Report From Our Namibia Office

We received this report from our Namibia office, where they are beginning to see some familiar events taking place.

The words of God's prophet are slowly but surely coming to pass. A cabinet minister dealing with housing and development in Namibia had this to say in a popular local news paper, the Namibian Sun.

No land for ‘fly-by-night-churches’ Posted on Tue, 05 Jun, 2012 National News Minister slams foreign churches for misleading people Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development has taken a swipe at churches not affiliated to the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), promising to deny them land from which to operate from.

Fly-by-night-churches, most of which are foreign and not registered with the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), will not get land in Namibia to operate from - if words uttered recently by a Cabinet minister at Eenhana are anything to go by. Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Jerry Ekandjo remarked that many of these churches have long exploited the masses with promises of divine healing and intervention, fake promises that have earned them thousands of dollars.

Ekandjo claims he has observed that many churches that are not registered with the CCN encourage their followers, especially those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, to stop taking their Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. Instead, the minister charged, these churches encourage their sick worshipers to seek healing through prayers, an advice which often led to early deaths that could have easily been contained through the use of subscribed medication. “Churches that are indulging in such practices will not get land,” Ekandjo said. “Churches that are not part of CCN can forget about even putting in a request for land with my Ministry.” Ekandjo’s remarks came days after it was reported that a group of four Namibians and two Angolans were found chained to wooden posts by Reverend Moses Matyayi of the Apostolic Church in the Kavango Region from whom they sought spiritual healing. Ekandjo did not mention any specific church and it could not be established if Matyayi’s church subscribes to CCN.

Namibia has experienced an influx of new churches at the turn of the century, many of which are seen as money-making schemes that rake in dollars in return for heavenly promises. Many of such churches, especially those in Windhoek and other major urban centers, occupy large tracks of land. “We would rather give land to churches that we know are members of CCN, such as Roman Catholic, Anglican and ELCIN. The rest can forget it,” said Ekandjo amidst cheers from the crowd.

Ekandjo used the occasion to announce that plans are in the pipeline to upgrade councils of the fastest growing towns like Katima Mulilo, Rundu, Eenhana, Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa to municipalities and increase their councillors. Village council normally allow for five councillors, town councils for seven councillors and municipalities can house between seven and 15 councillors. “Some towns have expanded so much that it is time to proclaim them municipalities. Some of these town councils should move from primary school to secondary school because they have been working heard,” Ekandjo said. In the interim, advised Ekandjo, town council need to plan their towns properly and leave room for recreational parks, public toilets and pedestrian walks instead of building on top of each other. Ekandjo made the remarks on Friday during the handing over ceremony of Build Together houses at Eenhana.