Lusaka medical students face eviction

03 June 2021 | Education

Windhoek • [email protected]

A group of about 25 Namibian medical students in Lusaka could be kicked to the curb next Monday after the health ministry allegedly failed to pay their rent since January.
The students were handed a week’s notice last weekend, in which their landlord informed them that the health ministry, “despite our best efforts”, had failed to pay rent since January for accommodation at Crystal Gardens in Lusaka.
“We have been unable to attain any commitment from them and many of our letters have gone unanswered,” the letter, seen by this newspaper, states.
The students say they have nowhere to go and claim that despite repeated attempts for help from the ministry, none has been forthcoming.
“This is serious. So if payments are not done by Monday, we have nowhere to go,” a worried student said yesterday.
The students say there are about 25 medical students affected who are in their 6th and 7th year.
The eviction notice informs the students “it is unlikely that the ministry will rectify the situation any time soon, so we have handed the issue over to our lawyers. The rental payment is now six months late and as such we will not be able to accommodate you past the 7th of June.”
The landlords apologised for the “inconvenience” caused to the students, but underline that the non-payment has left them no choice. “The business is unable to cover the un-budgeted running costs that have resulted from the non-payment of the rentals,” the letter dated 29 May 2021 states.
A student who spoke on condition of anonymity this week, said when they call the relevant office in the ministry for help they are told that payments are being processed or that the problem lies with the ministry that is mandated to release the funds.
The students underlined that payments of allowances have long been riddled with problems of delays, resulting in frequent media headlines, and now they face being kicked onto the street curbs due to unpaid rental bills.
On Thursday, the health ministry could only state that the relevant department in the ministry “is aware of this and is busy processing payment”. No further details were provided.