By Confidente Reporter
THE Tsumeb Municipality has unilaterally approved the construction of a service station off the B1 highway that turns into the town at the northern entrance T-Junction without consulting residents and prominent businesspeople.
The move has reportedly irked residents and businesspeople in the town who feel that the operation of a service station on the outskirts of town will starve businesses operating in Tsumeb of customers mostly travellers who throng the town for refreshments and refuelling.
Confidente has learnt residents and businesspeople fear that underhand deals could have taken place as the municipality had previously turned down twice applications for the construction of a service station at the southern entrance of the town.
However the Tsumeb Municipality insists that its decision was for the greater good of the town and everything was done above board. The municipality on May 3 approved an application by William Bosch to construct a service station at the T-Junction.
“Kindly be informed that Tsumeb Municipality Council during its Extra Ordinary Council meeting held on May 3, 2016 resolved and approved: (46/04/16). The application to build a service station on Portion 74 of the consolidated Farm Tsumore No.761 be approved subject to the following conditions: That the development fully complies to the ruling Tsumeb Town Planning Scheme, that the developer submit a copy of the Environmental Clearance Certificate of the envisaged development and that the developer collaborates with council to keep vendors away from the vicinity of the service station facility upon its operation.”
According to a letter written by Tsumeb businessman, Nico Kaiyamo on June 9, in Confidente’s possession, to the Regional Governor of Oshikoto, Henok Kankoshi, the town council was now in the habit of passing decisions without consulting residents and businesspeople.
“Decisions without consulting the community in general and business fraternity in particular with far reaching economic consequences have become the order of the day. The latest decision is the approval of a service station at the northern entrance T-junction into Tsumeb without calling or advertising for objections as required by laws governing local authorities.
“There have been twice applications before for putting up a service station at the southern entrance four-way into Tsumeb. In both cases the previous elected leaders in the Tsumeb Town Council have adopted a standing resolution not to approve such requests in order to avoid the negative economic consequences such an initiative will have on the town and its residents,” Kaiyamo wrote.
The Oshikoto Governor in his response to Kaiyamo attached a memo from the Tsumeb Municipality between it and its legal advisors Ueitele & Hans Inc on the approval of the construction of the service station.
The lawyers advised that public consultation was not required for that particular case.
“Public consultation would only be required if the owners are applying for the immovable property to be utilised for a purpose which is not permissible in terms of the town planning scheme of Tsumeb. This would only arise in the event that the Town Planning Ordinance 18 of 1954 would require public consultation prior to authorising a change of use of the land.”
Tsumeb, CEO, Alfeus Benjamin, Tuesday defended council’s decision to approve the construction of the service station arguing that the town’s developmental needs have changed.
“That was 10 years ago when council turned down those applications you are talking about and now the developmental dynamics of the town have changed. Besides these are two different areas we are talking about. Ten years ago the applications were to construct a service station at the crossing and we even asked the applicants to come up with an integrated plan which they refused to do so,” he said.
Benjamin dismissed reports that the construction of a service station at the northern entrance T-Junction would kill business for others.
“There is no scientific proof to that. These things are being said by those people that want Tsumeb to remain in a hole. Council approved about two years ago as part of its developmental strategy that the town should develop towards the southern direction because the northern area has been contaminated from mining. People need to wake up.
This was a growth decision. Last year council approved the construction of two other service stations, Puma and Trek along the B1 and it’s the same people who were against such development so much that we had to seek ministerial approval.”
said that his team together with the Ministry of Home Affairs is still investigating how Nigerian refugees at Osire are conniving with fellow kinsman in neighbouring countries, wanted for various crimes including murder, to enter Namibia and seek refugee status. run from South African authorities, Ndeitunga also
The matter first surfaced in April when Ndeitunga said that the fugitives committed crimes such as rape, murder and armed robbery in South Africa and were trying to get into Namibia to acquire refugee status to escape the wrath of justice in that country.
Ndeitunga at the time said that the matter was a serious security threat fearing the fugitives might commit similar crimes once granted refugee status in Namibia.
“Preliminary investigations suggest that those in South Africa are in hiding and with the help of those at Osire are being smuggled into the country. Most are trying to get here by trucks. This is a serious security threat. They want to come and sit idle here and eventually commit those similar crimes. It also means that if they are granted refugee status it will be difficult for them to be punished for their criminal acts committed in South Africa,” said Ndeitunga at the time.
There have been reports in the local media about how refugees at Osire find it easy to connive and assist others in neighbouring countries because of the weak or no security control at the refugee camp situated outside Otjiwarongo. Several refugees at Osire have also been arrested for house breaking and armed robbery amongst other crimes, which demonstrates that there is lax security control at the refugee camp.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015