22 January 2013

Namibia: Arie VS Isaaks - Fight for Farm Versailles

KHOMAS Rural regional councillor Frederick Arie alleged that //Naosan /Aes Landless People's Movement chairperson Sululu Isaaks and people from Stinkwater have a "hidden agenda", and hence the resettlement of beneficiaries on Farm Versailles has been halted.

Arie approached The Namibian with a letter written by //Naosan /Aes vice chairperson Awiseb Levis to the Khomas Regional Council on June 27 last year in which Levis accused Isaaks and her group of misconduct.

Arie said last week that these allegations had not yet been taken up with the police, but the police should investigate the claims.

However, Levi, the author of the letter, acknowledged that he had written the letter in anger, and that not all the claims were true.

One of the allegations he made against Isaaks was that she sold erven at Farm Versailles for N$3 000.

Levi said it seemed suspect at the time that N$3 000 was required from people directly after Farm Versailles was handed over to members of //Naosan /Aes and Stinkwater in April last year.

Generally, he said, the annual membership fee of //Naosan /Aes is N$600. He could not say if the N$3 000 was for membership.

When contacted for comment Isaaks said a joint decision was reached that old //Naosan /Aes members who rejoined the organisation after Versailles was handed over, were requested to pay N$3 000 since those who had remained in the organisation by then had contributed about the same amount in membership fees and other contributions such as paying for petrol and other contingencies.

"We are prepared to open our receipt books; we are now tired of Arie's tricks," Isaaks fumed.

Arie for his part said that he was also tired, "enough is enough" and that he would expose "untruths" presumably spread about him.

The //Naosan /Aes group has threatened to stage a demonstration sometime soon which will "expose" Arie's alleged actions that have prevented the Versailles beneficiaries to move onto the farm.

Arie further expressed irritation that Isaaks and her group had gone ahead and made renovations to water infrastructure on the government farm without the go-ahead from the regional office.

Levis agreed with Arie, saying that if you enter someone else's house, you would not renovate things without the permission of the owner.

His issue with the renovation work done was that the matter was presumably not discussed within committees of the //Naosan /Aes.

Isaaks earlier last week said the //Naosan /Aes group had put in more than N$23 000 to renovate water pipes, pumps and other equipment on the farm, although resettlement beneficiaries have yet to be settled on the farm.

She denied that there was any unhappiness in government offices over the initiative taken to do the renovations, saying: "The government was pleasantly surprised about it. It does not want people who do nothing. People were sitting without water, and had it not been for the renovations we have made, they would still have been sitting without water. Our group is an independent self-sustaining one; we do not sit and wait for handouts."

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