WINDHOEK – Residents of Stinkwater near Dordabis have threatened to invade the four farms, measuring 17 385 hectares, that government recently leased to a Russian company.
All that the residents want is land to regain their dignity and not the “Russian jobs”, they said.
Community spokesperson, Reverent Awaseb, addressing the media here last week Friday, said the community has been patient for the past 28 years of independence but that patience has worn thin.
“We will be moving into that farm on the 10th of December if nothing is done. 10th of December coincides with the International Human Rights Day, and that is the day on which we will start our journey to regain our dignity,” he stressed. Stinkwater, also called Gubagub, is a settlement just outside Dordabis, some 90 kilometres east of Windhoek.
The settlement, according to Awaseb, has about 5000 residents, some of whom are scattered across the country in search of jobs.
Government in October struck a land deal that saw Russian billionaire Rashid Sardarov leasing four farms valued at N$43 million, and measuring a combined 17 000 hectares, for 99 years.
The deal, according to Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma, ill see an investment of billions into infrastructure, conservation and job creation, though Dordabis residents say none of them have yet been employed as claimed.
At the time Nujoma said the investment will commence immediately and during this month already a number of persons, especially from the Dordabis area, would be recruited in order to start development on the said farms.
But Awaseb said the communities were not consulted and they only came to know of the deal through the media.
“Who said we wanted jobs? Who told Nujoma that the community is looking for jobs? All we want is land. If Nujoma is looking for a job himself let him resign as the minister and come and work there himself,” said Awaseb.
“We are giving government ten days to attend to our call or else the community will march on the Russian farm with our animals and a few building materials available at our disposal to start a life there,” Awaseb said last week Friday.
“How can we be squeezed in a corridor in our own country?” the clergyman wanted to know.
“We don’t want the presence of the [police] Special Field Force on that particular day because we will be peaceful,” he said, adding that they also demand to be accorded all the available aid from state agencies, international communities and neighboring farmers.
2018-12-07 09:41:58 4 months ago