Otjiwarongo residents attempt to grab land in Ombili

Otjiwarongo residents attempt to grab land in Ombili
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More than 100 residents of Otjiwarongo on Monday attempted to grab unserviced municipal land in the new Ombili informal settlement.
Equipped with rakes, shovels, axes and hoes, they started demarcating and clearing land before members of the Namibian Police Force and municipality officials intervened.
Erwin Haraseb, 33, said he applied for an erf in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and has not received a convincing response yet.
“For how long must my two children and I wait?” Haraseb asked.
He also accused the local authority councillors of “being weak” and wasting time by fighting with each other over petty issues that do not benefit the community.
Another community member, the 50-year-old Aquila Kandanga, said she can no longer afford the exorbitant rent she pays for herself and her five children and wants a place she can call home.
Jeremiah Gawaseb, 33, said he hopes to see Swapo's local authority councillors at Otjiwarongo replaced with candidates of an opposition party after the elections.
“The Swapo party local authority councillors must go come 2020, they are incompetent and divisive,” Gawaseb said.
Otjiwarongo Mayor Bennes Haimbondi, the chairperson of the municipality’s management committee, Hilda Jesaja, and Swapo’s coordinator for Otjozondjupa, Susan Hikopua went to the site to attempt to calm the angry community members down.
Haimbondi asked them to write down their names and said these would be verified on the municipality database to see whether erven have already been allocated to them or whether they are listed under the new applications for land.
“Be patient with us. We are going to service about 4 000 plots for you on this area you want to grab,” said Haimbondi.
The residents agreed to write down their names but urged the municipality to speed up the promise of servicing land in Ombili.