Land conference boycotters still welcome: Ua-Ndjarakana

04 Oct 2018 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 04 OCT (NAMPA) – Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana has said those who withdrew from the National Land Conference can still attend and submit their position papers on land reform.
Ua-Ndjarakana told Nampa in an interview on Thursday although the conference is drawing to a close, those who withdrew could still participate and make their contributions to the resolutions that will be submitted to Cabinet and thereafter, tabled in Parliament.
He added that all parties were consulted before the five-day event and agreed to the content of the conference, despite the withdrawal of some participants before it commenced on Monday.
In the days leading up to the conference, several pressure groups withdrew from the conference, branding it a “predetermined political gimmick”.
Opposition parties also boycotted the conference for the same reason and citing insufficient time slots allocated to them. They also said the issue of ancestral land claims would not receive the prominence it warrants.
Several items on the land conference programme have since Monday been discussed until as late as 23h00 some nights, while some topics had to be carried over to the next day.
Ua-Ndjarakana said no item on the conference programme would be postponed and if the need arises, there could be an extension for the event to be comprehensively concluded.
Ancestral land is one of the topics under review under Namibia’s land reform which has taken spotlight since Monday, with various groups including traditional authority leaders, the Office of the Media Ombudsman and independent political experts sharing their views.
“It is important to share views without antagonising others that have land now, but also for them to realise that excluding others from having access to land will not cultivate a productive atmosphere,” Ua-Ndjarakana emphasised.
He further said the conference has thus far been informative, with people sharing their views. He added that views were put together in terms of experiences, the potential danger of taking certain steps in land reform and the maximisation of economic potential.
There was also a convergence of views from both experts and presenters from the regions, the permanent secretary said.