Swapo manipulated access to land for political purposes: DTA

21 Jul 2015 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 21 JUL (NAMPA) - The leadership of the DTA of Namibia says the ruling party has manipulated access to land for political purposes; awarding land to its elite and those connected to it.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the DTA said members of the elite connected to the Swapo-Party have been obtaining land at massively discounted prices and through dubious and non-transparent procedures, while others are forced to pay market-related prices.
The statement was issued in light of the 31 July 2015 deadline set by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement for Government to allocate plots to landless Namibians.
The movement has threatened to occupy land if Government does not give in to its demands.
“The Swapo-run Local Authorities throughout the country have failed miserably in their duty and responsibility to make urban land available to the Namibian people over the past 25 years,” read the statement.
It added that Government has ignored the plight of ordinary Namibians who have been unable to secure land on which to build a home and provide dignified shelter for their families.
The DTA added that the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) has been “a grand experiment in failure, corporate mismanagement and wasting of taxpayers' money”.
The official opposition party noted that the overwhelming shortage of serviced land, unaffordable property prices and favouritism and nepotism in the allocation and sale of land by Local Authorities across the country have created a situation where ordinary Namibians cannot gain access to urban land.
The DTA said it stands firm in the assertion that while land grabbing remains an extra-legal means of obtaining land, it is nevertheless legitimate, as are the calls for land by the Namibian public.
“Our government has chosen to ready itself for a violent confrontation instead of seeking a path of peaceful dialogue. Our President Hage Geingob has called the 31 July deadline unreasonable,” said the statement.
The DTA said it is unacceptable that the government would ignore this issue for nine months, only for the Head of State and others in his administration to call for more time to address the demand for land.
It added that the responses that saw the formation of the Cabinet Committee on Land Reform and Geingob's call for engagement with the AR movement at the 11th hour leave more questions than they answer.
“The DTA believes that whatever action unfolds on 31 July, whatever blood is shed and rights are trampled, the government is ultimately responsible, as that is where the buck stops,” read the statement.