How Is Land a Sensitive Subject? [editorial]

Most times people talk about land these days it often goes along with the statement “it is a sensitive issue.” When did that happen, when did land really become a sensitive issue and how is it sensitive?

I recently attended one of the World Federation of Democratic Youth anniversary sessions here in Windhoek. Again, the land issue was classified by some as sensitive and I there and then concluded that the land debate is not a sensitive matter.

One of the panellists mentioned that Mandume Ndemufayo and Samuel Maharero and other freedom fighters of the Namibian nation are turning in their graves because the land they fought for is still not in the hands of the majority landless Namibians.

Simply to avoid discussing the real issue of how the majority can get land, or at least affordable housing for all, some elite have termed the debate on land as a “sensitive issue” to avoid getting to the bottom of things.

A well-known former member of parliament stated at that occasion that his generation had fought for freedom and won and it is now the turn of today’s youth to fight for land.

My first question is – are we free? How then is it that we are free when we are living illegally in our motherland? Let me clarify – people move to the city in search of better living conditions and end up in the shacks of Windhoek’s informal settlements where they are told that they are living illegally simply because they do not have the means to live in proper housing or to acquire land for that matter.

Not that I am ungrateful for what his generation has done for this nation but to me they just continued the battle of Mandume Ndemufayo, Samuel Maharero and the others. Can they now please join the youth in fighting this so-called “sensitive issue” as they are very good at finishing battles – no offence. We want to live legally in our motherland, we want to own land.

And finally, it is good that our members of parliament know that rent is expensive in Namibia, but how about debating the land issue for the benefit of everyone by ensuring that there are policies in place that counter the exorbitant housing prices instead of classifying the issue as sensitive?

Get to the bottom of things and stop saying land is a sensitive matter, rather solve it.

Source : New Era