SENIOR citizens residing in Windhoek will receive welcome Christmas relief after it was announced that their water and electricity supply will be reconnected despite their outstanding municipal debt.
The newly elected Mayor of the City of Windhoek (CoW), Job Amupanda said that most of these affected senior citizens live in homes with unemployed and unemployable children and grandchildren.
Mayor Amupanda said the new policy direction of the CoW will be to eventually write off the bad debt of especially elderly people that are economically unable to catch up on accounts in arrears. He said it will be done to restore their dignity and will foster new beginnings.
“This relief measure is not applicable to the economically able elderly nor is it applicable to senior citizens who do not reside in the City. To this end, effective and efficient mechanisms will be implemented to ensure that this relief measure is not abused or captured by opportunism,” he said.
According to Amupanda, the Ombudsman of Namibia, Advocate John Walters, made findings that Windhoek police holding cells such as Wanaheda, Windhoek Central, Katutura and Klein Windhoek are filthy, overcrowded and experience shortages of food. He then concluded that these conditions violate the rights of inmates.
The emergence of Covid-19 has also worsened the situation in the holding cells are making it difficult for the adherence to Covid-19 preventative protocols.
“The City Police issued thousands of traffic fines that culminated into warrants of arrests which are issued to residents. Taxi drivers, who exist at the lowest economic echelons of our City, are the hardest hit by these traffic fines,” Amupanda said.
He said the City’s new policy direction is to extend amnesty to all traffic offenders issued with traffic fines or warrants of arrest before or on 2nd December 2020. However, several conditions must be met for one to qualify for the traffic fine amnesty.
“These conditions include, but are not limited to the offenders performing six hours of community service as determined by the City. In this regard a new traffic offence process and system will be introduced, particularly with regards to taxi drivers, which may result in the cancellation of licenses to operate in Windhoek,” he said.
Mayor Amupanda also indicated that Windhoek has several public open spaces that present hazardous safety risks for residents especially, riverbeds which, serve as hotspots for criminal activities such as murder, rape, and other crimes.
“Windhoek’s new policy direction in this regard will be to introduce a programme whereby residents can ‘adopt’ riverbeds and public open spaces and convert them into community parks,” Mayor Amupanda said.