Ombudsman wants public participation in land reform hearings

04 Jul 2018 11:50am
GOBABIS, 04 JUL (NAMPA) – The Office of the Ombudsman has called on the public to participate in its public hearings on the land reform and resettlement programme by making written submissions on the matter.
In a public notice on Wednesday, the Office of the Ombudsman stated that oral submissions can also be made during its public hearings countrywide on the topic.
The institution will on Thursday be in Gobabis for the same purpose and has therefore invited members of the public to attend the hearing in order to make their voices on the matter heard.
According to the notice, the hearings are conducted to determine whether various aspects and conditions of the resettlement programme are usually met during the application process by both the applicant and Government.
The hearings also provide an opportunity to applicants to reflect on the hurdles they encounter during the application process, while gauging public opinion on the effectiveness of the programme.
Amongst issues that will be interrogated will be to determine if the resettlement criteria are applied consistently across all beneficiaries and whether the selection committee complies with set standards when approving beneficiaries.
The hearings are also geared towards determining how many farm units are standing idle despite having been allocated and also investigating the number of illegal settlers on farming units through the unauthorised sub-leasing of such units.
The Namibian Resettlement Programme has widely been criticised for only benefitting a handful of “well-placed” members of the public and ignoring the larger need for land of thousands of landless communities.