Namibia: Amupanda Claims 'Swapotage'

THE City of Windhoek's leadership yesterday acknowledged the difficulty of getting proposals approved, as some councillors are out to sabotage initiatives that address the challenges of the capital's residents.

These were the sentiments of Windhoek mayor Job Amupanda, his deputy Clemencia Hanases and chairperson Fillemon Hambuda yesterday during a press conference.

This comes after The Namibian witnessed more than five shacks being demolished on Wednesday, leaving families out in the cold.

More than 20 residents of Babylon informal settlement yesterday confirmed that they don't have a roof over their heads since their homes were demolished by contractors hired by the City of Windhoek on Wednesday.

The mayor said instead of submitting proposals to solve residents' problems, they are preoccupied with sabotaging and blocking initiatives that address the challenges of Windhoek's people.

"It goes without saying that all is not well at the Municipal Council of Windhoek. One of the key issues is resistance to change and administrative instabilities," Amupanda said.

He announced that any large-scale demolition of homes would no longer take place without the council's knowledge.

Hanases said the results of the work the council is currently putting in would take time to materialise.

"We have lots of challenges here, and we are fighting. Even if it happens in the last year of our reign, we will give people a place to call home," she said.

Former Windhoek mayor Fransina Kahungu said the illegal land grabbing started with the Affirmative Repositioning (AR), "but was Kahungu there?".

"The mayor indicated Kahungu. If Kahungu is blocking, what about all the other 14 councillors?" she asked.

"Is Kahungu influencing all 14 councillors, including the mayor? Let us not come up with scapegoats," she said.

Kahungu was responding to the comments of Amupanda and Hanases, claiming some councillors are sabotaging the opposition's efforts.

The council leadership could not say what the immediate remedy would be for these residents.

They said they are waiting for a final report on what led to the demolitions and on the way forward.

Amupanda said they would host a special council meeting on land and housing set for 5 August to address the land issue, including the decongestion of the informal settlements.

Meanwhile, AR spokesperson Simon Amunime condemned the demolition of houses and questioned the motives of those responsible for it.

"Windhoek is experiencing very cold weather, and that alone should serve as a factor not to demolish people's houses. We don't even know whether the police obtained a court order to conduct such evictions," Amunime said.

He said the AR movement will defend the affected residents if any more demolitions are to take place.

When asked whether the AR would support the re-erection of residents' shacks, he said: "Our people know what to do."

This was followed by the crowd of people at the settlement shouting: "We will rebuild!"

Amunime also accused Kahungu of being the instigator of the illegal occupation of land at the Tobias Hainyeko constituency.

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