Geingob Fears Youth Might Revolt

THE Office of the Prime Minister said the premier, Hage Geingob, is worried that the desire of the youth to secure land through any possible means might arise if the status quo on land ownership continues.

This was communicated by his office which also denied a report that Geingob said Namibia will never follow Zimbabwe in taking land from white people in the name of land reform.

“The prime minister would therefore like to urge all stakeholders to work hard to solve the issue of land, taking into consideration the fact that the older generation will not be able to quell the desire of the youth to secure land through any possible means if the status quo should remain,” said the statement sent by Geingob’s personal assistant Liandro Mensah yesterday.

The Premier’s statement came a few hours after the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) warned that years of “strawberry-policy” on the land issue will soon come to an end and that the “successful Zimbabwe-style” land reform remains an option.

The Namibian Press Agency, whose journalist accompanied the prime minister to China, quoted Geingob as telling delegates at an event in Shanghai two weeks ago that Namibia will not take the land the same way Zimbabweans did.

Geingob asked the audience there whether Namibia should tackle the issue of wealth distribution by taking land from white people and giving it to the black people.

“He then asked whether they would not condemn such actions as they had done in the case of Zimbabwe when that country’s government decided to take land from the wealthy whites and gave it to impoverished blacks,” the statement read.

Geingob said that Namibia is a country governed by law and therefore will have to follow such laws. He likened the situation to a pregnant woman where options of delivering a baby are available.

“In the case of Zimbabwe, the government decided to give birth through Cesarean section. This means although the process was painful and bloody, the land was delivered to the people and a healthy baby was born who is now growing ger each day,” the statement read.

Namibia has chosen to follow the willing buyer, willing seller approach and let the availability of land be decided by market prices.

“This can be likened to a mother carrying a baby for nine months. Although this patience can pay off, there can also be fatal consequences if after nine months the mother gives birth to a still-born even though the mother is healthy,” read the statement.

SPYL spokesperson Job Amupanda threatened that radical land reform will happen in Namibia whether in the next five or 15 years like the “successful Zimbabwe-style land reform” which remains an option on the table.

Amupanda praised the Zimbabwean land reform programme claiming that around 4 000 formerly white-owned farms are now occupied by 170 000 black families.

The same Zimbabwe applauded by the youth wing has however been facing perennial food shortages prompting the government to import maize from neighbours to augment local production.

Poor food production has been blamed on the land reform which saw the seizure of white-owned commercial farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

Source : The Namibian