THE residents of the Oshikuyu-2 village in the Etayi Constituency of the Omusati Region, whose recent protests against the fencing off of a piece of land forced village headman Jason Nghiholiwe to resign, have scored their final victory Saturday when senior traditional leaders visited the area and delivered their verdict.
They ordered the removal of the fence and instructed the village headman to pay back the money he received as a “land allocation fee”.
The fee is theoretically set at N$600 but, in reality, it can reach any four-digit number or higher, depending on demand or the status of the beneficiary.
The land in question – about two hectares – was allocated to a certain Hafeni Raimund, son of a local businessman well-known as “Shetweni”.
Villagers protested accusing headman Nghiholiwe of allocating to a private citizen a piece of land that is part of a communal grazing area, which is consistently getting smaller and smaller.
Nghiholiwe’s senior, Moses Haiyambula of Onelombo ward, intervened.
He held an urgent meeting with villagers and their leaders to hear from both sides of the dispute. Headman Nghiholiwe announced his resignation during that meeting.
Haiyambula returned to the Oshikuyu-2 village on Saturday to deliver his final verdict.
According to Haiyambula, there were blatant irregularities in the allocation of the piece of land, which makes it null and void.
There were loud shouts of joy and ululation when Haiyambula ordered the removal of the fence and instructed Nghiholiwe to refund Raimund.