Swartbooi wants laws on land reform changed

09 Apr 2017 13:20pm
KHORIXAS, 09 APR (NAMPA) - Bernadus Swartbooi of the Landless People’s Movement on Saturday demanded change to the country’s laws on land reform.
Speaking at a gathering at Khorixas in the Kunene Region, the former Deputy Minister of Land Reform said current laws do not fully address the issue of ancestral land.
The gathering took place at the Herbert Conradie Sports Stadium, where nearly 400 supporters of the movement from the Otjozondjupa, Khomas, //Kharas and Erongo regions were present.
Many displayed banners calling on President Hage Geingob to return their ancestral land, which they say they lost to the German and South African colonial regimes.
Swartbooi stressed that some Namibian laws need to be changed, especially those that prohibit owners of ‘stolen’ ancestral land to reclaim their land.
“If a law is unjust and unfair, it is a law that should be challenged politically and then it will not be a law at all,” he said, without specifying which laws needed transformation.
He also charged that the people who lost ancestral land are today concerned about how the current government’s resettlement programme is being run under the Ministry of Land Reform.
Other speakers at the event, such as activist Rosa Namises said the ancestral land question is a ‘peaceful question’ and the land quest is a truthful matter that needs discussion with government.
The Landless People’s Movement was established in December 2016 after Swartbooi, then Deputy Minister of Land Reform, openly criticised government’s resettlement programme. He consequently resigned from his position after he refused to apologise to Minister of Land Reform, Utoni Nujoma for saying Nujoma resettled people from other regions in the South while the Namas were allegedly being sidelined.