9 October 2018

Namibia: Govt Promises Improved Transparency in Resettlement

President Hage Geingob wants to restore and re-establish trust and fairness in the resettlement programme, saying that trust is gained through transparency and accountability.

His intervention on the issue follow calls by opposition political parties, civil society groups and some traditional leaders for the release of the master list of beneficiaries of the resettlement programme since its inception.

However, these requests have in the past fallen on deaf ears with government saying releasing the list may cause harassment to the resettled farmers.

Geingob, speaking during the closing ceremony of the week long- 2nd National Land Conference that ended on Friday, said there is a burning need for the resettlement programme to be infused with accountability. "Suspicion is sowed through secrecy and evasiveness. We will restore and increase trust and fairness in the process as a result," he said. The Head of State said numerous allegations have been made regarding the pre-2010 list and this trouble him deeply.

"No evidence has been provided to support the allegations of corruption and, while corruption can't be ruled out, it is not inconceivable that the challenge around releasing the list has to do with poor record keeping," he said.

Geingob said as the data on person and areas of resettlement is an important management tool, a concerted effort will be made to find or use the available information to recreate a complete resettlement list, even if it means conducting an audit of all resettlement farms.

The Head of State says he has, at various occasions, expressed his views about the pre and post resettlement support.

"I would like to propose again that newly resettled farmers be linked to experienced commercial farmers for training, coaching and mentoring, and provision of shared services through the establishment of cooperatives," he said.

Meanwhile, in the last ten years, the Ministry of Land Reform acquired 443 farms, totaling 3 021 959 hectares, for resettlement purposes.

Additionally, to the 443 farms, a further 53 farms were transferred from the agriculture ministry for resettlement purposes, taking the total farms to 496 during the period.

The figures are contained in the draft Namibia Land Statistics booklet which was presented by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) last month.

The booklet shows that from 2008 until June 2018, 5 352 beneficiaries were resettled on the 496 farms, which averages 12 beneficiaries per farm.

2018-10-09 08:08:10 3 hours ago

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