15 November 2012

Namibia: Ekandjo Hands Over Incomplete Houses

THE recent handover of incomplete National Housing Enterprise (NHE) houses by Local Government Minister Jerry Ekandjo at Keetmanshoop has raised eyebrows among critics.

Of the 50 houses, 14 were not connected to the town’s water and sewage networks since they were built on unserviced plots.

Because of this, the new owners have to wait until next year before moving into the houses.

Critics believe Ekandjo officiated at the handover ceremony although some of the houses were incomplete to boost his public image as one of the candidates for the position of Swapo vice president.

However, the Minister shot the claims down.

He said NHE invited him to officiate and that is what he did.

According to him the question about him pushing to boost his public image was “invalid”.

Ekandjo said he had been among party members who claimed the top five positions on the party list since the Swapo party’s 1999 congress, and there is no need for him to push for something like a hand over ceremony to boost his image in the party.

The NHE regional head in the South, Willem Titus, said the Keetmanshoop Town Council confirmed at a meeting that a contractor would soon be appointed to service the plots on which the houses were built.

According to Titus, the recipients of the 14 houses can occupy the houses only when they are connected to the water and sewage lines.

Asked why NHE had pushed for the handover although some houses were incomplete, Titus said: “No one pushed for the handing-over ceremony of the houses. We had to hold the handing-over ceremony because some beneficiaries had already moved into the houses.”

The Keetmanshoop municipality’s local economic development manager, Jegg Christiaan, said the council has yet to put on tender the servicing of 47 plots that include the land on which the 14 NHE houses were built.

He could not say when the servicing of the plots would start, saying this depended on when the tender process would be completed.

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