ONGWEDIVA- Timotteus Ikela’s courage to defend his house halted Oniipa Town Council’s plans to demolish his unfinished three bedroom house that is alleged to be illegal in its construction.
Oniipa Town Council has denied demolishing structures they marked as illegal, despite claims by community members that some of their structures were demolished.
Ikela insists he has all the documents that prove ownership of land and has failed to understand why the Council wants to demolish his house at a time when there are a lot of people constructing houses in the town.
Ikela denied making any threat, adding that he constructed the house in question on land obtained through the Traditional Authority.
“I didn’t threaten the Mayor as reported by some media houses, but I told them that am ready to defend what belong to me,” said Ikela.
He says he wants a letter from town council stating why he should not build his house by this week, and if they fail to provide it, he promised to continue building.
Ikela also said that if government does not present solutions, there will be ‘destruction’ in the country and the grabbing of land will be high.
Earlier in May, the Oniipa Town Council began marking all illegal structures which were constructed after it had previously warned against further property development until it finalized its town. The marking was believed to be a step that would lead to demolitions if owners refused to comply with town council to remove the structures.
Local Economic Development Officer of Oniipa Town Council, Elia Shingenge said that the town council of Oniipa didn’t demolish any house since its establishment.
“We only marked illegal structures with the purpose of informing people not to build without any approved building plans by town council,” said Shingenge.
He added that all powers of having ownership of land was nullified and the land belongs to Oniipa Town Council, after it was proclaimed a settlement area in 2004. In April 2015, it was further proclaimed a town, effectively giving land powers to town council.
Shingenge added that the land which the people have was given by the Traditional Authority, and no longer entitles them to land ownership.-Maria Abraham