Red Line removal should not be used for political gain: Tjiseua

12 Jul 2018 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 12 JUL (NAMPA) – With the 2019 national elections approaching, the removal of the veterinary cordon fence (VCF) should not be used to collect political points by the ruling and opposition parties alike.
This is according to Venomukona Tjiseua, an inspection officer and researcher with the Agribank of Namibia, who said genuine measures must be taken to address the VCF, more commonly referred to as the Red Line.
Tjiseua was responding to questions sent to him by Nampa on Tuesday, amid growing talks of the removal of the Red Line, which has negative economic implications on livestock farmers living in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs).
On Saturday, President Hage Geingob reiterated Government’s intention to see the Red Line removed for the majority of Namibians to be integrated in the country’s lucrative beef industry.
“Our beef is demanded, but we don’t have beef. We just talk about beef, but we don’t have enough cattle. We have to open up the Red Line so we can have more beef,” Geingob told reporters.
The President then noted that Namibia should work with Angolan authorities to find a lasting solution to the Red Line.
Tjiseua questioned whether the removal of the Red Line was being used for political gain.
“On the one hand is the perpetual promise from the Government to remove it in order to incorporate NCA farmers into Namibia’s mainstream industry,” said Tjiseua.
On the other hand, he said, are threats and health implications posed by its removal, which could mean an end for Namibia’s beef export to the European Union.
According to Tjiseua, politicians continue promising the electorate that the fence will be removed, yet no practical measures are taken to this effect.
He referenced former leaders who had made similar promises during their tenures, which never came to fruition.
Tjiseua further charged that opposition parties are quick to point at Government's failure to remove the Red Line without providing remedies, which he also referenced to the need to score “political points”.