Land must belong to the State: Nujoma

01 Oct 2018 17:10pm
WINDHOEK, 01 OCT (NAMPA) – Land must belong to the State to be administered by the government in accordance with the country’s needs, Founding President Sam Nujoma has said.
Speaking at the second National Land Conference here on Monday, Nujoma also rejected ancestral land claims, saying this issue should not be entertained.
He said Namibians fought for the total emancipation of their country and its territorial integrity and that every Namibian had the right to resettle anywhere in the country as provided for by the Constitution.
Nujoma further said there were concerns that the land reform programme to be discussed at the consultation would result in white farmers being stripped of land and this would be to the detriment of the economy.
Nujoma said such claims had to be rejected as “any change in this regard will not compromise the food security and economic growth in the country”.
He also said that unjust urban land arrangements had to be addressed in order to resettle and build decent accommodation for all Namibians.
In this regard, the country could expropriate, in the public interest, the land closer to towns and cities including land owned by local authorities, Nujoma said.
He highlighted that in 1991 at the first Land Conference, about 70 per cent of the Namibian population derived their livelihood from land, either as communal farmers, private owners of commercial farm land or workers on such farms.
“In addition, 36.2 million hectares of the total agriculturally usable land in Namibia was owned and utilised by 4 064 individual farmers, while more than 100 000 families had access to only 33.5 million hectares of total land suitable for agricultural production (communal land),” Nujoma reflected.
The first president said he was dismayed to learn that currently, foreigners still own 250 farms which comprise 1 206 017 hectares of land.
“The trend on land ownership I have narrated should no longer be allowed to continue by the current generation. We need, as Namibians, to unite and work together and adopt a severe, comprehensive and sustainable agrarian land reform in order to address massive imbalances of land ownership in Namibia,” Nujoma said.