Geingob calls on traditional leaders to assist government on land issues

11 Sep 2018 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 11 SEP (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob has called on traditional leaders to soberly debate issues pertaining to land during the 21st annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders, which was officially opened here on Monday.
“As you are aware, I have called and sanctioned the hosting of the Second National Land Conference in October this year, for which preparations have commenced. I call on our traditional authorities to join us in ensuring that deliberations will take place in a spirit of unity of purpose and a common agenda,” Geingob said.
The president said it is his belief that the outcome of the conference will enable Namibia to take concrete steps in solving the land question.
“As government, we view the Council of Traditional Leaders as an indispensable partner in the second phase of our struggle,” he said.
The land conference, which takes place at the beginning of October, will according to Geingob discuss a number of important and difficult issues, among these ancestral land, communal land, urban land, rural land and settlement projects.
The issue of ancestral land during countrywide consultations proved to be a real concern as most groups, including traditional authorities, are claiming ancestral ownership over certain parts of Namibia.
The Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) in its position paper claimed areas such as Usakos and the Khomas Hochland, including Windhoek.
“I want you, the Council of Traditional Leaders, to tell me to whom Windhoek belongs,” Geingob said.
In a recent interview on the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation’s Otjiherero Service, acting chief of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority, Kunomundu Katjirua said there is a need for all the affected groups to come together before the conference and find a common position with regards to ancestral land.
“I don’t think the different views and positions we have on ancestral land will address our cause in this regard as the affected people,” he said.