18 Jul 2019 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 18 JUL (NAMPA) The commission of inquiry into claims of ancestral land rights and restitution will judiciously consider all submissions during the public hearings underway, Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Engel Nawatiseb has said.
In a media statement issued on Thursday, Nawatiseb said the public has no reason to fear making submissions as they have a golden opportunity to make a meaningful and constructive contribution toward the partial resolution of the land question.
Nawatiseb said calumnies and doubts by community members and traditional leaders continue to cast a shadow on the work of the presidential commission.
He said the essence of the commission is to familiarise itself with ancestral land and the concomitant rights thereto that may exist, of which the commission could not have done efficiently and effectively through public hearings.
Unless any individual or community helps the commission in this regard, ancestral land rights shall never be defined and concomitantly never be realised. The clarion call for the definition of ancestral land rights and their eventual realisation in whatever way possible within the Constitutional shall only remain a hollow cry, he said.
Nawatiseb called on all Namibians to contribute in whatever way they can, also through constructive criticism, during the public hearings on the matter, in order for the commission to submit a constructive report to President Hage Geingob on the way forward.
He noted that the commission resolved to conduct the queries through a three phased programme of inquiry, where the first phase was to contract experts who will conduct research and write up the historical and legal background of land dispossession in Namibia.
The second phase was to invite members of the public to make written representations, testimonies, suggestions and recommendations between 20 May and 21 June 2019, from which 85 written representations were received.
The third phase is the current public hearings which started on 01 July and will run until 09 August 2019.
The government shall continue to give its full backing to the commission and its work and equally appeals to the public to continue to give it the cooperation that it has been giving, he said.