Tumweneni settlers soldier on

03 August 2021 | Local News

KENYA KAMBOWE

RUNDU

The failure of the Rundu town council in 2018 to deal with about 100 people who occupied land on the outskirts of the town, has now placed a daunting task on the current leadership to deal with an informal settlement that is home to close to 4 000 people.

Attempts to get a clear-cut plan from the council on how to deal with the thousands of people who have settled at Tumweneni since 25 June 2018 proved futile, as there seems to have been no progress in handling the situation which has now given leeway to opportunists masquerading as landless people to occupy land free of charge.

According to Rundu CEO Olavi Nathanael, the council is looking at whether the eviction order granted by the High Court in 2019 is still valid.

Nathanael acknowledged that not much was done in the past to service land for the residents,

He said in the next financial year the council will prioritise the servicing of land which will then counter the claims of those who are grabbing land.

“From next financial year we are servicing plots so that people don’t have an excuse. If we evict you, we will tell you, you are lying, there is land there, and you did not apply,” Nathanael argued.

The plots will be paid off over a period of 24 months.

The council’s attempt to evict the squatters failed after deputy sheriff Daniel Grobbelaar, accompanied by members of the police and defence force who turned up to execute the eviction order, were sent packing by the settlers.

The team was met by armed women and men threatening them with stones, pangas, knives and sticks and had to retreat.

Since then, the law enforcers have never returned to enforce the court order.

Namibian Sun has been reliably informed that a meeting took place in 2020 between the committee representing the illegal settlers and the former representative of the line ministry on the council, Sebastian Kantema.

One of the issues discussed was how to discourage foreign nationals from illegally occupying land.

Eviction order

The eviction order in regard to the area known as Farm Rundu Townlands Portion 1329 was issued by the High Court on 27 June 2019.

It ordered the squatters to remove their property from the illegally occupied land within 30 days.

The deputy sheriff of the District of Rundu was authorised to remove them in the event that they did not voluntarily vacate the farm.

The police were authorised to assist the deputy sheriff.

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