Nujoma defends proposed Land Bill

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Photo: Kuzeeko Tjitemisa Standing his ground… Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma responding to media queries on Wednesday.

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Windhoek-The Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma says wide consultations took place over the Land Bill that aims to make the land reform process more effective once it is enacted as law.
Nujoma said there were broad consultations on the bill that will be ready to be re-introduced in parliament after its resumption in two weeks’ time.

Nujoma was responding to questions raised by the media during the ministry’s annual staff address that took place on Wednesday.

“Deliberations on the Land Bill started in 2004. My predecessors have dealt with this issue, they have consulted widely. If you ask the Legal Assistance Centre they can give you testimony, the ministry has gone countrywide to consult with various stakeholders,” said Nujoma.

“This Land Bill has been over-consulted, we have widely consulted, since 2004 we have been consulting,” he stressed.

“We gave the politicians the opportunity to look at the bill during the festive season and this was not enough – we extended their input to 2017,” he said, adding that up to now none of those “talking too much” have contributed to input on the bill.

“You had the opportunity to make an input and you have done nothing; just make noise in newspapers, it doesn’t help,” he said.

Meanwhile, The Namibian reported last week that a number of opposition political parties have threatened to call for marches if the bill is re-tabled in the National Assembly before consultations and the land conference are held later this year.

DTA president McHenry Venaani was quoted as saying that if Nujoma goes ahead and tables the bill, the DTA would stage marches to oppose the proposed bill.

He said that the DTA, which is the official opposition in parliament, would not allow the bill to be tabled again until due consultations have taken place.

“We were the first opposition party to ask for the withdrawal of the bill the first time it was tabled. Our position is very clear: submissions on the bill need to be discussed at the conference before the bill is tabled in parliament. We will organise national marches but we will have to wait until he tables it in parliament,” said Venaani.

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