Rundu — The construction of a shopping complex here has been on hold for nearly a year now due to a land dispute between two business personalities.
Chinese businessman Jin Wei Chen and Rundu businessman Nelson Luis are at loggerheads over the piece of land, with Luis claiming that he inherited the plot from his late father, Berta Luis, while Jin has proof that he bought the plot from Joseph Nkotongo.
Luis said his father bought the land from its original owner, Nkotongo, and that he is in possession of a Permission to Occupy (PTO) certificate issued by the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development (MRLGHRD).
Jin wanted to start with the construction of the envisaged shopping complex in September last year, but was stopped by Luis from proceeding with the demolition of the existing structures.
The disputed plot has now been fenced off by Luis, who remains adamant that he is the legal owner of the plot. According to documents in the possession of Nampa, Luis was granted the PTO certificate for Erf number 1618, measuring 1,055 square metres on 08 February 2000 after purchasing it from Nkotongo for N$50 000.
The same plot was allegedly also sold to the Chinese businessman for a whopping N$200 000. Meanwhile, Nkotongo is also in possession of the PTO which was granted to him by the Regional and Local Government Ministry on 20 September 1996.
Rundu Town Council Chief Executive Officer Romanus Haironga told Nampa recently that the council is only aware of Nkotongo's PTO. Haironga explained that all allotments held under Permission to Occupy shall not be transferred mortgaged, ceded, leased or sub-let or alienated without the consent of the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development.
This dispute has since pushed developments at the town to the side, and is widely viewed by residents as denying them employment opportunities.