Newly established Oniipa Town Council is not yet operational.
Although the town has a mayor, an acting chief executive officer (CEO), and 12 other staff members, it is yet to open up to members of the public as the council is still busy with preparatory groundwork, including acquiring and setting up the office and basic administrative functions.
Speaking to New Era, acting CEO Reinhold Niikondo said the town is still busy re-organising itself, before its tackles some of the burning issues such as servicing of land, illegal land occupations and making more land available to the public.
Niikondo says before it was proclaimed a town Oniipa was an official settlement run by Oshikoto Regional Council.
He made it clear that whoever wants to acquire land has to go through the regional councilor. However, some of the settlers opted to acquire land through the traditional authorities, he stated.
Apart from dealing with illegal structures in town, the town council is faced with the challenge of compensating people whose homesteads previously fell within the borders of town.
“We are in touch with the Ministry Urban and Rural Development. They are guiding us with the procedures to follow, because the minister will first gazette the prices of the land, so that they can give us the go-ahead,” said Niikondo.
In spite of the fact that it was only proclaimed as a town recently, he said Oniipa is a place where investors can get value for their investments, as it is highly populated,.
He said the town is a gateway to most of the towns and regions to the north and explained that their offices are temporarily based at the office of Oniipa Constituency are constantly busy.
“We have potential investors approaching us. Community members also visit our offices, looking for the map as they want to know how they are affected by ongoing developments,” Niikondo said.
The acting CEO said so far the town plans to have at least four residential areas, including Onethindi Extensions 1 to 4 and Oniipa Proper.