Ancestral land rights commission visiting Kavango Regions

10 Jul 2019 19:00pm
RUNDU, 10 JUL (NAMPA) – The Presidential Commission into Claims on Ancestral Land Rights and Restitution on Tuesday held a consultative meeting here with various traditional authorities (TA)s from Kavango East and West Regions.
The team of five members from that of 15 members appointed by President Hage Geingob earlier this year, led by Ingenesia Inge Murangi was tasked to investigate claims of ancestral land and restitution and make appropriate recommendations for implementation.
All five traditional authorities of the Hambukushu, Gciriku, Shambyu, Mbunza and the VaKwangali were all in attendance to make their submissions regarding the issue of ancestral land.
Among the submissions was the history of the Bwabwata National Park area and provided evidence on its rightful ownership.
They noted that several letters were written to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to seek audience on the issue and see how communities living in the area could benefit from it.
The leaders further informed the team that the perception held by people that inhabitants from the two Kavango regions have never lost any of their ancestral lands is not factual, giving a thorough history on the borders which dates back from the time when the German colonial authorities occupied Namibia which was accompanied by a map.
In addition, they also spoke about the ownership and usage of communal land in which they emphasised on the difference regarding the usage and ownership of communal land in the two regions.
Acquiring land in communal areas should be obtained by using existing procedures such as first approaching the traditional authority because land usage and ownership in Kavango region is different from that found on the other side of the Veterinary Cordon Fence.
The commission was established as part of the resolutions of the second national land conference held last year and was also tasked with studying and identifying communities which lost ancestral land, establish the size of land lost, and its boundaries, amongst other things.
It is also expected to look into the possibility of establishing alternative measures to restore social justice and to ensure the economic empowerment of the affected communities.
Such a report, according to the commission's terms of reference, would assist the government and the affected parties in implementing the resolutions of the second national land conference effectively.