MPs block Venaani’s motion to promulgate flexible land tenure

Members of Parliament (MPs) on Tuesday rejected Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader, McHenry Venaani’s motion to discuss the need to promulgate a flexible land tenure system law.

PDM’s leader introduced the motion in the National Assembly in the capital earlier in September 2020.

Among other MPs, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Anna Shiweda rejected the motion, noting that it is irrelevant because the government was already dealing with that particular issue through the Flexible Land Tenure Act of 2012.

This Act was to provide affordable security of tenure for persons who live in informal settlements and to empower them economically.

Shiweda said the Land Reform Programme being discussed was one of the main objectives of the liberation struggle for a free Namibia.

“You will agree that the inequality amongst Namibians was, and still is, deeply rooted in access to and ownership of land. It was for this reason that immediately after independence the Swapo Party-led government organised and hosted the 1st National Land Conference on Land Reform and the Land Question, in 1991,” she added.

Four years after the first conference, the Agricultural (Commercial) Land Reform Act No. 6 of 1995 was promulgated.

“As described by the High Court of Namibia, this Act is a product of an intensive effort by the Namibian Government to address the need for land reform,” Shiweda further noted.

She also noted that the government has acquired 558 farms totalling 3.4 million hectares at a cost of N.dollars 2.3 billion.

“The government did not sit with the reformation, management and/or redistribution of rural and agricultural land only. The reform included urban land to address divisive and unjust urban policies of both the German and South African colonial administrations which mainly created centres exclusively for white residential, recreational and business areas and the forceful removal of indigenous people from those centres to the current Katutura in Windhoek, Orwetoveni in Otjiwarongo, Erongosig in Usakos, and many others.”

Shiweda added that the purpose of the Act is to create new forms of titles to immovable property; to create a register for these forms of titles and for registrars to register these forms of titles; to provide for the nature of the rights conferred by these forms of titles, and to provide for matters incidental thereto.

She meanwhile confirmed that the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has commenced with the implementation of the Flexible Land Tenure Act, No. 4 of 2012.

To give effect to the Flexible Land Tenure Act, Shiweda stated that the ministry commenced with the piloting of its implementation in three local authority areas namely; Oshakati, Gobabis and Windhoek.

The main purpose of piloting was to ascertain whether the provisions of the Flexible Land Tenure Act are adequate and can be implemented successfully on the ground.

Source: Namibia Press Agency