Namibia: Geingob Ignores Question On Ancestral Land Report

17 December 2020

President Hage Geingob yesterday ignored questions regarding a report meant to direct the government on how to address the claims of ancestral land in Namibia.

The report published by the commission of inquiry into the claims of ancestral land for restitution was submitted to the President's Office in July this year.

The commission was established in 2019 as part of the resolutions from the 2018 second national land conference, which directed the government to investigate the matter, and make appropriate recommendations for implementation.

The government spent close to N$15 million on the commission to conduct public consultations and contract experts on the issue of ancestral land.

At the time the commission handed over the report to Geingob, High Court judge Shafimana Ueitele who was the chairperson of the commission, said the report reflects the accounts of people who participated in countrywide hearings by the commission last year.

Ueitele was quoted as saying the report contains recommendations that would require the government to enact new legislation to achieve the desired results.

Other recommendations do not require a change of laws and can be addressed urgently, Ueitele has said.

In July, Geingob promised to make the report public within a week after consultations with Cabinet.

"We will study it. This report will be released after a week or so. After we look at it, we will release it to the public and we expect constructive reactions and proposals," Geingob said in July.

It is more than five months since the report was submitted to the President's Office without it being published.

When asked about the progress on the report during the briefing on Covid-19 regulations yesterday, Geingob ignored the questions and proceeded to talk about regulations.

Apart from not publicising the report by the ancestral land commission of inquiry, the government has also been tight-lipped on the progress made regarding the implementation of other resolutions taken at the 2018 second national land conference..

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