KAISOSI: The construction of several gravel roads with funds from the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG) at Rundu are on hold due to a land dispute between the town council and resident Marcellus Mukuve Mudumbi.
The Rundu Town Council is set to upgrade roads in the Kaisosi, Kehemu, Ndama, Sauyemwa and Kasote informal settlements, but such work has been halted for two weeks now because Mudumbi is claiming ownership over a sandpit at Kaisosi on the outskirts of Rundu.
He has since even put up an armed security guard to stop anyone from excavating gravel there.
Sandpits are dug for gravel to use in quarrying activities in road construction.
The Rundu Town Council early last month awarded a tender to John Paul Santos (JPS) Investment for the tarring of the 1,3km road from the Vleiskor Butchery to the Rudolph Ngondo Primary School.
The tender also includes the upgrading of 34 other gravel roads to bitumen standard by that Rundu-based construction company at a cost about N.dollars 11,3 million.
Santos has, however, been unable to commence with work after receiving a text message from Mudumbi, cautioning him to stop any operations at his pit, or else Santos’s company will be liable for damage to ‘his’ land.
In a letter seen by this reporter dated 24 February 2012 and addressed to the town council’s Technical Department’s Manager Mathews Naironga, Mudumbi demanded compensation for damage to his land, which has been a mahangu crop field.
He said the council dug a sandpit on his land without his permission, and that since 2010, he has been patient in trying to get the council’s attention to resolve the matter, but to no avail.
Mudumbi is now demanding about N.dollars 2 million from the council for damage done to his land, and if there is failure in him being compensated, he will institute legal action against the council.
“The land where the council dug a pit used to serve as a food basket for my family since 1970 when we moved into the area,” read part of the letter.
Approached for comment, the Rundu Town Council’s Chief Executive Officer Romanus Haironga said the land in question belongs to the council as it has a Certificate of Title, with registration number T4396/1999.
Haironga said he personally had a dialogue with Mudumbi to discuss the issue and allow the TIPEEG programmes to go ahead while the dispute is being attended to, but Mudumbi apparently stood his ground and rejected the council’s proof of land ownership.
The Rundu CEO said a council meeting held on 31 July resolved to institute action at the High Court against Mudumbi, as he has no legitimate ownership over the sandpit or remaining part of the farm known as Rundu Town 1329.
The council also resolved that an order be issued restraining Mudumbi from interfering with the gravel quarrying activities.
Furthermore, any costs resulting from delays in road construction activities should be borne by Mudumbi.
Haironga explained that there is a huge delay in the implementation of the TIPEEG programme, which, according to him, is denying residents employment opportunities.
About N.dollars 800 million has been allocated to the entire Kavango Region under TIPEEG.
In May this year, the Rundu Town Council inaugurated another road that was upgraded from gravel to tar standard at a cost of N.dollars 4,7 million, also through TIPEEG.