The illegal sale of fenced communal land in both Eiseb Block and Otjinene areas in Omaheke Region has become a lucrative business for some communal farmers.
During a recent visit to the region, New Era established that communal farmers – notably in Otjinene and Eiseb Block – had fenced off large portions of land that sell for prices ranging between N$50 000 and N$200 000.
Chief Tjinaani Maharero of the Maharero Royal House (MRH), the primary allocator of communal land in the Otjinene area, yesterday confirmed that such deals have become a daily occurrence in the area.
“Yes, we’re aware of this happening and if it is not addressed soon it can became dangerous,” he said, before referring this reporter to MRH Councillor Ngunae Kamutuezu, whom he said is dealing with the issue.
Kamutuezu said currently the traditional authority is investigating three such deals that took place recently in that area.
“People consult the authority with the pretence that the land will be used for personal reasons, but this land ends up being sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars to middlemen, whom we believe are representing wealthy politicians,” he said.
The acting chief of the OvaMbanderu Traditional Authority (OTA) Gerson Katjirua, the primary allocator of communal land in the Eiseb Block area, was yesterday unavailable for comment as his phone went unanswered.
Omaheke Governor Festus Ueitele also confirmed the situation on Friday, saying that so far only two cases of that nature have been reported to his office.
“I am aware of two cases, but the right person to speak to now is the deputy director in the land reform ministry. Speak to Miss Mbaisa, she is aware of this,” Ueitele said when contacted for comment.
Ministry of Land Reform spokesperson Chrispin Matongela said the ministry was not aware of such activities, as nothing to that effect had been reported to their regional office.
However, Matongela said the ministry through its regional structures in Omaheke has received numerous complaints of illegal fencing off of communal land at Aminuis, Otjombinde and Otjinene.
He said the Omaheke Communal Land Board has since attended to the problem and progress is being made to remove fences that were found to have been erected illegally.
“We received numerous complaints of fences erected in the Eiseb area and all the cases were referred to the Traditional Authority Councillor Katjiteo, who was the plaintiff/complainant due to lack of names or descriptions of people who have erected fences and the villages or places where fences have been erected,” he said and referred all queries related to the sale of communal land to the MRH and the OTA, which are the main allocators of communal land in the said areas.