Rehoboth Baster Community

Church leaders tackle council over shebeens

Published by May 09, 2008

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Church leaders at Rehoboth hold the Town Council accountable for the mushrooming of illegal shebeens at the town's Block E residential area.

Accusing the council of intensifying the existing socio-economic instability, the leaders claimed the municipality's failure to follow the correct procedure in allocating erven for business purposes had led to the mushrooming of shebeens everywhere in Block E.

The churches' spokesperson, Bartholomeus Pieters, claimed that the council had recently allocated residential erven 376 and 709 in Block E - where shebeens were set up - for business purposes without any rezoning.

The Mayor of Rehoboth, Alfred Dax, dismissed the allegations.

Dax said the council had never allocated residential erven for business purposes without rezoning them.

He said the council was aware of two shebeens operating from residential erven.

The council had instructed the municipal health department to order the shebeen owners to stop operating there, he said.

"Yes, we do our part to stop the illegal practice of businesses operating from residential areas, especially shebeens, but it's now time for the Police to take action," Dax said.

He said the Police had been informed in writing about the illegal shebeens.

A spokesperson for the church leaders also claimed that a local newspaper reporter was barred from attending a meeting at which the churches expressed their concern about shebeens to the council.

The church leaders represent the Roman Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran, African Methodist Episcopal and Pentecostal churches.

They are expected to meet the local Police today to address the issue of illegal shebeens at Rehoboth.

Source: Namibian