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Okahandja activists arrested for land grabbing, occupation


Okahandja activist Johannes /Gerub Gaseb and seven others were arrested when they occupied land at the town on Friday.

Police spokesperson deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi confirmed the arrest but said they face illegal land grabbing and land occupation.

A petition seen by Eagle FM shows that /Gerub Gaseb was arrested together with Belinda, Haoses, Liffius Haoseb, Wilbard Baardman, Josephine Esmeralda Gowases and Benedictus Nghilondo.

According to the petition, two unnamed bystanders were also arrested.

Some videos that circulated who /Gerub Gaseb and a few residents on the land they wanted to take while the police were watching.

/Gerub Gaseb tells the police that they can arrest him if they produce a warrant of arrest.

He also says some corrupt councillors were taking land while the residents are being stopped. Before his arrest, /Gerub Gaseb had approached the ACC to probe corrupt land deals at Okahandja Municipality.

The petition calls on the government, President Hage Geingob, the urban development minister, the Police Inspector General, the Okahandja municipality, Okahandja station commander chief inspector Shipepe to release /Gerub Gaseb and the rest.

“It is clear that the unfair arrest of Mr. /Gerub Gaseb and 7 others are borne out of vindictiveness, harassment, victimisation and revenge due to the calls to the ACC by Mr. /Gerub Gaseb and the landless residents of Okahandja for an investigation into the Okahandja Municipality’s handling of land sales,” the petition says.

None of those arrested, the petition says, were found “grabbing land” at the time of their unlawful and unfair arrest but were merely found counselling the poor and vulnerable Okahandja’s landless residents who had since occupied available piece of land.

“The Otjozondjupa Governor and Erastus Utoni are on record that they had given permission for the landless residents of Okahandja to each cleanout 300 square meters of land where they can temporarily settle while the GRN and Okahandja Municipality find a permanent solution,” the petition claims.

Wonder Guchu

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