More than 5,000 Windhoek residents registered to occupy vacant houses

Stefanus Nashama

Social Activist, Michael Amushelelo, has informed the Windhoek Observer that more than 5,000 Windhoek residents have so far registered to eventually occupy vacant houses in Windhoek.

The registration process started on the weekend, 10 February 2024, he said.

According to Amushelelo, the government has failed on duty to keep houses vacant over 10 years ago while people are homeless.

“The registration process went smoothly even though earlier in the morning before I arrived the police were threatening people and intimidating them to go back home,” he said.

Despite this, the activist said upon his arrival, he had to use superior logic to convince the police that people were just exercising their fundamental freedom to assemble peacefully.

He argued that for over 34 years most people have been living in shacks, where there is no water, electricity and toilets.

‘Our people are forced to use riverbeds when nature calls,” he reiterated.

He also stressed that people lost lives due to shack fires, yet the government finds it easy to keep vacant houses built with taxpayers’ money.

These houses are now falling apart, while people are suffering, he said.

“Logic dictates that you can’t have vacant houses whilst you have people living in shacks, that’s why we are going to occupy those houses on the 29th of February 2024,” he reasoned.

Amushelelo believes the number of people who have registered so far has exceeded the number of available houses.

The rest of the people will occupy vacant land to build their own houses, he threatened.

He blamed the government and the municipal authorities, saying they are failing to avail land to people, and as a result, people will now govern themselves seeing that those who have been elected are failing their duty.

“The purpose of a government is to ensure that people have access to proper housing, water, electricity, and other relevant infrastructure, but these corrupt thieves only seem to have an interest in enriching themselves,” he expressed.

He pointed out that the police have been notified in terms of the public gathering proclamation act and that is all that matters.

At the same time, Amushelelo said the government has until 28 February 2024 to respond and take the masses into confidence that it has a practical solution to resolve the housing and land crisis.

Failure to do this will result in the occupation of houses and the land, he added, adding that the government will have to choose to resolve the matter or kill the people.

“The government must decide whether, on 29th February 2024, they are going to give us land or graves,” Amushelelo said.

The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development said the houses are not fit for occupation.

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