Protesting Affirmative Repositioning (AR) members yesterday gave the Oshakati Town Council 45 days to reverse recent plot allocations at the town and apologise to residents within 45 working days.
The protestors also threatened to open a case with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and erect shacks on the allocated plots if their demands are not met.
The council has until February 20, 2017 to respond.
“We are going to identify the plots that were ill-required and erect shacks on them,” the AR petition read. The petition was read by Hileni Malakia.
AR is unhappy with the recent allocation of plots, amongst them the Governor of Oshana Region, Clemens Kashuupulwa, being awarded about 4,000 square metres to construct flats.
Chairperson of the management committee, Gabriel Kamwanka, the land committee chairperson, got 8,703 square metres to construct a guest house and market, and some senior employees of council were also allocated plots, as well as a few well-connected individuals.
A petition was handed to both the Oshana Regional Council and Oshakati Town Council.
The corporate communications officer of the town council, Katarina Kamari, said there is nothing sinister about the plot allocation.
“When applications are submitted to the town council all applications are treated equally. No applications are skipped based on the applicant – hence no applicant would be treated unfairly when applying for a plot due to the applicant’s title or position held in the community,” said Kamari.
Kamari further disputed the chairperson of the management committee is chairperson of the land committee.
The protest was fuelled with derogatory remarks made against first citizen of the region, Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa, and senior local authority councillors.
Children as young as eight also joined the protest. While some of the children understood the quest of owning a plot and subsequently a house, others stood with their arms folded as the protesters chanted songs about homelessness.
The protestors marched from an open area behind Yetu complex to the Oshana regional office where they were received by the governor’s special advisor, Michael Mwinga, and his personal assistant Tshikarepo Andjamba.
Their presence was at first not welcomed, with the protestors demanding to see the governor – however, the governor was said to be on leave. “Where is the governor? Tell us where he is, we are ready to camp here until his return,” screamed a protester.
Mwinga promised to have the petition delivered to the relevant authorities.
The march to the regional council was followed by that to the town council offices.
At the town council the group called some members of the local authority councillors illiterate and questioned their ability to make the right decisions.
The group argued that the local authority council, in which Swapo Party holds six of seven seats, has defied the ideological values of the party which are solidarity with the downtrodden, freedom for the oppressed and social justice for the disadvantaged.