LAND GRABBING ON THE RISE AS DEMAND INTENSIFIES

NAMIBIA: LAND/NBC/31/1/18 SABANews 1

Resettlement remains a dream for her

WINDHOEK – NAMIBIA is finally in the middle of a dilemma it could have avoided if it had respected its liberation war objectives, and taken a different path from the one it took after decolonisation.

Like its TWO neighbours, SOUTH AFRICA in the south and ZIMBABWE in the north east, it has nursed the hot issue of land reallocation; the major cause for the armed struggle.

NBC News says incidents of land grabbing increased significantly last year, rising by as much as 75 percent countrywide.

It quotes WINDHOEK City Chief Executive Officer ROBERT KAHIMISE as saying the problem has surpassed crime rates and frequencies of most offences.

He says felonies such as murder, gender-based violence, housebreaking, armed robbery, theft, and rape have all gone down since 2016 through last year.

Urban residents want accommodation space

However, Mr KAHIMISE says illegal trading almost tripled from 32 incidents in 2016 to 93 cases last year in the capital, where poor communities are also calling for accommodation space.

In a separate development, a group of community members of the OMITARA Settlement in the OKORUKAMBE Constituency of the eastern OMAHEKE Region are pleading for land.

The national broadcaster says they include 56-year-old MONICA EISES, who has been homeless since the death of her husband a short time ago.

Ms EISES says she and her late husband had settled at BOOMLAGER Farm, on a piece of resettlement land allocated to his brother some 35 kilometres outside OMITARA.

She says her brother-in-law gave her THREE months to vacate after the death of her spouse, and she moved last MONDAY.

The middle-aged woman drove her 18 cattle, SEVEN horses, EIGHT goats, EIGHT sheep and THREE donkeys to OMITARA; but there is no place to graze them here.

Ms EISES says she is appealing to the government to find her a resettlement farm on which she can raise her TWO school-going children.

NBC News says she and other OMITARA residents evicted from farms called an urgent media conference this TUESDAY, pleading with the State for land on which they can resettle as a group.

Undoubtedly the originals of Southern Africa, the Bushmen continue roaming the plains

Land redistribution has remained a thorny issue in NAMIBIA because of a willing-seller-willing-buyer policy the authorities have continued to honour since independence, but some citizens are becoming impatient./Sabanews/cam

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