Land ministry to review resettlement policy: Amutenya

08 Feb 2017 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 08 FEB (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Land Reform has dismissed the allegation that the resettlement process is marginalising certain communities while in favour of others.
Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Land Reform, Peter Amutenya told members of the media on Wednesday the “false information is misleading.”
This follows the public outcry by inhabitants and natives of the //Kharas Region, who say they feel dehumanised and belittled as they feel they are marginalised from the land, mineral and other natural resources of the region.
They said southerners were largely excluded from the ministry’s resettlement programme and called on Government to revisit the colonial injustices where certain groups lost land and apply restorative justice.
Amutenya said the ministry has so far acquired a total of 510 farms measuring 3.1 million hectares at a cost of N.dollars 1.7 billion countrywide.
He indicated that out of 169 farming units allocated in //Kharas Region, 121 were allocated to //Kharas residents which represents 72 per cent. Residents from the Hardap, Khomas and Omaheke regions, representing five per cent each region, benefited from farming units in the //Kharas region.
He said out of 312 farming units allocated in the Hardap Region, 212 were allocated to Hardap residents which represents 71 per cent, followed by //Kharas and Khomas regions, representing four per cent each.
“This shows that the majority of families that are originally from the //Kharas and Hardap regions are the major beneficiaries of the farms that are being acquired in their respective regions of origin,” the PS said.
However, he noted that the Ministry of Land Reform has embarked on the process of reviewing the current resettlement policy and resettlement criteria to meet the needs of the diverse Namibian communities.
He acknowledged that the current document and guidelines are not perfect, as it has some loopholes that need to be addressed.
“The ministry is committed to a transparent, fair and equitable land reform process as articulated in our policy and legal framework,” he said.
The current criteria include that an applicant must be a Namibian citizen, at least 18 years of age; must have not more than 150 large stock or 800 small stock and must not own other land.
Beneficiaries should also have a background in agriculture; should prepare to hold land under leasehold tenure arrangement and to relinquish any agricultural land rights elsewhere.