Officials from Ministry of Lands and Resettlement denied access to land illegally fenced off at Mupapama village

MUPAPAMA: Officials from the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement in the Kavango East Region were denied access to land allegedly illegally fenced off at Mupapama village on Monday.

The village is situated some 50 kilometres (km) east of Rundu, and the land in question – covering an area of more than 30 hectares – was allegedly fenced off by the secretary of the farm and land committee of the Shambyu Traditional Authority, Kaghuyu Shikerete and an unknown partner.

The three officials were supposed to investigate the matter but were prevented from doing so by Shikerete.

Villagers of Mupapama and surrounding areas have been complaining to their village headmen and Mashare Constituency Councillor Bonny Wakudumo about the alleged fencing off of the area, which is mainly used for the grazing of their livestock.

Following complaints from the villagers, the three officials – the ministry’s Deputy Director for the north-eastern regions, Apollinaris Kannyinga and development planners Fernando Marungu and Susan Nchindo – travelled to the area in question to map out the area which was allegedly illegally fenced off, only to be turned away by Shikerete.

In a heated verbal altercation, he made it clear to the Lands Ministry officials that they will not gain access to the area and threatened them by saying that should they forcefully enter, it will be at their own risk.

The officials then opted to do their measurements outside the erected fence.