Urban and Rural Development Minister Sophia Shaningwa will know by the end of this week how a total of 260 persons and businesses acquired land from the Okahandja Municipality.
This after the people were listed as those from whom the municipality’s new management demanded documentation to prove how they acquired various plots at the town in the past five years.
These include the town’s former mayor Valerie Aron and former Cabinet minister Kazenambo Kazenambo who were given an ultimatum by the municipality together with the ministry, or to face unspecified actions. However, businessman Kazenambo has since indicated that all his land acquisitions have been above board and that he has furnished the municipality with proof of how he acquired plots at the town.
The requested documentation includes copies of application letters, deeds of sale, all receipts as proof of payment and council resolutions that paved the way to grant them leave to acquire the land.
A senior official from the ministry’s urban land management department confirmed that they will submit a report to Shaningwa by the end of this week.
“We are finalizing the report and we are likely to do a presentation to the minister and then after that we will give feedback to the municipality,” the official said.
“However, not everybody submitted their documents. The minister will give recommendations on the way forward but there will be penalties which I can’t disclose right now.”
However, a notice calling for the submissions read that failure to furnish the documents by end of last month may lead to the harsh reality of their having to forfeit the plots and hand them back to the municipality, which has since placed a notice in the media to that effect.
The notice and intended action are part of the ongoing investigation at the town into suspicious land deals which implicate the Okahandja Town Council in having in the past dished out plots irregularly without showing the slightest regard to getting any approval from the land minister.
Meanwhile, Okahandja Mayor Johannes Hindjou has cleared the air around talks that he has acquired 15 erven from the municipality while on the other hand claiming to be championing the provision of land to poor residents.
However, Hindjou confirmed that together with his business partners at Eue Trading Enterprise cc he had applied for the land in 2013.
“We applied for the land with two other partners. We were called in for a presentation and that was the last we heard of the matter. We do not know whether we have been given the land or not,” Hindjou explained.
“This is not in our hands. We are still waiting and it is now three years. Why don’t you call the municipal management to get answers? All I am saying is that we do not have any land – contrary what is being said,” he said.
According to the former soccer player another Eue Trading Enterprise appeared on the list from Shaningwa’s ministry but it is not his company – as they never got land from the municipality.
The town planner Philip Endjala refused to give details on the matter, saying: “What is it to the paper whether the land was given or not?”
When he was informed that Hindjou’s response contradicts reports that the land was given and conspicuously Hindjou’s name did not appear on the list of the 260 people who had to provide documentation, Endjala responded:
“I will not speak about it. Maybe you can refer to the ministry.”