Namibia: Mayor Explains Babylon Move

22 January 2020

Windhoek — Windhoek mayor Francina Kahungu yesterday explained her decision to move the usually posh mayoral office to the Nathaniel Maxuilili Community Centre in the Babylon informal settlement.

"My theme or the key idea of running the office for 2020 is 'taking deliberate but cautious action for a balanced agenda for Windhoek'," she said.

Kahungu said she wants her term to take deliberate actions, yet they should provide balanced services to all Windhoek services.

Hence, she chose the relocation of her office to Babylon's informal settlement. Babylon is one of the first informal settlement areas to be established in Windhoek and is home to thousands of people, facing an assortment of challenges.

Kahungu, however, announced that the office of the deputy mayor would remain in town, where it would serve residents residing in the suburbs, while she will cater for all inhabitants of the informal settlement.

"I know people are losing patience, especially in informal settlements - to the point they don't even want to hear what we are saying. They think we are just promising. I ask them to continue having that patience. The central government, through the Ministry of Rural and Urban Development, is availing some funds so we formalise the informal settlements," she stated.

She said they are doing all these actions in line with the declaration, which was made by President Hage Geingob when he declared the situation in the informal settlement a crisis.

She further pleaded with residents not to grab land illegally in order to pave way for proper demarcation of land. Kahungu said she started cleaning her new office as early as December last year, while she moved in this week.

She said the centre, which was funded and donated by the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) to the municipality, is already equipped with emergency services such as a fire brigade, while it also houses a library for the community.

"The mayor of Windhoek will be here at Nathaniel Maxuilili Community Centre in Babylon. The mayor has to walk around Windhoek and see where we need to improve. So, my office through 2020 will be here. If I am not here, since mayoral is not full time, then my officials will be available to attend to residents' needs," she noted.

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