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Ancestral land claim debate threatens national security: Naruseb

Sun, 21 October 2012 21:25
by Jemima Beukes


Minister of Lands and Resettlements, Alfeus !Naruseb, said Namibians must leave behind the past and stop demanding for ancestrial land because it will disturb peace.
!Naruseb who delivered the keynote address at the 14th annual Symposium of the Bank of Namibia held at the Safari Court recently, said it is difficult to determine where to claim ancestral land since the current laws do not allow it.
“The law does not allow us to legally talk about ancestral land claims. As a nation, we must have a platform to discuss and look at a (safe) mode to acquire land in an equitable manner, unless we want to waste our energy,” hehrlsaid adding that the major problem during the first Land Conference in 1991 was the overlapping of land which made it difficult to determine which piece of land belonged to who.
“I really want to see a sense of gratitude for the effort we made at the first Land Conference in 1991. There were so many things but the biggest challenge was to determine land rights. . . But there should be no more debate on the claims for ancestral land not to jeopardise the peace.”
However, Professor Sam Moyo, Executive Director of the African Institution for Agrarian Studies in Harare, Zimbabwe, argued that there was no alternative for Namibia but to intervene.
He suggested that Government should relook at the redistribution process because it appears that Namibians are growing frustrated with the delay.
“Government must just intervene. There is no choice. What they must understand is that land owners do not give up land. They do not have a tendency to give up land in an orderly way,” Moyo added that Namibia can take Zimbabwe as an example and learn from its mistakes.
“Yes, the media is giving a different picture but the Land Reform Policy in Zimbabwe is paying off. Namibia must just approach it with clear organisation; involve the people and identify the land; identify which land can be used for what purpose; and determine how to satisfy the different users,” Moyo said.
He also said the aridity of the land should not be seen as an excuse to delay redistribution, but that government should support communities to improve it and make it sustainable.
Moyo further stressed that land can be used for different purposes.
He further urged Namibians to look at regional intergration and see what kind of resources could be transferred between countries.