07 Jul 2013 07:40
TSUMKWE, 07 JUL (NAMPA) - The Namibian Police Force (NamPol) has once again appealed to farmers who have settled illegally at Tsumkwe West, to vacate the area.
This comes after just one farmer had removed the fencing he had erected around land in the communal grazing area by Saturday (06 July) - the deadline set by NamPol Inspector-General, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga for the 31 farmers to vacate the communal grazing area.
The Head of NamPol?s Operations Directorate and the commanding police officer here, Commissioner Christoph Nakanyala told Nampa in an interview at Omatako the majority of the identified illegal fences had not yet been dismantled by Saturday.
?We continue to appeal to those farmers who have set up fences here illegally to co-operate with us and remove their fences voluntarily,? Nakanyala said on Saturday morning.
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.
So far, only verbal warnings have been issued to the farmers by the police, and Nakanyala indicated that the police will only use force once all legal channels have been exhausted in trying to convince the farmers to vacate the communal grazing area.
He did not indicate when exactly the police would go over into action, and instead repeated his call for the farmers to comply with the law; remove their fences and go back to where they came from.
The farmer who had removed his fencing by Saturday allegedly works for the City of Windhoek.
He had fenced off about 853 hectares of land in the area of Janju within the Omatako communal grazing area.
When Nampa visited the far south of Janju, more newly erected fences could still be seen standing for a distance of approximately 70 kilometres.
Homesteads have also been set up inside the fenced-off areas.
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 busy 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.
Five-thousand hectares of land have been fenced off in both Omatako and Mangetti Dune, according to Nghituwamata.
Omatako is situated over 150 kilometres south-east of Grootfontein in the Otjozondjupa Region.