FARMERS in the Erongo Region who this week locked horns with members of the Namibia Defence Force (NDF) over cattle moved into the railway line corridor between Omaruru and Kranzberg, have backed away following a violent military crackdown.
The Zeraua Traditional Authority in the Erongo Region’s Daures Constituency has since written a petition to the President, Hage Geingob, to intervene in the matter, with a deadline set for 18 July 2019.
“We come to this corridor hoping to grace our cattle in peace because of the drought situation in Omatjete. Our cattle moved into the NDF base because the fence was not properly erected,” explained Phillip Ngunovandu of the Zeraua Traditional Authority.
Ngunovandu added that while the Ministry of Defence has denied that any violence or force was used during the restraining and vacating of the farmers, there is evidence in picture form that contradicts the denial and proves that people were indeed beaten by the military personnel.
The Defence Ministry’s spokesperson, Lieutenant Volonel Petrus Shilumbu said that it was in fact the farmers who become violent while they their cattle was being removed from the NDF’s property.
Farmers had allegedly set up accommodation structures on the land to keep a glose eye on their grazing cattle.
Shilumbi further noted that the electronic media and social media is pushing fake news of members of the NDF mishandling the illegal occupiers of Farm Etiro.
“Foul language and insults were used against the members of the NDF by some of the farmers even in the presence of the Leader of the Official Opposition, whose presence seemed to have fueled the farmers to misbehave,” said Shilumbu.
“The members of the NDF are reasonable human beings and fully understand the negative effects of the drought situation. They symphathise with the farmers and all nationals who are negatively affected by drought, and this is the reason they are participating in drought relief distribution in all 14 Regions of this country,” added Shilumbi.
The Defense Ministry has, however, warned that government properties are also protected like private properties, and as such, the public must not feel entitled to do what they will on said properties.