|Villager blocks road over dispute with contractor|
|Written by William J. Mbangula|
|Wednesday, 18 July 2012 22:04|
Thohi-Bicon Namibia and a resident of Omatando no.1 village near Ongwediva are embroiled in a land tussle over compensation resulting in the villager partially blocking the road with corrugated iron sheets and stones.Thohi-Bicon is contracted by the Roads Authority to build the N$42 million Onamutai gravel road via Ongwediva to Okatana road, known as DR 3671, which commenced earlier this year. The Roads Authority Area manager for maintenance, Titus Temba, said the dispute is between the contractor and the villager.
According to the villager, the company does not want to provide fair compensation to him, while it has paid others in and around the village. He explained that four months ago Thohi-Bicon Namibia site manager, Fram Malan, sent someone with a compensation offer of N$8 000, which was flatly rejected.
“I don’t think my property is worth only N$8 000, hence I refused to sign the piece of paper he sent me. When I met Malan and questioned him about the meager compensation he offered, the evasive contractor only promised to come back to me. Since that time Malan never reverted to me. As a result, I have decided to block the road as a sign of my dissatisfaction with the manner in which he is handling the issue. I need fair and meaningful compensation,” the villager explained.
“The duo should agree in writing on compensation, in accordance with the government-approved rate set out in the officially designed forms made available to the contractor,” Temba explained. He maintains there is nothing the Roads Authority can do regarding the blocked portion of the road.
Malan wrote a letter, dated 17 July, to this specific landowner, saying: “You were advised on 13 July 2012 that the Consultant was measuring up your house for possible compensation and that a letter would be written to Roads Authority requesting compensation for the entire house and not just the portion of your property within the road reserve. Should you construct or erect any obstruction or hazard on the road, whilst this decision is pending, the damage caused will be evaluated and this amount will be deducted from any compensation you may receive.”
In turn, the landowner said he is not aware of any such agreement or advice received, as alleged in Malan’s letter.