughly 300 households.

The RA did not provide further details or whether there would be cost implications of the route change.

The announcement was made to the community at a meeting at Vergenoeg on Sunday afternoon by regional councillor Steve 'Biko' Booys.

He addressed the crowd and first informed them of a list of what he described as his achievements, including improvements at the Okahandja hospital, a school in Vyfrandkamp and upgrades and developments at Gross Barmen resort.

He would not field any questions in this regard and told Namibian Sun that only questions pertaining to the route of the bypass would be answered.

“Only residents can ask questions and we are not here to discuss the past,” he said.

According to Hileni Fillemon, the RA's corporate communications manager, “several consultative meetings were held with the leadership of the Okahandja town council and Otjozondjupa regional council.

“The Okahandja municipality has made a commitment to allocate land for the temporary relocation of the affected families.”

It is not certain how many households will be affected as Booys told Namibian Sun that only 12 families would be moved.

The chairperson of the town's management committee, Gideon Uwu-Khaeb, who also addressed the residents on Sunday afternoon, told Namibian Sun that between 12 and 20 households would have to move.

The families will not be compensated as they are illegally on the land, but will be assisted with relocation.

Fillemon told Namibian Sun that the RA was working closely with the councillor of Okahandja constituency and the leadership of Okahandja's municipality “to resolve this matter in the earnest, in order to avoid any delay in finding a solution to relocate the illegal squatters in the proclaimed road reserve”.

The bypass veers west, just south of the Omakunde River, bypassing the town on the southern and western fringes, and reconnects with the B1 to Otjiwarongo as well as the B2 to the coast. Construction at the end of the dual carriageway A1 has already begun.

A 17 August meeting, called by the damage control committee, was addressed by Wilfred Goaseb. At the time he told the community that the road was “unnecessary”, adding that it would turn Okahandja into a “ghost town”.

There are concerns from the business community that the bypass will take traffic out of the town and a few business owners have informed Namibian Sun that they would be engaging the municipality in this regard.

Goaseb agrees. “People will not come into Okahandja anymore. Jobs will be lost and eventually, our municipality will be downgraded. What about the wood carvers and their livelihoods? Our leaders are not taking this seriously. The interest of the people will always be more important than any development.” On Sunday, he said they would fight to have no households relocated.

The town's CEO, Martha Mutilifa, would not comment on the formalisation of the settlement, saying only that “the meeting was under the supervision and chair-controlled by politicians”. She did not respond to earlier questions regarding the concerns of the business community.

A resident of Vergenoeg, Sara Ngairo, said when they eventually learned of the new road, roughly in June or July this year, as they had “never been consulted or informed”, they wrote a letter to Otjozondjupa governor Otto Ipinge.

Ipinge responded, saying that he would meet with the community on 2 September. “That is very far,” she said, adding that the governor clearly “does not take it seriously”.

According to Goaseb, they prepared for the 2 September meeting but that Ipinge “did not show up”.

Ngairo added that they turned to the councillors too, who “said they would come, but never did”.

On 12 July, Ngairo said they handed in a written submission at President Geingob's Otjozondjupa town hall meeting in Otjiwarongo. She said he undertook “to attend to it”.

Nampa reported that Geingob, after having received several written proposals at Otjiwarongo, said “he would establish a team that would critically look into them”.

[email protected]


Similar News


Hitman molugodhi nelelo lyaNdangwa

20 hours ago | Local News

ILENI NANDJATOONDANGWAOmudhengingonyo nale gwoWorld Boxing Association (WBA) a simana Paulus 'The Hitman' Moses okuli molugodhi italu hulu nelelo lyondoolopa yaNdangwa, ndyoka tali popi kutya okwa...

Ooskola dhopevi dha tameke

20 hours ago | Local News

JUSTICIA SHIPENAOVENDUKAOshitopolwa oshitiyali shetameko lyooskola osha tulwa miilonga oshiwike shika, sha landula sho ooskola dha kalekwa uule woomwedhi, okuza momwedhi Maalitsa, omolwa ombuto yo Covid-19.Pahapu...

