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Dolam family sues CoW for disconnecting water during pandemic

Dolam family sues CoW for disconnecting water during pandemic

Zorena Jantze

AGGRIEVED occupants of a house in Dolam, Katutura, are moving ahead with plans to sue the City of Windhoek (CoW) and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jennifer Comalie after the municipality cut off the home’s water supply due to a debt of N$75 000.

Werner Januarie, one of the occupants, said the move by the CoW is unjust as the accumulated debt of Erf 3382 in Dolam allegedly is that of previous occupants.

In addition, the CoW by law is not allowed to cut off the water supply to houses during the Covid-19 pandemic, Januarie stated.

The home is currently owned by Elifas Khoeseb who has instituted criminal charges against Comalie for lying in a sworn statement.

Dolam family sues CoW  disconnecting water pandemic Dolam Katutura Windhoek
WATER TUSSLE: Picture for illustrative purposes only.

Januarie said Khoeseb reclaimed Erf 3382 from its previous owners after he found out that the house was still legally under the ownership of his mother.

In addition, there were no supporting documents to show that the house had indeed been paid off by the previous owners who are accused of running the water debt sky-high.

Januarie said Khoeseb has been trying to convince the CoW that the current debt is not his but that of the previous owner, Maria Zululu, who bought the house in the early 1990s.

According to Januarie, a CoW employee advised Khoeseb to apply for a debt write-off but later found out that this procedure does not apply in his case.

“The CoW closed Khoeseb’s water in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis. How are we supposed to maintain hygiene? The CEO of the CoW lied under oath that there is no internal memo prohibiting water closures during the times of Covid-19. We have also decided to sue the Attorney-General and the Ministry of Rural and Urban Development as they are directly involved in this issue,” Januarie stated.

He said he hopes the case will set a precedent and that other Windhoek residents will not have to face water closures during times of the pandemic.

The case was first heard in October 2021 while the next court day is set for 26 January 2022.

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