WINDHOEK, 27 JUN – The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement is calling on the public to support Ombudsman John Walters with evidence in his quest to investigate and uproot possible corruption in the allocation of resettlement farms.
Walters is currently holding public hearings on land reform and resettlement between 03 to 27 July 2018.
In a statement issued to the media on Tuesday, AR’s co-founder, Job Amupanda urged landless Namibians to rally behind Walters.
“Previously, the Ombudsman did not have the necessary support and confidence of society. Now that he has gotten the fortitude and stamina, we need to ensure that we receive maximum support to ensure that corruption and the elite self-serving project is curtailed,” stated Amupanda.
He further called on AR activists and landless Namibians alike to attend all public hearings and to provide evidence that will assist Walters, amid claims to sabotage his bona fide attempts.
“We have established that the corrupt elite, who have been plotting against the Ombudsman, are planning to ensure that these hearings fail,” said Amupanda, adding that “zombies and elites” should not be allowed to succeed in their detrimental attempts.
“AR activists are encouraged to mobilise society to ensure that this process is successful,” he said.
The hearing stem from a letter dated 29 March 2018, when AR sought audience with Walters to investigate all resettlement farm allocations by the Land Reform Ministry, especially to political office bearers.
One such farm is that which was allocated to late struggle icon Andimba Toivo ya Toivo’s widow, Vicky ya Toivo this year.
She was resettled on Unit A of Farm Joyce, measuring 2 376 hectares, in the Omaheke Region.
This sparked outrage in the public domain as people felt that Ya Toivo, who is a lawyer and was born in the United States, should not benefit from the resettlement programme, which ought to cater for previously disadvantaged Namibians, the media reported.
During the said hearings, the public is expected to submit to Walters their concerns and experiences on the resettlement programme.
This will aid him in determining whether or not the Regional Resettlement Committee (RRC) complied with the necessary criteria upon allocating farms to certain candidates.
The Ombudsman also wants to establish whether the selection criteria was followed consistently by the RRC during the allocation process.
He also wants to determine whether unsuccessful candidates were informed of the outcome of their application and reasons thereof.
The hearings will take place at Mariental on 03 July 2018 from 10h00 to 16h00 at the Aimablaagte Community Hall, 05 July at Gobabis from 10h00 at 16h00 Epako Community Hall and 10 July at Otjiwarongo from 09h00 to 16h00 at Lutheran Community Hall. On 11 July it will continue at Karibib from 10h00 to 16h00 at Usab Community Hall, 24 July at Keetmanshoop from 09h00 at to 16h00 at Tseiblaagte Community Hall and on 26-27 July in Windhoek from 09h00 to 17h00 at UN Plaza.