Traditional leaders demand a sober approach to land issue

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Eveline de Klerk

Spitzkoppe

Chief of the !Oe#Gan Traditional Authority Immanuel /Gaseb and the councillor in the Zeraua Traditional Authority, Fabianus Uaseupuani, are asking fellow traditional leaders to use the correct channels to address the government and President Hage Geingob on the land issue.

/Gaseb urged traditional leaders to refrain from instigating smear campaigns and called for patience so that the land issue can be peacefully addressed. Uaseupuani said the issues of land and its discussions are very sensitive and should be approached with caution.

According to Uaseupuani, distribution of land is a very lengthy process that requires a delicate approach so that granting land does not infringe on the rights of others.

“Therefore, we must be patient so that this can be done peacefully in a satisfying manner, and support the government while it finds a lasting solution,” said Uaseupuani.
/Gaseb said the land issue has caused division among traditional authorities with some forming pacts and openly criticizing the president.

According to /Gaseb, traditional leaders and authorities clearly know the channels of communication when it comes to national issues and that the government has made clear legal provisions that pave the way in addressing or consulting the president and the entire Namibian leadership when it comes to such matters.

“We need to use the channels for communication. Going into groups and openly criticizing the president do not paint a good picture for all of us as traditional leaders and clearly do not give the president the respect he deserves. Therefore I condemn traditional leaders that do not follow such channels,” /Gaseb said at the belated 27th independence anniversary celebration that was held at the small settlement of Spitzkoppe in the Erongo Region on Saturday.

According to him the government not only recognises the importance traditional leaders play in addressing the land issue but has also made provision through legal instruments that allows traditional leaders to advise and consult the government and the president to find an amicable solution to the land question.

“Yes we know that we have an issue with land. But there are proper channels to be followed. We cannot just openly criticize the government and the president without proper consultation while we know how sensitive the land issue is, and that any recklessly spread opinion can have disastrous consequences for our country,” the chief said.

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