By Risco Lumamezi
A FORMER Estate Agent for Katima Mulilo Town Council is demanding Twenty – Five Million Namibian dollars commission for the sale of 500 houses to Katima residents in the locations of Benjamin Bebi, Greenwell Matongo and Nambweza.
Mr. Benson Kaapala handed his petition to the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Katima Mulilo Town Council (KMTC) Mr. Charles Nawa Nawa on March 12, 2012 after waiting without geting anything.
In his petition letter addressed to Judge President Petrus Damaseb of the High Court of Namibia , disclosed that in 1998 the Katima Mulilo Local Authority , in partnership with Katima Civic Housing CC chaired by Mr. Aaron Mushimba and his Director Mr. Raynand Mudge both introduced a housing development project to suburbs of Nambweza, Greenwell Matongo and Benjamin Bebi.
Katima Civic Housing Project was launched in 1998 with partners such as the Ministry of Regional and Local Government and Housing, Katima Mulilo Town Council and Real Estates Agents. Participating financial institutions in the project included SWABOU, City Savings and Investments Bank (now defunct), Bank Windhoek and First National Bank. In 1999 the construction was tendered to Vantage Enterprise.
Mr. Kaapala and others sold houses on behalf of Katima Civic Housing CC owned by Mr. Aaron Mushimba, brother in- law of the founding father of the Nation. Dr Sam Nujoma, who was at the time Chairman of City Savings and Investment Bank.
“Your Lordship this is a serious damage, after eleven years , which needs to be revisited” he said. Adding that this did not damage him alone and his family but also the community of Katima Mulilo and the nation .
“ Such corrupt practices need to be stopped as a matter of urgency . the project was a partnership on a fifty fifty ( 50/50) basis with Katima Mulilo Council and Katima Mulilo Civic Housing cc. Your Lordship Iam asking your people to come and see where I live in Ngweze Location ERF 1352, see how damage my house is … this place is health hazardous and symptoms are evident , but no option because of my economical position , yet I worked as an Estate Agent”, quashed Mr. Kaapala.
According to him “After realising how corrupt Katima Mulilo Local Authority Council , I founded Katima Alliance Development Association (KADA) registered with the electoral commission of Namibia as an association, to curb corrupt practices. Iam also the Chairperson of the Caprivi Discussion Forum a sister organisation to Forum For the Future (FFF) in Namibia)”
Mr. Kaapala is demanding for the Legal Aid to fund the case for him to be heard in the courts of law.
He also claims for the right of retention over the properties ( plots and houses) of the Katima Civic Housing while under investigations.
“ Where each house should be giving me N$500 that will help to cover my damages and pay legal costs , if legal aid delays. In the absence of that , Katima Mulilo Local Authority Council should pay my commissions, interest and damages to the total value of N$25,000 000”, concluded Mr. Kaapala.
Mr. Kaapala told this paper that Mr. Mushimba’s company partnered with the Katima Mulilo Town Council who allocated it land on which to build the houses but as per report submitted to the Minister of Regional and Local Government and Housing, Dr Nicky Iyambo (Now Minister of Veterans Affairs) who approved the Council’s project, this deal was not honoured by Mr. Mushimba’s company, Katima Civic Housing.
“I want KADA to claim the right of retention for all those houses,” demanded an angry Mr. Kaapala who was one of the two Estate Agents who were trained and passed the Estate Agents examinations. The other person was Mr. Francis Kalumba. But the two were never registered with the body of Estates Agents in Windhoek so that they could practice their profession.
According to Mr. Kaapala, the suggestion to train Estates Agents to sale the houses built was introduced by the Katima Council and Katima Civic Housing CC as partners in the housing project and in accordance with the Legislation of Estate Agents, Act 112 of 1976 but both partners did not respect the Local Authority Act No 23 of 1992.
In terms of Sub Section 19 of the Local Authority Act, “No contract entered into or other Act done by a Local Authority Council or any member therefore, shall be invalid merely by reason of contravention of or failure to comply with any provision of section 1 or 2, but any such contract or Act may on application by the Local Authority concerned, be declared invalid by any competent Court on any account of any such contravention of failure.”
In its resolution paper of August 2001, the Katima Mulilo Town Council says, “The Council was approached by Mr. Raynard Mudge to come together and create a long term housing project later known as an Investment Project for the future. The Council was requested by Mr. Mudge to work together as partners in the whole process.”
In a report on Katima Civil Housing Agents, former Chairperson of the Management Committee of the Katima Mulilo Town Council Mr. Michael Munyaza said. “Later the Council was shocked to learn that the Ministry had to cancel the new agreement it entered into with Mr. Mudge. Letters were written to the Ministry but no direction was given. The Council remained in darkness.”
The former Council made efforts and resolutions were drawn that the project should employ young local people for training as housing agents for marketing purpose. These agents were to be given incentives and paid commission for their work done for the project and examinations were to be conducted by Mr.Mudge as a Director of Katima Civic Housing who would provide the trainee agents with the marketing knowledge and skills, the report reads further.
Asked why it was so difficult for partners to compromise, Mr. Kaapala said the agreement that was cancelled between the Local Government Ministry and Katima Civic Housing CC also affected the agreement between Estate Agents and company in the process.
Mr. Kaapala insists that he and Mr. Kalumba as the two agents who sold the houses should be compensated. “Those Agents sold houses for which they did not get any commission according to the agreement. What is the meaning of partnership, is it not 50/50 share? They were all pushed out, Council is now benefiting from basic municipal bills”, he said.
However, a letter dated 28 November 2001 addressed to Mr. Kaapala and signed by Minister Iyambo narrates, “I have received your letter faxed to me on 19 November 2001 and I can understand your frustration.However, the Ministry cannot be held liable for the verbal agreement you had with Mr. Mudge. You obviously feel strongly about your case and therefore I would advise that you seek a legal opinion.” Efforts to hear from Aaron Mushimba and Rynard Mudge proved futile.