Tsumkwe West land invasion irks Ngatjizeko

13 Jul 2013 08:10
OKAKARARA, 13 JUL (NAMPA) ? The Minister of Safety and Security, Immanuel Ngatjizeko on Friday strongly condemned the ongoing illegal occupation of land in the Tsumkwe West communal area.
Ngatjizeko was speaking at Okakarara during the official inauguration of new police barracks.
Okakarara is situated over 100 kilometres south-east of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region.
In his official speech, the minister said Namibia is a sovereign state founded on the principles of democracy, the rule of law and justice for all.
?As a minister responsible for the maintenance of law and order, I do not condone any spirit and actions contrary to the constitution of the country. I urge all citizens of this country to adhere to the principles governing the country at all times,? he stressed.
He said the recent behaviour of some citizens who infringed upon other people?s rights and privileges by occupying their grazing land illegally, or those intent on seizing the land in Tsumkwe West unlawfully, are disrespecting the laws governing the country.
The illegal farmers in Tsumkwe West claim to have been forced to drive their animals there because of the drought in their areas of origin which have been identified as the Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati, Kavango and Omaheke Regions, and partly Otjozondjupa Region.
The minister said all Namibians must abide by the law, adding that those found violating it must face the full wrath of the country?s laws.
He said the invasion of grazing land in Tsumkwe can lead to chaos and anarchy.
?Let us all desist from creating breeding grounds for those things in our beautiful Namibia,? Ngatjizeko noted.
The Otjozondjupa Regional Deputy Director in the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata told Nampa on Tuesday her technical team has completed the mapping of the Omatako communal area at Tsumkwe, and in the process discovered that 33 000 hectares of communal land, and not 5 000 as previously reported, had been fenced-off.
?We travelled to the deepest communal areas in Omatako, and we discovered more fences. The total number of illegal fences has increased from 21 as reported last week to 37 so far in the area of Janju alone,? Nghituwamata stressed.
She explained that three more communal areas (Boebie Pos, Kano Vlei and Mangetti Dune) in which fenced-off land had been noted, are yet to be mapped, meaning the total number of recorded illegal fences might thus increase.
The police had set a deadline of 06 July this year for the illegal farmers to vacate the area, but by last Saturday, only one farmer had dismantled his fence.
Meanwhile, members of the Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board on Tuesday unanimously agreed to consult the Attorney-General?s Office for advice on the illegal fencing situation.
The Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board?s chairperson, Jeaneth Kuhanga told this agency shortly after a closed-door meeting held here that the Board will write a letter to the Attorney-General, Dr Albert Kawana, to seek advice before taking any action against the accused farmers.
She said the letter will be handed over to the Office of the Attorney-General before Friday.
The same meeting also resolved that Board members would travel to Omatako on Wednesday for a two-day consultative meeting with the !Kung Traditional Authority on the matter of illegal fencing.
They will then tour the fenced-off communal areas to assess the situation for themselves, Kuhanga noted.
?We want to exhaust all means of communication before we institute any legal action or remove any illegal fence in Tsumkwe West,? she stated.
(NAMPA)
MS/AS