By Hileni Nembwaya
DISPLACED residents of Omuthiya town are up in arms against the town council for not adhering to policies in awarding compensation to people residing in communal areas when it took the land for town expansion.
The more than 30 affected residents claim that the council has failed to provide two free plots each to the affected residents as part of a compensation package, while some claim that the town council contractors encroached on the land that was outside the part which was valued and compensated.
The residents informed Confidente that they plan to hold a demonstration to air their grievances if their demands are not met.
Omuthiya was proclaimed as a town in 2004 and it currently serves as the official administrative capital of Oshikoto region.
“We want the town council officials to conduct a meeting with the affected residents and fully explain to us how the compensation policy works because many of us were forced to sign documents we did not understand. Our precious mahangu fields have gone to waste and we were paid peanuts. This is really heartbreaking,” argued Moses Amukoto.
The residents further claim that the council hoodwinked them into signing documents for compensation but many were either underpaid or their properties undervalued.
“We feel betrayed by the town council. We are therefore requesting the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa to intervene and hear our plight,” said Amukoto.
Omuthiya town council, Samuel Mbango told Confidente that the council fully complies with the compensation policy when compensating residents adding that all affected residents were reimbursed.
“All the affected residents were compensated fairly and they were all allocated two free residential plots. Omuthiya town council commits itself to providing excellent and affordable municipal services to all its local residents and investors alike,” said Mbango.
He further said that the council spent more than N$8 million in compensations during the 2015/2016 financial year.
Mbango added that the town council officials will soon start assessing Omainda village residents for possible displacement as well.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015