Omuthiya-Omuthiya Town Council has refuted claims it is dragging its feet to compensate residents with plots after they were relocated to make way for the development of the town following its proclamation in 2008.
Omuthiya Town Council has instead advised all qualifying residents expecting to be given land to come forward and fill out council forms with their details in order for them to be allocated plots. This is to enable the town council to transfer the plots in the names of the recipients.
One distressed resident, 77-year-old Amagola Salomo, who is on the verge of being on the street because the plot he previously occupied was sold to an investor, who has now begun developing it. Salomo was concerned he could end up homeless, as he has not been allocated a plot since 2011 and thus cannot build a house.
Salomo was given compensation of N$524,287 and qualifies to be allocated two plots in line with the compensation policy. The policy states that residential erven measuring at least 500m² in size would be transferred to the occupant’s name free of charge, of which one of the erven should be where the present homestead is located.
Alternatively, if the area where one or both of the erven is located, is not zoned for residential use, the affected occupants shall be given optional residential land.
Chief executive officer Samuel Mbango said though that Salomo had been informed on several occasions by council of the procedures to come forward and complete the required form.
“We even sent letters and forms to him, but he never came back to us. Most of those that have returned the forms have already been allocated with plots. He should just fill in the form we issued to him or to come to our offices and we will assist him,” Mbango explained.
On July 7, 2015 Salomo was issued with a notice to vacate the land within a month, a directive which he ignored. Instead, he asked council to show him where his promised plot is. Salomo was adamant he was not refusing to vacate the area, but had no place to go.
Mbango cautioned residents to stop listening to stories in the streets, because that seems to confuse them and suggested they should rather seek clarity from council officials.
The investors have already brought building materials onto the site and will soon start erecting the fence, a situation which Salomo says will restrict his movement, as his homestead is in the centre.