RUNDU, 22 JUL – The All People’s Party (APP) in the Kavango East Region has called on government to do away with the willing buyer, willing seller policy at the upcoming second national land conference to be held in October.
The party’s Kavango East Regional Coordinator, Marcelius Haivera made the call at the region’s consultative meeting in preparation for the second national land conference held here on Thursday and Friday.
In his submission on behalf of the party, Haivera said the Swapo Party’s willing buyer, willing seller policy has firmly proven over the past 28 years to be an absolute failure and led to inflated farm prices by owners and estate agents.
He said the policy exploited the coffers of the State and Agribank, through its affirmative loans and other portfolios, adding that it only benefits commercial banks, previous farm owners and agents.
“We in the APP in Kavango East and West condemn it and call for it to be dumped at the upcoming second land conference as an emergency measure to speed up land reform in our country,” said Haivera.
He added that nationally, APP supports ancestral land rights to also be addressed at the land summit and proposed that a land claims and restitution commission be established to attend to and verify claims with the view of compensating affected families whose land was forcefully taken by colonial governments.
Haivera also stressed that traditional leaders should be respected as they are the custodians of the land and should thus be given a voice.
In addition, he also urged traditional leaders to refrain from selling land off to foreign nationals, noting that the land should always be held in sacred trust, because it is common heritage for all people and future generations to come.
Haivera concluded by saying that land, including all its natural resources, should be harnessed in order to sustain the livelihoods of its people at all times.