Rundu — The Rundu Town Council has donated 64 houses in the Nkarapamwe and Safari residential areas to the pensioners who occupy the properties.
Currently, 33 houses at Nkarapamwe and 31 houses at Safari are occupied by pensioners. The Rundu Town Council took a resolution on April 03, this year to donate council properties occupied by pensioners in the two residential areas, but with conditions attached to the donations.
Rundu Town Council Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Romanus Haironga told Nampa on Thursday that the first condition is that the transfer fee of such properties in the name of the pensioners will be borne by the Rundu Town Council. The Rundu CEO said such properties shall not be transferred to a third party for a period of 10 years, except in cases of death. He explained that this was done in order to prevent people from luring the pensioners into selling their houses.
The third condition is that any outstanding amount in respect of municipal services will be written off. Haironga further called on government officials and other employees occupying houses in the two residential areas to purchase the houses since - according to a council resolution taken in February 2010, the occupants can buy the houses at a zero percent interest rate over a period of 36 months. Early last month, residents of Rundu's Safari and Nkarapamwe residential areas occupying government houses took to the street demanding that the Rundu Town Council hand over these houses to them under the State's alienation scheme.
Some years after independence, government decided to "alienate" State houses with the aim of economically empowering Namibians and reducing its expenses on such properties.
People living in the properties at the time got the first option to purchase the houses. Residents last month gave the town council an ultimatum of 30 days to complete the handover of the government houses or face "unspecified action."
They handed over a petition to that effect to Kavango Regional Governor Maurus Nekaro. Some of the occupants have occupied these properties since 1968, but are allegedly not in possession of ownership certificates yet.