Wu scores N$20m discount in land deal

15 September 2020 | Local News

Kenya Kambowe

RUNDU

Chinese-born property magnate Stinu Wu’s company, Helmsman Group, has scored a massive discount of over N$20 million in a land deal that will see the firm acquiring eight erven measuring 83.1738 hectares at Divundu in Kavango East to develop a residential area and shopping complex.

Helmsman Group was expected to pay N$29 110 830 for the land that was initially offered at N$35 per square metre.

However, the company will only pay N$8 634 760 after its request for a price reduction was granted by the local authority.

This was confirmed by Divundu village council CEO Athanasius Maghumbo, who explained that the erven are undeveloped, and Helmsman Group will incur the costs of developing the land.

It was on this basis that the discount was granted, Maghumbo said.

Investment vs positive return

“Helmsman Group engaged council for a possible price reduction, considering the investments to be made and possible positive returns to be derived by council, such as the introduction of additional municipal infrastructure, immediate and future employment creation, local economic development and housing provision, which at the present moment is a challenge in Divundu,” the CEO said.

According to an advertisement placed in daily newspapers for objections, the council is also selling land to developer Jian Wen Investments Namibia.

Different deals

The Divundu village council offered 1.5 hectares of townland for which the developer will pay the upset price of N$35 per square metre for the undeveloped land.

This, Maghumbo explained, was because Jian Wen was offered the land at N$35 per square metre and gave an assurance that they had the financial resources to purchase it without delay.

He said Jian Wen’s proposal includes setting up a factory for building materials, a supermarket, a tyre sales and service centre, as well as various retail shops and a service station.

Reinvest

According to Maghumbo, Jian Wen’s application is dated 4 March 2020 and the Helmsman Group’s application is dated 11 May 2020. Representatives of both business entities made presentations to council regarding their proposed developments.

Maghumbo said council will reinvest the monies from the sale of the land into delivering much-needed services.

“Council will reinvest the funds, if the transactions materialise, into the servicing of land, as at the moment council does not have serviced land at its disposal, neither does it have funds to invest in new municipal infrastructure.”

No comment from Wu

Attempts to get comment from Wu and her Namibian business associate, Chris Shivolo, since last week proved futile.

Texted questions regarding what the plans are for the land, how its development will benefit the community and whether Covid-19 had affected their plans went unanswered.

Namibian Sun also wanted to know if Wu has similar projects in the pipeline in other towns.

Wu responded yesterday by asking for questions to be emailed. There was no response at the time of going to print.

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