10 Jun 2013 12:00
WINDHOEK, 10 JUN (NAMPA) - The Chief of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) has ordered communal farmers from northern Namibia who illegally moved with their cattle into the Tsumkwe West area over the past few months, to vacate the area immediately.
The Inspector-General of NamPol, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga issued the order during a media conference here on Monday afternoon following reports that about 31 Ovambo communal farmers have illegally moved into the Tsumkwe West communal area with close to 500 heads of cattle and an unspecified number of goats and sheep.
Reports have it that the Ovambo communal farmers grazing their animals in the N≠a Jaqna Conservancy of the !Kung San community have apparently been aggressive with their invasion.
They have allegedly been bringing their animals across a veterinary fence into the N≠a Jaqna Conservancy for the past three months, and have already fenced off between 5 000 and 6 000 acres of grazing land for their animals.
The Ovambo farmers have also started digging illegal boreholes in the Tsumkwe West area.
The farmers were given until 06 July 2013 to vacate the Tsumkwe West area and move back to their respective places or face the full wrath of Namibian laws.
The farmers claim a lack of grazing in their respective areas as a result of the seriousness and severity of the drought situation affecting the country at the moment.
The majority of the illegal farmers are said to be originally from the Ohangwena, Oshana, Oshikoto and Otjozondjupa regions, while a small number are from the Khomas Region.
?A serious concern was brought to my attention that communal farmers mostly from the Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Oshana and Otjozondjupa regions and some from the Khomas Region, have illegally invaded the Tsumkwe West Constituency and moved their animals there in contravention with Section 43 (1) (2) of the Communal Land Reform Act, Act 5 of 2002, as amended.
I am, therefore, ordering the illegal farmers who invaded the Tsumkwe area to vacate the Tsumkwe area with all their animals and return to their original places on or before 06 July 2013 or they will be forcefully removed,? he said.
The Inspector-General said those illegal farmers who are busy taking their animals to the Tsumkwe area without approval, should turn around and return to their respective regions otherwise they will have to face the consequences of their actions.
Ndeitunga further said members of NamPol have already been deployed in the Tsumkwe West area to monitor the situation of the alleged illegal farmers? invasion.
If the illegally-grazing cattle have not been removed by 06 July 2013, NamPol in conjunction and the Ministries of Lands and Resettlement; Agriculture, Water and Forestry; Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development will approach the Windhoek High Court for an eviction order against the owners of such cattle.
Meanwhile, a similar illegal farmers' invasion situation unfolded in 2009 when OvaHerero communal farmers from Gam cut the fences of the Nyae Nyae Conservancy for their cattle to graze on Ju/?hoansi San community property.