WINDHOEK – Official opposition Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader, McHenry Venaani, yesterday denounced the 2nd National Land Conference, saying the resolutions were crafted by highly skilled people in such a way that it will never compromise government.
Venaani’s PDM alongside Affirmative Repositioning (AR), Landless People’s Movement (LPM) and some traditional leaders boycotted the week-long second land conference, citing lack of preparation and alleged irregularities ahead of the conference.
President Hage Geingob on Friday declared the conference as successful, saying that Namibians demonstrated to themselves and the international community that the country is a matured democracy. “This meeting [conference] was a PR exercise – look at all the resolutions … the wording has been crafted so well that it doesn’t bind government on any decision,” he said in an interview with New Era.
He said as it stands now there is no agreement on ancestral land. Venaani said the issue of ancestral land now depends on the whims of those that are appointed by the President to lead the commission and the commission could come up with recommendations “that we might not agree on”.
“What will we do?” he questioned. “Those that were sitting in the conference were taken for a ride, thinking that their issues are being discussed,” he added.
“On willing seller, willing buyer the conference says nothing – the government must go and look for other means, what’s that?” he asked rhetorically.
Venaani says on urban land the conference has also done nothing – “there is no resolution that says we must bring urban resettlement”.
“The resolutions were crafted by highly skilled people that crafted them in such a way that it will never put pressure on government,” he hammered home his point.
“Look on what it says on resettlement. It says, and I read it very carefully, it says they support the notion of 70/30 that those that were dispossessed must access 70 percent of land and the remaining 30 percent to disadvantaged Namibians and when that sentence comes to the end it says including veterans and their dependants. What are they saying?” he said.
“This simply means veterans and their dependants access 70 percent of that land,” he said.
He said fundamentally the conference failed its purpose because it failed to review past policy implementations – the resolutions of the 1991 land conference were not properly reviewed. Also, Venaani said the absence of the master list of resettlement beneficiaries compromised the land conference because delegates couldn’t examine the relevant issues without the necessary information at hand.
2018-10-08 08:06:10 5 months ago