Uutoni rejects Wu discounted land deal

Maghumbo said their submission was rejected, adding that the ministry asked them to make amendments and resubmit. He, however, refused to expand on the issues that need fixing.

17 September 2021 | Local News

Kenya Kambowe







DIVINDU

Urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni has rejected a controversial land deal which saw the Divundu village council agreeing to sell eight erven to Chinese-born property magnate Stina Wu’s company Helmsman Group at a massively discounted price.

Measuring more than 83 hectares, the council planned to give the company a N$20 million discount.

This was confirmed yesterday by council CEO Athanasius Maghumbo, who told Namibian Sun that they received their long-awaited feedback from the ministry with regards to the deal.

Maghumbo said their submission was rejected, adding that the ministry asked them to make amendments and resubmit.

He, however, refused to expand on the issues that need fixing.

“There are certain things that need to be done internally,” he said.

Confidential

When asked whether Helmsman made payment for the land - which it has already started developing - Maghumbo said that’s confidential at this point in time.

Helmsman, which applied for the 83.1738 hectares of land on 11 May 2020, was expected to pay N$29.1 million for the land that was initially offered at N$35 per square metre.

However, the company planned to only cough up N$8.6 million after its request for a price reduction was granted by the local authority.

Meanwhile, while the minister is yet to approve the deal, Helmsman is at an advanced stage of developing the land they do not have ownership of.

The company is constructing a shopping complex aimed to give the local authority a facelift.

When Namibian Sun visited the site last weekend, construction was in full swing.

In June, this publication reported that the Divundu village council said it sees nothing wrong with its decision to allow businesses to build in the area despite not having the mandatory ministerial approval, which often takes ages to be granted.

Helmsman will, however, now need to keep its fingers crossed for the deal to be approved, or else risk its million-dollar investment.

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