22 July 2015

Namibia: Land Grabs Threaten Stability - NUNW

The country's largest trade union federation, the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), has urged the nation not to illegally occupy land on July 31, as planned by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement.

The NUNW secretary general Job Muniaro said the planned unsanctioned mass occupation of land holds the potential to disrupt peace and stability in the country.

Such land grabbing could also hinder Namibia's economic development, opined Muniaro. He said although the issue is legitimate, proper channels should be followed to acquire land.

"President Geingob was elected by more than 86 per cent of men and women of this country, therefore we must give him a fair chance to solve the problem," said the unionist.

"How do we expect him to succeed if we do not give him the necessary time and support to solve the matter?" questioned Muniaro.

He said Geingob has made it clear that he is ready to engage in dialogue with AR, adding that the government has also acknowledged that the land issue is a problem.

"Let us give President Geingob able time to solve this issue of land. Let us be patient and calm, and give time to those who we elected to power to solve the problem for us," he said.

He said there are other ways for people to express themselves on the issue - such as through "calm dialogue".

"Let us avoid demonstrations and fighting. Let's engage with peaceful dialogue with our leaders, after all we are the ones who elected them," emphasised the unionist.

In a statement issued by State House last weekend President Geingob affirmed the government's willingness to engage the AR, a move that the movement's three leaders Job Amupanda, George Kambala and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma welcomed.

However, in a statement issued on Monday the AR leadership said they remained determined to occupy land for residential purposes.

"We cannot keep living like slaves in our own country. We will be our own liberators. We remain unshaken and determined. We refuse to be intimidated. We are ready for anything - jail or death, we will occupy land. This struggle will not be suppressed. No surrender, no retreat," said AR.


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