Ally Angula to join Katutura residents in their quest for debt write-off

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

Independent Presidential candidate Ally Angula has voiced her support for the Katutura Residents Committee’s (KRC) mass action against the debt management process of the City of Windhoek (CoW) scheduled for next week.

In a statement released on Wednesday, she stated that she believed in the residents’ plight after seeing their bills.

“Come one, come all. Come out and join what is truly an economic justice fight. The fight of the previously underserved, previously non-considered residents of the City of Windhoek. Let’s join the March not just as a show of solidarity but also as a show to say what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. The City must consider its residents and have people over profits,” said Angula.

The residents have since last year been demanding for debts to be written off claiming that households endured years without access to basic necessities like water and electricity.

At the beginning of the year, the Windhoek City Council announced the complete write-off of all municipal debt and accrued interest for pensioners over the age of 60 while the broader community was given a 50% reduction in interest on outstanding debts.

The KRC has decided to proceed with their planned demonstration despite CoW’s extension until next month for the registration for debt relief for pensioners’ municipal debt.

The spokesperson of the KRC, Shaun Gariseb, at a recent press briefing, emphasised that the committee views the city’s extension as a mere ploy, denouncing it as one of the city of Windhoek’s “tricks.”

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Utoni, the group highlighted their dissatisfaction with the lack of improvement in their circumstances despite previous petitions.

They requested the minister’s presence at the Katutura Customers Care Centre on 15 April 2024 and threatened to mobilise a demonstration if their call remained unanswered.

“The purpose of the gathering will be to hand demands & concerns to all stakeholders, the Council of the City of Windhoek, The Minister of Urban and Rural Development, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Ombudsman, the Auditor General, and the Competition Commission of Namibia,” read the letter by KRC Chairperson Benestus Kandundu.

Their demands and concerns stem from discontent towards the City of Windhoek’s debt relief program, particularly questioning the adoption of Redforce and the city’s inaction towards their complaints.

Council member, Sade Gawanas, expressed the council’s dedication to addressing the hardships faced by pensioners and other residents struggling with municipal bills.

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