Approach land conference consciously: Amupanda

08 May 2018 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 08 MAY (NAMPA) – The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement has cautioned stakeholders of the second national land conference against going into the awaited conference “blindly”, claiming that its outcomes could already be decided at this stage.
In a media statement issued here on Tuesday, AR co-founder Job Amupanda was of the view that the land conference slated for October will not be a panacea of Namibia’s land and housing problems as viewed by many.
“Our experience with, and the record of Government negotiating in bad faith, place us on the side of extreme caution as we approach this land conference,” said Amupanda.
AR expects more or less the same results from the upcoming conference as that of the first conference in 1991.
“This conference may just be another political gimmick like the 1991 Land Conference where the political elites, after accepting the property clause in the Constitution, went to convene a conference while knowing very well that the fate of the land question has been sealed by the neoliberal constitution,” alleged Amupanda.
The Namibian Constitution guarantees all persons the right to acquire, own and dispose of all forms of property throughout Namibia.
Another issue of concern for AR is President Hage Geingob, who chaired the first conference and will chair this year’s conference too.
“President Geingob, who chaired the 1991 Land Conference, while knowing that a resolution was taken against foreign land ownership, went ahead to negotiate a private land deal, as president, giving land to a Chinese businessman, Jack Huang,” said Amupanda.
Last year, Geingob distanced himself from Huang, saying he had sold his shares in a company that owns a plot where he and Huang initially planned to develop a private township.
AR then took on the 1991 conference, saying its outcomes were premeditated.
“All domestic papers were presented by whites, with indigenous communities limited to mere statements. There is nothing to make us believe that this conference will not be another political gimmick.”
Consequently, Amupanda said, AR will not go into the conference thoughtlessly, and will work with other activists and stakeholders to consolidate, what it called, the “national land collective”.
“Without the national land collective, the regime will take advantage of the divisions, and manipulate the outcomes to present their premeditated outcomes as the outcomes of the people,” Amupanda further claimed.
Upon completing the national land collective, AR will then convene a national land collective consensus summit in September 2018, to adopt a common position towards the land conference.