Ombudsman condemns Katima Mulilo demolitions
The ombudsman, Basilius Dyakugha, says that while his office does not condone lawlessness, he does not support the recent demolitions of the properties of illegal land occupants in Katima Mulilo.
Katima Mulilo City Council and Kayuni Investments have destroyed several properties belonging to illegal land occupiers in the informal settlement of Lwanyanda and Cowboy Compound, claiming the land is earmarked for development projects.
In a statement on Tuesday, Dyakugha noted how settlement structures were demolished with little or no respect for human rights.
“All citizens must follow the legal or legal route to acquire their properties, including land and houses. However, it is common knowledge that there is a serious shortage of land, especially in urban areas, for that people can build their homes,” he said.
He said his office questioned whether those affected had received the required notices and/or had been given enough time and clear information about the consequences if they did not leave the area.
He called on local authorities to always find an amicable solution with the affected communities through mediation.
“Katima Mulilo Municipal Council needs to know that what happened at Lwanyanda informal camp traumatized the children and many people lost everything they had worked for,” he said.
Katima Mulilo Mayor Lister Shamalaza told a press conference on Tuesday that affected residents had received court orders to vacate the land within 10 days and a four-day grace period, which expired on September 7, but they still haven’t left the field. land until they are forcibly removed.
“In 2019-2020, after numerous communications and meetings with these land grabbers, the council and Kayuni Investments (Pty) Ltd engaged their lawyers to obtain a court order evicting them to clear the way for the planned development. having obtained the court order in 2020, the council again tried to communicate the court order to the land grabbers, but they were uncooperative and violent,” he said.