By Eliaser Ndeyanale
SWAPO Chief Whip in the National Council, Lebbius Tangeni Tobias, who is also the Tsumeb Constituency Councillor, has been accused of illegally occupying a piece of land at the Tsintsabis settlement in the Oshikoto region.
According to Elizabeth Kanana, who is a single mother of two, and who has lived at the settlement for four years, the land was bought by her late husband, Lamek Namoode, in 2009 for N$800.
She said they had put up a spaza shop, with which they supplemented their household income.
Kanana alleges that when she left Tsumeb in December last year, for festive season, Tsintsabis village headman Geelbooi Thameb donated her plot to Tobias, who has now put up a bar and fenced off the land.
Thameb is now apparently telling Kanana to leave the area.
“My shop was our only source of income, and now that the headman has given it Tobias, I don’t know how my children and I will survive. Where do I go now?” asked Kanana, whose children are one and six years old.
She also alleges that Tobias already owns a large piece of land near Bravo, a residential area in the copper town.
Kanana said that when she returned from her home village of Omatunda in the Ohangwena region in January, another person, who she does not know, was put on her plot, and she was instructed by Geelbooi to vacate the land, because the land is now owned by Tobias and the unknown person.
“I am told I have to leave the place. Where do I go? I have small kids,” said Kanana, who also said she has fallen out of favour with the headman.
Approached for comment on Monday, Tobias denied that he owns a place at the settlement, saying it is owned by his family.
“I don’t own a place there. What I know is that my family has been given a place there by the chief, and we put up a small shop, where we are selling soft drinks and other things. I am a Christian; I can tell you the truth before God, when we got that land, there was nobody.
“I don’t know Kanana, I have never met her and I have never spoken to her. Perhaps she is mistaking me with somebody else,” said Tobias.
Contacted for comment on Tuesday Thameb said, “I do not understand why she is complaining. The piece of land she is referring to is my own personal property.
“Years back her boyfriend, who was selling his things under a tree, approached me to accommodate him on my land.
“I gladly did this, because I never wanted to see him operate from under trees and being chased from place to place.”
Thameb added that he had a caravan on the land, and that Kanana’s boyfriend had put up his own structure from which he had operated.
“At the time, she (Kanana) was still in the North, an area from which her boyfriend is also from.
“The two of them occupied this piece of land, until he became ill and passed on. At that time, his family came here and wanted to take over everything from her.
“I intervened, because our Bushmen culture is different from that of the Owambo people, and there is no way we can stand by and watch as a mother and her children are thrown onto the streets.
“We had a meeting with the family; they agreed to divide the late boyfriend’s estate, leaving her with the housing structure and so on. I allowed her to continue operating from the piece of land, so that she can be able to support herself and her children’s upkeep.
“After that, I was approached by Tangeni, who also wanted a piece of land to operate from. And seeing that my piece of land is huge, I gave him a part of it to sell from. There is a distance between the two of them. I really do not understand what her issue is right now. When I go there I buy chips for the kids for both of them.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015