Pensioner evicted from home of 50 years

Magaritha Ihemba (83) was left homeless at Rundu’s Kehemu settlement yesterday after being evicted from her home of 50 years.

Ihemba was served with an eviction order from the High Court in April 2021, when a family friend who was allowed to stay at the plot allegedly sold it secretly in 2009.

However, neither Ihemba, nor her daughter, Maria Sikongo, and her grandchildren vacated the homestead until yesterday, when officers from the office of the deputy sheriff came to dismantle their shacks.

The family was then instructed to relocate to a plot the Rundu Town Council has allocated to them.

According to the evictees, they came to the area in 1973 when it was still a village on the outskirts of Rundu.

However, despite being given a plot by the council, the family said they cannot afford to relocate to their new place, and they don’t have money to build another toilet and erect shacks.

“My heart is in pain looking at how my house is being dismantled. I don’t even have a cent to relocate to where we are being told to move. Where am I going to sleep tonight?” Ihemba asked yesterday.

It is alleged that Ndavoka Deneshi, the family friend who was permitted to stay at the portion, sold the portion to Agnes Kwenanai.

“This plot has been taken from us by the town council. The person who sold our plot is not even family. He came to my grandmother to ask for a place to stay and was given this.

PAINFULL … Magaritha Ihemba (83) seated with her grandchildren in her neighbour’s yard as they watch their shacks being dismantled as per the High Court order to evict her from the place she had called home for 50 years. She moved there in 1973.. Photos: Petrus Muronga

“He sold the portion in secret. My grandmother even went to the council to warn the officials not to entertain him if he happened to sell the plot, but now, we don’t know what happened,” Sikongo said.

She said the family discovered the portion had been sold when the council conducted a survey and consolidated the whole plot.

“They said this was because our neighbour to whom the portion was sold built a brick house and her plot is small, and we live in shacks,” Sikongo claimed.

The family claimed an official from the council, Segunda Gustav, colluded with Kwananai to consolidate the plot.

“My mother is now 83 years old. Her mother left her here with her grandparents. And now you are forcing her to relocate in her pension years.

“If it was a mistake, why didn’t they allocate the plot to her [Kwenanai] and force the owners of the plot to relocate? Does this mean Namibia only belongs to people with money?” Sikongo asked.

When The Namibian arrived at the scene yesterday, officials were busy dismantling the shacks.

“I can’t answer to those things. I work for the council and I have a supervisor, so if you want to know everything, go to the council,” Gustav said yesterday.

Kwenanai has allegedly sold two more plots belonging to the Ihemba family and the matter is under investigation by the council.

Efforts to get comment from Deneshi were not fruitful as his cellphone went unanswered, while questions sent to council were not answered.

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