Namibia shuts down debate on land issue
WINDHOEK – The Minister of Land and Resettlement Utoni Nujoma has shut down all discussion related to land resettlement and distribution in the country until the land conference is held sometime next year.
He made this announcement while rejecting the tabling of the motion on land issue by the leader of the opposition Swanu party, Usutuaije Maamberua, in parliament on Wednesday.
Maamberua motion sought to have parliament discuss and debate the status of the implementation process of the resettlement policy by looking at the criteria, process, responsible bodies and the list of the people who have been resettled since independence and the challenges and success experienced thus far, in order to improve on the resettlement process.
However, the Lands Ministry objected to the motion, stating that the issue would be discussed during the land conference slated in due course. Consultations have already been done at the regional level and the outcomes will be presented at the conference.
“We totally object to the tabling of that motion because I feel it does not serve any purpose as it is proposing for another public consultation while it was already done. We can’t have another consultation when we already have all stakeholders and reports have been compiled for the upcoming land conference. That will just be a waste of resources and time,” he said.
However, Maamberua said the argument was not true and did not hold water as there proper consultations were not conducted to source public input.
Sharing the same segment was McHenry Venaani, president of official opposition party, DTA of Namibia, who insisted that the president must pronounce when the land conference will be held.
Two weeks ago, President Hage Geingob postponed to next year the much-anticipated four-day second national land conference which had been scheduled for 18 September.
He made the announcement during a Swapo meeting last month, were he informed the party’s Central Committee members that the land conference would be held next year as he wanted further consultations to take place after some civil society groups had complained about inadequate consultations.