By Hileni Nembwaya
A committee established to carry out an investigation into the alleged illegal land grab by the Mayor of Oniipa town council, Kambonde Mannetjie Tsenayo, has established that the Mayor has plans to construct a block of flats inside the Olukonda parish graveyard.
Tsenayo is accused of illegally fencing off a large portion of land belonging to the Olukonda parish intended for the expansion of the cemetery.
The current Olukonda cemetery is due to run out of burial space soon thus the need to expand the cemetery was necessitated by the Olukonda parish congregation members.
Earlier this week, the village headman Peter Awene held a closed door meeting with other traditional leaders, Tsenayo, village elders and representatives from the Ondonga traditional authority (OTA) to interrogate how he came to occupy a piece of land without authorisation from OTA.
Confidente is reliably informed that Tsenayo failed to provide proof of papers in his name stating that he is the rightful owner of the land after being questioned by Awene.
“We wanted him (Tsenayo) to provide us proof of how he acquired the land but he failed. He could not provide us with definite answers as he kept on telling many stories that are not making any sense. Tsenayo disrespects the authority thus he does what pleases him without any authorisation from the village elders,” said a source that opted to remain anonymous.
“How does one think of constructing flats in a cemetery and near the church? A church is supposed to be in a peaceful environment with no excessive noise pollution. This is really wrong,” said another source.
Awene could not be reached for comment as he was said to have been engaged in lengthy meetings.
His personal assistant said that the investigations into the matter are still ongoing and Tsenayo was requested by Awene to vacate and hand back the land to the parish.
“We are hearing that he (Tsenayo) is planning to construct flats in the graveyard but we are yet to find out if it is true and we have not yet reached a resolution since the matter is still being investigated by Awene together with senior traditional leaders from OTA. Once we have reached a consensus, we will surely let you know,” said the assistant.
Tsenayo when contacted could not divulge more information regarding the matter, saying that Awene has not yet resolved the matter as several meetings are still being conducted to discuss the way forward.
“Please see me during the course of this week, so that I can give you enough information. The meetings are still ongoing,” he said on Tuesday.
It is believed that after a few days after the parish had erected poles to mark off the portion of land allocated to them by the Olukonda village headman, Peter Awene, Tsenayo descended on the land and fenced it off to pave way for the construction of his homestead leaving only a little space for the expansion.
This did not go well with the congregation members and residents citing that their relatives will have nowhere to be buried if the burial space at the old cemetery runs out.
The Olukonda parish congregants are also planning to hold a peaceful demonstration this month to protest against illegal land grabbing.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015