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Developer Says Oshakati Town Council Scammed Them Out Of N$17 Million

By: Hertha Ekandjo

Valeria Nepembe, co-owner of VFK Investments, has accused the Oshakati town council of scamming them of their erfs and clients since 2019, which they said cost them N$17 million and 56 plots.

VFK Investments is a house constructing company in Oshakati.

According to Nepembe, they were given projects by the Oshakati town council, which she claims were taken away from the company by the same council using different tactics.

“They gave us a project and clients and told us that we can also have our clients to allocate on those plots, but they also have that power and access to take it away from you in the way that will change everything in their office,” said Nepembe.

She further stated that the town council’s officials have the power and access to take away the project given to their company.

“Their officials have the power to convince your clients to leave you and go build with other companies. It does not matter whether you already built that house,” she explained.

Nepembe mentioned to The Villager that due to such alleged dealings from the town council, their company went bankrupt.

She stated that their company was “sabotaged” by the council in favour of an ex-employee of VFK, who was their project manager and also happened to be her father-in-law.

Moreover, the co-owner explained that a specific ex-employee was fired from their company due to “unethical practices.”

“The moment we fired him, the town council came and started looking for issues with our company, and at the same time, they started sabotaging our company. They also started consulting our clients so that they can leave our company to go and build with this project manager that used to work for you,” she exclaimed.

According to Nepembe, most of the Erfs and houses that they had built ended up being owned by a company that their ex-project manager runs.

“Town council officials told our clients to leave us, stating that we absconded their houses,” She noted.

Furthermore, more Nepembe alleged that the council ordered their clients to dump them and find a new company to construct their houses for them.

“Clients were all directed to our ex-project manager by the council’s planning department, which doesn’t have any power to take away anything from anybody who got a project. It should be done with a resolution that must come from the councillors,” said Nepembe.

According to her, the planning department managed to take away their project and hand it over to someone else.

Nepembe empathised that clients were taken away from them while they were busy building their houses.

The co-owner of VFK clarified that this issue has been ongoing since August 2019 up to date.

Meanwhile, the Oshakati mayor Leonard Hango has told The Villager that he was aware of the matter, stating that the Erfs do not belong to VKF investments but rather to the town council.

He added that it was not the town council’s fault that the company was losing its clients, but it was because they don’t deliver on time what is expected from them by clients.

“The VFK was one of the developers who were given erfs, and a number of other developers who were also given erfs by the town council,” said Hango.

Furthermore, the mayor said that erfs are not for developers, stating erf numbers are not registered under developers’ names.

He mentioned that developers are required to have a list of clients from the list of the town council of the people who were registered at the council in the request for erfs.

“If a client is not happy with the developer’s plan, he or she is at liberty to say no, ‘I do not want my house to be developed by you,’ because of certain reasons,” explained the mayor.

Hango stated that as a council, they could not force their residents to build their houses with VFK, as clients take their loans from banks and pay them back themselves.

“Several people pulled out from that particular developer because of certain reasons. Some of the reasons are that developers take longer to develop their houses. So people terminate their agreement,” Hango told The Villager.

He expressed that clients were free to decide otherwise. He added that the council never took erfs from any developer.

“They were given, but they could not perform to the maximum. That is why their clients decided to leave them,” he explained.

Hango emphasised that VFK was supposed to establish a relationship between them and their clients to ensure that the relationship was maintained until the houses were completed.




Hertha Ekandjo

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