Resettlement farms not leisure get-aways

16 Jul 2013 06:20
SWAKOPMUND, 16 JUL (NAMPA) ? People occupying resettlement farms should not see such farms as ?leisure land?, but land where production should occur, Erongo Regional Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua said here on Monday.
He made the statement during the official inauguration of the new Land Reform Advisory Commission (LRAC)?s Resettlement Committees for the Erongo and Otjozondjupa regions.
?If you are on a resettlement farm, you are not there to relax. The land should not be used as a gateway to escape the city life.
The land is not to be used as a place to go rest for a weekend, but instead the farms are there to produce as Namibia needs production,? he advised strongly.
He also instructed the committee members to monitor resettlement farms, as these are not to be sub-let.
The LRAC should furthermore bring in someone to train the people on the farms.
Mutjavikua stated that committee members must bury the notion of residing in a comfort zone, saying ?every step which you embark upon with regards to land reform should be taken with caution?.
Committee members were also urged to make themselves known to their respective communities.
?Let us avoid keeping information to ourselves, and talk to the people on the ground to find out what their concerns and problems are. Let us not remain committee members who are elite, and who do not care what happens with the people on the ground,? he noted.
The Ministry of Lands and Resettlement will provide the committee with all logistical and technical support.
Amongst others, the ministry will render support in secretarial duties; the creation and maintenance of resettlement databases; the demarcation of farms acquired for resettlement; and the preparation of lease agreements.
Mutjavikua said issues concerning land allocation always cause conflicts, and have a high potential to become explosive and disturb peace and stability.
As a result, committee members should demonstrate qualities and values of honesty, fairness and sensitivity towards diverse landless Namibians and land allocation information.
The new LRAC committees consist of 17 members for the Otjozondjupa Region, and 16 members for the Erongo Region, who will serve in their positions for three years.
They were selected from divergent stakeholders such as traditional authorities, line ministries and farmers' unions in order to enrich and enhance the capacity of the commission as an institution.
They were elected in March 2013.
Soon after their inauguration, the committee members attended a two-day induction training course on issues related to various land and resettlement topics and legislation.
The course ends on Tuesday.