ALL PERTINENT ISSUES TO BE DISCUSSED AT 2ND NAMIBIAN LAND CONFERENCE, SAYS PRESIDENT

WINDHOEK– Namibian President Hage Geingob has dismissed insinuations that the 2nd National Land Conference is predetermined, stressing that all pertinent issues relating to land in Namibia will be discussed to find lasting solutions.

Geingob made these remarks during his keynote speech at the opening of the conference here Monday and set the tone for the conference. He made it clear from the onset that in as far as the land question in Namibia is concerned, everything under the sun will be discussed.

The president said that in the run-up to the conference, there were key misunderstandings that certain issues such as ancestral land claims for restitution will not be discussed. “Quite the opposite. I have called for all relevant matters to be discussed,” Geingob added.

He said attendance of the conference was still open to those who had opted to boycott it, adding that the “Namibian House is always open”.

He pointed out that the status quo “where land remains in the hands of the minority” was not sustainable.

“When the majority is economically excluded, it poses a real threat. It is in all our interest, particularly the ‘haves’ to ensure a drastic reduction in inequality by supporting the re-distributive model required to alter our skewed economic structure.”

Geingob further acknowledged that Namibia’s land reform programme had not been able to get the desired outcomes. “The concerns of Namibians around the slow pace of land reform and those of the landless are legitimate concerns and warrant our gathering this week, to have this difficult conversation and resolve these issues.”

He encouraged the delegates, numbering about 800, to have an open debate. He also made five commitments to accelerate Namibia’s land reform — improved administrative capacity; accountability; transparency; inclusivity; and reform of the legislative framework.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK