Swanu slams land conference postponement

13 Oct 2016 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 13 OCT (NAMPA) - The indefinite postponement of the planned second conference on land is ‘unpatriotic and a threat to land distribution in the country’, Swanu president Usutuaije Maamberua has said.
Maamberua claimed that the apparent indifference to the land question and the 1904-1908 Genocide by Government could fuel racial, ethnic and class tensions in the country.
He made the remarks during a media conference here on Thursday.
“It is totally irresponsible to think that Namibians are so foolish to believe that Government cannot afford only N.dollars 20 million to host a national land conference. The flimsy excuses given by Government as reasons to postpone the hosting of the conference smack of underlying tribalism, because the land question mostly affects minority ethnic groups.
“Since government has already demonstrated that it is not concerned with the genocide and reparation as demonstrated by its lacklustre attitude. Similarly it is not concerned with the resolution of the land question,” he said.
Maamberua said the postponement of the land conference will derail the implementation of the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
The Swanu leader alleged that exorbitant wastage and high perks for the ‘elite’ is not convincing to any Namibian that Government cannot afford N.dollars 20 million to host the conference.
He also questioned the expenses of President Hage Geingob and his delegation on a recent trip to the United States of America, claiming that Government has been put under internal capital and foreign capital pressure to abandon the land question.
At the same event, Swanu proposed that all sacred places in Namibia be owned by the State to ensure public access.
“Land that was stolen from the Damara, Herero, San and Nama people should be given back to the rightful owners. The second land conference should put in place measures to restore everything people lost during the colonial regime, that is both land property, dignity and their rights,” he said.
Land Reform Minister, Utoni Nujoma announced the indefinite postponement of the planned second land conference in the National Assembly on Wednesday, citing non-availability of funds to host the event.
He however did not say how much money is needed for the conference.
The second land conference was to take stock of the achievements made since the first national land conference in 1991, and to establish what is needed to accelerate and improve the implementation of recommendations made then.