Eviction of families from Nkarapamwe black township houses in Rundu, north-east Namibia, 1970
Through the perusal of archival police testimonies, blended with oral and written sources, this paper centres around the 1970 eviction of 400 families of Nkarapamwe Black township in Rundu. While detailing factors behind eviction, it asserts that a colonial official, who was concerned with accommodation shortages, used his office powers inconsiderately to evict unemployed families with no concern to their plights. A discussion on eviction process explains the colonial officials’ strategies of cancelling previous double housing allocations. The paper further explains Nkarapamwe residents’ liaison with Church and the Police and their concerns of the exclusion of traditional authorities in decisions relating to Africans’ urban residency rights, which was a strategy to buy support against eviction. Lastly, we discuss the social, political and economic impacts of eviction. Nkarapamwe residents’ held view that the eventual dismissal and removal from the Kavango of the responsible colonial official emanated from their collective efforts, presents a tale of morality and a psychological reward to victims of evictions. Arguably, in the face of eminent colonial evictions, it seems plausible that evicted residents’ collective efforts, although unable to stop evictions, still presented psychological rewards for evicted families to come to terms with effects of evictions.
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