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Staff Writer

Three land activists from Walvis Bay were banned from attending the inauguration ceremony where President Hage Geingob handed over houses on Friday.

The three are Pius Benjamin, Andemale Shikongo and Phillip Efraim Nanghama.

Benjamin and Shikongo are AR Movement activists, while Nanghama is a community activist.

President Geingob on Friday handed over 121 houses for Otweya residents, some of whom lost their shacks in a fire that devastated Twaloloka.

According to Geingob, Cabinet resolved to construct the 31 houses for the Otweya fire victims for about N$43m. The other 43 houses were constructed by the Shackdwellers Federation of Namibia through Standard Bank’s Buy a Brick Project.

Before Geingob officially handed over the houses, some activists – including the three who were barred from attending – had already made allegations of corruption and raised concern that the houses have no running water and electricity.

Two of the three – Benjamin and Nanghama – who were barred from attending the event confirmed to The Villager.

The third activist, Andemale Shikongo, who wrote an open letter to Geingob on 9 September 2021, could not be reached for confirmation.

Former Walvis Bay Urban councillor Knowledge Ipinge said he heard about the issue and was investigating it.

Ipinge said the three were supposed to benefit by getting the houses but their names were removed from the list.

Nanghama confirmed Friday that he was asked to leave the event even before he had sat down.

According to Nanghama, a certain warrant officer whom he identified as Skrywer approached him and told him that he was not welcome.

Benjamin said he was told not to go to the event.

“We were not allowed. I do not know why. Phillip was the first one and we were told not attend. The police told me not come. The police were looking for me. We are fighting the corruption in Twaloloka,” he said.



Shikongo was a Leading Seaman in the NDF and he resigned in October 2020 before he was discharged.

In his open letter, Shikongo questions the legitimacy of the beneficiaries of the 19 houses. He also says that the 19 houses have no water and electricity.

“Where are these people supposed to be helping themselves from when nature calls? Why should people keep embarrassing, destructing and abetting in ensuring the extinction of your party SWA with Corruption?” He asked.

He also said that Geingob trusted Hyenas to look after his cattle.

“Your cattle are disappearing each and every day. The Hyena here is Erongo regional Governor, Mr Neville Iitope and Minister of Urban and Rural Development Mr Erastus Uutoni that have consistently been spoon-feeding you with incorrect, misleading and unreliable information regarding the Federation and Government project for the fire victims.

“These are your subordinates that are disrespectful and dishonest with you. You need to seriously summon these two guys that are successfully failing and keep embarrassing your administration as head of state and by extension they are painting the wall and the image of your Party (SWA) with a grease,” Shikongo writes.

He claims that Neville and Uutoni were fooling Geingob and that with the Otweya houses, the two have once again fooled the president.

Shikongo pleads with Geingob to interrogate Neville about the completion certificates of the houses; who conducted the official inspection of the houses and the findings; how Neville briefed him and the legitimacy of the fire victims as beneficiaries.

“As an honest citizen of this country, I understand the need of land and housing in this country. My biggest concern here is; this crisis should not be addressed by sacrificing the dignity of citizens.

“One will wonder, why are these houses still without water and electricity. One will wonder, why did you trust hyenas to Presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari did not pick up his phone Saturday. 0811277788

The urban development minister Erastus Utoni also did not respond.  look after your livestock?”

Neville said the list was compiled by a committee and it was checked to make sure the people who should receive houses are victims.

“If there is someone that is not supposed to receive a house, we will be happy to be informed and we will look into the matter.

“As to people that were barred, I do not know about it, but the ceremony was in the open space for everyone to attend. I am not sure about that,” he said.

Presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari did not pick up his phone Saturday. The urban development minister Erastus Utoni also did not respond.


Staff Writer

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