Okalongo ‘needs prayers’ to settle land disputes

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Okalongo

Governor of Omusati Region Erginus Endjala has cautioned against the proliferation of alleged land grabbing incidents that are reportedly being instigated by certain businesspeople at Okalongo.

Endjala said this during a fact-finding meeting at Okalongo on Tuesday with the members of the community and businessespeople from the area.

Endjala said Okalongo has problems that were created mostly by the businesspeople who buy plots illegally and in underhanded ways.

“You need prayers, because as businesspeople you need to come together and work as a team in order to develop the placem but now you are fighting each other verbally,” he said.

He pointed out that he was disturbed by the way the Okalongo people engage in disputes, saying this was the fourth time he has been roped in to resolve land disputes in that area.

“In 2011 when I was appointed as a Swapo district coordinator at Outapi I came here to resolve the issue of Swapo members in Okalongo having disputes. In 2012 when I was appointed as Omusati Swapo regional coordinator I again resolved some issues here.

“In 2015 when I was appointed as a governor again I had to come here because of the disputes. This is disturbing and you need to go to church and receive prayers,” he said.

Speaker after speaker who spoke at the meeting claimed that the latest land disputes in Okalongo arose after local officials (their names are withheld pending comment from their side) allegedly allocated land illegally and without the recommendation of the settlement development committee or approval of the council.

Among the allegations that surfaced at the meeting was that a high-ranking government official is involved in land grabbing, although New Era could not yet independently verify the claim.

Some said that there are a number of serviced erven at the settlement, but could not specify the exact number of plots serviced to date.

However, Endjala appointed a new ad hoc committee that will work for two months starting at the beginning of January to February. He said the aim of the committee is to investigate the new allegations.

“This group will just comprehensively investigate the allegations that were raised in today’s meeting and it will work based on the governor’s guidelines,” he said.

Endjala said the new committee he had just appointed and the previous committees appointed by the chairperson of the regional council, Modestus Amutse, would then reconcile their findings by the end of February, so that a lasting solution could be found by March.

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