Deadline set for removal of illegal Tsumkwe fences

TSUMKWE: The Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board chairperson, Jeaneth Kuhanga on Tuesday announced February 2015 as the deadline for removal of all alleged illegal fences in Tsumkwe West.

Kuhanga told Nampa in an interview on Tuesday afternoon that all suspected illegal fences in Tsumkwe West would be removed before February 2015.

Kuhanga and a technical mapping team of officials in the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement conducted a two-day inspection exercise on areas alleged to be illegally fenced-off at Tsumkwe West.

The inspection that commenced on Monday, ended on Tuesday afternoon.

On Monday alone, 31 fences allegedly illegally erected in Omatako area in Tsumkwe West were found to have been removed voluntarily by their owners.

However, the number on Tuesday increased to a total of 38 fences removed.

The seven more fences in addition to 31, were found to have been also removed by owners in Janju area on Tuesday.

Kuhanga said the Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board still needed time to identify owners of some fences which are still standing in Omatako and Janju, so that they are issued with notices.

“The notices will last for 30 days after being issued, to allow these people to appeal to us or remove their fences. Therefore there is still work to be done by us – Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board before the due-date of February next year,” she said.

Kuhanga described the inspection exercise on the area allegedly illegally fenced-off as a successful.

She said it was a necessary fact finding exercise by some members of Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board to ascertain themselves on the progress made and plan further on what to do next.

The Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board is expected to hold a meeting on 28 August this year with regards to the fences which have not been removed yet, and will also consult the Government Attorneys on the matter, Kuhanga said.

On Monday, six other people assured Kuhanga that their fences would be removed before the end of August this year.

Twenty-seven people who had allegedly fenced-off land have submitted appeal letters to the Otjozondjupa Regional Communal Land Board.

Kuhanga indicated that their appeal letters were forwarded to the Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Alpheus !Naruseb for a decision, along with recommendations from the Otjozondjupa Regional Communal Land Board.

More than 150 farms in Omatako and Janju areas were inspected on Monday and Tuesday respectively.

Meanwhile, the Otjozondjupa Regional Deputy Director in the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata told this news agency last year that a team of nine mapping officers in her ministry discovered that about 33 000 hectares of land had been illegally fenced-off.

She said the largest piece illegally enclosed was around 6 600 hectares in the Omatako area last year.

The smallest piece of land was about 36 hectares at Janju village, also in the area of Omatako.

Nghituwamata stressed that all fences which were discovered last year were illegal, and thus needed to be removed voluntarily or by force.

The inspection team on Monday and Tuesday, found livestock on some of the fenced-off tracts of land.

It is alleged these farmers were forced to drive their animals to Tsumkwe West last year due to the drought in their areas of origin – identified as Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati, Kavango and Omaheke Regions, and parts of Otjozondjupa.

Omatako is situated in Tsumkwe West area in the Otjozondjupa Region, over 160 kilometres east of Grootfontein.

(edited)TSUMKWE: All fences illegally- erected in Tsumkwe West will be removed by February next year, Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board chairperson Jeaneth Kuhanga said on Tuesday.

Kuhanga and a technical mapping team of officials in the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement conducted a two-day inspection exercise on areas alleged to be illegally fenced-off at Tsumkwe West.

This inspection commenced on Monday, and ended Tuesday.

On Monday alone, 31 fences allegedly illegally-erected in the Omatako area were found to have been removed voluntarily by their owners.

By Tuesday, this number increased to 38.

The additional seven were found to have been removed in the Janju area.

Kuhanga said the Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board still has to identify the owners of some of the fences which have not yet been removed in the Omatako and Janju areas so that they can be issued with notices.

“The notices will be valid for 30 days after being issued to allow these people to appeal to us, or remove their fences.

So, there is still work to be done by the Land Board before the due date of February next year,” she stated.

Kuhanga described the inspection of the affected areas as successful, saying it was a necessary fact-finding exercise for the Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board to assure themselves of the progress being made, and to help with planning.

The Land Board is expected to hold a meeting on 28 August this year with regards to the fences which have not been removed yet, and will also consult the Government Attorneys on the matter.

On Monday, six people assured Kuhanga that their fences would be removed before the end of August this year.

Twenty-seven people who had allegedly fenced-off land have submitted appeal letters to the Otjozondjupa Regional Communal Land Board.

Their appeal letters were forwarded to the Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Alpheus !Naruseb for a decision, along with recommendations from the Land Board.

More than 150 farms in the Omatako and Janju areas were inspected on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Otjozondjupa Regional Deputy Director in the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata told this news agency last year that a team of nine mapping officers in her ministry discovered that about 33 000 hectares of land had been illegally fenced-off.

She said the largest piece illegally-enclosed was around 6 600 hectares in the Omatako area last year.

The smallest piece of land was about 36 hectares at Janju village, also in the area of Omatako.

Nghituwamata stressed that all fences which were discovered last year were illegal, and thus needed to be removed voluntarily or by force.

The inspection team on Monday and Tuesday found livestock on some of the fenced-off tracts of land.

It is alleged that these farmers were forced to drive their animals to Tsumkwe West last year due to the drought in their areas of origin – identified as the Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati, Kavango and Omaheke Regions, and parts of Otjozondjupa.

Omatako is situated in Tsumkwe West in the Otjozondjupa Region, over 160 kilometres east of Grootfontein.

SOURCE: NAMPA