Govt houses still have illegal occupants

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WINDHOEK – There is inadequate record keeping of government houses, which has resulted in some government staff profiting from renting out or subletting the houses while others are occupying the properties illegally without approval.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, Kilus Nguvauva, made this revelation on Monday during the resumption of the National Council.

According to Nguvauva, who is also Steinhaussen constituency councillor, the occupant of the house at 21 John Simms Street in Windhoek North is pocketing N$1 500 every month from subletting the outside room.

An NDF employee at Suiderhof who occupies a flat at Luna Court also sublets a room to three people for N$1000 per month.

He said that in another instance, a member of the Namibian Police, working at State House has been living in a government house since 1998 and was made an offer to buy the house from 2006, but to date this has not happened.

“Whenever my ministry’s (Works and Transport) officials approached her to find out why she is not finalizing the process of purchasing her house, she has always given an explanation that she is waiting for promotion in her current job,” Nguvauva revealed, saying that it could be an indication the employee does not qualify for the purchase amount as per evaluation.

The deputy works minister further informed the august House that some occupants of government houses were also conducting private businesses such as selling sweets, Nik-Naks chips and ice cream from the premises as in the case of an occupant  of a house in Zambezi Region who was stopped from doing so.

Another problem is the vandalism of government  property and because of insufficient inspectors, there is no proper compliance with rules of occupying the houses.

Nguvauva said that although housing rules require that house occupants have a lease agreement, some tenants do not have one because the ministry only introduced a Tenant Lease Agreement in 2008.

“Currently, my ministry has completed an amendment to the existing lease agreement prepared in 2008 to come up with the new agreement to be signed by all tenants countrywide by early 2014,” he said.

Vice-Chairperson of the National Council and Khomasdal North constituency councillor, Margaret Mensah-Williams, added that some government houses and flats are left in unhygienic conditions while abuse of alcohol is also rampant at the homes.

She said that some people are also occupying government flats and houses while not in the employ of government.

“We should have deadlines. If you leave government, you must be given notice (to vacate) within thirty days,” she stated, adding that everyone must be treated equally.

Mensah-Williams said that there are people in government offices who are doing nothing and should be sent to investigate and report the conditions of houses.

“Some civil servants are on holiday all year through,” she lashed out, saying that if one visits government ministries now one would find them  “on leave” while not on leave.

Linyati constituency councillor in the Zambezi Region, Cletius Sipapela, was concerned about government property being vandalized while no stringent measures are put in place.

“As government officials, we are failing the government of the day and the ruling party,” he said.

Sipapela asked why government failed to institute measures where no remuneration would be paid to an individual occupying government property before receiving a clearance certificate that the property is still intact.

“We need an amicable solution to this,” he said.

Tsumeb constituency councillor Lebbius Tobias said that he was worried about those occupying government houses while waiting on pension.

“It’s unacceptable unless there is a timeframe given,” he said, adding that they want to hear that action is taken and not that it will be done.

Caption (Government house.jpg):

Some government employees are said to be profiting from renting out or subletting government flats and houses while others occupy government houses illegally.

By Magreth Nunuhe

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