The Opuwo Town Council says it will commit the resources at its disposal to address the housing and land crisis due to the alarming pace at which people are flocking to the town in search of employment and greener pastures.
Swapo Party councillor in the Opuwo Town Council, Urikee Richard Urikee Tjazapi, said the demand for residential plots at the town is “alarming”.
“Our main focus for this year is more on the delivery of housing and land to the people. The influx of people into Opuwo is quite alarming and the delivery of housing and land do not correlate,” said Tjazapi.
Moreover, the councillor said it will require investors to come on board to tackle the housing issue in Opuwo.
“We will try to bring investors on board to help us build houses because there are people who are ready to buy houses, that is our main primary focus,” added Tjazapi.
The councillor pointed out teachers, soldiers and police officers as the potential house buyers once they are availed.
In addition, the town is also planning to develop and improve existing infrastructure with special attention on tarring of roads.
“We have made it a point that in each financial year and if funds are available, we must take portions of our roads and tar them,” he further added.
Similarly, Tjazapi said the council was against improving roads using gravel as it was not a permanent and lasting solution.
Additionally, the current councillors have taken a seemingly robust approach of tarring most roads at the town before their terms come to an end in 2020.
“By the time we reach 2020, we should have tarred at least three or four [roads] within in the town,” he noted.
According to Tjazapi, the two major plans for 2017 were identified during the review of the town’s strategic plan in November last year.
The Swapo infights
Last year The Patriot reported extensively on the issue surrounding infights among Swapo Party councillors at Opuwo that saw Safety and Security Minister Charles Namoloh travel to the town to intervene.
A well-informed source confirmed to The Patriot that Tjazapi was targeted because he was against the automatic contract “renewal” of former Opuwo Town Council’s chief executive officer, Alphons Tjitombo.
“Tjazapi is being accused of misbehaving because he was against the automatic renewal of Tjitombo’s contract – that is the bottom line.”
“They (Swapo councillors) want to get rid of Tjazapi and to replace him with Rex Sheehama,” the source said.
Allegations also surfaced that the majority of those backing the removal of Tjazapi had “benefited greatly from dubious land deals and other malpractices” from Tjitombo during his time as CEO of Opuwo.
Additionally, those in the know confirmed to this paper that senior Swapo officials, including the regional governor, Angelika Muharkua, wanted Tjazapi out.
In addition Tjazapi’s removal was expected to pave way for Sheehama (who is next on the electoral list) to then increase Tjitombo’s chances of getting reappointed as the town’s executive for a third term.
According to the source, Sheehama is a Tjitombo “faithful” and it is no secret that he will do all in his power to get him reappointed
In the meantime, Tjazapi reassured the public that they (Swapo councillors) have set their differences aside and infighting is a thing of the past.
Prior to his departure in October last year, Tjitombo had been at the helm of the town for 10 years making him the longest serving Opuwo executive.
“The so-called infighting that was there (Swapo councillors) I can really reassure the community that we have overcome that page,” Tjazapi added cheerfully.
Tjazapi said the main focus now for the councillors within the Opuwo Town Council is to deliver the tasks that they promised during campaigns while not giving audience to petty “issues”.
“From our side as councillors of the party (Swapo), we have decided that some of these things that were dividing us, we have now bypassed those stages and we are going to focus to deliver to our people.”
Last year some Swapo Party councillors within the Opuwo Town Council were accused of being “traitors” and for “sleeping” with opposition members. The two councillors were Tjazapi and Elise Hihanguapo. According to Tjazapi, however, all the allegations and rumours are now a thing of the past.