Illegal Occupants of Communal Land Warned to Desist

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK The Deputy Director of Land Boards, Tenure and Advice in the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, Maria Kasita, has issued a stern warning to those occupying any communal land in the Kavango Region to desist from illegal occupation of such land in that area. Her warning is mainly directed at communal farmers from northern Namibia who occupy land without permission from the relevant authorities. The warning comes after the High Court recently ruled in favour of the nine farmers who had applied for the right to graze their animals in the Kavango region. She urged farmers seeking grazing to follow the right procedures by going to the Traditional Authority and to the Kavango Communal Land Board for such permission. “Any person who shall be found occupying or using for any purpose, any communal land in Kavango region without the consent of the Communal Land Board and/or the concerned Traditional Authority, does so against the provisions of the Communal Land Reform Act, Act No. 5 of 2002,” she stated in a statement yesterday. Any person found to have contravened Section 43, Sub-Section (1) of the Communal Land Reform Act shall be guilty of an offence and will be subjected to prosecution as well as legal eviction by the relevant officials as stated in the Act, she warned. The Deputy Director also noted that Namibians must know that under Section 29 (3), the Chief or Traditional Authority may, upon application, grant a person (s) who is not a resident a grazing right for a specific period, subject to certain conditions. At the same time, the Chief may also withdraw a grazing right granted, due to drought or any other reasonable cause. Kasita called on members of the public to comply with the relevant laws of the country and to refrain from any unlawful actions.