Video: The Mayor of Ondangwa, Paavo Amwele, addresses residents of shacks built on land that is illegally occupied. – Footage: Maria David
THE Mayor of Ondangwa Paavo Amwele has assured the residents of Ondiiyala that his office will not be demolishing any shacks despite the fact that the shacks are erected on land that is occupied illegally.
Mayor Amwele said that it is not a good thing for someone to have their home declared illegal. This followed after some residents complained that about eight shacks were declared illegal and were supposed to be removed by the town council.
Vistorina Nelago, one of the owners of a shack that was declared illegal, said that she was left with no choice but to construct her shack, after town council turned her away since 2011.
“We have been applying for land, but we decided to come at the piece of land that has been unoccupied for some time,” she said.
Nelago however admitted that they came on the land without the approval and knowledge of council.
Nelago added that she came at Ondiiyala this month, but once we are removed we will not have a place of our own and we won’t know where we will go after.
Another shack dweller said that they have land of ownership and letter from town council, but their shacks were also declared illegal.
Amwele, however informed the residents during a visit on Wednesday to the area that only five of the shacks were illegal, while the rest were written up as illegal by mistake. He also held those that occupied the land illegally for having their shacks written up as illegal structures.
“We are not here to destroy the shacks, but to agree on something. Am sure that you even visited the office requesting for land,” said Amwele.
Amwele noted that many of the people have been requesting for land since 2009 and he feels their pain.
“No one will push them away and they won’t be removed, until we find a solution for them,” he added.
Amwele also urged those at the are already on the land illegally not to allow anyone else to construct any shacks. He urged the people at the site to be watchmen and report to council if anyone else comes there.
The Mayor said failure to report the further illegal land occupation and construction of shacks will lead to the demolishing of the all the structures that are already built on the site, even those that have been allowed to remain for the time being.