Kuzeeko Tjitemisa WINDHOEK- Ombudsman Advocate John Walters said he is preparing to take legal action against Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma if he does not receive the master list of beneficiaries of the current land resettlement programme by tomorrow. Initially, Walters gave the ministry up until May 24 to provide his office with the list, but the ministry pleaded for more time to seek legal advice from the Office of the Attorney General. Walters yesterday said he has given the ministry enough time, two months, which he think was sufficient for the ministry to seek legal advice. “I wrote to the permanent secretary last Friday to tell him that if he believe I am not entitled to the list, he should take me to court to prevent me from obtaining it or I will take him to court. I gave him time till Friday,” he said. “It is clear you cannot prevent the Ombudsman from obtaining information. In fact, the Ombudsman’s Act says the Ombudsman is entitled to all information which is relevant to the case which it is investigating,” he said. When contacted for comment, Attorney General Albert Kawana told New Era that he provided the ministry with the advice and it was up to the ministry to decide what to do next. Lands Permanent Secretary Peter Amutenya was unreachable for comment. Walters’ request follows a demand by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement that requested his office to investigate how Vicky ya Toivo, wife of late liberation struggle hero Andimba Toivo ya Toivo was allocated a resettlement farm. Vicky was among seven resettlement beneficiaries allocated resettlement farms in March this year, although her family had previously benefitted from the same scheme. She was allocated a farm measuring 2,376 hectares in the Omaheke Region, barely two weeks after the farms were advertised in local newspapers for allocation. This raised eyebrows, with critics, specifically AR, questioning why Vicky, who by casual definition is not previously disadvantaged as is a requirement, was allocated a resettlement farm. The ministry has in the past been reluctant to release the master resettlement list, amidst accusations and suspicions by land activists last year, that since the beginning of the resettlement programme, politically connected individuals have been favoured for resettlement.
2018-07-26 09:15:10 1 months ago