Land protests a smokescreen to undermine Geingob administration – minister

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Keetmanshoop

The land question is being used by some elements with “hidden agendas” to disrupt President Hage Geingob’s leadership, says Education Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa. She says people with motives known only to themselves are hard at work to destabilise the Geingob administration by hiding behind the land question. She says while some people want to be seen as “land messiahs”, they have no clue how it truly feels to be landless. She made these remarks, apparently aimed at the Affirmative Repositioning group (AR), at the unveiling of a statue of Hendrik Tseib and the launch of an exhibition of Nama culture at Keetmanshoop on Thursday. Hanse-Himarwa said although land is needed by all, only people who know how it feels to live in resettlement corridors and those who know how it feels to have been born on the farm of a white owner,

can rightfully claim to be land activists, because they understand what it means to be landless. “No child who doesn’t know what it means to be landless can be a messiah of land. That’s false,” she stressed. She is of the view that the smokescreen created by the scourge of land grabbing in Namibia is aimed at undermining the incumbent president and it should thus be condemned and not supported. “Let’s stand against the smokescreen land question that is being used to destabilise the peace, unity and progress we want to see in this country,” said the minister. She further urged Namibians to stand together and support President Geingob to lead Namibia to properity and help him realise his goals for the benefit of the entire country.
She, however, acknowledged the need for land redistribution, but said land should be distributed fairly and honestly to ensure that it is given back to its rightful owners. “We have lost land and that’s an undeniable fact that I will speak about as long as I can stand on my two feet,” she said.
The outspoken minister stressed the need for inclusivity on the land question, explaining as she turned to Land Reform Deputy Minister Bernadus Swartbooi, that those responsible for making sure that land is distributed fairly should take into account the historical context, so that land is given to the people from whom it was taken.
Hanse-Himarwa added that the slogan of ‘One Namibia, One Nation’ should not be used only when it benefits a certain group of people, but should be used to restore the dignity of all in the Namibian House by giving every single Namibian child what they need and restoring what was taken from them. “We must not use ‘One Namibia, One Nation’ only when it suits us,” she said, as she warned that “Namibia can only preserve its peace, unity and harmony if each child gets what they need and what they have lost”.

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