WINDHOEK - Namibian Defence Force (NDF) acting-chief, Air-Vice Marshal Martin Pinehas has accused the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC)’s Omurari radio station of fabricating news surrounding the invasion of Farm Etiro in the Erongo Region.
Pinehas said negative reporting by the public broadcaster is not only tarnishing the reputation of the force but is also ruining the status of the country.
Clarifying the issues surrounding the invasion at the farm, Pinehas said the raid at the farm started way back in March this year.
He said NDF understands the drought situation – which according to reports affect an estimated 700 000 people in the country – and remained lenient towards those who trespassed by allowing them to graze their cattle at a small scale farm.
“We then undertook to strengthen the fence to prevent the escalating farm invasions. While the fence was being strengthened, more farmers arrived and infiltrated their cattle into the farm at night,” said Pinehas.
According to Pinehas the population of cattle at the farm swelled to over 1000, exceeding the carrying capacity of the farm and it was decided to stop the trespassing and removing of all cattle from the farm.
While there, he explained, invaders cut the fence and kept infiltrating their cattle into the property.
“This cat and mouse game became unbearable and the arrival at the scene by Hon McHenry Venaani aggravated the matter as during the night of that very day, the fence was again cut and the cattle were driven into the property,” he said.
“Venaani’s behavior and threats directed towards the soldiers who were at the property doing what they have been ordered to do by their supervisors was uncalled for, unacceptable and cannot be tolerated by any peace loving Namibian,” said the visibly agitated defence chief.
He said the Defence Act prohibit illegal access to military premises in terms of Section 26 and provides for punitive action.
“Section 26 (1) provides that the minister may, by order issued under the minister’s hand and published in the gazette or made known in any other manner which the minister considers sufficient in the circumstances, prohibit or restrict the access of any person or category of persons to any military camp, barracks, dockyard, installation or other premises or any land or area of water, used for military or defence purposes or which is under military control,” he said.
He said in violation of the prohibition of restriction stated, section 26 (3) provides that such person commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N$60 000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 years or to both fine and imprisonment.
“There was therefore nothing wrong in prohibiting the communal farmers not to graze their cattle illegally in Farm Etiro. We however glad that farmers have now removed all their cattle from the farm as negotiated,” he said.
2019-07-16 09:29:29 1 months ago