By Simon Liseli
The Katima Mulilo Town Council has demolished houses of the residents of Lwanyanda informal settlement on Thursday.
Lwanyanda which literally means “we are suffering”, is an outskirt of the town of Katima Mulilo which was occupied illegally by local residents of Katima Mulilo who do not have plots to stay since 2017.
This incidence happened following the eviction court order from the High Court of Namibia in Windhoek, that was given to the residents of the location on August 23, to move out from the town land, after they failed to relocate to NOVA in 2019 a place found behind Katima Mulilo Cemetery (popularly known as Dairy Cemetery) north-west of Katima Mulilo town.
NOVA land was allocated for them by the Katima Council after a long dispute of jurisdictions with the traditional authority of the Mafwe Royal Establishment at Chinchimani with Chief George Simasiku Mamili VII who allocated a huge piece of communal land in Liselo Area.
The eviction court order was handed over to the vice Chairperson of Lwanyanda compound Mr. John Mwilima on the 23rd of August 2022 by the acting deputy sheriff Mr.Vernon Lutibezi in terms of section 30(6) of the high court act, act 16 of 1990 and were given a period of ten (10) days to vacate the place as per court order.
In the letter dated 17 August 2022, through the discussion of the court Mr. Vernon Lutibezi, an admitted practitioner of the High Court was appointed as acting deputy sheriff by the court to assist with the relevant service processes.
Some of the residents of Lwanyanda followed the court order, they vacated and relocated to NOVA and those who remained their properties were demolished by the town council.
In September 2017 some properties of residents from Lwanyanda, New Cowboy and Dairy Compound were again demolished without the court order by the Katima Mulilo Town Council and now they obtained the court order from the High Court to remove residents who are residing at the said piece of land.
During demolishing, angry residents of Lwanyanda throw some stones on the bulldozer because they did not want to move from the compound and relocate to NOVA forcefully, a place that still need lot of human life services.
They have also seriously condemned acts of the council and police for forcefully removing them from the land they claim belonged to the traditional authority of the Mafwe not to town land.
During the process of throwing stones on the bulldozer the Namibian police reserve force came in and fired some rubber bullets that shocked resident and stated running away leading to the arrest of their spokesperson Mr. Moses Misika and other four people for obstructing duties of the law enforcement officers who went to protect them.
Among the five (5) who were arrested four have been identified as Namibian citizens and one Zambian national, they are facing charges of obstructing police officers on duty, Incitement to commit an offence, Assault with grievous bodily harm, Common assault and Assault by threatening. This was confirmed by Nampol regional spokesperson, Inspector Kisco Sitali. Suspects are to appear in Katima Mulilo district today.
“These people were not born to women they just came on this earth on their own is why they are humiliating us like this, and we are not independent because in an independent country people cannot suffer like how we are suffocating in this region, we are still under colonialism,” said angry residents.
When asked on allegation that the residents of Lwanyanda donated money to him to represent them in court after being demolished in September 2017 as the case was opened, Mr. Lutibezi denied those claims saying that he did not take anything of their claims, “Those are false allegations, ask them if they have any proof of that money they are talking about” denied acting deputy sheriff.
Mr.Misika who was present when the court order was handed to the vice chairperson of Lwanyanda Mr.Mwilima told Caprivi Vision that they were shocked when they received such strange document because they were not expected to receive such a document.
When Mr. Lutibezi handed over the court order on August 23, 2022, he was accompanied by police officers and law enforcement officers of the town council together with former resident of Lwanyanda Mr. Simasiku Mukendwa, the survivor of the shooting bullet who was shot in the foot in 2017, during the first eviction, who vacated from the compound and relocated at NOVA.