A NON-GOVERNMENTAL Organisation (NGO) which aims to build a unified front and movement on the issue of ancestral land claims was today launched in the Capital.
The organisation, known as the Namibia Ancestral Land Foundation, will be run by SandieTjaaranda, Paulus Kapepu, Welcome Kazandunge and Tjeja Tjahindi.
Speaking at the launch Tjiaarandu explained that land is a key factor of production, a catalyst to social and economic development.
Tjaaranda added that access to land creates massive opportunities for food security, economic growth and social transformation, as well as sustainable peace.
He added that while Namibia boasts of having achieved political freedom and has maintained peace for 29 successive years, there is a growing despondency on the manner in which land reform has been handled.
Tjaaranda further stated that the willing-seller willing-buyer concept has been acknowledged as a total failure to meet the demand for land over the years while the resettlement process has equally yielded minimal impacts to the lives of ordinary citizens.
“To crown it all, the narrative around reparation and restitution of those who suffered historic losses and displacement is perforated with hate language, deceit and inconsistency deliberately designed to derail this agenda, discredit proponents and deny directly disposed communities from receiving their justified reparation,” Tjaaranda explained.
He further added that their organisation recently went on community engagement meetings across the country, which revealed a high level of frustration by the communities, in particular historically displaced groups.
“There are such places such as Gam and Eiseb where communities still feel that government has not done much beyond their repatriation from Botswana in relation to land acquisition. The communities demand government to expedite the process of land reform through a deliberate targeted and inclusive approach where their plight is escalated for restitution and reparation to facilitate restorative justice in the country,” Tjaaranda explained.
He further chastised the Ancestral Land commission established by the president, stating that the commission does not address the right issue as it does not challenge the constitution.
According to figures from the Namibia Statistics Agency, in terms of private ownership of agricultural (commercial) land in Namibia, 34 237 254 hectares (86.2%) is privately owned by individuals, companies, estates and trusts, churches, farmers’ associations and foundations.
The remaining 5 491 110 (13.8%) is owned by government mainly for resettlement farms, servitudes and research farms.