Damara king’s council slams SPEC stance on ancestral land

25 Sep 2018 07:50am
WINDHOEK, 25 SEP (NAMPA) – The Damara King’s Council criticised the Swapo Party Elders’ Council (SPEC) view that resolutions emanating from debates around the restitution of ancestral land not be implemented, amid fears that it would lead to civil strife.
This is contained in a nine-bullet statement issued to the media on Monday by Damara King’s Council secretary-general (SG) Abner Xoagub.
The statement comes days after SPEC secretary Mkwaita Shanyengana told reporters on Friday that “the issue of ancestral land claims must be discussed at the land conference, but the resolutions on it should not be implemented”.
“We have to protect the peace in this country at all costs, and we do not want to end up with civil war,” Shanyengana said.
This stance, according to the king’s council is farfetched, hollow and exaggerated.
“Such talks are aimed at cowing the historically-dispossessed communities into submission,” Xoagub said in the heavy-worded statement.
He noted that the issue of ancestral land claims has been addressed in other parts of the world, without causing civil unrests.
“There are many such possibilities in our considered view which are implementable under the current land reform dispensation if there is a political will and without disturbing peace and stability,” the SG suggested.
According to the Damara King’s Council, the utterances of the SPEC secretary were insensitive to communities that lost ancestral land.
“Firstly, the members of the Swapo Party’s tribal support base have not experienced any form of historical land losses and if anything, continue to occupy their ancestral lands and enjoy all associated benefits,” Xoagub stated.
He continued: “The continued maligning of the communities who lost their ancestral lands, as it is currently happening in land practices, has a stronger potential for triggering social unrest and civil strife.”
The second National Land Conference is slated for 01 to 05 October 2018 and the ancestral land claims issue is among the topics on the conference’s agenda, as announced by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila a fortnight ago.