KEETMANSHOOP, 24 JUL (NAMPA) – //Kharas Region inhabitants on Tuesday said the national resettlement policy does not work as it “has too many loopholes.”
They also complained that farms are not inspected and monitored after being allocated to beneficiaries during the Office of the Ombudsman’s public hearing on the land reform and resettlement programme at Keetmanshoop.
Thirty-five people attended the hearing chaired by Ombudsman John Walters.
The hearings are being held countrywide to determine whether various aspects and conditions of the resettlement programme are met during the application process by both the applicant and Government.
It also provides applicants with the opportunity to reflect on the hurdles they encounter during the application process, while gauging public opinion on the effectiveness of the programme.
One of the contributors, a farmer, said the special powers given to governors and the minister to recommend people for resettlement on farms promotes corruption.
He alleged that many people are recommended by the Regional Resettlement Committee, but end up not being selected because of the governors and the minister’s recommendations.
“Some people meet the criteria but that does not help them because of the special power given to the governors and the minister,” he said.
He added that the regional committees should consist of representatives from different traditional authorities within the regions.
“A traditional leader or authority will help them identify who are the weekend farmers and who are not even farmers at all,” he added.
Contributors also said the ministry should scrutinise the applications as they claimed that many people lie about how much livestock they possess.
The group also said the ministry must monitor the farms they have allocated to see if beneficiaries are utilising them as they said they would.
“I can say I have 500 cattle but I do not have such things or state in the application that I will do this and that on the farm and I do not do it, but it is not even monitored if the person is doing it,” another contributor from Aroab said.
The inhabitants also recommended that the governor of the region, Lucia Basson be removed from the Regional Resettlement Committee as they said her relatives could benefit from her serving on the committee.