No compensation for illegal squattersBy: CATHERINE SASMAN
THE City of Windhoek has dismissed as wishful thinking demands for compensation to illegal squatters whose shacks were demolished by the municipality this month.
Namrights executive director Phil ya Nangoloh called on the municipality to compensate the illegal squatters for destroying their homes.
“Paying compensation is the only fair and reasonable option left because the same government has allowed some residents to stay in their ‘illegal’ shacks after it has apparently realised that it has committed a serious political blunder,” ya Nangoloh said.
Joshua Amukugo, the corporate communications manager of the City of Windhoek, said compensation would be “wishful thinking”.
“These people [the removed shack dwellers] knew that no-one is allowed to grab land. We are aware of the desperation for serviced land, but it does not give people the green light to simply take land. We feel for them, but we need to strike a balance between available resources and provision of serviced land. The availability of resources normally determines the pace at which serviced land can be provided,” said Amukugo.
The municipality stopped the demolitions after the intervention of constituency councillors from the affected areas.
Amukugo said one option is to find land that can be cleared for temporary occupation by those who were removed from Samora Machel, stressing that it would only be a temporary arrangement.
“These people are lucky to be considered,” said Amukugo. “They are the latest land invaders; we have a long list of people looking to be settled on serviced land stretching as far back as 2002.”
Amukugo said the Samora Machel residents are not the only ones transgressing City regulations.
There are a number of shacks at Okahandja Park that have been erected under power lines.
The City Police earlier this month moved in on illegal settlers in the Samora Machel constituency, which is near the Goreangab Dam, on the instructions of the City Council.
The illegal occupants have complained that their properties and an opportunity to earn an income have been destroyed in the demolition.