ONGWEDIVA - Five years after Oshakati Town Council demolished his house, a 54-year-old man with disability is still homeless, and the only place he calls home is wreckage of a seven-seater van, stationed at his cousin’s home.
Worse, Natangwe Nghipukulwa, whose only source of income is his disability grant, is in debt because he is still paying off a bank loan that he took to construct his now-demolished home.
According to Nghipukulwa, his three-bedroom shack that was at Okandjengedi location was demolished by the town council in 2018 after his neighbours accused him of housing criminals and hiding stolen items.
He said his neighbours petitioned the council and the Namibian police, demanding for the removal of his house.
Nghipukulwa stressed that he was never involved in criminal activities.
“They hated me because I kept to myself…”
“I was not at home when they demolished my house. I was with a friend in Ondangwa when someone called to tell me that my house was demolished. I came home to find the spot where my house was empty. It was so clear as if my house never existed,” he sobbed.
Nghipukulwa, who claims to have lost his limp in 1985 in an explosion, said Oshakati Town Council did not only demolish his house but they also took all his belongings, and they were never returned to him.
“I approached the council on numerous occasions, demanding for my belongings but to no avail. They also keep promising that they would give me a plot – it is now five year,” he added.
Nghipukulwa is appealing to the town council to allocate him land to build a house, adding that he is tired of sleeping in a wreck.
“I just want a home… not only did they demolish my house and take my belongings, but they have also destroyed my family. When I had a house, my children used to visit me but now they don’t come anymore because they have nowhere to sleep. It is really painful,” laments the father of two.
Approached for comment, Oshakati town council spokesperson Katarina Kamari said Nghipukulwa’s house was demolished because of illegal occupation.
She said he had been asked to remove his shack several times but he never acted to the council’s requests.
Kamari also confirmed community members’ complaints about illegal activities at Nghipukulwa’s shack also prompted the council to take actions.
These claim can be attested to by community members [in his former] surrounding and by the Namibian police.
Police arrested Nghipukulwa several times.
Kamari added that Nghipukulwa’s claim that the council destroyed his belongings was not true.
She said the structure was removed properly and all his belongings were handed over to him in 2021.