Only one illegal farmer at Tsumkwe West heeds police order

07 Jul 2013 07:20
TSUMKWE, 07 JUL (NAMPA) ? Only one of the 31 illegal settlers at Tsumkwe West who have been asked to vacate the area by the Inspector-General of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol), had done so by Saturday morning.
NamPol Inspector-General, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga ordered the illegal farmers to vacate the communal grazing areas before 06 July (Saturday).
The Head of NamPol?s Operations Directorate and the commanding police officer here, Commissioner Christoph Nakanyala told Nampa in an interview at Omatako on Saturday only one alleged illegal farmer had removed his fence voluntarily by Saturday morning.
The farmer apparently works for the City of Windhoek, and had fenced off about 853 hectares of land in the communal area of Janju within the Omatako communal grazing area.
About 20 workers in his employ, including cattle herders, had allegedly set up and dismantled fencing around a piece of land within the space of a few days.
Nakanyala called on other illegal farmers here to follow suit, and respect Ndeitunga?s appeal.
The NamPol Inspector-General indicated that Saturday was the due date for the illegal settlers to vacate the land, and follow the right procedures by applying to the Communal Land Board for land.
A number of other newly erected fences were still standing on Saturday morning, with only a few cattle herders employed by the illegal land occupants to be found on the farms.
Nakanyala said the actual erecting of fences stopped last Sunday, but hundreds of poles can still be seen piled up in heaps in the area.
The livestock farmers have illegally occupied grazing farmlands in the area of Omatako and Mangetti Dune in the Tsumkwe West communal area, saying they were forced to drive their animals into these areas because of the drought situation in their areas of origin, which has been indicated as the Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati, Kavango, Omaheke and partly Otjozondjupa Regions.
This news agency last month visited a few of the occupied grazing farmlands in Tsumkwe West, and only cattle herders were found taking care of the homesteads and animals.
Nakanyala on Saturday also cautioned that the illegal farmers who fail to comply with the police appeal to voluntarily vacate the communal land that they must prepare for forced removal by the police.
About 24 NamPol Special Field Police Force members, including police detective officers, have been involved in the operation since last Sunday.
Technical staff members of the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, headed by the Otjozondjupa Regional Deputy Director in the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata, are also conducting mapping work, and are involved in locating and identifying the illegal farmers.
Nghituwamata said during an interview at Omatako on Saturday her staff members have discovered 21 illegal fences erected in the Janju area alone.
Janju is situated less than 10 kilometres south of Omatako.
In total there are 31 illegally fenced-off farms at Omatako and Mangetti Dune, but the 21 fenced off farms are in the Janju area alone.
In total, 5 000 hectares of land have been fenced off in both Omatako and Mangetti Dune, according to Nghituwamata.
The smallest piece of fenced-off land measures 418 hectares, while the largest piece of land which was illegally fenced off measures 1 611 hectares.
?The fences are completely illegal and they are newly setup. We will make sure that they are completely removed,? she indicated.
Omatako is situated over 150 kilometres south-east of Grootfontein in the Otjozondjupa Region.