Resettled farmer claims Ueitele wants a portion of his farm

15 Apr 2019 12:00pm
WINDHOEK, 15 APR (NAMPA) – A man resettled on a farm near Gobabis claims to be on the brink of losing his land after allegedly refusing to surrender a portion to Omaheke Governor, Festus Ueitele as “compensation”.
Obed Hamutenja in an interview with Nampa further claimed that he faced constant “harassment and intimidation” from Ueitele and officials from the Ministry of Land Reform in the region who charge that they went out of their way to ensure that he was resettled on portion 13 of Farm Kranz No. 169, some seven kilometres outside Gobabis, for 99 years.
“The governor approached me in 2016 and explained how he fought tooth and nail to ensure that I get this plot and that in return, someone would come and stay with me,” Hamutenja said.
Around the same time, Hamutenja said he was also approached by an official from the ministry who allegedly demanded a heifer for his efforts.
Hamutenja said: “How did you go out of your way to help someone you don’t know? And if I was helped and not deserving, does this mean there were other, more deserving Namibians who were overlooked?”
On 15 June 2018 Hamutenja petitioned Land Reform Executive Director, Peter Amutenya.
This letter was confirmed by the ministry’s deputy director in Omaheke, Mclesia Mbaisa.
She also confirmed Ueitele’s visits to the farm but indicated that it was in his official capacity.
Repeated efforts to reach Amutenya on his mobile phone failed and he also did not respond to text messages.
When approached, Ueitele did not shy away from the role he played in the resettlement as he held the view that if given the opportunity, Hamutenja could succeed as a crop farmer.
Ueitele said after the committee received complaints that Hamutenja was using the plot for purposes other than it was allotted for - crop farming, he went in his capacity as regional resettlement committee chairperson.
He vehemently denied asking Hamutenja to surrender a portion of the farm, noting he has never met Hamutenja post his resettlement.
“What am I going to do with 26 hectares?” he asked.
He added: “This man is just trying to cover his back because when we went there, we found out from his neighbour that he bought solar systems, submersible water pumps and pressure pumps from this man (Hamutenja). The neighbour said this man sold these things to him but then he asked the neighbour to supply him with water. That’s why we asked the ministry to go there.”
Hamutenja on the other hand said the governor can submit his evidence to the Namibian Police for the law to take its course.