Resettlement programme should be scrapped: Chief Hanse

04 Jul 2018 11:10am
MARIENTAL, 04 JUL (NAMPA) – The chief of the !Khara-Khoen Traditional Authority (TA), also known as the Simon Kooper clan, said the government should stop the Namibian Resettlement Progamme and instead focus on ancestral land lost during the colonial era.
Chief Frederick Hanse made the remarks on the sidelines of the Public Hearing Debate on Land Reform and Resettlement Programme held in Mariental on Tuesday by the Ombudsman, John Walters.
Hanse said the day their forefathers were killed by the German troops is the day they became landless.
“We have lost our cultural values, our land and our dignity and became landless people on our ancestral land. The !Khara-Khoen is of the opinion that the programme be scrapped and the ancestral land be returned to the rightful heirs, owners and then after that, start with it again,” he said.
The !Khara-Khoen clan under the leadership of the late Simon Kooper had fought in the Nama-German war to resist colonialism.
During the 19th century, a group of !Khara-Khoen people migrated to Botswana to escape German colonial rule.
Currently, they are settled in the Amper-bo area south-east of Mariental, while some of them are living with their animals in the townlands of Stampriet, Gochas and Aranos.
Hanse said his clan’s view is that the areas in which they are settled must be expanded to have more land and so, reduce the overpopulation of people in a small area.
“We are currently seated on land of 78 000 hectares of which 15 000 hectares are salty areas unfit for humans to live on. We ask the government to consider expanding the bordering Querida farm for people to have enough grazing,” Hanse said.
He said corrective action must be taken against those that were resettled, but have opted to sublease the farm due to not having livestock.
“Some of these people that were resettled are not living on the farms and some farms are just wasting away while people suffer and some are leased out to communal farmers. The government should do frequent visits and see for themselves whether the resettled farmers are in fact living there and if not, allocate the farms to the person that was second on the list,” Hanse said.
He further said his claims for ancestral land should not be linked with any association, but should be seen as a plea from his TA.
The resettlement programme is intended to cover all kinds of landless, displaced and destitute people in the country.
The Office of the Ombudsman will hold similar hearings in the 13 other regions of the country.