Soldiers Too Deserve Land – Nahas

The Minister of Defence Nahas Angula says members of the country’s armed forces also deserve to have ownership of the land they protect.

Angula said this when responding to questions from New Era on claims by the radical youth-led Affirmative Repositioning movement that government has started registering landless soldiers who need to be accorded land.

“Soldiers protect the land but they do not have land. So if there is someone that is giving them land then it is good, hallelujah,” said Angula yesterday.

Angula however said he was unaware of Affirmative Repositioning’s claims that his ministry has started registering landless soldiers, saying the subject of land distribution does not resort under his ministry’s mandate.

Nurses, teachers, police officers and soldiers form a core part of the country’s essential services, yet they continue to linger at the very bottom of the country’s income pyramid with some of them earning as little as N$105 285 per annum.

The situation has left most of these servicemen and women to scramble for free state-funded accommodation such as barracks, nurses’ homes and school hostels.

Angula’s comments come after the Affirmative Repositioning movement – led by Job Amupanda, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and George Kambala – released a statement yesterday claiming it has come to their attention that the military has begun registering landless soldiers at its bases across the country.

“We welcome this development and thank the leadership of the Namibian Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence for this progressive step. On face value, it is indicative that within the establishment there is still an iota of revolutionary morality and leftist principle remaining,” said the movement. The land activists said there have been misinformed commentaries that activists should not mention police and soldiers in the struggle for land because it can be perceived to be desirous of wanting to create instability.

“But who are the police and soldiers? Are they not our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, girlfriends and boyfriends? How can we be told not to speak the truth that they are landless?” asked the youth-led movement.

“When they [soldiers] die their families come to their hostels [army base] to collect clothes and shoes because that is the only property they have.

“Even the pillows they sleep on are not their own. To suggest that we must not speak about their struggle is inhumane and hypocritical.”

Affirmative Repositioning said it remains hopeful that the land registration process is genuine.

“It can be that those involved are playing games of applying soup on people’s lips while not giving them the very meat from which the soup originates.”

“This may be a gimmick and tactical manoeuvring from the elites as a build-up to July 31. From this standpoint, the objectives of the strategy will be to keep soldiers at bay so that they are available and at the disposal of the corrupt elite to be unleashed on their own brothers and sisters. In the final analysis, they may not really get land,” said the movement.

Source : New Era