The Katima Mulilo Town Council that has in the past months been under duress from the landless on Tuesday allocated 295 serviced plots to appease the masses grumbling for land.
Those who benefited from the allocation are Chotto residents affected by the servicing of the informal settlement that started in 2007.
Over 300 Chotto residents were moved last year due to the formalisation of the informal settlement initiative under a project started by Lux Development and the Namibian Government.
The plots were allocated at Extension 8, on the southern periphery of Chotto informal settlement.
Handing over the plots that measure between 300 to 450 square metres to ecstatic beneficiaries, the mayor of Katima Mulilo, Charles Matengu, noted that the relocation of residents was necessitated by council’s goal of fully servicing the informal settlements. He urged residents to develop their plots.
“We did not want a system where people would just build houses unsystematically. Those that are affected are the ones that are being allocated plots today, according to the list that we have,” explained Matengu.
Matengu noted that next in line would be the Lwa Yaha group, who are land activists, and other remaining Chotto residents affected by the formalisation. The Lwa Yaha activists shot to prominence when they besieged the town demanding land and accused its officials of having multiple plots of land.
“Next it’s going to be Lwa Yaha group, those that remained including Chotto residents that won’t benefit from the plots we are allocating today. We also still have extension 3 and 4 for the middle and high-income groups,” promised Matengu.
The Lwa Yaha group, comprised of mainly landless youth, resorted to grabbing land in Macaravan East in July this year, sparking a violent confrontation with the town council’s CEO Charles Nawa that resulted in the police being called in to restore order.
An agreement was later reached between the town council and the Lwa Yaha group brokered by youth political activist Charles Siyauya, in which the council committed itself to offer 1000 un-serviced plots to the youths within three months.
Municipal services were expected to follow later, according to the agreement.
However, it seems that target was not reached as the deadline lapsed at the end of September.