By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK THE Republican Party whole-heartedly supports land reform, but to successfully implement such a programme it is important that the government should consult with all stakeholders. This is the view of the RP’s leader, Henk Mudge, in response to pronouncements on the land issue by the country’s Deputy Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Isak Katali. “The Namibian government has already wasted valuable time to iron out a land-reform plan for the country. The government needs to identify bona fide farmers from the previously disadvantaged groups, train them properly, assist them to acquire enough livestock to farm productively and to be able to contribute towards the country’s economy,” said Henk Mudge in a press release. Mudge urged that new farmers have the ability to accommodate as many farm workers as possible to prevent a massive retrenchment of farm workers, as is currently the case. “The Republican Party will never condone the way in which land reform has been applied up to now because it seems as if the government has opted to use expensive farmland to compensate untrained and mostly incapable comrades for their contributions to the liberation struggle. Most of these new farmers are using the farms as squatter camps and will never be able to use the land to improve anybody’s living conditions,” Mudge claimed. He further warned that the resettled farmers will in due course become a bigger liability to the government. “We all know that the government is not in a position to embark on employment creating projects because of a lack of funds. In conclusion, the RP see no reason whatsoever for the land issue not to be resolved with the full support of all stakeholders. Land reform can and must work, but it will not be possible when it is used as a political carrot,” Mudge asserted.
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