Swapo’s Heita tells landless ‘born frees’ to be patient

07 Apr 2016 12:10pm
WALVIS BAY, 07 APR (NAMPA) - Swapo-Party regional coordinator in Erongo Philipus Heita says landless ‘born frees’ who illegally occupied land in Walvis Bay last week must be patient as land will be availed procedurally.
Born-frees refer to members of a generation born in a country after its transition to democracy.
Thousands of landless residents from Walvis Bay last Friday participated in an illegal mass land occupation.
On Saturday, as the police attempted to remove them, a confrontation broke out in which people were injured, property damaged and some of the residents arrested.
Speaking to Nampa on Wednesday, Heita said it is true that people want land but it should not be acquired by force as the country has laws that need to be followed.
“This country has laws just like our houses, offices and villages. So let us follow procedure and share ideas on how to get land. We should never fight the police and grab land in the manner it happened in Walvis Bay,” the Swapo leader advised.
He said as a former freedom fighter he wants people to enjoy peace and does not want to see blood shed.
“For those of us who experienced war, we know it is not a good thing. It is also easy to destroy peace and we must be careful, it might take this country years to regain our peace once that happens,” he said.
Heita used the opportunity to encourage local authority councillors to prioritise land provision, saying it is part of their responsibility to ensure that land is available for the inhabitants of their towns.
They must regularly consult with the community about their plans and tell them whether there is land or not, he added.
Heita also said sometimes people seize land with the excuse that they do not know the councillors and do not know what is happening with regards to land provision.
“It is embarrassing to the Swapo-Party when people say they do not know their leaders, so let us step up and do our jobs,” he said.
Walvis Bay mayor Immanuel Wilfred could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone went unanswered.
Walvis Bay Chief Executive Officer Muronga Haingura has previously said the municipality has a waiting list of more than 10 000 applications for land.
He however gave his assurance that the land issue will be addressed by following the land allocation plans already in place.