In order to discuss land issue at any platform, we as a country need a foresight how land was dispossessed from the rightful owners and how colonizers distributed it amongst themselves. We also need to critically, passionately discuss thoroughly under the spirit of Pan-Africanism, patriotism and committed Namibian citizens as entrenched in our constitution.
Furthermore, before land issue is discussed comprehensively in a thematic broad spectrum dialogue, one needs to apply new synchronic innovative approach by thinking outside the box and intelligently diversifying from the traditional approach. Hence forth, one needs also to comprehend how indigenous folks lost their land to the imperial colonial conquestrados.
Land is considered as a precious commodity that is taken to mean as a storehouse of nature, as it represents moral and spiritual life endowment. Genesis 1,1:29-30 land serves lot of natural gravitation, which engulfs tangible multifactors, land to live on, land for fauna and flora, land for geo-physical resources, aquamarine resources and aero-space resources. It further serves for housing, farming and for holding water, mining, land also serve as a natural environment for social reproduction of peasants.
Land grabbing from indigenous Namibians by colonizers was unique in Africa since it was dispossessed and scrambled by the Germans, Portugal and British/South Africa. The Germans grabbed land from the southern part of our country by killing the rightful owners, whereas the Portuguese started the same practice, started from the far northern part of our country.
During that process of atrocity orchestrated by colonizers the Namas, OvaHerero, Damaras and smaller tribes at the southern part of the country lost land. The Germans have also furthered their operation north wards in order to incorporate the northern part of the country to the so-called police zone, hence forth King Nehale Lya Mpingana of Ondonga, King Negumbo lya Kandenge of Uukwambi and Tshaanika tsha Natshilongo of Ongandjera has rejected to be incorporated to the so called Police Zone. Thus, King Nehale lya Mpingana of Ondonga successfully repelled the Germans at Namutoni and he even managed to send his fighters to Ohamakari for re-enforcement, resettled, some of OvaHerero refugees in his territory at Onayena e.g. in the district called Okaliveva, Elombe, King Negumbo lya Kandenge of Uukwambi repelled the Germans from Okaukweyo and King Tshaanika tsha Natshilongo did the same by repelling the Germans from Outjo.
Thus it was how these leaders saved some of their land to be incorporated because they fought jointly although they have lost part of their land on the southern part of their territories. Land was also lost from the far northern part of the country, at the hands of the colonial Portuguese, thus King Ueyulu, King Nande of Uukwanyama, King Shahula, King Sheetekela of Ombandja, King Amvula ya Eposhi of Ombalantu and King Kandjimi of Orukavango has lost land respectively.
Colonial German has completely dispossessed the valuable land from indigenous folks, by doing so, they have constructed a conservative segregatory fence which separated the indigenous folks from the main land which was declared as Police Zone, well known, ‘Red Line’ Which was constructed under the ostensibly of the incident outbreak of the C.B.P.P (Lung sickness) amongst indigenous cattle in 1896.
This concept has crippled the northern areas for almost more than 100 years, thus socio economic and cultural features has been affected. The practice is discriminatory against the inhabitants in the communal areas, and it has no scientific, or social economic neither cultural justification. Land within this area is still unbankable, meat and meat products still prohibited in the commercial area, unfair competition of meat and meat products from commercial area and imports from foreign market dumped in our market.
Businesses in these areas are conducted through cash business practice because they have no collateral. New appropriate procedure to acquire title deed for the property should be introduced. ‘Red Line’ concept should be condemned in its strongest term and should be abolished because its purpose does not benefit the majority of the people.
Land in communal area should be revised in consideration of its usage, to ascertain land to farm in terms of agricultural husbandry as well as normal animal husbandry because there is a lack of razing area caused by this system and the entire communal area should be incorporated to the commercial area as it was before.
This should be done through empirical research by all stakeholders to engage it on evolutionally dialogue, especially by various scholars with innovative ideas based on appropriate knowledge.
Existing provision of land features is likely complimenting conservative land dispossession of the well-known ‘protection of property of ownership right’ which is engulfs in our constitution as an entrenched clause, which is an extract of infamous 1982 principles, which was not entertained by the majority of the Namibian citizens.
The well-known ‘protection of land ownership rights as an entrenched clause is likely complimenting the provisions and resolutions of Ondendaal commission of 1962, which egoistically allocated 43 percent of land to the minority whites, thus absentee land lords owned enormous underutilised land, it further allocated 40 percent of land to the majority blacks, thus they remain poor and poor and remain landless and 17 percent of land has been allotted to the government of the R.S.A mainly mining areas. These are some of the disparities that hamper diversification of land distribution in Namibia.
The incorporation of communal land to the commercial areas would enable the country to have universal application of uniformal laws throughout the country.
* Shali Kamati is a communal farmer New Era Reporter
2018-08-03 09:43:37 | 2 years ago