Obrein Simasiku Ondera The fact that marginalised communities do not have land tenure on the land they have been resettled has irked the deputy minister of the marginalised, Royal Ui/o//oo. “Resettling marginalised communities in an independent Namibia has proved to be a big challenge. I still do not understand why only the marginalised communities are being grouped and not allowed or conferred land entitlement. Why can they not own land just like any other Namibian. Instead, you resettle them and yet still they do not have a legal right to own that piece of land on which they live,” fumed Ui/o//oo Ui/o//oo further vented his frustrations during the familiarisation visit of the Vice President, Nangolo Mbumba, to Ondera, a government farm situated in the Guinas Constituency, where San people were settled from Oshivelo in 2013, in an effort to engage them in agricultural activities. The 7,000-hectare farm was bought for N$12 million in 2013 through government’s resettlement programme. The 130 households were then relocated but now the number of households on the farm has spiralled to over 500, with an estimated 3,000 people living on the farm. Although they have now formed a location within the farm, none of them legally owns the piece of land where they are residing, hence the deputy minister’s outburst. “I am, therefore, in support of the initiative being raised to negotiate with the Ministry of Land Reform in order for each individual having a household to be granted ownership of that piece of land,” stressed Ui/o//oo. Lack of land ownership has led many households to practice backyard farming, as the farm is mainly used for commercial purposes. Meanwhile, Mbumba said the government has to date bought 10 commercial farms with a combined size of over 60,000 hectares from 2008 to resettle destitute members of the San community to engage in agricultural projects. “This is indicative of government’s commitment to provide essential services to all its citizens,” added Mbumba, while also acknowledging the land dispute around the Etosha National Park led by the Hai//Om San community.
2018-03-26 08:41:25 5 months ago