Swapo urges traditional authorities to plan for land demands

30 Jul 2015 10:50am
KEETMANSHOOP, 30 JUL (NAMPA) – The Swapo Party regional coordinator for //Karas on Wednesday met with various traditional leaders in the region to consult on amicable and effective ways of addressing land demands.
Matheus Mumbala explained that the current demand for urban land may result in demands for, and possibly, occupation of communal land in future.
“A war could have erupted on Friday, but thankfully it has been averted by our president,” Mumbala said.
He said young people were serious about forcefully taking land, while the police would have had no choice but to enforce the law.
Friday, 31 July 2015 was set by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement for the occupation of land countrywide. However, President Hage Geingob and senior Cabinet ministers met with representatives of the AR last Friday, and Government resolved to service 200 000 erven countrywide.
Mumbala urged traditional authorities to pre-empt land demands and meet Government halfway in peacefully and proficiently addressing the ongoing land crisis.
During deliberations, the dozen senior traditional leaders in attendance raised challenges which they said hamper adequate land delivery.
These include leadership disputes, delinquent and disrespectful behaviour from young people, human greed, and the limited powers of traditional authorities.
Chief Stephanus Goliath of Berseba advised the meeting on the need for a land use plan that would outline provisions and provide guidance in proper land allocation for people, livestock, vegetation and wildlife in villages and settlements.
Desmond Andreas, an advisor to the Bondelswarts Traditional Authority of Warmbad, said the demand for farming land was high.
He said Government should ensure the provision of water through boreholes and related means to farmers as a matter of priority.
The leaders highlighted unemployment as a core problem, saying it prevents people from paying for basic services and maintaining the land they receive.
Unemployment, the leaders noted, also led to social ills such as alcohol abuse, stock theft and violence among communities.
The meeting resolved to consult further on these topics in order to forward an informed substantiation to Government on the way forward.