The DTA of Namibia has strongly condemned the latest demolitions of 18 shacks that took place in Otjomuise early this week when temperatures in and around Windhoek are gradually dropping with the onset of winter.
The party’s national chairperson, Jennifer van den Heever, remarked in an interview with New Era that local authorities have rules and regulations in place but when it comes to election time they bend those rules for the sole purpose of campaigning.
“We are not happy when these things happen because it seems when it is season for campaigning then there are no rules and after the campaigning season then they want to apply these rules and regulations,” she said.
Van den Heever said there is need to “sit and look into the matter seriously”, as it is unacceptable considering that it is winter and getting cold.
Besides, she noted that many social evils sometimes emanate from such incidences because people are forced to engage in criminal activities in order to survive.
She also stressed the urgent need to create a platform to seriously talk about the land issue as it “is becoming serious for our people”.
However, City of Windhoek spokesperson, Joshua Amukugo has maintained that demolishing illegal structures is not a political issue but a policy issue.
“Illegal land occupation remains an illegal action with no exception to this rule. Although the City of Windhoek remains restricted to demolishing only shacks that are either incomplete or unoccupied, it remains compelled to seek for a court order to demolish shacks that have reached the level of being habitable,” explained Amukugo.
He added that it is only because of lack of manpower that the demolition of illegal shacks is not being carried out “at a desired momentum”.
“Whoever tried to juxtapose these unrelated two issues must be having it wrong. Local authorities throughout the country are under strict instructions from the Central Government to only give serviced land to its people and avoid creating suburbs that have no basic services such as water, ablution facilities, roads and electricity, unless they indicate their financial ability to service the land on their own before putting up structures,” he said.
New Era also contacted Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba who refused to comment, saying it is not a political issue but rather a government issue. “I’m not going to comment on that. Thank you, thank you,” he said before he hurriedly hung up the phone.