13 July 2017

Namibia: Kharas Governor Calls for Mature Dialogue On Land

Keetmanshoop — //Kharas Governor Lucia Basson has called on inhabitants of the region to have a meaningful and mature discussion on how the sensitive land issue should be tackled.

Opening a regional consultative workshop at Keetmanshoop yesterday in preparation for the Second National Land Conference, Basson reminded the delegates present that they represent all the people of the //Kharas Region and it was up to them to ensure the voices of the people they represent are heard loud and clear in terms of which direction the land reform process should take.

She said all contributions are important and none are too small. "Let us be mature, direct and to the point during our discussions. Let us listen to each other, let us use any language of our choice, let us not keep quiet and go out and blame others," she said.

She also said she could not overemphasise the importance of the meeting, which aimed to address land hunger in the //Kharas Region and the country at large, adding that the land question is a political, social and economic issue, that should address dispossession, equity and productivity in an effort to eradicate poverty.

She further stressed the need for the inhabitants to be on the same page and have one voice, saying the discussions should yield positive and concrete recommendations that will inform the current land reform programme.

In her welcoming speech, Keetmanshoop Mayor Gaudentia Krohne echoed the governor's advice to have a participatory and meaningful workshop, which would bring forward the best inputs on the land issue in preparation for the land conference slated for September.

She said it is well documented that the people of the south were ones most heavily affected by land dispossession during the colonial era and it was now up to the inhabitants of the region to ensure that this is rectified and that their pleas are heard.

"Let us give powerful inputs, my plea is as //Kharas let us use this platform to make sure that our pleas are heard and included," she said. The two-day meeting was well attended by political and traditional leaders, farmers, union representatives, youth and other stakeholders. It ends today.

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