By Simon Liseli
HUNDREDS of angry demolished Katima Residents held a peaceful demonstration in Katima Mulilo on Friday against a mass demolition of their houses and properties, at locations of Cowboy, Dairy, and Lwanyanda by Katima Mulilo Town Council.
Homeless residents staged a peaceful demonstration on streets of Katima Mulilo town to the Zambezi Governor’s office where they handed over a petition.
In their petition which was read by the concerned former Chief Executive Officer of Katima Council Mr. Charles Nawa Nawa echoed the fundamental rights enshrined in Chapter 3 which are article 5, 6, 8 and 13 of the Namibian Constitution saying were violated to residents whose houses were demolished in a barbaric manner using bulldozers by the Katima Mulilo Town Council and the Namibian police force.
According to them, the action to the situation reminded residents of colonialism before the country’ independence.
The petition stressed and denounced that the demolition was done without a court order by the Katima Town Council and used an old squatter proclamation that was cancelled by the High Court of Namibia in July 2013 with reference to the case of the City of Windhoek verses Shanika and others.
“Katima Council and Nampol officers who were involved should be brought to book, the police during the process fired a live bullet to Mukendwa (a resident of Lwanyanda) and wounded his leg,” said Mr. Nawa.
Minister of Urban and Rural Development denied about such allegation when She was asked by other members of parliament and no investigation was conducted to find out a culprit who shot the victim.
“Investigating officers are saying they do not have cartridge to print and find out the culprit, we are in a free Namibia and we know our rights, the Namibian police took law into their own hands and we don’t know why the were shooting, Regional Commander and Station Commander have to face the law, why did they allow that without court order “He demanded and questioned.
The petition demanded that her worship mayor of Katima Mulilo Town Council Hon. Georgina Mwiya-Simataa, CEO Mr. Raphael Liswaniso and all Councilors to be on probation of two months for not following the constitution where they took oath asking God to help them.
“Bulldozers that demolished houses belongs to Mr. Matengu Nkando a well known businessman in Katima Mulilo and it was hired at N$40 000 public funds and its driver was paid N$1000 per day which is corruption” noted Mr. Nawa.
Some properties that were collected by the town council are in an old white tent at the back of the Town Council offices and many properties got damaged. They called on the president of Namibia Dr. Hage Godfrey Geingob to look on the victims under the spirit of Harambe.
“Katima Council should provide us land where we are going to stay with our children and are still also affected by rain and examination of our children” he said.
The petition also added that during demolishing operation Katima Council was demanding people to pay an amount of N$ 200 for their houses to remain standing and was paid to council under the guidance of the Namibian police force. Residents demand the council to provide them with certificates of land ownership.
“I know that land in question we talked about it when I was still in the office, people come to town to look for better life and if this town is not for poor only for rich as the CEO said where can we go Hon. Governor ” quashed Mr. Nawa.
They ask the government to provide them with food parcels, clothing that were destroyed by bulldozers during the process of demolishing.
They also demanded the removal of the current CEO Mr. Liswaniso in the entire council, government to provide them with shelter as soon as possible because kids and disabled children are in bad condition in this rainy season.
They also demand council to provide them with portable water and good roads and also an investigation to be carried out on Nampol shooting for the perpetrator to face charges.
They promised to camp at the town council premises if no respond after seven (7) days or to re-organize the other demonstration.
Receiving the petition Hon. Lawrence Alufea Sampofu said he is very thankful to demonstrators for raising their petition that represents their aspirations as the laws of Namibia gives them such powers.
“What I can tell you is that what happened with the town council we regret to it because they did not have court order and now this situation has to be manded by all of us as Namibians. We should always sit together whenever there is conflict and find solutions” stressed the governor.
He added that the laws of the Republic of Namibia are for everyone for protection and people acts according to the laws that governs them.
Governor Sampofu promised to find a solution to what his office will manage and forward which it won’t manage to solve to the central government.
However, President of the Official Opposition Party (DTA) Hon. MacHenry Venaani lambasted the Katima Town Council for demolishing houses without a court order.
“Brother governor am very angry with our young brother Mr. Liswaniso, when he say the Katima Mulilo Urban Land is not for poor people but for rich and if not for poor people its for the Chinese. Land belong to the people but they must not take laws into their own hands” he noted.
He warned the Katima Mulilo Town Council for illegal demolishing houses and damaging their properties without a court order and taking laws into their own hands.
“This young man was shot and his identity card was destroyed by the member of the National Council and constituency councilor (Bernard Sibalatani) in this region,” remarked Hon. Venaani.
DTA president said he was angry at powers the Zambezi Regional Governor was demonstrating in the region since he is the authority who represents the head of state.
“It’s a month now but nothing has been done to rescue homeless people whose houses were demolished, government is quiet and you are the head of the government in this region. The authority is doing nothing to respond to these victims, what is happening in this region is getting out of hand” he stressed.
“On the match coming to your office Hon. Governor I was stopped by senior police officers telling us that no threated words is going to be put here, this is the country of law based on the constitution which is the supreme law that grants fundamental human rights, the police should not oppress others they are there to maintain law and order as you are given that power by people to be respected” said angry DTA leader.
He also warned the police officers to use their powers legal not illegal as they do like what the town council did to demolish houses illegally.
DTA president promised victim that he would demand the government to compensate people whose houses and properties were demolished because it was done illegally.
“If the government won’t do anything we will proceed to court seeking for fairness of our people and we don’t want to promote polygamist and illegality in this country” he concluded.