Ondangwa council in rematch with 'Hitman'

1 day - 08 July 2020 | Local News

ILENI NANDJATOONDANGWAThe dust is refusing to settle in the land conflict between the Ondangwa town council and former World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight world champion...

Contractor sues govt for N$75m

2 days ago - 07 July 2020 | Local News

ILENI NANDJATOONDANGWA The works ministry is being taken to court for refusing to pay a contractor N$75.3 million for the construction of the Omusati...

IIia Nghipundjwa a ningi omukwatakanithi gwaSwapo mOmuthiya

2 days ago - 07 July 2020 | Local News

NAMPAONGWEDIVAAakuthimbinga yaSwapo momutumba gwomahogololo gaaleli yoshikandjo shaMuthiya, oya hogolola, Ilia Nghipundjwa onga omukwatatakanithi omupe gwoshikandjo shoka, sha landula omutumba ngoka gwa ningilwa mOmuthiyagwiipundi mOlyomakaya.Omukwateli komeho...

Ongeyo yandje oyi li mondjila: Swartbooi

2 days ago - 07 July 2020 | Local News

NAMPAOVENDUKABernadus Swartbooi okwa popi ngaaka pethimbo lyomutumba gwiikundaneki ngoka a ningi mEtine lya piti, moka a yelitha omaihumbato giilyo yoLandless People’s Movement (LPM) momutumba gwoNational...

After a successful operation, boy gets land

3 days ago - 06 July 2020 | Local News

OGONE TLHAGEOKAHANDJAOtjozondjupa governor James Uerikua has helped three-year-old Shuuya Ndeutenge, who had a growth protruding through his belly button, secure a 400-square-metre plot in Okahandja's...

War veteran's house roofless

3 days ago - 06 July 2020 | Local News

KENYA KAMBOWENDIYONAA family of nine at Ndiyona settlement in the Kavango East Region have been living in a government tent for the past eight months...

Olukongo lwAambisofi aape yaElcin lwa tameke

3 days ago - 06 July 2020 | Local News

ILENI NANDJATOONIIPAOngongahangano yoongeleka dhoEvangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) otayi ilongekidhile okuhogolola aambisofi aape, pomutumba gwawo ngoka kwa tegelelwa gu ningwe muMei omvula twa taalela.Ongeleka...

Oskola yaMweshipandeka ya patwa omolwa oCovid-19

3 days ago - 06 July 2020 | Local News

ILENI NANDJATOONGWEDIVAAalongi otaya kala miilonga naanaskola mboka haya zi momuhandjo otaya kala moskola omanga aanaskola mboka haya zi komagumbo taya kala komagumbo. Etseyitho ndyoka olya...

Latest News

Namibia's airport gears for operations...

20 hours ago | Business

Namibia's flagship airport the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) is ready for its restart plan as borders are going to gradually open under the provisions...

'Swapo campaign benefitted from Fishrot'

20 hours ago | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKA State witness in the ongoing bail application of former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau and his son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi dropped a bombshell yesterday when...

Itula not a competitor –...

20 hours ago | Politics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEK The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement does not see the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC), a mooted political party led by former presidential...

Air Namibia wants its wings...

20 hours ago | Transport

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKAir Namibia has written to the Transport Commission of Namibia, demanding to know why the national carrier's air services licence has been temporarily suspended.The...

Namibia receives 2.35 million...

20 hours ago | Economics

China has donated Covid-19 related supplies worth 40 million Namibian dollars (2.35 million US dollars) to Namibia to assist the country in fighting the virus,...

Time for Swapo to answer

20 hours ago | Opinion

Now more than ever, the ruling party Swapo has no excuse to maintain the deafening silence on allegations it has benefitted from the multi-million-dollar Fishrot...

Farmers rue lack of post-resettlement...

20 hours ago | Business

By Edward Mumbuu JnrSome resettlement beneficiaries have expressed discontent in governments post-resettlement support programme, which they suggest, derails the productivity and profitability of such farms.The...

San's existence under threat

20 hours ago | Environment

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK The San's environment is constantly under threat, and while they were once able to sustain themselves and their way of...

Pick n Pay assault twist

20 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEK The wife of a suspect, who can clearly be seen beating a Pick n Pay employee in a video that went viral this...

Load More