Former prime minister Nahas Angula has encouraged the youth to consider calling on the government to expropriate land in their quest to obtain land.
Angula was addressing a meeting, attended mainly by youth, on Tuesday night on discussions that formed part of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) anniversary gathering.
One concern raised during the night’s discussions is that many Namibians do not own land and that some Germans living in Germany own land in Namibia without even being in the country.
There were some suggestions that Namibia should go the route of Zimbabwe in acquiring land for the landless.
“We like to quote the constitution but it gives you the option of expropriation. Land belonging to absentee landlords should be expropriated,” said Angula. Angula admitted that the land issue is “a concern of everybody”.The former defence minister who spoke on the theme ‘Former and current liberation movements in Africa’ urged the youth to focus on the contentious and highly emotive land issue.
“When you are facing the enemy don’t start to quarrel amongst yourselves. Once you do that you (will) lose sight of the enemy,” Angula cautioned the youth.
He stressed that if the youth are united in the fight for land and also do it in a constructive and creative manner they will be listened to.
“There is a feeling among the youth that the former liberation struggle elders have betrayed the revolution. I don’t blame you. If you have a formidable task focus on that issue. Put it on the table and see how you can implement it. I don’t think that anybody will just dismiss you. We need to constructively organise ourselves and clearly study the impediment towards land reform,” stressed Angula.
“Let us put our hands together and see what avenues are there to acquire land or to have affordable housing,” Angula added.
Furthermore, he said if the youth break the law in their quest to acquire land there are law enforcers.
“We don’t need to break the law,” Angula said, adding that the youth can creatively and constructively find solutions to the land problem.
Touching on the issue of tenderpreneurship, Angula admitted that “there is a serious problem” in the country’s economy.
“Housing tenders,” he noted, “are sometimes given to people who do not know how to lay bricks.” In turn they call on their Chinese friends to help, then end up paying a lot and charge exorbitant house prices.
“We have ourselves to blame for the high house prices,” Angula added. “The reason why houses are not affordable is partially because of our greed,” said Angula.
Although admitting that land is a problem in Namibia, Angula also said much has been done since independence with regard to land, as there are programmes “that are a success”.
“People don’t want to talk about how many people have been resettled,” said Angula. Quoting Frantz Fanon, Angula said further: “Every generation must discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it.”
“I hope we didn’t betray that mission,” he said, before telling the youth, “don’t betray it.”