Govt. destroys illegal fences in Ohangwena

26 Jul 2013 11:40
ODJELE, 26 JUL (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Lands and Resettlement and the Ohangwena Communal Land Board on Thursday contracted three companies to remove fences from three large farms deemed to be illegally owned on communal land east of the Ohangwena Region.
Some 60 temporary workers are involved in the removal of the fences, and they have some two months to finish the work.
The three farms are owned by wealthy individuals - Tileinge Hapulile, Onesmus Iyambo and Onesmus Valombola - since 2005. The farms are situated in the Odjele village.
Deputy Director for the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement in the Ohangwena Region, Samuel Amutenya told journalists at the scene on Thursday that Hapulile’s farm is of 4354.08 hectares (ha) big, while that of Iyambo and Valombola are more than 1076.6 ha and 1281 ha, respectively.
One of the judges of the traditional court of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority (OTA), Josef Holongo Michael, told Nampa in an exclusive interview that Hapulile’s fence was removed already but he re-erected it in 2007.
Amutenya and Michael pointed out that Hapulile, Iyambo and Valombola have also fenced-in small pieces of land of other people.
“People are not happy that they have been fenced in and, as such, the removal of these fences comes as a relief for the poor people who have been suffering from oppression from these rich people,” Michael noted.
Michael noted that Hapulile, Iyambo and Valombola are using the farms in question for the grazing of their livestock.
Amutenya said each of them was served with a notification letter by the Land Board to remove their fences on their own in August last year.
However, none of them responded to the notification.
According to Amutenya and a member of the Ohangwena Communal Land Board, Johanna Shanyengana, Hapulile, Iyambo and Valombola acted illegally by allocating themselves the said pieces of land without the consent of the OTA.
“We are happy to have good cooperation from the Police and contractors in the removing of these illegal fences,” Amutenya stated, adding that there are seven more fences to be removed from illegally-occupied communal land in the Ohangwena Region.
Hapulile owns two other pieces of land at the King Kauluma and Inainghundudu villages in the Oshikoto Region, while Iyambo is from the Eheke village in the Oshana Region and Valombola from Ondwi village in the Ohangwena Region.
Michael claimed that Hapulile was appointed recently by the Ondonga Traditional Authority as the new village headman of the Oshiti village, some 30km from Odjele.
Hapulile, Iyambo and Valombola were not immediately available for comment.