01 Mar 2015 10:40am
KATIMA MULILO, 01 MAR (NAMPA) The youths of Zambezi Region failed to flock in large numbers to submit land application letters as part of the nationwide mass action organized by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement.
According to Ricky Sipapela, the movement's coordinator for the Zambezi region, the poor turn out of about 620 applications submitted to the Katima Mulilo Town Council by 19h00 on Friday, was largely due to many youths not being properly mobilised to partake in the mass action, while some chose not to submit applications because of fear they might be suspended as members of Swapo Party.
The awareness of the whole process was not properly conducted on days leading to nationwide mass action. I believe the youths could have turned up in large numbers but many were deterred by the media reports and stories which circulated that Swapo will take action against those members who will join the mass action, said Sipapela.
Sipapela told Nampa that the mass land-application process opened at 11:00, but no queues were observed at the council premises until late afternoon, when a large number of people rushed to submit their papers.
However, according to Sipapela, the AR regional team is pleased that the number of applications submitted exceeded their expectations of just 500.
At the council premises, Nampa observed that a number of applicants for land were teachers, police officers, unemployed, high school learners and tertiary students. Others also seen in queues were parents of youths living outside the Zambezi Region, who could not be present to submit their applications.
One of the applicants who spoke to Nampa, Geopher Mwilima said he was happy that the youths of the region have finally been granted an opportunity where they can collectively submit applications for land.
According to Mwilima, a teacher by profession, he has been applying for land since 1998 but has never been granted a plot nor received response from the council on his pending request for land to build his family a house.
Zambezi is my hometown, but it is also the area I have been rendered landless. I have been saving money for so many years, just so I can purchase a plot to build my house but council has denied me this. With this whole mass action, I am hoping the AR will push for all landless citizens to access prime plots or land in serviced urban areas. We are tired of renting houses. We deserve land to call our own, Mwilima said.
Attempts to get comments from the council Chief Executive Officer Charles Nawa, proved futile as he said he could not speak about or on behalf of the AR process as it does not fall in his mandate.