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Uutoni Orders Rundu Town Council To Develop Informal Settlement

By: Annakleta Haikera

Urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni, on Monday, ordered the Rundu town council to formalise the controversial Tumweneni Informal Settlement and Siguruguru Primary School.

The 745 learners of Siguruguru Primary School, which was established in 2019, attend school in tents, while the administration block is made up of zinc structures. The school has no water and electricity while the learners share three toilets.

Uutoni told the council to call a special council meeting and start developing the area. According to him, there’s money somewhere in the regional council that can develop the region’s people in urban and rural areas.

“We are talking about development. What are we developing if we have a school like this one, my fellow leaders? I could see the big population here, and this is the population that we are expected to develop. Now they are attending classes in tents. When are we going to do something?” Utooni asked the Rundu Councillors, including Kavango East Governor Bonifatius Wakudumo.

Marcellus Haivera, a Siguruguru Primary School teacher, thanked the minister for seeing the challenges the school faces. “We are now facing the hot season, and very soon, the rain will fall. Think about what will happen with the learners’ books. Due to the eviction order that was set for these areas, our donors have been coming here to help. Even last week, they were here, but due to the eviction order, they couldn’t assist the government in constructing the school.”

Tumweneni is on the outskirts of town and came to life through land grabbing in 2018. The council secured a High Court eviction order, which the inhabitants ignored, and the population at the informal settlement has since grown.

Nico Ndumba, a member of Rundu town council, told The Villager that most people in the area cannot afford to buy immovable properties at market-related prices and have nowhere to go if they are to be removed.

“The Namibian constitution under Article 10 (2) states that “No persons may be discriminated against.

“In this case, the council will likely violate this specific clause if we don’t apply our conscious minds with sensitivity. Therefore I call all honourable Councillors to support this motion and have that resolution which resulted in granting of the said eviction order revoked.”

“The issue of Siguruguru School, it is very clear that each and

every year, our children are struggling to secure space at our local schools here in town. Authorising the ministry to continue catering services and have proper facilities for conducive learning and teaching shall be an honourable thing to do by this council. All persons shall have the right to education, including Tumweneni children.”

Currently, there is a makeshift government school (Siguruguru Junior Primary) in Tumweneni that cannot receive permanent structures as it is also considered to be illegally occupying space at the disputed settlement.

Julia Heita

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