Swapo ready to engage with Affirmative Repositioning
30 June 2015 | Local News
President Hage Geingob says Swapo is ready to consult the leaders of the Affirmative Repositioning campaign, who have threatened to grab land on July 31.
Under the Affirmative Repositioning campaign, three suspended Swapo politicians and their massive following, are threatening to occupy land if government does not allocate them plots by that date. Under the campaign over 50 000 people have lodged land applications across the country. The three leaders, Job Amupanda, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and George Kambala, were suspended from Swapo after they illegally occupied a prime plot in Windhoek’s Kleine Kuppe suburb late last year.
Analysts had earlier warned that recent land grabs and protests, as well as the looming Affirmative Repositioning deadline, should not be taken lightly. During a press conference yesterday dealing with his first 100 days in office, Geingob responded to questions by Namibian Sun by saying that the matter will be dealt with at the party level. “That is Swapo business, not a government work. We do engage everyone. I said I am a consultative president and there is a committee that the Swapo Party has set up, which is supposed to engage everyone,” said Geingob.
The President said all Namibians are crying for land, but the paramount question still remains in terms of how this matter should be handled. “We will engage them if they want to be engaged. We don’t differ on the land issue, but how do we do that?” He stressed that at the party level they will sit down with Amupanda, Nauyoma and Kambala, if they are willing to sit down.
The three land activists could not be reached for comment, as their mobiles went unanswered.
During his speech, Geingob said that government has doubled its resource allocation for the purchase of land for the financial period starting April 2015 and ending in March 2018. “Land reform remains a crucial, delicate and emotive issue in Namibia. Land reform must be addressed with care.”
He said government will explore all options at its disposal to fast-track land distribution, including the legal confiscation of foreign-owned land.
According to Geingob, his government will also subsidise municipalities to acquire urban land for housing construction.
“We must also aim at irrigating more land for crop production,” he said.
WINDHOEK ELVIS MURARANGANDA