Namibia: Venaani Suggests Expropriation of 'Unproductive' Farms

17 September 2018

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president, McHenry Venaani has suggested the expropriation of land without compensation from 'unproductive' foreign nationals who reportedly own about 250 farms across the country.

Venaani, the leader of the official opposition in parliament suggested this during the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) and Land Consultative meeting held at a lodge in the Brakwater area over the weekend.

A according to the Namibia Statistics Agency's latest figures presented last week, a total of 250 farms and farms portion, covering 1 206 017 hectares, are said to be owned by foreign nationals.

German nationals own 639 667 hectares (53 percent) of the land, followed by South Africans with 353 875 hectares (29.3 percent) and Americans with 82 024 hectares (6.8 percent).

Venaani says there are foreign landowners with more than ten farms, yet they just come here to "shoot two antelopes so they can write off taxes in Austria".

This he commented that these foreign landowners are not using the land productively but still does not want to avail those farms, adding that those are the ones who should be targeted.

"We are seated with over 250 farms owned by foreign nationals, how many of these farms are productive? If a foreign owner owns a lodge and makes returns from that land, that is productive land: but if a foreign owns a farm only to come there to shoot two antelope so that he can write off taxes in Austria, should that person be still allowed to own that land?" questioned the vocal opposition leader.

Venaani says absentee landlords in their view will be the first targets of land redistribution because if somebody does not use land for its intended purposes but using it for investment purposes and does not want to avail it, they will be left with no option but expropriation without payment.

Furthermore, Venaani who spoke extensively on land, suggested the development of virgin lands in rural areas so that more farms can be developed in-doing so to allow more people to farm.

He also called for One Namibia One Plot policy saying Namibians who have been leaving at a certain piece of land for the past 28 years, especially those in informal settlement should be given those plots for free.

"Landlessness is the reason that we are poor, people that are leaving in the west of Windhoek have been leaving on that land for the past 20 years, what is the CoW doing with that land, give one Namibian one plot, give that for free," said Venaani.

The party's National Executive Committee (NEC) and Land Consultative meeting which was attended by former governors most notably former Omaheke Governor Paul Thataone, former Hardap Governor Piet Poltman and PDM leaders from all 14 regions was to prepare the party's position paper for the 2nd National Land Conference scheduled for next week Monday.

2018-09-17 08:11:09 2 hours ago

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