WINDHOEK – As part of his last assignment as Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Alpheus !Naruseb on Wednesday appointed five new members of the Lands Tribunal, as well as new members of the Communal Land Boards to serve for a three-year term.
The new Lands Tribunal members are: Chairperson Eliz Angala – a lawyer, Clive Kavendjii – a lawyer, Rhyno van der Walt, Orben Sibeya – also a lawyer and Clara Bohitile – former Member of Parliament.
In terms of the Agricultural Land Reform Act, “A member of the Lands Tribunal shall not perform any function as such a member unless he or she has taken an oath or made an affirmation”, which shall be made or taken before the Judge President of the High Court of Namibia or any other judge of that court designated by Judge President.
In this regard, !Naruseb – who yesterday was appointed at the Minister of Works and Transport – reminded the newly appointed members that a day shall be set aside where such an oath of affirmation shall be made in which case the accounting officer will make the necessary arrangements and communicate same to all appointed Lands Tribunal members.
“I would like to make it known that the previous tribunal has not had much to do but with our quest to accelerate the land acquisition and resettlement process, it is envisaged that the involvement of the Lands Tribunal in matters relevant to it in the land acquisition process will increasingly become necessary,” !Naruseb told the new members.
The outgoing minister also told the newly appointed members to work closely with the ministerial staff to be able to achieve even more in terms of meeting the expectations of the user’s right holders of land in communal areas of the country.
“While I acknowledge that as a collective, we have achieved some significant results in terms of ensuring the security of tenure for many of our citizens in communal areas, the bulk of the work still remains ahead and the challenge therefore to all of us, as board members, is how do we continue to build on the work of previous boards and how can we employ the experience gathered in that regard to meet the expectations of our clients in general and tackle the challenges that lie ahead,” said !Naruseb.
Communal Land Boards are organs established by an Act of Parliament – the Communal Land Reform Act of 2002. Their main function is to exercise control over allocation and cancellation of customary land rights by chiefs or traditional authorities, to consider and decide on applications for rights of leaseholds and to establish and maintain a register and system of registration for recording allocations, transfers, cancelation of all communal land rights, and lastly to advise the minister on issues pertaining to the attainment of the Communal Land Reform Act’s objectives and perform any other functions as assigned by the Act.