Otjiwarongo determined to evict illegal farmers

28 Feb 2017 18:30pm
OTJIWARONGO, 28 FEB (NAMPA) - The Otjiwarongo Municipality on Tuesday stressed it will evict or sue farmers grazing livestock illegally on its town lands.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the town, Ismael /Howoseb told Nampa on Tuesday two groups of farmers are conducting illegal farming activities with their livestock on the town’s lands.
He said the farmers, who invaded a municipality camp north of Otjiwarongo, Farm Cleveland, are there without any authorisation from the town council to have their livestock graze in and around the town.
The more than 100 communal farmers are from the Erongo and Kunene regions.
“We have issued eviction notices to them with a deadline of 24 February this year,” said /Howoseb.
The CEO explained that Farm Cleveland is since last year leased to Cheetah Cement Factory with the intention of setting up a factory on the land.
Half of the farm has been fenced off for factory structures to be erected in due course.
He threatened that once the quarantine area at Paresis Show Grounds is fully repaired this or next week, all livestock found on Cleveland will be impounded.
“We will use some members of the Namibian Police Force, contract workers and internal staff members to confiscate the cattle found on the town lands.”
/Howoseb said the farmers, who migrated to Otjiwarongo due to the drought in their regions last year, must return as there has been enough rain for fresh grass to grow there.
Most of the farmers Nampa spoke to on Tuesday said they know it is illegal and prohibited by law to graze their livestock on the local authority land.
“There is no proper grass in the Omatjete and Omaruru areas for our livestock,” said the 65-year-old Naboth Kausehue from Erongo Region.
He is grazing 46 cattle on the Otjiwarongo land since April 2016 and said it is better for him to graze his livestock there illegally where there is grass, than to take them back to Omatjete where there is nothing for them to eat.
Another farmer, Franco Uaseuapuani, 51, called on the Otjiwarongo Municipality to allow them to graze on the town lands until grass geminates in the communal areas they come from.