Foreigners must not own land in Namibia: Khomas

23 Jul 2018 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 23 JUL (NAMPA) – The Khomas regional consultative meeting on land on Friday proposed that no foreign national or absentee landlord must own land in Namibia.
The meeting, held at the Khomas Regional Council in preparation of the second national land conference slated for October, proposed that land currently owned by foreign nationals and/or absentee landlords should be expropriated without compensation.
The proposal was made by Group 1, one of five groups in which the Khomas Region’s participants were divided into over the two-day consultation.
“No foreigner or absentee landlord will own land in Namibia. In fact, why should an absent person own land in Namibia and not where he is present?” Group 1 maintained, resulting into Khomas Region taking it as its position to the land conference.
Khomas participants further called for the repulsion of Article 131 of the Namibian Constitution which has made the fundamental human rights, including property rights, untouchable.
“No repeal or amendment of any of the provisions of Chapter 3 hereof, in so far as such repeal or amendment diminishes or detracts from the fundamental rights and freedoms contained and defined in that chapter, shall be permissible under this constitution, and no such purported repeal or amendment shall be valid or have any force or effect,” reads a section of Article 131.
According to the participants, the property rights clause in the constitution is one of the compromises made by Swapo leaders in the run-up to independence and needs to be revisited.
In a recent interview with a South African broadcaster, Land Reform Minister, Utoni Nujoma echoed similar sentiments to that of the residents.
“The protection of property rights was the compromise in order to give Namibia its independence. And the pressure came through the Western Contact Group. They had significant interests here of course they wanted to protect,” Nujoma was heard saying in the eNCA interview.
However, repealing Article 131 will require a national referendum, where Namibians will be required to decide for themselves.
This is a prospect that Attorney General, Albert Kawana is excited about.
“A referendum is the most important on some of the most topical issues so that once the people have spoken through a referendum, the government will be able to implement,” Kawana told Nampa on Friday.