11 Aug 2019 14:10pm
NKURENKURU, 11 AUG (NAMPA) Minster of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma says his ministry has identified 40 illegal fences in the Kavango West Region.
Nujoma said this during the Town Hall meeting here, where President Hage Geingob met with the residents of the region on Thursday to give feedback on State issues.
The minister said the Land Board has worked hard to issue orders for the removal of these fences.
Some of these orders have been opposed and is a matter before the Lands Tribunal, he explained.
Nujoma said the traditional authorities have the power to administer the land in trust on behalf of the State.
He further explained that sometimes there is this push and pull factor between the Communal Land Reform Act and Traditional Authority Act, which is why matters end up in court.
The problem is we do not act according to our customary laws. The moment you divert and you take a matter to court, it becomes a matter for common law. So, you may expect something different as the courts apply the law as passed in Parliament, he stated.
Nujoma also noted that at times, the issue of illegal fences is compounded by traditional leaders, such as when the traditional authority will give land by issuing leaseholds whilst the Land Board on the other side may decide that a certain Hompa did not follow procedures.
The traditional chiefs will tell you particularly here in the Kavango East and West regions that you are undermining their authority, he stressed.
Section 18 of the Communal Land Reform Act (Act 5 of 2002), enacted in 2003, takes a strong position against the erection of fences on communal lands.
In the past, wealthy politicians have been accused of fencing off massive tracts of land, at times measuring over 3 000 hectares, in communal areas.