Patriotic Namibians wouldn’t boycott land conference: Shaningwa

02 Oct 2018 10:50am
WINDHOEK, 02 OCT (NAMPA) – Patriotic Namibians would not boycott the second national land conference but will instead bring forth their input on how to address Namibia’s land dilemma for the attainment of social justice, Swapo Party Secretary General (SG), Sophia Shaningwa, has said.
Shaningwa made these remarks on Monday evening when she delivered her party’s position in as far as land in the country is concerned and possible remedies to the longstanding predicament.
However, from the onset, Shaningwa aired her disappointment over those political and traditional formations that opted out of the conference.
According to the SG, their input would have come in handy and it is equally their responsibility to provide solutions to problems inherited by past colonial regimes.
“By their boycott, they deny all of us the opportunity to honestly and with due regard to the sensitivities of the matter, interrogate ourselves and the preconceptions we hold, in an atmosphere of rational disputation so as to arrive at the common purpose intimated by the Swapo Party constitution,” Shaningwa opined.
Shaningwa was referring to the traditional authorities, pressure groups, political parties and civil society groups that pulled out of the conference last week.
The groups premised their decision on a leaked government position paper on land, which left an impression that the land conference was predetermined and had an outcome even before it started.
Another reason given was that ancestral land claims and their restitution do not receive the prominence they warrant at the indaba.
However, Shaningwa was of the view that the boycott was a mere political ploy to delegitimize the convention.
“If you care about Namibia, if you are a true patriot, do not escape your responsibilities by choosing to simply stay away,” she said, adding that the door was wide open for those who opted out.
Shaningwa then took on the Government’s land reform programme, which she said had noble intentions but resulted in some unintended consequences.
One of such examples is the creation of a captive market which ballooned the price of land per hectare whenever the Government intends to acquire land from resettlement purpose, she lamented.
She also bemoaned that some Namibians who have land in abundance are not willing to share it.
“This situation stalled the land acquisition process and not allow Government to acquire land,” she added.