Ukwangali land-grabbing investigations completed

22 Oct 2014 08:50am
UKWANGALI, 22 OCT (NAMPA) - Investigations into the alleged land-grabbing and selling malpractices in the Ukwangali Traditional Authority area of the Kavango West region have been completed.
The probe was necessitated by complaints from inhabitants of the Ukwangali area, who in recent months expressed their dissatisfaction to the traditional authority on the NBC Rukavango radio call- in programme about land malpractices by some residents, including some traditional authority leaders.
Some accused persons have apparently been selling land to business people and foreigners to set up their businesses and farming units.
Some Ukwangali inhabitants were allegedly offered cattle in exchange for grazing areas, while others were offered large sum of money in exchange for land.
The area where most land was grabbed and sold is the Katwitwi area, which is strategically located along the border with Angola, and is an area said to have business potential.
Following such grievances, the Ukwangali Traditional Authority Chiefs’ Council appointed a seven-member committee early last month to conduct an investigation into the land administration and disputes there.
That seven-member committee comprised Vincent Mberema, who was the chairperson, deputised by Alba Chipamba, with Lilia Shaningwa as secretary.
The other committee members were Andreas Kauma, Christian Sikwaya, Fabianus Kaveto and Petrus Kavera.
Kavango West Regional Governor Sirkka Ausiku - whose office together with that of Mpungu Constituency Councillor Esra Kakukuru availed transport for the investigating committee to carry out their work - told this agency on Tuesday that the investigating committee is yet to present her with a report of their findings.
They are probably busy compiling the report, she stated.
Ausiku is hopeful that the findings will be presented to her office soon as it will assist the traditional authority’s leadership to come up with the recommendation and the way forward on how to address land disputes in the Ukwangali area.
Ukwangali Chiefs’ Council member Mbandu Hawanga confirmed to this reporter that the investigation is done, and they are all just waiting for the report to be presented to the Kavango West Governor and the Ukwangali leadership.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Ukwangali Traditional Authority’s Chiefs’ Council Joseph Kandjimi is expected to step down from that position before the end of this year.
The Council, however, denied reports that Kandjimi’s resignation had anything to do with the alleged land-grabbing and other dubious land sales in the Ukwangali Traditional Authority.
Efforts by this reporter to obtain comments from the investigating committee’s chairperson Vincent Mberema proved futile.