By: Hendrina Kanyolo
The Katutura East Constituency Councillor, Richard Gaoseb, says that the high court and magistrates court amendment bills will protect homeowners from losing their property to the banks, will rescue single mothers and vulnerable children.
Gaoseb who is also a member of the National Council stated that once the bill is passed by parliament, it will positively impact families and they will have peace of mind.
Speaking at the opening of the National Assembly on Tuesday, President Hage Geingob stated that the high court amendment bill will impose judicial oversight on the sale of property by creditors to ensure that the rights of both parties are protected throughout the process.
Geingob added that the objective of the magistrates amendment bill will also protect the right of the debtors in the sale of homes by creditors, thereby enhancing the protection of the right to human dignity and the right to housing.
“The two bills I have just highlighted speak to the troubling situation we have been witnessing in the country regarding the repossession of houses. The process of home foreclosures can be a humiliating and traumatic experience, especially for the most vulnerable members of society. I am therefore pleased to note that we are moving towards ensuring that the dignity of our citizens are protected and that there will be judicial oversight on the sale and execution of immovable properties," said the President.
The Katutura-East constituency is one area in Windhoek where several homes have been up for auction from the banks or from relatives selling off properties illegally.
The Constituency Councillor, Gaoseb, stated is happy that the bill will be tabled in the National Assembly this year. As a councillor who deals with citizens at grassroot level, Gaoseb stated that once the bill is passed by parliament,it will save many lives.
“It was really a pain in the neck for us, especially for us councillors because we were dealing directly with the grass root level. So the bill is going to save us. The bill is going to bring so many changes in the families, particularly in the households, so that the people can go to bed at least, knowing that this bill is going to come and they are going to have peace of mind, especially single mothers” stated Gaoseb who added that he deals with over 40 cases of home repossession in a month.
He added that since the Covid-19 pandemic many people lost their jobs and could no longer honour their property payments. As a result, he thinks the bill will be helpful in this regard. “You have been paying for the past 15 years and suddenly, there are five or two years left but, because you are unable to pay the bank, and it is in its powers (it) decides to take the house from you,” noted the councillor.
In addition, Swapo councillor at the City of Windhoek, Fransina Kahungu, noted that the bill will help all Namibians as it looks at protecting the clients and the supposed beneficiaries.
“First of all I have to appreciate the amendment, because these amendments are looking at betterment of the situations and these amendments are protecting the client and the supposed beneficiary in this case. The bill will not only protect the banks and our own law but it will also help protect the name of the City of Windhoek, because many times, when people do not understand what is happening, they just start blaming that the City of Windhoek is auctioning of the houses ,” said Kahungu.