Parly protest on despite Geingob intervention

Despite President Hage Geingob's intervention in postponing the re-tabling of the Land Bill in parliament, the Landless People's Movement (LPM) says they will go ahead with the planned protest tomorrow at Parliament Building.

Yesterday, LPM activist Henny Seibeb explained to New Era that the movement's focus is not only on the Land Bill but also other issues, such as restorative justice towards reclaiming ancestral land and correcting historical injustices regarding land.

Apart from that, Seibeb said, the movement is also advocating fair and just land reform, which according to him must include agricultural reform.

He added that although the movement is pleased with Geingob's intervention in postponing the re-tabling of the Land Bill in parliament, what they really wanted is the total scrapping of the Bill and not the mere postponement.

Seibeb says they are not expecting a huge crowd tomorrow at the handing over of the petition.

Seibeb made it very clear that the aim of the protest is not to disrupt the official opening of the legislature but to hand over the petition to the Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi.

"This is the reason why we agreed to hand over the petition at 9am instead of 14:30, which is the official opening of parliament," he said.

But the secretary to the National Assembly, Lydia Kandetu, in a statement last week pleaded with the movement as a matter of courtesy and respect for state procedures to postpone their activity to any day after tomorrow.

"Tuesday will be an important day in the parliament calendar, as this is when the legislature will officially open for the year," she said.

"This is a special event, and besides, parliament will not entertain any other activity on the day," she said in the statement.

Kandetu added that since President Geingob already made it clear that the Bill was postponed for further consultation and as such will not be tabled in parliament any time soon, the question of petitioning parliament becomes "premature" at this stage, when parliament does not have in its possession the Bill which is being petitioned against.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia