Tsumkwe Land Board preparing legal action against illegal farmer

08 Jul 2013 09:30
OTJIWARONGO, 08 JUL (NAMPA) - The Tsumkwe Communal Land Board will sit on Tuesday this week in Grootfontein to prepare for a legal case against people farming illegally in the Tsumkwe West communal grazing area.
The Otjozondjupa Regional Deputy Director in the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata told Nampa on Monday that this extra-ordinary meeting will include the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) and several ministries represented at Grootfontein.
The Communal Land Reform Act No. 5 of 2002 makes provision for the establishment of Communal Land Boards, comprising all traditional authority councillors and their chiefs, and other community stakeholders as members.
About 31 livestock farmers have allegedly occupied grazing farmland in the area of Omatako and Mangetti Dune in the Tsumkwe West communal area over the past few years.
These illegal settlers claim to have been forced to drive their animals there because of the ongoing drought situation in their areas of origin, which have been identified as the Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati, Kavango and Omaheke regions, as well as parts of the Otjozondjupa Region.
So far, only verbal warnings have been issued to these farmers by the police.
They were ordered to vacate the area before 06 July 2013, as per directive of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)?s Inspector-General, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga.
By Saturday morning, only one farmer had removed his fence, which encircled about 853 hectares of land in the area of Janju within the Omatako communal grazing area.
When this reporter visited the far-south of Janju, many 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 were also seen conducting mapping work, and are furthermore involved in locating and identifying these illegal farmers.
Nghituwamata earlier told this agency at Omatako on Saturday that 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.
Omatako is situated over 150 kilometres south-east of Grootfontein in the Otjozondjupa Region.