Namibia: Councillor Bemoans Timing of Farm Evictions

Windhoek Rural councillor Piet Adams says he is concerned about the safety of farmworkers who were recently evicted from farm Tsatsaxas near Dordabis, saying the timing of the evictions is a big problem.

"Why choosing one of the coldest months to make this inhumane action? Is this the type of treatment we receive after 30 years of independence? Why should foreigners get preferential treatment to own 10 farms whilst there are already people in the corridor? We have been lenient as Namibians for too long and we are been taken for granted," Adams told New Era yesterday.

"It is time for the government to offer specific regional councils farms where the evicted farmers can be resettled. The resettlement application process needs to be relaxed to at least accommodate these farmers in the corridors."

He said that one of the biggest challenges in the Windhoek Rural constituency is the eviction of generational farmworkers as well as some farmers who are refused permission to bury their loved ones on some farms.

"The issue of the eviction date as far back as 2018. Initially, they were evicted from farm Doornboom in the Hardap region. Having spent a few months in the corridor these people moved to Khomas region to one of the farms owned by a Russian billionaire. As the regional councillor, I already intervened three months back in this case. Few meetings were held with Johan Kotze, the farm manager of Maroela Ranch who is managing the affairs for the Russian billionaire Rashid Sardarov.

Last Tuesday, these farmers were evicted by Kotze. The former Khomas regional police commander Josef

Shikongo was also part of the deliberations. They are currently in the corridor of the Dordabis road." According to Adams, four families who are evicted and currently in the corridor, consist of 12 adults and 22 children.

"I had a meeting on Wednesday with the special advisor to the land reform and agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein and the technical team was tasked to go to the site to assess the water situation. The ministry came up with a possible alternative plan to relocate the farmers to Nauaspoort as a temporal arrangement, however, the farmers are refusing to move to Nauaspoort in the absence of a written assurance. As the councilllor, I approached Shoprite and Lodestone Mine for possible assistance with food parcels and blankets to keep them warm," he added.

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