Omatala divides council

Dust refuses to settle over Omatala

28 November 2016 | Infrastructure

Companies that lost out on the bid to acquire the old Oshakati Open Market piece of land have objected to the N$2.5-million selling price.

A well-placed source at the Oshakati Town Council has informed Namibian Sun that all ten companies who tendered wrote objection letters to the council objecting to its decision to sell Omatala to businessman Erastus ''Chicco” Shapumba for N$2.5 million.

Mayor Katrina Shimbulu announced in July that Shapumba''s company, Mouse Properties CC, won the bid to acquire the old Oshakati Open Market land. Shapumba''s company beat Lynx Property Developers, Oshiwana Property Developers, Tecklink Consultants, Kalahari Holdings, FAI Square Development Consortium, NDI Holdings SINCO Investments, Water Power Trading cc, BH Properties CC and Sun Investment CC that all submitted bids to develop the prime land.

Council''s extraordinary meeting that was held on 21 November to discuss these objections could not reach any consensus.

The source said every time the council met, no new item was on the agenda except the Omatala discussion, adding that conflicts always erupted among members with different viewpoints and the issue has now divided the council.

“The last two meetings were urgent meetings aimed at discussing the objection letters lodged by the contenders who lost, but due to differences among council members, it has always been postponed. The contenders argue that they were betrayed on the land price.

They are saying the selling price is not the price that was presented to them in the first place,” the source said.

In earlier interviews, Shimbulu said that the council members are only protecting their interests and this has now divided the council.

During the last meeting, the issue was postponed to 13 December. “We need to speed it up because urban and rural development minister Sophia Shaningwa is pushing us to finalise the issue.

The council is now behind on many development programme discussions, but every time we meet only Omatala is on the agenda,” the source further said.

Shimbulu in an earlier interview told Namibian Sun that the 1.7-hectare piece of land was worth about N$900 000, but the council decided to sell it for N$2.5 million.

Approached on the latest developments, Shimbulu refused to comment, but confirmed that council has not resolved the matter. “We are still where we were when I last spoke to you. There is nothing else I can tell you,” she said.



ILENI NANDJATO

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