The deputy president of the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF), Kalimbo Ipumbu, has questioned President Hage Geingob, about the outcome of a state of emergency he declared over the state of informal settlements all over Namibia in 2019.
This as the police cracked down on unarmed residents of Katima Mulilo’s Lwanyanda informal settlement this week firing rubber bullets as illegally constructed structures got bulldozed.
“We will not forget that the current President declared a state of emergency in all informal settlements across the countryback in 2019.Yet not few days ago, he seemed to either have forgotten and made a dramatic about turn, and he was quoted saying, “You just come and settle in an area where no water, no toilet facilities were planned for and you go and say ‘we are suffering’”
“So, what was the declaration of the state of emergency for? The fact that three years down the line nothing has happened other than the eviction of our people, is indicative of the pretensions of the current leadership and its lack of appetite to mean what it says and say what it means,” said Ipumbu.
Soon after the convening of the Second Land Conference, the President is on recording stating, “Therefore, we should … get rid of these informal settlements.”
He made the declaration in the presence of then City of Windhoek mayor Muesee, then chief executive Robert Kahimise, city councillors and Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua at State House.
In the meantime, Ipumbu berated the current housing crisis as artificially made, adding that there has been a deliberate effort to make land and rental fees expensive.
“All this speaks of corporate greed and capitalist failure and a lack of radical policies that ought to be deliberate in their endeavour to house our people and hide them from the shame of eviction and destitution.”
“The haphazard manner in which the residents of Lwanyanda have been evicted comes right in the same week when 3 000 families have also been made destitute by one Whiteman, identified in the media as Christo Groenwald. All these episodes are signals of history repeating itself in a land in which those in the top echelons of power continue to say we are independent,” said the red beret.
Ipumbu said the NEFF is demanding for a cessation of violence, the use of force and the destruction of human property in Lwanyanda, urging the Town Council to continue with diplomacy in order to reach a peaceful outcome.
“Resorting to Machiavellian tactics and the coercive instruments of state will alienate the people from their representatives, create resentment, disillusionment and poverty, which may come in time to radicalize the masses.”
“We are thus calling for an immediate investigation into the land crisis at Katima Mulilo, an accounting of the destruction of property belonging to some of the residents, the release of any one who may have been arrested, in order for diplomacy to flourish,” he said.