WINDHOEK – Founding President Dr Sam Nujoma believes the July 31 deadline set by Affirmative Repositioning land activists for government to avail land, or risk dealing with mass land occupation by frustrated Namibians, is a well-orchestrated attempt to destabilise President Hage Geingob’s government.
In a statement issued yesterday, Nujoma said the ultimatum set by Job Amupanda, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and George Kambala – the brains behind Affirmative Repositioning – is an unwelcome development which possesses the potential to disturb peace and stability in the country.
Nujoma did not cite the names of the three self-styled land activists or their Affirmative Repositioning movement, but his statement was a clear reference to the trio’s activities.
The Founding Father’s statement came a day after the three land activists held a press conference, on Wednesday, to reaffirm their commitment to their cause of ensuring that land is made available to especially young Namibians who have struggled for years to access urban land.
Over 50 000 people have applied for land in various local authorities, through the organised activities of Affirmative Repositioning. The movement has given local authorities until July 31 to respond favourably to the applications.
Failure to do so will lead to thousands of Namibians occupying unoccupied land across the country, Affirmative Repositioning activists threatened.
The ruling party Swapo has already suspended the three young men for their involvement in the ongoing land campaign. Some in the party have called for the outright expulsion of the trio.
Nujoma yesterday described the land campaign as “deplorable”.
“Most disturbingly, this deplorable situation constitutes a threat to the unity and cohesion of our nation,” Nujoma, Namibia’s president between 1990 and 2005, said.
“It is clear that these provocative actions were meant to destabilise the newly appointed government as their timing coincided with the inauguration of the new government, under the leadership of H.E Dr Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia.
“As we are all aware, the enemies of progress will always try to cause anarchy, division and disunity among our people in order to reverse the gains of our hard-won freedom and independence.”
The Swapo former president described the protagonists as “unruly young Namibians” who are hell-bent on inciting people to grab land.
“I urge our youth to stand solidly behind our president, H.E Dr Hage Geingob, and give him all the support and loyalty in order to address the socio-economic gaps that exist in our society, as he clearly outlined the priority areas of his administration,” Nujoma said.
President Geingob has created a ministry to specifically deal with land reform, and has in recent weeks stated that the willing-seller, willing-buyer policy might be shelved to fast-track the delivery of land to needy Namibians.
At a press conference recently, the president said his government might pursue the constitutional provision of expropriation, with land belonging to absentee landlords the main target.