Otjozondjupa residents want feedback on resettlement applications

10 Jul 2018 18:00pm
OTJIWARONGO, 10 JUL (NAMPA) – Residents in the Otjozondjupa Region on Tuesday expressed concern with their regional resettlement committee for allegedly not responding in writing on the status of their applications submitted for resettlement on government farming units.
This was raised during a consultative meeting between them and the Ombudsman, John Walters at Otjiwarongo.
The Ombudsman’s visit was aimed at noting down people’s concerns, views and personal experiences with the government’s resettlement programme. He is doing this in the form of public hearings in a number of places across the country, with his next stop being Karibib in the Erongo Region.
A community member, Thimotheus Mundjindjiri said he has been applying for resettlement since 1992 when Okakarara was proclaimed a local authority.
At the moment he and other resident farmers are in conflict with the town council of Okakarara as their livestock continue to graze in the town boundaries.
“We are about 50 landless committee members who have been applying for resettlement and not even a single communication was given back to tell us whether the regional resettlement committee received our applications or not,” he stressed.
Another disgruntled community member, Benjamin Khairabeb said for him, any short explanation in writing pointing out where he needs to improve in his next application will do.
“But now our committee does not respond to my applications at all, even to acknowledge receipt of the application. How will I know if the committee had received my application or someone jealous just dumped it in a rubbish bin, that’s why I was not considered?”
The residents asked the Ombudsman to take up the matter with the Ministry of Land Reform and in his response, Walters promised to do so with the regional resettlement committees, which are headed by the governors.
Ministry of Land Reform Public Relations Officer, Chrispin Matongela acknowledged to Nampa on Tuesday that his ministry does not respond to applications for resettlement as these normally exceed 3 000 applications on one farming unit, and is an expensive exercise.
The ministry during the first week of October this year is expected to hold the second national land conference in the capital.