Land reform minister Calle Schlettwein said two farms offered to the State by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and her husband Onesmus Amadhila were deemed suitable for resettlement purposes, saying the couple did not receive preferential treatment from government.
Schlettwein clarified the two farms, bought by government for about N$14 million, were acquired by a company owned by the couple and the State found them suitable for resettlement purposes following a recommendation by the Land Reform Advisory Commission.
“The owners did not receive any valuation preference during the valuation of these properties as alleged,” he said.
Schlettwein also denied allegations the prime minister was a beneficiary of the national resettlement programme, saying the farms in question were privately purchased under a normal commercial scheme loan that is administered by Agribank.
“Equally, it is factually incorrect to state that State land was used as part of collateral for a loan application. The farms that were used as collateral belonged to Seize the Moment Investment Fifty Six CC, held under Deed of Title No.T760/2012. They were privately owned at the time of the transaction,” said Schlettwein.
On Friday, Schlettwein explained the market value of the two farms, Duwib No. 1 149, measuring about 5 000 hectares and portion 1 (Agenab) of Farm Goab No. 760, measuring 2 750 hectares, was determined through the Sales Comparison Approach, using 13 recently sold farms and in close proximity of the two farms to determine the market value of the farms. Schlettwein further explained that during the 2020/21 period, the ministry purchased ten farms with prices per hectare varying from N$1 713 to N$ 3 050.
According to him, Farm Duwib attracted the lowest per hectare price at N$1 713, while Agenab came in as the sixth-lowest at N$2 100.
Schlettwein further dismissed allegations that the two farms were previously acquired by Seize the Moment Investment Fifty Six CC from the State, stating that the farms were acquired from a previously advantaged Namibian and transferred on 28 February 2012.
He said the same two farms were offered to government by the company as per Section 17 of the Agricultural [Commercial] Land Reform Act, Act No. 6 of 1995 on 20 January 2020.
“The ministry, following recommendation of the Land Reform Advisory Commission, assessed the farms and found them suitable for resettlement purposes. The ministry has verified through its database that the farms in question were privately purchased under normal commercial scheme loan administered by the Agricultural Bank of Namibia and bonds were registered over the subject farms,” said Schlettwein.
The farms were reportedly transferred to the State on 18 December 2020 after having been acquired at a purchase price of N$8 624 377 for Farm Duwib and N$5 812 371.72 for Portion 1 (Agenab) of Farm Goab.
Clarity… Land reform minister Calle Schlettwein.