Former President Pohamba decries Mass Housing project halt

Former President Pohamba decries Mass Housing project halt
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Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba is saddened by the fact that the majority of Namibians do not have access to affordable housing despite several government interventions to address the housing crisis in the country.
Pohamba made his displeasure known in a recent interview with NAMPA, which covered numerous issues.
Chief among the former statesman’s concerns is the Mass Housing programme which was put on hold in 2015.
“When I was in office, I introduced the Mass Housing programme and, in my view, although there were some problems here and there, it was worth continuing. Unfortunately, the administration that followed my administration changed it. I think I would have liked to see it go ahead,” he said.
With a housing backlog standing at 110 000, recent statistics further indicate that at least 900 000 Namibians live in shacks.
Pohamba admitted that the government has failed to address the housing crisis over the last 30 years.
“We have tried but we have not succeeded. If you go to places in Katutura, Greenwell Matongo, Tobias Hainyeko and you look at the housing [structures] of our people, you sympathise with those who are living in those houses,” he said.
Pohamba’s displeasure with the housing situation goes further.
“I did not feel well when I saw those houses being left, especially those which were not completed and those that were completed, [to] be vandalised. If the government could have continued to completely finish those houses which were not yet completed and then let the people occupy those houses, it could have been better rather than has been the case. Houses were left, some of them with roofs on, meaning they were really at a point of completion,” a candid Pohamba postulated about Mass Housing structures.
He repeated: “I feel that housing continues to be a problem facing our people.”
The project was put on ice in 2015, amid a wholesale of irregularities in the tender awarding process, a situation that saw President Hage Geingob call for an audit in the mega-project.
If any, the audit report that emanated from this process has not been made public.
Further, Namibia’s second president said if he were to be given a second chance in office, he would do certain things differently, for he now stands in a position where he can “correct” mistakes.
“You see when you were in a situation [presidency] and get out from that situation and that situation continues with others, you see a lot of mistakes and you feel [that] if I were to go back, I was going to correct here and there,” he said.
The intention of Namibia’s N$45 billion Mass Housing initiative was to build 185 000 houses by 2030.