• Home
  • I’m not politicking with housing – Venaani

I’m not politicking with housing – Venaani

Staff Reporter


The housing crisis in Namibia is beyond politics and could lead to a civil war if not addressed in an earnest and expeditious fashion, Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president McHenry Venaani says.

The leader of the official opposition was responding to questions on whether his Wednesday visit to destitute residents living in riverbeds in Windhoek’s 8ste Laan was political theatrics.

The residents - whose shacks were recently washed away following heavy rains in the capital - are pleading for relocation to higher ground.

“The job of a leader is to look after people. So if you are saying when I come to look after people [it means] I am campaigning, am I the only leader who is desperate for votes?” he asked.

He said his visit is also aimed at creating awareness about the harsh conditions Namibians are subjected to daily.

“I am not the type of person who will sit in my house while I hear that other people’s houses burned down. I am not doing anything for public relations or for a campaign. I am here for humanitarian purposes,” he said.

“My job as an opposition leader is to keep government awake if they are not doing the work they are supposed to do, so that I trigger them,” he continued.

Not much changed

At the height of the 2014 general elections campaign, Venaani – in a move which saw him both loathed and lauded – slept in a shack in Katutura’s Ombili location.

Since then, not much has changed, he said.

“[After that] I moved a motion in Parliament that is adopted on social housing to say that if you have people who cannot access land, government must inject money into flats and take a professional who can manage that place. It would reduce the rent prices.”

He added: “Parliament took a mission to Singapore to study social housing and up to now, we are asking why it is not being implemented”.


During Venaani’s visit, 68-year-old Magdalena Mukoko narrated their Sunday afternoon ordeal when her shack was nearly washed away by a flash flood. She lives with her daughter, a friend and eight children.

One of the pensioner’s grandchildren has a disability and would be “unable to help himself should a stronger flood come”.

Mukoko survives on government’s monthly pension grant, while her daughter is a domestic worker.

“I have been applying for land from the municipality, but to no success. We need urgent help,” she pleaded.

The PDM leader promised to donate food and other household needs to the destitute families whose houses were ravaged by floods.


Namibian Sun 2023-05-29

No comments have been left on this article

Please login to leave a comment