Venaani urges Geingob to halt evictions

16 January 2020 | Short News

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has called on President Hage Geingob to stop evictions as a matter of urgency.

Party leader McHenry Venaani addressed his plea to Geingob in an open letter on Tuesday.

Venaani said in the run-up to the 2019 general election, which took place less than two months ago, a number of political parties made promises to the electorate that they would strive to improve their lives and ease the massive burden ordinary Namibians are carrying.

“In fact, your government facilitated the so-called town hall meetings in various regions at which ordinary Namibians expressed their deep frustration and anger regarding a number of issues, including the nation's ongoing land release and housing crisis,” Venaani wrote to Geingob.

“It was thus with deep shock that we, as the PDM, and I as its leader, learnt about the evictions at the Endombo compound in Tsumeb, which houses over 260 households, by Christo Groenewald, a supposedly new owner.

“Mr President, this flies in the face of the promises made by political candidates in the run-up to last year's election and specifically promises made by you and your administration that you will work in the best interest of ordinary Namibians, especially those who are landless and without proper shelter,” Venaani added.

He said less than two months ago, the people of Tsumeb voted in favour of Geingob, “with the majority putting their trust in you and your party while you seem to have no regard for their lives”.

“These people (at Endombo) have been there for decades.

“But let's give you the benefit of the doubt, Mr President. Either you may be ignorant of what's happening, which is highly unlikely, or there are people who are trying to sabotage you, which means the internal Swapo squabbles continue to impact the lives of the poor and vulnerable,” Venaani added.

He also mentioned Namibia's growing housing backlog.

“In fact, according to the latest statistics, there are 308 informal settlements in Namibia, with a staggering 228 000 shacks accommodating about 995 000 people in urban areas. Are they all at threat?”

He said instead of Geingob and his administration giving people hope, they were “adding to their despair and hopelessness”.

“In addition, we urge the authorities to stop the madness of evicting people in Tsumeb and the entire country as a matter of urgency.”

STAFF REPORTER

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