Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president McHenry Venaani says the Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF), also known as the red line, must be removed but in such a way that the collapse of the lucrative meat market enjoyed by those south of the fence is avoided.
Venaani during his party’s central committee meeting on Saturday in Windhoek reaffirmed his position as staunch proponent of the red line.
He said while he has always been in support of the removal of the red line, it should only be done after the country has built a proper fence between Namibia and Angola as according to him, removing the red line while allowing northern livestock to roam freely between the two countries will have a disastrous impact to Namibia’s beef market.
“The sine qua non of improving the livestock of our northern farmers is to build a buffer zone between Angola and Namibia to avoid Namibia cattle’s from entering Angola because Angola has no proper veterinary control and for as long as we don’t build that buffer zone, opening the redline will become a serious conundrum that would bring economic problems to the country’s beef industry and economic viability,” he said.
Venaani, who own two farms south of the redline as per his asset declaration to Parliament, said it is important to acknowledge that the country’s economy is fragile and as such, removing the red line must be done through concomitant policies and in such a manner that it does not further hurt the economy.
“We are accessing lucrative international markets and if we want to maintain those lucrative international markets, we must ensure that farmers northern of the red line also benefits from those markets but opening the red line without a fence would have a disastrous impact to this country,” he said.
Venaani’s remarks come in light of a high court case by City of Windhoek Mayor Job Amupanda, who wants the court to declare the red line unlawful and unconstitutional.
Amupanda argues that the red line is a colonial structure, not sanctioned or made provision for by any laws in Namibia, that continues to be used to control the movement of people and animals from northern to southern Namibia.
Source: Namibia Press Agency