Pohamba opposes ancestral land claims

01 Oct 2018 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 01 OCT (NAMPA) – Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba has taken the same stance as Founding President Sam Nujoma on the issue of ancestral land and restitution, saying it must not be entertained at the second National Land Conference.
Pohamba during his speaking turn at the conference underway in the capital, said talk of ancestral land can only lead to tension, divisions and civil strife in Namibia.
“It is very unfortunate that this topic has been included on the agenda of the conference,” he stated.
However, the former president urged delegates to approach the topic with open minds and to come up with a resolution that is in the best interest of Namibia.
Nujoma earlier at the same occasion on Monday said that restitution for such claims in full is impossible.
“The first National Land Conference resolved that given the difficulties in redressing ancestral land claims, restitution of such claims in full is impossible,” said Nujoma, noting Namibia is a unitary state where every citizen has the right to settle anywhere in the country.
Unlike his predecessors however, current President Hage Geingob said the conference was the right place to discuss ancestral land claims to find a lasting solution.
“There have been key misunderstandings that certain issues are not going to be discussed at this conference, such as ancestral land rights. Quite the opposite, I have called for all relevant matters to be discussed,” Geingob said in his opening statement.
The comments come after the Swapo Party Elders’ Council (SPEC) said ancestral land claims must be discussed, but resolutions emanating from such talks should not be implemented.
SPEC’s position on ancestral land claims and a purported leaked Government position paper, which also holds a similar position as that of SPEC, Nujoma and Pohamba led to several pressure groups, political parties and civil society organisations boycotting the conference.
The five-day conference started Monday.