N.dollars 497 million insufficient for land reform: Mupya

22 May 2019 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 22 MAY (NAMPA) – The N.dollars 496.8 million budget allocated to the Ministry of Land Reform leaves much to be desired if Namibia is serious about agricultural land redistribution, which continues to haunt the country, 29 years after independence.
These were the sentiments of Weich Mupya, Opuwo’s Urban Constituency councillor, when he submitted his input to the ministry’s budget for the 2019/20 financial year in the National Council on Tuesday.
According to the Swapo politician, the ministry’s current budget is not even sufficient to cater for the Communal Land Development Programme alone.
“The current budget shows an implementation amount of N.dollars 6 million towards the Communal Land Development Programme for the Kunene Region alone. If we are to put our money where our mouths are, we have to top up this amount at least times 10, multiplied by 14 regions of Namibia and this will bring us at N.dollars 840 million,” he said.
The said programme is pertinent and relevant throughout Namibia to ensure the availability of sufficient resources such as water, vaccination pens and water tanks.
“This leads to the question of the sufficiency of the current budget,” he added.
Mupya went on to acknowledge that the precarious economic climate dictates that all government institutions have to make do with the minuscule resources at their disposal, however, this is not realistic in some instances.
“Ambitions alone will not take us anywhere, but a combination of both resources, the willpower and courage will do, hence the need for a balanced budget line to ensure a successful implementation of all our plans,” he noted.
The Ministry of Land Reform is tasked with among other things, to acquire commercial agricultural land and ensure equitable distribution and access to land.
On another note, Mupya heaped praise on the government for holding a “successful land conference”.
“We wish them a successful implementation of all the Land Conference Resolutions, provided something drastically happens before the budget review period, to increase the budget line of the ministry,” he said.
What stands out for him from the resolutions that emanated from the conference is the formation of the Commission of Inquiry into Claims of Ancestral Land.
“It is a clear indication that the government is on course to see to it that the process of land delivery is realised, had it not been for the financial hiccups.”