Mbunza Chief concerned about illegal land allocations

16 Jun 2015 12:40pm
KAPAKO, 16 JUN (NAMPA) - The leader of the Mbunza Traditional Authority in the Kavango West Region has cautioned his subjects to stop selling land as it is not allowed by law and is tantamount to corruption.
Speaking during an interview with Nampa on Tuesday, Mbunza Chief Alfons Kaundu said he has observed with grave concern that some inhabitants in his area of jurisdiction have been taking the law into their own hands by allocating pieces of land and fencing it off without the knowledge of the traditional authority or village headmen.
Kaundu’s remarks come after an Army Commander of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) allegedly fenced off large tracts of communal land without the knowledge of the traditional authority.
Chief Kaundu earlier said the area fenced off by the Army Commander, Thomas Hamunyela, was given to him by community members without the chief's knowledge.
Kaundu stated that community members in remote inland areas who claim to be the first occupants of such areas are mostly the ones allocating land as they say they have lived in the area for so long that they have “become more powerful than their headmen”.
He indicated that anyone who wished to be settled in a new area should first obtain approval from the headmen in the area. Community members should also agree to the person settling there.
The chief warned those who are handing out land in exchange for bribes to stop such practices immediately as he said land in communal areas is not for sale.
With regards to the ongoing illegal fencing of land in his area, Kaundu who is also the chairperson of the chiefs’ forum in the Kavango East and West regions, pointed out that a large tract of land along the Rundu-Mururani highway has also been illegally fenced off.
The Mbunza Traditional Authority leader advised anyone settling in the Mbunza area to acquaint themselves with the law pertaining to the fencing off of land in communal areas.
The NDF Army Commander, one of a number of high ranking government officials who has found himself on the wrong side of the law, has succumbed to pressure and agreed to remove the fence.
Chief Kaundu has also called on others who have fenced off land illegally to remove the fencing.