Guards deployed to prevent land grabs

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Selma Ikela

Windhoek-The City Police have put measures in place to stop land invasions around Windhoek by deploying security guards in areas of the city where land grabs are rife.

According to City Police spokesperson Cillie Auala, making use of the guards has made the situation controllable particularly in Otjomuise, which is the city’s priority, as the land is earmarked for development.

Auala said they marked shacks in Otjomuise that are already occupied and further deployed security guards to stop further land invasions.

“We have 24 hours security to make sure no land invasion is reported and it’s successful. If there is a shack being put up, the security guard will inform us and we deploy our members to the area,” said Auala.

She said that land invaders would come prepared with belongings and an already built shack and just put it in the holes that have already been dug.

Auala explained that a person already occupying land presents a challenge to the municipality as by law they can’t evict such squatters without a court order. “But if the invaders were in the process of erecting the shack, we tell them to remove their structures,” said Auala.

She further said if the invaders refused, they called in their colleagues from property management to remove the structures and the City Police would be on standby for safety and law enforcement.

Auala said that having the recent High Court case against them (the municipality) dismissed is an indication that the City Police operate within the legal framework as opposed to what the public allege – that they simply demolish people’s shacks

High Court Judge Shafimana Ueitele last month delivered his ruling on the urgent application against the demolition by City Police officials of several shacks in 7de Laan informal settlement.

Ueitele dismissed the application after the aggrieved people could not provide proof to the court that they had been living in the area for the past three years prior to the City Police demolition of shacks on March 28-29 this year.

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