Venaani warns against expropriation of land without compensation

18 Apr 2018 16:30pm
WINDHOEK, 18 APR (NAMPA) – As the second national conference beckons, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM)’s President, McHenry Venaani said the expropriation of land without compensation would be a disaster and will collapse the banking system in the country.
Speaking to Nampa on Monday shortly after delivering his party’s ‘Real State of the Nation Address’, Venaani said expropriation of land without compensation would be “disastrous” and would negatively impact food security.
He said, even in South Africa - where they have voted in favour of expropriation of land without compensation - it would be impossible to implement.
“The disaster is that land is bonded to banks. Sometimes popular policies do not create popular solutions. The minute you start taking land without compensation, whose land are you going to take first and foremost and who are you going to give it to?” he asked.
Using Zimbabwe’s much-criticised land reform policy, Venaani said he visited 10 farms that used to be productive during his most recent visit to that country.
“They took land without compensation and they collapsed the banking system in that country,” said the PDM leader, before questioning what would happen to the loan taken as security on the land.
Venaani cautioned that Namibia should not be hasty in the land debate in as far as expropriation is concerned, as certain approaches may collapse the banking sector.
“What we can do is expropriate land with just compensation. That’s what our laws allow,” he said, adding that there are 125 farms belonging to absentee landlords that can be expropriated.
On the upcoming national land conference, Venaani announced that PDM will hold its internal land conference in September to prepare a working document that would address pertinent matters on land and its economic viability.
For now, Venaani called on Government to put a moratorium on farm allocations and the resettlement process by the Ministry of Land Reform, until after the national conference.
“We currently condemn the current allocation of farms to those in the echelons of power while the needy majority and previously dispossessed are left out,” he said.