AR ready to engage Government

30 Jun 2015 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 30 JUN (NAMPA) – The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement will on Saturday convene a forum to discuss the legality of land occupation, eviction, a land and housing price control board, housing finance and land tenure in Namibia.
A statement issued by the AR on Tuesday said the forum's aim is to “consolidate and protect the gains of AR from a legal perspective and to provide an understanding and a safety net for the post-31 July 2015 dispensation from litigation, and civil matters for the legal protection of 50 000 land applications under the movement”.
In November 2014, the AR spearheaded the submission of 30 000 individual applications for land at the City of Windhoek and 20 000 at other municipalities in February this year, signifying the desperation for land and making note of the housing crisis in Namibia.
The AR threatened to take land by force should the applications not have been processed and approved by 31 July 2015.
The discussions and submissions from the forum will be recorded in one document, which will then be submitted as a proposal to law makers and Government.
The AR, under the leadership of Job Amupanda, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and George Kambala aims to improve the socio-economic conditions of Namibia’s urban youth. The trio started the AR in late 2014.
Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, Amupanda said currently there is no law in Namibia which makes the occupation of land for residential purposes a crime.
He said they have studied the laws and at this point they are satisfied that there is no basis for the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) or City Police to arrest anyone should they occupy land.
“Should a favourable response to the land issue not be given, the landless people will occupy the land and the City Police and Namibian Police shall be put on terms in that should they attempt to illegally evict or arrest anyone who occupies land, legal action will be launched against them and we shall seek that any police officer who acts arbitrarily shall be identified and we shall seek to hold them personally liable for any such arbitrary action,” Amupanda said.
He said it is in the best interest of the country and particularly the courts if the land and housing issue is resolved amicably through the joint efforts of the executive, the legislature and civil society.
“If not, we envision that after 31 July this year, the Namibian courts will be over-burdened with land matters,” he said.
Amupanda said the AR is ready to engage Government to discuss land issues and come up with practical solutions whereby landless Namibians will acquire land, but not to discuss politics.
The AR Legal Consultative Forum, he said, will bring together lawyers and legal professionals who are directly or indirectly affected by the land crisis, and people with legal background who sympathise with them.