WINDHOEK- Land activist Job Amupanda has reiterated an earlier threat to occupy vacant land come July 21 if the various municipalities do not process the mass applications submitted for residential plots.
Amupanda through the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement gave local authorities until July 21 to process the mass applications for land made across the country.
He made the remarks yesterday in Windhoek when he revealed that the number of mass land applications across the country has now increased to 50 178.
Amupanda feels the figure could have exceeded 50 178 had other prospective applicants not been threatened.
“During the apartheid era black people were given land for free in Katutura, why can’t this be so during our independence. Land was the reason why people – our liberators – resorted to war because the issue of carrying briefcases and engaging in discussions could not work,” stated the land and youth activist.
Amupanda and his two cohorts Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and George Kambala said they are prepared to engage the powerful on how best to solve this crisis in the best interests of all parties.
They further stated they are not indisposed to engaging both the new Land Reform and Urban and Rural Development ministries, as well as the local authorities, as they believe there should be ways to resolve the issue in a peaceful, amicable manner.
“If these efforts fail, we will be left with no choice but to go directly into the antagonistic episode where we will occupy the land that is available in abundance,” stressed Amupanda.
Furthermore, he said, any attempts to intimidate them that “no one will grab land” is mere talk from comfortable people who will be found in parliament and restaurants while the youth will go ahead and occupy vacant land.
He said when the affected youths are usually evicted by their landlords for non-payment of rent the people against AR are nowhere to be found and if their threats are not to be taken lightly “then lord have mercy on their souls, we are not joking around as well.”
“If we wanted to grab the land we could have given them two weeks to work on it but we gave them nine months which is a lot. If nothing is done we will not be held accountable for what will happen next,” chipped in Mumbala.
When contacted for comment Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua said there are laws in place which have to be respected otherwise the police will enforce them.
When asked how far they have gone with processing the mass applications, Kazapua said Affirmative Repositioning applicants are on the municipal list just like any other Namibians that applied for residential land.
“They will not get any special treatment, some people have been on the waiting list for many years now and we follow the list if there is any serviced land available,” explained the city mayor.
Amupanda said the figures are a clear indication that the Affirmative Repositioning campaign will not fail despite criticism and intimidation.
“We will not be intimidated by the powerful people even if it will cost us our lives, and they should know that eliminating us is not a solution as our people will still continue … we will still continue to mobilise the youth even those in prison because we have the same problem,” said Amupanda.
He said the politically powerful claimed the mass action was illegal but people did not fall for that.
“They then started claiming we are disturbing peace, a claim which was rejected by the masses except a few zombies. When this failed the powerful began claiming that we have a political agenda against the ruling party – a failed attempt once again,” he stated.