SADRAG Nakandangwa was on 21 September 2017 instructed by the Oshakati town council to demolish his “illegal” residence in the town’s Extension 12 and to do so within 30 days, but five years down the line, he has not yet complied.
The problem is about 20 years old and one might wonder how many more years to go before it is solved.
Nakandangwa says he has valid reasons for resisting the council’s decision.
He explained that what is today Extension 12 was a mahangu field when he erected a shack there in the early 1990s.
Oshakati was at that time not yet proclaimed a town.
“I was the first person to settle here. I was later joined by others as the area gradually became a residential area and I managed to construct a proper brick house,” Nakandangwa said.
Now that the area adjacent to the Swapo Party regional headquarters has been formalized, Nakandangwa says that the late comers are allocated plots while he, “the original resident”, is told to demolish his house to open up space for others.
“This is simply not fair,” he said.
According to the council, Nakandangwa’s “unauthorized structure” was the subject of several discussions. The final decision was that he must remove it because it is blocking access into a nearby erf.
The council says further that Nakandangwa was allocated an alternative erf (2205) and the council also approved a Build Together loan to enable him to construct a new house, which he did.
According to the letter addressed to Nakandangwa, the Council has waited patiently for the past 18 years (since 2004) for Nakandangwa to demolish his “unauthorized structure”.
However, Nakandangwa says that he has no plan of complying.
“They allocated me an alternative erf and approved a loan of N$19 000 which I am still paying back. Fine! But they still owe me compensation for the structure that they want me to demolish. Upon the council’s request, I engaged the services of a private valuator who put the value of that house at N$150 000. Instead of compensating me, they are trying to coerce me into submission. Demolishing the house is something I will do only after compensation is paid,” he said.