Officials Address Land Dispute


By Emma Kakololo WINDHOEK A meeting involving officials from the Office of the attorney General and the Kavango Regional Land Board to address the simmering grazing dispute in the Kavango Region went ahead as planned on Friday. The Chairman of the Kavango Regional Land Board Kakuni Rengura confirmed this yesterday. On December 29, 2005, the Attorney General (AG) wrote a letter via the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement to the communal land board advising the board on how to deal with the simmering Kwangali land dispute. The “advice” letter was said to be full of jargon and some “issues” that were apparently difficult for members of the land board to understand, prompting the board to call for a meeting with experts from the AG to explain the content of the letter. “Yes, the meeting the meeting took place. We discussed the content of the letter. The document was explained to us,” Rengura responded when he was asked. He refused to divulge what the advice from the AG’s office was. “We are going to consult relevant stakeholders including the traditional authority. I cannot go into detail of the advice now, we first have to consult with relevant authorities and the chief and only after they agreed I can comment on the advice,” he stated. Last year beginning October, the Government called on all those who were illegally settled in the Western part of the Kavango Region to withdraw, and those illegally grazing their cattle in those areas to stop such illegal action. Government gave them time until the end of October to do so or face legal action. However, the order was flouted with the herders appealing for more time until the rainy season in January this year to avoid the possible death of their cattle. In November 2005, hundreds of unhappy residents of the Ukwangali Traditional Authority staged a peaceful demonstration expressing their dissatisfaction with Government’s inaction on the highly sensitive issue. The demonstration, which took place at the Kahenge tribal offices some 120 kilometres west of Rundu, mainly addressed the delay in the removal of the illegal cattle herders and their cattle from their areas. Chief Daniel Sitentu Mpasi of the Ukwangali announced during the demonstration that enough was enough and that his subjects had suffered at the hands of illegal cattle herders for a long time.