09 Jul 2013 11:10
GROOTFONTEIN, 09 JUL (NAMPA) ? Members of the Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board on Tuesday unanimously agreed to first consult the Office of the Attorney-General about the illegal fencing-off of parts of the Tsumkwe West communal area.
Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board chairperson Jeaneth Kuhanga told Nampa in an interview shortly after a closed-door meeting on Tuesday the board will seek advice from the Office of Attorney-General Dr Albert Kawana before taking any action against the accused farmers.
The Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board comprises of representatives from traditional authorities, farmers? representatives and several staff members in the public service.
The board also decided that all Land Board members should travel to Omatako on Wednesday for a two-day consultative meeting with the !Kung Traditional Authority on the matter of illegal fencing.
The board members will also tour the fenced-off communal areas.
?We want to exhaust all means of communication before we institute any legal action or remove any alleged illegal fencing in Tsumkwe West,? she said.
On her part, the Otjozondjupa Regional Deputy Director in the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata said her technical team discovered an increase in the number of illegal fences - from 21 to 37 so far in the area of Janju alone.
Janju is situated less than 10 kilometres south of Omatako, which in turn is situated over 150 kilometres south-east of Grootfontein in the Otjozondjupa Region.
Three more communal grazing areas in Boebie Pos, Kano Vlei and Mangetti Dune, which are also fenced-off, are not yet mapped, and therefore the number of the alleged illegal fences might increase, said Nghituwamata on Tuesday.
The smallest fenced-off farm so far discovered is 36 hectares, while the largest illegal fenced-off farm as 5 732 hectares.
Nghituwamata said by law, all illegally-erected fences in Namibia must be removed.
The illegal farmers claim to have been forced to drive their animals there because of the drought situation in their areas of origin, which has been identified as the Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati, Kavango and Omaheke regions, and partly Otjozondjupa Region.
The illegal farmers were supposed to vacate the area before 06 July 2013, as per orders of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)?s Inspector-General, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga.
Only one farmer has removed his fencing of about 853 hectares of land in the area of Janju in Omatako communal grazing area.