WINDHOEK - An average of 10 resettlement committee members per region were inaugurated for the Karas, Hardap and Khomas regions in Mariental on Monday.
The committee members will form part of the new Land Reform Advisory Commission (LARC) Sub-Committee for the next two years. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, Lidwina Shapwa, who also serves as the chairperson of the Land Reform Advisory Commission urged the new members to acquaint themselves with the relevant policies in the Land Reform Act.
This includes receiving, scrutinizing and evaluating application forms for resettlement using the resettlement criteria and shortlistling and recommending prospective beneficiaries amongst the applicants to the LARC. Furthermore, the members have to verify land allocation of farming units in order to avoid double allocation; receive, scrutinize and make recommendations on applications for subleasing of farming units, the inheritance of farming units, change of land use, development of farm infrastructure and all other applications made to the minister among others.
According to Shapwa the members have been selected from a pool of diverse stakeholders such as traditional authorities, line ministries, farmers’ unions and many more in order to enrich and enhance the capacity of the commission as an institution.
“One thing you need to remember at all times during your tenure is that you are required to look at all applicants of resettlement in your respective regions as equal and deserving citizens. This means that you are not placed in these committees to advance the interests of some or only for the applicants from your communities, but to ensure that the process is transparent and fair to every applicant,” she said.
Shapwa admitted that issues of land allocation always precipitate conflict and have a high potential to become explosive and to destabilize the country’s peace.
“Therefore you are all expected to demonstrate the qualities and values of alertness, honesty, fairness, confidentiality and sensitivity towards diverse landless Namibians and land allocation information,” she urged the new members.