Oshakati councillors, CEO grilled over land deal

by Helvy Shaanika

Oshakati councillors, CEO grilled over land deal

Ongwediva

Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa reportedly summoned the CEO of Oshakati, Werner Iita, Mayor Katrina Shimbulu and five councillors to her office to explain the sale of a prime piece of land at Oshakati for a song.

Shaaningwa was reportedly not amused with the questionable allocation of the prime land in Oshakati to Mouse Properties.
Shimbulu and other council members are said to have ignored procedures and allocated the 3 633-square metre plot, worth N$47 million, to a company belonging to business mogul Erastus ‘Chicco’ Shapumba for a meagre N$2.5 million.



An independent valuer contracted by the council reportedly pegged the market-related value of Erf 1342 – which used to be Oshakati Open Market – at worth N$30 million.

The valuer further suggested the land should not be sold at any price less than N$17 million, or above the maximum of N$47 million.

Oshakati Town Council’s land committee had also set up a score-sheet with requirements to be met by any potential developer.
It is alleged Mouse Properties scored only 57.13 percent from the score-sheet and was ranked fourth among the companies that applied for the said portion of land.

Although Shimbulu denied being summoned to Minister Shaningwa’s office, well-placed sources maintain she had a meeting with Shaningwa on Monday, where they were warned to go and “clean up their mess” .

Shaningwa reportedly also warned the councillors not to talk to the media about the meeting.

In the meeting, some councillors allegedly accused Shimbulu of autocratic leadership and of being disrespectful towards them.
Contacted for clarity, Shimbulu said: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. As we speak right now I’m in Walvis Bay with work.”

FAI is a consortium of companies co-owned by business mogul Frans Aupa Indongo, the retired managing director of Telecom Frans Ndoroma and Debmarine Namibia CEO Otto Shikongo and scored 100 percent by reaching all requirements stipulated by council, but later withdrew.

Those privy to inside information claim the consortium was deliberately frustrated to withdraw, as the process dragged on for too long, thus delaying the appointment of the successful company.

Lynx Property Developer, owned by former MVA Fund CEO Jerry Mwadinohamba, was rated second as it scored 85.71 percent. Chinese-owned Sun Investment cc. came third, scoring 71 percent.

Mouse Properties and Swapo-owned Kalahari Holdings both obtained 57.13 percent on the score-sheet and ranked fourth.
BH Properties, a company owned by prominent businessman Ben Hauwanga and his wife secured a fifth position by scoring 42.84 percent.

Another company, NDI properties, was also ranked at the fifth position, having scored the same percentage as BH Properties.
Members of the public have until Friday to object to council’s decision to allocate the land to Mouse Properties. Only then, will council refer its decision to Shaningwa for her signature.

Meanwhile, Mouse Properties has started with the demolition and clearing of structures at the former Omatalamarket, despite the fact that the formal process of allocating the piece of land is not completed.

Last week, CEO Iita confirmed that he was aware of work going on at the former market, but said it done without the knowledge or permission of his office.

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