Shelligan Petersen and TIA-ZIA // Garros
“Profession [Amupanda] He was here campaigning for the election. he knows. We don’t have any other plans now that our huts have been demolished,” said the residents of the Babil settlement whose huts were demolished yesterday.
The huts of more than 20 residents on a plot on Omovabu Street in the Babil informal settlement were demolished by contractors hired by the City of Windhoek.
during demolition, Namibian I watched helpless mothers with children and young men left out in the cold watching their huts destroyed by police officers who wanted them to vacate the grounds as they were violating Covid-19 regulations regarding public gatherings.
The police were heard shouting: “Last month we asked you to move but now when we remove you, you want to cry.”
Windhoek city spokesman Harold Aquinia said Namibian The land was divided into three parts and two were sold.
He said that part of the plot belongs to a lawyer who wants to bring services closer to people in informal settlements, while another part belongs to the Namibian police and a third part belongs to the municipality.
How can we move them if they take over the land? “It will be removed because we do not tolerate land grabbing,” Aquinia said, adding that all residents of the place had taken over the land.
An angry Petros Musa who has written several letters to political leaders including Windhoek Mayor Job Amboanda and President Haji Geingob since last year said they were trying to get help, but none had come.
Moses referred to Amupanda, saying that he and members of his positive repositioning movement had come to the squatter settlement of Babylon to campaign during regional and local authority elections, but that he seemed to have forgotten them.
“If we go to Job’s office now, do you know what he will say? Make an appointment, wait, it’s Covid-19. At least if they say to us, ‘Let’s demolish here and move you somewhere else temporarily’ we accept it, but they don’t offer anything,” he said while His corrugated zinc hut was being demolished.
We have at least done our best to request the land on a temporary basis. We even wrote to Job’s office, but received no response. We even slept in the chancellor’s office for two days in May when they asked us to wait. “We’re still waiting for July now,” said the 25-year-old.
Musa said he was trying to find work for himself by applying for a salesman’s license to work in the open markets, but was rejected several times.
Efforts to obtain comment from Amupanda were unsuccessful as calls and messages addressed to him went unanswered. However, yesterday evening he tweeted: “I have observed the events in Tobias Heineko. I have asked the Acting Chief Executive, George Mayumbello, and the City Police Chief, City Police Chief, Abraham Kanemi, to update me and council members on what happened.”
Amupanda has not commented on the land grab by residents earlier this year.
A young mother told one of them that the officers misled them, saying they were going to have a meeting about the plot and the way forward.
“they [City Police] I came here at 08:00 and we started dismantling our huts without talking to anyone. “They just started evacuating people,” she said.
Polina Nendonga, who has lived in the plot since March, said the lack of a permanent home is frustrating.
“I’m angry. I have a child and this is a problem. These officers have their own homes where they live. I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she said.
A hut for a family of three adults and children was demolished leaving only their beds, blankets and bags.
“We’re going to sleep outside tonight. We moved here three days ago after we saw other people grab the land. It’s not right, but it’s okay,” said the nursing mother to a baby boy. Namibian.
Jeremiah Caputa said he moved to the area more than three weeks ago because he was laid off and did not have a home.
“I used to work for a company where I was a co-driver, but I got laid off in 2019,” Capota said.
“Now that’s it again, I have nowhere to go,” said Capota, with his head down.
One woman, who chose to remain anonymous, said her hut gave her a sense of independence.
“I was renting before I came here and we were fine. At least we had our own plot. But again it’s a big story. We don’t know what’s next,” said the woman who lives with her sister and two children.