Obrein Simasiku OMUTHIYA - As the regional land conference consultations begin today, many people have stressed their dissatisfaction with the manner in which land is being allocated in the country as well as the high price for residential, business and farming land. Many people who New Era spoke to suggested that, government should monitor the land countrywide for fairness in allocating and expropriate land to be given to landless people. They insist the high land prices make land inaccessible to the majority of Namibians and that only a few wealthy individuals have the financial means to acquire land. The consultations in Oshikoto Region will be held at Omuthiya ELCIN Church until Friday and are intended to ensure a broader public participation and inclusivity on matters related to land reform and administration in Namibia. The reports to be compiled will serve as a source material during the second National Land Conference slated for October. Ahead of this, the public wants government to look into regulating the price of acquiring land as the poor masses cannot afford a piece to call home or farmland. Another issue they raised was fair allocation of land and appropriation of land from those with huge tracts. “As a citizen of this country, I am not happy in the manner in which land is allocated in the country where we have seen a trend since gaining independence whereby land is still only a luxury for a few individuals. The fight for independence was for land, but still nothing has changed. Hence after this land conference, we want government to fast track the redistribution of land among its citizens as a matter of urgency,” stressed Abisai Haufiku, a community member in Omuthiya. Haufiku added redistribution of land be it in communal or commercial area is a workable solution as the willing buyer, willing seller system has not worked for the past 28 years. “That system just created more greedy among citizens with little efforts being done to address the gap of the have and not have. All what the people want is a piece of land where they can keep their few livestock and do agricultural production on a small scale for survival. That is how some of us grew up, it is from that small Mahangu field, now that we are grown and have family, we have no land to settle on, because it is in the hands of a few,” reiterated Haufiku. Another issue raised was the fact that, some of the individuals privileged with vast tracts of land let most of this land to idle, as they are unable to put it to productive use. “How can one person have a farm covering almost 10 kilometres, while the majority do not even own a single plot? And it is also unacceptable for an individual to own more than one farm, that’s being selfish, thus those are the people government should track and share their land,” lamented an elderly women who did not want to be identified. Another issue is corruption and nepotism, which the sources interviewed by New Era said has hindered efforts by government to resettle people saying as this resettlement programme has only benefitted the elites and well-connected individuals. “Land in Namibia is based on whom you know. If not, just forget because that is a far-fetched dream.” “All we ask for is a small peace, everyone should be equal whether you have a lot of money or not, because if land is given on the basis of affordability many will be and remain disadvantaged,” stressed another youth, David Nangombe. “Some of us are unable even to get land in areas in which we were born, so what is that? Where are we heading? Something is wrong and this needs to be corrected, while some have unutilised land, others are crying for such kind of opportunities,” added Nangombe. The public said there is enough land in this country to accommodate each and every Namibian in need of a plot, considering the fact the country is vast with a sparse population of just over 2 million. Some politicians have also exacerbated the shortage of residential land, as they are known to own multiple residential plots that they have not even developed.
2018-07-19 09:24:51 2 months ago