RUNDU – All People’s Party (APP) secretary general Vincent Kanyetu has accused senior members of traditional authorities of unethical behaviour involving underhand land dealings.
“Our ordinary people, more particularly in the two Kavango regions, are suffering, the poor are being deprived of their land that is being sold to those that can afford it, leaving them with no grazing land for their livestock,” Kanyetu said during a media briefing this week.
Kanyetu said his party has been visiting remote areas ahead of the regional council and local authority elections in November this year. According to Kanyetu, inhabitants have complained about their land being fenced off by individuals allegedly given land by traditional authorities.
“We found out as we went around that villagers are losing land by the capable hands of their traditional authorities, more especially the traditional leaders referred to as the chief councils,” he said.
“It is worse in the Shambyu community in Kavango East – they are crying. I just came from a meeting where community members from several villages were complaining about the traditional authority taking people to their villages without consultation, giving them land by force and these people fence these areas off.”
Kanyetu said such a practice should not be allowed to continue. “It is getting worse in Shambyu because with the absence of a recognised hompa (chief) things are getting worse and we really call upon government to look into the Shambyu chieftaincy to be resolved,” he noted.
“We have poor people who can’t afford a borehole or a farm. Now with these people fencing off communal land and taking over the grazing areas of ordinary citizens, where are they supposed to graze their livestock as ordinary people?” Kanyetu stressed that the community of Shambyu was in dire need of leadership at the moment, saying they will not sit idle with folded arms and allow the situation to spiral out of control.
“We are talking about ancestral land and some of the land that is being fenced off is our ancestral land and mahangu fields that our forefathers have been ploughing. We are not going to allow that,” he added.
Kanyetu further claimed that at Mazana village, east of Rundu along the Kavango river, certain individuals have land and are developing a green scheme project. “We have opened a case against that company that is establishing the Mazana irrigation project. As a party we have stepped in to help the community, the lawyer is paid and we are waiting on what is going to happen,” he said.