12 June 2013

Namibia: Illegal Settlers Urged to Vacate Tsumkwe

Police Inspector-General, Sebastian Ndeitunga, this week ordered all illegal settlers in the Tsumkwe area to vacate Tsumkwe with their animals and return to their original settlements on or before July 06 this year or be forcefully removed by law enforcement agents.

In a statement issued this week, the police chief said that farmers mostly from the Oshikoto, Oshana and Otjozondjupa regions, and some from the Khomas Region have illegally invaded the Tsumkwe West constituency. The statement added that in the Kanovlei area, some people have already erected fences and some have even drilled boreholes, while others are herding their animals towards Tsumkwe.

He said in terms of section 22 (1) (2) (3) (4) of the Communal Land Reform Act, Act 5 of 2002 there are procedures that need to be followed in order to acquire a piece of land in the communal areas. First, one should get consent from the traditional authority in whose communal area the land is situated. "The second is to apply through the communal land board," explained Ndeitunga.

The communal land board is responsible for making sure that all the necessary documents are attached, verifying the size of the land, as well as making sure that an environmental impact assessment was carried out provided "your activities are not interfering or obstructing roads, water resources or any valuable resource on the commonage," according to Ndeitunga.

The communal land board may refuse or grant approval. If the piece of land exceeds 50 hectares and the duration applied for is more than 10 years, then recommendations by the Minister of Lands and Resettlement will be required. "In the face of this situation, I further advise that the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement and the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development should not sit back but intervene as a matter of urgency," he said.

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